Bladen County, NC

Alleged offense: Murder
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: Unrecorded
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): Yes
Mob size: 100
Mob members: None named
Alleged victim: Edward Cain
Household Status: Unrecorded
Occupation: Unrecorded

Authorities charged Lyman Purdie with robbing W.C. Durham’s barn and murdered Edward Cain, one of Durham’s employees. Purdie allegedly killed Cain with an axe to avoid arrest for the robbery. Authorities used blood stains and a uniquely-gouged axe head as evidence for charging Purdie with murder. Authorities held Purdie at a county jail in Elizabethtown. Days later, a mob of 100-150 abducted Purdie. The mob hanged Purdie 300 yards north of the jail, from a pine limb near a ferry crossing for the Cape Fear River. A coroner’s inquest decided that a mob of unknown people hanged Purdie. One newspaper account stated that “the negroes [sic] believed him guilty, but are greatly excited over the lynching, and it is feared there may be trouble.”


Another Lynching

Tymon Purdie Lynched

A Murderer Lynched

Death certificate:

News coverage:


Town: Elizabethtown, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 34.630789, -78.602288
Rationale:  Used probable location of old prison (replaced in 1893) for abduction site and site of the old Jones Ferry, replaced by the 701 bridge in the 1920s, for the site of lynching.

Additional Resources:

Researcher’s Note: