So I finally got off my duff. With only 150 miles left to reach Santa Fe, White decided to break from the slow convoy and push ahead in a faster carriage with his young wife Ann and their infant daughter. He was illiterate, yet spoke more than half a dozen different languages. I can't believe he's not mentioned anywhere in the title or subtitle of this book, because this is basically an expanded biography of Kit Carson. The annual rendezvous of the mountain men was a thing of the past. White read the book, she prayed for my appearance and that she would be saved.
White was driving with his family and a black female servant. A people so unnerved by death could never be great warriors. I was actually angry over this. James Washington; shot in the back during some confusion over a stolen horse. Of course the book could not be complete without the story of the development of the system of Indian Reservations.
A shocked witness demanded to know by what authority he could seize and destroy another man's property. Carson was a good soldier, though, and he actually became, to his embarrassment, a general by the end of his life. By some measures this is odd. His book, , was so well-written and thoroughly researched that he became an instant favorite of mine as an author. His second marriage to Making Out Road was short-lived. Carson was intimately acquainted with the Jicarilla tribe.
A well written history that reads like a novel--what more can we ask for. Hampton Sides has re-created violent events and such inflammatory figures as Kit Carson without bias. We acted friendly with the Indians so as not to make the chief angry. He writes superbly, I can't recommend him enough. It is a story of Manifest Destiny, of the Navajo nation, of General Kearny, of General Carleton's vision of a Utopian Indian reservation, and even the vast terrain of the west, from the Rockies to the desserts to the canyon homes of the Indians took form as an important character in this narrative.
This is a truly outstanding book. Whether busy rescuing a beautiful young woman who had been kidnapped by savage Apaches or being portrayed in any other number of outrageous fictional situations, he becam e, rather grudgingly, famous. He knew every rutted inch of the road and did not see any problems with his friend James White leapfrogging ahead. I would not take people to Fort Sumner and the Bosque Redondo. Kit Carson, more than any figure on the Western stage, filled the role.
This review is not a summary of the events discussed in the book itself. Above all we get wonderful portraits of the landscapes of the Southwest United States present day New Mexico and Arizona. Sides fills a conspicuous void in the history of the American West. From president Polk, who's vison served to wrest much of the southwest United States from mexico, to generals and officers, other trappers and explorers, Indian chiefs and Mexican politicians, the saga of the westward expansion opens before your eyes, with Carson as the central figure and real life hero. With his keen sense of drama and his crackling writing style, this master storyteller has bequeathed us a majestic history of the Old West. His lip, that proud, that determined lip, was compressed with the firmness of a rock between his clenched teeth as he held his devoted hand within the flame, scorching it to the very bone! He lived and married and reproduced both among the Indians and the Mexicans before Manifest Destiny brought the hordes from the east.
This is how history should be written. Like a good soldier, he accepted the assignment, but all that travel took a toll on him and his family life. Without his consent, and without receiving a single dollar, he was becoming a caricature. There were great accomplishments and there were feats of pure evil and brutality. Kit Carson does hold the story together, being involved from the first chapter to the last, but it is a Kit Carson I was not expecting to meet.
My knowledge of the history of our Western expansion and, in particular, our dealings with Native Americans is very limited. The element of surprise had been entirely lost. That's not meant to be particularly negative, but, while I did enjoy this book, and I'm glad I read it, I've really enjoyed some of his other stuff - some newer, but at least one older. Here is a national hero on the level of Daniel Boone, presented with all of his flaws and virtues, in the context of American people's belief that it was their Manifest Destiny to occupy the entire West. He understood the importance of holding peace councils and constantly renewing alliances among tribes, but he did not hesitate to attack any band that had attacked him. Later that day he was picked up by a caravan of Americans and taken to Santa Fe, where he was able to communicate the details of his ordeal to the authorities. I had a hard time reading the last hundred pages of this book; if you have read anything about Native American history in the 1800s, you know how the story ends.
Here is what I liked: - The atrocities committed by both sides, those by the Indians and those by the conquering Americans, are presented without bias. As an adolescent runaway, a teamster, a trapper, a hunter, a scout and guide, a soldier, a transcontinental courier—every turn of his career had been characterized by nearly ceaseless movement over the West. And in more recent years, just the opposite. Imagine the way that our current culture mythologizes someone like Steve Jobs, and you will get a pretty good idea of the role Kit Carson played in the national consciousness circa 1830-1870. His eight-hundred-mile dash made national news and heralded a new age of transport in the last innocent years before construction of the transcontinental railroad, which was then being planned and routed. But this is not merely a biography. Legendary figures like Kit Carson leap to life and history moves at a pulse-pounding pacesweeping the reader along with it.