Frémont, Pathmarker of the West

By Allan Nevins | Go to book overview

X
The Second Expedition: Outward Bound

BENTON informs us that Frémont's first expedition was "barely finished" before he "sought and obtained orders for a second one"; the initiative coming from Benton, Linn, and the young explorer, not from the Administration.1 These orders were from the War Department through Colonel Abert, chief of the Topographical Engineers. They instructed him to carry his explorations westward into the Anglo-American territory of Oregon; or, to be precise, "to connect the reconnaissance of 1842 with the surveys of Commander Wilkes on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, so as to give a connected survey of the interior of our continent." LieutenantCharles Wilkes in his famous exploring expedition of 1838-42 (which ended in his court-martial), had surveyed much of the west coast of the United States, including San Francisco Bay, the Sacramento, and the Columbia. The main object of Frémont's tour was to do for the whole of the Oregon Trail what he had already done for the stretch to South Pass. As a matter of fact, he was destined to accomplish more than even the sanguine western expansionists could have expected. His exploration finally embraced not only Oregon, but parts of Utah, Nevada, and California; it resulted in advertising the fertility of the Great Salt Lake region as well as the Columbia Valley; it dispelled some of the mystery still clinging about the Great Basin between the Rockies and Sierras; and it culminated in a memorable passage across snowchoked ranges into the smiling lap of springtime California.

____________________
1
Thomas Hart Benton, Thirty Years View, II, p. 477.

-127-

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Frémont, Pathmarker of the West
Table of contents

Table of contents

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