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Author: Daniels, Jonathan Worth, interviewee
Interview conducted by Eagles, Charles
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Mike Millner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2006
Size of electronic edition: 304 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2006.
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Languages used in the text: English
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2006-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
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Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Jonathan Worth Daniels, March 9-11, 1977. Interview A-0313. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series A. Southern Politics. Southern Oral History Program Collection (A-0313)
Author: Charles Eagles
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Jonathan Worth Daniels, March 9-11, 1977. Interview A-0313. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series A. Southern Politics. Southern Oral History Program Collection (A-0313)
Author: Jonathan Worth Daniels
Description: 1075 Mb
Description: 89 p.
Note: Interview conducted on March 9-11, 1977, by Charles Eagles; recorded in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Jean Houston.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series A. Southern Politics, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with Jonathan Worth Daniels, March 9-11, 1977.
Interview A-0313. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Daniels, Jonathan Worth, interviewee


Interview Participants

    JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS, interviewee
    CHARLES EAGLES, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
CHARLES EAGLES:
Would you tell me your full name and when and where you were born?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
My name is Jonathan Worth Daniels, and I was born April 26, 1902, at the corner of South and Blount Street in Raleigh, North Carolina, right across the street from Shaw University, and in the margin of a black, what you would now in your educated condition call a ghetto, but which was really a nigger-town.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You were born in your parents' home, then.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. My grandfather had built the house shortly after the Civil War. And a lot of the other whites in that area had moved up to more fashionable Blount Street. But we stayed in my grandfather's house in a deteriorating neighborhood, you'd call it, and we were very happy there. We had the best neighbors in the world, although every one of them was black.
CHARLES EAGLES:
This was Grandfather Bagley.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. He was the clerk of the state supreme court.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What were your parents like? How would you describe them?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I would describe them as wonderfully gentle, receptive people. My mother and father came from rather diverse groups. My father's father was a ship carpenter in Little Washington, North Carolina. He didn't believe in slavery, and he went to Rhode Island to live and work, but he had fallen in love with my grandmother in North Carolina. So he came back in time to meet the Civil War. My grandmother came, I think, from a rather distinguished family, the Seabrooks, but her parents had been impoverished, and she'd been left as an orphan as a child and raised in very limited circumstances.

Page 2
He was, I think, a good ship's carpenter. He helped build the Merrimack, as I understand it. But I'll give you this as a little piece of background. When my father became Secretary of the Navy, Little Washington wanted to welcome back its distinguished son. And he went down to Goldsboro, where his mother was living with my Uncle Frank at the time, and he was surprised that she wasn't so enthusiastic. She said, "Joe, those people who are putting on this show wouldn't have had your father in their house." [Laughter]
And my mother's family had been originally Quakers. My grandfather was Jonathan Worth, who was elected governor by the whites after the Civil War, because he had been a Quaker and against secession. And then he was removed from office by General Canby, who came as military commander of that district. And Governor Holden was put in in his place. He had five daughters, of whom my grandmother was one. She [my grandmother] was as far from being a Quaker as anybody I've ever seen. She was a very dominant old woman who, when I knew her, walked with a gold-headed cane. And she had two daughters, unmarried, who she attended on all occasions. She was a very great snob, I thought. In a book I wrote I said that, and at my father's request I changed it to "dame." But she had a very strange sense about herself. In a sort of mystic way she thought she was the mother of the reunited Republic, because her son, Worth Bagley, who was a great football player at Annapolis, had been the first officer to fall in the Spanish-American War. He's completely forgotten now, and it was not anything but just a hero of circumstance at the time. But there was this hoopla about the first blood had been shed by a Confederate officer's son. (My grandfather was a major in the Civil War in the Confederate Army.)

Page 3
So that was the background I came from, very good people but not one of the racehorse aristocrats among them. And I'm pretty proud of my ancestry. I had some blackguards among them. My grandfather's brother, who did marry a racehorse aristocrat's daughter, stole money out of the till in the Supreme Court office, went to Baltimore and drowned himself, and my grandfather spent a good many years paying back the money he'd stolen. But they were in general good, simple, a kind of southern people that are lost. In our books we have much about the great plantation people and much about the poor whites, but the great, solid middle class between them has been pretty much neglected, I guess because they are people without creating any sins and scandals, have very little romance to present. My grandfather owned slaves. He had a place named Sharon near Raleigh, which later became the black public school there.
CHARLES EAGLES:
This is Grandfather Bagley.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, my Great-Grandfather Worth. And De Roulhac Hamilton did two volumes of his letters. He must have been a pretty good old guy. He said at the beginning of the war, "I think the South is committing suicide, but I'm going to stay with my companions and go down with the ship." I suppose that was the reason that they picked him at the end of the war. He'd been treasurer during the war. Picked him because he hadn't been a hothead in secession, and they thought that would possibly placate the conquering Yankees, but he wasn't enough to do that.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What were your parents like individually? Were your mother

Page 4
and father quite a bit alike?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Very much alike, and yet they were people of very definite personalities. For instance, my mother was a Presbyterian, my father was a Methodist. But neither one ever joined the other's church. And they would alternate on Sundays—he would go with her to the Presbyterian; she would go to the Methodist—but they stayed in their own church. My father didn't believe in baptizing little children. He waited until the youngest was about eight. Then they baptized them, and she took two and he took two. [Laughter] But they were lovely people. In connection with what you're writing, my father was one of the most gentle and determined people on fairness to blacks of anybody I ever knew. Our next-door neighbor was a man named Wesley Hoover, who I think my grandmother taught to read and write. He'd become fairly wealthy operating a saloon, which, of course, was much against my father's principles, but he respected Wesley Hoover. And he would give Wesley Hoover every courtesy in the world, except, of course, he could never call him "Mr. Hoover." There were these little fragile, almost unexplainable taboos that existed. But my mother operated at her back porch—now remember, back porch—what would be the equivalent of the WPA today, or the center of federal charity. And a black who came to her back door—and many did—got food and what he needed. But the separation was complete and yet very friendly, so realized that there had become an acceptance of the status quo between the blacks and the whites. And maybe that was a period of subserviency by the blacks and arrogance by the whites. But for a little period there, at least at my childhood—and many, many of my playmates were

Page 5
black—there wasn't any feeling of surface antagonism, at least, or hostility.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did your father help in that little back porch operation?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
[Laughter] He financed it very much, but of course he never served the food or anything of that sort. And shortly before I was born, my father had been the man chosen by the Democratic Party in North Carolina to go all over the South and devise the best, and hopefully the most constitutional, system to disenfranchise the illiterate blacks while not disenfranchising the illiterate whites. He went down to Louisiana. Have you seen his books?
CHARLES EAGLES:
Yes.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He went down to Louisiana and a number of places and came back with the legislation which was adopted. A strange thing in that fight, though. Now this shows a little about my father. There were a lot of people in North Carolina who wanted to divide the tax rolls and give the blacks for education only the taxes that blacks had paid, and give the whites all the taxes the whites had paid. My father and Governor Aycock were very much opposed to that and defeated it. Now that friendship with Aycock is important in my father's story. I'm not sure if they went to school together, but Aycock was my Uncle Frank's law partner. And they were very close. And they were both tremendously interested in education and education for both races. Of course, by the money we're spending today, that seems ridiculous. But my father's News and Observer in those days of that white supremacy fight, read through the eyes of a 1975 or '6 white man today, seemed just horrendous. They were! Oddly, in that

Page 6
campaign, though, a lot of people thought Father's life was endangered by belligerent blacks. He worked, of course, late at night on a morning newspaper, and, unknown to him, this man Wesley Hoover had gone uptown every night and followed him home as an unseen bodyguard. There are so many paradoxes in race relations.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Would he encourage Wesley Hoover to register to vote if Wesley Hoover was literate?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He wouldn't go out and encourage him, but he would defend his right to vote. There's a difference there. He was a very gentle man, and one thing about this contrast, you see. Very often in my life with my father we disagreed violently, but we never disagreed in blowup between father and son. He didn't approve of many things I said. Like that thing that happened in Florence we were speaking about, could never have occurred with us. And when he did go off in '33 and left me with the paper, I must say he left me practically untutored and undirected.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Is that just a sense of trust and loyalty that he had?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I think so. He believed that I was sensible. Not only in race relations but in Prohibition we differed completely. And it's difficult for you and your generation to realize the sharpness of the quarrel over Prohibition. But he never gave me hell for not agreeing with him. But I didn't do this. When I took the paper which he had edited as a strong Prohibitionist, I didn't write any Prohibition editorials, but neither did I write any which lauded his position. We got along fine, and it never was—even at the end of our lives, when we were disagreeing greatly on the civil rights commissions—anything

Page 7
like a personal quarrel over our differences of opinion. He was a very gentle man, and he was also a very violent man, as you know, editorially. What a thing. He had two brothers. His oldest brother Frank, who [unclear], was judicial to the point of perfection. Also, he was a hypochondriac who took all sorts of patent medicines. And Aycock said, "Well, Frank, you may get after me about drinking, but there's more alcohol in those patent medicines you're taking than the stuff I drink." [Laughter] His other brother, wherever he went, would get into the middle of the worst fight and always come out the losing end.
CHARLES EAGLES:
That's Charles Cleaves.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. And Father must have been a very, very charming young man. I ran across a secondhand book I got which had belonged to a man who wrote the history of the Republican Party; I've forgotten his name. At Princeton. And he'd made a note in it when it came to mention Father. He said, "The most attractive damn fool I ever knew." [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
Let's get back to what it was like when you were a small boy in Raleigh. You had three brothers.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What were they like?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
My oldest brother had a rather tragic life. He was born shortly after my sister who I never knew died as a little child of about three. He was overprotected. And they didn't know anything about psychiatry in those days.
CHARLES EAGLES:
This was Josephus Jr.

Page 8
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
In the terms of I guess you'd call it stupid views of people in that time, as a little boy who didn't do well in school, and was as an overprotected child not exactly they sent him to a military school. They sent him to Horner's Military School, where I gather, from Thad Stem, that old Colonel Horner was one of the damnedest sadists there ever was. In any of those military schools, people just beat the hell out of their students and so forth. And Josephus never amounted to much. He got in the war and served honorably as a Marine, but he had the name and that was difficult, when he didn't have the stuff. I'd rather you didn't quote me as saying he didn't have the stuff, because he was one of the sweetest people I ever knew.
My brother Worth was always a very alert, sharp, smart boy. He was sort of runtish until he had an appendicitis operation. He never was a big man, but he became one of the most distinguished internists in the United States. Two or three years before he retired, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, people are all Fellows of it, but they decided to pick eight Masters, and Worth was one of the eight. He served very well in the Second World War. And he was a respected dean of the Washington, D.C., medical corps, and he had such patients as Chief Justice Stone. To use a vulgar old term, he had the carriage trade. And he was a very distinguished doctor. He helped save the Army Medical Museum and Library. He was reappointed to it by Eisenhower, and said somebody said, "Look at those Danielses. They'll serve under any president." [Laughter] And of course he was appointed because he [unclear]. And then he was chief of all the civilian

Page 9
consultants in internal medicine for the Army.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What about your other brother?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Frank is a solid citizen. He keeps all the rest of us in bread and butter. [Laughter] He's been a very able newspaper publisher. He served on the Associated Press national board and the National Board of Publishers. Frank is the Establishment. He's a bank director, and I sometimes get him by saying . . . we got a new building, and we had different offices, and I went down and looked at his and I said, "Dammit, it looks like it's decorated for William B. McKinley." [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
Were you closer to Frank or to Worth?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, yes, to Frank. Frank and I were nearer the same age, and we worked together all our lives.
CHARLES EAGLES:
But when you were a small boy, were you closer then?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, Frank and I. Worth was three years older than myself, and Frank was just two years younger, and we were closer.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What was the Daniels home like? I get the impression that your father read a lot, not just newspapers.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, yes, he did. He read a lot. My mother's eyesight wasn't very good, and he read aloud to her a lot. And all of my life has been a bookish life. Not just me, but also we were surrounded by it. I remember when I went to first grade and the teacher was reading us the old Greek tales. She said, "What am I going to read to Jonathan? He's read all of these stories." [Laughter] It was a very bookish, a very social place. During the legislature

Page 10
my mother and father had to dinner every member of the legislature. And in addition to that, if anybody came to town, Ambassador Bryce or some actor of some fame or something, they'd also entertain him. William Jennings Bryan of course was there a lot, and Wilson was there. A very social sort of place.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Now when those people came to dinner, were you at the table with them?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, no, no.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Amy Carter then.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
But when they came to dinner, after dinner there was always brought in to my bedside a big, nice dish of ice cream that had been served. That sort of thing. Of course we weren't invited to the table as Amy seems to be.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You said earlier that your father was Methodist and your mother was Presbyterian. Where did you go to church? Did you alternate back and forth?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I went to Methodist Sunday school, and I was one of those destined for Methodism. I married an Episcopalian, and, as I say, matrimony is the only missionary branch of the Episcopal Church. [Laughter] I became an Episcopalian. I remember I was very proud to be promoted from the primary to whatever was above that because I'd learned the Ten Commandments, the Twenty-Third Psalm, the Beatitudes, and all by heart. I was very proud of that.
CHARLES EAGLES:
So all you boys went to Sunday school every Sunday?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, and we all went to the Methodist Sunday school. I

