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Title: Oral History Interview with Broadus Mitchell, August 14 and 15, 1977. Interview B-0024. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Mitchell, Broadus, interviewee
Interview conducted by Frederickson, Mary
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
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Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
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2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
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Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Broadus Mitchell, August 14 and 15, 1977. Interview B-0024. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series B. Individual Biographies. Southern Oral History Program Collection (B-0024)
Author: Mary Frederickson
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Broadus Mitchell, August 14 and 15, 1977. Interview B-0024. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series B. Individual Biographies. Southern Oral History Program Collection (B-0024)
Author: Broadus Mitchell
Description: 428 Mb
Description: 90 p.
Note: Interview conducted on August 14 and 15, 1977, by Mary Frederickson; recorded in Wendell, Massachusetts.
Note: Transcribed by Jean Houston.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series B. Individual Biographies, 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 Broadus Mitchell, August 14 and 15, 1977.
Interview B-0024. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Mitchell, Broadus, interviewee

Interview Participants

    BROADUS MITCHELL, interviewee
    LOUISE MITCHELL, interviewee
    MARY FREDERICKSON, interviewer


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I am in Wendell, Massachusetts with Dr. Broadus Mitchell, on August 14, 1977 to conduct an interview for the Southern Oral History Program. Dr. Mitchell, I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about your family when you were growing up, especially how much you remember about your grandparents.
Maybe I had better identify myself. To begin with, my name is John Broadus Mitchell. I don't use the "John" and haven't for many years. I was born in Georgetown, Kentucky, December 27, 1892. My father at that time was a member of the faculty of Georgetown College. He had met my mother, who was Alice Virginia Broadus, when she visited Georgetown, I think with her father. They met when he was a student. My grandfather John Albert Broadus was a Baptist clergyman. After middle life he was the head of a small Baptist theological seminary in Greeenville, South Carolina, where my mother was born. The Civil War made conditions so difficult for the seminary that it was moved to Louisville, Kentucky, which was a more prosperous community. And at that same time, I think, the seminary was fortunate in having a gift from John D. Rockefeller, Sr., and the main building of the seminary was called Rockefeller Hall. I suppose it's torn down now, because the seminary moved years later, long after my grandfather's time, to a suburb of Louisville, where there is a building named for my grandfather. He was a writer as well as a preacher and teacher. I think it's unusual that thirty-two of his descendants now still receive royalties on a book that he wrote a hundred years ago. It's been kept in print all this time; it's gone through many revisions. [laughter] It was a book on a most

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fortunate subject. Since he was the head of a theological seminary, it was natural for him, in addition to writing more learned books such as a Greek New Testament or commentary on Matthew or whatever, to write a practical handbook or manual for young preachers starting out, and this one is called The Preparation and Delivery of Sermons. It is mainly common sense, that you mustn't preach too long, or don't dress in an extravagant way; try not to sneeze in the pulpit; open your mouth when you talk so that people will hear you; the kinds of material on which you can draw in making a sermon; what your relations with your community are in political matters as well as in moral matters; and so on. My grandmother was his second wife. His first wife was a daughter of Professor Gessner Harrison, who was Professor of Greek, I think, at the University of Virginia, where my grandfather had been chaplain as a young man. His second wife, my grandmother, was Charlotte Sinclair of Charlottesville, Virginia, where the University of Virginia is located, of course. She was a daughter of George Sinclair, a farmer. I have been to their house. It is standing now on a city street with other houses close by, because the farm was broken up into lots. I regret to say that none of the [laughter] financial benefits of turning a farm into a city location has seemed to have come down in the family, as far as I can tell. It's a large, handsome house, "Locust Grove," it's called. My grandmother was of Scottish descent, my Grandfather Broadus of Welsh and English descent. He had something of a Welsh look, if I [laughter] understand what a Welshman is supposed to look like. Not tall; a broad forehead; an unusually large head. One thinks in

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this country of a famous Welshman, John L. Lewis. Now my grandfather wasn't of Mr. Lewis's temperament, nor was he of the temperament of Mr. Richard Burton, who is another Welshman.
Did you know your grandparents as you were growing up?
I remember my grandfather faintly. I was a small child and was taken to see him in Louisville. Georgetown is close to Louisville, thirty miles. And I have a child's recollection of going toward him. He was seated in a chair with the light behind him. That's an impression in my mind. That's my only recollection of him, though he alluded to me as a grandchild in several of his letters and so on. I remember my grandmother very well, because she didn't die until I was a teenager. As I was saying, her father—and I can't say about her mother—was of strongly Scotch blood. And she had Scotch characteristics of thriftiness and a certain severity in dealing with children: no foolishness.
How many children did she have?
Four or five. Two sons, two daughters, and I think one or two died in infancy, as was usual at that time. When my father had moved from Georgetown to Richmond College in Virginia, where he remained for many years, he continued teaching Latin and Greek, which he had taught at Georgetown. But he was one who early sensed that ancient languages as a mainstay in the curriculum needed to be supplemented by history and economics, political science, sociology, none of which Richmond College included. So he resolved to fit himself to teach these social subjects; his colleagues thought that this was unnecessary, for him to go on and do further graduate

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work, that you read history, you didn't have to study history or you didn't have to have special instruction to fit you to be a historian. In any case, what with going summers to the University of Chicago and getting a year off for one solid year at Chicago, he got his doctor's degree.
But that year when he was at Chicago, my mother took us children to her mother's home in Louisville, my grandmother, which was a large house. And [laughter] if there was any severity in my grandmother's conduct, it was quite understandable because, in addition to my mother and her four children, my Aunt Ella's family, Mrs. Robertson and her husband, were there. And there must have been three or four of their children in the house. I remember some of the little peculiarities of my grandmother. She was very fond of a strong beef tea. It was made with beef extract, essence. It looked sort of like very thick black molasses. It came out of a little bottle or sort of a vial. I knew afterwards it was Valentine's Meat Juice. It was made in Richmond; I knew something about it later. It was to an ordinary bouillon cube what gin is to Coca-Cola, say. And she liked that. Her only exercise was taking long trolley rides, and I frequently went with her and my mother on long rides around Louisville. She liked that. She was a quiet, small woman, Scotch also in her habit of serving oatmeal.
And [laughter] one of the things that I associate with her, which is not her fault and which is not pleasant in my own recollection, is cold oatmeal, because at that time we didn't have quick-cooking oatmeal, and it was quite a production to make a big double boiler of oatmeal. So what was left over—and it was expected to last for several days—was put in the refrigerator in a bowl, and when it was turned out it

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was gray and slick and cold, and you ate that with milk, not heated up. My grandmother thought it wasn't necessary [laughter] to heat it up; it had been cooked and so on. Very kind; very kind indeed. And my father couldn't have got his degree—and that had everything to do with his later career—if she hadn't given us this cordial hospitality. Incidentally, my sister, the fourth child, was born at my grandmother's, which was another complication.
How did your mother feel about your father going off to Chicago for a year to get his . . .
I don't know about that, but I'm sure she shared his ambition and realized that this was very important for all of them. And it wasn't a sudden thing, because, as I say, he'd been going in summers.
You know how one does if you are holding a teaching position; you have to wait for your opportunity to get more than three months or six weeks or something for graduate work. The University of Chicago had just been opened. It was a Baptist institution founded by John D. Rockefeller, who had been the patron of the seminary of which my grandfather was head then, and that was a natural thing. Incidentally, my father was older than most of the graduate students, because he had been teaching for some years. He had a family of four children. And so when he took his degree, President Harper of the University of Chicago thought his judgment would be worth inviting and said, "Which of the professors has influenced you more?" Father told me that he hesitated to make the reply that he did; but he thought he'd been asked, he'd be candid, and said that it was one of the youngest of the

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members of the faculty who had meant most in his experience there. He was Professor Ernst Freund, then a young man, who later became famous as one of the earliest political scientists in this country to develop what we refer to now as administrative law. I remember Freund; he came to Johns Hopkins when I was a student there and lectured. I had the pleasure of meeting him. He had been very kind to my father, and my father had been of assistance to him. Freund had written a book, I guess, or had brought out an edition of Justinian's Codes, and since Father knew Latin very well he read the proofs of it to make sure, because I doubt very much whether Freund could have made the necessary corrections. And when Professor Freund was away in the summer and my father was there, he invited Father to occupy his apartment, so they had a very friendly relationship. And Father's judgment about Freund was certainly a good one. My grandfather used to dictate his books to my mother, who wrote on a typewriter. She didn't know shorthand, but she was an excellent typist. And they had an early [laughter] typewriter, one of the first.
There's a picture somewhere—I think my sister has it—of the study in the house on Fourth Street in Louisville where my grandfather and grandmother lived (it was the home of the president of the seminary) with Mother at the typewriter, and Grandfather. He wrote a good many books and many articles. He was not only scholarly, but he was able to give his books, if he wished, a popular turn or a very useful turn.
Did your mother do the same kinds of things with your father? How did she help him in his work [unknown]?
She had too many children to participate in that way

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in Father's work. Also, my father was not a writer. Recently I got a copy of the magazine of the University of Richmond, where, as I say, he taught for many years. It has a long article on Jacob Billikopf, who was a student of my father and who had left a quarter of a million dollars to the University, much of which establishes a chair in my father's name. And in this article, the close friendship between my father and Jacob Billikopf who came to the college as a young Jewish immigrant and my father befriended him, Billikopf tells about his affection for my father and his admiration of him. But he explains very properly that since my father taught Latin and Greek [laughter] and history and political science and every now and then took excursions into philosophy, that he was not and could not be a scholar in the technical sense, because his interests were too broad. He had great curiosity, but he was primarily an interpreter who relied less on original sources and documents than he did on the ordinary texts that were available for teaching. He was keen about going to places associated with his subject, and nobody enjoyed travel more than he did. He contrived on a small salary, somehow, to get to Europe many summers, sometimes taking groups of students. And he drew a great deal of pleasure and inspiration from visiting the places associated with history or whatever it was that concerned him. He edited a volume of a series called The South and the Building of the Nation, which you may know. His volume was the one on social life in the South, just as there was one on politics and on war and religion and so on. He wrote many articles, but they were usually hortatory things. They were urging something. They were made at meetings of college people, all kinds of meetings, as a matter of fact, public meetings. He concerned himself actively in community affairs. That is what had taken him from ancient languages into the social

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sciences to begin with. So that he became a principal advocate of the development of high schools in Virginia at a time when there was much more reliance on the private academy than there is now, and there were relatively few and poor high schools. I remember going with him as a child to the office of the Superintendent of Education of Virginia. It was in the old home of John Marshall, which is still standing in Richmond. We went to the second floor, a large room—a different shape from this, but bigger—and the whole atmosphere indicated [laughter] a languid kind of administration, very different from the bustling office which I'm sure that of the Superintendent of Education of Virginia is today. I don't remember any other employees [laughter] around or anything. He was president of the local anti-saloon league, for example. He was active in occupying pulpits from time to time, because as a young student at Georgetown College possessing promise, he was urged to enter the ministry, he was ordained, and for a while when he still was teaching at Georgetown College he had a couple of country pulpits he would visit on alternate Sundays. He was an ordained Baptist clergyman. And in Richmond if a minister was on vacation or something, sometimes my father would be asked to "supply," as it was said, during his absence. One summer he went to Germany and preached during several months at a German Baptist church. I suppose it was for Americans living in Berlin, because while he knew German in the way that every graduate student has to show a reading knowledge of German, he couldn't speak the language, I'm sure. He was an activist and very sensitive to needs of the community where he was and

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eager to pitch in to lend his aid. And it was remarkable, I think, that he could extend himself so widely in the community and at the same time be a vigorous and devoted teacher. But the two worked together: he brought the community into his classroom, and he brought his classroom into the community. But that didn't leave time for research. Once, I remember, early on (I must have been about ten years old at the time), he formed a project of writing a life of George Wythe whom he greatly admired. Father had written his dissertation on the convention in Virginia that ratified the Constitution, and George Wythe was a member of that convention but unfortunately was called back to Williamsburg by the illness of his wife, so he didn't really participate much, or hardly at all. But Father admired him greatly as the teacher of Thomas Jefferson and, I think, of John Marshall, and to the extent that Patrick Henry [laughter] had any legal teaching, of Patrick Henry. Father worked in the Virginia State Library, which is a very fine one, and he even, for a while, had a secretary to whom he dictated parts of this book. I don't know what became of that manuscript or how long it was or what about it, but he soon became so absorbed in other things that that was dropped. And that was the one start which might have ended in his being the author of a scholarly book, but it wasn't.
As busy as he was, did he have time to teach his children as well? Did he spend a lot of time with his family? Was his family important to him?
Yes, it was. But my father had very few recreations.

