Algernon S. Gray (1814-1878)

Algernon Sidney Gray (8 January 1814 – 29 September 1878) was an attorney, colonel in the antebellum Virginia militia (Rockingham County), delegate to the 1861 Virginia secession convention, member of the Virginia General Assembly, U.S. Marshal, and philanthropist.

Born at the family home of “Collicella,” in Harrisonburg, Algernon Sidney Gray was the eldest son of Robert Gray and Isabella L. Waterman. Gray attended Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), Lexington, Virginia and opened his practice as an attorney in his hometown. As one of Rockingham County’s delegates to the Virginia secession convention (John Francis Lewis and Samuel Augustus Coffman being the other delegates from Rockingham County), Gray opposed secession and was particularly remembered for a rather emotionally charged speech that brought the delegation to tears. Nonetheless, Virginia opted for secession and Gray reluctantly accepted the decision of the majority. Though he took little part in advancing the cause of the Confederacy, he was known for his support for those who suffered and were in distress, no matter their particular sentiments. He served as a member of the Board of Visitors for Washington College from 1861-1862. After the war, Gray, as a member of the Republican Party, served in the Virginia Senate (1865–67). Beyond the reconstruction years, Gray continued his practice as a lawyer, helped develop mineral resources in Virginia, and, in 1871, was appointed the U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Virginia. Gray died on 29 September 1878, at the age of 63, and was interred in Woodbine Cemetery, Harrisonburg.

See my Wikipedia biography for Gray, here.

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  1. 34th Massachusetts and Harrisonburg Unionists | Southern Unionists Chronicles

    […] her own table as long as we remained in the Court House. Among the former was Col. Asa S. Gray [Algernon Sidney Gray], and his daughter, Miss Orra Gray, staunch lovers of the Union, both of them; ministering angels […]

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