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Samuel Griffin

Samuel Griffin
Artist
Cosmo John Alexander, 1724 - 1772
Possibly
Samuel Griffin, 1746 - 1810
Formerly identified as
Cyrus Griffin, 1748 - 1810
Date
1770
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
76.2 x 63.5 cm (30 x 25")
Stretcher: 76.4 × 63.2 × 2.9 cm (30 1/16 × 24 7/8 × 1 1/8")
Topic
Samuel Griffin: Male
Samuel Griffin: Military\Army\Officer\Revolution
Cyrus Griffin: Male
Cyrus Griffin: Politics and Government\Congressman\Continental congressman
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; bequest of Alice Dulany Ball
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
S/NPG.2000.4
Exhibition Label
Born Richmond County, Virginia
In 1770, when the Scottish portraitist Cosmo Alexander was in Williamsburg, Virginia, he painted the wealthy enslaver Samuel Griffin. Born into privilege, Griffin studied classics and law, was admitted to the Virginia bar, and worked as a lawyer. He is best known, however, for his role as a colonel during the Revolutionary War. Serving as aide-decamp to General Charles Lee, Griffin helped change the course of the war in 1776 when he led several hundred militia and Virginia regulars into Mount Holly, New Jersey, to distract enemy troops. His action allowed General George Washington to cross the Delaware River, which led to the Continental Army’s first major victory at the Battle of Trenton.
As a Federalist, Griffin represented Williamsburg in the Virginia Assembly (1786–88) before Virginians elected him to the First Federal Congress in 1789. He was reelected to Congress twice more but declined to run again in 1796.
Nacido en Richmond County, Virginia
En 1770, estando en Williamsburg, Virginia, el retratista escocés Cosmo Alexander pintó al adinerado esclavista Samuel Griffin. Privilegiado de nacimiento, Griffin hizo estudios clásicos y de derecho, fue admitido al colegio de abogados de Virginia y ejerció dicha profesión. Sin embargo, se le conoce más por haber sido coronel en la Guerra de Independencia. Como ayudante de campo del general Charles Lee, Griffin contribuyó a cambiar el curso de la guerra en 1776, cuando lideró a varios cientos de milicianos y regulares de Virginia hasta Mount Holly, Nueva Jersey, para distraer a las tropas enemigas. Esto permitió que el general George Washington cruzara el río Delaware, logrando la primera gran victoria del Ejército Continental en la Batalla de Trenton.
Como federalista, Griffin representó a Williamsburg en la Asamblea de Virginia (1786–88) antes de que lo eligieran para el Primer Congreso Federal en 1789. Fue reelegido dos veces más, pero no quiso postularse de nuevo en 1796.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
2022 Rehang of Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 142