LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Over 1,000 people have signed a petition to rename the City of Lynchburg.
The City of Lynchburg is named after founder John Lynch.
John Lynch was a Quaker described as progressive for his time in the 1780s, according to Chief Public History Officer Ted Delaney.
"He believed in emancipating slaves," Delaney said. "He had slaves but he freed all of his. He's supporting recolonization, which is sending slaves back to Africa. He did not believe in perpetuating the institution of slavery in this country."
Delaney explains that the term lynching is actually named after Lynch's brother, Charles Lynch.
Charles Lynch would tie British soldiers to a tree and beat them until they cried” Liberty!” which would stop the beating since that meant they agreed with the revolution.
From there it evolved into what we know today -- the racist killings of African Americans.
The petition was started by Daisy Howard, who grew up in Lynchburg.
Howard believes that it is possible to honor the city's founder without using his last name.
"If statues can come down, then problematic names of cities can also change," Howard said. "At the end of the day, it comes down to defending the word Lynch, which I don't think you can defend."
Howard says that her petition comes in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Howard, along with others that have signed the petition, are concerned about the negative connotation that could be associated with the city's name.
In order for the name to be officially changed, the proposal would have to make it through Lynchburg's city council.