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Gen Henry Shelton Sanford

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Gen Henry Shelton Sanford

  • Birth 15 Jan 1823 Woodbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA
  • Death 21 May 1891 Healing Springs, Bath County, Virginia, USA
  • Burial Shelton, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
  • Memorial ID 32218262

U.S. Diplomat. Founder of Sanford, Florida. Founder of Central Florida citrus industry. Henry Shelton Sanford was born in Woodbury, Connecticut. His parents were Nancy Bateman Shelton and Nehemiah Curtis Sanford. His childhood years were spent in Birmingham, Connecticut where his father and uncle owned the Shelton Tack Company. After traveling extensively for his health, Sanford pursued a career in the diplomatic service. In 1847, he served as Secretary of the American Legation in St. Petersburg. In 1848, he was Acting Secretary of the American Legation in Frankfort. In 1849, he received his law degree form Heidelberg University. That same year he was appointed Secretary of the American Legation in Paris. He arranged the first postal convention between the United States and France. In 1853, he wrote "The Penal Codes of Europe" which was published by Congress. He was appointed Charge d'Affaires at Paris. In 1855, he accepted the Aves Island Case, a protracted lawsuit against Venezuela regarding the rights to a Caribbean guano island. In 1861, he was appointed United States Minister to Belgium by President Lincoln. Sanford organized and oversaw a surveillance network in England and France during the Civil War. In September 1864 he married Gertrude Ellen Dupuy of Philadelphia. He purchased Oakley Plantation in Plaquemine, Louisiana in 1869 as an investment in the sugar industry. In 1870, he purchased 23 square miles of land in central Florida and founded the city of Sanford on the St. Johns River. In 1873, he established his orange grove "Belair" at Sanford and imported 149 varieties of citrus and other sub-tropical plants for experimentation. In 1876, he was a delegate to the conference that created the African International Association which led to the creation of the Belgian Congo under Leopold II. In 1880, he organized the Florida Land and Colonization Company in London. In 1886, h organized and funded the Sanford Exploring Expedition to open trade in the interior of the Congo. In 1890, he was the U.S. envoy at the Brussels Anti-Slavery Conference. He died of kidney disease in 1891.

Bio by: Sanford Museum





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Sanford Museum
  • Added: 16 Dec 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 32218262
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Gen Henry Shelton Sanford (15 Jan 1823–21 May 1891), Find A Grave Memorial no. 32218262, citing Long Hill Burial Ground, Shelton, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .