Back to top

In Plymouth, North Carolina, ten men from a white mob who viciously beat Phillis Ruffin go on military trial.


On February 14, 1867, in the north-eastern North Carolina hamlet of Harmon's Crossroads in Bertie County, a crowd of white male residents had dragged a young African-American woman in her twenties named Phillis Ruffin out of the school she was attending, took her into the woods, stripped her, and beat her unmercifully for some minutes.  Her offense was that she had resisted blows from a white girl during an argument several days before.  The case drew increasing notoriety across the United States and resulted in the Second District's military commander facilitating a military trial of ten of the men in the mob that began on this day and  resulted in sentences at hard labor for seven of them.  (By John Osborne)  

Source Citation: 

"The Outrage in North Carolina," Harper's Weekly Magazine, September 14, 1867, p. 559.
"Atlantic Intelligence - Punishment for Whipping a Freed Woman," Sacremento (California) Daily Union, September 12, 1867, p. 2.