Band of men whips couple near Roxboro.

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"Band of men whips couple near Roxboro." The Bee [Danville, VA] Saturday, April 7, 1928: 1.


This brief article reports on a violent assault against a Croatan couple, Tom Martin and his wife Breedy, who lived in a settlement of 300 Croatans known as "Cuba." The settlement is described as thirteen miles from Roxboro and partly in both Halifax and Person counties, thus partly in North Carolina and partly in Virginia. On the evening of March 11, an unknown number of men (one account said three; another, 10-15) went to the Martin home, called the couple out of their house, carried them into the woods, tied them to trees, and flogged them. The article implies that Breedy was raped. Both were left tied to trees but escaped after several hours. The rumor that circulated about the cause of the flogging was that "Breedy Martin had 'done some talking' which had caused some hard feeling."

Person County Commissioners offered a reward of $100 for information leading to the arrest of the men who committed the assaults. Virginia's Attorney, James S. Easely, reported that he was "without knowledge of the alleged whipping" and that the first information he heard was from The Bee. The fact that he or the sheriff on the Virginia side of the colony had not been informed of the incident until the newspaper contacted them for a comment, coupled with the reward being offered by Person County, convinced him that the crime had not been committed in Virginia.

Easely further commented that he was not aware of racial disturbances between Whites and the Croatans in the colony, who "were peaceful and law abiding and made a living by farming and trucking." He added that "their racial status . . . was in issue at the last session of the General Assembly when the racial integrity bill was up" and that "the members of the colony were believed by some to have negro blood and that members of it usually were considered as colored people though there seems to be a strain of Indian blood in them."

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