Kit Carson: A Pattern for Heroes

By Thelma S. Guild; Harvey L. Carter | Go to book overview

Preface

The first biography of Kit Carson was published ten years before his death. A number of others have appeared since that time, some better than others. Why, then, another life of Carson? The answer to this question can be briefly stated.

When, in 1968 on the hundredth anniversary of his death, one of the present authors published 'Dear Old Kit': The Historical Christopher Carson, with a New Edition of the Carson Memoirs, it was something of a landmark in Carson bibliography. This work has now been out of print for several years. No biography currently in print utilizes the contributions to Carson scholarship made in 'Dear Old Kit'. The number and length of the footnotes in that work were a boon to Carson scholars but a formidable obstacle to those who wished to read it for information and enjoyment. A more conventional biography that embodies the reliability of 'Dear Old Kit' in more readable form is sorely needed. Closed minds and permanent prejudices still exist, at opposite poles, concerning Carson. Between them lies a great segment of the population to whom Kit Carson is a familiar name but little else. It is this body of the reading public that the present authors have endeavored to reach, as well as those who delight in any new work on Carson.

It has been the aim of the authors to narrate the life of Kit Carson chronologically, against a descriptive background of the physical environment and an exposition of the social milieu in wihch

-ix-

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Kit Carson: A Pattern for Heroes
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps viii
  • Contents viii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter 1 - Moving West 1
  • Chapter 2 - Across the Prairie 16
  • Chapter 3 - Too Small, Too Young, Too Green 26
  • Chapter 4 - Trapping to California 34
  • Chapter 5 - Rocky Mountain Men 46
  • Chapter 6 - Kit Takes a Wife 59
  • Chapter 7 - Blackfoot Country 70
  • Chapter 8 - Decline of the Mountain Men 83
  • Chapter 9 - Carson Meets Frémont 96
  • Chapter 10 - Lost in the Great Basin 108
  • Chapter 11 - Across the High Sierra 122
  • Chapter 12 - Waiting for War 138
  • Chapter 13 - The Conquest of California 151
  • Chapter 14 - Famous Dispatch Rider 163
  • Chapter 15 - Farmer and Scout 180
  • Chapter 16 - Agent to the Utes 198
  • Chapter 17 - Kit Fights to Save the Union 218
  • Chapter 18 - The Navajo Campaign 231
  • Chapter 19 - The Coup at Adobe Walls 250
  • Chapter 20 - General Carson and the Utes 261
  • Chapter 21 - Adios 276
  • Afterword 285
  • Notes 297
  • Bibliography 335
  • Index 347
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