2021- Republicans aim to suppress future African American voter turnout by using the 1898 North Carolina Democratic Party’s handbook

2021- Republicans aim to suppress future African American voter turnout by using the 1898 North Carolina Democratic Party’s handbook

The U.S. Supreme Court may soon rule to uphold voting restrictions in Arizona, that could make it harder to challenge voting suppression tactics that Republicans nationwide have planned. The Supreme Court ruling could make it very difficult to use the Voting Rights Act to sue over new state laws that Republican-controlled state legislatures are passing. Republican state legislatures are passing laws to make voting more difficult for African Americans and for other people of color, who commonly vote for Democratic party candidates.

What is the guide that Republicans are using for disenfranchisement and voter suppression? It appears it is the 1898 North Carolina Democratic Handbook.

The Democratic Handbook of 1898 outlines the official 1898 party platform of the Democratic Party of North Carolina. Following the victories of Fusionist candidates in 1896, including the election of Fusion Governor Daniel L. Russell, the Democratic Party set out to regain control of the state by defeating the Republicans and Populists.

North Carolina’s Fusion Party was a cross-racial coalition of mostly African American Republicans and mostly white Populist Party members who cooperated in state elections and in state government between 1894 and 1900.

The white 1890 North Carolina Democratic party’s stated purpose was to “restore good government to our beloved state.” This meant white political rule.  The handbook outlines the Democratic Party’s general principles, their understanding of the development of the Republican Party since 1868 and the victories over the Republican Party in 1870 for the North Carolina legislature and 1877 for the executive. The handbook then lists the successes of Democratic rule since 1877, covering issues such as debt, bonds, railroads, agriculture, asylums, schools, pensions, taxation. The handbook also outlines basic 1898 campaign goals and purposes.

Democrats regained control of the North Carolina state legislature in 1898 following a violent coup d’etat in Wilmington, at that time the largest city in North Carolina populated with many successful African Americans.

Also see: Historical Flashback: 1900 A look back at the disenfranchisement of African Americans in North Carolina
Historical Flashback: 1900 A look back at the disenfranchisement of African Americans in North Carolina
The African American vote- The battle between the Republicans and Democrats
The African American vote- The battle between the Republicans and Democrats
Republican Attorney Admits To Supreme Court Restricting Voter Laws Helps Republicans

‘Starting Admission:’ Republican Lawyer Argues Disqualifying Votes Helps Republicans



1898 North Carolina Democratic Handbook 

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First: How have the Democratic party and Republican party changed since 1964? The Big White Demographic Swap

August 1, 1900 A view from Washington, DC

August 2, 1900 A view from Baltimore

August 3,1900 A view from Wilmington, North Carolina home of the Race Riot of 1898

August 3, 1900 A view from Atlanta – Victory for Civilization

The Barry Goldwater to Reagan Era – White Southern Democrats become Republican voters

See complete article: Why the Georgia G.O.P.’s Voting Rollbacks Would Hit Black People Hard

Video: Historian the late John Hope Franklin on the 1898 Wilmington Riots

1898 Wilmington, North Carolina -The only successful insurrection in U.S. history – The brutal slaughter and banishment of Wilmington’s African American population

1898 North Carolina Democratic Handbook
See full document at this link

The Democratic Party and the Negro.

The population of North Carolina is divided into two races–the white and black. About two-thirds of the entire population are white, and about one-third is black. The most of the negro population reside in a few counties in the middle part of the State and chiefly in the eastern counties. In some of these counties the negro race largely exceeds the white race. Of all the votes polled in any general election in the State, fully one-third is cast by the negroes, and in some of the eastern counties the negroes have a majority. It is possible, upon a full vote, to poll 360,000 votes. It is certain, therefore, that there is at least 120,000 negro voters in the State; and it is rare that one of them fails to vote. It is, therefore, manifest that the negro must enter as a factor into any plan, scheme or purpose for the administration of the public affairs of the State. It is likewise equally manifest that it is a matter of public interest to inquire into the attitude of the Democratic Party towards the negro. Is it one of hostility, or one of genuine interest in his real welfare?

The first public utterance of the Democratic Party in reference to the negro, after the State was admitted into the Union under the Reconstruction Acts, is to be found in the Address of the Democratic Members of the Legislature, dated March 26, 1870, and published elsewhere in this book.

From it we make a single extract, as follows: “The colored man now enjoys the same political and civil rights as the white man. We accept his status as fixed by the Constitution of this State and the United States in good faith. We regard it as a final settlement of the question.

