The census record of 1860 lists the family. Felix Martinez was written. It is said that John Ward named him Mickey or Mick, being Irish, meaning son in the Irish culture. The name Free might of been given to him by the Apache Scouts as he found his new freedom in the military as he was no longer a captive. He was a free man. His kidnapping, started the longest war in the history of the United States, about 25 years with the Chiricahua Apaches. His parents were from New Mexico, however after he was kidnapped his mother believing he was dead, passed on and was buried in Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico.
'Mickey Free: Apache Captive, Interpreter, and Indian Scout', by Allan Radbourne, is by far the best source on the life of Mickey Free. Arizona Historical Society are advertising it for $34, plus postage. Other people, like Amazon, are selling it for much more. Get it while you can!
Another helpful source on Mickey Free is the book by Britton Davis. "The truth about Geronimo". Davis served with the US Army, and worked constantly with Mickey Free. Therefore, this is one of the most credible sources about Free. Here are the words ...
"Mickey Free, five feet five, slim but muscular, was the son of an Irish father and a Mexican mother. He had lost the sight of one eye which gave him a sinister appearance. Captured by the Apache when he was a small child, his life was spent amongst them and he had become for all intents and purposes an Apache; was married to an Apache, dressed as an Apache, and lived as the Scouts lived." Britton Davis
From the same source, it becomes clear that a lot of people did not trust Mickey Free. Referring to Al Sieber, who was the chief of the Scouts, Davis says this ... "Sieber's opinion of him (Mickey Free) could not be printed in polite words."
It is very clear from Davis' account that the main reason the cavalry was using Free was because the man spoke the Apache language, and he also spoke some Spanish. Davis spoke some Spanish. So Free was primarily used as an interpreter. Davis was aware that Mickey Free was not always telling the complete truth, but was changing the translations. But Davis never caught Free telling an obvious and direct lie - Mickey Free was a skilled liar and only changed things on occasion.
Just a comment I think the full blooded apache did not trust him. I also think he had it in for the full blood apache also. He may have been doing thins against them to get back at them for kidnapping him as a boy. Just a comment that is the reason the full blood apache do not talk about him either
Do we know which band of Apaches captured Mickey Free? Do we know the exact tribe, and the leader of the band? That information would help to explain many things.
I will order a copy of Mr. Hutton's book today.
And Juan, yes I think that you are right. The full-blooded Apaches did not trust Mickey Free. Justifiably so, from their point of view. After all - they were the people who raised him from the time he was a boy. So they knew his character better than anyone.
Mickey Free was kidnapped by a tribe called the Aravaipa Apaches. (Not clear on the spelling). Later the name kind of disappeared and members became known as the San Carlos Apaches. Or the San Carlos people. They lived amongst several tribes at the San Carlos Agency, or in today's name the San Carlos Indian Reservation, home of the San Carlos Apaches.
There are descendants who know the story as they tell their version. I heard their words they speak. They have a certain percentage of truth in the matter. However, they said they raised him. John Rope says the Black Rope family raised him. So we have a mystery of who story is correct. They both have written history, and both may be true. John Rope says that Mickey Free was given to his father by the San Carlos people. Mickey Free lived on the Reservation.