1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission

A mob stands at the ruins of Alex Manly's Daily Record office, destroyed November 10, 1898.


The events of November 10, 1898, in Wilmington were a turning point in North Carolina history. By force, a white mob seized the reins of government in the port city and, in so doing, destroyed the local black-owned newspaper office and terrorized the African American community.

In the months thereafter, political upheaval resulted across the state and legal restrictions were placed on the right of blacks to vote. The era of "Jim Crow," one of legal segregation not to end until the 1960s, had begun.

Understanding the Impact

In 2000, the General Assembly established the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission to develop a historical record of the event and to assess the economic impact of the riot on African Americans locally and across the region and state. Building on earlier scholarly, the commission held public hearings and conducted detailed analyses of the written record, both primary and secondary sources, to create a thorough, 500-page report that sought to achieve the aims outlined above.

Read the Commission's Final Report

In 2009, commission researcher LeRae Umfleet released a book on the 1898 riot and its impact. The North Carolina Office of Archives and History issued a revised edition of A Day of Blood: The 1898 Wilmington Race Riot with new introduction in 2020. 

Purchase A Day of Blood from UNC Press

History of the Commission

Wilmington legislators Senator Luther H. Jordan and Representative Thomas E. Wright sponsored Senate Bill 787, which authorized the commission. In advocating for the bill, Wright said:

The events of November 10, 1898, were an important part of North Carolina's and America's history. The significance of this time period needs to be accurately and historically documented. The charge to the commission by the North Carolina General Assembly will accomplish this goal and allow for vital dialogue.

The commission released a draft report in December 2005 and published its final report in May 2006 after receiving public comment.

The full commission included 13 members appointed by the legislature, the governor, mayor and city council of Wilmington, and New Hanover County Commission, and it operated under the auspices of our agency.

Members of the Commission

Senator Julia Boseman

Representative Thomas E. Wright

Prof. Irving Joyner

Mr. Alfred Thomas
Ms. Helyn R. Lofton Mr. Kenneth Davis
Ms. Lottie Clinton Mr. Leo Shepard
Ms. Ruth Haas Mr. Chuck Stone
Dr. John H. Haley Ms. Kever Clark
Mr. Harper Peterson  










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