Sanger Family
Papers, 1792-1956; bulk 1875-1925
SC22786

Quantity: 11 boxes (3.75 cubic ft.) plus 2 Extra-Large (EL) items
Access: Records are open to research.
Acquisition: Purchased by the New York State Library in three separate lots, 1987, 1996, and 2003. Collation of materials acquired from separate sources, December 12, 2003. This includes 0.50 cubic feet of material accessioned originally as SC18863, November 6, 1989. Further information is found in the accession file, which is available upon request.
Processed By: Aimee Morgan, Student Assistant, Winter 2005

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Biographical Note:

William Cary Sanger was born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 21, 1853.  The son of Henry Sanger and Mary E. Requa Sanger, he was educated at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, Harvard College and Columbia Law School.  During his college years Sanger joined numerous clubs and societies and played on Harvard’s first varsity football team. After earning his law degree from Columbia, Sanger was employed by the law office of Evarts, Southmayd and Choate in New York City.  Later, he established his own firm in partnership with Gherardi Davis [sic].

Sanger married Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge, the daughter of General Charles Cleveland Dodge and Mary Theresa Bradhurst Schieffelin on February 23, 1892.  Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to Sangerfield in Oneida County, New York.  (The town of Sangerfield was named after Jedediah Sanger, an early settler.) Several years after moving to Sangerfield, Sanger constructed a large manor house there, naming it Sangerfield House.

Sanger gave up his law practice in New York following his move, hoping to enter politics in Oneida County.  In 1894, Sanger was elected to the New York State Assembly as a Republican from the second district of Oneida County. Sanger served in the State Assembly from 1895 to 1897.  As a member of the Assembly, Sanger was particularly concerned with civil service reform and ballot reform.

Sanger had a lengthy military career.  In 1890 he was appointed assistant chief of artillery at the rank of colonel in the New York State National Guard.  He was an honorary member of Company G, 21st Regiment of the New York State National Guard, as well as a lieutenant colonel of the 203rd Regiment Infantry, New York Volunteers. During the Spanish-American War, Sanger was Provost Marshall of Camp Black near Hempstead, Long Island.  After the war he served for several years as an assistant inspector general of the National Guard of New York, and was appointed Inspector by Governor Theodore Roosevelt at the end of 1899.  In 1900, on request of the President of the United States, Sanger traveled to Europe to study the organization of the reserve and auxiliary force of Great Britain and the militia of Switzerland.  Sanger was appointed assistant secretary of war by President William McKinley in 1901, and continued under McKinley’s successor, Roosevelt, until 1903.  When the United States entered World War I, Sanger, who was over sixty years old, wrote to the President to volunteer his services.  He was denied a military appointment because of his age, but spent much of the war in Washington, D.C. as associate manager and later manager of the Potomac Division of the American Red Cross.  (In 1907 he had been the president of the New York State branch of the American Red Cross.)

Sanger also served on the State Lunacy Commission (1910-1911) and was president of the New York State Hospital Commission from 1911 to 1913.

Throughout his life, Sanger remained actively involved in numerous clubs and associations, including the Sangerfield Country Club, the Knickerbocker Club, the Century Club, the Republican Club of New York, the Sons of the Revolution, the Boone and Crockett Club, and the Society of Colonial Wars.  For a more complete list of Sanger’s memberships, see the biographical sketch in Box 1, Folder 1.

The children of William Cary Sanger were:

  • William Cary Sanger, Jr. (writer), born February 9, 1893
  • Henry Lawrence Sanger, born April 13, 1894, died May 15, 1913
  • Mary Ethel Sanger, born July 29, 1895
  • John Haynes Sanger, born and died November 1, 1899
  • Richard Harlakenden Sanger, born July 22, 1905
  • Lillian Schieffelin Sanger, born April 3, 1909

William Cary Sanger died in New York City, where he had been visiting his sister Lillian, on December 6, 1921.  He had contracted pneumonia following an operation.

This biographical note is based on biographical sketches of William Cary Sanger from Box 1, Folder 1 of the Sanger Family Papers.

Scope and Content Note:

The Sanger Family Papers focus closely on William Cary Sanger, documenting numerous facets of his professional and personal life.  There are also some letters written by Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger, and a few letters written by the Sanger children.  Several folders of genealogical materials compiled by William Cary Sanger provide background on the family.

William Cary Sanger’s political, military and business activities are documented primarily by correspondence, drafts of writings and speeches, and clippings.  There are some significant gaps: only a small segment of Sanger’s outgoing correspondence file from his time as a New York State assemblyman is included.  There is also little material related to Sanger’s law practice in New York City.  Correspondence, invoices, and other papers document the management of Sangerfield House and Sangerfield Farm, Sanger’s properties in Oneida County, New York.

