trenchant, which caused the displeasure of the court.
He was an omnivorous reader, especially in law. He had a large practice, but was a poor collector.
He was retained in many well-known cases, among which was the defence of George T. Bailey
for the murder of young Converse
; the petitions of Edward Everett
for damages for destruction of the ‘peep flats,’ and the famous Count Johanni
litigation, Commonwealth vs
took an important and earnest part in revising and remodelling the Courts
of the Commonwealth
; and the practice in vogue now is due largely to him.
He was of about medium height, stooped a little, and was slim, although not apparently so because of his massive head.
Above his gold-bowed spectacles arose a square, perpendicular forehead, from which his dark hair stood up straight and thick.
He was neither elegant nor classical, but his mind was quick and strong.
He married, May 1, 1852, Sarah Elizabeth Wood
, and died at his home in Medford
, May 22, 1866, of consumption.
He went to Cuba
for his health, but died soon after his return.
Though cut off in the full promise of an eminent career, he will ever stand conspicuous and prominent among the men of his memorable generation.
His domestic life was sublime; his children were the delight of his eye. His will was singular, where he pays tribute to his wife and family; he then wrote concerning the settlement of his estate: ‘Let great care and caution be exercised, particularly in respect of the bills of deputy sheriffs and constables, whose charges were so often most exorbitant and not infrequently made to me when I have distinctly marked the processes committed to them in such a manner as to notify them that I would not be responsible for officers' fees.’
When the Hon. Justice John W. Pettengill
was a student in Mr. Griffin
's office, Mr. Griffin
told him to ‘Stop Blackstone
and read the statutes regarding officers' charges.
Fight them and I will back you up.’