John C. Fremont was a national celebrity in the mid 19th century. One magazine said Fremont, Christopher Columbus and George Washington were the most important historical men since Jesus Christ.
Fremont was instrumental in California becoming a state. He was one of the first two senators. He was the first Republican candidate for president in 1856. And he and his wife Jessie were one of America’s first celebrity couples.
That’s all according to NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep. His latest book tells the story of John and Jessie Fremont. It’s called “Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War.”