Charles Henry Ray (1821-1870), physician, abolitionist politician, and journalist, editor and owner of the Chicago Tribune in 1855-1863. His father, Levi Ray (1796-1850), a skilled mechanic and businessman from Norwich, N.Y., was a staunch Jacksonian Democrat and active in the Loco Foco faction of the Democratic party. He attended the Norwich Union Seminary headed by Rev. O.T. Hammond. In 1837-1838, he studied medicine under Thompson Meade of Poolville, N.Y. In 1838, he became a surgeon's mate and in 1840 was commissioned Surgeon of the 105h Regiment of Infantry. Following a scandal caused by an indiscretion that he later regretted, he fled to New York and then ended up in Bedford, Mass. and was hired as the surgeon on the whaling bark Newton bound for South Africa. He returned in August 1843 and went to New York to study medicine. In 1844, he decided to move West. His first sojorn in Iowa proved disappointing and he returned to Norwich. He tried again a year later, having obtained a letter of recommendation to John T. Stuart, a law partner of Abraham Lincoln. He settled in Springfiled where he joined the Washingtonian Temperance Society. Together with Tench S. Fairchild, he tried to start a temperance newspaper and joined the Sons of Temperance. In 1846, he married his Jane Yates Per Lee and moved to Mackinack, Tazewell County, Ill. and set up a medical practice. Soon the family moved to Galena, Ill. where Ray became a proprietor of The Galena Jeffersonian. Known for his stauch abolitionist politics, Ray reported for his own newspaper and for Horace Greeley's New York Tribune on the Kansas-Nebraska Act crisis and became a powerful political force. int he state. In 1855, in parternship with Joseph Medill, Ray bought the Chicago Tribune. Although he was skeptical about Lincoln's committment of anti-slavery causes, he assumed the role of his advisor in 1856. In 1861, his wife died, and three years later he married Julia Annah Clark, daughter of Lincoln Clark (1800-1886). In 1863, he sold his interest in the Tribune to Medill and devoted his time to business investments; one of his schemes involved trading whiskey for cotton in the Southern States. In 1866, he lived in Geneva, Wis. where he tried to start a woolen mill. Having lost the money in this enterprise, he retruned to Chicago and assumed the post of the editor of the Chicago Evening Post. He became as a patron of the arts and founded the Chicago Historical Society. He died in Chicago on September 24, 1870.
From the description of Papers of Charles Henry Ray, 1826-1904 (bulk 1838-1870) (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122369301