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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Jonathan Worth Daniels, March 9-11, 1977. Interview A-0313. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Josephus Daniels's role in North Carolina's 1898 white supremacist campaign

Daniels recalls his father's role in North Carolina's 1898 white supremacist campaign. As owner of the <cite>Raleigh News and Observer</cite>, Daniels's father used the newspaper as a tool to arouse anti-black sentiment. Despite his father's campaign tactics, local blacks still maintained loyal ties to him.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Jonathan Worth Daniels, March 9-11, 1977. Interview A-0313. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

CHARLES EAGLES:
Did your father help in that little back porch operation?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
[Laughter] He financed it very much, but of course he never served the food or anything of that sort. And shortly before I was born, my father had been the man chosen by the Democratic Party in North Carolina to go all over the South and devise the best, and hopefully the most constitutional, system to disenfranchise the illiterate blacks while not disenfranchising the illiterate whites. He went down to Louisiana. Have you seen his books?
CHARLES EAGLES:
Yes.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He went down to Louisiana and a number of places and came back with the legislation which was adopted. A strange thing in that fight, though. Now this shows a little about my father. There were a lot of people in North Carolina who wanted to divide the tax rolls and give the blacks for education only the taxes that blacks had paid, and give the whites all the taxes the whites had paid. My father and Governor Aycock were very much opposed to that and defeated it. Now that friendship with Aycock is important in my father's story. I'm not sure if they went to school together, but Aycock was my Uncle Frank's law partner. And they were very close. And they were both tremendously interested in education and education for both races. Of course, by the money we're spending today, that seems ridiculous. But my father's News and Observer in those days of that white supremacy fight, read through the eyes of a 1975 or '6 white man today, seemed just horrendous. They were! Oddly, in that campaign, though, a lot of people thought Father's life was endangered by belligerent blacks. He worked, of course, late at night on a morning newspaper, and, unknown to him, this man Wesley Hoover had gone uptown every night and followed him home as an unseen bodyguard. There are so many paradoxes in race relations.