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John F. A. Sanford


From: Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography, Vol. III; P-Z Index by Dan L. Thrapp; pub. The Arthur H. Clark Co., Glendale, CA 1988; p. 1264

Sanford, John F. A., frontiersman (1806-May 5, 1857).  Born in Virginia, he reached St. Louis in 1825 and became clerk for William Clark, as such witnessing a treaty with the Kansas Indians at St. Louis June 3.   In 1826 he was appointed sub agent for the upper Missouri, remaining two years among the Mandans and contacting other upper country tribes.  He returned to St. Louis briefly in 1828 and again in 1830.  He went back upriver and in 1831 brought down a deputation of four Indians from as many tribes, visited Washington, and returned up the river in 1832, accompanied by Catlin.

Sanford returned to St. Louis and married the daughter of Pierre Chouteau, Jr., Emilie, returning up the river, this time accompanied by Prince Maximilian, and went back to St. Louis.  His wife died in 1836, having mothered a son.   Sanford resigned in late 1834, went to work for his father-in-law, remaining in Chouteau's employ the rest of his life.  He became a partner in the firm in 1838, accumulated a fortune, lived at New York City late in life, and married once more.   In 1853, owning briefly the slave, Dred Scott, he was defendant in the famous lawsuit.  In December 1856, Sanford had a mental breakdown, became insane, and died in a New York asylum.

[Janet 1.compete article, MM, Vol. IX]

* The Scott vs. Sanford case was an antecedent to the Civil War.  Here is a site that discusses this case and the impact on the Civil War.  Essays: A Hard Shove for a "Nation on the Brink": The Impact of Dred Scott.  In this essay, by Lisa Cozzens, it states that Dred Scott, the slave, was left to her brother, John F. A. Sanford by his sister, Mrs. John Emerson.  A must read! (Click the back button to return to this page)

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