Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Geronimo: An Important Apache Hide Pouch Gifted by the Famous Chief, Along with the Original Manuscript and Author's Notes for the Book which Describes its Presentation. The source of the pouch was Mary Leefe Laurence, who wrote the well-known book Daughter of the Regiment, in which she recounts her youth spent on various western army posts as the daughter of a career officer. Inn 1889 her father was ordered to Mount Vernon Barracks in Alabama, where a number of Apaches including the notorious Geronimo were being held. She writes:

    "Geronimo...was short and stocky, with short black hair and a dark muddy reddish complexion. He had a big firm jaw and a cruel mouth. We children were afraid of him and took care to heed him whenever he spoke to any of us.
    He was allowed sometimes to walk about in the fort unattended. On one occasion he came up to our porch when my mother was there alone. What he wanted my mother did not know but she was badly frightened, although taking care not to show it. Possibly he thought that as she was a squaw and a white one at that he could frighten some gift out of her. But he met his match. Drawing herself up to her full height and pointing with her arm she uttered one word only, 'Begone!'
    Geronimo looked at her a moment and then gave her a military salute. 'Brave lady,' he said and went away.
    Afterward he was a bit more friendly and I still have the little buckskin wampum pouch with its jingly cone fringe which he gave me before we left. It was generally thus with the Indians. They might admire anyone who might show that he or she was unafraid..."

    Laurence had kept extensive memoirs which she used as the basis for a draft of an intended book. She completed a typed 190-page manuscript shortly before her death in 1945. Professor Stanley Vestal of the University of Oklahoma (who had published a number of books on the American West under the pen name Walter S. Campbell) undertook to publish Mary's book. However, the project never came to fruition, perhaps in part because in those days there was little interest in "women's history."

    Nearly half a century later the manuscript resurfaced and, with the cooperation of Mary's elderly son, it was finally edited by historian Thomas T. Smith and published as Daughter of the Regiment by the University of Nebraska Press. It is considered one of the most definitive accounts of life on Western army outposts during the last quarter of the 19th century.

    Offered in this lot, in addition to Geronimo's pouch, are:

    1. The original typed manuscript with Mary's original intended title, A Rainbow Passes.
    2. A 2½" thick packet of Mary's original handwritten notes for the book, including many anecdotes and information not found in the final draft (a treasure trove for scholars!).
    3. A copy of the book Daughter of the Regiment, a fascinating read for anyone with an interest in military life on the Western frontier.

    Some may consider the prize in this lot to be these unique first person recollections. For others it will be the hide pouch Geronimo gifted to a wide-eyed young girl. Most surviving items coming from Geronimo date from his later period when he interacted with the public as an "exhibit" at the 1904 St. Louis Worlds' Fair. However this traditional pouch may well have been carried by the Apache leader as he raided and eluded the army across the Southwest. Either way, this is a remarkable and unique offering.

    The pictured note confirming the Geronimo provenance was discovered this week, tucked inside the pouch, during lot viewing. Comparison to the voluminous notes in her hand confirms that this note is in the hand of Mary Leefe Laurence.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2015
    25th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,526

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Oct 25, 2015 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 September 25 - 26 Including the Mahoney Collection of George Washington Inaugural Buttons. Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    You reach a customer base that is in many ways completely unknown to the major auction houses, and your marketing to this base is as professional as one could hope for. As I continue to wind down my holdings.
    Michael Z.,
    Hawthorne, NY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search