Frémont, Pathmarker of the West

By Allan Nevins | Go to book overview

XXIV
Managing the Mariposas

FRÉMONT had now risen to a pinnacle where his opportunities seemed far greater than ever before. He commanded wealth; he had held political office and power; he possessed a reputation as the foremost explorer of the West. He was a busy man of affairs, supervising his estate, laboring for the cause of free-soil democracy in Washington and California, answering scientific inquiries, and keeping abreast of geographical advances. His ambitions were increasingly complex, for he hoped to be one of the statesmen of the new West and one of her business entrepreneurs as well as the pathmarker who mapped her highways. Five years were to pass before he was to be widely discussed as a presidential candidate. How fruitfully was he to spend them?

Thus far his life had been shaped largely by personal forces --by Poinsett, Nicollet, Benton, Jessie, Stockton; now there enters the drama a powerful and on the whole sinister impersonal force, the Mariposa estate. For the next fifteen years this ten-league grant, rich in gold and grazing land, was to dominate all too much of Frémont's activities. Promising him wealth and happiness, it was to bring him in the end little but trouble and disappointment. Seeming a beneficent gift of luck, it was destined before it vanished--vanished as suddenly as a rainbow bubble--to appear rather like some malignant stroke of Fate. It did more to govern the central part of his career, and in the large view to warp it, than any other element; for it led him from the scientific pursuits for which he had been trained into the alien world of business.

To give Mariposa its true significance it must thus be treated

-393-

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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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