George Underhill Sands, Early China Steamship Entrepreneur

Ralph Wood has kindly sent the following article. George Underhill Sands was Ralph’s Great-granduncle. Ralph has compiled a substantial amount of information about George Sands’ family as well as the man himself. This can be found on Ralph’s website which is linked below the article. This website has posted a couple of articles about George Underhill Sands which are also linked below.

HF: Neither Ralph or myself have been able to discover an image of George Underhill Sands and would be grateful if someone could send one in.

George Underhill Sands, Early China Steamship Entrepreneur

by Ralph K. Wood

Arguably, America, and more particularly New York, was the cradle of the commercial steamship industry. It is not the purpose of this article to repeat the historical support for this view, from Robert Fulton forward, but it is an undeniable fact that by 1830 there were 86 steamers plying the Hudson and LI Sound, one of the most developed commercial steamship manufacturing sites in the world.[1] Steamship technology was spurred by the demand for ships capable of going farther, beyond the rivers of America, to California for the Gold Rush of 1849, and then to China, where American entrepreneurs, mostly from Massachusetts, were making the type of fortunes which justified the huge capital expenditures involved in the manufacture of ocean going steamships. This article is about a little known entrepreneur from New York whose early involvement in steamship manufacture, maintenance, and oceanic navigation was integral to the growth of this industry into the orient and brought him into close association with some of the more well known Massachusetts China trade magnates.

George Underhill Sands was born (according to a handwritten family tree created by his brother, Charles Van Alstyne Sands, in 1888) on October 21, 1823. His father was Hart Sands of the Sands family from Block Island and Sands Point, Long Island. His mother was Catherine (Harrison) Sands. Catherine’s father was William Henry Harrison, a Manhattan cartman,[2] and her mother was Catherine (Van Alstyne) Harrison.[3] The pedigree of both of her parents is, currently, uncertain. However, it seems likely that George’s middle name, “Underhill,” was derived from his mother’s side of the family, as his Sands/Hart antecedents (Hart’s mother was from the Westchester Harts, descendants of Edward Hart, 1616-1665[4]) are well known and do not include any Underhills.[5] According to the above-mentioned family tree, George’s mother died when George was 11, on April 5, 1835, shortly after giving birth to his younger brother, Charles.

George U. Sands’s father, Hart Sands, was a lighterman in NewYork City.[6] Lighters were small schooner-class sailing ships used to transport freight to and from ocean going vessels and, in the case of Manhattan, since it was an island, from shore to shore (Hart’s father, Edward Sands, had also worked in the New York harbor, as a ship’s carpenter[7]). Although it seems that sailing lighters were still in common use at the time of Hart’s death in 1847, I have confirmed that steam tow-boats were moving freight in barges in the New York City harbor at least as early as the mid 1840s.[8]

When Hart died, his son George Underhill Sands took over his lighterman business, which was located at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan.[9] He probably obtained experience with steam engines during this period because, by 1850, he had secured a position as seaman on the ocean going steamship Empire City.[10]

According to the 1850 census, by 1850 George had also married Jean Bailie and was living with her and a number of her relatives in Manhattan.[11] Jean was the daughter of James Bailie, born about 1784 in Scotland. Jean was born in New York about 1823. Many of the Bailies, including Jean’s father, are buried in the Greenwood Union Cemetery, Rye, Westchester County, New York. Rye was also the home of George’s uncle Elisha Sands (1792-1860) and his wife Hannah (Brown) Sands (1801-1885), the only Sands family members with whom George remained in close touch throughout his life.[12] Elisha, a successful book publisher and farmer, apparently helped George and his siblings financially when they were growing up.[13] By contrast, George remained in frequent contact with several members of his wife’s family and also provided them with money.[14]

George’s berth on the Empire City proved important to his later success. Considering that the first commercial transatlantic steamship trip was not until 1838[15] and the first steamship trip around the Horn from New York to San Francisco was not until 1848/49,[16] one can gauge that the Empire City was a relatively early ocean-going steamship. It was launched in 1849 and maintained a regular route between New York City and Chagres, a port in Panama, that was the major transit point across the isthmus of Panama during the California Gold Rush.[17]