It now becomes our duty, as good citizens, to elevate him morally and intellectually.” This duty the party has honestly and faithfully performed. No well-informed, truthful man, black or white, can deny that the negro owes about all he has, in the way of public school facilities, to the Democratic Party; and no one knows better than the negro himself to whom and to what class of people he goes for help in his church work and in his various enterprises for the intellectual and moral elevation of his race. Without going into details it may be truthfully said the Democratic Party has burdened its own people with taxes for the benefit of the negro race.

So it may be positively asserted that the attitude of the Democratic Party is not one of hostility to the negro. It may also be asserted with equal positiveness that the party has done all in its power, with the means at its command, to make the negro a good citizen and to protect him in all his rights.

Under the benign rule of the Democratic Party during the long period it held unbroken power in North Carolina, the negro race enjoyed peace and quiet, and had the full protection of the laws, and the conditions were such that the negro made rapid improvement and realized to the utmost the blessings of good government. But there is one thing the Democratic Party never has done and never will do–and that is to set the negro up.

To Rule Over White Men,

It is no fault of the negro that he is here, and he is not to be punished for being here; but this is a white man’s country and white men must control and govern it. They must govern it not only because they are white men, but because they can do it better than the negro. The negro has, whenever tried, demonstrated his unfitness and inability to rule.

It is better for the negro, as well as for the white man, that the white man should make and administer the laws. It is a mercy to the negro himself to save him from his own ruin. It has been in the past, and is to-day, the special mission of the Democratic Party to rescue the white people of the east from the curse of negro domination.

But say the white Republican and Populist leaders who have profited by the negro vote, “there is no danger of negro domination in North Carolina.” At present, we admit, there is no danger of negro domination throughout the entire State, for notwithstanding that in a State election the negro casts about 120,000 votes and the white Republicans about 30,000 votes, the Republican Party does not dare to put a negro on their State ticket, because they know the white Republicans of the west would not vote the ticket.

The Republican leaders rely upon the white Republicans of the west to vote to put the negro over the white men and women of the east, but not over themselves. Four out of every five of the votes cast for a Republican State ticket are cast by the negro, and yet the leaders do not dare to put a negro on the State ticket for the white men of the west to vote for. Senator Pritchard appoints, or consents to the appointment of NEGRO POSTMASTERS in the east, but he does not dare to do it in the west. It is not because there are no negroes there, for there are some there and they are just as capable as the negroes of the east. He does not appoint them in the west, because he well knows there would be a rebellion among his Republican followers.

We do these western white men the justice to say that we do not believe they would vote for the negro domination in the east if they really knew what they are doing. They came to the rescue of their white brethren of the east in 1876, and we believe they will do it again when they learn the facts. They have heard their Republican and Populist leaders say there is no danger of negro domination, and they have believed them and hence have continued to follow them. But white men of the west, before you follow them longer, come to the east and see for yourselves.

It is useless for your leaders to tell the people of Greenville that there is no danger of negro domination, for it is there already. You had just as well tell the American soldier who has been pierced through and through by Spanish bullets that there is no danger in war, as to tell the people of Greenville that there is no danger of negro domination. They had just as well tell the fever stricken patient who lies parched with thirst and dying with the black vomit that there is no danger of yellow fever. They see it, know it, and feel it every day of their lives, and have done so since May, 1897.

It is useless to tell the people of Wilmington that there is no danger of negro domination, when they see the negro policemen every day parading the streets in uniform and swinging the “billy,” ready to let it fall upon the head of white and black alike.

It is useless to tell the people of Newbern and the people of Craven County that there is no danger of negro rule, when they have seen a negro magistrate issue his warrant for the arrest of a white woman, put it in the hands of a negro constable, have her arrested and brought before him, and then when her attorneys asked to have her case sent for trial before some other Justice of the Peace, sent it before another negro magistrate, with a negro lawyer there to prosecute her. All this they have seen, and may see again any day.

It is useless to tell the white people of Wilson and of Goldsboro that there is no danger of negro rule, when they remember how they had to send delegation after delegation to Raleigh to the Legislature of 1897 to beg and plead with Republican and Populist members of the Legislature not to put these well-governed towns under negro domination. They know they barely escaped then, and it is useless to tell them there is no danger in the future.

The truth is, there is always danger when the Republican Party is in power. This party turned the counties and towns of the east over to the negroes when it was in power before, and it is doing it again. Not daring to put a negro on the State ticket, it must give him the local offices of the east as his reward and his part of the spoils of political victory.

