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Beyond Lewis and Clark - Timeline 1842-1846

The Army Explores the West

John C. Fremont.  Image courtesy of The Huntington Library,   San Marino, California.

John C. Frémont (1813-1890)

John Frémont’s exploring earned him the name “The Pathfinder.” Between 1842 and 1846 he led three major expeditions into the West. His reports contained important scientific information but they also were very popular reading and made him a hero of westward expansion. Frémont’s fame led to a political career as one of the first U.S. Senators from California and the 1856 Republican Party candidate for President.


Jessie Benton Frémont (1824-1902)

Jessie Benton Fremont.  Image courtesy of Southwest Museum,
  Los Angeles, 81.G.2.

Jessie Benton Frémont was only 16 years old when she married explorer John C. Frémont against the wishes of her father, U.S. Senator Thomas Hart Benton. Jessie spent much of her life promoting her husband’s military and political career. The expeditionary reports she edited for John wielded powerful political influence in Washington. Jessie later became one of the first American women to make a living by writing.

Benton Frémont did not travel these routes with her husband. She did, however, write about them when she worked on the expedition reports.

John Fremont's 1840s expeditions.


Beyond Lewis and Clark is an online exhibit developed by the Kansas Museum of History. It is the result of a partnership between the Kansas Historical Society, the Virginia and Washington State historical societies, the U. S. Army's Frontier Army Museum at Leavenworth, and the U. S. Army Center of Military History.

Contact us at kshs.kansasmuseum@ks.gov