HISTORY OF THE DAY
According to Oleg Loginov
On February 17, 1909, the chief of the Chiricahua Apache tribe, Jeronimo, who was caught by white Americans, died in Arizona.
Actually, his real name is Goyatlai (Goyaałé) — «The one who yawns». Geronimo began to be called by the Mexicans after one battle, when Goyatlay ran from place to place under a hail of their bullets, killing their soldiers with cold weapons. They called on Saint Geronimo to heal them from this red-skinned devil, and it turned out that the name of the saint stuck to the Indian.
Geronimo has been leading the fight against the US invasion of his tribe’s land for 25 years. And at the same time, the indomitable Indian mercilessly exterminated the colonists, more than 470 people were killed on his account. He especially hated Mexicans. Around 1850, he exchanged skins and furs with his tribesmen in the city, and their women and children remained in the camp. But a passing platoon of Mexicans from the neighboring state of Sonora attacked the camp. 25 women and children were killed, and about 60 people were taken into slavery. Geronimo hated Mexicans for the rest of his life. I killed them wherever I met them, without any pity. The governor of Sonora claimed in 1886 that in just five months Geronimo’s gang killed about 500-600 Mexicans.
The leader, in general, was terrible in anger. Somehow he burned his own wife and son alive. The mother-in-law was beaten to death with a stick for moving the wigwam to another place without permission. However, throughout his long life Geronimo had 9 wives and countless children. He took particular pleasure in painfully executing pale-faced prisoners.
Geronimo (right) and his warriors
Always outnumbered by the enemy in the battle with Mexican and American troops, Geronimo became famous for his courage and elusiveness, which he demonstrated from 1858 to 1886. At the end of his military career, he led a tiny squad of 38 men, women and children. For a whole year, 5,000 soldiers of the US Army (a quarter of the entire American army at that time) and several detachments of the Mexican army hunted him. A small tribe of Chiricahua Apaches under the leadership of Chief Geronimo remained the last of the Indian tribes who refused to recognize the authority of the United States government in the American West.
General Crook and Geronimo discuss the terms of the Chiricahua Apache surrender. Geronimo is third from the left in a bandana, and Crook is second from the right.
But at some point, Geronimo realized that he could not fight the Americans. He and his warriors decided to surrender to American General George Crook, whom they respected and nicknamed «The Tan Wolf» because of the khaki civilian clothes he wore.
It was agreed with the surrendered Chiricahua Indians that they would voluntarily go to a new reservation called Turkey Creek. There they were under the supervision of Lieutenant Britton Davis, who began to teach them to live like white people.
A painting by William Arendt. «Geronimo and his followers are fleeing the reservation.»
The Chiricahua men really didn’t like it when Davis forbade them to beat their wives, which in their culture was their right. But the Indians did not like it even more that Davis forbade them to brew an alcoholic drink called Tizwin. He even sent one person from Chiricahua to Alcatraz for violating these rules. Eventually Geronimo heard a rumor that he was going to be arrested. And then he organized an escape from Turkey Creek with a small number of loyal Indians. And after the escape, Geronimo again «got on the warpath» with the Mexicans and the Palefaces.
William Arendt. «Geronimo»
The Mexicans thought Geronimo was charmed by bullets, but bullets did not fly around him. It’s just that «The One who yawns» was able, like a true Indian, to endure pain and not show it when they hit him. Geronimo admitted that he received eight wounds only in clashes with Mexicans: «… a bullet is still sitting in his right leg above the knee, his left forearm is shot through, a saber scar on his right leg under the knee, a butt wound on his head, a bullet mark in the corner of his left eye, bullet wounds in the side and in the back.»
The end of the war against everyone for Geronimo came when in September 1886, physically and mentally tired, he himself came to the American General Nelson Miles in Arizona to surrender to him. The old warrior spent his last days signing autographs and farming at Fort Sill.
On February 14, 1909, Geronimo, who was 79 years old at the time, was returning home from a party on horseback. Either he got too drunk at a party, or the horse got too dexterous, only the leader fell off the horse. Either unconscious from a blow to the head, or from strong intoxication, but he lay on the cold ground all night. And three days later he died of pneumonia.
It is said that the memory of the Apache leader was preserved by American airborne paratroopers who jump from the plane with the cry «Geronimo!». And allegedly this is due to the fact that his name inspired such fear among the white settlers that as soon as someone shouted: «Geronimo!», everyone jumped out of the windows.
*Texts from Wikipedia and other Internet resources were used.
*Translated using an electronic dictionary. The original text in Russian and much more on the criminal topic can be selected on the main page of the site — http://crimerecords.info/