Page 11
guess that was because Father taught a class, and we all went to the Methodist Sunday school. I had a very pleasant childhood.
CHARLES EAGLES:
How important was going to church, was the church for you when you were small?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
It was a social occasion, and also I enjoyed learning the things. Maybe I was a little bit of a show-off; I liked to recite the prayers better than anybody else. [Laughter] But I enjoyed it. So much of my life in that period and even later was taken for granted. For instance, my grandchildren are wondering now about where should they go to college. One of my grandchildren last year got a National Merit scholarship, and he could pick practically any college he wanted in America, but he picked Bowdoin. But from birth it never occurred to me that I could go anywhere but the University of North Carolina. So with my other brothers. So much of our life just fell into the pattern. And it wasn't anything that you wanted to resist; it was comfortable and pleasant, and nobody whipped you into going to Sunday school. Although I imagine that if I had said I wasn't going to Sunday school, [Laughter] there might have been some goings-on.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You said your father taught a Sunday school class.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He taught a class of students at State College for many years, before and I think after he went to Washington as Secretary of the Navy.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Now the church was pretty important to him, wasn't it?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, very important to him. My mother always said that first came the Democratic Party, then the Methodist Church, and she

Page 12
came third.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Where did the News and Observer come in?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
The News and Observer was in there, too. [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
Was his religion very important to him day-to-day?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, but there was no piety flung around our house. I mean we weren't hymn-singing . . . our household wasn't a place that was . . .
CHARLES EAGLES:
Daily devotionals weren't . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, we didn't have daily devotions. It was a religious place, but you know in how many novels and stories you've read about the austere . . . there was nothing austere about religion in my childhood.
CHARLES EAGLES:
So you didn't have to come home from Sunday school and sit quietly in a chair for the rest of . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
There was a very funny little thing about that. This was a little later, when we were in Washington. We couldn't play cards on Sunday, but we could play a game called Confederate Heroes . . .
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
. . . which was like Authors. [Laughter] I don't know how the distinction came in.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Why couldn't you play cards? Was that your father or your mother?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
My father didn't believe in card-playing at all, and he didn't believe in dancing. As a child, he had resisted a feeling among the clergy in Wilson that it was wrong to read novels. That he never paid any attention to. But he didn't believe in card-playing

Page 13
or dancing. We never went to a dancing school, although all of us danced. And my grandmother, the lady with the gold-headed cane, was one of the greatest card players I've ever known in my life.
CHARLES EAGLES:
But your father didn't dance then. Was music important?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, music was not important. He didn't dance. He was once elected Chief Marshal of the state fair. He had never ridden a horse.
CHARLES EAGLES:
He had never ridden a horse?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Never ridden a horse. So he led the parade in a little surrey. [Laughter] Wilson was no horseback riding place much, and they were poor people. His father was killed on a ship full of non-combatants by some irregular Texas troops when he was going back to Washington. And all through my father's life there were certain people who tried to stigmatize him by saying that his father was a buffalo. A buffalo, as you know, was the same as a copperhead in the North. And some years later we had some stories about some people down in eastern North Carolina, which were not very kind stories in the sense that [unclear], and the family found a document showing that Josephus Daniels Sr. had been given a pass to trade within the occupied zone, to try to prove that he [unclear]. But a great many of his friends and his mother's and father's friends came forward and said he was not an active buffalo. She became postmistress in Wilson, however, because she was the only literate white person they could find who hadn't given aid or comfort to the Confederacy, and served that for many years. In fact, unconsciously,

Page 14
I think that may have entered into my father's strong feeling about black domination in the South at one time. He began to edit, as a young man, a very violent Democratic newspaper in Wilson. And at that time there was a black congressman.
CHARLES EAGLES:
George White?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I think so, but you'll have to check that. Who got Father's mother removed as postmistress. And he had to go to White to try to get her reinstated; I don't think White ever did. Remember in that period of his boyhood Vance was campaigning against Settle for governor in eastern North Carolina. And he got up to speak, and there was just a vast crowd of blacks. And Vance said, "I feel like a grain of rice in a bushel of rat turds." [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
When you were small, did your father tell you stories of Reconstruction and that period of time?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
My grandmother did, his mother. She refugeed to Ocracoke, and she used to tell us that they couldn't get any coffee and all this sort of thing, and what they did. And she was informed while there— I think Charles was born there—that her husband was in the hospital or dying in New Bern. He got shot in his arm, and he refused to have his arm amputated because he said, "What the hell good is a carpenter without an arm?" So he died of blood poisoning. And she came back by boat all the way from Ocracoke, and he was dead when she arrived. We don't know where he was buried. He was buried in New Bern. Maybe if I went back and studied lists of those who were buried in the occupation, I could find it, but we never have.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What kind of stories did you hear about the 1860s and '70s . . .

Page 15
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Mostly about hardships. Father remembered some stories of Yankee artillery against Little Washington. And she got after her boys very strongly, because Frank in particular found out that he could, as a little boy, effectively beg from the Union soldiers [Laughter] and ask them for a quarter and things like that. And she tried to put her foot firmly down on any such thing, which I'm sure accompanies occupying armies everywhere, little children. I understand that in parts of Germany where the dental situation of the starving people was pretty good, after our soldiers came in and gave them chewing gum and candy it went the hell to heck.
CHARLES EAGLES:
So did you grow up with a pretty standard view of Reconstruction as a pretty horrible experience?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Not as a horrible experience, a heroic experience. My mother's family belonged to every patriotic organization known in the world, from the Society of Mayflower Descendants, Colonial Dames, this, that, and the other. They were apparently very popular at that period in the South. And she had an aunt named Elvira who, every Christmas, joined her into a different, new patriotic society, and so my mother had to pay dues for the rest of her life. [Laughter] Mother's people were very . . . some of them had just bosoms full of badges. And my father took no part in that. He didn't believe in any organization that everybody couldn't get into. My Grandfather Bagley had been a very prominent Oddfellow, and they kind of pushed him to join the Oddfellows. And he was going down the initiation line and found out that one of the other fellows being initiated was a man he had publicly

Page 16
declared was a blackguard of the worst sort. [Laughter] So he said he didn't want to be a brother of any such as that, and so he never belonged to any organization that wasn't open to everybody. When I went to Chapel Hill, he was violently against my joining a fraternity.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What was the basis of his belief that on one should belong to an organization that everyone couldn't belong to?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
It was a sort of an anti-aristocratic view. He always regarded himself as a member of the working class or the class that worked with their hands. I think his father said that one reason he left the South was that there was no place in it for a white man who worked with his hands. And my father's defense of labor unions all his life was a sense that he came from working people. And he stuck to that pretty closely. My mother was always quite sympathetic, but her people, although Quakers, were pretty damn aristocratic.
CHARLES EAGLES:
How did your father reconcile associating himself with the working class, and in the '20s living in Wakestone, which was a mansion of sorts, wasn't it?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, it was. He didn't have any sense that a man shouldn't make all he could, but he wanted in that process to be fair to the man who was working with his hands. He didn't have any sense that he ought to take the vow of poverty. And yes, Wakestone was, but he always claimed that he made it by having rocks thrown at him. [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
To get back to when you were a small boy in Raleigh, did you go to the News and Observer office with your father? Was the paper a very important thing for you even as a . . .

Page 17
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I guess so, yes. The paper was across the street from where the Sir Walter Hotel is now. It had been built originally—a lot of different papers and so forth and changing—by Milton Littlefield, whom I wrote a book about. It had beautiful ironwork on it. Father always walked back and forth to lunch—it was the only exercise he ever took—and I'd walk with him. And he sometimes irritated me by stopping all the way along and talking to people. [Laughter] I was a little impatient to get going.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did the other brothers do the same thing, they went to the newspaper, too?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, yes, sure. I thought of the News and Observer as a member of the family, or we were a member of the News and Observer, always. That was my father's whole life.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You mentioned your boyhood home was right across the street from Shaw University and that you grew up in a black neighborhood.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes.
CHARLES EAGLES:
A ghetto of sorts. And there were always servants in the home, too.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, as thick as chocolate.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You mean a lot of them.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. We had a gardener and a maid and two nurses and a cook. And of course they were paid nothing. I don't mean to say that my mother and father were particular Scrooges. They paid at least the going rate. Of course there was a very clear difference between black and white, but there was a very intimate relationship, too. Now that

Page 18
may be difficult for your generation to quite understand, the closeness of the ties. It was paternalism complete, but in our time we've become a little too unsympathetic with paternalism, because it did put a heart into a relationship even if it didn't put equality into a relationship. And where somebody was suffering or anything, my mother and father were quick to try to help. And I thought of our servants as just practically members of the family.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Do you remember any of them in particular?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, yes, Sophie and Harriet were the nurses, and I remember them particularly well. Have you read a book called South to a Very Old Place?
CHARLES EAGLES:
Yes.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He makes a very good point there about how the negro mammy has been . . . he chose me and Faulkner to both be talking too damn much about that. He's right. The notion that the mammy really took the place of the mama didn't really exist. And it came to the point where having a mammy and saying you had a mammy was almost like saying your folks would have had a mansion if Sherman hadn't burned it down. It was a status symbol with many people. And the mammy was as often a yellow slut as a black angel. It's become a romanticized symbol.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Well, which were Sophie and Harriet?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Harriet was mine.
CHARLES EAGLES:
I mean were they the black angels or the yellow sluts? [Laughter]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
They were both pretty damn good women. But Harriet had

Page 19
a great sense of cynicism. And both of them, you know, they were great snobs, particularly about white people. Even today on this island, though you wouldn't get anybody to admit it, the blacks would rather work for the quality, even though they don't make quite as much, than work for somebody that they didn't think was up like that. So at the end of slavery, they didn't adopt the names of Henry Lloyd Garrison and people like that; they adopted the names of their old masters. I remember once my brother, when he was getting older—Sophie was still around—he started going with a girl in Raleigh who was perfectly all right.
CHARLES EAGLES:
This is your brother Josephus?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. And one day Sophie said to him, "Boy, you've got to do better than that." [Laughter] Yes, they were great snobs. And they were very kind people.
CHARLES EAGLES:
How long were Sophie and Harriet around?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Harriet was around until, I would say, very nearly 1930.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Then she went to Washington with the family.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, she didn't. My Uncle Henry occupied the house in Raleigh, and she stayed there. But she came back to Wakestone, and then we pensioned her and kept her in the St. Agnes Hospital for a number of years until she died.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You actually paid her bills while she was in the hospital.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, sure. That was standard. And I don't think that was just with us. Almost all decent white people looked out for their blacks. That was part of that paternalism I was talking about. And of course there were some of the meanest in the white family, the white

Page 20
community, that ever . . . that's one thing I keep on trying to make people understand, that there are white sons of bitches and black sons of bitches, and good blacks and good whites. Sometimes we just sort of draw the line, as if the whites are all bastards and the blacks are all mistreated angels, or vice versa.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did your father believe that?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, he didn't believe it personally, but he believed that politically, the blacks were not able to govern. Now personally, while I said he wouldn't urge Wesley Hoover to vote, he wouldn't want to stop him.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Wesley Hoover was an exception to the rule?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, any schoolteacher. He was in favor of their voting. Not that he would have tried to and make them vote, but he would resisted preventing them from voting.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did he think that Wesley Hoover was . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Competent to vote? Yes.
CHARLES EAGLES:
He thought Wesley Hoover was a good black man.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did he think that Wesley Hoover was better than many white people who were not good people?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Are you talking about on moral grounds?
CHARLES EAGLES:
Any grounds.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Well, now, look. He would have permitted in his house socially a white man about whom he had doubts as to his high standards, and he wouldn't have permitted at his table a black man who he thought

Page 21
met the highest standards.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Why?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
That's the taboo. You do not break bread—it goes back a million years—with a . . . what's the Bible term? Who was the man who was kind to the stranger on the road?
CHARLES EAGLES:
The good Samaritan.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
You didn't break bread with a Samaritan. Now why? It's a taboo; that's happening in Africa, in Uganda, today.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did your father ever wonder where that taboo came from? Did he ever question?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He was not a poetic man, in the sense that he would go back and philosophize about it. He accepted a situation which existed and in which he became a leader. For instance, I remember my grandmother used to say . . . she had in her girlhood or young womanhood a servant named Zilphie, for whom she had the highest regards. And she would say, "If he's Zilphie's grandson, he's all right," a sense of aristocracy among the blacks in the sense of morals and ability. And they all laughed, I remember. [Laughter] The story came down how Zilphie got two overcoats from the Freedman's Bureau. They thought that was just wonderful, these damn Yankees going [unclear] . It's difficult for your generation to quite grasp the combination of hostility and friendliness which existed.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Was it difficult for your generation to grasp it?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I'm talking about when I was a child now. And when I was a child, it seemed just as natural to me as the sun rising and

Page 22
setting. Of course, I began to ask questions as I grew older. Most of my first break with this tradition was seeing the injustices to some. I didn't become interested in the welfare of the blacks because of any negrophile sense. I felt the same about them that I felt about oppressed and exploited white men. That's the way my interests came into the race situation as a young man. And you accepted it; it was just a situation. You didn't kick against the pricks as a small child in a gentle home, and servants were happy, or seemed to be. This paternalistic system was just the system, and I was in that, really, only until the time I was eleven years old. Then we went to Washington. And in that period I was not an itinerate philosopher. [Laughter] I just had a happy childhood.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You said your father identified with working-class people and their interests. There was a union at the News and Observer, I assume.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I don't know. He was for a very long time an honorary member of the Typographical Union. Yes, he was pretty strong for the union. I'm pretty sure it was there, but when it started I don't know.
CHARLES EAGLES:
When did blacks start working there? Were there always blacks in a custodial . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, always janitorial blacks. And as a young man, his pressman was black. Now there's another case where the blacks, at a certain time, occupied skilled jobs, and then gradually they were squeezed out of those skilled jobs. For instance, when I was a child it would never have occured to me to have a white man cut my hair. Otey

Page 23
ran a very nice barber shop. It's a very well-known family in Raleigh, and their women really were beautiful octoroons. I mean, people write about them and you think every octoroon was beautiful, [Laughter] but these were real beautiful girls. And one of them lately was the woman who made, I suppose, most of the dresses for the girls who came out in the debutante ball in Raleigh. They were very nice people.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You said octoroons. What color were the black people who worked in your home and lived in the neighborhood?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Harriet was yellow; Sophie was black. Most of them were black. Once I wrote, and I said they went all the colors from chalk to chocolate. But most of them were either mahogany or black.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did you ever sense any difference in the way they were treated?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Not a bit, and they didn't seem to think any difference, either. These were not octoroons or anything or very nearly white. No, they were all black with some little infusion of white somewhere along the line. Sophie could have been an African.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What about Shaw University across the street?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
A very pleasant place to go.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
CHARLES EAGLES:
. . . that you were telling me about Dr. Meserve.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Dr. Meserve was the president of Shaw when I was there. He was, I think, a Massachusetts man and a very dignified gentleman, and I saw no hostility towards him anywhere.
CHARLES EAGLES:
A black man.

