| Material Information
||Interview with J. B. Stoner (April 6, 1976)
||April 6, 1976
St. Johns County (Fla.) -- History.
||This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
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SJ 3A Side One
bd Page 1
5 Is t turning?
I Yeai, ,it s.turning. That -usic is gonnaq..
that-s one way to travel.
S: I t would3t want to travel on -this kind of thing- though. Might run into
'K I" have: tisset of : questions h.ere., and -uh..
S Okay, some l Won't won't .e. able. to answer.
YK: es, you.- right, -that's.your .perfect .legitimate right, of course. And .uh,
I.suppose, the. Best place. to Begin is-:just kind of, .hcr did you first get
involved in, -uR, St. Augustine?
S. Uh, Because. =my friends were down there such. as. Connie. e- Gene
,'issell, and.Gene. Spelin and others-.
K: Th. huh. And they invited you?
K: Did, did...
S': Local citizens paid My. expenses, doTq. -.there. -
K1 Did they?
TS To. stay. dowIntthere.. Urh, I.hent down -thFe to- speak 4 ..ew- tires, and -they
paid 4-y< to. stay,. for regular -lengths, of' ti"te.
KIc. see. -Who, .uh', -io would -raise t-ie.: funds?
S; .Well, different:ones.
'K T. huh, .would .it 74os.tly, be) say!. .L. ..
-~~~~~ ~ *- 'A__- -- ___ __ -_________________ ,,
S4 3A Side One
hd Page 2
S: They, they picked, well uh, I" can't remember certain if he'd be one
of them, as I.recall.
K; WouTld, -ti, you said, you said the chamber of commerce changed -their
S T Yes, mS..
K Would you elaborate on.that?
S After the civil rights act was passed.the-chamber of commerce switched
oyer to. the nigger side, and otherwise, -%hiy; I Believe.most of .the
niggers i St. Augustine would have Ioved: out.
SYou .t hin-r- this is due primarilyy then to .Wlfs' influence
S': .Yes- sir.
hiyn do .you .think. Wblf -changed his: mind?
: Well, -uh, most Bankers, uh, they're -mainly interested in a profit rather
than anything else.
$. So you.think. Mr. Wolf then saw a greater profit in.supporting the blacks?
S' Well he.thought, thought he did. Well. he didn't exactly support the, -uh,
niggers. .What they did was the .chaqhey of commerce element, uh, uh, .he
used his influence. so that .they .ouldn'-t. cooperate. with ,us .nymoye.
KX Ik see.
S:; But .they: wanted us..there to start with. until Herman Wof....
K; Who:s .that _the-chabher ,of co3eerce?
:S; ...yes, -.eyeyody wanted .us, :eyeVryody, wanted all...
I .This-wouldehe in .:'63?
Sa ....yes all.of it was starting in the: fall of '63 on- t :' In fact
all theMwhite;e just -_aEout all the-white people except a few: nigger. lovers
SJ 3A Side One
hd Page 3
wanted us there. But uh, uh, I' was treated .very well when I: was there,t-<
!P enjoyed myself.
S: Thatw-aas one of the Best--yacations ever had.
K A working 'vacation?
S; Yes S,'.
K So in the-fall of '63 then.you started going down there. .Were you there
continuously, or was it more off and on?
S No, I, I go.back to Atlanta.. And-then I had a case in.federal court .here
in Jacksonville. But I: was down. there .quite a hit of the time. I was
also an attorney in a court trial down there in the fall.of, uh, I'vye for-
gotten exactly when uh, when the tra was, hut, uh, whenever Haling and
soMe other niggers tried to break- up a klan -meeting, .uh, four white fellows
M; Oh yeah, September 18.
S: I was their, I was their attorney. I.think it was about, i:.think.-that was
still in -63 .when. it was tried.
Q .Yes, .Septeme.r' E63.
