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Andrew Jackson Gray S. C., Tenn., Ky., Ohio, Kansas 1880s Lawrence, Kansas published account

I am not related to this family. Found this researching the owners/occupants of a house (c.1872), 946 Pa. st., Lawrence, Ks. The Gray's purchased this house on Sept. 10th, 1883, for a consideration of $1,500. Mr. Gray was illiterate (his mark, an x, appears on his deeds records) but was able to tell his life story thru the so called 'vanity' biographical books being published in the 1880s --

A. J. GRAY, liveryman, was born on Broad River, South Carolina, May 16, 1820, and was owned by his father as a slave till the age of fourteen. At the death of his father, he fell into the hands of other parties. He left Tennessee in 1836, and settled in Washington County, Ken., near the county seat. He ran away in 1846, going back to Giles County, Tenn., where he was married February 3, 1848, to Miss Agnes, daughter of John and Elsie Bunn. They have had nine children, three of whom are living - Curren C., born November 9, 1851; May, November 19, 1856; Willie, September 9, 1859. He went to Columbus, Ohio, in 1864; remained there seventeen years; then came to Kansas in the year 1881, and settled in Lawrence. Mr. and Mrs. Gray and their two sons belong to the a. M. E. Church; May belongs to the Baptist Church. Mrs. Gray's mother lived to be over one hundred years old. Mr. Gray has been industrious, and accumulated a good property. _

<> Andreas, A. T., and Thelma Carpenter. History of the State of Kansas. Kansas Collection books. Lawrence, Kan: Kansas Collection, 1996. [by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, Illinois]

Douglas County, Ks mortgage records show that --

A. J.'s son, Curren Gray was one of the trustees, signing the 1911 mortgage for the St. Luke A. M. E. church, in Lawrence, Kansas

speculative narrative based on his bio --

Andrew Jackson Gray was born, in 1820, along the Broad River in South Carolina. This area, known as the Piedmont region, received an influx of Scots-Irish emigrants in the middle of the 18th century. The parents of a future president of the United States, settled in the Carolina Piedmont at this time. U. S. Census data for Mr. Gray state his father was Irish. It is likely not a coincidence that Mr. Gray was named after Andrew Jackson, who became a National hero after the Battle of New Orleans, Jan. 8th, 1915. Andrew Jackson Gray was born five years after the price of cotton skyrocketed to 19 cents a pound & would keep on rising. Owned by his father, A. J. Gray was in the regional proximity to have grownup as the mixed race progeny of a yeoman farmer's Backcountry cotton boom.

"The cotton boom ... brought thousands of Upcountry households into the slaveholding ranks ... [the] impact on Upcountry households is nicely illustrated by the example of the Spratt family of York district. Thomas Spratt, an Ulsterman, arrived in the 1760s to become York's first permanent white settler, but he owned only seven slaves when he died in 1807. His son, James Spratt, became one of 'the first to plant cotton on a vast and extensive acreage' and increased his slaveholdings from only four when he started planting cotton in the early 1800s to twenty-five by 1830. In latter years, James Spratt's son, Thomas Dryden Spratt, wryly observed, 'My father's generation . . . by exploiting the fertility of the virgin soil and the fecundity of the virgin slave produced a wealth and established a culture'". _Ford, Lacy K. Origins of Southern Radicalism The South Carolina Upcountry, 1800-1860. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988, p. 19.

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