CR ST.A 3A -0 ,c
Subject: Mr. Hamilton Upchurch, Frank Upchurch (
Interviewer: TfZ)A/J Co(/u z.A/'i
I: I guess, basically, _-e-et was with you, and your
family. How long you and your family have been in St. Augustine.
U: We've got,,. CAm 4_ Sg AnkS s-( / /-S
?i t -hti-t to practice lrAu bvo* Ijs ..oJ -.
I: What did your, what sort of occupation, why did your father phone
/4wr /iSLI(I 5tt?5f guess I could ask him that, since -----
U: He, uh, had been practicing law in Fernrndina and Jacksonville. He
was asked to join c (W 4vlf\
I: Now yourself, where were you educated, where did you go to school?
U: All right, I was educated, with preparatory education for
school in Bellbuckle, Tennessee. And then I went into the service,
immediatley after that. Upon return from the service, I went to
the University of Florida for uh, to obtain a B.S. degree,1945, >
Tz^went a4~sg to law school at the University of FloridaL Iclf-1 LLr U\
1967. Graduated Law School in 19
I: What, how would you describe the community of St. Augustine that
you grew up, in it?
U: I think the community was somewhat _. It was not typically
small It was a little bit more sophisticated than the average
small centrall Florida town J3 e L-
a great deal of tourists for the c6,A- income was highx/vtI-
as '- F o ]' J And there were a great For
deal of tourists at that time, would woma you1 I would say
it was ---r ..'''- southern tradition, but a little Bit
CR ST.A 3A page 2
more desirable place to live, W ___the average town. It
has so many of the advantages of a large town, with its proximity
to Jacksonville, and to Daytona, and to the resort
to the ocean.
I: You know, you said it had a lot of the southern traditions. I'm
just curious as to, in your mind, what, what Lwas some examples of
those southern traditions that existed.
U: Well, because I grew up here, there were segregation, was clearly
defined, and not contested. Although St. Augustine was, did not
have a black town, a white town, as such, there were blocks, just
one or two blocks of blacks, immediately in, adjacent to white
areas, of the better class u\ik Q M .They were sprinkled about
town, and I think its because of its age. That was were servants
lived, behind the better houses. And I can name three or four
places in the community, and as people's ability to have servants
stopped, they continued to live in harmony, almost as unsegregated
type of community. Which I think we-.sJi d at
that time, for that size community.
F: I think it was too. I've never seen another community.---- had
such a pattern of residential desegregation
I: But besides race, is there anything else that exibited southern
tradition, so to speak, gave examples of southern traditions.
Was, was the pace-. ? You always hear about the
pace of tehe-w-hi-e being leisurely.
U: Li-k-e-wha-t-?- In other words, 2me_ air conditioning, -he
people who were fairly well off all worked in the
Many of the shops in St. Augustine closed in the summertime. The
major hotels closed. They would close, and went to Michigan, and
CR ST. A 3A page 3
other places in the East. They had summer shops there, that was
their skill at work. ~- --- k 1o Wp t A-,A .
And consequently things pretty well slowed down. For example,
our Sunday school let out in the summer, just like regular grade
school let out in the summer. tepTo&- '" -[,
F: Things really slowed up in the summer. In winter, we would be
packed. It was a complete reverse.
I: Was there any social hierarchy? Some, when you read about the
old southern communities, there was sort of the, the vermin, uh,
professional business community who formed the entire social
hierarchy in the community, was there that?
U: No, I don't think so.
I: Yet, yet, interesting enough, your father came here, and he, he,
obviously, there must have been some real opportunity because he
became very active and influential in his, in his own career.
U: He was successful as an attorney. I think the, there was much
more social class then, than in other periods. Your professional
types and some business types, and then those that were, uh,
married or inherited money, and didn't work, formed a social
s-tfet-e, and then there were-\ ^ ,>/ And it
was much more stilted when he used to work. For example, my
mother never referred to her next door neighbor as anything other
than Mrs., and Mr. Today, you know this backyard party, and you're
running over there borrowing a cup of sugar, and
whatever. But, when I grew up, although we were not picky people,
but they refer to each other as Mr. and Mrs. He worked the rail;
d-l^-- E-was-a.a Nobody felt,..and we went to the same church.
But, were great people. Their children cwd b)j64t
e4 1-o -
CR ST.A 3A page 4
school friends today. But, it was that formality, and that is a
southern tradition.. Along that same line, these are things I
remember as a child. There were certain people that uh, many of
the wives did not work, that were among my mothers friends. And
the style was to have tea, to dress to the in1+ in the
afternoon, and you could call on friends, make a formal call,
where you wore hats, and gloves, and you were seated by a maid,
and left your calling card if the lady of the house was not there.
And, we did that, or you sat around in the afternoon, fully
dressed, awaiting calls by others on you. Again, a
I: Uh, as you were brought up, were you aware of any racial problems
at all in this community?
U: No, nothing prior to World War II.
