Politics of a Massacre: Discovering Wilmington 1898


This website, produced at East Carolina University, offers an archival resource for some of the most significant documents, images, and links related to the only known coup d’etat in the history of the United States. Visitors will notice three dropdown menu items, at the top menu bar. Each offers documents related to the “Rising Tension” after the Civil War, “1898” the year of the riot, and the “Legacy” of the riot. Click on any item, and then navigate the subtopics to discover the wealth of archival material available here. Each item contains a few surprises.

Additional links below offer visitors other navigation tools to ease their journey, including a link to the valuable “1898 Wilmington Race Riot Report” of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources and the 1898 Sanborn Maps. For more in-depth research, you may consider reading through the Wilmington Race Riot Commission Report by LaRae Umfleet.

Now discover the politics of a massacre.

Jones, John. “Remember Me.” North Carolina Menhaden Fishing. Marine Grafics. Courtesy of the North Carolina Maritime Museum, Beaufort, North Carolina. The Wilmington Messenger, November 11, 1898, The News and Observer, November 10, 1898, The Wilmington Morning Star, November 11, 1898, The Charlotte Observer, November 10, 1898, New York Herald, November 11, 1898.


November 10, 1898

Follow our interpretation of events by selecting the numbered blocks.

Click on map or Sites of Conflict Index here.

Wilmington Today

This photo gallery offers a present day view of the sites of the massacre.

African American Middle Class

This photo gallery offers a glimpse of the city's thriving African-American community in 1898.

Wilmington 1898 Coup d'etat Literary Tour

This tour offers a literary perspective on one of the most dramatic political takeovers in American History.

Wilmington Massacre and Coup d'état of 1898 - Timeline of Events

Timeline of events for the Wilmington Massacre and Coup d'état of 1898.

November 10, 1898 Slide Show

Slide show of events for the Wilmington massacre and coup d'état.