Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Graydon, Alexander

GRAYDON, Alexander, author, b. in Bristol, Pa., 10 April, 1752 ; d. in Philadelphia. Pa., 2 May, 1818. He was the son of Col. Alexander Graydon of the Provincial army of Pennsylvania. He was educated in Philadelphia, and lived with his mother, at whose residence he met some of the notable people of the time. Mr. Graydon acquired a knowledge of law, but in 1775 received the appointment of captain from congress, and raised recruits for the army. He served in the battle of Long Island, and was taken prisoner in the subsequent action on Harlem heights. For a time he was confined in New York and then in Flatbush, but afterward was released on parole. He then passed through the American camp in Morristown, and then went to Reading, Pa. He was exchanged in 1778, but did not again join the army. He received the appointment of prothonotary of Dauphin county. Pa., and. settling in Harrisburg, held that office until a change of administration caused his removal in 1799. Subsequently, until 1816, when he removed to Philadelphia, he resided near Harrisburg. Mr. Graydon was a contributor to literary and political journals, and, under the title of "Notes of a Desultory Reader," furnished in 1813-'14 a series of papers to the Philadelphia "Portfolio," which included comment on the classics, and English and French literature. He published "Memoirs of a Life, chiefly passed in Pennsylvania, within the Last Sixty Years: with Occasional Remarks upon the General Occurrences, Character, and Spirit of that Eventful Period" (Harrisburg, 1811; re-printed in London: Edinburgh, 1822; Philadelphia, 1846).— His brother, William, lawyer, b. near Bristol, Pa., 4 Sept., 1759 ; d. in Harrisburg, Pa., 13 Oct., 1840. He was educated in Philadelphia, and studied law there. On the organization of the county of Dauphin, he settled in Harrisburg, and began the practice of his profession, being admitted to the bar in 1786. He was commissioned the first notary public in September, 1791, and was a leader in the borough during the "Mill-dam troubles" of 1794-'5. For many years he was a member of the town-council, becoming its president, and subsequently was one of the burgesses. He published a "Digest of the Laws of the United States" (Harrisburg and London, 1803); "Appendix" (1813): -'Justice and Constable's Assistant" (Philadelphia, 1820) ; and "Forms of Conveyancing and of Practice in the Various Courts and Public Offices" (1845).