Carson City, the capitol of Nevada, is about 30 miles south of Reno.  It is a picturesque town filled with slot machines like every town and gas station in the state.  This week we have a bucket with an Uranian Handle so look for things to break, change and suddenly pop up that are either electronic or via electronic means.  In my case this meant my Samsung 6 got pushed out my head by my dog, Ruffian, while I was reading and smashed the front glass.  I found out that unlike Apples, Samsungs are not repairable, or at least not easily, hence why the newest ones are under warranty and the old ones, are cheap.

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NEVADA  is a  Spanish word meaning ” snow-clad ” or ” snowy land,” originally applied to a snow-capped mountain range on the Pacific slope), and it is one of the far western states of the American Union, lying between 35° and 42° N. and 114° 1′ 34″ and 120° 1′ 34″ W. (370 and 430 W. of Washington).

It is bounded N. by Oregon and Idaho, E. by Utah and Arizona, the Colorado River separating it in part from the latter state, and S. and W. by California.

Nevada ranks sixth in size among the states of the Union and with the minor  exception of its N.E. and S.E. corners, the state lies wholly within the Great Basin, the floor of which is really a vast table-land between 4000 and 5000 ft. above the sea. This plateau, however, is not a plain, but contains many buttes and mesas and isolated mountain. ranges rising from loco to 8000 ft. above its surface.

In the N.E. an unnamed range of highlands, with an E. and W. trend, forms the water-parting between the streams tributary to the Humboldt river in Nevada and those that flow into the Snake river through Idaho and Oregon and to the Pacific Ocean.

This range is very broken and ill-defined, with peaks often reaching altitudes of from 9000 to 12,000 ft., and with numerous spurs diverging N. and S. from the main divide. Between this ridge and the valley of the Colorado river lies all that portion of the Great Basin included within the state. The surface of this table-land is very rugged, and frequently broken by mountain ranges running N. and S. and from 5 to 20 M. wide at their bases. Intersecting the mountains are numerous ravines and passes.

Carson City the capitol and county seat of Ormsby county, about 120 M. N.E. of Sacramento, California. Pop. (1890) 3950; (rgoo) 2100; (1910) 2466. It is served by the Virginia and Truckee railway, which has repair shops here, and by stage to Lake Tahoe, 12 M. W. of the city. It is picturesquely situated in Eagle valley, near the east base of the Sierra Nevada, at an elevation of 4720 ft. above the sea.

It was named in honour of Christopher Carson &  settled in 1851 as a trading post, was laid out as a town in 1858,  & made the capital of the state and the county seat of the newly erected county in 1861.  The city itself was chartered in 1875.

CHRISTOPHER [” KIT “] CARSON (1809-1868) was an American hunter and scout, born in Madison county, Kentucky, on the 24th of December 1809. When he was a year old his parents removed to Howard county, Missouri, then a frontier settlement, and the boy was early trained in the hardships and requirements of pioneer life. He served for a while as a saddler’s apprentice, and after 1826 devoted himself to the life of a professional guide and hunter.

He was hunter for the garrison at Bent’s Fort on the Arkansas river in what is now Bent county, Colorado, from 1832 to 1840, and accompanied John C. Fremont on his exploring expeditions of 1842 and 1843-1844, and on his California expedition in 1845-1846. Carson took part in the Mexican War, and, after the rush to the Pacific Coast began, engaged as a guide to convoy emigrants and drovers across the plains and mountains.

In 1854 he became Indian agent at Taos, New Mexico, in which position, through his knowledge of the Indian traits and language, he was able to exercise for many years a restraining influence over the warlike Apaches and other tribes.

During the Civil War he rendered invaluable services to the Federal cause in the south-west as chief scout in charge of the various bodies of irregular scouts and rangers participating in the constant border warfare that characterized the conflict in that part of the Union.

In March 1865 he was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers for gallantry in the battle of Valverde (on the 21st of February 1862) and for distinguished services in New Mexico, and after the war resumed his position as Indian agent, which he held until his death at Fort Lyon, Colorado, on the 23rd of May 1868.

” Kit ” Carson occupies in the latter period of American pioneer history a position somewhat similar to that held by Daniel Boone and David Crockett at an earlier period, as the typical frontier hero and Indian fighter, and his hairbreadth escapes and personal prowess are the subject of innumerable stories.

To read more about this American hero see.

  1. Charles Burdett, Life of Kit Carson, the Great Western Hunter and Guide (New York, 1859; new ed., 1877) ;
  2. De Witt C. Peters, The Life and Adventures of Kit Carson, the Nestor of the Rocky Mountains, from Facts Narrated by Himself (New York, 1858).
  3. and most recently, Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West by Hampton Sides (c. 2007).

Next week we head back east to Columbus, Ohio.

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