James M. Goodhue (1819-1852) failed as a lawyer but thrived as the controversial editor and publisher of the "Minnesota Pioneer," the leading newspaper in Minnesota Territory from 1849 to his death in August 1852.
He was admitted to the bar in New York in 1840, practiced there and in Illinois and Wisconsin before coming to Minnesota Territory in 1849. While in Wisconsin, he wrote a novella, published serially in local newspapers in 1843-1844. Thirty years later it was published as a book. It is posted here.
In 1948 the Minnesota Historical Society published Mary Wheelhouse Berthel's biography of Goodhue, "Horns of Thunder" subtitled "The life and times of James M. Goodhue including selections from his writings." She spends one paragraph on Goodhue's fiction:
"Goodhue's law practice was not so heavy as to consume all his energy, for he found time for writing and lecturing. Communications on various subjects from his pen appeared in the 'Galena Advertiser' and the 'Grant County Herald,' published at Lancaster, Wisconsin; and the 'Advertiser,' in the issues from November 14, 1843, to January 2, 1844, published serially 'Struck a Lead. An Original Tale by James M. Goodhue.' The story is one of romance and adventure in the lead mining region in the early 1840's. Most of the characters are adventurers of various kinds and conditions drawn to the lead mines to make their fortunes by hook or crook. The hero, a young man of dubious principles, reforms, wins his fortune and the lovely lady of his affections, and becomes a pillar of the church, while the villains of the tale are buried alive in a mineral hole. As literature, the novel has little merit; but descriptions of a steamboat race on the Mississippi River, of Galena, life in the lead district, mining methods, and the workings of the law on the frontier give it some interest and historical value."