Wilson County, NC

Alleged offense: Rape
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 29
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): Yes
Mob size: 200
Mob members: None named
Alleged victim: Ethel Morgan; Lucille Morgan
Household Status: Married
Occupation: Tenant Farmer

Oliver Moore, an African American man, was accused of assaulting his landlord’s daughters, Ethel and Lucille Moore, and “infecting them with a social disease” on July 18, 1930. Arrested for this alleged crime, Moore was awaiting trial the Edgecombe County jail until August 19th. The night, a masked mob abducted Moore from his cell, took him into Wilson County, hanged him, and shot his body, which was viewed by the public the next morning. The Southern Commission for the Study of Lynching investigated the incident, reporting that few precautions were taken to protect Moore as he awaited trial. The mob, reportedly led by an outsider (this was not an uncommon trope in newspaper coverage), was “determined, quiet, forceful, and well organized.” (There is more information in the SCSL study: Howard W. Odum Papers, Series 3, Folder 751, “Lynching Case Studies and Outlines, 1931.”)


Death certificate:Oliver Moore Death Certificate
Census: None found.

News coverage:
Lynching in Wilson. First Since 1921

Mecklenburg Has Mystery Murder

Death Caused By Broken Neck

Negro is Found Hanged in NC

North Carolina Has First Lynching in 9 Years

Believe Charlotte Negro Was Lynched

Edgecomb Negro Lynched By Mob of 200


Town: Macclesfield, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 35.726153, -77.721868
Rationale: Lynching site was estimated using records that the lynching happened just over the Wilson County line and death certificate that indicated place of death as “near Macclesfield.” Abduction site was determined by 1913 Sanborn maps that place the county jail in Tarboro on the corner of W. St James and Albemarle.

Additional Resources:
Find a Grave; Sanborn map

Researcher’s Note: