John Charles Frémont, Election of 1856 (American National Biography)

Pamela Herr, "Frémont, John Charles," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
Frémont reentered politics in 1856. With crucial early support from Nathaniel Banks and Francis Blair, Sr. (1791-1876), he became the first presidential candidate of the newly formed Republican party on a platform opposing the extension of slavery. Chosen more for his heroic image than his political skills, he nonetheless inspired great enthusiasm in the North, while in the South he was branded a "Frenchman's bastard" and, incorrectly, a secret Roman Catholic. Although Frémont gained the majority of northern votes, he was defeated nationwide by the Democratic candidate, James Buchanan (1.8 to 1.34 million, with an electoral vote of 174 to 114). Despite the loss, his candidacy established the Republican party's dominance in the North and set the stage for Abraham Lincoln's victory in 1860.
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