The Church Historian's Press

Samuel Brannan

1819– 1889

Born in Saco, Maine; baptized in Ohio; appointed to preside over Latter-day Saint branches in eastern U.S. while serving as a missionary; published the Prophet, a Latter-day Saint newspaper in New York City, 1844–45; led company of Church members who sailed to California on ship Brooklyn in 1846; preached first sermon by Latter-day Saint in Hawai‘i when the Brooklyn stopped at Honolulu in June 1846; met with Brigham Young in late June 1847 in an attempt to persuade him to settle in California instead of Utah; became prominent and wealthy citizen in San Francisco; led unsuccessful attempt to seize control of Hawai‘i on behalf of U.S. in 1851; subsequently involved in land development in southern California but lost his fortune; died in San Diego, California. (See Jenson, BE, 3:606–7; Dictionary of American Biography, 1:601–2; Bagley, Scoundrel’s Tale; Bringhurst, “Sam Brannan’s 1851 Hawaiian Filibustering Expedition”; Young and Young, Empire Builder; Stellman, Sam Brannan; Davies, Mormon Gold, 399; Owens, Gold Rush Saints, 386; Ellsworth, Journals of Addison Pratt, 585; GQC journal, Nov. 11, 1850.)