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Title: Oral History Interview with Charles M. Jones, November 8, 1976. Interview B-0041. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Jones, Charles M., interviewee
Interview conducted by Herzenberg, Joseph A.
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Kristin Shaffer
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2008
Size of electronic edition: 180 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2008.
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The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2008-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2008-02-18, Kristin Shaffer finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Charles M. Jones, November 8, 1976. Interview B-0041. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series B. Individual Biographies. Southern Oral History Program Collection (B-0041)
Author: Joseph A. Herzenberg
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Charles M. Jones, November 8, 1976. Interview B-0041. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series B. Individual Biographies. Southern Oral History Program Collection (B-0041)
Author: Charles M. Jones
Description: 203 Mb
Description: 49 p.
Note: Interview conducted on November 8, 1976, by Joseph A. Herzenberg; recorded in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
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 Charles M. Jones, November 8, 1976.
Interview B-0041. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Jones, Charles M., interviewee


Interview Participants

    CHARLES M. JONES, interviewee
    JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
CHARLES M. JONES:
You were asking about the difference between the Southern liberal and the Southern radical, and you spoke of Buck Kester and Jonathan Daniels. And the difference between them, I think, came from at least two sources. One was their age. The other was their occupation. I think it's been my experience, too, that it is the younger person in the South who has more humanistic or reformist or whatever you want to call it, upsetting tendencies. He is often in a sense the spiritual son or some kind of a sone of a person like Jonathan Daniels; it is a case of some children (not real children), but one generation going a little bit further than the former one did. Both in conservatism and liberalism I think that happens, that you get more radical convictions in the young and less radical in the old. So age makes one difference. And the second is one's occupation. If you're in a position like Jonathan Daniels, where you make your living off advertising, you have a responsibility to your institution which means to keep it running. Though there were limits to Daniels' accommodation to that. Jonathan was a strong prohibitionist as to liquor. At that point he refused to take liquor ads in his paper and lost income when most other newspapers welcomed money from that source. Jonathan was a liberal, especially on race and labor, yet he couldn't quite go as far in action as Buck. All Buck had to do was do it; he didn't have a business support. He could afford to be radical. But it seems to me that sometimes you do find an old fellow that way, too, because I think there are two classes who can be radical without too much cost, the young, who don't have any responsibilities, and the old, who aren't going to be here much longer. And occasionally

Page 2
you can find a radical among an older person, but for the most part, no. And your thought forms, your habit patterns make it that way. Now I can illustrate it another way. As much as I loved Frank Graham and depended on him, (and a lot of times he saved my skin,) in 1938 he was head of I guess they called it the National Recovery Board or something or other. This commission, appointed by Roosevelt, came out with a report called "The South: Economic Problem Number One." A marvelous document. I was up in the mountains when it came out in the little town of Brevard. The report is still true, as a matter of fact, basically. Dr. Frank came up to speak at a club in Brevard, and I went to hear him; it was the first time I'd met him. And he made it very clear that he was a lone dissenter in that pamphlet to the use of law for the solution of racial segregation. He was the lone dissenter on the commission of about thirty persons. I've never felt you're going to do it any other way but law. But so when we began working, each in our own and with each other because I worked that way with him, too. But he would support persons acting more radically than he. know that Dr. Frank ever walked a picket line, though he hesitated to cross them.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
He talked a great deal about how social change would be brought about through education and religion. And in the late forties, when he opposed federal action in the broad area of civil rights, that might have looked to some as if he were taking a states' rights position. But you think it's even broader …
CHARLES M. JONES:
I think it had nothing to do with states' rights, because if you're working in his life you might find places where he didn't stick to states' rights position. Well, as a matter of fact, you'll find it when he was in the Senate. He refused to go along with all the other Southern senators on a vote against cloture.

Page 3
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Do you remember when that thing we think probably lost him his bid for re-election to the Senate? I think it was an honest conviction of his that the peaceful way and the gradual way—he felt it had to be gradual—would be by education and religion. But when he talked about education, I think he talked about education of the black as much as of white.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But it's bringing blacks up to a level where whites would…
CHARLES M. JONES:
And educating the whites to a sensitivity to the problem. Now that's why, in the forties, we got along famously in ChapellHill by what I call a permissive period in the University. You could do anything so long as it wasn't made public and it didn't make a fuss. [unclear] first year I was in town in 1941 I brought Howard Thurman to speak at the Presbyterian Church, a black. And Dorothy Maynor gave a concert a few years later in Memorial Hall, which was fascinating. I hope you can run up on old news reports. on [unclear] This caused difficulty for Dr. Frank. The way it was finagled in was to get some student groups to sponsor the concert for the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen, of which I was the Chairman at the time and I was close to so many student groups and they sponsored the concert for the benefit of the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen. And Dorothy sang for nothing, gave all the money to the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen. It was permissible for students, you see, to sponsor things. So Dr. Frank was approached and given the whole story, nothing held back, that the concert would be unsegregated, and he says, "Why, of course." And then his "I get it." One rather prominent University official—and I'd use his name, except I can't document it; I can use it to you if you want it, but I can't document it—

Page 4
went to Charlotte for a speech before a business club, and he let it loose that the concert was going to begiven. And immediately Bob House caught hell for it up here. But we did it. When Dr. Frank said yes, he meant yes. And he went ahead and did it. In those days I didn't save correspondence, and I wish I had, but I got a letter, not meant for me, out of my post office box. And it was addressed to a state senator or representative, and up in the corner it said "The Dorothy Maynor Concert Committee." Well, I was the chairman of the Dorothy Maynor Concert Committee, and I thought there was some mixup there, so I opened the thing. And it was a letter from…. I just got seventy-one, and names slip me fairly quick, but from Clark.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
David Clark?
CHARLES M. JONES:
David Clark. There was a letter—I suppose it was meant to be confidential—from David Clark to members of the N.C. House and Senate telling about that concert. And he writes about Frank Graham walking in, big as life, "with some niggers" and sitting on the seventh or eighth row [Laughter] and so on. Then he talks about niggers ushering together and sitting together, and he said, "The stink got so bad that we had to open the windows." Well, it did get hot, but we had the windows open to begin with, and one of them fell down during the first part of it. Anyway, it was the funniest letter I ever read in my life. But, you see, that was a permissive kind of thing that you hope won't cause a state-wide rumpus. It's educating, really. It was right along with his theory. Now when it comes to something like the '47 thing, testing the interstate unsegregated bus riding which was almost sure to bring some kind of conflict I feel like Frank Graham would rather have had that tested not by a special group like CORE, the FOR, and Bayard Rustin out of state fellows, but he'd

Page 5
like to have had that tested in the course of time, naturally. That's his way of working. I knew the test was coming; I'd helped plan it. But he didn't know that. There was no reason for him to know it. We never talked about the thing, even until after it happened. Of course, I'd never hide anything from him. But he didn't know I had anything to do with it. He just thought I had got word that those fellows were in trouble, so "bighearted me," I go down and do my thing. The truth, though, was I was in on it from the first, because I was a member of CORE and the FOR. And when he begins to defend me, one of his defenses is, "Well, now, Charlie didn't know anything about this. It was just something he responded to" [Laughter] [unclear] which wasn't true. One of the hardest things I had in my life was to go to him and tell him that he was wrong. He says, "Well, that's all right. It's all right." He says, "It was perfectly legal." But I see Dr. Frank, really, as a stimulator—I call him "the great encourager." Young people or older people like me, he would make aware of injustices. You get kind of fired up, and then you do it. But you're probably doing it the way he wouldn't. He'd go about it in a different way. But he'd sure as heck stand by you when you did it, and it was quite a thing. Now this way of his was reversed once in Congress, when Al Lowenstein, of whom I think a great deal—and Al told me this, so I know it's true—when Al Lowenstein was his young assistants in Congress…. Because he was [unclear] young competent lawyer. Al was in school here and then graduated from Yale Law School, I believe. But Dr. Frank took"his"young men from here as assistants. And when he was going to vote for cloture that fatal time, Al and some of the other boys went to Senator Russell, I believe it was, and said, "Look,

Page 6
can't you persuade Dr. Frank not to go this way alone?" And you know what Senator Russell said? "Don't you tamper with Frank Graham's conscience." But that's a case of Lowenstein going in reverse (acting as a cautious radical) Al was a radical, and he went South with the lawyers in the civil rights, see, but he didn't want to see this strong person lose his votes from the South and his seat in the Senate. As a matter of fact—and I don't know if you've run across this, but it's very interesting—both of Lowenstein's children, his first child was named Frank Porter Graham Lowenstein, and his second was named after his sister, Mrs. [Kate] Sanders. [Laughter] Which shows what influence he had over young radicals. And I call him "the great encourager." That's what he meant to Lowenstein, who later as state senator from N.Y. really broke up the Johnson public support for fighting the Vietnam War. He was the reason for Johnson refusing an almost sure second term nomination for President. Well, if that answers in part some of your questions about Graham's liberalism. I tend to ramble on too far, but you may ask further questions about it.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I was thinking, in 1960, I'm not sure where Frank Graham was, either in New York or perhaps even in India or Pakistan, when the first sit-ins took place in Greensboro, he wrote a little essay for the Southern Regional Council, in effect celebrating what those four black students did.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Do you think that would be part of his great encouragement?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes, that was part of his encouragement. I don't think he would have sat in with them that first day at all. But it would have been interesting, to see what he would have written a little bit later on when they started lying in the streets and getting arrested.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.

Page 7
CHARLES M. JONES:
See, he was commending the first initiative, which was rather mild, but later on, when we had over a thousand indictments here (in Chapel Hill) at one time, it would have been interesting to see what he would have written then.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
My researches haven't gone that far, but I really
CHARLES M. JONES:
I don't know that he wrote anything at that time.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No.
CHARLES M. JONES:
But as far as I know, at no time in my life did he ever say to me, "This is unwise." Not once. And I was very close to him, but not once did he say to me, "This is unwise." Nor did he criticize me for having done something that I knew was wrong or unwise after I did it, that that wasn't in him. But he was the encourager. And I guess you would have to say he was the protector, after you did it, you see. He encouraged and he protected. And I think that was his great strength. Had he been the radical, then here was a whole section of North Carolina life—political, religious—where we'd have had nobody to kind of get hold of for help and support. And in his way he was, I think, as necessary to these accomplishments as were the sit-inners and whatnot, all the rest of us.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Going back a bit to your earlier distinction between people who are more liberal and those who are more radical, it seemed that part of your definition of the difference was that the liberals are people who are more tied down to some institution which restricted them.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes. I'd just term it a responsibility; it wouldn't even have to be an institution, whether an institution of the family or whatnot.

Page 8
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I was wondering, for example, there were those four years in the mid-forties when Howard Kester was principal at Penn School. I wonder if those years he was able to do less of the kind of thing he wanted to do than the years immediately before that and after that.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Well, after Penn School Buck came back to the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen for a while, but we really didn't do anything very radical. Buck's ideas had moved into what he called a Seminary-in-the-Cornfield to get these ignorant, less educated, born-again Baptist preachers [Laughter] I guess he was talking about—into a seminary that we could have up there in Black Mountain. As a matter of fact, we bought a nine-acre piece of property there. And I think Buck's most radical period in life was lived out with the Southern Tenant Farmer Union days, because the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen wasn't an awfully radical thing until a person like Nell Norton comes along, or even [Dan] Pollitt. As far as I know, Buck was not involved in the sit-ins at all. Buck had a heart attack somewhere along in that period, and I'm not sure what year it was.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I was thinking that age might be…. It's hard to remember many people past their thirties or so who were much involved in the sit-ins.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Of course, but in Chapel Hill there were a good many.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, that's right.
CHARLES M. JONES:
A good many. Dan Pollitt was professor in the Law School. Oh, God, he was something. He was on the picket line, he was in the courtroom, almost [Laughter] , as much as he could be with advice and so forth. And there were a number of doctors, as a matter of fact. Loren McKinney from the Med School. Joseph Straley from the Physics Department and many others.

Page 9
Our first picket line here was carried by high school students and professors and not even university students. That picketing dealt with the theaters. The university students would come in a little bit later with, oh, John Dunn and Pat Cusick and some of them. I have a feeling…. Well, let's go on with this and let you get what you want out of this, though.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Another question is that at least as far back as the thirties, and certainly continuing into the early fifties, there was a very strong notion throughout the region that Chapel Hill is this liberal island.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And that may be something that you would care to argue against; I don't know. But from my point of view, if that were so, it's difficult to understand how there was such a violent reaction to the Freedom Riders in 1947. That incident in Chapel Hill was the most violent incident of their journey, was it not?
CHARLES M. JONES:
The only violent one, yes.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And then the nature of the resistance to integration in Chapel Hill took some rather violent forms.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Dr. Frank, we talked about that once, but we weren't talking about Chapel Hill; we were talking about North Carolina.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, that, too.
CHARLES M. JONES:
He said to me, "The reason North Carolina has not gone the way politically with demagogues, like South Carolina has in extreme reaction is because we have not had any political demagogues. Look back; we really haven't had any real effective political demagogues. We've had conservative

Page 10
fellows, but not demagogues.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Who were rather bland.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Bland, and did their fighting behind the curtain at you, you see. Well, I don't think that holds for the Chapel Hill bus test because, after all, these fellows coming through here weren't demagogues. They were peaceful and they were very quiet. And we (Dr. Frank and I) never talked about this; I wished I had, now that you ask the question, but it's interesting. But we didn't, I guess because I think I have the answer. At that particular time of violence in 1947, the blacks in Chapel Hill, due to Dr. Frank's notion of education, were beginning to open a taxi business, and they did open a taxi business. And this upset the white taxi men, because it put them on an equal with blacks, obviously. And the beginning of the troublemaking in this instance, in fact all of this violence, centered around taxicabs. And the three cars that came to my house were taxicabs, mainly taxicab drivers in them. And at one time when the students called that big mass meeting about it, I went to the mass meeting and I saw a taxicab driver going with his cap on. So I said, "I hope you're going to say what you have to say today." He said, "Hell, I can't say nothing. I ain't had no education." I says, "Well, it don't take an education." I said, "I didn't graduate from college, either. I dropped out. It don't take an education to say what you feel; you say it." And he says, "No, I can't do nothing like that." And he said to me, "I wasn't in that bunch." He said, "I wouldn't do nothing like that." But he says, "I've been driving up and down these streets, and students have been cuttin in on me and calling me a son-of-a-bitch." And he said, "People have been

Page 11
refusing to ride with me." And he said, "I didn't have nothing to do with it." He said, "It's just them other fellows." [Laughter] So I spoke for him at the meeting, when he didn't speak, and I spoke for him against the proposed boycott of the taxicab drivers. But the taxi drivers were immediate cause of that violence. But it was ready to happen, because from the forties on we had progressively, either by permission or by government order, had Negroes raised higher and higher in status. Nowhere else in the state did they have students being trained in another school. They had a black band that moved with great [Laughter] pomp and ceremony. So I think things went a bit too fast for some people and that was the the substitute for the demagogue, as far as I can see. Because I'd go downtown, and, God, I lost friends right and left for a while. And the big thing was "You're going too fast." And they saw we were a threat there. [Laughter] Of course it was a real threat, and I can see that. But I think that was more the reason in Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill's liberalism, more or less, has been bookish, anyway, up until in the forties. [Howard] Odum, I think, probably started it, and I had an interesting experience with Odum when I first came here. He was one of the liberals and a very good one. But a fellow came to my office and wanted to—in fact, he had one leg; he was black, and this was in the fifties—and he'd been down to register, and they wouldn't register him. And he wanted to know what to do about it. So I said, "Well, we'll call up and see." And I called up Howard Odum's office, and Lee Brooks was also there, a friend of mine. I said, "This fellow is over here, and he wants to register and they say they won't do it. What do we do?" Well, Odum says, "You go down there with him [Laughter] , and if you have any trouble, why, let