While there are many unidentified photographs depicting landscape scenes and buildings, there are relatively few identified photographs of the Sanger family.

Series Descriptions:

The Sanger Family Papers are divided into ten series:

Series 1: Biographical and Genealogical Papers, 1807-1953

Includes two detailed biographical sketches of William Cary Sanger, along with genealogical research materials that were apparently compiled by Sanger.  There are also birth, baptism and confirmation records for Sanger’s children, along with assorted family papers.

Series 2: Family and Personal Correspondence, 1875-1933

Consists mostly of letters between Sanger family members, arranged chronologically.  William Cary Sanger sent detailed letters to his parents and siblings while traveling in Europe in the 1870s and 1880s.  In 1917, Sanger and his wife exchanged letters almost everyday while he was in Washington D.C. assisting the American Red Cross in war relief efforts. Following the family correspondence is correspondence between William Cary Sanger and personal friends.  At the end of the series is one folder of letters, which were possibly written by relatives of Mary Ethel Dodge Cleveland Sanger.

Series 3: Military, Political, and Business Activities, 1887-1924

Contains mostly correspondence related to William Cary Sanger’s professional life, including his military and political activities. At the end of the series are papers related to the management of Sangerfield House and Sangerfield Farm.

Series 4: Financial Documents, 1865-1954

Contains correspondence, invoices, canceled checks, and other papers related to William Cary Sanger’s financial affairs.

Series 5: Legal Documents, 1792-1932

Consists of a copy of William Cary Sanger’s last will and testament; an appraisal of the estate of Lillian Sanger (William Cary Sanger’s sister); copies of 1792 leases of property owned by John J. Morgan, now part of Sangerfield; and restrictions related to the building of the Pierrepont estate (1852).  The relationship of this final item to other items in the collection is unclear.

Series 6: Writings and Speeches, 1885-1935

Consists mostly of untitled drafts of speeches and writings by William Cary Sanger.  In most cases, the occasion for which the speeches were written cannot be determined.  Also included are draft copies of Sanger’s “Letters from an Idle Traveler,” descriptions of travels in Europe that were published as columns by the Utica Free Press in 1893 and 1894. There is also a published copy of Sanger’s article “The English Volunteers,” dating from about 1888. Also included is a manuscript piece titled “A Journal During a Lady’s Courtship, by Mrs. Schieffelin.”  Mrs. Schieffelin was likely a maternal relative of Mary Ethel Dodge Cleveland Sanger. There are also poems and articles by William Cary Sanger, Jr., as well as two short pieces of unknown authorship.

Series 7: Social Activities, 1868-1932

Consists of papers related to the social activities of William Cary Sanger and his wife, mostly invitations, programs, and correspondence related to club and society memberships.

Series 8: News Clippings and Scrapbook, 1892-1921

Primarily news clippings related to the career of William Cary Sanger.  Also included are death notices for Henry Sanger and William Cary Sanger. There is one folder of clippings on William Cary Sanger, Jr.’s Tides of Commerce, a book of poetry published in 1915. Pages from a scrapbook kept by Mary Ethel Dodge Cleveland Sanger contain wedding announcements, invitations and programs. 

Series 9: Photographs and Prints, ca. 1820s-1956

Although there are a few portraits of William Cary Sanger, his sisters, and his parents, the bulk of the items are unidentified snapshots of landscapes and buildings.  There are also two albums, but most of the photographs in them are not labeled.

Series 10: Oversize Items

Consists of three items:
  1. A Department of State passport for William Cary Sanger, 1900.
  2. Sanger family genealogical charts, undated
  3. Large portrait of an unidentified individual

Box and Folder List:

Box Folder Contents
   

Series 1: Biographical and Genealogical Papers, 1807-1953

1

1

Biographical Sketches, William Cary Sanger, no date

1

2

Genealogical Charts, no date

1

3

Genealogical Research, 1851-1896

1

4

Genealogical Research, 1902-1921

1

5

Genealogical Research, no date

1

6

Baptism and Confirmation Certificates, Henry Lawrence Sanger, Richard Harlakenden Sanger, and Lillian Schieffelin Sanger, 1894-1923

1

7

Birth Records for Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger and Lillian Schieffelin Sanger, 1915, 1926

1

8

Correspondence re: Family Cemetery Plot, 1920-1953

1

9

Lineage Society Applications, 1893-1921

1

10

Report Cards, Mary Sanger, 1905-1907

1

11

Letter by Jedediah Sanger, 1807

   

Series 2: Family and Personal Correspondence, 1875-1933

2

1

Letters from William Cary Sanger to Family, 1875-1876

2

2

Letters from William Cary Sanger to Family, 1881-1883

2

3

Letters from William Cary Sanger to Family, 1886-1890

2

4

Letters from William Cary Sanger to Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger, ca. 1892, 1904

2

5

Letters between Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger and General Charles Cleveland Dodge, 1897-1910

2

6

Letter to Mrs. Dodge (Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger’s mother), 1899

2

7-8

Letters to Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger from her mother, ca. 1900-1921

2

9

Letters from Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger to William Cary Sanger, 1914

2

10

Letters from Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger to William Cary Sanger, January-March 1917

2

11

Letters from Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger to William Cary Sanger, June-July 1917

2

12

Letters from Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger to William Cary Sanger, 1919-1920

2

13

Letters to William Cary Sanger from his aunts, 1915-1919

2

14

Letters from William Cary Sanger to Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger, January-March 1917

2

15

Letters from William Cary Sanger to Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger, May-June 1917

2

16

Letters from William Cary Sanger to Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger, July 1917

3

1

Letter from William Cary Sanger to Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger, No Month Listed, 1917

3

2

Letters of Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger, 1896-1900

3

3

Letters of Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger, 1919-1932

3

4

Letters of Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger, No date

3

5

Letters to Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger from a Friend [Dany?], 1909-1931

3

6

Letters to Mary Ethel Cleveland Dodge Sanger from Harriet Sherman, no date

3

7-8

Letters of William Cary Sanger’s children, 1907-1933

3

9

Letters re: William Cary Sanger Jr.’s writing career, 1914-1926

3

10

Personal Correspondence, 1884-1906

3

11

Personal Correspondence, 1907-1914

3

12

Personal Correspondence, 1919-1921

3

13

Personal Correspondence, No date

3

14

Miscellaneous Letters, 1903-1913, no date

   

Series 3: Military, Political, and Business Activities, 1887-1924

4

1

Letters re: Military Activities, 1887-1888

4

2

Letters re: Military Activities, 1894-1897

4

3

Letters re: Military Activities, 1900-1908

4

4

Letters re: Military Activities, 1917-1921

4

5

Trip to England, 1900

4

6

Copies of foreign language letters from Elihu Root, John Hay, and Theodore Roosevelt, 1900

4

7

Reports by William Cary Sanger on Military Camps, 1897-1898

4

8

Appointment Papers, Lt. Col. 203rd Regiment Infantry, New York Volunteers, 1898

4

9

Letters re: Election to State Assembly, 1894-1896

4

10

Letters, Outgoing, New York State Assembly, March 28-April 8, 1895

4

11

Letters, Outgoing, New York State Assembly, April 9-April 17 1895

4

12

Letters, Outgoing, New York State Assembly, April 18-April 26 1895

4

13

Letters, Outgoing, New York State Assembly, April 27-May 17 1895

4

14

Letters, Outgoing, New York State Assembly, Index, 1895

4

15

Letters re: Political Activities, Incoming, 1895-1896

4

16

Letters re: Political Activities, Incoming and Outgoing, 1900-1915

4

17

Letters re: Political Activities, Incoming and Outgoing, 1920-1921

5

1

Letters re: Appointment of Assistant Secretaries in Federal Government, National Civil Service Reform League, 1918-1921

5

2

Petition to Name Sangerfield Valley, 1907

5

3

Legislative Bills, 1911, no date

5

4

Letters re: Business Activities, 1889-1912

5

5

Letters re: Business Activities, 1913-1919

5

6

Letters re: Business Activities, 1920-1924

5

7

Report on Hospital for the Insane in Rome, Italy, 1914

5

8

Letters re: Red Cross, 1914-1921

5

9

State Charities Aid Association, Committee on Mental Hygiene, Meeting Minutes, 1915

5

10

Sangerfield House, Correspondence, 1901-1921

5

11

Sangerfield House, Wine Cellar Plans, no date

5

12

Sangerfield Farm, 1906-1915

5

13

Sangerfield Farm Guests, 1911

5

14

Sangerfield Farm Guests, 1912

   

Series 4: Financial Documents, 1865-1954

6

1

Financial Documents, 1865-1954

6

2

Brooklyn Trust Company Accounts, 1911-1920

6

3

National Bank of Waterville, Account Book, 1907-1912

6

4

Canceled Checks, 1912-1953

6

5

List of Checks Issued to Mr. Underdown, April-November 1906

6

6

Invoices and Receipts, 1872-1924

6

7

Invoices and Receipts for Household Expenses, 1909-1953

6

8

Letters from H.B. Livermore re: Trust Fund, 1926-1927

6

9

Acknowledgements of Donations and Contributions, 1909-1921

6

10

Hay Book, Edmund Terry, 1845

6

11

List of Articles in Cabinet, 1906

   

Series 5: Legal Documents, 1792-1932

6

12

Last Will and Testament, William Cary Sanger, 1912

6

13

Appraisal of Lillian Sanger Estate, 1932

6

14

Leases on Property Owned by John J. Morgan, 1792

6

15

Restrictions in Relation to Building Pierrepont Estate, 1852

   

