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Encyclopedia > John C. Fremont
John C. Frémont
John C. Frémont

John Charles Frémont (January 21, 1813-July 13, 1890), birth name John Charles Fremon [Harvey, p.192], was an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the United States Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. He was born in Savannah, Georgia.

Frémont assisted and led multiple surveying expeditions through the western territory of the United States. In 1838 and 1839 he assisted Joseph Nicollet in exploring the lands between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. In 1841, with training from Nicollet, he mapped portions of the Des Moines River, and from 1841 to 1846 he led exploration parties on the Oregon Trail and into the Sierra Nevada. During his expeditions in the Sierra Nevada, it is generally acknowledged that Frémont became the first European American to view Lake Tahoe.

On January 16, 1847 he was appointed Governor of the new California Territory following the Treaty of Cahuenga which ended the Mexican-American War in California. He served briefly (from 1850 to 1851) as a Senator from California. In 1856 the new Republican Party nominated him as their first presidential candidate, but he lost (see U.S. presidential election, 1856) to James Buchanan.

Frémont served as a major general in the American Civil War and declared martial law in Missouri. This declaration led to a conflict with Abraham Lincoln and led to Frémont's removal from command in the West on November 2, 1861. He was re-appointed to a different post (in West Virginia), but lost several battles and resigned his post.

Frémont was appointed Governor of the Arizona Territory from 1878 to 1881. He died of peritonitis in a hotel in New York, New York.

Four states named counties in his honor: Colorado, Idaho, Iowa and Wyoming. Also, several cities are named after him, such as Fremont, California and Fremont, Nebraska.

He collected a number of plants on his expeditions, including the first discovery of the Single-leaf Pinyon. The standard botanical author abbreviation Frém. is applied to plants he described.


Preceded by:
United States Senators from California
1850 – 1851
Succeeded by:
John B. Weller
Preceded by:
Republican Party Presidential candidate
1856 (lost)
Succeeded by:
Abraham Lincoln

  Results from FactBites:
The First 100 Persons Who Shaped Southern Nevada (3385 words)
John C. Fremont, seated, recognized Kit Carson, standing, for the unlettered genius he must have been after their first chance meeting on a steamer.
John C. Fremont put Las Vegas on the map, but it was almost a footnote to his accomplishments which included provoking a war, running for president, and freeing slaves before Abraham Lincoln did.
Fremont himself was appointed governor of Arizona Territory from 1878 until 1881, when he moved back to New York to seek financing for various ideas to develop the West.
  More results at FactBites »



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