Jessie Benton – Muse






califhis10Jessie_Benton_Fremont_later_yearsJessie Benton was the living Muse of California who was tirelessly promoted by Charles Lummis who is seen in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles with Elizabeth Fremont, Jessie’s daughter. Jessie wrote short stories for Lummis’s Out West magazine, as did my grandfather, Royal Rosamond. Both authors promoted the Golden State that John Fremont secured for the United States. One historian titles Jessie ‘Mother of the Race of Southern California’.

My mother, Rosemary Rosamond, was the epitome for the Race of Lost Angels, East Coast Muses who got lost out West. Royal taught Erl Stanley Gardener how to type and write in the living room of the Rosamond home in Ventura by the Sea. I am an author who writes about his Muse who inspired Christine Rosamond Benton to take up art. The two fictitious biographies (and two movie scripts) written about my famous sister, are utter trash, they written to enrich my ungifted siblings, Mark and Vicki Presco, who knew nothing about art and history, and omit some amazing history.

These two are the anti-muses, who destroyed the creative family history I have restored and saved in my blogs. These usurpers did not know Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor is our kindred. Liz was the Queen of Hollywood, and Los Angeles Royalty. She died not knowing she was kin to Jessie Benton whom she resembles in character, they both championing unpopular causes. They were Liberated Women, as was the artist, Rosamond who married Garth Benton, the cousin of the famous artist Thomas Hart Benton, who was the grandson of Senator Benton, the father of Jessie, and promoter of the West.

In the photo above we see a portrait of John Fremont painted by the famous artist (John) Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum who rendered Mount Rushmore. Jessie was Gutzon’s patron. You will find an image of Rushmore in your American Passport.

The house Jessie lived in (1101 W.28th.St.) was moved several time before it was demolished. Liz Fremont burned most of her father’s papers lest they fall into the hands of the enemy, those who were hell-bent on toppling Fremont and Jessie from the heights they had reached. Who would do such a thing? In my history book I blame Mary Todd, Lincoln’s shrill and ambition wife who some say controlled the White House. How she did this will be revealed in my History Book. There can be no doubt I and Jessie’s historian, and the Family history, in regards to the two creative grandchildren, of Royal Rosamond.

Speilberg is the King of Hollywood who missed the Fremont history in his movie ‘Lincoln’. Abe was for shipping black folks to another country after the Civil war ended so divided white folks can get along. rednecks and neo-Confederats took over the Reublican Party that John Fremont co-founded, and was this parties first Presidential candidate. The fake Patriots have brought our government to a halt, and work with right-wing think tanks to alter history, raise Scarlet from the ruins of Tara. Jessie was the real Scarlet O’Hara until she opposed slavery. Her father was a member of the Free Soil party, and bid John Fremont to conduct a clandestine war for the Golden State and the Land of the Free.

John Presco

Copyright 2013

Mrs. Jessie Benton Fremont and company at her home in Los Angeles, ca.1892

Photograph of Mrs. Jessie Benton Fremont and company at her home in Los Angeles, ca.1892. Mrs. Jessie Benton can be seen at center with Miss Elizabeth “Lily” Fremont and two children of Lieutenant Fremont nearby. She relaxes in a hammock strung from the wall to a post while behind her stand two girls, a boy (sitting on the porch railing), and Lily (sitting with knitting in her lap). In the extreme background, large trees are visible. A wooden chair with a blanket draped over the seat can be seen in the foreground.; In the original record, the home’s location was defined as “in Pasadena”.; “The house which was built in West Adams in either 1891 or 1892 at 1101 West 28th Street (at the NW corner of Hoover). The house was designed by architect Sumner P. Hunt. It was moved in the late 30s to the Valley–sadly to the site of what became Valley College–5744 Ethel Avenue. The college then decided to build there so it moved again to 14626 Titus Street, Panorama City where it was demolished in 1959. Obviously, no one knew what they had. And it was built for Mrs. Fremont after her husband’s NYC death by the women of CA and Los Angeles” — Anna Marie Brooks, Architectural Historian.

