James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Cyrus Griffin, 3 October 1805 (Abstract)

From Cyrus Griffin, 3 October 1805 (Abstract)

§ From Cyrus Griffin.1 3 October 1805, Williamsburg. “Will you have the Goodness to pardon this Intrusion.

“My Son John Griffin is anxious to change his position from Indiana to Michican, principally on account of health.2 Having been Judge for Some years, a young man of good Genius, and speaking the French language with fluency, perhaps he might be an acquisition to the new Teritory, if there shall be a vacancy in the Judiciary department.

“Not having fatigued our most excellent president, or you, my dear Friend, with any applications for myself or my dear Children, may I hope that this Solicitation will not be rejected, if convenient to grant it. With my very best Respects to the president.”

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801-9, filed under “Griffin”). 1 p.; docketed by Jefferson.

1Cyrus Griffin (1748–1810) was born in Virginia and educated in London and Edinburgh. He was a member of the Virginia legislature, 1777–78 and 1786–87; of the Continental Congress, 1778–80 and 1788–89; and judge of the Court of Appeals in Cases of Capture, 1780–87. The last president of the Continental Congress, he was appointed a federal district judge for Virginia in 1790 by George Washington, a post in which he served until his death (Senate Exec. Proceedings, description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends 1:40).

2John Griffin (ca. 1771–1849) received this appointment to Michigan but was unhappy and in poor health there and soon began applying for an appointment to the bench in Indiana, where he had previously served for six years, or in Illinois. He resigned from his Michigan post in 1823 and moved to Philadelphia where he died (New York Weekly Herald, 8 Aug. 1849; Carter, Territorial Papers, Michigan, description begins Clarence Carter et al., eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States (28 vols.; Washington, 1934–75). description ends 10:99, 276, 304, 337, 383, 384, 417–18; Robert B. Ross and George B. Catlin, Landmarks of Detroit: A History of the City [Detroit, 1898], 276).

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