Wilmington in 1898: A Diary

At the Newberry Library in Chicago, I also found Edward Price Bell’s diaries from Wilmington in 1898. They are different than his reporter’s notebooks that I wrote about a few days ago. He used his notebooks to record bits and pieces of interviews. Sometimes he also sketched passages of writing that he later used in dispatches to his newspaper, the Chicago Record.

The diaries are of a more personal nature.

Edward Price Bell's diary, 1898.

Edward Price Bell’s diary, 1898. Newberry Library, Chicago, Il. Photo by David Cecelski

His diary for 1898 is a small, perhaps 2 x 5 inch leather bound pad and mentions his visit to Wilmington. The entries are mere jottings, and not descriptive in the least, but I find a kind of power in their brevity.

Here are his Wilmington diary entries, in their entirety:

Nov. 5. Left Washington, DC for Wilmington, N.C. Arrived in evening and put up at Orton [Hotel].

Nov. 6. Today investigated race question & sent story to Record

Nov. 7. Sent another story tonight

Nov. 8. Election stolen bodily by the whites.

Nov. 9. Left at 7 pm for Washington. Took sleeper.


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