Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Graff, John Michael

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GRAFF, John Michael, Moravian bishop, b. in Saxe-Meiningen, Germany, 28 Sept., 1714; d. in Salem, N. C., 28 Aug., 1782. He was graduated at the University of Jena, came to this country in 1751, and served for two years as an itinerant evangelist in Pennsylvania and the neighboring colonies. After this he took charge of the Moravian church at Nazareth, Pennsylvania, where he labored until 1761. During the French and Indian war Graff displayed no little prudence in caring for the safety of his parishioners. On several occasions hostile bands of the savages came into the neighborhood of Nazareth, but never ventured to attack the town. From Nazareth he was transferred to the new Moravian settlement in North Carolina, where, in 1773, he was appointed a member of the southern governing board, and on 6 June of the same year consecrated to the episcopacy. In this office, amid many trying circumstances, he labored with great zeal and courage until his death.