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    Christopher "Kit" Carson Carte de Visite Signed "Kit Carson." 2.5" x 4", with a Hoelke & Benecke, St. Louis imprint on verso. A three quarter seated portrait of Carson, dressed in his brigadier general uniform and with his left arm resting on a table. Signed on the mount below the albumen. The signature is unusual because the majority of Carson autographs are signed "C. Carson." The nickname "Kit" was generally only used by close friends of Carson, so seeing this carte de visite signed thusly is significant. This signed CDV is pictured by autograph dealer Charles Hamilton in his 1979 The Signature of America, seen on page 4.

    Together with, George H. Carson Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 7.75" x 9.75", Fayette, Missouri; July 20, 1864. A short letter of introduction from George H. Carson to his uncle, Col. Carson, which was carried from Missouri to New Mexico by Dr. Snyder. It reads in part, "This will be handed you by my fellow townsman and friend Dr. J. F. Snyder who visits your territory upon business. And with some idea I think of making it his permanent home. Dr. Snyder is a highly esteemed and clever gentleman, and any favor that you may be able to show him will be thankfully received & reciprocated &c &c. Our relations are all well so far as I know. Dr. J will give all local news. I think I shall be in New Mexico this fall. Love to you & family." Accompanied by the original transmittal envelope. At the time, Carson was serving as the superintendent of the Bosque Redondo reservation, which interred thousands of Navajo and Apache Indians.

    Also included is a copy of De Witt C. Peters' The Life and Adventures of Kit Carson, The Nestor of the Rocky Mountains From Facts Narrated by Himself. New York: W.R.C. Clark & Meeker, 1858. Second edition. Octavo, [12], iii-xii, 13-534, [2], including frontispiece plates. With 22 plates, and 2 facsimiles of letters. Gilt page edges. Original red cloth covered boards, with gilt illustrations and text on the front and back covers and spine. The group previously sold as part of the Floyd E. Risvold Collection for $66,225 in 2010.


    Christopher Houston Carson (1809-1868), the future famous American frontiersman, was the eleventh of fifteen children. At age seven, his father died and young Carson was forced to leave school and work on the farm. Because he abandoned his education, Carson was illiterate, a fact he tried to hide, although he eventually learned to sign his name. He was soon apprenticed to a saddle maker but, in 1826, ran away with a caravan headed to Santa Fe. He continued on to Taos, New Mexico, and that became his headquarters for the next fourteen years while he made his living as a trapper, miner, teamster, cook, guide, and hunter for exploring parties. In 1842, he chanced to meet John C. Frémont on a Missouri River steamboat. Frémont was looking for a guide to the South Pass and employed Carson as a guide for his Western expeditions of 1842, 1843-44, and 1845. Kit Carson first gained national recognition from Frémont's much-read expedition reports that spoke glowingly of Carson's bravery and prowess. Although most famous as a scout and explorer, Carson also had a distinguished military career. In 1862, he took command of a volunteer New Mexico regiment, which defended the territory against Confederates. Breveted a brigadier general, he ended his career as commander of Fort Garland in Oklahoma. An 1858 biography and a popular series of Wild West "blood and thunder" pulp novels gave Carson an almost mythical status among heroes of the American West, which remains to this day. From the Bret J. Formichi American Civil War Rarities Collection.

    Condition: The CDV is in very good condition, with trivial toning, soiling and wear at the edges and corners. Ink staining and a pencil notation on verso. The letter has usual flattened folds, and has a few areas of foxing and soiling throughout. The book cover is worn, with the corners and spine edges bumped. Slightly skewed. Book pages are lightly foxed throughout, with some toning at the edges. Some lower page edges are chipped.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2019
    26th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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