Cyrus Griffin

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Cyrus Griffin
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Virginia
In office
November 28, 1789 – December 14, 1810
Appointed byGeorge Washington
Preceded byNew Position
Succeeded byJohn Tyler, Sr.
8th President of the Confederation Congress
In office
January 22, 1788 – November 2, 1788
Preceded byArthur St. Clair
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Personal details
Born(1748-07-16)July 16, 1748
Farnham, Virginia
DiedDecember 14, 1810(1810-12-14) (aged 62)
Yorktown, Virginia

Cyrus Griffin (July 16, 1748 – December 14, 1810) was a lawyer and judge who served as the last President of the Confederation Congress, holding office from January 22, 1788, to November 2, 1788. He resigned after the ratification of the United States Constitution rendered the old Congress obsolete, and was later a United States federal judge.


Griffin was born in 1748 in Farnham, Colony of Virginia, the son of Leroy Griffin and his wife Mary Ann Bertrand[1]. He was educated in England and in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh. While there Griffin married Christina Stewart, oldest daughter of John Stewart, the sixth Earl of Traquair (1699–1779).[2] This was done via a secret elopement and escape through the hills of Scotland after the Earl had forbidden contact between Christina and Griffin after the suitor had announced his intentions. Estranged for many years, the Earl reconciled with his daughter via correspondence shortly before his death.

Griffin was engaged in the private practice of law in Lancaster, Virginia from 1774 to 1777. He was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1781, and again from 1787 to 1788, serving as a federal judge on the Court of Appeals in Cases of Capture in the interim following election to the office in 1780.[3] He served as President of Congress from January to November 1788, a mostly ceremonial position with no real authority.[4] In 1789, Griffin was commissioner to the Creek nation.

Griffin received a recess appointment from President George Washington on November 28, 1789, to a new seat on the United States District Court for the District of Virginia, created by 1 Stat. 73. Formally nominated on February 8, 1790, Griffin was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 10, 1790, and received his commission the same day. He served until his death (in Yorktown, Virginia) on December 14, 1810. He is buried next to his wife in the churchyard at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, Virginia.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Traquair, Earl of (S, 1633 - 1861)". Archived from the original on 17 June 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  3. ^ Library of Congress, Journals, Vol. 16, 397.
  4. ^ Wilson, Rick K. (1994). Congressional Dynamics: Structure, Coordination, and Choice in the First American Congress, 1774–1789. Stanford: Stanford University Press. pp. 76–80. ISBN 0-8047-2293-5.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Arthur St. Clair
President of the Continental Congress
January 22, 1788 – November 2, 1788
Office abolished
Legal offices
Preceded by
new seat
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Virginia
Succeeded by
John Tyler, Sr.