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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Adamson's work with the National Council of Churches

Adamson did eventually find work, and in her position with the National Council of Churches, she was also able to return to her interest in social and civic justice issues.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

MARY FREDERICKSON:
Well, after this year of sporadic jobs, temporary employment, you had a long tenure with the National Council of Churches.
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
I did. I went to employment agencies and at the time, I've forgotten why, it was just the appropriate time, I guess, but I had worked enough to get references of sorts in the offices of people for whom I had done short term jobs, people I had know, a lawyer in Washington and had done some work with Harold and so forth. Enough that I had a skeleton reference business that I could use. One of those resumes was probably made up at that time. So, I decided that I would just barge right into the employment agencies. So, I went around and registered at the agencies and interestingly enough, when I got the job at the National Council, I also had applications in at two other employment agencies and I think that I could have had the job at either of them. One of them was the American Bible Society and the other was the Salvation Army, which would have been interesting jobs, both of them. The other one was the National Council of Churches and the National Council, I thought, was the most interesting one. There were wonderful people there. I would guess, it would seem logical, that the FBI must have been to see them as far as I was concerned, but they must have known about what the legal rights were . . .the whole thing, you were asking me about it. They never once said anything to me about it and it's not logical to me that the FBI did not go there, but they had their attornies or whatever consider about it and that was it. About the other two, the American Bible Society and the Salvation Army, I don't know if the same thing would have been true there or not, but it gave me quite a perspective about the society.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
What type of work did you do for them? You were with them for twelve years?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
Thirteen years, yes. I worked for nine years as a secretary to a woman who was the . . .I've forgotten exactly what her title was, but anyway, she was the associate director, that's what it amounted to, of the division that at that time was called Foreign Missions. So, I was interested in the contact with the overseas places and so forth and so on. So, I worked with her until she decided to go back to her own denomination, the Baptists in Valley Forge, and by that time I had acquired tenure in the National Council and by that time, "mission" had become a dirty word in religious circles and the name of the division was changed to the Division of Overseas Ministries. I went to work as a research assistant to the director of the division, where I stayed until the time that I had the second accident.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
So, this was a way . . .you were in interesting work and you could channel some of your social interests and concern?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
That's right, I could channel my interests there and it was not a way to get rich, but the Council made a point of trying to pay the going wages and knew exactly what your rights were, how much vacation and all. It was not a matter of this rat race of trying to beat the system on the New York job market. So, I was very happy and had expected to stay there until I reached retirement until the second accident came along.