RPW to Aaron Henry letter 9/6/64
Follow-up questions regarding violence, the campaign in Mississippi, the Freedom Delegation, and Henry's roles in the NAACP/Freedom Party
RPW to Aaron Henry letter 9/6/64 searchable textCollapse
2495 Redding Road, Fairfield, Connecticut, September 6, 1964
Dr. Aaron Henry,
Dear Dr. Henry:
I have now, at last, finished the first draft of the book about which I interviewed you last spring. I remember your kindness and your generosity with your time, and am encouraged to ask another favor of you.
At the end of the section on Mississippi in the book I want to have a little summary of the present situation. In doing this I should be anxious to have something from you. Could you answer a few questions for me?
I. What was the over-all effect in Mississippi of the campaign this summer? Psychologically? In terms of actual number of people registered? In advancing the dare when a Negro might be elected, say, to the State Legislature? Or to Congress?
II. Can you provide me with some statistics on violence this summer against workers? Churches burned, persons attacked, other reprisals? Doesn't COFO or some other organization have such figures worked up? What has been the effect on Negroes of the violence? How much fear is there of reprisals this fall and winter? Of what kind?
III. What was the line of reasoning that made the Freedom Delegation refuse to accept the two seats in the Convention and let the "traditional" Delegation just sweat?
I know that answering this in any detail will be a burden for you in the midst of your other obligations. But I can only say that this would, presumably, reach a number (number) of thousands of people, and might have that much effect – for whatever that is worth.
I shall, of course, send you a copy of the book as soon as any are manufactured. I don't expect that until December.
I expect to be in Mississippi in the winter. May I come to see you then?
Very sincerely yours,
Robert Penn Warren
P.S. One more question? What offices have you held and do you hold in the NAACP and in the Freedom party organization?Collapse