Thomas Lynch, Jr.

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Founding Fathers
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
State South Carolina
Religion Christian- Episcopalian [1]
Founding Documents Declaration of Independence

Thomas Lynch, Jr. (b. August 5, 1749; presumed dead 1779) is a Founding Father of America. He was a law graduate, a farmer, Captain of a South Carolina Regimental Company, and a South Carolina delegate to the Continental Congress that signed the Declaration of Independence. Thomas and his wife Elizabeth were presumed lost at sea.

Early life

Thomas Lynch, Jr. was born the only son of Thomas Sr. and Elizabeth Allston Lynch in Prince George's Parish, Winyaw, South Carolina. He had two sisters, Esther and Sabina. The Lynch family were of a high social class as wealthy owners of a rice plantation.[2] At age 12 Thomas was sent to England for schooling. He was educated at Eton college and Cambridge University and studied law at Temple, London.[3] Thomas returned home to South Carolina, married Elizabeth Shubrick and his father gave him the Peach Tree plantation. Through his father's influence as delegate to the Continental Congress, Lynch Jr. was elected to a local public office.

American Revolution

When tensions with the colonies and Britain were leading to independence, Lynch Jr. was commissioned Captain of the first regiment of South Carolina in 1775. Soon afterward, Lynch Sr. had been stricken with paralysis, stepped down from the Continental Congress and in 1776, young Lynch Jr. would be his unanimous replacement. After signing the Declaration, Lynch Jr. went home to South Carolina with his sick father. His father would die en route.


Thomas had his own health problems, having contacted swamp fever while a Captain. He and his wife sailed for St. Eustatius[4] in the West Indies in 1779 and nobody saw him ever again. The ship disappeared and there is no record of his life after.[5]

His birth home, Hopsewee plantation is a National Historic Landmark.