Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

The Wilmington Race Riots 1898 by Shy Liddell Melisa Hanks The Wilmington Race Riot was the result of the 1898 white supremacy campaign instituted by the.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "The Wilmington Race Riots 1898 by Shy Liddell Melisa Hanks The Wilmington Race Riot was the result of the 1898 white supremacy campaign instituted by the."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Wilmington Race Riots 1898 by Shy Liddell Melisa Hanks The Wilmington Race Riot was the result of the 1898 white supremacy campaign instituted by the Democratic Party. Democrats fueled racial hatred and promised violence to win the election.

2 Facts about Post Reconstruction North Carolina Reconstruction lasted in North Carolina from  Reconstruction lasted in North Carolina from  The Freedman’s Bureau continued operations until  Over 50% of the population in Eastern North Carolina was Black, uneducated and non-property owners. uneducated and non-property owners.  Whites dominated the state both economically and politically. However... By the 1870s and 1880s the Black vote was becoming increasing important and many Black Republicans were elected to offices including the State Legislature and Congress.

3 Wilmington Population

4 Wilmington by the 1890s Wilmington and surrounding counties  Wilmington was the largest city in North Carolina with a population in 1898 of 20, =Black 8731=White  The city was racially integrated in residential areas, but there was still inequality socially, economically, and educationally.

5 Wilmington by the 1890s Across from town at foot of Mulberry South side Market between Front and Second...was a prosperous port despite the fact that the economic center had began shifting from the coast toward the Piedmont Region. Ferry at Water Street

6 The “Black Mecca” Progress for Freedmen Wilmington was regarded as a "Black Mecca" by some--a fact that some white working men resented and white business leaders saw as dangerous. Black literacy in North Carolina rose dramatically from virtual total illiteracy to 2/3 that of whites. Black literacy in Wilmington was the highest in the state. African Americans worked as skilled craftsmen along the river front, owned businesses, and held positions in local government. However, many African Americans were unemployed or worked only in low-wage, seasonal labor, and black businesses were primarily service operations, which were not integrated into the white financial and business structure.

7 Wilmington's African–American Community Gregory Normal Institute St. Luke's AME Zion Church Religion played an important part in education and charitable organizations. African Americans from a wide range of backgrounds were able to manage their own businesses and buy homes throughout the city such as these Skilled cotton compress workers pictured here in 1897.

8 1890s Political Leaders The Fusionists Politics of the 1890s revolved around attempts by Republicans and Populists to “fuse” their voters to defeat Democrats. John Campbell DancyCongressman George P. White George P. White Mayor Silas P. Wright “Fusion” was successful and by 1898 the alliance, composed of the largely black Republican party and the white Populist party swept North Carolina politics by storm.

9 Fusion Success in the 1890s 1894 Fusionists achieved victory in the state elections.  1894 Fusionists achieved victory in the state elections.  1896 won control both of the legislature and the governorship appointing Wilmington native, Daniel Russell to the seat. appointing Wilmington native, Daniel Russell to the seat.  Made amendments to the North Carolina state constitution: more democratic government expansion of voter registration elect a municipal government The new municipal government included: four blacks among the city's ten aldermen four blacks among the city's ten aldermen thirteen officers among the city's thirty policemen and blacks in other city offices as well.  1897 the NC Supreme Court decided in favor of the Fusionists during a legally contested election and Republican Silas P. during a legally contested election and Republican Silas P. Wright became mayor. Wright became mayor.

10 1890s Political Leaders The Democrats Col. Walker Taylor The 1898 election was viewed by Democrats as pivotal to regaining control of state legislature; a key part of a gradual process to reclaim control of the state and reverse laws created by Fusionists to make government more equitable. Hugh MacRae Col. Alfred Waddell The 1898 campaign was the most organized Democratic Party election campaign up until that time.

11 White Supremacists Campaign The Democratic Party machine use printed media, speechmaking and intimidation to achieve victory at all costs Cartoon urges White voters to fear Black voters. August 1898 Raleigh News and Observer October 1898 Raleigh News and Observer

12 Intimidation White Government Unions "the Secret Nine" - Hugh MacRae and eight other Democrats formed this group to organize a seizure of the city government by violent means after the state elections in the fall. This group maintained close contact with the statewide Democrat white supremacist campaign. "the Group of Six" - This group was formed by Col. Walker Taylor. These men secretly organized to deliver victory to the Democrats in the fall county and state elections.

