PITTSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — More than 100 years after a teen boy was lynched by a mob of Pittsboro residents, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution apologizing for the roles county officials had in the brutal killing in 1921.
According to a release from Chatham County on Tuesday morning, commissioners unanimously approved the resolution on Sept. 20, 100 years and two days after 16-year-old Eugene Daniel’s Sept. 18, 1921, murder.
On the day he was killed, Daniel was taken from the Chatham County jail in Pittsboro by an angry mob of town residents “on the basis of an unsubstantiated allegation,” the town said in its release.
Commissioners said that evidence shows “that a Chatham County Commissioner, the Chatham County Sheriff, the Chatham County Coroner, and the Chatham County Jail Keeper were complicit in the perpetration of Daniel’s lynching.”
Just like the majority of other lynchings across the country, there was no investigation into Daniel’s murder, and no one was ever charged or prosecuted.
The news release from the board of commissioners included a public acknowledgement of the facts of the case and a formal apology “for the heinous acts committed against Daniel.”
“The lynching of Eugene Daniel is a painful part of Chatham County’s history, and while our apology can’t change what happened, we feel it is an important step in helping his family and our entire community heal,” said Chatham County Commissioner Karen Howard, who read the resolution. “I am deeply grateful for my fellow commissioners and our supportive staff who helped make this happen. Taking actions like this demonstrates our steadfast commitment to make the Chatham community a better place today – and welcoming to everyone.”