William Grayson

William Grayson

Infobox Senator | name=William Grayson

jr/sr and state=U.S. Senator, Virginia
term=March 4, 1789 - March 12, 1790
succeeded=John Walker
date of birth=1736
place of birth=Prince William County, VA
date of death=death date|1790|3|12|mf=y
place of death=Dumfries, VA

William Grayson (1736 - 12 March 1790) was a soldier, lawyer, and statesman from Virginia. He was one of the first two U.S. Senators from Virginia, and belonged to the Anti-Federalist faction.


Grayson was born in 1736 to parents Benjamin Grayson and Susannah Monroe Grayson at Belle Aire Plantation [http://www.rootsweb.com/~vapwilli/history/grayson.html] in what is now Woodbridge, Virginia. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1760. He attended university in Great Britain, but it is uncertain whether he attended Oxford University or the University of Edinburgh. He practiced law in Dumfries, Virginia, until the American Revolutionary War began.

Serving as an aide-de-camp to George Washington, Grayson rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1777, he recruited a regiment for the Continental Army known as Grayson's Regiment, and served as its colonel through the Philadelphia campaign. In 1778, he served on a commission dealing with war prisoners, and in 1779 he resigned his military commission to serve on the Congressional Board of War. In 1781 he returned to Dumfries to practice law. Like many Continental Army officers, he was also an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati.

Grayson was a delegate to the Confederation Congress from 1785 to 1787. As an Anti-Federalist, he opposed ratification of the United States Constitution at the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788. Although the Anti-Federalists lost that battle, Patrick Henry, Virginia's leading Anti-Federalist, rewarded Grayson by arranging his appointment to the first United States Senate. Grayson served from 4 March 1789 until his death on 12 March 1790.

His brother was the Reverend Spence Monroe Grayson of Pohick Church, and through his mother he was a cousin to James Monroe. His wife was Eleanor Smallwood, a sister of Maryland Governor William Smallwood. Grayson was the grandfather of William Grayson Carter, Kentucky state senator, and Confederate General John Breckinridge Grayson.

Grayson is interred within the Grayson family vault at Belle Aire. The vault was encased in concrete [http://www.geocities.com/familysnoop/GraysonVault.jpg] and buried by the Daughters of the American Revolution in the early 20th century. It is currently located on private property.


*K. R. Constantine Gutzman. "Grayson, William". "American National Biography Online", February 2000.

External links

* [http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~geneal/src/Grayson/william.html William Grayson] by Margaret L. Edwards
* [http://www.rootsweb.com/~vapwilli/history/grayson.html The Graysons of Belle Aire] in Prince William County and Georgia
* [http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=770 William Grayson's Grave] at the Historical Marker Database
* [http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Equator/6490/grayson.html The Grayson Memorial Bandstand]
* [http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Flats/9116/index.html The Grayson Family] a personal genealogy page

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