Frémont, Pathmarker of the West

By Allan Nevins | Go to book overview

XXVI
The Republican Nomination

WHILE Frémont had been dining in London and watching the pageantry of Versailles, while he was making his last invasion of the Rockies, while he was defending his property at Mariposa, the sectional antagonism of North and South had been rapidly rising. The Compromise of 1850 had proved but the briefest of truces. Before Clay was carried in 1852 to his grave at Lexington and Webster was laid by the sea at Marshfield, northern opposition to the new Fugitive Slave Act had excited a fierce southern resentment. The publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin converted hundreds of thousands to anti-slavery views. Extremists on both sides of the border, as the Pierce Administration proved subservient to the South, grew fiercer in their denunciation of each other. Then at the beginning of 1854 Douglas placed his Kansas- Nebraska Bill before an excited Congress, and a new and blacker storm began to arise. The intensity of the northern wrath over this repeal of the Missouri Compromise, opening the plains of Kansas to possible occupation by slaveholders, took Douglas and Pierce by surprise. From that moment the old Whig Party was doomed, and a new party dedicated to the exclusion of slavery from all the territories began to rise in its place. The bill passed Congress amid southern cheers and northern execration; and as Chase walked at dawn down the Capitol steps with the boom of exultant Democratic cannon in his ears, he truly said to Sumner, "They celebrate a present victory, but the echoes they awake shall never rest until slavery itself shall die."

The year 1855 opened with sectional tension at an alarming

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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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