The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002 Page: 696
696 Southwestern Historical Quarterly April
in his autobiographical narrations, and there are no other corroborating sources.
Interest picks up in chapters three through seven, each of which derives its title
from the various successive roles Carson played: Mountain Man, Guide and Scout,
Indian Agent, Soldier, and Peacemaker.
The Mountain Man chapter reminds readers that many of Carson's attitudes to-
ward Indians were formed in a very different world. The mountain men were trap-
pers, pursuing personal gain, not an intentional or self-aware advance guard of
white incursion into Indian land. They lived with and among Indians, were Anglo-
Franco- Hispano- (or Delaware or Kanaka) themselves, spoke a number of lan-
guages, and played by the rules of their time and place. The generic term "Indi-
an" meant far less than "Shoshone" or "Blackfeet." Dulany writes of a middle
ground and an accommodation never again possible in Euro-American/Indian
The Soldier chapter is both the longest (more than a hundred pages) and the
most problematic, at least for Carson's reputation. The central event is the con-
flict with the Navajo in New Mexico Territory, culminating in the Long Walk to
Bosque Redondo. Here is Carson aligned fully and formally with Anglo-American
expansion into an Indian peoples' land, helping to direct American military force
against Navajo resistance, and personally delivering the surrender-or-face-annihi-
"Complex" remains the only single word definition possible for Kit Carson's re-
lations with the Indians. Able and willing to engage in battle himself under the
right circumstances, he denounced in the strongest terms Col.John Chivington's
attack on the Cheyenne at Sand Creek as unprovoked, unpardonable, and cow-
ardly. Willing to mete out punishment or retribution, he believed, and frequent-
ly stated, that most Indian/white difficulties originated with the latter's
infringements on or outrages of the former. A man who for part of his life knew
and lived by Indian rules, he came to endorse the reservation system, including its
eventual goal of "civilizing" the Indian, as the best alternative.
University of Toledo R. Bruce Way
Homesteads Ungovernable: Families, Sex, Race, and the Law in Frontier Texas,
z823-z860. By Mark M. Carroll. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2oo1. Pp.
ix+252. Acknowledgments, introduction, conclusion, notes, bibliographical
commentary, index. ISBN 0-292-71 228-6. $19.95, paper.)
In his aptly titled Homesteads Ungovernable, historian Mark M. Carroll examines
the intersections of interracial relations, intimacy, frontier households, and the
law in Texas during its Mexican era, Republic period, and early statehood
through the advent of the Civil War. He places his work in the literature on the le-
gal history of American families; the history of families and law in the antebellum
American South; and the history of antebellum Texas families and law. The au-
thor argues that his work fills a need for historical examination of the "larger pat-
terned interrelationship of Texas public and private law, families, sexual
behavior, and gender," along with a study of the effects of frontier conditions,
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page .
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/m1/752/ocr/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.