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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Margaret Carter, October 25, 1975. Interview A-0309-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

The Carters lose faith in Johnson

When Lyndon Johnson began making political deals with the Texas establishment, Carter and other liberals lost faith in his ability to make changes in the political structure.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Margaret Carter, October 25, 1975. Interview A-0309-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

MARGARET CARTER:
I never was too much disturbed about Johnson until he began to lean heavily on John Connally's advice. You know, Johnson lost his first try for the Senate. John Connally tried to make everybody forget that, but we remembered it and we had been for Johnson then.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
That was when, 1942?
MARGARET CARTER:
'41. It was a special election. Raymond Buck was for him then, too and that was the first time that we knew him. He lost that one. Well, you know how close he came to losing it in '48, but he had been to Ft. Worth and made an involved deal, the details of which I do not know, but some of them became obvious later, with Amon Carter and Sid Richardson.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Were Carter and Richardson close friends?
MARGARET CARTER:
Very, and Richardson was supposed then to be the richest individual in the world. He was an East Texas boy who had made an oil fortune at the same time that Carter was making one in oil and newspapers and several other areas.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
At the time that this deal was made, was Connally Richardson's lawyer?
MARGARET CARTER:
No. Connally was Johnson's secretary.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
That's right. This is in '48?
MARGARET CARTER:
'48, well, before '48. Apparently, part of the deal was that Connally would become an employee of Richardson and another part of the deal was supposed to be that Amon Carter's access to Canadian newsprint would be facilitated. I don't know just which agency of the federal government had to do with that, but Amon Carter was having a hard time getting enough paper to print his newspapers. That was part of the deal and I don't know what else was part of it.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Well, who was able to make that available to him?
MARGARET CARTER:
I don't know, but I have heard that was part of the deal and I do know that there was an acute newsprint shortage in this country at that time and that was how John Connally happened to move to Ft. Worth and get into our hair. After John Connally began to be the fund raiser for Johnson, the people whose arms he twisted for money brought pressure on Johnson and that was the point at which Johnson began to look less than useful to Texas liberals.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Was John Connally perceived, at that point, back in the early fifties, as the conservative that he is now known to be? Were his political views fairly clearly known at that point?
MARGARET CARTER:
No.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
But the inference was drawn because he was Sid Richardson's lawyer and people knew how Sid Richardson saw things, it was assumed that he was a conservative influence?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, but John Connally was not seeking publicity for his views.