Aug 17, 2017

Fremont’s Hundred Days in Missouri

Missouri State Archives (600 W. Main St., Jefferson City, MO 65101) from 7 to 8 p.m.

As southern states seceded from the Union at the beginning of the Civil War, many officers with roots in the region resigned their commissions to instead fight with the Confederacy. In 1861, as Northern volunteers rushed to enlist in the Union Army, Washington was faced with a distinct lack of quality officers to command the new enlistees. As a result, many officers who had earlier resigned to enter civilian life were recalled for military service. John C. Fremont was one of these men. He seemed the ideal candidate—a well-known western explorer, the first Senator from the new state of California and, in 1856, the first presidential candidate of the new Republican Party. President Abraham Lincoln commissioned Fremont as a Major General and gave him command of the Department of the West, tasking him with keeping Missouri in the Union. His tenure in Missouri was short-lived, however. Just 100 days into his command, he was removed for issuing a controversial proclamation emancipating the state’s slaves and instituting martial law. Join us as historian Robert Schultz explores the reasons behind Fremont’s precipitous removal.