Vanished Worlds, Enduring People

European Encroachment, Native Resistance

Receipt Signed by Geronimo for Work as a Policeman. Fort Sill, Indian Territory, July 1896. [view first image] | [view second image]

Geronimo (1829-1909), a Chiricahua Apache war chief, and his followers fled to Mexico when the Americans decided to move the Chiricahuas from their home at Apache Pass to the San Carlos Reservation in 1876. For the next eleven years he raided settlements along the Mexico-United States border, his name striking fear in local communities. Finally arrested by General George Miles in 1887, he and 340 members of his band were imprisoned first at Fort Marion, Florida, then at Mount Vernon Barracks in Alabama. Eventually, many were taken in by the Kiowas and Comanches, former rivals, on their reservation at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where Geronimo worked at times as a justice of the peace and as a police officer. He attended the St. Louis World’s Fair, and rode in Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade. Never allowed to return to Arizona, he died of pneumonia in 1909.

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