Judge Peter W. Gray papers
This collection consists of handwritten instructions from Judge Peter W. Gray to the jury for a Texas district court case in which an enslaved man is being tried for murder.
Peter W. Gray was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia and moved to Texas in 1838. In 1846, Gray was elected to the first Texas State Legislature where he authored the Practice Act, the first piece of legislation regulating the court system of the State of Texas. Gray fully supported the Confederacy and was a representative of the Houston District in the Congress of the Confederacy. After the Civil War, Gray returned to Houston to practice law, and in 1874, Gray was appointed associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court.