UPHAM, Charles Wentworth (1802-1875). Life Explorations and Public Services of John Charles Fremont. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1856.

$ 225.00

8vo., bound in 6’s (7 ½ x 5 inches). Engraved frontispiece (some spotting); 12 engraved plates (a bit browned, some offsetting). Original publisher’s green cloth decorated in blind, the smooth spine lettered in gilt (extremities worn, the spine a bit sunned).

Provenance: Contemporary manuscript ownership inscription of “Henry Y. Brackett. Nashua N.H.” to recto of front free endpaper.

First edition. This flattering biography was published the same year that Frémont became the first presidential candidate for the newly formed Republican Party, with the slogan “Free Soil, Free Men, and Frémont.” Upham, a Representative from Massachusetts, extolls Frémont’s virtues: “The example of Col. Fremont has been delineated in this work, and is exhibited to his countrymen not for any temporary purpose, but because it ought, from its essential worth and importance, to be placed where all can contemplate it. His personal history is in many essential particulars, especially in reference to California affairs, the history of the country. But the example is held up, mainly, on account of its moral value to the rising generations of America. The course of John Charles Fremont is a pattern, and his success an encouragement to every noble mind, which, despising sloth and ease, folly and pleasure, aspires to an honorable usefulness to be achieved by meritorious exertions” (p. 354). Frémont, along with former President Millard Fillmore, lost in a three-way race to James Buchanan, but with 33% of the popular vote he established the Republican Party “as a real political force and the main rival to the Democratic Party” (Pamela Herr for ANB).