McConnel, John L.
Born: 1826-11-11 Jacksonville, Illinois
John L. McConnel was a lawyer, military officer, author, and one-time candidate for Congress. He received his early education in Jacksonville, Illinois, and showed an interest in writing from a young age. He studied law first with his father, Murray McConnel, then at Transylvania Law School in Lexington, Kentucky. After graduating in 1843 and earning admission to the Illinois bar, he began practicing law in Carrollton, Illinois. He served as a captain in the Mexican War, under Colonel John J. Hardin in the First Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, and was seriously wounded at the Battle of Buena Vista. In 1849, he married Eliza Deniston, with whom he had two children. During 1850 and 1851, he wrote three novels and several short stories, in 1853 he wrote a series of essays that were published in book form as
John E. Hallwas, "Early Illinois Author John L. McConnel and 'The Ranger's Chase,'" Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 73 (Autumn 1980), 177-83; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL, 117; Illinois Journal (Springfield), 29 October 1860, 2:3-4.