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He didn't have time for recreation much. I remember once he made a kite for us and tried to fly it. It didn't fly, and he had to go back to lunch and left us out on the campus with the kite on the ground and a lot of string to wind up. He was not good with tools. He had no interest in doing things with his hands. He wrote a beautiful hand, but repairs around the house or anything of that sort, simply we didn't possess any tools. And he never thought it was necessary to have a lawn mower sharpened. It fell to our lot to mow the lawn. And in a sense—and I don't want this to sound unkind—his children were sacrificed to his sense of responsibility to the institution where he taught and to the community. He always had a small salary, and there were five of us. We were pinched all the time. We had a position to maintain, and Father and Mother had a position to maintain in the community and so on. And that demanded a certain amount of expenditure. But I think that he was unable to take the view that many would take today that the first responsibility is to your own family, and that they should be brought up in comfort and given every opportunity and so on, and if you do other things outside of your job, that's fine. But Father had kind of a ministerial commitment, which was part of his connection with the church.
He and Mother belonged to the First Baptist Church in Richmond, and they went way downtown. It was down in the center of the city across from the City Hall. We lived out on the edge of town at the college campus. And while he used to have family prayers when I was a child and seemed to be religious, I think later in life that

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meant very little to him. I think it was social values that took the place of individual goodness or devotion or anything of that sort. My mother was less religious than he was, though she was a daughter of a Baptist clergyman.
That's interesting. How did that come out?
My mother was highly intelligent. She had seen a good deal of the world as a daughter of a president of a theological seminary. They had known a lot of people and so on. She had not been to college. In those days girls didn't go to college so much. She went to a private young ladies' seminary.
Where did she go to school?
In Louisville. Incidentally, I know pleasantly in New York City Jimmy Flexner, who is well known as a biographer and writer on historical subjects. My mother as a young woman taught his mother in Sunday school. Mrs. Flexner was at that time, I don't know; I've forgotten what her maiden name was. I remember once as a child being in bed with my mother, and she didn't kneel down beside the bed to say her prayers. And I asked her if that wasn't the way you said your prayers, and she said she found that [laughter] it worked just as well in bed if you were chilly. She was sensible about the whole thing, and I don't think any of the supernatural part won through to her at all. I think that she had, though she didn't make a parade of it, a very realistic view of religious legend . . .



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[I'll give you an example of] Mother's very realistic view. When Theodora, my daughter, came from school one day when she was six, seven, eight, something like that, she said that she had been told (in what connection, I don't know) about the Virgin Birth of Christ. And she was doubtful about it, and my wife said to her, "Well, how do you think Jesus was made?" and Theodora said, "With sperms." [laughter] Now my mother believed in the sperms rather than in the miracles. She was respectful of other people's attachment to religion, and she knew the Bible well. As a young woman, she had written Sunday school lessons for the blind that were put in Braille, and this required skill because, since Braille is so expensive to produce, anything in the way of a religious lesson had to be not only undenominational but unsectarian [unknown] So, of course, I suppose she drew largely on the Old Testament. But she knew the Bible thoroughly, just as she knew Shakespeare very well indeed. And I remember once her showing me a list that I'm sure she had made up of some literary puzzles. They were little snippets of verse, and you were to try to say which came from the Bible and which came from Shakespeare, and it was very difficult to tell; they were much alike.
What was her relationship to her family, to her children?
Very loving and imaginative and doing everything possible to develop our understandings. She was never cross with us, and she tried very hard, in spite of being, I think, often strained herself, not to be irritable or to scold. And she didn't. And she tried hard with pictures and books and stories and sending us to as

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good schools as she could and everything to open the world to us. Father did, too, and he would take us on trips and was eager to show us everything.
And later on, when we travelled more, we went to Providence and Father used to take us to places there and nearby. I remember he took me to see the first cotton mill at Pawtucket. And afterwards, when we stopped in New York on the way back to the South, he took us to see the "Mauretania" and he took us up to City College and he took us to Columbia. I never go to Columbia now but what I pass the old Low Library and think of going there in 1909 with him. He was very eager to conduct us on these little expeditions. We fortunately were able to go to college, because he was always identified with a college, and we could go wherever he was. My youngest brother went to Richmond College, but I went to the University of South Carolina because Father had become President of that. Another brother went to Delaware College (now the University of Delaware) because Father was head of that at the time, and so on. And we went to a primary school on the college campus, always, kept by the daughter of the professor of chemistry. She was a very fine teacher, Miss Kate Winston. She had a little private school—you would call it a mom's school—in a room not bigger than this, and maybe eighteen or twenty pupils ranging in age up to maybe twelve. And then I went to Richmond Academy, which was the preparatory school of the college. I never understood exactly why they troubled to start it and maintain it for a number of years, as they did. The College owned the property where it was nearby, and it was, to a

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degree, a feeder to the College. I suppose we had maybe a hundred boys in the school. My brothers, though, and my sister, I think, all went to public school in Richmond. We were no great distance from an elementary public school on Main Street, and I know my brother Morris went there and I think the others did, too.
Growing up in the South as you were at the time that you were, how did your parents deal with the issues of race? What did they teach you about racial differences in the South, or did they leave everything open to question or let you decide for yourself what you thought? How did social mores fit in?
The attitude of children toward race was determined quite differently from . . . It had nothing to do with our parents. In Richmond we lived in an old house which is still standing. It was a fine home built in the country by the Haxalls who were flour manufacturers in Richmond. Later on the farm was sold off, and the house and thirteen acres became the property of Richmond College.
The whole college was conducted in this large house at first. And then later, as the institution grew, they put up other buildings and homes for the professors and so on. But we happened to live in what had been the original college building. It had two stories and a large basement. It was a large house. And as long as I can remember, we had as cook and monitor and friend Willie, a large Negro woman who at the time she came to us, I would think, was in her late thirties. But she continued with us for a dozenyears. The children, when young, lived largely in the kitchen, and Willie was our

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friend and provider. Had a severe manner but the kindest of hearts. But she had to be a little brusque with us, I suppose, because we were underfoot all the time. But we went to sleep in Willie's lap, the five of us, (not all at once!) from the time we could remember. And so we knew Negroes familiarly. She would have friends to come and sit with her in the kitchen at night. I remember one little old man that she called "Old Man Sylvester." He lived out in the country a few miles from Richmond, and he used to come by with his team of four little mules. They were not much bigger than burros, but he had this wagon and he was a farmer out near a place called Short Pump.
And Old Man Sylvester would come and sit in the kitchen. There were others, women, too. And we always had Negro nurses, maids, and I remember very well being taken by one to see friends of hers over on Clay Street not very far from the college, but sitting in this home, living room with a fire in the winter. And then there was a Negro boy who used to come by and get any ashes that were thrown out, because he would sift these and get what coal was still burnable. He had a little wagon with a box on it and two wheels out in front, and he could collect his ashes. And once he and I made a long walk way over the other side of the railroad tracks over to what became later the Virginia Union University. I remember this beautiful Indian summer afternoon with him. And also, as children in Louisville, we knew the son of a woman who did the washing for the family, a black boy, and he taught us to draw. In the South, you know very well, children grew up together, black and white, familiarly.

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Any prejudice that developed on the white side (and I don't think much developed on the black side) came later.
You said that the experience that you and your sister and brothers had was different from that of your parents, or had . . .
No, I mean to say that it wasn't any instruction they gave us or anything like that. They didn't say, "You mustn't feel that these people are beneath you or anything." No, the thing never came up, really.
How did they feel themselves?
They were both liberal, notably so, and they understood that the disabilities of the Negroes of the South were due to their history of slavery, of poverty, of ignorance, and that what they needed was opportunity and respect and encouragement and so on. At the same time, even in my father's case, I think the views that have become common since, of equal rights and so on, were not held by him with the intensity that they are nowadays. The organizations with which he was identified which touched on race relations were such as that of the Southern Interracial Committee [Commission on Interracial Cooperation], which became later the Southern Regional Council, of which, incidentally, my youngest brother was the Director for a good many years. They were organizations of whites and blacks that worked together for specific corrections or improvements in the community. They didn't deal with large constitutional matters and so on, but rather with getting better schools or breaking some of the segregation, and the whole program was a gradual one, as they saw it, and was to be participated in by blacks and whites of

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good will working together. But the constitutional demands, as of the NAACP, for example, later, were not what they contemplated, or what, I think, they would have approved, as a matter of fact. Because they felt that it would take a long time and many adjustments and that it was important to keep peace and to avoid doing damage which it might be hard to repair. They were patient. I recently have had a copy from an old friend—we were roommates at college, Marion A. Wright, whom you may know—an address that he gave to the History Department at Winthrop College in South Carolina. And I read it with a great deal of interest for many reasons, because I know him well and I know something about the scene that he was reviewing of his experience as a public person in South Carolina. But I wrote him that I would disagree with him in his contention—if I understood it—that it was good will and the growth of education and greater prosperity and so on which had ameliorated race conflicts in the South, and that changed attitudes, which had been diligently induced by advocates of improved race relations, [unknown] had been responsible. Well, I wrote Marion and said I didn't think so, that it wasn't improvement of the southern conscience which had been effective, but the appeal of blacks themselves to the Constitution of the United States that said, "Look, you can't be two-faced about this thing." It was lawsuits and compulsion, not the other, had a lot to do with it. I suppose there might possibly [laughter] have been some kind of revolutionary outbreak if the negroes had insisted and the whites were utterly unprepared to receive it. But look how long it's been since 1954 with the Topeka decision, and my brother, among others, worked for years trying to prepare the

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South first for that decision and then to get compliance with it afterwards, and we are still lacking it not only in the South but in South Boston. It was a kindly attitude, Mary, not one of justice but of duty. You see? It was your responsibility to be friendly and to entertain hopes of their progress. But you weren't going to see it tomorrow, and anything like a lawsuit would be unfortunate. You didn't appeal to ultimate things.
But within your home you were able to develop and maintain very close relationships with black people?
Not with black people generally, but with the blacks who worked in our home. There was a cook and a maid all the time. But I didn't know any Negroes except those who worked on the college campus, and those I knew well. One was a remarkable man called Chris who was, to tell you the truth, he was the librarian. He was supposed to be the man who took care of the library as a sort of a janitor, but the librarian . . . I don't want anybody to misunderstand me on this. [laughter] He was not trained as a librarian. He was the Treasurer of the College, who was also Librarian, and actually, if you wanted a book, which was the purpose of going to the library [laughter] , Chris got it for you. But he also lit the lamps on the college campus on winter evenings, and I used to go around with him with his ladder. I liked him very much indeed. He was a friendly man, and he used an expression often—I used to ply him with questions, you know—that you have heard, maybe: "Larrows to catch meddlers."

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Did you ever hear that?
Well, that was his answer if you asked him so-and-so. "Larrows to catch meddlers." Another was John Johnson, a man of a very different type. A large, very black man who was in charge of the main building of the College as a janitor. He was a surly man, usually chasing us out of some place where we had no right to be. But I remember him and knew him well for years. Much later I went back to see our old house, and John Johnson was living in the basement. I guess he was sort of retired from the College at that time. Oh, there were others that we knew around the College, but there were no black students. Of course there were no black members of the faculty. I went to protracted meetings in the summer in Madison County, Virginia. The blacks had a church near, of course, in what was called Zion Town. In many southern communities then, and I suppose now, there's a nearby place where the Negroes have settled which has a disparaging name like Egypt or Zion Town. Well, I don't know why Zion should be disparaging, but . . . They had a church there. But we went, I'm afraid, to see something curious and emotional. I went to one or two Negro weddings when I was a child, I remember. But we never knew black professional people in our home. Father and Mother did, and they were friendly with a Dr. and Mrs. King. He taught in the black Virginia Union University, which was over on the wrong side of the tracks. And also President and Mrs. Hoveyof that institution they knew, and they would be in our home and Mother and Father in theirs. But it

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didn't enter into our . . . These were white people teaching in a black college. And also I knew about the existence of Hartshorn College, a smaller institution near the Virginia Union University, a college for women. It passed out of existence some years later, but I remember that. But we didn't know any black preachers or dentists or doctors or lawyers. There weren't any to speak of. There were black preachers, oh, yes, and some of them very talented, but your closest contact with a semi-professional black man was with a barber. The barbershops were manned by Negroes, and I say "manned" beccause there was no such thing at that time as a beauty parlor. These little barber shops. Women didn't have beauty treatments, or they . . . I don't know. Maybe those who could afford ladies' maids got treatments that way. I remember a visit from Ray Stannard Baker to our home to interview Father, because Mr. Baker (who lived at that time, I guess, in New York; afterwards in Amherst) was writing a series of articles on the color line in the South. And it was a line then. I speak of the fact that we didn't have very much money when we were growing up. One winter, to economize, instead of operating the furnace in this great old house, we burned a Latrobe stove, which was a kind of a little furnace that fitted into a fireplace, a little bit like a Franklin stove. And it heated the room above with a flue that went up, so we had only that. When Mr. Baker came to see my father it was right after breakfast, and the kids had dressed in this room where there was the Latrobe stove. And Father was very

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embarrassed—he was a very proper person in his dress and in his deportment and everything—because our nightgowns or pajamas or whatever were in little piles around the floor, because this was the warm room in the house. I don't think Mr. Baker minded. Anyway, Father was one that he wanted to consult on this, and this indicated that his views on community problems were very much respected in Richmond. He was prominent in these ways. But I'm sure that my mother and father, while they would not disapprove of the developments that have taken place since in race relations, would be astonished by them. I'll put it that way.
Were your mother and father sort of at the same place as far as their views on race relations? Did they hold the same ideas about race relations?
Father more liberal than Mother, I think. He knew more about it. He knew more about the means of improvement, about the potentialities in the situation, than Mother did, because she wasn't active in those circles quite as much, though she was always responsive to needs of the community.
I remember one little episode which explains it. Mrs. B. B. Munford in Richmond was an enthusiast for building a new high school, which turned out to be the John Marshall High School in the yard of what had been John Marshall's home. But she had come to this a little late in life; it was an enthusiasm of hers. She was a woman of means and position in the community. Once she was talking to Father about it in the living room of their home—I guess they were at

