His exploits on the American frontier inspired dozens of dime novels. But the stories told in these wildly popular books belie the complexities of the real Kit Carson, whose life embodies the contradictions in the story of the American West.
An illiterate mountain man, he was fluent in Spanish and five Indian languages; he twice married Native American women, yet led a brutal war against the Navajo. When the West was a mystery to most Americans, Carson mastered it, and his expertise made him not only famous, but also sought after. Eventually, by helping to spur a migration that would change the West forever, he unwittingly became an agent in the destruction of the life he loved.
Combining rich archival materials of the period with original recreations this AMERICAN EXPERIENCE production brings the legendary trapper, scout, and soldier to vivid life, and provides a lens on a pivotal but little-understood era in American history.
The converging forces, circumstances, personalities and events that propelled a group of English men and women west across the Atlantic in 1620.
The Chiricahua Apache medicine man and warrior who refused to accept white man's 'civilization.' Part of The Wild West collection.
Joseph Goebbels, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany, was the mastermind behind Adolf Hitler's success.
Legendary bank robber John Dillinger garnered the admiration of many struggling Americans, but FBI took him down with a message: crime doesn't pay.
Meet the Wizard of Odd. Robert Ripley was a new media star and the most popular man in America.
The worldwide migration by eager gold-seekers turned California into a land of opportunity and fierce competition.
General Douglas MacArthur led American troops in World Wars I and II before being fired by President Harry Truman during the Korean War.
Marcus Garvey, a black nationalist leader from Jamaica, had great successes and failures before being jailed and deported from the US in 1927.