Born in June 1829, in No-Doyohn Canyon, Mexico, Geronimo continued the tradition of the Apaches resisting white colonization of their homeland in the Southwest, participating in raids into Sonora and Chihuahua in Mexico.

 After years of war Geronimo finally surrendered to U.S. troops in 1886. While he became a celebrity, he spent the last two decades of his life as a prisoner of war.

Geronimo fell in love with a woman named Alope. The two married and had three children together. While out on a trading trip, Mexican soldiers attacked his camp. Word of the ransacking soon reached the Apache men. Quietly that night, Geronimo returned home, where he found his mother, wife and three children all dead.

The murders devastated Geronimo. In the tradition of the Apache, he set fire to his family's belongings and then, in a show of grief, headed into the wilderness to bereave the deaths. There, it's said, alone and crying, a voice came to Geronimo that promised him: "No gun will ever kill you. I will take the bullets from the guns of the Mexicans … and I will guide your arrows."

Backed by this sudden knowledge of power, Geronimo rounded up a force of 200 men and hunted down the Mexican soldiers who killed his family. On it went like this for 10 years, as Geronimo exacted revenge against the Mexican government.

Beginning in the 1850s, the face of his enemy changed. Following the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, the U.S. took over large tracts of territory from Mexico, including areas belonging to the Apache.

Geronimo and a small band of Chiricahua followers eluded American troops. Over the next five years they engaged in what proved to be the last of the Indian wars against the U.S.

Finally, in the summer of 1886, he surrendered, the last Chiricahua to do so. Over the next several years Geronimo and his people were bounced around, first to a prison in Florida, then a prison camp in Alabama, and then Fort Sill in Oklahoma. In total, the group spent 27 years as prisoners of war.

"I should never have surrendered," Geronimo, still a prisoner of war, said on his deathbed. "I should have fought until I was the last man alive."

Conference Between General Crook and Geronimo

Responses to "Rare archive photos of Geronimo you may not have seen before"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Geronimo was a great chief, he was humiliated by the whites and made to perform for them in western shows.

  2. Full Respect for chief Geronimo

  3. Rick Joy says:

    Well, I do not believe Go yaa hle was ever Nantan. He was a Shaman if memory does not fail me. I am not certain Ndee ever wore the big fanciful feathered headdresses. That was more on the plains. Often we see Ndee in feathered headdresses as costumes for wild west shows. I may be incorrect on some of my observation and apologize if I am.

  4. Divah says:


  5. Geronimo was seen in an isolated Apache settlement when he was on the run in a placed now called Bylas..(this was based on meeting some Apache elders in that community in 1974) through oral traditions they were told by their elders that Geronimo must was most feared not because of his veracity for warfare but because of his medicine. Here was a man who could hyperspace and place himself over the opposing aggressors and keep track of them...and knew of every move they made. That Geronimo enlisted a large female force that served as the main front for his attacks..that large bands of Apaches still live in the mountains of northern Mexico who are descendants of Geronimo..

  6. Great pictures of a great man

  7. Ariane says:

    He was a heroe, and it hurts me to see his sad face. What the white men did to the Hndians and still does, can't be forgotten or forgiven. I have very strong feelings for the Indians, even, I'm German and live far away.

  8. Anonymous says:

    These pictures show a face of pain and sad memories of the cowardly loss of his family to the Mexicans and how he was treated by the whites in later life.He is my hero.GERONIMO

  9. Anonymous says:

    Full Respect for Geronimo !

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