Thursday, March 19, 2009

Letters to George Anderson

Dr. George Anderson was Sandusky’s first physician and its second mayor, serving in the years 1829 and 1830. Dr. Anderson was active in the medical field as well as in local politics. He was active in the development of the Columbus and Sandusky Turnpike Company, as well as in the creation of the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad. Dr. Marjorie Anderson, the great-granddaughter of Dr. George Anderson, donated several of Dr. Anderson’s letters, legal and educational documents to the Sandusky Library in 1937.

Senator Benjamin Ruggles wrote the following letter to Dr. George Anderson on February 9, 1827.

Washington Feb. 9, 1827

Dear Sir

Your letter dated January the 21st enclosing a petition praying that congress would grant a portion of the public lands to aid in making a turnpike road from Columbus to the city of Sandusky, has been read. The petition will be presented and laid before the Senate.

Some weeks since a bill was reported in the Senate agreeable to the prayer of a petition, which was forewarded last winter and signed by all the members of the Legislature. Gen. Harrison and myself will make use of every exertion to have the object of your wishes accomplished.

Very respectfully
Your obt. Sevt.
Benj. Ruggles

Benjamin Ruggles was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1815; was re-elected in 1821, and again in 1827. He was known as the “Wheel Horse of the Senate,” due to his deep work ethic.

Dr. Anderson received the following letter from Eleutheros Cooke, while Cooke was a member of Congress, on March 15, 1832. Eleutheros Cooke, father of Jay Cooke, was Sandusky’s first lawyer. House Rep. March 15, 1832

Dear Sir

I shall apply as soon as I can get an audience with our excellent friend Gov. Cass for a detachment of the U.S. Engineer corp. to make a survey and estimate on our Railroad. The increased hostility prevailing at head quarters on the subject of internal improvement is rather discouraging. Yet I not abandon the hope that Cass will act independently of this spirit and treat our road as a measure of national importance in a commercial military a& mail transportation point of view – I will give you the earliest information of the result of my application.

In great haste
very respectfully
your friend
E. Cooke

Both of Dr. Anderson’s transportation goals for Sandusky did become successful. A brief history of the Sandusky and Columbus Turnpike is found in an earlier blog post. Ground was broken for the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad on September 17, 1835. Through Dr. Anderson’s letters, we can get a glimpse into Sandusky’s past. Dr. Anderson died in 1834, after treating patients in a cholera epidemic. He is buried at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery

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