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norchy express desire that Mrs. Graham should be sent for to attend her dying bed, if within twenty miles of her when such attendance should be necessary.
When Dr. Witherspoon visited Scotland in the year 1785, he had frequent conversations with Mrs. Graham, on the subject of her removal to America. She gave him at this time some reason to calculate on her going thither as soon as her children should have completed the course of education she had purposed for them.
Mrs. Graham had entertained a strong partiality for America ever since her former residence there, and had indulged a secret expectation of returning thither.
It was her opinion, and that of many pious people, that America was the country where the Church of Christ would eventually flourish. She was therefore desirous to leave her offspring there.
After some correspondence with Dr. Witherspoon, and consultation with pious friends, she received the approbation of the latter to her plan. She had an invitation from many respectable characters in the city of New York, with assurances of patronage and support. She arranged her affairs for quitting Edinburgh. The Algerines being then at war with the United States, her friends insisted on her chartering a small British vessel to carry herself and family to the port of New York. This increased her expenses; but Provi
dence, in faithfulness and mercy, sent her at this time a remittance from Dr. Henderson; and a legacy of two hundred pounds bequeathed her by Lady Glenorchy as a mark of her regard, was of great use to her in her present circumstances.
Thus in the month of July, 1789, Mrs. Graham once more prepared to go into a land which the Lord seemed to tell her of; and after a pleasant, though tedious voyage, she landed in New York on the 8th day of September.
At New York she and her family were received with the greatest cordiality and confidence. The late Rev. Dr. Rodgers and Dr. Mason were especially kind to her. She came eminently prepared to instruct her pupils in all the higher branches of female education: the favorable change effected by her exertions in this respect, was soon visible in the minds, manners, and accomplishments of the young ladies committed to her care. She opened her school on the 5th of October, 1789, with five scholars, and before the end of the same month, the number increased to fifty. She not only imparted knowledge to her pupils, but also, by her conversation and example, prepared their minds to receive it in such a manner as to apply it to practical advantage. Whilst she taught them to regard external accomplishments as ornaments to the female character, she was careful to recommend the practice of virtue as the highest accom. plishment of all, and to inculcate the principles of religion as the only solid foundation for morality
and virtue. The annual examinations of her scholars were always well attended, and gave great satisfaction. General Washington, whilst at New York, honored her with his patronage. The venerable and amiable Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the State of New York, then the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Moore, never once was absent from those examinations. She was sensible of his friendship, and always spoke of him in terms of great esteem and respect.
She united in communion with the Presbyterian Church under the pastoral care of the late Rev. Dr. John Mason. This excellent man was her faithful friend, and wise counsellor. Under his ministry her two daughters, Joanna and Isabella, joined the church in the year 1791. Her eldest daughter Jessie, who had made a profession of religion in Scotland, was married in July, 1790, to Mr. Hay Stevenson, merchant of New York, and she became a member of the Presbyterian Church under the care of Dr. Rodgers, where her husband attended.
In the year 1791, her son, who had been left in Scotland to complete his education, paid his mo ther a visit. Mrs. Graham, considering herself as inadequate to the proper management of a boy, had at an early period of his life sent her son to the care of a friend, who had promised to pay due attention to his morals and education. The boy had a warm affectionate heart, but possessed, at the same time, a bold and fearless spirit. Such a
disposition, under proper management, might have been formed into a noble character; but he was neglected, and left in a great measure to himself by his first preceptor.
For two years of his life, he was under the care of Mr. Murray, teacher of an academy at AberHe was a man truly qualified for this station. He instructed his pupils with zeal; led even their amusements; and, to an exemplary piety, added the faithful counsel of a friend. He loved, and was therefore beloved. Under his superintendence, John Graham improved rapidly, and gained the affections of his teacher and companions. Happy for him had he continued in such a suitable situation. He was removed to Edinburgh to receive a more classical education. Being left there by his mother and sisters, the impetuosity of his temper, and a propensity for a sea-faring life, induced his friends to place him as an apprentice in the merchant-service. He was shipwrecked on the coast of Holland, and Mr. Gibson of Rotterdam, a friend of Mrs. Graham, took him to his house, and enabled him to come to the United States. He remained at New York for some months. His mother deemed it his duty to return to Scotland to complete his time of service. inclination tended evidently to the profession of a sailor; she therefore fitted him out handsomely, and he embarked for Greenock in the same ship with Mr. John M. Mason, the only son of the late Dr. Mason, who went to attend the theological lectures at Divinity Hall, in Edinburgh.
Mrs. Graham's exercises of mind on parting with her son, were deep and affecting. She cast him upon the covenant mercy of her God, placing a blank, as to temporal things, in her Lord's hand, but holding on with fervent faith and hope to the promise of spiritual life, 'Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me.'
Three months afterwards, she learned that a press-gang had boarded the ship in which her son had been, and although he was saved from their grasp by a stratagem of the passengers, yet all his clothes were taken away from him. Reflecting on this event, she says, "shall I withdraw the blank I have put into the Redeemer's hands? has he not hitherto done all things well? have not my own afflictions been my greatest blessing? Lord, I renew my blank." After undergoing many sufferings, this young man wrote to his mother from Demarara, in the year 1794, that he had been made a prisoner; had been retaken; and then intended to go to Europe with a fleet which was soon to sail under convoy. His letter was couched in terms of salutary reflection on his past life, and a hope to profiting by past experience. This was the last account which Mrs. Graham had of her afflicted son. All inquiries instituted respecting him proved fruitless, and she had to exercise faith and submission, not without hope toward God, that the great Redeemer had taken care of, and would finally save, this prodigal son. She had known a