John Gayle (Alabama)

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John Gayle
JohnGayle.jpg
7th Governor of Alabama
In office
November 26, 1831 – November 21, 1835
Preceded by Samuel B. Moore
Succeeded by Clement Comer Clay
Personal details
Born (1792-09-11)September 11, 1792
Sumter, South Carolina
Died July 21, 1859(1859-07-21) (aged 66)
Mobile, Alabama
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Sarah Gayle (1819-1835)
Profession Politician,Governor
Religion Presbyterian

John Gayle (September 11, 1792 – July 21, 1859) was the seventh Governor of the U.S. state of Alabama from 1831 to 1835, and was later a United States district court judge for that state.

Gayle was born in 1792 in Sumter, South Carolina. In 1813, he graduated from South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina), where he had been president of the Clariosophic Society.[1][2]

After reading law, he entered the bar in 1818 and opened a private practice. He was a member of the Legislative Council for the Alabama Territory from 1818–19, then became the Solicitor of the First Judicial Circuit of the State of Alabama, from 1819-21. From 1822-1823 and again from 1829-30 he was a member of the Alabama House of Representatives. In the interim, he was a state court judge for the Alabama Third Judicial Circuit from 1823–25, then in private practice in Greene County, Alabama until 1828, and then on the Alabama Supreme Court from 1828-29. After serving as Governor of Alabama from 1831–35, he returned to private practice in Mobile, Alabama until 1846.

During his term as Governor, the state bank was expanded and the first railroad was completed in Alabama. The Bell Factory, the state's first textile mill, was incorporated in Madison County.[3]

Gayle served in the United States House of Representatives from 1847 to 1849.

He was nominated by President Zachary Taylor to serve as a judge for the United States district courts for Northern, Southern, and Middle Districts of Alabama on March 12, 1849, all three seats having been vacated by William Crawford. Gayle was confirmed by the Senate on March 13, 1849, and received his commission on March 13, 1849, thereafter serving until his death.

Gayle was married to Sarah Ann Haynsworth, formerly a resident of South Carolina, from June 11, 1819 until her death in 1835. They had six children. In 1837, Gayle married Clarissa Stedman Peck at Gaston, Alabama. They had four children. Gayle died of ill health and natural causes on July 21, 1859 aged 66. [4]

During his time on Alabama Supreme Court (1828–29) John Gayle constructed his family home in Greensboro, AL then a part of Greene County, Alabama now Hale County, Alabama. There Sarah gave birth to Amelia Gayle Gorgas. She was the wife of Gen. Josiah Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance of the Confederate States of America, mother of William Crawford Gorgas, 22nd US Surgeon General who freed the Panama Canal Zone of yellow fever.1

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Political offices
Preceded by
Samuel B. Moore
Governor of Alabama
1831—1835
Succeeded by
Clement C. Clay
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Edmund Strother Dargan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 1st congressional district

1847–1849
Succeeded by
William J. Alston
Legal offices
Preceded by
William Crawford
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
March 13, 1849 – July 21, 1859
Succeeded by
William Giles Jones
Preceded by
William Crawford
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
March 13, 1849 – July 21, 1859
Succeeded by
William Giles Jones
Preceded by
William Crawford
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
March 13, 1849 – July 21, 1859
Succeeded by
William Giles Jones