Born into enslavement in 1847, Lynch was sold and eventually relocated to Dunleith in 1859. He would become the most famous person ever to live in Dunleith.

During the Reconstruction period, Lynch ascended as one of America's most powerful African American political figures. Lynch was first appointed as justice of the peace in Adams County. In 1869 he became the first African

American to serve as Speaker of the House. Lynch was only 25 when elected to Congress in 1873! In 1884 Lynch chaired a national political convention, again becoming the first African American to do so.

By 1901, he took up post as paymaster of the Army, obtaining the rank of major. He practiced law in Chicago until his death in 1939.

Check out his books:
The Facts of Reconstruction.

Reminiscences of an Active Life: The Autobiography of John Roy Lynch.


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