Timeline

A TIMELINE OF KIT CARSON’S LIFE

By Bro Tracy McCallum, 2010


  • 1809 – Born in Madison County Kentucky, the 9th of 14 children. Family moves to Boone’s Lick, Franklin County, Missouri soon after.
  • 1823 – Apprenticed to a Saddle Maker in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • 1826 -Joined a wagon train heading west on the Santa Fe Trail. Came to Taos and hired on as an errand boy, harness repairman and cook. Hired as a wagon train drover to Mexico and back.
  • 1828 – Hired as a trapper on an expedition to California. Spent next 12 years as a trapper & mountain man, using Taos as a base camp.
  • 1835 – Married Wa Ni Beh, Arapaho women, fathered two children with her. She died of childbirth complications after the 2nd delivery.
  • 1841 – Moved to Bent’s Fort in Colorado, was a hunter for the fort.
  • 1842 – Youngest daughter dies, he marries Making-Out Road, a Cheyenne woman. Marriage ends in divorce. Takes his older daughter Adeline, daughter of Wa Ni Beh, to St. Louis to be raised by his sister and attend Catholic school.
  • 1843 – On the return trip to Taos, meets John Charles Fremont, explorer. Meets Josefa Jaramillo and marries her. Purchases 3-room home (now Kit Carson Home & Museum). Makes several expeditions with Fremont over the next several years.
  • 1846 – Mexican-American war breaks out. Leads General Kearney and his troops from Socorro NM to San Diego. At end of war, settles down to ranching in Taos.
  • 1851 – Oldest daughter Adeline returns from St. Louis to join new family.
  • 1853 – Carson & Lucien Maxwell drive a large flock of sheep to California. He and Josefa ransom 3 captive Navajo children & raise them as part of their family.
  • 1854 – Becomes a Mason and becomes a member of Montezuma Lodge 1 in Santa Fe
  • 1856 – Becomes Federal agent to the Ute & Taos Pueblo tribes.
  • 1860 – Petitions for a Charter to establish Masonic Lodge in Taos with Ceran St. Vrain, Ferdinand Maxwell, Peter Joseph and John C. Francisco. Charter was granted on June 1, 1860 to Bent Lodge 204.
  • 1862 – Organizes New Mexico volunteer brigade in Civil War mobilization. Sees action at Valverde and Glorietta Pass.
  • 1863 – Campaigns against the Navajo, forcing them into surrender. Refuses a direct order to march them to Fort Sumner.
  • 1865 – Commissioned as Brigadier General.
  • 1866 – Expands ranching business to Colorado, takes command of Fort Garland.
  • 1867 – Ill health forces him to resign from Army.
  • 1868 – Moves to Boggsville, Colorado with family. Josefa dies of childbirth complications, and Carson dies one month later of aortic aneurism. Children raised and educated by his brother-in-law Thomas Boggs.
  • 1869 – Bodies of Carson & Josefa moved to Taos, NM and interred near their Taos home. Graves are located in Kit Carson Park, Taos.