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Geronimo, Apache Medicine Man, before his surrender, March 27, 1886, historic photo

A photo recorded by C. S. Fly, just before Geronimo, the noted Apache Medicine Man and warrior, surrendered to General George Crook on March 27, 1886. (This is part of a larger photograph; see the photo at the bottom of the page for the full view.)

Geronimo was born as Goyaale on June 16, 1829 near Arizpe, Sonora, Mexico (now in New Mexico), a member of the Chiricahua Apache tribe. Although commonly referred to as an Apache Chief, Geronimo never served as a Chief. His fame as a brave and formidable warrior grew over the course of about thirty years between the 1850's to 1886 as Geronimo led a relatively small band of warriors against much larger numbers of Mexican and United States troops.

After his band of warriors were surrounded, on March 27, 1886, Geronimo surrendered and agreed to return to and remain on the Apache Reservation. After hearing a rumor that he and his warriors would be killed, Geronimo and his men escaped during the night. Less than six months later, Geronimo and his men were again captured in September, 1886. Between 1886 and 1894, Geronimo and the other Apache prisoners were moved between a number of military posts in several states. In 1894, the group was moved a final time to Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Despite being held as a prisoner, Geronimo was considered to be something of a notorious celebrity and he made a number of public appearances. Each of these appearances was by invitation and by his own choice to accept but always under continual military guard. Among his appearances were: 1898 Trans-Mississippi International Exposition at Omaha, Nebraska; 1901 Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, New York; and 1904 St. Louis (Missouri) World's Fair. In 1905, he participated in the inaugural parade of President Theodore Roosevelt. Geronimo also made appearances at Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show.

Geronimo died of pneumonia on February 17, 1909, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was 79 years old. Geronimo is buried in the Apache Indian Cemetery in Fort Sill.

1886 historic photo of Geronimo with his son and two Apache scouts.

Geronimo with his son and two Apache scouts. This photo was recorded on March 27, 1886, by C. S. Fly.

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