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Lynch, Thomas, Jr.

Lynch, Thomas, Jr.

LYNCH, THOMAS, JR. (1749–1779). Signer. South Carolina. Born in Winyah, South Carolina, on 5 August 1749, Thomas Lynch Jr. was sent at 12 to England, to study at Eton, Cambridge, and in the Middle Temple. He returned home in 1772. He decided not to practice law, and his father, Thomas Lynch Sr., concurred, having himself decided that his son should enter public life. While running his North Santee plantation, a gift from his father, Thomas Jr. became influential in Patriot circles. In 1774–1776, he sat in the provincial congress and, also in 1776, was on the state constitutional committee and in the first general assembly. On 12 June 1775 he was named a captain in the First South Carolina Regiment, caught a bilious fever while recruiting his company, was left in permanently poor health, and never commanded the company. On 23 March 1776, he was sent by the general assembly to the Continental Congress as an additional delegate to assist his ailing father, who had suffered a paralytic stroke. However, his own health was too feeble to allow him to participate actively in the Congress, although he voted for and signed the Declaration of Independence. In the fall of 1776, ailing father and son started south, but the elder Lynch died in Maryland, near Annapolis, and the younger reached home seriously ill. In late 1779, in hopes of finding a better climate, he sailed with his wife for the south of France. Their ship was never heard from, and is presumed to have been lost at sea with all hands.

SEE ALSO Continental Congress; Lynch, Thomas.

                              revised by Michael Bellesiles

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