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.

Edward R. Murrow Delivering 1963 Commencement Speech

Source: University Archives, UW0000:2:14:a:3

B/W film w/audio of Edward R Murrow speaking

B/W film w/audio of Edward R Murrow speaking

Staff Person: L. K. Gypsye Legge


As the spring semester advances, graduation may seem in the distant future, but in about 12 weeks students will turn their tassels and join the ranks of ECU alumni. While plans have not been announced for the 101st commencement speaker, there is no doubt that this will be a memorable day for the graduates, their families, and friends. The University Archives strives to record every event of note on campus. There are many records related to graduation, such as Commencement programs and numerous photographs. One very special record we have is a 16 mm film of the 1963 commencement speech. The speaker, pictured below in frames scanned from the film, was Edward R. Murrow.

Edward R. Murrow was a native son of North Carolina, having been born in Guilford County. He had an illustrious career in broadcast journalism, and went on to be appointed head of the United States Information Agency. The Voice of America, part of the USIA, has a large presence in Pitt County. In 1963, the VoA had just begun broadcasting and receiving in Pitt County at three sites [http://digitial.lib.ecu.edu/historyfiction/fullview.aspx?id=voa, accessed 2 Feb 2009] so that may have been a contributing factor to Mr. Murrow being invited to speak.

On the subject of the speech, please note the wavering pattern to the right of the image. That is an optical sound track, probably applause given the regular pattern. We were very excited to locate this item during a survey of media in the Archives, but have yet to be able to project the film and listen to the speech. Film projectors are aging along with films, and at this time Special Collections does not have a projector that we would trust with such a unique and valuable item. Written records of the speech exist, so once funds have been secured to properly transfer this item, we can compare the text with the words as they were spoken.

Those interested in this film, or any other media, are welcome to contact the University Archives for further information.

Click on the image to view an enlarged version.

John F. Kennedy and Carl Sandburg

Source: Seth H. Muse Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #673

Staff Person: Lynette Lundin


JFK with Carl Sandburg at White House.

JFK with Carl Sandburg at White House.

This photograph is from the Seth H. Muse Papers. Seth Muse was a well known Washington news photographer, born in Cash Corner, N.C., on Nov. 11, 1912. He was living in Arlington, Va. when he died. He died from a heart attack at the age of 63, on February 27, 1976. He attended ECU in 1937, and Married Dorothy Crumpler of Roseboro, N.C., a graduate of East Carolina. Their son George also graduated in 1963 from East Carolina. He was a member of White House News Photographers Association and National Press Club. He worked mainly in Washington, D.C. Muse took pictures of nearly all the prominent figures in North Carolina politics during his career. There are photographs of Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Vice President Richard Nixon and of leaders of other countries such as Queen Elizabeth of England, and famous people such as Bob Hope, Sophie Tucker, Kim Novak, the fighter Jack Dempsey and evangelist Billy Graham. Seth Muse was an enthusiastic supporter of East Carolina University. I find this a very interesting collection of photographs. The image of John F. Kennedy with Carl Sandburg was taken on Oct 25th, 1961 at the White House. The photograph below is in collection # 673 and is in box 13 of that collection. The finding aid for this collection can be found at Manuscript Collection 673.