By Harvey Lewis, Carter
The determine of equipment Carson strides throughout the literature of the yank West in heroic measurement. dealer, trapper, scout, brigadier normal of recent Mexico Volunteers, and lots 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 continues to be separated from the evidence, announces the writer of this new biography.“I am an admirer of Carson,” says Mr. Carter, “and haven't any want intentionally to debunk him, yet i'm attracted to correcting the statements of uncritical hero worship many via many writers.”Kit is authorized to talk for himself, so far as attainable, via a precise transcription of his dictated memories made of the manuscript within the Newberry Library, Chicago. individuals and areas are sincerely 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 verified optimistic identity, in response to conscientiously assembled proof. a brand new review of Kit’s personality and acceptance is integrated, in addition to an annotated account of the final years of his existence.
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Extra resources for 'Dear Old Kit'': The Historical Christopher Carson
After reading 'Dear Old Kit,' Albert Brown, of Arvada, Colorado, told me that there were descendants of Carson's trapping partner, Dick Owens, living in the Denver area. Through them I was able to learn something of his earlier and later life, concerning which I had known very little (p. 73). Richard Lemon Owings was born in Owings Mill, Maryland, in 1812. Page xiv He grew up near Zanesville, Ohio, and, in 1834, he went West with Caleb Wilkins. His name appears frequently in the Fort Hall ledgers as Lemon Owens or Owings.
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). Later we read about his supervision of the party's efforts to cross a swollen river and about his masterly handling of a large band of hostile Jicarilla Apaches, where he faced them down by drawing a line on the ground and daring them to cross it.
Wiggins said they proceeded to Taos, a town he credited Kit Carson with having founded, and wintered there. Wiggins' description of Taos is convincing proof that he had never seen the place. The next year, 1839, Wiggins said he was with Carson at a great Indian powwow at the Soda Springs, at the foot of Pikes Peak. Actually, Carson was trapping with Dick Owens in the Laramie Mountains that spring, was at the Green River rendezvous that summer, and went to Brown's Hole that fall. Wiggins claimed that his association with Carson covered the twelve years from 1838 to 1850.