Mitchell County, NC

Alleged offense: Rape
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age: Unrecorded
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): No
Mob size: 200
Mob members: None named
Alleged victim: English’s wife
Household Status: Unrecorded
Occupation: Unrecorded

Holland English was imprisoned in late March, 1894 after his wife’s body was found “in the river…with her skull busted and her face bruised until it could hardly be recognized.” After his arrest, accounts reported that he had also offered his half-sister $10 to poison his wife so that he could marry another woman. Despite a lack of anything but circumstantial evidence against English he was arrested and placed in the Mitchell County jail in Bakersville. A mob of about 200 people took him from the jail in the very early hours of the morning on April 2nd, 1894 and brought about 2 miles outside of town to Roan Mountain Church. There they gave him approximately an hour to pray, during which time he continually refused to admit to the crime he was accused of. After an hour of prayer with no confession, the mob used a flax hank to hang Holland English from the limb of an apple tree in the churchyard.


Death certificate: None found
Census: None found

News coverage:

Hanged With Flax Hank

Lynching A Wife Murderer


Town: Bakersville, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 36.016514, -82.125466
Rationale:  Found location of Roan Mountain church meeting reported location of lynching; abduction site is estimated according to historic location of courthouse in Bakersville.

Additional Resources:

Researcher’s Note: