Samuel Brannan, Sr. (1819 - 1889) MP

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Nicknames: "Sam"
Birthplace: Saco, Maine, USA
Death: Died in Escondido, San Diego, California, USA
Managed by: Randy Stebbing
Last Updated:

About Samuel Brannan, Sr.

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...Samuel Brannan (March 2, 1819 – May 14, 1889) was an American settler, businessman, and journalist, who founded the "California Star" newspaper in San Francisco, California. He is considered the first publicist of the California Gold Rush and was its first millionaire.

Brannan was a colorful, energetic figure in the mid-19th century history of California and especially of San Francisco..."

"...In February 1846, with the approval of church leaders, Brannan and about 240 other Latter-day Saints from New York set sail aboard the ship Brooklyn for upper California via Cape Horn..."

"...[At the time of his death] he quit drinking, paid all his debts, and died without leaving enough money to pay his own funeral..."


Find a Grave

Birth: 1819 Maine, USA

Death: May 14, 1889 San Diego San Diego County California, USA

Regarded as the first millionaire of California. A convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he labored as a missionary in the East and was appointed to preside over the Eastern States branches of the Church. At the time of the general exodus of the Saints from Nauvoo he chartered the ship "Brooklyn," on which he sailed from New York, in charge of about two hundred and thirty Saints, to the Bay of San Francisco. He traveled as far as Green river, where he met Pres. Brigham Young and the other pioneers, and used every influence in his power with the president to have the Saints settle in California, instead of Salt Lake Valley. Being unable to change the president in his course, Elder Brannan returned to California, disappointed. Later he speculated very heavily in town lots, and a store. He continued his business during the heat of the gold excitement and laid the foundation for great wealth. Many of the most elegant structures in the city were built by him and there was scarcely an institution of public usefulness in which he was not associated. He was collecting the tithes and offerings of faithful members of the Church to be sent to Utah, however, it was then discovered that he was hoarding these sacred funds to further his own wealth and was subsequently excommunicated. In due course of time Samuel Brannan lost most of his property and died a poor, lonley man; and an apostate to his Church. (bio by: Chad Stowell)

Family links:

  • Samuel Brannan (1845 - 1931)*

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Burial: Mount Hope Cemetery San Diego San Diego County California, USA

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Samuel "Sam" Brannan's Timeline

March 2, 1819
Saco, Maine, USA
November 17, 1845
Age 26
Age 63
Tucson, Pima, Arizona, United States
May 14, 1889
Age 70
Escondido, San Diego, California, USA
San Diego, San Diego, California, USA