FRÉMONT, John Charles (1813-1890)
Senate Years of Service: 1850-1851
FRÉMONT, JOHN CHARLES, (son-in-law of Thomas Hart Benton), a Senator from California; born in Savannah, Ga., January 21, 1813; pursued classical studies and attended Charleston College 1828-1830; instructor in mathematics in the United States Navy 1833-1835; civil engineer assistant 1838-1839, exploring the territory between the Missouri River and the northern boundary of the United States; appointed second lieutenant of Topographical Engineers of the United States Army 1838; commenced in 1842 explorations and surveys for an overland route from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean; major of a battalion of California Volunteers in 1846; appointed lieutenant colonel of United States Mounted Rifles in 1846 and ordered to act as Governor of California by Commodore Stockton; General Kearny, United States Army, revoked this order and placed him under arrest for mutiny; tried by court martial, found guilty, and pardoned by President James Polk, but resigned; settled in California on the Mariposa grant; commissioner to run the boundary line between United States and Mexico in 1849; upon the admission of California as a State into the Union was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from September 10, 1850, to March 3, 1851; unsuccessful as the first Republican candidate for president of the United States in 1856; appointed major general in the Union Army by President Abraham Lincoln in May 1861 and placed in command of the western military district; removed in December 1861; appointed to command the mountain department in February 1862 and resigned in June 1864; again nominated for president in 1864; Governor of Arizona Territory 1878-1881; appointed a major general in the United States Army on the retired list 1890; died in New York City on July 13, 1890; interment in Trinity Church Cemetery; reinterment in Rockland Cemetery, Nyack, N.Y., March 17, 1891.
American Philosophical Society
Papers: In John Torrey collection, 1744-1894; and William J. Duane papers, [ca. 1760s]-[1860s].
Arizona Historical Society
Papers: 1880-1971. 1 foot. Correspondence with Ben Soza relating to the construction of Frémont's house in Tucson, and architectural plans, bulletins and newspaper clippings relating to the preservation of the house by Arizona Historical Society and Tucson Heritage Foundation.
Boston Public Library
Papers: 22 items.
Brigham Young University
Papers: 1861-1890. 8 letters. 4 from Frémont relating to personal business and military affairs, and 4 from his wife Jessie Benton Frémont pertaining to family affairs.
California Historical Society
San Francisco, CA
Papers: Documents regarding California Battalion of Mounted Riflemen, formed by J.C. Frémont, in Melville Schweitzer papers, 1846-1878; and items in J.D.B. Stillman papers, 1849-1898.
Filson Club Historical Society
Papers: 1845, 1884. 2 items. Also references in various collections.
Henry E. Huntington Library
San Marino, CA
Papers: 57 items (1845-1890) in various collections, and portrait.
Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Papers: In Joel Roberts Poinsett papers, 1785-1851; and William Morris Davis letters, 1853-1879.
Indiana Historical Society
Papers: Correspondence in Lew Wallace papers, 1799-1923; and Jefferson Columbus Davis papers, 1847-1880.
Indiana State Library
Papers: Correspondence in Jefferson Columbus Davis papers, 1826-1873.
Papers: 3 letters (May 23, 1863; February 14, 1884; November 2, 1888) in Bookfellow Foundation autograph collection, 1705-1940.
Library of Congress
Papers: 1862, 1864, undated. 3 letters.
Papers: Correspondence in Buckingham Smith papers, 1702-1857; Nathaniel Prentice Banks papers, 1829-1911; Theodore Talbot papers, 1843-1861; in Micajah McGehee journal (undated) of Frémont's 4th expedition, on 1 microfilm reel; and in Preuss' diaries relating to his service with Frémont's 1st, 2nd, and 4th expeditions to the West in George Carl Ludwig Preuss diaries, 1842-1849, in German. Transcripts of some of the diaries. Available on 1 microfilm reel.
Massachusetts Historical Society
Papers: 26 items (1846-1889) in various collections.
New York Public Library
New York, NY
Papers: In Albert Tracy papers, 1843-1893; and John Bigelow papers, 1839-1912.
Pierpont Morgan Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1850-1888. 10 items.
Rutgers University Libraries
Special Collections and University Archives
New Brunswick, NJ
Papers: 1882-1889. 3 items. Letters sent.
Los Angeles, CA
Papers: 1838-1907. Ca. 65 items. Correspondence, military commissions, and memorabilia. Correspondence is chiefly between Frémont and his father-in-law, Thomas Hart Benton, and with his wife, Jessie Benton Frémont. Finding aid. Also portrait.
Stanford University Libraries
Papers: Miscellaneous papers in the William Carey Jones collection; and Rebecca Spring papers, ca. 1830-1900.
