Beale, Edward Fitzgerald

Beale, Edward Fitzgerald,

1822–93, American frontiersman, b. District of Columbia. During the Mexican War, Beale was in California, where he aided Stephen W. KearnyKearny, Stephen Watts
, 1794–1848, American general in the Mexican War, b. Newark, N.J. At the beginning of the Mexican War he was made commander of the Army of the West with the rank (June, 1846) of brigadier general.
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 in the battle of San Pasqual by crawling through the lines with Kit CarsonCarson, Kit
(Christopher Houston Carson), 1809–68, American frontiersman and guide, b. Madison co., Ky. In 1811 he moved with his family to the Missouri frontier. After his father's death, he was apprenticed to a saddler in Old Franklin, an outfitting point on the Santa Fe
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 to get help. Later, during one of several trips across the continent, Beale was the first to bring east the news of the California gold strike. Appointed (1852) superintendent of Indian affairs in California and Nevada, he served well. In the Southwest, he is best remembered for an experiment in 1857 with camel transportation while doing one of many surveys. Beale was briefly (1876–77) also minister to Austria-Hungary.


See biography by S. Bonsal (1912); L. B. Lesley, ed., Uncle Sam's Camels (1920).

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Beale, Edward Fitzgerald

(1822–93) explorer, naval officer; born in Washington, D.C. Although a naval officer (1842–51), he made six transcontinental journeys carrying important dispatches (including the first authentic report of gold in California in 1848). He was an Indian agent and the surveyor general for California and Nevada (1851–65). Later, he served briefly as U.S. ambassador to Austria-Hungary.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.