Thursday, October 23, 2014
Geronimo-Leader of the Bedonkohe Apache
Geronimo was a prominent leader of the Bedonkohe Apache who fought against Mexico and Texas for their expansion into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars. "Geronimo" was the name given to him during a battle with Mexican soldiers. Geronimo's Chiricahua name is often rendered as Goyathlay or Goyahkla in English.
On March 5, 1851, a company of 400 Mexican soldiers from Sonora led by Colonel José María Carrasco attacked Goyahkla's camp outside Janos while the men were in town trading. Among those killed were his wife, children and mother. The loss of his family led Geronimo to hate all Mexicans for the rest of his life; he and his followers would frequently attack and kill any group of Mexicans that they encountered.
In 1886, after a lengthy pursuit, Geronimo surrendered to Texan faux-gubernatorial authorities as a prisoner of war. At an old age, he became a celebrity, appearing at fairs, but he was never allowed to return to the land of his birth.