Union County, NC

Alleged offense: Assault
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 24
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): No
Mob size: 50
Mob members: None named
Alleged victim: Lizzie Wentz
Household Status: Unmarried
Occupation: No occupation (children)

An African American man named John Osborne was accused of raping an older white woman named Lizzie Wentz. After two days, Osborne was determined to be the perpetrator and was taken to Wentz’s home for an informal trial. There, based on circumstantial evidence, he was arrested and placed in the custody of local authorities. Though the local authorities intended to go to Indian Trail for the night before taking Osborne to Monroe the next day, a mob ambushed the party and abducted Osborne. According to one local who observed the lynching, the mob took John Osborne to an African American school house and hanged him.


Death certificate: None available
Census: None available

News coverage:

Trial Was Not Needed

Negro Lynched

No Need for Special Term

Took Snap Judgment


Town: Vance, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 35.112586, -80.624004
Rationale: One local reported John Osborne’s lynching as taking place in front of an African American school house, located around today’s Red Lantern Road and Mill Grove Road (then called Stewart’s Mill Road).

Additional Resources:


Researcher’s Note: This lynching was covered across the country in a variety of newspapers (the search on newspapers.com pulled up nearly 29k).