Sanders family Papers, 1799-1928

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator:  Sanders family

Title:  Papers, 1799-1928

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection:  .33 cu. ft.

Location Number:  Mss. A S215a

Scope and Content Note

This collection includes letters, receipts, and legal instruments from the Sanders family of Shelby and Hart counties, Ky., including items from related families, the Hardins and Todds.

The earliest letters include the 1828 correspondence between Dr. Thomas Sanders, Sr. (1800-1833) and his wife, Jane Irvine Hardin Sanders (ca. 1807-ca. 1892) in which he discusses Jacksonian politics and criticizes organized religion. The letters of Dr. Sanders’ father-in-law, Mark Hardin (1782-1875), which range from 1828 to 1861, primarily concern his land interests in Shelby and Hart counties.

Also included are three letters to David Todd (1786-1859), a Kentucky native who settled in Columbia, Missouri. Two letters, written in 1839 and 1845 respectively, deal with the estate of Robert Barr of Lexington, Ky. The third later, sent in 1846, apparently relates to money matters between Todd and George A. Bicknell, Jr. of Madison, Indiana.

The bulk of the Sanders family material relates to Dr. Thomas Sanders, Jr. (1832-1904) and includes his 1854 travel diary to Europe where he toured London, Paris, Belgium, modern day Germany, and Switzerland. He left detailed descriptions of the people, customs and sites including a glimpse of Queen Victoria who he described as a “good looking woman” who “looks like she was well fed.” He was shocked by the manners and morals of the French and noted that in Paris, where he planned to study medicine, “An American sees and hears more in a week to shock his feelings as a moral man than he would at home in a lifetime and in no place…are the temptations to err more seductive.” It should be noted that the final pages of the diary have been torn out.

Dr. Sanders’ correspondence includes courtship letters from both his first and second wives, Ellen Owsley (1816-1867) and Mary Louisa Stuart (1849-1903).  An 1866 courtship letter from Ellen Owsley refers to Sanders service in the Union army as Surgeon of the 27th Kentucky Infantry. Several letters from Mary Stuart Sanders to her husband were written to him while he served as state senator from Hart County in the Kentucky General Assembly in 1878. In her correspondence she primarily discusses her health, their children, farm matters and problems with house servants.

A single Stuart-Stewart family letter in the collection was written at Lexington in 1799 by Robert Stewart to Hermon Bowman of Versailles, Ky. Stewart expresses his regret at not being able to attend the funeral of his friend of thirty years, a Mrs. Peters. The writer is identified through penciled notations as Mary’s grandfather, Robert Stuart (1772-1856). However the contents of the letter make this conclusion doubtful.  The collection also includes letters to Sanders from his first cousin, Mark Hardin (ca. 1843-ca. 1869), young Hardin’s mother, Gertrude Lydia Dunn Hardin (ca. 1821-ca. 1893) and Sanders’ grandfather, Mark Hardin the elder, as well as other relatives. These letters deal primarily with family news and farm matters.

An 1895 letter to Sanders from Dr. Henry Robbins of Washington, D.C. discusses efforts by a committee of former Union Army surgeons to gain admittance in veterans’ organizations such as the Grand Army of the Republic and the Military Order of the Loyal Legion.

The marriage of Dr. Sanders’ son, Rev. Robert Stuart Sanders (1880-1971) to Lucy Taylor (1881-1966) explains the presence in this collection of the papers of the Taylor, Hall, and Lyle families of Bourbon County.  The collection includes four letters written to Lucy’s father, Irwin Taylor (1845-1918) of Rochester, N. Y. between 1897 and 1898, by his attorney, John Q. Ward, related to Taylor’s property in Bourbon County, Kentucky.  Also included are the papers and documents of her maternal grandfather, James Hall (1820-ca. 1894), a farmer and stock breeder from Paris, Ky. Hall’s 1894 diary contains numerous, brief references to his declining health, the U.S. Senate race in his district and both local and family news. It should be noted that the Hall papers also include a few land records related to his father-in-law, John Huston (ca. 1772-ca. 1845)

While the relation with the other Bourbon County families is not clear, this collection also includes the papers of the Lyle family.  The Lyle papers include a fragment of an 1828 land grant to Joel R. Lyle (1779-1849), two 1892 deeds between Nancy Huston Hall (wife of James Hall) and Elizabeth Margaret “Lizzie” Lyle (ca. 1839-1904) and a packet of Lyle family deeds dated 1854 to 1909.  Also included is a letter written in Nov. 1928 in Pasadena, CA, by Talbot Jones (ca. 1850-1934) who informs his cousin, Annie Lyle (1864-1953) of Paris, Ky. that he has been handling the estate of his recently deceased sister, Alice Jones Anderson (ca. 1845-1928) A second letter from the First Trust and Savings Bank of Pasadena, dated 13 Nov. 1928, advises Annie Lyle of her inheritance from said estate.

The collection includes miscellanea, including but not limited to undated letters, deeds, land surveys, tax receipts and lawsuits for all families.


