GRAYSON, William (1740-1790)

GRAYSON, WILLIAM, (uncle of Alexander Dalrymple Orr), a Delegate and a Senator from Virginia; born in Prince William County, Va., around 1740; attended the College of Philadelphia, now the University of Pennsylvania; pursued classical studies in England at the University of Oxford and studied law in London; returned to Virginia and practiced law in Dumfries; during the Revolutionary War was commissioned lieutenant colonel and aide-de-camp to General George Washington and promoted to colonel January 1777; commissioner of the Board of War 1780-1781; resumed the practice of law; member, Virginia house of delegates 1784-1785, 1788; member of the Continental Congress 1785-1787; delegate to the Virginia convention of 1788 for the adoption of the Federal Constitution, which he opposed; elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1789, until his death in Dumfries, Va., March 12, 1790; interment on the old family estate at Belle Air, near Dumfries, Va.

Cornell University
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections
Ithaca, NY
Papers: 1 letter (December 16, 1782) in Washington Irving's Life of George Washington, Volume VI, Miscellany, 1774-1807.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1 item (July 2, 1789) in Tench Coxe papers.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 3 items (July 23, 1789-September 22, 1789) in George Washington papers; 2 items (October 7, 1789; May 20, 1790) in James Madison papers; 1 item (September 29, 1789) in Patrick Henry papers; in William Short papers, 1778-1853; and correspondence in William A. Oldridge collection of George Washington's headquarters staff writings, 1775-1962 (bulk 1775-1783). Finding aid.

New York Public Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1 item (December 25, 1789) in Theodorus Bailey Myers collection.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library
Charlottesville, VA
Papers: 1769-1790. Ca. 12 items. Professional and political correspondence. Also portraits.

Virginia Historical Society
Richmond, VA
Papers: 1 item (September 28, 1789); and photographs of portraits.

Washington University
James M. Olin Library
St. Louis, MO
Papers: 1 item (June 12, 1789) in George Meissner collection.

  • Bristow, Weston. "William Grayson: A Study In Virginia Biography of the Eighteenth Century.'' Richmond College Historical Papers 2 (June 1917): 74-117.
  • DuPriest, James E., Jr. William Grayson: A Political Biography of Virginia's First United States Senator. Manassas, VA: Prince William County Historical Commission, 1977.
  • Esposito, Joseph A. "William Grayson of Prince William County.'' Northern Virginia Heritage 10 (June 1988): 15-20.
  • Horrell, Joseph, ed. "New Light on William Grayson: His Guardian's Account.'' Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 92 (October 1984): 423-43.