$: .hl, the trial part I ,,ean .though. .And :ub, I wasn't at .that meetingg with:
thnemJSibt I' was an attorney) They tried one, the' jury. found hilx not guilty
The othea .three defendantsi.were- sitting in the court roojF ad -their witnesses
SLC- -.` _1'
couldn'-t. identify- thBee) so -they-. .... .or disiqissed all -', -
y-- ---t E* so,- f eSi
-rKUW ,U you er .a -that- non specig ic -,Tally?, \'
--Pre fseq/ L'
SJ 3A Side One
bd Page 4
S: No sir, I've read about it in the Miami Daily News and the Long Island
paers- 1 wished i d Been there.
K10 Ws that, was that, uh, Mr. Lynch that was there?
SS Yes, Guy Lynch.
K: I'e r-ead several reports about that. Wras that, was that, would you say
.that -asaBout the -only klan meeting, or t*he major .clan meeting that happened
in '.63 do. there, or were .there other ones?
S: That was -the only lan' meet ing- at was, .that klan was the only klan
functioning in St. Augustine at the time, in Jacksonville too. -There,
there'-s -rore than one klan organization in a town. Night be a. .dozen
.-: different, uh, klan organizations f n various.-.
10 oHbw-1o anyuh, how many -lan organizations, uh, would you say were based
in, iih, St. :Augustine.
S: Just one.
10 Just one. How-many, how many...
. And it, it, and most of it's .-emBers were Catholics.
10 .lh huhi. .o .jyou would say- then- that -the A-ient it L'. 6U could
T e -considered a Rlan-san or. kh-a n-T^m ?-
S. Well .'d say..theyI're on friendly terms with, withithe klan.
S. Well -that, -that 's one of -py, ig. historical questions IyeA^ een tryi-ng to
solve, is.tlhe Acient ity< actually a. Elan or just in sort, o f, 1oe -than
S: UJh- therexs probably some-, I\ guess -there :as-. soge oyerlap.
SJ 3A Side.. One
d -Page 5
K: .But the' But the one klan.which would be distinct from the, it's organi-
za-ti, -say it was distinct from..,
-(A veAe rAs e( Ce-A S ^Aee
S: ITey were separatee .tanfrtJ from Jacksonville -4enlfers .jEtf. that was
.the onily. kan in. t. Augustine.
kte vvert1 s
K: Terethe Jacksonvilles armers.very' active? ,
-S: Yes sir. they'Eelped outSt. ASt Ugustine.
K. They did, yes, tat's -wfiat. I.mean. Were they helping -the rallies,..
S: Yes,- and-the marches.
K and -the marches?
S: .We would hold, uh, rallies and, ul', the niggers would come out and provoke
the .eople-in-our rally. I:.dontt know' why.. cause they -always lost out.
Jackie RoBinson was down there one night and would shake hands, so they
said. $> a newsman went down there.to shake hands with.every big nigger
little nigger and all the niggers arching out of the church, come up to
the square. But he wouldn't march up there himself.
K UK huh. .At.these rallies would the .people .that were.attending considered
-mostly, uh, lansmen or were ..they local white people.
:S; There -we.re-wiite.people f Ro'_the- wole. co unity.
,. .ERhuh ,. and .they:.would...
S Well .the .i.ole. comnity, -the iole cohunity; was, u.h, practically-. solid
in -thei.support of OU C .OA
K P Did.you .ntice if,.now.-tbt you' knolw concerning soge .deal of -yiolence
-that did occur against _the.blaclS i.- W.uld you say. it was -ostly. youths
that, -n, .pepetrated that-or was-that .-oe of an organized -matter, or a
SJ 3A Side. Qne
bd Page 6
matter of provoction.
ST el when the niggers would come down and provoke trouble why everybody's
got tha opportunity, uh, to get .. niggers, fe)
K Uhi, well you said the community was pretty,. you know, solid in. it's...
S Yes sir.
I: ...it s-solidarity.so.to speak.
S' vyeryBdy was, ITd walk around .te streets.at times with my twelve by
eighteen inch confederate flag on a stick, .everybody was.always greeting
e and-chiering me,. even'.wheL.we aren'tt having a.meeting. .e droye,
I'.BaId a conjr taBle at that time and.eveyABody- was waving.at us a saying
theey:.wre for us. It wasfun.
K .What specific steps did.you,uh, take.to, uh,. generate this.solidarity,
do you -th!ink-that, .uh, ..
S t think our rallies and marches generated solidarity.
