Bohemians Two

Bohemians

by

Jon Presco

Chapter Two

A National Poem

Major Stuttmeister felt a rush of pride when he heard the Hungarians break out in a chorus of transplanted patriotism as General Fremont rode out onto the field with his infamous Guard. It was quite a show, that Buffalo Bill would later replicate.

Two buffalo were run out onto the field by two mountain men in bucksin, followed by a coalition of Native Americans from Oregon, the Dakotas, and Delaware. Then came the Hungarians in their plumed hats, followed by the Berliners wearing their silver helmuts with a crest made of horsehair, which got the attention of the Sioux Chiefs.

Jessie Benton Fremont had accompanied Lous Kossuth on his tour, and became alarmed when Albert Pike took a keen interest him. When Manzanni came to their table at the Knickerbocker Restaurant in New York, Jessie did her best to fend him off, and protect the hinge pin to her husband’s dream. Many of the Forty-Eighters wanted to go back to their homeland, and they were hoping the Americans would help them. The secessionists were making promises to Louis, that once they are free from the Northern Tyranny, they will not be constricted by the Monroe Doctrine. Sothern Freemasons were untied by old world pedigrees that connected to them Europe, while the North was being swayed by Liberal Newspapers and the treacherous men who operated them. Horace Greely was Satan to the antebellum South.

John Fremonts ambition, was being carefully watched by Rudolph’s nemesis, Prince Felix Schwarzenberg, who was behind the union of Maximillian von Habsburg, and Charlotte of Saxe-Coburg,  When this couple became the Empress and Emperor of Mexico, she made a point to wave to them as their ship sailed to Mexico. Turning to Prince Felix, Victoria said this with much glee

“Very good! Now to deporting all those damn Catholics from Ireland!”

Operation Monterey was put into action. This is when the Bohemian Blues convinced Fremont his wife should have her own bodyguard. In a month, Major Stuttmeister was the head surgeon of the Jessie Scouts. Recalling the day the Blues showed up at the docks to defend the Berliners who were retreating to the United States, was the last time he wore a uniform. A year earlier he had heard Sandor Petofi read his famous poem that began a revolution that swept half the world. Now Rudolph was going completely underground. He was not sure if he would emerge from the darkness. He would be a phantom.

to be continued

On your feet, Magyar,[2] the homeland calls!
The time is here, now or never!
Shall we be slaves or free?
This is the question, choose your answer! –
By[3] the God of the Hungarians
We vow,
We vow, that we will be slaves
No longer!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessie_Scouts

The Jessie Scouts were irregular soldiers during the American Civil War on the side of the Union who frequently operated in the territory of the Confederate States of America.[1][2]

The unit was created by John C. Frémont and named in honor of his wife, rather than of a Colonel Jessie, who was himself a myth.[3] The initial Jessie Scout unit was formed in St. Louis, Missouri early in the war as the plan to develop independent scouts was implemented. The first man to command the scouts was Charles C. Carpenter.[4][5] During insurgency missions the Jessie Scouts wore Confederate uniforms with a white handkerchief over their shoulders to signify their allegiance to friendly troops, and numbered around 58 for much of the war. They were commanded by Major Henry Young from November 1864 until the end of the war.[6]

https://rosamondpress.com/2015/01/16/louis-kossuth-and-the-jewish-emancipation-of-1848/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_Revolution_of_1848

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilian_I_of_Mexico

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lajos_Kossuth

The Nemzeti dal (“National Song”) is a poem written by Sándor Petőfi that is said to have inspired the Hungarian Revolution of 1848[citation needed]. Petőfi read the poem aloud on March 15 in Vörösmarty Square in Budapest to a gathering crowd, who by the end were chanting the refrain as they began to march around the city, seizing the presses, liberating political prisoners, and declaring the end of Austrian rule.

Hungarians celebrate the anniversary of the revolution on March 15. Red-white-green ribbons are worn to commemorate the fallen revolutionaries and the ideal of the revolution. Hungary briefly achieved independence from 1848–1849, but was defeated by the combined forces of the Habsburgs and the Russian Empire. Despite its ultimate defeat, the revolution initiated a chain of events that led to the autonomy of Hungary within the new Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867.

The poem has come to rank third after the Himnusz and Szózat as a statement of Hungarian national identity.

The translation below of the “National Poem” is literal, attempting to convey the precise meaning of the original text.[1]

The National Poem

On your feet, Magyar,[2] the homeland calls!
The time is here, now or never!
Shall we be slaves or free?
This is the question, choose your answer! –
By[3] the God of the Hungarians
We vow,
We vow, that we will be slaves
No longer!

