ROGER GRISWOLD, Connecticut’s fifth governor was born in Lyme, Connecticut, on May 21, 1762. At the age of 14, he entered Yale University, graduating in 1780. Griswold studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1783, and embarked on a prominent legal career. He was awarded two Doctor of Law degrees, one from Harvard University in 1811, and the other from Yale University in 1812. Griswold entered politics as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he held from 1795 to 1805. In 1801, he was solicited by President John Adams to serve as the U.S. Secretary of War; however, Griswold declined the request. He served on the bench of the Connecticut Superior Court from 1807 to 1809, was an 1808 presidential elector on the Pickney and King ticket, and was Connecticut’s lieutenant governor from 1809 to 1811. On April 8, 1811, he was elected Governor of Connecticut, and on May 9, 1811, he was sworn into office. He was reelected to a second term on April 13, 1812. During his tenure, he contended with issues that resulted from the War of 1812. President Madison requested four companies of Connecticut troops to serve with the American army, but Governor Griswold declined, citing that they were not needed to deter an invasion. Governor Roger Griswold died in office, on October 25, 1812, and is buried at the Griswold Cemetery at Black Hall, Old Lyme, Connecticut.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.