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George P. Sanford papers

Identifier: c-00482

Scope and Contents

This collection contains several essays and speeches written by Professor George Sanford during the 1850s and 1860s. Also included are University of Michigan Commencement Exercise Programs from 1860 and 1861, a Michigan Female College Commencement Program (1862), and Lansing Journal stationery from the 1870s.


  • Creation: 1856 - 1867


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

George Poindexter Sanford was born in Byron, New York, in 1835. A few years later he came to Michigan. He graduated from the Michigan State Normal School (now Eastern Michigan University) in 1856. In June 1861, he obtained the degree of bachelor of science at the University of Michigan.

When Civil War was declared in 1861, he enlisted in the 1st Michigan Infantry, and was made captain. On May 6, 1862, he was forced to resign on account of an illness. From August 1862, to May 1863, Sanford was a clerk in the auditor general's office, after which he was appointed as assistant provost marshal of the third congressional district. In 1864, he was commissioned major and paymaster. He was promoted to brevet lieutenant colonel for meritorious services.

After resigning from the military in 1866, Sanford went to Lansing and engaged in the real estate and insurance businesses with the firm known as House, Porter & Sanford. In 1869, he represented Ingham county in the legislature, and was defeated by the republican candidate for re-election in 1870. Two years later he founded the Lansing weekly Journal and later the State Democrat. In 1878, he was the democratic nominee for regent of the University of Michigan, and for auditor general in 1884. He was also a member of the state board of education and for one year served as president, a member of the democratic state committee, and president of the state press association.

Sanford was postmaster at Lansing from July 1886, to February 1887. In 1891, he was commander of Charles T. Foster post, G. A. R. It was while delivering the oration at the soldiers' monument in Mt. Hope cemetery on Decoration Day, 1891, that he was first stricken with paralysis. He died January 15, 1894 after suffering another stroke.

(Information retrieved October 23, 2013 from and his obituary published in the Livingston Democrat, Howell, Michigan on January 17, 1894)


0.5 Cubic Feet (, 11 folders)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Gift of Madison Kuhn, 1973-02-07.

Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

George P. Sanford Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
R. Viol
August 10, 1970
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US