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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Carson, Christopher 1809-1868 (search)
Carson, Christopher 1809-1868 Popularly known as Kit Carson, military officer; born in Madison county, Ky., Dec. 24, 1809; began a life of adventure when seventeen years old; was a trapper on the plains for eight years; and then hunter for Bent's Fort garrison for eight years more. Soon afterwards he became acquainted with John C. Fremont (q. v.), who employed him as guide on his later explorations. His extensive familiarity with the habits and language of the various Indian tribes in the Western country, and his possession of their confidence, made him exceptionally effective in promoting the settlement of that region. In 1847 he was appointed a second lieutenant in the United States Mounted Rifles; in 1853 drove 6,500 sheep across the mountains into California, and on his return was made Indian agent in New Mexico, where he did much in securing treaties between the government and the Indians. During the Civil War he rendered important service in Colorado, New Mexico, and th