SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

Horace Gray, 1882-1902

Justice Horace Gray, 1882-1902
HORACE GRAY was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 24, 1828. He enrolled in Harvard College at the age of thirteen and was graduated four years later. After traveling abroad, he received his law degree at Harvard in 1849. Gray was admitted to the bar in 1851 and practiced law for the next thirteen years. In 1854, he began his judicial career as a reporter for the State Supreme Court. During his tenure, Gray edited sixteen volumes of court records which, with some independent legal writing, earned him a reputation for historical scholarship and legal research. While working as a court reporter, Gray also served as a counselor to the Governor of Massachusetts on legal and constitutional questions and, in particular, issues arising from the Civil War. Gray was appointed to the State Supreme Court as an Associate Justice in 1864, the youngest appointee in the history of the Court. He was elevated to Chief Justice nine years later. President Chester A. Arthur nominated Gray to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 19, 1881, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on December 20, 1881. Gray served on the Supreme Court for twenty years. He submitted his resignation on July 9, 1902, to become effective on the appointment of his successor. Gray died on September 15, 1902, at the age of seventy-four.