The North Carolina Election of 1898 The North Carolina Election of 1898 The North Carolina Collection UNC University Libraries
IntroductionHistoryPrimary SourcesTimelineBiographical SketchesGlossary

George White Meets with President McKinley: 12 September 1898

On September 12, 1898, Congressman George White met with President William McKinley, reportedly to talk about the campaign in North Carolina. The account given here is from the Raleigh Morning Post, a paper with strong Democratic leanings and which, as is clear from the introduction, was decidedly unsympathetic to White. However, the nature and tone of White's comments are not at all skewed toward Democratic positions, which suggests that his words may have been reported accurately.

 


The Morning Post (Raleigh, N.C.), 13 September 1898WHITE ON THE COLOR LINE.

Our Dusky Representative Horrified at the Unholy War the Democrats Are Making Upon His Party--Surprised to Hear of Such a Thing as Negro Domination and Says It Aint So.

Washington, D. C., Sept. 12.--(Special.)--Congressman White talked North Carolina politics with the President today. Coming out of the President's room, he made some remarkable statements to the newspaper men present. He said he thought the Republicans in North Carolina would gain a seat in Congress and hold their own in every other way.

"I regret the unholy war that Democrats are making on the color line," said White. "Ever since the war white and colored people in North Carolina have lived in peace and with love and affection for each other. That pleasant state of affairs has continued without interruption until now. This strife and ill feeling which have been stirred up never existed before and will hurt my people and State. Capital will not invest where there is so much race prejudice and hatred.

"The Democratic newspapers have repeatedly charged vile offenses to colored men lately. I investigated two or three cases and found them absolutely untrue. One of them was that a colored soldier had broken into the house of a white woman near Morehead City with evil intent. I personally invested this story. White people in the neighborhood told me that no one knew whether it was a person or an animal that had caused the disturbance, and that there was not the slightest evidence that a negro had committed crime.

"The cry of negro domination is bugaboo," he continued. "There has never been negro domination in any county in the State. I have just attended a republican convention in a county where negroes outnumber the white two to one. There are thirteen county officers. Of this number the negro is given three insignificant offices. He freely gives up all others. This was done, too, by a county convention in which there were only two white men as delegates."

White talked in the same strain to the President.

Source: The Morning Post (Raleigh, N.C.), 13 September 1898, page 1. Scanned from microfilm.

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