Vance County, NC

Alleged offense: None offered
Race: Black
Gender: Female
Age: 25 (Bessie), Infant (Josephine)
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Unrecorded
Legal intervention (following lynching): Unrecorded
Mob size: Unrecorded
Mob members: Unrecorded
Alleged victim: N/A
Household Status: Unrecorded
Occupation: Unrecorded

In the early morning of March 12th 1915, a mob of “Unrecorded persons” lit on fire the home of a mixed-race and African American family including wife and husband Bessie and Joe Perry. According to newspaper accounts, the Perry home near Kittrell was broken into by an unidentified group of people, who shot into the home killing Bessie and her young daughter Josephine before lighting the rest of the home on fire. Joe, his brother John, and another infant child reportedly escaped the flames. No motive for the murder or further legal intervention in the crime could be found.


Death certificate: Death Certificate: Bessie Perry
Census: 1910 Census Perry

News coverage:

Double Murder

Two Negroes Killed, Two Fatally Wounded

Negroes Attacked at Henderson — Two Killed

Mob Tries to Exterminate Negro Family

Mob Lynches Negro Before the Arrival of State Troops


Town: Kittrell, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 36.214749, -78.506658
Rationale: Estimated site of Perry home, which census lists as near Kittrell and newspaper accounts place near the Granville/Vance county line.

Additional Resources:

Researcher’s Note: