24 MAY 1913, Page 15


THE "SPECTATOR."] SIR,—I read with keen interest all the Spectator has to say regarding our great citizen in the White House. It is some- thing of which we may be proud that Woodrow Wilson has so frequently won commendation in the conservative columns of an acknowledged leader of the great English press. But with your kind permission I shall venture to suggest that the title " Dr. Wilson," as he has been frequently alluded to in your columns, has a strangely unfamiliar sound to American ears. Many years ago we knew him as Professor Wilson, even then an author and speaker of national fame. Then for eleven years he was widely known as President Wilson of Princeton University, and then for two years preceding his nomination

to the highest office in the land he achieved national fame as Governor Wilson of New Jersey. To-day he is known to the Americans either as President Wilson or just plain Woodrow Wilson. The prefix " Doctor" is not, and never has been, associated with him. Our college professors usually prefer to be known as "Mr.," and do not often avail themselves of the title of"Doctor"to which the degree of Doctorof Philosophy entitles them. Woodrow Wilson, having become so commanding a figure in both state and national politics, the title of "Professor" or " Doctor " was long since lost sight of, and at the time of his nomination for President he was known to all Americans as " Governor." After all, the question of a prefix to a name in a democratic country where we are unaccustomed to titles is not a question of vital importance, but I am assuming that the Spectator wishes to present Woodrow Wilson to English as he is known to American readers, and I think that few citizens of his own country would recognize in the Spectator's well-meant and kindly characterization of "Dr. Wilson" the President of the United States. It is said that the President himself has expressed a preference for plain "Mr." over all the prefixes to which he is now entitled, and that when he packed his baggage for Washington a few days before inauguration he directed it in his own handwriting " Woodrow Wilson, White House."

There is a stern simplicity about the American President, and to those who value the noble and lofty ideals for which the greatest names in our Republic stand, no prefixes will ever be associated with the names of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Grover Cleveland, or Woodrow Wilson.—I am, Sir, &C., EDWIN LITCHFIELD TURNBULL.

Baltimore April 29th, 1913.