Citation
Managed compliance

Material Information

Title:
Managed compliance : white resistance and desegregation in South Carolina, 1950-1970
Creator:
White, John W. ( Dissertant )
Ward, Brian ( Thesis advisor )
Davis, Jack ( Reviewer )
Esenwein, George ( Reviewer )
Montgomery, Charles ( Reviewer )
Conley, Richard ( Reviewer )
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
2008
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
African Americans ( jstor )
Civil rights ( jstor )
Counties ( jstor )
Desegregation ( jstor )
Governors ( jstor )
Political parties ( jstor )
Public schools ( jstor )
Schools ( jstor )
Voting ( jstor )
White people ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- History -- UF
City of Gainesville ( local )
Genre:
non-fiction ( marcgt )
bibliography ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- South Carolina

Notes

Abstract:
This dissertation aims to reveal the complex history of white resistance to desegregation in South Carolina from 1950 to 1970, a period between the filing of the first federal school desegregation lawsuit, Briggs v. Elliott, and the final failure of overtly racist politics to ensure electoral victory during the gubernatorial election of 1970. Generally, this work contends that historians have underestimated the degree to which physical, legal, and economic pressure were successful in slowing the pace and extent of significant racial change in South Carolina. It also argues that the well-planned bureaucratic roadblocks put in place in the 1950s were instrumental in delaying and minimizing desegregation in the mid-to-late 1960s. From 1950 to 1963, South Carolina engaged in a multifaceted and flexible massive resistance campaign that was dominated by a policy of managed non-compliance with court ordered desegregation. Rather than face federal intervention and civic unrest, whites adapted South Carolina’s system of racial control in the mid-to-late 1960s to one that is best described as managed compliance. The dissertation argues that white moderation and acceptance of token desegregation in South Carolina were predicated on maintaining the white economic advantage and preserving a racial balance that heavily favored whites in the state’s public school system. It also demonstrates that the generation that controlled the state in the three decades after World War II did not endorse the concept of racial integration and utilized every available device to protect white privilege and advantages. The dissertation reveals that, as late as 1970, after federal intervention and black political agency rendered the politics and practice of massive resistance impotent, whites retained many of the educational and economic advantages that had allowed white supremacy to flourish in the first place.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (411-433).
General Note:
Vita.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages; contains 434 p.
General Note:
Title from title page of document.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright White, John W.. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Embargo Date:
7/24/2006
Resource Identifier:
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MANAGED COMPLIANCE: WHITE RESISTANCE AND DESEGREGATION IN
SOUTH CAROLINA, 1950-1970















By

JOHN W. WHITE


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2006

































Copyright 2006

by

John W. White



































For Anne















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This dissertation could not have been completed without the assistance of

numerous individuals and organizations who have offered me professional and personal

support over the last few years. The Addlestone Library at the College of Charleston has

been my employer and base of operations during most of the research for this

dissertation. During that time David Cohen has provided me a workspace,

encouragement, and time for research. Also, Dale Rosengarten, Claire Fund, Bob

Neville, and Gene Waddell have given me helpful advice and Michael Phillips and the

staff of the library's interlibrary loan office have been invaluable in assisting me by

acquiring microfilm and other resources that were not available at my home institution. I

would especially like to thank Marie Ferrara. No one outside of my immediate family

has been more supportive, or more patient than Marie. This dissertation could not have

been completed without her assistance.

I also owe a debt of gratitude to the archivists and librarians at the various

institutions cited in this dissertation. Throughout my research I was routinely and

pleasantly surprised by the level of helpfulness and professionalism I encountered at

Clemson University, the University of South Carolina, and the many other repositories I

visited during my investigations. Also, some of the research for this work was partially

funded by the Ellison Durant Smith Research Award at the University of South Carolina.

This dissertation owes a great debt to my committee chair and graduate advisor,

Brian Ward. For the past several years Brian has been a mentor, an editor, and a friend. I









am deeply grateful to him for making me a better historian. His influence is present on

each and every page of this work. I would also like to thank the other members of my

dissertation committee: Jack Davis, George Esenwein, Charles Montgomery, and

Richard Conley. They have each contributed to my education and to the completion of

this work in some way. Also, I would like to acknowledge Kari Frederickson and W.

Scott Poole, who both read parts of this work during its early phases and provided

constructive criticisms and encouragement.

I would also be remiss if I did not acknowledge several individuals to whom I owe

personal debts. My parents, Arthur and Charlene White, made certain that I was the first

member of my family to earn a bachelor's degree. It is mostly due to their

encouragement that I have been able to continue with my education. Kevin Knott has

been my friend and academic sounding board since our days together at Bridgewater

College. I owe him a great deal for his endless patience and advice. I would also like to

acknowledge Joseph and Nicole Meyers, Jonathan Atkins, Scott White, Steven Edwards,

and Heidi Knott for their friendship and Indiana and Keiko for reminding me that, no

matter how rapidly a deadline is approaching, there is always time for a walk in the park.

Finally, I would like to thank Anne Bennett, to whom this dissertation is dedicated.

Anne is my best and closest friend and confidant. I am indebted to her most of all.









TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION .............. ................. ............ ...................... ..1.. 1

2 MANAGING THE SEGREGATION CRISIS: THE EARLY WHITE BACKLASH
IN SOU TH CAROLIN A .......................................................................... 12

3 CAMPAIGNING ON RACE: THE ELECTIONS OF 1950.......................................62

4 STRADDLING THE FENCE: POLITICS AND AMBIGUITY ON THE EVE OF
BRO W N ............................................................... ...... ..... ......... 99

5 AFTER BROWN: FROM MODERATION TO EXTREMISM............................ 141

6 BOMBINGS, BULLETS, AND BEATINGS: THE ZENITH OF MASSIVE
RESISTANCE IN SOUTH CAROLINA..............................................................201

7 FISSURES IN THE FACADE OF WHITE UNITY IN SOUTH CAROLINA..........250

8 FROM HARDCORE RESISTANCE TO MANAGED (NON)COMPLIANCE:
EARLY DESEGREGATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA .......................................290

9 WHITE FLIGHT, MANAGED COMPLIANCE, AND THE NEW POLITICS OF
RACE IN SOUTH CAROLINA ........................................ ......................... 341

10 CON CLU SION ................................................... .............. .... ..... 403

BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................................ .......... .. ............ 411

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ........................................ ............................................434















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

MANAGED COMPLIANCE: WHITE RESISTANCE AND DESEGREGATION IN
SOUTH CAROLINA, 1950-1970

By

John W. White

May 2006

Chair: Brian Ward
Major Department: History

This dissertation aims to reveal the complex history of white resistance to

desegregation in South Carolina from 1950 to 1970, a period between the filing of the

first federal school desegregation lawsuit, Briggs v. Elliott, and the final failure of overtly

racist politics to ensure electoral victory during the gubernatorial election of 1970.

Generally, this work contends that historians have underestimated the degree to which

physical, legal, and economic pressure were successful in slowing the pace and extent of

significant racial change in South Carolina. It also argues that the well-planned

bureaucratic roadblocks put in place in the 1950s were instrumental in delaying and

minimizing desegregation in the mid-to-late 1960s.

From 1950 to 1963, South Carolina engaged in a multifaceted and flexible massive

resistance campaign that was dominated by a policy of managed non-compliance with

court ordered desegregation. Rather than face federal intervention and civic unrest,

whites adapted South Carolina's system of racial control in the mid-to-late 1960s to one









that is best described as managed compliance. The dissertation argues that white

moderation and acceptance of token desegregation in South Carolina were predicated on

maintaining the white economic advantage and preserving a racial balance that heavily

favored whites in the state's public school system. It also demonstrates that the

generation that controlled the state in the three decades after World War II did not

endorse the concept of racial integration and utilized every available device to protect

white privilege and advantages. The dissertation reveals that, as late as 1970, after

federal intervention and black political agency rendered the politics and practice of

massive resistance impotent, whites retained many of the educational and economic

advantages that had allowed white supremacy to flourish in the first place.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

In 1950, South Carolina was home to the first federal school desegregation lawsuit,

Briggs v. Elliot, and yet, it holds the dubious distinction of being the last southern state to

end the practice of rigid racial segregation in public education, holding out until 1963. In

spite of this lengthy delay, South Carolina is generally recognized for rejecting the kind

of hardcore, often violent, resistance that typified white defiance in other Deep South

states. According to the limited historical literature on the state's desegregation crisis, it

appears that South Carolina underwent a rapid conversion from being a rigid and

inflexible paragon of white supremacy to become a moderate state that orchestrated the

most orderly and uneventful desegregation in the region. However, it is also clear from

the growing number of dissertations on the African American freedom struggle in South

Carolina that racism and intense white resistance to meaningful change persisted for

some time after the supposedly peaceful accommodation of civil rights demands in 1963.

This dissertation focuses primarily on examining the discrepancy between the notion that

South Carolina peacefully shed its Jim Crow past and the evidence suggesting that the

basic structures of white privilege remained intact for some time after that conversion.



1 For the best examples of these dissertations, see Stephen Lowe, "The Magnificent Fight: Civil Rights
Litigation in South Carolina Federal Courts, 1940-1970" (Ph.D. Dissertation: Michigan State University,
1999). Stephen O'Neill, "From the Shadow of Slavery: The Civil Rights Years in Charleston (Ph.D.
Dissertation, University of Virginia, 1994). R. Scott Baker, "Ambiguous Legacies: The NAACP Legal
Campaign Against Segregation in South Carolina," (Ph.D. Dissertation: Columbia University, 1993).
Millicent Brown, "Civil Rights Activism in Charleston, South Carolina, 1940-1970," (Ph.D. Dissertation,
Florida State University, 1997). Peter F. Lau, "Freedom Road Territory: The Politics of Civil Rights
Struggle in South Carolina during the Jim Crow Era," (Ph.D. Dissertation: Rutgers University, 2002).









The chronicle of how South Carolina was able to mount the longest and most

successful battle against desegregation is complex and multifaceted. Between 1950 and

the late 1960s white South Carolinians were united by the fervor to protect white

privilege and slow the ever quickening pace of racial change. That is not, however, to

say that whites in the state were a monolithic group. Granted, white South Carolinians

engaged in "massive resistance" against desegregation, but massive resistance was itself a

diverse and intricate phenomenon. The term was first used by Virginia Senator Harry F.

Byrd in 1956 and later adopted by historians and contemporary observers to describe

white defiance of anti-Jim Crow pressures. It encapsulates a range of tactics, policies,

and sentiments shared by southern whites that were at best amorphous expressions of

common white anxieties.

Like segregation itself the white resistance movement was an ever changing

arrangement between various factions and interests: a process as much as a program. As

J. Douglas Smith has recently argued, white southerners needed to manage Jim Crow

carefully over time. It was not a fixed entity, but a dynamic system of racial/social

control that was adapted to meet the needs of the white population that benefited from it

and to counteract various challenges to it from African Americans and their allies. This

dissertation demonstrates that, once those challenges became irresistible in the 1950s and

1960s, whites were equally determined to manage the dismantling and replacement of the

state's Jim Crow system in a manner that would also serve white interests.

To date, scholarly attempts to chronicle this process have been few and far

between. With this in mind historian Charles Eagles, in a 2000 historiographical essay in

the Journal of N',,iwhei I History, issued a call for scholars to produce new investigations









of southern white resistance to desegregation. As Eagles noted, several of the key works

on the topic, such as Numan V. Bartley's The Rise of Massive Resistance. Race and

Politics in the .S,,lh During the 1950s and Neil R. McMillen's The Citizens' Council:

Organized Resistance to the Second Reconstruction, are now more than 20 years old and

lack the nuance and focus of more contemporary studies of the freedom struggle.

Bartley's study, much like Francis Wilhoit's 1973 book The Politics of Massive

Resistance, is too focused on elite whites and fails to recognize the extent of grass roots

white participation. McMillen's work, on the other hand, is narrowly focused on grass

roots activism, but he dramatically underestimates the effectiveness of the White

Citizens' Councils in the Palmetto State by measuring them against their Mississippi

counterparts without fully explaining the differences between South Carolina's "sly"

resistance and Mississippi's more confrontational approach.2

Since the publication of Eagles's essay several works have begun to examine the

nature of white supremacy and have launched investigations of the legal and extra-legal

measures adopted throughout the South to defend the racial caste system. Both George

Lewis and Jeff Woods, for example, have studied the connection between anti-

communism and the defense of segregation. Like Eagles, both authors recognize that the

complexity of white resistance warrants the same kind of focused inspection that has

characterized scholarly examinations of African American community actions. Lewis's

The White .Snith and Red Menace: Segregationists, Anticommunism, and Massive

2 J. Douglas Smilh i L,,1,,,, White Supremacy: Race, Politics, and Citizenship in Jim Crow Virginia
(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002). Charles W. Eagles, "Toward New Histories of
the Civil Rights Era," Journal of Southern History (November 2000) 815-848. Numan V. Bartley, The
Rise of Massive Resistance: Race and Politics in the South During the 1950s (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1969). Neil McMillen, The Citizens' Council: Organized Resistance to the Second
Reconstruction, 1954-1964 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971). Francis Wilhoit, The Politics of
Massive Resistance (New York: G. Braziller, 1973).










Resistance, 1945-1965 and Woods's Black Struggle Red Scare: Segregation and Anti-

Communism in the Sin,,lh, 1948-1968 are welcome additions to the study of white

resistance. Nevertheless, the narrow topical focus of each work limits its ability to

provide an in-depth analysis of white resistance in South Carolina beyond the tactical use

of anti-communism.3

Regarding the post-World War II freedom struggle, South Carolina has been the

most understudied of all the Deep South states. There has not been a single monographic

analysis of the civil rights era in South Carolina published since Howard Quint's Profile

in Black and White in 1958. This is despite the fact that South Carolina was the origin of

some of the earliest and most dynamic challenges to the South's Jim Crow system during

the 1940s and home to a vigorous and complex massive resistance movement well into

the 1960s. This dissertation offers a long overdue re-interpretation of white legal,

political, and extra-legal resistance in the state, placing it in the context of a resourceful

and resilient civil rights campaign by South Carolina's black communities.4


3 George Lewis, The White South and Red Menace: ,. g-. oii. ~, i'. Anticommunism, and Massive
Resistance, 1945-1965 (Gainesville, University of Florida Press, 2004). Jeff Woods, Black Struggle Red
Scare: g,,. ga,,. i andAnti-Communism in the South, 1948-1968 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State
University Press, 2004). For other examples of works that attempt to answer Eagles call for community
based studies of white resistance, see: Joseph Hardin Crespino, "Strategic Accommodation: Civil Rights
Opponents in Mississippi and Their Impact on American Racial Politics, 1953-1972" (Ph.D. Dissertation:
Stanford University, 2003). J. Todd Moye, Let the People Decide: Black Freedom and White Resistance
Movements in 1i,, i?. .1,. r County, Mississippi, 1945-1986 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press,
2004). Kenneth D. Durr, Behind the Backlash: White Working Class Politics in Baltimore, 1940-1980
(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003). Yasuhiro Katagiri, The Mississippi State
Sovereignty Commission: Civil Rights and States Rights (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2001).

4 Howard Quint, Profile in Black and White: A Frank Portrait of South Carolina (Washington D.C.:
Public Affairs Press, 1958). For discussions of the civil rights pressures in South Carolina during the
1940s, see: Patricia Sullivan, Days ofHope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era (Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 1996) especially pp. 170-220. Kari Frederickson, 'Dual Actions, One
for Each Race': The Campaign Against the Dixiecrats in South Carolina, 1948-1950," International Social
Science Review (1997) 14-25; 'The Slowest State' and 'Most Backward Community' : Racial Violence
in South Carolina and Federal Civil-Rights Legislation, 1946-1948, South Carolina Historical Magazine
(April 1997) 177-202; and The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968 (Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 2001) especially pp. 118-216.









To date, the three most noteworthy examinations of massive resistance to

desegregation in South Carolina are Quint's Profile in Black and White, John Sproat's

essay "Firm Flexibility: Perspectives on Desegregation in South Carolina," and Marcia

Synnott's article "Desegregation in South Carolina, 1950-1963: Sometime Between

'Now' and 'Never'." Quint's work, which was published five years before any public

school desegregation occurred in South Carolina, is pessimistic about the possibility for a

peaceful resolution to the desegregation crisis. The book, which is largely a summary of

contemporary journalistic observations, chronicles the state's reactions to black

encroachments on white privilege during the 1950s and concludes that no desegregation

would occur in South Carolina without a "catastrophic struggle." Sproat's work, on the

other hand, praises the state for adopting a policy of "peaceful accommodation" in the

1960s. He argues that moderate white leaders worked with a generally conservative and

patient black population to foster slow but peaceful racial progress in the state. Synnott's

work is more nuanced. She acknowledges the influence of Quint and Sproat, but

criticizes them for their narrow temporal focus. According to Synnott, Quint's work

provides valuable insight into a period when traditional patterns of race relations were

breaking down in South Carolina, but, because it was written during the zenith of militant

white resistance, the author did "not anticipate that the state's political and business

leadership would by 1963 peacefully and without federal intervention choose to integrate

Clemson College." Likewise, she concludes that Sproat's work is also flawed in that it

fails to define "how fast and how far white South Carolinians" would permit racial

progress to go. Instead, Synnott contends that racial change in South Carolina resulted

from a "conservative, controlled 'evolution'."5

5 Quint, Profile in Black and White, V. John Sproat, "'Firm Flexibility': Perspectives on Desegregation in










Synnott's work is valuable in that she recognizes that changes in white resistance

tactics happened gradually and that it is impossible to understand the shift away from

militant white resistance without examining the nature and fate of the segregationist

political and legal campaigns of the 1950s. However, like Sproat she overemphasizes the

significance of the peaceful desegregation of Clemson College and overstresses the

importance of both white and black elites in South Carolina's major cities. Moreover,

both Synnott and Sproat adopt the notion, first mentioned in I.A. Newby's 1973 book

Black Carolinians, that the black population was generally conservative, citing as

evidence what they see as a significant lull in black activism in the late 1950s and the

African American acceptance of only gradual, incremental changes in racial

arrangements in the mid-late 1960s. 6

As Synnott admitted in her 1989 essay, more investigations of the civil rights

movement in South Carolina are necessary before scholars can begin to understand the

complex process of desegregation in the Palmetto State. The lack of proper study of

white resistance still places limits on the ability of historians to understand the political

and social landscape of this period of supposed white moderation and consistent black

conservatism. Consequently, they have failed to appreciate fully the complex social,

South Carolina," in eds. Robert H. Abzug and Stephen E. Maizlish, New Perspectives on Race and Slavery
in America: Essays in Honor of Kenneth M. Stampp (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1986)
164-184. Marcia Synnott, "Desegregation in South Carolina, 1950-1963: Sometime "Between 'Now' and
'Never'," in eds. Winfred B. Moore, Jr. and Joseph F. Tripp, Looking South: (C /,iq. in the Story of an
American Region (New York: Greenwood Press, 1989) 51-64. Paul Lofton generally agrees with Sproat's
assessment in his study on the integration of Columbia, the state capital. Likewise, Maxie Myron Cox
emphasizes the state's peaceful accommodation in his dissertation, see: Paul S. Lofton, "Calm and
Exemplary: Desegregation in Columbia, South Carolina," in eds. David Colburn and Elizabeth Jacoway,
Southern Businessmen and L. ',.. i.,. ,, (Louisiana State University Press, 1982) 70-81. Maxie Myron
Cox, Jr. "1963 The Year of Decision: Desegregation in South Carolina" (Ph.D. Dissertation: University
of South Carolina, 1996).

6 I.A. Newby, Black Carolinians: A History of Blacks in South Carolina from 1895 to 1968 (Columbia:
University of South Carolina Press, 1973). Synnott, "Desegregation in South Carolina," 51-64.









economic, and political context within which black activists had to work for meaningful

racial progress. Close research into the White Citizens' Councils, for instance, reveals

that the "lull" in civil rights activism detected by Newby was deceptive, as black leaders

simply shifted their priorities away from legal challenges to segregation in the late 1950s

in response to the specific nature of local defiance by white supremacists. For example,

local blacks in Clarendon and Orangeburg Counties may have relaxed the pressure on

whites to desegregate during this period, but black organizations were heavily involved in

aiding African Americans who faced economic reprisals from white business leaders,

employers, and landlords. This kind of aid, especially to blacks whose "activism" made

them subject to white economic pressure, was instrumental in creating the supportive

environment in which further black mobilization took place. In other words, without

understanding the nature and impact of white resistance, it is difficult to explain the

agenda of South Carolina's black activists and civil rights organizations.7

Thematically, this dissertation focuses on the variety of forms of resistance to

desegregation and full black enfranchisement utilized by white South Carolinians, and on

the manner in which whites adopted strategies to deal with the demands of both the

federal courts and their own insurgent black citizens for greater civil rights. It is one of

the core findings of this dissertation that at no point did the majority of white South

Carolinians admit that segregation was either wrong or undesirable. The dissertation also

contends that, although the state has routinely been praised for its "moderation" during

the civil rights crises of the 1950s and 1960s (most notably by its own political and

economic leadership), the generation of white South Carolinians that controlled the state


Synnott, "Desegregation in South Carolina," 61.









in the 30 years after World War II never lost faith in white supremacy and made every

effort to preserve white privilege and curtail black advancements. Indeed, this study

argues that, while the deployment of alternatives to violent resistance helped keep

bloodshed in the state to a minimum, it was mostly through luck, poor marksmanship,

and inept bomb-making that the Palmetto State enjoys its reputation for peaceful

desegregation.

In marshalling the evidence for this contention, this work utilizes a variety of

primary and secondary sources. It relies heavily on manuscript collections of state

politicians and activists, black and white; and on contemporary newspaper accounts and

periodicals. Although hardly offering a balanced guide to the events of the period, the

Charleston News and Courier was especially helpful in tracing the evolution of white

resistance as its editor, Thomas R. Waring, was a devout racial conservative who openly

endorsed many of the tenets of massive resistance and advocated for the state to adopt an

uncompromising defense of Jim Crow on the pages of the Low Country's largest and

oldest newspaper. The dissertation also makes use of oral history interviews and the

contemporary publications of regional organizations, such as the Southern Regional

Council and the Southern Education Reporting Service. White electoral behavior,

participation in segregationist civic groups, and economic concerns are also analyzed to

provide a general sense of white public opinion and to explain the changing nature of

white resistance in South Carolina from 1950 to 1970. Although this dissertation is not

primarily an examination of the inner workings of the South Carolina civil rights

movement, it will demonstrate that the tactics employed by African American activists

and their allies shaped and were shaped by the ever changing nature of white resistance to









black demands and progress. The ebb and flow of cause and effect between black

activism and white responses was complex and untidy, changing over time and according

to locale. Nevertheless, at all times and in all places, there was a reciprocal relationship

between black protests and various forms of white power in South Carolina which this

dissertation seeks to illuminate.

The most significant problem in researching this topic was that some relevant

manuscript collections, such as the Ernest F. Hollings Papers and the Floyd Spence

Papers, were not yet available for research. Others, such as the L. Marion Gressette

Papers, appear to have been purged of "controversial" materials prior to their donation to

archival repositories. And, still others, such as the Burnet R. Maybank Papers and parts

of the L. Mendel Rivers Papers are still unorganized and only available with special

permission. Although some of these restricted or "lost" materials may have been helpful,

there is nonetheless a significant archival record for the period in question. Moreover,

much of the important correspondence from the Gressette Commission that seems to be

missing from the Gressette collection at Modern Political Collections at the South

Caroliniana Library can be found in other manuscript collections.

These sources shed light on the complex history of white resistance to

desegregation in South Carolina from 1950 to 1970, a period between the filing of the

Briggs case and the final failure of overtly racist politics to ensure electoral victory

during the gubernatorial election of 1970. Chapters 1 through 3 discuss the initial white

reaction to the increased pace of black activism in South Carolina in the years before

1954. These chapters also take into account the emerging political and economic

concerns confronting white South Carolinians and the developing patterns of resistance to









racial change apparent in the white communities. Chapters 4 through 6 are focused on

the state's reaction to the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education and

the evolution of organized mass resistance in South Carolina between 1954 and 1961.

Chapters 5 and 6 explain the reasons for the eventual dissolution of the hardcore

segregationist coalition that dominated official policy and the public debate on race

during the late 1950s in South Carolina and its transformation into a new segregationist

plurality that was no less committed, but that pursued a more moderate brand of managed

non-compliance with desegregation. The final two chapters discuss the evolution of

white resistance from managed non-compliance to yet more subtle and bureaucratic

forms of opposition to black advance designed to preserve the maximum feasible amount

of white power and privilege compatible with the law and a new era of black voting and

biracial politics. These final chapters also shed light on the political, cultural, and

economic changes that resulted from these adjustments.

In sum, this dissertation contends that historians have underestimated the degree to

which physical, legal, and economic pressures were successful in slowing the pace and

extent of significant racial change in South Carolina. It is the contention of this work that

the well-planned bureaucratic roadblocks put in place in the 1950s were instrumental in

delaying and minimizing desegregation in the mid-to-late 1960s. South Carolina whites

had anticipated federally enforced desegregation and prepared strategies to counter it as

early as 1950. Only after the preservation of total segregation was no longer compatible

with the maintenance of public order and economic growth did white South Carolinians

accept even token desegregation. From 1950 to 1963, South Carolina engaged in a

variety of massive resistance campaigns that were dominated by a policy of managed






11


non-compliance with court ordered desegregation. Rather than face federal intervention

and civic unrest, whites adapted South Carolina's system of racial control in the mid-to-

late 1960s to one that is best described as managed compliance. Even then, the

dissertation argues that white moderation and acceptance of token desegregation in South

Carolina were predicated on maintaining white economic advantage and preserving a

racial balance that heavily favored whites in the state's public school system.














CHAPTER 2
MANAGING THE SEGREGATION CRISIS: THE EARLY WHITE BACKLASH IN
SOUTH CAROLINA

This dissertation is primarily devoted to exploring the origins, nature and

effectiveness of white responses to the African American freedom struggle from 1950 to

1970. However, by the mid-1940s, there were already clear signs that white South

Carolina was mobilizing considerable resources to combat gathering challenges to the

operation of Jim Crow in the Palmetto State. Those tactics would form important

precedents for resistance in the 1950s and beyond, and, therefore, warrant attention in this

chapter. Comprehending these initial skirmishes over Jim Crow is crucial for

understanding the mounting desegregation crisis that would peak in the period between

1956 and 1963.

In July 1943 an African American veteran named John Wrighten and 33 other

black students applied for admission to the College of Charleston. The school, which

was a publicly supported municipal college, rejected the applicants on the basis of their

race. A year later, Wrighten and 32 graduates from the Avery Normal Institute, a private

African American secondary school near the College of Charleston, sought admission to

the small city college. Again, the students' applications were rejected. Though the

students were denied admission without serious consideration, the affront to Charleston's

long history of segregation in education worried conservative white Charlestonians. In

the wake of the Gaines v. Canada verdict in 1938, which required states to integrate their

graduate schools or build "equal" facilities for African American students, whites were









concerned that a new legal challenge from black students might result in the

desegregation of the school.1

The Charleston News and Courier predicted that "the white people cannot and will

not take on an elaborate burden of free schools and colleges for the 814,000 negroes (sic)

in the state." In response to Wrighten's attempt to enter the College of Charleston, the

conservative Charleston newspaper went so far as to claim that the court ordered

admission of African American students into white schools would lead to the replacement

of the public school system in South Carolina with a network of private schools, insisting

that although the "negro invasion of [the state's schools] shall by law cause its

destruction, white school training will greatly improve and cost less."2

The Charleston Evening Post similarly warned that the attempted desegregation of

the College of Charleston was an "organized" effort "to challenge the city's educational

system" and "to break down the social, educational and political institutions of the

South." Charleston's evening newspaper also promoted privatization as a potential

remedy to court ordered desegregation. Like its sister paper, the News and Courier, the

Evening Post blamed black activists and New Deal politics for the challenge to

Charleston's racial caste system. "The New Deal," claimed an editorial, "has scrupled at

nothing to gain the votes of Northern negroes (sic) and white "liberals" to whom the

South's way is anathema."3


1 William Peters, The Southern Temper (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1959) 184-
185. News and Courier (June 11, 1944), (June 12, 1944) clippings from the College of Charleston
Archives, Special Collections, College of Charleston, South Carolina [Hereafter cited as College of
Charleston Archives, Special Collections].

2 News and Courier (June 12, 1944) clipping from the College of Charleston Archives, Special Collections.

3 News and Courier (June 12, 1944), Evening Post (June 12, 1944) clippings from the College of
Charleston Archives, Special Collections.









The same year that Wrighten mounted his challenge to segregated education in

South Carolina, the state's predominately black Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) also

attempted to challenge the seating of the all-white South Carolina delegation to the

Democratic National Convention. PDP spokesman and black newspaperman John H.

McCray argued that, since South Carolina's Democratic Primary excluded African

Americans while the PDP primary was open to all South Carolinians, the PDP delegation

was the only legitimate delegation to the national convention. The request was denied by

the convention, but the challenge, like the attempt to desegregate the College of

Charleston, was evidence of growing African American demands for equality in South

Carolina.4

This increase in black civil rights agitation deeply concerned white South

Carolinians. By the mid-1940s it was apparent that black South Carolinians had

marshaled considerable resources to combat the state's separate and unequal racial

hierarchy. Between 1944 and 1950 African Americans regularly and openly challenged

unequal treatment in public schools and mounted a well-organized attack on Jim Crow

politics. In addition to attempts to desegregate the College of Charleston and the

formation of the PDP, black activists also assailed unequal pay in the state's school

system. As elsewhere in the South at the time, a number of educators, including a civil

rights pioneer from the Charleston County public school system named Septima Clark,

sued the state demanding that African American teachers receive the same pay as their

white counterparts. In 1945 Federal Judge J. Waties Waring ruled, in Thompson v.



4 Patricia Sullivan, Days ofHope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era (Chapel Hill: University of
North Carolina Press, 1996) 170-220. Miles S. Richards, "The Progressive Democrats in Chicago, July
1944," South Carolina Historical Magazine (July 2001) 219-237.









Gibbes, that the practice of paying black teachers in South Carolina less than whites

violated the "separate but equal" doctrine established by the United States Supreme Court

in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896.5

The cumulative effect of these new challenges to Jim Crow in South Carolina was

to harden white resistance. Whites, especially those in majority black counties like

Orangeburg and Clarendon, were fearful at the prospect of African American political

power and determined to prevent educational equality. In South Carolina white anxiety

was palpable, and resistance to any black progress was immediate at both the popular and

official levels. For example, after the federal courts ruled against the white primary in

Smith v. Allwright, South Carolina's Governor, Olin D. Johnston, called a special session

of the state legislature. During that session, the state eliminated any and all mention of

political parties in the South Carolina constitution and the Democratic Party was re-

defined as a "private club." Johnston and leaders in the General Assembly declared that

since the political parties were "private" organizations, the Texas case did not apply.6

In addition to these kinds of legislative responses, whites used a variety of formal

and informal tactics to resist calls for black civil and political rights. At times, that

resistance was violent. White South Carolinians did not take kindly to even the most

minor infraction of racial custom. For example, a black World War II veteran named

Isaac Woodward was nearly beaten to death during the summer of 1946 while traveling

through South Carolina on his way to meet his wife in North Carolina. During his trip,



5 David W. Southern, "Judge Waring's Fight Against Segregation," Journal oJ ., History (Autumn,
1981) 212-214. Also see: Tinsley E. Yarbrough, A Passionfor Justice: J. Waties Waring and Civil Rights
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1987).
6 Southern, "Judge Waring's Fight Against Segregation," 214-216.









Woodward quarreled with a white bus driver over what historian John Egerton describes

as "a minor point of racial etiquette." Woodward had asked the driver to stop the bus so

he could use the restroom. When he returned the bus driver berated Woodward for taking

too long. After arguing with the driver, Woodward returned to his seat. The driver,

however, was furious with what he saw as Woodward's insolence and lack of deference

and called ahead to authorities in Batesburg, a small town northwest of Columbia, to ask

for assistance in dealing with the "unruly" African American. When he exited the bus in

Batesburg, Woodward was apprehended by local Police Chief Linwood Shull and a white

deputy. The two men took Woodward behind the bus station and beat him severely.

Woodward awoke the next day blinded for life by the assault.7

Notwithstanding such brutal episodes, violent repression was not, however, as

prevalent in South Carolina as it was in some other Deep South states. More often,

whites utilized a more subtle, but no less effective approach to preserving Jim Crow and

white power. For example, soon after his request for admission to the College of

Charleston was denied, John Wrighten was summoned to Columbia for a physical

examination. He had been discharged from the army with a peptic ulcer. As a result of

his ailment, Wrighten drew a 10 percent disability pension from the military. After the

examination, Wrighten was informed that the ulcer was completely healed. Therefore,

local military administrators ordered an end to his pension payments. Despite his clean

bill of health, Wrighten continued to experience painful symptoms. After checking


7 John Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement (New
York: Knopf, 1994) 362-363. Herbert Shapiro, White Violence and Black Response: From
Reconstruction to Montgomery (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1988) 373. Richard Kluger,
Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality
(New York: Knopf, 1975) 295-304. Andrew Myers, "The Blinding of Isaac Woodward," Proceedings of
the South Carolina Historical Association ( 2" 1!4) 63-74.









himself into the Charleston Naval Hospital, Wrighten was transferred to the Veterans

Administration Hospital in Columbia. Again, he was told that X-rays showed no sign of

an ulcer. Only after a persistent letter writing campaign to President Harry S. Truman

and South Carolina Senator Olin D. Johnston was Wrighten correctly diagnosed and his

pension restored. The incident epitomized the ways in which whites combined their

control of government bureaucracies with flagrant falsifications to exert economic

pressure over blacks, especially "activist" ones who dared to challenge the racial status

8
quo.

As the Wrighten incident illustrated, even before the zenith of white resistance in

the 1950s and 1960s, white South Carolinians used every tactic at their disposal to quell

black challenges to Jim Crow. For instance, in 1949, when James Hinton, the President

of the South Carolina National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

(NAACP), warned that his organization was planning on testing the College of

Charleston's policy of racial segregation in federal court, the white reaction was swift and

decisive. Before the NAACP could even prepare a case, the city of Charleston sold the

college and all of its property to the Board of Trustees for one dollar. If the college

became a private institution, college President George Grice reasoned, the NAACP had

no case against its admission policy.9

Despite these kinds of legal and extra-legal reprisals, African Americans persisted

with their demands for civil and voting rights. Wrighten, for example, following his

rejection from the College of Charleston had attended the segregated South Carolina



8 Peters, The Southern Temper, 186-187.

9 Undated and Untitled news clippings from the College of Charleston Archives, Special Collections.









State College in Orangeburg from where he applied for admission to the state's only

public law school at the University of South Carolina. Two weeks before his graduation

from South Carolina State in July 1946, Wrighten's application was rejected on the basis

of his race. Though he was disappointed, Wrighten was determined to continue his fight

for admission to law school. With support from Hinton and the South Carolina NAACP,

he filed a federal lawsuit, and, in 1947, federal Judge Waring declared that the state had

three options: it could admit Wrighten to the law school at the University of South

Carolina, close any publicly funded law school in South Carolina, or build a comparable

school for black students at South Carolina State. Rather than close or desegregate the

state's only law school, the General Assembly allocated funds to construct a law college

at South Carolina State.10

Wrighten's limited success, as well as a series of legal victories against segregation

throughout the South, emboldened South Carolina's small community of civil rights

activists. The South Carolina branch of the NAACP continued to chip away at dujure

segregation and challenged South Carolina's white primary in federal court in 1947. In

Rice v. Elmore and Brown v. Baskin, Judge Waring ruled that the Smitl v. Allwright

decision effectively outlawed South Carolina's white primary, and that the privatization

of political parties was an unconstitutional attempt to avoid compliance with the federal

verdict. 11

Waring, however, understood that his rulings were meaningless unless the national

government demanded that local white officials enforced the verdicts. Moreover, he



10 Peters, The Southern Temper, 184-186.

1 Southern, "Judge Waring's Fight Against Segregation," 214-216.









recognized that white South Carolinians were, for the most part, united in their

commitment to segregation, if not necessarily in their preferred methods of preserving the

status quo. Therefore, Waring later told a New York audience that racial change in the

South would require "outside assistance." "The problem," he declared, "is to change the

feeling, the sentiment, the creed of the great body of white people of the South that a

Negro is not an American citizen." Waring understood that southern whites had a deep

cultural commitment to white supremacy. "My people have one outstanding fault," he

concluded, "the terrible fault of prejudice." According to the judge, southerners had

"been born and educated to feel that a Negro is some kind of animal that ought to be

well-treated and given kindness, but as a matter of favor, not right."12

Waring and South Carolina's other civil rights advocates understood that whites

were particularly concerned at the creeping threat of federal intervention to enforce black

rights. Of course, the judge and other like minded activists also recognized that the best

opportunities for rapid change would demand an active federal role. In the fall of 1947

President Harry S. Truman's civil rights commission simultaneously gave hope to

African Americans and increased white anxieties when it issued a report entitled To

Secure These Rights. The report called for "a sweeping denunciation of all government

and some private sanctions of race discrimination or segregation." It was immediately

condemned by southern leaders. For example, L. Mendel Rivers, who represented South

Carolina's First District in the United States House of Representatives, called the report a

"brazen and monumental insult to the Democratic South and the southern way of life for

both white and colored." He demanded that the South "be left alone and freed from


12 News and Courier (October 14, 1948) 13.









agitation by the northern political hitch-hikers who" wanted to use the region "as a guinea

pig for their screwball, crackpot plans and ideologies." Rivers insisted, "for me and the

people I represent, no negro (sic) born is on my social level."13

Southerners like Rivers, however, no longer held the balance of power in the

national Democratic Party. Before 1936 two-thirds of the delegates at the Democratic

National Convention had to agree on a candidate before that candidate was eligible to

represent the party as its nominee for the presidency. There was no real controversy

when Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated in 1940 or in 1944, but the election of 1948

was the first since the death of the popular New Dealer. Much to the chagrin of southern

whites, northern activists within the party were determined to make civil rights an

important issue at the national convention. Without the "veto" power of the two-thirds

rule, southerners were unable to stop them. Consequently, at the Democratic Convention

of 1948, the party adopted a pro-civil rights platform. Its platform called on the party to

fight "racial, religious and economic discrimination" and stated that the Democrats

believed "that racial and religious minorities must have the right to live, the right to work,

the right to vote, the full and equal protection of the laws, on the basis of equality with all

citizens as guaranteed by the Constitution." The convention also commended President

Truman for his interests in enforcing civil rights and urged Congress to support the

president in the call for an end to racial discrimination.14



13 To Secure These Rights quoted in: Alexander Lamis, The Two Party South (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1988) 9. News and Courier (December 9, 1947) 1. L. Mendel Rivers to Thomas R.
Miller (January 12, 1948), L. Mendel Rivers Papers, South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, South
Carolina [Hereafter cited as Rivers Papers, SCHS].
14 "Democratic Party Platform," reprinted in ed. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. History ofAmerican Presidential
Elections, 1940-1948 (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1971), 3154.









The call for civil rights enforcement infuriated conservative southern whites, who

made no effort to mask their displeasure with Democratic Party leaders. Handy Ellis, the

leader of the Alabama delegation, led his fellow Alabamians off the convention floor.

One southern delegate paid the band to play "Dixie" as the Mississippi delegation exited

the building with other southern whites who bolted the convention twirling confederate

flags and kicking over "Truman for President" signs. Three days after the convention

ended 6000 whites gathered in Birmingham, Alabama to declare their defiance of

President Truman and the national Democratic Party.15

The rebellious southern "delegates" introduced a "Declaration of Principles"

condemning Truman's "infamous and iniquitous program [of] equal access to all places

of public accommodation for persons of all races, colors, creeds, and national origins."

The declaration was followed by an announcement that the group had nominated South

Carolina Governor J. Strom Thurmond and Mississippi Governor Fielding Wright as

presidential and vice presidential candidates, respectively, on the States' Rights (or

Dixiecrat as it was popularly known) Party ticket. 16

The Dixiecrat revolt divided state Democratic parties across the South and southern

politicians were undecided as to which faction to support in the general election. In

South Carolina, the loyalist wing of the party was dominated by United States Senator

Olin D. Johnston, State Senator Edgar Brown, and Speaker of the State House of

Representatives Sol Blatt. Most of the South Carolina's other leading politicians, such as

United States Senator Burnet R. Maybank, chose to endorse the state Democratic Party


15 Time (July 26, 1948) 13.

16 bid.









but avoided either a public endorsement or open criticism of the national party. Others,

such as Rivers, joined the growing chorus of Thurmond supporters. Eventually, the

States' Rights Party received the official endorsement of the Democratic Party in South

Carolina, just as it did in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana.17

Thurmond and his Dixiecrat supporters hoped to capture all 127 of the South's

electoral votes and deny both Truman and Republican candidate Thomas Dewey victory.

In that case, the election would have been decided by the United States House of

Representatives. However, this strategy failed and Thurmond was only able to win 39

electoral votes. The Dixiecrat won in South Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama

overwhelmingly. He also won in Louisiana with 52 percent of the popular vote. In each

of the states where the Thurmond-Wright ticket was victorious, Thurmond had replaced

Truman on the ballot and was listed as the official nominee of the Democratic Party.18

For many, Thurmond's inability to build a consensus across the South was an

indication that white frustration with civil rights victories had not yet reached a boiling

point. However, in South Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama Thurmond had scored a

decisive victory and won the loyalty of the party regulars at the state conventions.

Moreover, his success in those states was a warning that the preservation of segregation

and the defense of the South's Jim Crow system was a potent campaign issue. It was also

an indication that, in the Deep South states, committed segregationists would go to

extraordinary lengths to prevent the formation of a moderate biracial coalition. In sum,

the election results encapsulated the intensification of white anxiety that was to become


17 For a detailed analysis and history of the States' Rights Party, see: Kari Frederickson, The Dixiecrat
Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001).

18 News and Courier (November 3, 1948) 3. Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt, 118-216.









the hallmark of white southern politics during the next decade. Moreover, it was an early

indication that, as South Carolina's white and black populations entered the 1950s, the

debate over whether or not to preserve the legal and cultural mechanisms for enforcing

racial segregation would become the dominate social issue.

For many black South Carolinians, the coming decade promised an end to the

indignities of southern segregation. Nearly a century after the end of slavery and over 50

years after the Plessy decision codified dejure segregation, civil rights leaders had finally

won a series of legal battles against white supremacy that both inspired and energized

black activism throughout the South. However, whites had already reacted to this

progress with the kind of opposition that would come to characterize the region's massive

resistance to forced desegregation. Therefore, in spite of this newfound determination

and guarded confidence that change would come, the challenges confronting South

Carolina's civil rights advocates in 1950 remained daunting. Years before 1956, when

Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia issued his call for "massive resistance" to federally

mandated desegregation, South Carolina whites began to implement a complex

legislative and extra-legal agenda to maintain and manage white supremacy and limit

African American political and economic power. Whites were resolute in their desire to










protect the racial status quo, mounting a determined effort to forestall court ordered

desegregation at the voting booths, in public spaces, and in the public school systems.19

During the late 1940s and early 1950s the most serious challenges to racial

segregation in South Carolina originated in sparsely populated Clarendon County, a rural

enclave northwest of Charleston that was in the heart of the state's black belt. In 1948, a

group of African Americans led by Reverend Joseph DeLaine and a farmer named Levi

Pearson brought a suit against the county demanding that it provide bus transportation to

black public school children. Thurgood Marshall of the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund

argued that, since the local school board already provided bus transportation for white

students, the county was in violation of the United States Supreme Court's "separate but

equal" decision in the Plessy v. Ferguson case. The case, which was brought against

Clarendon County District 26 on behalf of Pearson's son James, met with immediate

resistance from whites. Clarendon County Superintendent of Schools L.B. McCord, the

superintendent of District 26, and the county auditor informed Pearson that his taxes had

been paid to Clarendon School District Five, and therefore, the case was invalid. Even

though Pearson and several members of his family living on the same property had tax

receipts from District 26, Marshall decided that his legal team could not win the case. He

claimed that he could not overcome the fact that Pearson, who was the lone plaintiff, had


19 For the best analysis of the NAACP's legal strategy and black aspirations during the civil rights era, see:
Stephen Lowe, "The Magnificent Fight: Civil Rights Litigation in South Carolina Federal Courts, 1940-
1970" (Ph.D. Dissertation: Michigan State University, 1999). R. Scott Baker, "Ambiguous Legacies: The
NAACP's Legal Campaign Against Segregation in Charleston, South Carolina, 1935-1975" (Ph.D.
Dissertation: Columbia University, 1993). Kluger, Simple Justice. David Armor, Forced Justice: School
D,. ,..g -.g~,ir. i and the Law (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). Peter Lau, "Freedom Road
Territory: The Politics of Civil Rights Struggle in South Carolina During the Jim Crow Era" (Ph.D.
Dissertation: Rutgers University, 2002). For examples of how segregation was locally controlled, see,
John Dittmer, Local People: The Strugglefor Civil Rights in Mississippi (Urbana: University of Illinois
Press, 1994). J. Douglas Smith i 1,,, ,,, i White Supremacy (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
Press, 2002).









been gerrymandered out of the district. On June 8, 1948, only a day before the case was

scheduled to be heard in federal court, Marshall asked for a dismissal. The presiding

judge in the case, J. Waties Waring, ruled that Pearson had no standing to sue district 26

in federal court. It was not the last time that gerrymandering would serve to undermine

black aspirations in South Carolina.20

Throughout the next year DeLaine, Pearson, and other black parents in Clarendon

County continued to demand better treatment of their children within South Carolina's

system of segregated education. For his efforts, DeLaine was fired from his post as

principal of the all-black Scott's Branch School. After an unsuccessful attempt to return

to his job, DeLaine and a small group of black activists filed a petition in 1949

demanding that Clarendon County provide equal facilities to black and white students.

With the support of the state NAACP and South Carolina civil rights pioneer Modjeska

Simkins, DeLaine and the petitioners promised that, if the county did not rectify the

disparity between the black and white schools in Clarendon County District 22

(Summerton), they would file a federal lawsuit demanding that the district comply with

the precedent established in the Plessy case. When the district refused to address the

issue, Marshall and a black Columbia attorney named Harold Boulware filed a federal

lawsuit in May 1950. The case, Briggs v. Elliott, took its name from the first two petition

signers, Harry and Eliza Briggs. At first it called for Clarendon County to equalize its

segregated schools, but in the fall of 1950 it was amended to challenge dejure






20 Julie Magruder Lochbaum, "The Word Made Flesh: The Desegregation Leadership of the Reverend J.A.
DeLaine" (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of South Carolina, 1993) 86-93.









segregation directly. At the behest of Waring, Marshall filed a brief alleging that

segregation per se was inherently unequal and therefore unconstitutional.21

In 1958, political scientist Howard Quint wrote that whites had been slow to react

to the intensification of black activism in Clarendon County. He noted that it was not

until January 1951 that the state legislature began to take measures to counteract the

threat posed by DeLaine and his supporters in the county. Although the official state

response in 1951 did represent an escalation of white resistance at the statewide level, it

is important to stress that at the local level resistance had been growing for several years.

Even before Pearson and DeLaine petitioned school officials to provide bus

transportation for black students, whites in Clarendon County had little tolerance for any

kind of African American activism. By the time the South Carolina General Assembly

initiated a series of laws designed to undermine the Briggs case in 1951 and 1952 local

whites had already unleashed a wave of intimidation in Clarendon County.22

White supremacy was firmly entrenched in Clarendon County in the late 1940s and

early 1950s. Local whites controlled government agencies, the banking and crop lien

system, and black education. In fact, Clarendon County was one of the most dramatic

examples of the inequity between whites and blacks in the nation. Many observers noted

that it seemed untouched by the surge of mechanized farming that swept through the

21 Lochbaum, "The Word Made Flesh," 96-115. Benjamin F. Hornsby, Jr. Stepping Stone to the Supreme
Court: Clarendon County (Columbia: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1992) 2-7.
Barbara A. Woods, "Modjeska Simkins and the South Carolina Conference on the NAACP, 1939-1957," in
ed. Darlene Clark Hine, Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers, 1941-1965
(Brooklyn, New York: Carlson Publishing, Inc., 1990) 108-110. Joseph A. DeLaine, "A Summary of
Incidents in the Summerton School Affair" (January 1950), Joseph A. DeLaine Papers, South Caroliniana
Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia [Hereafter cited as DeLaine Papers, SCL]. Howard Quint,
Profile in Black and White: A Frank Portrait of South Carolina (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press,
1958) 13. Kluger, Simple Justice, 3-26, 327-366. Lau, "Freedom Road Territory," 309-312. New York
Times (June 3, 1951) 7IV. Baker, "Ambiguous Legacies," 141-145.

22 Quint, Profile in Black and White," 21-37.









South in the post-World War II period. Instead, most of Clarendon County resembled the

agricultural lands of the nineteenth century. The landscape was dotted with small plots

farmed by sharecroppers and its few small towns were populated by a large number of

black day laborers and domestics. Much like black belt regions throughout the Deep

South, it was closely controlled by white rural elites who did not tolerate violations of

racial custom, let alone direct assaults on segregation.23

African Americans represented 70 percent of the total population in Clarendon

County in 1950, and yet whites owned 85 percent of the land. Over two-thirds of the

black population earned less than $1000 a year and no African American earned more

than $2000 per year. According to contemporary author Richard Kluger, blacks lived

under a system of "economic slavery, an unbreakable cycle of poverty" which was

perpetuated by white educational and economic advantages. Even though there were

over 6,000 black students in the county compared to just over 2,000 whites, the state

allocated $100,000 more to pay for the education of whites. Due in part to that unequal

distribution of resources, white schools had indoor plumbing; black schools did not.

According to Judge Waring, African American schools were "just tumbledown, dirty

shacks with horrible outdoor toilet facilities." 24

It was within this context of educational and economic advantage that whites

exerted pressure on "troublesome" blacks. Even before Briggs v. Elliott was filed, two

agriculture teachers were fired for simply signing the equalization petition and Harry


23 Quint, Profile in Black and White, 12-13. Kluger, Simple Justice, 3-27. The Reminiscences ofJ. Waties
Waring (New York: Columbia University, Oral History Research Office, 1957) 341.
24 Kluger, Simple Justice, 6-10. Lau, "Freedom Road Territory," 309-312. New York Times (June 3, 1951)
7IV. News and Courier (June 9, 1950) clipping from the Rivers Papers, SCHS. Reminiscences ofJ.
Waties Waring, 341-342.









Briggs and fellow veteran William Stukes were denied admission to night classes held at

Scott's Branch School for former GIs. Historian Julie Lochbaum argues that crop lien

debts were called in at Christmas, credit was denied to farmers, and cotton gins refused to

purchase cotton from the petitioners at fair market price.25

In response to his leadership role in organizing the petitions and encouraging

lawsuits against the school system, Joseph DeLaine was threatened by the Ku Klux Klan

and forced to post armed guards at his home. He was also sued for slander for his

renunciations of a local school official, which resulted in a $2,700 judgment against him.

In addition to firing DeLaine, the county sacked his wife, his niece, and his two sisters

from their public school teaching jobs. In the fall of 1951, the threats and political

pressure also led church authorities to transfer DeLaine to an A.M.E church almost 50

miles away in Lake City. Shortly after the DeLaine family moved, their home in

Summerton, which still contained most of their possessions, was burned to the ground.

Local fire officials argued that the home was 20 feet outside of city limits and refused to

try to contain the blaze. In addition to the loss of most of the family's belongings, the

DeLaine's insurance company refused to pay a claim on the property. Instead, the money

was used to settle the $2,700 judgment against the minister.26

Angry whites also singled out the other petitioners for economic reprisals. Harry

Briggs, a World War II veteran, was fired from a job at a local gas station after 14 years

of employment. His wife, Eliza, was released from her custodial job at a Summerton

motel. When the family attempted to make ends meet by becoming sharecroppers, they


25 Lochbaum, "The Word Made Flesh," 116-125.

26 Lochbaum, "The Word Made Flesh," 125-130.









were denied credit and local gin operators refused to purchase the cotton they did manage

to grow. According to Kluger, the local sheriff even arrested Harry Briggs's cow after it

wandered off the family's land. Briggs, who remained steadfast in his support of the

NAACP, eventually had to go to Sumter, South Carolina and then to Florida for work.

He and his family eventually ended up New York, unemployed and penniless as a result

of the economic reprisals. "So many of the people," remembered Eliza Briggs, "were

living on a white man's place. So they had to move or else take their name off the

petition."27

Numerous other individuals also saw their employment terminated. Maids,

mechanics, service station attendants, and even teachers were fired for their support of

the Clarendon petition. Massie Solomon, a local maid, was fired and her sharecropping

family was evicted from the land it farmed. Annie Gibson, a Clarendon domestic worker,

was also fired. Like Solomon, she was forced to leave her rented home. John Edwards,

who was a veteran of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, was denied credit for farm equipment and

Willie Stukes was fired from his job as a mechanic. Stukes attempted to continue

working from his home, but did not have the proper equipment to work safely on

automobiles and was crushed to death under a car. Beyond those who signed the petition,







27 Joseph A. DeLaine, "A Summary of Incidents in the Summerton School Affair" (January 1950), DeLaine
Papers, SCL. Affidavit of Harry Briggs (November 13, 1984), Historical Marker Files, South Carolina
Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina. Kluger, Simple Justice, 22-25. Peter Lau,
"Freedom Road Territory," 323-325. Interviews with Eliza Briggs and Billie Fleming from Will the Circle
be Unbroken?: A Personal History of the Civil Rights Movement in Five Southern Communities. Episode
3: Under Color of Law, Columbia, South Carolina (Atlanta: Southern Regional Council, 1997), Audio
distributed by Public Radio International, Transcript available at www.unbrokencircle.org (January 2005).
Lochbaum, "The Word Made Flesh," 118.









at the time simple membership in the NAACP meant the loss of home and occupation for

many Clarendon blacks.28

Like his fellow activists, Levi Pearson faced the full brunt of white economic

intimidation. Joseph DeLaine's nephew, Billie Fleming, later recalled that Pearson's

credit was "completely stopped." According to Fleming, "Cotton gins refused to gin his

cotton. He was not able to borrow money ... Fertilizer dealers refused to sell him, even

for cash money, fertilizer. Oil distributors refused to deliver oil." When Pearson sought

to supplement his income by selling the timber growing on his land, a group of angry

whites intervened. They approached the potential buyer of Pearson's lumber and

threatened to ostracize him and "completely cut [him] off from the white community" if

he followed through with the purchase. The buyer backed off and Pearson's fresh cut

timber was left on the ground where it fell.29

Despite the effects of this wave of intimidation, the federal lawsuit against

Clarendon County helped spark a second petition in Dorchester County, where the

NAACP also asked for an end to discrimination against African American school

children. The Dorchester suit was brought on behalf of over 200 students and their

parents in District 18 of the county. Lawyers for the children claimed they were

"deprived of their Constitutional rights to equal protection of the laws and to freedom

from discrimination because of race or color." They were seeking "educational

advantages and facilities equal in all respects to that which is being provided for whites."




28 Ibid.

29 Will the Circle Be Unbroken?: A Personal History of the Civil Rights Movement in Five Southern
Communities. Episode 3: Under Color ofLaw, Columbia, South Carolina.









Along with the suits in Dorchester and Clarendon Counties, James M. Hinton noted that

similar lawsuits were being prepared for Lee, Fairfield, and Orangeburg Counties.30

Many white South Carolinians were educated about the threat that these lawsuits

posed to white supremacy on the pages of the state's most conservative daily newspaper.

In a series of front-page editorials commencing on January 2, 1950 in the Charleston

News and Courier, William Workman warned white readers that the Supreme Court's

pending decision in Sweatt v. Painter could provide a precedent for desegregating the

public school system in South Carolina. Although the Sweatt case involved the

constitutionality of the segregated law school at the University of Texas, Workman wrote

that "it could have originated anywhere in the South." Like South Carolina, Texas had

constructed a "separate but equal" law school to avoid integrating the all-white

institution, but an African American mailman named Herman Sweatt had challenged this

maneuver in court. Workman pointed out that the plaintiff's attorneys contended that

"separation itself' was discriminatory. Furthermore, he quoted the attorney general of

Texas, who cautioned all southerners that the "petitioner is asking for a court decision

which would apply to high schools and elementary schools as well."31

In the second editorial of the series, Workman reminded his readers that John

Wrighten's legal challenge had led to the creation of a segregated law school at the

"South Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical college for negroes." Workman pointed

out that Wrighten's case had not only resulted in the formation of a school of law at

South Carolina State, but was enormously expensive for South Carolina taxpayers.


30 News and Courier (May 16, 1950) 1A. I ,hulr. *, ..- and Informer, (May 20, 1950) 1, from the Rivers
Papers, SCHS.

31 News and Courier (January 2, 1950) 1.









Under a court order from Judge Waring, the state appropriated $200,000 for the creation

of the new school. Workman cautioned that several other challenges to the state's

segregated university system were in the planning phase, and noted that a school

equalization case had emerged in Clarendon County.32

Workman's editorials were a wake up call to white voters who were still coming to

grips with the loss of the white primary and the liberal turn of the national Democratic

Party on racial issues. The combination of black demands for voting rights and African

American challenges to segregated education led to a marked increase in white racial

anxieties. Rank and file whites may not have understood the particulars of the Clarendon

County school desegregation case, but they did have a general understanding that the

basic framework of the state's system of Jim Crow laws was under attack. By 1951, most

white South Carolinians wanted more concerted action to protect dejure segregation

from these assaults. For decades, racial separation had been managed locally but was

legitimized by state law. Over the course of the next two years, whites intensified their

efforts to preserve the racial caste system through a variety of local efforts while at the

same time insisting that their actions receive legislative endorsements from the state

capitol. The lesson of Clarendon County was that extra-legal actions, economic

intimidation, and physical violence could impede black protests, but could not completely

eliminate local civil rights activism. Most South Carolina whites agreed that the defense

of white supremacy would require a full battery of official action to compliment the

informal measures enacted by local whites.


32 News and Courier (January 3, 1950) 1.










In an era of Cold War anxieties, anti-communism was a predictable weapon in the

arsenal of white resistors. In May 1950, State Representative Joseph R. Wise asked

United States Congressman L. Mendel Rivers to investigate whether or not state NAACP

leaders were also members of communist organizations. "I was told four days ago in

Columbia," Wise informed Rivers, "that [James] Hinton held a 'red card' in 1935."

Rivers took full advantage of the rising tide of anti-communism and investigated Wise's

claim. The congressman telephoned Louis J. Russell, a senior investigator with the

House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), to request information on

Hinton. Russell forwarded a copy of the committee's file on the civil rights leader. The

report cited Hinton as a sponsor of the Congress on Civil Rights, an organization founded

in 1946 when the National Federation for Constitutional Liberties and the International

Labor Defense merged. According to the HUAC, the Congress was "dedicated not to the

broader issues of civil liberties, but specifically to the defense of individuals who are

either members of the Communist Party or openly loyal to it." Furthermore, the

association was cited as "subversive and Communist" by Attorney General Tom Clark.33

Rivers forwarded a copy of the Un-American Activities Committee report to

Representative Wise and South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond. The congressman


33 For a discussion of the use of anticommunism against civil rights activists, see: Jeff Woods, Black
Struggle Red Scare: .~,, ',, ,i andAnti-Communism in the South, 1948-1968. (Baton Rouge:
Louisiana State University Press, 2004). George Lewis, The White South and the Red Menace:
N~\,. .',.i, *, 'I. Anticommunism, and Massive Resistance, 1945-1965 (Gainesville, University Press of
Florida, 2004). Telephone message from Joseph Wise, Jr. to L. Mendel Rivers, May 5, 1950 (1:15 PM),
I. ihiii 1 ,,.- andInformer, (July 24, 1950), Louis J. Russell to L. Mendel Rivers (May 6, 1950), L. Mendel
Rivers to Louis J. Russell (May 11, 1950) all in the Rivers Papers, SCHS. For a specific discussion of
communism and the Civil Rights Congress, see: Gerald Home, Communist Front: The Civil Rights
Congress, 1946-1956 (Rutherford: Fairleign Dickinson University Press, 1985). See also: Michael J.
Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality (New
York: Oxford University Press, 2004) 375. Michael K. Honey, Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights:
Organizing Memphis Workers (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993) 257-268. Woods, Black
Struggle Red Scare, 31-38.










suggested Thurmond might wish to "expose this negro [sic] when he starts attacking you,

as he has been doing." Rivers also collected HUAC reports on civil rights advocates

Clifford J. Durr, Lillian Smith, and Myles Horton as well as on the Southern Conference

for Human Welfare. Rivers's actions were indicative of his ability to gather "secret"

information about civil rights activists and were reflective of the intricate network of

segregation advocates that existed in the South. Moreover, it demonstrated the ability of

committed segregationists to share information and exchange advice about tactics with

one another.34

Shortly after Rivers sent Hinton's HUAC file to Wise, the state legislator publicly

charged that Hinton was affiliated with the Communist Party. On the floor of the South

Carolina House of Representatives, Wise read the report and asked that it be printed in

the Journal of the House ofRepresentatives of Si,,ih Carolina. Hinton vigorously denied

the charges. He claimed the Civil Rights Congress was an organization whose aims

"were to secure civil rights for all Americans," and argued those goals remained a worthy

cause even if the organization itself had taken a turn to the political left. Hinton decried

the trend of labeling all civil rights leaders as communist. "It has become fashionable to

label all Negroes as Reds, or radicals if they speak out for first class citizenship," he

said.35




34 L. Mendel Rivers to Joseph Wise (May 11, 1950), L. Mendel Rivers to J. Strom Thurmond (May 11,
1950), "Information From the Files of the Committee on Un-American Activities: U.S. House of
Representatives," Report on Clifford J. Dunn, Lillian Smith, and Myles Horton (February 14, 1950),
"Report on the Southern Conference for Human Welfare: Investigation of Un-American Activities in the
United States," (United States Government Printing Office: Washington, DC: 1947), all from the Rivers
Papers, SCHS.

35 News and Courier (June 9, 1950) 1A. Journal of the House ofRepresentatives of the State of South
Carolina (1950) 2428-2429. News and Courier (June 10, 1950) from the Rivers Papers, SCHS.









Most whites refused to take Hinton's cries of innocence seriously. The HUAC

report obtained by Rivers gave the charges of communism an air of respectability and

seemed to validate state action against the NAACP and other black organizations. The

widespread acceptance of Wise's claims meant that South Carolina segregationists were

free to use charges of communism as justification for further intimidation of the state's

African American population and against the handful of "treasonous" whites who

supported black aspirations. Labeling an African American leader a communist meant

that any progressive white leader who allied himself/herself with the black freedom

struggle risked his/her standing in the community. The Second Red Scare suffocated free

speech throughout the nation, but the atmosphere of repression was especially disruptive

to civil rights advocates in the South.36

As the character assassination of Hinton demonstrated, powerful white South

Carolinians, such as Rivers and Wise, were adept at using their control of state

bureaucracies to intimidate and threaten black leaders. Though such attacks were

numerous in South Carolina, none was more significant than the campaign of

intimidation directed at Progressive Democratic Party founder John McCray. Amidst the

furor over the Clarendon school desegregation case and the charges of a communist

conspiracy within the South Carolina NAACP, McCray was charged with libel in

Greenwood County for a story that ran in the state's largest African American newspaper,

The Lighthouse and Informer. McCray, who was the paper's editor and publisher, was

indicted in January 1950 for publishing a story about an African American convicted of

raping a white woman. Although McCray never published the young woman's name, he


36 For examples, see: Lewis, The White South and Red Menace and Woods, Black Struggle Red Scare.









did print the claims of the accused rapist, Willie Tolbert, that the sex was consensual. In

the racially charged atmosphere of South Carolina in the 1950s the story was considered

an assault on white womanhood and a violation of one of segregation's most sacred

tenets: in cases of interracial sex, black men were routinely depicted as oversexed

predators victimizing chaste white women. As far as whites were concerned, consensual

interracial sex involving a black man and a white women simply did not happen.

Moreover, whites supposed that African Americans, such as McCray, were prohibited

from commenting on any sex acts involving black men and white women and McCray

paid the price for breaking that taboo even though a similar story appeared in the white

owned Anderson Independent. The woman's father, a Greenwood County solicitor,

charged that McCray had published false and libelous statements that defamed the

character of the victim.37

McCray was advised in the case by Thurgood Marshall and Jack Greenberg of the

NAACP Legal Defense Fund and by local black lawyer Harold Boulware. Since McCray

was unlikely to receive the benefit of any doubt from a white jury, his legal counsel

advised him to enlist the aid of a white lawyer for his defense though even this would

be unlikely to sway an all-white jury. He approached several white attorneys, but was

turned away. One unnamed white attorney did assist with McCray's defense, but he









3 Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt, 209-213. "Memorandum from Harold R. Boulware," n.d., John H.
McCray Papers, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia [Hereafter cited as
McCray Papers, SCL].









insisted that his participation in the case be kept secret and would only meet with

McCray, Greenberg, or Boulware at night.38

Despite having solid grounds for a defense, Marshall and McCray's lawyers urged

him to accept a plea agreement. The attorneys agreed that an African American

defendant who was a known "agitator" was unlikely to receive a fair trial in South

Carolina. Pleading guilty, they argued, would keep McCray out of jail and allow him to

continue publishing the Lighthouse andInformer. McCray heeded their advice and

entered a guilty plea in exchange for a sentencing agreement with the Greenwood County

prosecutor. As part of that agreement, McCray was fined $3,000, given three years

probation, and forced to admit his "guilt" on the front page of the Lighthouse and

Informer. 3

McCray's brush with the legal system was an important indication of the degree to

which whites controlled the state's bureaucracy and utilized official state agencies to

subdue "troublesome" blacks. The conviction was an obvious attempt to discourage

McCray from engaging in political activism and a reminder to middle class African

Americans that their relative prosperity was dependent on staying in the good graces of

the white power structure. McCray, however, continued to engage in the kind of political

activism that had drawn the ire of whites in the first place. He campaigned for more

progressive candidates in the elections of 1950 and was a vocal supporter of the plaintiffs


38 John H. McCray to T. Carl McFall (May 8, 1950). John H. McCray to Guery E. Nelson (May 6, 1950).
Richard E. Fields to John H. McCray (February 16, 1950), McCray Papers, SCL. Wim Roefs, "Leading
the Civil Rights Vanguard in South Carolina: John McCray and the I iith ,.." and nformer,1939-1954,"
in eds. Charles M. Payne and Adam Green, Time Longer than a Rope: A Century of African American
Activism, 1850-1950 (New York: New York University Press, 2003) 462-491.

39 Ibid. The State of South Carolina v. John H. McCray (June 20, 1950), General Sessions Court,
Greenwood County, South Carolina.









in Briggs v. Elliott. As a consequence of his continued activism McCray's parole was

revoked in 1951 for giving a political speech in Illinois. McCray claimed that he had

been given permission to travel outside of South Carolina for the event, but the state

argued that his trip was an unauthorized violation of his parole agreement and sentenced

him to serve on a chain gang from November 1951 to December 18, 1952. McCray later

claimed that his arrest resulted from a direct order from South Carolina Governor James

F. Byrnes who was outraged by the African American's civil rights activities. 40

Although they were rarely confronted with the kind of intimidation directed at

politically active blacks, racially progressive whites also faced harsh treatment for

advocating better treatment of African Americans. For example, after Judge Waring

ordered an end the white primary and became openly critical of segregation he endured a

near constant stream of criticism, intimidation, and social ostracism from his

segregationist neighbors. White anxiety became even more palpable after Waring's

involvement in the Clarendon County school desegregation case became clear.41

Nonetheless, the hostility directed toward Waring paled in comparison to the

attacks levied at his wife, Elizabeth. After all, it was Elizabeth who many white elites

blamed for the judge's late conversion to the cause of civil rights. Shortly before

Waring's judicial decisions began to dismantle dejure segregation in South Carolina, he



40 New York Times (May 30, 1951) 12. Lau, "Freedom Road Territory," 309-312. Quint, Profile in Black
and White, 14-15. Roefs, "Leading the Civil Rights Vanguard in South Carolina," 462-491.

41 See: Yarbrough, A Passion for Justice, 42-67. Robert Lewis Terry, "J. Waties Waring: Spokesman for
Racial Justice in the New South" (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Utah, 1970) 21-161. Klarman, From
Jim Crow to Civil Rights, 201-245. Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day, 408-409. Kari Frederickson,
"As a Man, I am Interested in States' Rights": Gender, Race, and the Family in the Dixiecrat Party, 1948-
1950," in eds. Jane Daily, Glenda Gilmore, and Bryant Simon, Jumpin 'Jim Crow: Southern Politicsfrom
Civil War to Civil Rights (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000) 260-274. Pete Daniel, Lost
Revolutins: The South in the 1950s (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000) 232.









had divorced his Charlestonian first wife to marry Elizabeth, a native northerner. Soon

after, the Warings became social outcasts in Charleston's close knit high society.42

In January 1950 Elizabeth Waring spoke at the Annual Meeting of the traditionally

all-black Coming Street Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) to a mixed-race

audience of over 150. Aside from breaking the social mores regarding race mixing, Mrs.

Waring openly attacked the South's racial caste system and defended her husband's

attempts to break down Jim Crow in South Carolina. In doing so she challenged the

notion that Jim Crow was necessary, first and foremost, to protect of white women.

Waring's participation in desegregated meetings and her commitment to racial equality

was contrary to white notions about how race and gender rules operated in South

Carolina and the South as a whole.43

For white South Carolinians, especially "Old Charleston" elites, Elizabeth

Waring's willingness to speak out against segregation was not only wrong-headed, but an

unladylike transgression into the world of politics. In the YWCA speech, Mrs. Waring

declared that segregationists were "stupid" and claimed that white leaders were afraid

that her civil rights activism would "destroy their selfish and savage white supremacy

way of life." The outspoken advocate of integration equated southern use of the filibuster

to defeat civil rights legislation to treason. "The White Supremacists are so self-

centered," said Waring, "that they are drawing walls around themselves so close and high

that they have become completely isolated from the rest of the world and have not

considered themselves part of the country since the Civil War." She went on to call


42 Ibid.

43 News and Courier (January 17, 1950) 8.









segregationists "decadent", prideful, "morally weak," and "confused." Waring even

called on civil rights activists to stand up to the "Dixiecrat Gestapo."44

State Representative Joseph Wise summarized the view of most white South

Carolinians regarding Elizabeth Waring when he declared that the state did not need a

lecture from a "Damn Yankee." The Warings received telephoned death threats and were

denounced by state leaders. In February 1950, the state House of Representatives passed

a resolution promising that "the necessary funds be allocated to purchase a one-way

ticket to any point in the United States of America or preferably a foreign country for

Federal Judge J. Waties Waring and his socialite wife. .. with the sole provision they

leave the State of South Carolina and never again set foot on her soil." The resolution

also committed $800,000 to build an animal science building on the campus of Clemson

College, and suggested the school dedicate a stall in the mule barn for the Warings.

Although the resolution was quashed in the state Senate, it represented a sentiment shared

by many angry whites in South Carolina who tended to view all civil rights activism as

orchestrated by outsiders who threatened the virtue of white democracy in the Palmetto

State.45

Even when faced with threats and ostracism, the Warings refused to curtail their

activism. Mrs. Waring went on NBC's "Meet the Press" to defend her position. She also

reiterated her denunciation of segregation in an interview with Colliers magazine. In

44 Ibid. For a discussion of the intersections of Race and Gender in the South, see: Glenda Elizabeth
Gilmore, Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-
1920 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996). For a discussion of the various networks of
women in Charleston, see: Stephanie E. Yuhl, A Golden Haze of Memory: The Making ofHistoric
Charleston (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005).

45 News and Courier (January 18, 1950) 8. A Joint Resolution, Records of the General Assembly, House
Bills, Part 2, Calendar 2177, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South
Carolina.









response to her call for immediate integration, Senator Burnet Maybank invoked charges

of communism against the Warings and asked Peyton Ford, an Assistant to the Attorney

General of the United States to investigate Waring's wife for advocating a "revolution" to

bring about an end to segregation. Maybank told Ford that the civil rights activities of

the Warings "amounts to persecution of respectable people, whether they be black or

white, and I think the Justice Department should look into the matter." A month later,

Maybank wrote to Attorney General J. Howard McGrath requesting an investigation of

the couple.46

Maybank's demand went unanswered, but many of his constituents refused to give

up on the crusade against the unpopular judge and his wife. J.C. Phillips, a retired

merchant marine, launched a petition drive demanding the impeachment of Judge

Waring. At a closed-door meeting in March 1950 in the office of First District

Representative L. Mendel Rivers, Phillips claimed to have almost 21,000 signatures

demanding action from Congress. The meeting was attended by each of the state's

representatives in the House except for James P. Richards and John L. McMillan, and all

of the participants agreed not to share information about the proceedings with the media.

However, one observer admitted that the group did not have the necessary evidence to

proceed. "We certainly can't impeach him for making pro-negro speeches," claimed the

unidentified source.47




46 Burnet Maybank to Peyton Ford (February 13, 1950), Maybank to J. Howard McGrath (March 20, 1950),
Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections, College of Charleston, South Carolina [Hereafter cited as
Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections]. Samuel Grafton, "The Lonesomest Man in Town,"
Colliers (April 29, 1950) 20-21, 49-50.

47 News and Courier (March 9, 1950) lB.









Phillips was joined in the meeting by Dr. Charles D. Leverett, a Charleston Dentist;

L. Eddie Heinson, a Dorchester County magistrate; A.A. Jordan, an Aiken lumberman;

W. Lee Cooper, a Pelion farmer and merchant; and V.M. Wingard, a farmer from

Lexington. Together, this economically and geographically diverse group promised to

form a "sort of Southern association for the advancement of white people." According to

Phillips, the new organization would be dedicated to countering pressure from minority

groups and protecting traditional southern society. Before his organization could form,

however, Phillips's worst fears were realized: in December 1950 African Americans in

Clarendon County amended Briggs v. Elliott to challenge the very legality of segregation

in education.48

The white reaction to the case placed incredible pressure on South Carolina's

political elites to defend the basic framework of the racial hierarchy. With arguments in

Briggs v. Elliott set for May 1951, South Carolina's state government initiated an urgent

attempt to head off a court decision that threatened to erode white power and

fundamentally undermine dejure segregation. Under the leadership of newly elected

governor James F. Byrnes, the state launched a concerted effort to defend the legality of

its Jim Crow schools. Byrnes was South Carolina's most well known political leader.

He had served as a United States Senator, a United States Supreme Court Justice, and as

Secretary of State under Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. Despite

his position as a leader in Roosevelt's New Deal government, however, he did not share

the socially progressive outlook of other leading New Dealers, such as Henry Wallace.

Instead, Byrnes was a committed racial conservative who had no intention of

48 News and Courier (March 9, 1950) 1B, (November 18, 1950) 1, (December 23, 1950) 1. Quint, Profile
in Black and White, 13.









volunteering to dismantle South Carolina's system of racial separation. Moreover, he had

widespread support from the state's white population and a reputation as an able leader.

Most whites assumed that Byrnes would find a solution to the "segregation problem" that

would not result in an end to Jim Crow in South Carolina.49

Governor Byrnes surmised that South Carolina's best hope for preventing or, at

least, delaying a federal desegregation order was to give the impression that the state was

in compliance with Plessy's "separate but equal" doctrine. Therefore, he launched a

school equalization initiative that preceded similar programs in other southern states by

almost two years. School equalization, according to Byrnes, would halt federal

interference in South Carolina's system of dejure segregation and limit civil rights

activism in the state. He outlined his plan in an address to the South Carolina House of

Representatives in January 1951. In his speech Byrnes pledged to "find a lawful way of

educating South Carolina's children" while "providing separate schools for the races."

He called on the state legislature to pass a three-cent sales tax to finance equalization and

new school construction and promised that, even though a large portion of the funds

would be spent on educating African Americans, the new tax would actually strengthen

institutional segregation.50

With the equalization plan, Byrnes established a blueprint for white resistance to

black advancement in South Carolina that would last for more than a decade. He pledged

his commitment to segregation, but demanded respect for the rule of law. Byrnes failed


49 For a discussion of Byrnes's political career, see: David Robertson, Sly andAble: A Political Biography
ofJames F. Byrnes (New York: Norton, 1994).
50 Quint, Profile in Black and White, 16. Thomas S. Morgan, "James F. Byrnes and the Politics of
Segregation," The Historian (Summer 1994) 645-654. Journal of the House ofRepresentatives of the State
of South Carolina (January 24, 1951) 160-166.









to appreciate that, at some point, the two might become incompatible. The governor

promised a legal remedy, but assured South Carolina voters that "what a carpetbag

government could not do in the reconstruction period, cannot be done in this period." If

the federal courts ordered desegregation, Byrnes promised to close the schools rather than

integrate them. He claimed that "the majority of colored people in the state do not want

to force their children into white schools." Instead, Byrnes concluded that black

Carolinians only wanted whites to "see to it that innocent colored children will not be

denied an education because of selfish politicians and misguided agitators."5

Byrnes's plan was to provide better treatment for South Carolina's black population

within the Jim Crow system, but his proposal did have an important corollary. If black

activists continued to press for desegregation or if the federal government attempted to

force an end to the racial caste system, South Carolina was prepared to take radical action

and abandon public schooling altogether. Byrnes and other state leaders warned that any

attempt to break down the barriers of racial separation was sure to incite a violence and

disorder. He also advised black leaders that continued pressure to desegregate would

diminish, rather than expand, African American opportunity. "The White people of

South Carolina," declared Byrnes, "could pay for the education of their children" in a

private system. Conversely, few African Americans had the financial resources to pay

for private schooling. In such a situation, "Negro citizens would suffer," alleged the

governor, "because of the irresponsible action of representatives of the National

Association for the Advancement of Colored People." 52


51 Ibid.

52 Ibid, "Address of James F. Byrnes, Governor of South Carolina, to the South Carolina Education
Association," (March 16, 1951) 577-583.









Byrnes was aware that in order for his plan to work, he had to maintain the illusion

of uncompromising white unity on how to handle the segregation issue. In fact, while

most whites were firmly committed to Jim Crow, the exact degree of that commitment

varied. In his quest to map out a plan for preserving the racial caste system, the governor

had to gain the support of these distinct, if overlapping, white constituencies: hardcore

segregationists, mainstream whites, and white business interests. The hardcore group

was determined to use any and all means to fend off all civil rights progress, including

the open intimidation of black activists and efforts to ostracize and pressure sympathetic

whites. Mainstream whites sought to preserve segregation, but were unwilling to tolerate

lawlessness, civil unrest, or the disruption of the state's economy simply to prevent what

they hoped would be a modicum of token desegregation. Most of the white business

elites were in the mainstream group, but even conservative business owners and

professionals who were ardent segregationists were unwilling to accept steep financial

costs in their quest to preserve white privilege. With rare exceptions, such as the

Warings, integrationist sentiment among white South Carolinians was almost non-

existent.

In many ways, Byrnes's most difficult task was gaining the support of the most

uncompromising hardcore segregationists. Even the term "equalization" was problematic

for committed white supremacists, but whites trusted the governor when he promised that

the program was the only way to avoid a federal order to desegregate the schools.

Fiscally conservative segregationists were also reluctant to allocate funds to black

schools, but Bymes assured the state's white voters that, if the new schools were closed

as a result of court ordered desegregation, the new buildings would not be "wasted." The









governor promised that, should the courts order South Carolina to desegregate its public

education system, the state would simply hand over its public school buildings to

segregated private schools. According to Bymes, however, such drastic action would not

be necessary anyway. He assured the state's segregationists that if the taxpayers

"properly discharge our duty, we make more difficult the task of those who would have

the Federal Government control our schools." He was also careful to note that the

proposed three cent tax would also afford whites the opportunities to improve their own

schools.53

In order to ensure support from educators and more moderate whites, Byrnes

declared his desire to provide a "full public education" to "every child in the state, white

or colored." At a meeting of the South Carolina Educational Association in March 1951,

the governor promised that the main purpose of the equalization plan was to improve, not

to close, South Carolina's schools. He pointed out that South Carolina had the highest

rate of rejection for intellectual ineptitude for military service in the Korean conflict.

More than 60 percent of the South Carolinians called up for the draft were rejected as

opposed to a rejection rate of 35 percent for the rest of the South. Bymes blamed this

failure on South Carolina's poor education system and pointed out that on average over

80,000 of the state's 494,000 students were absent from school on any given day. Byrnes

also noted that at least 16,000 white children and more than 17,500 black children were

not enrolled in school at all. His plan, Bymes argued, would not only equalize, but also

modernize the state's failing school system.54



53 Ibid.

54Ibid.









School improvement was also the best way for the governor to reach out to

business owners and the state's chambers of commerce. Byrnes argued that the

equalization plan would foster a positive business climate in South Carolina and pointed

out that, in order to bring new jobs to the state, it would have to improve its dismal public

school system. New Deal farm programs had decreased the emphasis on labor-intensive

agriculture and modern jobs required skilled workers. When poor whites and African

Americans poured into cities looking for work, they were often unqualified for the new

jobs. For white economic boosters, the equalization plan promised to promote the post-

World War II industrial economy without disrupting racial customs.

At first, the South Carolina General Assembly balked at raising taxes to fund the

construction of black schools. However, by the end of his first legislative session, Byrnes

was able to convince a handful of powerful lawmakers, including state Senator L. Marion

Gressette and future Governor and United States Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings, that

equalization was a worthy goal for the state. Education professionals and the state's

business interests overwhelmingly supported the measure while hardcore segregationists

did so more reluctantly. Before formal arguments in the Briggs case could even begin,

the Education Finance Commission initiated the process of "equalizing" South Carolina's

segregated schools.5

After winning an important political victory in the sales tax debate, Byrnes

pressured the state assembly to follow through with other important aspects of his


55 John G. Sproat, "'Firm Flexibility': Perspectives on Desegregation in South Carolina," in eds. Robert H.
Abzug and Stephen E. Maizlish, New Perspectives on Race and Slavery in America: Essays in Honor of
Kenneth M. Stampp (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1986) 167. New York Times (December
11, 1952) 44. Quint, Profile in Black and White, 16-17. South Carolina Educational Finance Commission,
South Carolina's Educational Revolution; A Report ofProgress in South Carolina. (Columbia: 1955).
Journal of the Senate of the State of South Carolina, 1951. Kluger, Simple Justice, 419-420.









equalization strategy. Since the governor had promised that the new school buildings

could be privatized if necessary, Byrnes encouraged the legislature to pass a bill which

would allow local school boards to sell or lease school property to private groups. If the

federal government forced desegregation and the state followed through with its plan to

abandon the pubic school system, the governor wanted to ensure that local boards could

create a "private" school system using existing facilities. The legislature passed the

measure and took it a step further when it passed a law to withhold state funds from any

district that was ordered to desegregate by a federal court. The new laws would have

made it all but impossible for local school officials to operate a desegregated public

education system in South Carolina. The lack of funding would force desegregated

districts to either privatize or close altogether. So that county governments would have

time to set up a new private system, the South Carolina General Assembly also passed a

measure that forbade the transfer of a student from one school to another without

permission from the county superintendent. This law created one last bureaucratic

roadblock to prevent or delay student transfers from an African American school to a

white one.56

Not content with creating this elaborate bureaucratic and legal bulwark against

school integration, the General Assembly also created a special committee to monitor

legal challenges to segregated education and plan a response. The South Carolina School

Committee, which was chaired by Calhoun County Senator L. Marion Gressette, included

five members from the state Senate, five from the state House of Representatives, and


56 Ibid.









five members at large. It was the first legislative committee created to deal with the

"desegregation issue" in any southern public school system.57

Despite Byrnes's self-serving efforts to "equalize" the state's dual school system,

African Americans in Clarendon County were determined to press on with their challenge

to segregated schools. Although intimidation had eroded membership in the NAACP and

forced several individuals to remove their names from the desegregation petition, the

NAACP's legal team was able to secure the signatures of 20 adults and 46 children

demanding an end to the county's segregated school system. The case, Briggs v. Elliott,

both frightened and infuriated whites when it finally went before a three-judge panel in

May 1951. South Carolina whites were particularly upset at the presence of Waring on

the panel. Though they knew that fellow jurist Judge George Bell Timmerman would

rule in favor of the defense, many whites feared that Waring would convince Judge John

J. Parker, who was a political moderate, to order an end to segregated schools in South

Carolina.5

The plaintiffs' attorney, Thurgood Marshall, contended that students in the county

were denied their constitutional rights in the segregated school system. Since the

county's attorneys Robert McCormick Figg and S. Emory Rogers acknowledged that the

physical facilities of the black schools were inadequate, the NAACP legal team

concentrated on the inequity of segregation itself. Marshall introduced the testimony of a

number of social scientists, who each argued that segregation established a psychological

impediment to success and was therefore a violation of the rights of African American


57 Ibid.

58 News and Courier (November 18, 1950) 1, (December 23, 1950) 1. Quint, Profile in Black and White,
13.









students. Rogers and Figg insisted that Plessy v. Ferguson allowed for segregated

schools as long as they were equal. The attorneys contended that black leaders had every

right to demand equal facilities and requested that the court give the state time to improve

black schools. Figg warned that a court order demanding the desegregation of southern

schools would lead to extensive conflict and violence in the region. He asked the judges

to grant the state "reasonable time" to implement school equalization. 59

Briggs v. Elliott brought widespread attention to South Carolina's segregated

schools and may have served to embolden black activists, but it was initially a victory for

white segregationists. When the decision of the three judge panel was handed down in

the summer of 1951, Judge Parker declared that the state must afford African American

students the same educational opportunities as those afforded to whites, but he and Judge

George Bell Timmerman refused to outlaw state supported segregated education. The

two judges ruled that Byrnes's equalization plan would bring the state in compliance with

the "separate but equal" doctrine established in the Plessy case. South Carolina's white

leadership gave its overwhelming endorsement to the decision. Senator Maybank

declared it an "honest, clear, straight Constitutional ruling on behalf of public education

in South Carolina." In an interview on CBS television, Maybank insisted that "the good

colored people," of his state were not interested in integration, although he refused to








59 Byrnes "Inaugural Address" was reprinted in: South Carolina Educational Finance Commission, South
Carolina's Educational Revolution; A Report of Progress in South Carolina. (Columbia: 1955). New York
Times (May 29, 1951) 27, (May 30, 1951) 12. Kluger, Simple Justice, 710-750. Lau, "Freedom Road
Territory," 309-312. Quint, Profile in Black and White, 14-15. Baker, "Ambiguous Legacies," 142-143.









lend support to abandoning the public school system if the courts did order

desegregation.60

Judge Waring, however, provided solid grounds for an appeal when he issued a

strong dissenting opinion. He insisted that segregation itself was inherently unequal. He

wrote, "I am of the opinion that all the legal guideposts, expert testimony, common sense

and reason point unerringly to the conclusion that the system of segregation in education

adopted and practiced in the state of South Carolina must go and must go now.

Segregation is per se inequality." Therefore, African Americans left the courthouse with

a mandate to improve black schools and, thanks largely to Waring's opinion, hopes for a

more promising outcome if the case was appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Less than a month after the three-judge panel issued its decision, Marshall appealed the

verdict to the nation's highest court. White leaders had hoped that the panel's decision

had created a viable alternative to desegregation and would silence "bothersome" black

activists, but they fully expected an appeal.61

The delay between the case and its appeal gave white leaders an opportunity to

consolidate and refine Byrnes's equalization plan. Under the direction of the governor

and state legislature, local school boards began to redraw district boundaries in an effort

to create another defense against desegregation. The new plan reduced the number of

school districts in the state from 1,002 to 102. Small rural schools were closed and

consolidated into larger, newer buildings. Moreover, the newly gerrymandered districts


60 Baker, "Ambiguous Legacies," 145-147. Briggs et al. v. Elliot et alt., United States District Court for
the Eastern District of South Carolina, Charleston Division, 98 F. Supp. 529 (1951). Maybank to George
Bell Timmerman (June 25, 1951), Transcript of "Capital Cloak Room" (May 29, 1951), Maybank
Senatorial Papers, Special Collections.
61 Waring quoted in Briggs v. Elliott. Baker, "Ambiguous Legacies," 145-147.









were designed to allow whites to use residential segregation as a means to maintain racial

separation in education. Although consolidation did have an important modernizing

effect on the South Carolina school system, its implementation further solidified racial

separation as the official policy of the state.62

African American leaders, however, were not willing simply to allow whites to use

the time consumed with the appellate process to construct additional barriers to black

access without opposition. Even in defeat the Briggs case had an immediate impact on

black community efforts to improve African American schools. Civil rights leaders from

all over the state demanded that the general assembly utilize the new "equalization" funds

to close the educational gap between black and white children. However, for South

Carolina whites school equalization was a mechanism for limiting, not encouraging,

black community activism, and local whites were determined to manage carefully the

impact of the program. In many districts local school boards used the new sales tax

revenues to funnel money into existing, or new white schools. 63

Perhaps the most dramatic example of a local school board using a disproportionate

amount of the new funds to improve white schools while black schools remained under-

funded occurred in Charleston. Charleston's School Board hoped to utilize its black

population to convince the Finance Commission to allocate significant funds to the city's

schools. In 1952, the city implemented a plan to divide its $2.4 million dollar allocation

equally between the white and black school system even though there were more black



62 South Carolina's Educational Revolution. For the best example of this see: Baker, "Ambiguous
Legacies," 146-150. Walter Edgar, South Carolina: A History (Columbia: University of South Carolina
Press, 1998) 522-523.
63 Ibid.









students and the African American schools were in a worse state of disrepair. Statewide,

less than half (40%) of the student population was black, and the state did spend almost

two-thirds of the new money on African American schools, but, as the situation in

Charleston demonstrated, even the disbursement of a large portion of the funds to the

black schools could do little to erase the disparities in black and white education.64

Initially, black leaders in Charleston were pleased to see any improvements in the

city's African American schools. Black parents, however, soon became frustrated with

the school board's use of the new funds. Arthur Clement, the President of the Charleston

NAACP and Secretary of the PDP, and Peter Poinsette, an African American member of

the PTA, claimed that the city's growing black population and the poor condition of its

existing educational facilities dictated that the school board should allocate even more

funds to the black community and truly "equalize" the dual system. Clement pointed out

that the new budget called for building a new gym for an all-white school that already

had one, and yet failed to pay for a gym for the city's black high school, which had no

gym at all. He argued that if the school board spent the entire $2.4 million allocation on

its black schools "the per capital valuation of school property for the two races would be

$392 for white pupils and $345" for African American students. In other words, even a

complete overhaul of the city's black schools using 100 percent of the new state funds

would have failed, in Clement's estimation, to "equalize" the "separate but equal"

system. Clement promised to bring the issue to the federal courts if the school board did

not carry out a legitimate equalization program. He warned Low Country whites, "You


64 Ibid.









established the separate but equal theory it has protected you these many years now,

you are faced with the problem of paying for it."65

Clement's succinct warning was a reminder to the all-white school board that the

fight over segregated schools was far from over. Although they won a technical victory

in the Briggs case, white segregationists were hardly confident that the ruling would

stand on appeal. Byrnes and his supporters realized that they might have to follow

through with their threats to close the public school system if they wanted to maintain

segregated education. However, the governor's administration faced one major barrier to

the abandonment of the public schools. If Byrnes wanted to privatize the schools, he first

had to convince South Carolinians to change the state's constitution. Article XI, Section

5 of the South Carolina State Constitution stipulated that "The General Assembly shall

provide for a liberal system of free public schools for all children between the ages of six

and twenty-one years." 66

A proposed amendment to alter this provision quickly passed through the South

Carolina House of Representatives during the 1951 session, but the measure stalled in the

state Senate. Whites supported Jim Crow, but were many apprehensive about the notion

of abandoning the publicly funded education of their own children. On January 8, 1952,

Byrnes addressed the General Assembly and called on state senators to "submit to the

electors of the General Election in 1952 a resolution to repeal Article XI, Section 5."

According to Byrnes, the proposed amendment was the state's only means of ensuring its

ability to maintain a segregated school system. "If this provision of our Constitution is

65 Arthur J. Clement to the Charleston School Board (January 23, 1952), Henry Hutchinson Collection,
Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina.
66 Journal of the House ofRepresentatives of South Carolina (1952) 17-18.









not repealed, and if the Supreme Court's decision is against us," the governor declared,

"no legal avenue will be left open to us in South Carolina to have separate schools for

children of the white and colored races." Rather than oppose the popular governor, the

state Senate heeded Byrnes's warning and voted to include the amendment on the state's

ballot in the 1952 general election.67

Once the measure passed, Byrnes and his supporters initiated a sophisticated

publicity campaign to increase support for the constitutional amendment. Their efforts

were a prime example of how political leaders worked to ensure a consensus among

South Carolina whites over how best to deal with the impending crisis over segregation.

The vast majority of white South Carolinians were unapologetic segregationists who

were determined to protect Jim Crow. For them, the amendment became a political

statement of their commitment to South Carolina's racial caste system. Byrnes

understood that as long as he kept the question simple he could mask any divisions within

the state's white communities over how far to go to protect segregation in South

Carolina's public school systems. Byrnes and his supporters portrayed the amendment

vote as a "referendum" on Jim Crow schooling.68

In a statewide radio broadcast, Lieutenant Governor George Bell Timmerman, Jr.

called on voters to cast their ballots for the change. Chairman of the Senate Committee

on Education, Marion Gressette, claimed that the measure would "protect" the state's

education system. Congressman Rivers promised voters that the amendment was the

only way to prevent "the mixing of the races in our elementary and high schools" while


67 Howard G. McClain, "South Carolina's School Amendment," New South (February 1953) 1-5, 8.

68 Blick, "Beyond 'The Politics of Color," 20-30.









simultaneously improving African American institutions. Governor Byrnes went so far

as to proclaim, "If you vote against the amendment," and the Supreme Court overturns

the district court's decision, "you will force the mixing of the races in the schools." The

proposed amendment served as both a means of white resistance and as a threat to black

activists who persisted in challenging South Carolina's segregated school system.69

Of course, the NAACP and most African Americans objected to the proposal, but

civil rights activists were not the only ones who opposed it. Though they refused to

condemn segregation per se, both the League of Women Voters and the mostly white

South Carolina Educational Association publicly denounced the Byrnes plan. The

League of Women Voters even purchased radio time in Columbia to discuss the issue,

but no state leader would debate the merits of the amendment on the air. 7o

With few exceptions, South Carolina's elected officers generally preferred not to

discuss the specifics of the Byrnes amendment, and certainly only the most hardcore

segregationists declared that school closure was a good idea. South Carolina's white

leadership simply called for the continuation of segregation and left the impression that

voting against the amendment would hasten the erosion of white privilege. When state

leaders were ask if they favored closing the schools, most of them simply responded that

they hoped it would not become necessary. The failure of white voters to question this

tactic was indicative of white confidence that the state could manage the desegregation

threat if given the power to do by its white constituents. Most whites considered the




69 McClain, "South Carolina's School Amendment," 1-5, 8. News and Courier (January 8, 1952) from the
Rivers Papers, SCHS.

70 Ibid.









amendment a potent resistance tactic whether or not they truly supported the idea that

closing the public schools was a good idea.7

The proposal's strongest support came from South Carolina's black belt, especially

along the state's coastal plains in the southern Low Country region and the northeast Pee

Dee area. There was, however, mild opposition in the piedmont and upstate regions of

South Carolina. For example, Pickens County Representative Earle Morris, Jr. declared,

"The purported abolition of the public schools is a calculated risk that I could not

conscientiously support unless I was assured that a satisfactory method of educating our

children would replace the system of free public schools." Morris worried that "the so-

called 'private schools' would reduce education to a prerogative of a privileged few."

Likewise, Dr. E.C. McCants, the retired Superintendent of Schools in Anderson County,

claimed that the amendment could destroy what he had worked his life to build.72

Even one Low Country paper surmised that both options of either closing the

school system or desegregating it would be a "great sacrifice with little return to the

voters." Opposition also came from some church leaders who worried that they would

face the financial burden of operating an education system if the state abandoned its

schools. The Public Affairs Committee of the Young Women's Christian Association

(YWCA) issued a statement protesting the amendment, and the Christian Action

Committee (CAC), which represented ten denominations, publicly asserted its opposition

in September. The CAC declared that public education was important to democracy and

chastised state leaders for using the measure to "intimidate" the Supreme Court. The


71 Ibid.
72 Journal of the House ofRepresentatives of South Carolina (1952) 513. McClain, "South Carolina's
School Amendment," 1-5, 8. Blick, "Beyond 'The Politics of Color'," 20-30.









council also accused South Carolina politicians of using education as a "political

football."73

Such pockets of dissent aside, widespread popular support for the amendment was

unmistakable. The constitutional change passed in November 1952 with 72 percent of

the voters supporting the measure. Although the vote probably indicated some

willingness to abandon public education, it is best interpreted as a referendum on

segregation. Byrnes had warned voters that a ballot against the amendment was not a

vote for preserving the public school system, but a vote for the desegregation of South

Carolina's schools and the political agenda of the NAACP. His ability to shape the

public debate and limit the range of options was an important reminder of the confidence

that whites placed in Byrnes and his ability to properly manage the segregation issue.74

Beyond the utility of the amendment in the battle to preserve segregated schooling,

the governor's broader economic argument for school modernization resonated with

white South Carolinians. Although the impetus for passing the three cent sales tax, the

equalization plan, school consolidation, and Governor Byrnes's other legislative

initiatives came from the legal challenges to Jim Crow segregation, there is significant

evidence to suggest that white South Carolinians also supported these proposals because

they really did promise to improve and modernize the state's schools systems.

Legislative reformers, such as future Governors Hollings and John West, were

determined to promote educational reform. At the same time that the state assembly was

debating the school amendment, it proposed a "free school lunch" program, a program to



73 Ibid.

74 Ibid.









help pay for the use of school buses for sanctioned athletic events, minimum standards

for public high schools, and a bill to modernize education funding. In fact, throughout

1952 the legislature instituted significant changes to the state's public school system that

brought much needed improvements to the antiquated and under-funded system.

Although the discrepancy between black and white schools remained, even African

American institutions were promised significant improvements under the equalization

plan.7

Nonetheless, Byrnes strategy for defending South Carolina's particular brand of

Jim Crow was an important step toward organized white resistance. The drastic measures

adopted by the South Carolina General Assembly and endorsed by Governor Byrnes in

the early 1950s were the state's first significant efforts to take over the day-to-day

management of white supremacy in education since the state had enacted its Jim Crow

laws in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Moreover, Byrnes ensured that

white South Carolinians understood that any crack in the wall of separation between

whites and blacks could spell disaster for the entire institution of segregation. The

governor's unequivocal language and his endorsement of a zero tolerance policy toward

desegregation hardened white resolve and strengthened white unity. Still, the widespread

support for educational improvements and the recognition that economic development

depended on employing an educated and well-trained work force was evidence that some

white South Carolinians were as interested in progress as they were in the fight to

preserve segregation.



75 South Carolina House Journal (1952) 522-530. *In February of 1952 the Supreme Court was set to
decide Brown v. Board of Education in the summer of 1953.









In passing the school tax and the school amendment, South Carolinians

simultaneously prepared for two possible paths. The first promised moderate leadership

and a commitment to improving the state's poor public education system. The other laid

the groundwork for more militant resistance. By the fall of 1952, the minds of South

Carolina whites were as divided and contradictory as the system of segregation they were

fighting to protect. Plans to modernize and improve the state's public schools coincided

with threats to close them, and promises to abandon, rather than desegregate, public

education overlapped with assurances that such action would never become necessary.

Meanwhile, contemporary brick buildings with electricity and indoor plumbing replaced

one-room schoolhouses with potbelly stoves and outhouses, and, by 1956, the state had

spent more than $120 million on school improvements two-thirds of which was spent

on African American schools.76

In 1952, few could predict which tactics South Carolina would adopt to combat the

still rising tide of civil rights activism and the unmistakable signals of increasing federal

opposition to the South's Jim Crow laws. State leaders promised moderation and respect

for the law, but adopted measures for circumventing federal orders and implicitly

encouraged reprisals against civil rights activists. The most troubling, and yet predictable

aspect of the white response to the Briggs case for African Americans was the fact that

white Carolinians who were the most affected by the Clarendon case and other civil

rights activism displayed the greatest propensity to adopt extreme measures to protect

segregation. Blacks and whites who voiced opposition to such actions were publicly

shunned, economically isolated, and, at times, physically threatened and attacked. White


76 South Carolina Educational Finance Commission, South Carolina's Educational Revolution.






61


South Carolinians debated a wide range of appropriate and possible tactics for protecting

white supremacy across the state, but to the victims of white reprisals in the black belt

counties it was already apparent that, at mid-century, South Carolina had already teetered

over the edge of massive resistance.














CHAPTER 3
CAMPAIGNING ON RACE: THE ELECTIONS OF 1950

Between 1950 and 1952 South Carolina whites were nearly uniform in their

opposition to black civil rights. However, reactions to the increasing encroachments on

white privilege were diverse and the degree to which the segregation issue would

radicalize state politics was unclear. Although the race issue was seldom far from the

surface of public consciousness and debate, many whites were equally concerned with

improving the state's schools, its economy, and its infrastructure. To address those

concerns political leaders at the local and state level often relied on funding from the

national government. In the early 1950s South Carolina was home to several large

federally funded public works projects. These projects, which included the construction

of the Santee-Cooper hydroelectric plant, the Charleston Air Force Base, and the

Savannah River nuclear weapons plant, funneled a considerable amount of money into

the impoverished state. Furthermore, they created high paying jobs and paid for much

needed internal improvements. For white voters and their elected leaders, securing

funding for federal projects was both a political and economic necessity. Even elected

officials who vilified federal intervention in civil rights issues vigorously lobbied for

national funding for improving the state's infrastructure and its economy.

In the wake of nascent signs of federal interests in civil rights enforcement and the

intensification of internal black pressure, there were some concerns about the state's

increasing dependence on federal funding, but they were minor in comparison to calls for

more, not less, federal aid to South Carolina. For example, George Grice, the president









of the College of Charleston, wrote to Senator Burnet Maybank in June 1950 to ensure

that the school's plan to borrow federal funds to improve its faculty housing would not

"involve the College in any way in the racial problem." Grice, who was a committed

segregationist, worried that accepting the much needed funds would place the school

under federal regulatory control. Such control, he surmised, could result in a

desegregation order. Despite these apprehensions, Grice and the college continued to

seek federal monies whenever possible. 1

For many whites, even Grice's mild worries were unwarranted. In spite of the

post-World War II recession, the state's economic outlook and the standard of living

enjoyed by its citizens had vastly improved since the depths of the Great Depression.

Most South Carolinians felt that these improvements were a direct result of federal

investments during the New Deal and World War II. The Second World War had saved

the Charleston Navy Base and Naval Shipyard, the Korean conflict had rescued Fort

Jackson from threatened closure, and the Cold War had helped pump money into the

state's various other defense facilities. The Charleston Naval Shipyard alone employed

between 10,000-15,000 workers during the late 1940s and early 1950s, and navy yard

employees earned on average nearly twice as much as other area workers.2





1 George Grice to Burnet R. Maybank (June 17, 1950), Bumet Maybank to George Grice (July 17, 1950),
College of Charleston Archives, Special Collections.

2 Fritz Hamer, "A Southern City Enters the Twentieth Century: Charleston, its Navy Yard, and World War
II, 1940-1948" (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of South Carolina, 1998). Andrew Herbert Myers, "Black,
White, and Olive Drab: Military-Social Relations During the Civil Rights Movement at Fort Jackson and
in Columbia, South Carolina" (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of Virginia, 1998). Ivan D. Carson to
Burnet R. Maybank (March 3, 1952), Earl J. McGrath to Burnet R. Maybank (February 28, May 27 and
March 10, 1952), and Howard J. Sears to Burnet R. Maybank (October 6, 1952), Maybank Senatorial
Papers, Special Collections.









In addition to military spending, New Deal agriculture reforms contributed farm

subsidies, low interest loans to buy agricultural equipment, and increased funding to

agricultural colleges like Clemson University in the South Carolina upstate.

Furthermore, Federal Housing Authority funds helped to alleviate South Carolina's

housing shortage and the rural electrification project funded the expansion of electric

lines across the bucolic state. Indeed, even though the state had roundly rejected

Roosevelt's successor in 1948, New Deal programs remained popular as South Carolina

entered the 1950s.3

African Americans in South Carolina, who had also been stalwart supporters of the

New Deal, were also generally optimistic that the 1950s would usher in an age of

prosperity. However, unlike their white neighbors, they hoped that new economic and

educational opportunities would go hand in hand with the expansion of their civil and

political rights. African Americans throughout the South yearned for rapid social change

and an official endorsement of black rights from regional and national leaders. For the

state's African American population, progress meant more than a bigger paycheck and

rural electrification.

Black South Carolinians had reason to believe that substantial change was on its

way. By the dawn of the new decade the South Carolina branch of the National

Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had challenged

educational inequality in the state, President Harry S. Truman had ordered the

desegregation of the military and promised to support civil rights in the waning years of


3 Jack Irby Hayes, South Carolina and the New Deal (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press,
2001). George Calvin Waldrep, Southern Workers and the Search for Community: Spartanburg County,
South Carolina (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000) 123-126. Dewey W. Grantham, The Life and
Death of the Solid South: A Political History (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1988) 102-124.









his administration, and northern Democrats were advocating anti-poll tax legislation,

anti-lynching bills, and support for African American voting rights. These national

trends provided a crucial backdrop for local initiatives in South Carolina where, in 1950

alone, Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) leader and Charleston NAACP President

Arthur Clement challenged white supremacist Congressman L. Mendel Rivers in South

Carolina's First Congressional District's Democratic primary, blacks in Clarendon

County allied with NAACP Legal Defense Fund to initiate Briggs v. Elliott, and civil

rights leaders attempted to use black ballots to influence state elections in a meaningful

way for the first time since Reconstruction.

It was within this context of cautious, if differently configured hopes for the future

of the state that white and black South Carolinians confronted the civil rights issue. Civil

rights had dominated state politics in 1948 and the expansion of black activism since

President Truman's re-election heightened anxiety among white segregationists. Support

for segregation remained a litmus test for white office seekers in South Carolina, but it

was not the only issue that concerned white voters. Politicians also had to preach

economic progress and support for education while simultaneously cautioning against

rapid social change. Elected officials faced enormous, often contradicting, pressures to

preserve white supremacy without jeopardizing white economic prosperity or

surrendering local autonomy in exchange for federal funding. This chapter explains the

nature of those pressures and the numerous responses to them by black and white South

Carolinians during the various elections of 1950.

The economic concerns of Charleston exemplified the controversy over federal

funds in South Carolina. Charleston was the largest city in South Carolina's Low









Country region and home to the state's most conservative daily newspaper, the News and

Courier. In the post-World War II era the city was also a hotbed of white resistance to

NAACP and PDP activism. However, Charleston was also an important bastion of the

Cold War military industries and its civic leaders demanded that its congressional

representatives direct federal funds to the region even if, as conservatives like George

Grice feared, such money brought with it the specter of possible federal intervention in

racial arrangements.

After suffering through numerous post-World War II cutbacks, the military

initiated a building boom in the region beginning in the early 1950s. By the mid-1960s,

more defense dollars were spent in the Charleston area than anywhere else in the nation

except Norfolk, San Antonio, and San Diego, and no region saw more internal

improvements funded by the United States military than the South Carolina Low

Country. Moreover, federal contributions to dredging and maintaining the harbor

contributed to improvements in commercial shipping. These improvements created

scores of high paying jobs and provided a substantial amount of political capital for

elected officials. Most of these projects were navigated through congress by

Representative Rivers, who was a powerful member of the Armed Services Committee.

Throughout his nearly 30 years in Congress, Rivers was notorious for steering federal

defense money to his home district and lauded for his ability to increase defense spending

throughout his home state.4





4 George Hopkins, "From Naval Pauper to Naval Power: The Development of Charleston's Metropolitan-
Industrial Complex," in ed. Roger W. Lotchin, The MartialMetropolis: U.S. Cities in War and Peace
(New York: Praeger, 1984) 1-34.









Rivers's influence on the growth of military industries in South Carolina was

ubiquitous, but other city leaders were also important in recruiting federal projects to the

previously impoverished area. Although Charleston area boosters promoted the city with

the zeal of many "New South" advocates, city leaders were also happy to sell the historic

district's genteel charm. In 1949, the Carolina Art Association published a book praising

Charleston for its ability to be both a prime tourist destination and a modern industrial

city. The book, entitled Charleston Grows, pointed out that the historic peninsula was a

"city with a heritage," but it was not "an anachronistic" place "sleeping through the

present." According to the various contributors to the book it was not "a reconstruction

of the eighteenth century, preserved as a museum piece."5

Charleston Grows portrayed the city as divided into two distinct districts.

Peninsular Charleston was the epitome of southern charm and gentility and the area

northwest of US 17 and southeast of Berkeley County was a booming industrial marvel.

In the book, prominent Charleston author Herbert Ravenel Sass claimed, "The old

historic Charleston and the new industrial Charleston are geographically separate and

distinct, so that industrial development here can be wholly helpful with none of the

disastrous cultural sacrifices which progress often involves." Sass and other

Charleston area boosters recognized that economic advancement might blur the lines of

racial and ethnic separation, but hoped that the city could find a way to foster

development without risking the loss of white supremacy. Sass concluded that the "new



5 Carolina Art Association, Charleston Grows (Charleston: Walker, Evans & Cogswell Co., 1949). For a
discussion of role of historical memory in Charleston, see: Stephanie Yuhl, A Golden Haze of Memory:
The Making of Historic Charleston (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005).









Charleston" could find "inspiration and courage" in the "strong and masculine old

Charleston."6

The convoluted mixture of historic memory and economic boosterism in

Charleston Grows represented the desire of many white South Carolinians to promote

economic modernization without upsetting the racial status quo. This bifurcated mindset

was evident throughout South Carolina, but it was especially influential in the Low

Country region in the southeast corner of the state where Charleston was located. Nearly

the entire region was part of the First Congressional District and every county in it was

part of the black belt. In the early spring of 1950, Low Country whites began pressuring

the South Carolina Democratic Party to take immediate action to thwart various

expressions of civil rights reform and activism. The Charleston County Democratic

Convention passed a resolution commending the Palmetto State's opposition to "the

FEPC [Fair Employment Practices Commission] law, the anti-lynching law, the anti-poll

tax law, the anti-segregation laws, commonly known as the so-called Civil Rights

program." The group also instructed its delegates to the State Democratic Convention of

1950 to "oppose any effort to have the Democratic Party of South Carolina sacrifice or

compromise its traditional principles or reverse and repudiate the State Party's opposition

to the so-called Civil Rights program and those who advocate such programs." 7

Nonetheless, black activists pressed on with their calls for an end to South

Carolina's restrictive election process. And, when Arthur Clement challenged Rivers in

the Democratic Primary of 1950, he became both a symbol of the increasing intensity of


6 Ibid.

7 "Resolution for the County Convention" (c. 1950), Rivers Papers, SCHS.









black political activism and a reminder of the deeply entrenched discrimination in the

state's election system. His challenge is especially noteworthy because, other than Strom

Thurmond, no politician in South Carolina embodied the Dixiecrat movement more than

Rivers. Indeed, Rivers and Representative John L. McMillan of Florence were the only

members of the South Carolina congressional delegation to campaign openly for the

Thurmond-Wright ticket in 1948.8

Rivers had built his reputation as an ardent segregationist with vicious political

attacks on the Truman Administration. He called the president a "dead chicken" who did

not have "sense enough" to lead the nation. In October 1948, Rivers went so far as to

issue a public statement requesting that the state Democratic Party remove his name from

the Truman ticket. The move was unnecessary because in South Carolina, the

"Democratic" ticket was headlined by Thurmond and not Truman, but the congressman's

rhetoric helped solidify support from angry whites. "I wouldn't be true to my

convictions," he explained, "if I ran also on the Truman ticket. I want it known that I'm

supporting the States' Rights Democrats and not the Truman Democrats." Rivers

followed the Dixiecrat Party line arguing that the States' Rights primary was the "regular

Democratic primary of South Carolina." He declared, "I don't want to sail under false

colors or to mislead you or anyone else, and certainly it is not my desire to give Truman

any intentional or inadvertent help or assistance." Rivers called on every Southerner to

"stand up and be counted," and warned, "You're on one side or the other, not both."9





SIbid.

9 Ibid.









Like Rivers, Clement was a political veteran. He was the Executive Secretary of

the PDP and had campaigned for Henry Wallace during the presidential election of 1948.

In a letter to the Charleston News and Courier that year, Clement wrote:

The Progressive Democrats do not want 'to get into the Party of the White folks.'
We want to fully participate like any other citizen in 'the only material and realistic
election machinery' in this State The Democratic Party and its Primaries. The
present government of South Carolina is not good enough for the Progressive
Democrats. We desire no part of it. It is putrid. Its odor stenches the clear clean
air of South Carolina. 10

In addition to their obvious differences regarding racial politics, a host of other

issues separated Rivers and Clement. The .Si,,ih Carolina Democratic Digest, which was

an official publication of the national Democratic Party in South Carolina, gave brief

biographies of all of the candidates. It described Clement as a "statewide leader of Negro

groups" and as a "liberal" who was "pro-labor" and "pro-National Democrat." The paper

claimed that Rivers was an "arch-foe of Truman and Civil Rights" who was "strongly

conservative."11

During the election Rivers promised voters that he would "continue our fight in

Washington to uphold our traditions, our customs, and our rights to run our own business

in South Carolina against outside interference." In a half-page political advertisement in

the News and Courier, he pledged not to sell the southern "birthright for a mess of

political patronage." The congressman also claimed to be "one of the foremost defenders

of states' rights and local self-government." Rivers, however, refused to discuss Clement

directly. Instead, he attempted to remain aloof. The congressman was contemptuous of


10 Arthur J. Clement to "To the Editor of the Charleston News & Courier," (June 1, 1948), Arthur J.
Clement Papers, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia [Hereafter cited as
Clement Papers, SCL).

1 "South Carolina Democratic Digest" (Columbia: May 1950), Clement Papers, SCL.









black forays into politics and, rather than campaign directly against Clement, Rivers

utilized the publicity surrounding the race issue to enhance his reputation as defender of

white privilege. He declared, "I am not taking any notice of the candidacy of one A.J.

Clement, Jr. for Congress from the First Congressional District," as he did not wish to

"lend dignity to [Clement's] candidacy." The congressman dismissed Clement as an

unsuitable opponent who was "an officer in the organization created by Henry Wallace,

known as the 'Americans for Democratic Action,' that opposed "every concept and

political philosophy of which the South Carolina Democratic Party is made and of which

it is composed."12

In addition to provoking declarations of contempt from Rivers, Clement's

candidacy helped to exacerbate white fears and reinforced the notion that the state's Jim

Crow voting restrictions were under siege. That anxiety was a potent tool for mobilizing

white political power. State Representative Joseph Wise of Charleston published a

campaign leaflet that warned against the "menace" of "bloc voting." The advertisement

quoted former North Carolina Governor Charles B. Aycock who had said in 1898:

"When we came to power, we desired merely the security of life, liberty and prosperity.

We had seen all these menaced by 120,000 Negro votes cast as the vote of one man."

Wise's campaign literature pointed out that several North Carolina cities had been

affected by "bloc voting" by blacks in the state's primary. Furthermore, he contended,

"These same tactics are BEING ATTEMPTED in Charleston County, South Carolina."




12 Telegram from L. Mendel Rivers to Calvit N. Clarke, Chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee,
Monck's Corer, South Carolina (July 9, 1950), Rivers Papers, SCHS. News and Courier (July 9, 1950)
7A. Rough Draft of Letter from L. Mendel Rivers to "Dear Mr. Chairman" (June 21, 1950) Rivers Papers,
SCHS.









He also cautioned that white "must UNITE TOGETHER in order to preserve our TRUE

SOUTHERN DEMOCRACY."13

Like Wise, Rivers understood that white political unity was very important to his

re-election, but Rivers seemed more concerned about setting the stage for future

elections. Like other white leaders in the South, Rivers was tasked with rallying whites

to his cause without encouraging politically ambitious moderates to recognize the

prospective power of a biracial coalition. While he feigned a lack of interest in the

election and assured voters of his certain victory, Rivers also reminded voters that the

primary was "very important," and he urged "every eligible white person" to register to

vote by June 10, 1950 so that "all qualified white persons" could show up at the polls.

According to the congressman, "It is essential that we register and vote to maintain and

preserve good government and protect our interest against the forces that are working day

and night to change our way of life and deprive us of the freedom we cherish."14

Rivers's actions in the campaign revealed a tension that permeated white political

ranks across South Carolina in the 1950s. Jim Crow restrictions were created to limit the

potential power of black ballots and to prevent the formation of a biracial political

alliance that could threatened the elite white power structure. The erosion of those

controls on African American voting rights threatened to create new political coalitions

and weaken white unity on the issue of segregation. During the election Rivers worried

privately that a high black turnout might encourage moderate whites to seek office in

future elections. He understood, as did most white leaders, that such a combination of

13 "Bloc Voting By Any Group is a Menace to Democracy" (n.d.), Clement Papers, SCL.

14 L. Mendel Rivers to Y.C. Weathersbee et al. (May 25, 1950), L. Mendel Rivers to James Henry Clark et
al. (May 25, 1950), Rivers Papers, SCHS.









white and black votes could pose a serious challenge to more conservative candidates.

Rivers proclaimed:

I believe that the white people in Charleston are alert to the potentialities of the
negro (sic). The election this year will demonstrate one thing that we have in our
midst people of the Waring ilk who are promoting the negro (sic) and in the future
we will have white men running with their blessings. Then they can really wield
the balance of power.15

Clement recognized the same potential and spent most his campaign attempting to

energize black voters and, as Rivers feared, reach out to more moderate whites. He

realized that in 1950 it was impossible for a black candidate to win an election in South

Carolina, even in the First District where blacks comprised a majority of the population.

According to the 1940 census there were approximately 170,000 blacks in the district

compared to just over 120,000 whites. However, despite the legal advances for black

political rights in the previous decade, the majority of the district's African Americans

were still not registered for the elections of 1950 reflecting a recurring void between

increasingly progressive laws and judicial rulings regarding race and consistently

conservative practices at the local level.16

Journalist and publisher John McCray also understood the potential effect of a large

black voter turnout. He urged African Americans to register before the June 10 deadline

and called for "the chairman and executive committee of each precinct, club and

organization working under the Progressive Democrats banner to begin at once a daily


15 L. Mendel Rivers to Ashley Halsey (June 3, 1950), Rivers Papers, SCHS.

16 1 giit. ii 1,.' and Informer, (May 13, 1950) 4. Howard Quint, Profile in Black and White: A Frank
Portrait of South Carolina. (Washington D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1958) 1-25. For a discussion of the
political situation of Low Country African Americans see: Millicent E. Brown, "Civil Rights Activism in
Charleston, South Carolina, 1940-1970" (Ph.D. Dissertation: Florida State University, 1997). L. Mendel
Rivers to Y.C. Weathersbee et al.(May 25, 1950), L. Mendel Rivers to James Henry Clark et al. (May 25,
1950), Rivers Papers, SCHS.









campaign of registration which must not be slowed up until the last minute is used."

McCray instructed the Executive Committee of the Progressive Democratic Party to

arrange transportation for citizens who wished to register. "Mendel Rivers must not go

back to Congress" he proclaimed, "We can keep him out, but we must do it by registering

now and following through with the voting until July 11th."17

Since many whites and blacks were apprehensive of being associated with radical

leftist politics, Clement attempted to counter the accusation that "civil rights" was

euphemism for communism. Instead, he claimed that black progress was an important

issue for all South Carolinians. "When we hear the term 'civil rights' we immediately

see 'color," observed Clement, but he contended, "Civil Rights is the essence of our

American Way. It is our chief weapon against all foreign 'isms.' In South Carolina, civil

rights have been a 'dead truth,' an untouchable. We wish to bring it onto the open for its

avoidance has affected all our people not just a segment." "We have frittered away our

glorious heritage," said Clement, "and the possibilities wrapped up in the American

Dream by allowing our attitudes and ambitions to become wrapped by racism."18

Despite these efforts, Rivers easily defeated Clement in the primary election. The

incumbent garnered over 42,000 votes compared to Clement's 7,000. Most of Clement's

support came from the African American communities in Charleston and Beaufort

Counties. The Charleston Evening Post smugly declared, "We believe he [Rivers] would

have won the election even if there had been any serious opposition to him."19


17 John H. McCray to Fcllow Citizen" (May 26, 1950), Clement Papers, SCL.

18 News and Courier (May 17, 1950) from the Rivers Papers, SCHS.

19 Evening Post (July 12, 1950), I ,ini. *, .. and Informer (July 15, 1950) from the Rivers Papers, SCHS.
Evening Post (July 17, 1950) 4.









The African American communities in South Carolina and across the South were

divided over how to react to Clement's showing. In an editorial, the Atlanta Daily World

claimed to have "nothing but the highest esteem and commendation for South Carolina's

young A.J. Clement, Jr." The paper noted that Clement had received enough financial

support to pay for campaign expenses and that he had made a remarkably good showing

despite the overwhelming challenge of confronting the white political hierarchy. The

editorial stated:

Although he received only 7,299 votes against his opponent's 43,489, we do not
think that was a poor showing for a candidate entering a campaign with so many
grave and insuperable obstacles. Not only was the total atmosphere of the
campaign rabidly anti-Negro but the atmosphere and tempo of the state was hostile.
Dixiecrats and the Dixiecrat spirit was the central note, the like of which only
Georgia could equal or surpass. Accordingly, his race, while badly beaten, served
to educate white voters and to give Negroes a keener interest and appreciation for
the right of the franchise.20

Closer to home, however, some members of the black community were outraged by

the limited support that Clement had received from African American voters. An

editorial in the Lighthouse andInformer complained that blacks in Charleston could have

done more to promote Clement's candidacy and hinted at alleged improprieties in the

election process. "In the initial probing of the matter," the paper claimed, "it seems that

several [blacks] were urged to vote against" Clement and "for his Dixiecrat opponent."

McCray and Clement each condemned conservative blacks who supported Rivers in

order to gain political patronage. The Lighthouse andInformer editorial argued that the

loss was a serious blow to the political rights of African Americans. The article stated,


20 "It Was Worth the Try," Atlanta Daily World (July 16, 1950), from the Clement Papers, SCL.









"Never again soon will we have the golden opportunity we had in the first district." In a

letter to Clement, McCray declared the black participation in the election "disgraceful."21

Although McCray, Clement, and other black leaders had not expected a victory for

the African American candidate, the miniscule voter turnout in the black communities of

the First District was a serious blow. Not only was it evidence that white state leaders

had minimized the effectiveness of court orders to end the lily white primary, but the low

turnout also meant that it would be even harder to convince white candidates that a

moderate biracial coalition could unseat conservative Democrats, such as Rivers. White

solidarity coupled with the absence of federal enforcement of anti-discrimination laws

and rulings meant that black voters could be safely ignored in black belt elections for the

foreseeable future.

The election also demonstrated the degree to which white segregationists still

controlled the political process. White leaders had made Clement's candidacy as difficult

as possible. Clement's campaign received no assistance from the Democratic Party of

South Carolina, and party officials actively sought to limit his involvement in official

events. For example, The County Chairman of the Democratic Party of Hampton County

refused to allow Clement to speak at a party rally. When the challenger complained to

state party officials, William P. Baskin, the State Chairman of the South Carolina

Democratic Party, responded that local officials were not required to invite any candidate

to speak. Baskin claimed that he had no authority to "invite" a candidate to a county

meeting.22


21 "A Lesson to Learn Early," I ,lih. ,.. and Informer (n.d.), John H. McCray to Arthur Clement (July 21,
1950), Clement Papers, SCL.
22 William P. Baskin to Arthur J. Clement (June 1, 1950), Clement Papers, SCL.









White newspapers encouraged the notion that Clement was a fringe candidate with

little or no support from whites or blacks. For example, Clement was vilified by the

Charleston News and Courier. On two occasions, the conservative newspaper attacked

Clement for not properly answering the "race question." The Charleston paper editorially

condemned him for failing to oppose the "compelled mixture of the white and colored

races in industries (the FEPC)" and for his support of "mixed race schools and colleges."

