1898 Wilmington Race Riot


1898 Coup---Or Legal Change of Government?


 The Overthrow of Freely-Elected Government:

While it is claimed in some quarters that the 1898 conflict resulted in the overthrow of a freely-elected city government in Wilmington, this is incorrect and discussed in detail on the "Wilmington's City Government" page. Contrary to the erroneous view, Wilmington's government was controlled by the Republican governor in Raleigh.

To view an overthrow of freely-elected government in this country, or "coup," one need only look at Baltimore in April of 1861. In a public demonstration against Massachusetts troops in their city, over 5000 citizens took part in the resistance to the invasion of their city which resulted in the deaths of 21 civilians and soldiers, and over 100 injuries.

All members of Maryland's legislature from the Baltimore area were arrested without due process, as was Mayor George W. Brown and US Congressman Henry May. Altogether, 21 men were arrested----State legislators, congressmen, mayor, newspaper editors and publishers---and imprisoned in Fort Lafayette. By September, Maryland was under complete military occupation, and normal legislative elections to be held in November were suppressed. (see "Baltimore and the 19th of April," G.W. Brown, 2001, Johns Hopkins Press, originally published in 1887)



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