I: How about after the war? Uh, say before this fellow Ha-l-ey came
here, were there, were there any difficulties, not so much was
there any violence, but, I guess that what I'm trying to ask, is
was it apparent that things were building towards, say '63? '64?
U: Yeah. [ uio4- In retrospect. For example, we had a
colored college here, called Florida A/ow v..n
A Baptist, a black Baptist school, that, uh, y7 i4 ON...
a few years on back. That school was having, before the war, and
after the war, was totally segregated, totally from the black
students. But they were, as I look back on it now, and then the
references to them, the administration and faculty at that time
was, they were pushing tiebtre..../n that, they were endeavoring to
get black-white, uh, contact through programs Aca t-,, 0o ~m~~
CR ST.A 3A page 5
They'd put on a musical program, or something, and always invite
a lot of the white business leaders, and you would go.
___Then, after the program wasn't totally
segregated ~,-y __nobody bxo-ugh-t anything
ef-vatIue. But, other than the reference, occasionally to a black
as being a p, I think I was not
aware of JolA^ eLr, uI-hl( IS- CL.^ Vx --, >
I: How about there was a fellow who's now over in Gainesville, a
Negro fellow, called FLon s- s (~J~iA He was minister
here. I have talked to him, he claimed a lot for himself, and I'm
not quite honestly sure what to believe, in terms of sort of
mobilizing the -e-ga-community. But, I was wondering if you were
aware of his presence at all. You might not have been involved
in any of that, but I Ot J.. if you were ....
U: I knew a lot of the names-'of, but I was not aware of it. There
was no overt actions to try to break down any of the segregated
p4-cae, _I can see. I was just
very and if there was any, it was one
or two individuals.that were particularly
But, not in any particular portion In other words,
the p4-an was not thata-gat 'T There was not, ,
pre-World War II, I was not aware of any plan of action, I'm sure
they had an organization, but it wasn't called on to do the EC~eCk.
I: Well, that fits with the picture that I know. CLet's put this a
little closer.wc opLoiL[ ----
U: Put it right here if you want to. Put it on the desk if you'd like.
I: You were active, as I recall, in the Chamber of Commerce, was that
CR ST.A 3A page 6
U: Y eab,
I: Were you, uh, president in '64, or '65?
U: Probably, I don't have these facts.
I: Yeah, I think it may have been '64. I was just, uh, as president,
what specifically was your role in the commerce? What function?
OP Did you have. . Well, President of Chamber of Commerce was just
a one year term, and you had an executive director, presided at
the _hoA_ meetings, and most of your policy is pretty well
set. The Chamber of Commerce, that's really a misnomer. Its more
tourist than merchant. The Chamber of Commerce, although it
works toward the industry, and other things of that nature, but its
more tourist oriented than anything else, its more supported by
tourism, or tourist attractions, so, I can't, other than try to
get additional members. I was not aware of any particular programs
underway at that time.
I: Were you actively soliciting new business for St. Augustine, trying
to attract a small business or coupon (19, _4J
U: Subcommittees of the Chamber were working in that area, especially
tourists. I understand its all volunteer, with busy people. A
real small staff, that pretty well operated the Information Center,
and Executive Director, and the secretary, c rJ a&sW t&,c n
N-1?-) V4 runniam down things.
I: Did the, uh, was the Chamber aware of the racial problems in '63,
was it involved in '63? '63 they, Hailingo started the sit-ins,
and then the white fellow, William Canard was, was killed in the
fall. And Hailing, for some reason, got himself out ofrhis klan
meeting. itp tn" Was the Chamber aware that
CR ST.A 3A ap7age 7
this thing might somehow get out of hand, or did it just see that
as a local problem? It might just Srm\cm quiet down.
U: I think at that time, they attributed the problems to a
an individual, on the local level. And, I thought.-
.I'm not conscious of having any thoughts
along this line. But I think the general consensus was, there was
an individuAl Yz-tr f~l c r-outeLcN'~ u
I: Yeah. Well, I suppose maybe I oughta ask, did you know Hailing,
other, did you ever meet with him?
I: Uh-huh. But did you, but you got the sense, definitely, that he
was responsible for much of the problems of '63 and '64.
U: That's right, I got the impression that he was a leader at the time.
And he saw a great deal of, detected some unrest, but no way to
mobilize it. And, there was a movement, I'm sure that I
a counter-movement within the black community, we've always let
on great here, let's don't make waves. And then there was a
militant type that wanted to make waves, based on some
I: You know, it seems to me, and I, I don't know if you can accurately
reflect on this or not, but it seemed to me that Hailing had
support from the College. Support among some young Negro kids,
who were at the high school, and a few, what seemed like a very
few older Negro citizens who lived here. Am I at all accurate in
this? t least this, I've seen it through the records of
U: It's probably accurate.
U; Of course, the black community in St. Augustine had been
CR ST. A 3A page 8
I think our ratio-was low, for Butler County
I think its something like twenty percent. That may not be an
accurate figure. I had it So\pr- ri a Rh A+' f > tT R'c
hfe state average is maybe 25 or 30percent.
