Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Donnelly, Ignatius

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DONNELLY, Ignatius, author, b. in Philadelphia, 3 Nov., 1831. He was educated in the public schools of his native city, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and practised. 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. 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 sister, Eleanor Cecilia, poet, b. in Philadelphia, Pa., 6 Sept., 1838, received her education in the public schools of Philadelphia and at the French academy of Mme. Adèle Sigoigne, of that city. She is a singer, having a rich contralto voice of power and considerable range. Her poetical publications are "Out of Sweet Solitude" (Philadelphia, 1873); "Domus Dei" (1874); "Legend of the Best Beloved, and other Poems" (New York, 1880); "Crowned with Stars" (published by and for the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, 1881); "Hymns of the Sacred Heart," with music (Philadelphia, 1882); "Children of the Golden Sheaf, and other Poems" (1884); "Garland of Festival Songs," with music (New York, 1885); and "Little Compliments of the Season," original, selected, and translated verses (1886). She has also published "Our Birthday Banquet," in prose and verse (New York, 1885); "The Life of Father Felix" (Philadelphia, 1886); and two compilations, "Pearls from the Casket of the Sacred Heart of Jesus" (New York, 1880) and "Signori Leaflets" (1887). Her labors have received the special apostolic benediction of Pope Leo XIII., and she has been awarded a medallion by one of the chief religious orders of Rome. One of her poems was read at a grand academia in the Royal college of the Escorial, Madrid, Spain, in May, 1887.