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Interesting Links
From the ashes of his campfires have sprung cities.
Jessie Benton Frémont

go Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale: Among the earliest outdoor photographs taken by San Francisco photographer Carleton E. Watkins, these images document the Mariposa estate of Col. John C. Frémont.

go Bill Trinkle's Bear Flag Museum--a chronology, history, and more.

go The Volcanoes of John C. Frémont. This is from the USGS website on Living with Volcanoes.

To this Gate I gave the name of Chrysopylae, or GOLDEN GATE;
for the same reasons that the harbor of Byzantium was called Chrysoceras, or GOLDEN HORN.

John Charles Frémont

go And, from the USDA, Forest Service, here a web cam on one of those currently active volcanoes--daylight hours only, of course.

go Frémont was the first to map portions of the Old Spanish Trail. The mission of the Old Spanish Trail Association (OSTA) is to study, preserve, protect, interpret, and promote appropriate use of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail.

go The History Guy website pages on the Mexican War.

No one should try to understand California of 1845-46,
and the men who played leading rolls there,
without a thorough reading of the [Frémont] court-martial proceedings.
It is hard to escape the conclusion that
some of the historians of the period have not done so.

Mary Lee Spence, The Expeditions of John Charles Frémont, 1970.

go Wyoming writer Tom Rea has an internet article at Common Place: The Pathfinder's Lost Instruments; John C. Frémont's cavalier attitude toward his scientific apparatus. An article on Frémont's 1st Expedition travels in present-day Wyoming in 1842. The article includes the climb of Frémont Peak and the raft trip throught The Firey Narrows. This website made some very small contribution to the article and gets a nice credit at the end. Thanks, Tom.

go People of Color on America's Western Frontier--a site created and maintained by researcher Bennie J. McRae, Jr.

go On my site, read about Jacob Dodson, a black youth who figured so prominently in Frémont's 2nd and 3rd expeditions.

His enterprises are full of hardship and peril,
and the wildest romance.
To sleep under the open heaven,
and depend on one's rifle for food,
is coming about as near the primitive state of the hunter
as a civilized man may well get;
and yet this life, in this case,
is adorned with the triumphs of science.
alcalde Walter Colton

go Here, in several formats, is the complete text of Frémont's Reports of the 1842 Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, and 1843-44 Expedition to Oregon, California, and the Southwest.You can search within it with your browser or text editor for dates, locations, and events. It is searchable, and is editable text!

go Topographical Engineers: A wonderful web site about the history of the Topographical Corps, including Frémont's Expeditions. There are also links to the complete texts of many reports online.

go The site also contains this excellent article:
Finding the Way and Fixing the Boundary: The Science and Art of Western Map Making, As Exemplified by William H. Emory and his Colleagues of the U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers, by Rollie Schafer

I must walk toward Oregon, and not toward Europe.
And that way the nation is moving,
And I may say that mankind progress from east to west.
Thoreau, Walking

go Incidents of Travel and Adventure in the Far West with Col. Frémont's last Expedition by S. N. Carvalho. This is the whole account, chapter by chapter, on the internet. Wow!

go Expedition Artists of the Fremont Expeditions: Charles Preuss (1803-1854), Edward M. Kern (1823-1863)

go Available on-line from the University of Michigan, the entire text of On the use of the Barometer on Surveys and Reconnaissances, Williamson, Robert Stockton, New York, D. Van Nostrand; London, Trübner & Co., 1868.

The nervous, rocky West is intruding a new and continental element into the National Mind,
and we shall yet have an American.
Emerson, The Young American, February, 1844

go I have added some information and photographs on the roads through the canyon of the South Fork of the American River along the route that the Frémont Expedition traveled between February 23rd and 26th in 1844. From 1852 until present, this has been an area of intense road building.

go Cadastral Website: What if the batteries in your GPS receiver give out? Go to this site to download Sun and Polaris Ephemeris for year/month/day.

go Here is one sent by Stephen Thumblert, a surveyor from Stockton, California: U.S. Naval Observatory Celestial Navigation Data for Assumed Position and Time. Data can be produced for any date and time from year 1700 through year 2015.

His reputation as an explorer,
for which he gave the enthusiam of his youth,
the maturity of his manhood,
and for which he sacrificed his profession and his private fortune,
must continue to grow steadily in the future.
His unwavering, if impractical, devotion to freedom
was forcibly illustrated by his emancipation proclamation in Missouri,
which he declined to recall,
even at the request of the President, who revoked it.
General A. W. Greely,
Gold Medalist of the Royal Geographical Society and the Société de Géographia, Paris

go The 1848 Frémont/Preuss map of the West.

go And here the 7-segment map of the Oregon Trail was drawn by Charles Preuss and published by the government in 1846.

go The Origins of the Fremont Expeditions: John J. Abert and the Scientific Exploration of the Trans-Mississippi West. Vernon L. Volpe.

Thy error, Frémont, was to act
The brave man's part, without the statesman's tact,
And taking council but of common sense,
To strike at cause as well as consequence.
John Greenleaf Whittier

go Heavenly Mathematics: The National University of Sinapore: Highlights of Cultural Astronomy.

go Approximate Sidereal Times of the Occultations of Jupiter's Satellites by Jupiter, and of the Transit of the Satellites and their Shadows over the Disc of the Planet.

go Get the UTC time from the US Naval Observatory Master Clock.

