Nov. 10, 2017

In His Words, My Voice The Wilmington Insurrection

Long termed a “race riot,” the turmoil that enveloped Wilmington, North Carolina on November 10, 1898 is now called an armed insurrection. White supremacists drove from power all of the black and white elected officials of this predominately African American city in what was believed to be the only violent overthrow of a local government in United States history. Twenty-two blacks were killed during the insurrection and hundreds of African American citizens were forced to flee the city, many of whom never returned. What appears below is a rare eyewitness account provided by Rev. Charles S. Morris who became one of the refugees from the city. Morris provided the account in a speech in January 1899 before the International Association of Colored Clergymen meeting in Boston.​