It appears that he gained considerable additional expertise in steam navigation on the Empire City because, when the side-wheel steamship River Bird left New York City in 1854 for China, George was Chief Engineer.[18] Although steam ships had been in use in Chinese waters at least as early as 1830, the year in which the S.S. Forbes (which had been constructed in Calcutta) made one trip to Macao and Lintin (an experiment that was not repeated because of the low quality of coal in Canton at that time),[19] their use was, at first, limited due to the resistance by the Chinese government.[20] This resistance was undoubtedly connected to the Chinese government’s attempt to stem the flourishing opium trade being engaged in by the very same British and American trading houses that were seeking to introduce steamers into Chinese waters. This trade, pioneered by the British East India Co., used opium produced in India as a product to trade with Chinese merchants in return for the Chinese tea, silks, and other goods that were in high demand in Europe and America.[21] The trade expanded rapidly, despite the opposition of the Chinese government. That opposition led to the Opium War (1840-1843) in which the British military superiority quickly became apparent. The Chinese agreed to the Treaty of Nanjing, ceding control of Hong Kong to the British and ending the war (temporarily) in 1843.[22]

Although the opium trade had not been legalized with the Treaty of Nanjing, the Chinese no longer were in a position to prevent the introduction of steamships into its waters. Small British and American steamers began to appear in Chinese waters almost immediately. The British began a steamship passenger service between Canton and Hong Kong in 1844.[23] The earliest American entrepreneur in this field was Robert Bennet Forbes, of Massachusetts, a partner in the trading house of Russell & Co. (which will be discussed further below), who sent a series of small screw-type sailing steamers from New York to China. The first, Midas, was placed in service between Canton and Hong Kong in 1845.[24] Another early American entrepreneur in this field was James Bridges Endicott of Salem, Massachusetts., who imported a small paddle steamer named Spark in pieces from New York to China, and had it erected in Whampoa in 1850 for Chinese Coastal use.[25] As Endicott’s brother, Captain William Endicott, was the opium agent for several firms in the 1850s,[26] one can well imagine how this and other later Endicott steamers were being employed (American involvement in the Chinese opium trade will be discussed further below).

The first of the larger, American-made, Long Island Sound or river-type steamers to make it under her own power from New York to China (Forbes’s sailing steamers probably used more wind power than steam) was the Confucius, a 160 foot side-wheel steamer, built for Russell & Co. that sailed from New York to Singapore in 140 days in 1853.[27] Such ships were enormously expensive. The original ownership of the Confucius was, consequently, in sixtieth shares held by a number of people.[28]

The River Bird was the second such ocean going side-wheel steamer to sail from New York to China. Among its owners were J.B. Endicott, and Robert S. Sturgis, a partner in Russell & Co.[29] The River Bird, in speed trials in New York, was able to make 18 knots.[30] This was fast for the time and was probably the result of its modest size, by ocean going standards (174 feet long). The River Bird’s speed can be judged by comparison with the speed of the Kin Kiang, also a side-wheeler built in New York for Olyphant & Sons (a New York-China trading family that will be mentioned later) in 1863 for the Yangtze River trade, which was 243 feet long and was considered so fast, at 16 knots, that the War Department issued a challenge to its owners for a race against one of the Navy’s fastest steamers.[31] The River Bird left New York on February 5, 1854, reached Macao on May 24 via Cape Verde Islands and the Cape of Good Hope, and was placed into service on the Hong Kong to Canton route.[32]

The Chinese river trade was disrupted by war between 1856 and 1858; this was the so-called Second Opium War that officially ended in 1860 with the Convention of Peking in which the Chinese were forced to legalize the opium trade[33]. The owners of the River Bird sent it to Calcutta because of the war in 1856, and upon its return in 1857, it was wrecked on the Hooghly River.[34]

In 1858, George Sands in partnership with Robert S. Sturgis and John M. Forbes, brother of Robert B. Forbes, commissioned the building in New York of the Steamship White Cloud for Russell & Co.’s river trade between Hong Kong and Canton.[35] The White Cloud was a side-wheeler 181 feet in length.[36] The White Cloud steamed to China in 1859 with Captain Sands as master. It left New York on March 2 and reached the Cape Verde Islands in 17 days. It then proceeded to the Cape of Good Hope, where it arrived in 23 days, 12 hours. It then proceeded to Pointe de Galle, Ceylon, which it reached in 24 days. After stopping at Singapore, it dropped anchor in Hong Kong on June 7, having traversed a total of 14,195 miles.[37]

His ownership interest in White Cloud was important for Sands. In the 1860s one of these ocean going steamships cost over $1,000,000.[38] As Sands would not have had that kind of money, the money was presumably supplied at the direction of his partners, Robert Shaw Sturgis (1824-1876) and John Murray Forbes (1813-1898). Sands’s contribution would have been his knowledge of the technical specifications needed for the White Cloud, his ability to oversee bidding and construction to assure quality, and his ability to oversee the safe transporting of the ship to China. The White Cloud deal would begin Sands’s life long relationship with certain Massachusetts- and China-based trading families, from which relationship Sands earned a substantial fortune. The details of the complex relationships (both familial and financial) between the Sturgis, Forbes, Perkins, Russell, and Heard families of Massachusetts, among others, and their dealings in China, is beyond the scope of this article. However, a brief summary is needed to put Sands’s relationships with them in context.

The history of these families and their enormous fortunes was bound up in the American involvement in the opium trade. Although the British East India Co. had a monopoly on the India to China opium trade, American China traders were as much in need as the British of a product that could be traded to the Chinese for tea, silk, and other Chinese goods. Shortly after the beginning of the nineteenth century, American merchants found their own source for opium in the port of Smyrna, in Turkey.[39] By the 1820’s the dominant force in this business, which was called the “Boston Concern,” was a combination of Perkins & Co. and Bryant & Sturgis. Principals of Perkins & Co. included James and Thomas H. Perkins and members of the Forbes family who had intermarried with the Perkins family. William Sturgis, one of the partners of Bryant & Sturgis, was a nephew of the Perkinses and a former employee.

By 1831 this Boston Concern had essentially merged into Russell & Co., a company formed in 1824 by Samuel Russell and Phillip Ammidon solely for the purpose of engaging in the opium trade.[40] In 1838 two Russell & Co. partners living in China, Augustine Heard and Joseph Coolidge, formed a competing company, Augustine Heard & Co.[41] In 1840 Russell & Co. merged with its competitor Russell & Sturgis but continued to use the old Russell & Co. name. Russell & Sturgis had been made up of Russell and Sturgis family members who were not part of Russell & Co. and the two companies were brought together through the influence of Robert Bennet Forbes who was the head of Russell & Co. at the time and was a brother of John Murray Forbes.[42] In 1842 Russell Sturgis (older brother of Robert Shaw Sturgis), who had been a partner in Russell & Sturgis, became a partner of Russell & Co.,[43] and in 1850, Robert Shaw Sturgis became a partner of Russell & Co. and remained one until 1857.[44]

Warren Delano Jr., grandfather of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, also became a partner in Russell & Co. in 1840,[45] and Francis Blackwell Forbes, brother of John Murray Forbes and great grandfather of John Forbes Kerry (the Massachusetts senator who ran against George W. Bush for President of the U.S.), became a partner in Russell & Co. in 1868.[46] Incidentally, none of the above Forbes are closely related to the Forbes family that founded Forbes magazine. This magazine was founded by Bertie Charles Forbes (1880-1954) who came to New York from Scotland and was not descended from the Massachusetts Forbes.[47] It is also important to note that not all the American China-trading fortunes were built on the opium trade. For example, the, previously mentioned China-trading house Olyphant & Co., based in New York and lead by Robert Morrison Olyphant , firmly declined to have any dealings in opium and no ship of Olyphant & Co. ever carried a pound of the drug.[48]

By 1860, with the legalization of the opium trade and the further opening of the Chinese rivers to foreign shipping under the Convention of Peking, Russell & Co. had an opportunity to divorce itself from high capital requirements and other risks by promoting the founding of a public steamship company to engage in the Yangtze river trade.[49] By early 1862 Russell & Co. had raised substantial capital from the local Chinese “Hong” merchants (who had grown wealthy dealing with Russell & Co. and other European and American traders), and the Shanghai Steam Navigation Company was born.[50] This company proved wildly successful and profitable for Russell & Co.[51]

