News -  Legend of Geronimo’s bones one of many  (75 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon5/19/09 10:56 PM 
To: All  (1 of 8) 
Legend of Geronimo’s bones one of many PDF Print E-mail
Written by SEAN MURPHY   

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) – The story of Geronimo epitomizes the Old West: a larger-than-life Indian warrior whose remarkable exploits in battle bordered on the supernatural.


His remains also have taken on interest beyond all expectations. Some people believe grave robbers, including Prescott Bush, the father and grandfather of future presidents, took his skull for use in a powerful secret society at Yale University.

Historians don’t buy it. They say Geronimo is still buried at Fort Sill in Oklahoma and that many of the legends surrounding the Apache medicine man are more myth than reality.

“We are constantly faced with the undoing of some of these stories of the past,” said Towana Spivey, an archaeologist and the director and curator at the Fort Sill Museum for 20 years. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a skull ... but I have no doubt that it is not Geronimo’s.”

Still, some of Geronimo’s descendants want to move the bones of the legendary frontier warrior, wherever they may be, to New Mexico.

A lawsuit filed in February – on the 100th anniversary of Geronimo’s death – against the Ivy League school, the federal government and the secretive Skull and Bones group has stirred divisions among tribal members and some of Geronimo’s relatives.

The legend that Prescott Bush and some other bonesmen broke into a Fort Sill cemetery gained steam in recent years after a Yale researcher uncovered a 1918 letter in which one bonesman wrote that rhe skull of “Geronimo the Terrible” had been exhumed and taken to the Skull and Bones headquarters in Connecticut.

But Oklahoma historians who have studied Geronimo for years say the story is one of many pure myths about the American Indian icon that have surfaced in the century since his death.

David Miller, a retired professor at Cameron University in Lawton who has spent years studying Geronimo and the controversy surrounding the grave, says he’s confident Geronimo’s remains still lie at his grave site beneath an ornate pyramid of rounded cobblestones topped with a stone eagle.

Miller says when Bush was stationed at Fort Sill in 1918 with a few other members of the Skull and Bones group, a cemetery where some Indians were buried was located near their barracks. But Geronimo’s grave was actually miles away across a washed-out bridge and nearly inaccessible.

Miller also says Geronimo’s grave wasn’t marked at the time and that only a handful of Apaches knew the true location, and they weren’t likely to share that information with young officers at the post.

“I don’t know how Prescott Bush could have found it,” Miller said. “They dug up somebody and said it was Geronimo. These are frat boys. Who knows?”

But the combination of the mystique surrounding the Apache warrior combined with an ultra-secret society of the nation’s elite and its strange rituals provide perfect ingredients for a fascinating tale, said Alexandra Robbins, author of “Secrets of the Tomb,” a historical account of Skull and Bones.

No one from Skull and Bones has responded to the lawsuit, and Robbins says the group has no incentive to return any remains it may be hiding inside its crypt in New Haven.

“Why would Bones agree?” she said. “They have no incentive to agree, and the longer this case goes on, the more smoke and mirrors surround the society, which is something bonesmen like. They love the mystery and love to appear more great and terrible than they really are.”

While the legend about the disappearance of Geronimo’s remains is perhaps the most enduring, historians Spivey and Miller say there are countless stories about the famous warrior that are more fiction than truth.

The fact that Geronimo was among the last great Indian warriors, who spent years famously fighting the U.S. and Mexican armies, and the growing use of photographs in newspapers in the late 19th century helped feed his lore.

Indeed, one of the most iconic black-and-white photographs of Geronimo shows him kneeling in his traditional Apache garb, gripping a rifle and narrowing his eyes to a steely gaze.

Geronimo spent the last 15 years of his life as a prisoner of war at Fort Sill, but he was allowed to live in one of the tribal villages on the post and even participated in the inauguration parade in Washington, D.C., for President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905.

Nevertheless, school children who toured Fort Sill for decades were told a tale of how Geronimo paced so feverishly inside his jail cell that he wore a path in the stone.

“By Geronimo’s own account, he only spent three weekends in his cell house,” Spivey countered.

Other legends about Geronimo center on his ferocity as a warrior.

“One of the folklore stories that was common at Fort Sill was that Geronimo had this blanket of 99 Mexican scalps that he used to wear in parades in Lawton,” Miller said. “The problem is no one ever saw this that can remember it. That’s just an example of some of the folklore.”

When Geronimo traveled into nearby Lawton, Spivey said he was always accompanied by at least one armed military guard, fueling the belief that the defiant warrior was a threat to escape.

“It was often thought he needed an escort so he wouldn’t try to escape, but it was really so that nothing would happen to him,” Spivey said. “They were trying to protect him.”

As Geronimo appeared in newspaper accounts, magazine articles and books, there was a growing romanticism about Indians, and Geronimo himself was eager to embrace his increasingly legendary status, Miller said.

