Is Your Family's Common Surname Now Offensive?
The origin of the terms lynching and lynch law is traditionally attributed In the United States to Charles Lynch, a Virginia Quaker. Charles Lynch (1736–1796) was a Virginia planter and American Revolutionary who headed a county court in Virginia which incarcerated Loyalist supporters of the British for up to one year during the war. While he lacked proper jurisdiction, he claimed this right by arguing wartime necessity. Subsequently, he prevailed upon his friends in the Congress of the Confederation to pass a law that exonerated him and his associates from wrongdoing. He was concerned that he might face legal action from one or more of those so incarcerated, even though the American Colonies had won the war. This action by the Congress provoked controversy, and it was in connection with this that the term "Lynch law", meaning the assumption of extrajudicial authority, came into common parlance in the United States. Lynch was not accused of racist bias. He acquitted blacks accused of murder on three separate occasions. He was accused, however, of ethnic prejudice in his abuse of Welsh miners.
I guess Lynchburg, VA is in trouble. Will Clint Eastwood's film 'Hang 'em' High' require a title change? There seems to be no end to this nonsense. Should every U.S. citizen burdened with the surname 'Lynch' be required to change it?
― Douglas Adams