In partnership with architect Silas Reese Burns he designed such regional landmarks as the original building of the Southwest Museum, the Casa de Rosas, Ebell of Los Angeles, the Bradbury Building, the Los Angeles Country Club, the Vermont Square Branch library, the Pierpont Inn, LA headquarters building of the Automobile Club of Southern California, and the Janet Jacks Balch Hall for Scripps College, a liberal arts women’s college in Claremont, California. It is a member of the Claremont Colleges. The Hall was completed in the Fall of 1929. The building was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Allan C. Balch of Los Angeles, and named in honor of trustee Janet Jacks Balch. Today Balch Hall is used as the administrative center and the adjoining auditorium is a key location for lectures, plays, community meetings, convocations, and musical events.

Charles Fletcher Lummis was an anthropologist, historian, journalist, and photographer who created the Southwest Society, which was the western branch of the Archaeological Institute of America. He gained the support of city leaders, and with the financial backing of attorney Joseph Scott and opened the Southwest Museum in 1907. The museum moved from Downtown Los Angeles to its current location in Mt. Washington in 1914, and has been there ever since.
The 1914 building was designed by architects Sumner P. Hunt and Silas Reese Burns. Later additions to the museum include the Caroline Boeing Poole Wing of Basketry (completed 1941), by architect Gordon B. Kaufmann, and the Braun Research Library (1971), by architect Glen E. Cook.

Lummis used his personal relationship with President Theodore Roosevelt to force his old nemesis, the U.S. Indian policy bureaucracy, to change some of its ways. In the face of Indian Bureau opposition, he found a new home for a small band of Indians evicted from their village alongside a hot spring near Palm Springs. He helped reverse a ridiculous policy that led some U.S. Indian agents to forcibly cut the hair of Indian men on their reservations. But in one battle, Lummis overstepped his bounds and ended up wearing out his welcome at the White House.

In 1892, Lummis released another book, Some Strange Corners of Our Country. Between 1893 and 1894, Lummis spent 10 months in Peru with Adolph Bandelier before returning to Los Angeles with his wife, Eva, and their year old daughter, Turbese. Unemployed and out of money, he finally landed the position of editor of a regional magazine, Land of Sunshine. The magazine was renamed Out West[6] in 1901, and published works by famous authors such as John Muir and Jack London. Over his 11 years as editor, Lummis wrote more than 500 pieces for the magazine himself, as well as a popular monthly commentary called “In the Lion’s Den”. He also built a remarkable home out of stone which he named El Alisal for the sycamore tree that grew just outside. As president of the “Landmarks Club of Southern California” (an all-volunteer, privately funded group dedicated the preservation of California’s deteriorating Spanish missions), Lummis noted that the historic structures “…were falling to ruin with frightful rapidity, their roofs being breached or gone, the adobe walls melting under the winter rains.”

His widow, Jessie Benton Fremont, is at this writing (1893), a resident of Los Angeles, Cal. Three children survive their father, an unmarried daughter, Elizabeth McDowell Benton, Lieutenant Frank Preston Fremont, U. S. A.; and Lieutenant John Charles Fremont, U. S. N. After his death Mrs. Fremont demanded compensation for, or restitution of the property appropriated by the United States Government for military purposes in San Francisco harbor, in 1863, and for which she has never received a dollar (1893). The settlement of this claim in her favor is anticipated by the bench generally, long as justice to her has been delayed. At present she has a pension from the Government.

