Beaufort County, NC

Alleged offense: Murder
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age: Unknown
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): No
Mob size: 75
Mob members: None named
Alleged victim: James H. Watson
Household Status: Married
Occupation: Farmer

According to newspaper accounts, on the evening of Tuesday, December 25th, 1894, a white man named James Bergeron allegedly murdered constable James H. Watson when he tried to arrest him for another crime in which he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. After a justice of the peace tried Bergeron, he was placed under guard of four men at B. H. Thompson’s store until he could be taken to the jail at Washington. At midnight the next evening, a mob of 75 masked men entered the store and abducted James Bergeron from the guards. The mob brought him to a tree one mile outside of town, hanged him, and shot him repeatedly, leaving his body hanging until Thursday.


Death certificate: None found
Census: None found

 News coverage:

A Murder and a Lynching

Testimony Before the Coroner


 Town: Idalia, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 35.280193, -76.791000
Rationale: 1/2 mile from the B. H. Thompson’s store

Additional Resources:

Bergeron Marriage Record

Researcher’s Note: