The Apaches

Due to the educating of the Apaches and their persistence behavior, they flourished in the Great Plains region of the US. The American Indian Tribe first got their name “Apache” from the Yuma Indians. The word Apache means “fighting men”. They were hunters, farmers and seed gatherers.
The Apache were known for their love of Warfare and raiding, today we would call them thieves. When the Spaniards first came to the Americas they were constantly being under attack by the Apache. The Tribe would steal the Spanish horses and eat them. They were not yet introduced to the technology of using the horse as transportation. The Apache used their dogs to help move their wickiups or homes around because they were nomadic people. Wherever the buffalo went they followed. The horse began to become transportation and no longer a meal source once the Indians watching the Spaniards ride their horses. Since the Apache loved war so much it was a surprise that they let the Spaniards on their land. The fact was the Apache let them stay on the land so that they could keep raiding them for their supplies. The persistence of the Tribe helped
them make a name for themselves. (Josephy, 117)
The Spanish Police began to capture and make slaves out of all the Apache trying to raid the pueblo, or town. They tried to convert the Apache to Christianity but this did not prove successful. Even though the Apache liked to steal the Spaniards supplies they eventually signed a peace treaty. (Josephy, 373)
When the Spaniards were fighting with the Americans in the Mexican war the Apache were a nuisance. The Spanish troops were so busy in this war that the Apache did not have enough supplies. So they were forced to disobey the peace treaty and steal for survival. The act of breaking the peace treaty sparked warfare.(Terrell, 148)
There were many branches of the Apache Indians spread across the Great Plains. They began to unite and raid near by New Mexican towns. When the tribes Apache Mimbreno and Apache Gileno united, they became the most feared groups of all the Indians. The Americans and Spaniards both did not want to get entangled into their raids of fury. This group of Indians killed more people during raids, stole more food, they were just plain out vicious Indians. The persistance of the tribe helped them make a name for themselves.
The Spaniards during the Mexican war were so weak because of these Indians. They were having two battles, at home and at the battlefields. At home they were forced to watch over their supplies and Ranches because the
Apache might come. At the battlefields they had the stress of Mexico fighting for their independence. The Apaches’ response to the Spaniards weakness was they had even more raids and began to steal items from mines. Once the Mexicans won their independence the Apache problem was given to the incoming settlers, Americans. (Terrell, 150)
The most famous Indian from this tribe was Geronimo. He was known for being a fierce leader of this persistent tribe. Once the Americans took over they began to organize the Apache. The Indians were to be sent to the reservation camp in San Carlos. Geronimo, the chief at the time, and a small group of his tribe ran off to Mexico and began to raid near by towns. They stole Mexico’s live stock and sold it to willing Americans. They were captured and brought back to the reservation. Geronimo and his group of Indians began to get bored and felt restricted so they broke out again to Sierra Madre in Mexico. Troops were sent after him, some of his men were killed but Geronimo managed to stay alive and free. He roamed around the reservation and would escape to raid Mexico for six months. General Crook, the General at the time, told Geronimo that he needed to stop. While Geronimo was off raiding one day, General Crook captured the entire women and children of the tribe in the reservation. General Crook wanted Geronimo to make peace. Geromino only did so to get the women and children back. The Apache became ranchers because they had to give up their raiding.
American reporters began to write stories in the newspaper about Geronimo, but portrayed him as a villain and General Crook as his victim. He became furious at this accusation and again started to raid. The chief stopped when General Crook threatened that he would be exiled to the reservation in Florida’s swamps. (Rosentiel, 146)
Once the Civil War began in the US Confederate Lieutenant Colonel John R. Baylor proclaimed himself governor of “Territory of Arizona”. (Haley, 232) He made his capital Mesilla. This was very close to the territory that the Apache were stationed. Almost immediately fighting began between the two. The American confederates tried to make a peace treaty with the tribe whom they shared the land with. The treacherous Chief Nicholas seemed very thrilled by this and actually began to befriend the Americans. Chief Nicholas was so into this treaty that he went to El Paso, where the Treaty was to be made, to sign it. Chief Nicholas made a beautiful speech on how honored he was to make peace with such great people, the confederates.
“I am glad I have come. My heart if full of love for my pindah brothersWhen I lie down at night the treaty will be in my heart, and when I arise in the morning it will still be there. And I will be glad I am at peace with my pindah brothers.” (Nicholas, 232)
The Americans held this speech close to the hearts and they took him to his up most sincerity. On the way back from El Paso Nicholas ran off from the horses and group together his raiders. The Raiders and Nicholas rode to the Americans stock herd and stole it. They killed 2 Guards while doing so. The confederate Congress passed a law to kill all Indians spotted. Soldiers were to persuade the Apache to believe they made peace then once they had them they were to kill them. (Haley, 234)
The Apache’s raiding helped keep the Americans on their toes. They flourished as a tribe despite the many different branches of them. Their aggressive behavior helped them become well known and never too weak under the rule of white men. Even though this tribe ended up with the other Indians in reservation camps, they still left a lasting impression on history.


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