Person County, NC

Alleged offense: Assault
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 24
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): No
Mob size: 200-500
Mob members: Unrecorded
Alleged victim: Annie Lou Chambers
Household Status:
Occupation: Road laborer

On July 7th, 1920, Edward “Red” Roach, a road worker from Reidsville, allegedly attempted to sexually assault 13-year-old Annie Lou Chambers. According to one contemporary account, Roach then boarded a northbound train. He was quickly apprehended and taken to Person County Jail where he was guarded by sheriff N.S. Thomas. The mob of several hundred gained stormed the jail and, finding no keys for the steel cage Roach was in, used a torch to cut through the bars and abduct Roach. From there, the mob took Roach three miles outside of town to a “Negro churchyard” near the highway. He was then hanged and shot to death. In the aftermath of Edward Roach’s death, the entirely African American crew working on the road all refused to continue work and left the area out of fear for their own safety. Roach’s boss publicly said that he “could not possibly have been guilty” and his family apparently hired attorneys to sue Person County and discover any members of the mob identified.


Death certificate: None found
Census: None found

News coverage:

Negro Is Lynched by a Person County Mob

Mob In Person County Lynched Wrong Negro


Town: Roxboro, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 36.421057, -78.961637
Rationale:  Lynching site is within 5 miles.

Additional Resources:

Researcher’s Note: