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Geronimo

Birth place or City of origin:
State of origin:
Last known City: Ft Still
Last known State: OK
Start/Birth date: 1829
Death/End date: 1909

Geronomio's Indian name, Goyathlay means One Who Yawns, was an American Apache Indian Chief. Nicknamed Geronimo (English Jerome), he was a captive of the U S government after his capture in 1886 for the rest of his life. After his capture he was initially taken to Florida, then Alabama, and, finally, in 1894, the government permanently moved the Apaches to Ft Sill, Oklahoma and Geronimo settled as a farmer nearby. During his captivity he periodically worked at expositions where he was put on exhibition by the government. He was, however, allowed to sell his autographs and bows, arrows and other objects he made. He would also sell articles of his clothing, including the shirt off his back! While incarcerated in Alabama (1888-94) Geronimo was taught to print his name. He probably learned to print his name between 1888-1890. Since Geronimo could not read and write, the individual letters in his name meant nothing to him. In fact, according to contemporary accounts, he printed his name vertically, top to bottom, much like a totem or drawing, instead of writing horizontally, left to right. Although Geronimo did, on rare occasions sign his name in ink, he preferred using a pencil. Virtually all his authentic autographs are in pencil. However, he signed his name in ink on the bows, arrows and other artifacts which he made and sold. Geronimo sold his signature and signed photographs for $.10 to $2.00. The price he charged was, apparently, contingent on what the market would bear.

 

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