Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice
Please note that and the Heritage mobile app will be unavailable during scheduled maintenance from approximately 2:00 AM to 3:30 AM Central Time the morning of Sunday, July 22nd. We apologize for any inconvenience.


    Rare Carte de Visite of Kit Carson & Spy Lafayette C. Baker, ca. 1860s. Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson was an American explorer, guide, fur trapper, Indian agent, rancher, and soldier, who traveled through the southwestern and western USA. Carson took a wagon train to the Santa Fe, New Mexico, area. He worked as a fur trapper and got to know the local Indians very well (his first two wives were, respectively, Arapahoe and Cheyenne). John C. Fremont hired him as a guide on an expedition to map the trails to the Pacific Ocean (1843-1844). Carson led Fremont to Oregon and California, traveling across the central Rocky Mountains, through the Great Basin, and across the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Fremont wrote of this trip, making Carson a national hero.

    Lafayette Baker (1826-1868) was the head of the U.S. Secret Service during the Civil War, and wrote History of the United States Secret Service in 1867. The book is generally marred by the self-serving sensationalism that characterized Baker's personality, but the beginning forth-rightly details his start in espionage and the first mission he undertook as a Union spy. Political contacts gained Baker a June 1861 interview with army commander Gen. Winfield Scott, who was desperately in need of intelligence about Confederate military activity around Manassas, VA. Scott recognized Baker's qualities and employed him to undertake a spying mission into Virginia to gain information that five other Union spies had already failed to gather. Furnished with ten $20 gold pieces from Scott's vest pocket, Baker set out on July 11, 1861. Unable to evade the Union pickets at Alexandria, VA, Baker was arrested as a Confederate spy, promptly returned to Washington, and brought before Scott, who with a smile of amusement told him to try again. On his next attempt, Baker did not even make his way across the bridge over the Potomac River before he was once more arrested.

    Very rare and desirable CDV of the pair of these two famous icons, with L. C. Baker sitting in studio, with great coat and hat. Kit Carson is standing in military frock coat above Baker with his hand on Bakers' shoulder. A fantastic CDV. Measures approximately 2.5" x 4".

    very good, mount has dirt, image has some slight discoloration.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    13th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 737

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 December 9 Civil War, Militaria, Arms & Armor - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $615,551