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George Gray papers


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

George Gray (1840-1925) was a politician and judge from New Castle, Delaware. A member of the Democratic party, he served as a United States Senator from Delaware from 1885-1899. He was later appointed to the U.S. Circuit Court, Third District from 1899-1914, and served as a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague.

George Gray was born on May 4, 1840 in New Castle, Delaware. He attended the College of New Jersey (Princeton University), graduating in 1859. Gray studied law with his father, Andrew C. Gray, and at Harvard Law School. In 1863, he was admitted to the Delaware Bar and began practicing law in New Castle. In 1870, he married hs firt wife Harriet L. Black, a New Castle native like himself.

Gray's political career began in 1876, when he was selected as a delagate to the National Democratic Convention, selecting New York Governor Samuel J. Tilden to oppose the Republican candidate Ruthurford B. Hayes. In 1879, Gray was appointed to serve as Delaware Attorney General, a position he woudl hold until 1885. In 1880, his wife died; two years later, he married her sister Margaret J. Black.

In March 1885, Delaware Senator Thomas F. Bayard, Sr., a Democrat, resigned from his Senate seat to become President Grover Cleveland's Secretary of State. The General Assembly elected Gray to fill the remaining two years of Bayard's Senate term. Gray was re-elected in both 1886 and 1892, but failed to win re-election in 1898.

While in the Senate, Senator Gray served on the Senate Patents Committee, Privileges and Elections Committee and Revolutionary Claims Committee. In 1898, he served on the commission to settle peace between the United States and Spain at the end of the Spanish-American War. In that same year, he was a member of the Joint High Commission in Quebec to settle differences between the United States and Canada.

After retiring from the Senate on March 4, 1899, President William McKinley appointed Gray to a new seat on the Thrid District U.S. Circuit Court. He served on the court until his resignation in 1914.

Gray had a long and distinguished legal career. In 1900, he was nominated by President McKinley to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, and was reappointed in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, 1912 by President William Taft and 1920 by President Woodrow Wilson. While on the Court of Arbitration, Gray served on a number of commissions, including the commission arbitrating between United States and the Dominican Repbulic and the tribunal arbitrating between the United States and Great Britian on North Atlantic Coast Fisheries. President Roosevelt appointed Gray chairman of the commission to arbitrate a 1902 Pennsylvania coal strike.

In 1890, Gray became a member of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. In 1915, he chaired the United States delegation to the Pan-American Scientific Congress, and also served as vice president and trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Senator Gray died on August 7, 1925 in Wilmington, DE.

Dictionary of American Biography. Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1960. V. 4, pp. 515-516."GRAY, George - Biographical Information." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed July 19, 2017.

Records in this collection include correspondence and legal papers, primarily documenting his career as a judge and arbiter. An index of papers in the collection is included.

A detailed index of the papers can be viewed at this link.

Boxes 1-10: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons

Removals: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (32 inches)

Gift of Anne D. Gray, 1944

Finding aid updated by Lori A. Bridgers, May 1992. Additional updates by Jaime Margalotti and John Caldwell, July 2017.

Items 1580-1637, originally accessioned with this collection, have been removed and integrated into MSS 0331, William Saulsbury, Jr., papers, Series II.C. WWI- Neutrality.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce isrequired from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Items 1-182.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Transcripts of decisions and opinions in the U.S. 3rd district court, for the district of New Jersey.....

Items 183-356.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Transcripts of decisions and opinions in the U.S. 3rd district court, for the district of New Jersey- cont'd.

Items 357-487.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Transcripts of decisions and opinions in the U.S. 3rd district court, for the district of New Jersey- cont'd.

Items 488-669.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

Anthracite board of conciliation, in regard to grievances submitted to the board (items 489-532); Dominican Republic arbitration (items 533-558); American and Mexican joint commission (items 559-649); E.I. DuPont de Nemours powder case (items 650-662); Anglo-American joint high commission (items 663-669).

Items 670-815.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Anglo-American joint high commission- cont'd (items 670-694); North Atlantic coast fisheries commission (items 695-815).

Items 816-843.
Box 6
Scope and Contents

North Atlantic coast fisheries commission- cont'd.

Items 844-857.
Box 7
Scope and Contents

Board of conciliation, anthracite coal strikes (items 844-852); North Atlantic coast fisheries artibration (items 853-857).

Items 858-868.
Box 8
Scope and Contents

North Atlantic coast fisheries arbitration- cont'd.

Items 869-874.
Box 9
Scope and Contents

North Atlantic coast fisheries arbitration- cont'd.

Items 875-1579.
Box 10
Scope and Contents

North Atlantic coast fisheries arbitration- cont'd (items 875-879); Chronology of the Smithsonian Institution (items 880-892); Letters, 1897-1925 (items 893-1579).

Illustrirte Zeitung, 1889-05-18.
Box Oversize box (32 inches)

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