Frémont has particularly touched my imagination.
What a wild life, and what a fresh kind of existence!
But, ah, the discomforts!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

go A neat site at Rice University on Latitude.

go And I like this one from St. Andrews University on Longitude.

go Barometer World & Museum: Barometers to buy, restoration, Museum, books, spare Parts, FAQ, information.

Where still some grand peaks mark the way,
Touched by light of parting day,
And memories sun.
Backward amid the twylight glow,
Some lingering spots still brightly show,
On roads hard won.
Major General John Charles Frémont,
Founders Medalist of the Royal Geographical Society,
Baron von Humboldt Gold Medalist,
Gold Medal Société de Géographia, Paris

go See Keith Pickering's Columbus Navigation Homepage for a comparison of Columbus's and Drake's navigational techniques and results in their determination of latitudes.

go Did Pedro de Unamuno Really Land in Morro Bay in 1587?  Probably not, according to Michael Baird. Here his examimation of the evidence.

go Hike, bike, and horseback ride on the spectacular Tahoe Rim Trail as it follows the ridges and mountain tops that circle Lake Tahoe.

I find it impossible to describe the hardships through which we passed,
nor am I capable in doing justice to the credit to which he deserves.
But his services to his country have been left to the judgement of impartial freemen,
and all agree in saying that they were great,
and have redounded to his honor, and to that of his country.
Brigadier General Christopher "Kit" Carson

go Helen Pelster, who does volunteer work for the Truckee Donner Land Trust, sends the URL for the Donner Lake Rim Trail web site which she maintains. Frémont entered California over this pass on his third expedition in 1845, days behind the Grigsby - Ide Party of immigrants. He returned from California in 1847 over the same route; this time, under arrest for mutiny, he followed in the dust of General Steven Watts Kearny.

go Amazon Books: 20+ book titles on John C. Frémont. Included is the brand new biography below--highly recommended by this web site!

go Sorrenson's Hope Valley Resort: The place to stay when visiting Frémont's Long Camp. Buy a copy of THE CROSSING from Sorrensen's extensive selection of history and outdoors books, and read it in front of the fire.

A new University of Oklahoma Press edition of Tom Chaffin's now classic Pathfinder: John Charles Fremont and the Course of American Empire.

"The most eloquent, understanding, and yet very candid biography of Frémont that has appeared to date"--Howard R. Lamar, Yale University

In addition to most of the links above, I am gratified to find that my site has acquired links from many educational web sites and resource sites, including he following:

  • The National University of Singapore
  • The University of Bonn
  • Celestial Navigation in the Classroom
  • World Book online
  • Lehrstuhl für Didaktik der Physik Würzburg
  • Columbia University
  • Southern Polytechnic (Georgia)
  • United States Corps of Topgraphical Engineers
  • University of California San Diego
  • Education on the World Wide Web
  • Trails West --Markers of the California Trail
  • Indigenous Peoples Institute
  • Education America Network
  • The University of Kansas
  • Four Directions Institute
  • Plebius - Architecture of the Mind
  • BigTome.com
  • Lassen County California: History and Culture
  • Minnesota Public Radio: The Writer's Almanac
  • ENFIA -- The Eldorado National Forest Interpretive Association
  • Mill Valley Schools
  • Wirtualna Polska
  • Museum of Local History; Fremont, CA

[Editor's note: Bob tells me that the Long Camp site is his hobby. And what a hobby!
The camp site referred to above is depicted on the site in a photo that Bob took after hiking to it in snowshoes!! The site has a number of other Fremont-related links.. DSS]

Professional assiduity, unusual self-control, readiness to endure any amount of monotonous hard work, deprivation, and exhaustion--these were traits of Frémont that we should not allow his many adventures, and the picturesqueness of the scenes in which he moved to obscure. It is significant that Carson, like that other expert frontiersman Alex Godey, regarded him with deferential respect. To both he was as efficient a man of action as they could desire--and in addition a scientist.
Allan Nevins, DeWitt Clinton professor of history, Columbia University
And in these recently published books:

Pathfinder; John C Fremont and the Course of American Empire, Tom Chaffin's 2002 classic in a new University of Oklahoma Press edition.

A very nice mention and the URL to this website on the first page of the introduction. Wow!

From a series of youth books, John Charles Frémont: Western Pathfinder, Barbara Witteman, Capstone Press: Bridgestone Books, Part of Exploring the West Biographies, New York, 2002.

The Eldorado National Forest Interpretive Association's new guide, Hiking in the Greater Carson Pass Region, contains a map and hiking directions to Frémont's Long Camp, the historic site first discovered and presented on this website.

Devil's Gate: Owning the Land, Owning the Story , Tom Rea, University of Oklahoma Press, 2006.

The history of the Sweetwater River valley in central Wyoming--a remote place including Devil's Gate, Independence Rock, and other sites along a stretch of the Oregon Trail.

Sight Unseen: How Fremont's First Expedition Changed the American Landscape. by Andrew Menard, University of Nebraska Press.
The first in-depth study of this remarkable report, Sight Unseen argues that Frémont used both a radical form of the picturesque and an imaginary map to create an aesthetic craving for expansion.

I had in my hand half a dozen squibs,
which I had made one day when encamped upon Laramie Creek,
with gunpowder and charcoal,
and the leaves of Frémont's Expedition,
rolled round a stout lead pencil.
I waited till I could get hold of the large piece of burning bois de vache
which the Indians kept by them on the ground for lighting their pipes.
With this I lighted all the fireworks at once,
and tossed them whizzing and sputtering into the air,
over the heads of the company.
Francis Parkman, The Oregon Trail, 1846.

©1999, 2015
Bob Graham