Jessie Benton Fremont
July 1, 1989
Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor
Jessie Benton Fremont: A Biography.
By Pamela Herra. New York: 1987. Illustration. Bibliography. Index. 496 Pages. $24.95.
If you like your history laced with a little romance and leavened with a touch of women’s liberation (posthumously applied), you will love Pamela Herra’s biography of Jessie Benton Fremont. Fremont was, of course, the daughter of prominent senator Thomas Hart Benton, and the wife of John Charles Fremont, who had much to do with the American takeover of California. Herra tells well the familiar story of Jessie Fremont and her extraordinary life. Hers is the first full length biography of the subject, and is enhanced by the use of some newly discovered letters. The book is both a “good read” and a contribution to our knowledge of the people involved.