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David Lynch papers

MC 13

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center
Lynch, David, 1793-1860
David Lynch papers
Date [bulk]:
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
MC 13
0.2 Linear feet (; 1 box)
David Lynch (1793-1860) was an active member of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania in the mid-19th century and a friend and supporter of President James Buchanan. The bulk of this collection is comprised of Lynch's correspondence with other politically active Pennsylvanians and includes letters between Lynch and Buchanan. Also included are personal papers, pamphlets, religious ephemera, newspaper clippings, photos, and engravings.
Cite as:
Cite as: [Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], David Lynch papers, 1830-1875 (MC 13), Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center.
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David Lynch (1793-1860) served as a major in the land and marine services in the War of 1812, and received a land warrant in June 1858 under the Act of 1850 which granted land to certain military personnel. In 1830, Lynch received an auctioneer's license in Pennsylvania. As auctioneers were normally appointed by the governor, it seems likely that Lynch, then 37, was already well-connected politically in the state. In 1833 he was appointed Post Master of Pittsburgh and held that position until July 1840. At the time of the 1850 census, Lynch was still living in Pittsburgh with his family, Mary (age 44), Isabella (age 18), Robert (age 17), Andrew (age 12), and Joseph (age 8), and working as a tobacconist.

Scope and Contents

The small collection mostly consists of correspondence to and from David Lynch. The records also include personal papers, pamphlets, a newspaper clipping, correspondence of members of the Lynch family, religious ephemera, photographs of paintings, and engravings.

The collected correspondence animates the networking amongst prominent mid-nineteenth century Pennsylvanians, often avowed Democrats, and reveals party members’ maneuvers and sentiments in response to the rise of the new Republican Party. Many letters and documents illustrate Lynch’s close relationship with President James Buchanan. Four pamphlets originate during Buchanan’s presidency; they include two copies of the Lecompton Constitution, a transcript of a Lincoln-Douglas debate, and speeches of Senator Stephen Douglas. The newspaper clipping contains a reference to the Lecompton Constitution.

In addition to a few letters, the Lynch Family folder contains legal documents, a stock certificate, and Catholic memorabilia. Finally, the collection contains a folder of eight images of political and religious figures.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center,  ; February 2012

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Aileen McNamara

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.


Accession number 1990.013

Processing Information

This collection was reorganized and refoldered from an older folder list. Mylar folders and acid free paper protect a few fragile documents.

Existence and Location of Copies note

Digital reproductions of the David Lynch papers are available at

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Related Materials

At other institutions:

David Lynch Collection, Lancaster County Historical Society, Lancaster, Pa.

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Controlled Access Headings

  • Clippings
  • Correspondence
  • Deeds
  • Engravings (prints)
  • Ephemera
  • Legal instruments
  • Pamphlets
  • Photographs
Geographic Name(s)
  • Lancaster (Pa.)
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.)
  • Washington (D.C.)
Personal Name(s)
  • Buchanan, James, 1791-1868
  • Pennsylvania--Politics and government--1775-1865
  • United States--History--1815-1861
  • United States--Politics and government--1845-1861

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Other Finding Aid

An older finding aid is available in hard copy at PAHRC.


Baker, Jean H. James Buchanan. New York: Times Books, 2004. Print.

Novak, William J. “Public Economy and the Well-Ordered Market: Law and Economic Regulation in 19th-Century America.” Law & Social Inquiry 18.1 (1993): 1-32.  JSTOR. Web. 10 February 2012.

“USPS – Display Postmasters by City.” USPS, 2012. Web. 3 February 2012.

Collection Inventory

Box Folder
David Lynch- Correspondence, 1848-1858, undated.

This folder contains correspondence of David Lynch. One letter is written by Lynch to Franklin Pierce, U.S. President, discussing an applicant for Postmaster of Pittsburgh, Lieut. Anderson, 1853.

1 1

David Lynch- Personal papers (Certificate & Deed of land), 1830-1839.

1 2
Pamphlets, 1858-1859.

The Lecompton constitution: in the House of Representatives, March 10, 1858 (2 copies).

The Campaign in Illinois: Last Joint Debate: Douglas and Lincoln at Alton, Illinois, 1858.

Speeches of Senator S. A. Douglas on the occasion of his public receptions by the citizens of New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, 1859.

1 3
James Buchanan- Correspondence, legal papers, 1835-1858.

This folder contains correspondence of James Buchanan (seven letters) and one deed:

Buchanan, U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, writes to Lynch regarding a dispute amongst the Pennsylvania Democrats and his desire to quell it, 1835.

J. L. Edward writes to Buchanan, U.S. senator, regarding Susan Kuhn’s pension claim, 1843.

Deed: Buchanan, U.S. Secretary of State, sells Arthur H. McClelland a lot in Pittsburgh for $500, 1845.

Buchanan, former Secretary of State, writes to Lynch considering a run for the presidency, 1850.

Buchanan, U.S. minister to Great Britain, writes to Lynch discussing his position in London and his adjustment to it, 1854.

Buchanan, still U.S. minister to Great Britain, writes to Lynch again considering a run for the presidency, 1855.

Lynch writes to Buchanan, President of the United States, endorsing Mr. Flinn and encloses a copy of a resolution in which Flinn supports Buchanan, 1857.

Lynch writes to Buchanan, U.S. President, and mentions the Democratic Convention, 1858.

1 4

Lynch Family- Legal papers, religious ephemera, correspondence, 1853-1865, undated.

1 5

Miscellaneous, 1875, undated.

1 6
Photographs, engravings, undated.

This folder contains eight images of notable political and religious figures:

James Buchanan

George Washington

Bishop Struzziere

Bishop Joseph

Thomas Jefferson & John Adams

Bishop Ippolito

Bishop Moliyoni

Archbishop Pluyum

1 7