Sunday, May 16, 2010


Native American leader "Geronimo" (1829-1909) was born and raised according to Apache tradition in what is now New Mexico. His mother, wife, and 3 children were killed by Mexican troops in 1858 and it was during his revenge on them that he received his nickname - Spanish for "St. Jerome," which they uttered as he came at them fearlessly with only a knife through their hail of bullets. He was believed by his people to have a spiritual ability to survive gunfire and in fact survived being shot by bullets and buckshot many times. He was also thought to have the power to walk without leaving tracks, and indeed evaded capture many times and for long periods. Geronimo - who had become known among white settlers as "the worst Indian who ever lived" - finally surrendered to U.S. troops and became a prisoner of war in 1886.

After being held in several states and being reunited with his then wife and children for a time, Geronimo became a celebrity in his old age, appearing at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis and in President Theodore Roosevelt's 1905 inaugural parade. In 1905, he dictated his memoirs, which were published. And in 1909, he confessed on his deathbed that he regretted having surrendered. He was buried at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and it is believed that his grave was plundered. According to the claim, Geronimo's skull and femurs were taken and made their way to the secret Skull and Bones Society at Yale University by 1919.

Ironically, for someone who led such an eventful life, his given name was Goyathlay, which means "one who yawns."

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.