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GRISWOLD, Roger, (grandfather of Matthew Griswold), a Representative from Connecticut; born in Lyme, New London County, Conn., May 21, 1762; pursued classical studies, and was graduated from Yale College in 1780; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1783 and commenced practice in Norwich; returned to Lyme in 1794; elected as a Federalist to the Fourth and to the five succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1795, until his resignation in 1805 before the convening of the Ninth Congress; chairman, Committee on Revisal and Unfinished Business (Sixth Congress), Committee on Ways and Means (Sixth Congress); declined the portfolio of Secretary of War tendered by President Adams in 1801; served as a judge of the supreme court of Connecticut in 1807; presidential elector on the Pinckney and King ticket; Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut 1809-1811; Governor of the State from 1811 until his death in Norwich, Conn., on October 25, 1812; interment in Griswold Cemetery at Black Hall, in the town of Lyme (now Old Lyme), Conn.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Connecticut Historical Society

Hartford, CT
Papers: 1781-1813, 1 box. Personal correspondence of Roger Griswold touching on political matters with his wife, Fanny and daughters Elizabeth and Juliette Griswold; includes a report by Elizur Goodrich on meat inspected and branded in Connecticut in 1811 and papers of Charles Boalt.
Papers: 1801, 2 pages. A letter from John Marshall to Roger Griswold written on January 15, 1801. In the letter, Marshall explains his request for appropriation to fulfill engagements of the United States with Algiers and Tunis; states that if Consul O'Brien's request for recall is granted, his replacement must present gifts valued at about twenty thousand dollars.
Papers: 1804, 1 page. A letter from Samuel Chase to Roger Griswold written on November 8, 1804. In the letter, Chase encloses a statement of what he had hoped to discuss confidentially with Griswold about the articles of impeachment against Chase.
Papers: In the John Cotton Smith Papers, 1788-1845, 5 linear feet. Correspondents include Roger Griswold.

Connecticut State Library

Hartford, CT
Papers: 1798-1812. 5 items. Index in repository.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the Joshua Coit Papers, 1792-1798, 70 items. Correspondents include Roger Griswold.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: In the Huntington-Wolcott Papers, ca. 1698-1911, 3 boxes, 2 v., and 2 folders. Correspondents include Roger Griswold.

The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts

New York, NY
Papers: 1809, 1 item. A letter from John Treadwell to Roger Griswold written on October 21, 1809.

New London Historical Society

New London, CT
Papers: 1811, 1 item. A letter from Roger Griswold to Ebenezer Learned and William F. Brainard written on June 11, 1811. In the letter, Griswold sends them a discharge from their duties as aides to the lieutenant-general.

University of Virginia Library

Charlottesville, VA
Papers: In the Griswold-Nevins-Wolcott Papers, 1731-1964, approximately 3 feet. In part transcripts, photocopies, and 25 feet of microfilm. Includes family correspondence relating to congressional, political, and family affairs.
Microfilm: In the Wolcott Family Papers, 1745-1856, 1 reel. Chiefly papers of Roger Griswold which include his diary of the siege of Louisburg in 1745 together with his autobiography and religious reflections, 1745-1755. Also include letters of the Griswold, Rogers, Williams, and Woodbridge families of Connecticut.

Yale University Library
Manuscripts and Archives

New Haven, CT
Papers: 1784-1812, 1.5 linear feet. Chiefly letters by Roger Griswold, of which three-fourths were written to his wife, Fanny Rogers Griswold, while he served in Congress, in Philadelphia and Washington, 1794-1805. While the letters to his wife are largely on family and practical matters relating to the family farm in Lyme, Connecticut, his letters to his father, Matthew Griswold, and to his brother, also Matthew, discuss politics briefly. A letter to Secretary of War, William Eustis, discusses the issue of placing the Connecticut militia under federal control. Also in the papers is a printed copy (1799) of the Constitution of the United States with marginalia in Griswold's hand. An unpublished finding aid is available in the repository.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

"Battle of the Wooden Sword." Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin 27 (January 1962): 28-32.

Carey, James. [Geoffrey Touchstone, pseud.] The House of Wisdom in a Bustle: A poem descriptive of the noted battle lately fought in Congress. Philadelphia: Printed for the author, 1798.

Daggett, David. An eulogium, commemorative of the exalted virtues of His Excellency Roger Griswold. New-Haven: Printed by Walter & Steel, 1312 [i. e. 1812].

McBride, Rita M. "Roger Griswold: Connecticut Federalist." Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1948.

U. S. Congress. House. The Testimony given before a Committee of the Whole of the House of Representatives of the United States, in relation to a report of their Committee of Privileges, on the 5th, 6th, and 8th of February 1798. Philadelphia: Joseph Gales, printer, 1798.

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Committee Assignments

  • House Committee - Ways and Means - Chair
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