Mitchell County, NC

Alleged offense: Attempted rape; arson; robbery
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: Unrecorded
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Unrecorded
Legal intervention (following lynching): Yes
Mob size: Unrecorded
Mob members: Unrecorded
Alleged victim: Mrs. Mary Wilson
Household Status: Unrecorded
Occupation: Preacher

Robert Chambers, a preacher in the remote mining town of Cranberry, was accused of attempting to subdue Mary Wilson with chloroform in order to rape her. In response, a mob of men tied him to a tree and shot him to death. The lynching of a black man in the small community clearly angered many African American residents who were reported as having “purchased firearms and… making threats to burn the town.” Though few outlets reported on the lynching or subsequent actions taken, one Asheville newspaper did report a month later that “there is great excitement in Mitchell county over the arrest and trial of the lynchers of Robert Chambers.” No further accounts concerning the trial or any of the accused were published in surviving sources.


Death certificate: None found
Census: None found

News coverage:

Robert Chambers



Town: Cranberry, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 36.143492, -81.967618
Rationale: Generalized sites of abduction and lynching to Cranberry, located in what is now Avery County.

Additional Resources:

Researcher’s Note: Conflicting accounts exist as to what crime Robert Chambers was lynched for.