Geronimo~Apache Chief

Geronimo~Apache Chief - Stories


Medicine Man & Prophet

    A medicine man and prophet of the Chiricahua Apache who, in the latter part of the 19th century, acquired notoriety through his opposition to the authorities and by systematic and sensational advertising; born about 1834 at the headwaters of Gila River, New Mexico, near old Ft Tulerosa. His father was Taklishim, `The Gray One,' who was not a chief, although his father (Geronimo's grandfather) assumed to be a chief without heredity or election. Geronimo's mother was known as Juana.

    When it was decided, in 1876, in consequence of depredations committed in Sonora, of which the Mexican government complained, to remove the Chiricahua from their reservation on the south frontier to San Carlos, Ariz., Geronimo and others of the younger chiefs fled into Mexico. He was arrested later when he returned with his band to Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, and tilled the ground in peace on San Carlos reservation until the Chiricahua became discontented because the Government would not help them irrigate their lands. In 1882 Geronimo led one of the hands that raided in Sonora and surrendered when surrounded by Gen. George H. Crook's force in the Sierra Madre. He had one of the best farms at San Carlos, when trouble arose in 1854 in consequence of the attempt of the authorities to stop the making of tiswin, the native intoxicant.During 1884-85 he gathered a band of hostiles, who terrorized the inhabitants of south Arizona and New Mexico, as well as of Sonora and Chihuahua, in Mexico. Gen. Crook proceeded against them with instructions to capture or destroy the chief and his followers.

    In Mar. 1886, a truce was made, followed by a conference, at which the terms of surrender were agreed on; but Geronimo and his followers having again fled to the Sierra Madre across the Mexican frontier, and Gen. Miles having been placed in command, active operations were renewed and their surrender was ultimately effected in the following August. The entire band, numbering about 340, including Geronimo and Nachi, the hereditary chief, were deported as prisoners of war, first to Florida and later to Alabama, being finally settled at Ft Sill, Okla., where they now reside under military supervision and in prosperous condition, being industrious workers and careful spenders. (J. M. C. T. )

    Cochise. A Chiricahua Apache chief, son and successor of Nachi. Although constantly at feud with the Mexicans, he gave no trouble to the Americans until after he went, in 1861, under a flag of truce, to the camp of a party of soldiers to deny that his tribe had abducted a white child. The commanding officer was angered by this and ordered the visiting chiefs seized and bound because they would not confess. One was killed and four were caught, but Cochise, cutting through the side of a tent, made his escape with three bullets in his body and immediately began hostilities to avenge his companions, who were hanged by the Federal troops. The troops were forced to retreat, and white settlements in Arizona were laid waste.

    Soon afterward the military posts were abandoned, the troops being recalled to take part in the Civil war. This convinced the Apache that they need only to fight to prevent Americans front settling in their country. Cochise and Mangos Coloradas defended Apache pass in southeast Arizona against the Californians, who marched under Gen. Carleton to reopen communication between the Pacific coast and the east. The howitzers of the California volunteers put the Apache to flight . When United States troops returned to resume the occupancy of the country after the close of the Civil war, a war of extermination was carried on against the Apache.

    Cochise did not surrender till Sept., 1871. When orders came to transfer his people from Canada Alamosa to the new Tularosa reservation, in New Mexico, he escaped with a hand of 200 in the spring of 1872, and his example was followed by 600 others. After the Chiricahua reservation was established Arizona, in the summer of 1872, he carne in, and there died in peace June 8, 1874. He was succeeded as chief by his son Taza. The southeastern most county of Arizona bears Cochise's name.

    ~Alleged theft of remains:~

    In 1918, certain remains of Geronimo were apparently stolen in a grave robbery. Three members of the Yale secret society of Skull and Bones served as Army volunteers at Fort Sill during World War I one of those three members was actually George W. Bush's grandfather. They reportedly stole Geronimo's skull, some bones, and other items, including Geronimo's prized silver bridle, from the Apache Indian Prisoner of War Cemetery. The stolen items were alleged to have been taken to the society's tomb-like headquarters on the Yale University campus, and are supposedly used in rituals practiced by the group, one of which is said to be kissing the skull of Geronimo as an initiation. The story was known for many years but widely considered unlikely or apocryphal, and while the society itself remained silent, former members have said that they believed the bones were fake or non-human.

    In a contemporary letter discovered by the Yale historian Marc Wortman and published in the Yale Alumni Magazine in 2006, society member Winter Mead wrote to F. Trubee Davison

    The skull of the worthy Geronimo the Terrible, exhumed from its tomb at Fort Sill by your club... is now safe inside the tomb together with his well worn femurs, bit and saddle horn.

    This prompted the Indian chief's great-grandson, Harlyn Geronimo of Mescalero, New Mexico, to write to President Bush requesting his help in returning the remains:

    According to our traditions the remains of this sort, especially in this state when the grave was desecrated ... need to be reburied with the proper rituals ... to return the dignity and let his spirits rest in peace


    Prescott Bush, grandfather of our president and several others, according to a growing body of evidence, desecrated the grave of Geronimo, Apache Holy Man; removing his skull, and a prized silver bridle that was buried along with him.

    Using acid they stripped the skull of flesh and hair then took their trophies back to a secret clubhouse at Yale University according to data provided by Will Russell of Vanguard Consulting.

    The "Skull and Crossbones Society" was officially formed at Yale in the year 1832 but its roots go back a decade or so prior to that. This is the same period where graverobbing by Yale students at the Quinnipiac Burial Grounds at Beacon Hill in East Haven took place. Townshend admits that "in the year 1822 I examined three of these graves%u2026" long before the students did so. Our research indicates it was Townshend and his rich cronies at Yale who concocted this secret society to gain wealth, fame and notoriety by desecrating the graves of our ancestors.

    Several years ago documents and photos were leaked about this secret society which enraged the conscience of the American people and Indian First Nations across America and Canada. These documents detail Prescott Bush's "graverobbing exploits" with a photo showing a skull and bridle on a shelf next to a framed picture of Geronimo.

    The headquarters of this SKULL AND CROSSBONES SOCIETY is in a windowless building known as "THE TOMB" at 64 High Street in New Haven, Connecticut. Each year fifteen Seniors at Yale are "tapped" or exclusively initiated into the elite membership of this club of bone-worshipers and grave-robbers.

    Yale has refused to clean up its act and we believe this is because it values wealth, power and elitism much more than it values respecting the rights of our First Nations to be shown dignity and respect concerning our ancestor's remains.

    On Wednesday, May 10th, 2006 Associated Press reporter Stephen Singer filed an exclusive feature with headlines that screamed "LETTER BACKS YALE TALE THAT CLUB STOLE GERONIMO'S SKULL" (view a photocopy of the article below).<a name="RETURN1"></a> The story says that a Yale researcher from Hartford named Marc Wortman dug up a letter written by a member of this elite club written in 1918 confirming the truth. This letter, written by Winter Mead states, "The skull of the worthy Geronimo the Terrible, exhumed from its tomb at Fort Sill by your club %u2026 is now safe inside the (tomb) together with his well worn femurs, bit & saddle horn."

    Quotes from Geronimo~Last Free Apache

      "I was warmed by the sun, rocked by the winds and sheltered by the trees as other Indian babes. I was living peaceably when people began to speak bad of me. Now I can eat well, sleep well and be glad. I can go everywhere with a good feeling.

      The soldiers never explained to the government when an Indian was wronged, but reported the misdeeds of the Indians. We took an oath not to do any wrong to each other or to scheme against each other.

      I cannot think that we are useless or God would not have created us. There is one God looking down on us all. We are all the children of one God. The sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we have to say.

      When a child, my mother taught me to kneel and pray to Usen for strength, health, wisdom and protection. Sometimes we prayed in silence, sometimes each one prayed aloud; sometimes an aged person prayed for all of us... and to Usen.

      I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures."

      Skull & Crossbone Society

        A portion of this letter and accompanying story was posted recently on the Yale Alumni magazine’s website. The AP feature indicates that this elite club/society of bone-collectors includes “both Presidents Bush, President Taft, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, numerous members of Congress, media leaders, Wall Street financiers, the scions of wealthy families and officers in the CIA.”

