Grayson County

Grayson County, highlighted in map of Virginia

William Grayson was a native Virginian, born in Prince William County in 1736. When he was in his early 40's, he opposed ratifying the Constitution. In 1788, along with Patrick Henry, William Grayson and his fellow anti-Federalists lost the ratification vote in the special Virginia convention - but the vote was very close.

We may honor the Founding Fathers today, but at the time they were split into bitter factions that opposed each other politically and questioned the personal motives of their opponents. [Hmm - some things may never change, but it looks like we'll survive anyway...]

Virginia became the 10th state to ratify the Constitution. This ocurred with the support of George Washington working behind the scenes, and the active work by James Madison. The key decision was the support by delegates from the Kentucky counties, once they gambled that a strong national government would be more effective in ensuring free navigation down the Missippi River. Later, Grayson would be included in the proposed State of Franklin.

But the Senate of the General Assembly elected two opponents of ratification to the new Federal government. The supporters of the new Federal system were able to affect the decision in the special convention... but not in the General Assembly.


Existing Virginia Counties
Virginia Places