Page 24
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, a white man. And we played in the campus there, and there was no hostility towards us at all. And we certainly had no hostility to Shaw. It was said that the man who started it was advised to get on a train and go back north right away, but he didn't. And I don't think Shaw ever had many troubles, unless it came in the '60s of this century. One of Booker T. Washington's children went there. Of course, I wasn't at the age when I knew anything about the standards of the college.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did you play over there frequently?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
On the grounds, yes. I remember there were some little ground snakes in the fence that we'd capture and scare girls with them, that sort of thing. It was quite a pleasant place across the street.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did your father know Mr. Meserve?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I'm sure he did. I don't ever recall any meeting between them, but of course he knew him, yes. And I'm sure he would have called him "Mr. Meserve."
CHARLES EAGLES:
Do you think your father ever gave any money to Shaw University?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I doubt that. His principal charity in Raleigh was the Methodist Orphanage. But he didn't have money to throw around as you hear about today. I don't know anything about his gifts, but I would think most of them went to his church and to the Methodist orphanage.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Getting back to your playing, you played with the black children in the neighborhood, too.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, sure. And they weren't intimidated by me. I remember there was one damn little black bully who tried to take all my candy

Page 25
away from me, [Laughter] and he got away with it, too. At that age, equality was pretty well established, although, if they came to our house, they would come to the back door.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did you ever go to their homes?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, I was taken by Harriet to their homes, and I was treated with kindness. You know this thing, "know his place." Well, that is a term that is now anathema. But in those days, you did know your place, and it wasn't regarded as shameful to know your place by the blacks. We had a lot of good friends among the blacks. There was a little boy that played with me; I think that was an arrangement. After you got too old to be tended by a nurse, you had a colored boy who was a year or two older than you as a kind of a playmate who was able to keep you from falling in the creek and such things. We had some great adventures. There was a storm sewer in Raleigh five feet wide and five feet tall that extended from right below our house up to the Sir Walter Hotel. And we would go through that storm sewer with torches. It was like going through a great cave. I don't know what would have happened to us if we'd gotten caught in there when there was a cloudburst, but we didn't have any troubles. We enjoyed it. It was an adventurous thing to do.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Would you go uptown with these little black children in the neighborhood, or did you just play with them when you were . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I didn't much go uptown until I was older, except with my father. Then when I got to ride a bicycle, that was a rather lonely business, riding a bicycle. You went by yourself. I used to get up early in the morning and ride way off with a book and sit under the trees

Page 26
and read. I guess I was always a pretty bookish little boy. [unclear] went uptown I was going with my father or something like that. And of course with the school, we saw no blacks at all. And I don't know about the whole business of education. I think I got an excellent education at the Centennial School. At least, when I went to Washington, D.C., which should have been one of the best, I didn't drop back at all. And we talk about how much better education we've got today. I'm not sure that the fact that the schools were limited in size and all, and that it was the only occupation, really, that was open to a white woman, that we didn't get a better quality person—not necessarily better educated, but a better quality person—as teachers than we do today.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Where was Centennial School? Did you have to go a ways?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
About a block and a half. It had been the governor's palace. It's the foot of Fayetteville Street, where the auditorium is now. And then they built the new governor's mansion up on Blount Street. That was when the better-off whites moved up to Blount Street. This was left, and it was transformed into one of the first public schools in North Carolina. A good school, I thought. Of course, I was no judge then, but I'm not so much impressed by the feeling that we have advanced far from [unclear], that the past didn't have just as good teachers as we have today, with all their degrees and so forth.
CHARLES EAGLES:
And the black children went to a . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
They went to a black school. Now I didn't know anything about that school. And I doubt that in those days that truancy laws were very much enforced. There were a lot of children in the

Page 27
Centennial School that came from a sort of broken-down white cotton mill, back of it, who were definitely poor white and of poor quality. The saddest thing in the world is that the oppressed generally are the inferior. I suppose it's a natural thing, but you like to think that the oppressed would be presidents of the United States if they weren't oppressed, but I'm afraid that inferiority is a basis for inequality. I'm talking about within each race.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You were playing with black children all . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, afternoons, sure.
CHARLES EAGLES:
. . . while you were in Raleigh. You left Raleigh when you were eleven.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes.
CHARLES EAGLES:
When do you think you would have stopped playing with black children, or would you have played with black children all the way until you . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
In the ball teams, I think we'd have played until . . . that's a hard question.
CHARLES EAGLES:
There's bound to be a time when you went your separate ways.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
There came a time when you were Charlie, and at some point you become "Mr. Charles." Now when that occurred, I don't know, but it did occur. And I imagine one of the reasons why, many of the conflicts—although that system doesn't exist today—racial differences become apparent to both. Before you reach the basis of adolescence, there's no sense of black except as you are it. But when you get to a certain point, one realizes he belongs here and the other realizes

Page 28
he belongs there, or did.
CHARLES EAGLES:
When did that take place for you?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I don't know, because I moved to Washington. And in Washington, except for our servants, we were completely removed from the black world. I didn't know any black children; there weren't any within three or four miles of us. And the John Eaton School, the public school which I attended, was absolutely lily-white.
CHARLES EAGLES:
So you almost left Raleigh before you could get to that point, you think.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, I did.
CHARLES EAGLES:
And did you play with little black boys and girls?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Mostly boys, but some girls, yes.
CHARLES EAGLES:
I wondered if there was a . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, there wasn't any . . . Now that would have occurred when sex occurred, when puberty. But of course, there was no sexual difference, really, at that point when I was living in Raleigh.
CHARLES EAGLES:
So you think you'd have stopped playing with black girls, and then have played with black boys a little longer.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
My mother would undoubtedly have looked askance at black girls after they got to the point where they had a little protrusion in their breasts.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You don't remember that happening with Josephus Jr., for instance.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, I don't remember. Josephus, you see, was nearly ten years older than me.
CHARLES EAGLES:
I wondered whether you remembered that stage.

Page 29
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, I don't remember that at all. And in Washington, as I say, I was absolutely cut off from any black and white. There, though, of course, there was one thing that I think probably went into my thinking. When I was about fifteen or sixteen, the race riots broke out in Washington, and I remember our great concern for our servants, about their going back to the black areas in which they lived. And Father taking special precautions for their safety. He'd have them each carried by car to their house. And there my father was terribly disturbed about this thing. A lot of it was caused by some sailors, which helped him be upset.
CHARLES EAGLES:
He was upset about the race riots?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, very much upset.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Because he thought sailors had caused it?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Well, some of them had caused it. They'd been on leave, and they were active in the fighting. And he had no sympathy whatever with this white attack on the blacks, although the newspapers in Washington even were trying to make it out a black attack on the whites. You know, always that takes place wherever there's any collision. So that's about it.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Let's talk about your father a little while, and the News and Observer. Did that occupy most of his time when you were growing up?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, yes.
CHARLES EAGLES:
He was at the newspaper every day?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, except when he was off campaigning or speaking. You must remember, my father became very active in politics at birth, [Laughter] but in 1896 he was elected Democratic national committeeman.

Page 30
And he had a friend whom he'd met in the Cleveland administration in Washington named William Jennings Bryan, and he went out to Chicago, and then in the campaign afterwards he was very strong for William Jennings Bryan. William Allen White once described him as the Secretary of War in the first Bryan administration. [Laughter] And they remained great friends all their lives. And so he was away in the campaign years particularly. And then as a newspaperman he travelled all over the area the News and Observer circulated in and went to meetings and saw people, and so it was a sort of a News and Observer operation he was doing there.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did that leave your mother in charge of the home, then?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I would say this: my mother was always in charge of the home.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Oh, was she the one that raised you more than your father?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, yes. My father was the court of last resort, not that we ever appealed to it, but mother did the whipping and the feeding and the buying and the housekeeping. My father, I'm very much like him. We turn over our personal lives to our wives, really, almost completely, and so did my father. But she, of course, always tried to do what he would like and so forth. But the home was the seat of the matriarch, not the patriarch.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Who do you think had a greater influence on you, then, growing up?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I don't know.
CHARLES EAGLES:
It would almost seem in one sense that she might have, because she was there all the time, but if he was the final authority . . .

Page 31
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He wasn't the final authority in any sense that we would appeal from Mother. No, sir, we wouldn't appeal from Mother.
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
But I was interested in the newspaper business. And I don't know how you can explain this, but somehow at birth I was chosen to succeed him. Worth always wanted to be a doctor, and Josephus was going into business. I don't like to color my statements about Joe too much, but he just didn't have it.
CHARLES EAGLES:
And you think your parents were aware of that after a while.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, they were aware of it, yes. They were aware of it through his whole life. He was a lovely fellow, but given to great rages and outbursts and things like that. And at birth I was sort of chosen to be my father's successor. I don't know why. And he would refer to me, "We're going to do this and that and the other." I suppose, from the point of view of my newspaper career, I was definitely more influenced by my father than my mother. But my mother was not as literary a person as my father. She was very much concerned about our sex lives, as [Laughter] attested to. And she wanted us to be pure boys, and, you know, that sort of thing. And I remember when we were in Washington, once a year Father would take me out to lunch on my birthday. But other than that, he was remote, but he was always very sweet to us.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Ever scared of him?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Never scared of him at all. Never scared of either one of them, except just when I was going out to get whipped, I got scared of

Page 32
my mother. [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
She kept a closer eye on you than your father.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, yes.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Worried about who you were associating with?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Sure, and whether I was well or sick, and all that. Yes, she ran the household as far as the physical, and even the emotional, problems of children were concerned. Father was always too occupied.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Was he too occupied to talk with you when you were at home? Did you talk politics with him when you were little?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
We talked things at the table all the time.
CHARLES EAGLES:
With both parents.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. Every Sunday when I was a little boy, it was almost like a ritual, Father would take us to walk. And we would go down where the Southern had parked an obsolete old engine down on the tracks and left it there, and we would go through it and go through the boiler and swarm all through it and so forth. And he'd be there, but often he took a political friend with him and they would talk while we were examining the engine. [Laughter] He was not austerely separated from us in any sense, but he just was not particularly interested in these swarming infants. I don't know whether that's a southern characteristic or not, but the female in my world has always been the master of the house, rather than the man, that is, of the children.
CHARLES EAGLES:
If he didn't run the home, he ran the News and Observer. How did he run that?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He ran it with a very gentle hand but with a very iron hand.

Page 33
It was his life, really, and he loved it, and he it and worked at it, and he meant it to be a great force for good as he saw it in his community. The News and Observer was him; he was it.
CHARLES EAGLES:
When you say he made it a force for good in the community as he saw it, what were his standards? How did he decide what was good? How did he decide where he was going to stand on an issue that arose?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
For instance, somebody said that the reason North Carolina has never had any financial scandals as other southern states have had was because of the News and Observer. He was watching his own party. He was a great Democrat, but when the Democrats got into office he didn't stop looking at them. Also, his standards were those of his church. He believed in Prohibition, was violent on the subject of prostitution. He was against sin, as Calvin Coolidge once said. [Laughter] My father, I've often said, was the father of jazz music in America. You read that, I'm sure. Closed up Storyville in New Orleans. I think he was a little bit too puritanical sometimes in his views about sex, but there was never anything thwarted or puritanical in his relationship with my mother. None of this Grant Wood, "American Gothic." Our house was joyous, and I'm sure he and my mother had a very adequate sex life. But the idea of anybody deviating from that kind of a sex life was to them just the most horrible thing in the world. And divorce; when my Uncle Henry Bagley got a divorce from his wife, Father insisted that he leave the paper. You see, times have changed a little bit, Charles.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Were his attitudes towards sex and toward liquor and toward blacks all part of one way of looking at the world, do you think?