“When he gets to Fort Sill, people are very interested in him, and he has run of the fort basically,” Miller said. “People want him for international expositions, and Geronimo is happy to oblige. He’s a PR machine. He poses with firearms and becomes very, very well-known.”

Geronimo’s name even is emblazoned on some patches worn by U.S. Army Airborne soldiers, which Spivey said stems from a World War II-era paratrooper who had seen a Western movie about Geronimo the night before a scheduled jump. As he leapt from the plane, he yelled, “Geronimo!” a motivational cry that youngsters still use when jumping from a swing or jungle gym.

Miller said another myth is that Geronimo jumped hundreds of feet off a steep cliff at Fort Sill while being chased by the U.S. Cavalry during an escape attempt.

“This idea of jumping off Medicine Bluff during an escape is just nonsense,” Miller said.

“As (American Indians) became less dangerous, they take on this romantic element, and Geronimo kind of feeds into that as the most famous of these romantic people who are still around.”

 Reply   Options 

From: Coconut Queen (JEANNE2469) DelphiPlus Member Icon5/30/09 8:28 PM 
To: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon  (2 of 8) 
 2571.2 in reply to 2571.1 

Don't know how accruate this is, but I heard this on Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story" on the radio some time ago.  The United States Army office who persued Geronimo was later sent to the United States' involvement in the Philippines - and killed by a man who's last name was...Geronimo.  As you know, the Philippines had been occupied by Spain for many years and many Filipinos were forced to give up their native surnames and take on Spanish surnames.



From: ctj20105/30/09 8:51 PM 
To: Coconut Queen (JEANNE2469) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (3 of 8) 
 2571.3 in reply to 2571.2 


Irony of ironies, how some do reap what they sowed...


Imagine what else did and does matter to us, who had (or have) to endure one aspect of your other white relations take on life etc., i. e. how they would remake us over into people who they can be superior to and us be inferior in comparison to...

Some did and do associate that with how some folks dare to 'play God'...

Thing is?

I wasn't aware the position had been vacated!

Yah folla?

"And thank you for your support-!"


Take care...


  • Edited 5/30/2009 8:52 pm ET by ctj2010

From: ctj20105/30/09 9:03 PM 
To: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon  (4 of 8) 
 2571.4 in reply to 2571.1 

Given part of the narrative and rhetoric based on real life testimony presented during that past American Indian retrospective:

Also given that some folk just give lip service to the ideas and viewpoints of their alleged or real true faith?

Some of those strangers in a strange land (to them--not the first nations peoples) found it harder and harder to justify the unjustifiable--and came to either envy or fear just how superior those 'savages' were--and just how inferior they were--in spite of their own dubious claims of being 'civilized' people...

Civilized human beings don't award medals of honor to the butchers of unarmed men--let alone to the slayers of women and children...

So00 a memorable and notable stand-- against further indignities on the reservation lands of the Dakota/Latoka/Nakota peoples-- was a given and/or a no brainer...

Thing is:

Where do indigenous people and their allies take it from there?

Time etc. will tell...




From: Coconut Queen (JEANNE2469) DelphiPlus Member Icon5/31/09 1:36 AM 
To: ctj2010  (5 of 8) 
 2571.5 in reply to 2571.3 

Too many people have a win/lose, right/wrong, okay/not okay, superior/inferior mentality.  They thing that for someone to win, someone else has to lose; for someone to be right, someone else has to be wrong; for someone to be okay, someone else has to be not okay; for someone to be superior, someone else has to be inferior.

In reality, it's possible for everyone to win without anyone losing; it's possible for everyone to be right - as in many ways that are right; it's possible for all people to be okay; and it's possible for all people to be superior without being so at the expense of anyone else.



From: ctj20105/31/09 3:30 PM 
To: Coconut Queen (JEANNE2469) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (6 of 8) 
 2571.6 in reply to 2571.5 

Some of us, here--there--everywhere, were and are discussing and debating, writing and talking, etc., sometimes about the past deeds and words of not only those who lived long before we were born, also about other folks beloved or disliked indigenous ancestors/forebears--some very liked or disliked leaders...

Also, because of who applauds or blasts whatever-- and whoever tends to come does across on the personal and subjective side at best, the worst case scenarios is some continue to risk repeating the same old mistakes...


The anti slavery and pro slavery factions--aka the Pins and the Knights of the Golden Circle--fought their battles long ago:

I don't intend to nor have any desire to be a part of refighting them all over again!

Y'see, I have heard and read from any and all alleged or real factions, be they for or against the same folks I'm kinda sorta an ally and an a adivsor to, in particular when it comes to the Freedmen Descendants, etc.; when it comes to a few cases it's bcoming obvious to me they share a real concern as well as a true worry about the present and future plight of the Principal People, as well some have no move love for one of the present Cherokee Nation's elected officials-- than I do!

Thing is?

