Saturday, January 28, 2012

Josephus Daniels

Photograph by Harris & Ewing, c1920
Josephus Daniels (1862-1948) served as Secretary of the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson during World War I. Daniels was born in Washington, NC during the Civil War. When he was two years old his family moved to Ocracoke to escape the skirmishes that periodically erupted as Confederate and Union troops battled for Washington, eventually resulting in a massive fire that destroyed many downtown businesses and homes.

Daniels lived in a modest wood frame house (now gone) across the street from where the Community Store parking lot is located today. His father, a Union sympathizer, was shot and killed by a Confederate sniper on a voyage across Pamlico Sound. After the war his mother moved her family to Wilson, N.C.

When Franklin Roosevelt was elected President, he appointed Daniels Ambassador to Mexico. At the end of his term of service Daniels returned to North Carolina where he resumed his primary career as owner and editor of the Raleigh News and Observer.

Look for a more complete biography of Josephus Daniels in an upcoming Ocracoke Newsletter.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke Joe Bell flowers. You can read it here:


  1. debbie s.8:03 AM

    I (vaguely) remember learning about Daniels in school, though I don't recall ever hearing about him living on ocracoke (although, it was many moons ago lolol)

  2. Anonymous11:46 AM

    Coincidentally the last thing I googled last night was "cup of Joe" and with coffee in hand, the 1st thing I see on the journal this morning is Josephus Daniels. Surprising because, according to the most prevalent theory, he banned alcohol aboard naval ships. Having nothing stronger, the men took to drinking coffee, nicknaming it "cup of Joe." I never imagined my two favorite things, OI and coffee , would have a connection.

  3. debbie s.12:27 PM

    along those same (almost off topic) lines... my fave coffee shop in college was 'Cup of joe' - down on hillsborough street in Raleigh. Never knew that was where the name came from :)