Sunday, January 4, 2009
KIT CARSON the man, the legend, the story I want to see on film.
Frontier scout, Army officer, trapper and rancher Kit Carson (1809 - 68) was for a time, as Vardis Fisher says in his historical novel Mountain Man, "the most famous man of all". Stories of how many men he had killed, and women he had slept with, were retold and embellished across the frontier.
Born Christopher Houston, he became famous as the superheroic guide who helped explore the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California in 1842. His defence of America's occupation of Los Angeles against Mexico in 1846 only fuelled the myths. As an Indian agent in New Mexico during the Civil War, he brutally persecuted the Navajo, forcing their surrender in 1864.
Carson was the first great Western icon, celebrated in biographies, fiction and dime novels from the 1840's to the 1870's, and dubbed "the greatest Indian fighter the world ever produced". Yet, when the Western matured as a movie genre, he was largely ignored. - Paul simpson, The Rough Guide To Westerns.
Here's a link to a DVD about Kit Carson. Also available on NETFLIX for rental.
American Experience: Kit Carson DVD