SBut, I got the impression they. have
seen figures that the ratio of black to white had been e4~Ie nc~6 k-
,c^0 &>a(c i ,cl l 7)i"r, down, in numbers. Some because there
was no industry type, no machinization of the agriculture, and no
industry types of jobs.
r: Yeah, we're smaller, but within a whole lot S hnwt(h its
eighteen, St. Augustine, at that time, when state-wide it was
21.8, almost 22 percent. But I think you're right, I think it
was defined because of the nature of St. Augustine being a tourist
Cerf. industrial related jobs. One of the things
that kind of baffled me, is that I see St. Augustine as a real
progressive community. You could, just because it had a history
of racial segregation, to me, does not mean its not a progressive
community. It was caught up in its history, it had its pattern of
residential segregation that seemed to pull to t4e- e p" /Lh
with race relations. It had, the community had begun to voluntarily
desegregate its schools, and I wondered, how did it, how did this
thing, how do you, why do you see it engulfing St. Augustine the
way it did? It was almost chaos in '64.
U: Well, I think you had a small, very militant counter _o_ -
within the b-aek community, all rednecks, a popular term, that
would meet every advance in the black community by'a counter action.
We, what I thought was the real thinking of leadership of this
CR ST.A 3A page 9
community, almost became .And caught in the middle,
and had a lot of its so called friends, or drinking buddies, who
were redneck. I hate to use that term, but it saves a lot of words.
U: It had a lot of -_-- -- _____ the black community,
and just hated to see it. It took more overt steps to revert it.
And just stood by almost with your head in the sand. This was
the great majority of people that I think were
Just really became
Two really poor
I: How'd the Chamber, what was, did the Chamber try to initiate any
any action to, uh, . .?
U: No, the Chamber.
I: You. . .
U: And I guess I get blamed myself as much as ^ 'l -- *J ..
I went all week and became Mayor in '67. But, I wasn't thinking
about it at the time. And I was serving on the Chamber as a
civic contribution, not g c -C .
Ss .s Cec o f
The Chamber dropped the.~;s- -e- completely out of ,gc-Iv pnP-ufls;
efforts to improve. T^ c egreatozt csonerns, strictly
60 Wene____, _, they hated to see it _
they knew it was going to hurt business. But as far as anything
the Chamber thought, there was nothing
I: Thats one of the things that kind of baffles me, really, because,
CR ST.A 3A page 10
eighty-five, the figure I've seen is eighty-five percent of the
community was dependent in some way on the tourist industry. And,
which took a real beating according to the statistics from the
CCAr bJ" S1, (' '*'*'-' oL yMoNVwre, r-]
fort. Um, in, you know, as the months progressed from the spring
to the summer, it was obvious that it was getting worse, and I
wondered why either of the commission, or tj(Dr. Shelley, or the
Chamber, or some other part of the leadership of the community
wasn't saying, "Listen, we simply can't afford it. Whether the
community wanted it or not, we just can't, economically, afford
U: Well, one thing we haven't talked about. This community has got
-he, is very conservative. It was then the John Birch Society,
you don't hear much about it any more, but it was an extreme
right-wing. A really good, Christian people. And, anything you
fnop'5 C ub [lJ beut". aSbout
/s-UPPDLsZ4, wfe b-t~nl~s~ss-a-m-9b-ou t
Socially -, -. 1 that was
anywhere, anyway conciliatory, you were ostracized by this, I
mean real good friendsgo-
ostracized by this extreme right-wing. And they said, this time
is bigger than your pocketbook, and so those that wanted to make
a concession, so to speak, for economic reasons, to save the
tourist industry, were really set upon by the extreme right-
handed friends. Or, this redneck government, with which they
were e-f-t- not kK Pt- but had the same goals.
I: Um-hmm. Do you have any idea why the Birch Society was influenced
by,'I know Dr. Norris, I believe at the time was the head of it.
Uh, do you know why they were so influential?
CR ST.A 3A page 11
U: Well, they were. .
I: Were they, was it, sort of the Kennedy thing that got them, I
don't know, seems, seems like the Birch Society begins to flourish
with the Kennedy administration reaction to it, and then grows
even more in the Johnson administration.
fMcC ,.qilA ep-
U: I think it came from C -peT-tr, that there was a Communist behind
every bush. And in th' movement, of social change, was Communist'a
ipVinea -__ And, I think a lot of people just
kept 1u~c with fear of being labled a liberal,
And, very few people really spoke out on it, and I know one or
two that did, and they lost some friends over it, two really
close friends. A man I have referenced to, I'm sure you wouldn't
mind him speaking, is Dr. Jackson, a well
Originally from Michigan, well-respected veterinarian. Although
.He was and, 9 he
endeavored to have some informal type of bi-racial committee,
with his lectures. And he went through a hammer's hell, with
his friends. just really
didn't speak to him, that's all, because, not that he wanted to
completely change the.
the community, but, I felt sorry for him, for
a while. I didn't come to his defense.
