Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Peter Wagener Grayson

Kentucky & Texas

Peter Wagener Grayson was born in Bardstown, Kentucky in 1788. Grayson was a lawyer, poet, diplomat, cabinet officer, and presidential contender. He served as a soldier during the War of 1812. In 1825 he moved to Louisville and in 1828 was elected to the state legislature. During the 1820s Grayson suffered from a serious mental illness. After his recovery, he acquired land in what is now Texas. By 1832 he had settled and developed a large plantation near Matagorda, with substantial landholdings and slaves.

In 1836 he was named Attorney General of Texas and worked to secure the annexation of Texas by the United States. He ran a quiet and ineffective campaign for President of the United States in 1838 and in July, 1838, his mental illness overtaking him, he shot and killed himself. [Source: Handbook of Texas Online]

Biographical Sketch

Peter Wagener Grayson

Research Resources

Peter W. Grayson Papers
Rosenberg Library
Galveston, Texas

Vertical Files
Barker Texas History Center
University of Texas at Austin