Page 12
me know." Well, Dr. Brooks heard about it, and he came across to go with me. And I took a copy of the U.S. Constitution with me. And the woman registrar said, "Well, he can't read the Constitution," and I says, "How do you know?" She says, "Well, he's just been to the seventh grade." And I says, "Well, there's a lot of white people been to the seventh grade and evidently can read the Constitution." She says, "Well, I won't pass him." And I says, "Well, have you given him the test?" She says, "No." I said, "Would you give him a test?" She says, "Well, I don't have the Constitution." So I pulled my copy out of my pocket. I said, "Well, I have one here, but you're in a sense trapped." And I said, "We'll leave and come back in half an hour, and if you want to give the test, we're going to have witnesses. And if you want to have some for your side, you can do it and we're going to take it to court." We came back in half an hour, and she registered him. But, you see, Odum, he'd write these things, and he inscribed a book for me—and he'd given it to me—"To Charles Jones, in the long and gradual fight for equality." So there again you had that age in which he was born. Rupert Vance was that way until he changed during the '50s and '60s.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But he had some kind of change?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes, he changed later on, toward the last. Rupert was a more open man than than Howard. And yet I don't want to run Howard Odum down. When Henry Wallace wanted to come here—he did come here for a student Progressive Party convention—and the University had agreed to the student convention. They hadn't looked at it closely enough, or the students didn't tell them that much. But when they discovered it was Henry Wallace and the Progressive Party, it

Page 13
turns out that the building that the students were supposed to use was being painted. So the students came to me and put the problem, and I said, "Well, it's on Saturday and Sunday. I can give you my buildings on Saturday; I've got to have them Sunday." I said, "Go and see Dr. Odum." Odum said, "You can have mine Saturday afternoon." He said, "The University doesn't control my buildings." And there was the liberal in him, see. So between us we got the conference held. They put a sign on the front of the Presbyterian Church "Progressive Party Meet Here," and they registered in the morning there and then moved over. I guess I caught more hell about that than almost anything else, which was strange, but I sure did. But that was your Chapel Hill liberalism, you see. It was insight but little action.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
CHARLES M. JONES:
Did you all know that Odum had a book in which he said segregation was best for the South?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
The very early book? Yes.
CHARLES M. JONES:
It's in the Tar Heel, if you read them all. I guess it was in the Tar Heel that I read it, a short little review of a book of his, and I didn't record it because I didn't have any use for that. But he at that time felt that there had to be segregation. And of course that's the mark of a liberal, he can change. I guess you can be more liberal today. But Chapel Hill never held much opportunity for action. That may be another reason. Your action was out there with the tenant farmers. Until it came to eating and the theater, we didn't have any local race problems in Chapel Hill.

Page 14
And I don't know what would have happened then to the liberalism of Chapel Hill. I have a guess, but I don't know.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
What is the guess?
CHARLES M. JONES:
They would have backed off at the more radical actions, and I base my guess—really, it's a judgment based on experience during the sixties, as you've probably read, when Chapel Hill picketing opened, Dan Pollitt and I, we were about the only two whites in it, really, for the movies. And then John and Pat and the fellows come with the Peace Union. We were starting on the drugstores and things, and they started on the restaurants. And then as it goes on, we just don't make any headway at all. We pound the pavements, and, God, I don't know how long [unclear] , and we seemed to be getting nowhere. And we white leaders were Dr. Frank-ish. The white people like me, the first leaders, were wanting to keep on picketing. We were getting the best of them, see; we'll finally win it. So on and so forth. But these young fellows (mostly black) come along, and they're getting radical in it. They say, "Well, that's too damn long. You might find a way, and you might not." So they begin to go inside restaurants and lie down. Because they saw that we would not be a help there, they formed their own group. Now this was hard for the liberals to accept. They felt deserted and hurt, because here they had [Laughter] started the thing and then were pushed aside as leaders. But they started it then. And as it still wouldn't improve fast enough, why, then, John and Pat and and young black leaders had them go lie in the street. Now they came to talk with me only once. One night I gave a July the Fourth oration on this, we wrote out the steps. And they wanted me very much, because they needed some adult white front, and they didn't need

Page 15
me for leadership. They didn't need me for support. And they wanted me very much to in some way lend support to that Saturday when they were going to lie in the streets. I simply could not do it. I couldn't see blocking a hospital. I didn't see why it had anything to do with restaurants. And my point was, you make your protest at the point where you're hurting, and you don't hurt the people at the other point. We parted friends, I think, but we didn't agree. And so, you see, we became the liberals and they became the radicals. I never resented that, because I felt they had to do it, and after about six months I felt they were right, with the exception of the hospital blocking, that we would have poked along [Laughter] in there eight or ten more years. Our time had come, and it went past, and we did what we could. And you needed these more radical fellows. And since then, what has happened to them? Well, Jim Farmer [Laughter] goes in Nixon's cabinet, and Bayard Rustin's got a place in a foundation, and all these fellows are back in an institution. They're out of the radical stream now; they'll never get back in it. They're liberal, but they'll never get back in the radical stream. And Bayard Rustin possibly could, but I don't see the rest of them doing that. And that's my feeling about this liberal-radical business, you see. If you don't get it accomplished by the liberal and it's a real hurt in society, you've got to push it further. And the liberal gets as far as his rope will let him go, and the radical takes over. And the problem of liberal-radical is not to get their feelings so hurt that they oppose each other. And all the time that the radicals were doing their sitting in and lying in,

Page 16
we were still picketed under a different name. And we did it till the end. So that you see you had your two approaches.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Do you think that what Chapel Hill liberals—Frank Graham or Howard Odum, who were different kinds of men—were looking forward in the long run, with respect to race relations, is what we have today, by and large?
CHARLES M. JONES:
I don't know. I'd like to hear them. I think I probably shared with them, because I wasn't too far from their generation, a rather naïve outlook that if you could desegregate certain things, then that would be behind you, and you could go on with a normal life. But I have seen later—well, I saw right away, as a matter of fact—that that was only the beginning. Now I'm not sure that they'd be disappointed; I think they would, perhaps even better than I, see why they were mistaken. We lived so long under segregation that segregation was the problem, the only problem. And I think basically the problem is economic now. But you don't see those things until you take a step far enough to see them. I believe they'd both be quite surprised at the fact it didn't work out, and we didn't have peace and everything else that goes with desegregation.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
One reason why I asked that question is yesterday in the News and Observer there was an article, which I didn't read carefully, but it was based on an interview with Mr. Pearsall, the state legislator. And the whole point of it seemed to be that he today says that his wonderful plan back, I guess, during the administration of Luther Hodges was to prepare the way for integration of public schools, which doesn't

Page 17
strike me as what I remember.
CHARLES M. JONES:
I don't know what he was trying to do. I guess you'd have to accept his word for it, but I think it could be self-deception. You know…. You don't know, because you haven't gotten older yet. But one of the things that, if you're not careful, you tend to do is to make sure you were successful back there, and you had good judgment, plans was good, and everything progressed right along When Pearsall played his role there, I think he was trying to block integration, but I think he was still trying to do it in the genteel fashion that caused Dr. Frank to say "we don't have any demagogues in the state." Now if you want to get into that, you can talk to George Watts Hill, Jr. He was in the state legislature, and he opposed the Pearsall plan. And he argued eloquently, you know, "Let's go into this thing." And as a matter of fact, some of us thought that we ought to oppose that plan with some statewide advertising, and I went out after money. And I went to John Wheeler. I went to John and said, "John, where am I going to get some money for this ad?" Well, of course, John gave me some. He said, "You go to Watts Hill, Jr." And I said, "What the hell. You go to any of the Watts Hills." He said, "You go to Watts Hill, Jr." And I went over to Watts Hill, and it turned out he attended church I served when he was a student. And Watts was dead set against Pearsall. And if you want some insight into that—and I don't know how Watts feels; now he may be gentle with Pearsall—my feeling is Pearsall was expressing his own feelings in a way in which he learned very cleverly how to express them and how to block things of this sort. Because I think the equal of the demagogue, in terms of his course of action, is that kind of fellow, the blocker.