        Members who pass muster must swear an oath of secrecy, and allegiance to its strange rituals which the AP feature says includes “an initiation rite in which would be members kiss a skull.

        Harlyn Geronimo, the great-grandson of the Apache Holy Man said he is seeking a qualified lawyer to sue the U.S. Army. If he is willing to include Yale University as well then ACQTC would also be interested in joining our Apache cousins whereas this club began with the bones of our own ancestors.

        ACQTC has been at war with Yale and the Townshend family for decades over this and similar atrocities just as the Apache Nation and dozens of other First Nations have battled for the human remains of ancestors across this land. The Kennewick man fiasco was exposed by David Hurst Thomas in his book SKULL WARS and these battles continue to this day. A petition to repatriate Geronimo’s skull now has thousands of signatures bearing enraged comments and this should be read by everyone who has an interest in this matter.

        If a group of Native Americans were to dig up the graves of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Davy Crocket, etc. there would be no stone unturned and we would be charged with desecrating a national treasure. Yet, when individuals responsible for running the federal government join a club whose sole purpose is to desecrate our ancestral graves with impunity then something is definitely wrong with this picture. Public awareness of this atrocity must convince Yale this club must end … now!

        World's Fair in St. Louis of 1904

          Geronimo, the last of the great Apache warriors, took part in the World’s Fair in St. Louis of 1904. And it was at this Fair where he described his first ride on the Ferris wheel.

          In his own words, written and dictated to Mr. Selles, Geronimo says,

          "One time the guards took me into a little house that had four windows. When we were seated the little house started to move along the ground. Then the guards called my attention to some curious things they had in their pockets.

          "Finally they told me to look out, and when I did so I was scared, for our little house had gone high up in the air, and the people down in the Fair Grounds looked no larger than ants. The men laughed at me for being scared, then they gave me a glass to look through. (I often had such glasses which I took from dead officers after battles in Mexico and elsewhere), and I could see rivers, lakes and mountains.

          "But I had never been so high in the air….Then they said, "Get out!" and when I looked we were on the street again. After we were safe on the land, I watched many of these little houses going up and coming down, but I cannot understand how they travel."

          The Ferris wheel on which Geronimo rode had been the highlight of the 1893 Fair. Dismantled in 1894, it was reused at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. Built by Pittsburgh’s bridge builder, George Washington Gale Ferris, it was supported by two 140 foot steel towers, its 45-foot axle was the largest single piece of forged material in the world. The circumference was 825 feet, diameter 250 feet, maximum height was 264 feet.

          Geronimo biography, published in 1906, contains his words that "Every Sunday the President of the Fair sent for me to go to a wild west show. I took part in the roping contests before the audience". Perhaps that distinguished driver was the President of the fair.

          He also wrote, "Many people in St. Louis invited me to come to their homes, but my keeper always refused." And … "the Government sent guards with me when I went (to sideshows) and I was not allowed to go anywhere without them." Who was his keeper?

          Who were his Government guards? Some descriptive formal pictures and documentation may exist in St. Louis as part of that city’s historical World’s Fair files.

          In 1894 the government moved the Apaches permanently to Fort Sill, Indian Territory, Oklahoma. But by then, disease had taken its toll. Less that 300 Apaches remained, most of them children born in captivity.

          While the intense curiosity lessened, one thing remained constant. Geronimo was in demand, a salable commodity. He made many personal appearances, including the Omaha Exposition and the St. Louis World’s Fair.

          He came close to stealing Teddy Roosevelt’s thunder when he appeared in the new president’s inaugural parade. Heading a delegation of Indian leaders, Geronimo rode in full face paint, head held high without a flicker of emotion showing on his creased face. He wore only a breechcloth, moccasins, and his medicine hat: a cap of eagle feathers with streaming eagle plumes which hung below his stirrups. The cheers for Roosevelt evaporated. Men threw their hats into the air and shouted, "Hooray for Geronimo!" Daklugie, acting as Geronimo’s Segundo, said, "We were told later that Roosevelt said he never wished to hear the name Geronimo again."

