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GAYLE, John, a Representative from Alabama; born in Sumter District, S.C., September 11, 1792; pursued classical studies and was graduated from South Carolina College at Columbia in 1813; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Mobile, Ala., in 1818; member of the Territorial council in 1817; solicitor of the first judicial district in 1819; member of the State house of representatives in 1822 and 1823; judge of the State supreme court 1823-1828; member and speaker of the State house of representatives in 1829; Governor of Alabama 1831-1835; elected as a Whig to the Thirtieth Congress (March 4, 1847-March 3, 1849); chairman, Committee on Private Land Claims (Thirtieth Congress); appointed United States district judge of Alabama on March 13, 1849; died near Mobile, Ala., July 21, 1859; interment in Magnolia Cemetery, Mobile, Ala.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Montgomery, AL
Papers: In the Alabama Governor (1831-1835: Gayle) administrative files, 1831-1835, 4 folders. This series consists of the administrative files of Governor John Gayle, containing letters, petitions, proclamations, acts, and financial records. Most of the items are letters sent to the Governor, though also included are some copies of Gayle's replies. Topics discussed include Indians, banking, road improvements, state stock, and furniture belonging to the General Assembly. The bulk of the series consists of proposals submitted to the Governor by various individuals for the printing and binding of Aiken's Digest of the Laws of the State of Alabama and documents relating to the Creek Indian removal controversy.
Papers: In the Alabama Governor (1831-1835: Gayle) appointments files, 1831-1835, 3 folders. The Governor of Alabama is responsible for making appointments to various state and local offices and for signing grants and commissions. This series consists of letters, petitions and a commission relating to appointments, resignations, commissions and contested elections. Most of the items are recommendations sent to the Governor concerning vacancies in state and local offices. The offices represented include county judges and solicitors, notary publics, sheriffs and a seat on the Board of Medical Examiners.
Papers: In the Alabama Governor correspondence, 1821-1865, approximately 3 cubic feet. Correspondents include Governor John Gayle.
Papers: In the Alabama Governor (1831-1835: Gayle) extraditions and requisitions files, 1831-1835, 2 folders. The Governor of Alabama may extradite criminals from other states or be asked to return criminals found in Alabama to other states. This process may also be referred to as requisition. This series consists of letters and requisition demands. Most of the items are demands for the requisition of fugitives from the governor of Georgia. Also included is a long letter from New York Governor W.L. Marcy concerning Gayle's requisition request for the return of Robert G. Williams. Williams was accused of distributing "seditious" materials designed to incite a slave revolt. In the letter Marcy refuses to return Williams because the crime apparently was not committed in Ala. The letter is a long discourse on the law of extradition, the subject of slavery and the abolition movement.
Papers: In the Alabama Governor (1831-1835: Gayle) militia files, 1831-1834, 1 folder. This series contains letters sent to Governor John Gayle relating to the Militia and military affairs. Included are requests for arms and supplies and letters concerning elections of officers. Of particular interest is a letter from John M. Duprey, which reports voting irregularities in an election to select the Major General of the Seventh Division of the State Militia.
Papers: In the Alabama Governor (1831-1835: Gayle) pardons, paroles and clemency files, 1831-1835, 0.33 cubic foot. This series consists of correspondence, petitions and legal papers relating to pardons from crimes, parole from sentences and remission of fines imposed. Often the records describe the crime in some detail and the character of the accused.
Papers: In the Alabama Governor (1831-1835: Gayle) rewards file, 1831-1834, 1 folder. The Governor of Alabama is authorized to offer a reward by proclamation for the apprehension of persons charged with any capital offense who have escaped from prison, custody, or who have fled the state. This series includes a letter from William Griffen to Governor John Gayle asking that Gayle offer a reward for the apprehension of John Houghton who killed Singleton Smith in a fight. Also included is an affidavit describing the incident and giving a physical description of Houghton. The series also contains a description of the murder of H. Triplett in Fort Mitchell, Russell Co., Ala. and a letter asking that a reward be offered for the apprehension of Edward H. Cogbile who commiteed the crime. Also included is a letter from the Montgomery Co. sheriff informing the Governor that Littleton Prince had escaped from jail.
Papers: In the Alabama Governor (1831-1835: Gayle) University of Alabama Board of Trustees file, 1832-1835, 4 folders. This series consists of Governor John Gayle's copies of items relating to the activities of the Board, 1832-1835. Included are petitions, correspondence, resolutions, financial records, notes, minutes and the 1833 annual report. Topics discussed include the faculty, buildings and improvements, university lands and especially the financial affairs of the university. Also included is a note from the faculty recommending that John Nooe receive the first degree awarded by the institution. Many items contain notations which indicate the action taken by the Board.
Papers: In the Alabama Governor (1847-1849: Chapman) administrative files, 1847-1849, 0.5 cubic foot. Correspondents include John Gayle.

Bryn Mawr College
The Adelman Collection

Bryn Mawr, PA
Papers: 1834, 1 item. A letter from David L. Swain to John Gayle, Governor of Alabama, written on July 10, 1834. In the letter, Swain asks Governor Gayle to extradite a convict in the Mobile jail to North Carolina for trial.

Georgia Historical Society
Library and Archives

Atlanta, GA
Papers: In the Wilson Lumpkin letters, 1833-1834, 1 folder. This collection contains two letters from Wilson Lumpkin to John Gayle, governor of Alabama, 1833 and 1834. In the first letter, Lumpkin writes that he is transmitting the affidavit of James R. Guerry regarding William Alday, who was charged with stealing a slave; Alday was a fugitive in Alabama at the time of the letter. The second letter requests that Augustus L. Glover, jailed in Alabama and wanted in Georgia for murdering James R. Ross, only be released to Georgia agents.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the Sarah Ann Haynesworth Gayle papers, 1821-1835, 5 inches. Typescripts of letters from Sarah Gayle, first wife of Alabama representative, Alabama governor, and U.S. representative John Gayle about family, illnesses, servants, church, community, and similar topics; together with lengthy article by Gayle's grandson, Hugh Bayne, with handwritten notes by family members and miscellaneous correspondence from the Denegre and Bayne families about her.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: June 22, 1832; December 1835. 2 letters. Official correspondence, one a draft. Finding aid in repository.

University of North Carolina
Southern Historical Collection

Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: In the Bayne and Gayle family papers, ca. 1821-1963, 0.5 linear foot. The collection contains correspondence, 1832-1835, of John Gayle, governor of Alabama, concerning Creek Indians, militia organization, and other topics. Sarah and John Gayle's letters include information on running their plantation and political experiences of John Gayle while travelling as a circuit judge and in the governor's office.
Papers: In the Gayle and Crawford family papers, 1826-1895, 30 items. Subjects include John Gayle.
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