We were slaves up til now,
Damned are our ancestors,
Who lived and died free,
Cannot rest in a slave land.
By the God of the Hungarians
We vow,
We vow, that we will be slaves
No longer!

Useless villain of a man,
Who now, if need be, doesn’t dare to die,
Who values his pathetic life greater
Than the honor of his homeland.
By the God of the Hungarians
We vow,
We vow, that we will be slaves
No longer!

The sword shines brighter than the chain,
Decorates better the arm,
And we still wore chains!
Return now, our old sword!
By the God of the Hungarians
We vow,
We vow, that we will be slaves
No longer!

The Magyar name will be great again,
Worthy of its old, great honor;
Which the centuries smeared on it,
We will wash away the shame!
By the God of the Hungarians
We vow,
We vow, that we will be slaves
No longer!

Where our grave mounds lie,
Our grandchildren will kneel,
And with blessing prayer,
Recite our sainted names.
By the God of the Hungarians
We vow,
We vow, that we will be slaves
No longer!

Review of Jessie Benton Fremont’s The Story of a Guard
January 1863
Atlantic Monthly

Dublin Core

Title

Review of Jessie Benton Fremont’s The Story of a Guard
January 1863
Atlantic Monthly

Description

Review of Jessie Benton Frémont’s
The Story of the Guard, a Chronicle of the War[1]

The subject, the authorship, and the style of this book combine to secure for it the immediate attention of American readers. In our own case, this attention has deepened into hearty interest and sympathy; and we are so confident that such will be the result in every mind, that we the more cheerfully resign ourselves to the necessity which renders a full and fair review of this little book an impossible thing for us. Let us briefly call to notice some of its peculiar excellences, and indicate the line of thought which we think its sympathetic critic will follow.

Certainly no worthier subject could be chosen than the deeds of that brave young Guard, which was at first the target for so many slanders, and at last the centre of heartiest love and pride to all the North. Its short and brilliant carver lacks nothing which chivalry and romance could lend, to render it the brightest passage in the history of the war. It is but a few days since Frémont’s[2] Virginia Body-Guard–now that of General Sigel[3]–made a bold dash into Fredericksburg, rivalling the glory of their predecessors; but, though every use of Frémont’s campaign should boast a Body-Guard, and every Guard immortalize a new Springfield, the crown of crowns will always rest on the gallant little major and his dauntless few whose high enthusiasm broke the spell of universal disaster, sounding the bugle-notes of victory through the dreary silence of national despair.

General Frémont’s practice in the West was invariably to educate his raw troops in the presence of an enemy. Whether this was of choice or of necessity we do not pretend to say; but the fact remains, that the tide of war was turned back upon our enemies by an army composed of men who had but just taken up their weapons. We once had the pleasure of hearing General Frémont explain the system which he pursued with this army; and we remember being struck with the fact that he laid great stress on constant skirmishing, as the means of acquiring a habit of victory.[4] We cannot enlarge here upon this interesting topic. We design only to adduce the circumstance, that the charge at Springfield concluded a series of five fights within a single week, every one of which resulted in triumph to our arms with the exception of that at Fredericktown. They were slight affairs; but,as Frémont so well says, “Little victories form a habit of victory.”

The charge of the Guard we shall not eulogize. It is beyond the praise of words. It is wonderful that Major Zagonyi[5] should have been able in so few days to bring into such splendid discipline a body of new recruits. The Prairie Scounts (who seem to have been a band of brave men under a dashing young leader) had not the perfect training which carried the Guard through a murderous fire, to form and charge in the very camp of the enemy. They plunged into the woods, and commenced a straggling bush-fight, as they were skilled to do. Worthy of praise in themselves, (and they have earned it often and received it freely,) the Scouts on this occasion serve to heighten the effect of that grand combination of impulse and obedience which makes the perfect soldier.

We cannot but add a word or two (leaving many points of interest untouched) upon the manner in which Mrs. Frémont has treated her subject. It is novel, but not ineffective. Zagonyi tells much of the story in his own words; and we are sure that it loses nothing of vividness from his terse and vigorous, though not always strictly grammatical language. “Zagonyi’s English,” says some one who has heard it, “is like wood-carving.”

The letters of the General himself form one of the most interesting features of the book. We would only remark, in this connection, the wide difference between the General’s style and that of his wife. Mrs. Frémont is a true woman, and has written a true woman’s book. The General is a true man, and his wrods are manly words. Her style is full, free, vivid, with plenty of dashes and postscripts,–the vehicle of much genius and many noble thoughts; but in itself no style, or a careless and imperfect one. The Pathfinder[6] writes as good English prose as any man living. We cannot be mistaken. The hand that penned the “Story of the Guard” could not hold the pen of the Proclamation or the Farewell Address, or the narrative of the Rocky-Mountain Expedition.[7] Nevertheless, it has done well. Let its work lie on our tables and dwell in our hearts with the “Idyls of the King,”[8]–the Æolian memories of a chivalry departed blending with the voices of the nobler knighthood of our time.


