LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — when a Lynchburg resident tells someone whereby they’re from, it can raise part eyebrows, and the resident might then to speak something like, “That’s not what it’s named after.”

The mental connection between Lynchburg and also lynching is naught new. It inspired movements as newly as critical year to adjust the name.

You are watching: How did lynchburg tennessee get its name

“John Lynch was a guy who in the 1750s, he started a ferry service throughout what to be then the Fluvana River and also is currently James River,” claimed Dr. Lindsay wood Michie, Co-Chair the the Africana studies department at the university of Lynchburg.


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A bridge currently bears his name over the James River, a nod to the company that inspired the original name, Lynch’s Ferry.

“Lynch’s Ferry then became Lynchburg,” stated Michie, “and therefore that’s the origin of the actual name of Lynchburg.”

She states Lynch was a Quaker that freed his slaves prior to his death. He had a brother, Charles — a referee who collection up a court to punish British loyalists throughout the Revolutionary War.

“They didn’t acquire due process, and also that’s type of the beginnings of the idea that lynch laws, that someone being punished there is no due process.”


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According to Michie, lynching ultimately took top top the meaning we recognize today: the extrajudicial targeting and killing of black people.

“It gets readjusted to this more especially tragic an interpretation of targeting black color people and killing them without due process, and also of food accusing them frequently of points they hadn’t done.”

So when the City the Lynchburg and lynching aren’t named after every other, the two share origins from the exact same family.

Michie think it’s worth it come revisit the word and consider a change.

“Words change over time. Symbols adjust over time historically, and also I think we need to be really aware of that.”

James Madison college documented and mapped the end known situations of lynchings in Virginia indigenous the Civil war to the early 1930s.



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