Carson, Kit (Christopher Houston Carson), 1809-68, American frontiersman and guide, b. Madison co., Ky. In 1811 he moved with his family to the Missouri frontier. After his father's death, he was apprenticed to a saddler in Old Franklin, an outfitting point on the Santa Fe Trail, but in 1826 he ran away, joining a caravan for Santa Fe and continuing on to Taos, N.Mex., which became his home and his headquarters. For the next 14 years he made his living as a trapper, miner, teamster, cook, guide, and hunter for exploring parties. In 1842, while returning from St. Louis by boat up the Missouri, he met J. C. Frémont, who employed him as a guide for his Western expeditions of 1842, 1843-44, and 1845.

After Los Angeles was taken (1846) by U.S. military forces, Carson was ordered to Washington with dispatches. In New Mexico he met Gen. Stephen Kearny's troops, and Kearny commanded him to guide his forces to California. When Kearny's men were surrounded in California, Carson, E. F. Beale, and a Native American made their way by night through enemy lines to secure aid from San Diego. In 1847 and again in 1848, Carson was sent east with dispatches.

Carson determined to retire to a sheep ranch near Taos, but plundering by Native Americans led him to continue as an Indian fighter. In 1853 he was appointed U.S. Indian agent, with headquarters at Taos, a position he filled with notable success. At the outbreak of the Civil War he helped organize and commanded the 1st New Mexican Volunteers, who engaged in campaigns against the Apache, Navajo, and Comanche in New Mexico and Texas. At the end of the war he was made a brigadier general, in command (1866-67) of Fort Garland, Colo.

Carson first became known to the general public as a figure in Frémont's much-read expedition reports (1845), becoming famous as a result of Frémont's reports of his skill and courage. His considerable exploits were exaggerated by his biographer (1858) and, subsequently, wildly inflated in dozens of Wild West pulp novels. A national hero, Carson eventually attained an almost mythic status in the annals of the American West.

See D. C. Peters, The Life and Adventures of Kit Carson, the Nestor of the Rocky Mountains, from Facts Narrated by Himself (1858, much repr.); Kit Carson's Autobiography (ed. by B. C. Grant, 1926; ed. by M. M. Quaife, 1935, repr. 1966); biographies by S. Vestal (1928) and M. M. Estergreen (1962, repr. 1967); E. L. Sabin, Kit Carson Days (rev. ed. 1935); H. L. Carter, "Dear Old Kit": The Historical Christopher Carson (1990); D. Roberts, Kit Carson, John C. Frémont and the Claiming of the American West (2000); H. Sides, Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West (2006).

Kit or KIT may refer to:


  • Scale model, item sold partially assembled
  • Kitbashing, the process of modifying a commercially available model kit
  • Electronic kit, a set of unassembled parts
  • Robot kit, special construction kit for building robots
  • A certain young boy


  • Body kit, collection of exterior modifications to a car
  • Hush kit, device for reducing noise from an engine
  • Kit car, automobile that is available in kit form



  • Drum kit, collection of drums, cymbals, etc. arranged for convenient playing
  • Kit violin, a small stringed musical instrument
  • Yona-Kit, math rock quartet active in 1994


  • HTML-Kit, HTML editor for Microsoft Windows
  • Rootkit, software intended to conceal running processes, files or system data
  • Software development kit, a set of tools to create an application
  • Kit (computer slang), source software distribution that has been packaged in such a way that it can be unpacked
  • [k] meaning "kit", a common suffix in the titles of Scene released Mac warez, showing that it has been software cracking|cracked.

Science and Academia


  • Kit (association football), the standard equipment and attire worn by players in association football
  • Kit, a British acronym (King's-In-Trust, as it was never owned by the soldier who wore it, but by the King as Commander-in-Chief) referring to the type of gear, weaponry, tools or ordnance used by military forces, police or security personnel, now found in common parlance in the American, British, Australian and Canadian armies


  • Kit-Cat Club, an 18th Century Whig literary club
  • Kit lens, a low-end SLR camera lens
  • Dopp kit, a small bag used for storing men's grooming tools for travel
  • First aid kit, a collection of supplies and equipment for use in giving first aid
  • Kit Kat, a chocolate bar
  • Kit's Coty, a small village in the English county of Kent
  • Press kit, a pre-packaged set of promotional materials of a person, company, or organization
  • KIT (AM), a radio station in Yakima, Washington
  • KIT (Kingston Interactive Television), a digital television service formerly provided by Kingston Communications.
  • KIT, an acronym for "Keep In Touch"
  • Kit, slang for kitten, used in the warriors series of cats.

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