Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Sympathetic Side of Kit Carson Emerges.

Byline: Joseph Ditzler Of the Journal

* Frontiersman's image gets a boost from a work that details the personality of the multifaceted man

History writers of the last 25 years or so found fashion in revisionism as an apology for the first 400 years of American history.

Now along comes Thomas Dunlay's "Kit Carson and the Indians," a worthwhile and largely sympathetic account of the legendary frontiersman's pivotal role in bringing to heel, by force or reason, the tribes of the Southwest.

Carson's fame sprang largely from the pen of Jesse Benton Fremont, daughter of an influential senator from Missouri and wife of John C. Fremont, the so-called "Pathfinder" and an incompetent Civil War general.

Subsequent writers of pulp novels found in Carson an exciting subject and, as straightforward biographers would do later, they "laid it on a leetle thick," in Carson's words.

Nonetheless, Carson killed Indians, starting in 1829 as a trapper on his first outing in a fight with Arizona Apaches, and ending in 1864 at Adobe Walls, where as a colonel of volunteers, he and a contingent of California and New Mexico cavalry and infantry, with two mountain howitzers, held several thousand Comanche and Kiowa warriors at bay. …

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