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What is the 1898 Wilmington Institute For Education and Research?

Pressley Baird
1898 Race Riot

A mob in November 1898 torched Wilmington's black-owned newspaper, the Daily Record, on Seventh Street. The burning cinders threatened St. Luke A.M.E. Zion Church. (Courtesy the New Hanover County Public Library)

The 1898 Wilmington website is maintained by a group called the 1898 Wilmington Institute for Education and Research. But other than a list of names on the website, there’s little information on the institute or its research.

LeRae Umfleet is chief of collection management for the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources and author of “A Day of Blood,” a book on the 1898 Wilmington race riots. Umfleet was also the researcher for the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission, established in 2000 by the General Assembly to put together a record of the event. Umfleet said members of the 1898 Wilmington Institute for Education and Research attended some of the commission’s meetings, but were not affiliated with the Department of Cultural Resources.

“This is a group of citizens presenting their point of view about the events of 1898,” she said.

In November 1898, a mob of up to 2,000 whites roamed the streets of Wilmington, burned the offices of the black-owned newspaper, murdered perhaps dozens of black residents, ran black and white Republican leaders out of town and forced the legally elected Republican city government to resign. The city officials were replaced by a slate of white Democrats chosen by a secret committee.

User-contributed question by:
Brian Blake

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