The Trotter Incident


The Trotter Incident


Indianapolis World




1914 November 21


Library of Congress
Wilson Papers, Series 4, 152A Reel 231, Manuscript Division


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


Trotter, William Monroe, 1872-1934


Althea Cupo
Maria Matlock



Is Part Of



Digital copy acquired from federal archives by previous WWPL Archivist, Heidi Hackford.



The Trotter Incident

The columns of the press last week contained an interview between the President of the United States and one James Malone Trotter editor of the Boston Guardian. Mr. Trotter representing the association for the advancement of colored people took upon himself the burden of speaking for the entire colored population of this country against the practice of segregation in vogue in some of the departments at Washington. The language used by Mr. Trotter in support of his cause, is said to have appealed to the president and at the same time brought to Mr. Trotter a great deal of newspaper notoriety. The notoriety gained by Mr. Trotter as the outcome of this incident was the cause he represents. Segregation has been given a place in economic discussion that hitherto it has not occupied. It was not the cause which Mr. Trotter presented that aroused the ire of the President nor the manner in which it was presented. The question of segregation in the form presented by Mr. Trotter involves a very delicate consideration and the least said even about a good cause is sometimes more helpful to it than the continuous discussion of it. We doubt the wisdom of making an issue of everything that pertains to the Negro life. No other race suffers in this way. Mr. Trotter may feel that he is a martyr to a cause that only time can regulate. People will always choose who they will marry, lot with or sit by. Legislators can not instil into the mind an altitude toward a race that is not in harmony with ones personal feelings.

Mr. Trotter has not done the race any good by his alleged pugnacity, not the cause he so zealously espouses. The mass meeting recently held in Washington condemning the President does not reflect the best sense of the American Negro. We hope the incident will soon be forgotten and buried in the scrap heap of oblivion.

Original Format

Newspaper Article


Tumulty, Joseph P. (Joseph Patrick)



Indianapolis World, “The Trotter Incident,” 1914 November 21, CS85A, Race and Segregation Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.