1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gray, Horace

GRAY, HORACE (1828–1902), American jurist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on the 24th of March 1828. He graduated at Harvard in 1845; was admitted to the bar in 1851, and in 1854–1861 was reporter to the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. He practised law, first in partnership with Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar, and later with Wilder Dwight (1823–1862) and Charles F. Blake; was appointed associate justice of the state Supreme Court on the 23rd of August 1864, becoming chief-justice on the 5th of September 1873; and was associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from December 1881 to August 1902, resigning only a few weeks before his death at Nahant, Mass., on the 15th of September 1902. Gray had a fine sense of the dignity of the bench, and a taste for historical study. His judgments were unmistakably clear and contained the essence of earlier opinions. A great case lawyer, he was a much greater judge, the variety of his knowledge and his contributions to admiralty and prize law and to testamentary law being particularly striking; in constitutional law he was a “loose” rather than a “strict” constructionist.

See Francis C. Lowell, “Horace Gray,” in Proceedings of the American Academy, vol. 39, pp. 627-637 (Boston, 1904).