Jones County, NC

Alleged offense: Rape
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 21
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): No
Mob size: 2,000
Mob members: Tobe Banks
Alleged victim: Elizabeth Irving
Household Status: Married with children
Occupation: Farmer

On Sat. Aug 13, 1921, Jerome Whitfield allegedly raped Elizabeth Irving on the side of a highway while she was holding her child. A posse was formed within hours to begin searching for Whitfield. Men “from three or four counties,” including the Jones County sheriff, joined the search. Three members of the posse found Jerome Whitfield on the edge of a large forest a few minute after 11:00 a.m. on August 14. He was 6-8 miles from the scene of the crime. Whitfield was taken by car to Elizabeth Irving’s house where she identified him as the man who had assaulted her. Jerome Whitfield was then taken a short distance (somewhere from ¼ to 1 mile south) of the Irving home. There a mob estimated at 1,500-2,000 people hanged Whitfield and riddled his body with an estimated 1,000 bullets.


Death certificate: Jerome Whitfield’s Death Certificate
Census: None found

News coverage:

Jones County People Lynch Negro Guilty of Criminal Assault

Negro Rapist Gets Usual Treatment at Hands of Maddened Men


Town: Chinquapin, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 35.1623849, -77.4721859
Rationale:  Within 3 miles. Lynching site was estimated based on historical source (“Branson’s North Carolina Business Directory”,) indicating that Haskin’s Chapel was in the settlement of Bonus. Abduction site was estimated based on distance from crime and lynching site and reports that Whitfield was on the edge of a large forest.

Additional Resources:

Researcher’s Note: