St. Louis, MO is a dreary city, where I recently attended an arts conference at Washington University. Met some interesting people; but most important was the opportunity to see the park where the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition was held.
To help celebrate America’s status as a civilized nation, several “primitive” peoples were represented at the fair, including that monument of savagery, the Chiricahua Apache medicine man and chief: Geronimo.
Geronimo was still a prisoner of war and was given special dispensation by President Teddy Roosevelt to attend the fair where he was to sell photographs of himself. A captive of the United States since 1886, Geronimo had become a successful capitalist and hoped to make a profit from his photo sales. Unhappy with the financial deal offered him by the exposition organizers, Geronimo refused to participate in the events. On this occasion, savagery revealed itself to be stronger than the forces of civilization.
The photograph below was taken of Geronimo during the exposition. His expression reflects his undefeated state of mind. The following year he rode in Teddy Roosevelt’s inaugural parade in Washington D.C. and in 1909 he “crossed the river” for the last time.
Tags: geronimo country