By Harvey Lewis, Carter
The determine of equipment Carson strides throughout the literature of the yankee West in heroic measurement. dealer, trapper, scout, brigadier basic of recent Mexico Volunteers, and plenty of different issues in addition to, he has appealed to the general public mind's eye as no different frontiersman has. Many biographies and who types of his “autobiography” were released. but a lot of the legend nonetheless is still separated from the evidence, broadcasts the writer of this new biography.“I am an admirer of Carson,” says Mr. Carter, “and don't have any want intentionally to debunk him, yet i'm attracted to correcting the statements of uncritical hero worship many through many writers.”Kit is authorized to talk for himself, so far as attainable, via an actual transcription of his dictated recollections made of the manuscript within the Newberry Library, Chicago. folks and locations are in actual fact pointed out, and Kit’s slips of reminiscence are corrected within the definitive annotation of his account. 100 years of hypothesis concerning the identification of the guy who transcribed Carson’s tale is ended. Mr. Carter has confirmed optimistic identity, in accordance with conscientiously assembled evidence. a brand new evaluation of Kit’s personality and recognition is integrated, in addition to an annotated account of the final years of his existence.
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Additional resources for 'Dear Old Kit'': The Historical Christopher Carson
Janet S. Lecompte, has made extensive and extremely competent use of the Cragin Papers in her valuable contributions to our knowledge of the fur trade. 23 He had been telling his preposterous yarns for quite a while and probably believed them himself by that time. 24 Wiggins claimed to have come west with a wagon train in 1838 and to have been practically adopted by Kit Carson, who rode up somewhere along the trail with a large band of men and protected the train from the Kiowa Indians. In the spring of 1838 Carson actually was fighting Blackfeet on the Madison River; in the summer he was at the rendezvous on the Popo Agie; in the fall he went from Brown's Hole with Thompson and Sinclair to trade with the Navahos; and in the winter he was at Fort Davy Crockett.
It was British policy to encourage Indian wives to accompany trappers, and there are other indications as well that render this a most likely probability. Pamela Herr, a recent biographer of Jessie Benton Frémont (Jessie Benton Frémont: American Woman of the 19th Century. New York: Franklin Watts, 1987), suggested that Jessie was the "reporter" who wrote and published the early newspaper account of Carson's life found in Appendix B of 'Dear Old Kit,' but again there is no clinching evidence. These are matters that some future Carson scholar may determine.
His extreme caution extended to the campfire in whose light he would never linger, and to his sleeping arrangements with half-cocked pistols and rifle conveniently laid out. We are told how he conducted conversations with a party of Digger Indians, passing around his own pipe for the ceremonial smoke; how he related the story of Tabeau's death five years earlier and pointed out the spot as they passed; how he explained the numerous bones of horses by telling the story of Old Bill Williams and the great horse stealing raid on California in 1840 (in which Carson was not a participant).