Nor is this the only danger that now threatens us. It is a well-known fact that South Carolina and other Southern States, in defense of good government in those States, have made negro rule in those States impossible.

In the States to the north of us it cannot be, for the negro is too few in number. It may now be stated as a fact that North Carolina, under Republican rule, is the only State in the Union where negro domination is possible. Who can say, if Republican rule is to go on in this State, that we are not to have an influx of negroes from other States, drawn here by that condition, and that communities that are now exempt from the dangers of negro rule may not soon be subjected to it? The remedy for the danger is a restoration of the Democratic Party to power; for while it will do absolute justice to the negro, it will not make a ruler out of him.

There is another fact which can be verified by the common observation and experience of any ordinary man in the east where the negro predominates, and that is that he is a very different man when the Democrats are in power in the State than when the Republicans are in power. When the Democrats are in power he well understands that the administration of the law is in the hands of a party that did not come into power by his help and that the law will be executed faithfully and impartially, and he knows and keeps his proper place. But when the Republican Party is in power he well understands that he placed it there, and he feels that he can do about as he pleases. This difference is manifest to any one who lives in the sections where the negroes are numerous, and it is strikingly so in the towns and villages of the east.

In view of these facts, may we not appeal to the rank and file of the Populist and Republican parties to come to the rescue of their white brethren in the east and to ward off the danger which now threatens the peace of society and the sanctity of home life?

We know it is useless to appeal to the white men who hold office by the grace and favor of the negro, but may we not appeal to the manhood, the Anglo-Saxon blood, of the white men all over the State who have not trafficked and traded for office with the negro, to unite with the white man’s party to uphold white supremacy and to preserve Anglo-Saxon civilization throughout North Carolina? Let there be no black spot within our borders that is a disgrace to the manhood of white men.

Difference of Republican and Democratic
Treatment of the Negro.

The Republican party uses the negro for all he is worth for election purposes, and in pursuance of this general purpose it sets him up to rule over white men. The fact that he is unfit for the position to which he aspires makes no difference. He must have enough of the local pie to appease his hunger, or else those who manipulate his vote may have trouble. But some western Republican may say, is it really true that the negro is unfit for government? Hear what D. L. Russell, though made Governor by them, says about them. In a letter written in 1888 to J. C. L. Harris, declining to be a candidate for Supreme Court Judge, he tells Mr. Harris that he is going up North to make some speeches, and he tells him something that he will be compelled to say to the people way up there. We make just a single extract from this remarkable letter. Hear it; says Mr. Russell:

“Fourth, while I shall say much on the line above indicated, I would also be compelled to tell the truth on our own party in the South. For instance, I would rise to remark that while as a rule the South does not treat the colored people with the liberality and justice which they receive in the North, there is yet defense for the deep and dire determination of the Southern white men to never submit to negro rule. The negroes of the South are largely savages. We, with Northern aid and sanction, kidnapped them, enslaved them, and by most monstrous wrong degraded them so that they are no more fit to govern than are their brethren in African swamps, or so many Mongolians dumped down from Asia.”

Notwithstanding Mr. Russell says the negroes are savages, and no more fit to govern than are their brethren in the jungles of Africa, as Governor he appoints them to office and aids in various ways to place them in positions to rule over white men. In the counties and towns of the east there are hundreds of these people in office ruling over white men. They are found in the post-offices, in the town offices, in the magistrate’s office, in the constable’s office, in the school committeeman’s office, and sundry other positions where they rule over white men. They were placed in these positions by the Republican Party.

We do not agree with Mr. Russell when he calls these people savages. They are not savages. They are civilized beings, made so in the providence of God by being brought into contact with the Anglo-Saxon race. They are vastly superior to their brethren in African swamps, and we trust that many of them may be made instruments in reclaiming their brethren. But we do agree with Mr. Russell when he says they are unfit to govern. The difference between him and us is that he says they are unfit to govern but he puts them at it, while we say they are unfit for it and we do not put them at it.

Instead of making rulers of them, as the Republicans do, the Democratic Party seeks to make better citizens of them. We build school-houses for them, train and employ teachers for them, encourage them to acquire homes, and teach them by precept and example to become better citizens.

The Eastern Towns Given up to Negroes.

The fusion between the Populists and the Republicans was very unnatural. There were no principles in common.

There were really no common objects of interest to the people in view. And, as might have been expected, this unnatural alliance has been productive of much evil. Elsewhere we have dwelt upon the injury it has done by lowering the standard of political morality, in prostituting suffrage, and leading free-silver Populists to vote for gold-bug Republicans.

There was another consequence. The negroes constituted the large mass of the Republican Party, and the black cohorts were faithful to the fusion. Common decency required that these faithful allies of the Populists who had co-operated with them in obtaining control of the Legislature, should receive their share of the spoils. The alliance had not been made in order to subserve any public interest, but only to secure spoils; and the negroes were entitled to their share.

They could not be given offices that brought them in contact with the white voters of the west. That was out of the question, for the western whites would not stand that; and so their share of the spoils was laid aside for them in eastern localities. The eastern towns were to be given up to them to be subject to their misrule, to be objects of their prey, and to be looted by them.

The city and town charters were “reformed” by the “reformers” of the reform Legislature, so as to put the negroes on top. Who did this thing? Why the Populists in the Legislature. The Republicans were not able to do it alone–but the Populists helped them and the charters were accordingly “reformed” so that the negroes might be in the saddle and have their hands in the town treasuries.

Jim Young prepared the Raleigh charter, but he counted wrong, and the whites outvoted him, and that city was saved from his clutches.

The Town of Greenville.
The bill concerning the town of Greenville was passed by the first Fusion Legislature. It is worthy of more than passing mention. The town of Greenville contains a majority of white voters, and naturally was under Democratic administration, and had been without any scandals. The assessed value of property is about three-quarters of a million dollars.

In order to favor the ngroes, the Fusion Legislature of 1895 threw overboard the white government of that town and divided the town into four new wards. By a careful gerrymander, two of these wards having a very odd shape were made to contain negro majorities; while the whites are greatly in the majority in the other two wards. So far, that was a simple gerrymander in the interest of the negroes and against the whites. But the Fusion Legislature did not stop there.

It went further, and conferred on the negro wards the right to elect two aldermen for each of them, while the white wards were allowed to elect only one alderman apiece. So in order to give the negroes, who were in the minority, control of Greenville, the Populists and Republicans in the Fusion Legislature of 1895, gave to a small negro ward two aldermen, while it gave to each of the larger white wards but one alderman. In that case a negro voter was computed as being twice as good as the white voter!! A negro voter was given twice the political power, twice the power in government, that the white voter has. What decent white man will defend that action of the Fusion Legislature?

Wilmington and Newbern.

No town was too important to be turned over to the negroes by the Fusionists. The charters of Wilmington and of Newbern were amended, and the people were allowed to elect only one alderman for each ward, while the Governor was given the power to appoint another alderman for each ward. The effect was to turn those people over to the tender mercies of Dan. Russell. And now when you go to Wilmington and Newbern you see negro policemen and negro officers as thick as blackbirds.

In order to accomplish these purposes, attention is called to the fact that the Governor of the State is given the power to appoint an alderman for each and every ward in these two cities. This is a direct blow at the theory of self-government.

And it was done by Populists and Republicans in the Fusion Legislature in the interest of the negro, while loudly proclaiming themselves in favor of government by the people; and boasting of their purpose to maintain self-government in North Carolina.

Why are not the people of Wilmington and Newbern competent to elect their aldermen? and why should Dan. Russell be made Ruler over the people of those cities? If he can appoint aldermen, why not all the officers? Is this consistent with our form of government?

Goldsboro and Wilson, Etc., Etc.

In like manner, Goldsboro and Wilson and Fayetteville and other towns were threatened to be put under the dominion of the negroes. The evil was so much dreaded that the white people in these towns had delegations in Raleigh, watching and waiting at great expense and with great anxiety to ward off the blow that would have been so fraught with evil and injury to these communities. Fortunately, these particular places escaped for that time. But the danger hangs as a menace over them. Another Fusion Legislature, another alliance between the Republicans and Populists, and these towns will probably be given up to the negroes like Greenville, and Wilmington, and Newbern, and other towns have been.

The Radicals cannot accomplish this wicked purpose by themselves. They must have the help of the Populists to do it. But the Populists have aided them in such matters before, and the Radicals count on their aid in the future.

Gradually, step by step, the negroes have been given dominion over many of our towns, and unless the white people unite to stop it, they will obtain control over every town in the State. And there are some who have aided in these things under the banner of reform! What a terrible mistake they have made! Let the people at the polls pass on the question whether they endorse the course of the Fusion Legislature in regard to Greenville, Wilmington and Newbern.

The Progress of the Rule of the Negro.

When the Democratic Party went out of power it was rare that a negro office-holder could be found in the State; and when one was found, it was in a position and under circumstances which did not make him obnoxious to the white people, and which did not create within him a desire to rule over and dominate the white man.

In the four years of Republican Fusion legislation, and in the year and a half of the Republican-Populist Fusion administration, wonderful strides have been made in conferring office upon the negro, and in setting him up to rule over white men.

Elsewhere in this Book we have told in detail how the town of Greenville was turned over to the negroes; and we have also spoken in a general way of the domination of the negro in Wilmington and Newbern, both of which cities are now under his control, or under the control of white men dominated by the negro.

To show the progress being made in establishing the negro as a ruler in various and sundry positions in the State, we give a list of offices held by him, selected from a few counties among the counties of the State as a sample, by way of illustration:

In Craven County there are 26 negro magistrates, 13 negro school committeemen, 4 negro Deputy Sheriffs, 1 County Commissioner, 1 jailor, 2 constables, 1 Register of Deeds, 2 Deputy Registers of Deeds, 1 Coroner. In the City of Newbern there are 5 negro policemen, 1 City Attorney, 3 City Councilmen, 1 cemetery sexton, besides the negro engineer and other negroes employed in the public buildings.

In Columbus County there are 17 negro school committeemen, 5 negro magistrates, and 2 negro postmasters.

In Hertford there are 6 negro magistrates, 1 constable, 10 negro school committeemen, 2 negro postmasters, and 1 negro on the Board of Education.

In Chowan there are 2 negro aldermen, 8 school committeemen, 1 County Commissioner, and 1 member of Board of Education.

In Pasquotank there are 3 negro magistrates, 1 policeman, and 5 school committeemen.

In Perquimans there are 6 negro magistrates, 10 school committeemen, 1 member Board of Education, 1 County Commissioner, and 1 town constable.

In Jones there are 3 negro magistrates, 12 negro school committeemen, in five townships there being two negroes on each committee.

In Hyde there are 8 negro school committeemen.

In Beaufort there is 1 negro school committeeman in each township.

In Caswell there are 7 negro magistrates, 1 negro school committeeman in each township, 1 negro Deputy Sheriff.

In Wayne there are 6 negro magistrates, 2 negro postmasters, 3 negro aldermen, 1 clerk in the Goldsboro post-office.

In Nash there are 3 negro magistrates, and 11 school committeemen.

In Carteret, 1 negro town commissioner.

In Edgecombe there are negro postmasters in the towns of Rocky Mount, Battleboro and Lawrence; there are 35 negro magistrates and 8 negro constables, besides a large number of negro school committeemen.

In Montgomery there are 4 negro school committeemen.

In Richmond there are 10 negro magistrates, 23 negro school committeemen, two negroes being on every school committee (except one, where there is a vacancy), 1 negro on the Board of Education, 1 Deputy Sheriff, and 3 negro road overseers.

From these sample counties, taken indiscriminately from the central and eastern sections, any one can see how the negro is progressing as a ruler of white men.

Elsewhere in this Book we have laid stress on the fact that under the Republican-Populist Fusion the share of the negro in the pie was the local offices. The above illustrations show how true this is. And in another place we have suggested that as the States to the south of us have put up a barrier against the negro, and the States to the north of us won’t give him anything, North Carolina is the only State holding out to him the allurements of office, and thus invites him to come here and agitate for office; and, unless there is some change, if the negro progresses in office-holding in the future as in the last two or three years, it will not be long before he is in absolute control.

This progress has been made under Republican administration of affairs, with the aid of the Populists; and it is safe to conclude that if the Republican Party is continued in power, this progress of the negro as an office-holder will continue to go on.

The white people who have aided in bringing about these things were once much opposed to negro rule. But they have become familiar to it, and apparently do not object to it. And the longer they are familiar to it, the less they will object to it. They do not seem to object even now to negro school committeemen having supervision of white schools; in many cases there being two negroes to one white man over the schools where the sons and daughters of white men are taught. We do not see how any white man can approve of that. But by degrees the white men who have aided the Republicans in bringing all this to pass, have become habituated to it.

And in some counties we observe, as in Richmond, there are negro overseers of the public roads. The white men of those down-trodden communities being obliged to go out and work the public roads under negro overseers.

We cannot express our abhorrence of all these things. Will the white men give it their countenance? Under Democratic rule such things could never have come to pass, and it is only by putting the Democrats again in control that what has been done can be undone, and these outrages on the white school children and the white men of these counties be remedied.
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U.S. History: When African Americans were forced out of cities and counties – Wilmington, North Carolina
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