Fremont: Pathmarker of the West

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One of the most controversial and romantic figures in American history, John C. Frémont experienced a dizzying succession of public triumphs and humiliations. He made his name exploring the West, surveying, mapping, and describing the Rockies, the Great Basin, and Oregon country. Allan Nevins gives Frémont full credit for his achievements as a topographer, soldier, and politician while noting how often his rashness attracted enemies and led to his downfall: to a court-martial for disobeying orders during the Bear Flag Rebellion, to a disastrous winter expedition in the San Juan Mountains, to his defeat as the first presidential candidate of the Republican party, to the loss of his Civil War command. Through sickness and health, poverty and wealth, his wife, the vivacious Jessie Benton Frémont, stood by him. Their enduring romance occupies much more than the background in this absorbing story of his life.

The dean of American historians, Allan Nevins won the Pulitzer Prize for his biographies of Grover Cleveland and Hamilton Fish.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times

"This biography merits the adjective definitive. . . . is a book at once distinguished and engaging.'—New York Times
Christian Science Monitor

"[Nevins] has . . . raised biography to the level of literature."—Christian Science Monitor

"If this is not Frémont, it is as near to him as anyone is likely to get."—Books
Springfield Republican

"A contribution of first-rate significance to the history of the United States in the nineteenth century."—Springfield Republican
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803283640
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 3/19/1992
  • Pages: 720
  • Lexile: 1300L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.58 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Chapter I. Charleston Boyhood 1
Chapter II. An Explorer's Training 19
Chapter III. First View of the Great West 29
Chapter IV. Washington Courtship 46
Chapter V. A Runaway Marriage 60
Chapter VI. The Stakes of the West 72
Chapter VII. The First Expedition 89
Chapter VIII. South Pass and Fremont's Peak 104
Chapter IX. The First Report 116
Chapter X. The Second Expedition: Outward Bound 127
Chapter XI. Over the Winter Sierras 147
Chapter XII. Sutter's Fort and California 161
Chapter XIII. Homeward Over the Rockies 175
Chapter XIV. Washington Expansionists and the Far West 190
Chapter XV. The Third Expedition 206
Chapter XVI. A Clash With Californians 217
Chapter XVII. The Message From Gillespie 234
Chapter XVIII. The Bear Flag Outbreak 253
Chapter XIX. The California Battalion 287
Chapter XX. The Quarrel With Kearny 305
Chapter XXI. A Famous Court-Martial 327
Chapter XXII. Starvation and Cannibalism 343
Chapter XXIII. Golconda and the Senate 373
Chapter XXIV. Managing the Mariposas 393
Chapter XXV. The Fifth Expedition 408
Chapter XXVI. The Republican Nomination 421
Chapter XXVII. The Campaign of 1856 439
Chapter XXVIII. New Mariposa Troubles 459
Chapter XXIX. Civil War in the West 473
Chapter XXX. Fremont vs. Blair and Lincoln 503
Chapter XXXI. The End of the "Hundred Days" 529
Chapter XXXII. The Mountain Department 550
Chapter XXXIII. The Defeat of the Blairs 564
Chapter XXXIV. A Financial Debacle 583
Chapter XXXV. Poverty and Labor 602
Chapter XXXVI. Character and Fame 612
Chapter XXXVII. Some New Light on Fremont 623
I. Fremont's Children 663
II. Corruption in St. Louis, 1861 663
III. E. M. Kern's Letter 667
Bibliographical Note 671
Index 675
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