AMERICAN CIVIL WAR RARITIES INCLUDE FINEST-KNOWN EXAMPLES
In 1846, the Army of the West marched through Santa Fe to invade and occupy the Western territories claimed by Mexico.
Fueled by the ideology of “Manifest Destiny,” this land grab would lead to a decades-long battle between the United States and the Navajos. At the center of this sweeping tale was Christopher “Kit” Carson, the trapper, scout and soldier who became an American hero as the new nation expanded to the Pacific Ocean, notes the book Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West by Hampton Side.
A carte de visite of the legendary American frontiersman, signed on the mount below the albumen, is being offered at Heritage’s Historical Manuscripts auction, which features the Bret J. Formichi American Civil War Rarities Collection.
The signature on the carte de visite is unusual because most Carson autographs are signed “C. Carson,” says Sandra Palomino, director of historical manuscripts at Heritage Auctions. “The nickname ‘Kit’ was generally only used by close friends of Carson, so seeing this signed as ‘Kit’ is significant.”
The piece is expected to realize at least $40,000.
In addition to the Carson carte de visite, the Bret J. Formichi Collection of American Civil War Rarities includes a wide array of signed images, rare exemplars of Black Americana, women in the Civil War, three John Wilkes Booth autographs, and a collection of manuscripts and images related to Fort Sumter.
“This collection was put together over a period of four decades,” Palomino says, “and Formichi placed special emphasis on finding exemplars that were in the finest condition available.”