.1 And in, in the -marches, uh, were the KRan, ( lu luxjlan mainly.the people
that would organize them, or did the cient ity haye a lot to do with.
s- w11 Rlansmen -mainly organized" theni Bhut .there were, people other.than. klan
in .th arch-es. -I U ^
K W1. fo instance, -uhi, M eie: said.he.would, you kno, .help .the kLans
in. ters- o you R nw arranging peaiits and-that kind ofI -those kind of
S-Hb: pS o aobly-idy". d i don't.re a earlall -those -a T- cs hit
ES oS would you say.- though that all in -all you'ye worked pretty close with
SJ 3A S.ide One
ld Page 7
Mr. RewsovM while you were down there?
S: Yes sir.
K; -A ,i u1, we're skipping around a little Bit, I: have lost the order of
-my, notes here. And in terms of solidarity, did you work with, uh,
-Pemaers of the euh, members ofthe so-called power structure also?
S: The power structure supported us up until .ergn Volf put the pressure
on-thei to switch .em. That's where the trouble was,
'1 And -tey. let's say part of that city,; uh, Mayor Shelly. or someone like
S We had, they all, everybody was very helpful. There-as, only, .we had
-some interference from Gov. Farris Bryant sent in.the.something like
.251 state troopers in.. That didn't, uh, that didn't.stop us. It was
-Herman Wblfe that, uuh, helped the niggers out.
S: Cause we'd have whipped the niggers at the time that, .uh, .he put the pressure
on,.wevd already whipped the niggers until Wolfe put the pressure on the
estaBishnqent to switch.
S Y ou-ean.in jrs of intimidating ..the out .of their :arches- or-.uh,...
Sn.teis .of winning oyer codqunity: support?
S .Well.it:was cutting off their.general. support.
; o youthink,. you -thik-thtere: w: a time...
S_..e. told-.tie4 ie. put .the pressure on -tem. to go -ahead and start, .ih, renting
rooMs:.to niggers and letting niggers eat in. their restuarants.
SJ 3A Side. One
bd Page 8
V0 D you thiink that if he had not done that, the.federal government might
have come in and .uh,... taken.st&ps.
S: .io, if brman Wolfe had stayed out of it why most of the niggers in St.
Augustine would have moved: out.
10 In your working relationship did you also, uh, did you have cause to work
.ucf vwitH, u1K, Sheriff Davis also?
"S, e_ s,_ lie was always friendly, he. neveav gave meany trouble.
10 So did you know him, uh,. very..ell. Did.he u.i...
S' Tell I knew him, yes I saw him quite- often. I sasw everybody. downm there
K: And -uh, he.never gave you any specific problems.
S! No sir, not, .not any that we, that consider.serious. .He'"s a law enforce-
,Rent office which, uh, he had his problems. So uh, but uh, that was meant
neyer any .real problem.
K: I see. -What about uh, Mr. Lynch, of. course.you and 1. Lynch were -the 'luh..
1i W. were the principle. figures.
K : What was.your, what was your .wopiig .relationship with. him?
S: Oh he and I were. closely associated: in -theational states rights prty.
And -i',; we alxays-. wopred th. everyvhite group -that gants. any: help. Of
.course, .-et she's' deceased now.
10 ,?eTah, -hnfi edid heh ..
"S. f"s- gone,-.heiwent .to .heayeni 5acl in, .iih, :the end of eaptemher 1972..
SJ 3A Side One
bd Page 9
"1E -i '72.. see. 'T.Uh.well in .teriqs of speaking chores was it divided pretty
a-cSi--ifty-fifty or uh, did you take turns on speaking?
;S J_ in 1i9t3, :uh,.he spoke.every night, uh, about till the weather got
too cold in .the fall of '.63. And I.went -srtb.down and spoke, uh, only a
couple tiAes.them. Then in. the, uh, spring of 1964, I.got there at .least
a -mantn:-ahead of him, and uh, so, .uh, .la ri'" / .'. speaking duties
f ell on me -until he returned from California.
A- Yhen didiBe get Raclc
S. t was, it was on up in :June, the last part of June.
-.Leni-wene.he:. got in... then it was pretty-much split off?
