Showing posts from June, 2023

Founding Fathers - Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr. Born: August 5, 1749 (near Georgetown, South Carolina) Died: 1779 (at sea) Our final "Junior" of June is also the first of the group who bore the same first name as his father.  Born at his family's plantation named Hopsewee along the northern bank of the North Santee River, just south of Georgetown, SC, Thomas Lynch, Jr. was the third child and only son born to Thomas and Elizabeth Lynch.  In fact, the young man's grandfather had also been named Thomas, and all three men would eventually serve South Carolina in political positions, with the elder two both holding seats in the Royal Assembly.  The younger Thomas began his education at Georgetown's Indigo Society School before being sent to England to get a more complete education.  He earned honors at both Eton College and at Cambridge before studying law at Middle Temple, where all four of South Carolina's signers had attended.  He would not pursue a legal career, however, and upon his retur

Founding Fathers - Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Thomas Nelson, Jr. Born: December 26, 1738 (Yorktown, Virginia) Died: January 4, 1789 (Hanover County, Virginia) Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!  This week we meet the second member of our "Thomas Junior" trio, and this one had a royal connection.  Thomas Nelson, Jr. was a direct descendent of England's King Henry III, and also the grandson of the exceptionally rich and powerful Robert "King" Carter.  He was the first of five children born to William Nelson and Elizabeth Carter, and stood to gain an enormous inheritance from his aristocratic family of planters and merchants.  Like last week's focus, Thomas Heyward, Jr., he was not named after his father but adopted the suffix to distinguish himself from his uncle of the same name.  After studying with a local reverend as a boy, Thomas set sail for England at the age of 14 to receive his formal education.  He graduated from Christ's College at Cambridge in 1761, and returned home to help

Founding Fathers - Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Heyward, Jr. Born: July 28, 1746 (St. Luke's Parish, South Carolina) Died: March 6, 1809 (St. Luke's Parish, South Carolina) This week I decided to have fun with some word play, and since it's June it seemed like a good time to look at signers who had a "Junior" at the end of their names (June...Junior...get it?).  After browsing through all of the names, I came across the fun fact that all three men who signed that suffix also had their first name in common - they were all named Thomas.  So today we're going to dive into the first member of the group, South Carolina's Thomas Heyward, Jr.  Yet another interesting bit of information regarding the subject of our study, however, was the fact that his father's name was Daniel - young Thomas tagged the Junior onto the end of his name later in life to distinguish himself from his uncle.  He was born on the family plantation, named Old House, several miles north of Savannah, Georgia, where his father h

Founding Fathers - Lyman Hall

Lyman Hall Born: April 12, 1724 (Wallingford, Connecticut)  Died: October 19, 1790 (Burke County, Georgia)  This week, as we continue to study the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, our attention settles on the third member of the Georgia delegation.  Like so many others who were instrumental in our nation's birth and development, Lyman Hall was a man who was willing to change and move to accomplish his purposes.  Born in the spring of 1724 to a minister and his wife, John and Mary Hall, Lyman was a fifth-generation citizen of Connecticut.  He received a quality education, not just from Yale where he studied medicine and graduated in 1747, but also from his uncle Samuel, from whom he was mentored in theology.  Lyman initially followed in the footsteps of his father and uncle to become a Congregational minister in Bridgeport, CT, but in 1751 he was found to have engaged in immoral behavior.  He was removed from his position, but after a heartfelt confession and repentan