Dear Old Kit: The Historical Christopher Carson

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Harvey Lewis Carter
University of Oklahoma Press, 1926 - Biography & Autobiography - 250 pages
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The Figure of Kit Carson strides through the literature of the American West in heroic size. Trader, trapper, scout, brigadier general of New Mexico Volunteers, and many other things besides, he has appealed to the public imagination as no other frontiersman has. Many biographies and who versions of his “autobiography” have been published. Yet much of the legend still remains to be separated from the facts, declares the author of this new biography.

“I am an admirer of Carson,” says Mr. Carter, “and have no wish deliberately to debunk him, but I am interested in correcting the statements of uncritical hero worship many by many writers.”

Kit is allowed to speak for himself, as far as possible, through an exact transcription of his dictated reminiscences made from the manuscript in the Newberry Library, Chicago. Persons and places are clearly identified, and Kit’s slips of memory are corrected in the definitive annotation of his account. One hundred years of speculation about the identity of the man who transcribed Carson’s story is ended. Mr. Carter has established positive identification, based on carefully assembled facts. A new assessment of Kit’s character and reputation is included, as well as an annotated account of the last years of his life.

  

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Contents

Last Photograph of Carson 1868 Frontispiece
13
Among the Buffalo
23
The Kit Carson Memoirs 18091856
37
The Santa Fe Trail page 4041
41
Lieutenant Carson 1848
59
Sketch of Carson by Brewerton 1848
78
Area of Carsons Trapping Activities 183141
83
Fremonts Expeditions and Kearnys Route West 108109
109
The Closing Years 18571868
151
Region of Civil War and Indian Wars Campaigns
157
A New Appraisal
179
Early Sketch of Carson
180
Equestrian Statue of Carson by MacMonnies Denver Colorado
189
Carson House and Museum Taos New Mexico
211
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About the author (1926)

Harvey L. Carter , author of a number of books on the West, is John and Harriet Parker Campbell Professor of American History in Colorado College, Colorado Springs.

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