Wednesday, June 5, 2013

1898 Wilmington Race Riots - Debunking The Myths



Armed black residents fire upon white marchers at 4th and Harnett Streets, thus beginning the violent exchange.

See "The Trial of Thomas Lane" on the Aftermath page. Lane, a black resident of Wilmington, was tried for firing into the Wilmington Light Infantry troops who restored order during the Nov., 1898 conflict.

"The black youngster, Knight, testified that he was in the park
when the trouble occurred; that he heard a pistol shot, saw Thomas Lane run around the house and throw his pistol under the building. At the same time Lane told Knight that he had "gotten one of the damned rascals."  Meaning that he had killed one of the Light Infantry boys."

Georgia Community Activist Rebecca
Felton Calls For Lynching of Rapists:
"Republicans, must find a means to stop the crime that
invites lynching by the ignorant and malicious of your
supporters, or you cannot escape the responsibility
for their actions.
[Republicans] encouraged the ignorant Negroes in thinking that the success of the party…insures him against the just penalty of his wrongdoing.”  
Rebecca Felton
The editorial of black Wilmington newspaperman Alexander Manly which claimed that the rape of white farm women by blacks was "consensual," sparked the drive for responsible government in Wilmington in November 1898 and ridding the city of those provoking racial hostility. 
Black Collector of Customs John C. Dancy placed the blame for racial violence on Manly's incessant demagoguery and incendiary editorials, referring publicly to Manly as "the determing factor" in bringing about the riot. 
(The speech of Rebecca Felton in 1897 which
Manly was responding to is related below)


  1. I'm glad you posted this.Bob owens referenced this the other day, and I went researching because his account was misleading. I got sidetracked and never finished.

    1. his account was misleading

      Yes, I jumped right on that, but we all get taken at times.