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Michael Graham's Family

As has already been stated, the three sons of Michael Graham, whose names were William, Edward and Michael, moved from Pennsylvania to Augusta county, about the year 1770 to 1774. [112] The pre­cise rela­tion­ship they bore to John Graham, Sr., has not been whoIly deter­mined, but that they were of the same fam­ily tree there can be no doubt. Both of them first set­tled in Pennsylvania and later John moved to Augusta county, fol­lowed sev­eral years later by the three sons of Michael. The land­ing of Michael in Pennsylvania has been placed by some of his descen­dants as late as the year 1730, while oth­ers make it a few years ear­lier. The first set­tling of John in Augusta must have been near the year 1740. Placing the stay of John in Pennsylvania at ten or fif­teen years, we must rea­son­ably con­clude that they landed in this coun­try at or near the same time and were of the same fam­ily. Both were of Scotch-Irish descent, as well as adher­ents to the Presbyterian faith.

Mrs. R. R. Howison, of Fredericksburg, Va., daugh­ter of the Rev. Samuel L Graham, a son of Michael Graham, the Rev. William Graham and the Rev. Edward Graham. being her grea­tun­cles, says she thinks it not improb­a­ble that [113] John Graham’s and Michael Graham’s fam­i­lies were related, as both of the fam­i­lies came to America about the same time, are of Scotch descent, and were both of the Presbyterian faith.

William Graham (son of Michael) was in his day a promi­nent and noted man. He was the founder of Washington and Lee University, then known as Liberty Hall Academy, in Augusta county, and was its Rector or President for twenty years. He was edu­cated at Princeton College, N. J., and had for his col­lege states such dis­tin­guished men as Aaron Burr, Vice-President of the United States; James Madison, who became President; Henry Lee, father of General Robert E. Lee, and many oth­ers of almost equal dis­tinc­tion. He was a per­sonal friend of General Washington and, through his influ­ence, Washington was induced to endow the col­lege that after­wards took his name. He was a Presbyterian preacher as well as a col­lege pro­fes­sor, and the good he accom­plished dur­ing his short life is esti­mated to be sec­ond to no man in [114] Virginia. The his­tory of his char­ac­ter is given in detail in the annals of Washington and Lee University.

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