Lady Christina Stuart Griffin



Lady Christina Stuart Griffin



Daughter of the 6th Earl of Traquair





Lady Christina’s husband, Cyrus Griffin of Virginia, was elected President of the United States, in Congress Assembled January 22, 1788 serving until January 21, 1789. Cyrus Griffin was born in Farnham, Richmond County, Virginia in 1749 and died in Yorktown, Virginia on December 14th, 1810. He was educated in Britain, studying law at the University of Edinburgh and at the Temple in London. In Europe Griffin was admired for his fresh, unwavering colonial spirit and his bright mind at the University of Edinburgh. It was at the University he became a close friend to Charles Stuart, Lord Linton, first son and heir of the Earl of Traquair. During the Christmas holiday, with Cyrus being so far from home, Charles invited him to his family's Traquair estate. 



John Stuart, the Earl of Traquair had three daughters, the Lady Christina, the Lady Mary and the Lady Louisa. The Lady Christina was strikingly beautiful and her personality so magnetic that the handsome Cyrus Griffin couldn't resist making a bold, but private, declaration to win the Lady's heart. When the Earl learned of Cyrus' intentions, he immediately admonished his son Lord Linton for allowing this Virginia plebian to enter Traquair's noble gates. The Earl reportedly raved and ranted at the rest of his family, for not uncovering this mischief sooner as such a scandal threatened the social standing of his noble house. Cyrus was escorted off the estate becoming persona non grata in the House of Traquair. The Earl forbade Christina from ever seeing Cyrus again and implemented estate security measures to end the love affair.



Traquair Family Estate






The courtship did not end and it became real runaway months later through the forests, over hill and dale in a wild flight from Traquair on a spring day in 1770. In the escape, the Lady Christina fell and broke her ankle. Family legend has it that Cyrus, underdetermined to let the event spoil their passionate plans, scooped her up and carried his lover through the countryside not to a doctor but to a parson. The minister, despite their disheveled appearance and her swollen ankle, united them in the bonds of matrimony on April 29, 1770.[i] The couple took residence in London while Griffin completed his studies. They returned to Virginia in 1776 with two children. 



Presidential Alert: After 102 years, the Federal Government finally agrees that Samuel Huntington and not John Hanson was the first USCA President to serve under the Articles of Confederation.  -- Click Here




Eight years later President Griffin and Lady Christina would find themselves in New York awaiting the 13 state ratification of a new U.S. Constitution that, if approved, would mean the complete dissolution of the Articles of Confederation Presidency and the entire confederation government. During this transition, the Griffin’s social status as President and “First Lady” of the United States in New York was second to none under the Articles of Confederation. Griffin’s office, English education, and his marriage to nobility solidified his standing as the pinnacle in confederation society among the nation's leaders. Lady Christina’s state events held for foreign dignitaries were legendary in New York’s social circles. Their last Presidential hospitality duty was to welcome the newly elected President under the current U.S. Constitution George Washington while participating in the inauguration festivities. The Presidential installation Broadside published by the new Federal Government marked the beginning of a new U.S. Presidency and its tripartite political system and the demise of the unicameral Confederation government. The Inaugural Broadside began:

Broadside Announcing Ceremonial for Washington's Inauguration, 29 April 1789
THE Committees of both Houses of Congress, appointed to take order for conducting the ceremonial of the formal reception &c. of the President of the United States, on Thursday next, have agreed to the following order thereon, viz.

 That General Webb, Colonel Smith, Lieutenant-Colonel Fish, Lieut. Col. Franks, Major L'Enfant, Major Bleecker, and Mr. John R. Livingston, be requested to serve as Assistants on the occasion.  That a chair he placed in the Senate-Chamber for the President of the United States. That a chair be placed in the Senate-Chamber for the Vice-President, to the right of the President’s chair; and that the Senators take their seats on that side of the chamber on which the Vice-President’s chair shall be placed. That a chair be placed in the Senate-Chamber for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the left of the President’s chair—and that the Representatives take their seats on that side of the chamber on which the Speaker’s chair shall be placed.

 That seats be provided in the Senate-Chamber sufficient to accommodate the late President of the United States in Congress Assembled [Cyrus Griffin of Virginia], the Governor of the Western territory [Arthur St Clair], the five persons being the heads of the three great departments [Secretary of Foreign Affairs John Jay, Secretary of War Henry Knox, Commissioners of the Treasury Arthur Lee, Walter Livingston, and Samuel Osgood], the Minister Plenipotentiary of France [Eleanor Francois Elie, Cpmte de Moustier], the Encargado de negocios of Spain [Don Diego de Gardoqui], the Chaplains of Congress [Bishop Samuel Provoost. Dr. William Liin], the persons in the suite of the President:42 and also to accommodate the following Public Officers of the State, viz. The Governor [George Clinton], the Lieutenant-Governor [Pierre Van Cortlandt], the Chancellor [Robert R. Livingston], the Chief Justice [Richard Morris], and other Judges of the Supreme Court [Robert Yates, Jon Sloss Hobart], and the Mayor of the city [James Duane]. That one of the Assistants wait on these gentlemen, and inform them that seats are provided for their accommodation, and also to signify to them that no precedence of seats is intended, and that no salutation is expected from them on their entrance into, or their departure from the Senate-Chamber.

