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John Conness


Picture of John Conness
Library of Congress
Date Party Office Votes Result
11-02-1852 Democratic AD-12 0 Win
10-08-1853 Democratic AD-12 0 Win
09-07-1859 Anti-Lecompton Democratic Lieutenant Governor 31051 Loss
11-26-1859 Anti-Lecompton Democratic AD-18 1964 Win
11-06-1860 Douglas Democratic AD-18 0 Win
09-04-1861 Union Democratic Governor 30944 Loss
02-10-1863 Republican Senate1 0 Win

Candidate Biography:

Born: September 22, 1821 in Abbey, County Galway, Ireland
Died: January 10, 1909 in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

  • Legislative Altercation: On May 19, 1853, Assemblyman Elcan Heydenfeldt drew a pistol on Assemblyman Conness. Even with that disadvantage, Conness "came first best out of the fight." 
    Legislative Altercation: In 1861, "Thomas Laspeyre was called by the Hon. John Conness, on the floor of the house, a dirty dog, and he flung an inkstand at his head. No challenge followed. Mr. Laspeyre, however, later accepted the position of 2nd in the Showalter duel."
  • QUOTABLE: Shortly after the attack on Fort Sumter started the U.S. Civil War, Assemblyman Conness offered an amendment to resolution that noted "that the United States forts and arsenals recently taken at Charleston and elsewhere have undoubtedly been taken by black republicans in disguise." The amendment failed 22 to 37. 
  • PLACENAME: Mount Conness in the Sierra Nevada range is located in Mono / Tuolumne counties and is named for the Senator. [Source: 1000 California Place Names by Erwin G. Gudde]
  • Conness served as a pallbearer at the funeral of President Abraham Lincoln.

Source: The San Francisco Irish, 1848-1880 by R. A. Burchell. University of California Press (1980)
Source: "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present" (U.S. Library of Congress) []
Source: Last Night of the Session of the Assembly by an Eye-Witness (Sacramento; James Anthony & Co., 1854)
Source: History of Political Conventions in California, 1849-1892 by Winfield J. Davis (1893)