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JOHN CHARLES FREMONT.
A BRIEF ME MOIR OF HIS LIFE.
JoBN CHARLEs FREMONT, late Lieut.-Col. U.S.A., is the son of a French gentleman, who visited this country from political causes, and while here, intermarried with Anne Beverley, daughter of Col. Thomas Whiting, of Gloucester Co., Wa. The Whitings are recognized as belonging to the oldest and highest stock in the State, and have had frequent intermarriages with the family whose name the deeds and virtues of George Washington have made im
mortal. The subject of this memoir was born in Savannah, Ga., on the
21st January, 1813. Two other children came after him, a brother and sister, both shee dead; and in 1818, his father died while engaged in preparations to return to France. Young Fremont shortly afterwards entered the law office of J. W. Mitchell, of Charleston, S.C.; and, through the kindness of this gentleman, was placed at the school of Dr. John Robertson, of the same city, where he soon gave ample evidence of superior talents and untiring application. In 1828, being then fifteen, he entered the junior class of Charleston College, and might have made a brilliant career there, had it not been for the fascinations of a fair West-Indian girl, whose beauty ran counter to the academic regulations. He was expelled by the Faculty, pour encourager les autres, as Talleyrand would say; and this serious rebuke awoke him to a sense of the responsibilities which he owed to his widowed mother, whose only child he had now become. In 1888, he became teacher of mathematics on board the sloop of war Natchez; and on his return from a three years' cruise, received the honorary degree of Master of Arts from the college which had been reluctantly compelled to treat his youthful irregu. larities with rigor. Shortly after he surveyed the railroad line between Charleston and Augusta, and was associated with Capt. Williams and Gen. McNeill in exploring the mountain passes between South-Carolina and Tennessee. Under M. Nicollet, he surveyed and mapped the sources of the Mississippi and Missouri, as far up as the British line; and in 1838, he was appointed Second Lieutenant in the corps of Topographical Engineers, reërganized by Gen. Jackson, with the provision that half the corps should be taken from the civil service. He had previously passed the examination for Professor of Mathematics in the U.S. Navy, but did not avail himself of the tempting position. In 1841, having been for some years on terms of intimacy with the family of the Hon. Thomas Benton, of Mo., he married Jessie, the second daughter of that respected senator. The match was not approved by the young lady's father, and consequently had to be performed clandestinely by a Roman Catholic priest, in the absence of any other clergyman bold enough to officiate. In 1842, he started on his first great exploring expedition to discover a pass across the Rocky Mountains—the South Pass being the one specially aimed at; and it was there that he planted the American flag on the highest pinnacle of the Wind River Peak, 13,000 feet above the level of the ocean. On his successful return, he was dispatched a second time, with instructions to connect his explorations with the surveys of the Pacific coast, then being made by Capt. Wilkes, U. S. N. It was after his departure on this second expedition that Mrs. Fremont withheld the orders recalling him— an omission for which Science yet remains in her debt. He then discovered the Inland Sea, and fulfilled his instructions to the letter. In his third expedition, he first visited Mariposa, first hoisted the American flag in California, and, in company with Commodore Stockton, made the conquest of that modern Eldorado. For this he was afterwards court-martialed and dismissed the service—a sentence which the President revoked, at the same time restoring his rank and ordering him to rejoin his regiment. But Fremont did not wish to expose himself a second time to the jealousy of the West-Point officers: he resigned, and organized a fourth expedition out of his own funds. After this, he settled on his Mariposa purchase, and was the first U. S. senator elected by California. He then organized a fifth expedition, during which the greater number of his fellow-voyagers were either frozen or starved to death. Tired at length of savage life, or having exhausted its varieties, he went to Europe, where he was received with profound respect by all the most eminent scientific savans and associations of France, Germany, and England. The great gold medal of Prussia was transmitted to him by Baron Humboldt, in a letter acknowledging the great services he had rendered to the sciences of astronomy, geography, botany, geology, and meteorology. In 1855, he returned and took up his residence in New-York City; and on the 19th of June, 1856, received the unanimous nomination of the Republican Convention assembled at Philadelphia. Col. Fremont is of a spare figure, but remarkably compact and symmetrical; his eyes are very piercing, his head well formed and finely balanced, and his whole appearance is a justification of the obstinate attachment which his wife exhibited to his fortunes.
REPUBLICAN PLATFORM PUT FORTH AT PHILADELPHLA, JUNE 18, 1856.
This Convention of Delegates, assembled in pursuance of a call addressed to the people of the United States, without regard to past political differences or divisions, who are opposed to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise; to the policy of the present Administration; to the extension of Slavery into Free Territory; in favor of admitting Kansas as a free State; of restoring the action of the Federal Government to the principles of WASHINGTON and JEFFERSON, and who purpose to unite in presenting candidates for the offices of President and Vice-President, do resolve as follows:
Resolved, That the maintenance of the principles promulgated in the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the Federal Constitution are essential to the preservation of our Republican institutions, and that the Federal Constitution, the rights of the States, and the union of the States shall be preserved.
IResolved, That, with our Republican fathers, we hold it to be a self-evident truth, that all men are sendowed with the inalienable rights to life, . and the pursuit of happiness; and that the primary object and ulterior designs of our Federal Government were, to secure these rights to all persons within its exclusive jurisdiction; that, as our Republican fathers, when they had abolished Slavery in all our national territory, ordained that no person should be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, it becomes our duty to maintain this provision of the Constitution against all attempts to violate it for the purpose of establishing Slavery in any territory of the United States, by positive legislation prohibiting its existence or extension therein. That we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature, of any indivi ual or association of individuals, to give legal existence to Slavery in any territory of the United States, while the present Constitution shall be maintained. Resolved, That the Constitution confers upon Congress sovereign power over the territories of the United States for their government, and that in the exercise of this power it is both the right and the duty of Congress to prohibit in the territories those twin relics of barbarism—Polygamy and Slavery. JResolved, That while the Constitution of the United States was ordained and established by the people in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, and secure the blessings of liberty; and contains ample provisions for the protection of the life, liberty, and property of every citizen; the dearest Constitutional rights of the people of Kansas, have been fraudulently and violently taken from them—their territory has been invaded by an armed force— spurious and pretended legislative, judicial, and executive officers have been set over them, by whose usurped authority, sustained by the military power of the government, tyrannical and unconstitutional laws have been enacted and enforced—the rights of the people to keep and bear arms have been infringed—test oaths of an extraordinary and entangling nature have been imposed, as a condition of exercising the right of suffrage and holding office— the right of an accused person to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury has been denied—the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unrea sonable searches and seizures has been violated—they have been deprived of life, liberty, and property, without due process of law —that the freedom of speech and of the press has been abridged —the right to choose their representatives has been made of no effect—murders, robberies, and arsons have been instigated and encouraged, and the offenders have been allowed to go unpunished— that all these things have been done with the knowledge, sanction, and procurement of the present Administration, and that for this high crime against the Constitution, the Union, and humanity, we arraign the Administration, the President, his advisers, agents, supporters, apologists and accessories either before or after the facts, before the country and before the world; and that it is our fixed purpose to bring the actual perpetrators of these atrocious outrages and their accomplices to a sure and condign punishment hereafter. Resolved, That Kansas should be immediately admitted as a State of the Union, with her present free constitution, as at once the most effectual way of securing to her citizens the enjoyments of the rights and privileges to which they are entitled, and of ending the civil strife now raging in her territory. Resolved, That the highwayman's plea, that “might makes right,” embodied in the Ostend circular, was in every respect unworthy of American diplomacy, and would bring shame and dis