George P. Sanger

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George P. Sanger
United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts
In office
Preceded by David H. Mason
Succeeded by George M. Stearns
Personal details
Born (1819-11-27)November 27, 1819
Dover, Massachusetts
Died July 3, 1890(1890-07-03) (aged 70)
Swampscott, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Sherburne Thompson
Alma mater Harvard University
Harvard Law School

George Partridge Sanger (November 27, 1819 – July 3, 1890) was an American lawyer, editor, judge, and businessman who served as the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts from 1873 to 1886 and was the first president of the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Early life[edit]

Sanger was born on November 27, 1819 in Dover, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard University in 1840 and after spending two years as a teacher in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, returned to Harvard as a Latin tutor and a law student.[1][2]

Legal career[edit]

Sanger graduated from Harvard Law School in 1844 and was admitted to the bar in 1846.[1] He spent the next three years practicing law in Boston, first with Stephen Henry Phillips, and later with Charles G. Davis.[2] In 1849 Sanger was named Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.[1]

Sanger was a member of the Charlestown, Massachusetts Common Council from 1849 to 1850 and the Board of Aldermen from 1851 to 1853.[3]

In January 1853, he was appointed to the staff of Governor John H. Clifford. In September of that year he was appointed District Attorney for Suffolk County, Massachusetts. The following year he was appointed Judge of the Massachusetts Court of Common Pleas. He remained on the bench until the Court was abolished in 1859.[2]

In 1860 he was a member of the Boston Common Council.[3]

From 1861 to 1869 Sanger again served as District Attorney for Suffolk County, Massachusetts.[4][5]

In 1873 he was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Following the death of David H. Mason, Sanger was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant to succeed him as United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. He remained in this role until 1882.[1]


Sanger worked for Little, Brown and Company, where he was responsible for editing the Law Reporter and The United States Statutes at Large.[6][7]

From 1842 to 1860 he was the editor of the American Almanac.[2]

John Hancock Insurance[edit]

On October 14, 1862, the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company's Board of Directors elected Sanger the first president of the company.[8] He held this position until August 1863.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Sanger married Elizabeth Sherburne Thompson of Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1846.[1] The couple had four sons:[10]


Sanger died on July 3, 1890 in Swampscott, Massachusetts.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, ed. (1899). "Sanger, George Partridge". Universities and their sons: history, influence and characteristics of American universities, with biographical sketches and portraits of alumni and recipients of honorary degrees. 3: 96. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Davis, William Thomas (1900). History of the Judiciary of Massachusetts. 
  3. ^ a b A catalogue of the city councils of Boston, 1822-1890, Roxbury, 1846-1867, Charlestown, 1847-1873 and of the selectmen of Boston, 1634-1822: also of various other town and municipal officers. 1891. pp. 157, 221–223. 
  4. ^ The Boston Directory. Boston: George Adams. 1861. p. 554. 
  5. ^ Pederson, Jay P. (2001). International directory of company histories, Volume 42. St. James Press. ISBN 1-55862-447-3. ISBN 9781558624474. 
  6. ^ "Newspapers, Etc., In Boston". The Boston directory for the year 1852: embracing the city record, a general directory of the citizens, and a business directory, with an almanac from July 1852, to July 1853: 35. 1852. 
  7. ^ Law books and their use:a manual of legal bibliography, legal research and brief making for lawyers and students. Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Company. 1936. p. 11. 
  8. ^ "John Hancock - History". Manulife Financial. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  9. ^ Encyclopedia of insurance in the United States. Index Pub. 1920. 
  10. ^ Suter, John Wallace (1921). Report of the Secretary of the class of 1881 of Harvard College. The University Press, Cambridge. pp. 197–201. Retrieved 2011-09-24.