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Westhampton at that time—Mother was there, and Mrs. Munford turned to Mother, who wasn't saying anything. It was a conversation between Mrs. Munford and Father about the high school. She turned to Mother and said, "Did you never think of yourself as a member of the community?" And Mother said, "All my life." [laughter] Which was enough answer. She had, of course, grown up in a home where there was this responsibility to an institution, to the community, and my grandfather was a man well known in that community and widely. But I think that she would have had Father's attitudes if she had had his survey of the whole situation, but she didn't. After all, she had five children to bring up in narrow circumstances.
Did she have time for any activities or work outside of her house? Did she ever work in the suffrage movement or anything like that?
Not until later. Later she became an active member of the Women's Club and participated in that, especially with bringing new books to the attention of her fellow members and that kind of thing. She was always a great reader, and wherever we were we took out cards in the public library. Not in Richmond; there wasn't any public library in Richmond when we grew up. There was just the state library, and the librarian, Mr. Scott, lived in Gordonsville, Virginia, which is, I suppose, sixty or seventy miles from Richmond. He commuted on the railroad to the Virginia State Library. My father knew him, and Mr. Scott tried to satisfy my father's needs in using the library, but Father indicated to me that under Mr. Scott's administration the

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library . . . That he was a custodian of books and that he was kind of a local historian and a man regarded by his constituency as learned in history, but a very different man from those that succeeded him in the library. Later Douglas Freeman made great use of it with his life of Robert E. Lee and his books on the Civil War and later Washington, and he couldn't have under Mr. Scott's . . . I hope Mr. Scott's friends and descendants won't blame me. The state library was sort of a mausoleum at the time. It had valuable deposits, but I suppose it stood very much in need of modern methods that would have made this valuable material readily available [unknown] This was specially at the period when my father was working on the life of George Wythe, that he would be going down there. I'll tell you a story about Gordonsville I think is amusing. Gordonsville was a junction point on these little Virginia railroads. It's near Orange, Virginia, [unknown] Trains would stop there and wait for another train to come, from which passengers were going to transfer and so on. Black women in Gordonsville would bring to the train great trays of fried chicken and soda biscuits. The biscuits had yellow splotches on them because of the kind of baking powder they used or what, I don't know if you've ever seen. They were large and pallid. And the chicken was encrusted with yellow whatever-they-fried-it-in, flour and egg and so on. Well, we had in Richmond a clever newspaperman, Mr. Evan Chesterman, who had a column [unknown] called "The Idle Reporter." He used to relate incidents, little personal episodes and so on. He told about stopping

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on the train at Gordonsville and buying one of these legs of chicken which was handed up to the window. [unknown] train stayed there twenty minutes. He finished and he got down to the bone and just idly carved his initials on this chicken leg and tossed it out of the window.
Said he was back in Gordonsville bought a leg of chicken, and when he finished he found the bone bore his initials!


. . . [laughter] the meat and crust and so on were just plastered on to bones. There hadn't been a new leg, properly, in a long time.
They hadn't the shape of a leg when you got it. It was just something that held the meat together.
Yesterday we were talking about your family, and I asked how they dealt with race relations, and about relationships between blacks and whites in the South when you were growing up. And today I wonder if you could say just a little bit about the way you were taught about class lines in the South as you were growing up.
One of the most shocking developments, of course, was the lynching of Negroes. My father was always indignant at the lynchings, and I remember very well when I was with him at Blue Ridge, North Carolina, which is a YMCA training center where meetings were held and classes, too, in the summer. When there was a lynching in Georgia and the newspapers were full of it and the

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magazines and so on, Father talked about it, distressed by the whole episode. I remember his showing me a picture in some magazine, maybe Newsweek or Life, something like that, of the little sheriff in this county holding a piece of the rope with which the man had been hanged. And this sheriff was a little under-sized meek little man, the last person [laughter] that you'd expect would take an active part in protecting a prisoner. And Father said that that to him represented the lapse of law in the South, and he deplored it and constantly scolded when lynchings occurred. It wasn't very long after that that they began to diminish. The Federal Council of Churches had a practice in the thirties, it must have been, of issuing a little fact bulletin on each lynching that occurred. They would invite somebody in the locality who presumably was accurate to report to them exactly what happened, in a circumstantial way. And then the little bulletin recited all the particulars, not with sermonizing or editorial comment or anything of that sort, but simply letting the dreadful detail speak for itself. My father approved strongly of what I tried to do in the case of two lynchings that happened in rapid succession on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I can't give you the date, but I suppose it must have been around 1935. The first was at a little place called Snow Hill, and I don't recall the particulars except that a black man was taken out and lynched. The Eastern Shore of Maryland is separated not only geographically from the western part of the state by Chesapeake Bay, but it's separated culturally. It's kind of an enclave over there, and they have an inferiority complex which

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takes the form of overdefensiveness. Shortly after this lynching at Snow Hill occurred another one at Salisbury, which is a bigger place. This black boy, who was about eighteen years old, I think, worked at a lumber yard in Salisbury. And he went in, as I remember, to speak to his employer with some grievance—what, I don't know—and a quarrel developed, and he shot his employer, who didn't collapse immediately but chased this black boy through the lumber yard and tried to catch him and so on. Or maybe that was when he got shot; I've forgotten. Some of the people in the office came to the rescue of the employer, and they shot this man in the face and he was taken to the local hospital. There he was held under guard. Some guard, not much. The chief of police of Salisbury was summoned when a mob collected and moved toward the hospital to seize this boy and do him mischief. The head nurse stood in the hallway and tried to resist the entrance of the mob, and the chief of police [laughter] stood behind her and offered no real resistance. So the mob surged into the ward, and they threw this boy out of a first-story window and dragged him the short distance to the town. On the way they had to pass over a fairly narrow bridge, not wider than this living room, and there a courageous veteran of the First World War parked his car across the bridge so as to try to block the passage. And he stood on the roof of the car and tried to harangue the crowd and turn them back. But they surged all around him and over the car, and they took this boy to the fire station where they got a rope, and then to the court house yard, where they put a rope around his neck and threw it over the limb of a tree. At that point another citizen of

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Salisbury did a courageous thing. He was somebody employed in the courthouse who was brave enough to go and try to take the rope off this boy's neck. But, of course, it was impossible for him to accomplish this, and the man was hanged. They cut him down and dragged him by the rope tied to the back of a truck to a gas station, where the body was drenched with gasoline, and then they dragged it over to the negro section of Salisbury, where they dragged it around the little streets there and set the body on fire. And then they distributed in the crowd short lengths of the rope for souvenirs, and they cut off his fingers and distributed them. The Federal Council of Churches, Ernest Johnson was in charge of it and asked me if I would go over to Salisbury and make a factual report on this lynching. So I did. I got there in the evening and spent the next day—I wish I'd spent longer—in talking with people who figured in one way or another in the lynching. Of course, I didn't find anybody who confessed to having been in the mob, but I talked to two of the ministers of the town—it's a town of many churches—and to a principal banker, to the chief of police, to the sheriff, to the head nurse, to both of these men who had tried to prevent the lynching, and maybe some others that I have forgotten. And I thought I had an accurate account of it. So I reported to the Federal Council of Churches. My report was published also—I don't know how that happened—in the Baltimore Sun newspaper. The Federal Council of Churches, I believe, sent them a copy. There was immediate outcry from numbers of church people in Salisbury because I had [laughter]

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observed in my report that while this was a town full of churches, and some of them quite elaborate, where there were church houses where there were religious workers and so on, that as far as I could tell, no clergyman in Salisbury on the Sunday following the lynching on Friday had mentioned it. And I said in effect that the most spectacular sin that had been committed in Salisbury went without notice. Well, this bit them. I did say that one minister told me that while he didn't include it in his sermon, he mentioned it in his pastoral prayer, that he told God about it but he got to his parishioners only indirectly. The other clergyman, who was the head of one of the largest churches, had said to me in almost so many words that he was ashamed that he had not immediately condemned this dreadful murder, but the implication was that there were doubtless [laughter] members of his congregation who, if they did not sympathize strongly with the mob, may have been in it even. Well, that caused some sensation. I went to see the Attorney General of Maryland to urge that they press prosecution of members of the mob, particularly after a list was published in an Eastern Shore paper of persons who were in the mob and who didn't deny it in any way. Well, here was confession of guilt. I couldn't see the Attorney General; I saw his assistant. But he explained—and afterwards I think I got some word from the Attorney General himself—to the effect that this was something that lay within a local jurisdiction over there, and it wasn't their responsibility and so on. Black communists in Baltimore who were few but active at that time, and who had a house

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somewhere in the black section of the city which was their headquarters, and they were joined by a young member of the faculty of Johns Hopkins University, Albert Blumberg and some other white men. And they organized a party to visit the Governor in his office and appeal to him for action. They asked if I would go along with them, and I did. And when we reached the Governor's office we found him pretty much barricaded, and he sent out word that he would see only a few of the delegation, but Albert Blumberg and myself and some of these black boys went in and found him surrounded by large men who were evidently his bodyguards. It was put on me to state our case, and when he was not responsive I said I thought he ought to be impeached, that his first obligation was to protect the citizens of the state and that he hadn't done it, and there had been two of these lynchings. He hadn't done anything in the Snow Hill one or this either. We never did get any action from it. H. L. Mencken, who was always condemning abuses (you know, Mencken was regarded as a sort of a sardonic critic, and much that he wrote was intended to be extreme and to excite people to oppose him), on an occasion of this sort was serious and impressive in his condemnation of what had happened. It was an excoriation that he gave these lynchings, and the neglect of the authorities to do anything about it. So my little report had appeared, and he asked me to come down to see him at ten o'clock at night. He always worked, I was told, until ten o'clock, and then he knocked off and frequently would go and have beer with friends. He had a circle, you know; I went once or twice.

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And I enjoyed very much talking with him that evening. He was entirely sympathetic with what I had tried to do. The Federal Council of Churches wired me after the reaction to my report flared up and said that it had been released by their office prematurely or without sufficient consideration and that they proposed to issue a statement to the effect that this was just my view and that they had asked for it, but that they didn't sponsor it in any way or take responsibility for it. So I wired them back saying, what you propose to do now leaves me standing alone, which I am perfectly willing to do; by all means, issue your statement right away. Well, that brought down the Secretary of the Federal Council of Churches to see me right away. The next morning was a Sunday morning. I remember I got him at the station. And he asked me whether I was a churchman, and I said no. I said, "I don't see what that's got to do with it." But it was because some of these people had said that a heathen had come in among them and was scolding them and so on. So they didn't issue the statement, but they did delay issuing the bulletin. However, finally, I think, after some weeks, it did come out, is my recollection. Many people on the Eastern Shore who could be regarded as spokesmen, I think, for the Eastern Shore assumed an attitude of pride at what they had done, they were defending themselves, and they got out stickers that went on the bumpers of their cars saying, "I'm an Eastern Shoreman and proud of it." They turned back trucks bringing provisions and so on from the Western Shore to the Eastern Shore, making it very clear that they felt that the Western Shore was intruding on their mores, on

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what they had done.
How did the people at Hopkins react to you?
The President of the University was Joseph S. Ames, whom I liked very much. I had known him as long as I was connected with Hopkins. He was a splendid person and sympathetic with freedom of thought and expression. Hopkins was noted for its maintenance of academic freedom. He got letters from the Eastern Shore protesting against what I had done, and he wrote back in a politic sort of way; I regret to say it was somewhat apologetic. He said that Hopkins people knew me and that they could understand, in effect, that I would get off the reservation sometimes and so on, but that I wasn't a bad person. Well, Mencken picked this up and wrote a piece about Ames and said that he thought that the ears of this corpse should be cut off and sent to the President of the University, in the way that they cut off the ears of a bull in the Spanish bullring as a trophy. Well, that ended that. I had nice relations with Ames throughout, really. And as far as I know, there was no objection in the University to what I had tried to do. I went to see the State Police and asked if it hadn't been possible for them to put a machine gun on the roof of the jail or something to hold back the crowd. There has been a recent case—you may have seen it in the paper—where a mob was threatening a prisoner, and the sheriff stationed himself in front of the jail, and he indicated a line a safe distance ahead of him and said, "The first man that crosses that is going to be dead." But they didn't do that. By the time I went to see the State

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Police, the Chief of the State Police had changed, and the new Chief was a man that I knew very well, because he had been the Commandant of our ROTC corps at Johns Hopkins, Major Geary, a fine person. And Geary said that he thought that the police had not protected their prisoner properly and that it would have been possible to turn back the mob. Well, that was that. Then, when I left Johns Hopkins not long after that, friends in Baltimore arranged a little testimonial dinner for our departure, and my father and mother came to it. And what I had tried to do in condemning these lynchings became a matter of comment of several of those who spoke on that occasion. And my father was asked to say something, and I think he centered particularly on his approval of my efforts to hold these people up to ignominy and so on. My father was at that time in his seventies; it was ten years before his death. Johns Hopkins University, as I say, had been a delightful place to live and work. I never knew any restraint or confinement or censorship or anything of that sort until we got a different President, who followed Ames, Isaiah Bowman. I've dealt with that in my account to Mr. Single, so I don't think we need to go into that now. But he was an entirely different sort, tense and nervous and over-cautious, and any breath of criticism of the University was apt to be passed on to whoever he felt was responsible for provoking it. So that ended my tenure on the faculty at Johns Hopkins, and we went to Occidental College in California, but that's another story.
You were saying that your father was very supportive of

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your action in this case, and I was wondering how he reacted and felt about the work that you did, and your brother did as well, on industrialization in the South. Was he as supportive of that, which was a much more academic exercise, but was he as supportive of that kind of work that you were interested in?
Oh, yes, very much. And you are at the same stage, I gather, in your dissertation as I was when I suggested to my father that I would like to try to write a dissertation on the development of the southern cotton manufacture. We had spent a year in Providence, Rhode Island, when my father was teaching at Brown University, supplying the place of Professor Wilson who had gone to the London Naval Conference in 1908-09. And as I mentioned to you yesterday, he took me out to Pawtucket to see the cotton factories, and I became aware of the great concentration of textile mills in Rhode Island around Providence and over into Massachusetts. Then when we moved to Columbia, South Carolina, when he became President of the University of South Carolina, here again were cotton mills but much newer, and the whole industry was still developing. And we were drawing down mills from New England and from Pennsylvania.
When you were at the University of South Carolina, did you have any contact with manufacturers then or with the people who were going to work in the mills?
Only by hearsay. There were two worlds there in Columbia. There was the town, and then there were the mills.

