Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
LYNCH, John Roy (1847-1939)

LYNCH, JOHN ROY, a Representative from Mississippi; born near Vidalia, Concordia Parish, La., September 10, 1847; after his father's death moved with his mother to Natchez, Miss., in 1863, where they were held as slaves; after emancipation engaged in photography and attended evening school; appointed by Governor Ames as a justice of the peace in 1869; member of the State house of representatives 1869-1873 and served the last term as speaker; delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1872, 1884, 1888, 1892, and 1900; elected as a Republican to the Forty-third and Forty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1873-March 3, 1877); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1876 to the Forty-fifth Congress; successfully contested the election of James R. Chalmers to the Forty-seventh Congress and served from April 29, 1882, to March 3, 1883; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1882 to the Forty-eighth Congress; returned to his plantation in Adams County, Miss., and engaged in agricultural pursuits; chairman of the Republican State executive committee 1881-1889; member of the Republican National Committee for the State of Mississippi 1884-1889; temporary chairman of the Republican National Convention at Chicago in 1884; Fourth Auditor of the Treasury for the Navy Department under President Harrison 1889-1893; studied law; was admitted to the Mississippi bar in 1896; returned to Washington, D.C., in 1897, where he practiced his profession until 1898, when he was appointed a major and additional paymaster of Volunteers during the Spanish-American War by President William McKinley; was appointed by President McKinley as a paymaster in the Regular Army with the rank of captain in 1901; was promoted to major in 1906; retired from the Regular Army in 1911; moved to Chicago, Ill., in 1912 and continued the practice of his profession until his death in that city on November 2, 1939; interment in Arlington National Cemetery.

Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Jackson, MS
Papers: 1873-1877, 4 items.
The papers of John Roy Lynch include a manuscript autobiography, a photograph, and three letters.


Duke University
Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
Durham, NC
Papers: In the George Gifford Papers, 1860-1920, 546 items.
Subjects include John R. Lynch.


Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Microfilm: In the Robert H. Terrell Papers, ca. 1870-1925, 4 microfilm reels.
Correspondents include John R. Lynch. A finding aid is available in the library.

Microfilm: In the Carter G. Woodson Collection of Negro Papers and Related Documents, ca. 1803-1936, 10 microfilm reels.
Subjects include John R. Lynch.


The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts
New York, NY
Papers: 1873, 1 item.
A letter from Adelbert Ames to George H. Williams, Attorney General, written on April 16, 1873. In the letter, Adelbert Ames recommends John Roy Lynch as U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Mississippi.


Yale University Library
Microform Reference
New Haven, CT
Microfilm: In the Carter G. Woodson Collection of Negro Papers and Related Documents, ca. 1803-1936, 10 microfilm reels.
Subjects include John R. Lynch.

  • Bell, Frank C. "The Life and Times of John R. Lynch: A Case Study 1847-1939." Journal of Mississippi History 38 (February 1976): 53-67.
  • Franklin, John Hope. "Lynch, John Roy." In Dictionary of American Negro Biography, edited by Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston, pp. 407-9. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1982.
  • "John Roy Lynch" in Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007. Prepared under the direction of the Committee on House Administration by the Office of History & Preservation, U.S. House of Representatives. Washington: Government Printing Office, 2008.
  • Lynch, John Roy. Colored Americans: John R. Lynch's Appeal To Them. Milwaukee: Allied Printing, [1900?]
  • ___. The Facts of Reconstruction. New York: The Neale Publishing Company, 1913. Reprint, edited by William C. Harris, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., [1970].
  • ___. The Late Election in Mississippi. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1877.
  • ___. Reminiscences of an Active Life. Edited and with an Introduction by John Hope Franklin. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1970. Reprint Edition, Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2008.
  • ___. Some Historical Errors of James Ford Rhodes. Boston: The Cornhill Publishing Co., 1922.
  • Mann, Kenneth Eugene. "John Roy Lynch: U.S. Congressman from Mississippi." Negro History Bulletin 37 (April/May 1974): 238-41.
  • McLaughlin, James Harold. "John R. Lynch, The Reconstruction Politician: A Historical Perspective." Ph.D. diss., Ball State University, 1981.