The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Carson, Christopher
CARSON, Christopher, popularly known as Kit Carson, an American mountaineer, trapper, guide, and soldier, born in Madison co., Ky., Dec. 24, 1809, died at Fort Lynn, Colorado, May 23, 1868. While he was yet an infant his family emigrated to what is now Howard co., Mo. At 16 years of age he was apprenticed to a saddler, with whom he continued two years. The next eight years of his life were passed as a trapper, which pursuit he relinquished on receiving the appointment of hunter to Bent's fort, where he continued for eight years more. He was then engaged by Fremont as guide in his explorations. In 1847 he received an appointment as lieutenant in the rifle corps of the army. In 1853 he drove 6,500 sheep to California, a difficult but successful undertaking. On his return to Taos he was appointed Indian agent in New Mexico, and was instrumental in bringing about many treaties with the Indians. During the civil war he rendered important services in New Mexico, Colorado, and the Indian territory, rose to the rank of colonel, and was brevetted brigadier general. He died from the rupture of an artery in the neck. See “Life of Kit Carson,” by Charles Burdett (Philadelphia, 1869).