John Charles Frémont
1813 - 1890
In 1850 Mathew Brady, Charles E. Lester , and Francis D'Avignon collaborated on a series of elegant lithograph portraits based on Brady's original daguerreotypes. When D'Avignon copied Brady's daguerreotypes for printing, he made it possible for Brady to sell many lithographic copies of photographic images that were otherwise unique. Lester, a journalist and entrepreneur, wrote short biographical essays to accompany each portrait, which Brady issued bimonthly to subscribers over the next two years. The series, titled Gallery of Illustrious Americans, was intended to portray heroes of the present, while conveying their historical stature and significance for the future. For example, Lester hailed John Charles Frémont as the "Pathfinder of empire," for his transcontinental expeditions which united scientific investigation with the political aims of westward expansion.

SeeWilliam Seward

Francis D'Avignon (born circa 1814), after Mathew Brady
Lithograph, 1850
28.1 x 24.8 cm (11 1/16 x 9 3/4 inches)
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.