Orange County, NC

Alleged offense: Absconding with a white woman
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: Unspecified
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): No
Mob size: 18
Mob members: Milton Brewer
Alleged victim: N/A
Household Status: Unmarried
Occupation: Farmhand

Manley McCauley was accused of eloping with the wife of a prosperous white Orange County farmer and Republican Party operative. The two absconded to Jonesboro, or so the story goes, pursued by a posse of 18 men. Local intelligence claims that Milton Brewer, the woman’s husband, was part of the posse though it is not clear whether he was a willing participant. He was scolded (as was his wife) for his belief in racial equality and the affair was described as a natural consequence for that worldview. McCauley was brought back to Orange County by the mob and lynched from a dogwood tree approximately three miles from Chapel Hill, perhaps in an area known as Calvander. Mrs. Brewer was returned to her father’s home in Orange County and she and Milton are buried together in Chapel Hill. Newspaper coverage protests a bit too much about this story, which would have benefitted the Democratic Party by humiliating a Republican individually and insulting the less-racist Republican Party as a whole. By shaming the Brewer and his wife, and by killing McCauley, the lynch mob achieved three victories.


Death certificate: None available
Census: None available

News coverage:

Two Lynchings in Two Weeks

Negro and White Woman Elope

The Body of McCauley Still Hangs

The Negro Is Dead


 Town: Carrboro, North Carolina

Latitude/Longitude: 35.941563, -79.108538

Rationale: Calvander. Reported as being 3 miles from Chapel Hill, “on the road leading to Cedar Grove.”

Additional Resources:

Researcher’s Note: