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Edgar Mandlebert Gregory--end of his life

Gregory's life

before the war

during the war

Freedmen's Bureau

the end of his life

sources

Civilian life

On 6 May 1868, he spoke at a meeting in Baltimore Maryland, favoring adding Negro suffrage to the platform of the Republican Party.(H36)

In the fall of 1868, he was still living at 1438 North 13th Street, Philadelphia Pennsylvania; the city directory does not list an occupation for him.(H31)

In the fall of 1868, he was chosen as the President of the Republican Party in the 20th Ward, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.(H12) He was described as "[b]rave and conscientious", "a thorough soldier and an exemplary Christian", who "was distinguished for his devotion to the interests of the freedmen, and for his undaunted courage in the midst of the proscriptions of the Southern traitors".

His wife, Ellen Y Gregory, who had been an invalid for years, died on 25 December 1868.(H13)

On 31 December 1868, he filed for bankruptcy, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. On 26 March 1869, George Tucker Bispham was appointed Assignee. Gregory had been a member of three partnerships and two other firms:(H35)

His assets were valued at $393.00. The most valuable items were 96 ounces of silverware (valued at $144), a gold watch and chain (valued at $100), and two swords (valued at $50).(H37)

US Marshal, and death

John Ely, who was US Marshal for the Eastern District, PA, died on 4 May 1869. On 6 May George H Stuart (president of the Christian Commission), of Philadelphia, wrote Grant recommending Gregory for the position. Grant nominated him on the same day.(H1)

Gregory's petition for discharge of his debts was granted by the court on 21 June 1869.(H38)

Gregory served as US Marshal for Eastern District of PA, from 1869 until 1871.(H1)

In July through November 1869, the Republican Party in Texas, and in particular General Davis, tried to convince Gregory to come to Texas to campaign for them. He declined. One paper (Flake's Bulletin) suggested that this was no more than a ruse to encourage African Americans to vote for Davis. Part of the campaign involved naming Gregory 'the Horseback Orator'.(H14)

In the fall of 1869, he was still living at 1438 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; he was the US Marshal, at 435 Library Street.(H32)

In January 1870, a new building in Houston, intended for education, primarily of African Americans, was named 'The Gregory Institute' in honor of Gregory.(H15)

On 21 February 1870, Gregory was present at a meeting arranging a "grand temperance celebration" on Washington's Birthday.(H16)

Gregory was a member of the Executive Committee of the Society of the Army of the Potomac, which met on 9 March 1870 to arrange the annual reunion at the Academy of Music on 9 April.(H17)

On 30 March 1870, he spoke at an African-American meeting at Concert Hall, celebrating the second anniversary of the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment.(H24)

As Marshal, he was responsible for the 1870 census, which was retaken in Philadelphia (along with several other cities) because the first enumeration missed many people. The census-takers included African Americans. In his obituary, the Philadelphia Inquirer claimed that the "general inefficiency of our census system" was mainly at fault, and not Gregory himself.(H11)

In 1870, he was living in Philadelphia, with his daughter Sarah, her husband Samuel Wright, and their child [?] Sheldon. Samuel Wright, who was 36, had been born in New York, and owned $1200 in personal property, was the Chief Deputy for the US Marshall. Sheldon was 17, and had been born in New York. Edgar Gregory owned $2200 in personal property.(H5)

On 13 April 1870, the Philadelphia Fourth Presbytery met. Gregory was a member of the committee On Narrative He gave a report as an elder of Mr Robbins' Church (at Broad and Oxford streets), and then proposed a series of resolutions relating to temperance. These resolutions were discussed and amended versions passed unanimously the next day.(H18)

On 27 April 1870, Gregory led a raid on a Richmond distillery on Monmouth Street above Richmond. They weren't detected by the distiller's guards on the way in, because they hid themselves in a wagonload of hay (apparently a novel strategem!).(H20)

On 29 April 1870, Gregory was scheduled to give a talk at the Grand Temperance meeting, held at the Green Hill Presbyterian Church.(H21)

On 5 May 1870, Gregory sold Philip Brogan's distillery at a US Marshal's sale.(H19)

On 11 May 1870, Gregory was present at the inaugural reception celebrating the Union League's taking possession of its building at Broad Street below Chestnut Street.(H22)

On 1 June 1870, he gave the report of the Committee on Freedmen to the Presbyterian General Assembly. (The total funds for the year were $52,907.22, and the balance was $3,878.12.)(H8)

As US Marshal, Gregory also published notices of warrant in bankruptcy.(H25)

On 6 July 1870, Thomas Brophy's distilling apparatus etc. was sold at US Marshal's sale.(H23)

In the fall of 1870, he had moved, to 1723 Master Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; his occupation was still US Marshal.(H33)

On 11 October 1870, he intervened to prevent a riot and to force the police to all colored men to vote.(H9) This led to "a bitter controversy with Mayor Fox".(H11) On the previous day, Mayor Fox had assured Governor Geary that he didn't anticipate any problems, but could handle any that arose. When he learned that Gregory had Marines patrolling the street to preserve order, he immediately wrote Gregory demanding "the instant disbandment of this armed force", since he had not requested federal intervention and believed it was not necessary. Gregory replied that the Marines were needed because Fox's police were preventing colored voters from voting, and had even arrested the deputies Gregory sent. Further, his intervention was lawful under the act of 3 March 1870.(H29)

The 1870 city directory lists him as the U.S. Marshal, at 435 Library, living at 1438 North 13th Street.(H7)

At the end of August 1871, he promised to speak at the Grace Mission, in the tent at Twenty-second and Federal Streets.(H26)

At his death, he was an elder of the Oxford Presbyterian Church, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.(H11)

He was "very ill of inflammation of the kidneys" for six weeks before his death.(H11)

Gregory died at 4 AM on 7 November 1871, in his residence, 1723 Master Street, Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He died of Bright's disease of the kidney.(H2) According to Welch, he died of the effects of the wound he received at Chancellorsville, Virginia.(H6)

On 10 November 1871, the surviving members of the 91st Pennsylvania met to pass resolutions about Gregory's death.(H27)

The funeral was held on Monday 13 November, from his late residence, 1723 Master Street, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and the services were held at Oxford Presbyterian Church. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia Pennsylvania (section 16 lot 313).(H3) (The grave does have a marker, which was placed more than a hundred years later (H34).) About eighty men from the 91st were present at the funeral, along with the State Fencibles (with Captain Ryan). Gregory's son Justus "spoke feelingly of the manner in which his old comrades had shown their respect for his father's memory" at a meeting to set up an association of surviving members of the regiment.(H10)

His son-in-law Captain Wright acted as US Marshal after his death.(H4)

Gregory's estate was insolvent, and went entirely to the US Government.(H30)


Notes

H1. Hunt & Brown, Brevet brigadier generals; 1870 Philadelphia PA census; 'Obituary' [for Edgar Gregory] (Philadelphia Inquirer 8 November 1871 page 2); 'There is nothing ...' (New Hampshire Sentinel 13 May 1869 page 2); 'Editorial paragraphs' (Flake's Bulletin, 19 May 1869, page 4); 'General E. M. Gregory, ...' (San Antonio Express 20 May 1869 page 3); George H Stuart, The life of George H Stuart, written by himself, p.237 (ed. Robert Ellis Thompson; Philadelphia: J M Stoddart & Co., 1890).

H2. death certificate, E M Gregory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 7 November 1871; Death notice, EM Gregory, New York Times. Death notice, Edgar M Gregory, Philadelphia Public Ledger. Hunt & Brown, Brevet brigadier generals; 'Obituary' [for Edgar Gregory] (Philadelphia Inquirer 8 November 1871 page 2). See also 'United States Marshal Gregory, ...' The New Hampshire Patriot 22 November 1871 page 3), 'Edgar M Gregory' ([Baltimore] Sun 9 November 1871), and 'By Telegraph' (Georgia Weekly Telegraph 14 November 1871 page 5).

H3. death certificate, E M Gregory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 7 November 1871; Death notice, Edgar M Gregory, Philadelphia Public Ledger. Burial: Hunt & Brown, Brevet brigadier generals. 'Interment' (Philadelphia Inquirer 14 November 1871 page 2).

H4. Death notice (EM Gregory, New York Times). About his replacement see 'Washington news' (Philadelphia Inquirer 9 November 1871 page 1), 'It is probable that ...' (Philadelphia Inquirer 9 November 1871 page 4), 'The Philadelphia vacancies' (Philadelphia Inquirer 10 November 1871 page 1, 'Several candidates ...' (Philadelphia Inquirer 10 November 1871 page 4), and 'United States Marshal Gregory, ...' (The New Hampshire Patriot 22 November 1871 page 3).

H5. 1870 Philadelphia PA census

H6. Welch, pages 501-502.