It also noted that Clement was not "in favor of separation of the races in railroad cars,

public buses, hotels and restaurants, or in favor of residential separation of races as is

now customary in cotton mill villages and other localities." In summation, the editorial

declared that Clement was undesirable because he did "not commit himself to opposing

any kind of racial mingling or as favoring any kind of racial separation." The News and

Courier insisted that its opposition to Clement was not based on the candidate's race, but

on his political beliefs. In fact, an editorial declared that African Americans should enjoy

the same political rights as whites, as long as any prospective black candidate favored

segregation. Of course, the newspaper's editorial staff was well aware that such a caveat

would eliminate any serious black candidate.23

After the election, segregationists were convinced that their efforts had paid off.

Whites were jubilant at the lack of black political participation in the primary, and

Rivers's easy victory seemed to alleviate paranoid fears of an African American takeover

of the Democratic Party. The Hampton Democrat declared: "Apparently the fear that

many South Carolinians had that the Negroes would flock to the polls and vote into office

candidates unpalatable to the majority of white voters was without justification." The


23 News and Courier (July 8, 1950) 4A.









newspaper argued that voter turnout among African Americans was so low in the state

that "there is no real reason to believe Negroes would vote in a bloc." For many whites,

Rivers' triumph was an indication that they had stemmed the rising tide of black activism

that had characterized the previous year. It was also additional fodder for whites to

utilize to argue that most South Carolina blacks were content with white political

leadership.24

Nonetheless, any display of black political activism, no matter how circumscribed,

elicited a palpable degree of fear from South Carolina's white communities. For some

politicians, the time seemed ripe to take advantage of these apprehensions in a statewide

election. Governor J. Strom Thurmond, who had won over 70 percent of the state's

popular vote in the presidential election of 1948, hoped that white distrust of President

Harry Truman and the national Democratic Party would lead him to victory over the

state's most prominent Truman supporter, United States Senator Olin D. Johnston.

Against the backdrop of the Rivers-Clement race, NAACP legal challenges to white

supremacy, and the desegregation of the military, Thurmond initiated his first attempt to

reach the United States Senate.

By the time the former Dixiecrat announced his candidacy, many of the state's

leading political observers had already envisaged a victory for Thurmond. The

Charleston News and Courier forecast an "overwhelming" triumph for the governor.

Conservative newspaperman William D. Workman predicted Thurmond would garner

almost 60 percent of the popular vote, and the Sumter Daily Item declared that Johnston's

support for the president would translate into a sure victory for Thurmond. In fact, few


24 Hampton Democrat (July 16, 1950), from the Rivers Papers, SCHS.









political observers felt that Johnston could defeat the popular governor. Several political

prognosticators reasoned that the recent election losses of other southern Truman

supporters and racial moderates like Claude Pepper of Florida and Frank Porter Graham

of North Carolina were evidence of Johnston's vulnerability on the race issue.25

In each of these cases, political pundits calculated that a conservative backlash

against the national Democratic Party would provide an election-day win for Thurmond.

However, these same analysts underestimated Johnston's own reputation as an ardent

white supremacist at a time when the race issue was especially vexing for many voters.

For example, when the incumbent senator received the endorsement of his hometown

newspaper, the Anderson Independent, it defended his record on matters of race and

attempted to draw a contrast between Johnston and several other southern senators who

faced difficult elections in 1950. The Anderson newspaper editorialized that Johnston

had little in common with the defeated "liberal" senators from North Carolina and

Florida. Instead, the paper asserted that Johnston was a member of a powerful block of

southern senators who helped defeat civil rights initiatives, such as the permanent FEPC.

The newspaper concluded, "Both Pepper and Graham gave support and sympathy to

FEPC legislation. Johnston never has and never will." Furthermore, the Anderson daily

claimed that the Senator had more in common with arch-segregationists Lister Hill of

Alabama, Walter George of Georgia, and Clyde Hoey of North Carolina.26


25 News and Courier (June 23, 1950) 4. William D. Workman, Jr. to Judson Chapman (n.d.), William D.
Workman, Jr. Papers, Modem Political Collections, University of South Carolina, Columbia [Hereafter
cited as Workman Papers, MPC]. Sumter Daily Item (July 10, 1950) 4.

26Anderson Independent (July 9, 1950) 4. The State (July 1, 1950) 3. Several Thurmond campaign
advertisements and clippings that deal with this strategy are located in the 1950 Democratic Primary
campaign files of the Olin D. Johnston Papers, Modem Political Collections, University of South Carolina,
Columbia, South Carolina [Hereafter cited as Johnston Papers, MPC].









Johnston adopted much the same tactic as his hometown newspaper. He tried to

reach out to popular southern conservatives and distanced himself from the moderate

wing of the national Democratic Party. The senator even attempted to gain an

endorsement from Georgia Senator Richard Russell, who was well respected amongst

segregationists for his efforts to preserve Jim Crow. Russell praised Johnston and fellow

South Carolina Senator Burnet R. Maybank, but did not wish to "interject" himself "into

the South Carolina primary." Despite Russell's desire for neutrality, Johnston's

campaign staff reprinted Russell's praise of the incumbent in newspaper

advertisements.27

Fortunately for Johnston, conservative newspaper editors and black belt

segregationists did not constitute the majority of white voters. Convincing white

Johnston supporters to abandon the senator was a difficult sell. He was a former mill

worker who had a strong following in the upstate region and appealed to white voters on

both racial and economic grounds. Johnston considered himself the political champion of

the state's white textile workers, and, like many of his constituents, he was a vocal

supporter of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and white workers' rights. He was the only

southern senator to vote for the repeal of the Taft-Hartley law, which limited the rights of

workers to form unions and to strike. He had also led the South's efforts to limit the

effects of the SNmithi v. Allwright decision. As governor (1943-1945) Johnston was the

architect of the "South Carolina Plan," whereby the state legislature removed any


27 Richard Russell to Olin Johnston (June 27, 1950), Johnston Papers, MPC. Several of these
advertisements are located injournalist William D. Workman's files on the campaign, Workman Papers,
MPC. For a discussion of Russell, see: Gilbert Courtland Fite, Richard B. Russell, Jr., Senator from
Georgia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991). Robert Mann, The Walls ofJericho:
Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Russell and the Struggle for Civil Rights (New York:
Harcourt Brace, 1996).









reference to political parties from state law, and declared the Democratic Party a "private

club" that was not subject to the court decision. Almost overnight, the state legislature

repealed 150 state statutes governing primary elections. Although this process was later

declared unconstitutional in Elmore v. Rice, it nonetheless boosted Johnston a reputation

as an uncompromising segregationist.28

Thurmond's strategy was more one-dimensional. He hoped to recreate the

Dixiecrat alliance that had helped him win the state in 1948. Thurmond felt that white

voters would flock to his campaign and cast their ballots based on his stalwart defense of

segregation two years earlier. The governor realized that, due to his stint as a Dixiecrat in

1948, he had no hope of winning the black vote. Even though he and every other white

politician in South Carolina were aware of the increase in black voting rights, Thurmond

felt that he could attract enough alienated white voters to offset the modest increase in

black participation. He anticipated that alienating blacks would make him a more

attractive candidate to the segregationist electorate, but also understood that his victory

depended on his ability to persuade South Carolina whites that the re-election of Johnston

actually threatened the institution of segregation.

Many political observers knew that the governor's strategy was a risky one.

Former South Carolina State Senator Paul Quattlebaum cautioned the governor not to

miscalculate the effects of the African American vote in the primary, and United States

Congressman L. Mendel Rivers contended that state NAACP leader James Hinton was

openly campaigning against Thurmond. Quattlebaum expressed a common concern and


28 Tinsley Yarbrough, A Passion for Justice: J. Waties Waring and Civil Rights (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1987) 68-106. Richard Kluger, Simple Justice: the History of Brown v. Board of
Education and BlackAmerica's Struggle for Equality (New York: Knopf, 1975) 299.









alleged that blacks were registering to vote at a rate of "twenty to one" when compared to

new white voters. Moreover, he repeated the common speculation that African American

voters would cast their ballots as a "herd."29

When the official campaign tour commenced in Lexington County on May 23,

1950, neither Thurmond nor Johnston wasted any time with polite debate. Each

candidate accused the other of jeopardizing the foundation of segregation with his

political actions in 1948. Johnston repeatedly claimed that the only way to preserve the

separation of the races was for southern politicians to maintain seniority within the

national Democratic Party. Thurmond accused Johnston of collaborating with the very

forces that sought to dismantle Jim Crow. Thurmond reminded voters that "I stuck my

neck out for you two years ago." Referring to the Dixiecrat revolt, he declared, "Don't

forget that I fought the fight for states rights while my opponent ran out on the Democrats

of South Carolina." Since the South Carolina Democratic Party had endorsed Thurmond

in the presidential election of 1948, the governor even claimed that Johnston had violated

his loyalty oath to the state party by supporting Truman.30

Thurmond's campaign rested largely on his assertion that Johnston was trying to

pose as a loyal segregationist at home, but was really a committed "Trumanite." "My

opponent," declared Thurmond, "may think he can play around in Washington with the

Truman-C.I.O. crowd and then come back down here and pose as a great States' Rights

Democrat, but he is not going to get by with it." He grouped Johnston with "those who


29 Paul Quattlebaum to J. Strom Thurmond (April 22, 1950), Paul Quattlebaum Papers, Special
Collections, Strom Thurmond Institute, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina [Hereafter cited as
Quattlebaum Papers, Thurmond Institute]. Rivers to Thurmond (n.d.), Rivers Papers, SCHS.

30 News and Courier (May 25, 1950) 9B. The State (June 3, 1950) 3, (June 8, 1950), 8. News and Courier
(June 10, 1950) 3.









stabbed the Democratic Party of South Carolina in the back and repudiated its principles.

S." He warned that Johnston "should not now try to get back in the party and seek favors

from party membership," and suggested that the incumbent Senator "sail under [his] true

colors and offer [himself] openly on the Truman Party ticket." Moreover, Thurmond

claimed that United States Attorney General J. Howard McGrath was the driving force

behind Truman's civil rights initiatives and that Johnston's support for him was a direct

threat to the legal structure of segregation. In one campaign advertisement, Thurmond

labeled a photograph of Johnston and McGrath together with the caption: "Olin Johnston

Drinks Toast to the man Harry Truman Appointed to End Segregation in the South."

Thurmond alleged that no southerner could work within Truman's Democratic Party to

protect segregation. Instead, he insisted that southern leaders should refuse to

compromise with party members who advocated civil rights for African Americans.31

By contrast, Johnston urged South Carolina voters to look toward the Democratic

Party to defend segregation. He claimed that southerners could only counteract the

burgeoning support for black voting and civil rights within the national party. The

senator told voters that he had "been fighting for states rights for thirty years." He

cautioned South Carolinians not to isolate themselves from the rest of the nation, and

declared that the fight to save segregation should remain "within the party." Johnston

preached a unified front in the battle to preserve segregated society. "As long as we are

split," he said, "we can't hope to accomplish much."32



31 News and Courier (May 25, 1950) 1. "Olin Johnston Drinks Toast to the Man Harry Truman Appointed
to End Segregation in the South," Thurmond Campaign Advertisement, Workman Papers, MPC. The State
(June 21, 1950) lB. News and Courier (June 8, 1950) 11.

32 News and Courier (May 27, 1950) 1. The State (June 2, 1950) 5, (June 2, 1950) 5.









Unfortunately for Johnston, South Carolina's black belt newspaper editors tended

to agree with Thurmond. The Sumter Daily Item went so far as to announce that a

Thurmond victory would be a defeat for Truman and his supporters. The editorial

labeled Johnston "Truman's man," and decided that he was "tainted with Trumanism."

The Charleston News and Courier joked that, if Johnston were to defeat Thurmond in the

primary, the state should hold a run-off election between the "Trumanite" Johnston and

the anti-Truman Johnston. When Johnston labeled President Truman a "political mishap"

and a "blabbermouth," the Charleston paper asked whether the Senator referred to

Truman as "Mr. President" or "Mr. Blabbermouth" while in Washington D.C.33

The governor tapped further into white anxiety by accusing Johnston of secretly

working with black leaders and pandering to black crowds. At one debate, Thurmond

declared, "I appreciate the fact that the applause for me came from the white people of

Berkeley county," and noted that Johnston only received cheers from the African

American attendees. Thurmond was clearly attempting to influence the media's

perception of the event. Journalist William Workman, whose articles appeared in the

News and Courier and The State newspapers, frequently reported on the racial makeup of

the campaign audiences. He also took detailed notes regarding which candidate curried

the most favor from white audiences and which participant received the most applause

from African Americans. Workman, who had a clear political agenda, privately warned








3 Sumter Daily Item (July 6, 1950) 4, (July 10, 1950) 4. News and Courier (July 11, 1950) 4. The State
(June 10, 1950) 3. News and Courier (May 24, 1950) 1, (May 25, 1950) 4.









Thurmond that the National Democratic Party and the NAACP planned to spend

$250,000 to organize black voters and rally support for Johnston.34

Despite the near constant attacks from Thurmond's campaign, Johnston did not shy

away from his allegiance to the national Democratic Party in 1948 or from his record on

the race issue. The incumbent senator argued that it was he, and not Thurmond, who had

struggled to defend white privilege. For instance, Johnston attacked the former Dixiecrat

for naming Dr. T.C. McFall, an African American, to a South Carolina medical advisory

board in 1949. The board, which was appointed by the governor, was charged with

working with the state board of health to evaluate hospital construction. State law

stipulated that the members of the council were chosen on the recommendation of the

South Carolina Medical Association. The Association had recommended McFall so that

state policy makers could better understand the health needs of South Carolina's black

population. Johnston characterized Thurmond's actions as an attempt "to break down

segregation," and accused Thurmond of pandering for black votes with the McFall

appointment. According to Johnston, Thurmond's appointment of the African American

doctor was directly related to the "end" of the white primary with the Smithi v. Allwright

decision.35

In the face of Johnston's audacious attack on his segregationist credentials,

Thurmond claimed that state law had required him to appoint McFall and that he took no

pleasure in the selection. He vigorously denied Johnston's accusation of pandering to


34 The State (July 7, 1950) 1. Notes on the 1950 Democratic Primary and Untitled manuscript dated
February 6, 1950 from the Workman Papers, MPC.

35 The State (June 30, 1950) 5B, (July 1, 1950) 1. News and Courier (June 30, 1950) 4. "Thurmond's
Appointment of a NEGRO," (n.d.) Johnston Papers, MPC. The State (June 27, 1950) 7. Nadine Cohodas,
Strom Thurmond and the Politics of Southern C I,,I;,..- (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993) 201-214.









black voters. Thurmond was supported by the state medical association, and a number of

South Carolina newspapers. The Charleston News and Courier proclaimed that the

McFall nomination contributed to the "health of all the people, white and colored."36

Thurmond sought to distract attention from the McFall nomination issue by

implicating Johnston in a race scandal of his own. While serving as governor, Johnston

had approved the parole of Dave Dunham. Upon his release, Dunham, who was an

African American, murdered a white 22-year-old Chester County veteran. Thurmond

blamed Johnston for the crime and declared that Johnston's "pardon racket" was to blame

for the murder. Thurmond charged that during Johnston's gubernatorial term, "an

unbridled and unbelievable pardon and parole spree" occurred. He claimed that Johnston

was responsible for the release of over 3,000 convicts from South Carolina prisons.

According to Thurmond, during Johnston's administration "it was easier to get out of the

penitentiary than it was to get in."37

In spite of Thurmond's defense that he was simply following state law and his

condemnation of the Senator's gubernatorial record, Johnston refused to let the former

Dixiecrat off the hook. Johnston presented evidence that, as governor, he had only

pardoned or paroled 671 people. Furthermore, he pointed out that he had only released

half as many prisoners as his predecessor, Ibra C. Blackwood. He also noted that voters

should hold Thurmond responsible for the McFall nomination. He reminded his

constituents that Thurmond had signed the law in the first place. "I would have suffered

my right arm to be severed," claimed Johnston, "before I would have signed any


36 Ibid. Sumter Daily Item (July 7, 1950) 4. News and Courier (June 28, 1950) 4.

37 News and Courier (June 9, 1950) 1. The State (June 9, 1950) 1.









commission" for McFall. The Senator went so far as to place a full-page advertisement

in The State proclaiming:

Thurmond Appoints Negro! Wade Hampton's Era of Segregation Ends in South
Carolina as Thurmond replaces white Doctor with Charleston Negro in Bold bid to
Capture Negro Vote of State! First Negro Appointed to State Position Since Days
of Carpetbaggers and Scalawags!

On another occasion, Johnston declared, "I would never have appointed the nigger

physician ... to displace your beloved white physician ." When a group of African

Americans in the audience took offense at Johnston's remarks, Johnston declared, "make

those niggers keep quiet." When the Thurmond campaign declared Johnston a closet

integrationist, he proclaimed that his opponents were "low down contemptible liar[s]." 38

In addition to instigating the uproar over the McFall affair, Johnston also chastised

Thurmond for "inviting" the black governor of the Virgin Islands, William H. Hastie, to

visit South Carolina as the governor's guest. Following the national governor's

conference in 1947, Thurmond's office sent invitations to visit South Carolina as the

official guests of the governor to each state executive who could not attend the

conference. Since Hastie did not attend, he received the invitation. Apparently,

Thurmond's secretary was unaware that Hastie was black. Unfortunately for Thurmond,

Hastie was also a Truman appointee who had participated in the Smith v. Allwright

39
case.

Beyond his attacks on Thurmond's commitment to racial integrity, Johnston also

re-enforced his own reputation as a committed segregationist with a well-timed attack on

38 The State (June 27, 1950) 7, (June 12, 1950) 12C. News and Courier (July 7, 1950) 1. "Pardons," (n.d.)
Johnston Papers, MPC. The State (June 23, 1950) 1.

39 Ibid. Cohodas, Strom Thurmond, 206-220. For a discussion of Hastie's involvement with Smith v.
Allwright, see: Kevin J. McMahon, Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race: How the Presidency Paved the
Road to Brown (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004) 153-154.









the FEPC. In the months leading up to the campaign, Johnston was a leading spokesman

against the establishment of a permanent FEPC. He and 21 other southern senators used

the filibuster to prevent a vote on the bill. Johnston also utilized his position as the

chairman of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service to slow down congressional

committee work until the bill was ultimately defeated. Each of the 12 attempts to end the

impasse and create a permanent FEPC failed. For Johnston, the defeat of the FEPC

legislation was one of his most important achievements. Both the Anderson Independent

and The State newspaper in Columbia congratulated the senator for his stand against the

FEPC, and he did not hesitate to remind voters of his "victory" over the legislation. "I

have fought for you in the United States Senate," Johnston declared, "and I mean to

continue." Predictably, Thurmond was less impressed with his opponent's efforts to

block permanent FEPC legislation, proclaiming, "I fail to see how he can claim any

support from the people of South Carolina for helping to kill the pet measure of the man

he helped elect on a platform calling for civil rights programs." 40

By the time the votes were tabulated in the primary, Johnston had defeated

Thurmond by over 27,000 votes. The upcountry Democrat carried 186,180 votes to

Thurmond's 158,904. Thurmond's showing paled in comparison to his performance in

the 1948 presidential campaign when he carried every South Carolina county except

Anderson and Spartanburg, which were dominated by the textile industry and populated

by staunch New Dealers.41


40 Numan V. Bartley, The Rise ofMassive Resistance (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press,
1969) 35-40. News and Courier (May 25, 1950) 1. Anderson Independent (May 13, 1950) 4. The State
(June 3, 1950) 3. News and Courier (June 21, 1950) 4B.
41 The State (July 19, 1950) 1. For a discussion of the nature of the Dixiecrat movement, see: Kari
Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968 (Chapel Hill, University of
North Carolina Press, 2001).









Thurmond's 1950 campaign failed on three levels. First, the governor

underestimated Johnston's reputation as a defender of Jim Crow and overestimated the

potency of his own credentials as a white supremacist. Second, he gambled that the

recent challenges to the racial status quo would alienate a large number of white

Democratic loyalists, but failed to attract enough white voters to offset the effects of a

growing African American electorate, which voted largely for Johnston. Third,

Thurmond criticized federal funding of state sponsored projects in a state that was

economically dependent on such funds. Each of these tactical errors merits closer

attention and each reveals important information about the tone and substance of racial

politics in South Carolina in the years before the Brown decision.

Although Thurmond is routinely rendered in the historiography of massive

resistance as a peerless segregationist, in fact, his reputation for supporting white

supremacy was no stronger than Johnston's in 1950. Indeed, prior to his stint as a

Dixiecrat, Thurmond was widely regarded a progressive governor. It was no surprise,

then, that Johnston supporters refused to accept the governor's claim that a vote for the

incumbent senator would undermine the racial status quo.42

Ironically, Thurmond's demagoguery was more successful in driving away African

American voters than in uniting whites. Black leaders had few real choices. In a state

where civil rights minded public officials were extremely scarce, African Americans

were forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. The senator secretly met with

black leaders to help drum up support for his campaign in African American


42 Jack Bass and Marilyn W. Thompson, 01' Strom: An Unauthorized Biography ofStrom Thurmond
(Atlanta: Longstreet, 1998) 79-88 (Bass and Thompson actually titled their chapter on Thurmond's
gubernatorial administration "The Liberal Governor"). Cohodas, Strom Thurmond, 93-125.









neighborhoods and the nearly 73,000 registered black voters in South Carolina

overwhelmingly supported Johnston. Though he remained steadfast in his support for

segregation, he did promote economic reforms that were beneficial to black voters. Civil

rights activist Modjeska Simkins, for example, charged that Johnston's support of New

Deal and Fair Deal programs that aided blacks made him a more acceptable option than

Thurmond. He also received the support of the state's most influential African American

newspaper when the Lighthouse andInformer urged its readers to vote for Johnston. In

an editorial, the weekly newspaper declared that Johnston's brand of segregation was

preferable to the "Dixiecrat" vision of Thurmond.43

The impact of black ballots on the election was unmistakable. For example,

Columbia's Ward 9, a majority black voting precinct, supported Johnston with 1,249

votes compared to a paltry 72 for Thurmond. John McCray wrote that "60,000" black

votes carried Johnston to victory in South Carolina, and the Charleston News and Courier

reported, "there is little doubt that the colored vote. .. went to Mr. Johnston." 44

For the most part, Thurmond's campaign strategy only worked with white voters in

the traditional black belt areas. White workers in South Carolina's textile regions

remained loyal to the New Deal coalition and supported Johnston. Thurmond only won

five of the 23 counties where textile workers made up at least 10 percent of the

population, and each of those five was located near Edgefield, which was Thurmond's

43 Bass and Thompson, Ole Strom, 119-134. Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt, 200-216 ii. .,i ,.. and
Informer (July 8, 1950) 4, from the Johnston Papers, MPC. Modjeska Simkins' "Campaign Letter" (March
30, 1950), Johnston Papers, MPC.

44 Ibid. News and Courier (July 13, 1950) 4. For Election data see: Numan V. Bartley and Hugh D.
Graham, Southern Elections: County and Precinct Data, 1950-1972 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State
University Press, 1978) 201-216, 383-402. "Report on the United States Census, 1950, Maybank
Senatorial Papers, Special Collections. Also see statistical analysis in: Luther Faggart, "Defending the
Faith: The 1950 U.S. Senate Race in South Carolina" (M.A. Thesis: University of South Carolina, 1992).









home county. Aside from having a "home field" advantage, Thurmond also benefited

from white anxieties over the large black population in that region. For example, in

Edgefield African Americans made up almost 60 percent of the population, and in nearby

McCormick blacks accounted for nearly 63 percent of the total population. Like

Edgefield and McCormick, Thurmond did best in counties where blacks were a majority

of the population, but a minority on the voting rolls. Twenty of the 28 counties where

African Americans accounted for at least 40 percent of the population voted for

Thurmond.45

Johnston collected over half of his votes in counties where at least 25 percent of the

population was employed in the textile industry where New Deal allegiance were

traditionally strong. Furthermore, Johnston defeated Thurmond in towns, cities, and

suburbs. The only notable exception was Charleston. Johnston carried Columbia,

Beaufort, and Greenville-Spartanburg. Unlike state government representation and

Electoral College voting, the malaportionment of votes that gave a greater voice to South

Carolina whites in rural counties did not tip the balance of the election to Thurmond.

Senators were popularly elected; therefore, the disproportionate voice given to rural white

voters in South Carolina did not help the more conservative candidate.46

Race was clearly important in this contest, but white voters did not simply jump on

the bandwagon of the candidate who declared himself the most racially conservative

45 Ibid. For a discussion of Johnston's relationship with Textile workers see: JoAnn Deakin Carpenter,
"Olin D. Johnston, the New Deal and the Politics of Class in South Carolina, 1934-1938" (Ph.D.
Dissertation: Emory University, 1987). Anthony Barry Miller, "Palmetto Politician: The Early Political
Career of Olin D. Johnston, 1896-1945" (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of North Carolina, 1976). John
Ervin Huss, Senatorfor the South: A Biography of Olin D. Johnston (Garden City, New York: Doubleday,
1961).

46 Ibid. Bryant Simon, "The Devaluation of the Vote: Legislative Apportionment and Inequality in South
Carolina, 1890-1962," South Carolina Historical Magazine (July 1996) 227-245.









choice, and did not abandon trusted political figures because they were told to do so. In

1950, voter concern for a variety of economic and social issues other than race had not

yet been wholly eclipsed by a monolithic public debate on desegregation. Urban whites

and white workers in the South Carolina's textile mills trusted Johnston to defend

segregation just as much as they did Thurmond, but deemed the incumbent senator more

likely to promote progressive economic reforms while doing so.

For many voters, Thurmond's alarmism was unwarranted and his portrayal of

Johnston as liberal integrationist was preposterous. Many South Carolina whites were

reluctant to follow Thurmond's brand of Dixiecratic separatism because doing so could

isolate the state's business interests and deter federal agencies from steering much needed

capital to South Carolina. Nowhere was Thurmond's post-Dixiecrat militant racism more

apparent than in discussions about the issue of education. In fact, during his run for

governor, and even in his Dixiecrat campaign, Thurmond had championed federal

expenditures on education. In an attempt to ingratiate himself with South Carolina's

segregationist electorate, he changed his views on federally supported public education in

the senatorial campaign of 1950.

During his inaugural address in 1947, Thurmond had cautioned voters that "fear of

federal aid to education is without foundation." He insisted, "the effect of federal court

decisions requiring equalization between the races will cost the state much more money,"

and would "lower the quality of the total school program unless aid [was] received from

federal sources." Three years later, in an address to state legislators, Thurmond

concluded that federal aid would eventually mean federal control, and, thus, an end to

segregated schools. Thurmond's comments came as congress was debating on a massive




Full Text

PAGE 1

MANAGED COMPLIANCE: WHITE RE SISTANCE AND DESEGREGATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA, 1950-1970 By JOHN W. WHITE A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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Copyright 2006 by John W. White

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For Anne

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iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This dissertation could not have been completed without the assistance of numerous individuals and organizations who have offered me professional and personal support over the last few years. The Addlest one Library at the Colle ge of Charleston has been my employer and base of operations during most of the research for this dissertation. During that time David Cohen has provided me a workspace, encouragement, and time for research. Also, Dale Rosengarten, Claire Fund, Bob Neville, and Gene Waddell have given me he lpful advice and Michael Phillips and the staff of the librarys interlibrary loan offi ce have been invaluable in assisting me by acquiring microfilm and other resources that were not available at my home institution. I would especially like to tha nk Marie Ferrara. No one outsi de of my immediate family has been more supportive, or more patient than Marie. This dissert ation could not have been completed without her assistance. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the archivists and librarians at the various institutions cited in this dissertation. Throughout my re search I was routinely and pleasantly surprised by the level of helpfuln ess and professionalism I encountered at Clemson University, the University of Sout h Carolina, and the many other repositories I visited during my investigations Also, some of the research for this work was partially funded by the Ellison Durant Smith Research Award at the University of South Carolina. This dissertation owes a gr eat debt to my committee ch air and graduate advisor, Brian Ward. For the past several years Brian ha s been a mentor, an editor, and a friend. I

PAGE 5

v am deeply grateful to him for making me a better historian. His in fluence is present on each and every page of this work. I would al so like to thank the other members of my dissertation committee: Jack Davis, George Esenwei n, Charles Montgomery, and Richard Conley. They have each contributed to my education and to the completion of this work in some way. Also, I would lik e to acknowledge Kari Frederickson and W. Scott Poole, who both read parts of this work during its earl y phases and provided constructive criticisms and encouragement. I would also be remiss if I did not acknow ledge several individuals to whom I owe personal debts. My parents, Arthur and Charlene White, made certain that I was the first member of my family to earn a bachelors degree. It is mostly due to their encouragement that I have been able to c ontinue with my education. Kevin Knott has been my friend and academic sounding board si nce our days together at Bridgewater College. I owe him a great deal for his endle ss patience and advice. I would also like to acknowledge Joseph and Nicole Meyers, Jonathan Atkins, Scott White, Steven Edwards, and Heidi Knott for their friendship and I ndiana and Keiko for reminding me that, no matter how rapidly a deadline is approaching, th ere is always time for a walk in the park. Finally, I would like to thank Anne Bennett, to whom this dissertation is dedicated. Anne is my best and closest friend and confid ant. I am indebted to her most of all.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................1 2 MANAGING THE SEGREG ATION CRISIS: THE EA RLY WHITE BACKLASH IN SOUTH CAROLINA............................................................................................12 3 CAMPAIGNING ON RACE: THE ELECTIONS OF 1950........................................62 4 STRADDLING THE FENCE: POLI TICS AND AMBIGUITY ON THE EVE OF BROWN .......................................................................................................................99 5 AFTER BROWN : FROM MODERATION TO EXTREMISM.................................141 6 BOMBINGS, BULLETS, AND BEATI NGS: THE ZENITH OF MASSIVE RESISTANCE IN SOUTH CAROLINA.................................................................201 7 FISSURES IN THE FACADE OF WHITE UNITY IN SOUTH CAROLINA..........250 8 FROM HARDCORE RESISTANCE TO MANAGED (NON)COMPLIANCE: EARLY DESEGREGATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA.........................................290 9 WHITE FLIGHT, MANAGED COMPLIAN CE, AND THE NEW POLITICS OF RACE IN SOUTH CAROLINA..............................................................................341 10 CONCLUSION..........................................................................................................403 BIBLIOGRAPHY............................................................................................................411 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................434

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vii Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy MANAGED COMPLIANCE: WHITE RE SISTANCE AND DESEGREGATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA, 1950-1970 By John W. White May 2006 Chair: Brian Ward Major Department: History This dissertation aims to reveal the co mplex history of white resistance to desegregation in South Carolina from 1950 to 1970, a period between the filing of the first federal school de segregation lawsuit, Briggs v. Elliott and the final failure of overtly racist politics to ensure electoral victor y during the gubernatorial election of 1970. Generally, this work contends that historia ns have underestimated the degree to which physical, legal, and economic pressure were su ccessful in slowing the pace and extent of significant racial change in South Carolina. It also argues that the well-planned bureaucratic roadblocks put in place in th e 1950s were instrumental in delaying and minimizing desegregation in the mid-to-late 1960s. From 1950 to 1963, South Carolina engaged in a multifaceted and flexible massive resistance campaign that wa s dominated by a policy of managed non-compliance with court ordered desegregation. Rather than face federal interventi on and civic unrest, whites adapted South Carolinas system of raci al control in the mid-to-late 1960s to one

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viii that is best described as managed compliance. The dissertation argues that white moderation and acceptance of token desegregat ion in South Carolina were predicated on maintaining the white economic advantage and preserving a racial balance that heavily favored whites in the states public school system. It also demonstrates that the generation that controlled th e state in the three decades after World War II did not endorse the concept of racial integration and utilized every available device to protect white privilege and advantages. The dissert ation reveals that, as late as 1970, after federal intervention and black political agency rendered the politics and practice of massive resistance impotent, whites retained many of the educational and economic advantages that had allowed white supr emacy to flourish in the first place.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In 1950, South Carolina was home to the fi rst federal school desegregation lawsuit, Briggs v. Elliot and yet, it holds the dubious distinction of being the last southern state to end the practice of rigid racial segregation in public education, holding out until 1963. In spite of this lengthy de lay, South Carolina is generally r ecognized for reje cting the kind of hardcore, often violent, resistance that typified white defiance in other Deep South states. According to the limited historical l iterature on the states desegregation crisis, it appears that South Carolina underwent a rapid conversion from being a rigid and inflexible paragon of white supremacy to beco me a moderate state that orchestrated the most orderly and uneventful dese gregation in the region. Howeve r, it is also clear from the growing number of dissert ations on the African American freedom struggle in South Carolina that racism and intense white resi stance to meaningful change persisted for some time after the supposedly peaceful accommodation of civil rights demands in 1963. This dissertation focuses prim arily on examining the discre pancy between the notion that South Carolina peacefully shed its Jim Crow past and the evidence suggesting that the basic structures of white priv ilege remained intact for so me time after that conversion.1 1 For the best examples of these dissertations, see Stephen Lowe, The Magnificent Fight: Civil Rights Litigation in South Carolina Federal Courts, 1940-1970 (Ph.D. Dissertation: Michigan State University, 1999). Stephen ONeill, From the Shadow of Slaver y: The Civil Rights Years in Charleston (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Virginia, 1994). R. Scott Baker, Ambiguous Legacies: The NAACP Legal Campaign Against Segregation in South Carolina, (Ph. D. Dissertation: Columbia University, 1993). Millicent Brown, Civil Rights Activism in Charleston South Carolina, 1940-1970, (Ph.D. Dissertation, Florida State University, 1997). Peter F. Lau, F reedom Road Territory: The Politics of Civil Rights Struggle in South Carolina during the Jim Crow Era, (Ph.D. Dissertation: Rutgers University, 2002).

