Two campaign advertising envelopes promoting the candidacy of the first Republican to run for President; one cover showing John Fremont and the second showing his wife, Jessie

Two campaign advertising envelopes promoting the candidacy of the first Republican to run for President; one cover showing John Fremont and the second showing his wife, Jessie

Hartford, Connecticut and East Randolph, Massachusetts: 1856. Envelope or Cover.

John Fremont cover – Franked with a 3c dull red Washington stamp with outer frame lines (Scott #11). Margins at top and sides; in a little at the bottom. Tied by a circular Hartford, Connecticut postmark dated Oct 13 on yellow cover. Addressed to Uxbridge, Massachusetts. Cover features a three-quarter portrait and has a Putnam Brothers imprint (Milgram JF-4). Docketing on the left margin. Backflap torn upon opening. Very attractive.

Jesse Fremont cover – Franked with a 3c dull red Washington stamp with outer frame lines (Scott #11). Margins all around; wide on the left. Manuscript cancel with faint blue circular East Randolph, Massachusetts postmark dated October 18. Addressed to Newark, New Jersey. Cover features a three-quarter portrait titled “Our Jessie” (Milgram JF-50). Sound and very attractive. Very good. Item #009442

John “The Pathfinder” Fremont was an American explorer, politician, and Army officerr who, in 1856, became the first candidate of the Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, he led five expeditions into the American West, and during the Mexican–American War, he illegally assumed the role of California’s military governor. He was subsequently found guilty of mutiny and although his sentence was commuted by President Polk, he resigned from the army, settled in Monterey and began to purchase cheap land in the Sierra foothills. When gold was found on his Mariposa ranch, Frémont became a wealthy man.

Fremont’s explorations had brought him in contact with the powerful Democratic Senator Thomas Hart Benton, and after he eventually married Benton’s daughter, Jessie, the senator became his patron.

Fremont, a Free Soil Democrat, was elected as one of California’s first senators in 1850, and as the 1856 election approached he was asked by both the Democrats and newly organizing Republicans to run for President. Finding his “free soil” position more in tune, with the Republicans, he cast his lot with them, becoming their first-ever presidential candidate.

The Democrats ran a brutal campaign against him that included illegally naturalizing thousands of alien immigrants in Pennsylvania, ridiculing his illegitimate birth, alleging that he was a Roman Catholic, attacking his military record, and claiming that if elected, he would assuredly bring on a civil war. Fremont lost the election, coming in second to James Buchanan in a three-way contest.

Jessie Benton Fremont was even more politically-minded than her husband. An outspoken opponent of slavery, she was not afraid to enter the political fray and actively campaigned for her husband. One of the Republican’s campaign slogan was “Fremont and Jessie too,” and party members referred to her as “the first lady of the land” during the campaign and for the rest of her life. When the Fremonts returned to California after the election she became one of the leaders of the state’s anti-secession movement.

A nice pair of scarce and important campaign advertising covers.

Price: $900.00