The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 23, July 1919 - April, 1920

The Southwestern Historicail Quarterly

THE APACHE IN THE SOUTHWEST, 1846-1886
BERTHA BLOUNT
For three hundred years the Spanish and Mexicans waged re-
lentless war against the Apaches who returned all of their cruelty
and hatred in double measure. The Apache proved that he was
neither to be subdued nor conquered as had been the Indians of
Mexico, and the passing years widened the gulf that yawned be-
tween him and his would be masters. When the people of the
United States looked with longing eyes upon the southwest, it was
in utter ignorance of the tremendous problem that awaited them,
-a problem that had proved the undoing of both Spaniard and
Mexican before them. Prosperous settlements and thriving ranches
had been laid waste by the indomitable Apache until his very name
struck terror to the heart of man, woman and child. With an in-
satiable land-hunger and with a boundless faith in their own
ability to master the situation, the people of the United States in-
vaded the southwest, acquired Mexican territory and incidentally
acquired some thousands of fierce and warlike Apaches, who must
be conquered, restrained and taught a new mode of life ere the
new possession could offer adequate protection to its inhabitants.
From 1846 until 1886 the struggle went on between the Apaches
and their new foes. Various plans for bringing order out of chaos
were proposed and given trial and many lives were sacrificed before
peace and order came to stay. The story of these forty years of
conflict are full of human interest for they are the story of a strong
and gifted people making a heroic struggle for their ancestral home
and for their tribal freedom, longing with an intense longing to
be allowed to live their lives in accord with the wild and savage
customs handed down to them from their savage forbears. Ar-
rayed against them were a people of virile stock, bearing aloft the
torch of civilization and humanity but, being intensely human,
their higher ideals had mixed with them baser desires of selfish-
ness, hatred and greed, and it was largely due to these latter traits
that the settlement was forty long years in coming.
Though the Apache had long been the bitter enemy of the Mexi-
can, yet the citizen of the United States did not share the hatred

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 23, July 1919 - April, 1920. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101075/. Accessed May 22, 2015.