1898 Commemoration

New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington are joining several local organizations and partners to commemorate the 123rd anniversary of the 1898 Wilmington Massacre and Coup d’état.

Join us November 1 – 10 for a series of county-wide events created  to educate the community and honor the memory of those who were killed.


On November 1, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution remembering the events of the 1898 massacre and coup d’état in Wilmington and designating the month of November as a period of mourning, commemoration & reflection for our entire community.

Read the Proclamation Remembering the 1898 Massacre and Coup d’état


Watch the 1898 Commemoration Events Kickoff Press Conference


Click to view 1898 Commemoration Events photos


Click to watch the Funeral Procession and Graveside Ceremony for Joshua Halsey


Presentation by David Zucchino, author of “Wilmington’s Lie”


1898 Commemoration Unity Service

coup rioters in front of burned buildingIn 1897, North Carolina’s Democratic Party decided to embark on a white supremacy campaign to try to drive Populist and Republican politicians out of office during the 1898 election. The campaign used speeches, propaganda cartoons, and the threat of violence to create support for white supremacy.

On November 8, 1898, New Hanover County’s Democrats used threats and intimidation to stop African Americans from voting. Pro-Democratic Party election officers tampered with the returns. Because of these tactics, Democrats swept the election.

On November 10, 1898, two days after the contested election, a mob of armed white men marched to the office of The Daily Record, the local African American newspaper, and set it on fire.

After burning The Daily Record offices, a violent mob then took to the streets, and on the Northside of town, attacked African Americans. An unknown number of African Americans died. Other people—white and Black—were “banished” from the city. On the same day, local elected officials were forced to resign and were replaced by white supremacist leaders.

Once generally referred to as a “riot,” these events are now more widely understood to have been a white supremacist massacre and a coup d’état.


Explore the context of the 1898 massacre and coup d’état on the Cape Fear Museum’s interactive map and timeline here.

Find articles, photos, online resources, and more about the events of 1898 from the NHC Public Library here.

Video: Violence of 1898 Introduction

Video: Violence of 1898 Conclusion

Office of Diversity & Equity: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 120 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7430 • Fax 910-798-7429
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