Page 34
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I wouldn't be surprised. He undoubtedly had a very low opinion of the morals of blacks. Whether it was justified or not, I don't know. In the poverty of the blacks at that time there was a lot of loose living and so forth. I'm sure he felt that if the blacks ruled, there'd be . . . well, he brought the element of sex into his campaign in pictures of a black school board member dictating to a white teacher. Now it didn't go any further than that, but the implication was clear. In all racial relationships, there has always been a fear, and a fear related to sex. I don't know why that's so.
CHARLES EAGLES:
It was related with him, too.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I don't mean that he discussed it any, but there's that cartoon by this man Norman E. Jennett. There was the business of "we've got to protect our women from lusty black men." This didn't come into his personal life in any sense; I know it didn't.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You mean he didn't have a black mistress.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
My father was as pure a man as anybody I know. And in his entire life, I never saw any deviation between his public positions and his private life. He didn't drink; he never touched a drop. And certainly he would not have messed with other women.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Black or white?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Black or white. He was a good man, in the sense that the preachers would say a good man.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Was that important to him, what the preacher said on Sunday?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, not particularly. He was not dominated by what the preacher said in any sense.

Page 35
CHARLES EAGLES:
What the Bible said, then.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
By what he'd been taught religiously. Oh, he'd be very critical of the preachers. For instance, one of his greatest fights was with Bishop Kilgo of Duke, and it practically split open the Methodist Church in North Carolina. So he was not clergy-intimidated in any sense. Of course, all those fights also are so difficult to single out as to what was the fight. For instance, when he fought Kilgo over the Bassett case, in which my father was wrong—at least, I think so—also involved was the fact that at the same time he was fighting the Dukes as the tobacco trust. And I don't think even he knew where his, well, call them convictions or prejudices stemmed from. He would distrust Kilgo as an agent of the Dukes, and maybe he even distrusted Bassett as a man in the Duke organization.
CHARLES EAGLES:
A case where a lot of his beliefs coincided.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, and where they were mixed up together. And Prohibition, for instance, was mixed up with the use of money in politics.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Was Prohibition also mixed up with, if black men started drinking, you don't know what they're going to do?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I'm sure. I think the whole reason for the fact that Prohibition grew first and fastest in the South was the thought of the fear of what liquor would do to the blacks, and thus endanger the whites. That was a very old fear. For instance, a lot of people think that Columbia was burned down by blacks and soldiers who got drunk. Yes, the sense of a danger in your community that had to be curbed, that had something to do with Prohibition.

Page 36
CHARLES EAGLES:
Is that why he could know that you drank and still get along with you?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
That's a funny thing, Charles. As I grew older and grew up, I very carefully . . . now I didn't advocate repeal of Prohibition in the newspaper. In A Southerner Discovers the South, while I was editor, I put in chapters where I said we stopped in the evening and had a drink, and so forth. He read the book, of course. He never protested to me. The only real protest I ever had from him about my writing . . . you see, my first divergence from my father was over religion. At Chapel Hill I must have been sort of a jackass.
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I was an atheist, you see. And in those days atheism served for what communism serves now. Our parents weren't disturbed about the communists destroying youth; they were disturbed by religious dissenters destroying youth. And I guess I never was much of a believer in absolute authority. For instance, I'm one of the first people, and one of the few, I guess, who recognized Horace Williams as a complete fraud. He wasn't God, as a lot of them thought he was. Anyhow, I wrote this book—and I read it here not long ago; it's a nice little part of your juvenilia—about the fall of the angels. Soon after my first wife died, my father asked me if I'd go to ride with him. We went out, and he urged me not to—he hadn't read it, but he knew what it was about—publish the book. Well, I told him I had to, and did. And I didn't go to church much.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Why was he against the book?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
It was a story about Jehovah being . . . Jehovah was

Page 37
the dupe of the book. Have you ever read it?
CHARLES EAGLES:
Yes.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
It was adopted by the Freethinkers' Society of America as a book of the month. And it treated him and God in a light that he didn't think was proper and so forth.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Less than . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Less than awed, yes. And that's the only time he ever protested against me, except little things. Once he asked me, as I told you, to change the description of my grandmother from snob to dame. [Laughter] But he objected to my stating . . . and in his old age, we were both at Chicago at a Democratic national convention, and one day he came to my room with a round package—it was obviously a bottle of liquor—and he said, "Jonathan, this must be for you, but I found it in my box." [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
But he didn't smash that bottle before he . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, and he knew I was drinking. As a matter of fact—my brother Frank tells this story—he was visited by a lot of people of prominence and so forth from Mexico and around after he retired as Ambassador to Mexico. And along about five o'clock, Frank said he would say to his guests, "Why don't you go over and see Jonathan for a little while?" meaning, without ever saying it, that he'd get his pre-dinner cocktail over there. And he was very mellow about that as he grew older. Mellow about everything, and yet that civil rights thing really set him off.
CHARLES EAGLES:
We'll get to that maybe in a few minutes. You said a few

Page 38
minutes ago that he wasn't poetic, that he didn't philosophize about things. Can you explain how he arrived at his positions, if he wasn't poetic? What was the source of them?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Religion.
CHARLES EAGLES:
That's the religion that he'd been brought up on?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He'd been raised by a very strong woman, Mary Cleaves Daniels. And he believed in morality, and morality seemed to fit all his policies. He was never hypocritical about it. He could exaggerate against his enemies, but he never opened himself to their saying, "Well, look, old Daniels goes home and nips it," because he never took a drink in his life.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did he see issues then in terms of morality, everything from liquor to his fighting the Dukes to . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Fighting Dukes was the little man, the little farmer.
CHARLES EAGLES:
But it was a question of right and wrong.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, he thought that here were the powerful destroying the weak. And he always liked the statement by Tom Johnson that was mayor of Cleveland, that the free silver issue was not a matter of free silver but of free men. Now he was on the left on everything except the race issue, and I suppose you might say the Prohibition issue. But he was all his life . . . I remember once after I got up on the paper, and we were having a negotiation with the union. Father and I drove home afterwards, and I said, "Gosh, Father, this is a tough business, being an employer." He said, "Yes, son, there's not anything worse than that except being an employee."
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter]

Page 39
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He had that sense. He was a fair man.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You said a few minutes ago that he had a sense of sin. Did he see things right and wrong sinful?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Now you are trying to get me into a fixed pattern of the rigid religionist.
CHARLES EAGLES:
I'll let you get out of that if you want to.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He wasn't any hardhat missionary, in the sense that, well, that old business about nothing on Sunday, you know. No, he wasn't a hard Puritan, but he did think that what he fought for was right, and what he opposed was wrong. And there were not many nuances in that. Comes to a very interesting thing I've noticed in my life. I didn't at first think much of Harry Truman. And Harry Truman was not a man of great learning in history, though he was much interested in history. Harry Truman always saw the cowboys and the Indians.
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter] Black hat and the white hat.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. And then I was a strong supporter of Adlai Stevenson. But I don't think Adlai Stevenson would have made a great president, because Adlai Stevenson was a Hamlet. In other words, he couldn't quickly see the cowboys and the Indians. There was something to be said for the Indians as well as the cowboys. And that Hamlet business is a wonderful thing in an intellectual; it may be a very bad thing in a man of action. Because you've got to believe in your cause. For instance, Robert E. Lee really never believed in the southern cause, in my opinion; that's one of the reasons he lost. The man with a militant heart for what he believes is right is a better leader than your intellectual who sees all the sides.

Page 40
CHARLES EAGLES:
So when an issue came up, he not only knew which side, but knew quickly which side.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He knew it innately; he just knew it. And I must say I find this is true today. I see all these editors reading the Congressional Quarterly and this and that and that, and finally they come out with an editorial which has Hamlet in it. I think an editor should hit the floor with both feet and say what he thinks and not let the bushes on the side of the road entangle him. And I think many times we are today caught by this too damn much knowledge, rather than feeling. And Father was a man of feeling. Now he never thought anything without feeling it, and he never felt anything without thinking it.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Which side do you come down on?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
A little Hamlet in me.
CHARLES EAGLES:
In other words, a little more thinking than feeling?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, more feeling, I think.
CHARLES EAGLES:
More feeling than thinking?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
This is a very wrong thing for me to say, maybe. My father never was a very graceful writer. I can write much better than my father. But my father had more personal force in him, maybe, than I have. And the poetry which I am interested in sometimes is not as vigorous as the hammer-strike of my father. And I don't know where I get that ability to write better than he did, but I think I have it.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Where do you get the poetic, then?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I don't know, and you see, I have strange people in my family. O. Henry was my mother's second cousin. And the Worths and

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Bagleys were less caught in the fundamentalist religion than my father's family was. My father was a very strange man religiously. One day I was saying to him that I just couldn't quite see how he could believe in immortality of the soul. And he said, "Well, son, that's not half as inconceivable as the fact that we are here now."
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
And boy, you can't meet that, can you? [Laughter] He was really a great man, Charles.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did he ever quote scripture to you?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No more than he would in his editorials. No more than you and I sometimes, unconsciously. He didn't ever say, "The Bible says this," no.
CHARLES EAGLES:
But you think the Bible was . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
The Bible meant a great deal to him. But I don't know whether it's the Bible, or the Biblical tradition which comes down in families beside the Bible, that was the most important. He wouldn't go and say, "Well, we can't do this, because if you'll look in Luke so-and-so and so-and-so, you'll find that we should do that." None of that sort of thing. It was a Biblical tradition, rather than the words of the Bible.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Something you pick up by memorizing those verses in Sunday school.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, or they just linger in your mind from what your mother told you. So it's hard to draw the blacks and whites of a thing like this. For instance, as I told somebody about this thing you're dealing with, that whatever my differences may be with my father

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about race and other things, he taught me everything I know about goodwill and fairness to other people. He was a great man, my father.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What made you apply that to race where he couldn't, then?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I must say, Charlie, we're living in different times. I hadn't ever seen the sort of uprising of the blacks and the pressing down of the whites that occurred in the black belt of North Carolina in his youth, when the congressman from his district was a black and the whites were disenfranchised. The only person who could get a federal job was his mother, who hadn't done anything to aid the Confederacy. There's an environmental difference there. But I think that my interest in the blacks grew to a large extent from his feeling for the underprivileged. While he was editor, they had a lottery in Ahoskie. The American Legion put on a lottery. A black man won it; it was an automobile.
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
And there were some people down there said, "Well, he can't have it." Well, the News and Observer and my father just raised holy hell. He'd won the damn lottery, and it would be robbery to take it away from him. And that sort of thing, there weren't any questions in his mind. And he was always violently opposed to lynching, and I think quite honestly. A very gentle man, very gentle man who could fight like hell. So many of these characters in history and in life are so complicated, Charlie, and it's hard to look from where you sit to where he stood. [interruption]
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]

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JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
That's right. I remember going there. The first thing that happened, of course, was the women's suffrage parade, which preceded the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson. And there was quite a parade. I saw it from a suite up in the Willard Hotel. And I went home, and I went down—I think it was measles—so I didn't see the inauguration of Wilson.
CHARLES EAGLES:
But you saw the woman's suffrage . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Parade. And we settled down. Mother took a place out on Woodley Lane, which is across the Rock Creek Bridge. And people said, well, of course they couldn't live out there in the wintertime. Well, now, it's practically the center of town. It had a tremendous yard, and we were much closer to the woods than I'd ever been in Raleigh. There were vast empty places of wooded places where Theodore Roosevelt had led the ambassadors hiking in his administration. And there were rabbits. It was quite a wooded area. And I loved it there, and we had a very happy time. A place called Single Oak. And I remember my father was given by the government in those days carriages and two pairs of horses and a footman and a coachman. And really nothing today is quite as elegant as carriages and horses. It was a beautiful thing. I remember that in those days the Russian ambassador had a Cossack riding on the high seat of his coach. It was quite an ornate time. It was, of course, the last of a time that had ended with the sinking of the Titanic and would ultimately end forever with the beginning of World War II.
CHARLES EAGLES:
How did your life change by going to Washington? You told me before you didn't have any black playmates.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No black playmates, but we still had black servants. And my life didn't change greatly. I went to a public school called the

Page 44
John Eaton, which was about a mile away from where I lived, and I soon had a great many playmates there. And the school was about like it had been. We had a cousin named Cora Bagley who was my mother's social secretary and also sort of looked out for our lessons, who helped us there and she was a very nice and very helpful woman. Across the street from us was the Washington Tennis Club, and we used to go over and watch them play tennis. Single Oak was right next door to an estate called Woodley. Francis Scott Key used to live there. A number of notables who lived in that area.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What kind of students were in the John Eaton School?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Good middle-class children who lived in Cleveland Park, mostly, which was out just beyond . . . Cathedral Avenue led up to Woodley Lane from Connecticut Avenue. And they were children of government officials and merchants and people of that sort.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did you meet David Mearns there?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, David Mearns lived right downtown. David was a very interesting boy. His father had been a very rich man, and his mother was the sister of a man named Chambers who ran the Bobbs-Merrill publishing company in Indianapolis. And the Mearnses used to live in one of the best houses in the part of Washington between Massachusetts and Connecticut Avenues. And the bank he was connected with failed. And I don't know whether he ever went to prison or anything, but he always felt somewhat disgraced and never went anywhere. And they lived way off in a rather poor section of Washington. And I didn't meet David until we began to go to St. Albans School, where he went from another section entirely of Washington.