However much I also consider Cherokee resistance leader Dragging Canoe--not legendary Chief John Ross--one of my role models:

Both were also led to their different approaches because of adversity and necessity...

And while I can easily guess from the getgo I'm not going to say or write or get posted an opinion many can and will agree with:

After all else has been claimed and said, even the Vanns and Ridges etc. were the victims of the worst sort of betrayals...

After all, ot was George Washington who urged some of the mixed blood Cherokees etc. to take on the ways of the white settlers--up to and including setting up a test plantation including enslaved human beings as unpaid laborers:

It also was Thomas Jefferson who suggested that the best course of action for the survival of that young nation was the segregating of its indigenous and non indigenous people...

And towards that end:

In spite of a favorable ruling from his nation's own Supreme Court, i. e., in favor of the Cherokees remaining in the lands of their ancestors, Andrew Jackson refused to enforce it!

Later came the Indian Removal Act of 1830:


My and the and more to the point?

When people-- who would naturally and normally agree and choose to unite behind a common intent and purpose etc.--then fail to do so:

Then some (if not all) of them need and I want them to ask why (or that is--why not)?

The answer to that question:

Because their ancestors and forebears etc. did not create this damn mess, i. e., which has led to the disempowerment etc. of the descendants of the original inhabitants of this particular continent, whereas the BIA and past (as well as present) members of the U. S. Congress etc. did resort to tactics which undermined or undermine traditional means and ways of giving more than a handful of
indigenous folk a true sayso over how they govern themselves, etc., etc., etc.

Hence is why both would be defenders of the status quo and would be reformers find their supporters fewer and fewer in number--therefore the insult added to injury of a mere fraction of enrolled Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma voters deciding how to resolve one of the most regrettable consequences of what those aformentioned mixed bloods did00 in order to co exist with the white colonial era/ early U. S. nation's pro slavery advocating neighbors...

Y'see, for some (if not all) indigenous folk, this is the time the prophecy of the Seventh Generation is supposed to be fulfilled...

I also say and write this:

If it is to be truly fulfilled, it will be fulfilled by those who continue to define themselves, not continue to be redefined by somebody who is non indigenous...


I don't claim or say or write that I have any or all of the answers as to how to give back to the indigenous people their right to define themselves etc.:


I just hope and pray what I've said and written as well as get posted here will be of some interest to those who try to...


Best wishes...

Take care...


Edited 5/31/2009 3:44 pm ET by ctj2010

  • Edited 5/31/2009 3:48 pm ET by ctj2010

From: Coconut Queen (JEANNE2469) DelphiPlus Member Icon5/31/09 11:14 PM 
To: ctj2010  (7 of 8) 
 2571.7 in reply to 2571.6 

It's very unfortunate for all of us that it hasn't been recognized that indigenous peoples have much wisdom to impart to all of us.  In Hawaii, we are killing the reefs in the oceans with the sediment that's running off the land.  I was reading in the newspaper today that it's only now being recognized that the old Hawaiian traditional ways of land management are correct - that they recognized that what went on on the land affected the ocean.

Here's part of the article from the Honolulu Advertiser:

They knew that what happened on land affected the sea — one of the underlying principles of their land division system.

Under that system, an ali'i or local chief oversaw a wedge-shaped area (called an ahupua'a) that stretched from the mountains to the ocean, with the understanding that activities upslope could affect important resources downslope.

That same ridge-to-reef stewardship concept is central to many modern-day efforts in Hawai'i to combat the problem of land-based pollution and its effects on coral reefs.

The link to the entire article is:



From: ctj20106/1/09 6:59 AM 
To: Coconut Queen (JEANNE2469) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (8 of 8) 
 2571.8 in reply to 2571.7 

Good monning, Jeanne...

And, your conitnuing feedback etc. is both appreciated as well as welcomed, my dear...

But I feel and think what should matter the most, in the first place, also is the continuing of the passing along of the information, as in the peoples history/traditions/etc., to their own younger generations...

Yes, indeed some non indigenous folk exibit respect, sa regards the originators of the knowledge etc., but even I can too easily know and understand who else those indian watch groups etc. are meant end and stop, via those other folks daring to rip off somebody else's heritage, etc., either out of ignorance or stupidity or thoughtlessness or fear...

Some merely reflect the Hollywood 'noble savage' notion of indigenous folk:

Others continue to need and want to engage in outright coverups as regards past (or present) wrongs done to a people who meant no harm to them from the getgo...

Though what some had (and have) done to just insure the very survival of indigenous folk I may not always agree with:

Their choice and right too!

Though at times I also feel and think those few who do spsak up as well as stand up need and should want to remember how many more they represent who can't or won't...


Take care...



First Discussion>>

Adjust text size:

Welcome, guest! Get more out of Delphi Forums by logging in.

New to Delphi Forums? You can log in with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account or use the New Member Login option and log in with any email address.

Home | Help | Forums | Chat | Blogs | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Delphi Forums LLC All rights reserved.