Interracial cooperation in the bootlegging business.

Wilson Daily Times, 22 March 1944.

Briggs Hotel, like the Cherry, catered primarily to salesmen or other businessmen arriving to Wilson at the Atlantic Coast Line or Norfolk & Southern passenger rail stations. These men sometimes liked a good time, and taxi drivers and bellhops were a ready-made supply chain for after-hours liquor (and prostitutes.) Here, two white cabbies and three bellmen teamed up to resell at a sizeable mark-up liquor purchased at a local Alcoholic Beverage Commission store. (Probably the one in the 300 block of East Nash Street, recognized as North Carolina’s first ABC store.) 


  • Theodore Burroughs
  • Prince Cunningham — Cunningham owned a sweet shop in the 500 block of East Nash in the 1930s.
  • Caesar Williams — in 1940, Caesar Julius Williams registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 12 February 1912 in Wilson; lived at 209 North Ashe Street; his nearest relative was mother Daisy Williams, same address; and he worked at Briggs Hotel, Nash Street. 

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

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