Fremont’s 100-day reign over the Army of the West was generally ineffectual and he was replaced, mostly because Lincoln was tired of hearing about Fremont’s feud with the powerful Blair family. Francis Blair, former editor of the Washington Globe, was a close friend of Andrew Jackson and Thomas Benton. His son Montgomery was Lincoln’s Postmaster General. Francis wanted Fremont to name another son, Frank Jr., currently a Missouri Congressman, a general and to give most of the lucrative government contracts for fortifications around the city of St. Louis to his Missouri friends. But Fremont ignored Blair and gave most of these contracts to his California friends, Palmer and Beard, who had followed him to St. Louis. The last straw for Lincoln was Fremont’s decision to free all the slaves of Missouri landowners who were sympathetic to the Confederacy. The president ordered Fremont to renounce his emancipation proclamation. In 1862 he was given another command to head one of three armies in the Mountain Department campaign of West Virginia. He soon got into trouble, however, when he failed to arrive at Strasburg in time to join up with another army headed by General McDowell and cut off Stonewall Jackson’s retreat. When Lincoln decided to merge these three armies under one command he selected the leader of the third army, John Pope, an archenemy of Fremont’s from his days in Missouri, and Fremont asked to be relieved of his command. Lincoln never gave him another command and he resigned from the army in 1863.

Frank Preston Fremont graduated from West Point, got as far as major in his army career but was court-martialed for insubordination in 1907. He spent most of his remaining life in Cuba as president of a munitions factory there. He died in 1931.

Fremont is considered a major enigma in American History. There are many questions about his life — what really happened and why did he do what he did — that will probably never be answered. One day shortly after her mother’s death Lily Fremont went through her parents’ papers and burned everything that she thought damaged her father’s reputation. He was basically a shy person and definitely not as socially oriented and most likely as politically ambitious as his wife Jessie. He and Jessie were both fluent in French and Spanish and some of his best friends, including the French Canadian voyageurs on his expeditions and his Californio landowner neighbors, spoke only those native tongues. Most of the men who accompanied him on his expeditions and in his Civil War campaigns adored him and were proud to have served under him.

In 2006, Starr was made a member of the College of Fellows of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California. In November 2006 he was awarded a National Humanities Medal.[5] On July 7, 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver announced that Starr would be a 2010 inductee of the California Hall of Fame; the induction ceremony was held on December 14, 2010 at The California Museum. He was presented with The Robert Kirsch Award by the Los Angeles Times as part of the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes.[6]

(John) Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum (March 25, 1867 – March 6, 1941) was a Danish-American artist and sculptor famous for creating the monumental presidents’ heads at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, the famous carving on Stone Mountain near Atlanta, as well as other public works of art.

The Dream of California
“In 1884 seventeen-year old Gutzon Borglum moved from Nebraska to California with his family, determined to become an artist. The Borglums wanted to share in the excitement of the California of the 1880s. Thanks to the completion of the transcontinental railway, California was teeming with activity and competing with other areas of the United States in trade, population, and culture.
Influenced by his fellow-artists William Keith, Virgil Williams, and Elizabeth Jaynes Putnam – whom he would eventually marry — Borglum’s early works depicted the state’s landscape and subjects in a romanticized way. In doing so he reflected the view of California as a paradise at the end of the trail, which the state was proudly promoting to the rest of the nation. California’s artists were contributing to the propagation of this image through their art…”
Land of Sunshine
One of the main promoters of the exalted view of California and the West was The Land of Sunshine, a magazine edited by Charles Lummis. Artists were included in its editorial board and played an important role in shaping its content. Borglum’s contributions started in 1895. He also redesigned its cover. The magazine’s contributors saw themselves as members of an important cultural center that was emerging as an alternative to the well-established ones in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia They portrayed their art and their writing as closer to nature and to the land than those of the older American cities and, being further removed from European models, more American.
The magazine’s slogan, The Land of Sunshine Expands One’s Soul, was in Spanish The use of this language symbolized the intellectuals’ embrace of the state’s colonial heritage as a unique source of tradition, history, and colorful imagery.”

