Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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LYNCH, Patrick Niesen, R. C. bishop, born in Clones, Ireland, 10 March, 1817; died in Charleston, South Carolina, 26 February, 1882. In 1819 his parents emigrated to the United States, and were among the first settlers of Cheraw, South Carolina After studying at Bishop England's seminary of St. John the Baptist in Charleston, the son was sent to the College of the Propaganda, Rome, and became one of its most brilliant students. He was ordained priest, and, after winning the degree of doctor of divinity by a public thesis in 1840, returned to Charleston, and was appointed assistant pastor at the cathedral. Here he remained until the death of Bishop England in 1844. During the eleven following years he was pastor of St. Mary's church, being also part of the time principal of the Collegiate institute and vicar-general of the diocese. In 1855, on the death of Bishop Reynolds, he was appointed administrator, and governed the see until he was nominated bishop. He was consecrated, 14 March, 1858. When South Carolina seceded, Bishop Lynch became an ardent supporter of the Confederacy. In the first year of the civil war a fire broke out in Charleston, destroying the new cathedral, the bishop's house, and other church property, and his flock was entirely scattered by the subsequent siege and bombardment. Then came Sherman's march to the sea, with the burning of Columbia and its church, college, and convent. For the purpose of counteracting the effect of Archbishop Hughes's mission to Europe, the Confederate authorities sent Bishop Lynch on a special mission to France, and with a letter from Jefferson Davis to the pope. On his return he found his diocese nearly ruined. In addition to losses in church property, he owed over $100,000 to poor people who had intrusted him with their savings, and the rebuilding of such churches and institutions as were absolutely necessary would cost at least $150,000 more. He had no resources in his diocese, and the rest of his life was a struggle with these obligations. He spent a great part of the time in other states collecting money, and at his death all the debt was paid except $17,000. The exertion affected his naturally vigorous constitution, and led to a premature end. The life of Bishop Lynch was marked by acts of heroic charity and great literary activity. In 1848 he took charge of a hospital during an epidemic of yellow fever, nursing the sick even after he had contracted the disease; and on the outbreak of the disease in 1871 he returned in great haste to his diocese, so as not to be away from his flock in time of peril. He was a classical scholar and a theologian, as well as a devoted student of applied science. He wrote several articles for reviews and periodicals, and edited Deharbe's " Series of Catechisms." His articles on the " Vatican Council" in the "Catholic World," and those on "The Blood of St. Januarius," were afterward published in book-form.
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