Page 45
CHARLES EAGLES:
How long did you go to John Eaton, then?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
It must have been about two years.
CHARLES EAGLES:
And then you went to St. Albans.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Two or three years, yes, then went to St. Albans, which was a small school then as compared to now. But I had a good time there. I would walk home and walk out there or take the streetcar, which was a long ride around. And it was a nice school.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Was it very upper-class compared to the public school?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
You wouldn't notice it, but it was, yes. Although part of the boys . . . the school was established for the choir boys of the National Cathedral School. They might come from homes of very limited resources. But it became, as the time went on, I suppose the upper-class school of Washington. The Friends School was another good private school. All of Theodore Roosevelt's children, after going to the Force School, went there. The Friends, and St. Albans, and there was a third school, something like Landon School.
CHARLES EAGLES:
I'm a little surprised that your father, who was a big supporter of North Carolina State and a big supporter of public schools in North Carolina, would send his son to a private school.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I'm rather surprised at that, too, even now. Worth was the first to go there. Why we moved to that I don't know, really. Frank didn't go there. Josephus didn't go there. Worth and I went there.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did Frank and Josephus continue in public school?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, Joe went to a place called the Tome School up in Maryland. Frank is two years younger than me, but he was about three years behind

Page 46
me in school. And I went to St. Albans, and I didn't stay there but about two years. I went to Chapel Hill when I was sixteen and left St. Albans without graduating. Frankly, I went to a credit factory and got some credits. This man pretended to teach, but he didn't give a damn whether you learned anything or not, just so you paid him. And in those days getting into Chapel Hill . . . you just had to walk up there and pay your money, and you were in. There was no difficulty about entrance. So I left St. Albans when I was sixteen; that would be 1918. So I was at St. Albans about two years. In the '30s they gave me an honorary graduation certificate. [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
Honorary high school diploma.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
What kind of people did you meet when you were in Washington?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
All kinds of people. My great friend was a boy named Tubby Heyl, whose father was a retired colonel in the Army. And then out on Woodley Lane I had good friends named Bryant Grove, Paul Heis, Billy Comer, and the Scotts, Nathan Scott and his sister Agnes. Agnes was my first love. Very devoted to her. And we used to sit for hours holding hands, and that's as far as we ever got. [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter] Did you ever keep up with any of those people later?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, I knew Agnes when they moved away down on Florida Avenue. Their father built a big place down there. And then she married and went to Atlanta and ended up dying of some kind of a fault in a permanent wave in a beauty parlor.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Strange.

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JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I don't know whether it was electrocution or what.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What kind of important people did you meet? You were moving in a different world now.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Sure. Mr. Bryan, of course, was my father's close friend.
CHARLES EAGLES:
And your idol, I think.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, not really. He was a little austere, as a matter of fact, with children. But boy, what he could eat. I remember my brothers and I were terribly impressed with Mr. Bryan when he'd come to our house. He was on a diet, and one of the things he could eat was radishes. So he consumed those radishes like a mowing machine. [Laughter] I remember President Wilson came to call one Sunday afternoon, and I answered the door. And I felt like I was ushering God into the house. And then the Roosevelts, of course. Their children were much younger than we were.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Newton Baker?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, I knew him. He had a boy who I knew. What was his name? I don't think it was Newton Jr. But he was a nice boy.
CHARLES EAGLES:
I think he wrote a letter of recommendation for you for something.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I wouldn't be a bit surprised. One thing I remember getting recommendations for was, when I was at Chapel Hill I wanted to get a scholarship or something to some French university, which I didn't get. And I think maybe he was one of the ones. I was not greatly impressed by the presence of the notables. I saw them. But the Secretary of the Navy had two Marine orderlies. One of them was named Ober, and the other one was named Finukin. And I remember Ober taught me how to blow the bugle. And we got a big Marine tent and erected it on the grounds at

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Single Oak, and we went to war even before 1914. [Laughter] But Washington was pretty much like Raleigh for me, except that, as I say, black playmates disappeared.
CHARLES EAGLES:
How often did you come back to Raleigh?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I'm sure we came back almost every year, sometime in the summer. Before we went to Washington, one long summer—I think it was the summer of the election of 1912—we were parked in Richmond, Frank and I, with my Uncle Herbert Jackson. He was not my uncle; he was my mother's second cousin, I think, but a great friend of the family, and a banker. Along Franklin Street. And I remember playing in Monroe Park, which is a tremendous park in Richmond. And I had a pretty damn good time in Richmond. And then after Wilson left and was elected, my brothers had a terrible case of typhoid fever. I was afraid Worth was going to die. And they got well, and so, as a sort of a recuperative reward, we all went to New York City for the first time. And I can remember riding up . . . what avenue is it that comes into Broadway at Times Square? Anyhow, all the electric signs. It was the great world for the first time. And we went to the theater. Mr. Morgenthal owned, I think, the Mirror Candy Factory, and we went there and were given boxes. And we went by the making of candy, and we could take any kind of candy we wanted and fill up our boxes. That was a great adventure.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Was that your first introduction to the theater?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, no. I went to the theater regularly in Raleigh in the old Academy of Music. There was a pretty good—well, I thought it

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was wonderful, of course—a pretty good road business in America in those days. Many shows were on the road, as they said, and they came to town regularly. I remember I won a prize for writing an essay on Buster Brown, which came to town. And we'd go to the Academy, because we got free tickets to everything, you see, as the newspaper business.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Had your father liked the theater?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Very much. He'd liked the theater as a young man, although some of his religious advisers looked down upon the theater. But he never did; he loved the theater. He gave some mentions of it in his autobiography. Washington was about like Raleigh, except . . . and we had the same servants, brought them from Raleigh, particularly a black man named Bob Gaines, who had been a waiter at the Yarborough House, which was then the great hotel in Raleigh. [unclear] a great variety of jokes. But he became our butler, and a very interesting sort of character.
CHARLES EAGLES:
But you said Harriet and Sophie . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Didn't go, no. Harriet wasn't as old as Sophie, but they were both getting along then. And Sophie died while we were in Washington, and Mother came down and stayed in Raleigh during her last days. Willis and Jordan were the footman and coachman. It was a very pleasant place to live. And John Eaton, because of becoming aware of poetry and so forth. I skipped a grade at John Eaton, so, as I said, I felt that the schools that I went to in Raleigh couldn't have been as bad as we now think they were if I could come into the Washington schools and, after a year, skip a grade there.

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CHARLES EAGLES:
You met Bernard Baruch in Washington, too.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
That was after the war began. See, Baruch came with the war. One thing that was very remarkable and pleasant about my days in Washington was that the Secretary of the Navy had a yacht, the Dolphin, and Father wanted to examine naval stations and so forth in New England. Or maybe, as some people do now, he wanted to go there, and the naval stations [Laughter] were just an excuse for going. But we would sail all along the New England coast in the summertimes. And I remember swimming off the side of the Dolphin in awfully cold water, but we loved it. And I think it's bigger than the Sequoia that the President had today. And that was, of course, an aspect of magnificence in my childhood that of course hadn't attended it in Raleigh. And the first Mrs. Woodrow Wilson— [interruption] The first Mrs. Woodrow Wilson was a lady very much like the ladies we'd known in Raleigh. She was, of course, a southern woman and seemed a perfectly natural person for us to be with, and she was fond of children. And we'd go to the White House right often when she was there. And I had a very great friend, Admiral Winterhalter's wife. She was a childless woman. She had at one time been a great actress. I've forgotten who she was as an actress. And I think she thought of me as the kind of kid she would like to have had if she'd had a child. And he was made Admiral of the Pacific Squadron, and they wanted to take me with them out there to stay a year. And it was a fascinating idea, but I think my parents said, "Well, he'd better stay home and go

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into school." She was a very remarkable woman, and after I left Washington there was some very popular play in New York calling for a leading woman, not a young one. And I've forgotten it. She played this lead on the road. He was an awfully nice man, only had one eye. And my father had to brush off people who wanted to put him back in the closet because he had a German name, and Father thought he was a great officer and advanced him. She was a great friend of mine.
CHARLES EAGLES:
So after just spending four years in Washington, you . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Eight.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Now you went to UNC.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I went to UNC in the fall of '18. And I tried to get into the service.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You went to a camp, didn't you, a military camp.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I tried to get into the service and even went to see Newton Baker formally, in his office.
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I asked him to waive my age and let me in. And he was very nice to me but of course didn't do it. And then I went to a camp at Asheville, at the Horner Military School, run by a Canadian named Captain Allen. I'm ashamed to say I don't remember his first name. He had been invalided out of the war. He'd been in the Princess Pat regiment from Canada, and he came to Chapel Hill, a beautiful man and very popular, and he ran what they called a non-SATC at Chapel Hill. But he was the commander of this camp.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Non-SATC, what does that mean?

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JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
SATC was the Student Army Training Corps. And the non-SATC was composed of the boys at Chapel Hill who were too young to get into the Student Army Training Corps. But before I went to Chapel Hill, this summer he ran this camp at Horner's Military School in Asheville. It actually was a part of the University's military operation. And Bill Blount, who was a little older than me, was one of his assistants. He later became president of Liggett and Myers. I don't remember who his other chief instructors were, but I met a lot of the boys I later knew at Chapel Hill at that camp. I came on down to Chapel Hill.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did you like that camp?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, I had a lovely time. And I also fell in love with a girl in Asheville. [Laughter] Which had reached a more passionate stage than my Agnes Scott affair. And I'd go to see her. She was the granddaughter of the federal judge from western North Carolina. Her name was Rollins. They were prominent Republicans up there. [Laughter] But I was very much in love with Elizabeth, my first passionate young affair. Then I went to Chapel Hill. I lived at the house of President Graham. I wouldn't want one of my grandsons to go and live at the President's house. It would sort of separate him, it would seem to me, from the . . . but I didn't feel any sense of separation. I stayed at his house until he died that fall.
CHARLES EAGLES:
This was Edward Kidder Graham.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. We had the influenza epidemic at Chapel Hill, and all the fraternity houses became hospitals, in effect, filled with boys. I was reported to have died in there. I remember that the only doctors

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from the medical school were practicing at that time because there weren't enough doctors and so forth. And I remember I shot more lunch than I ever shot before, and two days later I was well. I think only one boy died, but there were a whole lot of sick kids there.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Worth had preceded you there.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Worth at that time was at Annapolis. He thought that if he was going to have to lose his college career, he'd rather follow a career in the Navy. Later on he got very angry when some cadet there or midshipman intimated that he had gone to Annapolis in order to avoid direct military action. And he got awful damn mad and had a fight. Worth had gone; I was there. I made a lot of friends, particularly some boys from Goldsboro. There was John Norwood and Flip Wooten and Charlie Creech, and Fido Bowen from Greenville. All of them, I think, are dead now, except maybe John Norwood. And when the war ended . . . We had a celebration on the eighth of November with the false armistice. But when the war ended, all the boys in the SATC got a thirty dollar bonus. And we poor boys who'd drilled just as hard in the non-SATC didn't get any, and we felt a great injustice had taken place.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What courses did you take there that you remember particularly?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I remember that Dr. Henry was a delightful fellow. He was really in Latin, but in those days, with the men who had gone off to war, they were substituting around; he taught me trigonometry. I remember I got a "One." And I took English. As a matter of fact, in spite of the fact that I came in with a lot of Confederate money credits, I got all "Ones" that fall. And I could have been on the way to being

Page 54
a Phi Beta Kappa, but I let that go. It wasn't fashionable in my set. [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
What set were you in?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
It's difficult to say.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Because you were kind of between . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I was ambivalent, if you want to use a big word. I was a Deke, and we thought we were, of course, the cream of the earth. But I was not the elegant gentleman that you're supposed to be to become a Gimghoul or Gorgon's Head. I'd begun to move with a group that was working with Koch and the Carolina Playmakers. And I was also a sort of professional dissident. I didn't believe in God. I remember they had a question as to whether boys who had played in semi-pro baseball in the summertime should be regarded as amateurs to play on the team at Chapel Hill. And they put a thing on Patterson's drugstore window, those that thought that was right and those that thought it was wrong. [Laughter] And I don't know now what the justice of the matter was, but I had signed the thing and said it was wrong. So under my name they came along and put "Emma Goldman" and every Socialist in the [unclear]. [Laughter] I was not what you would call a professional fraternity man, but I was a professional fraternity man in that if you were a Deke, they just thought they were God Almighty. And you just thought that anybody who was not a Deke was not in your social class. But I didn't maintain my status enough to join the Gorgon's Head or the Gimghouls.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did fraternities have big parties the way they do now?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, not in the sense that you do now. Gosh, we'd have a

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big feed every year for the boys we wanted to take into the fraternity and so forth. But the notion of having any beer there or allowing any drinking . . . oh, you'd get fired from college for having a drink on campus. It was unheard of, although of course it wasn't wrong at night. But they were just very . . . and the house we had was a very ordinary dwelling, I'll tell you that. Now I got a letter from the Dekes that they have got to raise money for their $148,000 mortgage. I said, [Laughter] "The hell with those guys, because they're too rich for themselves."
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I'd been interested in dramatics at St. Albans, and I got very much interested in the Carolina Playmakers. And I appeared in the first three sets of plays they put on. And there, of course, I met Paul Green and Tom Wolfe and Elizabeth Lay, who became Mrs. Green, and a boy named Albert Oettinger from Wilson. And a professor named Daggett. And then this old Spanish professor named Levitt, who died just a year or so ago. They were helping Koch as professors. Daggett was an electrical engineer, and he tended to all the lighting and so forth. And the plays were put on in the high school. And we thought we were pretty damn good, and I guess it was the beginning of a fairly significant thing in Chapel Hill.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What attracted you about dramatics?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
When I was a little boy, somewhere in the world I had got the phrase that what I was going to be when I got grown was an "actomanager." I was going to manage my plays and play the lead in them. Now where does a child get these big notions about literature and acting

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and poetry? But I'd always been interested in that. And I played in a couple of Tom's plays, along with him in one, and Paul's. All that, of course, is available in those collections of the first Playmaker plays. And I had a wonderful time. And I became a member of the Satyrs, which was composed largely of a group that was entirely different from the Dekes. As a matter of fact, I don't know what you know about fraternities at Chapel Hill now. In those days, there was one called Pi Kappa Phi, I believe, which was composed of all the big men on campus, but none of them were very social figures. And we used to call them the "Dog-Eyes." [Laughter] That's a very snobbish term. And a good many of those were in the Satyrs. Dan Grant, who was editor of the Tar Heel just before I was editor, was in there. And George Denny, who became a radio impresario or whatever you call them. It was the literary sort of group. Willie Horner, who later ran the papers in Sanford, North Carolina, was one. An interesting group of people. And we enjoyed it. And I would go to Raleigh. In those days there was a man named Bull Durham who ran a touring car; they called it a bus. And we'd ride to Raleigh. And golly, it was cold some of the nights. And go to dances. Subscription dances seemed to be quite the thing at that time. And sometimes we'd get a little tight.
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
It was a very good time.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What about professors?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Well, I said Old Man Henry was one of the sweetest persons I know. I took trigonometry under him, but he was a Latin teacher actually. He was a good teacher. I liked Johnny Booker very much.

