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AfriGeneas Western Frontier Forum

JACOB DODSON - Fremont Expedition

Jacob Dodson - A young black man in the West

Excerpts from e-mail messages by Bob Graham, Sacramento, California:

[I have just been on your page

I have added a link to it on my page about Jacob Dodson, a 19 year-old free black youth from Missouri who figured prominently in Fremont's expeditions of 1844 and 1845.

Dodson was the one who, with Fremont, scouted out the descent of the snow-covered Sierra in 1844.
In 1845 he was with Fremont during the Conquest of California.
And with Fremont and Don Jesus Pico made the famous 800-mile ride from Los Angeles to Monterey and back in 5 1/2 days.

Fremont had run for the presidency in 1856 as an abolitionist and carried the North. Had he won, the Civil War would have started four years earlier. In 1860, as Major General of the Army of the West in Missouri, he issued an Emancipation Proclamation. When he would not rescind the proclamation, Lincoln removed him from command.]

[I would appreciate any further information that might appear on Jacob Dodson.
During the Civil war Dodson raised a 300-man colored regiment for the North, but Lincoln refused its service.

Another black man, named Johnny Janisse, was on the famous climb of 14,000' Fremont Peak in the Wind River Chain of the Rocky Mountains in 1842.

He was entrusted to carry the delicate barometer which was used to measure the altitude of the peak.

He was probably the first black mountain climber, but also one of the first American climbers of any major mountain peak.]

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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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