Nathan Sanford

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Nathan Sanford
United States Senator
from New York
In office
March 4, 1815 – March 3, 1821
Preceded by Obadiah German
Succeeded by Martin Van Buren
In office
January 14, 1826 – March 3, 1831
Preceded by Rufus King
Succeeded by William L. Marcy
Personal details
Born (1777-11-05)November 5, 1777
Bridgehampton, New York
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Flushing, New York
Political party Democratic-Republican

Nathan Sanford (November 5, 1777 – October 17, 1838) was an American politician.


He was born on November 5, 1777, the son of Thomas Sanford and Phebe (Baker) Sanford. He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and commenced practice in New York City.

In 1803, he was appointed as United States Attorney for the District of New York, and remained in office until 1815 when the district was split into the Northern and the Southern District of New York.

He was a member of the New York State Assembly in 1808-09 and 1811. In 1811, he was elected Speaker on January 29, but could not attend the session after February 10 because of ill health. The Assembly moved to elect a new Speaker and proceeded to the election of William Ross. He was a member of the New York State Senate (Southern D.) from 1812 to 1815, sitting in the 35th, 36th, 37th and 38th New York State Legislatures.

In 1815, he was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1815, to March 3, 1821. He was Chairman of the Committee on Commerce and Manufactures (15th and 16th United States Congresses), and a member of the Committee on Naval Affairs (15th Congress) and the Committee on Finance (16th Congress). In 1821, he ran for re-election as a Clintonian, but was defeated by Bucktail Martin Van Buren.

He was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1821, and was Chancellor of New York from 1823 to 1826. In 1824, he received 30 electoral votes for U.S. Vice President.

In 1826, he resigned the chancellorship after his nomination in caucus, and was elected again to the U.S. Senate. He took his seat on January 31, 1826, and served until March 3, 1831. He was Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations (19th United States Congress). Afterwards he resumed the practice of law in Flushing, New York.

He died on October 17, 1838.


State Senator Edward Sanford (1805–1876) was his son; State Senator Peter Gansevoort (1788–1876) was his son-in-law.

Nathan Sanford's residence in Flushing, "Sanford Hall", became a private insane asylum in 1845, run by Dr. James Macdonald MD (1803–1849) and Gen. Allan Macdonald (1794–1862).


Legal offices
Preceded by
Edward Livingston
U.S. Attorney for the District of New York
Succeeded by
Roger Skinner (Northern D.),
Jonathan Fisk (Southern D.)
Political offices
Preceded by
William North
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
Succeeded by
William Ross
United States Senate
Preceded by
Obadiah German
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from New York
Served alongside: Rufus King
Succeeded by
Martin Van Buren
Preceded by
John W. Eppes
Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance
Succeeded by
John Holmes
Legal offices
Preceded by
James Kent
Chancellor of New York
Succeeded by
Samuel Jones
United States Senate
Preceded by
Rufus King
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from New York
Served alongside: Martin Van Buren, Charles E. Dudley
Succeeded by
William L. Marcy