Pasadena History: Expeditions Made Captain Famous

By photo, courtesy | Pasadena Star-News, March 2, 2015 | Go to article overview

Pasadena History: Expeditions Made Captain Famous


photo, courtesy, Pasadena Star-News


We have a copy of this book with a long title: "REPORT ON THE EXPLORING EXPEDITIONS TO THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS IN THE YEAR 1842 AND TO OREGON AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA IN THE YEARS 1843-'44 BY BREVET CAPTAIN J. C. FREMONT OF THE TOPOGRAPHICAL ENGINEERS."

These expeditions were what first made Fremont famous and called "the Pathfinder." The picture shown here is from a biography of him by John Bigelow in 1856 when he was a candidate for President. Historian Midge Sherwood of San Marino dubbed him the "Eagle of the West." Not all were so positive. Andrew Rolle, Occidental College emeritus professor, wrote "John Charles Fremont: Character as Destiny," a psychological treatment.

Fremont was born in Virginia in 1813, his father being of French descent, who had run off with the wife of an older man. He was handsome and smart. He learned Greek and mathematics and taught math and navigation to navy midshipmen.

He married Jesse Benton, a strong-willed woman, the daughter a powerful United States senator. Through this connection, he became in charge of these expeditions to find better routes to the west and to accurately map the area. The reports include his interesting descriptions, astronomical measurements, maps, biological information. …

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