Carson and Frémont?

This photograph has been often published, and is usually said to be Kit Carson and Frémont together in Taos in early 1849, after Frémont's disastrous 4th Expedition. It was used as the cover art of a recent Frémont/Carson biography, even though the owner of the original--the Denver Public Library--acknowledges that the man in the photo is not Frémont.

If the subject was Frémont, Carson--who wasn't on that expedition--looks like he has had a harder time at home on the ranch than The Pathfinder has had starving in the San Juan Mountains.

The photographic print--here a Civil War era carte d'visite-- actually shows Kit with Edwin O. Perrin, sent to New Mexico by the Secretary of War as an Expediter to help arm New Mexican troops for conflict in the Southwestern theater in 1862. Carson was then a Colonel in the New Mexican Volunteers--later Brigadier General. Here, looking very military in his Army frock coat, Col. Carson looks the 53 years old soldier that he would have been in 1862--not the 40 year old civilian of 1849.
This is a very rare photograph. I found this image of the CDV offered for sale on an internet site. The asking price was $3000. Plus postage.

To the right is CDV of Col. Perrin seen on an eBay auction back-marked J. H. Kent Photographers 58 State St. Rochester, N.Y contrasted with one of Major General Frémont taken about 1860.


 

All of the images to the left are also not John Charles Frémont.
19th Century beards can confuse identifications.
I put Perrin's hat on Thoreau to illustrate.

go A national treasure surfaces: the Carvalho portrait.

go See a series of chronological Frémont portraits 1843-1890

go See the current leader in JCF Look-alike Contest.

The misidentified image of Frémont even appears on a 1991 first day cover commemorating and honoring Kit Carson and John Charles Fremont, a 1994 Tucson, AR first day cover (Frémont was the first Territorial Governor of Arizona), and on the cover of a popular 2000 Frémont biography A Newer World.

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Bob Graham