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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