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2 The chronicle of how South Carolina wa s able to mount the longest and most successful battle against desegregation is complex and multifaceted. Between 1950 and the late 1960s white South Carolinians we re united by the fervor to protect white privilege and slow the ever quickening pace of racial change. That is not, however, to say that whites in the state were a monolithic group. Granted, white South Carolinians engaged in massive resistance against dese gregation, but massive re sistance was itself a diverse and intricate phenomenon. The term wa s first used by Virginia Senator Harry F. Byrd in 1956 and later adopted by historians and contemporary observers to describe white defiance of anti-Jim Crow pressures. It encapsulates a range of tactics, policies, and sentiments shared by southern whites th at were at best am orphous expressions of common white anxieties. Like segregation itself the white resi stance movement was an ever changing arrangement between various fac tions and interests: a proce ss as much as a program. As J. Douglas Smith has recently argued, white southerners needed to manage Jim Crow carefully over time. It was not a fixed en tity, but a dynamic system of racial/social control that was adapted to meet the needs of the white population th at benefited from it and to counteract various challe nges to it from African Ameri cans and their allies. This dissertation demonstrates that, once those chal lenges became irresistible in the 1950s and 1960s, whites were equally determined to ma nage the dismantling and replacement of the states Jim Crow system in a manner that would also se rve white interests. To date, scholarly attempts to chronicl e this process have been few and far between. With this in mind hi storian Charles Eagles, in a 200 0 historiographical essay in the Journal of Southern History issued a call for scholars to produce new investigations

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3 of southern white resistance to desegregation. As Eagles noted, several of the key works on the topic, such as Numan V. Bartleys The Rise of Massive Resistance: Race and Politics in the South During the 1950s and Neil R. McMillens The Citizens Council: Organized Resistance to th e Second Reconstruction are now more than 20 years old and lack the nuance and focus of more contem porary studies of the freedom struggle. Bartleys study, much lik e Francis Wilhoits 1973 book The Politics of Massive Resistance is too focused on elite whites and fails to recognize the extent of grass roots white participation. McMillens work, on the other hand, is narrowly focused on grass roots activism, but he drama tically underestimates the effectiveness of the White Citizens Councils in the Palmetto State by measuring them agai nst their Mississippi counterparts without fully explaining the di fferences between South Carolinas sly resistance and Mississippis mo re confrontational approach.2 Since the publication of Eagless essay several works have begun to examine the nature of white supremacy and have launched investigations of the legal and extra-legal measures adopted throughout the South to defe nd the racial caste system. Both George Lewis and Jeff Woods, for example, have studied the connection between anticommunism and the defense of segregation. Li ke Eagles, both authors recognize that the complexity of white resistance warrants the same kind of focused inspection that has characterized scholarly examinations of Af rican American community actions. Lewiss The White South and Red Menace: Segre gationists, Anticommunism, and Massive 2 J. Douglas Smith, Managing White Supremacy: Race, Politics, and Citizenship in Jim Crow Virginia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002). Charles W. Eagles, Toward New Histories of the Civil Rights Era, Journal of Southern History (November 2000) 815-848. Numan V. Bartley, The Rise of Massive Resistance: Race an d Politics in the South During the 1950s (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1969). Neil McMillen, The Citizens Council: Organized Resistance to the Second Reconstruction, 19541964 (Urbana: University of Illi nois Press, 1971). Francis Wilhoit, The Politics of Massive Resistance (New York: G. Braziller, 1973).

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4 Resistance, 1945-1965 and Woodss Black Struggle Red Scare: Segregation and AntiCommunism in the South, 1948-1968 are welcome additions to the study of white resistance. Nevertheless, the narrow topical focus of each work limits its ability to provide an in-depth analysis of white resist ance in South Carolina beyond the tactical use of anti-communism.3 Regarding the post-World War II freedom struggle, South Carolina has been the most understudied of all the Deep South stat es. There has not been a single monographic analysis of the civil rights era in Sout h Carolina published since Howard Quints Profile in Black and White in 1958. This is despite the fact th at South Carolina was the origin of some of the earliest and most dynamic challe nges to the Souths Jim Crow system during the 1940s and home to a vigorous and comple x massive resistance movement well into the 1960s. This dissertation offers a long ove rdue re-interpretation of white legal, political, and extra-legal resistance in the st ate, placing it in the context of a resourceful and resilient civil rights campaign by South Carolinas black communities.4 3 George Lewis, The White South and Red Menace: Segregationists, Anticommunism, and Massive Resistance, 1945-1965 (Gainesville, University of Flor ida Press, 2004). Jeff Woods, Black Struggle Red Scare: Segregation and Anti-Communism in the South, 1948-1968 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004). For other examples of wo rks that attempt to answer Eagles call for community based studies of white resistance, see: Joseph Hard in Crespino, Strategic Accommodation: Civil Rights Opponents in Mississippi and Their Impact on American Racial Politics, 1953-1972 (Ph.D. Dissertation: Stanford University, 2003). J. Todd Moye, Let the People Decide: Black Freedom and White Resistance Movements in Sunflower County, Mississippi, 1945-1986 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004). Kenneth D. Durr, Behind the Backlash: White Working Class Politics in Baltimore, 1940-1980 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolin a Press, 2003). Yasuhiro Katagiri, The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission: Civil Rights and States Rights (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2001). 4 Howard Quint, Profile in Black and White: A Frank Portrait of South Carolina (Washington D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1958). For discussions of the civil rights pressures in South Carolina during the 1940s, see: Patricia Sullivan, Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996) especially pp. 170-220. Kari Frederickson, Dual Actions, One for Each Race: The Campaign Against th e Dixiecrats in South Carolina, 1948-1950, International Social Science Review (1997) 14-25; The Slowest State and M ost Backward Community : Racial Violence in South Carolina and Federal Civil-Rights Legislation, 1946-1948, South Carolina Historical Magazine (April 1997) 177-202; and The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001) especially pp. 118-216.

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5 To date, the three most noteworthy exam inations of massive resistance to desegregation in South Carolina are Quints Profile in Black and White John Sproats essay Firm Flexibility: Perspectives on De segregation in South Carolina, and Marcia Synnotts article Desegregation in South Carolina, 1950-1963: Sometime Between Now and Never. Quints work, which was published five years before any public school desegregation occurred in South Carolina is pessimistic about the possibility for a peaceful resolution to the dese gregation crisis. The book, whic h is largely a summary of contemporary journalistic obser vations, chronicles the st ates reactions to black encroachments on white privilege during the 1950s and concludes th at no desegregation would occur in South Carolina without a cata strophic struggle. Sproats work, on the other hand, praises the state for adopting a policy of peaceful accommodation in the 1960s. He argues that moderate white leaders worked with a genera lly conservative and patient black population to foster slow but peacef ul racial progress in the state. Synnotts work is more nuanced. She acknowledges the influence of Quint and Sproat, but criticizes them for their narrow temporal fo cus. According to Synnott, Quints work provides valuable insight into a period when traditional patterns of race relations were breaking down in South Carolina, but, because it was written during the zenith of militant white resistance, the author did not anticip ate that the states political and business leadership would by 1963 peacefully and without federal intervention choose to integrate Clemson College. Likewise, she concludes that Sproats work is also flawed in that it fails to define how fast and how far wh ite South Carolinians would permit racial progress to go. Instead, Synnott contends that racial change in South Carolina resulted from a conservative, controlled evolution.5 5 Quint, Profile in Black and White V. John Sproat, Firm Flexibility: Perspectives on Desegregation in

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6 Synnotts work is valuable in that she rec ognizes that changes in white resistance tactics happened gradually a nd that it is impossible to understand the shift away from militant white resistance without examining th e nature and fate of the segregationist political and legal campaigns of the 1950s. However, like Sproat she overemphasizes the significance of the peaceful desegregation of Clemson College and overstresses the importance of both white and black elites in South Carolinas major cities. Moreover, both Synnott and Sproat adopt the notion, first mentioned in I.A. Newbys 1973 book Black Carolinians that the black population was ge nerally conservative, citing as evidence what they see as a significant lull in black activism in the late 1950s and the African American acceptance of only gra dual, incremental changes in racial arrangements in the mid-late 1960s. 6 As Synnott admitted in her 1989 essay, more investigations of the civil rights movement in South Carolina are necessary be fore scholars can begin to understand the complex process of desegregation in the Palm etto State. The la ck of proper study of white resistance still places limits on the abilit y of historians to understand the political and social landscape of this period of suppos ed white moderation and consistent black conservatism. Consequently, they have faile d to appreciate fully the complex social, South Carolina, in eds. Robert H. Abzug and Stephen E. Maizlish, New Perspectives on Race and Slavery in America: Essays in Honor of Kenneth M. Stampp (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1986) 164-184. Marcia Synnott, Desegregation in South Carolina, 1950-1963: Sometime Between Now and Never, in eds. Winfred B. Moore, Jr. and Joseph F. Tripp, Looking South: Chapters in the Story of an American Region (New York: Greenwood Press, 1989) 51-64. Paul Lofton generally agrees with Sproats assessment in his study on the integration of Columbia, the state capital. Likewise, Maxie Myron Cox emphasizes the states peaceful accommodation in his di ssertation, see: Paul S. Lofton, Calm and Exemplary: Desegregation in Columbia, South Carolina, in eds. David Colburn and Elizabeth Jacoway, Southern Businessmen and Desegregation (Louisiana State University Pre ss, 1982) 70-81. Maxie Myron Cox, Jr. 963 The Year of Decision: Desegregation in South Carolina (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of South Carolina, 1996). 6 I.A. Newby, Black Carolinians: A History of Blacks in South Carolina from 1895 to 1968 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1973). Synnott, Desegregation in South Carolina, 51-64.

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7 economic, and political context within which bl ack activists had to work for meaningful racial progress. Close resear ch into the White Citizens C ouncils, for instance, reveals that the lull in civil rights activism dete cted by Newby was decepti ve, as black leaders simply shifted their priorities away from lega l challenges to segrega tion in the late 1950s in response to the specific nature of local defiance by white supremacists. For example, local blacks in Clarendon and Orangeburg C ounties may have relaxed the pressure on whites to desegregate during th is period, but black organizati ons were heavily involved in aiding African Americans who faced economic reprisals from white business leaders, employers, and landlords. This kind of aid, es pecially to blacks w hose activism made them subject to white economic pressure, wa s instrumental in creating the supportive environment in which further black mobiliza tion took place. In other words, without understanding the nature and impact of white resistance, it is di fficult to explain the agenda of South Carolinas black ac tivists and civil rights organizations.7 Thematically, this dissertation focuses on the variety of form s of resistance to desegregation and full black enfranchisement utilized by white South Carolinians, and on the manner in which whites adopted strategies to deal with the demands of both the federal courts and their own insurgent black citi zens for greater civil ri ghts. It is one of the core findings of this disse rtation that at no point did the majority of white South Carolinians admit that segregat ion was either wrong or undesira ble. The dissertation also contends that, although the stat e has routinely been praise d for its moderation during the civil rights cris es of the 1950s and 1960s (most not ably by its own political and economic leadership), the generation of white South Carolinians that controlled the state 7 Synnott, Desegregation in South Carolina, 61.

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8 in the 30 years after World War II never lost faith in white supremacy and made every effort to preserve white privilege and curt ail black advancements. Indeed, this study argues that, while the deploymen t of alternatives to viol ent resistance helped keep bloodshed in the state to a minimum, it wa s mostly through luck, poor marksmanship, and inept bomb-making that the Palmetto State enjoys its reputation for peaceful desegregation. In marshalling the evidence for this cont ention, this work utilizes a variety of primary and secondary sources. It relies heavily on manuscript collections of state politicians and activists, bl ack and white; and on contempor ary newspaper accounts and periodicals. Although hardly offering a bala nced guide to the even ts of the period, the Charleston News and Courier was especially helpful in tr acing the evolution of white resistance as its editor, Th omas R. Waring, was a devout ra cial conservative who openly endorsed many of the tenets of massive resistan ce and advocated for the state to adopt an uncompromising defense of Jim Crow on the pages of the Low Countrys largest and oldest newspaper. The dissert ation also makes use of oral history interviews and the contemporary publications of regional orga nizations, such as th e Southern Regional Council and the Southern Edu cation Reporting Service. White electoral behavior, participation in segregationist civic groups, and economic concerns are also analyzed to provide a general sense of white public opin ion and to explain the changing nature of white resistance in South Carolina from 1950 to 1970. Although this dissertation is not primarily an examination of the inner wo rkings of the South Carolina civil rights movement, it will demonstrate that the tac tics employed by African American activists and their allies shaped and were shaped by the ever changing nature of white resistance to

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9 black demands and progress. The ebb and flow of cause and effect between black activism and white responses was complex and untidy, changing over time and according to locale. Nevertheless, at all times and in all places, there was a reciprocal relationship between black protests and various forms of white power in South Carolina which this dissertation seeks to illuminate. The most significant problem in researchi ng this topic was that some relevant manuscript collections, such as the Ernest F. Hollings Papers and the Floyd Spence Papers, were not yet available for research. Others, such as the L. Marion Gressette Papers, appear to have been purged of contr oversial materials prio r to their donation to archival repositories. And, still others, such as the Burnet R. Maybank Papers and parts of the L. Mendel Rivers Papers are still uno rganized and only available with special permission. Although some of these restricted or lost materials may have been helpful, there is nonetheless a significan t archival record for the peri od in question. Moreover, much of the important correspondence from the Gressette Commission that seems to be missing from the Gressette collection at M odern Political Collections at the South Caroliniana Library can be found in other manuscript collections. These sources shed light on the comple x history of white resistance to desegregation in South Carolina from 1950 to 1970, a period between the filing of the Briggs case and the final failure of overtly raci st politics to ensure electoral victory during the gubernatoria l election of 1970. Chapters 1 th rough 3 discuss the initial white reaction to the increased pace of black activism in South Ca rolina in the years before 1954. These chapters also take into acc ount the emerging political and economic concerns confronting white South Carolinians and the developing patterns of resistance to

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10 racial change apparent in the white comm unities. Chapters 4 through 6 are focused on the states reaction to the Supreme Courts decision in Brown v. Board of Education and the evolution of organized mass resistance in South Carolina between 1954 and 1961. Chapters 5 and 6 explain the reasons for the eventual dissolution of the hardcore segregationist coalition that dominated o fficial policy and the public debate on race during the late 1950s in South Carolina and it s transformation into a new segregationist plurality that was no less committed, but that pursued a more moderate brand of managed non-compliance with desegregation. The fina l two chapters discu ss the evolution of white resistance from managed non-compliance to yet more subtle and bureaucratic forms of opposition to black advance designed to preserve the maximum feasible amount of white power and privilege compatible with the law and a new era of black voting and biracial politics. These final chapters al so shed light on the po litical, cultural, and economic changes that resulted from these adjustments. In sum, this dissertation contends that hi storians have underestimated the degree to which physical, legal, and economic pressures were successful in slowing the pace and extent of significant racial cha nge in South Carolina. It is th e contention of this work that the well-planned bureaucratic roadblocks put in place in the 1950s were instrumental in delaying and minimizing desegregation in th e mid-to-late 1960s. South Carolina whites had anticipated federally enfor ced desegregation and prepared strategies to counter it as early as 1950. Only after the preservation of total segregation was no longer compatible with the maintenance of public order and ec onomic growth did white South Carolinians accept even token desegregation. From 1950 to 1963, South Carolina engaged in a variety of massive resistance campaigns th at were dominated by a policy of managed

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11 non-compliance with court ordered desegregati on. Rather than face federal intervention and civic unrest, whites adapte d South Carolinas system of racial control in the mid-tolate 1960s to one that is be st described as managed compliance. Even then, the dissertation argues that white moderation and acceptance of t oken desegregation in South Carolina were predicated on maintaining white economic advantage and preserving a racial balance that heavily favored wh ites in the states public school system.

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12 CHAPTER 2 MANAGING THE SEGREGATION CRISIS: THE EARLY WHITE BACKLASH IN SOUTH CAROLINA This dissertation is primarily devoted to exploring the origins, nature and effectiveness of white respons es to the African American freedom struggle from 1950 to 1970. However, by the mid-1940s, there were already clear signs that white South Carolina was mobilizing considerable resources to combat gathering challenges to the operation of Jim Crow in the Palmetto Stat e. Those tactics would form important precedents for resistance in the 1950s and beyon d, and, therefore, warrant attention in this chapter. Comprehending these initial sk irmishes over Jim Crow is crucial for understanding the mounting desegregation crisis that would peak in the period between 1956 and 1963. In July 1943 an African American ve teran named John Wrighten and 33 other black students applied for admission to the College of Charleston. The school, which was a publicly supported municipal college, reje cted the applicants on the basis of their race. A year later, Wrighten and 32 graduate s from the Avery Normal Institute, a private African American secondary sc hool near the College of Ch arleston, sought admission to the small city college. Again, the students applications were rejected. Though the students were denied admission without serious consideration, the a ffront to Charlestons long history of segregation in education worried conservativ e white Charlestonians. In the wake of the Gaines v. Canada verdict in 1938, which required states to integrate their graduate schools or build equal facilities for African American students, whites were

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13 concerned that a new legal challenge fr om black students might result in the desegregation of the school.1 The Charleston News and Courier predicted that the white people cannot and will not take on an elaborate burden of free sc hools and colleges for the 814,000 negroes (sic) in the state. In response to Wrightens at tempt to enter the College of Charleston, the conservative Charleston newspaper went so far as to claim that the court ordered admission of African American students into white schools would lead to the replacement of the public school system in South Carolina with a network of private schools, insisting that although the negro i nvasion of [the states school s] shall by law cause its destruction, white school training will greatly im prove and cost less.2 The Charleston Evening Post similarly warned that the attempted desegregation of the College of Charleston was an organized effort to challenge the citys educational system and to break down the social, educ ational and political institutions of the South. Charlestons eveni ng newspaper also promoted pr ivatization as a potential remedy to court ordered desegregati on. Like its sister paper, the News and Courier the Evening Post blamed black activists and New Deal politics for the challenge to Charlestons racial caste system. The New D eal, claimed an editorial, has scrupled at nothing to gain the votes of Northern negroes ( sic ) and white liberals to whom the Souths way is anathema.3 1 William Peters, The Southern Temper (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1959) 184185. News and Courier (June 11, 1944), (June 12, 1944) clippings from the College of Charleston Archives, Special Collections, College of Charlest on, South Carolina [Hereafter cited as College of Charleston Archives, Special Collections]. 2 News and Courier (June 12, 1944) clipping from the College of Charleston Archives, Special Collections. 3 News and Courier (June 12, 1944), Evening Post (June 12, 1944) clippings from the College of Charleston Archives, Special Collections.

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14 The same year that Wrighten mounted hi s challenge to segregated education in South Carolina, the states predominately black Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) also attempted to challenge the seating of the all-white South Carolina delegation to the Democratic National Convention. PDP spoke sman and black newspaperman John H. McCray argued that, since South Carolin as Democratic Primary excluded African Americans while the PDP primary was open to all South Carolinians the PDP delegation was the only legitimate delegation to the nati onal convention. The request was denied by the convention, but the challenge, like the attempt to desegreg ate the College of Charleston, was evidence of growing African American demands for equality in South Carolina.4 This increase in black civil rights ag itation deeply concerned white South Carolinians. By the mid-1940s it was appa rent that black South Carolinians had marshaled considerable resources to combat the states separate and unequal racial hierarchy. Between 1944 and 1950 African Amer icans regularly and openly challenged unequal treatment in public schools and mounted a well-organized attack on Jim Crow politics. In addition to attempts to dese gregate the College of Charleston and the formation of the PDP, black activists also assailed unequal pay in the states school system. As elsewhere in the South at the ti me, a number of educat ors, including a civil rights pioneer from the Charleston County public school system named Septima Clark, sued the state demanding that African Ameri can teachers receive the same pay as their white counterparts. In 1945 Federa l Judge J. Waties Waring ruled, in Thompson v. 4 Patricia Sullivan, Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996) 170-220. Miles S. Richards, The Progressive Democrats in Chicago, July 1944, South Carolina Historical Magazine (July 2001) 219-237.

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15 Gibbes that the practice of paying black teache rs in South Carolina less than whites violated the separate but equal doctrine es tablished by the United States Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896.5 The cumulative effect of these new challeng es to Jim Crow in South Carolina was to harden white resistance. Whites, especi ally those in majority black counties like Orangeburg and Clarendon, were fearful at th e prospect of African American political power and determined to preven t educational equality. In South Carolina white anxiety was palpable, and resistance to any black pr ogress was immediate at both the popular and official levels. For example, after the fede ral courts ruled against the white primary in Smith v. Allwright South Carolinas Governor, Olin D. Johnston, called a special session of the state legislature. Du ring that session, the state elimin ated any and all mention of political parties in the South Carolina cons titution and the Democratic Party was redefined as a private club. Johnston and l eaders in the General Assembly declared that since the political parties we re private organizations, the Texas case did not apply.6 In addition to these kinds of legislative responses, whites used a variety of formal and informal tactics to resist calls for black civil and political right s. At times, that resistance was violent. White South Carolin ians did not take kindl y to even the most minor infraction of racial custom. For ex ample, a black World War II veteran named Isaac Woodward was nearly beaten to death during the summer of 1946 while traveling through South Carolina on his way to meet his wife in North Carolina. During his trip, 5 David W. Southern, Judge Warings Fight Against Segregation, Journal of Negro History (Autumn, 1981) 212-214. Also see: Tinsley E. Yarbrough, A Passion for Justice: J. Waties Waring and Civil Rights (New York: Oxford Un iversity Press, 1987). 6 Southern, Judge Warings Fight Against Segregation, 214-216.

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16 Woodward quarreled with a white bus driver ov er what historian John Egerton describes as a minor point of racial etiquette. Woodw ard had asked the driver to stop the bus so he could use the restroom. When he returned the bus driver berated Woodward for taking too long. After arguing with the driver, Wood ward returned to his seat. The driver, however, was furious with what he saw as W oodwards insolence and lack of deference and called ahead to authorities in Batesburg, a small town nor thwest of Columbia, to ask for assistance in dealing with the unruly African American. When he exited the bus in Batesburg, Woodward was apprehended by loca l Police Chief Linwood Shull and a white deputy. The two men took Woodward behind th e bus station and beat him severely. Woodward awoke the next day bl inded for life by the assault.7 Notwithstanding such brutal episodes, violent repression was not, however, as prevalent in South Carolina as it was in some other Deep South states. More often, whites utilized a more subtle, but no less eff ective approach to pr eserving Jim Crow and white power. For example, soon after his request for admission to the College of Charleston was denied, John Wrighten wa s summoned to Columbia for a physical examination. He had been discharged from the army with a peptic ulcer. As a result of his ailment, Wrighten drew a 10 percent disability pension from the military. After the examination, Wrighten was informed that the ulcer was completely healed. Therefore, local military administrators ordered an end to his pension payments. Despite his clean bill of health, Wrighten continued to e xperience painful symptoms. After checking 7 John Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement (New York: Knopf, 1994) 362-363. Herbert Shapiro, White Violence and Black Response: From Reconstruction to Montgomery (Amherst: University of Massachuse tts Press, 1988) 373. Richard Kluger, Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black Americas Struggle for Equality (New York: Knopf, 19 75) 295-304. Andrew Myers, T he Blinding of Isaac Woodward, Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association (2004) 63-74.

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17 himself into the Charleston Naval Hospital, Wrighten was transferred to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Columbia. Again, he was told that X-rays showed no sign of an ulcer. Only after a persistent letter writing campaign to President Harry S. Truman and South Carolina Senator Olin D. Johnst on was Wrighten correctly diagnosed and his pension restored. The incide nt epitomized the ways in which whites combined their control of government bureaucracies with fl agrant falsifications to exert economic pressure over blacks, especially activist on es who dared to challe nge the racial status quo. 8 As the Wrighten incident illustrated, even before the zenith of white resistance in the 1950s and 1960s, white South Carolinians used every tactic at thei r disposal to quell black challenges to Jim Crow. For instance, in 1949, when James Hinton, the President of the South Carolina National Associati on for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), warned that his organization was planning on testing the College of Charlestons policy of racial se gregation in federal court, th e white reaction was swift and decisive. Before the NAACP could even prep are a case, the city of Charleston sold the college and all of its property to the Board of Trustees for one dollar. If the college became a private institution, college Pres ident George Grice reasoned, the NAACP had no case against its admission policy.9 Despite these kinds of legal and extra-legal reprisals, African Americans persisted with their demands for civil and voting rights. Wrighten, for example, following his rejection from the College of Charleston had attended the segregated South Carolina 8 Peters, The Southern Temper 186-187. 9 Undated and Untitled news clippings from the College of Charleston Archives, Special Collections.

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18 State College in Orangeburg from where he applied for admission to the states only public law school at the Univer sity of South Carolina. Tw o weeks before his graduation from South Carolina State in July 1946, Wrightens applicat ion was rejected on the basis of his race. Though he was disappointed, Wright en was determined to continue his fight for admission to law school. With suppor t from Hinton and the South Carolina NAACP, he filed a federal lawsuit, a nd, in 1947, federal Judge Waring declared that the state had three options: it could admit Wrighten to the law school at the University of South Carolina, close any publicly funded law school in South Carolina, or build a comparable school for black students at South Carolina Stat e. Rather than close or desegregate the states only law school, the General Assembly allocated funds to construct a law college at South Carolina State.10 Wrightens limited success, as well as a seri es of legal victories against segregation throughout the South, emboldened South Caroli nas small community of civil rights activists. The South Carolina branch of the NAACP continued to chip away at du jure segregation and challenged S outh Carolinas white primary in federal court in 1947. In Rice v. Elmore and Brown v. Baskin Judge Waring ruled that the Smith v. Allwright decision effectively outlawed South Carolinas white primary, and that the privatization of political parties was an unconstitutional at tempt to avoid compliance with the federal verdict.11 Waring, however, understood that his rulings were meaningless unless the national government demanded that local white official s enforced the verdicts. Moreover, he 10 Peters, The Southern Temper 184-186. 11 Southern, Judge Warings Fight Against Segregation, 214-216.

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19 recognized that white South Carolinians we re, for the most pa rt, united in their commitment to segregation, if not necessarily in their preferred met hods of preserving the status quo. Therefore, Waring la ter told a New York audience that racial change in the South would require outside assistance. The problem, he declared, is to change the feeling, the sentiment, the creed of the grea t body of white people of the South that a Negro is not an American citizen. Wari ng understood that southern whites had a deep cultural commitment to white supremacy. M y people have one outstanding fault, he concluded, the terrible fault of prejudice. According to the judge, southerners had been born and educated to feel that a Negro is some kind of animal that ought to be well-treated and given kindness, but as a matter of favor, not right.12 Waring and South Carolinas other civ il rights advocates understood that whites were particularly concerned at the creeping th reat of federal intervention to enforce black rights. Of course, the judge and other like minded activists al so recognized that the best opportunities for rapid change would demand an active federal role. In the fall of 1947 President Harry S. Trumans civil rights commission simultaneously gave hope to African Americans and increased white anxi eties when it issued a report entitled To Secure These Rights The report called for a sweepi ng denunciation of all government and some private sanctions of race discrimina tion or segregation. It was immediately condemned by southern leaders. For exampl e, L. Mendel Rivers, who represented South Carolinas First District in the United States House of Representatives, called the report a brazen and monumental insult to the Democratic South and the southern way of life for both white and colored. He demanded that the South be left alone and freed from 12 News and Courier (October 14, 1948) 13.

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20 agitation by the northern political hitch-hikers who wanted to use the region as a guinea pig for their screwball, crackpot plans and ideo logies. Rivers insisted, for me and the people I represent, no negro ( sic ) born is on my social level.13 Southerners like Rivers, however, no longe r held the balance of power in the national Democratic Party. Before 1936 two-th irds of the delegates at the Democratic National Convention had to agree on a candidate before that candidate was eligible to represent the party as its nominee for the presidency. There was no real controversy when Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominate d in 1940 or in 1944, but the election of 1948 was the first since the death of the popular Ne w Dealer. Much to the chagrin of southern whites, northern activists within the party were determined to make civil rights an important issue at the nationa l convention. Without the vet o power of the two-thirds rule, southerners were unable to stop them. Consequently, at the Democratic Convention of 1948, the party adopted a pro-civil rights plat form. Its platform called on the party to fight racial, religious and economic discri mination and stated that the Democrats believed that racial and religious minorities must have the right to live, the right to work, the right to vote, the full and equal protection of the laws, on the basis of equality with all citizens as guaranteed by the Constitution. The convention also commended President Truman for his interests in enforcing civi l rights and urged C ongress to support the president in the call for an end to racial discrimination.14 13 To Secure These Rights quoted in: Alexander Lamis, The Two Party South (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988) 9. News and Courier (December 9, 1947) 1. L. Mendel Rivers to Thomas R. Miller (January 12, 1948), L. Mendel Rivers Papers, South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, South Carolina [Hereafter cited as Rivers Papers, SCHS]. 14 Democratic Party Platform, reprinted in ed. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. History of American Presidential Elections, 1940-1948 (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1971), 3154.

