Edgar Harkness Gray

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Edgar Harkness Gray

Edgar Harkness Gray (1813–1894) was a Baptist clergyman who served as Chaplain of the Senate.

Early years[edit]

Edgar Harkness Gray was born on November 28, 1813, in Bridport, Vermont, the son of Daniel Gray and his second wife, Mary “Amy” Bosworth. Gray graduated from Colby College (then Waterville College) in 1838. Upon his ordination he became the pastor of the Baptist Church in Freeport, Maine (1839).[1]


Following ordination Gray served the Baptist congregations in Freeport, Maine and in Bath, Maine. Thereafter he was pastor of the Baptist church in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.[1]

In 1863, Gray was called to the E Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., becoming well known. Abraham Lincoln was numbered among his friends. While in Washington, he was elected Chaplain of the Senate, an office he held for four years. Gray was one of the four clergymen who officiated at the funeral services of President Lincoln in Washington. The University of Rochester conferred him the D. D. in 1864.

Gray moved to California, and became the first pastor of a Baptist church in San Francisco. Later he served in the same capacity the Baptist church in Oakland, California. He was made Superintendent of the Baptist Churches in California, while serving as pastor in Oakland. He was also dean of the Theological Seminary of Oakland.[2]

He died in California in 1894.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Edgar Harkness Gray married Mary Jane Rice on December 13, 1838. Their children were Nathaniel Oscar, William Edgar, Mary Ella, Sarah Emma and Augusta Anna Gray.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Gray Genealogy, by Marcius Denison Raymond, pages 152 & 188
  2. ^ The Men of Vermont, by Jacob G. Ullery
  3. ^ General Catalogue of Officers, Graduates and Former Students of Colby College, by Colby College p. 41
Religious titles
Preceded by
Thomas Bowman
43rd US Senate Chaplain
March 9, 1865 – March 8, 1869
Succeeded by
John Philip Newman