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Peaceful: "This is good; in the long run it'll work out, you see." But to me it's just dangerous as hell, and sometimes you know so. Because I think if we had not had that finagling around and blocking of change here and there and trying to frustrate us, we'd never have lain in the streets and got charge (the Pearsall's) don't see is that you keep a sore raw enough until it gets inflamed, and then it gets infected and just busts out. And they think that's clever. And they are probably sincere about it, but it sure hurt us. And that's another reason, I'd say—you were asking—for our extreme activity here. Chapel Hill became an example of the failure of white liberalism Well, they (the blacks) said they were going to make it so, the showplace of the nation, and they did. And it was because of those fellows like Pearsall who blocked the action, that this had to happen. No, I read that, (story in the News & Observer) and at first it made me angry, and then I kind of got amused about it.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
It looks like there's been a shift in the party line.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And it's no longer fashionable; one might even be embarrassed by …
CHARLES M. JONES:
Well, he wants to be the patron saint of some kind. [Laughter] You know the politics of this. If he gets any pleasure out of it, it's all right, I guess.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But this would be someplace where Frank Graham would disagree.
CHARLES M. JONES:
I wish I knew. You see, he was a great—and this is in the good sense—compromiser. And that's what a politician is, anyway, at his best. He would take a potent position, and one time they had trouble in my church, because members of the black Navy band started attending And when I saw the trouble coming I just called a meeting of the officers. I said, "You've

Page 19
got trouble here, and you've got to decide it," and I left the room. And they appointed a committee, and on the committee was Francis Bradshaw and Dr. Frank and somebody else. And three or four nights later Dr. Frank called me, and he says, "Charlie, has Francis showed you the report they're going to make?" and I said, "No, Dr. Frank." He says, "You can't take that." [Laughter] He says, "You can't do that." And I said, "Well, I haven't even seen it." So he got hold of Francis and they came down to my office. And sure enough, I couldn't accept the recommendations of policy. "I'll quit." And he knew it. And he would have been in sympathy with me. So they gave the papers to Dr. Frank and Francis says, "Well, look, Frank, why don't you see what you can do with it?" And he sat there about an hour. I wish I'd kept the notes on it—I've got so many things out there I never kept, you know—they'd be very interesting now. But he sat for about an hour and on legal paper and wrote out, which you may have seen, their solution to the problem. It was printed and so on and so forth. And it said, "Fundamentally"—and I still objected to that, but I didn't think it was enough to cut my relations—"Fundamentally," it said, "we welcome Negroes to worship with us in our congregation. We will accept Negroes to membership. We do not encourage them to desert their own membership." Well, hell, nobody was trying to cause that, see. And to me that part just wasn't necessary, but it wasn't worth fighting over enough to leave the church about it. But that was Dr. Frank's solution to it, you see, to find an acceptable middle way, because one of the arguments of these people was, "Well, what are you going to do, empty the black church?" Well, of course not, because church desegregation's got to go the other way too. [Laughter] [unclear] . But at any rate, I think he possibly would have objected to Pearsall, but

Page 20
it's just pure speculation Now I don't know whether he ever said anything about it. I think he was out of our circle of activity, and he didn't feel it his problem then. I guess maybe he didn't have time; I don't know why he didn't. And as far as I could find in my reading—I didn't look for it—but he didn't say anything about Pearsall, though you might find it.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, there isn't really very much, and I regret, in a way, that he was away from the scene so much in the fifties and sixties. Francis Bradshaw is still alive, in California.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes, I saw Francis recently, as a matter of fact. He's still got a clearhead on him. He's taken off in several directions, eventually. One is extrasensory perception.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Oh, that's interesting.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes. And he's very interested in it. His health appears to be fairly good. And Doug Hunt told me that they were wanting to get Francis back here for a speech for the psychologists' meeting, but they couldn't find the money for it. He was a liberal of an interesting sort. He fell too far backwards sometimes for me [Laughter] , but he still was liberal. And students got a picture of Frank G. and Francis and me and called it "the Trinity." [Laughter] [unclear] But they held Francis in very high regard, particularly his classes…. [unclear] Whatever writing I was going to do was to trace the social movement through this period. And one of the important periods I was going to trace was this period when the old leadership was dumped, and the radicals come on. The black radicals were a few sprinkled like that. And then I was going

Page 21
to trace them on through to see what, following that, happens to them, and try to get a kind of look at the procedure and movement. But basically I see that what happened in that period is that liberals often were radicals. And through some kind of circumstances, either getting older or responsibility, they take a position that's a liberal position. Or you can be a liberal and be moved to a radical position, see, also. You can go both ways, but the radical is so because generally he can afford to be a radical.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I do get the impression that many people in Chapel Hill who considered themselves liberal were unable to keep up with the times. Things moved too fast for them. But the last year, however, was like the very year of the school desegregation decision.
CHARLES M. JONES:
That's right. That's the year in which Odom gave me that book. No, it was two years before that. Race and Rumors of Race, that was the book he inscribed. Well, I guess it's just age is what does it. You don't see many people, though they can, because, really, older persons can be more Independent. Nobody's got any hold on them; no body can hurt them; they're getting out of here before long; so age has got just as much chance to be radical as youth, but there are not many aged persons that do it, really. In fact, you oughtn't call me a radical now; I'm not a radical. I think I would be if something arose, because I've got no responsibilities to tie me down. The other factor, which I might say, too, enters in this, is the excitement. And that's what people often don't realize, the sense not of just revolt in the radical, but the sense of excitement and danger. When we get together and start talking, Dan Pollitt and these other folks, some of the

Page 22
happiest years of our lives were down on the picket line, see. And that's because it's fun. And people don't realize that; they either give you plaques and whatnot for whatever you did. They don't realize that what you did was just plain unmitigated fun. And a lot of it's undertaken that way. I've seen kids picket when they didn't give a damn about eating in a restaurant [Laughter] but you can go down there on that line and defiantly look these white folks in the eye; that was something. And that figures in being radical, too.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I have a feeling that what you just described was a lot of Frank Graham before 1930.
CHARLES M. JONES:
With Beal., and With the labor union stuff.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes. In fact, I think that's one reason why he really did resist being elected President of the University, that he knew that he couldn't do that kind of thing anymore after he moved into South Building.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes, he had such a high sense of responsibility to the purposes which he had said he'd undertake. He had a single eye, really.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But all through the twenties, for example, except for those few years when he was away, he was always running around the state, organizing something.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes, that's right. And then that [Fred] Beal case in Gastonia.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHARLES M. JONES:
He just took off and went down there flying, as a matter of fact. But I don't think you'll find many radicals or people who had been radicals who ever thought Dr. Frank let them down. He'd either say nothing—that wasn't often of course

Page 23
but he'd either say nothing or he'd say something to back you up. He didn't ever criticize you. I never heard him say, "It would have been better had we done it this way, but since we've done it this way…." You know, that kind of thing; he never said that. Somehow, when you get into this, you will need to account for the almost unanimous affection for him in the Senate. Of course, whenever a man leaves the Senate they praise him. But I had the feeling that wasn't simply an admiration society then.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, I think you're right.
CHARLES M. JONES:
And so most of those men, Senator Morse is gone, dead. You might could get to Russell sometime if you're down that way. But he's senile, I guess. [Laughter] But it would be interesting to take that Senate, that period, and take one or two of those gentlemen, one younger one or so—and the older ones I can understand—but take a younger one or so and see really…. And I'll tell you who might be of help to you on that, AlLowenstein might help getting to the bottom of that. Al is a worshipper of Frank Graham so [Laughter] you have to be careful of Al's estimate of him. You just know he would take these points of view. There's justnobody like Frank Graham now.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
There's a section in the memoirs of Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois entitled "Three Saints in Politics," and one of them is Frank Graham.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Who were the other two?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Senator Lehman of New York …
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes, he was.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
… and Congressman Jerry Vorhees of California, who I think was the first person that Nixon …

Page 24
CHARLES M. JONES:
He's the great coop man. Yes, he was. Maybe it's just because of our background that we read it that way; as I read his leaving of Congress, it was a rather unique event, really. And I didn't keep up with what he was doing in Congress much. That would be his great field, though, because he was working one-to-one and persuading and educating and so on and so forth. He was a very useful man in Congress. If he'd been twenty years younger and become President, it'd be interesting to see what would have happened.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
What do you think of that idea, of Frank Graham's sainthood?
CHARLES M. JONES:
I took some trips with Dr. Frank; we spoke together at some places occasionally. I went up to Sweet Briar at one time, and he never drove. And we got in my car, and he was sort of tired. And he would get a chocolate bar or a lump of sugar, and get on the back seat and go to sleep. When he did that, thirty minutes later he was ready to go. We got there late at night, and a Miss Meta Glass was the President. You know, Dr. Frank never took anything of a stimulating nature to drink, not even tea. So Dr. Glass asked would we like to have some coffee. I said "yes," and she said, "I'll pour you some coffee." And Dr. Frank says, "No, thank you." She says, "Well, would you like anything? I think we have everything." He said, "Well, a little buttermilk, please, would be very fine." It was the one thing she didn't have. But she didn't let on. I noticed it took her about fifteen minutes to get the coffee and buttermilk. It turns out she [Laughter] had to send out and get the buttermilk. But he was, in that sense, a saint, not self-punishing or self-denying, but for reasons of simplicity in his life. My understanding is he never owned a tuxedo; it would be interesting to know if it's true. I never saw him in one.

