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The regiment was quartered at Montreal for several months, and here Jessie, the eldest daughter of Doctor and Mrs. Graham, was born. They afterwards removed to Fort Niagara on Lake Ontario, and continued in garrison there for four years; here Joanna and Isabella Graham were born. Mrs. Graham always considered the time she passed at Niagara as the happiest of her days, contemplated in a temporal view. The officers of the regiment were amiable men, and attached to each other. A few of them were married, and their ladies were united in the ties of friendship. The society there, secluded from the world, exempt from the collision of individual and separate interests, which often create so much discord in large communities, and studious to promote the happiness of each other, enjoyed that tranquillity and contentment, which ever accompany a disinterested interchange of friendly offices. This fort being in a situation detached from other settlements, the garrison were consequently deprived of ordinances, and the public means of grace; the life of religion in the soul of Mrs. Graham was therefore at a low ebb. A conscientious observance of the Sabbath, which throughout life she maintained, proved to her at Niagara as a remembrance and revival of devotional exereises. She wandered on those sacred days into the woods around Niagara, searched her Bible, communed with her God and herself, and poured out her soul in prayer to her covenant Lord. Throughout the week, the attention of her friends, her domestic comfort and employments, and the amusements pursued in the garrison, she used to confess, occupied too much of her time and of her affections.
Here we behold a little society enjoying much comfort and happiness in each other, yet falling short of that pre
eminent duty, and superior blessedness, of glorifying, as they ought to have done, the God of heaven, who fed them by his bounty, and offered them a full and free salvation in the gospel of his Son. No enjoyments, nor possessions, however ample and acceptable, can crown the soul with peace and true felicity, unless accompanied with the fear and favour of Him, who can speak pardon to the transgressors, and "shed abroad his love in the hearts" of his children; thus giving an earnest of spiritual and eternal blessedness along with temporal good.
The commencement of the revolutionary struggle in America, rendered it necessary, in the estimation of the British government, to order to another scene of action the sixtieth regiment, composed in a great measure of Americans.
Their destination was in the island of Antigua; Dr. Graham, Mrs. Graham, and their family, consisting now of three infant daughters, and two young Indian girls, crossed the woods from Niagara to Oswegatche, and from thence descended the Mohawk in batteaux to Schenectady. Here Dr. Graham left his family and went to New York, to complete a negotiation he had entered into for the sale of his commission, to enable him to settle, as he originally intended, on a tract of land which it was in his power to purchase on the banks of the river they had just descended. The gentleman who proposed to purchase his commission, not being able to perfect the arrangement in time, Dr. Graham found himself under the necessity of proceeding to Antigua with the regiment. Mrs. Graham, on learning this, hurried down with her family to accompany him, although he had left it optional with her to remain.
At New York they were treated with much kindness by the late Rev. Dr. John Rodgers, and others, especially
by the family of Mr. Vanbrugh Livingston. With Mr. Livingston's daughter, the wife of Major Brown, of the sixtieth regiment, Mrs. Graham formed a very warm friendship, which continued during the life of Mrs. Brown.
On their arrival in Antigua, Mrs. Graham was introduced to the families of two brothers of the name of Gilbert, gentlemen of property and great piety. They were connected with the Methodists, and by their pious exertions, and exemplary lives, with the blessing of God, became instruments of much good to many in that island.
Dr. and Mrs. Graham participated largely in the hospitality and friendship of many respectable families at St. John's.
Dr. Graham was absent in St. Vincent's for some months; having accompanied, as surgeon, a military force under Major Etherington, sent thither to quell an insurrection of the Caribbeans.
On his return to Antigua, he found Mrs. Graham almost inconsolable for the loss of her valuable mother, the tidings of whose death had just reached her. He roused her from this state of mind by saying, that 'God might perhaps call her to a severer trial by taking her husband also.' The warning appeared prophetic. On the 17th of November 1774, he was seized with a feverish disorder, which was not, for the first three days, alarming, in the estimation of attending physicians; yet it increased afterwards with such violence, as to terminate his mortal existence on the 22d. The whole course of the Doctor's illness produced a most interesting scene. He calculated on death; expressed his perfect resignation; gave his testimony to the emptiness of a world, in which its inhabitants are too much occupied in pursuing bubbles, which vanish into air; and died in the hope of faith in that divine Redeemer,
"who is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him." At the commencement of her husband's illness, Mrs. Graham entertained no apprehensions of danger to his life. When hope as to continuance of temporal life was extinguished, her anxiety for his spiritual and eternal welfare exercised her whole soul. When he breathed his last, gratitude to God, and joy at the testimony he had given of dying in the faith of Jesus, afforded a support to her mind, which the painful feelings of her heart could not immediately shake: but when the awful solemnities were over-earth to earth, dust to dust
and the spirit gone to God who gave it-when all was still, and she was a widow indeed-that tenderness of soul, and sympathy of friendship, for which Mrs. Graham was ever remarkable, were brought into severe and tumultuous exercise. Her husband, companion, protector, was gone; a man of superior mind, great taste, warm affection, and domestic habits. She was left with three daughters, the eldest of whom was not more than five years of age, and with the prospect of having another child in a few months. Of temporal property she possessed very little: she was at a distance from her father's house: the widow and the fatherless were in a foreign land. The change in her circumstances was as sudden as it was great.
She had now no sympathizing heart to receive and return the confidence of unbounded friendship; and thus, by reciprocal communion, to alleviate the trials, and enrich the enjoyments of life. All pleasing plans, all the cherished prospects of future settlement in life, were cut off in a moment. While sinking into a softened indifference to the world, in the contemplation of her severe loss, she was, on the other hand, roused into exertion for the sustenance
and support of her young family, whose earthly depend→ ance was now necessarily upon her.
Not satisfied with the custom of the island, in burying soon after life is extinct, her uneasiness became so great, that her friends judged it prudent to have her husband's grave opened, to convince her that no symptoms of returning life had been exhibited there. The fidelity of her heart was now as strongly marked as her tenderness. She dressed herself in the habiliments of a widow, and surveying herself in a mirror determined never to lay them aside. This she strictly adhered to, and rejected every overture afterwards made to her, of again entering into a married state. She breathed the feelings of her heart in a little poem, in which she dedicated herself to her God as a widow indeed.
On examining into the state of her husband's affairs she discovered that there remained not quite two hundred pounds sterling in his agent's hands.
These circumstances afforded an opportunity for the display of the purity of Mrs. Graham's principles, and her rigid adherence to the commandments of her God in every situation.
It was proposed to her, and urged with much argument, to sell the two Indian girls, her late husband's property.
No consideration of interest, or necessity, could prevail upon her to make merchandise of her fellow-creatures, the works of her heavenly Father's hand; immortal beings! One of these girls accompanied her to Scotland, where she was married; the other died in Antigua, leaving an affectionate testimony to the kindness of her dear master and mistress.
The surgeon's mate of the regiment was a young man,