The Blair family is well represented in American history: Blair’s father, James Blair, was a prominent lawyer and Attorney General of Kentucky from 1797-1820. His son, Montgomery Blair, was one of Dred Scott’s attorneys in his infamous court case before the US Supreme Court. His other son, Francis “Frank” Preston Blair, Jr., was a US Congressman before the American Civil War, a Union General during and a US Senator after that conflict. F. Preston Blair’s daughter, Elizabeth Blair, was one of Mary Todd Lincoln’s closest friends, and married US Rear Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee, grandson of Tenth Amendment author Richard Henry Lee and third cousin of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Blair’s nephew, B. Gratz Brown, was a US Senator, Governor of Missouri, and Horace Greeley’s Vice Presidential running mate in the Presidential election of 1872, losing to Ulysses S. Grant and Henry Wilson. Long after his death, Blair’s stylish Washington mansion near Lafayette Park was purchased by the federal government and, now called “Blair House”, it has been the official guest residence for visiting foreign dignitaries since 1942.

Silver Spring, Blair’s country home just outside Washington in Maryland, became the political mecca for Jacksonians during this period. However, Blair departed from many of his associates in 1848, when he supported the Free Soil cause. He had never been associated with abolitionism, but he said Van Buren’s letters and speeches that year had converted him to the necessity of opposing the slave power. In 1852 he was prepared to back Thomas Hart Benton for the Free Soil nomination but later approved the Democrats’ nomination of Franklin Pierce. When Pierce appointed “Southern radicals” to his Cabinet, Blair felt that Northern and moderate Democrats had been betrayed; and when the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Bill passed—opening up the territories to slavery—Blair was roused to fight. “I hope there will be honest patriots enough found to resist it,” he said, “and that the present aggression will be rebuked. I am willing to devote the balance of my life to this object.” He was then 63 years old. Stephen Douglas, in typical invective, called him “a good Democrat fallen into ‘Black Republicanism.”‘

The Free Soil Party was a short-lived political party in the United States active in the 1848 and 1852 presidential elections, and in some state elections. Founded in Buffalo, New York, it was a third party and a single-issue party that largely appealed to and drew its greatest strength from New York State. The party leadership consisted of former anti-slavery members of the Whig Party and the Democratic Party. Its main purpose was opposing the expansion of slavery into the western territories, arguing that free men on free soil comprised a morally and economically superior system to slavery. They opposed slavery in the new territories (agreeing with the Wilmot proviso) and sometimes worked to remove existing laws that discriminated against freed African Americans in states such as Ohio.
The party membership was largely absorbed by the Republican Party in 1854.

1101 W 28th St This is a Multi-Family located at 1101 West 28th Street, Los Angeles CA. 1101 W 28th St has approximately 6,881 square feet. The property has a lot size of 9,975 sqft and was built in 1939. The average list price for similar homes for sale is $593,247 and the average sales price for similar recently sold homes is $448,065. 1101 W 28th St is in the Jefferson neighborhood in Los Angeles, CA. The average list price for Jefferson is $692,654.

Do you know your history about Flag Day?

Posted by kgwalters on June 13, 2011 · 1 Comment

We tend to forget the significance and importance of June 14. The United States flag represents our freedom, independence and unity. The American flag has changed its design throughout the last 234 years.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs posted the resolution by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777, “That the flag of the United States shall be of thirteen stripes of alternate red and white, with a union of thirteen stars of white in a blue field, representing the new constellation.” (

President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1916 that established June 14 as Flag Day, but it wasn’t until August of 1949 that June 14 was established by an Act of Congress as National Flag Day. It is not a national holiday; Pennsylvania is one state that celebrates June 14 as a state holiday.

