Geronimo, born Goyathlay, was an Apache medicine man and warrior.
Born in what is now New Mexico in 1829, he was the grandson of the chief of the Bedonkohe Apache. Geronimo's father died when Geronimo was still a boy. From that point on, Geronimo had to take care of his mother and his siblings. At the age of 17, he became a warrior. At that time, the Apache frequently traveled to Mexico. In 1858, Geronimo's tribe had gone to Mexico. The men were in town doing some trading, when their camp was attacked. Geronimo's mother, his wife and their small children were killed. He would never be the same again. He gained fame among his people fighting to avenge his family's death. He also became a medicine man after the massacre.
Over time, Geronimo and his fellow warriors began to fight American soldiers as well as Mexicans. In 1876, the American government tried to force the Apaches onto a reservation in Arizona. But Geronimo would lead an armed resistance. Newspaper reports caused the American people to become incredibly afraid of this man, who was captured for the first time only after hiding out in the mountains for ten years. Imprisoned, he would flee, only to captured once more. By the time of the St. Louis World's Fair, he had begun to try to capitalize on his fame, talking to reporters and allowing his photograph to be taken.
This book is based on conversations Geronimo had with another Indian who then translated his story for S. M. Bartlett who arranged for its publication. As a result, it's hard to know how many of these are Geronimo's words.
This report prepared by Ann Gaines