John Johns Trigg, Congressman

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

John Johns Trigg of Bedford County, Virginia, was a veteran of the American Revolutionary War. As a Captain, he fought and witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis' army at Yorktown.

From his days as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, 1784-1792, and of the Virginia Convention of 1788, Trigg consistently opposed any resolution which he believed might stifle the growth of his own state. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1797 and served in the next three succeeding congresses until his death in 1804. Trigg was never a prominent figure in his own right, but he did oppose any attempts to centralize power. During his time in Congress, his importance lay in his unswerving loyalty to the Republican party. This was particularly true during the dark days of the Alien and Sedition Acts when men like Trigg were sorely needed in congress to temper, since unable to smother, the fire of the Federalists.

During President Jefferson's first term in office, 1801-1805, John Trigg could be described as a "regular republican." He voted on all issues as a stanch supporter of the new Republican administration. When time came to undo the Federalist's legislation which Adams had passed, he was again to be counted on as a follower of the Republican program.