S, Then we shared the speaking, yes. t _-re-
Kl I'.see, uh, .where there, aside from. the. rallies: ea -- were'
there gore traditional klan rallies going on at the th e e ime with the
1 .ell once the uh, up in July, after the establishment stopped supporting
us, .uh, -there .ere klan rallies. held outside of town.
K1 On that gentlemens, -uh, the 2ityqking (eojpany?
I I. seess, to
".S And I Rwas:arrested onm account of ._th-at.and so wAas Connie, and so were
S three .othkes.. Uh', one, .one fellow, Don Cothran. somebody, adyised_ hiD. to
enter a plea of guilty. -,He pleaded guilty-. and paid a two hundred.dollar
fine-. ;hflte.rest of .us, told them we were .not pleading guilty so -they dismissed
SJ 3A Side One
bd jPage 10
E& 7 see-. .That, .that's, that Brings up a, you know, question to mind.
-m,' it seems that the rallies. held on the land. all week. and -then the
last day.they.decided to arrest you all. Now did the owner.of the land
haye. a.change of heart, or..,
S- No ,that 'asnt .the problem, uh, uh, they arrested us becausee somebody, uh,
tossed a fire.ombS into the., restaurant .at .the Motor Lodge.
], -Ot rsee. .
S Then they, .uli, that, uh, f ellowwawed- theJIe district. states .attorney
I -Ith. huli, Dan -arren?
S Yes, he came up and the attorney Cne'ral of:. Florida came overr whio w'asr
mssea the following election. And then, uh, they didn't know'who
did.that but uh, since Connie and I:.were agitators for the.white.people
ihy they arrested us and the.others.
n Wio do.you think uh, firebomBed?
S: I don't know.
KX You don't, no ,. it's ..uh,..
- S3 AnyRody.could- hyave.. done it..
r Iher _tIheoies Blacks did it ort the:.hites did .it, and -Iias .just,..
s1 ,-. ll -irites.-,ay have done it. I.'Ij not accusing -the niggers. o doRng it,
,utt I,.-mean I-.don't ,Rtnow".Tho did it.
S"IJf ibhK' I- .see .T Well :.in terms :...
S See. tfRe'X onson:'Motor. Lodge managerr switched sides, and uh, -white people
SJ 3A S.ide One
bd. Page 11
didn't like him anymore, so anybody...
K %ell. e: did it, he did it just to obey the law don't.you think?
S:: WEhi.thL didn't have to go overBoard with it.
: I' see. TU, when he did switch.over, as I. recall, you and _er ere
fairly successful in organizing :a..
S: es. te National .State's rights party:. had a pickett line but in front
of his place, saying niggers welcome and all, we wanted to help him get
a lot of nigger Business. f
M So those were your picketts and not Hat .
S.: Yes, well some of them may have been, uh, might have been. some of his
-relattyes on the pickett line, I can't remember. But uh,. then, uh, no
b.usiness- came in. Even though. we welcomed the. niggers in on it.to dine,
no business came in. I imagine the manager was upset .aout.that.
EK TI ., was that the first time that the National State':s Rights Party was
down in St. Augus ine?
S: Well ca. nd I:.Both. represent the National State"s. Rights Party,
and Gene Wi'lson was National .State"s Rights- Party.
K Eitt I, I-.neyer, you know, prior to this incident there was no indication-
o, .you iRhor the name hneve -showed up in .the papers prior to .thi.
S I The pape, nothingn, I' don't -think anything showed up in .the. papers until
.they-roate that lying report to the state ente-about St. .Augustine.
Lt, Oy.- 'lliafms.Ieaded repor, lying .eport.
K .Oh', yopuqean .the.-lorida, legislative. inyestigation...
S .teah, -the. n e society .uh, wanted EZ riot the race-mixing vf= e. Jobh
SJ 3A. Side One
B=;ie Society. John Bke Society is a race-mixing organization.
KE 7t Is?
K Tae, *ul, 'the clansmen that were, that were involved in .te rallies and
the demonst rtions in terms of percentage, would you say-.there were
-more local .lansmen or more from say Jacesonville, if you can't call that...
45 WW ell as-a general ruletee re, plenty there wereuh plenty, hereerep of
.the local.St. Augustine clansmen, :But .uh, at times for rallies and marches
a _o 3 .people.come down from Jacksonville.
'E And mostof -these -marches were going on pretty regularly for a while.
S': Yes si thwey.were.:
K M .What just. about every night?
S: ell we had rallies every night, whehere.we marched or not at the slave
$, And sone, some nigger lovers once and -while would -ake a iAstake. and come
up on -the.edge. o -the crowd, and uh', dis.liked-what Lynah and I-were saying
"hen -theyyd nake remarks, uh, pro nigger-remarks against -uh.why, t usually
.realized .their -mistake.
L. You realize e it suddenly.
S' l'-ean. nobody,. told the whites to. do .that, mean .the tiites were.. stirred
s-p., TZeah 1 wouldn''t.go.to a nigge' rally and get on. the edge of.it and
start. denouncing -the nigger speaker, nd some: nigger lover comes- up on
the. e.de of a twite crowd.when their stirred up at a time of a crisis like
SJ 3A Side. One
that and.start denouncing the white racial speakers why you're.just
asling for trouBle.
K w- wdo you.think a crisis was proyoEed in the first place? T
S: Well Dr_. Eaiung and the niggers wanted to go ahead and take over the
town. -They wanted to have their way everything really.
KI -iat do you mean when you say their iay,?
^ -g I.Dr, ._aing uh, intended to run.all.the white races out of town.
In -tems. of Dr. HBailing : and uh, and Martin Luther King, do. you think
.they were Coiniies?
S': Well I-tE-int that Id .e secondary, .their both, both niggers trying. to
destroy- the rightsof white .people, so King knew Commnunists and had
Communist friends.r don't Enow'- that iuch. about Haj in g. .: But King was
for the. Ciril Lights program for race..-iing and .that's.as had as you
SWRell I, believe I'm sure Haling was. for the- same purposes.
$ I' know of .course the Communist Party is for race. mixing, but as for
KiAg as. to, -yell he had Cogunist; -friends; But as to -whether .as. Comunist
I. don t. know, .But it.wouldn'Zt -:aee any difference. :to :me ..hether. he was a
Communist- or not, he. was nigger fighting against us; white people. Thattd
-_.e, a t' ,fa.t u t not the fact" .
K C Rat do you -thinki- the,..
S1 Cause: I-: opposed .to race -mixing .even .if a conseryatiye. nigger wants .to
S.force :/race -xing,
SJ 3A Side Qne
hd Page 14
KR Why do you think. the white people would -march-with say the.: $;C.LC.
<-M er. weren't any, r don't remember hardly any white people marching
down there with the S.C.L.C. I've seen marches all over.the. south, and
I"ye seen whites like wRit march with them. But, uh, St. Augustine,
S- For instance the college .that came.down.for spring, over the spring break,
S''I11 t.thI.ey' didn'-t, -theyw.weren't in .the, .somee .of them came.dow. and got in
on-the. act .w-enever there were, Eing was going in the swimming pool and
all But not after the whites started holding rallies and.counter marches.
-1 -" ay, after, so itts- after a while that. the whites kind .of disappeared from
S': They sure did, .yes sir, they ran out on the niggers. I don't blame 'em,
S.they did a smart thing.
"K; What do you...
5:: There was a proBlem with -news photographers. for a -while.. because -they-wvee.e
wanting .to take pictures: of, .uh, white- demonstr ators :that might. .e used
as-. evidence against them sS some Kind .o :',4.I'., frame up so -they, -they.
didn't take indly, to pictures eeingr taken.
: 'I- was. going. to sa, y was going .to as. how would .you Psess,the.-ner coverage.
ao -thme, .o-the ..,
S Theyi had, -netwiork.news. cayerage, auhiB.efore. we. started our /rallies)
even) and ;arches. Uh" -they lh, I..guess.--that incited -thel niggers to keep
SJ 3A Side One
d Page .15
K: Because of, because they got publicity?
S: B-canse of.-tie-T.V. coverage.
