Wilmington, North Carolina, Race Riot 1898

Source:  Alex L. Manly Papers Manuscript Collection #65

Staff Person:  Martha Elmore

Description:  Alexander L. Manly was born near Raleigh in 1866 and was the editor of an African American newspaper, the Wilmington Record, he  and his brother Frank owned in Wilmington, North Carolina. The brothers became the target of violence after publishing an editorial (written by Alex) in August 1898 that upset the white citizens of Wilmington.  Their printing offices were destroyed by a mob in November 10, 1898, but the brothers escaped due in large part to their light skin color.  At the time of the violence, Alex’s fiancée Caroline “Carrie” Sampson Sadgwar was performing in England with the Fisk Jubilee Singers.  After her return, they were married in Washington, D.C., and moved to Pennsylvania.  The document below is a typescript (done by their son Milo Manly) of a letter written by Carrie Manly to her sons Milo A. Manly and Lewin Manly. Typescripts of nine letters (1953-1955) written by her to her sons detailing the story of her life are in this collection.  In this January 14, 1954, letter she relates the story of the Wilmington Race Riot and her future husband’s escape to safety.