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.
An unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America's most enduring and influential storytellers.
Richard Sears and Alva Curtis Roebuck brought consumer goods to the hands of every American with their Sears and Roebuck catalogue.
As the star attraction of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Annie Oakley thrilled audiences around the world with her shooting feats. Part of the Wild West collection.
Silent film actress Mary Pickford played a pivotal role in bringing Hollywood into the center of the motion picture industry.
Engineer James Eads tamed the mighty Mississippi, turning New Orleans into the second largest port in the nation.
America's first First Lady defined the role of the President's wife and in the process changed the face of the American presidency.
Brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright built a flying machine that made its first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.
Football coach Knute Rockne of Notre Dame was a pivotal figure in the sudden rise of sports to a position of power in American culture.