Washington, Taft and Wilmington's Presidential Visits

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Cape Fear Unearthed by Hunter Ingram

StarNews Media Presents "Cape Fear Unearthed," a podcast digging into the history books of Southeastern North Carolina. The weekly podcast will featur 
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In 1791, George Washington, just two years into his presidency, set out on a tour of the Southern States. Nearly 120 years later, William Howard Taft celebrated his first year in office with a tour of 33 states and territories.

On each trip, the presidents took time to stop into Wilmington, where they were welcomed with massive celebrations and enthusiastic citizens.

Three other presidents – James Monroe, James K. Polk and Millard Fillmore – also made stops into Wilmington during or immediately after their terms in offices.

Ahead of the upcoming presidential election on Nov. 3, this episode of Cape Fear Unearthed dives deep into each of these five historic visits from the presidents of the United States of America.

What brought them here? What did the city have planned for each of their visits? And what did their journeys to Wilmington say about the time in which they served as commander in chief?

As the nation prepares to head to the polls in November, please make sure that you are registered to vote. Visit to learn how and to find your polling place.

Cape Fear Unearthed is written, edited and hosted by Hunter Ingram. Additional editing by Adam Fish.

The show is sponsored by Northchase Family Dentistry, Tidewater Heating & Air Conditioning, and Cape Fear Pharmacy.


  • "Chronicles of the Cape Fear River: 1662-1916," by James Sprunt
  • "Presidents who have visited Wilmington, N.C.: Washington, Monroe, Polk, Fillmore, Taft" (souvenir booklet), by Iredell Meares (1909)
  • Wilmington Morning Star editions from November 1909
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Cape Fear Unearthed

StarNews Media Presents "Cape Fear Unearthed," a podcast digging into the history books of Southeast 
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