Modern albumen print from wet plate collodion negative
Image: 9 × 6.1 cm (3 9/16 × 2 3/8")
Sheet: 15 × 9.8 cm (5 7/8 × 3 7/8")
Mat: 35.6 × 28 cm (14 × 11")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Frederick Hill Meserve Collection
Born Savannah, Georgia
Appointed by President Lincoln to command the Department of the West, headquartered in St. Louis, former explorer John C. Frémont assumed that post in July 1861. But within a matter of months, his refusal to rescind a proclamation to confiscate the property of rebel Missourians and free their slaves cost him both the president’s confidence and his western command. This episode made Frémont a favorite among radical, antislavery Republicans, who pressured Lincoln to restore him to duty. Assigned to a new command in Virginia in the spring of 1862, he was outmatched by Confederate general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and later resigned his command rather than serve under General John Pope. Nominated by anti-Lincoln Republicans as their candidate for president in 1864, Frémont withdrew from the contest when a committee of administration loyalists convinced him that his candidacy could open the door to a Democratic victory in November.