Thomas Francis Meagher was born in this building, 1823, In 1848 the British charged Meagher, and several colleagues, with high treason and condemned them to death. The following year his sentence was commuted and he was banished for life to Tasmania. He escaped in 1852 and made his way to New York City. There he studied law, worked as a journalist, and traveled to present lectures on the Irish cause. At the beginning of the American Civil War, he 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 Irish support for the cause of the Union. He was married twice and had one surviving son, from his first wife. Following the Civil War, Meagher was appointed acting governor of the Montana Territory.