Southern University Race Commission at the White House, December 15, 1914.
Thirteen members of the University Commission on Southern Race Questions pose in front of the White House on December 15, 1914. That morning, President Woodrow Wilson greeted the committee and told them, in part, "I know myself, as a Southern man, how sincerely the heart of the South desires the good of the Negro and the advancement of his race on all sound and sensible lines, and everything that can be done in that direction is of the highest value … I can only bid you Godspeed in what is a very necessary and great under taking [sic]." Minutes from the committee proceedings note that later in the day J. H. Dillard—the mustachioed man in bowler hat at the center of the photo—spoke before the group and "urged that the whole question of the relation of the races be put on a basis of common humanity to replace the relation of master and slave." Dillard had helped establish the commission two years earlier.
Citation: Dillard Family Papers, 1717–1964, Accession #9498. Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.