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A significant but often forgotten chapter in U.S. government and Native American relations is the twenty-seven year period of captivity endured by the Chiricahua Apaches following GeronimoÃ‚Â’s final surrender. Nearly four hundred Chiricahuas were uprooted and exiled from their San Carlos, Arizona, home, where they ended up being held hostage by...
A significant but often forgotten chapter in U.S. government and Native American relations is the twenty-seven year period of captivity endured by the Chiricahua Apaches following GeronimoÃ‚Â’s final surrender. Nearly four hundred Chiricahuas were uprooted and exiled from their San Carlos, Arizona, home, where they ended up being held hostage by conflicting interests of the War Department, Interior Department, as well as southwestern economic and political expediency. The installation at Fort Sill eventually grew to 50,000 acres and was originally promised to the Chiricahuas as their permanent reservation. In an effort to make them economically independent, the tribe was given a heard of 1,000 cattle, which eventually grew over the years to 10,000 head. In 1903, the military reneged on the initial agreement and decided to retain Fort Sill and turn the post into a field artillery training installation. In 1913, those Chiricahuas who wished were removed to New Mexico. Those remaining in Oklahoma were placed on former Kiowa and Comanche allotments-but not before the military sold their cattle herd. The Chiricahuas ended up with a mere 160-acre allotment beyond the postÃ‚Â’s confines, an insufficient amount of land to provide a viable base of economic sustenance for the tribe. Chiricahua Apache Prisoners of War is the first book of its kind to explore in depth this segment of the ChiricahuasÃ‚Â’ history following GeronimoÃ‚Â’s surrender, including the campaign for their release from military custody, their efforts to retain Fort Sill as their permanent home, and the conflicting interests who competed to resolve the IndiansÃ‚Â’ status. It will be of great interest to scholars in the fields of Native American studies, military studies, and western history.
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