The Third Expedition
IN St. Louis, Frémont met some amusing difficulties in selecting his company from the crowd of applicants. The St. Louis Weekly Reveille of June 9, 1845, remarks:
Yesterday we found ourselves, with others, near the enclosure opposite the Planters' Warehouse, endeavoring to hear what Capt. Frémont's ideas were in relation to his contemplated mountain expedition. He was, at the time, attempting to address a motley crowd of French, Irish, Dutch, and Mountain men, to the number of several hundred, who had surrounded and were importuning him to obtain the much desired "diamond gudgeon" of this government affair. The Captain was disposed to gratify them, and accordingly mounted the most convenient rostrum--which was near--the old rickety fence which bounds the enclosure. He had commenced and was going on with his remarks, which could not be heard, however, excepting by those who were immediately crowding round him, when a sudden pressure of the crowd broke down the fence and over went the crowd, Captain, and all embracing their mother earth. About this time, a well-meaning Irishman, who had been standing on the corner of Second Street, not knowing what all the fuss was about, rushed up with the idea that it was a "big fight," shouting at the top of his lungs, "Fair play! Fair play! and be d--d to yez; don't you see the man's down?"
Later, the reporter heard fragmentary sentences of Fré- mont's speech. "Those who desire to go--fifty men--good riflemen and packers--been to the mountains before--are not such --discharge them before I get up." He says that Frémont's description of the hardships "took the starch out of many a good fellow."