After the inauguration, Cyrus  Griffin  was appointed by President George Washington as the first Federal Judge for the District of Virginia, where he served until his death. In that capacity, he joined Chief Justice John Marshall in presiding over the treason trial of Vice President Aaron Burr. Judge Griffin and Lady Christina lived in Williamsburg, Virginia, from 1794 until their deaths.  Lady Christina died in Williamsburg in 1807 and was interred in Bruton Parish Churchyard in Williamsburg, Virginia.

 The Congressional Evolution of the United States of America 

Continental Congress of the United Colonies Presidents 
Sept. 5, 1774 to July 1, 1776


September 5, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 26, 1774
May 20, 1775
May 24, 1775
May 25, 1775
July 1, 1776

Commander-in-Chief United Colonies & States of America

George Washington: June 15, 1775 - December 23, 1783



Continental Congress of the United States Presidents 
July 2, 1776 to February 28, 1781

July 2, 1776
October 29, 1777
November 1, 1777
December 9, 1778
December 10, 1778
September 28, 1779
September 29, 1779
February 28, 1781



Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to March 3, 1789

March 1, 1781
July 6, 1781
July 10, 1781
Declined Office
July 10, 1781
November 4, 1781
November 5, 1781
November 3, 1782
November 4, 1782
November 2, 1783
November 3, 1783
June 3, 1784
November 30, 1784
November 22, 1785
November 23, 1785
June 5, 1786
June 6, 1786
February 1, 1787
February 2, 1787
January 21, 1788
January 22, 1788
January 21, 1789


Presidents of the United States of America

D-Democratic Party, F-Federalist Party, I-Independent, R-Republican Party, R* Republican Party of Jefferson & W-Whig Party 


(1789-1797)
(1933-1945)
(1865-1869)
(1797-1801)
(1945-1953)
(1869-1877)
(1801-1809)
(1953-1961)
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(1809-1817)
(1961-1963)
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(1817-1825)
(1963-1969)
(1881-1885)
(1825-1829)
(1969-1974)
(1885-1889)
(1829-1837)
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*Confederate States  of America
(1857-1861)
(1929-1933)
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United Colonies and States First Ladies
1774-1788


United Colonies Continental Congress
President
18th Century Term
Age
09/05/74 – 10/22/74
29
Mary Williams Middleton (1741- 1761) Deceased
Henry Middleton
10/22–26/74
n/a
05/20/ 75 - 05/24/75
30
05/25/75 – 07/01/76
28
United States Continental Congress
President
Term
Age
07/02/76 – 10/29/77
29
Eleanor Ball Laurens (1731- 1770) Deceased
Henry Laurens
11/01/77 – 12/09/78
n/a
Sarah Livingston Jay (1756-1802)
12/ 10/78 – 09/28/78
21
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
09/29/79 – 02/28/81
41
United States in Congress Assembled
President
Term
Age
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
03/01/81 – 07/06/81
42
07/10/81 – 11/04/81
25
Jane Contee Hanson (1726-1812)
11/05/81 - 11/03/82
55
11/03/82 - 11/02/83
46
Sarah Morris Mifflin (1747-1790)
11/03/83 - 11/02/84
36
11/20/84 - 11/19/85
46
11/23/85 – 06/06/86
38
Rebecca Call Gorham (1744-1812)
06/06/86 - 02/01/87
42
02/02/87 - 01/21/88
43
01/22/88 - 01/29/89
36

Constitution of 1787
First Ladies
President
Term
Age
April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797
57
March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
52
Martha Wayles Jefferson Deceased
September 6, 1782  (Aged 33)
n/a
March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817
40
March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
48
March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829
50
December 22, 1828 (aged 61)
n/a
February 5, 1819 (aged 35)
n/a
March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
65
April 4, 1841 – September 10, 1842
50
June 26, 1844 – March 4, 1845
23
March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849
41
March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850
60
July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853
52
March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
46
n/a
n/a
March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
42
February 22, 1862 – May 10, 1865
April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
54
March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
43
March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
45
March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
48
January 12, 1880 (Aged 43)
n/a
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
21
March 4, 1889 – October 25, 1892
56
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
28
March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
49
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
40
March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913
47
March 4, 1913 – August 6, 1914
52
December 18, 1915 – March 4, 1921
43
March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
60
August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1929
44
March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
54
March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
48
April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
60
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
56
January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
31
November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969
50
January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974
56
August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
56
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
49
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
59
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
63
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
45
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
54
January 20, 2009 to date
45



Capitals of the United Colonies and States of America

Philadelphia
Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
Philadelphia
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Baltimore
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
Philadelphia
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
Lancaster
September 27, 1777
York
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
Philadelphia
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
Princeton
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Annapolis
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Trenton
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
October 6, 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790
Philadelphia
Dec. 6,1790 to May 14, 1800       
Washington DC
November 17,1800 to Present




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The United Colonies of North America Continental Congress Presidents (1774-1776)
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