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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