Frémont, Pathmarker of the West

By Allan Nevins | Go to book overview

XVII
The Message from Gillespie

IT is difficult to determine just how seriously Frémont turned his mind toward exploration again after leaving Sutter's Fort for the North. His letters and memoirs would indicate that his old zest in the blazing of fresh wilderness trails had reawakened; and to some extent, it undoubtedly did. But in the main his eyes were still fixed upon California; his purpose to remain within easy marching distance of it was apparently unaltered, and it is significant that he made no energetic effort to reach the posts upon the Columbia. His movements before he was so dramatically recalled to the California stage may be briefly dismissed.

The close of March, 11846, found his expedition at the wellknown ranch of Peter Lassen on Deer Creek, a tributary of the upper Sacramento, about two hundred miles from Sutter's Fort. Frémont formed a liking for Lassen, a Dane whose history was only less romantic than Sutter's, and who was a man of practical sense and courage. His wheat was yielding large returns, he was experimenting with cotton, and a vineyard had lately been set out. For almost a month, as if he were intent upon merely killing time, Frémont kept at or near the ranch. First his party rested and outfitted for six days; then they set off north up the Sacramento Valley, passing what Carson calls "Shasta Butte";1 then, finding the weather stormy, they turned back south, reaching Lassen's Ranch again on April 11th; and here they delayed for almost two weeks more. Why this marching and counter-marching? Perhaps Fré

____________________
1
It was on April 6th, that Frémont first saw the snowy peak of Shasta on the northern horizon. At this time he was following almost the same route as. Jedediah Smith in 1827-28, Dellenbaugh, Frémont and '49 p. 313.

-234-

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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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