We have an oral family history description that John Graves had a swarthy complexion and a French accent. Being French-Canadian this explains the accent which he retained throughout his life. Unfortunately the photograph doesn't let us hear his accent, but it certainly fits John's physical description to a "T". Frances was his favorite child. She was quite fair. The pin on his lapel is connected with his Civil War Service.
Interestingly, the photographer hand painted in the bow tie.
John Graves was a French-Canadian born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He enlisted in the Union Army (U.S.A.) and fought in the War Between the States (aka Civil War). He served with the 35th N.Y. Infantry as a Private and fought in the following battles: Cedar Mountain (Cedar Run), Second Manassas (Second Bullrun), Antietam (Sharpsburg), and Fredericksburg 1 (Marye's Heights). Having survived the war he returned home and married Isabella Johnston. They then went to Flint, Michigan, in 1867. Isabella's brothers Robert and Archibald joined them in Michigan in 1869 and stayed with them (showing up on the 1871 census) for a while until they got their bearings and struck out on their own. In 1908 John checked himself into a soldiers' home. It would appear that he suffered lasting ill-effects of the war. The wide lapels on the jacket and high buttoned collared vest with narrow lapels indicates a style of the 1870's.