One of the most famous Native Americans in Apache history is the broad shouldered, six foot tall, prominently voiced and never photographed, Cochise. Cochise was the son of a Chiricahua Apache chief who became the celebrated leader of the Apache after the death of his father. He had married a daughter of Magnas Coloradas, the chief of the Mimbreño Apache band. Cochise and his band lived in southern Arizona and western New Mexico, where they had suffered atrocious victimization by Spanish and Mexican scalp hunters and slave traders.
Cochise had successfully maintained a peaceful relationship with the Whites who started to populate the country and had worked with the army leaders, permitting the Whites to pass through their land in their quests to California. He even allowed some of his own men to work at the Apache Pass with stagecoaches and firewood supplies. This peace was interrupted when Cochise was called to a meeting there and accused of kidnapping a white man’s child. Cochise denied the accusations and in a resulting melee, Cochise was seriously wounded and he and five other men were arrested. Cochise escaped captivity and in retaliation, captured three White settlers whom he used as hostages in order to procure his men from captivity safely. The request was denied and Cochise stood accused for the kidnapping of the child even still. Cochise then took the lives of the settlers and war had begun.
Cochise and his followers were forced deep into the Dragoon Mountains for several years until he met with General Oliver O. Howard in 1872 and he had promised that there would be no more raids if the Chiricahua were assured their people were given a reservation in their own territory. Cochise was a man of his word, and brought his 200 people onto the reservation in 1872. Shortly after, 600 more Apache joined him there, and he continued to live peacefully until his death in June of 1874.