Matthew Lyon, an American politician, born in Wicklow co., Ireland, in 1746, died at Spadra Bluff, Arkansas, Aug. 1, 1822. He emigrated to New York in 1755, and, being unable to pay for his passage, was assigned by the captain of the ship, in accordance with the practice of the time, for a pecuniary consideration, to a farmer in Connecticut, in whose service he remained a number of years. Subsequently he became a citizen of Vermont, and in July, 1776, was commissioned as lieutenant in one of the companies of " Green Mountain boys." In the latter part of the same year he was cashiered for unnecessarily deserting a post on Onion river; but he subsequently served as commissary general, and eventually rose to the rank of colonel of militia. After the war he engaged in paper making, iron casting, and a variety of other occupations, and at one time edited a newspaper entitled " The Scourge of Aristocracy and Repository of Important Political Truth," of which the types and paper were manufactured by himself. He married a daughter of Gov. Chittenden, and, becoming an active political leader, was elected in 1797 to congress by the anti-federal party.
In October, 1798, he was convicted of a libel on President Adams, and confined for four months in the Vergennes jail, a fine of $1,000 which had also been imposed upon him being paid by his friends. An attempt to expel him from congress as a convicted felon failed for want of a two-thirds vote. During this congressional term he had a personal altercation on the floor of the house with Mr. Griswold of Connecticut, ending in blows; but the motion to expel them was defeated. In 1799, while a prisoner in jail, he was reelected to congress, and after the expiration of his term removed to Kentucky. At the first congressional election held after his arrival he was returned to the house, of which he continued a member till 1811. Subsequently he held the office of United States factor for the Cherokee Indians by the appointment of President Monroe, and removed to Arkansas, of which he was the territorial delegate elect to congress at the time of his death.