Edgecombe County, NC

Alleged offense: Murder
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age: Unrecorded
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): No
Mob size: Unrecorded
Mob members: Unrecorded
Alleged victim: William Sharpe
Household Status: Unrecorded
Occupation: Unrecorded

T. C. Powell, a white man, allegedly shot and killed another white man, William Sharpe, in Rocky Mount. According to newspaper accounts, local authorities arrested Powell but were met by a number of men demanding Powell’s release. Later, when Powell was being taken to Edgecourt County jail, a mob of masked men reportedly met the party three times with the intention of abducting Powell and lynching him. Officer Arrington initially refused to surrender his prisoner, however the mob eventually forced him to do so and also took possession of the buggy. Newspapers reported that Powell had strong ties to the Democratic party and that his alleged victim was the son of J. J. Sharpe, an elected official on the Republican ticket in North Carolina.


Death certificate: None found
Census: None found

News coverage:

Hung To A Tree and Shot

Horrible Outrage Near Milton

State Topics

Hear and Hearabouts


Town: Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 36.472343, -79.259273
Rationale:  Lynching site very close (placed at the turnoff to New Hope Church on Highway 62, the present day “road to Yanceyville”). Powell was abducted halfway between Rocky Mount and Tarboro.

Additional Resources:

Researcher’s Note: No definitive account of Powell’s lynching is given, as his body was never found; it is only speculated because of his abduction.