Frémont, Pathmarker of the West

By Allan Nevins | Go to book overview

IV
Washington Courtship

FRÉMONT returned to Washington the possessor of a certain dignity, even a certain reputation; to less fortunate officers he could talk with a casual air of what he had seen beyond the Mississippi, while he knew that the engineering branch of the army regarded him as a young man of promise. As we have noted, scientific information upon the wide region which they had crossed had been almost totally lacking. Nicollet now brought back a mass of careful data which far transcended in value the notes of Major Long's rapid exploration of the Minnesota and Red rivers, and Featherstonhaugh's superficial reconnaissance of the Coteau des Prairies; and he wished Frémont's aid in working it up. He took the lieutenant to call on the President and Secretary Poinsett. We can easily imagine the young explorer, erect, tanned, with his sharp, intense eyes, clear-cut features, and quick movements, shaking hands with the genial Van Buren, and interjecting an occasional word as Nicollet described their work. The President was appreciative. Nicollet took pains to impress upon Poinsett the fact that his aide had acquitted himself brilliantly; and, writes Frémont, "his kind reception and approval were to me the culminating pleasure" of the expedition.1

Physically exhausted, Nicollet required some time to recuperate, and took Frémont to Baltimore for a pleasant vacation. Friends there, particularly the higher officers of the Catholic hierarchy, gave them a cordial welcome, and they were deluged with invitations. Their quarters were at the Sulpician seminary, St. Mary's College, where comfortable rooms were always ready

____________________
1
Frémont, Memoirs, p. 55.

-46-

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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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