13 Intimidation Red Shirts The first Red Shirts, a paramilitary group, appeared in North Carolina in the fall of 1898 and, by Election Day, the organization boasted membership in several eastern counties, including a strong contingent in New Hanover. The first Red Shirts, a paramilitary group, appeared in North Carolina in the fall of 1898 and, by Election Day, the organization boasted membership in several eastern counties, including a strong contingent in New Hanover. Red Shirts, such as these men from Laurinburg, held day-long rallies in which they rode through African American communities with their guns in plain sight.

14 Fuel for the Fire Alex Manly The illegitimate grandson of Charles Manly, NC governor ( ), Alex was the mulatto editor of the Wilmington Record – the city’s only African American newspaper. In August, 1898, Manly printed an editorial in response to a speech given by Mrs. Rebecca Felton, the wife of a Georgia congressman and a leading women's rights advocate in the South. Manly addressed her remarks and the editorial was reprinted within days in every white newspaper in the state, and in many newspapers throughout the South calling it “an attack on White Christian Womanhood.”

15 Final Politics The day before the election, Democrats held a rally at Thalian Hall in which Alfred Moore Waddell gave a speech that demonstrated his party’s determination: The day before the election, Democrats held a rally at Thalian Hall in which Alfred Moore Waddell gave a speech that demonstrated his party’s determination: You are White Americans. You are White Americans. You are armed and prepared, and you will do your duty. Be ready at a moment’s notice. You are armed and prepared, and you will do your duty. Be ready at a moment’s notice. Go to the polls tomorrow, and if you find the Negro out voting, tell him to leave the polls and if he refuses kill, shoot him down in his tracks. Go to the polls tomorrow, and if you find the Negro out voting, tell him to leave the polls and if he refuses kill, shoot him down in his tracks. We shall win tomorrow if we have to do it with guns” We shall win tomorrow if we have to do it with guns” Alfred Moore Waddell November 7, 1898 Alfred Moore Waddell November 7, 1898

16 Election Day Democrats won most of their contests across the state with large majorities. Democrats won most of their contests across the state with large majorities. Victory was the result of low Republican and Populist turnout and higher than normal Democratic voting. Victory was the result of low Republican and Populist turnout and higher than normal Democratic voting. The day was peaceful with only a few incidents of unrest. The day was peaceful with only a few incidents of unrest. In Wilmington, ballot counting was undisturbed in most city precincts but one polling place in the African American community was “stormed” by whites who stuffed the ballot boxes when lights were extinguished. In Wilmington, ballot counting was undisturbed in most city precincts but one polling place in the African American community was “stormed” by whites who stuffed the ballot boxes when lights were extinguished.

17 November 9, 1898 Preamble to the White Declaration of Independence Rejuvenated by victory, whites met at the courthouse the day after the election to place a series of demands on the African American community. Rejuvenated by victory, whites met at the courthouse the day after the election to place a series of demands on the African American community. “ We, the undersigned citizens of the City of Wilmington and County of New Hanover, do hereby declare that we will no longer be ruled, and will never again be ruled by men of African origin.” “ We, the undersigned citizens of the City of Wilmington and County of New Hanover, do hereby declare that we will no longer be ruled, and will never again be ruled by men of African origin.”

18 Declaring that they represented the sentiment of the white people of the county, they proclaimed that Alexander Manly had to leave the city and the Record cease to be published, and that the Fusionist municipal government led by Mayor Wright and Chief of Police John Melton had to resign. Four hundred and fifty four men signed "The White Declaration of Independence"The White Declaration of Independence The Wilmington Messenger, November 14, 1898, with the "Declaration" and 454 signatories to it.

19 Committee of Colored Citizens On the evening of November 9, The declaration and ultimatum was delivered to the Colored Committee, made up of twenty five black leaders, who were given until 8:30 the next morning to reply. The black leadership agreed to these demands, but the message was not delivered back to Col. Waddell's home in time the next day.

20 Wilmington Light Infantry Waddell had scheduled a meeting with whites at the Wilmington Light Infantry Armory the next morning. At the meeting it was anticipated that he would receive the response by 8:30 from the Committee of Colored Citizens. However, their response had not arrived by 9:30 and Waddell made use of the crowd’s furor -- leading a procession of men to Manly’s press building. Waddell had scheduled a meeting with whites at the Wilmington Light Infantry Armory the next morning. At the meeting it was anticipated that he would receive the response by 8:30 from the Committee of Colored Citizens. However, their response had not arrived by 9:30 and Waddell made use of the crowd’s furor -- leading a procession of men to Manly’s press building.

