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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