Colored Firemen’s Association Organized in 1890

Found the correct date for the creation of the state colored firemen’s association, formally known as the North Carolina Volunteer Firemen’s Association.[1]

It’s been previously cited on my site, and in my writings, as “1888 or 1889.” That is incorrect. The year was 1890. The evidence is a pair of period newspaper articles:

  • Greensboro North State
    August 28, 1890
    “The colored firemen of the state will hold a tournament in this city, Sept. 10-11. The principal object is the formation of a state association of colored firemen…”
     
  • Greensboro North State
    September 18, 1890
    “Wednesday and Thursday of last week the colored fireman met in the city and perfected a State Association. Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, Wilmington, Monroe and Charlotte were represented. The meeting was a pleasant one and the following officers were elected…”

This discovery aligns with a closer examination of other news stories of the period. There’s no prior mention of a formal organization or organization name prior to 1890. But after that time, the Association is mentioned.

Legeros has started updating and annotating his various web pages. As well as his pages of notes about his book projects, if the “1888 or 1889” date was committed to print in his Arcadia books or Raleigh FD history books.

Learn more at the Association, and read some vintage proceedings, at https://legeros.com/history/fa. And, of course, dive into the late Chuck Milligan’s research on the state’s black firefighters at https://legeros.com/history/ebf.

[1] Or even more accurately, they were incorporated in 1891 as the State Volunteer Fire Association of North Carolina. Read incorporation act at https://legeros.com/history/fa/documents.

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