Events - Important and Interesting Moments in the 4th Ward (and their historical context)



Antebellum Period (pre Civil War) - 1850-1861


  • 1857- Raleigh extends its city limits for the first time
  • April 12th, 1861 - Civil War begins

Civil War and Reconstruction 1862-1883


  • 1863 The Emancipation Declaration
  • 1865 Shaw University formed - first black college in the nation
  • 1867 Saint Augustine College formed for the education of freedmen
  • 1867 Freeman's school established on South Street
  • 1868 The first African American City Commissioners are appointed in Raleigh
  • 1872 a department within the previously white only Def, Dumb, and Blind school is opened to black students19872
  • 1872 -5000 blacks turned away at the polls
  • 1872 Frederick Douglass speaks in Raleigh
  • 1873 Republicans (the then liberal party of Lincoln) sweep local elections due to massive black voter turnout
  • 1875 Raleigh is gerrymandered into 4 wards In order to disenfranchise black voters and reduce their political influence

Jim Crow 1883-1947


  • 1880 Edward Austin Johnson named principal of Washington Graded School
  • 1890 Edward Austin Johnson publishes A School History of the Negro Race in America from 1619-1890
  • August 21st 1892 Union Rail Passenger Station opens in the 4th Ward
  • 1898 the North Carolina Mutual Provident Life Insurance Company is formed by John Henry Merric, Aaron McDuffie, P.W. Dawkings, D.T. Watson, W.G. Pearson, and E.A.Johnson
  • 1902 Murder on the Jim Crow Searboard car, near lynching
  • 1914 First Congregational Church constructs new building
  • 1914 Alec Rosengarten creates Rosengarten Park of the 4th Ward
  • Washington High School Constructed (need date)

Civil Rights Era 1948-1971



  • 1948
  • 1954 Brown vs Board of Education
  • Civil Rights act of 1964
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

Urban "Renewal" 1972-1999


  • 1974 demolition of most of 4th Ward to make way for Heritage Park public housing


Urban Renaissance 2000-Present


  • 2004 The Western Gateway Plan recommends the remain 4th Ward homes for study by the National Historic District Commission
  • 2008 The Rosengarten Park of the 4th Ward Neighborhood Restoration Project begins
  • 2009 The 4th Ward History Project Begins
  • 2010 NHDC takes considers 4th Ward for preservation
  • 2010 The Sir Walter Raleigh award is Rosengarten Park Neighborhood Restoration Project