Saturday, July 9, 2016

American Biography: Kit Carson

Kit Carson ran the gamut as far as his own history.  He was a Mountain Man, scout and guide for the military, fought in the Mexican American War and the Civil War, and was an Indian fighter and Indian advocate.  He was born in 1809 and lived 59 years.  He left home at age 16.  He traveled west with a fur harvesting expedition.  He joined John C. Fremont in exploring and mapping the Oregon Trail and parts of California.  Fremont and Carson would save each other several time from Indians.  He also saved Fremont and his company from starvation when they were caught in the snow.   Again with Fremont he was instrumental in the American uprise in California which lead to California being liberated from Mexico and becoming part of the United States.  He then served as a scout for General Kearney.  He was appointed agent for the Ute and Jicarilla Apache Indians.  Carson led Union forces in New Mexico against the Confederate.  He then carried on fight Native Americans in the area, Kiowa, Apache, Navajo and Comanche.  He became the commanding force in fighting the Navajo and their forced march.  His commanded officer, general James Carleton declared that the Indians must be beat and forced to move.  And on point Carson resigned his commission; but he took it up again.  He didn't attack their warriors, but their food supplies, starving them out.  Kit Carson became a man of legend in the adventure stories written about him.  After subduing the Navajo, he was promoted to general, and put in charge of calming the Kiowa, Comanches and Cheyennes.  Carson ended up in a situation similar to Custer's Last Stand.  His scouts underestimated the force against him, and the risked being engulfed.  Carson used two howitzers and back fires to keep the Indians at bay, and his men were able to make their escape.  The Kiowa call this the time they repelled Kit Carson.
Carson had three wives, and ten children.  His first wife he one after defeating a French Man in a duel at a rendezvous.  He was forcing himself on her, and Carson took offense.  Her name was Singing Grass.  She died giving birth to his second daughter.  His first daughter was raised by his sister.  He then married a Cheyenne woman but she left him to travel with her people.  He then married a Mexican woman.  He became Catholic to marry her, and they had 8 children together.
Kit Carson became one of the most revered men in the United States.  More than 50 novels were written about him.  However Carson was never one to be overly proud of himself.  He passed away just a month after his wife due to heart problems.

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