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Kit Carson Connection

              

Kit Carson Connection


by Marti Talbott

 (c) 2000

John Carson was born on May 3, 1761  in Henry County, Virginia.  At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, he would have been only 14 years old and therefore was drafted late in the conflict.  (See Bounty Land).  He married Hester Wyley and later ***Polly Lewis who was born in 1767.  We know John and Polly lived for a time in Kentucky where their son, ***John Samual Carson was born on March 6, 1794.

The elder ***John Carson died in 1845 and is buried beside Polly in Rush County, Indiana in the Alger Cemetery.  Polly died in 1852.  The Promise is based on the lives of John, Hester and Polly Carson as they helped begin the great migration west. Broken Pledge is the sequel.
  
In 1770, there were five thousand people west of the Appalachians.  In 1840 there were eight million.

 ***John Carson - married Polly Lewis
***Son - John Samual Carson - first wife unknown
***Daughter - Mahala Carson - married Joseph Taylor
***Daughter - Rocella B. Taylor - married James Hiriam McClurg
***Son - James Lloyd McClurg - married Martha Mary Rhoades

The Kit Carson connection:

There is a major discrepancy between Grace McClurg Anderson’s recollection of the family genealogy and that given in other records.  The discrepancy involves the name of the third wife of ***John Samual Carson.  Grace Anderson claimed that his third wife was named Rebecca Hockett.  In both the family tree and in the material given by Mrs. Alice Hogsett in her search of proof of the Daughters of the Revolution, the name of the third wife of John Samual Carson was Thursa Jessup.  Noted also is James Lloyd McClurg’s remembrance of hearing of a Grandfather Jessup.  James Lloyd McClurg and Grace McClurg Anderson were brother and sister, and the children of Rocella Taylor McClurg.

(From the records of Grace McClurg Anderson)  My great-grandfather Carson (***John Samual Carson) married three times.  My grandmother, *** Mahala Carson was born to his first marriage.  Aunt Hulda Carson Gibson was her full sister - older I believe.  There were also eight sons of this first marriage: William, Alison, Anderson, Joseph, Allen, Elijah and Asbury.  One Son named Asbury died in infancy.  My own brother, Asbury McClurg was named after this son.

John Samual Carson’s second wife was Sarah LaRue who was quite a young woman.  In those days the laundry was usually done out of doors.  After having spent much time with her hands in the heated wash suds rubbing and scrubbing the soiled clothing on a roughly grooved wash board; this young wife proceeded with the help of the two girls to rinse the laundry in the nearby horse watering trough.  This water was cold, very cold.  Thus this good woman became ill and died of pneumonia only a few months after her marriage.

The third wife’s name was Rebecca L. Hockett of Noblesville, Indiana, born January 9, 1821 and died November 11, 1804.  Two more sons were born: Verlin and John Christopher.  The later was locally called, “Kit Carson.”  Members of my family have always referred to John Christopher Carson as the scout, Kit Carson.  However, no definite data has been uncovered to give credence to that identity.

To John Samual Carson and Rebecca L. Hockett was also born a daughter, Nancy, in Noblesville, Indiana, November 21, 1851.  She died January 4, 1949.  Rebecca Carson lived through four wars: the Civil War, The Spanish American War and both World Wars, doing her bit for her world.

(As told to Martha Inez, daughter of Lloyd and Mattie McClurg while living in Monte Vista, Colorado in 1943)  Kit Carson was the half brother of our grandmother Mahala Carson.  I will try to relate to you what an old lady, who’s husband’s father (Colonel Pfieffer) was Kit Carson’s best friend, told me.  She stated that they were inseparable and thought a great deal of each other.  Both were Government Scouts and Officers in the Army.  The fought the Indians together and on many occasions saved each other’s lives.  She admits, however, that Kit Carson was the braver and usually led the Cavalry.

Kit Carson was ostracized from the Carson family because he wouldn’t embrace the Quaker faith and was too wild.  In other words, to them he was a black sheep.  Kit’s mother was a Jessup and they were strict Quakers.

Kit explored this valley (Monte Vista, Colorado) and was one of the first to discover it.  He  knew it well before Pike or Gunnison either one came here.  In fact, they each had asked him to guide them.  Kit’s home was in Taos, New Mexico.  His first wife was an Indian woman.  He loved her very much and at her death he sent a message by Pony Express to Colonel Pfieffer here in the valley to come to the funeral.  He and his first wife are buried together in the Taos Cemetery with a beautiful head stone given by the Daughters of the American Revolution.  She (the old woman) showed me a picture of it.  She had a picture of Kit, too.  I would say that he and Daddy (James Lloyd McClurg) resemble a great deal even to the mustaches.  Also, she had a picture of Kit’s third son.

She told many interesting tales as she thought of them.  She reminded me a great deal of Grandmother McClurg and of course her mind was hazy in spots and she couldn’t remember dates at all.  One tale in particular she told of Wagon wheel Gap (between Creed and Lake City).  Upon receiving word at the Fort that a whole caravan of covered wagons had been attacked and massacred from the only survivor, who was wounded and rode at night on horse back to the fort.  Colonel Pfieffer and Kit set out with an army quite small, but of brave men.  It took them three days of fast hard riding.  When they got there, they found a wheel hanging from the tree with scalped bodies hanging from the wheel.  Thus - Wagon Wheel Gap.  At that place the Canyon is very narrow.  A little way on up, they found the Indians.  All day they fought with Kit leading them.  He was slightly nicked and the blood flowed off the hill sides from dead Indians and the whites.  With the loss of a great many men, they finally, a sun down, put the Indians on the run and peace was established pretty well after that day.  It was Kit’s job to keep the Indians under control.

