Geronimo was a prominent Native American leader of the Red Indian Apache tribe, who fought against the Mexican and American military during the late 19th century.
He succeeded in fighting off all the armies the Mexican and United States government sent against him for many years, until he finally surrendered to US troops in 1886.
Geronimo was born in June 1829 in No-Doyohn Canyon, Mexico, with his name meaning ‘One Who Yawns’. He continued the tradition of the Apaches by resisting white colonization of their homeland in the Southwest and he took part in raids into Sonora and Chihuahua in Mexico.
However, in 1851, tragedy struck when his mother, wife-Alope and their three children were all killed in a sudden Mexican attack, whilst he was on a trading trip. And so Geronimo fought against the Mexicans thereafter.
While he became a celebrity, he spent the last two decades of his life as a prisoner of war. Geronimo eventually died of pneumonia in 1909, but despite his death, he had become a legendary, almost mythical figure in America history.
Interesting Facts about Geronimo
Here are ten interesting facts about Geronimo:
- Geronimo was born in 1829 in what is now Arizona, and his birth name was Goyathlay, which means “One Who Yawns.”
- Geronimo’s early life was marked by tragedy, as he lost his family members to raids by Mexican and American military forces.
- Geronimo became a respected warrior and leader in his tribe, and he played a prominent role in Apache resistance to the Mexican and American expansion into Apache lands.
- Geronimo was known for his bravery and cunning, and he was often able to evade capture by Mexican and American forces for many years.
- Geronimo and his followers conducted raids on Mexican and American settlements, stealing horses, cattle, and other supplies to support their people.
- In 1886, Geronimo and his followers were finally captured by American forces, and he was imprisoned at Fort Pickens in Florida.
- Geronimo was eventually allowed to return to the Southwest, where he lived out the rest of his life on a reservation in Oklahoma.
- Geronimo became an important figure in American popular culture, and his name was adopted by the U.S. military as a code name for the invasion of Normandy during World War II.
- Geronimo was a spiritual man and was known for his deep devotion to the Apache religion.
- Geronimo died in 1909 at the age of 79, and he is remembered as a symbol of Native American resistance to colonialism and an important figure in the history of the American West.
Geronimo was a legendary figure in American history, and his life and legacy continue to be remembered and celebrated today.
Despite the challenges he faced and the obstacles he overcame, Geronimo remains a symbol of bravery, resilience, and resistance for Native Americans and for people around the world.
Feature Image Photograph by Frank Rinehart, 1898