Page 25
[unclear] He had a blue suit. And when he came to the University, the only car he wanted or used was a Ford.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I remember Mrs. Hubert Robinson talking to me one day about how at one point the car that the Robinsons owned was better than the car the University president had.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Right. He didn't care. And his clothes [Laughter] were the same way, and he'd start out on a trip plainly dressed, mostly in a hurry. One time Mrs. Graham had to call him back; he forgot his hat. Then she called him back and says, "Frank, have you got any money?" "No," so she gives him some money. And there also was a time when he took Mrs. Roosevelt to an affair of the Heart Association; he had to borrow money from her to get them in. The world was with him, but it didn't amount to much. And there are very few people who can live that simply. And that was part of his charm, really. He had that kind of sense of values.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
It's difficult sometimes for me to reconcile that simplicity with his great skill as a politician, say, in his working with the legislature to get appropriations for the University, something like that.
CHARLES M. JONES:
I think he maintained the integrity of that simple position even there. For example, I'll bet you fifty dollars he never took a drink, but he never said anything about the other fellow doing it. It didn't embarrass him, and to that extent he was a free fellow, a free man. And I can see him talking to these people, because as you said at the beginning, he had a belief that if you could educate you could bring out the best in people. He just didn't know how bad people could be, unfortunately.

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JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
He may have learned a little …
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]
CHARLES M. JONES:
… I have never heard him speak in a derogatory fashion of Nehru. I don't know how to say it; it was a criticism. It wasn't harsh, but he really meant it, about Nehru and the Indians. He had negotiated with them for the U. N. He said, "They are so blind and stubborn. I can't do a thing." And I think it was his first defeat, really.
I think it was his first real defeat in negotiating, where he had to come out that he made nothing. Now with the Dutch thing, see, it doesn't matter. He and Henry Brandis and Bill Aycock went over there. And as far as I know; I don't…. He may have. I've read nothing about this. Did he take anybody to India with him much?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I think that Mr. Aycock was there for a while at the beginning.
CHARLES M. JONES:
But Henry Brandis and Aycock, they were both in my church on the board, so I know them fairly well. Both of them, I think, saw more clearly the deviltry in the people, particularly Henry Brandis. He's a very sharp observer of a person; he's a lawyer. He knows what's in himself as well as everybody else. And I think Graham had great help in realistically sizing people up, perhaps, in those disputes. Americans he knew, and that was his field. And it may be that he lacked the kind of advisers he needed in India, or it may be that Nehru and his associates just got stubborn.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, their dispute is still unsolved today.

Page 27
CHARLES M. JONES:
Well, yes. Their sense of democracy ran pretty thin; as we've seen now, it didn't last very long. It would be interesting to wonder what Gandhi himself would do if he were alive.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I think he'd begin fasting.
CHARLES M. JONES:
[Laughter] He'd be boycotting his own people.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Perhaps we could say something about the Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill. My impression is that that congregation has always been the center of controversy in Presbyterian circles in North Carolina.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Right. And liberalism, in a sense. It's never had a conservative preacher. Well, at the present time there is, a young fellow; he's conservative, but he's not illiberal. Barron. I like him very much. But mostly they've had "nuts." The Chapel Hill church problem was more the chruch and its relationship to the Presbytery, the Synod, and the state. The congregation, when I was there, oh, well over ninety-some percent enthusiastic, some less so. The problem actually was initiated in such a way that I think some honestly didn't mean to have it happen. And this has never really come out, I think, because …
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
This is the local people.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes. I don't think this has ever come out, because people were so angry and dissatisfied at me. There were about nine or ten people in the congregation who really would love to see me leave. And they were diehards really. They thought Frank Graham was awful. But others like Professor Boyd came here and Hugh Holman and three or four people who were not in this church became inadventently part of the problem. As a matter of fact, Hugh was attending the Presbyterian Church in Durham, because he was pretty conservative theologically.

Page 28
We were good friends. But a few people who wanted another Presbyterian church started teamed up with these recalcitrants, making about a dozen people. They had a secret meeting one Sunday afternoon, and they decided to approach Orange presbytery, which is the next higher unit than the church [unclear] and ask them if they could start another church. Well, what happened was, yes, they gave them permission, but then some people who wanted to make trouble outside of Chapel Hill said, "Well, what's wrong with the Chapel Hill church [Laughter] that you folks can't go to it?" So the Presbytery passed at the same time they gave permission for a new church a resolution to investigate the Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church, and they were off! Bunny Boyd apologized to me greatly, and he said he never in the world intended that to happen; I'm sure he didn't. The other nine or ten did. [Laughter] And it was a case of some of them not being wise enough to know who they were linking up with and what the situation was. But that was how the trouble started, in a simple thing like that.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Were these recalcitrant members pretty much the same people who had been back dissenters in the War years?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Oh, yes. Same ones. In fact, one of them picketed the church one day, a lady.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
With a sign?
CHARLES M. JONES:
No. Walked up and down and stopped people and said, "Do you know what Mr. Jones does?" They'd say, "What?" "He eats with niggers." [Laughter] And it was so. I really felt sorry for those folks. But I could not do a single thing with them.

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[unclear] . They said, "Well, the church will never change as long as Charlie Jones is here and Frank Graham is here, because they boss the officers." Well, now, can you imagine I was bossing [M. T.] Van Hecke or Henry Brandis. "They boss them all." And the protesters argued, "Officers are elected for life" And they were! "But if we ever get them out," they said, "it'll change." So I saw that was probably a just criticism. They ought to have a chance to change officers. So I proposed at the officers' meeting one night that we send out a letter and ask the people how they felt about rotating the officers, and they said, "You go ahead and write it," which I did and asked members to express their opinions to see if they'd like to have a meeting to discuss it and so on. I got back a letter from one of these people. She said, "I am in favor of rotating. I'm in favor of the janitor rotating so he gets the church clean, and I'm in favor of rotating the key in the lock of the church [Laughter] . I'm in favor of Mr. Jones rotating out of town. And I'm in favor of the officers rotating out of office." [Laughter] But you can't do anything with that, you see. You're just stuck when you've got such an adamant opposition. It was very interesting.
I reluctantly took a leave of absence for a year. I'd been given a leave of absence and started not to take it, yet all the officers insisted I take it. They said they would attend to the problem, and they did. They fought them. They made them an appeal and all that kind of thing, but it didn't do. See, no charges were ever brought against me, not one. And they wouldn't let us see the record of anybody who protested anything. We never knew what any protester said.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Is that in accord with the rules of the church?

