Capitan Chiquito: A Personal History of an Apache Chief, 1821–1919 (Elma Dill Russell Spencer Series in the West and Southwest #50) (Hardcover)

Capitan Chiquito: A Personal History of an Apache Chief, 1821–1919 (Elma Dill Russell Spencer Series in the West and Southwest #50) By John Paul Hartman, Karl Jacoby (Foreword by) Cover Image
By John Paul Hartman, Karl Jacoby (Foreword by)
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Drawn from personal recollections, historical records, and biographical research, Capitan Chiquito: A Personal History of an Apache Chief, 1821–1919 relates the little-known life and career of a leader of the Aravaipa band of Apaches during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During his nearly 100 years of life, Chief Capitan Chiquito spent time in prison with Geronimo; defended his home territory in Aravaipa Canyon from the depredations of Anglo-Americans, Mexicans, and rival Native American tribes; suffered the brutal massacre and abduction of many of his people; and ultimately won from the federal government the right to live on and cultivate his canyon homestead. He died in 1919 at the age of 98 from complications of influenza while caring for ill members of his clan.

In the opening pages, author John Paul Hartman reminisces about some of the people he has loved—and lost—during his time on the San Carlos Reservation in southeastern Arizona. His wife, Velma Bullis, great-granddaughter of Chief Capitan Chiquito; her father, Lonnie, the chief’s grandson; and many others have preceded him through “the Western portal,” departing this life. “There is nothing for me here in San Carlos now,” he writes. “It is time for me to leave . . . But before they will let me go, I have a story to tell.” As Hartman ends this work, he explains that he undertook the research and writing about his wife’s ancestor as a means of closure for his two decades of life on the San Carlos Reservation. With the care of a historian and the dedication of an enthusiast, he has followed the trail of this notable leader, affording readers a unique view of a previously little-known yet intensely revealing historical narrative.

About the Author

JOHN PAUL HARTMAN is the former emergency room supervisor at the San Carlos Apache Hospital. He lives in Vail, Arizona.

Praise For…

“Deeply moving, profoundly important, both immediately personal and deeply historical, John Paul Hartman has woven together a vital biography of a great Apache leader whose life speaks volumes about the colonization of the American Southwest and the survival of its Indigenous peoples.”—Chip Colwell, Ph.D.  Editor-in Chief of SAPIENS magazine and author of Massacre at Camp Grant: Forgetting and Remembering Apache History
— Chip Colwell

“I have known John since his early years of working in the San Carlos Apache emergency room. He has written a well-researched life story of a little known Apache chief who lived an amazing life. John writes with sensitivity and insight about his own life and experiences on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.  His story is a valuable contribution to the history of our San Carlos Apache tribe.”–David Reede, Executive Director of the Department of Health and Human Services of the San Carlos Apache tribe
— David Reede

“An intimate portrait of an underappreciated Western Apache leader, whose life and legacy are a testament to his people’s resilience, their deeply complex culture and ways of life, and their inseverability from the places that make them who they are. John’s three-decade labor of love illuminates the incomparable power of oral tradition and is an important contribution to the growing body of scholarship that authentically centers Western Apaches in the history told about them.”—Ian Record, author of Big Sycamore Stands Alone: The Western Apaches, Aravaipa, and the Struggle for Place
— Ian Record

Capitan Chiquito is a very readable account of an important, but little-known Apache leader.  Historical documentation is provided to affix the story within significant 19th century events, particularly the 1871 Camp Grant Massacre.  Most interesting is the contextualization of the story within more recent times according to the author’s personal relationships and experiences on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, particularly with descendants of Chiquito. The realism and honesty implicit in this account resonate according to my research at San Carlos.  This is not a dry telling of Western Apache history but a laudable and highly recommended book—the first to be written on Capitan Chiquito.”—Carol Markstrom, author of Empowerment of North American Indian Girls: Ritual Expressions at Puberty
— Carol Markstrom

Product Details
ISBN: 9781623499976
ISBN-10: 1623499976
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Publication Date: June 13th, 2022
Pages: 208
Language: English
Series: Elma Dill Russell Spencer Series in the West and Southwest