          This fame, along with a proclivity for making a buck, ensured Geronimo’s pockets always jingled. He sold anything anyone wanted to buy. His photo and autograph were always for sale. He once sold a ragged hawk feather plucked from the ground for five dollars. On trips, he’d cut the buttons from his coat and sell them for 25 cents each; his hat went for five dollars. He’d then sew on new buttons and don a new hat (he’d had the foresight to bring along extras), and eagerly await the next stop.

          Of his trip to the World’s Fair, he said, "I often made as much as two dollars a day, and when I returned I had plenty of money – more than I had ever owned before." When he died, he had more than $10,000 in his bank account.

          Today interest in the Apaches remains high. There is understanding, compassion and respect for these people who fought so fiercely and valiantly to save their homeland and, because of this, were doomed to a sideshow existence.

          Feelings about Geronimo, however, remained mixed. But no matter whether you think of him as a villain or a folk hero, one fact is undeniable. As one official so succinctly said, "He is the only Geronimo."

          Apache Creation Story

            In the beginning nothing existed--no earth, no sky, no sun, no moon, There was only darkness everywhere.

            Suddenly from the darkness emerged a thin disk, one side yellow and the other side white, appearing suspended midair. Within the disk sat a small bearded man, Creator, the One Who Lives Above. As if waking from a long nap, he rubbed his eyes and face with both hands.

            When he looked into the endless darkness, light appeared above. He looked down and it became a sea of light. To the east, he created yellow streaks of dawn. To the west, tints of many colors appeared everywhere. There were also clouds of different colors.

            Creator wiped his sweating face and rubbed his hands together, thrusting them downward. Behold! A shining cloud upon which sat a little girl.

            "Stand up and tell me where are you going," said Creator. But she did not reply. He rubbed his eyes again and offered his right hand to the Girl-Without-Parents.

            "Where did you come from?" she asked, grasping his hand.

            "From the east where it is now light," he replied, stepping upon her cloud.

            "Where is the earth?" she asked.

            "Where is the sky?" he asked, and sang, "I am thinking, thinking, thinking what I shall create next." He sang four times, which was the magic number.

            Creator brushed his face with his hands, rubbed them together, then flung them wide open. Before them stood Sun-God. Again Creator rubbed his sweaty brow and from his hands dropped Small- Boy.

            All four gods sat in deep thought upon the small cloud.

            "What shall we make next?" asked Creator. "This cloud is much too small for us to live upon."

            Then he created Tarantula, Big Dipper, Wind, Lightning-Maker, and some western clouds in which to house Lightning-Rumbler, which he just finished.

            Creator sang, "Let us make earth. I am thinking of the earth, earth, earth; I am thinking of the earth," he sang four times.

            All four gods shook hands. In doing so, their sweat mixed together and Creator rubbed his palms, from which fell a small round, brown ball, not much larger than a bean.

            Creator kicked it, and it expanded. Girl-Without-Parents kicked the ball, and it enlarged more. Sun-God and Small-Boy took turns giving it hard kicks, and each time the ball expanded. Creator told Wind to go inside the ball and to blow it up.

            Tarantula spun a black cord and, attaching it to the ball, crawled away fast to the east, pulling on the cord with all his strength. Tarantula repeated with a blue cord to the south, a yellow cord to the west, and a white cord to the north. With mighty pulls in each direction, the brown ball stretched to immeasurable size, and it became the earth! No hills, mountains, or rivers were visible; only smooth, treeless, brown plains appeared.

            Creator scratched his chest and rubbed his fingers together and there appeared Hummingbird.

            "Fly north, south, east, and west and tell us what you see," said Creator.

            "All is well," reported Hummingbird upon his return. "The earth is most beautiful, with water on the west side."

            But the earth kept rolling and dancing up and down. So Creator made four giant posts: black, blue, yellow, and white to support the earth. Wind carried the four posts, placing them beneath the four cardinal points of the earth. The earth sat still.

            Creator sang, "World is now made and now sits still," which he repeated four times.

            Then he began a song about the sky. None existed, but he thought there should be one. After singing about it four times, twenty- eight people appeared to help make a sky above the earth. Creator chanted about making chiefs for the earth and sky.

            He sent Lightning-Maker to encircle the world, and he returned with three creatures, two girls and a boy found in a turquoise shell. They had no eyes, ears, hair, mouths, noses, or teeth. They had arms and legs, but no fingers or toes.