Page 30
CHARLES M. JONES:
No. And that's where Van Hecke and Brandis, while I was away, got up a legal appeal and took it all the way to the highest church court, so that and the Presbytery was overruled in some respects. I mean Brandis and them won it. And the top court of thirty-three people said that the presbytery had erred in taking testimony in secret and not making it available to us, and their public utterances were such as to defame me. And if I chose to force them to make charges, they would have to bring court charges. Well, that wouldn't have changed the situation. I would still have had to leave, because the one thing they did do they had a right to do, which was to remove me from office "for the the welfare of the church." And the Presbytery offered to find me another job, but they just said I wasn't good for Chapel Hill. And it turns out that at the bottom of it was a plywood contractor in High Point. I didn't know that. Dr. Frank told me that he went to the bottom of it, and several other people like Paul — Lee Rays. Fairly strong people in the state, some of them politicians. So I just felt no need to fight that kind of thing. But the local congregation stood firm all the way through. But there are a lot of legends about that, too. There are legends that I was defrocked, thrown out, so on down the line. I don't know how such things grow, but they do. And Marion A. Wright the other night in the Civil Liberties Union had a whole page of mistakes [Laughter] he read out, and I didn't have nerve enough to correct him. It didn't matter that much anyway. But it is, in a sense, bad for the local Presbyterian Church, because our relationship with it was good and had for, more than thirty of them. As soon as I quit, I didn't intend to preach any more. I was doing some experimental work in the mountains, community organization; I intended to go on with that. But then some folks in Chapel Hill wanted

Page 31
a community church. I told them I couldn't do it, because if they organized the church around me it wouldn't be much of a church. So if they needed a church, they needed it without me. And they went ahead and did organize and incorporate it, and then came back to me [unclear] with a list of new people that wanted to be members. And I had said I wouldn't come back. But when they came back and presented me with what they hoped to do and everything and it looked interesting, and so I became their minister. But you see, it isn't a case of a church splitting and mad at each other. For the first year the high school students in the Presbyterian Church met with mine [Laughter] . But you get this picture. And, as I say, I don't know how these legends grow up. They grow up out of people's anger, really, but half the stories are wrong.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Was there any comparable situation in any other church in Chapel Hill?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes, in the Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church. Parson Moss, a fellow who came from Canada, who was intellectually liberal. [Moss was actually at the Presbyterian Church too] The race problem was no problem then. He knew Jonah wasn't swallowed by the whale, and he said Jesus wasn't born of a virgin and didn't walk on water, either. And he said so, too. So they got up a move to put him out after about sixteen or seventeen years, and he left. And then a few years later when the Presbyterian Church asked him back, he came on back again. And he served as minister there until he died. But that was another one. And then there was another one, Donald Stewart, who preceded [unclear] me. Donald's problem was a different sort. was in the Wartime. And Donald was a pacifist, as I am, and against the war. But he preached a sermon

Page 32
against it one Sunday, (as I did it elsewhere) but people were so angry at him for some reason that Howard Beale, who was a history professor, wrote a letter to the Chapel Hill Weekly protesting his sermon. And what Don should have done was to invite Howard to speak in church the next Sunday; he did not do it. You know, that would have almost settled the problem, but he didn't do it. So he finally left, but his leaving was unpleasant for all concerned.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I'm not sure I understand. Howard Beale was attacking the pacifism of Donald Stewart?
CHARLES M. JONES:
No. Donald Stewart was a pacifist and preached sermons. Then when England got in the War he changed.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Ah, I see. And Beale was continuing.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes, I left the main thing out. So Beale was feeling he was deserted, you see, and that Stewart's logic and religion was bad and so on and so forth. Beale was a very good logician. But it was an angry argument and I believe need not have happened.
I have had major differences with persons in the Church. I had some good old staunch fellows. Henry Brandis, whom I love and admire for one Henry came to me after I preached a sermon on the demonstrations, stating that we had a legal right to break the law if we wanted to. The law is a contract between two people, and if your conscience instructs you you shouldn't obey it, you should go along with your conscience. It was that simple. So you couldn't say all these people breaking the law were whatever you wanted to call them. Well, Henry's life has been devoted to law, and the law was in a sense, his god. Anyway, he came to me red in the face over that sermon. And we couldn't resolve it with logic. And I said, "Well, Henry, why don't you next Sunday present your position?" He said, "You know I can't do that." I answered

Page 33
"Why can't you?" He said, "I don't belong there." I said, "Well, as far as I'm concerned [Laughter] , you do." He said, "No, I couldn't do that." I says, "Well, then, you've got me backed in a corner. You're saying this thing I've done here is terrible, and it might well be. And I'm saying to you, ‘Well, look, say your say.’ You're saying, ‘I won't.’ Now what do you want me to do, come back next Sunday and apologize? Or just quit preaching there?" He says, "Dammit, [Laughter] you've got me." He says, "I want you to keep on saying what you believe." see, he was reasonable about it. But you get these other folks that are unreasonable, there's nothing in the world you can do with them. And the more you try, the more they hate you.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Was Howard Beale a member of the church?
CHARLES M. JONES:
He was Episcopalian, but he came to the Presbyterian Church.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Was he reasonable?
CHARLES M. JONES:
No, Howard was an unreasonable liberal. [Laughter] All the unreasonable persons are not conservative. [Laughter] No, he was opinionated. But very bright; I mean, what he said made sense often. But he went into a debate like he was fighting a war. And I don't know; you can't have a discussion that way. The Tar Heel, when Junius Scales was here…. Junius was a good friend of mine—I testified at the Smith [Act] trial for him. Junius went the wrong road once or twice, but he shouldn't have been convicted. The law should never have been written, but at any rate when Junius was here the Tar Heel wanted me to debate him on Christianity and communism. And so they called Junius; he said he would. They called me; I said, "Well, I want to talk

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with Junius before we do it." And I got together the Tar Heel crew and said, "Now I don't want a debate. I'd like to have a discussion and let people just see the different positions and make a choice." And that was all right, they said. But then the Tar Heel comes out with the headline "Jones and Scales Lock Horns Tonight." [Laughter] Well, my comment, of course, was that Scales had horns but I had wings.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
[Laughter]
CHARLES M. JONES:
So I wasn't going to lock any horns. I told them my wings would get damaged. But that's the way people were picking at each other in those days. There was a war on, so you had to fight one way or another. It was a rough period. It's too quiet now.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
There was also this minister Ronald Tamblyn?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes. Well, Presbytery acted more legitimately there, yes, though I wouldn't have done it. You see, when this church wanted a minister, they wanted him for the way he thought, for what he was saying, how he would go about church business. They didn't give a damn whether he was a Presbyterian or what. So they go to Canada to get this fellow, who hadn't been raised a Presbyterian. Tamblyn happened to be a Congregationalist. He was perfectly willing to change and become a Presbyterian. But that was worse to some Presbyterians, because they thought that showed insincerity. [Laughter] So that problem was with him not being a Presbyterian, and they refused to let the Church engage him. They didn't see how he could be one thing, and the next day be another thing.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
This remark, I think it was by Paul Green, to the effect that if Jesus Christ came to Chapel Hill, he couldn't be the preacher of the

Page 35
University Presbyterian Church because, although He was a Christian, He wasn't a Presbyterian.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes. That was written in 1953. Presbytery's Investigating Committee [unclear] made a report, on the Chapel Hill church, and the report was very complimentary to me in many respects. But the young minister who wrote it has since split off from the regular Presbyterian church in a little splinter group. They trusted him to write it, and he wrote that statement into the report. All the rest of the Committee either didn't read the report or they didn't read it carefully. So when it was read, there was almost a gasp. And when it was over, some fellow got up and voted that they strike that sentence out. But the committee [Laughter] refused to let him strike it out, because it was their report and not Presbytery's and they couldn't change it. They were a commission, not just a committee, and the commission's action is final. So it stayed in. But what he really meant—and that's the problem, and I tried to explain it to the reporters, but they never got it —was that I was not a party man. And if he'd said I was that but not a Presbyterian and been more precise, then he would have said what he meant. But he didn't say what he meant. And that got in print all over the country and almost made a saint out of me. I wrote, when it was all over, from my own biased point of view, what had taken place. I don't know if you've seen that or not.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHARLES M. JONES:
I think it's fairly accurate, of course, from my point of view. And one of the reasons it's accurate is because the Dean of the Law School helped me do it. I was away from here, and I wrote

Page 36
to him from Kingsport and said I thought I was going to write a statement of the controversy from my point of view and try to clear up a lot of difficult things. He says, "Well, if you do, write a short one." I said, "Well, I can't write a short one and explain what needs to be explained." He felt it would be a mistake to write a long one. [unclear] . He said, "You go ahead and do it." And I wrote it, and that was within four days of the end of it, and sent it to him, and he said, "You've got too many adjectives and adverbs. Wait another month, and you'll have more fact and less feeling." So I waited another month and took out adjectives and adverbs and went down with him and went over it again. And that's why I think it's a fair statement. The first statement I wrote wouldn't have been a fair statement. But he taught me something. He says, "Never write anything important when you're mad or angry." Dr. Frank wrote a series of things over that controversy, and his, I thought, were very fair. Though they were often critical of me, they were very fair. He got [unclear] . You know how he did it?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Because that wasn't his language. He went to New York to Union Seminary and told Reinhold Niebuhr and John Bennett, who were both friends of mine, what he wanted to say. But he says, "I've got to say it in language so those men down there will understand it." [Laughter] So Reinhold Niebuhr and John Bennett gave him some books to read and stuff, and he boned up on it and he come there with that…. You'd think a preacher wrote it, but he comes out with it, and that's not his style. But he could digest it.

