Pathfinder: John Charles Frémont and the course of American empire
The career of John Charles Fremont (1813-90) celebrates and ties together the full breadth of American expansionism from its eighteenth-century origins through its culmination in the Gilded Age. Tom Chaffin's new biography demonstrates Fremont's vital importance to the history of American empire, and his role in shattering long-held myths about the ecology and habitability of the American West. As the most celebrated American explorer and mapper of his time, Fremont stood at the center of the vast federal project of Western exploration and conquest. His expeditions between 1838 and 1854 captured the public's imagination, inspired Americans to accept their nation's destiny as a vast continental empire, and earned him his enduring sobriquet, the Pathfinder. But Fremont was more than an explorer. Chaffin's narrative includes Fremont's varied experiences as an entrepreneur, abolitionist, Civil War general, husband to the remarkable Jessie Benton Fremont, two-time Republican presidential candidate, and Gilded Age aristocrat. Chaffin brings to life the personal and political experiences of a remarkable American whose saga offers compelling insight into the conflicts, tensions, and contradictions at the core of America's lust for empire and its conquest of the trans-Missouri West.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -544) and index. Apprenticeships, 1813-41 -- The first expedition, spring 1842-fall 1842 -- The second expedition, spring 1843-winter 1845 -- The third expedition: summer 1845-winter 1846 -- Reckonings, 1847-54 -- For liberty, union, and commerce, 1854-64 -- The light of parting day, 1865-87.
- LCC: E415.9
- Language: eng
- Physical Description: xxx, 559 p. : maps ; 24 cm.
- Edition Info: (hc : alk. paper)
- Frémont, John Charles,1813-1890
- Explorers -- United States -- Biography
- Explorers -- West (U.S.) -- Biography
- West (U.S.) -- Discovery and exploration
- United States -- Territorial expansion
- Generals -- United States -- Biography
- Presidential candidates -- United States -- Biography
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