This Day in Democrat History: November 10, 1898

The “not-my-President” protests going on in several cities across America, are reminiscent of the Democrats’ actions in Wilmington, North Carolina 118 years ago: violent response to legitimately-elected government when they don’t like the outcome.

The only instance of an overthrow of a municipal government in United States history was committed by Democrats on November 10, 1898. Erroneously called a “Race Riot” this was actually a coup d’etat against the legitimate government of Wilmington, North Carolina. During the election of 1898, the Democrats unsuccessfully used inflammatory rhetoric (witness Hillary’s “deplorable” comment) – in support of white supremacy. They criticized Alexander Manly, the editor of the only Black-owned newspaper in the state of North Carolina, the Daily Record. The citizens elected a biracial government.

After the November 8, 1898 election, white supremacists in Wilmington formed a Committee of Twenty-Five to present a list of demands to the Committee of Colored Citizens (politicians and leaders in the Black community). When no response was received by November 10th, the Committee of Twenty-Five – led by Alfred M. Waddell – assembled a group of white businessmen and Confederate veterans at the Wilmington Light Infantry armory. They marched to the office of the Daily Record where they destroyed the equipment and burned down the building.

The Democrat White supremacists illegally seized power from an elected government and ran officials out of the city, killing many Blacks in the process – even going so far as using a Gatling gun mounted in a wagon. The city’s elected officials were forced to resign, a new city council was installed, and Waddell was “elected” mayor.

Shortly after the Wilmington coup d’etat, the North Carolina state legislature passed the first Jim Crow laws for the state (e.g., poll taxes, literacy tests, etc.), essentially installing martial law in North Carolina for Black Americans. This action had impact beyond the state’s borders for at least fifty years.

The history of the Democrat Party is replete with examples of such behavior when they don’t get their way. I will recount some of them here from time to time.