Page:The Cambridge History of American Literature, v3.djvu/159

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141
Early California

Spanish Trail to Utah and breaking through the Wasatch east of Utah Lake. His Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842 and to Oregon and Northern California in the Years 1843-44 (1845) was a revelation to most of the world. Ten thousand copies were printed by the government, and it was reprinted by professional publishers, minus the scientific matter, in their regular lists.

The very day Frémont handed in this report, I March, 1845, the United States flung the gauntlet in the face of Mexico by admitting Texas and assuming the Texan boundary affair. War was inevitable and everybody knew it. Therefore when Frémont headed a new "topographical surveying" expedition to the Far West he had a force of sixty well-armed marksmen. When he reached California and found an incipient rebellion already organized by Americans, he placed himself with this powerful party and the American flag at its head, supplanting the Bear Flag of the revolutionists and giving immediate notice thereby to the other covetous nations that California was only for the United States.

The Bear Flag revolt from its beginning may be studied in Scraps of California History Never Before Published. A Biographical Sketch of William B. Ide, etc. (1880), privately printed by Simeon Ide. In H. H. Bancroft's History of California, vol. v, is another account; and the revolt and Frémont are sharply criticized by Josiah Royce in California from the Conquest in 1846 to the Second Vigilance Committee in San Francisco (1888). Royce also gave his analysis of Fremont's character in the Atlantic Monthly in 1890.

Frémont tells his own story in Memoirs of My Life (1887; only vol. I of the projected two volumes was published). This contains a sketch of "The Life of Senator Benton in Connection with Western Explorations" from the pen of his daughter, Jessie Ben ton Frémont. Frémont's career up to the time he ran for President was written by John Bigelow as a campaign document in 1856: Memoir of the Life of John C. Frémont. Another Life of Frémont (1856) is by Charles W. Upham, but there was no single volume containing all the story of this active explorer and politician till Frémont and 49, by Frederick S. Dellenbaugh, appeared in 1914.

California now attracted world attention, and there are a