University of California, Berkeley
The Bancroft Library
Papers: Ca. 1839-1927. 5 boxes and 4 volumes. Includes correspondence, accounts and miscellaneous papers, photographs, sequel to autobiography, and papers of his wife and children. Finding aid. Also letters in several other collections.
University of Oklahoma
Carl Albert Center Congressional Archives
Papers: In Department of the West papers, 1861.
University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library
Papers: 7 letters (1861) in various collections. Finding aid.
Utah State Historical Society
Salt Lake City, UT
Papers: In Theodore Talbot journals, 1843, 1849-1852, available on microfilm; Charles Carl Ludwig Preuss diary, June-October 1842, available on microfilm; and Jesse Benton Frémont's description (2 pages) of Frémont's fifth expedition through southeast Utah, original in Bancroft Library.
Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: In James Watson Webb papers, 1819-1967; Gilman family papers, 1659-1935; Benajah Ticknor papers, 1818-1852; and S. Griswold Flagg collection, 1825-1938.
The John C. Fremont Expeditions
Department of History University of Illinois
Research Libraries Information Network: In addition to the institutions listed above, items are also cataloged in collections at: Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, AL; Cornell University Libraries, Ithaca, NY; Hagley Museum and Library, Greenville, DE; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA; New York Historical Society, New York, NY; University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library, Ann Arbor, MI; Utah State University Special Collections, Logan, UT; and others.
- Bartlett, Ruhl J. John C. Frémont and the Republican Party. 1930. Reprint. New York: Da Capo Press, 1970.
- Chaffin, Tom. Pathfinder: John Charles Frémont and the Course of American Empire. New York: Hill and Wang, 2002.
- Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel. Frémont and '49. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1914.
- Denton, Sally. Passion and Principle: John and Jessie Frémont, the Couple Whose Power, Politics, and Love Shaped Nineteenth-Century America. New York: Bloomsbury, 2007.
- Duncan, Charles T. "Frémont in California: Hero or Mountebank?'' Nebraska History 29 (March 1948): 33-54.
- Egan, Ferol. Frémont: Explorer for a Restless Nation. 1977. Reprint, with new foreword by Richard H. Dillon. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1985.
- Eyre, Alice. The Famous Frémont and Their America. 1948. Rev. ed. Boston: Christopher Publishing House, 1961.
- Frémont, John C. The Crossing of the Sierra Nevada in the Winter of 1843-44: A Report of the Exploring Expeditions to Oregon and north California in the Years 1843-44. Edited by Senator Bob Graham. Sacramento: B. Graham, 2001.
- ___. The Life of Col. John C. Frémont and His Narrative of Explorations and Adventures in Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon, and California. New York: Hurst & Co., 1881.
- ___. Memoirs of My Life. Chicago: Belford, Clarke & Co., 1887. Frémont planned 2 volumes but completed only the first. Vol. 1 includes Jesse Benton Frémont's memoir of her father, Senator Thomas Hart Benton.
- Gates, Paul W. "The Frémont-Jones Scramble for California Land Claims.'' Southern California Quarterly 56 (Spring 1974): 13-44.
- Goodwin, Cardinal Leonidas. John Charles Frémont, an Explanation of His Career. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1930.
- Hawgood, John A. "John C. Frémont and the Bear Flag Revolution: A Reappraisal.'' Southern California Quarterly 44 (June 1962): 67-96.
- Herr, Pamela. Jesse Benton Frémont: A Biography. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988.
- Herr, Pamela, and Mary Lee Spence, eds. The Letters of Jesse Benton Frémont. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.
- Jackson, Donald Dean, and Mary Lee Spence, eds. The Expeditions of John Charles Frémont. 3 vols. in 4. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1970-1980.
- Miller, David. "'Heroes' of American Empire: John C. Frémont, Kit Carson, and the Culture of Imperialism, 1842-1898." Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, San Diego, 2007.
- Nevins, Allan. Frémont, Pathmarker of the West. 1928. Rev. and enlarged ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992. Originally published as Frémont, The West's Greatest Adventurer (2 vols.)
- Roberts, David. A Newer World: Kit Carson, John C. Fremont, and the Claiming of the American West. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.
- Rolle, Andrew F. "Exploring an Explorer: Psychohistory and John Charles Frémont.'' Pacific Historical Review 51 (May 1982): 135-63.
- ___. John Charles Frémont: Character as Destiny. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.
- Smucker, Samuel M. The Life of Col. John Charles Frémont and his Narrative of Explorations and Adventures in Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon, and California. New York: Hurst, 1881.
- Stenberg, Richard R. "Polk and Frémont, 1845-1846.'' Pacific Historical Review 7 (September 1938): 211-27.
- Volpe, Vernon L. "The Frémonts and Emancipation in Missouri.'' Historian 56 (Winter 1994): 339-54.