Fremont Flag, 1841. 81.G.5a, Gift of Elizabeth Fremont, Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection

Originally sewn on the back for the Fremont Flag made by Jessie Benton Fremont. 81.G.5, Gift of Elizabeth Fremont. Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection

An important flag in the Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collections is known as the Fremont Flag. John Charles Fremont carried the flag during his 1841 west of the Rockies exploration. In 1905 Elizabeth Benton Fremont donated the flag to the Southwest Society, the precursor to the Southwest Museum. This donation is recorded in the minutes of the Board for the meeting of May 3, 1905, “Miss Elizabeth Benton Fremont, daughter of the ‘pathfinder’ has this day, presented the Southwest Society with the original flag unfurled by John C. Fremont on the crest of the Rocky Mountains Aug. 15, 1842; and that other personal mementos of the man who saved California to the Union will also be deposited in the Southwest Museum.” Fremont’s memoirs give the aforementioned date and note that it was raised on the highest peak of the Wind River Chain – which we know is in Wyoming and is referred to as Fremont Peak.

Elizabeth Benton Fremont at El Alisal photograph by Charles F. Lummis, 1905 Braun Research Library Collection, P.32271

Elizabeth Benton Fremont opening speech photograph by Charles F. Lummis, Nov. 16, 1912 Braun Research Library Collection S1.11

Elizabeth Benton Fremont, raising the flag, photograph by Charles F. Lummis, Nov. 16, 1912 Braun Research Library Collection S1.10

Miss Fremont at the age of 70 unfurled the flag at the ground breaking ceremony for the Southwest Museum building in 1912. Here is the text of her speech:


Mr. Chairman:

“To the Southwest Museum this flag is given in perpetuity in memory of my father, John C. Fremont and of my mother, Jessie Benton, who was always his inspiration and his ally; with the hope that it will aid in keeping alive the interest of our young people in the history and the romance of the older days of our great west, with only in that magnificently beautiful region of Wyoming the grand solitude of which was then only broken by roving Blackfeet Indians and by Buffalo; where it was that on August 15th, 1842 that standing on the loftiest Peak of the Rocky Mountains ‘where never human foot had stood before,’ Fremont the Pathfinder- unfurled this flag to the breeze; but also that their interest may include all of our great west, with the wonders and beauties of our own California which was so dear to my Father, and which he was granted the great good fortune of being so largely instrumental in helping to add to our Union.

I have the right, as the last of the trio to give this flag into the keeping of your Museum, Mr Chairman, since the day (some seventy years ago) when on his return from that expedition, my Father gave it to his young wife and the wee baby by her side saying: ‘this, the dearest possession that I have, our national flag raised in the vast solitude of the Rocky Mountains, I give to you two;’ This flag has been cherished and cared for by my mother and me; we have taken it with us everywhere we went; and now, the last of those three, give it into the safe keeping of the Southwest Museum to remain always in that California which was so dear to my father.”

Elizabeth Benton Fremont Los Angeles, November 15, 1912

(Quote from a Letter in MS.217)

The Fremont Flag laid out after the backing with the embroidery was removed note the position of the butterfly. Braun Research Library Collection P.13752

The flag was designed by John Charles Fremont and was reportedly made by Jessie Benton Fremont for her husband to carry on his western explorations in 1840/1841. This is a modified American flag with a bald eagle, which carries a calumet pipe made from catlinite in its talons. According to Duane King, former director of SWM, “Including this symbol on an American flag carried through Indian country indicated Fremont’s sensitivity to, and knowledge of Native American customs.” King further adds that using the catlinite pipe is a symbol of peace to Plains tribes, because of the sacred nature of the only area where catlinite is found. There is also a sheaf of arrows in the talons; there are 26 six stars which represented the states in the Union at that time. Our documentation indicates that Mrs. Fremont backed the flag with a piece of her silk wedding dress and embroidered “Rocky Mountains 1841,” which was the year that Fremont began his expedition.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Jessie Benton – Muse

  1. Reblogged this on rosamondpress and commented:

    It is my hope that Royal Rosamond Press will be seen as the New Western Oracle that will embrace, and bring into the present, the ideas of these literary and creative pioneers that gave birth to a vibrant culture when it was an infant crying in the wilderness.

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