Sunday, September 7, 2008

CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON "KIT" CARSON, AMERICAN FRONTIERSMAN, TRAPPER, SCOUT, SOLDIER, AND LEGEND OF THE WEST

I guess you all know by now that I can't go very long without writing about someone or something in history. You probably have learned more about Kentucky from reading my blog than you ever dreamed you would know or maybe more than you ever wanted to know! I think my children wonder where I come up with all this stuff but I just find it interesting.

I, also, find it very enjoyable to read about your states or countries and places I may never get a chance to visit.

Kit Carson was born on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1809 near Richmond, Kentucky in Madison County. He was raised in Howard County, Missouri the ninth of fourteen children.



Kit's father was killed by a falling tree when Kit was just nine years old. The young boy had to drop out of school to help take care of his siblings and the family farm.


Mathew Kinkead, a friend of Kit's father, was a woodsman and explorer and taught Kit the skills of being a trapper. Kit attended an annual mountain man rendezvous in Wyoming when he was twenty five. There was an Arapaho Indian tribe camped nearby and Kit met an Indian woman by the name of Waa-Nibe. (Singing Grass). He and Singing Grass had two children. She died giving birth to the second child. Kit then married a Cheyenne woman, Making-Out-Road in 1841 but she left him and returned to her tribe shortly after their marriage.

In 1842, he met and married the daughter of a prominent Taos, New Mexico family and was baptized in the Catholic Church. Josefa, his new wife, was fifteen and Kit was thirty four. They raised eight children together.





Josefa Carson



Kit went to work as a guide for John C. Fremont. He helped guide Freemont to Oregon and California and through much of the Central Rocky Mountains. Kit had lived and traveled among the Indians for years and was known as a man of his word.

When the Mexican War was over, he took up ranching and was appointed a federal Indian Agent for Northern New Mexico until 1861 when he resigned to help organize the New Mexico Volunteer Infantry. They waged economic war against the Navajo destroying their crops, orchards and livestock. For years the Navajo had preyed on the Utes, Pueblos, Hopis and Zunis, raiding their camps. These tribes joined Carson and the Navajo could not defend themselves. In 1864, the Navajo surrendered to Carson and eight thousand Navajo men, women and children walked 300 miles from Arizona to Fort Sumner, New Mexico where they remained until 1868.


Carson moved to Colorado following the Civil War to continue ranching. He died in 1868 at the age of sixty from old wounds and his remains are buried near his home in Taos.

Kit Carson was a man of great modesty and never boasted of his achievements. He rendered great service to the government in New Mexico, Colorado and the Indian territory and was made brigadier general for his meritorious conduct.

Josefa Carson died shortly before Kit as a result of complications of childbirth. She would have been forty one years of age.

Note: We talk about our childhoods, our memories, and the way things were for us years ago. I often think about what life was like for people of this generation, especially women.

22 comments:

Kate said...

Hi Judy,
Gosh looking at Josefa she looks sooo young (about 13 yrs) you had to be a hardy soul in these days.. Thank goodness we live in a very different age. I find it really interesting though hearing about these folks who lived so long ago.. Thanks for posting things like this Judy. Oh and I love yer Giraffe, he looks soooo funny, I love him, can you get other types of animals too? You would almost think he was looking at us on our P.C.'s wondering what all the fuss was about ...
Hope you're having a great weekend. Cheers Kate x.

LOM said...

It must have been a very hard life, but I bet their worries were not that much different to ours, all those children by the age of 41 was good going.

Margie's Musings said...

Just think how short their lifespans were.

Beth said...

I love your history pieces, Judy. I had read of Kit Carson, but never knew about his Kentucky connection. Interesting reading!

It is indeed sobering to realize how many women died young, in childbirth, in those days. It was a pretty common occurrence.

Leigh said...

So interesting Mom!

Love you~

Leigh

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

An excellent read Judy, it's interesting to read about other's history along with one's own.

Thanks for the visit.

Yvonne.

Jeannie said...

Hi! I found your blog the other day. I must have sat there for an hour listening to the wonderful songs in your playlist.

I am a history buff myself and I greatly enjoyed your post on Kit Carson. Thank you. :D

Anil P said...

I often wonder the same. What must life have been like in their days.

History interests me greatly. Thanks for telling this story.

Clara....in TN said...

Hi Judy, I loved your post today. I had never given Kit Carson much thought...now I know. I also liked your giraffe. His voice sounds like Billy Bob Thorton when he plyed "Carl" in Slingblade.

Linda said...

Kit Carson made a trip to Oregon. He's my kind of guy.

Leigh said...

I love the new look!!

Leigh

bobbie said...

Have I mentioned that I do enjoy the music on your blog.

One Woman's Journey said...

Judy thank you for keeping in touch. It is meaningful to me.
Jimmy just took Sadie to the vet to have her put to sleep.

Grannyann said...

I too wonder, especially after I did a lot of research on my great grandfather. They lost several children. Losing one would be bad enough but several makes you wonder how that poor woman went on. Their lives were really hard but they accomplished a lot.

Nancy said...

That's very interesting about Kit Carson. Growing up in Kentucky, I must have learned that Kit Carson was born here, but all of what I remembered about him was his western days. I, too, love these historical pieces.

Jamie Dawn said...

Interesting stuff. I love learning about history. I think that's why Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA are my dream cities. I LOVE those places!!! I've been to both several times, and I never tire of them and spending time in their historical districts.
Kit Carson was quite a guy! Three wives and lots of kids. I like the name of his first wife, Singing Grass.

Grammy said...

Judy,
Re: your ocmments on my blog, there actually is a C.B. close to me, but I dare not eat there too much because the food is too rich and I am too tempted to eat the really GOOD stuff. I did eat breakfast there this morning but had only scrambled eggs and sourdough toast.
Love,
Ruby (aka Grammy)

Rachel said...

Judy, I never tire of learning about KY! This was very interesting about Kit Carson. I guess that's why they have a school in Richmond named after him. Kit Carson Elementary! I went to Daniel Boone Elementary in Richmond many many moons ago!!

I can't imagine living back then either. They had it really rough, but they probably didn't know it since that was the norm. I love seeing the old movies and how they dressed back then!

June Saville said...

Hi Judy
Been busy lately and haven't got to Over the Hill. Today was the day and I had a snoop and got what I deserved!
Gerry the Giraffe is awsome, as the kids say!
Cheers
June in Oz

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Thanks for dropping by, much appreciated, My thoughts are with your country today 9/11/08.
Take care.


Yvonne

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Thanks for dropping by again, have had a good week end hope likewise with yourself.


YVONNE

Quiana said...

Thanks for writing this.