June 26, 2019 - Issue: Vol. 165, No. 108 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 1st Session
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 [www.gpo.gov] 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 us. 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. ____________________