Geronimo, a Bedonkohe Apache leader of the Chiricahua Apache, led his people's defense of their homeland against the U.S..In the early 1870s, In 1874, some 4,000 Apaches were forcibly moved by U.S. authorities to a reservation at San Carlos, a barren wasteland in east-central Arizona. Deprived of traditional tribal rights, short on rations and homesick, they revolted. Spurred by Geronimo, hundreds of Apaches left the reservation to resume their war against the whites. In 1882, there was a campaign against the Apaches. Geronimo surrendered in January 1884, but took flight from the San Carlos reservation in May 1885, On March 27, 1886, Geronimo surrendered at Caņon de Los Embudos in Sonora, Mexico. Near the border, however, fearning that they would be murdered once they crossed into U.S. territory, Geronimo and a small band bolted. Five months and 1,645 miles later, Geronimo was tracked to his camp in Mexico's Sonora mountains.
At a conference on Sept. 3, 1886, at Skeleton Canyon in Arizona, Geronimo was forced to surrender once again, promising him that, after an indefinite exile in Florida, he and his followers would be permitted to return to Arizona.
The promise was never kept. Geronimo and his fellow prisoners were put to hard labor, and it was May 1887 before he saw his family. Moved to Fort Sill in the Oklahoma Territory in 1894. He at first attempted to "take the white man's road."
He farmed and joined the Dutch Reformed Church, which expelled him because of his inability to resist gambling. He never saw Arizona again, but by special permission of the War Department, he was allowed to sell photographs of himself and his handiwork at expositions. He died at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Feb. 17, 1909.