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Robert Gilbert Griffin

Member From: 1883 - 1884

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  • Birth Date: 1847 Birth Place:Yorktown
  • Death Date: February 9, 1927
  • Gender: Male Race: African American
  • Spouse: Caroline M. Johnson (m. August 21, 1871)
  • Children: 3 Sons
  • Religion:
  • Education:
  • Military Service: Company K, 24th Regiment, United States Colored Troops
  • Occupation/Profession: Miller, Farmer, Oyster Harvester
  • Additional Info Links: Bio from Virginia's Martin Luther King Jr. Commission
    Encyclopedia Virginia Biography
  • Bio: Robert Gilbert Griffin, member of the House of Delegates (1883–1885), was born in 1847 in Yorktown, the son of an enslaved woman and a prosperous white man. Griffin’s father acknowledged Griffin as his son and made arrangements in his will to free him and his family. When his father died in 1859 his estranged white family blocked these provisions. Griffin spent much of his adult life attempting unsuccessfully to claim his inheritance. In the early 1860s he moved to Philadelphia where he enlisted in the United States Colored Troops. He married in 1871 and returned to Yorktown where he became involved in politics. His Republican Party work earned him appointment as the town’s postmaster. In 1883 Griffin won election to a two-year term in the House of Delegates representing the district that included the counties of York, Warwick, James City, and Elizabeth City and the city of Williamsburg. After his political service ended and an unsuccessful run for sheriff, Griffin bought and sold property, harvested oysters, and farmed. He died Washington, D.C., in 1927 and was buried in Collingdale, Pennsylvania

Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1883-1884 Elizabeth City, Warwick, James City, York and Williamsburg Republican Asylums and Prisons
Executive Expenditures
House Expenses

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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