The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 315
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
written, leatherbound diary of the search for defiant mountain Apaches in
northern Mexico, there began a quest that will enthrall a broad audience.
Grenville, or "Grennie," became a leading American ethnologist, and after six
decades his posthumously published Social Organization of the Western Apache
(1940) remains a bedrock work. Amazingly, his formal education extended no
further than a sophomore year at the University of Arizona and abbreviated
graduate work at the University of Chicago. Had he lived, he might well have de-
veloped a research field devoted to the Sierra Madre Apaches, descended from
those few Chiricahuas who did not surrender with Geronimo in 1886. They
eked out a precarious existence in the midst of Mexicans and polygamist Mor-
mons who established colonies in Chihuahua and Sonora in the 189os. Their
profile remained low until the 192os, when encroaching loggers, miners, and
ranchers caused increased contact. In October of 1927, when Apaches killed the
pregnant wife of Francisco Fimbres and carried off his infant son, a manhunt
generated publicity that caused Grennie to devote the fall of both 1930 and
1931 to pursuing these little-known people.
In 1976, Neil, his father's diary and snapshots in hand, made the first of nine
trips, over the next twenty-three years, to the mountainous Chihuahua-Sonora
border country that extends roughly two hundred miles south from the southern
corners of Arizona and New Mexico. Grennie located two Apache camps, which
Neil found as well. At the first site the son sensed his father's presence. He be-
came "lightheaded," and upon shutting his eyes could see his father "busily sur-
veying the scene, walking through the brush toward me...." (p. 137). Though
neither encountered Apaches, they both thoroughly documented their existence.
In this superbly crafted book, readers accompany the Goodwins, their diary
entries juxtaposed, as the son retraces his father's route while charting an ex-
panded one of his own. He interviewed aged contemporaries of Grennie and a
host of descendants, thereby bolstering his father's field research. He also re-
vealed that dread of the Apaches persisted into the 1970s, when an interviewee
turned "pale with real fear" (p. 72) when told of his mission. As late as the mid-
1940s, Sierra Madre Apaches were known to take a few beeves a year from
ranches in New Mexico's "Bootheel." Over the years, Neil believes, they likely
blended with the Mountain (or Sierra Madre) Pimas. An independent filmmak-
er, whose credits include the PBS Geronimo and the Apache Resistance, Neil Good-
win has produced a fascinating piece of detective work. One that blends
scholarship, human emotion, and mystery; one that emphasizes historic ties be-
tween the American Southwest and northern Mexico.
Southwest Texas State Universzty James A. Wilson
Apache Voices: Their Stories of Survzval as Told to Eve Ball. By Sherry Robinson. (Al-
buquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2000. Pp. xv+272. Acknowledg-
ments, introduction, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-8263-22162-3.
This compilation of oral histories, neat vignettes, and the research and views
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/367/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.