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 gu
ide 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


E.C. Abbott was a cowboy in the great days of the 1870's and 1880's. He came up the trail to Montana from Texas with the long-horned herds which were to stock the northern ranges; he punched cows in Montana when there wasn't a fence in the territory; and he married a daughter of Granville Stuart, the famous early-day stockman and pioneer. For more than fifty years he was known to cowmen from Texas to Alberta as "Teddy Blue." This is his story, as told by Helena Huntington Smith, who says, "My part was to keep out of the way and not mess it up by being literary."
" The story of...a wild and happy cowboy without a care, a man who knew'em all - the harlots and the high rollers, the Cheyenne and the Sioux, the cussin' and the cattle - a fellow whose life was an uproarious adventure that you must on no account miss sharing." - The English Westerners Brand Book.

The whole time I was reading this book I kept thinking how amazing it was that this man remembered so many things about his past in the wild west. Thank you Teddy Blue! Truly one of my favorite reads and I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the old west and the lifestyle of a cowboy.

Review (out of a possible 5)