GRAY, WILLIAM FAIRFAX
GRAY, WILLIAM FAIRFAX (1787–1841). William Fairfax Gray, soldier, lawyer, and author, was born in Fairfax County, Virginia, on November 3, 1787, the son of William and Catherine (Dick) Gray. On March 21, 1811, he was commissioned a captain in the Sixteenth Regiment of the Virginia Militia and, as such, served during the War of 1812. Gray was commissioned a lieutenant colonel on May 26, 1821, and for the remainder of his life was known as Colonel Gray, although he was generally engaged in the practice of law. He and his wife, the former Milly Richards Stone, had twelve children.
In 1835 as land agent for Thomas Green and Albert T. Burnley of Washington, D.C., Gray visited Mississippi and Texas. Upon arriving in Texas he attended the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos and attempted to obtain the position of secretary. He failed in this, but in his diary (published in 1909 under the title of From Virginia to Texas, 1835) he kept a faithful record of the convention's proceedings, in some cases more complete than the official journal. During the Runaway Scrape he obtained a passport and returned to Virginia. In 1837 he moved his family to Texas and settled in Houston. In addition to practicing law, he served as clerk of the Texas House of Representatives from May 2 to September 26, 1837, and as secretary of the Senate from April 9 to May 24, 1838. On May 13, 1840, Gray was appointed district attorney. Upon the establishment of the Texas Supreme Court, he was named clerk.
He was a Mason and a devout Episcopalian, a charter member of Christ Church, Houston, and of the Philosophical Society of Texas, of which he became secretary. Gray died in Houston on April 16, 1841, and was buried in the Old City Cemetery, now Founders Memorial Park. Upon the death of his wife, his remains were removed to the Episcopal Cemetery. In 1872, when Glenwood Cemetery in Houston was opened, his sons moved their parents' remains there.
William Fairfax Gray, From Virginia to Texas, 1835 (Houston: Fletcher Young, 1909, 1965).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Andrew Forest Muir, "Gray, William Fairfax," accessed January 21, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fgr27.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on January 14, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.