When the Chiricahua Apaches Lost their Children

When young people were taken away, they and their parents were devastated.

(The children) “… did not indicate that they were in the best of humor over having to be separated from the other members of their tribe whom they are leaving behind, perhaps never again to see, but they remained quiet and promptly obeyed all orders given to them.”  (Florida–Times Union, April 24, 1887. Quoted in Omega East, “Apache Prisoners in Fort Marion, 1886-1887,” El Escribano, Part III, p. 11. Quoted in Skinner 1987:161.)

“My dear child: I am thinking about you. I have no friends. I sent my one child to Carlisle. I loved you long ago. It is long since I have seen you. You are my son. You must write to me often. I want you to learn. I have no father or mother. There are just we two.…”  (Letter to Jason Betzinez (at Carlisle) from his mother, a Chiricahua Apache POW. Quoted in Stockel 2004:156.)

“My dear children: Are you happy?  You must be happy my two boys. I see well yet and I talk kind. When you went away from me I cried every day…. I think we shall see each other again. You must not think about me. I don’t think about myself. Your mother.”  (Letter to Chiskio (at Carlisle) from his mother, a Chiricahua Apache POW. Quoted in Stockel 2004:157.)

“I have a daughter away at school and two other near relatives. I want to see them very soon. Won’t you make it so I can see them very soon?”  (Chihuahua, Chiricahua POW, to General George Crook, January 2, 1890, at Mount Vernon Barracks. U. S. Senate, Exec. Doc. 35 (51-1), p. 36. Quoted in Stockel 1993:239.)

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Chiricahua Children POWs Sent to Carlisle Indian School, PA