Was the NAACP Formed By Female Republicans?

NAACP Founders

Was the NAACP Formed by Republicans, and More Specifically Female Republicans?

I have seen several claims on Facebook pages that the NAACP was founded by Republicans, and more specifically Republican Women.

NAACP was founded by 9 people, 6 men and 3 women.

Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, campaigning for equal opportunity and conducting voter mobilization.

Founding group

The NAACP was formed partly in response to the continuing horrific practice of lynching and the 1908 race riot in Springfield, the capital of Illinois and resting place of President Abraham Lincoln. Appalled at the violence that was committed against blacks, a group of white liberals that included Mary White Ovington and Oswald Garrison Villard, both the descendants of abolitionists, William English Walling and Dr. Henry Moscowitz issued a call for a meeting to discuss racial justice. Some 60 people, seven of whom were African American (including W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Mary Church Terrell), signed the call, which was released on the centennial of Lincoln’s birth.

But who were the people who founded the NAACP? Read on!

W. E. B. Du Bois 

Socialist, Black Male.

Du Bois was a member of the Socialist party from 1910 to 1912 and always considered himself a Socialist. In 1948 he was cochairman of the Council on African Affairs; in 1949 he attended the New York, Paris, and Moscow peace congresses; in 1950 he served as chairman of the Peace Information Center and ran for the U.S. Senate on the American Labor party ticket in New York. In 1950-1951 Du Bois was tried and acquitted as an agent of a foreign power in one of the most ludicrous actions ever taken by the American government. Du Bois traveled widely throughout Russia and China in 1958-1959 and in 1961 joined the Communist party of the United States. He also took up residence in Ghana, Africa, in 1961. [1]

Denounced republicans and urged blacks to withdraw their support from the Republican party. [2]

Ida B. Wells

Black Woman, Republican

Ida B. Wells’s  parents were active in the Republican Party during Reconstruction. Her father, James, was involved with the Freedman’s Aid Society and helped start Shaw University, a school for the newly freed slaves (now Rust College) and served on the first board of trustees.  It was there that Ida B.  Wells received her early schooling, but she had to drop out at the age of 16, when tragedy struck her family. Both of her parents and one of her siblings died in a yellow fever outbreak, leaving Wells to care for her other siblings. Ever resourceful, she convinced a nearby country school administrator that she was 18, and landed a job as a teacher. [3]

Archibald Grimké

Black Male, Democrat, former Republican.

Grimke had begun to feel that the Republicans were no longer concerned about rights for African-Americans, and in 1886 he left the party. His mentor Codman had become a Democrat by this time. Grimke supported a Democratic candidate who ultimately lost the gubernatorial race. Although he chose to remain an Independent, he worked for Democratic candidates in 1887 and 1888. He received the Democratic party’s nomination for state representative in 1888, but lost by several hundred votes. With Codman’s support, Grimke was nominated to be consul to the Dominican Republic in 1889, but the nomination by an outgoing president died in the Senate. Archie stayed involved in politics over the next few years, speaking out on issues that affected African-Americans and working for the Democratic party. [4]

Henry Moskowitz

White Male, Progressive Party

Oscar S. Straus, Progressive candidate for Governor, selected a campaign manager yesterday. His choice fell on Dr. Henry Moskowitz, scholar and settlement worker, with much practical experience in civic movements but little knowledge of politics. Dr. Moskowitz is President of the Downtown Ethical Culture Society. [5][6]

Mary White Ovington

White Woman, Socialist

Influenced by the ideas of William Morris, Ovington joined the Socialist Party in 1905, where she met people such as Daniel De Leon, Asa Philip Randolph, Floyd Dell, Max Eastman and Jack London, who argued that racial problems were as much a matter of class as of race. She wrote for radical journals and newspapers such as, The Masses, New York Evening Post, and The Call. She also worked with Ray Stannard Baker and influenced the content of his book, Following the Color Line (1908). [7]

Oswald Garrison Villard

White Male, Conservative Democrat

In 1912 Villard supported Woodrow Wilson in his campaign for the Presidency. At that time Villard was chairman of the board of directors of the NAACP, and the task of convincing its Negro members that a candidate of southern birth would concern himself with the protection of Negro rights was a formidable one. [8]

