President John C. Fremont




       

John C. Fremont (1813 -   ) was the 18th President of the United States and Senator from California. In his early life, Fremont would take expeditions to the Western United States, exploring with other parties the Sierra Nevada and Oregon Trail. He is credited for discovering Lake Tahoe in Nevada in the 1840s. Fremont served in the Mexican-American War, most notably leading a military expedition to successfully capture Santa Barbara, California.

In January 1847, Fremont was appointed the military governor of California, but kept this title for only a short time. General Stephen Kearny told Fremont he had orders from President James K. Polk to take the title of military governor, but Fremont refused to give up his position. The latter was arrested and convicted of mutiny, later to be discharged for his services.

Fremont ran for president in 1856 under the first Republican ticket, but lost to Democrat James Buchanon after threats of Civil War arose. Fremont would go on to serve as a major general in the war, and eventually be relieved of command after a dispute with President Lincoln. The former refused to endorse the president in 1864, instead siding with the pro-war Radical Republicans. Fremont was a vocal oppositionist to the McClellan administration, claiming that he was fighting against the tide of the country.

Fremont chose to run for president in 1868 after the McClellan adminstration refused to act upon the series of lynchings in Georgia. Fremont narrowly defeated General Ulysses S. Grant and former Vice President Hannibal Hamlin for the Republican nomination, and went on to win the general election.

As president, Fremont's administration issued new legislaion granting newfound freedoms for citizens of color, created the Department of Justice, and attacked those who profited from political corruption. Fremont won the Election of 1872 against a Democratic challenger, and began planning a path to end the Confederacy. The Panic of 1873 was met with immediate action, effectively sparing the United States of a depression.

Fremont had the United States form a temporary alliance with Spain and Cuba against the CSA when the Second Civil War launched in Havana. He won his controversial third term as president in 1876 and carefully captured the rebel states. He signed the Treaty of Atlanta in 1877, ending the war along with the Confederacy. On January 5th, 1878, Fremont was shot twice in his right shoulder by a Confederate soldier on a trip through North Carolina. The former survived, but this action ended his political career.

Fremont endorsed John Sherman for president in 1880, and because of his political power, Sherman won the election. Fremont still keeps an eye on government, but prefers frontier expeditions to this day.