Biographical Note

According to family tradition, Dr. Thomas Sanders, Sr. (1800-1833) of Shelby County, KY died during a cholera epidemic.  He married Jane Irvine Hardin (ca. 1807-ca. 1892), the daughter of Mark Hardin (1782-1875) and the granddaughter of the Kentucky pioneer, Major John Hardin (1710-1789).  Their son, Dr. Thomas Sanders, Jr. (1832-1904) graduated from Centre College in 1848 and afterwards received his medical degree from the University of Louisville. After studying medicine in Paris he returned to Louisville where he practiced his profession with his uncle, Dr. John Hardin (ca. 1811-ca. 1864). During the Civil War he served as Surgeon in the 27th Kentucky Infantry (Union) but resigned his commission in the aftermath of the Emancipation Proclamation.  After the death of his first wife, Ellen Owsley (1816-1867) he married  Mary Louisa Stuart ( 1849-1903) the daughter of Rev. David Todd Stuart of Shelbyville, Ky. During the post-Civil War era, the Sanders family lived in Hart County, Shelby County and Louisville. Following the death of his wife in Louisville, Dr. Sanders resided with his son, Owsley Sanders in Richmond, Virginia until his death.

Dr. Sanders’ son, Rev. Robert Stuart Sanders (1880-1971) married Lucy Taylor (1881-1966) of Bourbon County, Ky. She was the daughter of Irwin Taylor (1845-1918) and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Hall (ca. 1851-1906). Her maternal grandparents were James Hall (1820-ca. 1894) a Bourbon County farmer and stock raiser and Nancy Huston (ca. 1821 – ?).

The Lyle family of Bourbon County, Ky. may have been connected to the Huston family.  Joel R. Lyle (1779-1849) was the father of William CA.  (1808-1874), Dr. John A. (1817-1865) and Rev. Joel K. Lyle (1824-1872). John G. (1856-1910), William R. Lyle (1858-1932), Eleanor (1860-1900) and Annie (1864-1953) were the children of John A. Lyle. Elizabeth “Lizzie” Margaret (1837-1904) was the daughter of William C.  Lyle. The Lyle cousins, Dr. Talbot Jones (ca. 1850-1934) and his sister Alice J. Anderson (ca. 1845-1928) were apparently the children of Edward W. Jones (ca. 1806-ca. 1880) and Ann Eliza Holt (ca. 1818-ca. 1855) of Bourbon County, Ky.


Folder List

Folder 1: Sanders Family Correspondence, 1799-1828

Folder 2: Sanders Family Correspondence, 1838-1866

Folder 3: Sanders Family Correspondence, 1867-1878

Folder 4: Sanders Family Correspondence, 1880- 1898

Folder 5: Thomas Sanders European Travel Diary, 1854

Folder 6: Sanders Family Legal Papers

Folder 7: Sanders Family Land Papers

Folder 8: Sanders Family Miscellaneous

Folder 9: Hall-Taylor Family Correspondence, 1808-1898

Folder 10: James Hall Diary, 1894

Folder 11: Hall-Taylor Miscellaneous

Folder 12: Lyle Family Legal Papers


Subject Headings

Adair, John, 1757-1840.

Albert, Prince Consort, consort of Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, 1819-1861.

Baltic (Ship).

Barry, William T., 1784-1835.

Bicknell, George Augustus, Jr., 1815-1891.

Burg Drachenfels (Germany)

Byron, George Gordon Byron, Baron, 1788-1824.

Calvin, Jean, 1509-1564.

Cathedrale de Strasbourg.

Cheek, Frank J., 1857-1923.

Cobb, John B., c1785-

Courtship – Kentucky.

Crimean War, 1853-1856.


England – Description and travel.

Eugenie, Empress, consort of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, 1826-1920.

Family life.

Fithian, Joseph, ca. 1831-1898.

France – Social life and customs – 19th century.

France – Description and travel.

Frederick, A. S., 1823-1872.

Free thought.

Geneva (Switzerland).

George, Prince, Duke of Cambridge, 1819-1904.

Germany – Description and travel.

Hall family.

Hall, James, 1820-

Hardin, Lydia Gertrude, ca. 1821-ca. 1893.

Hardin, Mark, 1782-1875.

Hardin, Mark, ca. 1843-ca. 1869.

Higgason, Micajah Daniel, 1835-1892.

Household employees – Kentucky – Hart County.

Huston family.

Jones, Talbot, ca. 1850-1934.

Kendall, Amos, 1789-1869.

Kentucky – History – Civil War, 1861-1865.

Kentucky – Politics and government – 1792-1865.

Kentucky – Politics and government – 1865-1950.

Lecompte, Joseph, 1797-1851.

Logan, Jane I., ca. 1807-1882.

Lyle family.

McClintock, James D., 1855-1929.

Madame Tussaud’s.

Maretzek, Max, 1821-1897.

Metcalfe, Thomas, 1780-1851.

Montgomery, James, ca. 1787-ca. 1881.

Motherhood – Southern States.

Owens, William Clayborne, 1849-1925.

Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, 1808-1873.

Paris (France) – Description and travel.

Presidents United States – Election – 1828.

Railroad accidents.

Religious life.

Robbins, Henry A. 1839-1911.

Rogers, Christopher Clark, 1818-1860

Rutherford, Edwin Hubbard, 1831-1908.

Sanders, Ellen Owsley, 1816-1867.

Sanders, Jane Irvine Hardin, ca. 1808-ca. 1892

Sanders, Lewis H., 1796-1864.

Sanders, Mary Louisa Stuart, 1849-1903

Sanders, Thomas, 1800-1833.

Sanders, Thomas, Jr., 1832-1904.

Schorch, James F., ca. 1833.

Sermons, American – 19th century.

Shipp, Eliza Frances Sympson, 1845-1918.

Slavery – Kentucky.

Stewart, Robert (fl. ca. 1799)

Taylor family.

Taylor, Irwin, 1845-1918.

Switzerland – Description and travel.

Todd, David, 1786-1859.

Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, 1819-1901.

Ward, John Quincy, 1838-1899.

War memorials.

Warfield, Benjamin, Sr., 1790-1856

Williams, John G., ca. 1815

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