Life among the Apaches/Preface
Those who may favor the succeeding pages with their perusal, must not expect any attempt at fine writing or glowing description. The author's intention is, to furnish a plain, unvarnished tale of actual occurrences and facts illustrative of the various tribes of Indians occupying that vast region which extends from the Colorado river on the west, to the settlements of Texas on the east, and from Taos in New Mexico to Durango in the Mexican Republic.
In the front rank of the tribes, occupying the region included within the limits mentioned, stands the great Apache race, and next are the Comanches. The former of these will engage most of the author's attention for very many and obvious reasons. It is believed that the book will contain a large amount of valuable information, to be derived from no other source extant, and it will be the author's endeavor to place it before his readers in a manner which will engage their attention. Nothing not strictly true will be admitted into its pages, and if some of the incidents narrated be found of a thrilling character, the reader will experience satisfaction in knowing that they are not the results of imaginative picturing. Whenever a personal adventure is narrated, it will be found to illustrate some particular phase of character; none are recounted which do not convey information.
Our Government has expended millions of dollars, in driblets, since the acquisition of California, in efforts to reduce the Apaches and Navajoes, who occupy that extensive belt of country which forms the highway for overland migration from the East to the West; but we are as far from success to-day as we were twenty years ago. The reason is obvious. We have never striven to make ourselves intelligently acquainted with those tribes. Nearly all that relates to them is quite as uncertain and indefinite to our comprehension as that which obtains in the center of Africa. Those who were the best informed on the matter, and had given it the closest attention, were, at the same time—most unfortunately—the least capable of imparting their information; while those who were almost ignorant of the subject have been the most forward to give the results of their fragmentary gleanings. If this volume shall have the effect of bettering our present deplorable Indian policy, by letting in some light, it will accomplish the author's object.
San Francisco, August, 1868.J. C. C.