Brannan, Samuel

Brannan, Samuel,

1819–89, California pioneer, b. Saco, Maine. Converted to Mormonism, he edited a Mormon paper in New York City before leading a party of Mormons by sea from New York to California. In 1847 he founded the first newspaper in San Francisco, the California Star. Later he began a merchandising business at Sutter's Fort and soon gained extensive landholdings. Returning to San Francisco, he was active in the move to bring order to the lawless city and was an organizer and the first president (1851) of the Committee of Vigilance.


See biographies by P. D. Bailey (1943, rev. ed. 1953, repr. 1959) and L. J. Stellman (1953).

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Brannan, Samuel

(1819–89) California pioneer; born in Saco, Maine. A journeyman printer, he became a Mormon (1842) and led a Mormon group to California by sea (1846). He published San Francisco's first newspaper, the California Star, served on the first city council, and helped to organize the Society of California Pioneers.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.