Another adventure took place here close to Monte Vista at Rock Creek.  Kit and the Colonel with two other men were exploring.  They came upon an Indian Chief and warriors.  A fight ensued.  Colonel Pfieffer declared he shot the Chief.  So did Kit.  I guess it happened so fast that they weren’t sure.  Anyway, they took the chief’s coat and a rope.  This rope was made of human hair all black except about five feet of white hair and brown hair taken from white people.  It was around twenty feet long.  The coat was a long affair.  She had it there that day and my husband put it on.  It had beads all over it.  It was tanned deer hide and a beautiful thing.

Most people claim that Kit Carson was uneducated, but she had a letter he had written to Colonel Pfieffer.  She had it encased in glass so it could be read on both sides.  The penmanship was perfect and there was only one misspelled word.  He told of a transaction of land to Col. Pfieffer’s son, (her husband) which was lost I guess.  Kit Carson lost all of his too, through a government misunderstanding.  The homesteaders came in and claimed it.  He also warned Colonel Pfieffer not to drink so much.  He also spoke in the his letter of a release for a certain man and said he would meet Colonel Pfieffer at the Fort.  Kit Carson must have had some religious convictions for he baptized Mrs. Pfieffer’s husband.

While most accounts of Kit’s life do not agree with our family records, especially concerning dates and places, it is agreed Kit Carson said his mother’s name was Rebecca and he had a sister named Nancy.  Perhaps our ancestor’s name was actually Rebecca Thursa  Jessup.  We do know this for sure - we are the descendants of Quakers.

Kit Carson was ostracized from the Carson family because he wouldn't embrace the Quaker faith and was too wild.  In other words, to them he was a black sheep.  Kit’s mother was a Jessup and they were strict Quakers.

Kit explored this valley (Monte Vista, Colorado) and was one of the first to discover it.  He  knew it well before Pike or Gunnison either one came here.  In fact, they each had asked him to guide them.  Kit’s home was in Taos, New Mexico.  His first wife was an Indian woman.  He loved her very much and at her death he sent a message by Pony Express to Colonel Pfieffer here in the valley to come to the funeral.  He and his first wife are buried together in the Taos Cemetery with a beautiful head stone given by the Daughters of the American Revolution.  She (the old woman) showed me a picture of it.  She had a picture of Kit, too.  I would say that he and Daddy (James Lloyd McClurg) resemble a great deal even to the mustaches.  Also, she had a picture of Kit’s third son.

She told many interesting tales as she thought of them.  She reminded me a great deal of Grandmother McClurg and of course her mind was hazy in spots and she couldn’t remember dates at all.  One tale in particular she told of Wagon wheel Gap (between Creed and Lake City).  Upon receiving word at the Fort that a whole caravan of covered wagons had been attacked and massacred from the only survivor, who was wounded and rode at night on horse back to the fort.  Colonel Pfieffer and Kit set out with an army quite small, but of brave men.  It took them three days of fast hard riding.  When they got there, they found a wheel hanging from the tree with scalped bodies hanging from the wheel.  Thus - Wagon Wheel Gap.  At that place the Canyon is very narrow.  A little way on up, they found the Indians.  All day they fought with Kit leading them.  He was slightly nicked and the blood flowed off the hill sides from dead Indians and the whites.  With the loss of a great many men, they finally, a sun down, put the Indians on the run and peace was established pretty well after that day.  It was Kit’s job to keep the Indians under control.

Another adventure took place here close to Monte Vista at Rock Creek.  Kit and the Colonel with two other men were exploring.  They came upon an Indian Chief and warriors.  A fight ensued.  Colonel Pfieffer declared he shot the Chief.  So did Kit.  I guess it happened so fast that they weren't sure.  Anyway, they took the chief’s coat and a rope.  This rope was made of human hair all black except about five feet of white hair and brown hair taken from white people.  It was around twenty feet long.  The coat was a long affair.  She had it there that day and my husband put it on.  It had beads all over it.  It was tanned deer hide and a beautiful thing.

Most people claim that Kit Carson was uneducated, but she had a letter he had written to Colonel Pfieffer.  She had it encased in glass so it could be read on both sides.  The penmanship was perfect and there was only one misspelled word.  He told of a transaction of land to Col. Pfieffer’s son, (her husband) which was lost I guess.  Kit Carson lost all of his too, through a government misunderstanding.  The homesteaders came in and claimed it.  He also warned Colonel Pfieffer not to drink so much.  He also spoke in the his letter of a release for a certain man and said he would meet Colonel Pfieffer at the Fort.  Kit Carson must have had some religious convictions for he baptized Mrs. Pfieffer’s husband.

While most accounts of Kit’s life do not agree with our family records, especially concerning dates and places, it is agreed Kit Carson said his mother’s name was Rebecca and he had a sister named Nancy.  Perhaps our ancestor’s name was actually Rebecca Thursa  Jessup.  We do know this for sure - we are the descendants of Quakers.

-end-


                                

 

 

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