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Old Chester, PA: Biographical Sketches
Dr. Samuel Anderson
(A biographical sketch taken from One Hundred Years, The Delaware County National Bank Chester, PA 1814-1914)
Dr. Samuel Anderson (1814-1821) was the son of Rev. James and Margaret (McDowell) Anderson. His father was pastor of the Middletown Presbyterian Church, Delaware county, and at his death, September 22, 1793, was interred in the burial grounds connected with that sanctuary. His son, Samuel, was born in 1773, in New Jersey, his father at that time being in charge of a church in that State. Samuel Anderson graduated in medicine, and July 13, 1799, was appointed by President Adams, surgeon's mate in the Navy. A month later he was commissioned surgeon, and assigned to duty under Captain David Porter, who was a personal friend of the doctor. After several years' sea service, by reason of ill health, Dr. Anderson was granted indefinite leave. He located at Chester and practiced his profession with success. In 1811 he was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the One Hundredth Infantry Regiment, State Militia, and during the War of 1812 he recruited the Mifflin Guards, a volunteer organization from the neighborhood of Chester, was elected its captain and served with his command at Camp duPont for three months in the autumn of 1814. He was elected to the Legislature from this district in 1815 and was re-elected in 1816, in 1817, and in 1818. October 23, 1819, he was commissioned Sheriff.
Anderson was recalled to active duty in the Navy in 1823, and was assigned to the West India Squadron, commanded by Commodore Porter, who was then engaged in ridding the Gulf of Mexico of pirates who had long infested those waters and rendered those seas a place of dread to the merchant marine. He was surgeon of the famous U. S. Ship "Hornet" in 1824, and later in that year held the like office on the U. S. Ship "Decoy," stationed at Matanzas, Cuba.
His health again failing, he was given indefinite leave, and returning to Delaware county, was elected to the Legislature in 1825, and the next year, 1826, to Congress. While serving in the latter capacity Commodore Porter requested the Department to assign Anderson as surgeon of his squadron in a cruise which was then projected, but as Porter shortly afterwards quarreled with the Navy Department and resigned the service, Anderson was not ordered to report for duty. He was elected to the Legislature in 1829, 1831, 1832, 1833, and during the session of 1834 was Speaker of the House, the only man from Delaware county who has ever held that position.
In 1840, he was appointed Inspector of Customs at the Lazaretto, Tinicum Island, a place he held until 1845, when the Polk administration came into power. In 1846 he was elected Burgess of Chester and April 14, 1846, was commissioned a Justice of the Peace of the Borough of Chester, an office he filled at his death, July 17, 1850, aged 77 years.
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© 2002 John A. Bullock III.
This page last updated 10/17/05