Ignatius Donnelly

Birth: 1831


Ignatius Donnelly (1831-1901) was an American author and politician. He was born in Philadelphia, 3 Nov., 1831. He was educated in the public schools of his native city, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and practiced. He went to Minnesota in 1857, was elected lieutenant-governor in 1859, and again in 1861, and was then elected to Congress as a Republican, serving from 7 Dec., 1863, till 3 March, 1869. For many years he served as a Democrat in both Houses of the Legislature of Minnesota. He was nominated for the Vice-Presidency of the United States in 1898 by the People's Party, and in 1900 by the 'Middle-of-the-Road' wing of that party.

In 1873-78 he edited at Saint Louis The Antimonopolist, a weekly newspaper in support of the Greenback policy, and in 1876 was president of the Antimonopoly convention that nominated Peter Cooper for the Presidency of the United States. He also edited at Minneapolis a journal called The Representative. Besides doing journalistic work he has written an "Essay on the Sonnets of Shakespeare"; "Atlantis, the Antediluvian World" (New York, 1882), in which he attempts to demonstrate that there once existed in the Atlantic ocean, opposite the straits of Gibraltar, a large island, known to the ancients as "Atlantis"; and "Ragnarok" (1883), in which he tries to prove that the deposits of clay, gravel, and decomposed rocks, characteristic of the drift age, were the result of contact between the earth and a comet.

His Atlantis (1882) attracted attention in unscientific circles by its endeavor to prove that the island of that name once really existed, and was the original seat of civilization. Ragnarok (1883) undertook to explain the geologic formations of the drift age by cometary contact. The Great Cryptogram (1887) sought, by the application of an elaborate word-cipher to the First Folio, to furnish convincing evidence of the Baconian authorship of Shakespeare.


The New International Encyclopædia, Volume VI pg. 391 (1905)

Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American Biography pg. 201 (1900)

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