Thomas Francis Meagher (August 3, 1823 – July 1, 1867) was an Irish nationalist and leader of the Young Irelanders in the Rebellion of 1848. After being convicted of sedition, he was first sentenced to death, but received transportation for life to Van Diemen's Land in Australia. In 1852 he escaped and made his way to the United States, where he settled in New York City. There Meagher studied law, worked as a journalist, and traveled to present lectures on the Irish cause and married for a second time.
At the beginning of the American Civil War, Meagher joined the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of brigadier general. He was most notable for recruiting and leading the Irish Brigade, and encouraging support among Irish immigrants for the Union. He had one surviving son, from his first wife.
Following the Civil War, Meagher was appointed acting governor of the Montana Territory. In 1867, Meagher drowned in the swift-running Missouri River after falling accidentally from a steamboat at Fort Benton.
Thomas Francis Meagher was born in what is now The Granville Hotel on the Quay in Waterford City, Ireland and from the age of two lived at Number 19, The Mall (a short distance from his birthplace). His father, Thomas Meagher (1796–1874), was a wealthy merchant who had retired to enter politics. He was twice elected Mayor of the City, which he also represented in Parliament from August 1847 to March 1857. He had lived in the city since he was a young man...
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