I continued to speak with him, but an awful lot of people just
CR ST.A 3A page 12
didn't do a damn thing, either way. And I think that the pressures
were definitely Why it
I: Do you have any thoughts as to why Martin Luther King, and
C 4S'oCIyrJ Cn~v^ ( L-u "is nii CyvrG(4c3
SC LC came to St. Augustine?
U: Sure. I thought, I think it was a secluded building for our
&.cmJdr2 centennial, in '65. There was going to be some media
attention focused on St. Augustine, we didn't go overboard as to
CO\VAVulnv t as celebrations went. And,
consequently, he would ride that, as well as the media coverage
that he had anyway. h__e first white
settlement in the United States would be a great place to kick
off this really radical departure.
I: Um hmm.
U: Over civil rights act.
I: Um hmm.
U: Wherever they'd eo __ the settlement, all the doors in
restuarants and motels would be open.
I: Um hmm.
U: I don't think he became the cause of any so-called hardship cases,
or mistreatment, on behalf of the black community. Just those
I: There was some accent, I know, made by James .Droco Lamonson,
who got an inordinate amount of criticism for what happened at
his motel, a lot of which, as I see, wasn't really his fault.
And it seemed to me, on occasion, he tried to get things, tried
to restore^sort of normal relationship.
U: He did. That, now that's the example of what I'm talking about.
Brock was in the middle. He was damned if he did, and damned if
CR ST.A 3A page 13
he didn't. There was going to be black pickets in front of his
place, orkhe took the blacks in, there were going to be white
pickets in front. And so the people that were really
I: Um hmm.
U: I mean, if you're traveling through town with your family, you
don't want to ruin your vacation, have your car messed up, or
your sleep disturbed. And so this, this poor guy was getting it
from both ends, and he was in the middle, he had a big mortgage
payment, and he was just totally frustrated, he didn't know
which way to turn.
I: The thing is, one of the things that struck me, he, he did make
an effort to get the motel and restuarant owners together, and
they had some meetings, and Noel Pope\\ was asked to be sort
of their spokesman, and he did, and yet the thing never seemed
to get off the ground, and I was, you know, again this goes back
to the business sort of thing. The thing that struck me was,
here was an opportunity for the business community sort of come
together as a group. People who weren't directly involved in
this sort of activities, and those that were and get these I-ook
elements out of St. Augustine, the Klan, from, seemed like
from Jacksonville, to me. 4nd i-t-&ame, and, you kfow, establish
relationships that the community could live with. And yet, it
didn't come together;-Ididn't seem to get off the ground, nor
did it, nor did the whole white business community seem to come
together. And, it also seemed to me they got little cooperation
from Dr. Shelley, who was mayor of the commission that day. I
wonder if you had any thoughts as to, if I'm right, first of all,
CR ST.A page 14
and why this might have been.
U: I've got some ideas about it. Thats the weakness of law
enforcement. -The Sheriff, Chief of Police, Chief of Police
Burgess 5_k-_-^T was extreme right wing, and he doesn't say
too much about it now, but at that time, he saw Communists behind
every bush, He didn't think there was one there, he saw them.
And, stop him in the street, and he'd refer to "they're" doing
this, and "they're" doing that, but he couldn't put a name on
who "they" was. But, he, and the Sheriff, was the two only law
enforcement agencies we had. Uh, were not instrumental in
fairly enforcing the law. It was not to hear this.
They, they couldn't have designed a system any more favorable
to King's movement than the way they did.
I: Um hmm.
U: I had occasion to meet with the sheriff, I believe of Selma,
Alabama, or one of the places who had just had problems with King.
I: Um hmm.
U: And I forget his name, now, but it, he was a big one. And, I
asked him a question, _oooa o law enforcement.
He said, "I sent word to the white community, and I sent word to
the black community, that I was going to put my foot in their
collar, and there-wer anybody who was ..I R~e~csS I
didn't care what Colo ." And 1 had St. Augustine 1-ak1ng
a-fair attitude toward all lawbreakers, a firm law enforcement...
We were running into a lot of problems. With that, the redneck
element and the right wing element, and law enforcement, were
working to put this fire out. And not to a fair concept, but
CR ST.A 3A page 15
not to a fair administration of justice in _ty
I: Um hmm.
U: And, that was clear, because you'd have a demonstration get out
of hand, black guy would be arrested, and his bond would be a
hundred dollars, white guy, ten dollars. You think we joke.
I: Uh uh.
U: I can't accept that s\-Asto .
end side one
CR ST.A 3A page 16
U: I can4either ten dollars or a hundred dollars, if you and I
were whipping up on each other,
I: Um hmm.
U: The bond ought to be the same. Unless there's good reason, that's
I: In, uh, you know, in, yet in 1965, when a few of you were
celebrating the 400th anniversary, or on the eve, really, I
guess it was going to happen in within a week. And, King was
saying, from afar, out in Atlanta someplace, wherever he happened
to be, "If things don't cobl off completely there, I'm, I'm
going to come back." And there were just some periodic, it was
maybe a beating here or there, by a few of the rednecks, really,
and not downtown, they happened to be around the peripheries
of the community. But he said if things didn't calm down all
together, that he would come back. And, what was significant
to me, was that, Dr. Shelley, on the front page of the paper,
The St. Augustine Record, warned both sides that violence of any
sort would not be permitted, people would be prosecuted, they
could count on a heavy fine, and a stiff jail sentence.
I: And, uh, then the, I think it was either the next day or the day
after, the sheriff, Sheriff Davis, also appeared on the front
page of the paper, saying literally the same thing. My thought
was, my question, I guess it is, could that sort of thing been
done to Davis in 1964, to force him, the community forced him,
either through Shelley, or through some other able white leader-
ship, or was again, the division, I guess, as you mentioned,
CR ST.A 3A page 17
between this right-wing, and the rest of the community so
U: Well, the statements that you're talking about, in the newspaper,
that was the second or third w4--g of this thing. The tail end
F: Yeah, right.
U: Had the first, uh, wave, or trouble been met with that sort of
a firm statement, -4 was not tongue in cheek, and I'm not
convinced it wasn't tongue in cheek
U: Because the ,,ret dccke4s would reflect this
kind of strong law enforcement. But you've got to remember
that Davis was immensely popular at that time, and I'd been the
prosecuting attorney, and had an awful lot of trouble with
-Pe se cases in wa'aing convicted, we got convictions, but I got
good reports, and cases he didn't want convicted, the records
got lost, the evidence got lost. It was just a real horrible
thing, and I had occasion to go to Tallahassee to J)?>5z C//f8 ,
to I.-5c(1 6 AV f./ p^ f r^ A'A/r6s We had
no staff here. A lot of people in the State's /t4-or.c.'' office
was not nearly as well equipped C0s ;i
is now. And we were constantly after the sheriff to do his ;job.
But, he had this great popularity, H_ cJ Vs an
extremely personable guy, with this element that I'm talking
about, and he even had a in his life,
he just had a magnitude. He sure was lax when it came to him
I: So they-Cor- -sre that e-en the popularity,it
CR ST.A 3A page 18
was very difficult, if not impossible to control.
U: Yeah, He, when he'd go in there and draw eighty percent of the
vote, a group of businessmen can't go through and say, "Look, now
you'd better shape up." And in a very nice way, he, he wouldn't
1 4e, 4 and he wouldn't
But he was eventually removed. Its a long time to
I: I, I've heard that, that Mr. Wolf, when your father worked sort
of behind the scenes to try to ease things, uh, I'll ask your
father this as well, but, I was wondering if you were familiar
withy>uh, any steps they took behind the scenes to. .
I know Mr. Wolf was particularly committed to the celebration of
the quadracentennial, that he was very active in it.
U: He was also in the position, along with about six or eight other
L.:NP,'t "L +-)
men, that I had known, that had they 4aewrr, and I considered them
_S__Ot leaders of the community. Guys that had been the
mayors, guys that have been in the Senate, that had amassed personal
fortunes, and were now letting sons and relatives, friends go
under the table, on a day to day. These guys were your senior
citizens with plenty of influence statewide and concerns
i( nationwide. There's many things that i-t oJ'r Jlj-d14
didn't do, simply because they thought it was a bad dream, that
it would all go away. They didn't want to be labeled as a /oo1e,
as a nigger-lover. Or to have a cross burned in their yard.
And, as you look back on it, it seems simple or trite that that
could influence the people. But it was really influential, it
was a big thing to them. To avoid thea p label a nigger-
CR ST.A 3A page 19
I: YougA . .
U: I donlt know if your other interviewees have expressed that
opinion or not, but I really think that, that, uh,
these elements (pe spo,- o have a tendency to quiet your
effective leadership. Your
I: Is, was it meant, was it kind of a small town nature of the
community that sort of made it difficult to uh, saty, take this
independent stand? I know in Little Rock, for example, there,
the business community there, you don't hear much of, you never
hear much about this. I guess its up to us historians to
publicize more. The business community in Little Rock, which
is a much bigger community, PFCF take this sort of independent
stand, I was wondering if it was sort of the small community
of St. Augustine that made it difficult.
U: I think so. Every, you know, its not ybur cheaper place, its
not the sheriff. Every job had a name and a face, and we knew
this. Everybody is so well known, it makes it a lot more difficult.
I: Just a reflection. I've seen the figures, but I was wondering
ji you recall, kind of in a qualitative way, how bad business
was hurt, in '64.
U: I'm sure that '64 and '65 the:tourist industry was hurt. The
rest of the business, I was not aware d~ e wi foaC cc cLA
I: Uh huh.
1: The '65 are up-here too, I mean the quadricentennial, it appears
to me, never, as a consequence of '64, became what everybody
hoped it would become. Is that an inaccurate reflection on my
part? An inaccurate picture? It seemed like it was. . .