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He was an English professor. I think a man named Thornton, who later went to one of the New York publishing houses, was an instructor in English that I took English under.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Archibald Henderson, did you have him?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, I didn't ever have Archibald. I knew Archibald somehow; I don't know exactly how. [unclear] a little later than that freshman year.
CHARLES EAGLES:
This is any time during your time there.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Greenlaw was the greatest professor there then. He was an English professor. I had a couple of courses under him. And he was the head of the English Department and later went on to Hopkins.
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE B]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
. . . belts and one of these black bow ties. I've drawn a portrait of him in the description of Tom Wolfe's funeral in the Tar Heel. Hibbard was a good man in English. J. Holly Hanford was another good one in English. But I loved Johnny Booker. He was a very proper . . . well, I would have described him as a proper Bostonian; he was a Baltimorean, I think. But he was an awfully nice person under a certain pomposity.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Were you a pretty serious student?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I was when I was interested. I early developed, which is both a virtue and a vice, the ability to cram. I could loaf through a course, and then in the last week before examinations cram like hell and get it pretty quick. I don't suppose I really savored the mixture

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that to me, but I got it in my head enough to pass the exams all right. I was a sort of serious student, but I was doing more reading outside of classes than in classes. I must have been a terrible strain on the library. I remember that before I graduated, [Laughter] I had to pay about ten dollars in fines for books I'd kept out overdue.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What kind of things were you reading, mainly fiction?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Mainly fiction and poetry. I belonged to the group that read Vanity Fair and The Smart Set, which were the new sophisticated young man. The F. Scott Fitzgerald generation, the Mencken period. And it was there, I think, that I fell in love particularly with a very . . . I don't ever hear him mentioned anymore, an Englishman named Norman Douglas, who wrote a book called South Wind and a great deal about life in Italy. And I read pretty widely, Arnold Bennett. If you had named it then, I had read it. [Laughter]
I might as well come to my sins. At Chapel Hill my name was "Dice Daniels." I was the leading crapshooter on the campus, and I had a reputation which I do not think was justified as a man who could just call the numbers and [Laughter] sing to them. And I did in those days; I'd get down and croon and sing and name them with all the names out of the folklore of craps. And I shot a lot of dice.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Make much money that way?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I must have, but I don't remember that I was very far ahead. The only time I really got far ahead was when I stopped. Oh, it must have been half a dozen years later. I was in New York, and a friend of my brother-in-law there, Noble Cathcart and I, met Ogden

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Nash and a couple of fellows on the street, up about Fifty-Seventh Street. And Oggie said, "Come on in and have a nightcap." So we got in, and somebody got out a pair of dice and I began to play. This was in the middle of the Depression. And I had those fellows in debt to me in the hundreds of dollars.
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Well, nobody among us had a hundred dollars. [Laughter] And so then it became a time that, as a gentleman, you had to lose money back. And I tried and tried to lose, and I got them deeper and deeper in debt. And finally I did get down to where they were only ten or twelve dollars behind, and I stopped, and I have never played dice since. But that was excruciating. It was a time when you were winning, and you knew they couldn't afford to win and you couldn't afford to let them win, but you couldn't help it. [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
You passed up a good career.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Maybe so, [Laughter] I don't know, but I haven't gambled since.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Was your life in Chapel Hill fairly well divided among the people you gambled with and were in the fraternity with, and then the people you were in Playmakers with?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I suppose you might say so, but actually people don't divide their lives. It's sort of like a fringe; you are this today and with that tomorrow. I remember once some of the boys stole some cannabis indigo, which I think is hashish, from the medical school. And a couple of us agreed to take it and let the others observe us as we went into our drug whatever-it-was, hallucinations. And nothing

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ever happened. That was one of our little adventures.
CHARLES EAGLES:
But you did try it?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. I remember I lay on the bed. And I have a hunch that a good part of my hallucinations were for the benefit of my audience, rather than . . . [Laughter] And oh, what we drank in those days. Lord have mercy.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Mostly moonshine?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, corn whiskey. I shudder to think of it. I had a friend named Jack Joyner from down east, who later went to Statesville, a young lawyer, and killed himself there; I never knew why. And I remember his saying, "Well, if it's wood alcohol, drain the splinters out and we'll drink it." [Laughter] And we used to make something. There's a stuff called sweet spirits of niter, which is, I think, used in kidney ailments. But it's alcohol and niter. And niter has a lower boiling point than alcohol, so we learned to fill a basin full of boiling water and run this through, and it would boil off the niter and the rest would be alcohol in water. And that's another of our drinks. Gosh, the stuff we drank. How we lived through it. No, I don't think I was a model citizen during my whole career at Chapel Hill, by any means. [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
You never got into trouble, though.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, I got put on probation once for drinking.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What did your father say about that?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He never knew, [Laughter] and as far as I know even in Heaven he'll never know now. Boy.
CHARLES EAGLES:
How did you get caught?

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JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I slipped down on the dance floor. And somebody reported me. And then some of my friends, of course, testified that I had one drink but I wasn't drunk at all, you know; it was just a borderline case. And so they put me on probation.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What did that mean? You couldn't go off campus or something?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
If I misbehaved again, I was out. That's what that did.
CHARLES EAGLES:
So you had to toe the line a while.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
At that time I was managing editor of the Tar Heel, and the Student Council came up with a statement that two or three students had been put on probation for drinking, but didn't name them, thank God. But I had to print it. [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
How did you get involved with the Tar Heel?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I was fooling with it. Then it came as a sort of a surprise to me. I think my brother Worth was to some extent responsible. I was at the meeting in Gerrard Hall one day, and Lee Overman Gregory—he was a grandson of Senator Overman, an awful nice boy—and he got up and nominated me for managing editor. Well, I don't suppose I really was entitled to it, but I went out friends and politicked for it and beat Willie Horner, who was my opponent, and became managing editor.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Had you been working on the paper before that?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Slightly, yes. But I think Horner really deserved it, but I had the political connection with the upper world and the lower world. [Laughter] And in that way I became managing editor and worked like a dog.

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CHARLES EAGLES:
Who was editor when you were managing editor?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Dan Grant. Tom Wolfe had been the editor, then Dan Grant, and then me. And a boy named Philip Hettleman, who has later become a very rich man in the stock market in New York, was business manager. As the thing ran in those days, the business manager made all the profit, and the others didn't get anything. And Philip made a pretty good thing out of it, but we worked like dogs. It came out twice a week for the first time. Printed in Burlington.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You had to go up there twice a week then.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes.
CHARLES EAGLES:
How did you get back and forth?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
In a car. Somebody would bum the car. There weren't many cars on campus. But in some ways we got the transportation up there. I wouldn't remember exactly.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did that please your father, that you . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I suppose it did. I don't remember his writing me anything about it. My father then, he was still in Washington, you see, a pretty busy man. And then I decided to graduate in three years, and I did. Then I came back. I wanted to be editor, so I took an M.A. and was editor while I was getting my M.A.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What were the burning issues on campus then?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I remember we had one real terrible thing, really. The police arrested a group of whores in the ATO house. It came up into court, and the Tar Heel and got a story about it. And what was his name, Ervin, he's a brother of Senator Sam Ervin, was the biggest

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politician on campus at that time, and he was in ATO. And he came to me and said, "Now you can't print that in the Tar Heel. That will do great injury to the University, which is at this moment trying to get appropriation for more money and so forth, and it would be a great injury to the University if you printed it." Of course, he was interested because he was in ATO. "Well," I said, "I think we've got to print it." We finally agreed to go to see President Chase about it. We went to see Chase, and Ervin stated his case and I stated mine. And Chase said, "It happened, didn't it?" And Ervin said, "Yes." And he said, "Well, I think Jonathan should print it." I always had great affection for Chase after that. And so we printed it. Oh, lots of issues, but I don't remember any of them particularly. We had a good time.
CHARLES EAGLES:
How did you happen to write the M.A. thesis that you did?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Middle Western Literature in the United States. At that time, all the literature in the United States was coming out of the Middle West. It was the period of Carl Sandburg and Edgar Lee Masters, and there was a great outburst around Chicago and all through the Middle West. And I'd been reading everything, and I'd been reading all of these people, so I decided to write. And then I wrote it under a professor, a nice guy, very elevated, esoteric . . . I'll have to remember his name later. That's one of the things that happens to you when you get a little old. And I wrote it, and sometimes I've wanted to go back and see it. I took the orals for my M.A., and it became very clear early that my knowledge of English and literature was very spotty. I knew everything about this, and nothing about that.
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter]

Page 64
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
So I rather flunked the first oral.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You did flunk it.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. But they said, "We want you to come back and take it again." So apparently my thesis had very much impressed them, and I did better on the second and came through and got my M.A. But during that year, at some times I felt like leaving college, because I'd fallen desperately in love. And I wanted to go to work and get married.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Let's don't leave the thesis yet. We'll get to your love in a minute. In your thesis, one of the points you make, I think, is the greater realism in the very recent literature in the Midwest. And you seemed to like that and appreciate it, and criticized the earlier sentimentality.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, yes, all of us in that period in America were rather critical of the sugar and cinnamon of the earlier American literature. And I was, too. I still think that Spoon River is one of the real great American books. And Sandburg's poetry, and I'd have to check all the rest, but I did do a pretty good thesis, I think. I'd like to look at it someday and see.
CHARLES EAGLES:
It's in Chapel Hill.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Have you ever looked at it?
CHARLES EAGLES:
I sure have.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Any good?
CHARLES EAGLES:
Yes.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
So that was that. I remember writing it sitting at a little house that Bob Gray, who's now editor or editor emeritus of the Fayetteville

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newspaper, the Observer, and I lived out on the edge of town. One of the stories they told about me is—I've heard a lot of stories—that I bought a bicycle just to go back and forth. And that it was fine until it got a puncture, and then I just put the bicycle aside and walked, and never got it fixed. [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
Who had you fallen in love with?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I fell in love with a girl named Elizabeth Bridgers from Raleigh. One of the few times that sobriety has been a great help to me. I was not drinking at all at the next dances, and I met her. And we sat up down at Mrs. Battle's. I don't know whether you'd know where Mrs. Battle's is. It's down back of the President's house, a big, old house, and it was a boarding house. And we sat and talked all night long. We were the young enchanted, you know. And I fell very much in love with her. She was going to Smith.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You had not known her in Raleigh then.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, I hadn't. You see, I hadn't lived in Raleigh very much then. And I fell in love with her and stayed in love with her.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What did her parents do? What was her background?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Her grandfather had been president of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. They called it in those days the Wilmington and Weldon. Then it was bought by Harry Walters and other capitalists from New York, but they kept him on as president. And her father had been a railroad builder. He built some of that twisting stuff down from Asheville to the foot of the mountains. And he died when she was just a little child. And her mother had moved to Boston to become a Christian Science practitioner. You see, Mary Baker Eddy had a period

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in Wilmington, North Carolina, where the Bridgers came from. And she'd been a great friend there of one of Robert Rufus Bridgers's daughters. And through her, my mother-in-law-to-be came into Christian Science, and they moved to Boston where she took her Christian Science practitioner's practice. And she had come back to Raleigh then; that's where I met her.
CHARLES EAGLES:
How did she get over to Chapel Hill to that dance?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
She was there with somebody else; I don't know. [Laughter] But we used to have late dates in those days.
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I had a late date with her that lasted very late. She was a lovely girl.
CHARLES EAGLES:
She was at Smith College then.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes.
CHARLES EAGLES:
When you finished your graduate work at Carolina, when you got your M.A., what did you do? Did you go straight to law school in New York then?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, I went to Louisville and worked as a police reporter.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Whose idea was it for you to go to Louisville?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I suppose it was sort of a family idea, because my mother's cousin, Judge Robert Bingham, owned the Louisville paper, and I went out there as a sort of an apprentice. I stayed out there during the summer and made some fascinating contacts, and it was a pretty lively crowd. I graduated in '21; I was a little over nineteen. And there was a friend of my father's named Judge Callahan who was a great

