John Roy Lynch (1847-1939) was the first African American Speaker of the House in Mississippi. He was also one of the first African American members of the U. S House of Representatives during the Reconstruction, the period in United States history after the Civil War. Lynch was born a slave in Louisiana, but according to historian Eric Foner, Lynch was freed by the United States Union Army in 1863 near the end of the Civil War. During the Spanish-American War of 1898, he was appointed Treasury Auditor and then Paymaster. Lynch retired from the Army in 1911 and to Chicago, where he practiced law and once again became involved in real estate. After his death in Chicago he was buried with military honors in the Arlington National Cemetery. According to Foner, Lynch "published a book, The Facts of Reconstruction (1913), and several articles criticizing the then dominant Dunning School historiography" which presented the views of former slave owners and routinely showed the role of African Americans during Reconstruction in a false light. His book is a Primary Source in the study of Reconstruction.