PITTSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — A new historical marker in Chatham County will memorialize the lives of at least six Black people brutally lynched by white mobs in Chatham County.

This past weekend, local and state leaders joined the Community Remembrance Coalition Chatham, the NAACP, and other community groups to dedicate a historical marker memorializing several people lynched between 1885 and 1921 in Chatham County.

The marker sits outside the Chatham County Government Annex in Pittsboro. 

The message on the marker says the lynchings created “a legacy of violence, intimidation, and injustice.”

It details that on Sept. 28, 1885, Jerry Finch, Harriet Finch, John Pattishall and Lee Tyson were jailed after being accused in the murder of two white families.

A mob stormed the jail and hanged the four despite their pleas of innocence. At the time, newspapers reported a lack of evidence against any of the victims.

Fourteen years later, on Jan. 11, 1899, Henry Jones was targeted by a white mob after a white woman who lived near him was found dead.

Then on Sept. 18, 1921, 16-year-old Eugene Daniel was falsely accused of assaulting a white girl. He was hanged with a chain and shot repeatedly. The historical marker says at least 1,000 after came to view his hanged remains.

No mob participants in any of the cases were held accountable.

Chatham County Board of Commissioners Chair Karen Howard accepted the marker on behalf of the county. She said it was important to bring to the surface the full stories of Chatham County.  

“The families whose loved ones were murdered and the extended community that continued to live in the shadow of the terror of lynchings now have a remembrance of those lives and a public acknowledgment of the many failures of the system and the injustice that took them away,” said Howard. “It is our duty to remember these lives and commit to never letting this aspect of our collective history repeat itself.”

The county says the ceremony ended with a powerful prayer where attendees placed their hands on the marker and one another as a sign of healing and hope.

The Equal Justice Initiative is working with other communities across the country as part of the Community Historical Marker Project.