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Columbia had at that time the largest cotton factory in the world, the Olympia Mill. I think it had something like 100,000 spindles. But the factory population had almost no connection with the life of the community. That was characteristic of the industry at that time in the South. It was a matter of remark when two boys from the cotton mill village entered the University. They were the Brandenburg brothers. I knew them well, and they both were excellent students. How they had come into the University I don't know. I suppose their native capacity and curiosity had marked them as promising students in the schools. But that was my only contact with actual factory workers or conditions while I was in college. But this experience of having been in a textile community in New England and then in South Carolina suggested to me when I went to Johns Hopkins for graduate work in what we termed at that time political economy (now that term is less used) that I would like to inquire into the circumstances of the transformation of an agricultural and slave society into an industrial society with free labor and wages and all the problems. So Father said, "Well, what you want to do is to go down the line of the Southern Railway and stop off at all the different places such as Charlotte and Salisbury and Greenville and Spartanburg and Anderson and Augusta." So he gave me the money, and I bought what you could get at that time for twenty dollars, a ticket that permitted you to ride, I think, a thousand miles at two cents a mile or something like that. And I went. This must have been about 1915 or '16. I had spent the

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summer before working in the Library of Congress on southern newspapers that would give accounts of the establishment of cotton factories not very long after the Civil War. I came to feel that while there had been some pioneers who had braved the depression of '73, that the development really commenced about 1880 or shortly after that. I read the North Carolina newspapers and South Carolina, Georgia, and so on.


Warrington Dawson was an Englishman who espoused the Confederate cause; he contrived to conceal himself, I think, on a Confederate warship, the "Shenandoah" or some such name, that was in an English harbor. He got over here and joined the Confederate Navy, later he shifted from the Navy to the Army and fought through the War. And having been acquainted with the economy of England, he more clearly than most people saw the need for changing the productive habits of the South, and he made his News and Courier an engine for encouraging the establishment of cotton factories, It was called the Cotton Mill Campaign, which continued for several years. He would publicize every project for starting a factory in Kannapolis, North Carolina, or Gastonia or Columbia or wherever. So I had some little background by the time I went down to talk with the people who had built the mills. It was my good fortune to be able to interview a number of those who

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had been in on the development from the very start. For example, Mr. Cannon, Sr. had been a merchant in China Grove, North Carolina, I think, a little town. And when it was proposed to establish a cotton factory there or nearby, he was chosen President. He had no industrial experience, but he was a businessman of ability and he had some credit, and he was deputed to rally capital, to induce local people to subscribe, often in the form of their work on the factory itself, brickmasons or carpenters, and a farmer would give his field and take stock in the mill. And then Mr. Cannon would post off to Lawrence, Massachusetts, where the machinery was made, and offer stock in the factory in return for machinery. He would engage an experienced superintendent in New England, and he managed it. His efforts succeeded, and at the time I talked to him, when he was an elderly man, he already had a group of mills, the Cannon Mills. It has since developed much beyond that. But he was more or less typical of those with whom I talked who had gone from a local merchant or banker to be cotton mill president and a great industrialist. I remember people in Greenville and Gastonia and Augusta and other places. Sometimes they were people who had come into the industry a little later; they were younger. Sometimes they were New Englanders who had come down as superintendents of the mills, supplying the technical knowledge and experience. But sometimes they were just public people. I remember one in Greensboro, North Carolina, who was, I think, a local judge or had been a judge or something, and he knew the whole community and what its resources were and how they were gathered to start this

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adventure in industry. Sometimes they were politicians. I talked to Cotton Ed Smith, for instance, who was a senator from South Carolina and a very prejudiced man who traded on white supremacy and that kind of thing. I remember joining him on a train somewhere in the upcountry of South Carolina. He was very busy but said that if I would join him, say, at Greenville and ride with him to Spartanburg or whatever, and we would talk in the smoking car, and I had a very pleasant meeting with him. And he knew a lot, though he wasn't an industrialist himself. He was aware of everything that was happening in the community. And so with others. One of those who had come into the industry a little later was a Mr. Separk at Gastonia, North Carolina. He had been, I think, the principal of the local school and married the daughter of Mr. George A. Gray, if I'm not mistaken, who was the promoter of several cotton mills in Gastonia. And Mr. Separk had then left teaching for the position of superintendent of the Gray Mills after Mr. Gray's death. I talked with him and with Mr. Gray's son, who helped me very much, a young man. I was sorry I couldn't have met Mr. Gray, because he was one of those who came from the typical southern small mill and was able to develop a great complex of factories. Maybe it's worth saying a word about him. George A. Gray very early went to work in a small cotton factory. I think he was only ten years old. His father was killed, and he had to help to support his mother. And he worked in this little mill, a primitive sort of affair, and was told that on winter mornings he'd have to go out and cut the ice from the water wheel to get a day's run in the factory. By the time he was seventeen or eighteen, his extraordinary

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mechanical faculties were apparent to people of some means around there. And when they wanted to establish a cotton factory, they sent this young fellow, not more than a youth, up to New England to buy machinery. And when he went up, these men with whom he talked couldn't believe that he was properly deputed or that he knew what he was about. They said to him, "Mr. Gray, where do you come from in North Carolina?" "Pinhook," he said. They said, "What the hell kind of name is that for a town?" "Well," he said, "that's the name of our town, Pinhook." [laughter] I guess it was where he'd worked in this little mill. But he knew all about it, and he got the machinery, and before his death I think he had five mills. The largest, 50,000 spindles, was the Lo-Ray Mill at Gastonia. He was the man who started Gastonia, town and Gaston County, as a great southern industrial center. It became and still is, I think, in many ways, the Pawtucket of the South, so to speak. And it has drained much from New England.
Did you have any thoughts about the Grays or Mr. Separk later in 1929 when Gastonia erupted, more or less?
I wasn't there. I knew afterwards the leader of the strike. His name escapes me. Unfortunately, one or two people were killed in that strike, and this man was imprisoned for a long time afterwards. And afterwards I knew him in New York. I didn't know him; I met him and talked with him when he was a worker in a knitting mill in Brooklyn.
Fred Beale?

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That's right. The time I met him, he was a man in his forties, something like that. But I had only the knowledge that one got from the newspapers and so on of that strike. On the score of Mr. George A. Gray, I spoke of his unusual mechanical aptitude. It was said that he could go into a spinning room with thousands of spindles, and if any were down, as they said, he would sense it because a difference in the sound in the room would tell him that over there is a frame that you need to repair or whatever it was. He was entirely a self-taught person. His education was an exceedingly practical one. But with his genius for mechanical facilities, he became a large industrialist. He was the one who departed from the older practice of water power with a shaft running the length of the room and belts coming off of it to the machines; he installed electric motors on the individual machines, which was much more flexible and much safer. One of his contributions was the electrification of the textile industry in the South. I would think from what I recall that he was one of the pioneers in developing that, and that was of great importance because you didn't have to locate a mill near water power any longer. You could bring the power from a hydro plant, you could put your mill on the outskirts of a large town or city where you could get plenty of labor. And so, as you know, the cotton mill villages grew up, not only in rural districts as they had before, where it was really necessary for the company to build houses for the workers and to furnish whatever social services there were, but to the suburbs of cities where there was still

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the company town, though it relied on the local community for fire protection and sometimes for schooling for the children. But this isolation of the mill village continued even after it was juxtaposed to a city.
Why do you think that was?
In the first place, it was the use of electricity that made it possible. Or sometimes they had steam, but electricity particularly, I think. The reasons were deeply sociological and crassly economic. If the workers were separate from the rest of the community and the company was paternalistic, it was possible to pay low wages, have long hours, child labor, repel any union organization. And what had begun, I was convinced, as a patriotic and partly philanthropic undertaking in the eighties to supplement the South's economy or to get away from the one-crop agricultural system and add industry to agriculture, became a much more crude and selfish undertaking later on. But the men with whom I talked in the main were of the first generation, and they were public-spirited. I told a story, I think, in my dissertation about the beginning of the cotton mill at Salisbury, North Carolina, where it really took its inception in a religious revival. I met afterwards Mr. Pearson, who was the preacher at this revival. And he said that "Salisbury is sodden and drunken and illegitimate and ignorant, and what we need here as a religious advance [laughter] is opportunities to work and earn. And you deacons and elders, put your pennies together and build a cotton factory." And they did. I talked with the secretary of the mill there, who was one of these, and he was of that group that

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had responded to this appeal of a gifted southern revivalist. And sometimes those mills used to take active part in other improvements in the community and would contribute to the local orphanage and schools and all that sort of thing. But later on the officials of the industry became, so far as I could tell, of a different stripe, afterwards. I don't know that all of them did—I can't generalize, really, about them—but when I think of their persistent opposition to child labor legislation, for example, and to unionism, I can't escape the feeling that they were motivated no longer by community improvement or rescue of the economy of the South, but feathering their own nests. I've never forgiven a man in North Carolina who had been a student of my father at Richmond College and who became a lawyer for the North Carolina Manufacturers' Association or the American Manufacturers' Association, I've forgotten what it was, opposing child labor legislation. And we had finally the child labor laws, you remember, which were held unconstitutional by the local federal courts and then the Supreme Court. I thought that this man was lacking in conscience, really, in representing the manufacturers in opposition to this humane legislation. It was at that period that the famous case of two brothers was very much in the public eye. The law was that no child could work in a cotton factory under the age of fourteen, and not more than eight hours, and in the daytime under sixteen. These two brothers were under fourteen and between fourteen and sixteen, and they both worked in the mill, I think, in Charlotte. Theirs was the test case that the manufacturers brought, and it was on that basis that the

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child labor laws in their cases were held unconstitutional. And many years later I saw in a newspaper a statement by these two brothers—they were then men in middle life, almost—saying that their lives had been ruined by this, that they had had no education; they'd been overworked; and they were indignant that they had been used by their parents and by important people in their communities as fronts for this opposition to national child labor legislation. Then, of course, the child labor amendment was not approved, not ratified by enough states, and the federal government didn't begin to get at the problem until NRA in the Depression of the thirties forbade the employment of children in factories, mines, and some other dangerous employment. And this was accepted because there was so much unemployment. And this was accepted because there was so much unemployment for adults that there was no reason for employing children. I tried to do what I could in articles and so on to encourage readers to approve of the efforts to curb child labor. I remember going to Augusta and seeing in front of one of the factories along the canal [unknown] low spinning frames that had been built to be operated by children. And they improved their [laughter] labor relations, and they were discarding this machinery, and it just happened to be sitting out in the front of the mill for the time being. There was quite a lot of it, they were installing the regular frames because they were having adult workers. But that was in steel a reminder of the cruelties which had begun, of course, in England many years before and had been transferred to the South.
How did the men you interviewed, these men who were members

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of the first generation of industrialists, view their workers at the time you were talking to them? In more detail than that what they were doing by setting up a cotton mill was a philanthropic effort, but how did they rationalize or think about child labor?
I can't answer that specifically, because I don't recall.
Was it something they didn't think about?
I tried to talk with them about as many aspects of the development as I could, and in my little book about it later I treated first the origins of the enterprise and then how they collected capital and their labor relations and their relations with the local community and everything. Those that I would regard as the abler and more conscienceful ones took this attitude about the isolation of the mill villages and about the paternalism of it, that they were in a position of giving a beneficial tutelage in a transition period from agriculture to industry; that the workers who came to the mills at first had nothing; they hadn't experience, they hadn't skill, they hadn't any money, they had just a few sticks of furniture and a farm wagon which they had brought to the mill village that was being erected; and that they had to give them houses, schools, fuel, morals, as well as employment. And sometimes the wages took the form of furnish at the company store. It began with many marks of agriculture and of slavery persisting. It was a master-servant, a master . . . I hesitate to say a slave relationship; it wasn't that. One thing that saved it from being a master-slave relationship was

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that there was a strong prejudice against Negroes and opposition to giving Negroes employment in the cotton factories, so that there was a strong alliance, though an unworthy one in many respects, between the owners of the mills and the white work force. The white work force was exploited, but at the same time the white workers had a certain bond with their employers because they were all in opposition to the blacks. I talked, I remember, with one cotton mill president particularly about the support of the churches in his mill village, that the company had built the churches in the first place and contributed to the salaries of the pastors and so on. I talked to the pastors themselves in the churches. And the consensus was that this was a service and that the dominance of the company was necessary if they were to have these facilities at all. The people on the whole in the beginning were very grateful for being able to move in from little tenant farms to a comfortable cottage in the mill village where they had companionship and some social life. And they put up with a great many restrictions and limitations, because this was the open door to something better for them, in spite of the fact that the work force was made up in great part of women and children. The men who had been farmers, typically, didn't have the digital dexterity necessary for work in the factory, not in the spinning departments, at any rate. Some of them were employed around the mill in various capacities, but it was known as the city of the dinner pail, the fathers bringing lunch to the children and sitting around and chatting and then going back to the house while the women

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and children did the work in the mills. Aside from the attitude of the cotton mill officials, historically it was an excusable thing because by some such means and only some such means, I think, could an agricultural community graft on industry with all the entirely new resources that were necessary for that purpose: capital and machinery and technical skill and engineering of power plants and everything that went with it. I afterwards knew Frank Tannenbaum, who was a professor at Columbia for a good many years and who had written an article called "The South Buries Its Anglo-Saxons." And he condemned this exploitation of the southern population, saying that it was being swallowed up in this industrial maw. Well, he was right; that did happen. But probably there was no other way of opening opportunity. It was a high cost that the workers paid and that southern industrial morals paid, really. And it ought not to have persisted after the southern textile industry was well developed and had gone on from cotton factories to add rayon mills and woollen mills and finishing and marketing and the whole complex was developed. But it did, and, as you well know, to this day it hasn't been possible to accomplish widespread unionism among southern textile workers. And recently there's been in the newspapers the Stevens plant at Roanoke Rapids. My youngest brother George tried to help with the Committee for Industrial Development, CIO industrial organization, in their campaign, which was called Operation Dixie, to organize mills, and he wrote a dissertation which Chapel Hill published on southern unionism. And he detailed the discouragements that there

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were, but he was hopeful of a development that has never occurred. I knew the man who was placed in charge of the Operation Dixie by the CIO. This must have been before the union of the AFL-CIO. And they sent organizers to the South, in many cases college students or recent graduates, who were idealistic and who were southerners, and every approach was studied and made. But the resistance on the part of employers and the lack of knowledge and experience on the part of workers has prevented . . . There were many studies in this period of the industry. Mine, I think, was among the earlier ones. There had been some of a different sort earlier. Mr. Copeland at Harvard had written a book on American cotton manufacture, and he knew something about the South. I enjoyed studying his book before I started my project. And Mr. August Kohn in Columbia, South Carolina, who was a newspaperman turned real estate operator and became a man of means had visited many of the cotton mills in South Carolina and had written a book reciting the particulars of individual mills. That was published, I think, in articles in the News and Courier, of which he was a correspondent at that time. And there were some others like that. There was a man whom I later knew at the University of West Virginia, who was President of the University of West Virginia. His name escapes me; he wrote a book called From Cotton Field to Cotton Mill. I think his was before mine.
Right. Holland?
Holland Thompson, that's right. And there were others. You speak of the exclusion of blacks from the cotton mill employment . . .


This man was the son of a prominent white man in the community who set his mulatto son up in a cotton mill. It didn't succeed for a number of reasons. Also, blacks were employed in cotton factories in Charleston, but the experience of the employers was not good. I talked with them. It was because the workers were unaccustomed to the rigors of long hours and confinement in a mill and that kind of thing, and they were accustomed to a different kind of life. And in strawberry time, many would leave [laughter] the mills, and when they went oystering they would have a high absent rate.
A lot of the same problems they face with white workers, though.
Yes, I'm sure. I know that. But I was going on to say that the employment of blacks developed gradually. I remember seeing in a mill in Charlotte staircases built on the outside of the factory so that the blacks could get up to the floor where they worked without passing by the white workers in the other departments of the mill. It's been fascinating to see how industrial practice has filtered into a very different society in the South, and to see prejudice diminishing due to many causes. But southern industry generally, I think—or the textile industry, anyway—is a refuge for employers running away from union participation.
How would you compare the study that you did on the rise

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of cotton with the work that was done just a little bit later by Odum's group at Chapel Hill?
I have great admiration for what they did. And you know better than others what an impetus Odum gave to research in the southern economy and society. And it was a series of studies that the University of North Carolina Press issued over a period of years which greatly expanded our knowledge of all aspects of the industry, particularly the sociological aspects of the cotton mill village. And these were important correctives of the propaganda of the cotton manufacturers who were justifying their baronial industrial practices. I remember a book by a woman named Marjorie Potwin, who praised the cotton mill villages and so on. But people like Lois MacDonald and a great many others whose names escape me now set the community right on what was happening. There must have been fifteen or so of those studies. A few years ago I was asked to write a new introduction for that little book of mine about the southern cotton manufacture, and in that connection I inquired what had been published at Chapel Hill because I wanted to supply some additions to the bibliography. And I was able to list a considerable number that had appeared. I speak of Mr. August Kohn in South Carolina. A friend of mine, a newspaperman, invited me to go with him one evening to a little discussion group of university people in Columbia and some people from the city. And that particular evening Mr. August Kohn gave an account of William Gregg, who had built one of the early cotton factories before the Civil War at Graniteville, South Carolina. And he had William Gregg's remarkable essays on domestic industry, a

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copy of a book that was rare at that time. I was much impressed by this. This was after I had graduated at Hopkins. And I went to see Mr. Kohn, and he lent me a copy of his book, and he showed me his library in his home and was very kind and offered me whatever he had about Gregg's contribution, which was partly in agriculture, partly in politics, and partly in transporation, a whole lot of things that Gregg was concerned with. I wrote a [unknown] life of Gregg, and in that connection I had a little grant from Professor Odum, a few hundred dollars to help me travel around and go to Graniteville and Augusta and so on. And he had indicated that he thought it would be good if I wrote a little book including the careers of a number of southern pioneers in industry, Gregg only one of them, but Gray and maybe Cannon and the man at Piedmont Mill, whose name I forget. But I got so absorbed in Gregg, and I found a good deal of material at the factory, a letter book and minutes of the directors and so on, that I made the little account. It was principally Gregg's own enterprise and influence. And I think Professor Odum would have preferred to have the other, but that's the way it turned out. And the University of North Carolina published it, and Mr. William Couch, who was the Director of the Press, made a beautiful book of it. He took great pains, and you had a blue-gray jacket for the book, it was beautifully published. Since the copyright ran out, two other publishers have brought out editions of it in somewhat different form, not as handsome as his. I was sorry when Couch left. He went to the University of Chicago Press and then left there. Is he living in Chapel Hill?

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Right, he's back in Chapel Hill now.
Is he retired now?
He's a fine person. He wrote and edited a number of books himself, essays on southern society, and I remember contributing to one of those afterwards.
You mentioned Lois MacDonald's work during this same period, and I wanted to ask you about her work in another sort of realm other than academics, with workers' education projects. I think you were the first teacher the first year she started the Southern Summer School for Women Workers. I wondered if you could tell me about that organization.
My recollection is that Lois MacDonald, who at that time was graduate student in economics, whether at Chapel Hill I've forgotten, was one of the so-called tutors in the Summer School for Women Workers at Bryn Mawr College. And this must have been about 1920, 1921, along there. Hilda Smith, who had been Dean of Bryn Mawr College, and Ernestine Friedman, who was a trade union woman, started this Summer School at Bryn Mawr College. We took over a dormitory, and we used the library and the dining halls and so on. And they assembled a little staff of about five or six teachers, and they were assisted by younger people who led the discussion groups and who participated in all sorts of ways. Indeed, they did much of the work. And I think Lois was one of those. I was there for two summers. And from this project developed the idea of a Southern Summer School for Women Workers. And Louise McLaren, who was then (before her marriage)

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Louise Leonard, took the lead in this. She had been in YWCA work in New York and was a highly competent woman of good will and good sense and energy. And she recruited funds—how I don't know—for the first Southern Summer School for Women Workers at Sweet Briar College near Lynchburg, Virginia. And having been at Bryn Mawr for a couple of years, I was asked to have a part in that. And we had I don't know how many, sixty-five, seventy women, maybe, all from the South and from a variety of occupations, in excellent physical conditions, a beautiful place. And we enjoyed that. Lois took an active part there, and so did Elizabeth Otey. She had been Elizabeth Lewis of Lynchburg, Virginia, and she had graduated from Bryn Mawr and then had taken a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Berlin and had worked for the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor and had had an important part in one of the earlier studies of child labor in the South. Elizabeth Otey was one who had been a tutor at the Bryn Mawr Summer School, and when we moved down to Sweet Briar near Lynchburg, Mrs. Otey lived in Lynchburg and she lent a hand in various ways, would come over to the college and assist, and Lois was there.
How old was Elizabeth Otey, and what kind of woman was she?
She was a delightful person. At that time I would suppose she was in her forties, maybe early fifties. She had a grown daughter. "E. Otey," she was called [laughter] , named for her mother. And Mr. Dexter Otey was living. I remember being in their home. And when there was a meeting of the Board of the Southern Summer

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School, it would be held in the winter at Mrs. Otey's home in Lynchburg. Mr. Otey died not long after that, and Mrs. Otey later moved to Washington and built an attractive little house, and I visited her there. Then the next year I didn't teach in it, but it went to Burnsville, North Carolina, to the campus of a small college in the vicinity of Burnsville, a kind of a North Carolina mountain college.
Why did they move away from Sweet Briar?
Maybe they had been twice at Sweet Briar; I've forgotten. Lois was a principal one at Sweet Briar and became more important at Burnsville. I remember her being a coadjutor of Louise Leonard, as Ernestine Friedman had been for Hilda Smith at Bryn Mawr. This was a different kind of setting. I remember Frank Graham came up, was most kind, and he talked. I talked with him, and he was very much interested at that time, as he was always, I think, in spreading public libraries in the counties in North Carolina. And his contribution later went on from his progressive plans for North Carolina to the largest national and international participation, because he became Senator from North Carolina and was one of the negotiators of peace in Indonesia afterwards. And he was a man much like my father, I think. Good will was written large on Frank Graham. He was a native; he was aware of all the needs; he was eager to assist in every way, but in a careful way, in a politic way. He mixed tact with energy. And his background of education and as an important administrator in

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education as head of a state university, of the most progressive university in the South, informed all of his projects and actions. But it didn't take the form of scholarly publication or that kind of thing. It was of putting education to very practical uses, his whole academic background. And his power of statement, of organization of material, of thought, everything. I remember attending a session of a committee of Congress on one of these questions—I don't know what it was—and Frank Graham was there and was asked by the chairman to state what our proposition was. And he did it so well; I thought it was just right. It presented crisply all of the essential elements, and he was a master in that. I enjoyed very much being in his home when I went down to speak at Chapel Hill once or twice, and I knew him not well, but I was a great admirer of him.
Since you had been at Bryn Mawr and then came down to the Southern School, how would you compare the two?
At Bryn Mawr the workers came from a greater variety of employments, and there were more of them, and it was better financed, though we were certainly very well off at Sweet Briar. But it was hard to raise money for it, and Louise Leonard spent her whole winter going around trying to get contributions and to encourage unions to encourage their members or working women to come on these scholarships to the college. But when they went to Burnsville in particular, I think it had shrunk a good deal. I believe it continued for some time after that. You know; I don't. But I remember at Burnsville there was a deficit, we were wondering how we could recruit some funds to make up for it. And

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one of our tutors at Bryn Mawr had been Evelyn Preston, who became Mrs. Roger Baldwin afterwards. And Evelyn was a woman of means, and I had worked with her at Bryn Mawr so I volunteered to write her and ask if she would contribute $750.00 or whatever it was to wipe out our little deficit, and Evelyn did. Right away she sent a check, and that was very kind and that helped. But that is my recollection of the Burnsville undertaking.
They were working in those early years at a time when nothing was organized, practically, in the South. The unions were just beginning to come in.
That's right. There was more flavor of unionism at Bryn Mawr than in the Southern Summer School, as I recall. At Bryn Mawr the women in charge of the Summer School were [laughter] taken aback, I think, because hardly had the students come before they made a demand on Hilda Smith that the black maids be moved from the attic of the dormitory, where there were dormer windows and it was hot, to better quarters. It was one of those things that hadn't occurred even to the most farsighted and devoted planners, that as they were inviting union women to come, they were going to ask for union conditions or something approaching it for the help. Hilda Smith responded right away, and they were able to meet the requests of these people, and so everything was all right. But in the South there wasn't that, and there was much more sameness of personnel and of environment and experience of the workers. At Bryn Mawr they had come from considerable distances, and I remember there was, for instance, a woman whose work was washing the windows of

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trains at Chicago or someplace like that in the yards. And there were people who had been in every kind of industry, the shoe industry and clothing and . . . Whereas in the South, my recollection is that they were mostly factory workers. I think the teaching was much the same in both, the conduct of the classes and so on. One of the tutors at Sweet Briar was Amber Arthun Mrs. Clark Warburton she became afterwards. Amber died recently. She was a very fine woman who had come from the State of Washington and spent her life trying to promote education and unionism among southern women. She lived outside of Washington in later years, after she married Clark who was connected with Brookings. Lois was a principal engine of the Southern Summer School. After that I had the pleasure of being on the Board for a couple of years, but I never afterwards had close contact with the Summer School.
How were these people oriented politically?
I can't say. They had had less experience in community participation of any sort. It was an indigenous thing in the Southern Summer School. It was kind of a family thing. I mean we were all of the same background, really, or identification, and it was apt to be geared to southern problems, southern history, southern needs, whereas at Bryn Mawr it had been more national, and the whole outlook was . . . I don't know whether I should say the outlook was different; I think that as far as the faculty went, their hopes were the same. But in the Southern Summer School we had a certain sameness and primary grade atmosphere that we didn't have at Bryn Mawr. They had many more women at Bryn Mawr

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who had been active in their unions or plants or whatever; they were on the whole older; and there were individuals who stood out more, as I recall, at Bryn Mawr than in the southern one. Though afterwards—and not very long after that, either—some instances occurred in which southern workers took the initiative and were extremely pertinacious.
At Elizabethtown, Tennessee, rayon mills had been built, and they had drawn down workers from the hills around there who commuted to the factory, and it was all non-union, and the complaint was against the stretchout. And they had a strike. I was asked to go down and did and spent several days there learning what I could of the situation.
Who asked you to go down?
There was a committee which had invited several people who had had some touch with southern industry to come and lend their encouragement and advice. It was a tense situation in which the headquarters of the union had to be guarded by men walking with rifles on their shoulders in the hotel corridor. An assistant or an organizer, I've forgotten, Vice-President of the AF of L, was there in charge of it. Mary Heaton Vorst was one who came, and there were some others, and I among them. And the story was that these women had become thoroughly dissatisfied with the demands of the company. And there had been a Billy Sunday revival at Elizabethtown and one of these pine-board tabernacles had been built for his meetings. And the union used that for large mass meetings, and there was great enthusiasm. I think the demands

