Wilmington Insurrection of 1898 - Background


In 1860, before the Civil War, Wilmington was majority black and the largest city in the state, with nearly 10,000 people. Numerous slaves and free blacks worked at the port, as domestic servants, and as artisans and skilled workers.

After the Battle of Fort Fisher, which the Union won in January 1865, Wilmington was taken by Union troops in February, after they had worked their way through Confederate defenses up the Cape Fear River. Numerous slaves had escaped to Union lines before this, seeking freedom, and some fought with the Union. With its victory in the Battle of Wilmington, the Union completed its blockade of major southern ports. The Confederate General Braxton Bragg had burned tobacco and cotton stores before leaving the city.

With the end of the war, freedmen in many states left plantation and rural areas for towns and cities, not only to seek work but to gain safety by creating black communities without white supervision. Tensions grew in Wilmington and other areas because of a shortage of supplies; Confederate currency had no value and the South was impoverished at the end of the long war.

Federal constitutional amendments had abolished slavery, and granted citizenship and voting rights to freedmen. Adults and children were pursuing education, and freedmen were eager to vote, tending to support the Republican Party that had achieved their freedom.

In North Carolina, state and local races were close, with Republicans winning most of the offices. Their ascendancy to power can be traced to granting the franchise to freedmen, plus the successful formation of a biracial coalition of freedmen, recent black and white migrants from the North, and white Southerners who supported Reconstruction. Many white Democrats had been embittered since the Confederacy's defeat, and most veterans were armed. Insurgent veterans joined the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), which started in Tennessee but soon had chapters across the South. It generated considerable violence at elections to suppress the black vote, and Democrats regained control of the state legislature in 1870. After the KKK was suppressed by the federal government through the Force Act of 1870, new paramilitary groups arose in the South. By 1875, chapters of Red Shirts, a paramilitary arm of the Democratic Party, had formed in North Carolina and were instrumental in suppressing the black vote during elections, but a Republican governor was elected in 1876.

In the years that followed, Wilmington, then the largest city in the state, had a majority-black population with numerous black professionals and a rising middle class. The Republican Party was biracial in membership. Unlike many other jurisdictions, blacks in Wilmington gained positions as members of the police force and fire department, as well as in elected positions.

Read more about this topic:  Wilmington Insurrection Of 1898

Other articles related to "background":

Young, Gifted And Black - Personnel
... - Organ, Electric piano Billy Preston - Organ Sammy Turner - Background Vocals Hubert Laws - Alto Flute Chuck Rainey - Bass J.R ... Bailey - Background Vocals Carolyn Franklin - Background Vocals Erma Franklin - Background Vocals The Memphis Horns - Ensemble The Sweet Inspirations ... Clark - Background Vocals Cornell Dupree - Guitar Jimmy Douglass - Engineer Tom Dowd - Arranger, Producer Chuck Kirkpatrick - Engineer Eric Gale - Bass Lewis Hahn - Engineer Dan Hersch - Remastering Bill ...
Eddie Chapman - Background
... Well along into his criminal career he was arrested in Scotland and charged with blowing up the safe of the headquarters of the Edinburgh Co-operative Society ... Let out on bail, he fled to Jersey in the Channel Islands where he attempted unsuccessfully to continue his crooked ways ...
44 Liquormart, Inc. V. Rhode Island - Background
... In 1985, a liquormart brought a suit against the liquor control commissioner, arguing, among other things, that the first regulation, which prevented the liquormart from advertising its prices, was unconstitutional ... The Rhode Island Supreme Court, however, held that the regulation did not violate the First Amendment, the Commerce Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, or the Sherman Anti-Trust Act ...
Yankee White
... Yankee White is an administrative nickname for a background check given in the United States of America for Department of Defense personnel and contractor employees working with ... Obtaining such clearance requires, in part, a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) which is conducted under the manuals of the U.S ... Yankee White clearances undergo extensive background investigation ...
TurboGrafx-16 - Technical Specifications - Display - Color
... bit Colors available 512 Colors onscreen Maximum of 482 (241 background, 241 sprite) Palettes Maximum of 32 (16 for background tiles, 16 for sprites) Colors per ...

Famous quotes containing the word background:

    I had many problems in my conduct of the office being contrasted with President Kennedy’s conduct in the office, with my manner of dealing with things and his manner, with my accent and his accent, with my background and his background. He was a great public hero, and anything I did that someone didn’t approve of, they would always feel that President Kennedy wouldn’t have done that.
    Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908–1973)

    Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment; that background which the painter may not daub, be he master or bungler, and which, however awkward a figure we may have made in the foreground, remains ever our inviolable asylum, where no indignity can assail, no personality can disturb us.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    ... every experience in life enriches one’s background and should teach valuable lessons.
    Mary Barnett Gilson (1877–?)