U: I think that, uh, yeah. I think its trouble to a new program,
CR ST.A 3A page 20
its true. I'll give you one example, and this, again, was
surface dancing. I was attorney for, iqm _, Ge-e-ga-,--a
crti-zi that was trying to get a federal(ty,^ chartered
savings and loan association. There was only one in the town.
Only one savings and loan outlet. We had, it was a tremendous
lot of red tape, but you had, eventually you had to go to
Washington, t4 ^, o4c Po1N ,took about a
week, you had to try a need and necessity. We did that, in '64,
early spring of '64. Then, the hearing officer made his report, to
the homeowned bank board, and they granted the charter, or
denied it. We'd been denied once before, in '62. All right.
We had a much better application, much better, the evidence looked
much better, the need looked great. By sheer coincidence, the
hearing officer's reccomendation, all of our briefs, old transcripts,
hit the desk of the federal lomeowned Pank poard on July the
second, and that was the same day, within a day or two, of the
passage of the Civil Rights Act. And, he would deny it. Okay.
And I, just, some years later, made the same application, and it
was granted, and ic k c G orhelo r,(JtJ o" doing a
great job. But thats not the point. The hearing officer later
became a private attorney, and got out of the federal work, and
became an attorney, doing nothing but savings and loan applications.
And I ran into him in Atlanta, and he said, "I've always wanted
to talk to you," he says, "You know, I favorably recommended your
application in '64." And I said, "Well, I'm relieved to know
that, I thought it was a good application." And he says, "But
let me tell you, St. Augustine could have not gotten the Red
Cross in July of '64. Lf you could wash it off the map with a
CR ST.A 3A page 21
hurricane," he said, "The federal government wouldn't have given
a damn thing, because of this __." And I believe that.
Thats just a one person example. And I think it carried over
into '64. For example, another example, have you seen the
cover of the, I just happen to have one, did you ever see this
_s_ _i_- of the Geographic?
I: No, I didn't.
U: All right, this came out in February of '66. Its a beautiful
section on St. Augtstine. This is just a reprint. But, this
fellow, Connolly, that wrote it, this assistant editor that came
down here, was here, and this was keyed to be published prior
or coincide with the celebration, which would have been in
September, '65. And because of the racial problems, and this
being a non-controversial magazine, they held it out, and did
not publish it in this',Iome of the greatest advertising I know
of. But it did not hit the newsstand until some five or six
months-away. But it was keyed to come out in either September
or August of that summer, when your real influx of tourists
would have been expected.
I: There was incredible pressure being brought to _ec_ here
in one the .
U: -A question. This beautiful piece of advertising which was
I: Um hmm.
U: Thats a irurITL,/ respected periodical.
I: Right. This is true.
U: But somebody got to them, and they held that thing up, and I was
CR ST.A 3A page 22
I was totaled. UL L' A 6 o Soy.
I: Well, after, after '65, has it, has there been any problems at
all since I saw, I think, one, one egg throwing at a Easter
parade, but those were, those people from Jacksonville who threw
the eggs. I haven't seen any reference to any problems after,
U: Not really. You see, the college out here closed.
I: Um hmm.
U: They were from Miami. Um, HailO went to Melbourne, or something.
And there may be black leadership. There was some ____k__
They've moved away. And I think St. Augustine, uh, segregations
have been abolished, but as far as your relationship with the
black community j.X A p- 0\ i (;, s ._
There are no blacks with responsible jobs. Particularly /" r/
school, and S c -
I: Did it take long for the old relationships to come back, the
harmony that existed before, even though it was a different
racial pattern, did it take long after the chaos of '64 for
those relationships to be restored again, in the community, the
white community uptight and the black community as well?
U: I think some, within the community. Still bear a label of having
cooperated, or ee# /)~licA or or tried to
create harmony, or racial iA eitnre committee. Although I'm
sure thel, there are some scars.
I: Um hmm.
U: I have coffee every morning when I'm here, in the restaraunt.
CR ST. A3A
Any of our friends who want to drop in, but its pretty well in the
same group. And this guy who comes in t4ex-e, that, I didn't
know this, but its reported that he was very instrumental in
helping the media people set up and be in the right place at the
right time. He was kind of a early vit-e-r.. Ran a pi_ i/
house next door. Young fellow, attracted me. He's since become
a wt aa4-~aaB- well established in the community. And he still
bears that label of having cooperated, with not the blacks, but
I: Um hmm.
U: And getting ready for them, set up. -. e >owJ "'s s e- bad
I: Well, this, I appreciate your tolerance, althzuag I have,-a-n
wated questions, I can't think of anything else that might be
relevant. You have anything else. .?
U: No, I'd just like to ask you some questions.
Sure. I was talking to your son about some of the things that
Happened. Let me just say, I, I've been over at Florida for
six years now, at the University of Florida, and I'm, I've been
teaching history for seven years. I went to the University of
North Carolina, that's where I did my work, and graduated from
U: (-T UCicrr,' I ( O /Li7- th Q b(-1u 0uQ
I: Did you?
U: / d.r f-htjrr X/e l ^ ( Ic- (/ -A, 9"o fV g.F
I: Well, I'd one of the war before that. Went to Vietnam before I.