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of the workers were not satisfied, but there was a long and bitter strike. In another instance, which I perhaps am confusing with Elizabethtown, my brother George told me what happened in a rayon mill, that the girls were given a certain stint of making up so many hanks of the yarn. And those that were more skillful were approached by the room superintendent and urged to produce more every hour and to be examples for the other workers and so on. Well, they fell in with this at first, and they got a little more wages themselves, but then they wanted more and more and more, and finally some of these country girls said, "It's intolerable, and if you don't relax we're going to pull the switch in the factory." And they did, and they shut the whole thing down. My brother talked with these women, and that was the story that they told him. Now they had had no touch with unions. There hadn't been any union there. And it was only after they took action that nearby unions sent in several organizers. That may have been Elizabethtown; I'm not sure. Incidentally, I remember at Elizabethtown this vice president of the AF of L—who was a fine person, I liked him very much—didn't understand the southern setting particularly. I remember his going off one afternoon with his golf clubs to play golf at nearby Johnson City. He had worked hard and he deserved his recreation, but there was an earnestness in this local southern workers' community which made that seem a little casual and indifferent. I mean if he had wanted to be really a part—not to say manager—of it, he might have avoided that, because other people were giving their services in a dangerous situation with no relaxation at all.
Do you remember his name?
No, I don't, and I shouldn't have mentioned it

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anyway, probably. And it was a perfectly innocent thing, but it was what an outsider would do without meaning any lack of attention to the problem at all.
You had an experience yourself working for the union at one time. didn't you work for the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union?
Yes, I worked there for several years in the early forties. Dr. Lazar Teper had been a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University when I was there, and I knew Lazar well. He afterwards taught at the Workers' College at Brookwood, New York, at Katonah. And then he became Research Director of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union and had already become, I would say, the sort of dean of union research directors, when he was drafted for World War II and placed in the division of the Army that dropped men behind the enemy lines and infiltrated, the OSS. And Lazar, knowing several languages and being familiar with the European scene (he was himself from the Ukraine, I think, from Kiev), was able to assist with the preparation of documents that these people needed and all that. It was highly secret and responsible work. He had to leave, and I happened to meet him at a meeting of the American Economics Association in New York shortly before he . . .


. . . actually to leave, but he asked me whether

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he could introduce me to Mr. Dubinsky, the President of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union, and Mr. Fred Umhey, who was the Secretary, and, if they approved, I might try to stand in for him while he was gone. So I was teaching at New York University on a temporary basis, an appointment, by the way, which Lois MacDonald got for me. I had been unemployed for a year after I left Occidental College, and Lois was very kind. And she was teaching in Washington Square College in the Economics Department, and she engineered this invitation to me, and I went there first for a year, I think, and then I stayed on, maybe teaching in the evening, for a year or two afterwards; I've forgotten. Anyhow, I had been there and that was giving out, because everybody was encouraged to take any good opportunity that came along in order to relieve the budget of the University. The University was very good about keeping everybody, if possible, but if you had an opportunity to join the staff of the War Labor Board or something else, it was understood that you would respond. I did, and I had a nice meeting with the officers of the Union, and Lazar invited me to come sit in his office and see what went on in the afternoons after I finished with summer school teaching in the morning at NYU. Well, it was a hard undertaking for me. I knew something about industry and something about unions, but I didn't know anything about the clothing industry or the Jewish-Italian unionists, and none of their officers. And I wondered how I would possibly assume responsibility when Lazar, who was thoroughly familiar with the whole situation, was no longer there. He had a good assistant, Nathan Weinberg, who was a Brooklyn boy and

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who had grown up in that acquaintance, and Nathan was a great help to me afterwards. But I'll never forget [laughter] how, after Lazar left, I would have a long distance call from St. Louis or from Seattle, Washington, a local union manager who was speaking with a strong accent about things that were utterly unfamiliar to me, and I had to do something. Oh, I would finally make out that he wanted the particular terms of another contract or something of that sort. I thought I would never be able to serve them, really, but Nathan was kind and so were others in the office. We had about ten members of the research staff. And after some months, I got to know the local officers and participated in their problems in numbers of ways, what went on in their office, and our relations with the War Labor Board and with the rest. I never learned Yiddish, but I got so I could at least talk with my employers. And I guess I was in charge for a couple of years before Lazar came back, and then they asked me to stay on as Co-Director, but I didn't want to do that. I couldn't claim any such privilege. And I did continue as consultant for maybe a year more; I don't know. By that time, one of our workers in the Research Department had gone over to Rutgers University to join the Economics faculty because they had an influx of GI's that had come in and they had to expand the Economics Department from maybe six or eight to thirty teachers. And Frank Hauser went over, and Frank suggested to Eugene Agar, who was the head of the department, that he invite me to come, so it was through Frank Hauser that I went from the Union to teaching at Rutgers.

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I remember I went for the beginning of the second semester. It must have been about 1945 or something like that. And I at first was Visiting Lecturer, and after three years in this rather tenuous status I thought if I was going to stay there I might have a little more in the way of a title and assurance. And a friend in the History Department felt the same way about it, and he helped me in an application for advancement. I was older than a good many that they had on the faculty, and the Dean was very reluctant to give tenure to a person of my age, partly because, I think, the insurance was higher and so on. But a committee was appointed to interview me, and Professor French in the English Department, whom I knew well afterwards, was the chairman of the committee and he seemed sympathetic and asked me what I had published. But they were a little suspicious because I had left Johns Hopkins; I had left Occidental College; I had gone to something different in New York; and so on. But I was made professor, and I remained there until 1958, I think, at Rutgers. I was there, say, nine years. I liked it very much indeed. My term there was memorable to me because it fell in the McCarthy period when the University dismissed three members of the faculty because they had invoked the Fifth Amendment in appearances before the [Un] American Activities Committee or a similar committee in the case of a law professor; I think he was before a different committee. Anatole Murad in the Economics Department, whom I'd known in California, joined several of us: Robert Alexander, who is still at Rutgers, a distinguished professor and a specialist

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in South American economics; and others; a man from Bowdoin, I remember very well, was active. A couple of people from Princeton came over first and said, "Aren't you going to organize an opposition to this expulsion of colleagues?" And yes, we were. And we organized in every way that we could. A mass meeting of the faculty condemned the action of the trustees. Pretty soon, the Association of University Professors listed Rutgers in its "unfair" list, its blacklist, along with some smaller institutions which hadn't the standing or the experience of Rutgers. The President and the Vice-President or Provost resisted it. We begged them as earnestly as we knew how, and we talked with the Senate of the University and the rest and said, "This is a witch hunt, and don't yield to the prejudices which are so inflamed." But they wouldn't listen, and they didn't take these men back. But the President of the University pretty soon left. I think really his opposition to academic freedom was responsible for his leaving. And they mollified the Association of University Professors. But this ran along for a couple of years, I guess. And one of the men was Moses Finley, who had been a member of the staff of the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences at Columbia, and he was a scholarly man whose interest was remote as possible from any of the things that McCarthy was charging. He was a specialist in ancient Greek law, especially real estate law, and he had written a book on that subject, using the markers that were put in the fields showing to whom it belonged and what the survey was and all that kind of thing. Of course he was familiar with Greek and the rest. Well, he was dropped. His wife was a teacher in the public

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schools of New York, and the University paid his salary for a year so they got along, and Moses wrote a book during that year. But then he was invited to lecture at Oxford for a semester, and after that at Cambridge, and then he became Professor of Ancient History at Cambridge University. So a man that wasn't suitable for Rutgers went to the highest post in the academic world in his specialty, in his field of ancient history. We tried in every way to get the University to retract its expulsion of these people, invite them back and so on. They wouldn't do it, but only a couple years ago they did invite Professor Finley to come over and lecture and he did, and they gave him a luncheon. Another man, Heimlich, who taught physics and mathematics in the Pharmacy School and who had been in Rutgers for thirty years and was a much loved professor, couldn't find any academic post. He was skillful as an amateur carpenter, and he got a job with a construction company and later built a house or two himself, I think, in Livingston, New Jersey, but then shifted to selling mutual funds. You see, these people were thrown out of the socket entirely. But Heimlich before very long died of a heart condition. Epstein, the man from the Law School who was Associate Professor there, lost all his clients and so on. He had to resort to writing briefs for other lawyers because he had been condemned, and he had been marked as anti-American. He afterwards went to Puerto Rico and prospered, but died only a year ago. That was the story of the three of them. We went to see the Finleys in Cambridge. They happened to be in Greece so we didn't see them, but I saw him

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when he came here. He's a fine person and he was going on with publications and so on. Anatole Murad was of great assistance in that. He had been born in Vienna and had come to this country and graduated both in undergraduate and graduate departments at Columbia, and then had taught in California, and was a man of principle and vigor and candor and high intelligence. And Anatole did a great deal to correct a very bad situation at Rutgers. And Rutgers learned a lot from the episode. And afterwards they defended a member of their History Department who was similarly attacked.
A short time afterward?
No, some years. Genovese, who wrote a book, among other things, on southern slavery, and who went then to another university—I think Rochester, perhaps—and now, I believe, is at McGill. And when he was similarly attacked the University came to his defense, and I'm sure that ran back to this earlier episode.
Did you ever feel threatened at all? You had been involved in things that were similar to that, with Elisabeth Gilman in Baltimore, with your stand on.
Somewhat similar. Elisabeth Gilman was a daughter of President Gilman, who organized the first faculty and presided over the earlier years of the Johns Hopkins University, which was a university on a new plan of exclusive devotion to research and graduate work. They hadn't undergraduate classes at that time. And Elisabeth in her girlhood years didn't have the contacts or the opinions for which she was later noted. In her living room were chairs with petitpoint seats that she had made, embroidery and that kind of thing she had done as a young woman. She didn't go to college when she was a girl. Later, when she was

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in her fifties, she enrolled as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins and took her degree. After her father and mother's death she lived in their home, a fine big house at I think 513 Park Avenue in Baltimore, near the center of the city. And she concerned herself first in the Family Welfare Society. And she was a member of the local board of the Family Welfare Society which had its headquarters on Packer Street, a poor neighborhood. Professor Barnett at Johns Hopkins University was a member of that board, and he very kindly took some of us graduate students to sit in on meetings of the board and hear discussions of cases that the social workers were dealing with. And that was my first acquaintance with Elisabeth Gilman. She would always offer to put in milk or whatever it was for the particular family. But her interests hadn't expanded beyond that. What gave her the impulse toward a different kind of life was having enrolled as a worker in World War I overseas in the hospitals—I think it was hospitals—and she had met there friends, the Mercer Johnsons, who were doing some volunteer work. He was a clergyman who had very similar interests to Elisabeth's. When she came back she took an active part in the Family Welfare Association. And then she went on from that to reviving a Sunday afternoon open forum in Baltimore which had been started by Reverend Richard Hogue, an Episcopal clergyman, who started this in his parish house of the Church of the Ascension. He was a man of very liberal views and in every way an admirable person, whom we all admired. But his was a conservative congregation, and his open forum was viewed askance by some of his supporters. And after several years in which he had held these meetings Sunday evenings

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after the regular service in the church, that was shifted to a downtown theater on Sunday afternoons. And Hogue was still the principal promoter of that. But for some reason I think Mr. Hogue gave up, or it lapsed for a while, I've forgotten; anyway, Elisabeth Gilman took it over as chairman, and she presided. And she had wide contacts, and her prestige and her family connections enabled her to secure excellent speakers Sunday after Sunday. She would get Harry Elmer Barnes or Scott Nearing or Norman Thomas or the man who later became senator from Alaska, a very fine person whose name I don't recall at the moment, and many, many others. Maverick from Texas I remember, and English people, the girl who married the leader of the British Labor Party afterwards. I've forgotten her first name. And also Henderson, the Secretary of the British Labor Party, came and was Elisabeth's guest. [laughter] I remember he was there for several days, and we had been to an evening meeting or something and came back to Elisabeth's house only to find that the door was locked, and even Elisabeth didn't have a key because she had given the key to a young student who was her house guest. And he'd gone to a dance and she thought he would be back in plenty of time to admit us to the house, but he wasn't, so Mr. Henderson and Elisabeth and I and some others had to sit on the front steps until this young fellow turned up. She continued this with success, took up a collection every Sunday; the expenses weren't very high, and all the speakers came for just their travel expense, I'm sure.
And then Elisabeth became a socialist as a further development of her activities, and she ran for public office on the Socialist ticket. One she ran for

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Mayor of Baltimore and another time for maybe Lieutenant Governor of Maryland; I've forgotten what it was. I had gone to many meetings in Elisabeth's drawing room, because she was organizing all kinds of protests and proposals [unknown] A typical one was a project of getting people to deposit food in the porch of an Episcopal church, the food to be sent to striking miners in western Maryland. They were living in tents; it was winter; and of course they were in need of everything. Elisabeth was an Episcopalian in good standing of one of the chief Episcopal churches in Baltimore, of which Dr. Kinsolving was the rector. So Elisabeth got the idea that a sign should be put up on the porch of the church saying, "Leave here barrels of apples or flour or canned goods or whatever," and she persuaded the President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to give a car to send the provisions out to the miners. She knew everybody, you see, and her family connection opened every door to her. So she deputed me to go to see Mr. Kinsolving and ask whether it would be all right to put up the sign and have the food left in the church porch. There was a little colonnade and shelter. So I went to see him in the beautiful rectory of the church, but he was hostile and he said that he thought the workers had become too uppity and that his wife went to see her dressmaker and was surprised to find a working woman there who was also ordering custom-made clothes. I mean it was an ignorant kind of a response. His son was afterwards for a short time in some of my undergraduate classes at Hopkins, and he became a Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Massachusetts. I think he was the rector of Trinity Church in Boston afterwards. His father was a man of position and dignity, [unknown] a fine-looking man, but he really didn't know what this was about. In spite of him, maybe with appeal