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JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
What is there about Frank Graham that is Presbyterian?
CHARLES M. JONES:
I think he basically is a traditionalist, really. And he grew up in it. And he wouldn't leave it for anything. I think they could boil him in oil, and he wouldn't leave it. I think he feels that way about the United States, in a sense. He was sentimental, and if you read his writings, his patriotic speeches and so on and so forth, he's a real sentimental guy.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And even rings corny, I think, too.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Oh, yes, sure. Yes, you'd completely misunderstand the man if you gave a fellow a speech and say, "Isn't that a wonderful speech?" You'd completely misunderstand him. And he loved Grandma and he loved Grandpa, and he loved everything old. Marvelous fellow, to look forward enough with so much love in the back.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But is there anything about him that is peculiarly Presbyterian and not Methodist, say?
CHARLES M. JONES:
No. As far as I know, he never got into the flow of church leadership. You will read a whole lot about him since you're writing on him, but check that out. As far as I know, he was never a moderator of the presbytery, which would be eight or nine counties around here. A man of his stature could have been moderator of the whole church. Governor Smathers of Florida was once. [Laughter] Because it was a very politically minded way of working anything. It's just kind of like home to him, I guess, is the only way I can explain it. But he speaks so warmly of it, you know. I just think he loves old things.

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JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I'm not sure of the name of the journal, but it's a journal put out by the historians of the Presbyterian Church, and they're doing a series of articles on prominent Presbyterian laymen. But I just couldn't tell exactly what was Presbyterian, and that's, of course, what they're interested in. What was Presbyterian about him?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Did they do him?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, they haven't done it yet.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Well, that would be very interesting, because you may find out some news there, something that would help with the writing. As far as I know, in all the years I was with him, he didn't even go to one of these other meetings. Now he may have gone as a speaker to the General Assembly once or twice, you know, the great one. That's like when they invite prominent people out. But I think he was worth more to them in terms of propaganda than they were worth to him. You know what I mean. A great man, and they use him when they can, which is right. He wasn't, in a sense, a head over heels [unclear] . [unclear] wasn't even in the Presbyterian Church, except as an officer in the local church. But when there was an officers' meeting, he's ridden the train back from Washington to be present at a meeting, standing up all night on the day coach, that I know of. But, see, that was a local thing; it was Chapel Hill.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But what is there, say, in his outlook on the world, on social problems or on morality that's …
CHARLES M. JONES:
As a matter of fact, he's very unPresbyterian. You see, Presbyterians take a very dim view of human beings.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And he was quite an optimist.

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CHARLES M. JONES:
Than I do now. See, I've become a Presbyterian. [Laughter] But I'm not as optimistic about things as I used to be, and I can see it differently. But not him. "Heck, why, all you have to do is give them a chance." A great feeling. So he was very contrary. When it came to things like doctrinal items, if you notice what he wrote, the things like virgin births and miracles and …
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Doesn't appear. No.
CHARLES M. JONES:
No, doesn't appear, at all In fact, he's very selective [Laughter] in what he takes out of the doctrine.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But then if he had been going to the University Presbyterian Church since he came here as a student in 1905, those things would not have come up in the church very often.
CHARLES M. JONES:
That's right. As soon as he got away from home …
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I think, from what his sister Kate said, that
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE B]
CHARLES M. JONES:
… on his Presbyterianism?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I don't think so. I'm pretty sure I asked her.
CHARLES M. JONES:
See, she is not like him in that respect.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
She is a Presbyterian?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes, but I guess, being a woman, she doesn't get a chance to show it as much. But she's not an activist in anything either. I don't know whether she goes or not, to tell you the truth. Whether she goes to church or not. But Dr. Frank was there every Sunday he was

Page 40
in town. He'd be right in the church. And his wife would be found [Laughter] over in the Episcopal Church, and they would meet after that and go home. Usually, you know, you get together on something when you get married. But neither of them, I guess, asked the other to. But that's one place where you see his loyalty.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And hers.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes. Are you going to go from diapers to the graveyard with him?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes. My dissertation won't be quite that long or extensive. As far as I'm concerned, there isn't very much of real interest to me in the years toward either end of his life.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes. Childhood isn't …
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No. It's very difficult, unless one is born in a very prominent family and there's a great deal of documentation about one's …
CHARLES M. JONES:
Childhood doesn't seem to have been very formative in his life.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, some things have been suggested by his sisters. His parents used to argue, for example, at the dinner table, which they thought was rather unusual. His mother was a staunch Democrat; his father said that, well, there were some good Republicans, too.
CHARLES M. JONES:
[Laughter] Do you know Warren Ashby?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHARLES M. JONES:
I was going to suggest that you have a meeting with Warren sometime. Warren wrote one, you know.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, but I don't know what's going on.

Page 41
CHARLES M. JONES:
He wrote it years ago, five or six years ago, and somehow he hasn't put it all together yet. But he has lots of information I know he'd be glad to talk to you about, and some ideas, too.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But certainly by the end of his college career here in Chapel Hill, I think he's pretty much Frank Graham as he was …
CHARLES M. JONES:
The YMCA was an important factor and I don't know whether it was liberal or what. It did nice good deeds, I think, was what it [Laughter]
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
They ran a kind of night school for black janitors and …
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes, that's right. That's what I called "good deeds." But in terms of social change, I don't believe the Y at that time—as it did later….
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Even before the Y had this Blue Ridge summer camp, they had one in Colorado to which he went. I don't know how, but he met Willis Weatherford and had gone out there.
CHARLES M. JONES:
He was a great friend of Weatherford. He and Weatherford and two or three of those old folks; you've probably run across them. Of course, Weatherford's dead now. He has a son, the President of Berea.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes. And then I think the last, probably formative experience for him comes rather late, in the twenties when he went to London for a year and met these Christian socialists.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Did he come through the London School of Economics?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Met [R. H.] Tawney and …
CHARLES M. JONES:
That got him unionized, I guess.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I think so, yes. His copy of R. H. Tawney's book, almost

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every word in it is underlined. And all kinds of words scribbled in the margins. And Chancellor House told me that when Frank Graham came back from London, he wanted everybody to read the book.
CHARLES M. JONES:
He thought a lot of Toynbee, too.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHARLES M. JONES:
I think possibly you might pursue this. How close did he come toward some mild form of socialism when it came to economics?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I think he went further than the New Deal. In fact, in the mid-thirties, after the Supreme Court began to overturn New Deal legislation, he gave a speech many times which proposed a kind of New Deal amendment to the Constitution which would, in effect, bypass the Supreme Court. Nobody seems to have picked it up very much.
CHARLES M. JONES:
You'd have to square that now with his states' rights on race …
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes. Well, I don't really believe that states' rights thing, but he did use it sometimes.
CHARLES M. JONES:
He surely did.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
For example, he fought in the late thirties for federal aid to education on all levels; that's not…. He had some states' rights sort of reservation that the decisions would be made on a state and local level. He did sign the FEPC report; he signed a dissenting opinion that the states should pass these FEPC laws.
CHARLES M. JONES:
I guess we'll never know whether that was…. I don't think he ever did anything purely for strategy. I think he probably thought you'd get it passed quicker if you passed it in the states. One would lead the other on, then the next, and you know….

