J. P. Sanderson Paperr
MSS 209 AV
J. P. SANDERSON PAPERS
1846- 1 865
OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION
Number: MSS 209 AV
Title: J. P. Sanderson Papers
Creators: John Phillip Sanderson, Sr. and John
Phillip Sanderson, Jr.
Dates: 1846- 1865, 1863- 1865 ( bulk)
Media: Papers, Photographs, Scrapbooks
Quantity: 1.33 cu. ft.
Location: Ohio Historical Center
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE COLLECTION
John Phillip Sanderson was born in East Hanover, Pennsylvania on February 14, 1818.
He was admitted to the bar in 1839, served in the legislature in 1845, and later in 1847,
the state senate. In 1848 he began his career, working as editor and publisher of the
Philadelphia " Daily News" until 1856. He published " Views and Opinions of American
Statesmen on Foreign Immigration" ( Philadelphia, 1843), and " Republican Landmarks"
( 1856). In 1861 President Lincoln appointed Sanderson to be Assistant Secretary of War
( Chief Clerk), but due to his poor health, Sanderson resigned that same year. Soon
after, in 1862, he was appointed to Lieutenant Colonel of the isth U. S. Infantry, serving
from fall of 1862 to spring of 1863, when he was promoted to Colonel of the 18'~ U. S.
Infantry. In 1864 he was again promoted to Provost Marshal General in the Department
From the beginning of his service as Provost Marshal General, Sanderson worked on
uncovering a secret society, the Order of American Knights, which sympathized with the
Rebel cause and wanted to end the war peacefully. The order kept their members armed
and readv to fiaht aaainst the North, and in Missouri, the order had thoughts of creating
a ~ orthwksternco nfederacy. The O. A. K. is also part of the reorganizingof two other
rebel oraanizations of the North, the Kniahts of the Golden Circle ( pre- O. A. K.) and the
Order oithe Sons of Liberty post-^.^.<). The O. A. K. investigation was leadby
Sanderson, though sickly, and finally uncovered in the summer of 1864. Soon after, on
October 14, 1864, Sanderson died in Missouri. ( The Order of the Sons of Liberty was
then disbanded in the fall of 1864.)
Sanderson was married and had three children. His oldest son, George K., also served
in the 15Ih U. S. Infantry during the Civil War. George sent his account of the Battle of
OHIO HISTORICAL SOCIETY
1982 Veima Avenue, Colurnbui, Ohio 43211- 2497 pli: 614297.2300 h: 614.297.2411
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