Famous Apache-Chiricahua rebel and guerilla fighter who led a series of successful attacks on white settlers’ communities and supply lines, and later died a prisoner of war. Although Geronimo is one of the most famous Native Americans in history, he’s a surprisingly minor character in the book. Ironically, Geronimo isn’t even portrayed as having been the most violent or bloodthirsty Apache leader of his era. His reputation as a sadistic killer is largely the product of 19th century smear campaigns designed to poison the white population against all Native Americans. This doesn’t mean that Geronimo didn’t organize murderous raids against white settlements in the Southwest—he did. However, his brutality arguably pales in comparison with that of many of the generals and soldiers in the U.S. military at the time.
Geronimo Character Timeline in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
The timeline below shows where the character Geronimo appears in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 17: The Last of the Apache Chiefs
In 1877, John Clum, the government agent for the Chiricahua tribe, received orders to capture Geronimo for refusing to move onto the new reservation. He summoned Geronimo to speak, and Geronimo,... (full context)
...life was dull, and many chiefs turned to alcohol for comfort. Suddenly, on May 17, Geronimo led a group out of the reservation and back into Mexico. Afterwards, American newspapers began... (full context)