Today in Graeme Park History – Dr. Graeme’s Death
Dr. Thomas Graeme died on the grounds of Graeme Park on September 4, 1772 on the day Elizabeth had decided to tell him of her secret marriage to Henry Hugh Ferugusson. She wrote:
I sat on the bench at the window and watched him coming up the avenue. It was a terrible task to prepare. I was in agony; at every step he was approaching nearer. As he reached the tenant house he fell and died. Had I told him the day before, as I thought of doing, I should have reproached myself for his death and gone crazy.
His obituary ran in the Pennsylvania Gazette on September 9, 1772:
On Friday last, September 4, 1772, died suddenly, at his seat at Graeme Park, Thomas Graeme, Esq., M. D., aged eighty-four years, Naval Officer of the Port of Philadelphia. He was descended from an ancient family in Scotland, and possessed all the natural talents of a Gentleman, improved by a liberal education. He was blest with a clear Head, a Masculine Understanding, and a happy, Sagacity, which justly placed him for Half a Century at the Head of his Profession, as a Physician, in this city. His Practice was fair and honorable, distinguished as well by his Medical Abilities and communicative Temper, as by a natural Philanthropy, that led him equally to the most affectionate and diligent Attendance on all his Patients, and to the charitable Relief of the numerous Poor who applied to him. He likewise long filled an important civil office, closely connected with the Trading Interest of this Province; and, hating Covetousness, conducted himself therein with so much justice and Moderation, that he carried to the Grave with him, a character universally beloved for Integrity in his public Trust, as well as for the Amiable Virtues of Humanity in his private Station. From Temperance, and an extraordinary Vigor of Constitution, he attained fullness of Years.
He was interred Sunday Forenoon, in Christ Church-yard, in this city, and the Esteem in which he lived, was testified by the great concourse of respectable Inhabitants of all Denominations, who attended his funeral.
He was buried at Christ’s Church in Philadelphia, and his epitaph, written by Elizabeth reads:
The soul that lived within this Crumbling dust
In every Act was Eminently just.
Peaceful through Life, as peaceful, too, in death,
Without one Pang, he rendered back his breath.