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The Graham Branch

UPDATED    10 May 2016

James Graham     Isabella Graham     General Charles Kinnaird Graham

JAMES GRAHAM (1656 - 1701)
Attorney General of NYC

New York Courts
James Graham sailed to New York aboard the Blossom in the entourage of Governor Edmund Andros in 1678. He is reputed to have been a grandson of the Marquess of Montrose, a supporter of Charles I, who was executed in Scotland in May 1650, and he is believed to have carried the family seal with him to America. From the first, he earned his living as a lawyer and a merchant and he was granted patents to large tracts of land in Ulster County, Staten Island, and New Jersey. When the office of the Recorder of the City of New York was created in 1683, James Graham was appointed to the position and he held it until shortly before his death in 1701. From December 10, 1685, when he succeeded Thomas Rudyard as Attorney General of the Province, he simultaneously held both offices. Two years later, he was appointed to the Governor's Council.

In 1688, when New York was annexed to the Dominion of New England, Graham moved to Boston to take office as the Dominion's Attorney General and following the collapse of the Dominion was imprisoned with Governor Andros and exiled to England. Graham returned to New York in 1691, and was elected to the Assembly where he held the office of Speaker between 1691-1694 and 1695-1698.

When Attorney General Thomas Newton left the Province in April 1691, George Farewell was appointed in his place but the Assembly considered Farewell inept and, in May 1691, James Graham was again appointed Attorney General, an office that he held until January 1701. In 1696, Graham was appointed Advocate General of the Court of Vice-Admiralty and in May 1699, he was appointed to the Governor's Council.

In 1700, James Graham lost favor with Governor Bellomont, who had him removed as Recorder of the City of New York. Bellomont urged the English authorities to replace Graham as Attorney General and, on January 21, 1701, Sampson Shelton Broughton took office in his stead.

James Graham, whose daughter Isabella had married Lewis Morris, died a few days later at Morrisania.

Colonel George Steuart and His Wife Margaret Harris, Robert Stewart, 1907, p26
Note 4, Page 21, A Brief Description of New York, Daniel Denton
JAMES GRAHAM was a native of Scotland, and is found a resident merchant of the city of New York as early as July, 1678, and a few years later, proprietor of lands in Ulster county, Staten Island, and in New Jersey. He succeeded Mr. Rudyard as Attorney-General of the Province of New York, on 10th of December, 1685, and was sworn of the Council on the 8th of October, 1687. When the government of New England and New York were consolidated by James II, Mr. Graham removed to Boston as Attorney-General to Andros, the odium of whose government he shared, and on whose downfall he was committed to the castle. He returned to New York in 1691, where his enemies assert that he insinuated himself into the confidence of Leisler and his friends, so as to procure their interesest to be chosen member of the Assembly, of which he was afterwards elected Speaker. He became, soon after, the mortal enemy of Leisler and Milborne, of whose murder he is charged, by his adversaries, with being "the principal author." Thomas Newton, Sloughter's Attorney-General, having left the Province in April, 1691, disapproving, probably, of the harsh measures of the government toward the state prisoners, George Farewell was appointed to act in his place; but this appointment not being satisfactory to the Assembly, Mr. Graham became again Attorney-General in the following May. He was about nine years Speaker of the Assembly, i.e., from 1691-1694; 1695-1698, and a part of 1699, when the friends of Lesiler being in a majority, the House voted a bill of indictment, in the shape of a remonstrance, against their opponents, and had the cruelty to expect their Speaker to sign it. To enable him to avoid this unpleasant duty, Mr. Graham was called to the Council in May, 1699,. His public career may be said to have now closed. He appears to have attended the Council for the last time, on the 29th of July, 1700. He was superseded in October, of that year, as Recorder of the city of New York, after having filled the office from 1683, with an interruption of only two years, and was deprived of his office of Attorney-General on the 21st January, 1701, but a few days before his death, which occured at his residence at Morrisania. His will bears date 12th January, 1700-1, and is on record in the Surrogate's office, New York. He left all his propertym, share and share alike, to his children, Augustin (Surveyor-General of the Province), Isabella (wife of Lewis Morris, Esq.), Mary,Sarah, Margaret and John. The other members of the family consisted, in 1698, of one overseer, two white servants and thirty-three slaves. New York Colonial Documents, IV, 847. On the 18th July, 1684, a license of Marriage was issued out of the Provincial Secretary's office, New York, for James Graham and Elizabeth Windebauke. N. Y. Colonial MSS., XXXIII, pt. ii, p.32. But whether it refers to the Attorney-General whose biography is now sketched, we have no means of ascertaining.

Publication Fund Series, NYHS, Vol 44, 1912
JAMES GRAHAM, Westchester, June 12, 1700.
"My body to be decently buried in the New York burying place, by my deceased wife," at the discretion of my loving friends, Mr. Robert Livingston and Mr. Thomas Codrington, whom I appoint executors. Directs all debts to be paid, "especially one legacy of 50 given to my son Augustine by his grandfather, and 50 given to my daughter Isabell by her grandmother, having been received by me." Gives full power to executors to sell houses and lands. Rest of estate to children Augustine, Isabel, Mary, Sarah, Margaret and John.

Witnesses, James Emott, Wm. Vesey, Philip French, James Inyan. sh. d. qr.

New York Tax Lists Vol I, 1695-1699
Page 16
p.50James Graham house & Ground75 00 01 06 3
p.50James Graham house & Ground75 01 08 11
p.122James Graham house45 07 00 1/2
p.129James Graham 2 houses40 06 3
p.152James Graham house45 00 06 04
p.159James Graham 2 houses40 00 05 07 2
p.189James Graham 2 houses30 00 04 04 2
p.201James Graham house50 00 07 03 2/4

Abstracts of Wills, Vol 26, 1894, p433
Page 65.
At a meeting of the Deputy mayor and Aldermen at the City Hall, the 21 day of July, 1682. Present Mr. William Beekman, Deputy mayor. Mr. Johanes Van Brugh, Mr. Thomas Lewis, Mr. Peter Jacobse, Aldermen. The occasion of this meeting was about the examination of Captain JARVIS BAXTER, who the last night, being the 20th instant, stabbed with a Rapier, Mr. James Graham, one of the Aldermen of this city in the Body, by which he is dangerously wounded.

HANS KIERSTEDE and HARMANUS WESSELLS, Chirurgeons, who have searched and dressed the said Graham, being sworne and examined declare, that on the right side, a little under the collar bone, tending downward, the said Graham is wounded with a Sword, about four inches deep, through the mussells and tendons to the Breast bone, which wound they doe not apprehend to be mortall, but hope with God's blessing may be cured.

CAPTAIN BAXTER appearing, was charged to have wounded Mr. Graham, which says he is sorry for, and as greate a stranger to the action as they that ask the Question. Says he had no quarrell with Mr. Graham, nor any malice or prejudice to him, and was a stranger to him, and saw him not till yesterday. THOMAS SHARPE sworn, sayeth he was in company the last night with Mr. Graham, Captain Baxter, himself and others. Saw noe Quarrell, nor unkindness pass between Mr. Graham and Captain Baxter, but that after the Reckoning was payed, Captain Baxter and Mr. Graham went aside from the Company, and presently Mr. Graham sayd he was wounded, but did not see Captain Baxter draw his sword.

DIRCK VAN CLIFF, Sworn, Sayeth, that Captain Baxter, Mr. Graham, Mr. Sharpe, West, and others, were at his house in the Orchard last night, Drinking a glasse of Cyder and Wine, and some healths were drunk and Mr. Graham and Mr. Baxter discoursed together friendly, and went aside from the Company, as he thought, to discourse in private, and in a short time Mr. Graham told him he was wounded, and bid him send for the Doctor and Neighbours, but did not see Captain Baxter draw his sword.

JOHN WEST, upon Oath, Declares that he hath often heard Mr. Graham desirous to drink a glass of wine and to pay his respects to Captain Baxter, who, he understood, was come over to America under his Royal Highness, and that an opportunity presenting yesterday in the afternoon, it was embraced, and they with Mr. Kingsland, Ensign Sharpe, the said West, and Serjeant Garret, went to the house of Mr. Van Cliff, where they spent the afternoon drinking Syder and wine, in friendship without any Quarell or dispute or angry expression, but the contrary, and that in the evening about nine of the clock as neare as he can guess, the Reckoning being payd, without any provocation, the said Captain Baxter desired Mr. Graham to walk aside, which he did, a little from the Company, but in their sight. Only Kingsland was afore gone, and Baxter, seeming to kiss said Graham, drew his Sword and stabbed him in the Body, and made another pass at him which was put by, by a cane said Graham had in his hand. The said West seeing the same stepped in and with a push he gave said Baxter on the Breast, threw him on his back, and his Sword flew out of his hand, which said West carried into the house and secured.

The Magistrates demanded Security of Captain Baxter to be forthcoming to abide his tryall if the said Graham shall dye of his wounds within the time by Law prescribed.

Captain Brockholls, Commander-in-Chief, being present, engages to see him forthcoming accordingly.
[NOTE.--The above Document is given in full. Nothing more seems to have come of this curious episode. Mr. James Graham recovered from his wound, and died at an advanced age in Morrisania.--W. S. P.]

The Constitutional History of New York, Charles Z. Lincoln, 1906
The most important act of the assembly, for our present purpose, was the act reorganizing the judicial system of the colony. This was prepared by James Graham, the speaker of the assembly, and was introduced and passed on the 17th of April, 1691.

This act was regularly approved by the Governor and council, and became a law on the 6th of May, 1691. It appears as chapter 4, Laws of 1691, and will be found in. vol. I of the Colonial Laws of New York as published by the Statutory Revision Commission. The act provided for a court of chancery, a supreme court, a court of common pleas, courts of sessions, and justices' courts. Immediately upon the passage of this act the supreme court was organized, and Joseph Dudley was appointed chief justice, Thomas Johnson, second judge, and William Smith, Stephen Van Cortlandt, and William Pinhome, associate judges. The act was to be in force only ten years, but it was re-enacted from time to time and continued by proclamations, and was in force, with some modifications, at the time of the Revolution and the organization of the state government in 1777.

James Graham, Marquis of Montrose

History of Little Nine Partners, Isaac Huntting, 1897, p343
The Graham Coat of Arms is thus described:

"Quarterly, first and fourth gold, on a chief black, three escollops of the field for Graham. Second and third quarters silver, three roses, red, barbed and seeded proper for the title of Graham of Montrose.

"An eagle wings hovering gold, perched upon a heron lying upon its back proper, beaked and membered, red.

"Two storks proper, beaked and membered. red.
"Motto - 'N'oubliez.'

The whole meaning - Graham of Montrose, a noble family."

The seal of the "Great Marquis" is in the possession of George Coventry referred to in the footnote on page first of this lineage. He describes it in a letter in this wise: "It has descended to me from my great grandfather, Augustine Graham, and was once the property of The Great Marquis himself. It was brought to America by James Graham, Attorney General, the first of his deccendants who emigrated hither. The seal is of brass, the handle about four inches in length. The device upon it is a shield bearing the three roses of his title same as on the family arms, and that is surmounted by the coronet of a Marquis. The whole is surmounted by the emblem of some order to which he belonged. After the restoration of the Stuarts the title was raised to a dukedom, April 24, 1707, and all who bore that rank, it being higher, used a ducal coronet upon their seals, in lieu of that belonging to a Marquis. Thus in addition to family tradition, the testimony of the seal itself attests its genuineness."

Charles Graham

Charles Graham

James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, left two sons, James and John. James succeeded to his father's estate, and John, it is said, married Isabella Affick. and their son James Graham was Attorney General of the Province of New York. (Mrs. Martha J. Lamb, in her history of New York City, I think puts him down as son of the Great Marquis. According to the family tree this is an error which she and other historians have fallen into.) He was a merchant in New York in 1678, and later was proprietor of lands in Ulster County, Staten Island and New Jersey. December 10, 1685, he was appointed Attorney General of New York under Governor Thomas Dongan, who in the fall of 1686 writes in his report "that Mr. Graham is Attorney General and Supervisor of all Patents and soe made upon Mr. Rudyard's going from this place to Barbadoes, and is a person understanding in the law, it being his whole business." October 8, 1687, he became a member of the Council, and when the Governments of New England and New York were consolidated, he removed to Boston as Attorney General to Governor Andros, on whose downfall he was committed to prison.

In 1691 he returned to New York, was chosen member of the Assembly and elected speaker. Sloughter was then Governor, and Thomas Newton, his Attorney General, having left the province in April of that year, George Farwell was appointed to fill his place. He was Governor Andros' Attorney in the revolution under Andros in Boston, and was imprisoned for some alleged illegal prosecutions. He later went to England, and returned to America, and was appointed Attorney General, successor to Newton, to prosecute Leisler and his associates. His appointment not being satisfactory, James Graham was again appointed Attorney General in May, 1691, and is said to have been "the mortal enemy of Leisler and Milborne," during the exciting events of that time. He was speaker of the Assembly from 1691 to 1694 and from 1695 to 1698, and part of 1699 - nearly nine years - when the Leisler faction being in the majority, the house voted a bill of indictment against their opponents. To avoid his signing the bill, being speaker, he was called to the Council in May 1699. This principally closed his public life, he attending the council for the last time July 29, 1700. He was deprived of his office of Attorney General on the 21st of January, 1701, but a few days before his death, which occurred at his residence in Morrisania, Westchester county, N. Y.

His will is dated January 12, 1701, and is on record in the surrogate's office in New York. He bequeathed all his property share and share alike to his children Augustine, Isabella, Mary, Sarah, Margaret and John. Sarah married a Mr. Chappel, emigrated to England, and was the mother of Rev. Graham Chappel, a clergyman in Nottinghamshire. Isabella married Hon. Lewis Morris, first Provincial Governor of New Jersey. Their children were Elizabeth, Margaret, Arabella, Annie, Robert Hunter, Lewis (father of Governeur and Lewis Morris, signer of Declaration of Independence) Mary, Euphemia, another daughter who married - Kearney, ancestor of Genl. Phil. Kearney, and still another daughter who married - Ashfield. Many are the descendants of Lewis Morris and Isabella Graham.

In an obituary at her decease in 1752 this language was used: "Liberal without prodigality, frugal without parsimony, cheerful without levity, exalted without pride, in person amiable, in conversation affable, in friendship faithful, of envy void."

Surnames of Long Island
Letter to Robert Livingston, 25 Nov 1692
Letter to Robert Livingston, 16 Jan 1700
Letter to Robert Livingston, 20 Feb 1700
Letter to Robert Livingston, 18 Mar 1700
Letter to Robert Livingston,   29 Mar 1700
Letter to Robert Livingston,   8 Jun 1700
Letter to Robert Livingston,   3 Dec 1700

Daughter of James Graham; wife of Governor Lewis Morris

Isabella Graham was born 3 Jun 1673 in Scotland, and immigrated with her father, James Graham, to New York. She married Lewis Morris, later governor of New Jersey, and died at their home at Morrisania 30 Mar 1752. She is buried in a crypt under Saint Ann's Episcopal Church in the Bronx. She had 12 children:

Anne, m. Edward Antill
Arabella, m. James Graham, her 1st cousin
Elizabeth, m. Anthony White
Euphemia, m. Matthew Norris
Isabella, m. Richard Ashfield
John, d. unmarried aged 30
Lewis Morris, Jr., m. Katrintje Staats; m2. Sara Gouverneur
Margaret, m. Isaac Willetts
Mary, m. Vincent Pearse
Nancy, d. unmarried
Robert Hunter Morris, m. Elizabeth Stogdell
Sarah, m. Michael Kearny

General History of Duchess County from 1609 to 1876, Philip H. Smith, 1877
In an obituary at her decease in 1752 this language was used: "Liberal without prodigality, frugal without parsimony, cheerful without levity, exalted without pride, in person amiable, in conversation affable, in friendship faithful, of envy void.."

Mentions of Isabella in Letters by Governor Lewis Morris

May 14, 1742
Your mother is pretty well, unless now & then out of order.

Aug 26, 1743
Your mother has been very well *** and seems likely to continue so, but the last spell of hot weather has been very troublesome to her, and has caused her to break out wth boyles, which, tho' wholsom, gives her great pain & uneasiness.

Jan 22, 1744
Your mother is sometimes very ill *** the last attack she had was in September w'ch we all fear'd would carry her off, but since she has been very Easie. ***

She has been my Constant Companion in my Chamber, w'ch I have been forc'd to keep for nigh two months and keep it still. I was taken ill in August last in my Journey to Amboy to meet the Assembly, Occasioned as I Judg'd by Eating some oysters out of season. This kept me two or three days at Mr Antill's, but I got so far over it as to meet the Assembly at Amboy Your mother is my Affectionate & Constant nurse, & it is well for me that she is able to Endure it. She is in good health and looks fresh & well. She cannot sit down to write but desires to be affectionately remembered to you, and is allwayes glad to heare that you are well; & she cannot be more so than I am & shall be when I heare of your heath.

Jun 3, 1744
We have all had our health very well since our being here; as for your Mother's illness that would have happened any where.

Your mother amuses herself with a brood of turkeys, fowles & ducks w'ch she has about her, & now & then some one of her children comes to see her.

I will returne to your Mother, who now sits reading in the window it being the 3d of June and her birth day, Just entred on ye 72 yeare of her age *** and is in good health now.

Your mother Injoins me to give you her blessing. She is not able to write, or at least 'tis very troublesome to her, w'ch is the reason she doth not.

Abstracts of Wills Vol IV 1744-1753 Page 382

Page 94.--I, ISABELLA MORRIS, widow of His late Excellency, Lewis Morris, Esq., being of sound and perfect mind. "I order that my body be decently interred in the vault at Morrisania, near the remains of my deceased husband." All debts and funeral charges are to be paid. I leave to my daughter, Euphemia Norris, all that my lot of land in New York, adjoining to the lot where her late husband, Matthew Norris, built a house, and extending from the Broadway to New street; which lot was a part of my father's estate, and was conveyed by my deceased husband and myself to the said Matthew Norris. All the rest of my estate I leave to my daughters, Mary Pearse, Anne Anthill, Euphemia Norris, Arabella Graham, Margaret Morris, Elizabeth White; and to my grand children, Isabella Mary Van Horne, Euphemia Arabella Kearny, and Graham Kearny. Whereas my late son (in law), Richard Ashfield, by a will made many years before his death, devised his real estate to the four daughters he then had, and after he made his will my daughter Isabella bore him three children, and I am advised that all his real estate will fall to his three surviving elder children, Lewis, Mary, and Isabella Ashfield, and that his three younger children, Patience, Richard, and Pearce Ashfield, are excluded. Now, provided the three older children convey to the three young children equal shares, then I leave to the said 6 children 1/8 of all my estate. I make my sons, Lewis and Robert Hunter Morris, executors.

Dated August 9, 1746. Witnesses, John Coxe, John Frehoeck, D. Martin, Sarah Robinson.

Codicil. Whereas my negro woman called "Old Hannah," and the mullatto man "Harry," have been good and faithful servants to me and my late husband, they are to live with such of my children as they shall choose, and they are to be careful and kind to them.

Dated February 16, 1747. Witnesses, Isabella Graham, Sarah Robinson, P. Kearny. Proved, April 20, 1752.

Governor Lewis Morris
Find a Grave


Charles Graham

Who Was Who in the Union, p. 158-9
When the Civil War broke out, Mexican War naval veteran Charles K. Graham was both a lawyer and engineer. The New York native helped plan that city's Central Park and then worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

At the start of the war he enlisted in a regiment that was largely composed of fellow navy yard workers and became part of the Excelsior Brigade of General Daniels E. Sickles. His assignments included:

  • Colonel - 74th, New York (May 26, 1861)
  • Colonel - 74th New York (reappointment May 26, 1861, following April 10 resignation)
  • Brigadier General - USV (November 29, 1862)
  • Commanding - 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 3rd Corps, Army of the Potomac (February-March 1863)
  • Commanding - 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Corps, Army of the Potomac (March-May 14 and June 20-July 2, 1863)
  • Commanding - Naval Brigade, Army of the James (April 28, 1864-February 17, 1865)
  • Commanding - Infantry Division, Defenses of Bermuda Hundred, Army of the James (February 17-March 19, 1865)

On the Peninsula he was at Yorktown, Seven Pines and Seven Days. For health reasons he was then assigned to recruiting duty in New York. Returning to duty in the field early in 1863, he led a brigade at Chancellorsville and succeeded to temporary command of the division there.

In the debacle at the Peace Orchard on the second day at Gettsburg he again took over command of the division and was soon wounded and captured. Exchanged in September, he was assigned to duty with the Army of the James the next spring. His subsequent services were primarily in the inactive areas.

Brevetted major general for the war, he was mustered out on August 24, 1865. Returning to engineering he was concerned for over a decade with maritime affairs in New York Harbor.

Long Island Surnames
Obituary, NYT, 16 Apr 1889
Geni Genealogy



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