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[p. 62] practice of his profession, and was city solicitor four or five years. In 1859 he removed to Malden, and shortly after to Medford. While in Charlestown, in 1854, his strenuous opposition to the act of the Legislature consolidating Boston and Charlestown, brought the matter to the Supreme Court, where it was pronounced unconstitutional. He was a representative from both Charlestown and Malden.

Mr. Griffin was one of the brightest and ablest members of the bar, a master of sarcasm, and was at his best in satire, wit and raillery. He was associated with William St. Agnan Stearns for many years, and to the time of his death. Whether at the bar, the rostrum or in the Legislature, his magnetism of personality, deep, sonorous voice, deliberate manner and incisive and logical speech commanded the respect and attention of all. He always intermixed the trial of his cause with jokes, even sometimes hazarding verdict and friends; and this, coupled with his sarcasm, clear logic, keen, brilliant wit and eloquence, caused much discomfiture to his opponent, and made him a wily, dangerous adversary at the bar. The more difficult and intricate his case, the sharper became his intellect and the more terrible his weapons of battle. Distinguished as a jury advocate, he was entitled to standing with Butler, Sidney Bartlett, E. Rockwood Hoar or Josiah Abbott.

He was appointed Clerk of the Courts for Middlesex, but he was like a ‘bound gladiator’ and longed for the excitement of the forum. He occupied the position about a month, and said ‘that if he stayed in the position another month he should have gone crazy.’

Many and severe were the clashes between Butler, Somerby and Griffin. Griffin once wrote an article entitled a ‘Portrait of Butler by a House Painter,’ in the Bunker Hill Aurora, for which Butler never forgave him.

There was never any obsequiousness about Griffin. He detested formality or subordinacy, and was rather

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