A young Apache at the time, Geronimo set out one day with his family from their homeland, which is now located in southeastern Arizona, on a trading mission into Mexico. Many other families also went with him. The men went into town to trade each day, leaving their families behind. On this momentous evening, they returned home to find that Mexican soldiers had ferociously attacked their camp. They had murdered their women and children and stolen their supplies and horses. The dead were scattered everywhere. Geronimo’s wife, three children, and his mother were among those slaughtered. He found their bodies lying in a pool of blood. “I had lost all,” Geronimo said. His heart was broken. He would never be the same again. The loss of his family led Geronimo to a lifelong hatred of all Mexicans. He was filled with hatred, and he would spend a lifetime pursuing vengeance for all that he and his people had lost. He became one of the most feared Apache warriors of all time. The career and accomplishments of Apache warrior Geronimo were indicative of the fight for a Native American way of life in conflict with that of the progressing American frontiersmen and Mexican soldiers.
“I could not call back my loved ones, I could not bring back the dead Apaches, but I could rejoice in this revenge.” (Geronimo) This quote by Geronimo perfectly sums up his feelings and actions. Revenge was, without doubt, a prime factor in the fight for the Apache people. The quote means that Geronimo could do nothing to bring back his family and fellow Apaches. The only thing he was able to do was fight. Everyone he fought and battled after the murders of his tribe and family was in the name of his wife and children. Geronimo realized the only way he could mend his pain, was revenge.
Geronimo’s name is usually connected to tales of violence and even savagery. But his early life was calm and peaceful. He was born an Apache. The Apache were known to be gentle and caring toward members of their own tribe, particularly their children. “He left the world as a great warrior, but he was also an individual who was dedicated to preserving his rightful place in his homeland with his family and tribal members, and to live his life in peace as his people had been doing for hundreds of years.” Geronimo said that he was born in 1829, but this date has much debate. In addition, Geronimo claimed, he was fourth in a family of eight children-four boys and four girls.
As a newborn, Geronimo was given the name Goyahkla, which means “one who yawns.” When Goyahkla began training in pillaging and combat, his tutor said to him: “My son, you know no one will help you in this world…No one is your friend, not even your sister, your father, or your mother. Your legs are your friends, your brain is your friend, your eyesight is your friend, your hair is your friend; your hands are your friends, you must do something with them.” One of Geronimo’s best qualities was his fighting techniques in battle. He...