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A Biography of Patrick Edward Connor
Brigham D. Madsen
Winner of Utah State History's Best Military History Award
The life of Patrick Edward Connor serves as a half-century slice of western American history. After leaving New York City, where he had arrived at the age of twelve as a poor Irish immigrant, the nineteen-year-old youth joined the U.S. Army in 1839. He fought in the war with Mexico and then joined the gold rush in California until marrying and settling down in Stockton in 1854.
The Civil War found him volunteering again, this time as colonel of California troops sent to the Utah Territory to protect the mail lines from Indian attacks. Bitterly anti-Mormon, Connor spent the war years alternately engaging in a war of words with Brigham Young or in fighting Indians in northern Utah and present-day Wyoming. After the Civil War, ex-Major General Connor began mining operations in Utah and Nevada, ventures that went from boom to bust. He spent his final years in straitened financial circumstances.
Patrick Edward Connor was a “Man of the West,” possessing both its prejudices and its democratic, independent spirit. His greatest success lay as a military leader, and he would have agreed that he was made for war, not peace. He left an imprint on the history of the American West, remembered as the founder of Fort Douglas, as the “first gentile in Utah,” the “father of Utah mining,” and the “father of the Liberal Party in Utah.”
Brigham D. Madsen (1914–2010) was professor of history at the University of Utah. He authored eight books, including The Shoshoni Frontier and the Bear River Massacre (University of Utah, 1985), and he co-authored, edited, and contributed to numerous other works.
Table of Contents:
2. From Killarney to New York City
3. With the Dragoons and the Battle of Buena Vista
4. California in the 1850s
5. A Colonel in the California Volunteers
6. Massacre at Bear River
7. On Guard from Camp Douglas
8. The Military, Mormons, and Mining
9. The District of the Plains
10. The Powder River Expedition
11. From Stockton to Stockton
12. A Home in California
13. Promoting Railroads
14. Deals in Mines
15. Politics and Mining
16. Last Hurrah in Nevada
17. Liberal Politics in Utah
18. The Last Campaign
Praise and Reviews:
“A thoroughly satisfying look at this charged Utahn. Based on impressive research into a broad array of primary and secondary source materials, Madsen’s portrait of Connor emerges as distinctly balanced.”
—Montana: The Magazine of Western History
“Madsen sketches a significant portrait of a heretofore marginally known personage in western history. Glory Hunter is recommended reading.”
—New Mexico Historical Review