Alexander O. Anderson

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Alexander Outlaw Anderson
United States Senator
from Tennessee
In office
February 26, 1840 – March 3, 1841
Preceded byHugh Lawson White
Succeeded bySpencer Jarnagin
Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court
In office
April 6, 1852 – January 2, 1853
Appointed byGovernor John Bigler
Preceded byHenry A. Lyons
Succeeded byAlexander Wells
Personal details
Born(1794-11-10)November 10, 1794
Jefferson County, Tennessee (now Hamblen County, Tennessee)
DiedMay 23, 1869(1869-05-23) (aged 74)
Knoxville, Tennessee
Political partyDemocratic
Maria Hamilton
(m. 1821; died 1825)
Eliza Rosa Deaderick
(m. 1825; died 1866)
RelationsJoseph Anderson, father; James W. Deaderick, cousin
Alma materWashington College
ProfessionPolitician, Lawyer, Judge

Alexander Outlaw Anderson (November 10, 1794 – May 23, 1869) was an American slave owner[1] and attorney who represented Tennessee in the United States Senate, and later served in the California State Senate, and on the California Supreme Court.

Early life[edit]

The son of Only Patience Outlaw and longtime U.S. Senator Joseph Anderson, he was born at his father's home, "Soldier's Rest," in Jefferson County (now Hamblen County), Tennessee.[2] He was named for his maternal grandfather, frontiersman Alexander Outlaw (1738–1826).

As a youth he graduated from Washington College near Greeneville, Tennessee. He volunteered for service in the War of 1812 and fought under Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Later that year he was admitted to the bar and began a practice in Dandridge, Tennessee. In 1821, Jackson was appointed Territorial Governor of Florida, and Anderson the United States district attorney of West Florida.[3][4] Afterwards he moved to Knoxville, and then served as the superintendent of the United States General Land Office in Alabama in 1836. He was an agent in the Indian removals of 1838 for Alabama and Florida, and held a contract through 1848.[5][6][7]

Senate and legal career[edit]

In February 1840, Anderson was elected to the United States Senate by the Tennessee General Assembly to the vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Hugh Lawson White. He was a member of the Whig party whose resignation was orchestrated by Governor James K. Polk so that a Democratic senator could be appointed.[8][9][10][11] Anderson served in that body from February 26, 1840, to March 3, 1841, when the term expired.[12][13] In May 1840, he was a delegate to the national Democratic Party convention in Baltimore, Maryland.[14][15] Anderson did not stand for reelection to the seat; it was to remain vacant for a period when a group of Tennessee Democratic legislators called the "Immortal Thirteen" refused to meet and give a quorum sufficient to allow the election of a successor, apparently preferring no representation to that by a member of the other party, the Whigs.

After leaving the Senate, Anderson remained active in politics. In September 1844, he published a series of letters on the admission of Texas as a new state, which were published as a book.[16][17] In July 1847, he announced his support for Zachary Taylor of Louisiana as a candidate for President of the United States.[18]

Anderson was a leader of an overland company of leaving from Independence, Missouri, and going to California in 1849.[19][20] He served in the California State Senate in 1852 as a Democrat.[21] In February 1852, his name was put forward for U.S. Senator, but he lost the Democratic Party nomination.[22] He then was appointed by Governor John Bigler as an associate justice of the California Supreme Court, serving from April 6, 1852, to January 2, 1853, before returning to Tennessee in 1853 or 1854.[23][24][25] While in the California Supreme Court, he co-authored a ruling supporting the Fugitive Slave Act, writing, "Slaves are not parties to the Constitution, and although ‘persons,’ they are property."[26]

Anderson later practiced law in Washington, D.C., appearing before both the Court of Claims and the Supreme Court of the United States.[27] During the American Civil War he returned to Alabama, practicing law in Mobile and Camden.[24] Again returning to Tennessee, he died in Knoxville on May 23, 1869, and is buried in the Old Gray Cemetery.[24]

Personal life[edit]

