Born: 1878

Died: February 21, 1956

Married: Caroline Murray Wilmerding

Children: John B. Trevor, Jr.; Bronson Trevor

John B. Trevor, Sr., was a lawyer and an influential lobbyist on immigration debate matters; he was influential in shaping the Immigration Act of 1924, which put in place restrictive immigration quotas that stood until 1964.  He was the son of financier John Bond Trevor (1822 – 1890) and the grandson of Pennsylvania treasurer John B. Trevor (1788-1860).

He was a World War I veteran, and a member of the founding board of Paul Smiths College.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, February 21, 1956


John B. Trevor, of "Trevallyn," Paul Smiths, N. Y. and 11 East 91st Street, New York City, known for the important part he played in the adoption of immigration restriction, died yesterday afternoon after a long illness.

Mr. Trevor was a veteran of World War I, and was decorated with the Order of the Legion of Honor, for distinguished services, by General Nivelle, one time Generalissimo of the Allied Armies.

After the Armistice in 1918, Mr. Trevor was assigned to the command of the office of Military Intelligence in New York City. Upon his discharge from the Army in June, 1919, with the rank of Captain, he was appointed Special Deputy Attorney General of the State of New York, to assist the Joint Legislative Committee of the State, the so-called "Lusk Committee", in its investigation of subversive activities.

Mr. Trevor later became an unofficial advisor to the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization. The Chairman of that Committee took Mr. Trevor before the Senate Committee on Immigration, and as a result of his testimony, Mr. Trevor was credited with having exercised important influence on the action of that body in reporting out the Erst immigration quota law adopted by Congress. Mr. Trevor, however, did not approve the terms of this temporary law, and later devised the National Origins Quota System which was incorporated in the Immigration Act of 1924. This quota system is still in effect. [It ended in 1965]

In 1927, Mr. Trevor founded a Citizens Committee for the defense of this immigration legislation, with the passage of which he was so closely identified. This body later developed into the American Coalition. Mr. Trevor, with a brief interval of retirement, served as President of the American Coalition until 1950, when he insisted the time had come for a younger man to take his place.

Mr. Trevor took an active part in opposition to all efforts, to bring about the recognition of the Soviet Government, and was bitterly opposed to the policy pursued by the Roosevelt Administration in this respect.

Mr. Trevor was a prolific writer on public questions. His "Analysis of the Immigration Act of 1924" published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, resulted in a special edition being asked for by the Secretary of Labor, and printed as a handbook for the Immigration Service. "Japanese Exclusion — A Study of the Policy and the Law" was ordered printed by the House of Representatives as the authoritative work on that question. Other publications are "The Crisis"; "The Recognition of Soviet by the United States an American Problem"; "The Bretton Woods Agreements"; "The British Loan"; "World Government"; etc., etc.

Mr. Trevor is survived by his widow, Caroline Murray Wilmerding, and two sons, John B. Trevor, Jr., and Bronson Trevor, and five grandchildren.

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