Captain Sands and his partners in the White Cloud deal had hit the steamship market at the right time and evidently did well because, in 1860, they were constructing another side-wheel steamship in New York for Russell & Co.’s Hong Kong to Canton service. The Hankow was 212 feet long and listed as owner J.M. Forbes & Co., and as captain G. U. Sands.[52] The Hankow cleared the New York Harbor for Hong Kong with Captain Sands as master on May 9, 1861.[53] She arrived in Hong Kong on August 30.[54] In 1862 she was chartered by the Shanghai Steam Navigation Company and put on its Yangtze River route between Shanghai and Hankow.[55]

Although, as discussed above, Sands’ partners, John Murray Forbes and Robert Shaw Sturgis, made their initial fortunes in the opium trade, we cannot say for certain whether the White Cloud and Hankow were used in this trade. In any case, Sands’s value to the ventures was his technical expertise and his ability to get the ships safely to China. There is no indication that he stayed long as Captain once the ships reached China. In fact both ships had another Captain on board when they left the United States.[56] Sands was probably on board more as owners’ representative than as permanent Captain. We know, for example, that Sands was likely already back in New York with his wife on April 26, 1863, when she gave birth to their daughter, Valeria Forbes Sands, in the Fifth Avenue Hotel in Manhattan.[57] In 1864 he was certainly back in New York working on another ship deal. This time the ship, the seagoing 227-foot-long side-wheel steamer Oriflamme was not commissioned for the Chinese trade.[58] It was built in 1863 as a gunboat for use in the Civil War. By the time of its completion, the War was winding down, and it was acquired by a partnership group that included Robert S. Sturgis and George U. Sands for the use of Russell & Co. in the Chinese coastal trade. However, it proved not well suited to this purpose and was sold at the end of 1865.[59]

The Hankow was destroyed by fire near Hong Kong in 1865.[60] In that year the Hong Kong, Canton, and Macao Steamship Company was formed as a public company following the successful concept pioneered with the Shanghai Steam Navigation Company, to engage in Chinese coastal shipping. Its first ships were to be Sands’s original ship, White Cloud, and two ships in which Augustine Heard & Co. had an interest, Kinshan and Fire Dart. As part of the deal, Augustine Heard & Co. became general agent and had a seat on the Board. J.B. Endicott, who also had an interest in the Heard ships, joined the Board.[61] Sands became Superintendent, a post he held until his death.[62]

While the position of Superintendent of a major public steamship company, undoubtedly, had many advantages for Sands in selling his technological and entrepreneurial skills, it does not appear to have been viewed by him or the Company’s agent, Augustine Heard & Co., as restricting his scope of personal enterprises. In 1866 he was back on the East Coast soliciting bids on a new steamship to be purchased with his previous partners.[63] In 1868, in partnership with Augustine Heard & Co. he acquired two British iron screw steamers, dubbed Mars and Venus. Heard employed these ships as it saw fit, either on the routes of the Hong Kong, Canton, and Macao Steamship Company, or in Southeast Asia on the routes of the China Sea Saigon and Straits Steam Ship Company, for which Heard, also, acted as agent.[64]

By 1870 the British had conquered the market for far east steamers and they were, henceforth made of iron in British yards or assembled locally.[65] All the major steamship companies, of course, had to have access to local repair and maintenance yards. Augustine Heard & Co. owned their own yard in Hong Kong, the Novelty Iron Works.[66] Sands was apparently involved in the management of this company at least as early as 1870.[67] In the early 1870’s Augustine Heard & Co.’s business failed.[68] It appears that Sands acquired the Novelty Iron Works from Heard. He, also, appears to have acquired the Patent Slip and Dock Company, which owned docks suitable for his maintenance operations in Belchers Bay, Hong Kong.[69]

By 1874 Sands also had an interest in two other British-made, ships, Jean Sands, named after his wife, and Hankow, named after his previous ship.[70] By that time, Sands was a permanent resident of Hong Kong and is said to have built one of the largest mansions there.[71] That same year, 1874, his wife left for Paris with their daughter, Valeria, so that she could be educated there. Jean and Valeria were still in Paris at the time of George’s death in Hong Kong on October 30, 1877.[72]

