Greene County, NC
Alleged offense: Unrecorded
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): No
Legal intervention (following lynching): Yes
Mob size: 12-15
Mob members: Joseph Dixon
Alleged victim: Joseph Patrick
Household Status: Married
Jesse Hart was abducted from his house on the evening of October 4, 1866 and killed just outside of his front gate in the Scuffletown community in Greene County. A mob of men, reported as anywhere from 12-15 in number, shot Hart and took his body to a church “about one hundred steps” from his house. Little information about the cause of the lynching was reported at the time, though newspapers reported rumors that Hart’s murder was connected with an attack on a man named Joseph Patrick. Patrick was involved in trying to build and operate a mill on Little Contentnea creek against the wishes of many people in the community. The mill was burned down twice. The night after Patrick was shot, wounding his hand, Hart was murdered. Newspaper reports indicate that a grand jury was convened and a man named Joseph Dixon was indicted for the murder. But ultimately the case was “nol prossed” (dismissed) by the solicitor. Hart appears to have been a wealthy man. The 1860 census lists his wealth as over $23,000 which is well over $650,000 in today’s dollars.
Death certificate: None found
Census: Jesse Hart 1860 Census
Town: Scuffletown, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 35.467561, –77.632069
Rationale: Site in Olds Township, where he lived. He was lynched just outside his home.