Cumberland County, NC

Alleged offense: Attempted Rape
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: Unrecorded
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): Yes
Mob size: Unrecorded
Mob members: WJ Tolar; David Watkins; Thomas Powers
Alleged victim: Evlina Massey
Household Status: Unrecorded
Occupation: Drayman

Archie Beebe was accused and placed in jail for the attempted rape of Evlina Massey. While in prison, a mob came to the jail and an Unrecorded shooter shot Beebe in the back of the head. It was reported that he died 3 minutes later. His killers were brought to trial and convicted. The lynchers–William Tolar, Thomas Powers, and David Watkins–were originally sentenced to death by hanging before having their sentences mitigated to 15 years hard labor at Fort Macon. A petition for the release of Tolar, Powers, and Watkins circulated soon after the sentencing and less than a year later all three of the lynchers were released by order of President Johnson.


Death certificate: None found
Census: None found

News coverage:  

Shocking Crime and Swift Retribution

Findings Against Tolar, Powers, and Watkins

Messrs Tolar, Powers, and Watkins

Lynchers Released


Town: Fayetteville, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 35.049859, -78.879625

Additional Resources:

Researcher’s Note: