Hoosier Tome

Sanford pens new book about Madison, Jefferson County history

He recounts stories of people, places

(June 2014) – Wayne Sanford, the author of the new book, “Cradle of Hoosier Heritage: Anecdotes of Madison People, Places & Events, From Territorial Times Through the American Civil War,” will present a free program and sign copies of his book at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 11, at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center, 601 W. First St.

Wayne Sanford

Sanford will describe some of the most important citizens of this once booming 19th century city.  An author and historian from Indianapolis who has conducted extensive research on Madison’s history, Sanford has also written the scripts for the popular Night Spirits program, which has been held at the Lanier Mansion every October since 2007. In addition, he wrote scripts and coordinated night tours at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis for more than 20 years.
The book covers the glory years of Madison’s history when the city was one of the most important in Indiana. The state’s only railroad, the Madison and Indianapolis, met the Ohio River in Madison and for a while the town prospered. Madison was the state’s largest city in 1840 and was still third largest in 1850 with just 170 fewer people than New Albany and Indianapolis.

Sanford Book

Some noted individuals from Madison described in the book include William Hendricks Sr., Indiana’s third governor who helped write the state’s first constitution; Jeremiah Sullivan, an early Indiana Supreme Court Justice and the man who coined the name “Indianapolis” for Indiana’s new capital city; James F.D. Lanier, the financier who helped save the state’s finances three times; Williamson Dunn who donated the land for Wabash and Hanover Colleges and was a major benefactor of Indiana University in Bloomington; Michael Bright, a brilliant lawyer and entrepreneur and his brother, Jesse Bright, a powerful U.S. senator from Indiana who was unfortunately expelled from the senate for treason during the Civil War.   
Other topics included in the publication are Madison’s steamboat building and pork packing industries, Indiana’s only Jenny Lind concert, anti-slavery efforts in Jefferson County, the county’s numerous Civil War officers, the nation’s second largest Civil War military hospital (located just west of Madison) and Madison’s major cemeteries.
The book will be available for sale that evening at the Lanier Mansion Gift Shop for $10.

• For more information on the book signing, call (812) 265-3526.

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