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News and Interesting Items
Page Two
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May, 2011. Loren Irving again takes camera in hand and picks up the route of Frémont's 2nd Expedition south of Oregon. He has recently been traversing the Black Rock Desert (at right with a storm touching the ground), the Pyramid Lake area, and has been as far south as Bridgeport, CA. Loren has met and conferred with veteran Frémont tracker Peter Lathrop, a long time friend of and contributor to this website, in nearby Minden, NV.
This will no doubt lead to a new publishing project by Loren like his Finding Frémont in Oregon, 1843 (see below).
You can also email Loren to get on his mail list of announcements of showings of his films and other Frémont events.


February 28, 2011. longcamp.com celebrates two million pages visited!

(current count)

Do you know which of the over 170 individual pages (URLs) on the website is the internationally most linked-to and single most-viewed page?
(This is my own personal magnum opus, and [hint] it isn't about Frémont.)


October, 2010. Email from a Colorado collector.
Was this Frémont's rifle?
"This fine Plains Rifle surfaced in Los Angeles in the 1950's and was obtained from an antique shop in Inglewood. Frémont's widow Jessie and daughter Elizabeth were in Los Angeles: it is not impossible, and a fun thought, that this very rifle had been Frémont's and had remained in the family until finally someone sold it for whatever reason. (See a telescope (below) purchased from Elizabeth Benton Frémont in Los Angeles in 1902.)
At the beginning of his 3rd expedition, in addition to other arms purchases, Frémont purchased the following from Dickson & Gilmore in Louisville on May 24, 1845."

Dickson & Gilmore, Louisville, May 24, 1845

1 patent breeched half-stocked rifle

$40.00

1 Dob. briched do (sic) Silver mounted rifle

$45.00

6 do Iron mounted 35$ each

$210.00

8 powder horns 75¢ each

$6.00

12 boxes spilt capts (sic) 25¢ ea

$3.00

$304.00

"This particular rifle is further described in a 1988 article on Dickson & Gilmore by George H. Norton in The Gun Report. The purchases made by Frémont are from the book, The Hawken Rifle: Its Place in History by Charles E Hanson, Jr. published in 1979.
go See Frémont's other arms purchases made for his 3rd expedition.


October 5, 2010, 8:30 pm, Menamins Theatre, | 700 NW Bond Street, Bend, OR
World Premiere Screening of Finding Frémont in Oregon, 1843, by Loren Irving and the Deschutes County Historical Society. Produced by Sandy Cummings, TVStoryteller.com
A new documentary makes John C. Fremont's 1843 trek through Oregon come to life through Fremont's own journal entries and Loren Irving's photography. Irving located and recorded all of Fremont's 31 Oregon camps, strung out from The Dalles to the Nevada border. Join Loren as he hosts this amazing tale of John C. Fremont, Kit Carson, Billy Chinook and twenty three other men, 104 horses and mules, and, just for good measure, a 223-pound cannon.
A copy may be purchased online from the Des Chutes Historical Museum Store.
And here a YouTube clip describing the project.


go And here, The Crossing, a rock-by-rock identification of the route of Frémont's epic winter crossing of the snow covered Sierra Nevada by Bob Graham.
This is the same printing done for and sold by the Eldorado National Forest Interpretive Association (ENFIA) at their centers, including the one right at the top of Carson Pass.
"We are now 1,000 feet above the level of the South Pass in the Rocky mountains; and still we are not done ascending." Frémont, February 10, 1844.
"We are now completely snowed in. The snowstorm is on top of us. The wind obliterates all tracks which, with incredible effort, we make for our horses." Charles Preuss


August, 2010
go A telescope that once belonged to John Frémont, with the engraved initials JCF, has turned up. It was purchased from Frémont's daughter Elizabeth about 1902 in Los Angeles. The present owner is looking for a museum or library who would like to own it.
It's back! On May 30, 1012 the telescope turned up on ebay with a starting bid of $49,000.00.
(It got no bids)
On April 13, 2013 it was again included in on an online auction, but did not make the reserve of $20,000.00.


go July 1010. The route of Frémont's 3rd expedition as it crossed the Sierra into California in December 1845 is put to a map for the first time. This is not the emigrant route down the South Yuba and Bear Rivers to Johnson's Rancho, but a ridge route along the North Fork of the American River direct to Sutter's Fort, a route which anticipated the route of the CPRR.


June, 2010
Thanks to Russ Gray of Reno, NV, we now have the location of the recovery location of the parts from the Model 1835 Watervliet Arsenal built carriage of Frémont's "lost cannon."
go The parts are on public display at the Ranger Station in Bridgeport, CA, a few miles south of where they were found--right where Frémont said he left it.

And, May, 2012.
The Fremont Howitzer Recovery Team is still at it. The team is now working under the direction of Dr. James M. Allan, a Research Fellow at the Archaeological Research Facility of the University of California and Director of the Institute for Western Maritime Archaeology.


December 18, 2009 From Doug Uran, Recreation and Cultural Heritage Specialist, Silver Lake Ranger District.
"Hi, Bob. I am taking in each day [of the Report] and each camp on the same [calendar] day and time. Only the Long Creek camp on the 15th is true to the words--the same snow, cold, and understanding of the view of what they had to cross (Sycan Marsh), and you really could not see Winter Rim at this point. But to imagine the sub-chief, (Mosenkwaskit) who is Perry Chocktoot's Great-grand uncle, a close friend of mine who is the director of Cultural Heritage for the Klamath Tribes. I told Loren that I will be visiting the sites to Warner Valley (if the snow and ice lets me). So far the Summer lake site is warm and only 20 inches of snow at Fremont Point."
Doug has recovered a cache of six period (pre 1844) coins from the route of Frémont's descent from Winter Ridge to Summer Lake. December 17, 1843: "One of the mules rolled over and over two or three hundred feet into a ravine, but recovered himself without any other injury than to his pack."


UPDATE October 24, painting my wagon
I have been invited to travel 437 miles north to Bend, Oregon to participate in an upcoming symposium on John C. Frémont hosted by The Deschutes County Historical Society. A number of presenters will explore the route and impact of Frémont's journeys in the West--particularly his 1843 route through Central Oregon. The event will be held Saturday, October 24, 2009.


September 20, 2008.
At Drake historian Brian Kelleher's request, I will be going to Campbell Cove, at the entrance to Bodega Harbor. Brian will be addressing the Bodega Historical Society and the new Harbor Master. As part of this presentation I will repeat my determination of latitude at meridian transit as it would have been determined by Francis Drake in June/July 1579. Preparing for this means bringing the published 1574 solar declinations forward 432 years using the rule of obliquity of the ecliptic.
We have done this publicly on a number of occasions, including large gathering in July 2000 following an announcement by Carl Nolte of the San Francisco Chronicle, and in February 2001 for the filming of a History Channel show on Drake's circumnavigation.
(It rained. Yep, cutting room floor :-)

go Learn more about this very interesting 16C determination of latitude.


Exclusive!
Now you see it; now you don't!
On July 16, 2008 this important Frémont portrait in oil appeared in an ebay auction by seller Hess Fine Art in St. Petersburg, FL. The no reserve auction began at $0.99. But on July 25, with 16 hours remaining, the auction was mysteriously terminated at the $8,800 bid level with the standard ebay catch-all notification "The seller ended this listing early because of an error in the minimum bid or reserve amount." For several days, Clearwater International must seen the landing of many representatives of major gallerie$ and auction hou$e$--no doubt the reason for the aborted ebay auction of this national treasure.

The portrait is signed in the lower right corner S N Carvalho 1864, and on the reverse Painted and presented to the Metropolitan Fair for the benefit the Sick and Wounded Soldiers, New York, 21st March, 1864, S. N. Carvalho. This was the forerunner of the New York Metropolitan Museum. You can see it listed as Catalog number #267.

