Donnelly, Ignatius dŏn´əlē [key], 1831–1901, American author and agrarian reformer, b. Philadelphia. He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and in 1856 moved to Minnesota. There he gained political prominence, was lieutenant governor (1859–63), Congressman (1863–69), and a state legislator. Strongly expounding agrarian reform, he was a founder and leader of the Populist party and the author of the ringing preamble to the party platform of 1892. He edited the weekly Anti-Monopolist (1874–79) and the Populist Representative (1894–1901). His many popular works included Atlantis: The Antediluvian World (1882), an erudite but fanciful work on Atlantis ; Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel (1883); two books arguing that Bacon wrote the Shakespearean plays; and a gloomy Utopian novel, Caesar's Column (1891).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: American Literature: Biographies