John Charles Fremont: Character As Destiny

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University of Oklahoma Press, Mar 1, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages

As an explorer, John Charles Frémont led five expeditions into the American West--two of them disastrous. He was also one of California’s first two senators (1850), America’s first Republican candidate for president (1856), a Civil War general, and the territorial governor of Arizona (1878-83). But his life was one of rash and rebellious conduct against authority. During the Mexican War he claimed to be the military governor of California, which resulted in a court-martial in 1848. At the outbreak of the Civil War he reentered the army as one of four major generals, outranking even Ulysses S. Grant. However, when he antagonized President Abraham Lincoln by issuing his own emancipation proclamation in advance of the president’s, Lincoln relieved him of command. In this comprehensive biography, Andrew Rolle carefully examines the historical record with a psychobiographical approach that explores and explains the many irrationalities of Frémont’s character.


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John Charles Frémont: character as destiny

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This biography of Fremont, a figure who was in many ways the apotheosis of Manifest Destiny, fails to capture the essence of "the Pathfinder.'' One of the principal sources of the book's drama is the ... Read full review

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Young Manhood
Jessie Benton Fremont
First Expedition
On to California the Second Expedition 48
Cartoon of U S Army Topographical Engineers 51
The Third Expedition 68
Fremont versus Kearny and the Courtmartial 90
Battling Captain Wilkes 108
John Charles Fremont in a Pensive Mood 140
Toward the Presidency 162
John Charles Fremont about 1854 159
Furor at Bear Valley and a European Affair 178
The Fremont Family May 1888 264
Stonewalls Shenandoah 214
Muddled Financial Dreams 234
He Spoke No More 258

The Riches of Las Mariposas 124
John Charles Fremont about 1849 126
New Fame Abroad and at Home 142
Jessie Benton Fremont 1888 266
An Appraisal of Personality 278

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About the author (1999)

Andrew F. Rolle has written four books on various aspects of California history and is the editor of The Road to Virginia City: The Diary of lames Knox Polk Miller (Norman, 1960). He is currently professor of history in Occidental College, Los Angeles.

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