New National Era clipping

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Letter from Mississippi.

Vicksburg, February 3, 1873.

To the Editor of the New National Era:

I certainly intended long ere this to write to you concerning the sad event which occurred here in the death of Hon. James Lynch, our late Secretary of State. His death cast a gloom all over the State, as he was thoroughly known, much respected, and stood high in the estimation of all who knew him. He came into the State in 1867, and took as prominent a part in the revolutionary events which engrossed the minds of the people from that year until his death, as any man in the State. He was certainly the best stump orator in the State, and whenever he was announced to speak at a place, he would be sure to have a large audience of all classes of citizens. He was frequently called the "Sargent S. Prentiss of his day." This is a high compliment, as Prentiss was noted as being one of the finest orators in the country.

Mr. Lynch did not have the style of Wendell Phillips, nor of George W. Curtis, nor of John B. Gough, nor of Frederick Douglass, nor of Henry Ward Beecher; but of a somewhat earnest Methodist minister's style, with every nerve in the body responding to the subject under discussion. His language was chaste, his utterance distinct, and his gestures expressive. Last summer, while in the fight for Congressional nomination, he delivered one of the most effective speeches in our court-house for over three hours that I have ever heard. And the next day, when our county convention was in session, he was called out again, and delivered another speech of the same length of time without even appearing to repeat a solitary word that he had uttered the night before. At both of these meetings were some of our most prominent Democratic citizens and lawyers, and all of them said that he was certainly one of the most remarkable speakers they have ever heard.

His death came upon us very suddenly, and in him the Republican party has lost one of its most prominent members, and his church one of her leading ministers. At his funeral the Governor, Attorney General, Auditor of Public Accounts, Superintendent of Education, Senator Caldwell, Representatives Bush and Hill, Governor's Private Secretary, Superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum, and your humble correspondent acted as pall-bearers. We had been warm friends for many years, and we had hoped to see him live to enjoy many more honors from the Republican party of Mississippi. But he is now gone the way we all must soon go, and another must now rise and take his place.


New National Era, “New National Era clipping,” Mississippi State University Libraries, accessed March 3, 2024,

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