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Inventory of the Jenny Sanford Papers, 1989-2012

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Correspondence, scrapbooks, photo albums, artifacts, political ephemera and other materials relating to Jenny Sanford, former First Lady of South Carolina and former wife of politician Mark Sanford. Topics include Mark Sanford's political career, Sanford family life, United States presidential ephemera, the divorce of Jenny and Mark, and Jenny's memoir, Staying True.
Title: Jenny Sanford papers
Creator: Sanford, Jenny, 1962-
Date(s): 1989-2012    
Extent: 13.0 linear feet
(9 document boxes, 5 oversize boxes, 1 oversize folder, 2 cartons)
Repository: Special Collections, College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: (843) 953-8016
Fax: (843) 953-6319
Call Number: Mss 0181
Language of Material: Materials in English

Biographical Note

Jennifer Sullivan Sanford was born on September 11, 1962 in Winnetka, Illinois. Sanford's great grandfather, Joseph W. Sullivan, founded the Skil Corporation, which manufactured the first portable electric saw.

Sanford earned her degree in 1984 from Georgetown University, and then went on to work six years (1984-1990) at the Wall Street investment banking firm Lazard Freres & Company in New York. During her time in New York, she met her future husband, then-businessman Mark Sanford. The two were married in 1989, and she moved to South Carolina shortly thereafter.

After Mark Sanford announced he would run for political office, his wife became heavily involved with managing his political campaigns. She managed his successful 1994 campaign for the United States House of Representatives and his successful gubernatorial campaign in 2002, and later co-managed his re-election campaign in 2006. In addition to assisting him during his Governorship and her duties as First Lady of South Carolina, she launched the Healthy South Carolina Challenge (2005), and served on boards at the Medical University of South Carolina's Children's Hospital Advisory Fund, the Coastal Community Foundation and the Drayton Hall Site Council.

On June 24, 2009, after being absent from South Carolina for six days, Mark Sanford publicly admitted to an extramarital affair with an Argentinian woman, Maria Belén Chapur. Jenny Sanford became aware of the infidelity in January 2009, and filed for separation two weeks prior to her husband's public confession. On August 7, 2009, she moved out of the South Carolina Governor's Mansion with the couple's four sons, Marshall, Landon, Bolton, and Blake, and returned to the family home on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. She announced that she was filing for divorce on December 11, 2009, and the divorce was finalized on March 19, 2010.

Sanford published her bestselling memoir, Staying True, released on February 5, 2010, which details her experience of her husband's affair and the effect it had on her own life.

Collection Overview

Correspondence, scrapbooks, notebooks, photo albums, clippings, political ephemera, and other materials relating to Jenny Sanford, former First Lady of South Carolina and former wife of politician Mark Sanford. Overwhelming public support for Jenny Sanford after her husband's extramarital affair is shown through a large amount of correspondence, magazine articles, and television interviews. Bound scrapbooks (1989-2010) compiled by Jenny Sanford include data on Mark Sanford's political campaigns and office (1993-2008), First Lady of South Carolina materials, Sanford wedding materials including a facetious prenuptual contract signed by Mark Sanford (1986 May 16) and a limited marital agreement (2009 May 29), and autographed materials and photographs of politicians such as Newt Gingrich, Oliver North, Michelle and Barack Obama, Laura and George W. Bush, and Margaret Thatcher. This collection also includes 9 photo albums compiled by Jenny Sanford, including Mark and Jenny's 1989 wedding albums, South Carolina First Lady's Easter egg hunts (2005-2006), and Mark Sanford's second term as Governor of South Carolina (2007-2009). Published materials include materials for her bestselling memoir, Staying True, including drafts, corrspondence, notes, and photo release forms. Artifacts include jewelry given to Sanford as personal gifts from supporters, political materials from her husband's career such as Republican Governor's Association cufflinks and three Congressional pins, and also a Voo Doo doll with pins included.

Collection Arrangement

This collection is arranged in six series.

1.  Correspondence, 1995-1998, 2009-2012, undated
2.  Bound volumes, 1989-2010
3.  Published materials, 2007-2012
4.  Audiovisual materials, 2001-2010
5.  Artifacts, 1989, 1999-2012, undated
6.  Miscellaneous materials, 2003-2009, undated

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index this collection in the Library's online catalog. They are grouped by name of person, family, or organization, by topical subject, by place, and by types of material.


