himself with the vigor of a young man. As I lived with
him and loved him dearly, my recollections are perfect of his features,
dress, habits, and manners up to this day. His face was noble and
beautiful. He could strictly be classed as a gentleman of the old
school. The antique style of dress typified his person. He was of
statue that was of perfect symmetry and of great strength. (1) He
powdered and wore a long queue of very fine hair now in my possession.
Shorts, with black or white stockings and gold Buckles; a full suit of
black in summer; and a rich velvet in winter were his invariable
habitments--a charming smile and a happy jest always went along with
him so that he inspired cheerfulness everywhere."
An insight into his earlier nature is found in a modern
account of an early Charleston murder,(2) in 1788. In this account of
the murder of Nicholas John Wightman, Dr. James Lynah is referred to
"When called to minister to the wounded man, Dr. Lynah
bustled in. Like so many of our Characters, the doctor was Irish. Like
none of the others, he had an overwhelming taste for the center of the
stage. Reporting on his first action is not satisfactory, but the story
as told in one version would make us believe that the Doctor counted
eight wounds and probed them before he thrust his finger into the
largest and pronounced the man dead. Thereupon he announced
dramatically that this was a murder and the murderers must be at once
pursued. Probably he got the worst wound first but he loved effect.
Later he would believe and say that he had sent for the constables, but
we know that they had come with him. Also he would tell how he first
directed the search towards Jones. Though it must have been in the
minds of all who knew the neighborhood"...Nevertheless the newspaper
account ending the story of the hearings reads as follows, "The
citizens are greatly obliged to Dr. Lynah and Capt. Davis for their
spirited exertion in breaking up a desperate gang of thieves who have
long committed their depredations in and about the city."
(1) From his portrait,
could be added that he was clean shaven, with a high forehead, and
aquiline, prominent nose, and a firm protruding chin. His face is that
of a keen, alert, humorous person. He was of muscular build, perhaps
somewhat short in status, with powerful arms and strong tapered
fingers. He conveys the impression of strength, vigor, charm and
(2) Charles Town Murders: The Footpads Memorial by S. G.