Frémont, Pathmarker of the West

By Allan Nevins | Go to book overview

XVI
A Clash with Californians

ON December 10, 1845, Frémont rode down from his camp to Sutter's Fort, where he found the robust Swiss proprietor absent, and John Bidwell (who had reached California with the Bartleson-Bidwell party in 1841) in charge. To the Captain, requesting various supplies, roughspoken Bidwell seemed unfriendly. He offered to find some horses, but said that he could not furnish the sixteen mules which Frémont needed; he would lend him the blacksmith shop, but declared there was no coal for the forge. Frémont erroneously concluded that since the Mexican and American governments were drifting toward war, and Sutter was an officer of the former and he of the latter, the men at Sutter's Fort had received orders to do as little as possible for him. Indeed, the Captain had just learned that his previous visit to California had created, as he writes, "some excitement among the Mexican authorities." Americans on the Sacramento informed him that soon after he left Sutter's Fort in the spring of 1844, a Mexican officer and twenty-four men had ridden up from the coast to inquire in Governor Micheltorena's name the meaning of this sudden armed entry into the country. Made uneasy by the news, the Captain now feared trouble.1 But he soon learned that Sutter was as friendly and hospitable as ever. On his return next day the good Swiss set to work; he promptly found fourteen mules, and furnished cattle, horses, and other supplies; while at the same time he sent word to the commander in

____________________
1
Frémont's Memoirs, I, p. 441, indicate clearly that he had just now heard of the alarm of 1844 among the Mexican authorities. But he might have learned of it in Washington; Consul Larkin had reported it by a despatch of April 12, 1844, to the State Department (State Department Archives).

-217-

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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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