I could use your help identifying the notable North Carolinian in this photo. The man at left looks awfully familiar — I’m pretty certain it’s a governor from the early to mid 20th century. Before I start to dig around on my own, I thought I’d turn to the collective wisdom of the North Carolina Miscellany readers. Any ideas?
“Just after one midnight last week 200 masked men drove up to the Edgecombe County jail in Tarboro, N. C., gained admittance by pretending they brought a prisoner. Silently they drew revolvers, covered the deputy sheriff, brought out Negro Oliver Moore, 35, who was being held for trial in September on a charge of attacking Ethel and Lucile Morgan, white sisters aged 7 and 5.
“In a motorcade of 50 cars without licenses the 200 took Oliver Moore 15 mi. to his home in Wilson County, there strung him from a tree. As his body twisted and writhed, all shot at it until he was dead; first lynchee in North Carolina since 1921, twelfth in the U. S. for 1930.
“Said North Carolina’s Governor Oliver Max Gardner: ‘I am horrified. It is a black spot on a fine record … of nearly a decade. … A disgrace to North Carolina! The State will do everything in its power to find the guilty parties and bring them to justice.”
— From Time magazine, Sept. 1, 1930
Despite Gardner’s promise, investigation of the lynching was cursory at best, and no arrests were ever made.