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an undertaking. During the subsequent winter, she was indefatigable in her attentions to the poor: she exerted herself to procure work for her widows, and occupied much of her time in cutting it out, and preparing it for them. The managers of the Widows' Society had each their separate districts; and Mrs. Graham, as First Directress, had a general superintendence of the whole. She was so happy in the execution of her trust, as to acquire the respect and confidence of the ladies who acted with her, as well as the affections of the poor.
Her whole time was now at her command, and she devoted it very faithfully to promote the benevolent object of the Institution over which she presided. The extent of her exertions, however, became known, not from the information given by herself, but from the observations of her fellow laborers, and especially from the testimony of the poor themselves.
In the summer of 1800, she paid a visit to her friends in Boston. When she had been absent for some weeks, her daughter, Mrs. B-,was surprised at the frequent inquiries made after her, by percons with whom she was unacquainted: at length she asked some of those inquirers what they knew about Mrs. Graham? They replied, 66 we live in the suburbs of the city, where she used to visit, relieve, and comfort the poor. We had missed her so long, that we were afraid she had been sick : when she walked in our streets, it was customary
with us to come to the door and bless her as she passed."
Until January, 1803, she lived alternately with her children, Mrs. Bethune, and Mrs. Smith; at this period, Mrs. Smith having removed from New York, Mrs. Graham resided with Mr. and Mrs. Bethune, until her departure to a better world. They loved her, not only from natural affection, but for her superior worth: they valued her, for they believed that many blessings were vouchsafed to them and their family in answer to her prayers.
The Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with small children, having received a charter of incorporation, and some pecuniary aid from the legislature of the state, the ladies who constituted the Board of Direction, were engaged in plans for extending their usefulness: Mrs. Graham took an active part in executing these plans. The society purchased a small house, where they received work of various kinds, for the employment of their widows. They opened a school for the instruction of their orphans, and many of Mrs. Graham's former pupils volunteered their services, taking upon themselves by rotation, the part of instructors. Besides establishing this school, Mrs. Graham selected some of the widows, best qualified for the task, and engaged them for a small compensation, to open day schools for the instruction of the children of widows, in distant parts of the city she also established two Sabbath
schools, one of which she superintended herself, and the other she placed under the care of her daughter. Wherever she met with Christians sick and in poverty, she visited and comforted them; and in some instances opened small subscription lists to provide for their support.
She attended occasionally for some years at the Alms House for the instruction of the children there, in religious knowledge: in this work she was much assisted by an humble and pious female friend, who was seldom absent from it on the Lord's day. In short, her whole time was occupied in searching out the distresses of the poor, and devising measures to comfort and establish them to the extent of her influence and means. At the same time, far from arrogating any merit to herself, she seemed always to feel how much she was deficient in following fully the precepts, and the footsteps of her beloved Lord and Saviour, 'who went about doing good."
It was often her custom to leave home after breakfast, to take with her a few rolls of bread, and return in the evening about eight o'clock. Her only dinner on such days was her bread, and perhaps some soup at the Soup House established by the Humane Society for the poor, over which one of her widows had been, at her recommendation, appointed. She and her venerable companion, Mrs. Sarah Hoffman, Second Directress of the Widows' Society, travelled many a day, and many a step together, in the walks of charity. Mrs. Graham
was a Presbyterian, Mrs. Hoffman an Episcopalian. Those barriers, of which such a thundering use has been made by sectarians to separate the children of God, fell down between these two friends at the cry of affliction, and were consumed on the altar of Christian love. Arm in arm, and heart to heart, they visited the abodes of distress, dispensing temporal aid from the purse of charity, and spiritual comfort from the word of life. One has already entered into rest; the other must shortly follow. Amidst many comforts, and many afflictions, the lite of Mrs. Hoffman has been a life of faith and resignation; her end will be peace; and then she will join her beloved and attached friend, in singing the praises of that Divine Redeemer, whose footsteps on earth they humbly endeavored in his strength to follow. 'Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord; yea, saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.'
At each annual meeting, Mrs. Graham usually made an address to the society, with a report of the proceedings of the managers through the preceding year. In April, 1800, she stated that "again the pestilence had evacuated the city; again every source of industry was dried up; even the streams of benevolence from the country failed. Those storehouses from which relief was issued to thousands in former calamities, now disappointed their hopes, and those spared by the pestilence were ready to perish by the famine. Such
widows as had no friends in the country under whose roof they might for a time seek shelter, were shut up to the only relief within their power, even to that society which had formerly saved them in many a straight. They came, were received with tenderness, assisted with food, advice, and medicine. Four of the society's board, at the risk of their lives, remained in the city, steady in the exercise of their office. One hundred and forty-two widows, with four hundred and six children, under twelve years of age, by far the greater part under six, have, from time to time, during the winter, been visited and relieved. Widow is a word of sorrow in the best of circumstances; but a widow left poor, destitute, friendless, surrounded with a number of small children, shivering with cold, pale with want, looking in her face with eyes pleading for bread which she has not to give, nor any probable prospect of procuring her situation is neither to be described, nor conceived. Many such scenes were witnessed during the last winter; and though none could restore the father, and the husband, the hearts of the mourners were soothed by the managers: whilst they dispensed the relief provided for them by their Father, and their Husband, GOD."
In her address for the year 1804, she says, “In April last, it was reported that there were on the managers' books two hundred and one widows with numerous families of small children. Of this number, five had been ill all winter, several had