General George Graham was born in Pennsylvania in 1758, and came with his widowed mother and four others to North Carolina, when about six years old. He was chiefly educated at “Queen’s Museum,” in Charlotte, and was distinguished for his assiduity, manly behaviour and kindliness of disposition. He was early devoted to the cause of liberty, and was ever its untiring defender. There was no duty too perilous, no service too dangerous, that he was not ready to undertake for the welfare and independence of his country.
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In 1775, when it was reported in Charlotte that two Tory lawyers, Dunn and Boothe, had proposed the detention of Capt. Jack on his way to Philadelphia, and had pronounced the patriotic resolutions with which he was entrusted, as “treasonable,” George Graham was one of the gallant spirits who rode all night to Salisbury, seized said offending lawyers, and brought them to Mecklenburg for trial. Here, after being found guilty of conduct “inimical to the cause of American freedom,” they were transported to Camden, S.C., and afterward to Charleston, and imprisoned.
Such were the open manifestations of liberty and independence in different portions of North Carolina in 1775!
When Cornwallis lay at Charlotte in 1780, Graham took an active part in attacking his foraging parties, making it extremely difficult and hazardous for them to procure their necessary supplies. He was one of the thirteen brave spirits, under Capt. James Thompson, who dared to attack a foraging party of four hundred British troops at McIntire’s Branch, seven miles northwest of Charlotte, on the Beattie’s Ford road, compelling them to retreat, with a considerable loss of men and a small amount of forage, fearing, as they said, an ambuscade was prepared for their capture.
After the war, he was elected Major General of the North Carolina militia. For many years, he was clerk of the court of Mecklenburg county, and frequently a member of the State Legislature. He was the people’s friend, not their flatterer, and uniformly enjoyed the confidence and high esteem of his fellow-citizens. He lived more than half a century on his farm, two miles from Charlotte. He died on the 29th of March, 1826, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, and is buried in the graveyard of the Presbyterian Church at Charlotte.