Egan, Patrick (ēˈgən) [key], 1841–1919, Irish and American political leader, b. Co. Longford, Ireland. Fervently devoted to the cause of Irish home rule and land reform, he was a member of the Irish Land League from the year of its founding (1879) and was an able lieutenant of Michael Davitt and Charles Stewart Parnell. One of the defendants in the ineffective "state trials" of 1880–81, he later fled to the United States to escape sterner British measures, settling in Lincoln, Nebr. He continued to work strenuously for the Irish Land League and Irish home rule but also took up American politics and was a minor power in the Republican party until he deserted it for William Jennings Bryan and the Democrats in 1896. As minister to Chile (1889–93), he ably represented the United States when relations were strained during the revolt against President José Balmaceda.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.