Kit Carson and the Indians by Thomas W. Dunlay

By Thomas W. Dunlay

Often portrayed through earlier historians because the maximum consultant and Indian fighter within the West, equipment Carson (1809–68) has turn into in recent times a historic pariah—a brutal assassin who betrayed the Navajos, an unwitting dupe of yankee enlargement, and a racist. Many historians now query either his attractiveness and his position within the pantheon of yank heroes. In Kit Carson and the Indians, Tom Dunlay urges us to re-evaluate Carson once more. To Dunlay, Carson used to be easily a guy of the 19th century whose racial perspectives and activities have been very similar to these of his contemporaries.

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Kit Carson and the Indians

Frequently portrayed through previous historians because the maximum consultant and Indian fighter within the West, package Carson (1809–68) has develop into in recent times a old pariah—a brutal assassin who betrayed the Navajos, an unwitting dupe of yank enlargement, and a racist. Many historians now query either his acceptance and his position within the pantheon of yank heroes.

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One traveler “fresh from the canebrakes of Arkansas” was, however, directed to the real Kit. ” Kit replied that he was, and the Arkansawyer looked over the man before him, about five-foot-five, stocky and bowlegged, and altogether unimpressive. “Look ’ere, stranger,” he said, “you can’t come that over me, any how. 26 The story is one of several that show Carson’s mixture of embarrassment and amusement at his own fame, and the self-deprecating way he reacted to such displays of adulation. It also shows one of the reasons why so many people liked Kit.

19 There were those within the historical profession who challenged the attack on Carson’s good repute. Following the 1972 incident at Colorado College noted above, Harvey Carter, professor emeritus there, whose “Dear Old Kit” included the definitive version of Carson’s auwill the real kit carson please stand up? 7 tobiography, published an article defending the “Slandered Scout”; it appeared in the Denver Westerners’ Brand Book, which assured that it would have a sympathetic audience but not the broad one that Carter might have hoped for.

2 Fischer and others see the people of the Anglo-Scottish border as possessing a common and distinctive culture, shaped by centuries of conflict between the two kingdoms and by persistent border raiding even in times of official peace. In war, they were a great military asset to their respective kingdoms; in peace, they were a perpetual nuisance to law and order. Religious conflict produced a region whose inhabitants, however bitterly opposed to each other, were also more like each other than any others in Britain.

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