In 1821, he married Maria Hamilton in Washington, D.C., who died in 1825 in Jonesboro, Tennessee.[24] On June 7, 1825, he remarried married to Eliza Rosa Deaderick, his cousin, and they had 11 children.[24] She died October 15, 1866, in Knoxville, Tennessee.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Congress slaveowners", The Washington Post, January 13, 2022, retrieved January 15, 2022
  2. ^ Historic American Buildings Survey. "Historical and Descriptive Data". Rural Mount, Hamblen County, TN. U.S. Dept. of the Interior. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  3. ^ Tennessee Blue Book. Tennessee Secretary of State. 1890. p. 25. Retrieved August 9, 2017. Year 1821
  4. ^ Force, Peter (1822). A National Calendar ..., Volume 3. Davis and Force. p. 135. Retrieved August 9, 2017. State Governments, The Floridas, Officers Appointed by the President in the Floridas..., Alexander Anderson, of Tennessee, to be Attorney of the United States for West Florida, and for that part of East Florida which lies westward of the Cape, to reside in Pensacola.
  5. ^ Senate Documents, Otherwise Publ. as Public Documents and Executive Documents: 14th Congress, 1st Session-48th Congress, 2nd Session and Special Session, Volume 3. Washington, DC: Gales and Seaton. 1845. p. 7. Retrieved August 10, 2017. Discussion of the contract status from 1843 to 1845.
  6. ^ "The Report of the Commissioners of Indian Affairs". The New York Herald. Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. January 6, 1848. p. 6. Retrieved August 9, 2017. Under the circumstances stated in my report of last year, the contract for their removal made on the 5th September, 1844, with Alexander Anderson and others, and which expired by limitation on the 31st December 1846, was extended to the 1st day of June last; yet, at the end of the period of extension there were nearly as many remaining East as had gone West.
  7. ^ Calhoun, John Caldwell; Wilson, Clyde N. (1993). The Papers of John C. Calhoun, Volume 21. Columbia, SC: Univ of South Carolina Press. p. 302. ISBN 0872498891. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  8. ^ Borneman, Walter R. (2008). Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America. New York: Random House, Inc. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-4000-6560-8.
  9. ^ "Tennessee". Lexington Union (Lexington, MS). Library of Congress Historical Newspapers. February 14, 1840. p. 2. Retrieved August 9, 2017. Mr. Anderson is a tried and true Democrat-so we go.
  10. ^ "Tennessee Senator". The North-Carolinian. Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. February 22, 1840. p. 3. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  11. ^ "Tennessee Senator". The Ohio Democrat and Dover Advertiser. Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. February 21, 1840. Retrieved August 9, 2017. Judge White...He is one of the old school Republicans
  12. ^ "Twenty-Sixth Congress". The North-Carolina Standard (Raleigh, NC). Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. March 4, 1840. p. 3. Retrieved August 9, 2017. On the 26th, Mr. Grundy presented the credentials of the Honorable Alexander Anderson
  13. ^ "U.S. Senate". Salt River Journal (Bowling Green, MO). Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. May 30, 1840. p. 2. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  14. ^ "National Democratic Convention". The North-Carolina Standard (Raleigh, NC). Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. May 13, 1840. p. 3. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  15. ^ "National Democratic Convention". The North-Carolinian (Fayetteville, NC). Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. May 16, 1840. p. 1. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  16. ^ "Letter of Alexander Anderson". The Daily Madisonian (Washington, D.C.). Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. September 16, 1844. p. 3. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  17. ^ "Gen. Anderson's Letter". The Daily Madisonian (Washington, D.C.). Library of Congress Historic Newpspapers. September 20, 1844. p. 2. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  18. ^ "Taylor Meeting at Knoxville". Boon's Lick Times (Fayette, MO). Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. July 10, 1847. p. 1. Retrieved August 9, 2017. Gen. A came out boldly for old Rough and Ready.
  19. ^ "Intelligence by the Mails". The New York Herald. Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. February 11, 1849. p. 3. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  20. ^ "For California". The Daily Crescent (New Orleans, LA). Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. February 22, 1849. p. 2. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  21. ^ "Democratic Meeting in Sonora". Sacramento Transcript. Vol. 3, no. 17. California Digital Newspaper Collection. April 18, 1851. p. 2. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  22. ^ "Grand Democratic Caucus for U.S. Senatorial Candidate". Daily Alta California. Vol. 3, no. 31. California Digital Newspaper Collection. February 1, 1852. p. 5. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  23. ^ "California's First Supreme Court". San Francisco Call. California Digital Newspaper Collection. June 22, 1895. p. 5. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  24. ^ a b c d e Johnson, J. Edward (1963). History of the California Supreme Court: The Justices 1850-1900, vol. I (PDF). San Francisco, CA: Bender-Moss Co. pp. 46–47. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 27, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  25. ^ Durham, Walter T. (1997). Volunteer Forty-niners: Tennesseans and the California Gold Rush. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press. p. 142. ISBN 0826512984. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  26. ^ Egelko, Bob (December 27, 2021). "How 'free state' California wrote slavery and white supremacy into its law books". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 15, 2022.
  27. ^ "Court of Claims". Washington Sentinel. Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. July 19, 1855. p. 2. Retrieved August 9, 2017. The following gentlemen...have been sworn in as attorneys of this court, viz: Alexander Anderson
  28. ^ Moon, Anna Mary (1933). Sketches of the Shelby, McDowell, Deaderick, Anderson families. p. 102. Retrieved August 10, 2017. general alexander anderson.


External links[edit]

U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 2) from Tennessee
February 26, 1840 – March 3, 1841
Served alongside: Felix Grundy and Alfred O. P. Nicholson
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court
April 6, 1852–January 2, 1853
Succeeded by