    • Sanford, Jenny, 1962-
    • Sanford, Mark, 1960-


    • Governors' spouses--South Carolina
    • Politicians' spouses--South Carolina
    • Presidents--United States


    • South Carolina

    Types of Material

    • Artifacts (object genre)
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Color photographs
    • Compact discs
    • Correspondence
    • DVDs
    • Printed ephemera
    • Scrapbooks
    • Videotapes

    Related Resources

    Separated Material

    Published books originally with the collection have been removed and catalogued separately.

    Detailed Description of the Collection

    Close All | Open All

    1. Correspondence, 1995-1998, 2009-2012, undated  

    From Jenny Sanford supporters, 1995 June-2012 March, undated

    Printed emails and handwritten and typed letters sent to Jenny Sanford regarding Mark Sanford's extramarital affair, with a majority in support of Jenny.

    2009 June   box 1 | folder 1

    2009 July   box 1 | folder 2

    2009 August   box 1 | folder 3

    2009 September   box 1 | folder 4

    2009 October   box 1 | folder 5

    2009 November   box 1 | folder 6

    2009 December   box 1 | folder 7

    Includes note from television personality Barbara Walters regarding their recent interview and offering her support.

    2010 January   box 1 | folder 8

    2010 February   box 1 | folder 9-11

    2010 March   box 2 | folder 1

    2010 April   box 2 | folder 2

    2010 May   box 2 | folder 3

    2010 July   box 2 | folder 4

    2010 August   box 2 | folder 5

    2010 September   box 2 | folder 6

    2010 October   box 2 | folder 7

    2010 November   box 2 | folder 8

    2010 December   box 2 | folder 9

    Includes letter from actor William Shatner, offering praise for Staying True and requesting Sanford's appearance on a cable television show.

    2011 January   box 2 | folder 10

    2011 March   box 2 | folder 11

    2012 March   box 2 | folder 12

    Undated   box 2 | folder 13-14

    From Mark Sanford, 1995-1998, 2009   box 3 | folder 1

    Handwritten and email printouts include general correspondence from Mark Sanford to Jenny Sanford and their sons. Includes printed email (2009 April) between them, discussing their relationship. Also includes printed email (2009 May) from Mark Sanford about family real estate and a printed email (2008 July) from Sanford's assistant regarding various purchases.

    Miscellaneous correspondence, 1995, 2009-2011   box 3 | folder 2

    Mostly thank yous, birthday cards, and holiday cards. Includes notes from South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina Lieutenant Governor André Bauer, First Lady of California Maria Shriver, and a blank "compliments of" card from First Lady of the United States Laura Bush. One typed note (1995) from Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J., congratulates the Sanfords on their sixth wedding anniversary.

    Sanford holiday cards, blank   box 3 | folder 3

    2. Bound volumes, 1989-2010  

    Scrapbooks and related materials, 1989-2010 

    Scrapbooks include clippings, correspondence, photographs, campaign ephemera, and related material. Topics include Mark Sanford's political campaigns and office (1993-2008), Jenny Sanford First Lady and Staying True materials, the Sanford's 1989 wedding and their 2010 divorce.

    Sanford wedding, 1989

    "November 4, 1989" scrapbook   box 4 | folder 1

    Includes correspondence, clippings, invitations, ephemera, notes regarding wedding of Mark and Jenny Sanford. Includes homily written by Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J.

    "November 4, 1989" scrapbook loose materials   box 4 | folder 2

    Includes wedding announcement clipping, Sanford marriage license, and a facetious prenuptual agreement signed by Mark Sanford (1989 May 16).

    1993-1994 scrapbook   box 4 | folder 3

    Includes articles and photographs, with many annotations, documenting Sanford's entry into politics, forcing a runoff in the primary, and his eventual seat in the US House of Representatives.

    "The Congress Years," 1994-1998 scrapbook   box 12

    Scrapbook includes photographs, correspondence, clippings documenting Mark Sanford's career in United States Congress. Includes autographed photo of President Bill Clinton, autographed photo of Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, photo of Iran-Contra constituent Oliver North, and White House memorabilia.

