Friday, March 15, 2013

Passion & Principle--#11 finished

This book is about John & Jessie Fremont a very interesting and very much involved in life in the 1800s.  John Fremont, the Pathfinder, explored the West and played a large role in getting California away from Mexico and part of the United States.  He by accident seemingly ends up with thousands of acres that becomes part of the Californian Gold Rush, makes his millions, becomes a Senator and eventually becomes the Republican Party's first presidential nominee in 1856.  Loses the election through dirty politics of the day.  After Lincoln's election and the civil war starts becomes a general in St Louis in charge of the West but again in the dirty politics of the day and his pushing emanicipation of the slaves before Lincoln was ready, Fremont is relieved of his duties.  Poor business decisions and he basically loses everything and family slips into near poverty.

All of this going on, Fremont's wife Jessie is daughter of powerful Democratic Senator from Missouri Thomas Hart Benton.  Jessie leads an interesting but devoted life to her husband.  Their marriage was much more partnership with both helping the other.  She helped him publish his exploration books, plays large role in is Presidential run, and is beside him during the civil war but unfortunately stays out of his business decisions.  She becomes a writer later in life and what she earns then supports them.

A truly interesting couple and a very good book.  I will probably post it on PBS but right now keeping it--not sure I want to let go of it.  

No comments: