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The Resource Kit Carson : the life of an American border man, by David Remley

Kit Carson : the life of an American border man, by David Remley

Label
Kit Carson : the life of an American border man
Title
Kit Carson
Title remainder
the life of an American border man
Statement of responsibility
by David Remley
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Remley, an author of other books related to the American West, chronicles the life of Christopher "Kit" Carson, challenging both the romanticized notions of him portrayed in dime novels of the nineteenth century and negative contemporary views that he was an Indian killer. He aims to present a more balanced view of the man, with stories that depict him as humane and responsible as well as those illustrating his violence and aggression. He describes how Carson lived and worked among Indian people, represented them as a government agent, married an Arapaho woman, and was also a trapper, guide, hunter, mountain man, and frontiersman on the unstable borders where races and cultures mixed, as well as his Scots-Irish heritage and his part in the Indian campaigns of General James H. Carleton
Member of
Writing style
Review
  • Remley (Crooked Road: The Story of the Alaska Highway) separates the myth from the man in this engrossing portrait of frontiersman Carson (1809–1868), Dime novels about Carson began to appear well before his death, ruthlessly exploiting his name in fanciful fictions. In the unheroic reality, as Remley tells it, Carson left Missouri at age 16 for a life as a trapper and mountain man, "traveling the Rockies and the Far West, fighting with and living among Indians, getting revenge, killing while being shot at, recovering stolen horses, wading freezing rivers, hunting game, and surviving short days and long nights in snowbound winter camps." Marrying his third wife in 1843, he survived an Indian attack while a guide and adviser on John Frémont's 1840s Oregon-California expeditions; published reports of those expeditions brought Carson unwanted fame. Contrasting dangerous days and rip-roaring action with poignant moments of Carson's family life, Remley challenges recent revisionist representations of Carson as a "trigger-happy" outlaw and scoundrel. Instead, the nomadic Carson emerges as an aggressive, helpful, and caring man, who "matured intellectually and ethically as he grew older." Remley's Old West overview permeates this rich and rewarding work of scholarship. 25 b&w illus. (May) --Staff (Reviewed March 14, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 11, p)
  • Kit Carson (1809–68), a genuine American frontier hero in his own time, received much critical reinterpretation in the late 20th century as a glorified Indian killer. Remley (Adios Nuevo Mexico: The Santa Fe Journal of John Watts in 1859 ) follows the lead of Tom Dunlay's Kit Carson & the Indians to reject generational chauvinism to portray Carson according to the mores of his own frontier border culture and to emphasize the influence of his Scotch-Irish devotion to duty. The result is a biography showing Carson as a full participant in a deeply multicultural frontier society. Carson's early unquestioned embrace of frontier justice for immediate and fierce retribution is contrasted to his later rejection of punishing entire nations for the violent actions of a few, such as his public condemnation of the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre of Cheyenne and Arapaho despite his own role as an officer under General Carleton in the brutal subjugation of the Navajo in 1863–64. VERDICT This is highly recommended as a useful and balanced academic study, but the colorful writing of Hampton Sides's Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West may have more appeal to general readers.— Nathan E. Bender, Laramie, WY --Nathan E. Bender (Reviewed April 1, 2011) (Library Journal, vol 136, issue 6, p93)
  • A fair-minded, sympathetic reappraisal of the Kentucky-born mountain man who was more of a guide and trapper than killer of Indians. Legends of wild frontiersman Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson (1809–1868) sprang up by the mid-1850s. Remley demonstrates (Bell Ranch: Cattle Ranching in the Southwest, 1824–1947, 1993, etc.) that most of these legends had little grounding in fact. From the time he ran off from his apprenticeship at a saddle shop in Franklin, Mo., to his death at his last home in Fort Lyon, Colo., Carson was a man of action, making his livelihood as a trapper, guide, government scout and Indian agent. He was also illiterate, and dictated his early exploits in 1856 while living in Taos, N.M., with his third wife and numerous children. Later, his tales were imaginatively exploited in dime-store potboilers feeding Eastern readers' taste for the lurid. Remley attempts to shade in a more complex portrait of this anti-hero, less as a "simpleminded rascal with a rifle" who had helped lead the Navajo removal in Arizona and New Mexico, and more as a conduit between the whites and Indians, a man who learned Indian languages and had Indian wives. The author depicts Carson as very much a product of his Scots-Irish upbringing—from a large family of hardscrabble migrant farmers, clannish, fierce under attack, loyal to strong leaders. Having moved with his family from Kentucky to Missouri, Carson lost his father when the boy was eight, and he grew rebellious and independent. Traders to the saddle shop at Franklin, located at the end of the Santa Fe Trail, fueled his imagination, and he soon ran away to join a scouting party headed into the Rocky Mountains. Trading beaver skins was more profitable than gold, and his sure-shot survival skills attracted the likes of Lt. John C. Frémont, and later Gen. James H. Carleton, on government expeditions out West. Remley is a skillful narrator of this true-grit life. With a biographical essay and index, this proves a solid, clear-eyed history lesson in the making of the Wild West.  (Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2011)
Biography type
individual biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
394806
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Remley, David A
Dewey number
  • 978/.02092
  • B
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
Index
index present
LC call number
F592.C33
LC item number
R46 2011
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
The Oklahoma western biographies
Series volume
v. 27
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Carson, Kit
  • Pioneers
  • Scouts (Reconnaissance)
  • Soldiers
  • West (U.S.)
  • Frontier and pioneer life
Target audience
adult
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
the life of an American border man
Label
Kit Carson : the life of an American border man, by David Remley
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
A young boy in the schoolhouse -- The only use for a saddle -- Better exchanges than gold -- "Shuch thing never has been known until late" -- A clear steady blue eye -- "Life yet, life yet" -- "I done so" -- "Burn the damn thing" -- "I do not wish to incur any debts" -- "My duty as well as happiness" -- Just another call to duty
Dimensions
23 cm.
Extent
xxx, 289 pages
Isbn
9780806141725
Isbn Type
(hardcover : alk. paper)
Lccn
2010037350
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, map
System control number
  • 663773407
  • (OCoLC)663773407
Label
Kit Carson : the life of an American border man, by David Remley
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
A young boy in the schoolhouse -- The only use for a saddle -- Better exchanges than gold -- "Shuch thing never has been known until late" -- A clear steady blue eye -- "Life yet, life yet" -- "I done so" -- "Burn the damn thing" -- "I do not wish to incur any debts" -- "My duty as well as happiness" -- Just another call to duty
Dimensions
23 cm.
Extent
xxx, 289 pages
Isbn
9780806141725
Isbn Type
(hardcover : alk. paper)
Lccn
2010037350
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, map
System control number
  • 663773407
  • (OCoLC)663773407

Library Locations

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      37.377573 -76.770995
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