Christopher (Kit) - A great American frontiersman, scout, and
Indian fighter. he was born in Madison County, Kentucky, on December
24, 1809. When he was a year old, his parents moved to Missouri.
Orphaned at an early age, young Kit served as a saddler's apprentice at
Old Franklin, an outfitting post on the Santa Fé Trail.
At the age of seventeen he ran away, joining
a caravan on its way to Santa Fé, but upon reaching there he went
on to Taos, New Mexico.
For the next fourteen years Kit mad his
living as a professional guide and hunter for exploring parties and for
a time shot game for the garrison at Bent's Fort in the Territory of Colorado.
At St. Louis in 1842 Kit Carson joined
General John C. Frémont on his exploring expedition,
and three years later was employed by Frémont on his expedition
to California. He fought in the War with Mexico, and after the Gold
Rush of "49 hired out to guide immigrants and drovers across the Plains
Tiring of this life, Kit Carson decided
to settle down and raise sheep in Taos. But because of trouble with
the navajo he was forced to give this up and continue his life as an Indian
fighter. In 1853 he was appointed Indian Agent at Taos and had much
influence in controlling the warlike Navajo. Ten years later he rounded
up some 8,000 of the Indians and held them prisoner on a reservation.
During the Civil War he fought on the Federal
side and was chief scout in charge of various groups of irregulars and
rangers engaged in the constant border warfare. In the Texas Panhandle
he repulsed an attack by Comanche and Kiowa warriors who greatly outnumbered
his troops. This battle at Adobe Walls was a half mile from the Adobe
Walls attacked some years later by Quanah Parker and his Indians.
Carson rose to the rank of brigadier general
and was cited for gallantry and distinguished services. After the
war he again took up his duties as Indian agent. He died at Fort
Lyon, Colorado, on May 23, 1868. His old home at Taos has been preserved
as a museum.
within this Site
Fur Trade ][ Indian
Long Walk ][ Navajo
][ Tanoan Pueblos