George William Sanders II was born on 23 Dec 1844 in Wilson County, Tennessee , (or Vienna , Johnson County, Illinois) to George William Sanders, Sr. (born about 1821) and Harriet Singleton Sanders, who was claimed to be one-quarter Cherokee Indian. George was usually known as William Sanders.
George William II may have served in the Civil War. The Illinois Civil War Detail Report [1,2] from www.cyberdriveillinois.com shows a William Sanders, who was a Private in Company K in the 152 IL US Inf. His residence was Decatur, Macon Co, IL, age 20, Height 5’4” with light hair and blue eyes. He was single and a farmer. He mustered in Springfield, Illinois, in Feb. 1865, and out in Memphis, Tennessee, in Sep. 1865. Other George W. Sanders fought on the Confederate Side. (It is difficult to ascertain whether either was actually our G William.)
Eastern Cherokees vs. United States
On 30 June 1906, Congress appropriated more than $1,000,000 for the Eastern Cherokees of the U. S. George W. made application for a share of those funds as he was a descendant of the Cherokees of Tennessee. The task of compiling a roll of eligible persons was begun by Guion Miller, special agent of the Interior Department. The funds were to be distributed to all Eastern and Western Cherokee Indians who were alive on May 28, 1906, who could establish the fact that at the time of the treaties they were members of the Eastern Cherokee Tribe or were descendants of such persons and that they had not been affiliated with any other tribe of Indians. (See Application No’s: 170811 (George W. II), 178400 (William D.) and 18115 (Eda M and minor children) on the Guion Miller Rolls).
The applications were first prepared and sent by attorney P.L. Van Cleve, Blue Mound, Illinois, and received by the Indian Office on Mar.5, 1907. In this first application, George W. provides information that he lives in Blue Mound, Illinois. He states he was born Dec. 22, 1844 in Vienna, Johnson County, IL. His mother (Harriet Singleton Sanders) died about 1850. George W. was a widower, his wife Mary J. Hollingsworth Sanders having died on Feb. 28, 1878. His father was George W. Sanders (I). He did not know the Indian name of his mother or father. George W.’s father and mother (George W. and Harriet Singleton Sanders) were both born in Wilson County, TN. Harriet died about 1850 and his father George W. died about 1860 .
George W.(II) had three brothers, according to this application:
John Sanders, b. 1840 d. abt 1854
James Sanders, b. abt 1842, d. abt 1866 and
Richard Sanders, b. abt 1846 (and presumably alive in 1907).
Presumably, these were all children of G. W. and Harriet Singleton Sanders.
George W. (II) thought his Grandmother Singleton was still alive in Wilson County, Tennessee in 1907. His Singleton grandparents had three children who would be siblings to Harriet. (Adaline, Fate and Nancy). , George did not know where his aunts were living in 1907. He did not know any of their Indian names. Two of George’s long time acquaintances, George W. Elliott and H. N. Donavan, witnessed this application. Applications were made as well for George W. (II)’s children William Dallas and Eda M. Sanders. The applications took a long time and there were a number of letters back and forth to Guion Miller because Mr. Miller claimed that there was not enough information to prove their relationships. In February of 1908, a letter requested more information from George W. about his mother and maternal grandparents.
George's reply letter provides evidence that George was probably born in Illinois, as he testified, and that his grandparents were John and Clara Singleton of Wilson County, Tennessee in 1834-36. Not being slaves was a requirement for the application as well.