    "The Congress Years," 1994-1998 scrapbook loose materials   box 12 | folder 1-2
    Mark Sanford Gubernatorial campaign, 2001

    2001 scrapbook   box 4 | folder 4

    Includes includes clippings, original photographs, materials regarding Republican Primary and runoff, campaign and victory against South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges, and some statistical campaign breakdowns. Also includes George W. Bush fundraiser materials.

    Election statistics and projections, 2001   box 4 | folder 5

    2003-2004 scrapbook   box 13

    Includes clippings, correspondence, photographs documenting First Lady Jenny Sanford. Includes First Lady of California Maria Shriver letter, First Lady of the United States Laura Bush signed photograph, President George W. Bush inaguration materials.

    2004 scrapbook   box 4 | folder 6

    "15 Years of Bliss" scrapbook compiled by Jenny Sanford for 15th wedding anniversary.

    Mark Sanford reelection campaign, 2006

    "Election night 2006" scrapbook   box 4 | folder 7

    Contains signatures of supporters congratulating Mark Sanford on his 2006 South Carolina Gubernatorial win.

    "Sanford for Governor 2006" scrapbook   box 4 | folder 8

    Includes ephemera, clippings, correspondence, fund raising materials, quotes from Sanford children, photographs, budget printouts for Mark Sanford's 2006 campaign. Includes South Carolina poet laureate Marjory Wentworth inaugural poem.

    Election statistics and projections, 2006   box 4 | folder 9
    Jenny Sanford First Lady materials

    2006-2008 scrapbook   box 14

    Scrapbook includes includes clippings and correspondence regarding role as First Lady, data on Sanford's children's book Mischief in the Mansion, White House invitations, ephemera signed by George W. Bush.

    2006-2008 scrapbook loose materials   box 14 | folder 1

    First Lady materials   box 3 | folder 5

    Includes certificates, articles, photographs, press releases, notes. Also includes press release issued from First Lady Jenny Sanford about trial separation (2009 July 2).

    Jenny Sanford speeches   box 3 | folder 6

    Typed and handwritten speech notes.

    Governor's mansion   box 3 | folder 7

    Clippings and photocopies regarding Jenny Sanford's involvement with mansion renovations and a small number of other topics.

    "Listening to our Health" presentation materials   box 3 | folder 8-9

    Printouts of presentation slides, notecards, talking points.

    Sanford divorce, 2009

    2009 scrapbook   box 15

    Scrapbook includes internet printouts and newspaper and magazine clippings regarding divorce of Jenny and Mark Sanford.

    "Limited marital agreement," 2009 May 29   box 15

    Document regarding terms of Sanford separation

    2010 scrapbook   box 16

    Scrapbook includes clippings and printouts regarding divorce of Jenny and Mark Sanford. Includes printed emails, interview schedules, and articles regarding her book, Staying True.

    Photo albums and related materials, 1989-2009 

    "Jennifer and Marshall," 1989 November 3   box 5

    Sanford rehearsal dinner.

    "Jennifer and Marshall," 1989 November 4   box 5

    Sanford wedding.

    Sanford honeymoon, Africa, 1989   box 5

    "2005 First Lady's Easter Egg Hunt"   box 5

    "Giant Cement Holding Inc., Harleyville, Plant Commissioning," 2005 June 13   box 5

    "First Lady's Easter Egg Hunt," 2006   box 5

    "Second Term, 2007"   box 5

    Includes candid photos of inauguration, post-inaguration newspaper clippings, family photos.

    "Second Term, 2008"   box 5

    Mostly family photos in Bejing, South Carolina, and elsewhere. Also includes notes from Sanford children, educational pamphlets for various United States landmarks, signed Laura and George W. Bush photos, and a small amount of other material.

    "Second Term, 2009"   box 5

    Includes signed photo of First Lady Michelle Obama with Jenny Sanford, Michelle Obama signed letter on White House stationery, photos of Sanfords and Newt Gingrich, Obama inaugural invitation, various clippings from Mark Sanford's term.

    Loose photographs   box 3 | folder 10

    Approximately 75 candid photographs of Governor Sanford, family, and his staff at various events. Includes photo of Sanfords with Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher, signed photo of Jenny with tennis player Martina Navratilova.

    Notebooks, 2000-2008 

    9 spiral notebooks include Jenny Sanford's personal and family notes including daily schedules, contacts, appointments, meeting notes, and notes by Jenny Sanford as Mark Sanford's campaign manager. Topics include South Carolina political policies, First Lady of South Carolina "healthy living" initatives, talking points for speeches, and a small number of other topics.

    2002   box 6 | folder 1

    2003   box 6 | folder 2

    2004-2005   box 6 | folder 3

    2005   box 6 | folder 4

    2005-2006   box 6 | folder 5

    2006   box 6 | folder 6

    Includes brief debate notes for Mark Sanford.

    2008   box 6 | folder 7

    Undated   box 6 | folder 8

    Includes two undated notebooks.

    Personal planners, 2000-2002   box 3 | folder 4

    Three small daily planners.

    3. Published materials, 2007-2012  

    Staying True and related materials, 2009 

    Preliminary draft   box 7 | folder 1

    Includes proposal, draft chapters arranged by subject.

    Early draft   box 7 | folder 2

    With outline, annotations about edits.

    Publisher's galley with corrections   box 7 | folder 3

    Also includes afterword draft.

    Research emails and handwritten notes, 2009 August-2009 September   box 8 | folder 1

    Includes emails between Jenny Sanford and family members regarding stories about Mark Sanford.

    Marriage articles   box 8 | folder 2

    Photocopies of articles about marriage/relationships, possibly for research purposes.

    Book release and interview materials   box 8 | folder 3

    Annotated correspondence   box 8 | folder 4

    Photocopies of letters written to Jenny Sanford about Staying True, with portions circled and underlined.

    Photo release forms   box 8 | folder 5

    Staying True dust cover, mounted photo   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Mischief in the Mansion, 2007 

    Materials for book about the South Carolina Governor's Mansion written by Marshall, Landon, Bolton, and Blake Sanford.

    Original artwork by Sanford children   box 8 | folder 6

    Mischief in the Mansion, 2007   box 8 | folder 7

    Magazine articles, 2009-2012 

    All focus on Jenny Sanford, post-marital breakup.

    "Notes on a scandal," Vogue, 2009 September   box 9 | folder 

    Includes signed note from Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour.

    "I was close to breaking," People, 2010 February 15   box 9 | folder 

    "Why leaving worked for me," Harper's Bazaar, 2010 September   box 9 | folder 

    "Why leaving worked for me," Harper's Bazaar, special collector's edition, 2010 September   box 9 | folder 

    Includes Jenny's handwritten notes for article, several typed drafts, and a note from Harper's Bazaar editor-in-chief, Glenda Bailey.

    "Let's Bridge the Divide," More, 2010 November   box 9 | folder 

    "SR Final," Sheridan Road, 2012 February/March   box 9 | folder 

    4. Audiovisual materials, 2001-2010, undated  

    Videotapes, 2002-2003, undated 

    (3 videotapes)

    "Bringing Change to South Carolina," The Sanford Campaign, 2002   box 10 | videotape 1

    Governor's Mansion annual Easter egg hunt, 2003 April 17   box 10 | videotape 2

    "Mr Sanford goes to Congress," CBS Eye to Eye, undated   box 10 | videotape 3

    DVDs, 2001-2007 

    (22 DVDs)

    Sanford campaign footage, 2001-2006   box 10   DVD 1

    6 clips from South Carolina news stations

    "Governor's Carol Lighting, 2002"   box 10   DVD 2

    Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

    "Bringing Change to South Carolina," The Sanford Campaign, 2002   box 10   DVD 3

    Bob Redfern's Outdoor Magazine Sanford Family feature, 2004   box 10   DVD 4

    "Inside America's Executive Mansions," 2005   box 10   DVD 5

    Governor Mark Sanford's election coverage, 2006 November 11   box 10   DVD 6

    Clips from 21 news stations.

    "Governor Mark Sanford," CNN Headline News, 2006 November 11   box 10   DVD 7

    "Governor Mark Sanford's 2nd Inauguration Coverage," 2007 January 9   box 10   DVD 8

    Clips from 33 South Carolina news stations.

    "The Inauguration of Mark Sanford," 2007 January 10   box 10   DVD 9

    3 copies.

    Fox News Mark Sandford interview   box 10   DVD 10

    Regarding the 2008 Presidential Election.

    "Governor Mark Sanford press conference," ETV, 2008 March 31   box 10   DVD 11

    "Palmetto People," Jenny Sanford interview, Time/Warner Cable, 2008 May 19   box 10   DVD 12

    "Making it Grow!" The Governor's Mansion feature, Clemson University ETV, 2008 September   box 10   DVD 13

    "Governor's Carol Lighting," 2009 November 30   box 10   DVD 14

    Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

    "Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People", Jenny Sanford interview, ABC, 2009 December 9   box 10   DVD 15

    WCSC montage of Jenny Sanford, undated   box 10   DVD 16

    "Making it Grow!" featuring Jenny Sanford, Clemson University ETV, undated   box 10   DVD 17

    CDs, 2007, 2010 

    (4 CDs)

    "Mischief in the Mansion", 2007   box 9   CD 1

    Interview with author Jenny Sanford, Voice of America, 2010 May 4   box 9   CD 2

    3 copies. Includes note from Voice of America journalist (2010 August 5).

    5. Artifacts, 1989, 1999-2012, undated  

    Jewelry   box 11

    Personal gifts from Jenny Sanford supporters.

    Tortoise shell jewelry

    Gift from Fidel Castro.

    Sterling silver South Carolina charm bracelet
    South Carolina State House pin
    Multicolored beaded necklace, gold metal embellishments
    Elephant pin
    Palmetto tree pin
    Palmetto tree pin, with embellishments

    Political materials, 1999-2012, undated   box 11
    Congressional pins

    3 pins, numbered 104, 105, 106.

    Key to the City of Isle of Palms, Carmen R. Bunch, Mayor
    Mark Sanford Member of Congress leather ID wallet
    National Governor's Association plastic cup, 2006
    Gubernatorial "funny money"

    Notes Jim Hodges' and Mark Sanford's political policies.

    South Carolina Inaugural BBQ 2007 beverage holder
    South Carolina metal bookmark, 2001 October 25
    Republican Governor's Association cufflinks

    In colonial pewter box, engraved with Haley Barbour's name.

    Lanyard and tags, CNN Southern Republican Presidential Debate, Charleston, South Carolina, 2012 January 19
    Governor James Hodges' Governor's Mansion medallions, 1999

    Two medallions.

    Miscellaneous, 1989, undated   box 11
    Voo Doo doll

    With pins. Includes tag "Don't get Mad, Get even!"

    Wooden elephant carving

    Mother with calves. Labeled "Jenny, Marshall, Landon, Bolton, and Blake."

    Jenny and Mark wedding banner, 1989 November 4
    Sanford family "10 years!" photo pin
    Jenny Sanford lanyard and tags, Carolina Productions event

    6. Miscellaneous materials, 2003-2009, undated  

    Post and Courier "High Profile" Jenny Sanford article, 2003 January 11   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Laminated printout. 2 pages.

    National Basketball Association and Haier Association signing ceremony photo, 2006 April 10   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Global Strategic Alliance official signing ceremony. Features NBA commissioner David Stern, Haier corporation Vice Chairman Wu Kesong, Vice Premier Wu Yi, China's Ambassador to the United States Zhou Wenzhong, and First Lady Jenny Sanford. Camden, South Carolina.

    Motivational poster   Oversize Paper Folder 1
    (Flat storage)

    Handmade for Jenny Sanford, signed "Delia."

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions

    This collection is open for research.

    Copyright Notice

    The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

    The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Jenny Sanford papers, College of Charleston Libraries, Charleston, SC, USA.

    Acquisitions Information

    Donated by Jenny Sanford to the College of Charleston Foundation, June 2012.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Cara McHugh, April 2013.

    Encoded by Cara McHugh, April 2013.

    Reviewed and uploaded by Martha McTear, May 2013.

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