Sanford M. Dodge represented Mecklenburg County at the Convention of 1867–1868 and in the House of Delegates (1869–1871). The New York native settled in Virginia after the American Civil War (1861–1865). Dodge and his running mate, John Watson, a former slave, won their seats at the convention with the heavy backing of the recently emancipated African American population. He kept a low profile during the shaping of a new Virginia constitution, voting with the Republican Party‘s radical wing on most issues. Dodge taught school for freedpeople in 1868–1869. He and Watson won election to the General Assembly in 1869. Dodge died of typhoid fever in 1870.