Series 6: Writings and Speeches, 1885-1935

7

1

Speeches of William Cary Sanger, “Arms, Books, and the Man,” no date

7

2

Speeches of William Cary Sanger, 1895-1897

7

3-7

Speeches of William Cary Sanger, no date

7

8

Speeches and Writings of William Cary Sanger, no date

7

9

Writings of William Cary Sanger, Drafts, no date

7

10

“An Adventure in the Mountains of Sicily,” William Cary Sanger, no date

7

11

“Brief Outline of the Origin, Growth, and Work of the Military Information Division, Adjutant General’s Office,” William Cary Sanger, 1902

7

12

“Copy of Letter to Town Committeeman,” William Cary Sanger, 1909

7

13

“The English Volunteers,” William Cary Sanger, ca. 1888

7

14

“Letters from an Idle Traveler,” William Cary Sanger, No. 1, Draft, 1887

7

15

“Letters from an Idle Traveler,” William Cary Sanger, No. 3, Draft, ca. 1887

7

16

“Letters from an Idle Traveler,” William Cary Sanger, No. 4, Draft, 1887

7

17

“Letters from an Idle Traveler,” William Cary Sanger, No. 6, Draft, ca. 1887

7

18

 “Letters from an Idle Traveler,” William Cary Sanger, Letter Number Not Specified, Draft, ca. 1887

7

19

“A Journal During a Lady’s Courtship” by Mrs. Schieffelin, no date

7

20

Writings of William Cary Sanger Jr., 1924-1935

7

21

Editorial, Author Unknown, no date

7

22

“The Song of the Bill,” Author Unknown, no date

7

23

“Thoughts on the Love of God,” Harriet S. Bower, 1885
   

Series 7: Social Activities, 1868-1932

8

1

Invitations and Programs, 1868-1906

8

2

Invitations and Programs, 1907

8

3

Invitations and Programs, 1917-1932

8

4

Letters re: Clubs and Memberships, 1892-1921

8

5

Sangerfield Country Club, 1911-1913

8

6

Date Book, 1919

8

7

Name Cards, no date

   

Series 8: News Clippings and Scrapbook, 1892-1921

9

1

News Clippings, 1890s-1920s

9

2

Henry Sanger Death Notices, 1913

9

3

William Cary Sanger Death Notices, 1921

9

4

Re: Tides of Commerce by William Cary Sanger, Jr., 1915-1916

9

5

“Letters from an Idle Traveler,” William Cary Sanger, 1893-1894

9

6

“What the Draft Law Means to the Country,” New York Times Magazine article, William Cary Sanger, 1917

9

7

Scrapbook, ca. 1892-ca. 1896

   

Series 9: Photographs and Prints, ca. 1820s-1956

10

1

William Cary Sanger, ca. 1900s-ca. 1910?

 

2

Zebekiah Sanger (grandfather of William Cary Sanger), print of a drawing, ca. 1820s?

10

3

Henry Sanger (father of William Cary Sanger), no date

10

4

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sanger (parents of William Cary Sanger), no date

10

5

Mary and Lillian Sanger (sisters of William Cary Sanger), ca. 1860s?

10

6

Two unidentified women, ca. 1920s?

10

7

Unidentified portraits, no date

10

8

“On the Chenango River Near Its Junction with the Sangerfield River,” 1909

10

9

Sangerfield House?, 1956

10

10

Italy, no date

10

11

Unidentified scenes [Germany?], no date

10

12

Photograph Album: “Near Oyster Bay, N.Y.,” Summer 1910

10

13

Photograph Album: Loose Photos, ca. 1910s-1920s?

11

1-2

Photograph Album: ca. 1910s-1920s?

11

3

View of sunset from 10 Montague Terrace, Brooklyn, no date

11

4

Snapshots: Ocean Scenes and Buildings, ca. 1920s

11

5

Snapshots: Buildings, ca. 1920s

11

6

Snapshots: Landscapes, ca. 1920s

11

7

Snapshots: Railroad Tracks, ca. 1920s

11

8

Miscellaneous Negatives, ca. 1910s-1920s

11

9

Zebekiah Sanger, grandfather of William Cary Sanger, #1, no date [in envelope]

11

10

Zebekiah Sanger, grandfather of William Cary Sanger, #2, no date [in envelope]

11

11

Unidentified child, no date [in envelope]

11

12

Mary Queen of Scots, print in frame, no date [in envelope]

   

Series 10: Oversize Items

EL1

 

“German Search for the Family and Arms of Sanger,” Genealogical Charts, no date
Department of State Passport, William Cary Sanger, 1900

EL2

 

Portrait, unknown individual, no date

Last Updated: July 23, 2010