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district court, developed pneumonia, and died on April 16, 1841.[39]

Three days later a meeting of the Houston bar eulogized William Fairfax Gray with appropriate emphasis on his respectability, giving praise for his promptness, courteousness, "firmness, integrity and fidelity."[40]  There was no effort to speculate on his legacy.  Clearly, he did not leave behind the kind of fortune that he hoped to find in Texas.  The probate of his estate placed its value at $11,389.87, a portion of which consisted of books, furniture, and personal items worth a little over $1,000 and three slaves valued at $1,225.  All of this the family had owned in Virginia.  Gray's real estate investments comprised all the remainder of his property except for some unsettled accounts.  He had gained clear title from the Harris County Board of Land Commissioners to three of the one-third league grants that he had bought from settlers and one 320-acre bounty grant to a soldier, altogether valued at $1,450.  He also owned outright four city blocks in Houston worth $725.  The rest of his land consisted of certificates and bounty grants he had purchased.  These, in the hands of various agents for the purpose of location, totalled over 48,500 acres.  The assessor placed the value of these real estate instruments at under $6,500.[41]

Gray did not leave his family in comfortable financial circumstances, but he had provided his children with some training and with a new environment as an outlet for their talents.  The eldest, Peter, had been employed by Secretary of War Johnston in 1839 but left in 1840 at age twenty-one to enter into a law partnership with his father.  After his father's death, Peter had the responsibility and ability to assist his mother and older sisters in seeing after the rest of the family.  The Grays' church pioneering came to fruition in 1847, when the brick building for Christ Church was consecrated.  Millie died four years later, also from sickness contracted in Galveston, and was eulogized for her Christian and charitable character.  During his first twenty years as an attorney, Peter became a leader of the Houston legal profession.  In 1866 he formed a new partnership with fellow Confederate veteran W. Browne Botts, which evolved into Gray, Botts, and Baker and since 1877 has operated under variations of the name Baker & Botts, one of the most famous and influential firms in Texas.[42]

If fortune came to the Gray family through Peter, it was Allen Charles Gray, the youngest son (born in 1830), who founded a print shop after the Civil War and had the dedication to preserve his father's memory by printing the diary.  William Fairfax Gray had come to Texas in search of wealth and, perhaps, a measure of political power, respect, and fame.  He found none of these but left a unique historical legacy by filling his diary with acute and astute observations.  Thereby, he secured for himself what he could not have imagined he had achieved -- a place in history.

The diary is presented in this new edition in a manner that is as close as


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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