Chatham, NC

Alleged offense:  Unrecorded

Race: Black

Gender: Male

Age:  Unrecorded

Legal intervention (in alleged offense): No

Legal intervention (following lynching): Unrecorded

Mob size: Unreported

Mob members: John Thomas Mallory

Alleged victim: Unrecorded

Household Status: Unknown

Occupation: Unrecorded

An African American man named Richard Cotton was held for an Unrecorded offense in Pittsboro county jail and received a severe punishment by order of the state. While newspaper accounts are unclear about whether or not Cotton was killed, they agree that an “outrage” occurred at the hands of local authorities. According to these reports, Cotton’s jailor, John Mallory, had been ordered to give Cotton “10 lashes at 10 o’clock 20 at 12 o’clock & 9 ashes at 2 o’clock well laid on” as well as put a barrel over Cotton’s head and afterwards tie him up “by the thumbs.” This punishment, reportedly from “Gov. Holden’s Justice of the Peace” in Chatham County resulted in the arrest of those who gave the orders for and administered Cotton’s punishment.


Death certificate: None available


1860 Slave Schedule for Stephen W. Cotton

News coverage:

Justice in North Carolina

New York Sept. 13

Official Documents Prove


Town: Pittsboro

Latitude/Longitude: 35.720260, -79.177153

Rationale:County Center

Additional Resources: None