Pastor Who Wrote Eyewitness Account of 1898 Wilmington Coup To Be Honored With Historical Marker

WILMINGTON

A pastor who wrote a key eyewitness account of 1898 Wilmington Coup soon will be recognized with a new North Carolina Highway Historical Marker in Wilmington.

The marker honoring the Rev. J. Allen Kirk, who was a leader in the African American community in the port city, will be unveiled on the anniversary of the coup. Kirk was pastor of the prominent Central Baptist Church, now known as Central Baptist Missionary Church, the oldest African American church in Wilmington.

Kirk published a pamphlet, "A Statement of Facts Concerning the Bloody Riot in Wilmington, N.C.” after escaping a mob led by Alfred Moore Waddell, a former Confederate officer and U.S. Congressman. Waddell, in the days preceding the election of 1898, called for the removal of the Republicans and Populists then in power in Wilmington. Kirk recounted that day’s events and his personal escape from violence.

The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at noon near the intersection of 3rd Street and Red Cross Street in Wilmington.

For more information about North Carolina Highway Historical Markers, contact Ansley Wegner at ansley.wegner@ncdcr.gov.

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