Cabarrus County, NC

Alleged offense: Rape and Murder
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: Unrecorded
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): No
Mob size: 2000
Mob members: Unrecorded
Alleged victim: Amy Hartsell
Household Status: Unmarried with children (Kizer); Married (Johnson)
Occupation: Unrecorded (Kizer); Hauled coal for Mr. K. L. Craven (Johnson)

Authorities charged Tom Johnson and Joe Kizer with rape and murder. Samuel Hartsell left his home with his family to attend church while his daughter Amy, 12, watched his seven month old infant. Two men allegedly broke in and raped and murdered Amy Hartsell. The sheriff suspected Tom Johnson and took Johnson to the county jail where Johnson confessed and implicated Kizer. A mob surrounded the jail at 7:00 pm. The mob abducted Kizer and Johnson at 10:00 pm. The mob took Kizer and Johnson down Mt. Pleasant road and turned down present day Gold Hill road. The mob hanged Kizer and Johnson from a dogwood tree at Coldwater Lutheran church. The Reverend C.W. Alexander prayed at the site of the lynching before the hanging. The mob then riddled the bodies with bullets. A coroner’s jury found the men guilty of the rape and murder of Amy Hartsell after the lynching. Afterward, limbs of the dogwood tree was used to make walking sticks and other mementos of the lynching.


Death certificate: None found
Census: 1900 Census

News coverage:

A Horrible Crime!

A Day Of Tragedy

It’s All Over

As Others See Us

Mr. Hartsell’s Letter

Let There Be No Lynching

The Dogwood Tree is Demolished


Town: Concord, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 35.420718, -80.547369
Rationale: Within 1/4 mile. Used each account of lynching as well as historic maps to find location (church still exists.) Some accounts suggest the mob travelled up to 1/4 mile off the main road at the church.

Additional Resources:

Researcher’s Note: