Born: c. 1810
Birthplace: Chiricahua Mountains, AZ
Location of death: Chiricahua Apache Reservation, AZ
Cause of death: Natural Causes
Remains: Buried (in a secret location on Chiricahua land)
Race or Ethnicity: American Aborigine
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Native American warrior
Chiricahua Apache chief Cochise first fought against Mexicans at Gila River in 1832, and later participated in raids in Sonora in the early 1850s. By the latter part of that decade, though, he was working as a carpenter and security guard at the Apache Pass stage station of Butterfield Overland (a forerunner of the present-day American Express). In 1861 raiders kidnapped a local rancher's stepson and stole some of his cattle, and the US Army sent an inexperienced officer, Lt. George Bascom, with 54 soldiers to recover the stolen child and property. By some accounts Cochise was questioned by Bascom, said he knew nothing of the crime, but he was imprisoned by Bascom and escaped, despite being shot three times as he fled. By other accounts Cochise offered to negotiate with the suspected criminals and Bascom acceded, but did not trust Cochise to return, and took several of the Indian's friends hostage. Either way it was a historic blunder, now known as "the Bascom affair", which radicalized Cochise and convinced him to take up arms with his father-in-law, Apache leader Mangas Coloradas.
In the subsequent Apache uprising, the natives took effective control of almost all of Arizona, and after Coloradas was captured and killed Cochise assumed command. With more than 200 warriors behind him, Cochise led raids from mountain hideaways for more than a decade. He was captured in 1871, but escaped and resumed the battle. Cochise signed a treaty with American General Oliver O. Howard in 1872, and retired to Chiricahua Reservation in Arizona. Glamorized in fiction and news reports, he was perhaps the most famous Native American of his time when he died, in 1874. He is the namesake of Cochise County, Arizona. After Cochise left the battlefield, Geronimo came to power and led the Apache resistance.
Wife: Dos-teh-seh (dau. of Mangas Coloradas, two sons)
Son: Taza (Apache chief, b. circa 1835, d. 1876)
Son: Naiche (Apache chief, b. 1857, d. 1921)
Taken Prisoner of War 1871 (escaped)
Taken Prisoner of War 1872
American Express Butterfield Overland, woodworker (1858-61)
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