Surry County, North Carolina

Alleged offense: Murder
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age: Unrecorded
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): Yes
Mob size:20
Mob members: None named
Alleged victim: W.H. Brown
Household Status:Unrecorded
Occupation:Tobacco worker

Thomas Allison, a tobacco worker, was jailed for the murder of W.H. Brown. Allison allegedly shot Brown in the middle of the day after the latter refused to participate in foot race. Most newspaper accounts surrounding the murder suggested that Allison had killed 3 other men before in Tennessee previously. These accounts also suggested that Allison’s criminal history had something to do with his being lynched, though speculated that it was primarily owed to a delay in his trial. Soon after the delay, a mob of around 20 masked men took Allison from his cell and hanged him from a white oak tree about a mile from the prison in Dobson, Surry County. His brother came a few days later to carry Thomas Allison’s body to Statesville for burial.


Death certificate: None found
Census: None found

News coverage:
A Lynching at Mt. Airy

Murderer Lynched


Town:Dobson, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 36.395389, -80.738334
Rationale: Within 2 miles. Used historic maps to locate probable location of jail and guessed at public road the abducted prisoner was taken down to be lynched.

Additional Resources:

Researcher’s Note: