From Cochise to Geronimo

From Cochise to Geronimo

The Chiricahua Apaches, 1874-1886

Book - 2010
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Univ of Oklahoma Pr

In the decade after the death of their revered chief Cochise in 1874, the Chiricahua Apaches struggled to survive as a people and their relations with the U.S. government further deteriorated. In From Cochise to Geronimo, Edwin R. Sweeney builds on his previous biographies of Chiricahua leaders Cochise and Mangas Coloradas to offer a definitive history of the turbulent period between Cochise's death and Geronimo's surrender in 1886.

Sweeney shows that the cataclysmic events of the 1870s and 1880s stemmed in part from seeds of distrust sown by the American military in 1861 and 1863. In 1876 and 1877, the U.S. government proposed moving the Chiricahuas from their ancestral homelands in New Mexico and Arizona to the San Carlos Reservation. Some made the move, but most refused to go or soon fled the reviled new reservation, viewing the government's concentration policy as continued U.S. perfidy. Bands under the leadership of Victorio and Geronimo went south into the Sierra Madre of Mexico, a redoubt from which they conducted bloody raids on American soil.

Sweeney draws on American and Mexican archives, some only recently opened, to offer a balanced account of life on and off the reservation in the 1870s and 1880s.From Cochise to Geronimo details the Chiricahuas' ordeal in maintaining their identity despite forced relocations, disease epidemics, sustained warfare, and confinement. Resigned to accommodation with Americans but intent on preserving their culture, they were determined to survive as a people.


In the decade after the death of their revered chief Cochise in 1874, the Chiricahua Apaches struggled to survive as a people and their relations with the U.S. government further deteriorated. InFrom Cochise to Geronimo, Edwin R. Sweeney builds on his previous biographies of Chiricahua leaders Cochise and Mangas Coloradas to offer a definitive history of the turbulent period between Cochise’s death and Geronimo’s surrender in 1886.


Book News
Following Cochise: Chiricahua Apache Chief (1995) and Mangas Coloradas: Chief of the Chiricahua Apaches (1998) this final volume in the trilogy focuses on the time period between Cochise's death and Geronimo's surrender. Sweeney, an independent scholar and historian, uses documents from Mexican and US archives to examine the Chiricuhua Apache's struggle to retain their culture in the face of removal from their homelands, deteriorating relations with the US military, disease, and a lack of strong leadership. Extensively notated, the work contains 24 full-paged b&w photographs and a lengthy bibliography. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell Publishing
In the decade after the death of their revered chief Cochise in 1874, the Chiricahua Apaches struggled to survive as a people and their relations with the U.S. government further deteriorated. In From Cochise to Geronimo, Edwin R. Sweeney builds on his previous biographies of Chiricahua leaders Cochise and Mangas Coloradas to offer a definitive history of the turbulent period between Cochise's death and Geronimo's surrender in 1886.

Sweeney shows that the cataclysmic events of the 1870s and 1880s stemmed in part from seeds of distrust sown in 1861 and 1863, when the American military betrayed Cochise and treacherously murdered Mangas Coloradas. In 1876 and 1877, the U.S. government proposed to move the Chiricahuas from their ancestral homelands in New Mexico and Arizona to the reviled San Carlos Reservation. Some made the move, but most refused to go or soon fled the unhealthy conditions and corruption at San Carlos, recognizing the government's concentration policy as continued U.S. perfidy. Bands under the leadership of Victorio and Geronimo went south into the Sierra Madre of Mexico, a redoubt from which they conducted bloody raids on American soil.

Sweeney's balanced account of life on and off the reservation in the 1870s and 1880s details the Chiricahuas' ordeal in maintaining their identity despite forced relocations, sustained warfare, and confinement. By the time of Geronimo's surrender to the United States---after he had eluded American troops, Apache scouts, and Mexican forces for a year---disease, continual violence, and social upheaval had reduced the Chiricahua population to just 540 people. Sweeney recounts the tragic blow the U.S. government dealt the Chiricahuas after a final outbreak in 1885: all surviving members, including those who had remained at San Carlos all along and even those who had served as army scouts, were transferred from Arizona to a Florida prison.

Drawing on American and Mexican archives, some only recently opened, From Cochise to Geronimo offers the most detailed and accurate account to date of the Chiricahua Apaches. Resigned to accommodation with Americans but intent on preserving their culture, they were determined to survive as a people.

Volume 268 in The Civilization of the American Indian Series

Publisher: Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c2010
ISBN: 9780806141503
0806141506
Branch Call Number: 305.89725 Sw35f 2010
Characteristics: xiii, 706 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm

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