Mary L. Graffam

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  • Relief Workers



  • Team Work Volume III no. 6 - Smith - June 1924

Graffam, Mary L. of Lewiston, Me., who like, Annie T. Allen, had gained a tremendous influence throughout Turkey as a missionary, died on August 17, 1921, also at Sivas, as the result of an operation for cancer. Overwork among the orphans and refugees in that city had so taxed her strength that she failed to rally after the operation. Miss Graffam was one of the few women who remained in the interior throughout the war. As a result of her efforts thousands of Armenians were saved from slaughter. In one instance her presence so aggravated the ill-nature of the Turks that an order for her execution was signed but afterward countermanded. At the time of the Armistice the Turkish caretaker of the former Kaiser’s farm at Sivas, in terror of punishment for war-time misdeeds, deeded the property over to her. This property was used as an orphanage until the Near East Relief withdrew from Turkey.

(Source: Team Work Volume III no. 6 – Smith – June 1924The Story of Near East Relief – Barton – 1930)