The executor of George’s estate was William Hathaway Forbes, the son of his long-time partner, John Murray Forbes.[73] W.H. Forbes was also a very interesting character. After having been expelled from Harvard in 1860, he served as an officer in the Civil War. He then joined his father’s firm, J.M. Forbes & Co. in 1865. It is likely that during this employment he became acquainted with George Sands. By 1871, he had returned to Harvard for his degree. As with many of the Forbes family, William took his Chinese profits and invested them in technology ventures in the United States. William selected a new company, American Bell Telephone Company (the precursor of AT&T), and became President of the Company in 1879.[74]

Jean and Valeria returned to Hong Kong after George’s death.[75] However, they did not remain there. Jean died in Bromley, England on July 16, 1886.[76] Valeria returned to New York, where she was found to be suffering from delusions in 1889 and committed to a series of expensive asylums, which exhausted her $500,000 estate by the time of her death.[77]

Sands’s first ship, White Cloud, sunk in 1899 on a voyage between Hong Kong and Manila. Being made of wood it is said to have sunk due to the ravages of the white rat.[78]

  1. .Robert H. Thurston, A History of the Growth of the Steam-Engine (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1878), chap. V.
  2. .Will of William H. Harrison probated in Surrogates Court, New York County, July 3, 1838.
  3. . The marriage is recorded in the records of the First and Second Presbyterian Church in Manhattan for January 1, 1800.
  4. .See Clara Hart Kennedy, comp., Edward Hart; Descendants and Allied Families (Bloomington, Ill., 1939).
  5. .As to the pedigree of Hart Sands, see Malcolm Sands Wilson, comp., Descendants of James Sands of Block Island (New York: priv. print., 1949).
  6. .See Letters of Administration for Hart’s estate issued to his son Edward Hart Sands October 29, 1847, in Surrogates Court, New York County, Liber 47, page 152, Bound Book 50.
  7. .See Manhattan Directories for 1791-1793.
  8. .The steam tow boat Sandusky towed the barge Lansingburg, as reported in Brooklyn Eagle, October 25, 1845, p. 2.
  9. .Manhattan Directory for 1849
  10. .Additions to the East Ward of Manhattan, 1850 census.
  11. .Jean’s name and birth year, 1823, is given in the handwritten family tree by Charles Van Alstyne Sands. George is listed as living with his wife, “Jane” Sands, and her relatives, the Bailies, in the Tenth Ward of Manhattan in the 1850 census.
  12. .See Wills of Elisha, probated October 2, 1860 and Hannah, probated July 31, 1885, and supporting papers in the Westchester County Archives; Business Records of George U. Sands 1866-1879, Harvard University., Baker Library, Manuscript Div., vol. 7-12; and the letter of George’s daughter, Valeria F. Sands, to her Great Aunt Hannah dated February 6, 1879, in the manuscript collection of the Westchester County Historical Society.
  13. .Payment by Elisha to his brother Hart of $2,581.90 as guardian for George and his siblings is recorded in Surrogates Court for Manhattan, June 17, 1840.
  14. .Business Records of George U. Sands 1866-1879, Harvard University.
  15. . R.J. Cornewall-Jones, The British Merchant Service (S. Low Marston, 1898), 215, mentions the Sirius and the Great Western.
  16. .Victor Maximillian Berthold, The Pioneer Steamer California, 1848-1849 (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1932).
  17. .John Haskell Kemble, The Panama Route, 1848-1869 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1990).
  18. .“Steamship ‘River Bird’,” New York Daily Times, Feb. 1, 1855, p. 8.
  19. .Edward K. Haviland, “American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1, American Neptune 16 no. 3 (1956): 160.
  20. .George H. Preble,“Origin and Developments of Steam Navigation,” United Service: A Quarterly Review of Military and Naval Affairs, (Aug. 1894):159-163.
  21. .Jacques M. Downs, “American Merchants and the China Opium Trade, 1800-1840″ The Business History Review 42, no. 4 (Winter 1968): 418-442.
  22. .Jack Beeching, The Chinese Opium Wars (San Diego: Harvest/HBJ Books, 1977).
  23. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1,160.
  24. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1, 160-162.
  25. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1, 162; pt. 4, American Neptune vol. 17 no. 2 (1957): 142-143.
  26. .Stephen C. Lockwood, Augustine Heard and Company, 1858-1862, American Merchants in China (Cambridge, MA: Harvard East Asian Monograph, 1971), 28.
