LYON, Matthew, (father of Chittenden Lyon and great-grandfather of William Peters Hepburn), a Representative from Vermont and from Kentucky; born near Dublin, County Wicklow, Ireland, July 14, 1749; attended school in Dublin; began to learn the trade of printer in 1763; immigrated to the United States in 1765; was landed as a redemptioner and worked on a farm in Woodbury, Conn., where he continued his education; moved to Wallingford, Vt. (then known as the New Hampshire Grants), in 1774 and organized a company of militia; served as adjutant in Colonel Warner’s regiment in Canada in 1775; commissioned second lieutenant in the regiment known as the Green Mountain Boys in July 1776; moved to Arlington, Vt., in 1777; resigned from the Army in 1778; member of the State house of representatives 1779-1783; founded the town of Fair Haven, Vt., in 1783; was a member of the State house of representatives for ten years during the period 1783-1796; built and operated various kinds of mills, including one for the manufacture of paper; established a printing office in 1793 and published the Farmers’ Library, afterward the Fair Haven Gazette; unsuccessful candidate for election to the Second and Third Congresses; unsuccessfully contested the election of Israel Smith to the Fourth Congress; elected as a Republican to the Fifth and Sixth Congresses (March 4, 1797-March 3, 1801); was not a candidate for renomination in 1800; moved to Kentucky in 1801 and settled in Caldwell (now Lyon) County; member of the house of representatives of Kentucky in 1802; elected to the Eighth and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1803-March 3, 1811); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1810 to the Twelfth Congress; was appointed United States factor to the Cherokee Nation in Arkansas Territory in 1820; unsuccessfully contested the election of James W. Bates as a Delegate from Arkansas Territory to the Seventeenth Congress; died in Spadra Bluff, Ark., August 1, 1822; interment in Spadra Bluff Cemetery; reinterment in Eddyville Cemetery, Eddyville, Caldwell (now Lyon) County, Ky., in 1833.
BibliographyAustin, Aleine. Matthew Lyon: ‘ ‘New Man” of the Democratic Revolution, 1749-1822. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1981; Montagno, George L. “Matthew Lyon, Radical Jeffersonian, 1796-1801: A Case Study in Partisan Politics.” Ph.D. diss., University of California at Berkeley, 1954.
Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present