I guess you all know by now that I can’t go very long without writing about someone or something in history. You probably have learned more about Kentucky from reading my blog than you ever dreamed you would know or maybe more than you ever wanted to know! I think my children wonder where I come up with all this stuff but I just find it interesting.
I, also, find it very enjoyable to read about your states or countries and places I may never get a chance to visit.
Mathew Kinkead, a friend of Kit’s father, was a woodsman and explorer and taught Kit the skills of being a trapper. Kit attended an annual mountain man rendezvous in Wyoming when he was twenty five. There was an Arapaho Indian tribe camped nearby and Kit met an Indian woman by the name of Waa-Nibe. (Singing Grass). He and Singing Grass had two children. She died giving birth to the second child. Kit then married a Cheyenne woman, Making-Out-Road in 1841 but she left him and returned to her tribe shortly after their marriage.
In 1842, he met and married the daughter of a prominent Taos, New Mexico family and was baptized in the Catholic Church. Josefa, his new wife, was fifteen and Kit was thirty four. They raised eight children together.
Kit went to work as a guide for John C. Fremont. He helped guide Freemont to Oregon and California and through much of the Central Rocky Mountains. Kit had lived and traveled among the Indians for years and was known as a man of his word.
When the Mexican War was over, he took up ranching and was appointed a federal Indian Agent for Northern New Mexico until 1861 when he resigned to help organize the New Mexico Volunteer Infantry. They waged economic war against the Navajo destroying their crops, orchards and livestock. For years the Navajo had preyed on the Utes, Pueblos, Hopis and Zunis, raiding their camps. These tribes joined Carson and the Navajo could not defend themselves. In 1864, the Navajo surrendered to Carson and eight thousand Navajo men, women and children walked 300 miles from Arizona to Fort Sumner, New Mexico where they remained until 1868.
Carson moved to Colorado following the Civil War to continue ranching. He died in 1868 at the age of sixty from old wounds and his remains are buried near his home in Taos.
Kit Carson was a man of great modesty and never boasted of his achievements. He rendered great service to the government in New Mexico, Colorado and the Indian territory and was made brigadier general for his meritorious conduct.
Josefa Carson died shortly before Kit as a result of complications of childbirth. She would have been forty one years of age.
Note: We talk about our childhoods, our memories, and the way things were for us years ago. I often think about what life was like for people of this generation, especially women.
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