            Sun-God sent for Fly to come and build a sweathouse. Girl- Without-Parents covered it with four heavy clouds. In front of the east doorway she placed a soft, red cloud for a foot-blanket to be used after the sweat.

            Four stones were heated by the fire inside the sweathouse. The three creatures were placed inside. The others sang songs of healing on the outside, until it was time for the sweat to be finished. Out came the three strangers who stood upon the magic red cloud-blanket. Creator then shook his hands toward them, giving each one fingers, toes, mouths, eyes, ears, noses and hair.

            Creator named the boy, Sky-Boy, to be chief of the Sky-People. One girl he named Earth-Daughter, to take charge of the earth and its crops. The other girl he named Pollen-Girl, and gave her charge of health care for all Earth-People.

            Since the earth was flat and barren, Creator thought it fun to create animals, birds, trees, and a hill. He sent Pigeon to see how the world looked. Four days later, he returned and reported, "All is beautiful around the world. But four days from now, the water on the other side of the earth will rise and cause a mighty flood."

            Creator made a very tall pinion tree. Girl-Without-Parents covered the tree framework with pinion gum, creating a large, tight ball.

            In four days, the flood occurred. Creator went up on a cloud, taking his twenty-eight helpers with him. Girl-Without-Parents put the others into the large, hollow ball, closing it tight at the top.

            In twelve days, the water receded, leaving the float-ball high on a hilltop. The rushing floodwater changed the plains into mountains, hills, valleys, and rivers. Girl-Without-Parents led the gods out from the float-ball onto the new earth. She took them upon her cloud, drifting upward until they met Creator with his helpers, who had completed their work making the sky during the flood time on earth.

            Together the two clouds descended to a valley below. There, Girl- Without-Parents gathered everyone together to listen to Creator.

            "I am planning to leave you," he said. "I wish each of you to do your best toward making a perfect, happy world.

            "You, Lightning-Rumbler, shall have charge of clouds and water.

            "You, Sky-Boy, look after all Sky-People.

            "You, Earth-Daughter, take charge of all crops and Earth-People.

            "You, Pollen-Girl, care for their health and guide them.

            "You, Girl-Without-Parents, I leave you in charge over all."

            Creator then turned toward Girl-Without-Parents and together they rubbed their legs with their hands and quickly cast them forcefully downward. Immediately between them arose a great pile of wood, over which Creator waved a hand, creating fire.

            Great billowy clouds of smoke at once drifted skyward. Into this cloud, Creator disappeared. The other gods followed him in other clouds of smoke, leaving the twenty-eight workers to people the earth.

            Sun-God went east to live and travel with the Sun. Girl-Without- Parents departed westward to live on the far horizon. Small-Boy and Pollen-Girl made cloud homes in the south. Big Dipper can still be seen in the northern sky at night, a reliable guide to all.

            Crook's Gun Seized by Geronimo

              In early Spring of 1882 when General George Crook arrived in Arizona, he began in his systematic way to study the situation. First, he held conferences with the reservation Indians. As he reported it, "The simple story of their wrongs, as told by various representatives of their bands, under circumstances which convinced me they were speaking the truth, satisfied me that the Apaches had not only the best of reasons for complaining, but had displayed remarkable forbearance in remaining at peace."
              Crook camped near Tesorababi, a former ranch abandoned because of Apache raids, and on May 8 turned southeast into the heart of the hostiles' mountain sanctuary. Here was a complete picture of their life-way. The whole area was an extensive complex of criss crossings trails beaten by the feet of hundreds of stolen animals, and recently occupied camps on the mountains and along the streams.
              Geronimo and his warriors took their positions among the rocks a thousand feet above General Crook's camp. The women called up to them "and told them not to shoot... that they did not want any fighting" but only to make friends. At daybreak (May 20) Geronimo sent down two messengers (two old men, said Betzinez; two old women, said Bourke) to find out the general's intentions. If they should fail to return, he planned to attack. There were some other communications back and forth. Geronimo's "sister" went up to the raiders, and they sent her back to request some of the scouts to meet with them. The scouts sent relatives if the raiding party--a brother-in-law of Chatto and a relative of Geronimo's father-in-law Dji-li-kine. But Geronimo and the other leaders still stayed out. Crook decided to contact them by the most supremly corageous act of his adventurous career. (He suppressed this story and so did the other officers; it was not until reminiscences were published in 1936.) He took his gun and left the camp ostensibly to shoot birds. The hostile leaders confronted him, "grabbed his gun away and took the birds he had shot." Then Mickey Free and Severiano came to interpret. "They all sat on the ground and talked. After about two hours" the general and his former enemies came into the camp together.

