Wilmington insurrection of 1898

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The Wilmington insurrection of 1898, also known as the Wilmington massacre of 1898 or the Wilmington coup of 1898,[1] happened in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Thursday, November 10, 1898.[2]

It is seen as a turning point in post-Reconstruction North Carolina politics. It caused more intense racial segregation of African Americans throughout the South. It made it harder for African-Americans to vote.

The event was caused after many white supremacists took over the Wilmington city government which was controlled by both white and black men and killed the black alderman.[3] After the event, no black politician was in charge in Wilmington.[4][5]

It has been called a race riot caused by blacks by white newspapers at the time. However, over time, with more facts publicized, the event has come to be seen as a coup d'état, the violent overthrow of a duly elected government, by a group of white supremacists.[6] It is seen as the only coup in American history.[7][8][9][10][11][12]

The coup happens with 2,000 white men. They destroyed the property and businesses of black citizens built up since the Civil War, including the only black newspaper in the city, and killed about 60 to more than 300 people.[13][14][15][16]

References[change | change source]

  1. Waggoner, Martha (5 November 2019). "Marker calls 1898 violence a 'coup,' not a 'race riot'". ABC News. Retrieved 8 November 2019. The state of North Carolina is moving away from using the phrase "race riot" to describe the violent overthrow of the Wilmington government in 1898 and is instead using the word "coup" on the highway historical marker that will commemorate the dark event. "You don't call it that anymore because the African Americans weren't rioting," said Ansley Herring Wegner, administrator of the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program. "They were being massacred."
  2. When white supremacists overthrew a government, retrieved 2019-09-08
  3. James Loewen, "'Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy' (review)", Southern Cultures, Volume 6, Number 3, Fall 2000, pp. 90-93 | 10.1353/scu.2000.0058, accessed July 30, 2014
  4. Wooley, Robert H. (1977). "Race and Politics: The Evolution of the White Supremacy Campaign of 1898 in North Carolina, Ph. D. Dissertation". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  5. McFarland, Ebone (2011). Why Whites Riot: The Race Riot Narrative and Demonstrations of Nineteenth Century Black Citizenship (PDF). Greensboro: The University of North Carolina.
  6. Brent Staples (2006). "When Democracy Died in Wilmington, N.C." The New York Times.
  7. "How The Only Coup D'Etat In U.S. History Unfolded". National Public Radio. August 17, 2008.
  8. LaFrance, Adrienne; Newkirk, Vann R. II (August 12, 2017). "The Lost History of an American Coup D'État". The Atlantic.
  9. LeRae Umfleet (2006). "Wilmington Race Riot". NCPedia.
  10. Ronnie W. Faulkner (2010). "The Wilmington Race riot – 1898". NC Office of Archives and History.
  11. Will Doran (January 1, 2018). "White supremacists took over a city – now NC is doing more to remember the deadly attack". The News & Observer.
  12. Andrew Morgan Benton (2006). "The Press and the Sword: Journalism, Racial Violence, and Political Control in Postbellum North Carolina" (PDF). North Carolina State University.
  13. Coates, Ta-Nehisi (April 4, 2014). "Black Pathology Crowdsourced: Why we need historians in debates about today's cultures".
  14. John DeSantis, "Wilmington, N.C., Revisits a Bloody 1898 Day", The New York Times, pp. 1 and 33, June 4, 2006, accessed August 23, 2012
  15. McCoury, Kent. "Alfred Moore Waddell (1834–1912)". North Carolina History Project.
  16. Watson, Richard L. Jr. (1989). Lindsey Butler; Alan Watson (eds.). "Furnifold Simmons and the Politics of White Supremacy". In Race, Class and Politics in Southern History: Essays in Honor of Robert F. Durden, Jeffrey Crow et al. Louisiana State University Press.