It could have been done from life, as both Frémont and Carvalho were resident in New York in 1864.

Solomon Nuñes Carvalho was born in Charleston, South Carolina, into a Sephardic Jewish family of Spanish-Portuguese descent. Carvalho worked as both a painter and a photographer. During the winter of 1853-54, Carvalho accompanied Frémont on a railroad survey through the Rocky Mountains. The daguerreotypes that Carvalho took on this expedition, and the prints made from them in the studio of Matthew Brady, no longer exist, but engravings made from the prints appeared in Frémont's Memoirs of My Life, 1886. Carvalho remained for some time in the Mormon settlements painting portraits, including one of Brigham Young. In 1856 Carvalho published Incidents of Travel and Adventure in the West with Col. Frémont's Last Expedition, the only account of Frémont's 5th expedition.

The images above are the result of much editing of the very poor images from the ebay auction with Photoshop®. Camera perspective correction was done using the stated 12" x 14" dimensions of the canvas.
The portrait joins some half dozen Frémont portraits by notables such as G. P. A Healy, William S. Jewett, T. Buchanon Read, Thomas Hicks, Guiseppe Fagnani, Charles Loring Elliott, Otis Bass, in important collections including the National Portrait Gallery. Watch Frémont age>>>>
It may be some time before this portrait again surfaces.

August, 2009 After 11 months, Its Back! The Carvalho portrait, now cleaned, and with the original frame reguilded, has reappeared on the market from Anthony's Fine Art in Salt Lake City. Looks Great! Turns out I did ,a pretty good job in my Photoshop® restoration :-)
Update 2010. When I looked recently, I found the painting marked "SOLD."

Carvalho, from Incidents of Travel, 1856:
"Here was no chance work, no guessing, for a deviation of one mile, either way, from the true course, would have plunged the whole party into certain destruction...It seems as if Col. Frémont had been endowed with supernatural powers of vision, and that he penetrated with his keen and powerful eye through the limits of space, and saw the goal to which all his powers had been concentrated to reach. It was a feat of scientific correctness, probably without comparison in the records of the past."

<Carvalho assisting Frémont in an observation by recording time from the chronometer.


goMark Mysliwiec of Chicago regains his lead in the JCF Look-alike contest.

go The route of the Joseph R. Walker [Bonneville] expedition to California in 1833: one hundred and seventy-five years of lore and legend dispelled.


go October, 2006. Exclusive! Frémont's lost cannon parts found?
Herb Kuehne of Kirkwood, CA tells us of items on display at the Humboldt-Toyage National Forest Ranger Station in Bridgeport. Herb took photographs of the parts and of three iron tires. They have been identified by Lt. Col. Paul Roswitz as the axle strap and trunnion plate of a pre-1848 US-made copy of the French mountain howitzer carriage.


2007--2010: I have not been as busy as usual with this Frémont project, because I have become involved with a group tracing out and mapping the remaining evidence of the 1852 Johnson Cut-off--the first wagon road across the Sierra on today's Hwy 50 alignment (more or less). The group of about 10 volunteers is led by Ford and Ellen Osborn and Eldorado National Forest archaeologist Krista Deal. This makes for great outings, fresh air, Nature, and a lot of fun. I have even been able to implement some of the barometrical work I have previously done regarding Frémont's routes in helping locate a site on the Johnson route. Here, a reenactment of the barometric data gathering of a survey of the Johnson road by civil engineer George H. Goddard in 1854. Goddard's use of the aneroid barometer on his survey was pioneering use of that instrument.
At right, trying to keep my feet dry. Didn't, though :-)


go Frémont's 1844 route from Red Lake to "THE PASS" (Carson Pass), nearly snowless in winter, has been developed by Peter Lathrop.
As readers of The Report may have noted, there is no mention in the 1844 narrative of having to build a "road through the snow" between the "Long Camp" and the "summit of the pass." Peter locates that summit of February 1844.
More of Peter's tracking of Frémont's route from the East Fork of the Carson River to Strawberry can be found below.


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Bob Graham