Pender County, NC

Alleged offense: Assault
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 45
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): No
Mob size: Unrecorded
Mob members: Unrecorded
Alleged victim: Mr. and Mrs. Tom Piner
Household Status: Married
Occupation: Farmer

Dock Rogers, an African American man, allegedly shot at and injured a white couple, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Piner — reportedly in retaliation for their rejecting him from sharing their dinner. According to newspaper accounts, after Rogers shot at the Piners, he fled from the Piner’s home to his own. Local authorities found him there and, according to some accounts, a brief shoot out occurred where Rogers and perhaps also the sheriff deputy were wounded as an arrest of Rogers was attempted. After this shootout, Rogers was reportedly abducted by a mob of county people. This mob took Rogers to Burgaw, where they shot him to death, and “dragged about on the lawn of the Pender Courthouse.” Although the North Carolina governor at the time reportedly declared Rogers’ killing a lynching, the investigation did not result in any charges filed against the men who murdered Rogers.


Death certificate: Dock Rogers Death Certificate
Census: None found

News coverage:

Negro’s Death is Ordered Probed by Ehringhaus

The Pender Affair

Pender Lynching Remains Mystery

Saw Negro Lynched, Nobody Identified

White Carolina ‘Savages’ Lynched Injured Man

Drunk Negro Runs Amuck, Is Killed


Town: Watha, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 34.550636, -77.926060
Rationale: While an exact location could not be determined, markers have been placed near Watha as the abduction site and the Pender County Courhouse as the lynching site, according to death certificate information and newspaper accounts of the lynching. Location of lynching was determined by location of Pender County Courthouse, though the murder could have occurred earlier as the mob was taking Rogers to Burgaw from Watha. Although the current 1936 structure replaced the1885 courthouse, it was built on the same location: http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/nr/PD0004.pdf

Additional Resources: From Washington University

Researcher’s Note: