RPW to Clarie Collins Harvey letter 9/6/64
Requests Harvey's comments on Freedom Party activity in Mississippi, the location of the NAACP headquarters, the presence of journalists at a COFO meeting, and Dr. Henry's role in the NAACP
RPW to Clarie Collins Harvey letter 9/6/64 searchable textCollapse
After September 10:
2495 Redding Road, Fairfield, Connecticut___________
West Wardsboro, Vermont, September 6, 1964
Dear Mrs. Harvey:
It has been a very long and grueling business, but at last I've finished the first draft and now begin the revision. Random House is pressing hard – I'm only four months late – and I hope to have final copy in their hands by early October. But I find that I have one big thing and several little ones to clear up. Hence I come back again to impose on your good nature – which I hope is as good as it used to be.
I'll put the things down in order:
(1) Much, of course, has happened in Mississippi, and I want to put a last section of my chapter on Mississippi to summarize the results of the summer. I should like to know (a) your general impression of what has been accomplished, not only factually but in terms of climate and psychology, both among whites and Negroes; (b) how much actual registration took place, figures and percentages; (c) what is the real roster of violence for the summer, number of churches burned, etc., number of arrest, number of acts of personal violence, etc. (d) what are the prospects for a campaign of intimidation this fall; (e) what was the effect of the Freedom Party bid to be seated. I should also like to know what your view is of the reason the Freedom delegates did not accept the two seats and let the Regular delegates sweat it out.
(2) I need a little information about the building where the NAACP headquarters are -- 1075 Lynch Street. (a) What is the official name of the Savings and Loan Company? (b) Is this biracial or entirely Negro in fiancing (financing) andmanagement? (and management?) (c) When was it founded? (d) What is its capitalization? Etc. (e) What are the stores in the building? How long there? (f) The big auditorium is the Masonic Hall, isn't it?
(3) That Sunday morning when you took me to COFO meeting, I noticed, in the rear of the auditorium as we came in, one the left, a sort of card table, with three or four men whom I took to be white. One had pencil and paper in his hand, or so my notes as well as my memory tell me. I took them to be the press. Later, when Charles Evers first rose, he asked that the people coming in be checked and identified. And he specifically said: "No newspaper men!" ( This from notes written at that moment.) Later as you and went out, I noticed that the table was no longer there, nor the men whom I had seen coming in. What I want to know is:(a) were those men from the press? (b) If so, had they been asked to leave? I think that this is of some importance, as indicating the state of mind of the meeting, distrust of press, and independence of attitude, etc.
(4) I have conflicting accounts of what posts Dr Henry has held in the NAACP. I know that last spring he was President of the Clarksdale chapter. What else?
I know that this is a great imposition, and all I can say is that I realize that it is. But your analysis of (1) would be very helpful. Will you indicate what might be used in direct quotation and what is merely background? You see, I am assuming that your nature is still good.
We have spent the summer in the woods in Vermont, no telephone – which is the only way to get work done, we find. So now on the verge of going back into the real world, we feel rather like strangers.
I know that you have been in the real world.
Please give my regards to Dr. Harvey. I lately saw his name in the NY Times, a sermon reported. I wish I had been in Connecticut, for I should have made an effort to catch him.
With many thanks, and sincere regards,
P.S. On my question (1) about violence in Mississippi this summer, I am assuming that COFO or some agency has worked out a documented list. If that isn't available, I certainly don't want you to try doing it. I have a good deal rom (from) the papers, but a lot gets missed.Collapse