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Jessie Benton Fremont: Missouri's Trailblazer (Missouri Heritage Readers)

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Jessie Benton Fremont: Missouri's Trailblazer (Missouri Heritage Readers) Cover

 

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Publisher Comments:

and#160;

When Sen. Thomas Hart Benton, one of Missouriandrsquo;s first two senators and the great-uncle of the famous regionalist painter of the same name, was expecting his second child in 1824, he hoped it would be a boy. Although he was graced instead with a second girl, he named her Jessie (in honor of his father, Jesse) and raised her more like a son than a nineteenth-century daughter, introducing her to the leading politicians of the day and making sure she received an education that emphasized history, literature, and languages. Jessie and her father were close; Senator Benton was the main influence in her life until 1841, when, at the age of seventeen, she married army explorer John Charles Frandeacute;mont against her parentsandrsquo; wishes.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Some degree of reconciliation occurred when Benton promoted Frandeacute;montandrsquo;s famous explorations of the Great West. Jessie remained in Missouri with the coupleandrsquo;s young daughter, Lily, but she later helped to write and edit reports of her husbandandrsquo;s adventures, and these narratives spread the lure of the West to nineteenth-century America.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; In 1849 Jessie and Lily made a harrowing and treacherous journey across the Isthmus of Panama to rendezvous with Frandeacute;mont in San Francisco. With income from their gold mines, the Frandeacute;monts established a home in California. In 1856, with the country on the brink of civil war, Frandeacute;montandrsquo;s antislavery position was instrumental in his being chosen as the Republican Partyandrsquo;s first presidential nominee. Jessie was a staunch campaigner for her husbandandrsquo;s unsuccessful presidential bid, which her father, a lifelong Democrat, refused to endorse.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; When President Lincoln appointed Frandeacute;mont as the commander of the Department of the West in 1861, Jessie served as his unofficial aide and closest adviser. In a particularly dramatic incident, she rushed to Washington, D.C., for a meeting with Lincoln in which she argued passionately for her husbandandrsquo;s proposal to emancipate the slaves in Missouri.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; After the Civil War, the Frandeacute;montsandrsquo; financial situation took a downturn. Undaunted, Jessie supported the family by writing about her adventures in the American West in such works as A Year of American Travel and Souvenirs of My Time. Like many women of her era, Jessie lived her ambitions largely through her husbandandrsquo;s career, but she also made a name for herself as a writer and a firm opponent of slavery.

About the Author

and#160;

Ilene Stone is a former adjunct faculty member in American history at San Diego Community College, where she taught for more than thirty years. She is the author of Jane Froman: Missouriandrsquo;s First Lady of Song (University of Missouri Press).
and#160;
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Suzanna M. Grenz is Associate Professor of American History at Palomar College in San Marcos, California.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780826216281
Author:
Stone, Ilene
Publisher:
University of Missouri Press
Author:
Grenz, Suzanna M.
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Politicians' spouses
Subject:
Missouri
Subject:
Women pioneers -- West (U.S.)
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Edition Description:
1
Series:
Missouri Heritage Readers
Series Volume:
1
Publication Date:
20051231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Illustrations:
36 illus
Pages:
144
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Biography » Literary
Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Jessie Benton Fremont: Missouri's Trailblazer (Missouri Heritage Readers) New Trade Paper
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