The first three books written upon Frémont were campaign biographies. John Bigelow's Life of John Charles Frémont ( 1856) is a hasty compilation of about five hundred rather dull pages, eulogistic throughout. It, however, contains some documents of permanent value, including Commodore Stockton's report on his Pacific Coast operations, Frémont's defense before his court-martial, his letter from Taos in January, 1849, the Frémont-Wilkes correspondence, and his letter to the National Intelligencer on his expedition of 1854. S. M. Smucker issued The Life of Colonel J. C. Frémont in 1856. Charles Wentworth Upham 's Life, Explorations, and Public Services of John Charles Frémont ( 1856), is a brief, clear, undistinguished compilation, also eulogistic. Two later volumes have been published. As a scientific and critical account of Frémont's explorations, Frederick S. Dellenbaugh's Frémont and '49 ( 1914) is invaluable. The author is well acquainted with most of the country traversed. He identifies localities, furnishes information on topography, climate, and Indians, corrects many of Frémont's minor observations, explains others and presents a wealth of maps and pictures. The book, which virtually closes with 1850, is sympathetic. It contains a valuable bibliography. Cardinal L. Goodwin 's John Charles Frémont, An Explanation of his Career ( 1930) is a brief and studiously hostile estimate.
Frémont's own Memoirs of My Life ( 1886) is based directly upon his reports, and chapters four to eleven inclusive add little to them. The first three chapters contain a rapid account of his education, early adventures, and work with Nicollet. The last four chapters deal, often sketchily yet with evident sincerity, with the events of 1845-46 in California up to the Capitulation of Couenga. The government published for Frémont in 1845 his Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the year 1842, and to Oregon and North California in the years 1843-44 (Senate Doc. 174, 28th Congress, 2d Session). It also published in 1848 his Geographical Memoir upon Upper California, in Illustration of his Map of Oregonand Californiaand California