He was a teenager when he ran away from home, and the saddlemaker to whom he had been apprenticed, to go West. His brother had joined a caravan bound for Santa Fe, and young Christopher decided to go too. So he borrowed a neighbor’s mule and rode the 100 miles to Independence to meet with the wagon train. His brother told him to go back home. He rode a mile or so before he turned the mule loose and walked back to camp. He was then allowed to join the caravan. It was October 1826. He was missed, but not much. His employer, David Workman, offered a one-cent reward for his return. A year later Workman headed west, too. Kentucky and North Carolina disagree about which state was the birthplace of Christopher Carson. Neither can claim him, however, because his longing to go “a-westering” was nurtured in Missouri, and this laid the foundation for his entire life. New Mexico claims him because he spent most of his life there.

AOWM – December 24