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Rare Thomas Lynch Jr. Letter (1776) Charleston, South Carolina

Letter written from Charleston, South Carolina to George Laurence Eaton, Esq. In full: “I am happy to extend to you the enclosed letter on his Excellys. account. I shall explain to my Father the visit and the reason. With great esteem I have the honor to be your friend.” Reverse bears an address panel in Lynch’s hand to “George Laurence Eaton Esquire, Charleston,” with “The politeness of James Coggeshall, Esq,” written in the lower left of the address panel.

Thomas Lynch Jr. (1749-1779), signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in South Carolina to Thomas Lynch Sr. and Elizabeth Hamilton Allston. Thomas received an education in England and graduated with honors at Cambridge. He studied law in London and then returned home in 1772. He was politically engaged as soon as he returned home, and was commissioned a company commander in the South Carolina regiment in 1775. Soon afterward he was elected to a seat in the Continental Congress. He fell ill shortly after signing the Declaration and retired from the Congress. At the close of 1776, he and his wife sailed for the West Indies. The ship disappeared and there is no record of his life after. (Image credit: Ole Erekson, Engraver, c. 1876, Library of Congress from

Elizabeth Hamilton Allston Lynch (1728-1750?), wife if Thomas Lynch Sr. Daughter of Gov. R. F. William Allston and Esther LaBrosse. (Image credit: Jeremiah Thëus, Reynolda House Museum of American Art; gift of Barbara B. Millhouse, object no. 1972.2.1 Read more at

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