John Lynch (1740–1820)

John Lynch, the founder of the city of Lynchburg, Virginia, was born August 28, 1740, in Albemarle County, Virginia, and died on October 31, 1820, in Lynchburg.

Early lifeEdit

Lynch's father was Charles Lynch, who was born in Galway, Ireland, but immigrated to Virginia in 1720 and prospered. Charles Lynch married Sarah Clarke in 1733 and moved near the present site of Lynchburg. John Lynch was one of six children they had, another of whom was Charles, a judge believed to be the namesake of lynching.

Founding of LynchburgEdit

The Lynch Ferry across the James River was established by the family about 1745. In 1757, seventeen year old John Lynch took over control of the ferry business. Years later, first in 1784 and again in 1786, Lynch petitioned the General Assembly of Virginia for a charter to establish a town on the bluffs above the ferry upon land Lynch had inherited from an older brother. The 1786 petition was granted and the town of Lynchburg was founded.

Lynch freed his own slaves during his lifetime and consistently supported the antislavery movement.[1]


  1. ^ "John Lynch to Thomas Jefferson, 25 December 1810". Retrieved May 17, 2017.


  • Elson, James M. (2004). Lynchburg, Virginia: The First Two Hundred Years 1786 – 1986. Lynchburg, VA: Warwick House Publishing. ISBN 978-1890306724. LCCN 2004111050.
  • Loyd, Richard B.; Mundy, Bernard K. (1975). Lynchburg: A Pictorial History. Virginia Beach, VA: Donning Company. ISBN 091544206X. LCCN 75020230.
  • Chambers, S. Allen, Jr. (1981). Lynchburg: An Architectural History. University Press of Virginia. ISBN 978-0813908823. LCCN 81003000.
  • Scruggs, Philip Lightfoot (1978). The History of Lynchburg, Virginia 1786–1946. J. P. Bell. LCCN 78184897.