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Flowers left for John Fremont
John Charles Frémont or Fremont: Sir, you will be remembered an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, that era's penny press accorded Frémont the sobriquet The Pathfinder. He is sometimes called The Great Pathfinder. You retired from the military and moved to the new territory California, after leading a fourth expedition, which cost ten lives, seeking a rail route over the mountains around the 38th parallel in the winter of 1849. You became one of the first two U.S. Senators elected from the new state in 1850. You were soon bogged down with lawsuits over land claims between the dispossessions of various land owners during the Mexican-American War, and the explosion of Forty-Niners immigrating during the California Gold Rush. You lost the 1856 presidential election to Democrats James Buchanan and John C. Breckenridge when Democrats warned his election would lead to civil war. During the American Civil War you were given command of the armies in the west but made hasty decisions (such as trying to abolish slavery without consulting the federal government), and was consequently relieved of your command (fired, then court martialed – receiving a presidential pardon). Historians portray you as controversial, impetuous, and contradictory. Some scholars regard him as a military hero of significant accomplishment, while others view you as a failure who repeatedly defeated your own best purposes. The keys to your character and personality may lie in you being born out of wedlock, ambitious drive for success, self-justification, and passive-aggressive behavior. After meeting with President James K. Polk, you left Washington, D.C. on May 15, 1845. You raised a group of 62 volunteers in Saint Louis. You arrived at Sutter's Fort in California on December 10, 1845 and went to Monterrey, California, to talk with the American consul, Thomas Larkin, and Mexican major-domo Jose Castro. In 1846, with the arrival of USS Congress, you were appointed lieutenant colonel of the California Battalion, also called U.S. Mounted Rifles, which you had helped form with your survey crew and volunteers from the Bear Flag Republic, now totaling 428 men. You became the first presidential candidate of the new Republican Party in 1856. It used the slogan "Free Soil, Free Men, and Frémont" to crusade for free farms (homesteads) and against the Slave Power. As was typical in presidential campaigns, the candidates stayed at home and said little. The Democrats meanwhile counter-crusaded against the Republicans, warning that a victory by Frémont would bring civil war. They also raised a host of issues, alleging Frémont was a Catholic and had a poor military record. Frémont's powerful father-in-law, Senator Benton, praised Frémont but announced his support for the Democratic candidate James Buchanan. At the time of your campaign you lived in Staten Island, New York. The campaign was headquartered near your home in St. George.You placed second to James Buchanan in a three-way election; you did not carry the state of California. You lived on Staten Island in retirement and died in New York City in 1890 of peritonitis and was buried in Rockland Cemetery in Sparkill, New York. John Charles Fremont:thank you for serving in the United States' military and being the nation's first Republican candidate for the presidency. I go to school near your burial site someday I will visit it,may you rest in peace!
 Added: Jul. 13, 2014

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