Josephus Daniels

Source: Elias Carr Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #160

Letter from Josephus Daniels to Elias Carr

Letter from Josephus Daniels to Elias Carr

Staff Person: Lynette Lundin


Josephus Daniels was born May 18, 1862. His was educated at Wilson Collegiate Institute and the University of North Carolina. He was admitted to the bar in 1885. Daniels was a publisher, editor, secretary of the Navy from 1913 to 1921, and much more.

His choices affected North Carolina and beyond. Daniels banned alcohol from Navy ships in June 1914, which led to the saying “cup of Joe,” referring to a cup of coffee. He also would not allow prostitution within a five-mile radius of naval stations. He created the Naval Consulting Board to encourage inventions and appointed Thomas Edison to chair that board.

Daniels was active in the Democratic Party in North Carolina. He promoted white supremacy in The News and Observer, which he edited for most of the period between 1894 and 1948. In 2005, a report released by the Wilimington Race Riot Commission, named him “precipitator of the riot.”

Daniels died in Raleigh on January 15, 1948 at the age of 85.

The letter below was from Josephus Daniels to Elias Carr, a Democrat who served as North Carolina’s governor from 1893 to 1897. In the letter, Daniels asks for a copy of Carr’s address to the Farmers’ Alliance, so that The State Chronicle can print it the day after it is given. The letter is from the Elias Carr Papers #160.

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