Gray, Horace


Card signed by the 1st Justice to hire a law clerk – paid from his own pocket!


Autograph ID: 5063
Condition: Very good
Description: “(1828-1902) Associate Justice 1882-1902. Son of a prominent Boston Brahmin merchant, graduated Harvard College at 17, studied law at Harvard but did not receive a degree. Gray entered the bar in 1851. In 1854, he was named Reporter of Decisions for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and appointed to the Supreme Judicial Court in 1864, youngest appointee in that court’s history. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1866. Gray became the court’s Chief Justice in 1873 and would hire Louis D. Brandeis as a clerk, first justice of that court to hire a clerk. In 1881, President Arthur nominated him to replace Nathan Clifford. In 1889, Gray married the daughter of his former Court colleague, Stanley Matthews. He was the 1st Supreme Court Justice to hire a law clerk, using his own funds to pay the clerk’s salary-no government money was appropriated for this purpose at the time. He resigned in July 1902, gravely ill, succeeded by fellow Mass. native Oliver W. Holmes, Jr., who also previously served on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Probably his most famous opinion is Mut. Life Ins. Co. of N.Y. v. Hillmon (1892), which held that a declarant’s out-of-court statement of his intention to do something or go somewhere in the future is admissible under the “state-of-mind” hearsay exception. This holding is now codfied in Rule 803(3) of the Federal Rules of Evidence, as well as the evidence law in most states. Gray also authored the 1898 right to citizenship case, United States v. Wong Kim Ark, and also sided with the majority in the Plessy v. Ferguson which upheld racial segregation.

Signed 2 x 3 ½ card”
Type: Signed Card

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