H7. 1870 Gopsill's city directory, page 652

H8. 'The Presbyterians'. New York Times 2 June 1870, page 1. see also 'Obituary' [for Edgar Gregory], Philadelphia Inquirer 8 November 1871 page 2

H9. 'The October elections'. New York Times 12 October 1870, page 1

H10. 'The Reserves', Philadelphia Inquirer, 18 November 1871, page 2

H11. 'Obituary' [for Edgar Gregory] (Philadelphia Inquirer 8 November 1871 page 2). See also 'The next census' (Philadelphia Inquirer 21 March 1870 page 2), 'Meeting of the census committee of city councils' (Philadelphia Inquirer 16 April 1870, page 2), 'City intelligence' (Philadelphia Inquirer 14 May 1870 page 2), 'Census takers' (Philaelphia Inquirer 31 May 1870 page 3), 'The census' (Philadelphia Inquirer 1 June 1870 page 4), and 'Marshal Gregory, ...' (Flake's Bulletin, 18 June 1870, page 4). For more on census undercounts, see Miriam L King and Diana L Magnuson, 'Perspectives on historical US census undercounts', Social Science History 19 (1995) 455-466, and Donald H Parkerson, 'Comments on the underenumeration of the US census, 1850-1880', Social Science History 15 (1991) 509 sqq.

H12. 'The Boys in Blue ...' (Flake's Bulletin 9 September 1868 page 1)

H13. 'We copy the following ...' (Flake's Bulletin 9 December 1868 page 2).

H14. 'Meeting in Brazoria' (Houston Union 31 July 1869 page 4); 'The horseback orator' (San Antonio Express 12 August 1869 page 2); 'Editorial paragraphs' (Flake's Bulletin 21 August 1869, page 4); 'Gen. Gregory' (San Antonio Express 8 September 1869 page 2); 'Editorial paragraphs' (Flake's Bulletin 18 September 1869 page 4); and 'Gen.Gregory declines' (Flake's Bulletin 3 November 1869 page 2).

H15. 'Well named' (Philadelphia Inquirer 31 January 1870 page 2).

H16. 'The temperance cause' (Philadelphia Inquirer 8 February 1870 page 3).

H17. 'City intelligence' (Philadelphia Inquirer 10 March 1870 page 3); see also 'Society of the Army of the Potomac' (Philadelphia Inquirer 8 April 1870, page 5), and 'The grand re-union of our soldiers' (Philadelphia Inquirer 9 April 1870 page 3).

H18. 'City intelligence' (Philadelphia Inquirer 14 April 1870 page 2); and 'The Philadelphia Fourth Presbytery' (Philadelphia Inquirer 15 April 1870 page 2).

H19. 'United States Marshal's sale' (Philadelphia Inquirer 27 April 1870 page 7).

H20. 'Another successful raid upon the illicit distilleries' (Philadelphia Inquirer 28 April 1870 page 2).

H21. 'Grand rally of the friends of temperance' (Philadelphia Inquirer 28 April 1870 page 5); '"Temperance" meeting' (Philadelphia Inquirer 30 April 1870 page 2).

H22. 'Union League' (Philadelphia Inquirer 12 May 1870 page 8).

H23. 'United States Marshal's sale' (Philadelphia Inquirer 18 June 1870 page 7).

H24. 'Jubilee' (Philadelphia Inquirer 31 March 1871 page 3).

H25. 'United States Marshal's Office' (Philadelphia Inquirer 14 July 1871 page 7); see also 'District Court of the United States ...' (Philadelphia Inquirer 15 November 1871 page 7).

H26. 'City intelligence' (Philadelphia Inquirer 26 August 1871 page 2).

H27. 'General Gregory' (Philadelphia Inquirer 11 November 1871 page 2).

H28. 'Interment' (Philadelphia Inquirer 14 November 1871 page 2).

H29. 'Answer of Marshal Gregory' (Chicago Tribune 20 October 1870, page 2), and 'Conflict of authority' (Chicago Tribune 20 October 1870, page 2) (1 Apr).

H30. Estate of Edgar M Gregory, deceased Philadelphia Reports XI (1881) 126-127.

H31. 1869 Philadelphia city directory (published by James Gopsill), page 639.

H32. 1870 Philadelphia city directory (published by James Gopsill), page 652.

H33. 1871 Philadelphia city directory (published by James Gopsill), page 628.

H34. Find A Grave memorial #21804 (viewed 14 May 2009) (thanks to Bill Flis!)

H35. bankruptcy notice, Cincinnati Daily Gazette 1 April 1869 page 3, Edgar M Gregory

H36. 'Radical mass meeting' ([Baltimore] Sun 7 May 1868 page 1).

H37. 'Appraisement of Genl Edgar M Gregory's personal property', in bankruptcy file, Edgar M Gregory, National Archives (Mid Atlantic Region), Record Group 21, US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, case #1042, 1869.

H38. 'Decree of discharge of bankrupt', in bankruptcy file, Edgar M Gregory, National Archives (Mid Atlantic Region), Record Group 21, US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, case #1042, 1869.


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revised 27 Jun 10
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