She was the daughter of powerful Missouri politician Thomas Hart Benton and was a savvy political operator who played confidante and advisor to the inner circle of the highest political powers in the country. He was a key figure in western exploration and Californias first senator, and became the first presidential candidate for the Republican Party-and the first candidate to challenge slavery. Both shaped their times and were far ahead of it, but most extraordinarily their story has never fully been told. Thanks in part to a deep-seated family quarrel between Jessies father and the couple, John and Jessie were eclipsed and opposed by some of the most mythic characters of their era, not least Abraham Lincoln. Award-winning historian Sally Denton restores the reputations of John and Jessie and places them where they belong-at the center of our countrys history.

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