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John C. Frémont
John Charles Frémont.png
John C. Frémont, 1852 portrait, by William S. Jewett
5th Territorial Governor of Arizona
In office
October 6, 1878 – October 11, 1881
Appointed by Rutherford B. Hayes
Preceded by John Philo Hoyt
Succeeded by Frederick Augustus Tritle
United States Senator
from California
In office
September 9, 1850 – March 3, 1851
Preceded by None (Statehood)
Succeeded by John B. Weller
3rd Military Governor of California
In office
January 14, 1847 – March 1, 1847
Appointed by James K. Polk
Preceded by Robert F. Stockton
Succeeded by Stephen W. Kearny
Personal details
John Charles Fremon

(1813-01-21)January 21, 1813
Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
Died July 13, 1890(1890-07-13) (aged 77)
New York City, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jessie Benton
Alma mater College of Charleston
Profession Soldier
Military service
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service 1838–1848
Rank Major General
Commands California Battalion
Department of the West

John Charles Frémont (January 21, 1813-July 13, 1890), birth name John Charles Fremon, was an American military officer, explorer. He was the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States in 1856. 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 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.

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.

General John Charles Fremont, Union Army, Republican Candidate for the President of the United States (6189166341)
General John Charles Fremont, Union Army, Republican Candidate for the President of the United States 1861-1865

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.

After the Civil War, Frémont's wealth declined after investing heavily and purchasing an unsuccessful Pacific Railroad in 1866, and lost much of his wealth during the Panic of 1873. Frémont served as Governor of Arizona from 1878 to 1881 appointed by President Rutherford B. Hayes. Frémont, retired from politics and financially destitute, died in New York City at the age of 77 in 1890.

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.

Historians portray Frémont as controversial and contradictory. Some scholars regard him as a military hero of significant accomplishment. Frémont's published reports and maps produced from his explorations significantly contributed to massive American emigration overland into the West starting in the 1840s.

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