Cape Fear Rising

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John F. Blair, Publisher, May 1, 1997 - Fiction - 416 pages
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In August 1898, Wilmington, North Carolina, was a mecca for middle-class Negroes. Many of the city's lawyers, businessmen, and other professionals were black, as were all the tradesmen and stevedores. Negroes outnumbered whites by more than two to one. But the white civic leaders, many descended from the antebellum aristocracy, did not consider this progress. They looked around and saw working class whites out of jobs. They heard Negroes addressing whites "in the familiar." They hated the fact that local government was run by Republican "Fusionists" sympathetic to the black majority. Rumors began to fly. The newspaper office turned into an arsenal. Secret societies espousing white supremacy were formed. Isolated incidents occurred: a shot was fired through a streetcar bearing whites, a black cemetery was desecrated. This incendiary atmosphere was inflamed further by public speeches from an ex-Confederate colonel and a firebrand Negro preacher. One morning in November, the almost inevitable gunfire began. By the time order was restored, many of the city's most visible black leaders had been literally put on trains and told to leave town, hundreds of blacks were forced to hide out in the city's cemetery or the nearby swamps to avoid massacre, and dozens of victims lay dead. Based on actual events, Cape Fear Rising tells a story of one city's racial nightmare--a nightmare that was repeated throughout the South at the turn of the century. Although told as fiction, the core of this novel strikes at the heart of racial strife in America.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KirkLowery - LibraryThing

This historical novel narrates events in late 1898 in Wilmington, NC, a 25,000 population city which at that time had many black professionals, tradesmen and politicians. White supremacists imported ... Read full review

Cape Fear rising

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Stilted writing and a lack of character development obscure the powerful subject matter of this historical novel by the author of Hatteras Light ( LJ 10/15/86). Sam Jenks comes to Wilmington--in 1898 ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

THE WORD 1898
15
Sunday August 14
17
Monday August 15
28
Monday August 15
45
Saturday August 20
64
Sunday August 21
90
THE CAMPAIGN
115
Thursday October 6
117
Thursday November 3
213
Monday November 7
232
Tuesday November 8
253
Wednesday November 9
278
Wednesday November 9
297
THE COUP
313
Thursday November 10
315
Thursday November 10
331

Friday October 7
130
Saturday October 8
153
Saturday October 15
175
Monday October 24
191
THE BALLOT
211
Thursday November 10
355
Thursday November 10
376
Sunday November 13
394
New Years Eve 1899
409
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About the author (1997)

Philip Gerard as scripted eleven documentaries for public television.

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