A Guide to the Grayson Family Papers, 1835-1882
Born in South Carolina, Ben S. Grayson (?-1849), came to Texas before 1835, possibly with his brother, Thomas Wigg Grayson. Ben Grayson, Thomas M. Shreve, and others owned the privateer Thomas Toby in 1836. He was a merchant at Velasco with Shreve in 1837 and ran for mayor of San Antonio in August 1840. Grayson acquired considerable land in Texas by purchasing land scrip originally issued to pay Texas soldiers. After being a merchant in Mexico during the Mexican War, he went to California. Grayson became wealthy there and died in San Francisco on July 8, 1849.
Elizabeth Mary Grayson, the sister of Ben S. Grayson and Thomas Wigg Grayson, was living in the state in 1849. She lived for several years with Thomas Grayson and his family in San Antonio and later lived with the Francis R. Lubbock family.
Thomas Wigg Grayson, born in Beaufort, South Carolina, on August 8, 1808, came to Texas before 1836, possibly in 1828. He worked on various ships during the Texas Revolution and early Republic years. While commanding the steamer Laura in September 1835, he assisted the San Felipe in capturing the Mexican War vessel Correo. Later in 1835 Grayson captained the Yellow Stone, bringing men and supplies to aid the revolution. He also worked on the steamers Ocean, Thomas Toby, and Sam Houston.
Thomas Grayson married Tabitha Edwards in Austin in November 1844 and they had five children. He farmed at LaGrange, and in 1857 established a ranch near San Antonio. Grayson died in San Antonio on August 20, 1873.
The Grayson Family Papers, 1835-1882, consist of correspondence, bills, receipts, notes and memos, checks, part of a log book, and photographs. Some of the early materials relate to activities of the schooners Thomas Toby and Laura and Ben S. Grayson’s business activities with John M. Shreve. Many of the items deal with land transactions, particularly those of Ben Grayson. Four letters from January 1848 concern Ben Grayson’s claim against Mier, Mexico, during the Mexican War. Several documents, 1849-1851, pertain to Ben Grayson’s estate. Other significant items include bills for various dry goods, a bill for medical service, and a letter to Thomas W. Grayson from Francis R. Lubbock regarding the San Antonio postmastership. The collection also contains photographs of members of the Grayson family and letters and bills for Elizabeth Mary Grayson.
Grayson Family Papers, 1835-1882, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Lawrence A. Landis, February 1985.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers