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The Mescalero Apaches

Author: C. L. Sonnichsen
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806175222
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Although Frederick Webb Hodge once remarked that the members of the Eastern Apache tribe called the Mescaleros were "never regarded as so warlike" as the Apaches of Arizona, their history clearly belies that statement. The record is one of hardship and oppression alternating with wars of revenge. They were friendly to the Spaniards until victimized by them. They were also friendly to the Americans until they were betrayed again. For three hundred years they fought the Spaniards and Mexicans. For forty more they fought the Americans, before subsiding into a long period of lethargy and discouragement. Only since 1930 have they made real progress. In the early days their principal range was between the Río Grande and the Pecos in New Mexico, but it extended also into the Staked Plains and southward into Mexico. They moved about freely, wintering on the Río Grande or farther south, ranging the buffalo plains in the summer, following the sun and the food supply. They owned nothing and everything. Now they are in a precarious economic condition, but at least they are American citizens and still own their reservation in the Tularosa country of New Mexico. Their children are beginning to go away to college and prepare themselves for leadership, and while in many ways they have not bridged the gap between their old life and the new, they have made amazing progress. Their story is told here from the earliest records to the present day, from the Indian's point of view. Cruel and revengeful as these Indians were at times, they always had more than sufficient provocation, and a catalog of the sins committed against them is revealing, even appalling, to a white reader.


Author: Edwin R. Sweeney
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806171561
Size: 70.22 MB
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When it acquired New Mexico and Arizona, the United States inherited the territory of a people who had been a thorn in side of Mexico since 1821 and Spain before that. Known collectively as Apaches, these Indians lived in diverse, widely scattered groups with many names—Mescaleros, Chiricahuas, and Jicarillas, to name but three. Much has been written about them and their leaders, such as Geronimo, Juh, Nana, Victorio, and Mangas Coloradas, but no one wrote extensively about the greatest leader of them all: Cochise. Now, however, Edwin R. Sweeney has remedied this deficiency with his definitive biography. Cochise, a Chiricahua, was said to be the most resourceful, most brutal, most feared Apache. He and his warriors raided in both Mexico and the United States, crossing the border both ways to obtain sanctuary after raids for cattle, horses, and other livestock. Once only he was captured and imprisoned; on the day he was freed he vowed never to be taken again. From that day he gave no quarter and asked none. Always at the head of his warriors in battle, he led a charmed life, being wounded several times but always surviving. In 1861, when his brother was executed by Americans at Apache Pass, Cochise declared war. He fought relentlessly for a decade, and then only in the face of overwhelming military superiority did he agree to a peace and accept the reservation. Nevertheless, even though he was blamed for virtually every subsequent Apache depredation in Arizona and New Mexico, he faithfully kept that peace until his death in 1874. Sweeney has traced Cochise’s activities in exhaustive detail in both United States and Mexican Archives. We are not likely to learn more about Cochise than he has given us. His biography will stand as the major source for all that is yet to be written on Cochise.

The Apaches

Author: Donald E. Worcester
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806170441
Size: 70.22 MB
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Until now Apache history has been fragmented, offered in books dealing with specific bands or groups-the Mescaleros, Mimbreños, Chiricahuas, and the more distant Kiowa Apaches, Lipans, and Jicarillas. In this book, Volume 149 of The Civilization of the American Indian Series, Donald E. Worcester provides a synthesis of the total historical experience of the Apaches, from the post-Conquest era of the Spaniards to the present day. In clear, fluent prose he provides a panoramic coverage, with the main focus on the nineteenth century, the era of the Apaches' sometimes splintered but always determined resistance to the white intruders. They were never a numerous tribe, but, in their daring and skill as commando like raiders, they well deserved the name "Eagles of the Southwest." The book highlights the many defensive stands and the brilliant assaults the Apaches made on their enemies. The only effective strategy against them was divide and conquer, and the Spaniards (and after them the Anglo-Americans) employed it extensively, using renegade Indians as scouts, feeding traveling bands and trading with them at their presidios and missions. When the Mexican Revolution disrupted this pattern in 1810, the Apaches again turned to raiding, and the Apache wars that erupted with the arrival of the Anglo-Americans constitute some of the most sensational chapters in America's military annals. Not until the United States' policy of extermination had succeeded in decimating them was the Southwest secure for white settlement. The author describes the Apaches' life today on the Arizona and New Mexico reservations, where they manage to preserve some of the traditional ceremonies, while trying to provide livelihoods for all their people. Tragically far removed from the soaring eagles of yesterday, the Apaches still have a proud history in their struggles against overwhelming odds of numbers and weaponry. Worcester here recreates that history in all its color and drama.


Author: Almer N. Blazer
Publisher: BookBaby
ISBN: 0971865884
Size: 31.27 MB
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Although known as the most cunning, vicious Mescalero leader waging war against the Anglo invaders, Santana's most notable contribution relates to making peace rather than war. Earlier than most of his contemporaries, Santana understood in the 1860s that the probable result of continued struggle with the white man would be annihilation of his people. He recognized also that he would be among the first to die as punishment for his warlike behavior. He disappeared into the mountains of southern New Mexico for ten years until the army was focused on a new generation of war chiefs. Santana reappeared, led his followers into peace and negotiated a reservation on their traditional homeland in the south-central New Mexico mountains. Santana needed to learn about the ways of the white world and needed a friend who would intercede for him with the alien culture. He found that friend in J. H. Blazer, who operated La Manquina (later known as Blazer's Mill) on the Rio Tularoso, a half-mile downstream from the present-day Mescalero Agency. Though their initial meeting in late 1867 or early 1868 was tension-fraught, the two men learned to like and respect each other. They developed an abiding friendship that lasted until Santana succumbed to pneumonia in the winter of 1877. J. H.'s 14-year-old son, Almer N.' Blazer arrived at La Manquina the year after Santana's death. Almer spent the greater part of his life on the Mescalero reservation. He lived among and became friendly with its people, achieving fluency in Apache and Spanish. Almer quickly became "as much Indian as white man," in the words of a grandson. Noted historians of the Mescalero, C. L Sonnichsen and Eve Ball, agreed that Almer Blazer knew and understood the Mescalero better than any other Anglo. This book includes accounts of J. H. Blazer's interactions with Santana and descriptions of certain aspects of Mescalero life and culture: These come from Almer Blazer's own experiences, and from stories told him by his Mescalero acquaintances, some of them Santana’s contemporaries. This is not a conventional academic history. Many events and conversations related herein cannot be verified: They came from memories of people with no written language and an accordingly strong oral tradition. What has resulted is a very believable account, verifiable in many important particulars, of a remarkable man and aspects of the Mescalero culture that shaped him. · Perhaps this book could more correctly be called an oral history. Like the Mescalero people he lived among Almer Blazer was a storyteller. By his own admission, he --like all good storytellers -- sometimes fleshed out stories. Using elements derived from his experience that seemed reasonable and appropriate, he made the fundamental elements more comprehensible to his audience. While these characteristics may disappoint the academic-minded, a different reader may find the manuscript more alive and more appealing than conventional historical accounts. Santana's' absence from historical records led to a spate of early rejections of the mancript by publishing houses: they questioned whether Santana existed at all. In the late 1980s, Dr. A.: R. Pruit, assisted by Dr. Jerry Thompson, undertook an investigation of army records that successfully documented Santana's existence after 1868. Dr. Pruit's comments and biographical notes on J. H. and Almer N. Blazer are incorporated as appendices in the current volume.

