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    Lt. Charles Gatewood and Geronimo Archive Featuring Geronimo's Signature. Lt. Charles Gatewood is one of the fading ghosts of the American West. His name was almost entirely lost to history until the movie "Geronimo" depicted him as a major character. Gatewood was the man who was assigned by Brigadier General Nelson Appleton Miles to proceed into Mexico and convince Geronimo, and his small band of Indians, to surrender to Miles. Miles had been unable to capture them previously. Gatewood was successful in his endeavor, for he had spent many years learning the culture and language of the Apaches. After a long, hard ride down into the interior of Mexico, Gatewood met up with Geronimo, and approached him and his band, unhorsed and unarmed. He stood out in the open, as vulnerable as a child, as the great Indian band and chief approached him. Gatewood read Miles' message to Geronimo, as he later recounted, in these words; "Surrender, and you will be sent to join the rest of your people in Florida, there to await the decision of the President as to your final disposition. Accept these terms or fight it out to the Bitter end."

    Gatewood described the delay of Geronimo's reply as a "silence of several weeks." Geronimo explained to Gatewood that he would only surrender if he was allowed to return to his farms in Arizona, and continue life there as it once was. Gatewood was not at liberty to promise him anything other than what Miles had ordered, however, when Geronimo asked Gatewood what he would do if it was he who was the Apache, Gatewood replied that he should trust Miles at his word. Geronimo and his men took the night to think over the proposition. Finally, Geronimo and his band surrendered, and as they were lead back to the border, the Apache wars were over. Gatewood had Geronimo's complete trust, and it was said that "he was the only man who could safely have gotten within gunshot of the old savage, and Miles knew that when he sent him out."

    In time Miles grew so jealous of Gatewood's dealings with Geronimo, and the publicity he received, that Gatewood was sent out to the Dakota's and lived in near anonymity till the day he died. A sad end for one of the true compassionate leaders of the Indian Wars.

    As for Geronimo, sadly, he was never given the right to return to his home in Arizona, and was subjected, along with his people, to hard labor. At the end of his life, he was treated as somewhat of a celebrity, appearing at fairs and shows and even in President Theodore Roosevelt's 1905 inaugural parade. In the end, his people were never given what they were promised, and he died away from the land of his birth.

    This lot features two letters: one about the capture of Geronimo, one about an interview with Geronimo (which contains Geronimo's signature); the signature is on a small piece of tissue paper; a modern book called, "Gatewood and Geronimo" by Louis Kraft; three CDVs of Gatewood, dating from 1871-1873, all measuring 2.5" x 4.5", and each one is inscribed on the back by Gatewood himself; a small visiting card with Gatewood's signature (printed); two cabinet cards depicting Gatewood, measuring 4.5" x 6.5 each; a later tintype of Gatewood in his scout uniform, measuring 3" x 3.5", the tintype is in a union case which no longer has a working hinge. Also included are: a Charles Gatewood signed copy of "Class of '77 (West Point); 3 cabinet cards of Gatewood's wife, Georgia, measuring 4.5" x 6.5" each; two cabinet cards featuring two of the Gatewood children, Emily and Charles Junior, measuring 4.5" x 6.5" each; an albumen print of Gatewood with Geronimo and his band of Apaches, taken at Fort Apache, measures 10" x 8", the print is in poor condition with severe fading and cracking of the image; and 2 newspaper clippings containing Gatewood's obituary. Gatewood's story deserves to be told, and this archive is a fantastic trove of information about him, and his family, as well as his relationship to one of the most famous Indian leaders of all time. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 7,584

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