  27. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1, 163.
  28. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1, 163.
  29. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,”, pt. 1, 164.
  30. .“Steamship ‘River Bird’,” New York Daily Times.
  31. .New York Times, Jan. 20, 1864, p. 2; Jan. 22, 1864, p. 5; Jan. 24, 1864, p. 5; Jan. 25, 1864, p. 1.
  32. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1, 164.
  33. .The Chinese Opium Wars.
  34. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878″,pt. 1, supra, pg. 164.
  35. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1, 170-171; and American Lloyd’s Registry of American & Foreign Shipping (New York: J. W. Pratt, 1869).
  36. .American Lloyd’s Registry of American & Foreign Shipping.
  37. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1, 171.
  38. .“The Men Who Built Our Clipper Ships and Our Ironclad Monitors – The History of Greenpoint Contemporaneous with that of Her Naval Constructors,” Brooklyn Eagle, July 30, 1875.
  39. .“American Merchants and the China Opium Trade, 1800-1840.”
  40. .”American Merchants and the China Opium Trade, 1800-1840.”
  41. .Biography of Augustine Heard at
  42. .”American Merchants and the China Opium Trade, 1800-1840.”
  44. .“Amy Heard: Letters From the Gilded Age”,
  46. .“Amy Heard: Letters From the Gilded Age”,
  47. .
  48. .
  49. .Kwang-Ching Liu, “Financing a Steam-Navigation Company in China, 1861-62,” The Business History Review 28, no. 2 (June 1954): 158.
  50. .“Financing a Steam-Navigation Company in China, 1861-62.” 168.
  51. . Kwang-Ching Liu,“Administering a Steam-Navigation Company in China, 1862-1867,” The Business History Review 29, no. 2 (June 1955): 157-188; and Kwang-Ching Liu, “Anglo American Steamship Rivalry in China 1862-1874,” (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1962).
  52. .American Lloyd’s Register of American and Foreign Shipping; “American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1, 171.
  53. .New York Times, May 10, 1861, p. 8.
  54. . “American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1, 171.
  55. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1, 171.
  56. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1, 171.
  57. .Handwritten family tree written by George’s brother, Charles Van Alstyne Sands.
  58. .American Lloyd’s Registry of American & Foreign Shipping (New York: Pratt & Grinton, 1864).
  59. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1, 174-175.
  60. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 1, 171.
  61. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878″; pt. 3, American Neptune 17 no. 1 (1957): 46-47.
  62. .Business Records of George U. Sands 1866-1879, Harvard University.
  63. .Business Records of George U. Sands 1866-1879, Harvard University.
  64. .Business Records of George U. Sands 1866-1879, Harvard University., vol. 7 and 8; and “American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 3, 53-58.
  65. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 2, 259-261.
  66. .“American Steam Navigation in China, 1845-1878,” pt. 3, 43.
  67. .Business Records of George U. Sands 1866-1879, Harvard University, vol. 10 and 11.
  69. .Business Records of George U. Sands 1866-1879, Harvard University, vol. 10 and 13.
  70. .Business Records of George U. Sands 1866-1879, Harvard University, vol. 1 and 11.
  71. .“Declares her Cousin is Victim of a Plot”, New York Times, Nov. 17, 1906, p. 4.
  72. .Business Records of George U. Sands 1866-1879, Harvard University, vol. 11 and 12; and handwritten family tree created by his brother Charles Van Alstyne Sands.
  73. .Business Records of George U. Sands 1866-1879, Harvard University, Box 17.
  74. .Finding Aid to the Edith Emerson Forbes and William Hathaway Forbes Papers, the Massachusetts Historical Society website,
  75. .Letter from Valeria F. Sands to her Great Aunt Hannah dated February 6, 1879, from Hong Kong in the manuscript collection of the Westchester County Historical Society.
  76. .Handwritten family tree created by his brother Charles Van Alstyne Sands; and English Civil Registration 3rd Quarter 1886, Bromley vol. 2a, p. 214.
  77. .“Declares her Cousin is Victim of a Plot,” New York Times.
  78. .“Rats Cause a Fatal Wreck,” New York Times, Oct. 3, 1899, p. 1.

Click here to enter Ralph Wood’s website. This will provide an opportunity to explore the family of George Underhill Sands.

This article was first posted on 11th February 2022.

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