Wayne County, NC

Alleged offense: Rape
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 37
Legal intervention (in alleged offense):
Legal intervention (following lynching): 
Mob size: 10
Mob members: Unrecorded
Alleged victim: Mrs. Will/James Major Smith
Household Status: Unrecorded
Occupation: Field hand

In August of 1902 Thomas Jones, an African American man, allegedly assaulted a white woman, Mrs. Will Smith, near Seven Springs. After a search that lasted several days, Jones was reportedly taken into custody by local authorities. According to newspaper accounts, a mob of around ten men “disguised as negroes” abducted Jones from custody and wounded the deputy sheriff who resisted them. The mob then took Jones to “a juniper swamp at the terminus of an old wooden tram road, some three hundred yards from the public thoroughfare.” Here, the mob reportedly beat Jones, tied him to a log, and then shot him to deat. Later newspaper reports claimed that a jury assembled by the coroner concluded that the mob who abducted and killed Jones “would have been recreant to their duty as good citizens had they acted otherwise.”


Death certificate: None found
Census: None found

News coverage:

Dragged From Her House and Ravished By a Fiend

Tom Jones Lynched

Lynching Justified

Negro Fiend Lynched

Jury Indorses Lynchers


Town: Seven Springs, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 35.234085, -77.855784
Rationale:  Marker determined by newspaper accounts which cites the lynching as near Seven Springs/White Hall by the Neuse River and according to census enumerations for Monroe Rich, the farmer in whose barn Jones was temporarily held.

Additional Resources:

Researcher’s Note: