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July 20, 1898: George H. White Addresses the State Republican Convention

At the close of the Republican Convention in Raleigh on July 20, 1898, the delegates called on Congressman George H. White to speak. White represented the predominately African American second district in the U.S. Congress, and was the only African American to serve in that body. The account of his speech given here is an excerpt from a much longer report on the convention published in the Raleigh Morning Post .

 


The Morning Post (Raleigh, N.C.), 21 July 1898. . . There was no more business before the convention, but the delegates were in a humor to hear from their "favorite statesman." Chairman Linney yielded the chair to Chairman Holton of the State Committee.

There were calls for George H. White, the negro Congressmen. He thundered before the convention until the delegates became weary. White made a vile and rampant speech. He stated that the 16 to 1 theory had been exploded and that the negro domination fight would explode this fall.

The speaker declared that he was proud of his Southern blood. "No white man dares enter my home unless invited there, and I dare not enter any white man's home unless invited there. The laws of the land do not regulate social equality. Man regulates the social problem for himself. There's nothing in this social equality plea. It's a scheme to get in on. For 240 years the negro has been enslaved, working for the white man, working to make him rich. The Democrats are going to say that I am a negro office holder. Yes, and there are going to be more just like me. The constitution gives me the right to vote and this gives me the right to hold office. I am going to be in the fight and work for the principles you have adopted. I am going to uphold William McKinley, Jeter C. Pritchard and Daniel L. Russell. (Applause.)

"In view of the fact that the party is fully harmonized, I move this convention do now adjourn," said John C. Dancy. . . . .

Source: "The Convention is Very Harmonius." The Morning Post (Raleigh, N.C.), 21 July 1898, p. 8. Excerpt. Scanned from microfilm.

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