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to his vestry or something, it was done, and I think the food was sent out. And Elisabeth went out to visit the miners in their tent colony in this strike. And then in 1935 or something like that, the Socialist Party thought they would run candidates in the state election when the candidate of the Democratic Party was Albert Ritchie, the Governor who had failed so woefully in his duty in the instance of lynchings on the Eastern Shore, and the Republican candidate was a Mr. Nice, not an aristocrat like Ritchie but a substantial man with a great following. And they held a Socialist convention, a little convention at Frederick, I think, and asked me if I would run as Governor. Elisabeth was going to run as Treasurer or something. So we went and made a campaign over the state everywhere except on the Eastern Shore, where by that time [laughter] I might have been lynched myself if I had gone. But we went particularly to the industrial districts and to western Maryland, the mining camps. Elisabeth was not a good public speaker. She, however, tried to improve her delivery by taking lessons in articulation. But she had a high-pitched voice. She was a nervous woman, jerky, and sentences sort of refused to be finished. She would ejaculate things. She tried to improve herself, and she did. She spoke more slowly, but it was very hard for her to address a crowd such as the crowds that we had, which were on the street corners with the noise of traffic and all that kind of thing that we had to contend with. But we had some meetings in halls and towns and all. Local socialists

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would arrange in advance, and we had larger attendance in Baltimore in meeting halls, We got twice as many votes as the Socialists had ever had before, but Mr. Nice, the Republican, was elected. Ritchie had made himself very unpopular by his lack of prosecution of these lynchers.
Elisabeth and I travelled around with Mr. Bernstein, who was the Secretary of the Socialist Party, and a dentist, Dr. Neistadt, to these places. When I was asked to do it, I went to see the President of the University, President Ames, and I said, "I've been asked to do this, and I hope you think that that's not against the interests of the University." And he said, "Not at all. I would prefer it if you'd take a leave of absence. We'll give you your salary if you want to take a while to run." I said, "No, I can attend to my classes, and we don't go so far but what I can get back by next morning." So I continued teaching this whole time, though we were very busy going all over the state. Ames himself had headed the list of supporters of Ritchie, so he couldn't refuse. He wouldn't have anyway; he was a decent sort.
To begin to sort of finish up, I wanted to ask you about the importance of the ties with your family. During all of these years how close were you to your brothers and to your sister? Did you lend each other support? At least you and your brothers were in very similar kinds of work in any case.
Oh, yes, we were each thoroughly acquainted with what the others were doing, and Father and Mother gave every approval of what we were doing. We were separated geographically, partly because my second brother Morris was during much of this time in Buffalo, New York,

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the head of a country day school; George was in Washington or in Atlanta; and my sister was identified as a volunteer with the People's World College, which my brother Morris had promoted early on the north shore of Long Island, a Quaker College. He wrote a book about it and other similar things afterwards. The students were taken to foreign countries for part of a semester, to North Africa, to Sweden, to Japan, and so on, and it was a college on a wholly different plan, unconventional, to acquaint them with world problems and situations where Quaker philosophy could be applied, perhaps. So we didn't see each other as often as we would have liked. Our bringing up on the campus of Richmond College was sort of like a missionary thing. It was tense, and it was an emotional commitment that my father felt and my mother felt, so we grew up feeling a responsibility to the community. I mean we couldn't escape it. And as we were younger and had different interests and lived in different parts of the country, we branched out into different projects from those that our parents had had. I'm sure that my father was always enrolled as a Democrat, I afterwards as a Socialist and later an Independent. My father had a little political experience which may be worth mentioning in this connection. I remember as a child a telegraph . . .


. . . my father. It was an invitation from the

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brother of Governor Farrell, I think. The Governor had just died, and his brother asked if my father would be an honorary pallbearer. And my father replied instantly that he had always admired Governor Farrell and of course he would be an honorary pallbearer, and he was. But later he asked the Governor's brother, "Why was I invited to come? I didn't know Governor Farrell." He said, "Well, back in the period of the contest between Bryan and Grover Cleveland over gold, you wrote a letter to a newspaper supporting Governor Farrell as a gold Democrat, and he appreciated that and left directions that you should be honored in any way [laughter] connected with him. And so that's the way it happened. He, however, never raised any eyebrow at my joining the Socialist Party or at Morris's educational projects, which were way to the left. Morris taught in New College at Columbia for several years, which was under the influence of Dewey and Fitzpatrick, and then in his own projects I don't think any educator was to the left of Morris. I've never heard of one. [laughter] But Father thought these were desirable endeavors on our part, and similarly George's work with the Southern Regional Council was closest to what Father had done. George had taken over from Will Alexander, who was the first head of the Southern Regional Council, and he was in that post for I don't know how long, eight or ten years anyhow, much of the time trying to prepare the way for the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court. And one of his last projects was one of his best. The Social Service Division, or some such name, of the Congregational Church invited him to make a color movie of

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a lecture that he had given many times explaining the racial situation in the South, and it was beautifully produced and my brother gave the most expert presentation in a movie that lasts nearly half an hour called "The Face of the South." Have you ever seen it?
You ought to ask to see it. You'd find a great deal of interest in it. And he rehearsed the background and the foreground of race relations in the South, from the most intimate experience. It's a beautiful thing. And he retired shortly after that, and he and Alice and their two daughters went to Scotland to live. George was named for our great-grandfather, George Sinclair, and had a strong attachment to whatever of the Scotch we had in our family, and they went to Glencoe in the Highlands and built a little house. But he didn't live long after that; he died in 1962, fifteen years ago now. He was the youngest of us and died the first. There was a singular thing in my father's family. He was the youngest of thirteen children, and all of those between the eldest and my father died first. I met my Uncle John, who was then nearly a hundred, in Memphis, and he and my father looked strikingly alike except that Uncle John was much older. But it was an experience I've never forgotten of meeting my father in a different guise, but the same accent, the same manner, the same looks, except for greater age and my uncle was taller.
How does the work which your generation did and the ties

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between your family extend to the next generation? Why don't you explain just a little bit about your own immediate family and the next generation coming along? Have they followed in any of the same traditions?
My daughter Barbara, who is Mrs. Grove divorced now, is a social worker in Maryland in charge of protecting children in Baltimore County against neglect and abuse. It's a distressing post but a very important one that she occupies. She was in charge of that. She has a little staff of seven or eight who are devoted to that. My son Sidney is a professor of English at Mary Washington College at Fredericksburg, Virginia, thoroughly liberal but not so much concerned with affairs in the community aside from occupying an important place in the life of that college and, to a lesser extent, the town. My daughter Theodora Dyer, who is across the street this summer, is married to a Negro, James Dyer, a very fine person who is a member of the staff of the Carnegie Foundation, which is concerned with opening opportunities in professional education for blacks, particularly, education is James' work. And Theodora herself worked as an assistant in the research department of the Urban League in New York before she was married and I think for a while after she was married. And she graduated from Mount Holyoke College and then studied in the School of Industrial Relations at Cornell. That's where she and James met. She has been consumer protection agent for a part of Westchester County. So these have been her interests, too. And my son Christopher, who's coming here this afternoon, is Associate Professor of Political Science at New York University and is concerned with Latin-American politics and history. He went with us to the University of Puerto Rico for a

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year when both of us taught there. He was sixteen and had been admitted to Harvard, but he decided to postpone entering Harvard and take a year down in Puerto Rico. And he learned Spanish, and that got him started on South American explorations. His specialty is politics. He knows about it as a student of political science, and I'm sure he has liberal ideas about academic freedom and unionism and social improvement, and so does his wife, who is also a Harvard graduate and a teacher in New Jersey public schools. And so, yes, I guess we are a teaching family. We don't have any clergymen any longer; we used to have clergymen always. But after other related, similar occupations opened in the South, younger people were more apt to become teachers or lawyers or doctors or whatever, businessmen. But I suppose we received our impulse in this direction from our childhood associations and environment. Except for my brother Terry, who is living still in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. He was trained in engineering, first at the University of Delaware and then at MIT, and early took a job which he held for the rest of his life at Frick Company that makes refrigerating machinery. Terry's been an engineer and associated in a business community all his life. Not that he was lacking in sympathy with these things. But first of all, Waynesboro is a rather secluded community; I guess it's about fifty miles northwest of Baltimore, but in Pennsylvania. But he never had the occasion to participate in community affairs in the way that we did. He has worked very hard as a member of the staff of this engineering company. But he's the only one of us that hasn't been identified in one way or another with public projects.

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So many of you were involved very directly with the South for such a long period of time. Do you feel very far away from the South now, or do you still feel a real attachment to it?
Yes, I feel a strong attachment and strong admiration on many accounts, but I have felt that I never could live there again, that I would find so much that was repugnant to me, and that I would probably get in trouble. And I feel much freer in New York or in New England, though I blame myself for not having followed the choices of my brothers George and Morris, who devoted themselves to southern residence and projects. Morris for a long time was teaching in the South, in North Carolina and then in Alabama and then after he retired from the Friends World College, he still had a sort of station of the college in Clarkesville, Georgia. And George immersed himself in the southern scene in an atmosphere that was very often hostile, and was trying particularly because, as he said, he had two daughters who were growing up in Atlanta in the thirties, forties. [laughter] He told me somebody was going to visit him from elsewhere and asked for directions, how did he find George's home in the suburbs of Atlanta? And George said, "Well, you get off the bus at a certain point and you walk down the street, and the first white man you see mowing his lawn is me." [laughter] But he was relieved when finally he thought he could retire from the Southern Regional Council; he had been under strong suspicion because he, with great tact and discretion, but also with great courage, had been extremely candid as a spokesman for the rights of blacks in education, politically, in employment, in

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everything. And in this movie that I speak of is a scene where he visits a local community, which was suspicious and hostile and so on. But George said that "The black children in this community deserve to have the best school that the community affords, and I believe in that" and so on [unknown] So the chairman of his little local meeting said, "Dr. Mitchell, we're not served by a railroad in this community, but we have a bus, and there's a bus leaving at two o'clock. And I'd like to escort you to the station and make sure that you get safely on that bus." See, I mean it was that kind of thing. So he went to Scotland where [laughter] he was removed from that. But when he went to Scotland he was asked on one occasion—maybe more than one—to talk on television in Glasgow, and [laughter] his wife told us that one of the little girls in Glencoe, their local community, came running in to her mother and said, "Come quick, Mr. Mitchell is on the telly. I did not believe it until I heard him speak." [laughter] His accent was different, you know. You inquire whether I think that any of our notions are passing on to the next generation.
It is the regret of my life that at Johns Hopkins University I did not pursue to the bitter end the defense of the proposal to admit a qualified Negro graduate student in the Department of Political Economy. He was Edward S. Lewis, who was the Secretary of the Urban League, of which I had been the first President in Baltimore. He was a graduate, I believe, of the University of Chicago and maybe of the Columbia University School of Social Work; I've forgotten. At any rate he was in every way a highly qualified,

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mature applicant for admission to graduate work. He was a leading black social worker in Maryland, where there's a large negro population with a much higher incidence of poverty, disease, and so on than the whites. And he had been doing graduate work in economics at the University of Pennsylvania, commuting weekends. He could only get weekends, because he was holding his position as Secretary of the Urban League in Baltimore. And this was unsatisfactory and costly and interrupted and so on, so why shouldn't he come to Johns Hopkins where we had every facility? The notion was mentioned first, I think, in a little article that I wrote for the alumni magazine, not mentioning Mr. Lewis because at that time I don't think he was a candidate, but just in general that we oughtn't to draw the color line. And this provoked a reproof from one of the trustees, who wrote me very bitterly that I had made a ridiculous suggestion and so on. And afterwards I think he was the occasion of my leaving the University. I pursued this, and my friend Norman Brown, who later was a distinguished professor of Sanskrit at the University of Pennsylvania, had an interval without an appointment, and he was asked to edit a directory of alumni of Johns Hopkins University, and he worked on that one winter. And we used to have lunch together sometimes, and I mentioned this to Norman. And Norman said that in preparing this directory of alumni, he found that an early student in the University was a black man. Professor Simon Newcomb, who was at the Naval Observatory in Washington, taught also at Johns Hopkins. He was an economist as well as a mathematician and astronomer.