U: Well, I went to war, first World War.
I: Well, you went to a little better war, in terms of sense of play.
CR ST. A 3A
But, uh, I've done, I had, I had written one book on the, on
Florida gubernatorial politics in the twentieth century, the study
of the governor's office, the campaigns, and that sort of got
me interested in race relations in Florida, because I, I always
saw Florida while I was doing that work as a rather progressive
state, and I wanted to find out why. And, and looking at it, I
got interested in St. Augustine, and what happened here, and why
it happened here, so, basically, I think thats what I want to
talk to you about. As a man who has been in a leadership position
in St. Augustine for some time, and knows it very well. I'd
like to talk to you about that. I was wondering, why, when you
came to St. Augustine, were you, was your family here already,
or did you move?
U: I moved down here. Moved to F/eya ,s ___ J;______ c,_. a__Mt*I&-,I
I: Did you come to set up a law practice here, or did you come as
a vtrrt ?
U: I came as a par, ---
I: Where did you do your, your work, and where did you recieve your
education, your legal education?
I: At the University of Florida? Is that where you graduated from
after you left Chapel Hill, and went to the war?
U: No, I went to Florida first.
I: Oh, I see.
U: I graduated Florida, then I went up to Chapel Hill.
high school, and I thought it was wrong to
live in )4-^rt-
live in 4-
CR ST.A 3A
I: If what, could you tell me what St. Augustine was like as, as
you were a young man here, as you lived here, you. .
U: It was very similar to what it is now; hasn't been much change.
since the, since the restoration
I: When did the, when did the restorations start? Was it underway
when you were here?
U: No, it was not. It started when __----- ,
po / 4TJjssce Sng A A co# -SS V-i-e-t--am -wa-r-, 1965,
or maybe it was '64.
I: It was sort of basically a small community. Were, were there...
U: Like it is now, except there's just C -___ more people
I: Uh huh. Socially, how would you characterize it? Was it, was there
kind of a, was there a social elite in the city, or was it pretty
open sort of city.
U: Well, there was a, there was a, it was different, ~-te- t-to
s-t--rt- We had a large po' A l-aw-enr-si emet /t <
I: Uh huh.
U: They e'/ lr a o 0c; A themselves, and when iser
I: Uh, was the business community so, pretty much the leader,
leadership of the community?
U: No, everybody was about the same o__- leadership
between,-o* white people.
I: Uh hmm. Were the Minochins any, did they the city's
CR ST.A 3A
U: 4ut e lt c -- some.
I: Uh huh. What did most, most, where'd most of the 4Mno-k-3-g-s-
-een on the economic ladder, have they held blue collar jobs,
U: WhreTe--Wtou ? some blue collar
jobs, some we rey wnkeS c (t / I2/VtsA.b
I: Oh, uh, is, now this, is this the headquarters for the Florida
East Coast, here is St. Augustine?
U: Was, it was.
I: When did, when did it move to Jacksonville?
They still call this headquarters.
I: Uh huh. They still call this the headquarters, though. I see.
Uh, as, as you've been here, in the years you've been here, were
there any racial problems at all, uh, prior to '64?
I: How 'bout, how long has that college, that Negro college been
out there? That, uh, Florida Memorial College, I believe it was.
U: It was here when I came.
I: It was here when you came.
U: It was for a while, I don't know e-.~cH 7
I: Um hmm. Do you have any idea when one of the things, that seems
to me rather remarkable about St. Augustine is that you have the
Negroes and the whites living very close together, in some, some
cases, they live on the same streets. There's very little, sort
of) segregation in housing. Theres not kind of like a "Negro
town" and a "'White town", seems to me that both groups live
very close together, if not next door to one another. I was
CR ST.A 3A page 27
looking at the districts, and. .
U: C. l /f-. f)( C2 population has been here a long time.
Urn, since it was
across from the on out, and
school up there was whe-,e--whe--unds-~we-nt.
JMfe"-, 0(-, Lv^ ^ N vn^ ?
I: Was that p year, or something?
PLn a 4 C 'z vt<-i Yf re
U: No, peTy-e-ar was about uh, f/GItrs later. P-er--y-ea- was filled
I: Uh huh.
,U: t e -. tiaetr was the first. t Gaet-er was a fa-rm
I: Was that, that, was that a Baptist school?
U: Yes, at __a c-_ _sa: school. (t'U Kcmn-sq oA^N Clliirrc f^, A r Vfln
($A mu4 c a- ) 1 /__ _ _ _'__/
g4-ae--d-4Tang-e. c,-,_ -- (. Ic-C! c,,v !<, y i n, Ft,
I: That was for an
U: And, uh, he was arrested for stealing
7-up- LL Rt f o1f a Then they had another
fellow named _Lly Tie-F e i -w ro W. Llas *C R 5 .r < C,~~4 At~ n
ren.- And &wea-- came, and t &yel was, he was um-7. .
I: Was he in, he was with that fellow /-/?I A___
U: Um hmm.
