Leadership, Accomplishment and Cultural Celebration

Geronimo

Patriotism: In Defense of Freedom

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The Legends of the West stamps were the first in the Classic Collection series that featured broadly defined, Americana-based themes. The 20-stamp sheet portrays 16 individuals. This stamp is based on a posed photograph of Geronimo by A. F. Randall. Issued in Laramie, Wyoming; Tucson, Arizona; and Lawton, Oklahoma, October 18, 1994.

Geronimo (Goyathlay)

Chiricahua Apache

Warrior, Prisoner of War, American Icon

A most combative Apache leader, Geronimo resisted all government attempts to confine his people to reservations. “I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures.”A masterful warrior-chief, he fought Anglo-American and Mexican encroachment for thirty years, and suffered exile as a prisoner of war to a Florida jail, later to a guarded area in Alabama, and finally returned to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Much of Geronimo’s military prowess was attributed to spiritual knowledge, partly expressed in his autobiography: “When a child, my mother taught me to kneel and pray to Usen for strength, health, wisdom and protection.”

 
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Warrior’s cap made by daughter of Geronimo which was obtained from him at Fort Sill in 1904.
24/2870 Courtesy, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
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Beaded wooden leadership staff with silver cap sold by Geronimo at Fort Sill in 1892.
24/2222 Courtesy, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.