Tularosa Last Of The Frontier West

Author: Charles Leland Sonnichsen
Publisher: UNM Press
ISBN: 9780826305619
Size: 37.41 MB
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Tularosa--sun-scorched, sandblasted, merciless--the parched desert where everything, from cactus to cowman, carries a weapon of some sort, and the only creatures who sleep with both eyes closed are dead. Tularosa--the last frontier in the continental United States. C. L. Sonnichsen, an authority on the Southwest, writing from primary records and conversations with survivors of Tularosa's pioneer days, tells the stories of the great cattle ranchers pitted against daring rustlers, elite men against Apaches, desperados against law men. Here are Oliver Lee, Pat Garrett, and Bill McNew. And here is the feud between Col. A. J. Fountain and Albert Fall. Sonnichsen has updated his history for this new edition with a revised final chapter bringing the drama of Tularosa and the New Mexican frontier West into the Atomic Age.

Apache Voices

Author: Sherry Robinson
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
ISBN: 0826318487
Size: 34.84 MB
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In the 1940s and 1950s, long before historians fully accepted oral tradition as a source, Eve Ball (1890-1984) was taking down verbatim the accounts of Apache elders who had survived the army's campaigns against them in the last century. These oral histories offer new versions--from Warm Springs, Chiricahua, Mescalero, and Lipan Apache--of events previously known only through descriptions left by non-Indians. A high school and college teacher, Ball moved to Ruidoso, New Mexico, in 1942. Her house on the edge of the Mescalero Apache Reservation was a stopping-off place for Apaches on the dusty walk into town. She quickly realized she was talking to the sons and daughters of Geronimo, Cochise, Victorio, and their warriors. After winning their confidence, Ball would ultimately interview sixty-seven people. Here is the Apache side of the story as told to Eve Ball. Including accounts of Victorio's sister Lozen, a warrior and medicine woman who was the only unmarried woman allowed to ride with the men, as well as unflattering portrayals of Geronimo's actions while under attack, and Mescalero scorn for the horse thief Billy the Kid, this volume represents a significant new source on Apache history and lifeways. "Sherry Robinson has resurrected Eve Ball's legacy of preserving Apache oral tradition. Her meticulous presentation of Eve's shorthand notes of her interviews with Apaches unearths a wealth of primary source material that Eve never shared with us. "Apache Voices is a must read!"--Louis Kraft, author of Gatewood & Geronimo "Sherry Robinson has painstakingly gathered from Eve Ball's papers many unheard Apache voices, especially those of Apache women. This work is a genuine treasure trove. In the future, no one who writes about the Apaches or the conquest of Apacheria can ignore this collection."--Shirley A. Leckie, author of Angie Debo: Pioneering Historian

Chief Loco

Author: Bud Shapard
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806184280
Size: 69.83 MB
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Winner of the 2011 New Mexico Book Award in the multi-cultural catagory Jlin-tay-i-tith, better known as Loco, was the only Apache leader to make a lasting peace with both Americans and Mexicans. Yet most historians have ignored his efforts, and some Chiricahua descendants have branded him as fainthearted despite his well-known valor in combat. In this engaging biography, Bud Shapard tells the story of this important but overlooked chief against the backdrop of the harrowing Apache wars and eventual removal of the tribe from its homeland to prison camps in Florida, Alabama, and Oklahoma. Tracing the events of Loco’s long tenure as a leader of the Warm Springs Chiricahua band, Shapard tells how Loco steered his followers along a treacherous path of unforeseeable circumstances and tragic developments in the mid-to-late 1800s. While recognizing the near-impossibility of Apache-American coexistence, Loco persevered in his quest for peace against frustrating odds and often treacherous U.S. government policy. Even as Geronimo, Naiche, and others continued their raiding and sought to undermine Loco’s efforts, this visionary chief, motivated by his love for children, maintained his commitment to keep Apache families safe from wartime dangers. Based on extensive research, including interviews with Loco’s grandsons and other descendants, Shapard’s biography is an important counterview for historians and buffs interested in Apache history and a moving account of a leader ahead of his time.