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Green confirmed that her husband had headed to Texas, but not until March 6 did she note: "I felt a good deal excited at learning that Mr Gray had become a citizen of Texas."  On May 17 she received a letter notifying her of his return to the U. S.  In another week she rejoiced at the news of Santa Anna's defeat and acknowledged that the family would probably move to Texas since her husband had been busy purchasing land.  Meanwhile, the family had to carry on.  Millie quickly added contracting for writing to her varied list of monetary chores.[18]

Gray found his family and friends both well and eager to see him.  A. C. Gray recalled many years later that the military company that his father had captained "turned out at midnight [four hours after his arrival], in full uniform, with a band of music, to welcome him home."  Despite this warm greeting, his father did not tarry for long with the family.  On his second day home Gray went north on a two-week business trip, leaving Millie "much out of spirits."  Between July and October he was on the road four more times, including a lengthy journey to New York.  Other visitors came to the Gray home on business.  Arrangements were made to enroll Peter in Bristol College, dispose of additional family furniture, settle accounts, return hired servants, and rent out their own.  Still another flurry of activity had to occur to ready Gray for his return trip to Texas, which began on January 17, 1837 (described in the last two chapters of the Gray diary, published as "volumes" B I and B II).[19]

Millie expected either that the family would soon join her husband in Texas or that he would return quickly.  Instead, there was an extended separation of over a year and a half, unanticipated familial disruption, and worries over ill health.  The younger boys, Edwin and Charlie (A. C.), spent four months with friends in Bowling Green.  On September 26, 1837, she received an alarming letter from Gray giving news of his illness with a "Bilious fever," from which he was to suffer through the winter and spring of 1837-38.  After September she had no news from him for two months.  Recalling her mood during this 1837-38 winter of despair, she wrote in an uncharacteristically disconsolate spirit: "I had hoped to have been able to have gone to Texas in the Fall -- but was disappointed -- and soon found that I could not only not go, but that Mr Gray could not return -- and that we should be doomed to a continued separation for a whole year longer -- Oh, who can tell how much they can bear, before the trial comes -- We have been mercifully supported and preserved in all our troubles and dangers -- but have suffered severely."  At last in January of 1838 she received more correspondence from her husband, including enough money to pay off the debts she had contracted during his absence.[20]

Finally, in the summer of 1838 he promised to return by August and suggested that preparations begin for the move to Texas.  Gray's activities from the


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The Diary of William Fairfax Gray, from Virginia to Texas, 1835-1837
Copyright 1997 William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas