Anderson was to serve in this seat continuously until his retirement from the Senate effective March 3, 1815. He was reelected by the General Assembly in 1803 and 1809. In the Eighth Congress (1803–1804), he served as President Pro Tempore of the Senate. After retiring from the Senate, he remained in Washington, DC and he was appointed Comptroller of the U.S. Treasury and served in that office from 1815 until 1836, dying the next year. He was interred in the Congressional Cemetary in the Anacostia section of Washington. Anderson County, Tennessee is named in honor of Joseph Anderson. His son Alexander Outlaw Anderson later served as a Senator from Tennessee.
Anderson was charged in connection with the blunt-trauma death of Joseph, a two and one-half year old for whom she was appointed the guardian.
Anderson testified that she sometimes "played rough" with the children, that some of Joseph's bruises resulted from spankings administered by her and others, and that she had hit Joseph with a shoe.
Anderson argues that the prosecutor improperly insinuated that she had never taken Joseph to a doctor in response to Anderson's assertion that Joseph had been diagnosed with a skin disease which caused him to bruise easily.
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