Alfred M. Waddell papers, 1768-1935 (bulk 1875-1900).

Creator: Waddell, Alfred M. (Alfred Moore), 1834-1912.
Collection number: 743
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Abstract: Alfred M. Waddell was an author, historian, lawyer, Confederate Army officer, United States Representative, 1871-1879, and mayor of Wilmington, N.C., 1898-1905. The collection includes correspondence, writings, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous papers of Alfred M. Waddell. The bulk of the collection, 1875-1900, consists of correspondence with national and state Democratic Party leaders and members of the Cameron family and other prominent North Carolina families, legal correspondence, manuscripts and clippings of writings and speeches of a religious, literary, political, or historical nature, genealogical research into the DeRosset, Waddell, Moore, and Myers families, and correspondence with other writers and historians. There are some papers related to Waddell’s service in the Confederate Army during the Civil War with the 41st North Carolina Infantry Regiment, as well as his activities as mayor of Wilmington, N.C., especially his involvement in the white supremacy campaign and Wilmington Race Riot of 1898. Also included are a few colonial and early nineteenth-century papers of the related DeRosset, Moore, Nash, and Waddell families of Hillsborough, N.C., and Wilmington, N.C. Volumes in the collection include a letterpress copybook, 1886-1894, of Waddell’s law office; a recipe book, 1890, and scrapbooks belonging to Gabrielle (DeRosset) Waddell related to her involvement in the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Colonial Dames; and two notebooks belonging to Hugh Waddell, one containing notes on legal subjects, 1820s, and another containing notes on art, architecture, and classical literature.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Folder 2b contains materials related to Alfred Waddell’s role in the Wilmington Race Riots of 1898. Included are a letter from the Committee of Colored Citizens of Wilmington, N.C., renouncing their support of newspaper editor H. L. Manly; a 9 November 1898 declaration issued by the white citizens of Wilmington, N.C., establishing an ultimatum for Manly to leave the city and stating that, among other conditions, they “will no longer be ruled, and will never again be ruled by men of African Origin”; a list of African-American citizens summoned by Waddell and other leaders of the white citizens group; and letters to Waddell from J. M. Cameron, Rebecca Cameron, and W. H. Tate praising Waddell for his handling of the turbulent situation. Letters from Rebecca Cameron to Waddell reveal her attitude that violence was necessary to reestablish white control of Wilmington: “there is a time to kill,” Cameron wrote to Waddell, “let it be buckshot and let it be at close range.”

Folders 9-10 also contain clippings about the Wilmington Race Riot.

Materials from this collection have been digitized and made available online. Click here to link to the finding aid and access the digitized material.