Deeper Into Jeopardy! IX: Native Americans – $2000

Jeopardy! category: THE LAST CENTURY (03-04-2014)

$2000 clue: Taza, son of this chief, tried to honor his father’s peace agreement with the Army but couldn’t unite all the Apache bands

Correct response

The gist: It was after the Battle of Apache Pass in 1862, the first pitched battle that the Apache fought against the U.S. Army and the first time they encountered American howitzers, that a tenuous peace was signed after over a year of hostilities.Cochise, chief of the Chokonen tribe and paramount chief of the Chiricahua Apache, enjoyed a peaceful if cold relationship with the U.S. for most of the 1850s, throughout which American settlers and lawmen encroached further into Apache-controlled lands. The Bascom Affair in January, 1861, which began with a Tonto Apache raid capturing livestock and kidnapping the son of rancher Felix Ward, put an end to the quiet period. Lieutenant Bascom, stationed at Fort Buchanan, Arizona, determined that Cochie’s Chiricahua Apache were responsible for the raid. the Lieutenant and his men met Cochise for a parlay and ended up with his family in hostage, a slight to which Cochise responded by counter-attacking and rescuing them.

This incident set off the Apache Wars that would last in earnest until 1886. Cochise and his father-in-law Mangas Coloradas (his Spanish name, meaning “red sleeves”) led many raids over the next many months, taking advantage of an American army preoccupied with mounting tensions between the North and South of the United States. A chance for peace came after the Battle of Apache Pass, but the Americans managed to capture Coloradas during a parley session, taken as a grave insult and breach of the rules of war by Cochise (Coloradas was later killed, allegedly after torture to force him to “try to escape”). Cochise retreated, and continued to raid American posts until 1872, when General Oliver O. Howard and Tom Jeffords, a white man who was friendly with Cochise, negotiated peace in exchange for reservation land. Taza, Cochise’s son by his wife Dos-teh-seh, failed to maintain the peace, and the various Apache bands continued to skirmish with the Americans, coming to another head under the command of Geronimo. Cochise died at a favourite camp now known as Cochise Stronghold in the Dragoon Mountains of southeastern Arizona.

Cochise Stronghold, the chief’s final resting place

The clue: A tough one, as a $2000 clue should be. The biggest hint is simply the mention of the Apache bands, which narrows the possibilities down considerably. But the Apache were a formidable people, and produced many famous chiefs; contestant Julie felt confident but lost a lot of money guessing Geronimo instead. Someone might have taken up the challenge by guessing Cochise after Geronimo was wrong, but no one did.

In Jeopardy!: Cochise has only been part of 12 clues in the J!Archive. He’s the correct response himself in seven of them, with the rest looking for Arizona, Geronimo, Apache, and “chief.” Geronimo beats him out by quite a few clues, mostly on the strength of his name as a daredevil’s cry.

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