Virginia Isaacs Trotter

Dates Alive: 1842-1919

Family: Fossett, Hemings, Hern

Virginia Isaacs, daughter of Tucker and Ann-Elizabeth Fossett Isaacs, was raised on a farm in Ross County, Ohio.  After the Civil War she and her sister Maria Elizabeth Isaacs married two veterans of the Civil War, Lts. James Monroe Trotter and William H. Dupree.  Both couples settled in Boston, where Trotter and Dupree were well-known figures after distinguished service as officers in the 55th Massachusetts Infantry regiment.  Virginia Trotter and her sister were described by a contemporary as women of “charming sociability and cultured manners.” 

The Trotters lived in Hyde Park, a largely white suburb of Boston, and accumulated property, particularly after James Monroe Trotter’s appointment to the lucrative position of Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia.  They had three children, William Monroe, Maude, and Bessie.  After her husband’s early death, Virginia Trotter managed the family investments and supported her son Monroe, allowing him to establish the Boston Guardian, and become a leading voice in the early civil rights movement.


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“The Strength She Gave Him In The Battle”

Trotter’s Tribute To His Mother /  VIRGINIA ISAACS TROTTER / April 25, 1842—October 16, 1919 /  MOTHER / Mother love…
“The Strength She Gave Him In The Battle”

William Monroe Trotter pays tribute to his mother, Virginia Isaacs Trotter.

Trotter’s Tribute To His Mother /  VIRGINIA ISAACS TROTTER / April 25, 1842—October 16, 1919 /  MOTHER /

Mother love she had for her children in all its tenderness and sternness, in all its earnestness and pleasantry, in all its ambitiousness and indulgence, in all its love and leniency, yet with hope and strong appeal for their rectitude and achievement.

As all real mothers do, she labored for them and with them, holding high the standard for private life and public attitude.  Born in her [line or lines evidently left out] from her saintly mother was her devotion to God and to moral ideals, and from her father, Tucker Isaacs, brave devotion to liberty and equality without the insult of restriction because of color.  Her husband held racial self-respect and assertion of rights above all else.

Thus it was she taught her son to stand against any denial of right because of race as a principle of self-respect.  It was not strange she encouraged him when he entered the lists against race discrimination as only a true mother can, daily offered him cheer and confidence, and backed him for organ and organization with her earthly means.  The strength she gave him in the battle never can be his as when she maintained her aid and interest until heart and mind were stilled by death itself.  That her sacrifice may not have been in vain we fight on.  God give us strength and success and give her bliss above.

Her son, / WM. MONROE TROTTER. October 16, 1930. (Philadelphia Tribune, 7 Apr. 1932)