Jessie Benton Fremont was born May 31, 1824 into a political family. Her father, Thomas Hart Benton was a wealthy senator in Washington D.C. His wife and Jessie's mother, Elisabeth McDowell Benton was a typical 1800's housewife and mother. They lived in a brick mansion in Washington D.C. during the fall, winter, and spring, but during the summer they lived with a variety of relatives in different places. Jessie and her siblings were all tutored at home instead of going to school with other children. A hardship and advantage for Jessie was the fact that she was exposed to all of the politics of the 1800's. Very few children knew about what was going on in the world, but Jessie Benton Fremont was an exception. .
Jessie Benton Fremont's father, Thomas Hart Benton was a very prominent figure in both Jessie's childhood and way into her adulthood. When she was young she would sit in his office for hours at stretch. She and her father had a very special relationship and "her father understood just how she felt". When Jessie got in trouble her mother would always send her to her room to wait when her father got home. When her father got home, they would have a talk, but he would often sympathize with her. They had a great relationship that just kept getting bigger and better. .
When Jessie was fourteen years old she cut off her curls. She did this as a protest so she would not be sent back to Miss English's Select Academy. Jessie knew that none of the other girls had their hair cut short, she knew that they would make fun of her, she went to her fathers room and he knew she needed to be punished so she was sent anyway. .
Jessie Benton Fremont grew up during the early 1800's. In the 1800's slavery and women's rights were issues, but they were not very big issues. Jessie grew up alongside both issues and she opposed both of them deeply. She was angry that people could treat other people in such a horrible way! .