Page:The Cambridge History of American Literature, v3.djvu/170

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Travellers and Explorers, 1846-1900

E. F. Beale in returning to California struck across a little ahead of Gunnison on the same route. With him was Gwin Harris Heap, who wrote the narrative of the journey: Central Route to the Pacific from the Valley of the Mississippi to California (1854), an attractive and interesting story.

Following almost the same route, as far as Gunnison's crossing of Green River, came later in the same year the indefatigable Frémont on his fifth expedition. At Gunnison Crossing he swung to the south through the "High Plateau" country, a southern extension of the Wasatch uplift, and after much suffering in the midwinter of 1853-54 the starving party dragged into the Mormon settlement of Parowan with the loss of one man. Every family in the town immediately took in some of the men and gave them the kindest care. When able, Frémont proceeded westward till he met the high Sierras' icy wall, where he deflected south to the first available pass. To the end of his life he never forgot the generous behavior of the Mormons.

At this time Mrs. Frémont reports in her Far West Sketches (1890) a most remarkable vision she had of her husband s plight, which came to her in the night at Washington. Mrs. Frémont wrote other interesting books, The Story of the Guard (1863), A Year of American Travel (1878), Souvenirs of my Time (1887), and the "Origin of the Frémont Explorations" in The Century Magazine (1890). The Recollections (1912) of her daughter, Elizabeth Benton Frémont, belong to the story of Frémont's career.

Frémont published no account, and no data, of the fifth and last expedition excepting a letter to The National Intelligencer (1854), reprinted in Bigelow s Life. The narrative was to appear in the second volume of his Memoirs, but this was not published. His exact route therefore cannot be located. The main reliance for the narrative is Incidents of Travel and Adventure in the Far West with Frémont's Last Expedition (1857), by S. N. Carvalho, artist to the expedition.

One of the phenomenally reckless, daredevil frontiersmen was James P. Beckwourth, a man of mixed blood, who dictated a marvellous story of his escapades to T. D. Bonner. This was published in 1856 as The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth. Somewhat highly coloured, no doubt, by Beck-