The Utahnian, November 7, 1896. UTAH, P. Donan.

The Utahnian, November 7, 1896

Salt Lake City: The Utahnian Publishing Company, 1896.

Volume 1, Number 21. 9 x 12 inches, 16 pp, stapled binding. Front wrapper partially detached from staples, light soiling, a few short tears. Very good.

A single issue of this short-lived weekly, edited by the eccentric journalist and political firebrand Pat Donan. Historian Philip D. Jordan, in one of the few academic articles about Donan, described him as "a fire-breathing and psychotic unreconstructed rebel" and "elusive fugitive from history" about whom little is known, although his "madcap adventures appeared frequently in the public press and his pamphlets were read by thousands." A native of Mississippi, Donan is believed to have served in the Confederate Army before becoming a prolific writer, editor, and publisher. In the 1870s, he edited publications in St. Joseph, Missouri (The Vindicator); Lexington, Missouri (The Caucasian); Raleigh, North Carolina (The Sentinel); and Bentonville, Arkansas (The Advance). In the 1880s, he headed west to Dakota Territory, where he edited the Black Hills Pioneer and became an ardent booster of the West, publishing promotional pamphlets--some commissioned by railroads--on Dakota, Utah, eastern Oregon, the Columbia River area, British Columbia, and Alaska. The Utahnian, which was founded by Donan and published for less than a year, is characterized by an odd combination of political grandstanding ("One year of McKinley and Markhanna goldbuggery in full swing willl do more to open the eyes of an asinine people than forty years of stump-spouting and campaign writing"; "Grover Cleveland is the assassin of democracy") and land promotion. In this issue, the first three pages are devoted to a spirited defense of William Jennings Bryan and bimetallism. This is followed by a detailed, photographically illustrated article on the Tintic mining district (south of Salt Lake City), a discussion of Utah farming prospects, a half-page of real estate listings for houses and farms in Salt Lake and Provo, and advertisements for Utah mines and mining stocks, railroads, and a variety of Salt Lake businesses. The back page offers a "Ready Reference to Reliable Firms of Salt Lake City," and the front cover features an image of "A Type of Utah Young Womanhood. Miss Queenie Ferguson, Daughter of Mrs. Ellen B. Ferguson, the only lady delegate in the Democratic National Convention at Chicago." OCLC locates only one physical holding of the Utahnian, in Germany.

Item #20066

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