Is your basement wet?
Grading is one element of the waterproofing process. You want water to shed away from the perimeter of the foundation. BUT (always a "big but") the old houses used simple parging on the foundation wall and (maybe) clay weeping tiles. Both are inadequate by modern standards. To truly handle the water, you need to excavate all around the perimeter, parge, attach a plastic membrane, drill and nail plastic sheeting, install modern weeping tile (hose) connected to a good drain, then backfill.
Sometimes, I have seen an interior solution where the floor along the perimeter is jacked out and modern weeping tile is installed. It is directed to a sump where it is pumped outside as needed.
Let us know what you decide to do.