Greene County, NC

Alleged offense: Theft
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: Unrecorded
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): Yes
Mob size: 4-9
Mob members: Richard Sutton; William Cooker; Elisha Suggs
Alleged victim: N/A
Household Status: Married
Occupation: Laborer

On March 14, 1869, a volunteer officer named Thomas Waters received an assignment to transport Lewis Cogden to Snow Hill jail. However, Waters and his commanding officer had allegedly been drinking heavily, and the latter removed him of his pistol. While in transit, Thomas Waters and the group transporting Cogden supposedly encountered a mob of men led by Richard Sutton. As the mob brought forth Lewis Cogden, Waters did nothing to prevent his prisoner’s abduction. While the mob discussed how to elicit a confession from Cogden, a man named Suggs shot him in the back of the head and back, and the men fled, leaving him to die slowly.The next day Waters helped to bury Lewis Cogden and law enforcement caught and tried Richard Sutton and the other mob members, finding them guilty.


Death certificate: None found
Census: None found

News coverage:  

Examination of a part of the Lenoir County Prisoners

Can Such Things Be Excused?


Town: New Bern, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 35.451734, -77.679541
Rationale: On the road from Greene County to Snow Hill jail, it is thought next to the Greene/Lenoir county border.

Additional Resources:

Researcher’s Note: