John C. Frémont (1813–1890) was a western explorer, Republican politician, and Union Army officer. Frémont spent the 1830s and 1840s surveying and mapping different areas of the American West. Frémont participated in surveys of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Columbia Rivers, Cherokee lands in Georgia, and areas between the Mississippi valley and the Pacific. In the 1830s, Frémont enlisted in the US Army. He led several major expeditions throughout the 1840s and earned the nickname “Pathfinder.” After resigning, Frémont was elected as the first US senator for California in 1849. In 1856 the anti-slavery Frémont was nominated as the presidential candidate for the newly formed Republican Party. He won much of the North and finished the race with 114 electoral votes, but he lost the election to Democrat James Buchanan. As a Union general during the Civil War in 1861, Frémont issued an order declaring the slaves of Missouri free. He had not received authorization to emancipate slaves, however, and President Lincoln quickly revoked the order. Frémont later served as the territorial governor of Arizona.

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