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Samuel Brannan


Picture of Samuel Brannan
Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley
Date Party Office Votes Result
10-08-1853 Democratic SD-06 0 Win

Candidate Biography:

Born: March 2, 1819 in Saco, Maine
Married: Ann Eliza Corwin (m. 1844)
Children: Sam, Fanny K., Don Francisco, and Lesa A.
Died: May 5, 1889 in Escondido, CA

1847: Publisher, California Star Newspaper (the second newspaper in California)
1853: Declined to serve the Senate term to which he had been elected.
1853-1854: President, Society of California Pioneers
1863: Opened the first chartered bank in California
1864: U.S. Presidential Elector

  • DECLINED TO ASSUME OFFICE: Brannan declined to be sworn into office after being elected to the State Senate in 1853.
  • Owning a quarter of San Francisco and 170,000 acres in Los Angeles County, by 1855 Brannan had become California's first millionaire. [Source: California Firsts by Rockwell Hunt]
  • Historic texts refer to Brannan as "the leader of the Mormons in California" at the time of the discovery of gold in the 1840s. 
  • PLACENAME: Brannan Street in San Francisco is named for this individual. [Source: The Beginnings of San Francisco by Zoeth Skinner Eldredge (1912). Online at]
  • PLACENAME: The Sam Brannan Cottage and Sam Brannan Store in Calistoga were built by Brannan in the 1860s as a summer resort. [Source: Discover Historic California by George and Jan Roberts (Gem Guides; 1994)]

Source: California's Stately Hall of Fame by Rockwell D. Hunt (1950)
Source: History of Political Conventions in California, 1849-1892 by Winfield J. Davis (1893)