Page 43
You sense that same gradualism idea, that if you get started in one state, it will move. And you fail on a national level because a local senator, a North Carolina senator, won't vote for it. You can educate the state, but you couldn't educate the senator.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I don't know. Somehow I feel that he really underestimated the nature of the problem with race, say …
CHARLES M. JONES:
Oh, sure, they always did them; there's no doubt about it.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
With that gradual approach, it would have taken forever to get where we are already, I think.
CHARLES M. JONES:
And, as a matter of fact, even with the consequences, I think, even Bayard and John [L.] Lewis and most of the leaders at that period thought if we won that, we would have won the battle. And it's nice they didn't all get discouraged over it and quit. They've gone to work; the only place they can work now is in institutions. Have [Greensboro] you read an old blind fellow, a sociologist over in Durham's book?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Joseph Himes?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Joe, yes. Have you read Joe's book, put out about 1973?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, I don't….
CHARLES M. JONES:
Well, I've raised it; I ought to be able to…. But you can look in the catalogue over there, and you'll recognize it. It has to do with that period, but not solely in terms of eating. He's formulating a description of how a revolution's leadership arises, and it was the most stimulating thing I had read in a long time. It's got a sociologist's language in it, and it's written like one-two-three-four, and so forth. But at the same time, the way in which he traces how these things arose. He's talking about black leadership, so

Page 44
you'll have to [unclear] read beyond that, but it was the thing that gave me the initial urge to do something, so we could understand what happened to us in that period.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Were you, in a way, trying to test his notion, applying it in Chapel Hill?
CHARLES M. JONES:
When I read that, I said, "Well, that's exactly what happened to me." I didn't realize at the time what was happening to me, what was pushing me here and why I returned anyway, what happened to make these young bright blacks, as we say, turn against us. And he just explained it all. Do you know him?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I have met him, yes.
CHARLES M. JONES:
You talk to him. He'd talk with anybody. But if you get his book and read him, that may be all you need. It's in the library, three or four copies, unless the sociologists have gotten it all out for class.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I was thinking earlier when you were talking about the Dorothy Maynor concert, you said something about its not being segregated. Was that at all common, local black people going to musical events?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Well, you had to have more than student sponsorship. You see, the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen was behind it, and we were a South-wide organization. So we had contacts in Durham, and we could get out the Durham North Carolina College kids, you see. And anyway, Dorothy was black herself. Her husband's a preacher and he's a good friend of mine, so I've known them personally for years. And when the idea occurred to have them, I wrote to her and she says, "Yes, I'd love to do it. I'm under contract, but I'll give you all of my fee." She says, "My manager may have to take some." Well, it

Page 45
was this fellow Hurok, Sol. So I got in touch with him, and he says, "I'll give you all my fee, but she's not going there if she's got to sing to a segregated audience." He says, "I won't have any of my artists sing to a segregated audience." And I says, "Well, she's not going to have a segregated audience here." So the whole thing, he gave all the advertisements and paid for the tickets, and she did the singing. But, you see, it was only because we had that. Now, if the YMCA had tried that it would have flopped. Now the other thing that we did, we did with KAGAWA [unclear] . [Laughter] And this was a scream. It didn't work out. You know, KAGAWA was a great cooperative.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHARLES M. JONES:
The Ministerial Association wanted to bring him. And so we decided to bring him, but we couldn't bring him segregated. So we sent a committee over to see Bob House—I lived two doors from Bob—and we went over to see Bob, and Bob said, "Sure, you can have Memorial Hall." And I said, "Well, Bob, we couldn't have him segregated, because there's going to be some black people coming just because they'd be interested in him [unclear] ." And Bob says, "Well, Charlie, I don't know." And I says, "Well, can we talk to Dr. Frank about it?" He says, "Ye-e-ah." So they resolved it; Frank persuaded Bob to do it, and Bob said we could. Then again the same thing happens. Somebody turns the word loose. It's happened down there. Bob gets all these…. And Bob called and said, "Charlie, I don't think we can do it." He says, "How about letting your friends [Laughter] go over to Durham?" I said, "Bob, we can't do that. And anyway,

Page 46
I haven't got the right to say; it's the Ministerial Association." So I called a meeting of the Association, and we decided we couldn't segregate. We sent three people back to Bob House. He said, "Well, you can have it in the Methodist Church unsegregated, I'm on the board. I see that you're going to do it if it…." And we said, "Well, if that's all we can do, it's all we can do, but we'll have to go back and see what the rest of the men think about it." And all of them but one said we would not segregate it anywhere, and if he could get us the Methodist Church, we'd do that. But we already had our publicity out on it, and we called that to his attention. We had one preacher here in the Episcopal Church, David Yates, who was a remarkable fellow. He was a bachelor, tall, a beautiful man, and very conservative doctrinally. He believed in the virgin birth and all those things, but he was a pacifist and he'd quote you scripture at the drop of a hat and an uncompromising integrationist. And he went back with us to see Bob. And the Lutheran who had been allowed free use of Gerrard Hall for church worship went back with us, and he felt we ought not to cause the University any embarrassment.
He said, "Well, now, we ought not go back over there and change this," he says, "we ought to just go ahead and let the colored people sit in the balcony. Well, it wouldn't be segregated that way."
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
[Laughter]
CHARLES M. JONES:
But it still would, of course. Well, we said, "No, we can't do that." He objects, "Well, you know, people think preachers are fools anyway. And they'll say, ‘Well, it's those fool preachers

Page 47
again. They can't make up their minds what they want to do."’ And David Yates said, "Well, if we must be fools, let's be fools for Christ's sake." [Laughter]
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
[Laughter]
CHARLES M. JONES:
And that ended it, and we had it in the Methodist church. But we got cut off there at that point [unclear] So occasionally we were just stopped.
From the forties on, we formed a small group between North Carolina College (as it was called then), Duke, and UNC students. And at first it was about twelve people, the Dean of the Chapel at Duke, the Dean of the Chapel at North Carolina College, and myself selected four people from each school just to come to our homes, and we met that way for about six months just for the fun of it. And then we finally got to the point where we [interruption] [unclear] it was a very mixed group racially and did some very remarkable things. Generally then the problem in doing interracial things was a few people like me who have a few friends and bring them along, it's still a problem. I mean it's still what happened. I don't call it a problem anymore, because it's there now and it can be anything they want it to be, and so it's not a problem anymore. But the worst problem then…. We thought that when we opened up churches, you'd have blacks coming to church. That's where one of my conservative friends had more friends than I did. He was concerned, but he says, "We ought to go on and pass these laws, because they ain't going to make no difference anyway." [Laughter] But I don't know.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
You mentioned the Dean of the Chapel at Duke being active in this. In the forties and early fifties, say, I don't have much

Page 48
feeling for any student activism at all at Duke. Was there something?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes, it came mostly out of the Divinity School. See, they've got a pretty large divinity school over there, and your people, most of them came out of divinity school. Some of them didn't. But now when you went into the demonstrations themselves…
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
In the sixties.
CHARLES M. JONES:
… by then there was a bandwagon going, and you had lots of students. The march we had from North Carolina College over, it was a lot of Duke students in that. Someday you may need to think about the effect of the wars [unclear] on these kinds of changes, because I have a feeling they prepared some students for this kind of, both emotionally and desire for this kind of thing to happen, particularly in the forties. I call the forties our best years, looking back at students. Brightest students, most active students, both intellectually and stern stuff of, were then. And I think that has something to do with these periods of activity, partly getting some excitement, but mostly because they knew what the world was all about. The kids now—it's real interesting to me—both black and white, they have no notion how they ever got here. [Laughter] Which may be all right. That might be better; I don't know. But it is interesting. Though when I go over to the Student Union, that's interesting; they've almost got a black section over there.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHARLES M. JONES:
[Laughter]
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
In the Frank Porter Graham Student Union.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes, that's right. So I don't know. Our conservative friends

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may be right; it may have to be done gradually. [Laughter] But anyway, they've got the right to do it, and that's what's important.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I think I'd better go.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Well, if I can give you all any…. I guess I have. I don't know if I've given you much anyway. The problem with these kind of things—at least it would be for me—is you've got four or five tapes in there, and out of it you've probably got a half a tape of good stuff.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, that's …
CHARLES M. JONES:
[Laughter] And you've got to go through all that stuff to get…. It's kind of like
END OF INTERVIEW