|Christopher "Kit" Carson
He was Among the Most Skillful, Knowledgeable U.
Few men have led such a turbulent adventurous life as
Christopher “Kit” Carson. For more than a dozen years he
lived in the West fighting horse and fur thieves,
hostile Indians, trappers and renegades. ■ He fought in
the Mexican War and served as adviser and guide to Lt.
John Fremont on his first two expeditions to the West. ■
Kit Carson was born on Christmas Eve, 1809, in Madison
County, Kentucky. He was the sixth of Lindsey Carson's
ten children. The family originated in Dumfries, from
where Kit's grandfather, Alexander, a Presbyterian
minister, moved to Ulster before emigrating to North
Carolina about 1720. ■ The Carsons were well-suited to
the frontier environment. They had been fighters,
preachers, and adventurers for generations in their
native Scotland. Alexander's five sons pushed on further
west. Son Lindsey moved on to Kentucky where Kit was
born. ■ Kit grew up in an environment menaced by
Indians. The family moved into Missouri and more Indian
fighting. Kit's mother wanted him to be a lawyer, but
his father was killed in an accident, so he became a
saddler's apprentice. ■ He listened to tales of hunters
and trappers who came to the saddlery and decided that
was the life for him. From then on his life was a
continuous adventure that constantly called on his
natural stamina and resourcefulness in a rugged land
where there was no law. As a result, he gained a
reputation as the most resourceful frontiersman in
America and was sought out by many crossing the Rockies.
■ In his later years he served as a brevet brigadier
general in charge of Fort Garland in Colorado, on March
23, 1868, a legend of the American West.