              Elk Antler Quint


                Elk Antler Quint which Geronimo wrote his name by drilling holes with a knife tip.George Wratten,an army interpreter ,taught Geronimo to write his name in English.

                Geronimo's leather moccasins


                  Written on the bottom in ink "Geronimo Ft. Sill OK 1894". Note wear and outline of toes. Although it can not be absolutely proven, these are probably the same pair worn by Geronimo in the famous photo with him kneeling and holding a rifle.



                    Tilegoot, a White Mountain Apache scout, one of the leading scouts who was with Gen. Miles in his capture of Geronimo. He was a very old man, his face is seamed with many wrinkles, and his hair was sparce. Wrapped in a blanket the texture of which is wonderfully displayed in the photographic study, the picture reminds one of the work of the old masters in its grim realism and fidelity to detail.

                    Nelson Appleton Miles


                      Called a "brave peacock" by President Theodore Roosevelt toward the end of his service, General Nelson A. Miles no doubt felt he had cause to be proud of his accomplishments in a career that had lifted a volunteer infantryman to the office of commander of the army.

                      Born on his family's Massachusetts farm, Miles was a clerk in a crockery store when the Civil War broke out. He joined the army as a volunteer and fought for the Union in some of the war's most crucial battles, including Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and the Appomatox campaign. Wounded four times, he rose in rank to become a major general of volunteers and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his personal bravery at Chancellorsville.

                      After the Civil War, Miles played a leading role in nearly every phase of the army's campaign against the tribes of the Great Plains. In 1874-1875, he was a field commander in the force that defeated the Kiowa, Comanche and Southern Cheyenne along the Red River. In 1876-1877, he led the winter campaign that scoured the northern Plains after Custer's defeat at the Little Bighorn, forcing the Lakota and their allies onto reservations. Then, in the winter of 1877, he drove his troops on a forced march across Montana to intercept the Nez Percé band led by Chief Joseph that had eluded or defeated every unit sent against it over the course of a 1,500 mile retreat from Oregon to the Canadian border. Throughout the rest of his career Miles would quarrel with General Oliver O. Howard, whose troops had doggedly pursued the Nez Percé over those 1,500 miles, as to who rightly deserved the credit for Joseph's capture.

                      Miles earned the scorn of another fellow officer in 1886, when he replaced General George Crook as commander of the campaign against Geronimo in Arizona. Crook had relied heavily on Apache scouts in his efforts to capture the Chiricahua leader, but Miles replaced them with white troops who eventually traveled over three thousand miles trailing Geronimo and his band through the torturous Sierra Madre Mountains. Finally, Miles sent Apache scouts to help negotiate a surrender, under the terms of which Geronimo and his followers were exiled to confinement on a Florida reservation. Miles exiled his Apache scouts to Florida as well, although they were officially enlisted members of the army, and it was for this betrayal of troops who had served them both loyally that Crook never forgave him.

                      The 1890 Ghost Dance "uprising" on the Lakota reservations brought Miles back into the field once again. In an effort to restore peace throughout the area, Miles directed troop movements that inadvertently panicked many Lakota bands into leaving their reservations and led both to Sitting Bull's death and to the massacre of Big Foot's band at Wounded Knee. Miles reacted to these developments by working aggressively to implement his longstanding belief that the Lakota should be forcibly disarmed and placed under military control.

                      In his later years, Miles commanded the troops that put down the Pullman strike riots in 1894, and was commander of the army during the Spanish-American War. He retired from service in 1903, confirmed in his belief that graduates of West Point had an unfair advantage in promotion and were on the whole less capable of command than those who rose through the ranks as he had.