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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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William Gray

GRAY, William, merchant, born in Lynn, Massachusetts, 27 June, 1750; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 4 November, 1825. He was of humble parentage and was apprenticed to merchants in Salem. He afterward began business for himself, and amassed a fortune, having at one time more than sixty square-rigged ships on the ocean. He was a Democrat, and sympathized with Jefferson during the embargo, notwithstanding the pecuniary injury to his business and its unpopularity in New England. He removed to Boston, became a state senator, and in 1810 was elected lieutenant governor.--His wife, Elizabeth Chip-man, born in Essex County, Massachusetts, in May, 1756; died in Boston, 24 September, 1823, married Mr. Gray in 1782. Although the wife of the richest man in Massachusetts, and probably in New England, she managed her domestic affairs personally. A portion of her time was devoted to the poor, who were the constant recipients of her benefactions.--Their son, Francis ealley, lawyer, born in Salem, Massachusetts, 19 September, 1790; died in Boston, 29 December 1856, was graduated at Harvard in 1809. He studied law with William Prescott, but did not practise his profession. He was private secretary to John Quincy Adams while the latter was minister to Russia, and served frequently in the Massachusetts legislature. He was president of the Boston athenaeum, and a fellow of Harvard in 1826-'36. In 1841 the degree of LL.D. was conferred on him by Harvard. He left a collection of 3,000 rare engravings, with $16,000 for keeping it in order and publishing a catalogue. He also left $50,000 for the establishment and maintenance of a museum of comparative zoology. The bestowal of these bequests was left to the option of his nephew, William, and the latter presented them to Harvard in 1858, and also contributed $25,000 for the purchase of books for the College library. The sum for the establishment of a museum was supplemented by legislative appropriation and private subscription, and a building erected, which was dedicated in November, 1859, and placed in charge of Professor Louis Agassiz. Mr. F. C. Gray published numerous orations and addresses, and a work on "Prison Discipline" (Boston, 1847). He discovered a manuscript copy of the Massachusetts "Body of Liberties" of 1641, which was published in the "Collections " of the State historical society (3d series, vol. viii.). Gray's Hall, one of the buildings of Harvard, was named for these benefactors of the eollege.--Another soil, John Chipman, lawyer, born in Salem, Massachusetts, 29 December 1793; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 3 March, 1881, was graduated at Harvard in 1811. He never practiced law, but took an active interest and part in public affairs, serving many years in the common council of Boston, and in each branch of the Massachusetts legislature, and in the governor's council. He delivered an oration for the Phi Beta Kappa society in 1821, and address before the Massachusetts horticultural society, and a number of addresses before the City authorities.-Horace, grandson of William, jurist, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 1828, was graduated at Harvard in 1845, and at the law-school in 1849. He was admitted to the bar in 1851. In 1854 he was appointed reporter of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, and served for seven years. On 23 August, 1864, he became associate justice of the court, which office he held till he was appointed its chief justice on 5 September, 1873. In 1882 he was made associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, which office he now fills (1887).

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