Primary Source: Letter Detailing Triracial Segregation in Robeson County

The following is transcribed from a letter written by N. McInnis, Mayor of Pembroke, North Carolina, and is dated June 5, 1913. McInnis's letter details the effects and customs of racial segregation as it was used in North Carolina in towns like Pembroke.

Pembroke, N.C. June 5, 1913
Mr. A. J. Maxwell, Clerk of the Corporation Commission
Raleigh, N.C.

Dear Sir:
As you requested, please find inclosed the blue prints you sent to the order of the Town Council of Pembroke, N.C., herewith inclosed.

Upon receipt of the plans I called the Town Council together to consider the plans, etc., which was done today, and the Council instructed me in the absence of our clerk to write to you and inform that they would not object to the plans as drawn as they believe the A.C.L. Railroad is trying to do the best they can for us under all circumstances which they have to meet.

They also requested me to inform you of their reason for asking for three waiting rooms at Pembroke, N.C. as was requested, which are, that we have three races in this part of Robeson County to consider in the matter, Viz: The White, the Negro, and Cherokee Indian, the last named being very much in majority of the other two and they will not go in the Negro waiting room any more than we will, waiting for trains, and they all go in the White waiting room with the Whites without being asked there, as they also ride in the White cars with the White people without being asked there, or without being ejected therefrom by the Railroad conductors: There is quite a bad feeling existing between them and the Whites on this account. There are some of the Indians who are very nice and good people and there is a large majority of them who are otherwise, the White ladies with little children along, have been forced to chose the outside of their waiting room here on account of conduct of many of these Indians, having to take cold wind and rain snow or sleet as a matter of the best choice. Therefore, they will not ask any more than is shown by the plans, as they know that there is no other Railroad station in the State with THREE rooms.

N. McInnis, Mayor


Credit text

Letter from N. McInnis, Mayor of Pembroke, North Carolina, June 5, 1913.