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John Byrce Syphax

Member From: 1874 - 1875

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  • Birth Date: 1835 Birth Place:Alexandria County, Virginia (now Arlington)
  • Death Date: September 8, 1916
  • Gender: Male Race: African American
  • Spouse: Agnes Lee Syphax (m. March 15, 1887 d. June 17, 1906)
  • Children: four sons and two daughters
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  • Additional Info Links: Bio from Virginia's Martin Luther King Jr. Commission
    Encyclopedia Virginia Biography
  • Additional Info: The General Assembly of Virginia 1619-1978-A Bicentennial Register of Members lists district as Alexandria.
  • Bio: John Bryce Syphax, was a member of the House of Delegates from 1873 to 1875 and a candidate for several offices as a Republican before breaking with the party and affiliating first with the Readjuster Party and later with the Democratic Party. Syphax was the son of Charles Syphax and Maria Carter Syphax, the freed daughter of George Washington Parke Custis. He became active in Republican Party politics in 1872 and was elected to the House of Delegates as a Republican in 1873. Ultimately frustrated with how little influence his fellow Republicans had in the assembly and the party, Syphax signed a public address in March 1875 to call a state convention of African Americans. Beginning in 1880, Syphax affiliated with the Readjuster Party but became disenchanted with the movement and its treatment of African Americans. He sold his property in Arlington County in 1892 and moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he was active in Democratic Party politics. Syphax died on September 8, 1916, and was buried in Cypress Hill Cemetery in Brooklyn.
  • Other Notable Service and/or Elected Offices: Alexandria County Treasurer - 1875 - 1879
    Justice of the Peace
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1874-1875 Arlington /Alexandria Republican Executive Expenditures

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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