Roger Griswold (1762-1812), Governor of Connecticut

03Jan10

The Town of Griswold, where I weekend in the summer on Pachaug Lake, was named for Connecticut Governor Roger Griswold.

He owns the distinction as being part of the first physical fight on the floor of the U.S. Congress.

In 1798, for instance, Connecticut Federalist Roger Griswold had spoken badly about Republican Matthew Lyon’s war record. Lyon spat in his face. Griswold hit Lyon more than 20 times with a hickory cane as their colleagues watched. Lyon then grabbed a pair of fire tongs and beat on Griswold.

Professor Julien Zelizer of Princeton – Why the shock about Joe Wilson

As Governor he refused to supply President James Madison with troops from Connecticut’s militia to defend the United States during the War of 1812, saying the troops were not necessary to “repel invasion”. The Supreme Court eventually upheld President Madison. Governor Griswold died later that same year.

President John Adams offered to Roger the portfolio of Secretary of War in 1801, which he declined.

He was born in Lyme, attended Yale, practiced law in Norwich. Basically a local boy.

The wikipedia entry for Roger Griswold.

He was my 4th cousin 10 times removed.

Jerry Milo Johnson to Connecticut Governor Roger Griswold

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