K 1 see.. Was, was.it, did you.perci eve-any.change in attitude, uh, of
thie-nem-es reporters. as. the, .uhL, as. the disturbances continued?
S Well. once -.w.started holding our march and rallies:, .uh, the.newsmen
.ebiaved-thems.elves Better .and cut out taking the. wrong kind of pictures.
So actually-they were safer after we. started holding the rallies and
ZK 2ut did..
S :B'ut were.-most of thenest.wsmen got :urt Badly was, uh, and TIre ..een .there.
and seen. it happe. Before we. started holding marches and rallies whenever
-whites and niggers get into fights and they wanted to take pictures.of
the wbites.which. could he used in.court, and the. whites didn't like that
kind of one-sided business.
MK I suppose, uh, so the fights would you say, .u, the fights that happened
say, uh, the early part of June. before .the marching got. started?
5. -Before. June, yes> sir, Before:June.
S:. .ose., ., .were. not. so huch, didn t. haye.. o .iucL. to do withZ say _$tate9s
ig;fits ,arty or -the. klan organization.
$: No that was: just local .white: citizens--that .auh -that niggers. would. cope_ up-
town. to pro0yoe And they didn't mt _thier picture. taeni-wile.-they
ee. f fighting niggers.
S--Wihat -about -the .nu, .th~e action: on,-thiel-Eieacies-s so to speak*'
SJ 3A Side. One
hd Page 16
S: Uh, I know about the action on the beaches and there were some good
white women over there doing most of that, I think, but uh, I: went
to the Beaches at times, but uh, I was trying to keep up with everything
going on everywhere and I, and I missed most of that.
SI see. TJr ,- hat did you hear say second hand? Was it, was .it mostly
again ust -the .%iite community, reacting,..
S: Yes: sir.
I1 ...r-arwas it -more organized By say the ancient city' n-ilub.
-^ A-^a^-S Cc;4 fluwi, ^
$: ell, the Kan and the National State's Rights Party
were all involved in it, But uh, But they were only a part of .ft. They-
alsot .thejy-might of, theyight.of helped encourage the local citizens
certainly helped out with inthusiasism fromaall the reports I.heard about
the B-eacies like they did downtown.
KM And do you .think the local police also helped out by, uh,.turning their
_Backs to an extent?
$. Well, uhi, I.never did have any trouble with any, of the local police. LThey
were all nice to me.
K R see.-1> I-understand.you all had soe,l had pretty good protection in
l. Oh:.we did, iEs sir, well that, I. wuld ft, I wouldn't-say. wehad protection,
-I s. say\ i -th'. police hadn't-,been6 iere .it'dBeen a nigger, .en-ththe: niggers
started .thbwing .rocks and things -they-Lkept .the, .they,.were.keep ng -the
niggers, Behaying -thAeiselyes.. because The. white jgarches would haye cleaned
out ni-ggeEr-town once they. were provokedL y- niggers.
SJ 3A. Side One
bd Page 17
K: Well was, was there much rock throwing and violence against your marches?
S: Tha, there was- some But if hadn't been. for the police why, it would have
_Beet, it would have been a, it would have .een a lot of dead niggers,
some white.people, they'd a hurt some white people, .hut they said in
the. long .the .result would hav e been-that -the.whites. would have, -uh, ..cleaned
K3 AEbbt how-many, people would participate in the marches?
< Idam'tdot, I can't give you any number. .But there were nice.sets .of crowds.
Le -archied at night time and day time. too. We"d have a square full, march
through' nigger town.
1K -In the, pretty much the whole rall: would go on to the march?
$ Yes sir, in fact everybody.
KT That's a pretty good turn out. 1,
': Tes sir, well we had a-lot of af.f
KE Uh, do you think the uh, do you thinr. the uh, disturbances in St. Augustine
say increased membership in the klan or the State s rights party ..
-A'Y Yes sir.
K "-...that_ hAd encouraged.thexm?
-S Yes'- R.think it did, I.think it. did .all -around -thZe.country,
Di4- it, was. it, .would you say- the increased 4eghership was. confined. to
sayT, :. Augustine or would other.peole disagree with:that?
s:oranizations. eyerywhere. to- gain /oore /emErBs.
