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Finding Aid to the Fremont Family Collection MS.217
MS.217  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
John Charles Fremont (1813-1890) was an American military officer during the Civil War, explorer of the Western United States, United States presidential candidate and an opponent of slavery. Fremont’s wife, Jessie Benton Fremont (1824-1902) was an American writer and daughter of Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton. Their firstborn daughter Elizabeth (Lily) Benton Fremont (1842-1919) participated in the groundbreaking ceremony of the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles in 1912. This collection of papers was compiled from donations from Elizabeth B. Fremont, as well as Southwest Museum curatorial and library staff, with documents spanning from 1836-1919. Materials include correspondence, etchings, certificates, manuscripts, maps, and newspaper clippings by and about members of the John C. Fremont family.
Background
John Charles Fremont, born January 12, 1813 in Savannah, Georgia, was an American military officer, explorer, United States presidential candidate, and an opponent of slavery. In 1838, Fremont was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Topographical Engineers, and he led expeditions through the western part of the United States. From 1842 to 1846, Fremont led expeditions through the Oregon Trail and the Sierra Nevada mountain range, leading to the San Joaquin Valley. His journals of these expeditions, especially the second, were wildly popular. The accounts of the two expeditions were printed together for the Congress as Report of the Exploring Expedition in the Rocky Mountains in the year 1842, and to Oregon and North California in the years 1843-1844. Fremont was also involved in gold mining in California but this venture eventually foundered. Fremont’s most notable political accomplishments include serving as one of California’s first two U. S. senators from 1850-1851 and being governor of the Arizona Territory from 1878-1881. Fremont died July 13, 1890 at the age of 77. Fremont married United States senator Thomas Hart Benton's daughter Jessie in 1841. Jessie B. Fremont, born May 31, 1824, was an American writer who supplemented the family income as a freelance writer. Some of Jessie's most popular publications were memoirs of her time accompanying her husband on his expeditions in the American West. Jessie Benton Fremont died December 27, 1902. Their daughter Elizabeth (Lily) Benton Fremont was born November 15, 1842 and died May 28, 1919.
Extent
3.6 Linear feet (3 boxes)
Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to the Braun Research Library at the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Braun Research Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Availability
Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at rroom@theautry.org. An item-level inventory is available from library staff.