Franklin County, NC
Alleged offense: Murder
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): Yes
Mob size: 25
Mob members: None named
Alleged victim: Charles G. Stokes; Spurgeon Aske; Rowena Kearney
Household Status: Unreported
Govan Ward, an African American man, was accused of decapitating a white man, Charles G. Stokes, in addition to assaulting another white man, Spurgeon Aske, and his sister, Rowena Kearney. According to newspaper accounts, Ward was arrested soon after the murders by local authorities who were transporting Ward to either the Nashville or Rocky Mount jail when a mob of twenty-five men abducted Ward from custody. The mob took Ward near Henderson, where he was shot and hanged. While a later NAACP investigation found at least nine people responsible for the lynching, no arrests were made in connection with Ward’s death.
Death certificate: <a href=”http://redrecord.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Ward-Death-Certificate.jpg”>Ward Death Certificate</a>
Census: None available
Mob Members Not Recognized
Town: Henderson, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 36.221851, -78.301121
Rationale: While an exact location could not be determined, a marker was placed at Henderson, at the site most commonly referred to in newspaper accounts as the site of lynching. The abduction site is less certain, though reportedly Ward had been abducted on the way to Rocky Mount or Nashville from Louisburg.