Francis Dunlavy was an early Ohio jurist and political leader.
Dunlavy was born in Virginia in 1761. He moved with his family to western Pennsylvania ten years later. He played an active part in the American Revolution and participated in several attacks against Native Americans living in the Ohio Country. In 1777, he helped construct Fort McIntosh. Five years later, he accompanied Colonel William Crawford in his campaign against the Indians.
In 1787, Dunlavy moved to Kentucky and then to Ohio in 1797. He settled near Cincinnati. Dunlavy was self-taught and was a surveyor, schoolteacher, and lawyer in Ohio before embarking upon a political career. Dunlavy participated in the Ohio constitutional convention of 1802 where he was a leading proponent for rights for African Americans. He also served in the Ohio legislature in 1803. That same year, he accepted an appointment as a judge in the Court of Common Pleas. He served as a jurist for the next fourteen years and then returned to his law practice. He died in 1839 in Lebanon, Ohio.