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Brannan, Sam, 1819-1889

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1819-1889

Sam Brannan (1819-1889) was California pioneer, businessman, journalist, and early member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sam Brannan was born on 2 March 1819 in Saco, Maine, to Thomas and Sara Emery Brannan. He moved away from home to Ohio when he was 14 years old, and there learned about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was baptized a member the Church in 1842.

Brannan was called to work as a printer in Connecticut with William Smith, brother of Joseph Smith. In 1844, the printing operation moved to New York City, and they started to print "The Prophet" (later "The New-York Messenger"), a newspaper for the Latter-day Saint Church. After Joseph Smith's death in June 1844, Brannan advocated for William Smith to take over as leader of the Church. This brought about Brannan's and Smith's disfellowship from the Church. Brannan was later reinstated as a member in 1845.

During the exdous of the Saints to the West, Brannan chartered the ship "Brooklyn" and persuaded leaders of the Church to use the ship to evacuate members of the Church from the eastern United States to upper California. The ship set sail via Cape Horn in January 1846, and arrived at Yerba Buena (near present-day San Francisco) on July 31, 1846.

Brannan had dreams of colonization and success in California, and tried to persuade Brigham Young, the new leader of the Church, to move the Saints there to a settlement he called "New Hope." However, Young rejected Brannan's proposal in favor of settling in present-day Utah. Brannan fell out of favor with the Church and focused his efforts on his business and printing pursuits. He established the first newspaper in San Francisco, the "California Star," and ran one of the only stores in between San Fransciso and the California gold fields. He made a great deal of money, opened more stores, bought land extending to southern California and Hawaii. Brannan became California's first millionaire, and held several public offices in San Francisco and California, including State Senator in 1853.

Brannan was accused of pocketing tithes given him by California Latter-day Saints, and was apostle Amasa Lyman was sent to collect $10,000 of owed tithing from Brannan. This, along with involvement in a group of vigilantes in California, led to Brannon being disfellowshipped, again, from the Church in 1851.

Later in life, Brannan left San Francisco in serious debt and began acquiring land in Mexico, in the State of Sonora, in the 1880s. He used money earned in Mexico to pay off debts in San Francisco. However, Brannan died in 1889 at age 70 in Escondido, California, after years of alcoholism and issues with his bowels, and had no money or relations left to his name.

Citation

Wikipedia, via WWW, July 14, 2020 (Sam Brannan was born on 2 March 1819 in Saco, Maine, to Thomas and Sara Emery Brannan. He moved away from home to Ohio when he was 14 years old, and there learned about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was baptized a member the Church in 1842. Brannan was called to work as a printer in Connecticut with William Smith, brother of Joseph Smith. In 1844, the printing operation moved to New York City, and they started to print "The Prophet" (later "The New-York Messenger"), a newspaper for the Latter-day Saint Church. After Joseph Smith's death in June 1844, Brannan advocated for William Smith to take over as leader of the Church. This brought about Brannan's and Smith's disfellowship from the Church. Brannan was later reinstated as a member in 1845. During the exdous of the Saints to the West, Brannan chartered the ship "Brooklyn" and persuaded leaders of the Church to use the ship to evacuate members of the Church from the eastern United States to upper California. The ship set sail via Cape Horn in January 1846, and arrived at Yerba Buena (near present-day San Francisco) on July 31, 1846. Brannan had dreams of colonization and success in California, and tried to persuade Brigham Young, the new leader of the Church, to move the Saints there to a settlement he called "New Hope." However, Young rejected Brannan's proposal in favor of settling in present-day Utah. Brannan fell out of favor with the Church and focused his efforts on his business and printing pursuits. He established the first newspaper in San Francisco, the "California Star," and ran one of the only stores in between San Fransciso and the California gold fields. He made a great deal of money, opened more stores, bought land extending to southern California and Hawaii. Brannan became California's first millionaire, and held several public offices in San Francisco and California, including State Senator in 1853. Brannan was accused of pocketing tithes given him by California Latter-day Saints, and was apostle Amasa Lyman was sent to collect $10,000 of owed tithing from Brannan. This, along with involvement in a group of vigilantes in California, led to Brannon being disfellowshipped, again, from the Church in 1851. Later in life, Brannan left San Francisco in serious debt and began acquiring land in Mexico, in the State of Sonora, in the 1880s. He used money earned in Mexico to pay off debts in San Francisco. However, Brannan died in 1889 at age 70 in Escondido, California, after years of alcoholism and issues with his bowels, and had no money or relations left to his name.)

Found in 9 Collections and/or Records:

Sam Brannan / by Florence M. Dunlap

 Item — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 3247
Scope and Contents Photocopy of a microfilm copy of a typewritten master's thesis. The item is a "thesis submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History in the Graduate Division of the University of California." The thesis is a biography of Sam Brannan, Mormon and California businessman.
Dates: 1928

Sam Brannan correspondence and other material

 Collection
Identifier: Vault MSS 37
Scope and Contents Handwritten and signed correspondence and legal documents. Most of the correspondence is from Sam Brannan to Jesse C. Little from 1880 to 1888, and he discusses his efforts to colonize and mine in Sonora, Mexico. Also includes some correspondence from Little to Brannan, dated 1885-1888, and printed documents, maps, and other papers related to colonizing and mining in Mexico. Dated approximately 1875 to 1888.
Dates: approximately 1875-1888

Sam Brannan papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS 5920
Abstract One binder containing letters of Sam Brannan's, articles, illustrations, advertisements and post cards relating to San Francisco, 1819-1890.
Dates: 1837-1890

Fawn McKay Brodie letter

 Item — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 935
Scope and Contents Typewritten and signed letter, dated January 12, 1946, and addressed to Gordon Ray Young. Brodie explains why she cannot do a biography of Brigham Young, the second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or of Samuel Brannan. She states that materials relating to Young would be denied to her by the Church.
Dates: 1946

An epistle of the Council of the Twelve Apostles to the Saints in California under Samuel Brannan

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 468
Scope and Contents Tells of the status of the Latter-day Saint Church immigrating to Utah and gives advice to the Saints in California.
Dates: 1847 August 7

Jesse C. Little correspondence, approximately 1881-1888

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Vault MSS 37 Series 2
Scope and Contents Contains letter written by Jesse C. Little. Most of the letters are written to Sam Brannan regarding colonizing in Mexico. Also includes a letter from T. B. H. Stenhouse and letters written to the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. Dated approximately 1881-1888.
Dates: approximately 1881-1888

Sam Brannan receipt

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: Vault MSS 647
Scope and Contents Ten dollar receipt for a publishing bill, incurred for the printing of a conditional pardon granted to deserters from the U. S. Navy on the coast of California.
Dates: 1847

Sam Brannan collection of Mexico colonization records, approximately 1880-1887

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Vault MSS 37 Series 3
Scope and Contents Contains a collection of records related to the colonization of Mexico. Several were created by or are connected Sam Brannan and Jesse C. Little. Most relate specifically to colonizing and mining in Sonora, Mexico. Many of the items are broadsides, maps, and records of colonization associations. Also includes some correspondence. Dated approximately 1880-1887.
Dates: approximately 1880-1887

Sam Brannan correspondence, 1880-1888

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Vault MSS 37 Series 1
Scope and Contents Contains letters written from Sam Brannan between 1880 and 1888. All of the letters are written to Jesse C. Little regarding colonizing in Mexico. Also includes a folder that contains a summary of the correspondence, written by Jesse C. Little. Dated 1880-1888.
Dates: 1880-1888