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Kit Carson

Born: December 24, 1809, Madison County, Kentucky
Died: May 23, 1868, (age 58) Fort Lyon, Colorado

Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson was an American frontiersman.

What do you know about Kit Carson?  Try this US Old West History Made Easy Quiz. "Check Your Answers" at the end of the page.

Trivia powered by Prof. Walter1. Carson was eight years old when his father was killed while clearing land. What was the cause of death?

  • Indian attack
  • Falling tree
  • Small pox

2. At age 14, Kit was apprenticed to a saddlemaker (Workman's Saddleshop) in the settlement of Franklin, Missouri. Franklin was situated at the eastern end of what trail, which had opened two years earlier?

  • Santa Fe Trail
  • Oregon Trail
  • Overland Trail

3. During the winter of 1826-1827 he stayed with a trapper and explorer, in Taos, New Mexico, then known as the capital of the fur trade in the Southwest.

  • Matthew Kinkead
  • Amos Moses
  • Frank Skinner

4. Accompanied by Singing Grass [Waa-Nibe], he worked with the Hudson's Bay Company, as well as the renowned frontiersman Jim Bridger, trapping beaver along the Yellowstone, Powder, and Big Horn Rivers, and was found throughout what is now Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Carson's first child, a daughter named Adeline, was born in 1837. Singing Grass gave birth to a second daughter and developed a fever shortly after the child's birth, and died sometime between 1838-40.

  • Fact or Myth?

5. By 1842 he met and became engaged to the daughter of a prominent Taos family: Josefa Jaramillo. After receiving instruction from Padre Antonio José Martinez, he was baptized into the Catholic Church in 1842. When he was 34, he married 14-year-old Josefa, his third wife.  What was the wedding date?

  • February 6, 1843
  • February 12, 1843
  • July 4, 1843

6. That summer he met an army officer on a Missouri River steamboat in Missouri. The officer was preparing to lead his first expedition and was looking for a guide to take him to South Pass. Who was the officer?

  • John C. Fremont
  • Robert E. Lee
  • Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

7. Thirty one days later on October 6, Carson chanced to meet Stephen W. Kearny and his 300 dragoons at the deserted village of Valverde. Kearny was under orders from the Polk Administration to subdue both New Mexico and California, and set up governments there. Learning that California was already conquered, he sent 200 of his men back to Santa Fe, and ordered Carson to guide him back to California so he could stabilize the situation there. Kearny sent the mail on to Washington by another courier.

  • Fact or Myth?

8. In the spring of 1864, 8,000 Navajo men, women and children were forced to march or ride in wagons 300 miles to Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Navajos call this "The Long Walk." Although Carson had ridden home before the march began, he was held responsible by the Navajo for breaking his word that those who surrendered would not be harmed. As many as 300 died along the way, and many more during the next four years of imprisonment. In 1868, after signing a treaty with the U.S. government, remaining Navajos were allowed to return to a reduced area of their homeland, where the Navajo Reservation exists today. Thousands of other Navajo who had been living in the wilderness returned to the Navajo homeland centered around Canyon de Chelly. What do the Navajos call this?

  • "The Long Walk"
  • "The Devil's Trail"
  • "Death on the Trail"

9. When the Civil War ended, and with the Indian campaigns successfully concluded, Carson left the army and took up ranching, finally settling in Boggsville, Colorado (near the current Las Animas on the Purgatory River). Carson died at age 58 from an in the surgeon's quarters in Fort Lyon, Colorado, located east of Las Animas. What was the cause of death?

  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Lung cancer
  • Following Tree

10. Where is Kit Carson buried?

  • Kit Carson Cemetery, Taos, New Mexico
  • Kit Carson Cemetery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Kit Carson Cemetery, Boggsville, Colorado

Kit Carson
[Answers]

  1. Falling tree
  2. Santa Fe Trail
  3. Matthew Kinkead
  4. Fact
  5. February 6, 1843
  6. John C. Fremont
  7. Fact
  8. "The Long Walk"
  9. Aortic aneurysm
  10. Kit Carson Cemetery, Taos, New Mexico

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