Born in Shabin-Karahisar, Shahrigian graduated from Galatasaray College (high school) in Constantinople and then from the Faculty of Law of the University of Constantinople. He joined the Dashnaktsoutiun, eventually becoming a member of the ARF Bureau.
Shahrigian served as a lawyer in Trebizond from 1889 to 1895 and was often called upon to defend Armenian political prisoners. At the same time, Shahrigian engaged in various ARF and civic activities.
Himself arrested by Ottoman authorities during the 1895–96 massacres, Shahrigian managed to escape and crossed over into Transcaucasia. In 1897, on behalf of the ARF Bureau, he settled the internal squabbles in the Dashnaktsakan organization of Iran, in Salmast, and gave approval for launching the Khanasor Expedition.
The Second World Congress elected him to the Eastern Bureau (1898), which he represented in the Potorik Committee (which raised funds from wealthy Armenians for the ARF’s militant activities from 1901 to 1903). During the Armeno-Tatar conflict, from 1905 to 1906, the Bureau dispatched Shahrigian to the northern Caucasus to secure funds for the purchase of ammunition.
In 1908, Shahrigian settled in Constantinople after the proclamation of the Ottoman Constitution. He attempted to convince the government to build railways in the eastern provinces of Turkey (Western Armenia), to no avail. He served as a member of the Armenian National Assembly and wrote articles for Azatamart and other Dashnak publications. He also authored separate works on the Ottoman Empire and Ottoman reforms.
Endowed with a strong, original personality, Shahrigian was a prominent figure in national affairs and in the ARF. He fell victim to the 1915 Genocide. He was 55 years old.
The future, then, lies not in fusion—assimilation—but in a policy of unity, or more correctly, in a policy of pluralistic unity. Erase variety in nature, in the universe, make the universe uniform, and you will have erased the beauty of nature, its harmony, its life. Variety in nature, which seems to put every element at odds with another, actually, through harmony, forms the greatness of the perpetual motion of the universe.
From Mer Havadamke (Our Credo), 1908, republished in 1981, Beirut