Signature ("Thomas Lynch") on the title-page of Edmund Burke's Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. The sixth edition (London: Printed for J. Dodsley, 1770)
8vo (8 3/8 x 5 in.; 213 x 127 mm). Title-page browned and lightly stained in upper margin. Contemporary calf, spine gilt with red morocco label, plain endpapers, red edges; rebacked, corners restored.Half brown morocco folding-case.
The Dismukes family of Nashville, descendants of Lynch's sister — Goodpasture Book Company, Nashville (letter of description, 3 August 1909) — R. A. Halley, Chicago — Joseph Fields — Carnegie Book Shop —"A Gentleman on the West Coast" (Sotheby's, 23 May 1984, lot 169)
A fine example of Lynch's rare autograph, appropriately preserved in Burke's Philosophical Enquiry, which became a virtual textbook for the Signers and other American Revolutionaries (see Fields, "An Eighteenth Century Best Seller," in Autograph Collector's Journal, 1953).
Lynch was the only son of a prosperous rice planter, who sent him to England to receive a classical education; Lynch was the only Signer to attend Eton and Cambridge. He assembled a small gentleman's library, and his ownership signatures in his books have provided the bulk of the known examples of his autograph. In Joseph Fields's census, forty-eight of the eighty-one examples are signatures clipped from title-pages or fly-leaves of his books. Others are entire title-pages that have been excised from their volumes. This is one of the few complete signed books that survive from Lynch's library.
Thomas Lynch Jr. was only twenty-seven when he was elected to the Continental Congress, partly so that he could care for his father who suffered a stroke while serving in Philadelphia as a South Carolina delegate. The son served in Congress from late April until mid-August 1776. On their homeward journey, Lynch Sr. died and Lynch Jr.'s health deteriorated. He retired from public life and was lost at sea in 1779.
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