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21 The call for civil rights enforcement infuri ated conservative southern whites, who made no effort to mask their displeasure with Democratic Party leaders. Handy Ellis, the leader of the Alabama delegation, led his fe llow Alabamians off the convention floor. One southern delegate paid the band to pl ay Dixie as the Mississippi delegation exited the building with other southe rn whites who bolted the conve ntion twirling confederate flags and kicking over Truman for President signs. Three days after the convention ended 6000 whites gathered in Birmingham, Alabama to declare their defiance of President Truman and the national Democratic Party.15 The rebellious southern delegates in troduced a Declaration of Principles condemning Trumans infamous and iniquitous program [of] equal access to all places of public accommodation for pers ons of all races, colors, cree ds, and national origins. The declaration was followed by an announcement that the group had nominated South Carolina Governor J. Strom Thurmond and Mi ssissippi Governor Fi elding Wright as presidential and vice presidential candida tes, respectively, on th e States Rights (or Dixiecrat as it was popular ly known) Party ticket.16 The Dixiecrat revolt divided state Democra tic parties across the South and southern politicians were undecided as to which fac tion to support in the general election. In South Carolina, the loyalist wing of the pa rty was dominated by United States Senator Olin D. Johnston, State Senator Edgar Br own, and Speaker of the State House of Representatives Sol Blatt. Most of the Sout h Carolinas other leadi ng politicians, such as United States Senator Burnet R. Maybank, c hose to endorse the st ate Democratic Party 15 Time (July 26, 1948) 13. 16 Ibid

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22 but avoided either a public endorsement or ope n criticism of the na tional party. Others, such as Rivers, joined the growing chorus of Thurmond supporters. Eventually, the States Rights Party received th e official endorsement of th e Democratic Party in South Carolina, just as it did in Mi ssissippi, Alabama, and Louisiana.17 Thurmond and his Dixiecrat supporters hope d to capture all 127 of the Souths electoral votes and deny both Truman and Re publican candidate Thomas Dewey victory. In that case, the election would have been decided by the United States House of Representatives. However, this strategy fa iled and Thurmond was only able to win 39 electoral votes. The Dixiecrat won in South Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama overwhelmingly. He also won in Louisiana w ith 52 percent of the popular vote. In each of the states where the Thurmond-Wright tic ket was victorious, T hurmond had replaced Truman on the ballot and was listed as the official nominee of the Democratic Party.18 For many, Thurmonds inability to build a consensus across the South was an indication that white frustration with civil ri ghts victories had not yet reached a boiling point. However, in South Carolina, Mississi ppi, and Alabama Thur mond had scored a decisive victory and won the loyalty of th e party regulars at the state conventions. Moreover, his success in those states was a wa rning that the preser vation of segregation and the defense of the Souths Jim Crow system was a potent campaign issue. It was also an indication that, in the Deep South states, committed segregationists would go to extraordinary lengths to prevent the formation of a moderate biracial coalition. In sum, the election results encapsulated the intensifi cation of white anxiety that was to become 17 For a detailed analysis and history of the Stat es Rights Party, see: Kari Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001). 18 News and Courier (November 3, 1948) 3. Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt 118-216.

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23 the hallmark of white southern politics during the next decade. Moreover, it was an early indication that, as South Carolinas white and black populations entered the 1950s, the debate over whether or not to preserve the legal and cultural mechanisms for enforcing racial segregation would become the dominate social issue. For many black South Carolinians, the coming decade promised an end to the indignities of southern segregat ion. Nearly a century after the end of slavery and over 50 years after the Plessy decision codified de jure segregation, civil rights leaders had finally won a series of legal battles against white supremacy that both inspired and energized black activism throughout the South. Howeve r, whites had already reacted to this progress with the kind of opposition that would come to characterize the regions massive resistance to forced desegregation. Theref ore, in spite of this newfound determination and guarded confidence that change would come, the cha llenges confronting South Carolinas civil rights advo cates in 1950 remained daunting. Years before 1956, when Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia issued hi s call for massive resistance to federally mandated desegregation, South Carolina whites began to implement a complex legislative and extra-legal agenda to main tain and manage white supremacy and limit African American political and economic power. Whites were re solute in their desire to

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24 protect the racial status quo, mounting a determined effort to forestall court ordered desegregation at the voting booths, in public spaces, and in the public school systems.19 During the late 1940s and early 1950s the most serious challenges to racial segregation in South Carolina originated in sparsely populated Cl arendon County, a rural enclave northwest of Charleston that was in the heart of the states black belt. In 1948, a group of African Americans led by Reverend Joseph DeLaine and a farmer named Levi Pearson brought a suit against the county dema nding that it provide bus transportation to black public school children. Thurgood Marshall of the NAACPs Legal Defense Fund argued that, since the local school board already provided bus transportation for white students, the county was in vi olation of the United States Supreme Courts separate but equal decision in the Plessy v. Ferguson case. The case, which was brought against Clarendon County District 26 on behalf of P earsons son James, met with immediate resistance from whites. Clarendon County S uperintendent of Schools L.B. McCord, the superintendent of District 26, and the county auditor informed Pearson that his taxes had been paid to Clarendon School District Five, and therefore, the case was invalid. Even though Pearson and several members of his fa mily living on the same property had tax receipts from District 26, Mars hall decided that his legal team could not win the case. He claimed that he could not overcome the fact th at Pearson, who was the lone plaintiff, had 19 For the best analysis of the NAACPs legal strategy a nd black aspirations during the civil rights era, see: Stephen Lowe, The Magnificent Fight: Civil Rights Litigation in South Carolina Federal Courts, 19401970 (Ph.D. Dissertation: Michigan State University, 1999). R. Scott Baker, Ambiguous Legacies: The NAACPs Legal Campaign Against Segregation in Charleston, South Carolina, 1935-1975 (Ph.D. Dissertation: Columbia University, 1993). Kluger, Simple Justice David Armor, Forced Justice: School Desegregation and the Law (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). Peter Lau, Freedom Road Territory: The Politics of Civil Rights Struggle in South Carolina During the Jim Crow Era (Ph.D. Dissertation: Rutgers University, 2002). For exampl es of how segregation was locally controlled, see, John Dittmer, Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994). J. Douglas Smith, Managing White Supremacy (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002).

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25 been gerrymandered out of the district. On June 8, 1948, only a day before the case was scheduled to be heard in fede ral court, Marshall asked for a dismissal. The presiding judge in the case, J. Waties Waring, ruled that Pearson had no standing to sue district 26 in federal court. It was not the last time that gerrymandering would serve to undermine black aspirations in South Carolina.20 Throughout the next year DeLaine, Pears on, and other black parents in Clarendon County continued to demand better treatment of their children within South Carolinas system of segregated education. For his e fforts, DeLaine was fired from his post as principal of the all-black Scotts Branch School After an unsuccessful attempt to return to his job, DeLaine and a small group of black activists filed a petition in 1949 demanding that Clarendon County provide equal facilities to black and white students. With the support of the state NAACP and Sout h Carolina civil right s pioneer Modjeska Simkins, DeLaine and the petitioners promised that, if the county did not rectify the disparity between the black and white schools in Clarendon County District 22 (Summerton), they would file a federal lawsu it demanding that the district comply with the precedent established in the Plessy case. When the district refused to address the issue, Marshall and a black Columbia attorn ey named Harold Boulware filed a federal lawsuit in May 1950. The case, Briggs v. Elliott took its name from the first two petition signers, Harry and Eliza Briggs At first it called for Clar endon County to equalize its segregated schools, but in the fall of 1950 it was amended to challenge de jure 20 Julie Magruder Lochbaum, The Word Made Flesh: The Desegregation Leadership of the Reverend J.A. DeLaine (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of South Carolina, 1993) 86-93.

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26 segregation directly. At th e behest of Waring, Marshall filed a brief alleging that segregation per se was inherently unequal and therefore unconstitutional.21 In 1958, political scientist Howard Quint wrot e that whites had been slow to react to the intensification of bl ack activism in Clarendon County. He noted that it was not until January 1951 that the state legislature be gan to take measures to counteract the threat posed by DeLaine and his supporters in the county. Although the official state response in 1951 did represent an escalation of white resistance at th e statewide level, it is important to stress that at the local level resistance had been growing for several years. Even before Pearson and DeLaine petitio ned school officials to provide bus transportation for black students, whites in Clarendon County had li ttle tolerance for any kind of African American activism. By th e time the South Carolina General Assembly initiated a series of laws designed to undermine the Briggs case in 1951 and 1952 local whites had already unleashed a wave of intimidation in Clarendon County.22 White supremacy was firmly entrenched in Clarendon County in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Local whites controlled govern ment agencies, the banking and crop lien system, and black education. In fact, Clar endon County was one of the most dramatic examples of the inequity between whites a nd blacks in the nation. Many observers noted that it seemed untouched by the surge of m echanized farming that swept through the 21 Lochbaum, The Word Made Flesh, 96-115. Benjamin F. Hornsby, Jr. Stepping Stone to the Supreme Court: Clarendon County (Columbia: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1992) 2-7. Barbara A. Woods, Modjeska Simkins and the South Carolina Conference on the NAACP, 1939-1957, in ed. Darlene Clark Hine, Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers, 1941-1965 (Brooklyn, New York: Carlson Publishing, Inc., 1990) 108-110. Joseph A. DeLaine, A Summary of Incidents in the Summerton School Affair (January 1950), Joseph A. DeLaine Papers, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia [Her eafter cited as DeLaine Pape rs, SCL]. Howard Quint, Profile in Black and White: A Frank Portrait of South Carolina (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1958) 13. Kluger, Simple Justice 3-26, 327-366. Lau, Freedom Road Territory, 309-312. New York Times (June 3, 1951) 7IV. Baker, Ambiguous Legacies, 141-145. 22 Quint, Profile in Black and White , 21-37.

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27 South in the post-World War II period. Inst ead, most of Clarendon County resembled the agricultural lands of the nineteenth century. The lands cape was dotted with small plots farmed by sharecroppers and its few small towns were populated by a large number of black day laborers and domestics. Much lik e black belt regions throughout the Deep South, it was closely controlled by white rural elites who did not tole rate violations of racial custom, let alone dire ct assaults on segregation.23 African Americans represented 70 percen t of the total population in Clarendon County in 1950, and yet whites owned 85 percent of the land. Over two-thirds of the black population earned less than $1000 a y ear and no African American earned more than $2000 per year. According to contempor ary author Richard Kluger, blacks lived under a system of economic slavery, an unbreakable cycle of poverty which was perpetuated by white educational and economic advantages. Even though there were over 6,000 black students in the county compar ed to just over 2,000 whites, the state allocated $100,000 more to pay for the education of whites. Due in part to that unequal distribution of resources, white schools ha d indoor plumbing; black schools did not. According to Judge Waring, African Ameri can schools were just tumbledown, dirty shacks with horrible outdoor toilet facilities. 24 It was within this context of educatio nal and economic advantage that whites exerted pressure on troublesome blacks. Even before Briggs v. Elliott was filed, two agriculture teachers were fired for simply signing the equalization petition and Harry 23 Quint, Profile in Black and White, 12-13. Kluger, Simple Justice 3-27. The Reminiscences of J. Waties Waring (New York: Columbia University, Oral History Research Office, 1957) 341. 24 Kluger, Simple Justice 6-10. Lau, Freedom Road Territory, 309-312. New York Times (June 3, 1951) 7IV. News and Courier (June 9, 1950) clipping from the Rivers Papers, SCHS. Reminiscences of J. Waties Waring 341-342.

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28 Briggs and fellow veteran William Stukes were denied admission to night classes held at Scotts Branch School for former GIs. Hi storian Julie Lochbaum argues that crop lien debts were called in at Christmas, credit was de nied to farmers, and cotton gins refused to purchase cotton from the petiti oners at fair market price.25 In response to his leadership role in organizing the petiti ons and encouraging lawsuits against the school system, Joseph DeLaine was threatened by the Ku Klux Klan and forced to post armed guards at his home. He was also sued for slander for his renunciations of a local school official, whic h resulted in a $2,700 judgment against him. In addition to firing DeLaine, the county sacked his wife, his niece, and his two sisters from their public school teaching jobs. In the fall of 1951, the threats and political pressure also led church authorities to tran sfer DeLaine to an A.M.E church almost 50 miles away in Lake City. Shortly after the DeLaine family moved, their home in Summerton, which still containe d most of their possessions, was burned to the ground. Local fire officials argued that the home was 20 feet outside of city limits and refused to try to contain the blaze. In addition to th e loss of most of the familys belongings, the DeLaines insurance company refused to pay a claim on the property. Instead, the money was used to settle the $2,700 judgment against the minister.26 Angry whites also singled out the other pe titioners for economic reprisals. Harry Briggs, a World War II veteran, was fired from a job at a local gas station after 14 years of employment. His wife, Eliza, was releas ed from her custodia l job at a Summerton motel. When the family attempted to make ends meet by becoming sharecroppers, they 25 Lochbaum, The Word Made Flesh, 116-125. 26 Lochbaum, The Word Made Flesh, 125-130.

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29 were denied credit and local gin operators refused to purchas e the cotton they did manage to grow. According to Kluger, the local sher iff even arrested Harry Briggss cow after it wandered off the familys land. Briggs, who remained steadfast in his support of the NAACP, eventually had to go to Sumter, Sout h Carolina and then to Florida for work. He and his family eventually ended up Ne w York, unemployed and penniless as a result of the economic reprisals. So many of the people, remembered Eliza Briggs, were living on a white mans place. So they had to move or else take their name off the petition.27 Numerous other individual s also saw their employment terminated. Maids, mechanics, service station attendants, and ev en teachers were fired for their support of the Clarendon petition. Massi e Solomon, a local maid, was fired and her sharecropping family was evicted from the land it farmed. Annie Gibson, a Clarendon domestic worker, was also fired. Like Solomon, she was forced to leave her rented home. John Edwards, who was a veteran of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, was denied credit for farm equipment and Willie Stukes was fired from his job as a mechanic. Stukes attempted to continue working from his home, but did not have the proper equipment to work safely on automobiles and was crushed to death under a car. Beyond those who signed the petition, 27 Joseph A. DeLaine, A Summary of Incidents in the Summerton School Affair (January 1950), DeLaine Papers, SCL. Affidavit of Harry Briggs (November 13, 1984), Historical Marker Files, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina. Kluger, Simple Justice 22-25. Peter Lau, Freedom Road Territory, 323-325. Intervie ws with Eliza Briggs and Billie Fleming from Will the Circle be Unbroken?: A Personal History of the Civil Rights Movement in Five Southern Communities. Episode 3: Under Color of Law, Columbia, South Carolina (Atlanta: Southern Regional Council, 1997), Audio distributed by Public Radio International, Transcript available at www.unbrokencircle.org (January 2005). Lochbaum, The Word Made Flesh, 118.

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30 at the time simple membership in the NAACP meant the loss of home and occupation for many Clarendon blacks.28 Like his fellow activists, Levi Pearson faced the full brunt of white economic intimidation. Joseph DeLaines nephew, B illie Fleming, later recalled that Pearsons credit was completely stopped. According to Fleming, Co tton gins refused to gin his cotton. He was not able to borrow money . Fertilizer dealers refused to sell him, even for cash money, fertilizer. Oil distributors refu sed to deliver oil. When Pearson sought to supplement his income by selling the ti mber growing on his land, a group of angry whites intervened. They approached the potential buyer of P earsons lumber and threatened to ostracize him and completely cut [him] off from the white community if he followed through with the purchase. The buyer backed off and Pearsons fresh cut timber was left on the ground where it fell.29 Despite the effects of this wave of intimidation, the federal lawsuit against Clarendon County helped spark a second pe tition in Dorchester County, where the NAACP also asked for an end to discri mination against African American school children. The Dorchester suit was brought on behalf of over 200 students and their parents in District 18 of th e county. Lawyers for the ch ildren claimed they were deprived of their Constitutional rights to equal protection of the laws and to freedom from discrimination because of race or color. They were seeking educational advantages and facilities equal in all respects to that which is being provided for whites. 28 Ibid 29 Will the Circle Be Unbroken?: A Personal History of the Civil Rights Movement in Five Southern Communities. Episode 3: Under Color of Law, Columbia, South Carolina

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31 Along with the suits in Dorchester and Clar endon Counties, James M. Hinton noted that similar lawsuits were being prepared fo r Lee, Fairfield, and Orangeburg Counties.30 Many white South Carolinians were educated about the threat that these lawsuits posed to white supremacy on the pages of the st ates most conservative daily newspaper. In a series of front-page editorials co mmencing on January 2, 1950 in the Charleston News and Courier William Workman warned white r eaders that the Supreme Courts pending decision in Sweatt v. Painter could provide a precedent for desegregating the public school system in South Carolina. Although the Sweatt case involved the constitutionality of the segregated law school at the University of Texas, Workman wrote that it could have originated anywhere in the South. Like South Carolina, Texas had constructed a separate but equal law sc hool to avoid integr ating the all-white institution, but an African American mailma n named Herman Sweatt had challenged this maneuver in court. Workman pointed out that the plaintiffs attorneys contended that separation itself was discrimi natory. Furthermore, he quoted the attorney general of Texas, who cautioned all southerners that the petitioner is asking for a court decision which would apply to high schools and elementary schools as well.31 In the second editorial of the series Workman reminded his readers that John Wrightens legal challenge had led to the creation of a segregat ed law school at the South Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical college for negroes. Workman pointed out that Wrightens case had not only result ed in the formation of a school of law at South Carolina State, but was enormously expensive for South Carolina taxpayers. 30 News and Courier (May 16, 1950) 1A. Lighthouse and Informer (May 20, 1950) 1, from the Rivers Papers, SCHS. 31 News and Courier (January 2, 1950) 1.

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32 Under a court order from Judge Waring, th e state appropriated $200,000 for the creation of the new school. Workman cautioned that several other challenges to the states segregated university system were in th e planning phase, and noted that a school equalization case had emerged in Clarendon County.32 Workmans editorials were a wake up call to white voters who were still coming to grips with the loss of the white primary and the liberal turn of the national Democratic Party on racial issues. The combination of black demands for voting rights and African American challenges to segregated education led to a marked increase in white racial anxieties. Rank and file whites may not have understood the partic ulars of the Clarendon County school desegregation case, but they did have a general understanding that the basic framework of the states system of Ji m Crow laws was under attack. By 1951, most white South Carolinians wanted mo re concerted action to protect de jure segregation from these assaults. For decades, racial separation had been managed locally but was legitimized by state law. Over the course of the next two years, whites intensified their efforts to preserve the racial caste system through a variety of local efforts while at the same time insisting that their actions rece ive legislative endorsements from the state capitol. The lesson of Clarendon County was that extra-legal actions, economic intimidation, and physical violence could impede black protests, but could not completely eliminate local civil rights activism. Most South Carolina whites agreed that the defense of white supremacy would require a full batt ery of official action to compliment the informal measures enacted by local whites. 32 News and Courier (January 3, 1950) 1.

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33 In an era of Cold War anxieties, anticommunism was a predictable weapon in the arsenal of white resistors. In May 1950, State Representa tive Joseph R. Wise asked United States Congressman L. Mendel Rivers to investigate whether or not state NAACP leaders were also members of communist orga nizations. I was told four days ago in Columbia, Wise informed Rivers, that [James] Hinton held a red card in 1935. Rivers took full advantage of the rising tide of anti-communism and investigated Wises claim. The congressman telephoned Louis J. Ru ssell, a senior inve stigator with the House Committee on Un-American Activitie s (HUAC), to request information on Hinton. Russell forwarded a copy of the comm ittees file on the civil rights leader. The report cited Hinton as a sponsor of the Congr ess on Civil Rights, an organization founded in 1946 when the National Federation for Cons titutional Liberties a nd the International Labor Defense merged. According to the HUAC the Congress was dedicated not to the broader issues of civil libert ies, but specifically to the de fense of individuals who are either members of the Communist Party or openly loyal to it. Furthermore, the association was cited as subversive and Co mmunist by Attorney General Tom Clark.33 Rivers forwarded a copy of the Un-American Activities Committee report to Representative Wise and South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond. The congressman 33 For a discussion of the use of anticommunism against civil rights activists, see: Jeff Woods, Black Struggle Red Scare: Segregation and Anti-Communism in the South, 1948-1968 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Pr ess, 2004). George Lewis, The White South and the Red Menace: Segregationists, Anticommunism, and Massive Resistance, 1945-1965 (Gainesville, University Press of Florida 2004). Telephone message from Joseph Wise, Jr. to L. Mendel Rivers, May 5, 1950 (1:15 PM), Lighthouse and Informer (July 24, 1950), Louis J. Russell to L. Mendel Rivers (May 6, 1950), L. Mendel Rivers to Louis J. Russell (May 11, 1950) all in the Rivers Papers, SCHS. For a specific discussion of communism and the Civil Rights Congress, see: Gerald Horne, Communist Front: The Civil Rights Congress, 1946-1956 (Rutherford: Fairleign Dickinson Univers ity Press, 1985). See also: Michael J. Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) 375. Michael K. Honey, Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Memphis Workers (Urbana: University of Illinoi s Press, 1993) 257-268. Woods, Black Struggle Red Scare 31-38.

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34 suggested Thurmond might wish to expose this negro [sic] when he starts attacking you, as he has been doing. Rivers also collect ed HUAC reports on civil rights advocates Clifford J. Durr, Lillian Smith, and Myles Ho rton as well as on the Southern Conference for Human Welfare. Riverss actions were i ndicative of his ability to gather secret information about civil rights activists and we re reflective of the intricate network of segregation advocates that existed in the Sout h. Moreover, it demonstrated the ability of committed segregationists to share information and exchange advice about tactics with one another.34 Shortly after Rivers sent Hi ntons HUAC file to Wise, th e state legislator publicly charged that Hinton was affiliated with the Co mmunist Party. On the floor of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Wise read the report and asked that it be printed in the Journal of the House of Repr esentatives of South Carolina Hinton vigorously denied the charges. He claimed the Civil Right s Congress was an orga nization whose aims were to secure civil rights for all Ameri cans, and argued those goals remained a worthy cause even if the organization itself had taken a turn to the political left. Hinton decried the trend of labeling all civil rights leaders as communist. It has become fashionable to label all Negroes as Reds, or radicals if they speak out for first class citizenship, he said.35 34 L. Mendel Rivers to Joseph Wise (May 11, 1950), L. Mendel Rivers to J. Strom Thurmond (May 11, 1950), Information From the Files of the Commi ttee on Un-American Activities: U.S. House of Representatives, Report on Clifford J. Dunn, L illian Smith, and Myles Horton (February 14, 1950), Report on the Southern Conference for Human Welfar e: Investigation of Un-American Activities in the United States, (United States Govern ment Printing Office: Washington, DC: 1947), all from the Rivers Papers, SCHS. 35 News and Courier (June 9, 1950) 1A. Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina (1950) 2428-2429. News and Courier (June 10, 1950) from the Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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35 Most whites refused to take Hintons cries of innocence seriously. The HUAC report obtained by Rivers gave the charges of communism an air of respectability and seemed to validate state action against th e NAACP and other black organizations. The widespread acceptance of Wises claims meant that South Carolina segregationists were free to use charges of communism as justifi cation for further intimidation of the states African American population and against the handful of treasonous whites who supported black aspirations. Labeling an Af rican American leader a communist meant that any progressive white leader who alli ed himself/herself with the black freedom struggle risked his/her standi ng in the community. The Second Red Scare suffocated free speech throughout the nation, but the atmosphere of repression was especially disruptive to civil rights advocates in the South.36 As the character assassination of Hi nton demonstrated, powerful white South Carolinians, such as Rivers and Wise, were adept at using thei r control of state bureaucracies to intimidate and threaten bl ack leaders. Though such attacks were numerous in South Carolina, none was more significant than the campaign of intimidation directed at Progr essive Democratic Party founde r John McCray. Amidst the furor over the Clarendon school desegregati on case and the charges of a communist conspiracy within the South Carolina NAAC P, McCray was charged with libel in Greenwood County for a story that ran in the st ates largest African American newspaper, The Lighthouse and Informer McCray, who was the papers editor and publisher, was indicted in January 1950 for publishing a stor y about an African American convicted of raping a white woman. Although McCray ne ver published the young womans name, he 36 For examples, see: Lewis, The White South and Red Menace and Woods, Black Struggle Red Scare

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36 did print the claims of the accused rapist, Willie Tolbert, that the sex was consensual. In the racially charged atmosphere of South Caro lina in the 1950s the story was considered an assault on white womanhood and a violatio n of one of segregations most sacred tenets: in cases of interracial sex, black men were routinely depicted as oversexed predators victimizing chaste white women. As far as whites were concerned, consensual interracial sex involving a black man a nd a white women simply did not happen. Moreover, whites supposed that African Amer icans, such as McCray, were prohibited from commenting on any sex acts involving black men and white women and McCray paid the price for breaking that taboo even t hough a similar story appeared in the white owned Anderson Independent The womans father, a Greenwood County solicitor, charged that McCray had published false a nd libelous statements that defamed the character of the victim.37 McCray was advised in the case by Thurgood Marshall and Jack Greenberg of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and by local black lawyer Harold Boulware. Since McCray was unlikely to receive the benefit of any doubt from a white jury, his legal counsel advised him to enlist the aid of a white la wyer for his defense though even this would be unlikely to sway an all-white jury. He approached several white attorneys, but was turned away. One unnamed white attorney did assist with McCrays defense, but he 37 Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt 209-213. Memorandum from Harold R. Boulware, n.d., John H. McCray Papers, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Colu mbia [Hereafter cited as McCray Papers, SCL].

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37 insisted that his participation in the case be kept secret and would only meet with McCray, Greenberg, or Boulware at night.38 Despite having solid grounds for a defens e, Marshall and McCrays lawyers urged him to accept a plea agreement. The atto rneys agreed that an African American defendant who was a known agitator was unlik ely to receive a fair trial in South Carolina. Pleading guilty, they argued, would keep McCray out of jail and allow him to continue publishing the Lighthouse and Informer McCray heeded their advice and entered a guilty plea in exchange for a sent encing agreement with the Greenwood County prosecutor. As part of that agreement, McCray was fined $3,000, given three years probation, and forced to admit his guilt on the front page of the Lighthouse and Informer 39 McCrays brush with the legal system was an important indication of the degree to which whites controlled the states bureaucracy and utilized official state agencies to subdue troublesome blacks. The convicti on was an obvious attempt to discourage McCray from engaging in political activis m and a reminder to middle class African Americans that their relative prosperity wa s dependent on staying in the good graces of the white power structure. McCray, however, co ntinued to engage in the kind of political activism that had drawn the ire of whites in the first place. He campaigned for more progressive candidates in the elections of 1950 and was a vocal supporter of the plaintiffs 38 John H. McCray to T. Carl McFall (May 8, 1950). John H. McCray to Guerny E. Nelson (May 6, 1950). Richard E. Fields to John H. McCr ay (February 16, 1950), McCray Pa pers, SCL. Wim Roefs, Leading the Civil Rights Vanguard in South Carolina: John McCray and the Lighthouse and Informer ,1939-1954, in eds. Charles M. Payne and Adam Green, Time Longer than a Rope: A Century of African American Activism, 1850-1950 (New York: New York University Press, 2003) 462-491. 39 Ibid The State of South Carolina v. John H. McCray (June 20, 1950), General Sessions Court, Greenwood County, South Carolina.

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38 in Briggs v. Elliott As a consequence of his conti nued activism McCrays parole was revoked in 1951 for giving a political speech in Illinois. McCray claimed that he had been given permission to travel outside of South Carolina for the event, but the state argued that his trip was an una uthorized violation of his pa role agreement and sentenced him to serve on a chain gang from Novemb er 1951 to December 18, 1952. McCray later claimed that his arrest resulted from a dire ct order from South Carolina Governor James F. Byrnes who was outraged by the African Americans civil rights activities. 40 Although they were rarely c onfronted with the kind of intimidation directed at politically active blacks, racially progressi ve whites also faced harsh treatment for advocating better treatment of African Amer icans. For example, after Judge Waring ordered an end the white primary and became openly critical of segregation he endured a near constant stream of criticism, in timidation, and social ostracism from his segregationist neighbors. White anxiety became even more palpable after Warings involvement in the Clarendon County sc hool desegregation case became clear.41 Nonetheless, the hostility directed towa rd Waring paled in comparison to the attacks levied at his wife, Elizabeth. Afte r all, it was Elizabeth who many white elites blamed for the judges late conversion to th e cause of civil rights. Shortly before Warings judicial decisions began to dismantle de jure segregation in South Carolina, he 40 New York Times (May 30, 1951) 12. Lau, Freedom Road Territory, 309-312. Quint, Profile in Black and White 14-15. Roefs, Leading the Civil Rights Vanguard in South Carolina, 462-491. 41 See: Yarbrough, A Passion for Justice 42-67. Robert Lewis Terry, J. Waties Waring: Spokesman for Racial Justice in the New South (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Utah, 1970) 21-161. Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights 201-245. Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 408-409. Kari Frederickson, As a Man, I am Interested in Stat es Rights: Gender, Race, and the Family in the Dixiecrat Party, 19481950, in eds. Jane Daily, Glenda Gilmore, and Bryant Simon, Jumpin Jim Crow: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000) 260-274. Pete Daniel, Lost Revolutins: The South in the 1950s (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000) 232.

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39 had divorced his Charlestonian first wife to marry Elizabeth, a native northerner. Soon after, the Warings became social outcasts in Charlestons close knit high society.42 In January 1950 Elizabeth Waring spoke at the Annual Meeting of the traditionally all-black Coming Street Young Womens Chris tian Association (YWCA) to a mixed-race audience of over 150. Aside from breaking th e social mores regarding race mixing, Mrs. Waring openly attacked the Souths racial caste system and defended her husbands attempts to break down Jim Crow in South Carolina. In doing so she challenged the notion that Jim Crow was necessary, first a nd foremost, to protect of white women. Warings participation in desegregated meeti ngs and her commitment to racial equality was contrary to white notions about how race and gender rules operated in South Carolina and the South as a whole.43 For white South Carolinians, especially Old Charleston elites, Elizabeth Warings willingness to speak out against se gregation was not only wrong-headed, but an unladylike transgression into the world of politics. In the YWCA speech, Mrs. Waring declared that segregationists were stupid and claimed that white leaders were afraid that her civil rights activism would destroy their selfish and savage white supremacy way of life. The outspoken advocate of integr ation equated southern use of the filibuster to defeat civil rights legislat ion to treason. The White S upremacists . are so selfcentered, said Waring, that they are drawi ng walls around themselves so close and high that they have become completely isolated from the rest of the world and have not considered themselves part of the country since the Civil War. She went on to call 42 Ibid 43 News and Courier (January 17, 1950) 8.