Villard was also a founder of the American Anti-Imperialist League which favored independence for the territories captured in the Spanish-American War. To further the cause, he worked to organize “a third ticket” in 1900 to challenge William Jennings Bryan and William McKinley. His was joined in this effort by several key veterans of the National Democratic Party in 1896.Not surprisingly, Villard made a personal appeal to Grover Cleveland, a hero of the gold Democrats, to be the candidate.Cleveland demurred asserting that voters no longer cared what he had to say. [9]


William English Walling

White Male, Socialist Republican, later left the party [10]

He was a founder of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, the Women’s Trade Union League, the Social Democratic League, and the NAACP. [11]

Florence Kelley

White Woman, Socialist

Kelley was born into a Pennsylvania Quaker and Unitarian family with a strong commitment to abolitionist and women’s rights activism. After reading through her father’s library and graduating from Cornell, Kelley studied law and government at the University of Zurich, joined the German Social Democratic party [12]

Charles Edward Russell

White Male, Socialist Party

The Uprising of the Many (1907) and Lawless Wealth (1908) summed up some of the reasons why he joined the Socialist party. His writings earned him a national reputation. He campaigned for governor, mayor, and U.S. senator in New York State. In 1916 he declined the Socialist party’s presidential nomination. [13]


[1] http://www.naacp.org/pages/naacp-history-w.e.b.-dubois
[2] http://www.oberlin.edu/external/EOG/Niagara%20Movement/niagaramain.htm
[3] http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_people_wells.html
[4] https://www.usca.edu/aasc/grimke.htm
[5] http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9C05E5D9113AE633A25752C1A96F9C946396D6CF
[6] http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0014_0_14295.html
[7] http://www.naacp.org/pages/naacp-history-Mary-White-Ovington
[8] http://archive.org/stream/oswaldgarrisonvi00hume/oswaldgarrisonvi00hume_djvu.txt
[9] http://www.reference.com/browse/oswald+garrison+villard
[10] http://www.charlottenaacp.com/Founders-of-the-NAACP.html
[11] http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/naacp/founding-and-early-years.html
[12] http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/ww/kelley.html
[13] http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Charles_Edward_Russell.aspx

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Add a Comment
  1. So, it’s pretty much a socialist organization.

    1. Definitely a lot of socialists involved

  2. I noticed the black people were listed first….as if they had more to do with the founding than the others which is not true

    1. Wow. Some people will find something in anything.

      1. Why are they separated by race when listing members? Why not by age or sex or just not list them in any order at all? It was listed like this for a reason.

        1. No particular order, just happened that way.

          1. LOL LOL yea – right. You would buy the London Bridge also

          2. While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, unless you actually wrote this article, you don’t actually know this.

  3. It DOES matter the race of the founders of the NAACP as that is the point! Just like it matters that Planned Parenthood was founded by racist progressive eugenicists.

    In both instances, black people need to know the Who, What, When, Where and WHY of the founding & true purpose of organizations they support.

  4. I am curious to know if Ida B Wells was always a republican?

    1. I don’t know for sure, but she died in 1931 and black people didn’t start voting a democrat majority until 1935 or so

  5. NAACP claims to be the oldest and largest civil rights organization, but that too is false. The NRA was arming blacks to defend themselves against the KKK decades before the NAACP ever had their first meeting.

      1. It IS true that the NRA was originally founded due to concerns with marksmanship after the war, it IS also true that not long after it’s founding it became a 2nd amendment civil rights defender by helping blacks defend themselves against the KKK. These are not mutually exclusive histories. They are both true histories. The founding was of one purpose, but as often happens, the goals of the group changed or in this case were expanded.

      2. Also notice that in MY statement I did not say it was “founded” for the purpose of protecting blacks, I said that they were in fact doing that decades before the NAACP ever met. This IS a fact. The founding history and the later history are not exclusive, but are both true. If someone says that the NRA was “Founded” to help blacks against the KKK then that IS incorrect. That however is not what I said.

  6. More libtard lies.

    1. Sorry you don’t like facts, you are more than welcome to go get your alternative facts where ever it suits your need for sensitivity and PC.

      1. “Facts”? LOL!

        1. It’s ok, those sources are there for people who know what they mean.

          1. Is that why “politifact” got investigated by the FBI? If you think that “politifact” is a reliable source, you are not worth conversing with – they’re phonies who make things up and you know it.

            I don’t mind your having a differing opinion, but if you’re going to cite “politifact” nonsense as factual, go tell it to someone else.

          2. I’m sure you have proof of that too?

          3. Which one of these sources is politifact, and can you disprove it?

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