m. 11 February 1796
m. abt. 1835
Facts and Events
Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson (December 24, 1809 – May 23, 1868) was an American frontiersman. He had a few paying jobs including mountain man (fur trapper), wilderness guide, Indian agent, and American Army officer. Carson became a frontier legend in his own lifetime via biographies and news articles. Exaggerated versions of his exploits were the subject of dime novels.
Carson left home in rural present-day Missouri at age 16 and became a mountain man and trapper in the West. He traveled to Spanish California, and north through the Rocky Mountains. He lived among and married into the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes. He was hired by John C. Fremont as a guide through much of California, Oregon, and the Great Basin area. They mapped and wrote a commentary on the Oregon Trail for the convenience of westward-bound settlers. Carson achieved national fame through Fremont's accounts of the expeditions.
During the Mexican-American war Carson was a scout and courier, celebrated for his rescue mission after the Battle of San Pasqual and for his coast-to-coast journey from California to Washington, DC to deliver news of the conflict in California to the U.S. government at the Capitol. In the 1850s he was appointed as the Indian Agent to the Ute and Jicarilla Apaches.
In the American Civil War, he led a regiment of mostly Hispanic volunteers from New Mexico on the side of the Union at the Battle of Valverde in 1862. When the Confederate threat to New Mexico was eliminated, Carson led forces to suppress the Navajo, Mescalero Apache, and the Kiowa and Comanche Indians.
Carson was breveted a Brigadier General and took command of Fort Garland, Colorado. Poor health forced him to retire from military life. Carson was married three times and had ten children. Carson died at Fort Lyon, Colorado, of an aortic aneurysm on May 23, 1868. He is buried in Taos, New Mexico, next to his third wife Josefa Jaramillo.