Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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GRIFFITH, David, clergyman, born in New York City in 1742; died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 3 August, 1789. His early education was obtained at home, after which he went to England, continued his studies, and was graduated in London as a student of medicine. On his return in 1763, he entered on the practice of his profession, but soon resolved to enter the ministry. He went. to England in 1770, and was ordained by the bishop of London on 19 August of that. year. The Venerable society appointed him missionary to Gloucester County, New Jersey, and at the close of 1771 he took charge of Shelburne parish, Loudon County. Va. Here he continued until May, 1776, when he entered the army as chaplain to the 3d Virginia regiment. At the close of 1779 he resigned his chaplaincy, and became rector of Christ Church, Alexandria. This position he held until his death. At the close of the Revolution, Mr. Griffith was active in aid of the movement to raise the Episcopal Church out of its depressed condition, by proposing a convention for organization, etc. He was a member of the first Virginia convention of clerical and lay deputies, which met in Richmond, Virginia, in May, 1785, and was appointed a delegate to the general convention held in September of that year. He was appointed secretary of the convention, and the following year received the degree of D. D. from the University of Pennsylvania. At the second Virginia convention of his Church in May, 1786, Dr. Griffith was chosen bishop. It was expected that he would accompany Dr. White and Dr. Provoost to England for consecration, but pecuniary difficulties rendered this impossible. In this state of affairs he formally resigned his appointment at the opening of the general convention in 1789. He was intimate with Washington, who was for years his parishioner. It is said that on the night before the battle of Monmouth, Dr. Griffith sought an interview with Washington, and bade him beware of General Charles Lee.
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