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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesCalifornia

John Charles FRÉMONT

(1813-1890)
Senate Years of Service:
1850-1851
Party:
Democrat

FRÉMONT, John Charles, (son-in-law of Thomas Hart Benton), a Senator from California; born in Savannah, Ga., January 21, 1813; pursued classical studies and attended Charleston College 1828-1830; instructor in mathematics in the United States Navy 1833-1835; civil engineer assistant 1838-1839, exploring the territory between the Missouri River and the northern boundary of the United States; appointed second lieutenant of Topographical Engineers of the United States Army 1838; commenced in 1842 explorations and surveys for an overland route from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean; major of a battalion of California Volunteers in 1846; appointed lieutenant colonel of United States Mounted Rifles in 1846 and ordered to act as Governor of California by Commodore Stockton; General Kearny, United States Army, revoked this order and placed him under arrest for mutiny; tried by court martial, found guilty, and pardoned by President James Polk, but resigned; settled in California on the Mariposa grant; commissioner to run the boundary line between United States and Mexico in 1849; upon the admission of California as a State into the Union was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from September 10, 1850, to March 3, 1851; unsuccessful as the first Republican candidate for president of the United States in 1856; appointed major general in the United States Army by President Abraham Lincoln in May 1861 and placed in command of the western military district; removed in December 1861; appointed to command the mountain department in February 1862 and resigned in June 1864; again nominated for president in 1864; Governor of Arizona Territory 1878-1881; appointed a major general in the United States Army on the retired list 1890; died in New York City on July 13, 1890; interment in Trinity Church Cemetery; reinterment in Rockland Cemetery, Nyack, N.Y., March 17, 1891.

Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; Frémont, John C. Memoirs of My Life. Chicago: Belford, Clarke and Co., 1887; Nevins, Allan. Frémont: Pathmarker of the West. 1928. Revised ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992; Chaffin, Tom. Pathfinder: John Charles Frémont and the Course of American Empire. New York: Hill and Wang, 2002.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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