Gray, Franklin C.

Born: 1816-XX-XX

Died: 1853-07-15 New York, New York

According to the Alton Daily Morning Courier, Franklin C. Gray was a highly respected wealthy merchant of San Francisco, where he was an alderman for two years. According to an article in the New Orleans Delta, reprinted in several Illinois newspapers, Gray was a professional gambler who operated an indifferent drinking house in Helena, Arkansas, who was chased from Arkansas to San Francisco for allegedly attempting to defraud a "respectable gentleman" out of a considerate sum of money.

Gray found his way to Texas, where he married Mary Anna (Ann) Pitts, the widow of a respectable lawyer of North Carolina and "much his senior," in November 1834. The couple were involved in the rumored attempt to assassinate General Antonio López de Santa Anna with poisoned champagne while Santa Anna was a prisoner after his capture after the Battle of San Jacinto. The Grays then moved from Texas to Arkansas and eventually separated. Mary Anna sued Franklin for divorce in 1851 on the grounds of adultery and was awarded $5,000 in alimony when he failed to show up in court. Franklin married Matilda C. French in March 1853. In July 1853, Franklin stepped in front of a train in New York and was killed. In December 1856, Gray's first wife Mary Anna retained Abraham Lincoln and William H. Herndon and filed a writ of error in the Illinois Supreme Court to reverse the divorce decree and acquire more alimony. The court later dismissed the suit after Mary Anna Gray failed to join the issue on the plea.

New York, Genealogical Records, 1675-1920 (Provo, UT: Operations, 2004); Texas, U.S., Marriage Index, 1824-2019, 12 November 1834, Brazoria County (Lehi, UT: Operations, 2005); Washington, D.C., U.S., Marriage Records, 1810-1953, 23 March 1853 (Lehi, UT: Operations, 2016); Alton Daily Morning Courier (IL), 25 July 1853, 2:5; The Belleville Advocate (IL), 31 August 1853, 1:1; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 23 July 1853, 2:1; Gray v. Gray, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009),; Gray v. Gray et al., Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition,; Gravestone, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY.