TRIBUTE TO MOLLY GRAHAM; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 108
(Extensions of Remarks - June 26, 2019)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E851]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                        TRIBUTE TO MOLLY GRAHAM


                         HON. JAMES E. CLYBURN

                           of south carolina

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, June 26, 2019

  Mr. CLYBURN. Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a woman 
whose bravery and perseverance exemplify a significant American story. 
It is fitting that during this July 4th, as we celebrate our nation's 
birthday, citizens of South Carolina and the descendants of Molly 
Graham will be dedicating a bridge over the Combahee River in Colleton 
County, South Carolina in her honor. Although seven generations 
removed, Molly Graham's story is inspiring and instructive for all of 
  Molly Graham was enslaved on the Cypress Plantation in Green Pond, 
South Carolina during the Civil War. Her husband and brother were 
killed during the final months of the war when Confederate soldiers 
executed male slaves to prevent them from enlisting in the Union Army. 
Ms. Graham and her daughters escaped after Confederate troops raided 
their plantation and threatened to burn it to the ground.
  She and her daughters traveled 16 miles on foot to the safety of a 
Union camp in Beaufort. Along the treacherous journey, they had to 
crawl across a plank over the Combahee River because the bridge had 
been destroyed by fire. They hid from Confederate troops during the day 
and traveled under the cover of darkness at night. Ms. Graham let 
faith, ``the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things 
unseen,'' guide her.
  After spending several months in the refuge of the Union camp, Ms. 
Graham and her daughters returned to Green Pond. The daughters 
eventually married, and they worked together, pooled their resources 
and bought several hundred acres of land. The family raised chickens, 
turkeys and vegetables on the farm and sold their goods at the 
Walterboro farmers market.
  Ms. Graham also served as a naturopathic herb doctor who treated both 
former slaves and plantation owners without prejudice or malice. She 
added rooms to her home to treat patients overnight, that served as the 
only ``hospital'' to ever exist in Green Pond. Today, she and many of 
her progeny are buried at the historic Hickory Hill Cemetery close to 
the banks of the Combahee River.
  Madam Speaker, I ask you to join me in celebrating the life of Molly 
Graham and the contributions of seven generations of her offspring in 
the Bryant, Pinckney and Singleton families. Theirs is a true story of 
resilience and triumph that exemplifies the diversity of the American 
experience. I applaud the descendants' efforts to dedicate the Molly 
Graham Memorial Bridge that crosses her beloved Combahee River and to 
continue her legacy of giving back to the community through their 
family's non-profit foundation.