Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Passion and Principle" the Life of Jessie Frémont

Jessie Ann Benton Frémont, and her husband, John C. Frémont, lived lives that embodied the pulse and experience of America during the nineteenth century. Their triumphs and tragedies reflected the tides of America's own triumphs and tragedies.

Whether it was the promise of Western expansion, the freedom of the Gold Rush, the desperation of abolition, the sordidness and ambitious political system, the luxury of the Gilded Age, or the humiliating poverty of the economic downturn in 1873, this couple experienced it all as if they were America itself.

Santa Fe author, Sally Denton captured their fascinating lives in the most interesting biography I have ever read. She skillfully presented a story, one that is as engrossing as a great Hollywood movie, and yet detailed with historical accounts. I strongly encourage people to read this book. It presents such a fascinating look into our nation's past. "Passion and Principle: John and Jessie Frémont, the Couple Whose Power, Politics, and Love Shaped Nineteenth-Century America" by Sally Denton.

Jessie Ann Benton Frémont
I am still trying to understand the character of Jessie. This is my first introduction to her. Her father raised her as if she were a boy. He included her in meetings with prominent American political leaders. He developed her writing skills and had her assist with his senatorial duties. Growing up in such an unconventional way gave Jessie the confidence to approach and demand respect from everyone, including President Abraham Lincoln. Her power was not admired by all however, and many strove to "put her in her place", but she was like a river. If she encountered opposition, she changed her course and carved a new path for herself.

In Her Own Words
"I only hope that the youth of this country will learn to evaluate the past in the light of our heroes' dreams as well as their achievements and this for their own sakes, since by the largeness of our dreams do we truly live." *

- Jessie Frémont (1824-1902)
American writer, political activist, and philanthropist

*Denton, Sally, "Passion and Principle: John and Jessie Frémont, the Couple Whose Power, Politics, and Love Shaped Nineteenth-Century America" (2007) p. 377

About the author: Allison Frederick is a writer and online marketing educator for other creative women. offers free Web 2.0 resources. She is also the author of an upcoming novel, A Portrait of Josephine, an academic-lite thriller. Find out how to receive a free copy of the novel by visiting

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