21 Destruction of Manly’s Press After the press was destroyed, a group of men paused for a news photographer in front of the building. Most of the men then returned to the Armory but some returned to their neighborhood across town by trolley.

22 Remnants of the Press Building and Printing Press

23 “Hell Broke Loose” According to one native Wilmington historian, “Hell Broke Loose” around 11:00 am near the intersection of Fourth and Harnett Streets in the predominantly African American Brooklyn community. After the first shots were fired at this intersection, several black men lay dead or wounded. After the first shots were fired, a “running firefight” erupted in the streets with armed men of both races rushing to the scene.

24 Manhattan Park Before the Wilmington Light Infantry could contain all of the violence, shots rang out around Manhattan Park deep in the African American community. At least two African American men died as a result of the action around Manhattan Park. A fence had surrounded Manhattan Park but was “mowed down” by rifle fire. The day after the riot, one white participant wrote his future wife that he wanted to take her to see the “battle-scarred” trees and buildings in Brooklyn when she returned to the city.

25 Coup d’etat Even as gunshots echoed through the city, Waddell and other leaders sought the resignations of Wilmington’s Mayor and Board of Aldermen at 4:00 in the afternoon. Even as gunshots echoed through the city, Waddell and other leaders sought the resignations of Wilmington’s Mayor and Board of Aldermen at 4:00 in the afternoon. Waddell was then “elected” mayor by a new Board of Aldermen who had been hand- picked by leading Democrats to run the city. Waddell was then “elected” mayor by a new Board of Aldermen who had been hand- picked by leading Democrats to run the city. Not long after Waddell assumed power, all black employees or appointed officers were fired or replaced. Not long after Waddell assumed power, all black employees or appointed officers were fired or replaced.

26 Banishment Campaign Another aspect of the riot was that prominent African Americans – economic, religious and political leaders – were arrested, jailed overnight and banished from the city. Another aspect of the riot was that prominent African Americans – economic, religious and political leaders – were arrested, jailed overnight and banished from the city. These men were promised that returning to their homes, families and businesses would result in physical harm and/or death. These men were promised that returning to their homes, families and businesses would result in physical harm and/or death. This photo shows the banishment of African American leaders being marched to the train station on November 11. This photo shows the banishment of African American leaders being marched to the train station on November 11.

27 Aftermath – Jim Crow Alive and Well Burial of the Dead Burial of the Dead –Actual numbers of dead and wounded have never been tallied and, due to inconclusive evidence, a definitive figure may never be determined. Exodus Exodus –During the riot and immediately afterward, scores of African Americans left the city to find less hostile homes for their families and businesses. Changes in workforce Changes in workforce –African Americans who remained or moved to Wilmington faced harsh racism and a reduction in pay as they accepted lower paying jobs. Suffrage Amendment (1900) Suffrage Amendment (1900) –Democrats won the Governor’s office in 1900 using election campaign tactics similar to those of In 1900 Democrats were able to pass a Suffrage Amendment to the state Constitution that virtually eliminated African American voting rights and perpetuated segregation that lasted until the Civil Rights movements of the 1950’s and 60’s.

28 Significance?  Wilmington "riot" offered a very different kind of model to the South.  The Wilmington riot and coup, precisely because it was carried out as the overthrow of what was perceived as the "black" government, marked the beginning of the Era of Segregation in North Carolina.  The decision of President McKinley to avoid confrontation and of the Wilmington insurrection have yet to be fully appreciated. Just as the Supreme Court decision in the Plessey case of 1896 contributed, as a legal precedent, to the spread of "separate but equal" Jim Crow laws throughout the South, so the Wilmington Revolution of 1898 and its acceptance by the federal government contributed, as a political precedent, to the spread of violence to end black civil and political rights throughout the South.

29 As an Aside... Alex and Frank Manly prepare to flee There is an oral tradition that while they were fleeing, the Manly's were stopped at a checkpoint, assumed to be white, given a rifle, and told to "be on the lookout for that “n”(word) editor Manly." Wouldn’t that be funny if that Were really true?


Download ppt "The Wilmington Race Riots 1898 by Shy Liddell Melisa Hanks The Wilmington Race Riot was the result of the 1898 white supremacy campaign instituted by the."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google