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August 24, 1898: White Newspapers Respond to the Record Editorial

Five days after this editorial first appeared in the African American Wilmington Record, it was discovered and published by white newspapers, beginning with the Wilmington Star. The Raleigh News and Observer reprinted the Star 's piece on August 24, 1898. While the text is reproduced verbatim from the original editorial, the editors of the Star and the News and Observer chose to print only a portion of the entire editorial. Compare this response with the full editorial.


The News and Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 24 August 1898 VILE AND VILLAINOUS

Outrageous Attack on White Women by a Negro Paper Published in Wilmington.

(Wilmington Star.)

The following extract is taken from an editorial article which appeared in the Daily Record of the 18th inst. The Record is a daily newspaper published in Wilmington. It is essentially a negro paper, being owned and edited by negroes.

No elaborate editorial comment on the infamous article of the negro paper is necessary. Its outrageous, mendacious attack on white women is so plain and direct that every decent white man who reads it will make his own comment, and that comment will not be phrased in honeyed words.

Read the following, white men of North Carolina, and see one of the effects of Russellism and Butlerism in your State. The Record says:

"WE SUGGEST THAT THE WHITES GUARD THEIR WOMEN MORE CLOSELY, AS MRS. FELTON SAYS, THUS GIVING NO OPPORTUNITY FOR THE HUMAN FIEND, BE HE WHITE OR BLACK. YOU LEAVE YOUR GOODS OUT OF DOORS AND THEM COMPLAIN BECAUSE THEY ARE TAKEN AWAY. POOR WHITE MEN ARE CARLESS IN THE MATTER OF PROTECTING THEIR WOMEN, ESPECIALLY ON FARMS. THEY ARE CARELESS OF THEIR CONDUCT TOWARD THEM AND OUR EXPERIENCES AMONG POOR WHITE PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY TEACHES US THAT THE WOMEN OF THAT RACE ARE NOT ANY MORE PARTICULAR IN THE MATTER OF CLANDESTINE MEETINGS WITH COLORED MEN, THAN ARE THE WHITE MEN WITH COLORED WOMEN. MEETINGS OF THIS KIND GO ON FOR SOME TIME UNTIL THE WOMAN'S INFATUATION OR THE MAN'S BOLDNESS, BRING ATTENTION TO THEM AND THE MAN IS LYNCHED FOR RAPE. EVERY NEGRO LYNCHED IS CALLED A 'BIG, BURLY, BLACK BRUTE.' WHEN IN FACT MANY OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN DEALT WITH HAD WHITE MEN FOR THEIR FATHERS, AND WERE NOT ONLY NOT 'BLACK' AND 'BURLY,' BUT WERE SUFFICIENTLY ATTRACTIVE FOR WHITE GIRLS OF CULTURE AND REFINEMENT TO FALL IN LOVE WITH THEM AS IS WELL KNOWN TO ALL."

Source: The News and Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 24 August 1898, p. 3.

The North Carolina Election of 1898North Carolina CollectionUNC-Chapel Hill Libraries