Bold, talented, and ambitious, Jessie Benton Fremont was one of Victorian America's most controversial women. As the daughter of powerful Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri and the wife of John Charles Fremont - western explorer, presidential candidate, and Civil War general - she not only witnessed but struggled to influence many of the major events of her time. Despite the restrictions she faced as a woman, she managed to carve out a vital role for herself as a writer, dedicated abolitionist, and secretary and other self to her mercurial husband. She collaborated on his best-selling exploration reports, served as his behind-the-scenes political advisor and chief Civil War aide, and worked as a lobbyist for Arizona mining interests. In The Letters of Jessie Benton Fremont, Pamela Herr and Mary Lee Spence create a compelling portrait of this remarkable woman. They supplement their collection of 271 fully annotated letters, selected from 800 they uncovered, with an elegant introduction and seven authoritative chapter essays that elucidate the significant periods of her life. The correspondents range from intimate friends like Elizabeth Blair Lee to public figures like Horace Greeley, Abraham Lincoln, Dorothea Dix, John Greenleaf Whittier, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, William T. Sherman, and Theodore Roosevelt. Readers interested in women's studies, the westward movement, the Civil War, and the Gilded Age will find a rich source in The Letters of Jessie Benton Fremont.