Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Geronimo from Philip's Encyclopedia

Chief of the Chiricahua Apaches. He led his tribe against white settlers in Arizona for more than ten years. In 1886, he surrendered his tribe to General Miles, and they were taken to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He became a farmer and national celebrity.


Summary Article: Geronimo
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(jӘrŏn'Әmō´´), c.1829–1909, leader of a Chiricahua group of the Apaches, b. Arizona. From his youth he participated in the forays of Cochise, Victorio, and other Apache leaders. When the Chiricahua Reservation was abolished (1876) and the Apaches removed to the arid San Carlos Agency in New Mexico, Geronimo led a group of followers into Mexico. He was soon captured and returned to the new reservation, where he farmed for a while. In 1881 he escaped again with a group (including a son of Cochise) and led raids in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. He surrendered (1883) to forces under Gen. George Crook and was returned to the reservation. In 1885 he again left, and after almost a year of war he agreed to surrender to Crook, but at the last minute Geronimo fled. His escape led to censure of Crook's policy. Late in 1886, Geronimo and the remainder of his forces surrendered to Gen. Nelson Appleton Miles, Crook's successor. They were deported as prisoners of war to Florida; contrary to an agreement, they were not allowed to take their families with them. After a further period in prison in Alabama, Geronimo was placed under military confinement at Fort Sill, Okla., where he settled down, adopted Christianity, and became a prosperous farmer. He became a national celebrity when he appeared at the St. Louis World's Fair and in Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural procession. He dictated his autobiography to S. M. Barrett (1906, repr. 1970).

  • See biographies by A. B. Adams (1971), A. Debo (1976), and R. M. Utley (2012);.
  • studies by B. Davis (1929, repr. 1963), J. Bigelow (1958, repr. 1968), and O. B. Faulk (1969).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

Related Articles


Full text Article GERONIMO
Encyclopedia of Mexico: History, Society & Culture

c. 1829-1909 • Apache Chief A fearsome Apache Indian warrior and medicine man of mythic stature, Geronimo and his band boldly raided ranchos and...

Full text Article Geronimo!
Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase and Fable

This cry of exultation, first used by US paratroops in the Second World War, is the name of the Apache Indian chief Geronimo (1829-1900), who...

Full text Article Geronimo
Philip's Encyclopedia

1829-1908 Chief of the Chiricahua Apaches. He led his tribe against white settlers in Arizona for more than ten years. In 1886, he surrendered...

See more from Credo