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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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GRIFFIN, JAMES T. (1828-1883)

GRIFFIN, JAMES T., saddler, revenue officer, and JP; b. Newcastle, Jul 1828, s/o Thomas Griffin and Elizabeth Baldwin (later w/o Edward Keary); m. 1st, 1851, Caroline R. Dumaresq, of Dalhousie, N.B., and 2nd, 1853, Ann Bryson, of Burlington, Vt, a native of Ireland; d. Chatham, 28 Apr 1883.

When he was a young man James T. Griffin apprenticed as a saddler with George H. Letson of Chatham. He later did business in Restigouche County for a few years and then started a saddlery in Chatham in the early 1850s. In 1865 he was working as a tidewaiter with the customs service, and soon after Confederation he received a federal government appointment as collector of inland revenue. He was also a justice of the peace and was sometimes called upon in his later years to act as police magistrate. His activities brought him financial success, and he was one of Chatham's most affluent residents.

In his work as a revenue officer Griffin was considered to be exacting, but as a magistrate "he was lenient to the erring," doing everything possible to settle disputes amicably and repair fractured relations. In private life he was a lover of birds and flowers, and maintained beautiful grounds about his home. He was meticulous in his dress and a model of manners, and yet also "a great fund of humor." Chatham "could have better spared most any other of its citizens," stated The World when he died, at age fifty-four.

Griffin and his second wife, Ann Bryson, had at least eight children, including Elizabeth Griffin, the wife of Richard A. Lawlor.

Sources

[b/d] church records [m] Gleaner 2 Dec 1851; 24 Aug 1853 / Hutchison's; Telegraph 1 May 1880; World 28 Apr 1883


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