Alamance County, NC

Alleged offense: Racially motivated (no alleged crime)
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: Unrecorded
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): No
Legal intervention (following lynching): Yes
Mob size: Unrecorded
Mob members: “Several Klan members”
Alleged victim: N/A
Household Status: Married
Occupation: Unrecorded

William Puryear supposedly pursued some of the murderers of Wyatt Outlaw. Although he found and confronted them, he then disappeared until his body was found, bound and weighted, in a mill pond. Newspapers indicated that he was attacked by the Klan for his interest in addressing Outlaw’s death, for, “Dead men tell no tales.” It is not known when exactly Puryear died, but his death was reported on June 1, 1870, which is why this date has been assigned to his lynching.


Death certificate: None found
Census: None found

News coverage:

William Puryear

Alamance County–Startling Revelations


Town: Graham, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 36.059016, -79.396769
Rationale: Nearest city or town.

Additional Resources:

Researcher’s Note: