The cold month of January in St Louis, during a pandemic leaves me with a lot of time on my hands so I have been doing a lot of ancestry research and reading. I began my leisure reading about the American artist of the American Old West, Charles Marion Russell, He created more than 2,000 paintings of cowboys, Native Americans, and landscapes set in the western United States. A Charles M Russell print of "The Wagon Boss" hung in my parents living room most of my childhood. I spent hours gazing at that art, thinking about the cowboy out on the range.
|"The Wagon Boss"|
Painted by Charles Marion Russell
This week I discovered that the artist, Charles Marion Russell was a nephew of Charles Bent, the first United States governor of the New Mexico Territory. This is of interest to me because Charles Bent was also the brother-in-law to my cousin, Josepha (Josephine) Jaramillo and her husband Kit Carson. Josepha's older sister, Maria Ignacia Jaramillo was married to Charles Bent. These 2 sisters, descended from one of New Mexico's oldest and most respected families played an important role in the history of New Mexico.
As strange as it seems to me, Kit Carson played a pivotal role in American victory simply because he served as a United States military guide for Captain John Fremont. Carson was dispatched to Washington, D.C. to announce the acquisition of California to the United States. On the way, he intercepted General Stephen Watts Kearney's expedition near Yuma, Arizona and returned with him to California. This kept Carson away from his family for 2 years. Carson and Kearny confronted a Mexican force at the Battle of San Pasqual in December 1846 and with Kearney’s forces surrounded, Carson crept through enemy territory to alert United States forces in San Diego. The combined force drove the Mexican army north where they eventually surrender to John C. Fremont in the Treaty of Cahuenga January 13, 1847.
|Josepha (Josephine) Jaramillo|