Notes
1. The review appeared in the January 1863 issue of the Atlantic Monthly. RHD identified as reviewer in a letter to Annie Adams Fields, October 1862. 2. Gen. John C. Frémont (1813-1890), a radical New York abolitionist and military officer; husband of the author of the book under review. 3. Gen. Franz Sigel (1824-1902), German-American military officer.

4. RHD became friends with Gen. Frémont when he was stationed in Wheeling.

5. Charles Zagonyi (1826-?), a Hungarian officer who served as an aide to General Frémont.

6. Frémont was dubbed “The Pathfinder” by the press during his expeditions in the American West of the 1840s.

7. Writings by Gen. Frémont.

8. “Idylls of the King,” a cycle of twelve narrative poems of which the first was published in 1859, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).

Jessie Benton Fremont: Civil War Stateswoman

By Rachel Snyder

  • Born Jessie Ann Benton on May 31, 1824 to Missouri senator Thomas Hart Benton and Elizabeth Preston McDowell.
  • Eloped with John Charles Frémont, the “Pathfinder,” October 19, 1841.
  • Broke from her Democratic father to support her Republican husband’s 1856 presidential campaign.
  • In 1861, visited President Abraham Lincoln in Washington D.C. to defend her husband’s decision to proclaim emancipation in Missouri.

Mrs. John C. Fremont sitting at porch of Black Point residence 1866. (San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library).

Mrs. John C. Fremont sitting at porch of Black Point residence 1866. (San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library).

During the nineteenth century, there were two idealized spheres: Public and private. Men dominated the public sphere of business and politics while women remained confined to the private sphere of home and family, only venturing into the public sphere through moral reform societies.

Then there was Jessie. The wife of the adventurer and army officer John Charles Frémont and the daughter of a Missouri senator, Jessie Benton Frémont defied nineteenth-century gender norms. By involving herself in her husband’s political career, she pursued her own political ambitions, shocking some, impressing others, but ultimately creating a reputation as a stateswoman.

“Impressed all who came in contact with her by her great intellectual powers”

Politics played an important role early on in Jessie’s life. As the second daughter of Missouri senator Thomas Hart Benton, Jessie came in contact with people of all walks of life who came to do business with her father. Visitors included General William Clark, heads of the American Fur Company, prominent author Washington Irving, Mexican merchants, soldiers fighting Native Americans on the frontier, Italian and Belgian dignitaries, French voyageurs, and wealthy French, Spanish, and American citizens.[1] Benton also gave his daughter an extensive education. As a result, when Jessie publically entered politics, contemporaries observed she “Inherit[ed] her father’s talent and many salient points of his character,” and “impressed all who came in contact with her by her great intellectual power.”[2] Thus, Jessie’s father offered the first steps into the political arena.

“I would as soon place my children in the midst of smallpox”

Her mother also influenced her political views. Elizabeth Preston McDowell came from the influential Preston family of Virginia. While she epitomized the ideal nineteenth century wife and mother, she did involve herself in the slavery issue. In a letter to writer and abolitionist Lydia Maria Child, Jessie credited her own anti-slavery stance to her mother and claimed, “I would as soon place my children in the midst of smallpox, as rear them under the influence of slavery.”[3]

John C. Fremont, 1856. Lith. by Crehan after Saintin. (Library of Congress.)

John C. Fremont, 1856. Lith. by Crehan after Saintin. (Library of Congress.)

Jessie’s entrance into politics grew gradually after her marriage to John Charles Frémont. Frémont already had a reputation as an adventurer when he met Benton through their shared interest in Westward Expansion. Jessie expanded Frémont’s reputation by documenting and publishing his adventures from his 1842, 1843, 1845, 1848 and 1853 expeditions to map the West and find a year round land route to California.

Jessie’s greatest political intervention occurred during Frémont’s second expedition in 1843 when she detained an order from Frémont’s commander in the U.S. Army’s Bureau of Topographical Engineers recalling him to Washington. Seeing in it a scheme by opposing forces in Washington to prevent the expedition, Jessie acted to shield the mission and thus her husband’s career.[4] Jessie made her own executive decision based on her political convictions.

However, it was not until her husband’s 1856 Republican presidential campaign that Jessie came into her own. Founded in 1854 on an anti-slavery platform, the Republican Party grew quickly, gaining enough support by 1856 that its members felt confident enough to put up a candidate in the presidential election. Despite Jessie’s father being a Democrat, Frémont accepted the Republican Party’s offer to be its presidential candidate.

