ABOUT THE RECORDS
About Lynchburg

Lynchburg is named for Quaker John Lynch, who established a ferry there across the James River in 1757. The town was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in 1786, incorporated as a town in 1805, and designated a city in 1852.

"Tobacco, Lynchburg's Idol"

In the nineteenth century "The Hill City" was well-known throughout the United States for its tobacco. Lynchburg was the largest producer of chewing or "plug" tobacco per capita in the country in the late antebellum period (1840-1860). In 1886 Harper's Weekly magazine reported that Lynchburg was "the largest dealer in loose tobacco in the world."

Lynchburg Population Statistics, 1810-1950

Census Year Total
Population
White Slave Free
Black
Non-White
Total
1810 1,400 796 469 135 604
1820 2,798 1,625 871 302 1,173
1830 4,160 2,257 1,579 324 1,903
1840 6,395 3,183 2,735 477 3,212
1850 8,071 4,102 3,424 545 3,969
1860 6,853 3,802 2,694 357 3,051
1870 6,825 3,472 3,353
1880 15,959 7,485 8,474
1890 19,709 9,903 9,806
1900 18,891 10,637 8,254
1910 29,494 20,023 9,471
1920 30,070 21,740 8,330
1930 40,661 31,007 9,654
1940 44,541 34,305 10,236
1950 47,727 37,247 10,480


 
Source: U.S. Census Bureau Decennial Population Statistics (http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial)