Guide to the Graham Family Papers, 1773-1885
Collection contains correspondence, account books, records, sermons, and other papers (chiefly, 1800-1880) of the Graham family of Virginia. Includes letters of the Rev. William Graham, Presbyterian minister and one of the founders of Liberty Hall Academy (later Washington and Lee University); material relating to the patent on Dr. William A. Graham's fire extinguisher; records (1774-1803) of tuition charges and books bought by Washington College students; and correspondence between Edward Graham and Edmund Ruffin discussing scientific experiments.
- Collection Number
- Graham family papers
- 2.5 Linear Feet, 5 boxes, 1113 items including 11 vols.
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Materials in English
This collection holds records of three generations of a family of Scots-Irish Presbyterians. Correspondence of Reverend William Graham (1746-1799), who moved from Pennsylvania to Lexington, Virginia, about 1776 and was one of the founders of Liberty Hall Academy (later Washington and Lee University) refers largely to his investment in land on the Ohio River near Marietta after 1796, and his lawsuit claiming he had been cheated.
The bulk of the collection comprises the correspondence of William's brother, Edward Graham, a lawyer and professor at Washington College. There are many letters between Edward's wife, Margaret (Alexander) Graham, and her children. Represented also are William A., Archibald A., Nancy, Elizabeth, and Edward, Jr. Included is correspondence of Edward Graham with Edmund Ruffin concerning scientific experimentation and many letters concerning the patent application of William A. Graham, an inventor, for his fire extinguisher.
There is also correspondence of Dr. John Graham and Beverly Tucker Lacy, grandsons of Edward Graham. Account books of Archibald Graham of Lexington, 1840-1880, 7 vols., include one volume (6 pp.) on the administration of Edward Graham's estate and the guardianship of Martha and Elizabeth Lyle. Account books, 2 vols., of Edward, Sr., contain judgments and court actions, 1801-1811, and accounts of Washington College, Lexington, 1831-1836. A commonplace book, 1820, may relate to Edward Graham. There is a genealogy of the Alexander and Graham families by John A. Graham.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48-hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], the Graham Family papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Account book of Archibald Graham. Administration of Edward Graham's estate and guardianship of Martha and Elizabeth Lyle.
The Rev. William Graham was a Presbyterian minister and one of the founders of Liberty Hall Academy (later Washington and Lee University); He performed many scientific experiments, one of which led him to the patent on the modern fire extinguisher.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Graham, Alexander
- Graham, Edward
- Graham, Archibald
- Graham, William
- Liberty Hall Academy (Lexington, Va.) -- History
- Ruffin, Edmund
- Washington and Lee University -- History
- Fire extinguishers -- Patents
- Presbyterian Church -- Clergy -- Correspondence
- Presbyterian Church -- Virginia
- Universities and colleges -- Virginia
Processed by Rubenstein Library staff.