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Prohibitionist, and he had a daughter and a son who were definitely not great Prohibitionists. [Laughter] And Judge Bingham had a daughter named Henrietta. And we used to have some pretty great times. But I got up at six o'clock every morning and called all the little police stations around the county and did all this and worked hard. And I remember one of the things I . . . it was recalled to me the other day, a horrible thing, when I read about somebody getting doctors to give him dope. This is a terrible memory; it's the crime of my life. Bum Callahan and I found an old Confederate soldier who was a doctor. He was too old to do anything in the world, but every month he got a liquor prescription book. So every month we bought his liquor prescription book. [Laughter] That was a horrible thing. When you think of it in connection with the dope racket, it makes you feel like a member of the Mafia. I lived at the YMCA, and always have hated the YMCA ever since. They were always getting a present up for a departing YMCA secretary. And I must have been a very unwelcome guest because I'd come in every night along about one or two o'clock, usually kind of crocked. [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
How long were you out there?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
About three months.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You worked for Arthur Krock out there, didn't you?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, Arthur Krock was the managing editor of the Times. And he took me, I remember, to a prize fight, and I remember how impressed I was. I went by his office to see him one day. He was sitting in there with a perfectly bare desk, reading a book. To me, it was the picture of the glamorous newspaperman who had attained the position where he'd just read a book while the world went on. [Laughter]

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CHARLES EAGLES:
Somebody else was out doing the legwork.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. [Laughter] He was very nice to me, Arthur was.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did you get to know Colonel Bingham, too? The owner of the paper.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, he was my mother's cousin.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Oh, so you'd known him all along.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, and so I would often go out to his place on River Road. I remember him as one of the last people I remember who would pour his coffee into his saucer and let it cool and drink it that way. It was very elegant, the way he did it.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You got to know Barry then, too, I guess.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Barry was a little younger then, but I got to know him then. Knew him better later. It was a very interesting experience. I remember covering a suicide who had lost all his money on the Kentucky Derby, and all sorts of queer little people that came into the basement of the City Hall. It was an impressive apprenticeship.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did you do much writing there?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
That's one of the things that practically killed me. When I first got there, I was a Master of Arts of the University of North Carolina. And the first story I turned in got cut down to about that size.
CHARLES EAGLES:
About an inch.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. [Laughter] I thought the newspaper business must be going to hell, to miss this wonderful [unclear]. [Laughter] But I had a good time there, and I made friends and I got along well with

Page 69
my bosses, and I worked hard.
CHARLES EAGLES:
So what did you do then in the fall of '22?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I remember coming back by Beech, North Carolina, where my girl lived in the summertime. They had a little cabin way up in the mountains. And my father was very anxious for me to take law. He had a feeling that every newspaperman, whether he was going to be a lawyer or not, ought to know his law and so forth. And Babs, my girl, at that time had dropped out of Smith and was going to New York to study art. Well, I saw the possible conjunction of my going to Columbia, while she was studying art, and so I entered the Columbia School of Law and lived down on Thirtieth Street with a boy named Bill Lippfert from Winston-Salem. Very smart boy. He died not long after from peritonitis in an emergency appendix. And Henry Cole, who was a North Carolinian but was living in New York then. We lived upstairs in a brownstone over a poet named Charles Hanson Towne, I remember. And he was really the man of letters. And he looked with some . . . well, I don't know whether "disdain" is the word [unclear] but he was very nice. And I went to Columbia, but I lived on Thirtieth Street, and I was much more interested in the theater than I was in the law. And so that's where some of my money went. Every nights Babs and I would have dinner together, and then we would go Gray's Drugstore, in the basement of which they had a place where theater tickets were sold. At the last minute the theaters that hadn't sold all their tickets sent their tickets over to Gray's Drugstore, this place down below, and they sold them at cut-rate prices. And so, by going almost

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every night, we saw almost every show that appeared in New York. And Babs didn't have any money, and so that's what happened to Father's bank account. And that's what happened to my course at Columbia. I flunked every course that I took, every one. I never flunked anything before in my life.
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
But I still wanted to get married, and it was sort of an implied condition that when I finished law, okay, I could get married. So I came back to Chapel Hill, and I went in what they called the review course of twelve weeks. Well, all the other boys were reviewing, [Laughter] but I was studying, as we lawyers say, de novo.
CHARLES EAGLES:
First time through.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, and this was when my cramming ability was . . . I worked about sixteen hours a day, and I passed the bar exam in the top of the class.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Back at Columbia, who was in your class?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I always was wondering, because Tom Dewey was supposed to be in my class, so I met Tom Dewey one day at a Gridiron dinner. And I said, "Look here, how does it happen that here you and I were in the same class at Columbia, and I never met you?" It turned out that he took his first year of law in some western university, and only came to Columbia in his second year, and I was there the first year and didn't come back the second year. He's the only very distinguished man I knew was in that class, and I didn't know him there at all.
CHARLES EAGLES:
So you had a good time in New York, whether you . . .

Page 71
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, I had a wonderful time. If I could change it for all A's, I wouldn't have changed it.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did you see more of the Roosevelts when you were in New York?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I had a very funny experience there. My father would come to New York, and he always went around to see Franklin. Of course, Roosevelt was then recovering from polio. And he took me around with him. And Mrs. Roosevelt was very anxious at that time for the President to see people, particularly young people. So she asked me to bring my roommates up for Sunday night supper. Well, I took the message back, and Billy Carmichael was living there, too. Billy Carmichael was very much in love with a girl in Philadelphia, and the only time he had a chance to see her was Sunday night, so he said, "No, I can't go." And I don't know what about Lippfert, but Henry Cole said, "Look here, Jonathan, I'm on my make here in New York and trying to get somewhere, and I haven't got any time to waste with a has-been." [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
You went to dinner.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I went to dinner, and I've kidded Henry about that ever since. [Laughter]
CHARLES EAGLES:
What about Bernard Baruch?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I don't remember seeing much of Mr. Baruch that year. As a matter of fact, after Washington and the very great kindness he showed me then and all that, I'd never seen much of him until I went to Washington in World War II, although my father saw him pretty regularly, and the family friendship remained.
CHARLES EAGLES:
I ran across a letter from you to your mother, I think, in your

Page 72
father's papers in which the gist of it was that you didn't mind the black students in your class at Columbia, but you really had a hard time putting up with the pushy Jews. Were there blacks in your class?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, yes, and they were all perfectly nice boys. But I'm not anti-Semitic . . .
CHARLES EAGLES:
No, I . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Now, wait a minute, I want to tell you. There were some of those boys . . . you see, you'd be assigned to go to certain cases, so some of those Jewish boys would get around a table and get all the books out and keep them there until all of them had finished with all the books. And that created some prejudice, I might say. That was my antipathy to the Jews.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Where did the black students come from?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I don't know. I didn't know many of them, and they were perfectly acceptable and pleasant boys, but I didn't know them very well. I was more interested in those days in being a Socialist than in being a savior of the black race. I thought I was going to be a Socialist.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What kept you from being a Socialist?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I became a newspaperman, and so nothing, but . . . then I came back and I was naturally an underdog-supporting man, and I felt the Democratic Party . . . despite the fact I got it largely by tradition, I'm sure, but also I believed in the tradition, and so I became a Democrat from then on, and still am.
CHARLES EAGLES:
You left New York and came back to Chapel Hill, and then you

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passed the bar exam.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
And got married.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Finally your father consented to marriage.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. A funny thing, my brother Worth and I got married in the same week, so the family had to go to Baltimore for one wedding, and Raleigh for the other. And got married and went to work on the News and Observer as a reporter. And stayed there until 1926, I think it was, when I went to Washington as the News and Observer's Washington correspondent.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What did you do for the three years you worked in the News and Observer in Raleigh? What kind of work—
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 3, SIDE A]
CHARLES EAGLES:
—how you weren't treated like the boss's boy when you went back to Raleigh.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Well, I was quite competent. First I went there in the summer to do sports, and I was quite competent. I did my work all right, and I wasn't pushed forward until, I guess, there was a certain partiality in giving me the Washington correspondent's job. That was pushing the boss's son forward, I'm sure, although I was perfectly competent to do that. I was a good newspaperman. I was a presentable young man. There was a woman named Nell Battle Lewis who was quite a character in North Carolina. You ever heard of her?
CHARLES EAGLES:
Yes.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
And she wrote in her column about me, "There's a young

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Adonis writing sports." [Laughter] I was a pretty nice-looking boy, and I worked hard. I don't think that I've ever but twice gotten any special treatment because I was the boss's son. Although everybody, of course, knew that Father hoped that one day I would succeed him. But I worked right along with everybody and carried my part of the boat. And one of the two times I ever took advantage of being the boss's son was when he sent me to Washington, and I'm sure that, if I hadn't been his son, he might have found an older man. I was at that time just twenty-four years old. But I had gone with him and covered the Democratic National Convention in 1924, which was the great convention to end all conventions. And the second time when I was given the advantage of being the boss's son, I seized it myself. When he was becoming Ambassador to Mexico, I'd written a book, I'd had a Guggenheim, I'd had a good job on Fortune magazine and come back to Raleigh. And as he was leaving, I don't think he wanted to . . . there was Frank Smethurst, who was a damn good newspaperman and in the normal course might have been made editor. But, as we had this family conclave before he left, I said, "I'm going to be editor, or I'm going back to New York." Now I was qualified for it, but I wasn't going to be hanging around to be the successor and not be it. So I insisted. He had some little doubts, I suspect, about my judgment, as to whether I might go a little wild. But I insisted that I was going to be editor or else.
CHARLES EAGLES:
When you first came back then, for those first three years, did you just write sports?

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JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, no, I wrote mostly police. I covered some of the important murder cases. There was the Cole murder case down in Rockingham. This very Puritanical cotton mill owner had shot a young man who was in love with his daughter, and it was a very, very sensational murder case. I covered that and a number of other cases of that sort. I'd done a good deal of important news coverage, as well as a lot of trivia. On the News and Observer at that time, nobody could just write the top story; they had to write obituaries and personals and every sort of thing. No, I never think I got advantages that I wasn't qualified to take.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did you ever write any columns or write any editorials?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Well, once, some time later after I came back from Washington, I wrote a column which was mostly based on odd items in North Carolina news or history, for several years, while doing other work, too. When I came back from Washington, here's where my father took advantage of me. [Laughter] He was writing his autobiography, and so he wanted me to help him write it. So he took me off of much of my regular reporting to help him write his autobiography. In that period I also wrote the novel that I wrote, and at the same time I wrote the column. I wasn't on any regular news assignment while I was working on the book for Father. And we did a pretty good job. And Lucy did almost all the proofreading and stuff on Father's book, and that was between the Washington period and New York, before I went to the paper to be editor.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Who else was working on the paper when you were there in '23 and '4 and '5?

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JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Nell Battle Lewis and Smethurst. Smethurst was the man who, more than any other, brought the News and Observer into what I described as "modern journalism." It wasn't these long stories. It was quite a change, and he was a damn excellent newspaperman. I think he's the best managing newsman I've ever known. Then he had Nell Battle Lewis, who was a character. And then there were two men on the paper—there were others, of course, but these two—there was Robert E. Williams, called "Fleet", and there was Ben Dixon McNeill. And Father said of them that if he'd send McNeill out, he'd get all the story and no facts; and if he sent Fleet, he'd get all the facts and no story. Both of them were good newspapermen, although McNeill was crazy as hell. He got himself a Dusenberg and rode all over and finally just drove himself out of his job. He just didn't send his copy in, and all of a sudden, after two or three weeks, Smethurst just took him off the payroll. Funny guy.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What did he wind up doing?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He wound up down on the coast of North Carolina, and he wrote a book. He was always the fellow who had just gotten a hurried request from the Saturday Evening Post to write him to send me some articles, and always had some big thing that never came off. But finally he wrote a book called The Hatterasman. It's a pretty good book.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What kind of person was Nell Battle Lewis?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
You've got to say what period you're talking about.
CHARLES EAGLES:
She went through a change, didn't she?

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JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. She was a very good and humorous newspaperwoman. Wrote a column called "Incidentally." Then she went crazy, to be frank about it, and then she recovered. But in her recovery she became the damnedest Joe McCarthy you ever saw in your life. She hated Jews and niggers and you know . . . she became as reactionary as they are allowed to live.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Do you mean that she actually was mentally ill?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
She had been committed.
CHARLES EAGLES:
When was this?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I would think that was in the late '20s. She'd been an excellent reporter. She'd done a lot of good stuff on the trial of the communists at Gastonia, and she was a great liberal. My golly, she blew all the horns. And then, in a sort of a sea change, she came back and hated everything that was different from the old patterns. And she was a racist, and not merely directing at blacks; Jews, foreigners. She was sort of entrenched in her column, and you don't fire somebody who's got a following like that. And once or twice I tried to say something. She wrote about the Jews that were ruining Chapel Hill and the University. And I just tried to quiet her down, and I know that in the process she just thought I was pretty much of a dictator. But I'd let her go as far as you could, and then sometime she'd blow the top off the tent.
CHARLES EAGLES:
When did she finally stop writing for the News and Observer?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I would think about in '36 or '7. As a young woman, she was really a comer and quite a liberal in letters as well as in politics.

