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Geronimo(jərŏn`əmō'), c.1829–1909, leader of a Chiricahua group of the ApachesApache
, Native North Americans of the Southwest composed of six culturally related groups. They speak a language that has various dialects and belongs to the Athabascan branch of the Nadene linguistic stock (see Native American languages), and their ancestors entered the area
..... Click the link for more information. , b. Arizona. From his youth he participated in the forays of CochiseCochise
, c.1815–1874, chief of the Chiricahua group of Apache in Arizona. He was friendly with the whites until 1861, when some of his relatives were hanged by U.S. soldiers for a crime they did not commit. Afterward he waged relentless war against the U.S.
..... Click the link for more information. , VictorioVictorio,
d. 1880, chief of the Ojo Caliente [warm spring] Apache, at one time a lieutenant of Mangas Coloradas. When his people were removed from their ancestral home to the desolate reservation at San Carlos, Victorio bolted (1880) for Mexico with a group of followers.
..... Click the link for more information. , and other Apache leaders. When the Chiricahua Reservation was abolished (1876) and the Apaches removed to the arid San Carlos Agency in New Mexico, Geronimo led a group of followers into Mexico. He was soon captured and returned to the new reservation, where he farmed for a while. In 1881 he escaped again with a group (including a son of Cochise) and led raids in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. He surrendered (1883) to forces under Gen. George CrookCrook, George,
1828–90, U.S. general, b. near Dayton, Ohio, grad. West Point, 1852. During the Civil War, Crook commanded a regiment of Ohio volunteers as colonel.
..... Click the link for more information. and was returned to the reservation. In 1885 he again left, and after almost a year of war he agreed to surrender to Crook, but at the last minute Geronimo fled. His escape led to censure of Crook's policy. Late in 1886, Geronimo and the remainder of his forces surrendered to Gen. Nelson Appleton MilesMiles, Nelson Appleton,
1839–1925, American army officer, b. near Westminster, Mass. In 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil War, he left his job in a Boston store and organized a company of volunteers.
..... Click the link for more information. , Crook's successor. They were deported as prisoners of war to Florida; contrary to an agreement, they were not allowed to take their families with them. After a further period in prison in Alabama, Geronimo was placed under military confinement at Fort Sill, Okla., where he settled down, adopted Christianity, and became a prosperous farmer. He became a national celebrity when he appeared at the St. Louis World's Fair and in Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural procession. He dictated his autobiography to S. M. Barrett (1906, repr. 1970).
See biographies by A. B. Adams (1971), A. Debo (1976), and R. M. Utley (2012); studies by B. Davis (1929, repr. 1963), J. Bigelow (1958, repr. 1968), and O. B. Faulk (1969).
(1829–1909) renegade Indian of the Wild West. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 1076]
See: Wild West
1829--1909, Apache Indian chieftain: led a campaign against the White settlers until his final capture in 1886