During the present campaign, it has become aggravating that Republicans keep wanting to lay claim to Abraham Lincoln as a Republican. What they always fail to mention is that at the time, the Republicans were the LIBERAL party in the two-party system having split off from the Whig party. While Lincoln was their first successful Presidential candidate, the very first man nominated by the party was almost equally as interesting since so much of his life created the coast to coast expanse of the United States. Long before Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the first Republican to run for the Presidency and his wife freed their slaves.
While most people know of John C. Fremont as an explorer and instigator of California statehood, he probably never would have risen to political heights without his wife. If you like historical novels, pick up a copy of “Immortal Wife” by Irving Stone, but Jessie Benton Fremont was bigger than fiction. For that you need to get a copy of “The Letters of Jessie Benton Fremont”. Despite being raised in an era when most women were not well-educated she was an anomaly.
Daughter of a U.S. Senator
Fluent in Spanish and French acting as translator for official Washington
Pioneer traveling extensively between Virginia and California
Political Force within the new Republican Party
Campaigned for the Presidency with her husband
Following husband’s death supporter of her children through her writing.
Without the Fremont’s pioneer work, the establishment of the Bear Republic and later the State, the Gold Rush if it happened at all would have been a part of the history of Spain not the United States. Gold Discovery at Sutter’s Mill.