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And he brought over to Baltimore a young black man who was one of his assistants, one of his mathematical staff. And he said, "Kelly Miller would like to come over and do graduate work here. What would you think of it?" And President Gilman said, "He may find that the environs are a little strange to him. The others are white. But as far as the facilities of the University are concerned, they are open to any qualified applicant." So Kelly Miller came. Well, when Norman was preparing the directory, somebody in the Registrar's office said, "Omit his name from the directory." Norman said, "I'll do no such thing. He was here." He took a master's degree, I think, in mathematics. And so he insisted, as of course he should have. I picked that up and cited that to the authorities of the University as precedent for admitting Ed Lewis. I did better. I think it was a little stroke, really, but it wasn't appreciated. At the time Kelly Miller was there, the University published the class lists of each class in the University. And I went back to the publications at that time and found Kelly Miller's name and, providentially, the name of Professor Robert Gaines, whom I had known as a child at Richmond College—he was Professor of Mathematics there—who was also a student, white. And I knew Gaines; indeed, we are remote cousins. And also, as it happened, both of these men were South Carolinians. One black, one white, both in the same small mathematics department at Johns Hopkins back in the nineties. So I wrote to each of them and said, "What was your experience?" Just such things as you are asking me now. And they wrote back, and they

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both said that, "Oh, it seemed a little strange at first, but we got to know each other and there was no friction," and Gaines said he and Kelly Miller had studied in each other's rooms and all that kind of thing. So I presented these letters to the Academic Council which was considering the question of admitting Ed Lewis, a black man. [laughter] I thought that was about as good as you could offer, really, you see, a reversion to the earlier history of the University, which was generous and free. About that time I had a falling out with the President, and I left, but I wish I had stayed and seen it through. As it happened, Ed Lewis made his formal application. It was considered by the authorites of the University and rejected, to their shame. But if I had kept on, I think maybe we could have found a different termination of it. This thing provoked much discussion in the University, as you can think. And the head of my department, Professor Hollander, called me into his office one day, and he said, "I have it from high authority that if you would let this lapse for a year and not insist, and the University then refuses to admit this man to my department, I will resign." Well, that would have brought action, because he was one of the most prominent economists in the country and in Johns Hopkins University. Maybe I should have taken a different turn on it. I said, "In the first place, it's Mr. Lewis's application, not mine. I can't decide for Mr. Lewis what his rights are." Though, as a matter of fact, I suppose if I had urged Ed to let it lie over for a year, he might have done it. The object of the year was, apparently, some had come to Hollander saying they could avoid the

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impression of having been compelled to do this, that they had thought it over and they did it on their own. I said, "I don't see any reason for waiting a year. What's going to change? And Mr. Lewis needs the training and he wants it, and why not have it here?" So I kept on with it, and the situation became more and more tense, and I think that the President of the University felt that the easiest way to solve it from his point of view was to get rid of me. And so he became so abusive and overbearing and so on that I flared up and resigned. But if I had stayed on, I think we could have worked it out. And Lewis was the best possible candidate, unexceptionable. He later became Secretary of the Greater Urban League of New York and took his doctor's degree at New York University, and he is now Dean of one of the community colleges in New York. This had happened back in 1939, and some time after that Johns Hopkins did admit a black candidate to the Graduate School— she was a schoolteacher in the District of Columbia—in the English Department. And then others came. So that it wasn't futile by any means.
I think it was one of those instances of a thing that fails in itself at the time, but then later it bears fruit. But earlier I cited to the authorities of the University an instance, I believe, that I thought was discreditable. We had an Engineering School which was supported partly, at least, by the State of Maryland. And so the University didn't have the same freedom in rejecting applicants. Two boys came from one of the Central American countries, they were negroid, obviously so, and the Registrar of the University took the precaution of taking them before the Consul

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of Costa Rica or wherever they came from and having him certify that they were Spanish. They did very well, by the way, those two [laughter] boys in the Engineering School. They actually had them, you see, but they had "disinfected" them. The Consul shouldn't have made the certification, but anyway that was the thing. And the Registrar of the University told me that if she knew an applicant was black, she would not admit him before having the authority of the University to do so. It had fallen on evil days, it seemed to me, so far as its outlook and the relations with the community were concerned. But Goucher College was the same way. I remember going to a commencement of Goucher College where a friend of mine was the President of the Board of Trustees, Emory Niles, who presided at the meeting. And they gave an honorary degree to a woman from India, a doctor. So I wrote to Emory afterwards and said, "You give an honorary degree to a brown woman from the other side of the world, and you won't admit brown women from Baltimore." So he said, "Come to see me, and we'll talk it over." I should have gone. I had a similar experience with a man at the School of Hygiene and Public Health at Johns Hopkins. There was a black man, Dr. Coleman, on the staff of the Maryland Department of Public Health, and he wanted to enter the School of Hygiene and Public Health at Johns Hopkins, and they wouldn't admit him. So I wrote to Alan Freeman or I met Alan Freeman about this, and Freeman was scornful of my proposal that this black man should be . . .
Alan Freeman was an older brother of Douglas Freeman; I had known him when he was a student in Richmond. And then I wrote to Dr. Reid,

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who was the head of the School of Hygiene at that time, who was a New Englander, and I thought he would take a different attitude. The School of Hygiene had urged Dr. Coleman to apply at Harvard instead of Hopkins. And Reid said, "I feel bad about this. Come to see me. Let's see what we can do." I should have gone, but I didn't. I felt, "Well, hell, you know what the situation is. You don't need me to plead for him." If I had gone, maybe we could have worked it around some way. But they rejected Coleman. That was really a worse case than Lewis's, I think, because he was dealing directly with the health of the whole community, because of a high syphilis rate in the black community and TB rate, both of which existed. And the death rate was double for blacks what it was for whites in Maryland. This was certainly deserting the office [laughter] of leaders of education.
I thought we could maybe end. I'd like to know something about the background of your wife and how you got together.
Louise, come and talk to Mary.
I have nothing to talk about. [laughter]
She wants your background and life.
Okay, I have plenty to tell you.
I was curious when you two married and where you were from and how you met.
I can tell you in more truthful terms than she'll tell you, but you talk to her.

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[laughter] You can give your version later.
Did you meet in Baltimore?
No, we met in Washington, because I was working at that time for the Dictionary of American Biography. Broadus was one of its better contributors, and the sketches that he wrote were assigned to me for checking because they fell within my interests more nearly than those of anyone else on the staff. I had had some brush with economics, and none of the rest of them had, and so it was natural they were assigned to me. So for several years I checked his sketches, mostly adding rather than correcting, and he would get back from the office little blue three-by-five slips that said, "So-and-so married such-and-such" and what the source was if it was something that I had found and he hadn't, the name of a house where somebody lived that I turned up and he hadn't. We had access at the Library of Congress to all kinds of stuff, genealogical records, local history, the sort of thing not available in smaller libraries, and often we could supplement. And so finally he got curious about who it was who had been [laughter] sending the little blue slips all in the same handwriting. So he came over to the Library of Congress to meet me, having found out who I was from a colleague whom he met in Baltimore. He came, if I recall, for the first time something like in February of 1936, and we were married in December of that year. And as a footnote I should tell you that when our daughter was a freshman at Mount Holyoke . . .


. . . classmate tied for first place.
The colleague's parents had met when her mother, who was a doctor, removed the tonsils of her father, and that and our meeting over corrections and additions to manuscripts were considered to be the most unusual ways in which people had met.
When did you get into teaching? You have been teaching.
For the first three years after I finished my master's degree at the University of Pennsylvania, I taught in a girls' boarding school. It's a life not fit for a dog. [laughter] And after three years I found this interesting job in Washington on the DAB, which added enormously to my fund of information and research techniques and I don't know what-all else. And I went there and lived very happily for several years doing research and some editing and a few original sketches for the DAB. And then when that job was coming to an end, I got a job with the National Resources Committee of the Department of the Interior, which was doing a study of population problems in the United States. And in that connection, incidentally, I knew Rupert Vance. He was a member of our advisory committee and came for meetings several times while I was on that.
I did research and editorial work for that population study. The head of it was Frank Lorimer, who was one of the principal demographers in the United States at the time. I'm not sure whether Frank is still

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living, but he was a wonderful man to work for and I enjoyed it very much. I left that job when I was married at the end of December, 1936, and I went to Baltimore to live. And I didn't work again from that time until we went to New York to live in the fall of 1942. I got a job then at Adelphi College, and I commuted. We had a sixteen-month-old child, but I did the commuting out. Broadus was at NYU at the time. And that's what got me into college teaching. They were beating the bushes for anybody with any pretensions to academic training, and by that time I had had these other jobs including teaching and had edited a book and done a variety of things. Oh, and Broadus and I did a book together during that period when I wasn't working outside. And so they took me on in the Economics Department. You wouldn't believe what salaries were then. I was offered what was supposed to be a parttime job— this was September, 1942—nine hours' teaching, which would now be considered a fulltime job, for $1,100, and I said, "Sorry, I can do better than that, and if you'll pay me $1,500 I'll come. Otherwise, look for somebody else." So they met my figure. I was also lucky in that I was ushered from the President's office when I arrived for an interview into a room where there was a faculty personnel committee to look me over. And a classmate of mine [laughter] was a member of the committee. She was a member of the Chemistry Department. So that gave me a little kind of entree which I wouldn't otherwise have had. I was on the Adelphi campus two years, the second year of which I divided my time between an affiliated institution in New York preparing teachers for

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young children. They took their work in New York but got an Adelphi degree, and some of the Adelphi faculty did their liberal arts courses. During that year I had a midday jump twice a week with an hour's leeway between the end of a class in New York and the beginning of a class in Garden City, and I became an expert in broken field running from the subway station where I got off the train to the Long Island track where I took the train that would get me there in time for my class, puffing a little perhaps but nevertheless I made it. The end of that year I was pregnant with our son, and I decided that I really wanted to work only parttime, and so I hung on to the New York part of my job and never went back to Garden City, although I was carried in the Adelphi catalog until Mills, where I was teaching, became an independent, degree-granting institution itself. And I went back to work fulltime when our son was two and a half and ready to go to nursery school. I worked from that time until I was involuntarily retired in the summer of 1972 at the same place, and I enjoyed it very much. It was a free place to teach; I was free to do what I wanted to do; nobody interfered with what I said or did. And the college was a casualty of two things, of the shrinking market for teachers and a greedy neighbor, the New School for Social Research. We were supposed to have an affiliation with the New School, and it turned out that what they wanted was the real estate on Fifth Avenue in lower Manhattan. And all of us were dismissed in the middle of the summer, not precisely how I had planned to retire, although I was of retirement age. And it took me about a year to recover from the rage that that created in my psyche. But since then I've found other things that interest me to

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do, and I think I'm as busy as I was when I was working. Am I?
Oh, equally so.
The only time I take off is in the summer. I'm a member of the Women's City Club; I'm now the Chairman of its Education Committee. The Women's City Club is an organization of women whose purpose is to know something about life in New York City and to try and make it a little bit better. And one of the things that the Education Committee has done over the years—I've been a member now twenty-odd years—is to do studies of a variety of things that come up in connection with education. And they are, I must say, although I've been responsible for three of them, really first-class pieces of work, which satisfies my research technique and interest. The most recent one that we've done was a study that took us three years, of open admissions in the city university. We decided that it was important that we should investigate what was happening, what had been happening. And it turned out to have been a fortunate time to do it, because we were able to study five years of open admissions just at the point where the financial crisis, the state and public hostility, damaged the program of open admissions to the point where it really can't be so described anymore. And that came out in February, 1976, and since that time, while we haven't been doing any research studies except a little study of reading in the early grades in twenty New York public schools (and I didn't really participate in that), the ongoing work of the Education Committee has pretty much occupied my time.
It sounds like an exciting thing, a good thing.

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It's along the lines of a number of things that I've done and have been interested in in my career.
I suppose I'm one of the kinds of women who nowadays would consider going somewhere other than where her husband lives for a job. But as I was getting into a teaching career, that would never have occurred to me. People do it now. I'm not sure how well it works, and I'm not sure I would have done it. What I did satisfied me.
You juggled two careers very nicely, it seems from the outside.
Yes. I confess that it was a relief when the children were big enough so that there wasn't the constant problem of what happens if they're sick. And that kind of combining family and career means that it's like being a juggler, keeping about seven balls in the air all at the same time, and in constant danger of dropping at least two. And when they were old enough to take themselves to school and when they began to be old enough to stay at home alone sometimes, it was a tremendous relief. I liked it even better when they went away to college, because then I didn't have to deal with the problems of three other people and shovel them out the front door before I could contemplate what I was going to open my mouth and say [laughter] when I got inside a classroom in an hour or so. But it was never really a burden, and one of the reasons why it wasn't was that we had this place to come to in the summer. We had college and university vacations always. The children spent their summers here, in the old house across the road, from the

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time they were babies, and that was our time together in a way that a working mother who has a nine-to-five job can't approximate. And also my time was somewhat flexible; I could sometimes be home when they were coming home from school. Also, parttime help was much easier to get in New York, or in any big city, I think, than in smaller places. And we were fortunate, when Chris was a baby, in having a very fine lady who came in when I had to be out. She was a widow; she had lived in New Orleans; she, after her husband's death, had had enough money to live on in France until the outbreak of war, which brought her back to the United States. And here she didn't have enough to live on, and she supplemented what she had with a parttime job. She was the more remarkable because, although she was old enough to be my mother, and she didn't always agree with what I thought should be done with an infant and an older child, she was willing to do it my way because she felt that that was the right thing to do. So we never had any overt differences about what was appropriate to do with the children.
Do your children still all come back here in the summer?
Yes, our daughter comes every summer with her children. Our son comes sometimes, and he's coming this afternoon for a couple of weeks. His wife is coming at the end of the week with their younger child, but Sarah will be here today. Sarah's almost six. The other three—my daughter's three—are part of the reason why we built this house. We decided that it would really be good for our aging nerves if we had [laughter] a little more privacy than we had in the house across the road, although we are devoted to the children. But it's

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very different, you know, from bringing up your own. For the last two summers—and Broadus did it long before that, before I thought he shouldn't do it anymore and I took it over—we got the children's breakfast. And I felt, after a year and more of this, that getting up at seven every morning in the summer and getting breakfast for three children and my husband and myself was more than I needed to do. "I've done that already," as we say in New York.
[laughter] So our daughter doesn't quite understand why it's necessary for us to have a separate house, but I think she's now kind of reconciled to the fact that we do.
[laughter] Thank you both very much.
Thank you, and you must have some lunch, and first I . . .
We're going to have lunch in a little while.