We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Key Events in Apache Indian History?

By Jason C. Chavis
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
America Explained is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At America Explained, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are many key events throughout Apache Indian history. These events had profound effects on the destiny of Native Americans in North America and also on the United States and Mexico. Although the Apache are a loose collection of different indigenous peoples, the various Indian nations that compose the group remain one of the largest in the continent. Today, the Apache live primarily in the Southwest United States, but many also reside in many major American cities, including Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Phoenix and San Diego.

According to archaeological evidence, the Apache stem from the Athabaskan language family. It is believed that a nomadic collection of the Athabaskans took up residency in the area of present-day Southwestern United States in roughly 1000 AD. Excavations show that the group most likely adopted technology from neighboring Native Americans. Spanish documents from the 16th century identified the culture as possibly having emigrated from the Great Plains due to their use of dogs from the region. This is backed by evidence gathered in Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas.

In 1821, Mexico claimed its independence from Spain. With this key event in Apache Indian history, a long conflict between the two began. Bounties were placed on the heads of leaders, which culminated in the death of the Mimbreno Apache chief Juan Jose Compas in 1837. This prompted a series of raids on Mexican towns and villages. Soon, the United States declared war on Mexico and the Apache joined with the US troops to conquer the land.

With the success of the US over Mexico in 1846, the Apache signed a treaty with the nation. Despite this agreement, white settlers began to enter the area in large numbers, leading to an event known as the Apache Wars. While many leaders organized resistance against the US settlers and government, none were as well known as Geronimo of the Chiricahua Apache.

After the forced removal of many Native Americans from their traditional lands in the Rio Verde Indian Reserve in 1875, further conflict ensued. The US Army, led by Indian Commissioner L.E. Dudley, forced the populace to walk 180 miles (290 km) to an internment facility in San Carlos. This imprisonment lasted roughly 25 years. According to Apache Indian history, about 200 were ultimately returned to their lands.

The Apache Wars drew to a close on 4 September, 1886. Geronimo and his band of Apache were captured by US troops in Arizona. They were sent to Fort Pickens in Florida and Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Following this event, many of the children were adopted by white Americans, changing the dynamics of Apache Indian history for generations.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon1004108 — On Nov 18, 2020

This was very helpful for a school assignment.

By Drentel — On Jan 11, 2014
@Sporkasia: American history textbooks tend to focus on European Americans, so if those books were the focus of your education then you missed out on a lot, including the tribes who were here first, such as the Apache.
By Animandel — On Jan 11, 2014
@Sporkasia: The Indian nations that you studied in school might be related to where you grew up. I grew up in the Southwest and I can remember studying Apache culture from early grade school.
By Sporkasia — On Jan 10, 2014

It's sad commentary on my education, but all I knew about the Apache Indians before reading this article was the little I knew about Geronimo, and most of that I learned from TV westerns, so that's probably wrong.

Why is it that we studied other Indian tribes and nations more than the Apache in school when we studied Native American History. Or is that just my experience?

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.