SJ 3A Side One
bd Page 18
K: But they did gain would you say significantly more in the St. Augustine
-:[ --ell had a-out all the, we had all -about all the young .white boys there
cooperating with..us. There wasn't too many- more, there weren't many more
to get out.there.
K- -Most,-mostly, the youths. you would say?
^; s Tes-s'r,
K, Was- there, -was -there much of a difference. Between the youths attitudes
and thie, -., their fathers?
St No, no the. attitudes .were the same with:.the white, the.youth were more,
-more. interested in taking -more direct action, since. they:.were,..
SH They,-were more prone to violence.
< ... in physically, physically Better shape.
x- As Sheri'ff Lf D K V termed it, they're as ha-rd as-.rubber balls.
T es. Well. they, they, uh, whipped some of those state, -uh, patrolmen
that gave "em trouble too. Uh, .if we hadn't. restrained .the '.hy -uh, they'd
-whipped the. state patrol I. guess:.theyd ..send in the national .guard,
--K- 1MhrF.an so you.would say' that the, uh..'
-T. Tey, .tZheyihad .soe.e fZ. L agents-.weaing state- patrol ;wni 6igrs,
1K Ohyi-eah, I didn't. n0ow.tatt
1 So you would say-. that ..the, -.uhli.lan and -.the National .tate.s. '.ights4 -arty,
mh., exe.ted to a .estraining ihflueence: on.'-he. youths?
SJ 3A Side One
xd Page 19
; Well I didn't want the national guard to come. in.
S: Re didn't -restrain, no I' wouldn't say we exactly, we-restrained them
scae. -. ut I-mean, ui, anytime a patrolman, uh, picked on some white boy
and jump onE.aig, -the patrolman was the one that lost out.
s ,Most of the.-patrolmen were friendly, .see that was only a few patrolmen
K-.; -E see would..
MS: -Most-patrolmen were just, most of .them were sympathetic.. They were ffor
-us, 'most of the state patrolmen.
1 But the, -uh, local, the local police and the, uh, the sherif':s department
.were pretty -uch friendly also ?
ST .yes sir.
-b And so the only real problems. yqu hadfee. with. the state patrolmen?
S.S Wen -most of them were for us except for. some. of the high.ranking ones,
and -the P I. agents in state patrol uniforms.
Ks It seems-to& e.that after, say,'-the one.Big, u h near-riot up, see I believe
it was theZ 5th-. that .they. did crac. down a little hit.
S: -Well .-theyfLd -they' did -u-, crack. dow soqe,. ut that didn't, interfere with
K It didn't?
S. They i, thtey2had a cutfewfor a little-.Riihiee.
K thr uhh :hut -ih, h'ow did,.. Hbowdid tKey1 howi do. you .thinc that -major, -wh did
ST 3a Side Qne
B4 rage 20
that major:outbreak happen the,'uh, 25th? Do you recall, it's, it was
S: I remeiBier, ..remember the biggest fight of all, uh, I was speaking at
the timei-.tat -those sorry, niggers disturbed -my speech. .Uh, I think the
police dogs -contributed a lot.to that Because they.kept barking all the
time. And.that caused, uh, that .helped a sort of a pandemonium, .built
tension and caused pandimonii. to break loose. I3think, I.think if the
policei.4ogas- adnl't Been there, it -ight not have taken-place so easy. It
qighti aye, proBaily, would have,,: ut I ,mean the .police dogs certainly-
jaLrking, certainly, aggravated the situation. And then the niggers they
were escorting were taunting the whites, and the whites didn't like to
.e taunted By the niggers. And the niggers, niggers, they were carrying
'eN off .-tfat night, it looked like a battlefield.
K WhTat uht, did you uh, did you:run across any evidence of -lack -violence
against, .h, white people?
S' Yes sir, they shot one, and killed one..ihite boy.
ME Y)es, that was in, uh, '63 T.'believe. In.terMs- of the rallies and-the
jqar ches' wa s -.-thre, e-uh;..
S YXeah, .there- were white .Boys--that got attacked. By, .niggers, -that's .-wat
often proyoked 'the trouble.
3 -So .the, .-uh I.keep .on. coiSng s- questions-.e just were. discussing.