I: Robert Hailing.
U: Who was he?
I: He was that dentist, the 1egro dentist.
U: I, I don't.know him.
Wait a minute.
I: Yeah, the se, the first one was
CR ST.A 3A
U: Oh, the first one was O%'Y
U: I don't know much, much about that -_HI(
I: Okay. When did, uh, when did you become first aware that there
was some racial problems here, that, that uh.
I: FteL- was _-_---____ b1f^c-d./ tAI'A.L /flM( Cr*
U: lr/l#)>L, /7",6 cw,,r. 'T___- wasn't -v6y-goad _______
I: Well, I was thinking of '63, uh, just to refresh your memory,
when\~h, uh. you had that white fellow, William Canard, who was
killed while he was riding around in the aegro area with a shotgun,
and, uh, you had the, the uh, Hailing, this fellow, this dentist
Hailing, was,went out to the Klan meeting and got himself all
beat up. That happened in '63. Did they stop?
U: Uh huh.
I: Uh huh. Uh huh.
I: So when King came, that was virtually good
U: They had, they have a little muov ed (,a1ri ,, .before, but
/ IlJE*- 4
a-l-ong-t-i-me-runni-ng. When they, when they fixed it so
/,/!'J /I, could wi4k-down /ie ,I e we had a, a --ady named
& 4J 4-mef we"'^s*- o An...&.... CTV.rt! __ And, uh, he came up last
,a I said, "hey,
And, uh, he uh, he said that he wanted -I anK
U: _And the perfectly good he went out, and he started
U: And the perfectly good _____ ___, he went out, and he started
CR ST.A 3A
the registration, and started with a _. J.A^ __ you
know. Didn't do that much adJKis-t-ration, I know. Now, if
somebody had a, had a, started a demonstration here, I don't
know whoAwas. Bubba told me that the, uh, the NAACP, he said
he had ge9e to it, and joined it. 'Cause he thought it was a good
thing for the people, and then they kept after his money, and he,
he didn't give them any money, just paid his dues, and they broke
his windows out. He had a real estate office then. He won't,
I told him He went
out and put this
Some, some militant t-h-inTgfn_ d ~ -.
I: Um hmm.
U: Least that's what he thought, and I think so too. And then they
had a demonstration down at the courthouse one day, /i' e-oPaet
the judge. 7- don't know why they were demonstrating.
fIthink that's what happened. Robbers in the courthouse singing
some songs. The sheriff, I was made a deputy t-hat- o- ( k
ie-put him in charge of it, and he got all wild, and
It wouldn't have been bad, lot of them were drinking to it, and
'course this thing q,,!L ,o. C o R but, there
wasn't no, no violence.
I: UUm hmm. L.-w-
U: They're mostly children- nQw,-children-from the school, you know.
I: Why do you think King came here? Why do you think Martin Luther
King came here?
U:! Well, at that time, we were, we were, it was war, we were about
CR ST.A 3A
to celebrate our four hundreth anniversary here, and they heard
there's a whole lot of publicity in the paper for it. ~7L $ ,J i d
appointed a commission of, that we were gonna
There were three or four of us planning on going to sc-enwrton,
and it, y-4u-ge-9i-n-ts
publicity. Um, I don't Ifo, ...1. -,/ J r er /..-
I: So he was gonna take advantage of the four hundreth anniversary
to get a lot of publicity.
U: Get a lot of the publicity. Thats, that's, that was what I thought.
I: Uh huh.
U: Least there was any, they had a couple of parades, I went on the
government parade, c.. .a.. !U eiJ-c.
-kot uf-people partying, and. .
I: Was most of the trouble caused by outsiders, like King, and some.
Klan people from Jacksonville?
U: I think practically all the A/conc s were outsiders. Now, I've
been here a long time, and I know some Negroes. Um, and I went
out and sat out in the tvwroosrce and watched the parade, and I
didn't see a singleANegro-that-T-Tnrvw, not one. Now, there had
to be, most of them had to be outsiders. And the same thing was
true with the white, with the white ones. We were just a stage 'l-
IAf Csivl6 4-f c4/- 'rr"s
I: Did the uh, did the white people in St. Augustine, I'm sure they
must have been angry, at what was happening, did they try, did
somebody like yourself, or Mr. Wolf try and get these people out
CR ST.A 3A page 31
U: Uh, well the, the uh, ___Hotel, all the
newspaper people went in there, and that boy, ur, beangtt___
he, he's a young fellow, that doesn't really have much, He gave
S__ fav-i-te reporters a ring. And, of course, all
the demonstration went there,King went over there, you know,
where, where you, publicity.
I: Um hmm.
U: And, uh, the whole thing was staged in the function. So you see,
right over there. He tried to get in a car to follow me, you know,
.--said he was SAs!'/ I ( 4o- 4-IC ( <- 5> / SC -^ I '''
U: But he refused to let 'em go. He was wrong. 5V Py_ ,C____
ie hfIs -f ;v^ J-: .-CcJ
end of tape