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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RIGGS, George Washington, banker, born in Georgetown, D. C., 4 July, 1813; died at Green Hill, Prince George's County, Maryland, near Washington, 24 August, 1881. He was educated at Yale, and in 1836, with William W. Corcoran, formed the banking-house of Corcoran and Riggs, which acquired a national fame during the Mexican war by taking up the entire loan that was called for by the government in 1847 and 1848. This proved a profitable transaction from the large commission that was received and indirectly by bringing the firm into great publicity. When Mr. Corcoran retired from business Mr. Riggs formed the present firm of Riggs and Co. He also entered largely into the purchase of real estate in Washington and other parts of the District of Columbia. Mr. Riggs took a great interest in the management of the affairs of the District, and in 1873 he acted as chairman of the committee that presented a petition to congress asking for an investigation into the conduct of the board of public works. The result of the investigation was that the congressional committee reported in favor of abolishing the existing territorial government, and a new system was inaugurated, which vested all authority in congress itself. Mr. Riggs possessed literary and artistic taste, and collected a library of valuable books and many works of art.
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