In the Shadow of Fremont
Edward Kern and the Art of American Exploration, 1845-1860
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
256 Pages | 6 x 9 | 56 b&w illus., 7 line drawing, 2 maps
This absorbing account has become a classic, indispensable to understanding America’s inexorable drive westward to the Pacific—and beyond. This second edition provides a new preface, additional maps and illustrations, and a revised bibliographical essay.
In 1845, Edward Meyer Kern, a native Philadelphia and a promising young painter, joined John Charles Frémont on his Third Expedition to the West. Kern would serve as the famed explorer’s artist, topographer, and cartographer. On the arduous journey through Nevada to Monterey, he mapped routes that the settlers would follow west. When the expedition became embroiled in the struggle for California and the United States went to war against Mexico, Kern was placed in command of Fort Sutter. Through all the turmoil, he continued to paint, producing remarkable scenes of America’s western territories.
Kern persuaded his brothers Benjamin and Richard to join him on Frémont’s disastrous Fourth Expedition to seek a railroad route to the Pacific. Later Edward served in the U.S. Navy on the Ringgold-Rodgers and Brooke expeditions to Japan, Siberia, and various Pacific islands and helped prepare the first accurate charts of the sealanes to China. His enthusiasm, dedication, and skill with pen and brush helped Kern elevate the art of American exploration.