photo: Nevada State Museum
Kit Carson's stopover in Northern Nevada during his journey to map the west during
the 1840s left an indelible mark on an area that bears his name in the town of
Carson City, as well as the areas of Carson Valley and Carson Pass.
he ran away from his Kentucky home at the age of 17, making his way to New Mexico
territory where he gained notoriety as a hunter, trapper and guide. By 1842,
his reputation earned him a spot on a mission to map California with then Lt.
John C. Fremont of the Army Corps of Engineers. It was during that trip that
Carson and Fremont happened upon unchartered portions of Northern Nevada, creating
the maps - with references to "Carson Pass" -
that would guide the settlers that followed. Ironically, Carson would not visit
Carson City until after it had been settled.
In 1846, during the Mexican-American
War, Carson joined the U.S. Army's march on California. In 1854 he was appointed
agent for the Ute and Apache tribes in Taos, New Mexico. Carson's military life
extended to the Civil War where, as a brevet brigadier general, he led volunteers
from New Mexico in 1865. He died three years later.
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