Skip to Content
HomeAbout this siteHelpSearch this site The Library of Congress
America's Story from America's LibraryMeet Amazing AmericansJump Back in TimeExplore the StatesJoin America at PlaySee, Hear and Sing
Jump Back in Time Western Expansion & Reform (1829-1859)
General John C. Frémont
John C. Frémont was the governor of California, or wasn't he?

Enlarge this image
John C. Frémont Was Found Guilty Of Mutiny
January 31, 1848

What happens when two governors are appointed for one territory? In Major John C. Frémont's case, he was given a court-martial.

Major John C. Frémont, admired for his map-making expeditions to the West, was court-martialed on the grounds of mutiny and disobeying orders on January 31, 1848. Frémont was appointed governor of California in 1847 in recognition of his role in the Mexican war (1846-1848). California had recently been ceded to the United States by Mexico following that war.

General Stephen Kearny, however, was sent by the federal government to govern the state. Tension arose between Kearny and Frémont over who had governing authority. In August 1847, Kearny ordered Frémont arrested and charged with insubordination. Frémont was found guilty by a court-martial and subjected to penalties, including removal from the army. Although this decision was reversed by President James K. Polk, Frémont chose to resign his military commission.

page 1 of 2 Next

Library Of Congress | Legal Notices | Privacy | Site Map | Contact Us