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A great Menckenite. They were the principal reporters in those days.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Mencken had an effect on you in the twenties?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I read Smart Set regularly at Chapel Hill. Yes, I was a part of the generation that was affected by him. I don't know the date of the Sahara of the Beaux Arts. When was that, do you know? When he said the South was just the last place in the world . . .
CHARLES EAGLES:
I would say '22 or '24, something like that.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, I sort of applauded that, because I thought he was shooting at the characters on the scene that I didn't care for.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did you ever meet him?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, I met him at a couple of political conventions, but I never knew Mencken well. I met [Heywood] Broun in 1924 and knew him a little bit better. Mencken I never knew well. I would like to have known him, but I didn't ever have any opportunity to.
CHARLES EAGLES:
In '26, then, you went to Washington.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I went to Washington as Washington correspondent of the News and Observer.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did you work for any other papers?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
The Winston-Salem Journal I had, too. And I did all right, and we had some good stories and stuff like that. It was coming along all right. And then my father got interested in writing his autobiography. I came back to help him, and I worked to a certain extent on the paper. And I was working with him until I got my novel written.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did he know you were writing that novel all along?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I'm sure he did, yes. But I mean I didn't read the

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chapters to him as I came along.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Was the subject matter a surprise to him ever?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I would suspect that it was, because it was this thing I knew he would be a little touchy about, and I didn't go into it. And I got that book written about '28 and started sending it around. And finally, it was Amy Loveman who liked it and got it placed with the publisher. And then between its acceptance and its publication, my wife died, and that was a terribly traumatic experience for me.
CHARLES EAGLES:
She died about Christmas, I believe.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Just the seventeenth of December.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Was she sick?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Died in childbirth. And so I was all torn up. Her people, her mother and two sisters . . .
CHARLES EAGLES:
Bridgers, this is.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
. . . were moving to New York, and I went along.
CHARLES EAGLES:
They were moving anyway.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes. And first I got a . . . [Laughter] Talking about this book, somebody had made a contract on a book on Arctic exploration. There was great interest in Arctic exploration then. Dick Byrd was coming back from the Antarctic and so forth. So they got this man to write them a book, and it was impossible when they got it. And so they paid me to rewrite it and do the book. Then Amy Loveman called up Harry Luce and told him I was a man he ought to have on their new magazine Fortune. And so I went to work for Fortune in January, I guess.
CHARLES EAGLES:
'30s.

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JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, '30s. And stayed there and did all right.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What kind of things did you write for them? I looked the other day; the articles aren't signed.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No. I wrote one, I remember, on cows.
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
There was a series of pictures of the great artists and their pictures of cows and so forth. And I remember going to see an expert cattleman and showing him the pictures that were drawn by the great artists, and I remember he said they were "canners." They weren't worth anything but just to make canned meat out of, he said. [Laughter] I wrote a piece about Grigsby-Grunow, who were a great flash in the pan in radio, which was coming along. And one about Georgia peaches. And then in, I guess, March or April, I got this Guggenheim Fellowship, for which, I must say, I think Amy was again responsible. Amy was my good angel.
CHARLES EAGLES:
How did you originally meet her?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Through Noble Cathcart, Lucy's brother.
CHARLES EAGLES:
When did you meet these people?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Noble Cathcart was a friend of Virginia Royster, who lived in Raleigh. Her father was a surgeon there, and the Roysters and the Danielses were great friends. And Noble came by there to see her; I met him.
CHARLES EAGLES:
In Raleigh.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
In Raleigh. And then I suppose the next thing was that he gave the book to Amy, and Amy was enthusiastic about it and gave it

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to a publisher, and it was printed, and then I got a Guggenheim the same year Tom Wolfe got his Guggenheim, and went abroad and lived abroad there.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Your daughter went with you, I believe.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did any of the Bridgers go?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, yes. Now in the meantime, Ann Bridgers, my sister-in-law, had, in collaboration with George Abbott, written a play called Coquette, in which Helen Hayes played the lead, which many thought was based on my reporting of the Cole murder case. I don't know that it was. She always said it wasn't, but it's almost the identical story. Which was a great success. And so when I got the Guggenheim, well, this is not a very gallant thing to say, but the Bridgers women wanted my child, you see, just a very natural loyalty. And so I moved in as the male appendage in a group of single women, with my child. And we all went abroad together. I had a nice time on Fortune. Harry Luce was a good boss.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What kind of guy was he?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He was a very nice guy. He was very brusque, but not bad. After I came back and had worked there about a year again, I came in and told him that Lucy and I had gotten married, and I thought the best thing for me to do was to go back South to the paper. And he said, "Why, don't do that. Can't you wait till fall, because I'm going abroad and Lila [that was his wife at the time] is going abroad, and Kennedy [he was another writer on Fortune] is going off, and So-and-so is going off.

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Can't you stay here?" And I said, "Hell, I haven't got any place to live." "Oh," Harry said, "that's no problem. We're going to be gone. You can have our house, and all you've got to do is pay the servants." [Laughter] Well, it didn't take me long to figure that the servants would cost more than he was paying me. But he was sort of naive in ways like that. But he was a generous boss and a damned intelligent boss. I didn't agree with his politics at all. But he was a pretty nice guy.
CHARLES EAGLES:
What kind of magazine did he want Fortune to be then?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
What it was. Any magazine he ran was the magazine he wanted. About once a year he'd come in and completely take over the editorship of Time and Fortune, and he had a couple of others, Architectural Forum . . . he would in fact edit it. And he had ideas. There are certain things about great editors. You hear a lot about their going out and getting somebody to make a poll of what people are interested in and so forth. Harry Luce and Lorimer of the Saturday Evening Post knew what they were interested in, and it turned out that what they were interested in, enough other people were interested in.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Who else worked on that, Dwight MacDonald, did you know him?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Dwight MacDonald was there, yes. He was just a nice guy who did pretty good work. I didn't know anything about his Socialistic leanings at that time. A very able fellow named Kennedy; I wonder what ever happened to him. And two or three others of less significance in my memory.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Roy Larsen, did you know?

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JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, I knew Roy, but Roy was not in Editorial; he was in Circulation. And Roy was a good friend. He'd been a good friend of Noble Cathcart's. It's funny. Time magazine kind of halfway grew up in Lucy's house, in that Roy had gone to college with Noble, and these boys wouldn't have a dime, and Roy would stay out there at the Cathcart house. And they had their offices in the same offices as the Saturday Review of Literature, of which Noble was publisher. That's where Amy had known Harry so well. They kind of grew up together. And we were in a little place where they didn't have much editorial space over on East Forty-Second Street. When I came back from Europe and went to work for them, they'd moved to the Chrysler Building, then on to a building of their own.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Your novel came out in the spring of '30.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
The spring of '30, and I went to Europe that same spring.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Was there ever much reaction to that novel? Not critical reaction, but reaction to what you were doing in the novel, from your father?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
As a matter of fact, when he finally read the book, he wired me that it was full of action and fire. That was the sort of thing my father would do. No, he didn't ever condemn it after it appeared.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did anybody else criticize it in that way?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
It sort of plagued me a little bit in North Carolina politics. Some years later they brought it up that I had written this atheistical novel about things, and tried to bring it against me when I was running for national committeeman. No, not much. No great pointing to danger.

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When I was in college, though, Cam Morrison . . . as I told you, they thought of atheism in those days much as they later thought of communism at Chapel Hill. And old Cam Morrison was saying, "That Daniels boy is over there destroying the faith of all the boys at Chapel Hill." [Laughter] There was that feeling about my religious views, which were very young and seem to me far away now.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Your views have changed from then?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, very definitely. Yes, I would say I was pretty much a conformist Christian now. I don't mean to say that I believe in all the folderol, and I think that some of the attitude toward God is that which would have been given to an oriental potentate and stuff like that. But I'm a pretty religious man.
CHARLES EAGLES:
When did you change? Did you go to church when you were . . .
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
When I was a little boy, I remember when Billy Sunday came to Washington. I got converted every time they'd open the door of the tent.
CHARLES EAGLES:
[Laughter] Did your parents take you to Billy Sunday?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, yes, my father was a great Billy Sunday supporter in Washington. He had prayer services at our house.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Billy Sunday did.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did you go to revivals when you were little in Raleigh?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Not in Raleigh, but in Washington. They had a big tabernacle down by the Union Terminal, and yes, I went, and got converted. You see, interest in religion, even when you call yourself an atheist,

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is an interest in religion, atheism, of course, being the most dogmatic position anybody could take, much more dogmatic than that of a conforming Christian. Because he says he knows damn well there is no God, you see, which is, of course, an untenable position for anybody to take. So I think that maybe my, if you could describe it as revolt, was in itself a sort of a religious fascination. I've always been fascinated with the underdog. This book about Littlefield that I wrote. My addiction to Aaron Burr. The fallen angel is, I suppose, the motive figure of my whole interest in the world and life before me, and I don't know why that should be so.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Do you see the South as a fallen angel?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
You could make out a case for that, but there again you would be building up that image of the South as the image of Tara and the wonders of Virginia. Well, of course, the South never was an aristocratic Athens, and most of the people have been just plain folks like they are now. They had to suffer with it, but they weren't . . . I guess Charleston regarded itself as the land of the fallen angels. Yes, you can make a case for the South as a fallen angel.
CHARLES EAGLES:
The same kind of underdog, whether fallen angel or not.
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
It's the sense of the improperly defeated, the hero that's been cast down. Well, you can cast the South in that model if you want to. And you could certainly make out the abolitionist as the strict fundamentalist striking at the illuminating God. You could do that all right. Funny thing, the South hated the religious carpetbaggers more than they did the looting carpetbaggers. The people who came

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down here and were going to tell us what was the right way to live and so forth. That's hard to bear. You can watch somebody steal and maybe help participate in it, but the people who can tell you just how much better they know how to live than you do are hard to take. [Laughter] That was the case in Reconstruction.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Where were you in 1929 when the stock market crashed? Were you in Raleigh then?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Yes, I must have been.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did the Depression itself have a big impact on you?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
The paper was just struggling along, of course. No, the Depression really didn't, because I went to New York and got a job on Fortune in late '29 or early '30. And I think I got a hundred dollars a week. Well, a hundred dollars a week in the early days of the Depression was damn good money, so I wasn't hurt. And then when I went abroad, all of my Guggenheim . . . I noticed the other day that they're now paying $13,000 to a Guggenheim scholar. We got $2,500. But I had all the money I wanted in Paris, because everything over there was cheaper than over here. And then I came back to Fortune, and then when I came back to Raleigh, we were in a mood of euphoria with the election of Roosevelt. And after that, financially the paper had a struggle. There wasn't any sense of our being down on our backs. I'm sure my father had a tough time in the first days of the . . . but you must remember that the Depression in the South began almost in 1921 with the prices of agricultural products and so forth. [Laughter] So we were either used to it, or, as I was, kind of pulled above it by my pay as a writer on Fortune.

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CHARLES EAGLES:
You said in Europe the money you had was quite sufficient. What did you do with it? What did you do with yourself in Europe for a year?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I had a big time, a lovely time. My former roommate at college, who should have been a great artist, was over there studying art.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Who is that?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Clem Strudwick from Hillsborough. And he was over there studying art, and I spent a lot of time at the Coupole and the Dome, and the Dingback, which was a dive behind them. And I drank a good deal and, being a bachelor, I naggled and philandered as much as I wanted to. [Laughter] I found the going pretty good. And lived well. But it's a very strange thing what you do. All my friends here when they go abroad, of course, they have bathrooms and suites. Hell, I never saw a private bathroom [Laughter] from the time I left New York till I got back. We didn't live on any such elegant levels.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did you spend all your time in Paris?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, I spent about a third in Paris and a third in Switzerland and a third in Italy. I lived in a place right next to Montreux called Vevey in Switzerland. And then we went to Florence. There was a funny thing happened. I wasn't doing very well with the book I was trying to write, although it's still got ideas in it. But a cartoon came out in The New Yorker while I was over there of this American and a drinking companion at a table in a sidewalk cafe. And one of them was saying to the other, "Mr. Guggenheim's going to be awful mad with me." [Laughter]

Page 88
CHARLES EAGLES:
What was the book you were writing?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I was writing a book about, the idea was a sort of a satiric effort to reestablish the Confederacy. A new secession on an artistic and intellectual basis. It had some virtues, but it didn't come off.
CHARLES EAGLES:
If it had come off, what would it have told us?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Well, it would have been a sort of a satiric play against so much of this southern business of "we're going to rise again" and so forth, which I didn't believe and I didn't want. A satire of southern pretensions more than anything else.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Something Mencken would have liked?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I think so, yes.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Would your father have liked that?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I doubt it. But I don't know; my father was very funny. If it had been a good book, he'd have liked it. If his boy had written a good book . . . it's a funny thing. Even though he might not approve of all it said, if it was a success and a good book, he would be glad his son had written it.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did he share your view of the old South, of Civil War Reconstruction?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
As a southern editor, oh, he was always ready to pay his deference to the thinning line of gray and all that sort of thing, and my mother's family with all their badges and so forth. But he had no sense of being a part of that glamour heritage of the South. The mansions and the slaves and so forth. There hadn't been any of that in his background.

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CHARLES EAGLES:
But did he go so far as I think you would have then, to say that it really hadn't existed on the scale that everybody thought it had?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
He would have avoided it, rather than take one side or another. In other words, my father sometimes recognized the wisdom of not throwing meat to the lions, you see. And he probably would just have passed it by. But he—
[END OF TAPE 3, SIDE A]

[TAPE 3, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 3, SIDE B]
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
And he told some funny stories about that. I remember Albert Sydney Burleson was Postmaster General. And he was telling about an old Confederate veteran from Texas who'd come into his office and said, "Albert, I've been here, and they told us we were going to be all brothers and all, but you know, Albert, I ain't seen one of the sons of bitches yet." [Laughter] And I remember that at that time I was taken—and I think I still would be artistically taken—at a preliminary showing of The Birth of a Nation.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Did you go to the White House?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
No, it was shown in Burleson's office down at the Post Office Department with all the dignitaries present.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Was that when Wilson saw it?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
I'm not sure the President was there that night.
CHARLES EAGLES:
Was Thomas Dixon there?
JONATHAN WORTH DANIELS:
Oh, yes, he was there, of course. He was a funny character. I was an impertinent little boy. I remember Tom Dixon coming—
END OF INTERVIEW