\S-. .need. toAhurry; because, u, .we'te already- late.
CE. Alright", ihi Ill just ask: a couple 1 ore.. quick, -uhi, questions,- Well at
SJ 3A Side One
bd Page 21
the klan rallies themselves, uh, then did 'aus also help you arrange those,
fTOSS I(M r1 t C
shouldn'tt say.JBUs, Mr. lfnscf.
S: Wi11 to the .est of my'-iemory,.he arranged them.
-S: 1: couldn't swear to it,- but .-u, I. ,ean -that. was twelve years ago, and I
-assume_. he did.
KI ItB"li. '.ell --wy: did. they, .uh, .thy do .you think, uh, .why did contentions
die. dtow in\$t. Augustine?
.-: -e$ase. Because -the Ceamer of 'ofeerce establishment under the influence
of-iblf e switched sides.
0 -$o you would say then, uhi, that you all, .uh, won the battles and lost the
:; The chrm er of commerce, yes: sir..Because.of -that. Uh, the dhamher of
"eoder ce in -most places goes- along with niggers. Th, they. think i't's
"smart, But actually I. think. it"s destroying .the country and going to
destroy. their Businesses. to go along with the niggers like they';ye .Been
^ 'you do'
ess- sir. -1ell anytime ..e go to a city
eahEer Q.of tomierce is -usuallyz lined up on _the niggers side.
C( .Do. you thinki .they're just .doing- it. to- protect .th-ei-riBusiness or...
e ll e1lI '"!e. .-1an-ees -up 1 -the line put pressure- on 'erm -They:
feel .they,'e.! ore subject to pressure -tIhan other-people. A lot of thle
don't -liki niggersbhu t, .-ui,. they. give wary. to pressure too easily .ecause
SJ 3A SideOne
bd Page 22
there, there too worried about their businesses. And their business
would-.Tb better off if they Bucked the niggers. I:.think that all.the
demonstration in 1964 constituted good advertisement for St. Augustine
and they-made more money down there Because as a result of it. And
-since then, it 's slowed down a little at the time, .but I:.mean, I:think
that publicity has. helped in the long run.
KI It could.well Be. Uh,...
S: IM, when I" was down there)until Wblfe put the pressure on. restaurants
wouldn't even let -me pay, Oy, Bills ..
.....tley. all insisted on me eating free.
K2 Do you think there was.
'; I" got, I got royal treatment. I' can't complain at all about -the way I:
was treated in St. Augustine.
KI Thats- interesting facet. Would you say .there were any.other. contributing
factors to the crisis, .uh, other than the race.relations? Yor instance,
they, were, hEving that Big: F.E.C. strike, the Florida East .Coast 'Railroad.
Do you think. that played. any. significant factor in. heightened tensions in
the community? ,
S Not inx t. Augustine, I- don't think so. -i aing -was determined
to cause- trouble .there. A nd -that s,phyh le-ft the-AG or .the SCLC be
cause. he didn1't.consider the rA6 militant enough_ in -that .espect.
- h1 p see.
S Of couse-er likes to goto court.and, -h, .put. down .ite -people.where
s 3'3A. Side. One
.d. Page 23
as the SCLC was getting out on the streets and heating them down.
S Getting out on the streets.
S: But we, we won the Battle of St. Augustine except-for what, uh, olfe
did tot make thetehamBer of(oamerce, uh, withdraw their support.
- K And-ri to that, -up to that point...
-S LiBe I said, -most of them don't like niggers.
K Uit huaT. Tip to that point the, uh, white community showed.a,..
as far as-that goes.
1 Ci:t the, uh, Lusinessmen weren't.
S B: But the.Tausinessmen, motel and restaurant people were pressured hy Wolfe
to switchlsides. And of course the niggers were going in their businesses
and all and of course, uh, they were caught in the cross fire, afraid the
federal government would prosecute them, and all. But uh, if they just,
uh't, if they d just Been patient a little longer there wouldn't have been
any niggers living in St. Augustine. They'd all moved out and then they
wouldn't have t: problem.
K- It thiink we!ive pretty much. uh..
MK I will.
4s you have my.address r o- v .rV