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Kit Carson signs Sawtooth Mountain

December
25
1839

On this day in 1839, frontiersman Kit Carson allegedly carved his name and the date on a huge boulder on Sawtooth Mountain in the Davis Mountains. Carson was born in 1809 in Kentucky and grew up in Missouri. He ran away to Santa Fe in 1826 and subsequently embarked on an arduous and wide-ranging career as a fur trapper. As a guide and hunter for John C. Frémont in the 1840s, he gained national fame through Frémont's published reports. Carson was an Indian agent in Taos, New Mexico, in the 1850s. He served in the Mexican War and in the Civil War, commanding a New Mexico volunteer regiment in the battle of Valverde. His connections to Texas history included helping foil the Snively Expedition in 1843 and leading the attack against a large number of Kiowas and Comanches in the first battle of Adobe Walls in 1864. He died in Colorado in 1868. Engineers of the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation discovered the inscription on Sawtooth Mountain in 1941.

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