“Our Jessie!”

Jessie’s role in the campaign included protecting her husband from the opposition’s attacks and garnering public support. During the campaign newspapers observed, “Beautiful, graceful, intellectual and enthusiastic, she will make more proselytes to the Rocky Mountain platform in fifteen minutes, than fifty stump orators can win over in a month.”[5] Calls for “Our Jessie,” “Let us see Jessie,” and “We want both the Colonel and his Jessie,” permeated through the crowds that followed Jessie and Frémont along the campaign trail.

“She is a woman as eminently fitted to adorn the White House”

Jessie’s involvement in the campaign demonstrated her abilities as a stateswoman and led supporters to call for her placement in the White House. The Boston Daily Atlas claimed, “If the gallantry of the country demanded a Queen at the head of the nation, the lovely lady of the Republican nominee would command the universal suffrage of the people. She is a woman as eminently fitted to adorn the White House, as she has proved herself worthy to be a hero’s bride.”[6] Jessie embodied the qualities that the public associated with politicians.

Jessie’s career in politics continued after her husband’s defeat in the presidential election by Democrat James Buchanan. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, President Lincoln made Frémont head of the Western Department. In July 1861 the Frémonts moved into the headquarters of the Western Department in St. Louis. As inhabitants of a slave state that stayed in the Union, Missourians’ loyalties were split. Plagued by guerilla warfare, open recruitment by the Confederates, mismanagement, and limited supplies and troops, Frémont got to work pushing the rebels back while Jessie ran headquarters and tried to get Frémont the supplies he needed.

“General Jessie”

However, it was not long before Frémont’s leadership came into question, with cries of corruption and mismanagement, and Jessie’s involvement came under scrutiny. Dubbed “General Jessie” by critics, Frémont’s opponents attributed his inability to efficiently run his department to her talent and energy.[7] Jessie did not let these criticisms stop her from following her political agenda. On August 31, 1861, after only consulting his wife and the Quaker abolitionist Edward M. Davis, General Frémont, without Lincoln’s authorization, issued a proclamation declaring martial law in Missouri.

Lincoln clings to a life preserver labeled "Union" and pushes an African American back into the water while a hat floats by with a paper labeled "Fremont's Proclamation." Lincoln: “I’m sorry to have to drop you Sambo, but this concern won’t carry us both.” Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Oct. 12, 1861 (Library of Congress).

Lincoln clings to a life preserver labeled “Union” and pushes an African American back into the water while a hat floats by with a paper labeled “Fremont’s Proclamation.” Lincoln: “I’m sorry to have to drop you Sambo, but this concern won’t carry us both.” Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Oct. 12, 1861 (Library of Congress).

The proclamation placed Jessie in the middle of a great scandal. The proclamation freed all slaves held by rebels, confiscated all rebel owned property and tried all those carrying arms by court martial.[8] Lincoln feared the proclamation would alienate the Border States, and wrote Frémont asking him to change the paragraph in the proclamation related to emancipation.

Alongside the backlash over the proclamation, Colonel Frank P. Blair, brother of Post-Master General Montgomery Blair and long time Benton family friend, wrote a letter to his brother describing the “rascality going on here under Fremont’s sanction and even direction.”[9] The letter found its way to the President, who sent Post-Master General Blair and Quarter-Master General Meigs to Missouri to investigate the affair. With his administration in shambles and refusing to change his proclamation, Frémont sent Jessie to Washington to defend his case in front of the president.

“Quite a female president”

It was here that Jessie’s abilities as a stateswoman shined. Even President Lincoln commented that she was “quite a female politician.”[10] Newspapers described her as “envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary.”[11] Despite her efforts, on November 3, 1861 Lincoln relieved Frémont of his command of the Western Department.

For the rest of the Civil War, Jessie’s involvement in politics took on a different form. She attempted to salvage her husband’s reputation by publishing The Story of the Guard. The book described the exploits of Frémont’s personal bodyguard who served him during his command of the Western Department. The book allowed Frémont to tell his version of his days as commander of the Western Department.

Furthermore, Jessie became increasingly involved in the Sanitary Commission. Jessie took a particularly active role in the organization of the Sanitary Commission’s Fair in 1864. Despite opposing political views, Jessie worked alongside Mary Ellen McClellan, wife of the disposed general and Democratic presidential candidate, on the Arms and Trophies committee. Jessie also headed a committee to collect and publish the memoirs of sanitary commission workers.

Throughout Jessie’s life, she remained in contact with influential abolitionists, women’s rights advocates, and influential politicians. Jessie spent the rest of her life traveling with her husband and writing about her experiences. She passed away in 1902 at her home in Los Angles, California, remembered by the public as the influential stateswoman she was.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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