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40 segregationists decadent, pr ideful, morally weak, a nd confused. Waring even called on civil rights activists to st and up to the Dixiecrat Gestapo.44 State Representative Joseph Wise summa rized the view of most white South Carolinians regarding Elizabeth Waring when he declared that the state did not need a lecture from a Damn Yankee. The Warings received telephoned death threats and were denounced by state leaders. In February 1950, the state House of Representatives passed a resolution promising that the necessary funds be allocated to purchase a one-way ticket to any point in the United States of America or preferably a foreign country for Federal Judge J. Waties Waring and his socialite wife. . with the sole provision they leave the State of South Carolina and never ag ain set foot on her so il. The resolution also committed $800,000 to build an animal sc ience building on the campus of Clemson College, and suggested the school dedicate a st all in the mule barn for the Warings. Although the resolution was quashed in the state Senate, it re presented a sentiment shared by many angry whites in South Carolina who te nded to view all civ il rights activism as orchestrated by outsiders who threatened the virtue of white democracy in the Palmetto State.45 Even when faced with threats and ostraci sm, the Warings refused to curtail their activism. Mrs. Waring went on NBCs Meet th e Press to defend he r position. She also reiterated her denunciation of segr egation in an interview with Colliers magazine. In 44 Ibid For a discussion of the intersections of Race and Gender in the South, see: Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 18961920 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 19 96). For a discussion of the various networks of women in Charleston, see: Stephanie E. Yuhl, A Golden Haze of Memory: The Making of Historic Charleston (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005). 45 News and Courier (January 18, 1950) 8. A Joint Resolution Records of the General Assembly, House Bills, Part 2, Calendar 2177, South Carolina Depart ment of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina.

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41 response to her call for immediate integra tion, Senator Burnet Maybank invoked charges of communism against the Warings and asked Peyton Ford, an Assist ant to the Attorney General of the United States to investigate Wa rings wife for advocating a revolution to bring about an end to segregat ion. Maybank told Ford that the civil rights activities of the Warings amounts to persecution of respect able people, whether they be black or white, and I think the Justice Department should look into th e matter. A month later, Maybank wrote to Attorney General J. Howard McGrath requesting an investigation of the couple.46 Maybanks demand went unanswered, but many of his constituents refused to give up on the crusade against the unpopular judge and his wife. J.C. Phillips, a retired merchant marine, launched a petition dr ive demanding the impeachment of Judge Waring. At a closed-door meeting in Ma rch 1950 in the office of First District Representative L. Mendel Rivers, Phillip s claimed to have almost 21,000 signatures demanding action from Congress. The mee ting was attended by each of the states representatives in the House except for James P. Richards and John L. McMillan, and all of the participants agreed not to share information about the proceedings with the media. However, one observer admitted that the group did not have the necessary evidence to proceed. We certainly cant impeach him fo r making pro-negro speeches, claimed the unidentified source.47 46 Burnet Maybank to Peyton Ford (February 13, 1950), Maybank to J. Howard McGrath (March 20, 1950), Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections, College of Charleston, South Carolina [Hereafter cited as Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections]. Samuel Grafton, The Lonesomest Man in Town, Colliers (April 29, 1950) 20-21, 49-50. 47 News and Courier (March 9, 1950) 1B.

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42 Phillips was joined in the meeting by Dr. Ch arles D. Leverett, a Charleston Dentist; L. Eddie Heinson, a Dorchester County magist rate; A.A. Jordan, an Aiken lumberman; W. Lee Cooper, a Pelion farmer and merc hant; and V.M. Wingard, a farmer from Lexington. Together, this economically and geographically diverse group promised to form a sort of Southern association for the advancement of white pe ople. According to Phillips, the new organization would be dedi cated to countering pressure from minority groups and protecting traditiona l southern society. Before his organization could form, however, Phillipss worst fears were realized: in Decembe r 1950 African Americans in Clarendon County amended Briggs v. Elliott to challenge the very legality of segregation in education.48 The white reaction to the case placed incr edible pressure on South Carolinas political elites to defend the basic framework of the racial hierarchy. With arguments in Briggs v. Elliott set for May 1951, South Carolinas stat e government initiated an urgent attempt to head off a court decision that threatened to er ode white power and fundamentally undermine de jure segregation. Under the le adership of newly elected governor James F. Byrnes, the state launched a concerted effort to defend the legality of its Jim Crow schools. Byrnes was South Ca rolinas most well known political leader. He had served as a United States Senator, a United States Supreme Court Justice, and as Secretary of State under Presiden ts Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. Despite his position as a leader in Roosevelts Ne w Deal government, however, he did not share the socially progressive outl ook of other leading New Dealer s, such as Henry Wallace. Instead, Byrnes was a committed racial conservative who had no intention of 48 News and Courier (March 9, 1950) 1B, (Nov ember 18, 1950) 1, (Decembe r 23, 1950) 1. Quint, Profile in Black and White 13.

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43 volunteering to dismantle South Carolinas syst em of racial separation. Moreover, he had widespread support from the states white popula tion and a reputation as an able leader. Most whites assumed that Byrnes would find a solution to the segregation problem that would not result in an end to Jim Crow in South Carolina.49 Governor Byrnes surmised that South Ca rolinas best hope for preventing or, at least, delaying a federal desegr egation order was to give th e impression that the state was in compliance with Plessy s separate but equal doctrin e. Therefore, he launched a school equalization initia tive that preceded similar program s in other southern states by almost two years. School equalizati on, according to Byrnes, would halt federal interference in South Carolinas system of de jure segregation and limit civil rights activism in the state. He outlined his plan in an address to the South Carolina House of Representatives in January 1951. In his speech Byrnes pledged to find a lawful way of educating South Carolinas children while providing separate schools for the races. He called on the state legislature to pass a th ree-cent sales tax to finance equalization and new school construction and promised that even though a large portion of the funds would be spent on educating African American s, the new tax would actually strengthen institutional segregation.50 With the equalization plan, Byrnes establis hed a blueprint for white resistance to black advancement in South Carolina that woul d last for more than a decade. He pledged his commitment to segregation, but demanded resp ect for the rule of law. Byrnes failed 49 For a discussion of Byrness politi cal career, see: David Robertson, Sly and Able: A Political Biography of James F. Byrnes (New York: Norton, 1994). 50 Quint, Profile in Black and White 16. Thomas S. Morgan, James F. Byrnes and the Politics of Segregation, The Historian (Summer 1994) 645-654. Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina (January 24, 1951) 160-166.

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44 to appreciate that, at some point, the tw o might become incompatible. The governor promised a legal remedy, but assured Sout h Carolina voters that what a carpetbag government could not do in the reconstruction period, cannot be done in this period. If the federal courts ordered dese gregation, Byrnes promised to close the schools rather than integrate them. He claimed that the major ity of colored people in the state do not want to force their children into white school s. Instead, Byrnes concluded that black Carolinians only wanted whites to see to it that innocent colored children will not be denied an education becaus e of selfish politicians and misguided agitators.51 Byrness plan was to provide better treat ment for South Carolinas black population within the Jim Crow system, but his proposal did have an important corollary. If black activists continued to press fo r desegregation or if the federal government attempted to force an end to the racial caste system, Sout h Carolina was prepared to take radical action and abandon public schooling altogether. Byrn es and other state leaders warned that any attempt to break down the barriers of racial separation was sure to incite a violence and disorder. He also advised black leaders th at continued pressure to desegregate would diminish, rather than expand, African Amer ican opportunity. The White people of South Carolina, declared Byrnes, could pay for the education of their children in a private system. Conversely, few African Amer icans had the financial resources to pay for private schooling. In such a situation, Negro citizens would suffer, alleged the governor, because of the irresponsible ac tion of representati ves of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 52 51 Ibid 52 Ibid Address of James F. Byrnes, Governor of South Carolina, to the South Carolina Education Association, (March 16, 1951) 577-583.

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45 Byrnes was aware that in order for his plan to work, he had to maintain the illusion of uncompromising white unity on how to handl e the segregation issue. In fact, while most whites were firmly committed to Jim Cr ow, the exact degree of that commitment varied. In his quest to map out a plan for preserving the racial caste system, the governor had to gain the support of these distinct, if overlapping, white cons tituencies: hardcore segregationists, mainstream whites, and wh ite business interests. The hardcore group was determined to use any and all means to fend off all civil right s progress, including the open intimidation of black ac tivists and efforts to ostrac ize and pressure sympathetic whites. Mainstream whites sought to preserve segregation, but were unwilling to tolerate lawlessness, civil unres t, or the disruption of the state s economy simply to prevent what they hoped would be a modicum of token de segregation. Most of the white business elites were in the mainstream group, but even conservative business owners and professionals who were ardent segregationi sts were unwilling to accept steep financial costs in their quest to preser ve white privilege. With rare exceptions, such as the Warings, integrationist sentiment among white South Carolinians was almost nonexistent. In many ways, Byrness most difficult ta sk was gaining the support of the most uncompromising hardcore segregationists. Ev en the term equalization was problematic for committed white supremacists, but whites tr usted the governor when he promised that the program was the only way to avoid a fe deral order to desegregate the schools. Fiscally conservative segreg ationists were also reluctan t to allocate funds to black schools, but Byrnes assured the states white voters that, if the new schools were closed as a result of court ordered desegregation, th e new buildings would not be wasted. The

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46 governor promised that, should the courts orde r South Carolina to desegregate its public education system, the state would simply hand over its public school buildings to segregated private schools. According to By rnes, however, such drastic action would not be necessary anyway. He assured the stat es segregationists that if the taxpayers properly discharge our duty, we make more di fficult the task of those who would have the Federal Government control our schools. He was also careful to note that the proposed three cent tax would al so afford whites the opportun ities to improve their own schools.53 In order to ensure support from educators and more moderate whites, Byrnes declared his desire to provide a full public ed ucation to every child in the state, white or colored. At a meeting of the South Ca rolina Educational Asso ciation in March 1951, the governor promised that the main purpose of the equalization plan was to improve, not to close, South Carolinas schools. He poi nted out that South Carolina had the highest rate of rejection for intellectual ineptitude for military service in the Korean conflict. More than 60 percent of the South Carolini ans called up for the draft were rejected as opposed to a rejection rate of 35 percent for th e rest of the South. Byrnes blamed this failure on South Carolinas poor education syst em and pointed out that on average over 80,000 of the states 494,000 students were absent from school on any given day. Byrnes also noted that at least 16 ,000 white children and more than 17,500 black children were not enrolled in school at all. His plan, Byrnes argued, woul d not only equalize, but also modernize the states failing school system.54 53 Ibid 54 Ibid

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47 School improvement was also the best way for the governor to reach out to business owners and the stat es chambers of commerce. Byrnes argued that the equalization plan would foster a positive business climate in South Carolina and pointed out that, in order to bring new jobs to the st ate, it would have to improve its dismal public school system. New Deal farm programs ha d decreased the emphasis on labor-intensive agriculture and modern jobs required skilled workers. When poor whites and African Americans poured into citie s looking for work, they were often unqualified for the new jobs. For white economic boosters, the equali zation plan promised to promote the postWorld War II industrial economy wit hout disrupting racial customs. At first, the South Carolina General Assembly balked at raising taxes to fund the construction of black schools. However, by th e end of his first legislative session, Byrnes was able to convince a handful of powerful lawmakers, including st ate Senator L. Marion Gressette and future Governor and United St ates Senator Ernest Fritz Hollings, that equalization was a worthy goal for the state. Education professionals and the states business interests overwhelmingly supported th e measure while hardcore segregationists did so more reluctantly. Before formal arguments in the Briggs case could even begin, the Education Finance Commission initiated th e process of equalizing South Carolinas segregated schools.55 After winning an important political vict ory in the sales tax debate, Byrnes pressured the state assembly to follow th rough with other important aspects of his 55 John G. Sproat, Firm Flexibility: Perspectives on Desegregation in South Carolina, in eds. Robert H. Abzug and Stephen E. Maizlish, New Perspectives on Race and Slavery in America: Essays in Honor of Kenneth M. Stampp (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1986) 167. New York Times (December 11, 1952) 44. Quint, Profile in Black and White 16-17. South Carolina Educational Finance Commission, South Carolinas Educational Revolution; A Report of Progress in South Carolina (Columbia: 1955). Journal of the Senate of the State of South Carolina, 1951 Kluger, Simple Justice 419-420.

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48 equalization strategy. Since the governor had promised that the new school buildings could be privatized if necessary, Byrnes enc ouraged the legislature to pass a bill which would allow local school boards to sell or leas e school property to pr ivate groups. If the federal government forced desegregation and th e state followed through with its plan to abandon the pubic school system, the governor wa nted to ensure that local boards could create a private school system using exis ting facilities. The legislature passed the measure and took it a step further when it pa ssed a law to withhold state funds from any district that was ordered to desegregate by a federal court. The new laws would have made it all but impossible for local school o fficials to operate a desegregated public education system in South Carolina. The lack of funding would force desegregated districts to either privatize or close altoge ther. So that county governments would have time to set up a new private system, the South Carolina General Assembly also passed a measure that forbade the tran sfer of a student from one school to another without permission from the county superintendent. This law created one last bureaucratic roadblock to prevent or dela y student transfers from an African American school to a white one.56 Not content with creating this elaborat e bureaucratic and le gal bulwark against school integration, the General Assembly al so created a special committee to monitor legal challenges to segregated education a nd plan a response. The South Carolina School Committee, which was chaired by Calhoun County Senator L. Marion Gressette, included five members from the state Senate, five fr om the state House of Representatives, and 56 Ibid

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49 five members at large. It was the first le gislative committee created to deal with the desegregation issue in any s outhern public school system.57 Despite Byrness self-serving efforts to equalize the states dual school system, African Americans in Clarendon County were de termined to press on with their challenge to segregated schools. Although intimidati on had eroded membership in the NAACP and forced several individuals to remove thei r names from the desegregation petition, the NAACPs legal team was able to secure th e signatures of 20 adu lts and 46 children demanding an end to the countys segr egated school system. The case, Briggs v. Elliott, both frightened and infuriated whites when it finally went before a three-judge panel in May 1951. South Carolina whites were partic ularly upset at the presence of Waring on the panel. Though they knew that fellow ju rist Judge George Bell Timmerman would rule in favor of the defense, many whites feared that Waring would convince Judge John J. Parker, who was a political moderate, to or der an end to segregat ed schools in South Carolina.58 The plaintiffs attorney, Thurgood Marshall contended that students in the county were denied their constitutional rights in the segregated school system. Since the countys attorneys Robert McCormick Figg a nd S. Emory Rogers acknowledged that the physical facilities of the black schools were inade quate, the NAACP legal team concentrated on the inequity of segregation itself. Marshall introduc ed the testimony of a number of social scientists, who each argued that segregatio n established a psychological impediment to success and was therefore a viol ation of the rights of African American 57 Ibid 58 News and Courier (November 18, 1950) 1, (Decem ber 23, 1950) 1. Quint, Profile in Black and White 13.

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50 students. Rogers and Figg insisted that Plessy v. Ferguson allowed for segregated schools as long as they were equal. The atto rneys contended that bl ack leaders had every right to demand equal facilities and requested that the court gi ve the state time to improve black schools. Figg warned that a court or der demanding the desegregation of southern schools would lead to extensiv e conflict and violence in the region. He asked the judges to grant the state reasonable tim e to implement school equalization. 59 Briggs v. Elliott brought widespread attention to South Carolinas segregated schools and may have served to embolden black activists, but it was in itially a victory for white segregationists. When the decision of the three judge panel was handed down in the summer of 1951, Judge Parker declared that the state must afford African American students the same educational opportunities as those afforded to whites, but he and Judge George Bell Timmerman refused to outlaw st ate supported segregat ed education. The two judges ruled that Byrness equalization pl an would bring the stat e in compliance with the separate but equal doctrine established in the Plessy case. South Carolinas white leadership gave its overwhelming endorse ment to the decision. Senator Maybank declared it an honest, clear straight Constitutional ruling on behalf of public education in South Carolina. In an interview on CBS televisi on, Maybank insisted that the good colored people, of his state were not intere sted in integration, although he refused to 59 Byrnes Inaugural Address was reprinted in: South Carolina Educational Finance Commission, South Carolinas Educational Revolution; A Report of Progress in South Carolina (Columbia: 1955). New York Times (May 29, 1951) 27, (May 30, 1951) 12. Kluger, Simple Justice 710-750. Lau, Freedom Road Territory, 309-312. Quint, Profile in Black and White 14-15. Baker, Ambiguous Legacies, 142-143.

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51 lend support to abandoning the public school system if the courts did order desegregation.60 Judge Waring, however, provided solid grounds for an appeal when he issued a strong dissenting opinion. He insisted that se gregation itself was inhe rently unequal. He wrote, I am of the opinion that all the legal guideposts, expert te stimony, common sense and reason point unerringly to th e conclusion that the system of segregation in education adopted and practiced in the state of S outh Carolina must go and must go now. Segregation is per se inequali ty. Therefore, African Amer icans left the courthouse with a mandate to improve black schools and, tha nks largely to Warings opinion, hopes for a more promising outcome if the case was appeal ed to the United States Supreme Court. Less than a month after the th ree-judge panel issued its de cision, Marshall appealed the verdict to the nations highest court. White leaders had hope d that the panels decision had created a viable alternat ive to desegregation and woul d silence bothersome black activists, but they fully expected an appeal.61 The delay between the case and its appeal gave white leaders an opportunity to consolidate and refine Byrness equalization plan. Under the dire ction of the governor and state legislature, local sc hool boards began to redraw di strict boundaries in an effort to create another defense against desegreg ation. The new plan reduced the number of school districts in the stat e from 1,002 to 102. Small rural schools were closed and consolidated into larger, ne wer buildings. Moreover, the newly gerrymandered districts 60 Baker, Ambiguous Legacies, 145-147. Briggs et al. v. Elliot et alt ., United States District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina, Charleston Division, 98 F. Supp. 529 (1951). Maybank to George Bell Timmerman (June 25, 1951), Transcript of Capital Cloak Room (May 29, 1951), Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections. 61 Waring quoted in Briggs v. Elliott Baker, Ambiguous Legacies, 145-147.

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52 were designed to allow whites to use residentia l segregation as a means to maintain racial separation in education. Although consolidation did have an important modernizing effect on the South Carolina school system, its implementation further solidified racial separation as the official policy of the state.62 African American leaders, however, were not willing simply to allow whites to use the time consumed with the appellate proce ss to construct additional barriers to black access without opposition. Even in defeat the Briggs case had an immediate impact on black community efforts to improve African Am erican schools. Civil rights leaders from all over the state demanded that the general assembly utili ze the new equalization funds to close the educational gap between black and white children. However, for South Carolina whites school equalization was a mechanism for limiting, not encouraging, black community activism, and local whites we re determined to manage carefully the impact of the program. In many districts local school boards used the new sales tax revenues to funnel money into existing, or new white schools. 63 Perhaps the most dramatic example of a lo cal school board usi ng a disproportionate amount of the new funds to improve white schools while black schools remained underfunded occurred in Charleston. Charlestons School Board hoped to utilize its black population to convince the Finan ce Commission to allocate signi ficant funds to the citys schools. In 1952, the city implemented a plan to divide its $2.4 million dollar allocation equally between the white and black school system even though there were more black 62 South Carolinas Educational Revolution. For the best example of this see: Baker, Ambiguous Legacies, 146-150. Walter Edgar, South Carolina: A History (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1998) 522-523. 63 Ibid

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53 students and the African American schools were in a worse state of disrepair. Statewide, less than half (40%) of the student population was black, an d the state did spend almost two-thirds of the new money on African Amer ican schools, but, as the situation in Charleston demonstrated, even the disbursement of a large portion of the funds to the black schools could do little to erase the disparities in black and white education.64 Initially, black leaders in Charleston were pleased to see any improvements in the citys African American schools. Black pa rents, however, soon became frustrated with the school boards use of the new funds. Art hur Clement, the President of the Charleston NAACP and Secretary of the PDP, and Peter Po insette, an African American member of the PTA, claimed that the citys growing black population and the poor condition of its existing educational facilities dictated that the school board should allocate even more funds to the black community and truly equa lize the dual system. Clement pointed out that the new budget called for building a new gym for an all-white school that already had one, and yet failed to pay for a gym for the citys black high school, which had no gym at all. He argued that if the school board spent the entire $2.4 million allocation on its black schools the per capita valuation of school property for the two races would be $392 for white pupils and $345 for African Americ an students. In other words, even a complete overhaul of the citys black school s using 100 percent of the new state funds would have failed, in Clements estimation, to equalize the separate but equal system. Clement promised to bring the issue to the federal courts if the school board did not carry out a legitimate e qualization program. He warned Low Country whites, You 64 Ibid

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54 established the separate but equal theory it has protected you these many years now, you are faced with the problem of paying for it.65 Clements succinct warning was a reminder to the all-white school board that the fight over segregated schools was far from over. Although they won a technical victory in the Briggs case, white segregationists were ha rdly confident that the ruling would stand on appeal. Byrnes and his supporters realized that they might have to follow through with their threats to cl ose the public school system if they wanted to maintain segregated education. However, the governors administration faced one major barrier to the abandonment of the public sc hools. If Byrnes wanted to privatize the schools, he first had to convince South Carolinians to change the states constitution. Article XI, Section 5 of the South Carolina State Constitution stipulated that The General Assembly shall provide for a liberal system of free public school s for all children between the ages of six and twenty-one years. 66 A proposed amendment to alter this pr ovision quickly passed through the South Carolina House of Representatives during the 1951 session, but the measure stalled in the state Senate. Whites supported Jim Crow, but were many apprehensive about the notion of abandoning the publicly funded education of their own children. On January 8, 1952, Byrnes addressed the General Assembly and called on state senators to submit to the electors of the General Electi on in 1952 a resolution to repe al Article XI, Section 5. According to Byrnes, the proposed amendment was the states only means of ensuring its ability to maintain a segregated school system. If this provision of our Constitution is 65 Arthur J. Clement to the Charleston School Board (January 23, 1952), Henry Hutchinson Collection, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina. 66 Journal of the House of Representatives of South Carolina (1952) 17-18.

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55 not repealed, and if the Supreme Courts deci sion is against us, the governor declared, no legal avenue will be left open to us in South Carolina to have separate schools for children of the white and colored races. Rather than oppose th e popular governor, the state Senate heeded Byrness warning and vot ed to include the amendment on the states ballot in the 1952 general election.67 Once the measure passed, Byrnes and hi s supporters initiated a sophisticated publicity campaign to increase support for the constitutional amendment. Their efforts were a prime example of how political leaders worked to ensure a consensus among South Carolina whites over how best to deal with the impending cris is over segregation. The vast majority of white South Carolin ians were unapologetic segregationists who were determined to protect Jim Crow. Fo r them, the amendment became a political statement of their commitment to South Ca rolinas racial caste system. Byrnes understood that as long as he ke pt the question simple he coul d mask any divisions within the states white communities over how far to go to protect segregation in South Carolinas public school systems. Byrnes and his supporters portrayed the amendment vote as a referendum on Jim Crow schooling.68 In a statewide radio broadcast, Lieutena nt Governor George Bell Timmerman, Jr. called on voters to cast their ballots for the change. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Marion Gressette, claimed that the measure would protect the states education system. Congressman Rivers pr omised voters that the amendment was the only way to prevent the mixing of the race s in our elementary and high schools while 67 Howard G. McClain, South Carolinas School Amendment, New South (February 1953) 1-5, 8. 68 Blick, Beyond The Politics of Color, 20-30.

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56 simultaneously improving African American inst itutions. Governor Byrnes went so far as to proclaim, If you vote against the am endment, and the Supreme Court overturns the district courts decision, you will force the mixing of the races in the schools. The proposed amendment served as both a means of white resistance and as a threat to black activists who persisted in challenging S outh Carolinas segregated school system.69 Of course, the NAACP and most African Am ericans objected to the proposal, but civil rights activists were not the only ones who opposed it. Though they refused to condemn segregation per se, both the League of Women Voters and the mostly white South Carolina Educational Association publicly denounced the Byrnes plan. The League of Women Voters even purchased radi o time in Columbia to discuss the issue, but no state leader would debate the merits of the amendment on the air. 70 With few exceptions, South Carolinas elec ted officers generally preferred not to discuss the specifics of the Byrnes amendm ent, and certainly only the most hardcore segregationists declared that school closure was a good idea. South Carolinas white leadership simply called for the continuation of segregation and left the impression that voting against the amendment would hasten the erosion of white privilege. When state leaders were ask if they favored closing the schools, most of them simply responded that they hoped it would not become necessary. Th e failure of white voters to question this tactic was indicative of white confidence that the state could manage the desegregation threat if given the power to do by its white constituents. Most whites considered the 69 McClain, South Carolinas Sc hool Amendment, 1-5, 8. News and Courier (January 8, 1952) from the Rivers Papers, SCHS. 70 Ibid

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57 amendment a potent resistance ta ctic whether or not they tr uly supported the idea that closing the public schools was a good idea.71 The proposals strongest support came from South Carolinas black belt, especially along the states coastal plains in the southern Low Country region and the northeast Pee Dee area. There was, however, mild opposition in the piedmont and upstate regions of South Carolina. For example, Pickens County Representative Earle Morris, Jr. declared, The purported abolition of the public school s is a calculated risk that I could not conscientiously support unless I was assured th at a satisfactory method of educating our children would replace the system of free public schools. Morris worried that the socalled private schools would re duce education to a prerogative of a privileged few. Likewise, Dr. E.C. McCants, the retired S uperintendent of Schools in Anderson County, claimed that the amendment could destroy what he had worked his life to build.72 Even one Low Country paper surmised that both options of either closing the school system or desegregating it would be a g reat sacrifice with l ittle return to the voters. Opposition also came fr om some church leaders w ho worried that they would face the financial burden of operating an e ducation system if the state abandoned its schools. The Public Affairs Committee of the Young Womens Christian Association (YWCA) issued a statement protesting the amendment, and the Christian Action Committee (CAC), which represented ten denom inations, publicly a sserted its opposition in September. The CAC declared that public education was important to democracy and chastised state leaders for using the measur e to intimidate the Supreme Court. The 71 Ibid 72 Journal of the House of Representatives of South Carolina (1952) 513. McClain, South Carolinas School Amendment, 1-5, 8. Blick, Beyond The Politics of Color, 20-30.

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58 council also accused South Carolina politicia ns of using education as a political football.73 Such pockets of dissent aside, widespread popular support for the amendment was unmistakable. The constitutional change passed in November 1952 with 72 percent of the voters supporting the measure. Alt hough the vote probably indicated some willingness to abandon public education, it is best interpreted as a referendum on segregation. Byrnes had warned voters that a ballot against the amendment was not a vote for preserving the public school system, but a vote for the desegregation of South Carolinas schools and the political agenda of the NAACP. His ability to shape the public debate and limit the range of options was an important reminder of the confidence that whites placed in Byrnes and his ability to properly manage the segregation issue.74 Beyond the utility of the amendment in the battle to preserve segregated schooling, the governors broader economic argument for school modernization resonated with white South Carolinians. A lthough the impetus for passing th e three cent sales tax, the equalization plan, school consolidation, a nd Governor Byrness other legislative initiatives came from the legal challenges to Jim Crow segregation, there is significant evidence to suggest that white South Carolin ians also supported these proposals because they really did promise to improve and modernize the states schools systems. Legislative reformers, such as future Governors Hollings and John West, were determined to promote educational reform. At the same time that the state assembly was debating the school amendment, it proposed a free school lunch program, a program to 73 Ibid 74 Ibid

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59 help pay for the use of school buses for sa nctioned athletic even ts, minimum standards for public high schools, and a bill to modern ize education funding. In fact, throughout 1952 the legislature instituted si gnificant changes to the states public school system that brought much needed improvements to th e antiquated and under-funded system. Although the discrepancy between black a nd white schools remained, even African American institutions were promised significant improvements under the equalization plan.75 Nonetheless, Byrnes strategy for defendi ng South Carolinas particular brand of Jim Crow was an important step toward organi zed white resistance. The drastic measures adopted by the South Carolina General Assemb ly and endorsed by Governor Byrnes in the early 1950s were the stat es first significant efforts to take over the day-to-day management of white supremacy in educati on since the state had enacted its Jim Crow laws in the late nineteenth and early twentie th centuries. Moreover, Byrnes ensured that white South Carolinians understood that any crack in the wall of separation between whites and blacks could spell disaster for th e entire institution of segregation. The governors unequivocal language and his endorsement of a zero tolerance policy toward desegregation hardened white resolve and stre ngthened white unity. Still, the widespread support for educational improvements and th e recognition that economic development depended on employing an educated and well-tr ained work force was evidence that some white South Carolinians were as interested in progress as they were in the fight to preserve segregation. 75 South Carolina House Journal (1952) 522-530. *In February of 1952 the Supreme Court was set to decide Brown v. Board of Education in the summer of 1953.

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60 In passing the school tax and the scho ol amendment, South Carolinians simultaneously prepared for two possible paths. The first promised moderate leadership and a commitment to improving th e states poor public educati on system. The other laid the groundwork for more militant resistance. By the fall of 1952, the minds of South Carolina whites were as divided and contradictory as the system of segregation they were fighting to protect. Plans to modernize a nd improve the states public schools coincided with threats to close them, and promises to abandon, rather than desegregate, public education overlapped with assurances that such action would never become necessary. Meanwhile, contemporary brick buildings with electricity and indoor plumbing replaced one-room schoolhouses with potbelly stove s and outhouses, and, by 1956, the state had spent more than $120 million on school improvements two-thirds of which was spent on African American schools.76 In 1952, few could predict which tactics S outh Carolina would adopt to combat the still rising tide of civil right s activism and the unmistakable signals of increasing federal opposition to the Souths Jim Crow laws. Stat e leaders promised moderation and respect for the law, but adopted measures for ci rcumventing federal orders and implicitly encouraged reprisals against civil rights activ ists. The most troubling, and yet predictable aspect of the white response to the Briggs case for African Americans was the fact that white Carolinians who were the most aff ected by the Clarendon case and other civil rights activism displayed the greatest propens ity to adopt extreme measures to protect segregation. Blacks and whites who voiced opposition to such actions were publicly shunned, economically isolated, and, at times, physically thre atened and attacked. White 76 South Carolina Educational Finance Commission, South Carolinas Educational Revolution

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61 South Carolinians debated a wide range of a ppropriate and possible tactics for protecting white supremacy across the state, but to the vi ctims of white reprisals in the black belt counties it was already apparent that, at midcentury, South Carolina had already teetered over the edge of massive resistance.

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62 CHAPTER 3 CAMPAIGNING ON RACE: THE ELECTIONS OF 1950 Between 1950 and 1952 South Carolina whites were nearly uniform in their opposition to black civil rights. However, reactions to the increasing encroachments on white privilege were diverse and the degr ee to which the segregation issue would radicalize state politics was unclear. Alt hough the race issue was seldom far from the surface of public consciousness and debate, many whites were equally concerned with improving the states schools, its economy, a nd its infrastructure. To address those concerns political leaders at the local and state level of ten relied on funding from the national government. In the early 1950s S outh Carolina was home to several large federally funded public works projects. Thes e projects, which included the construction of the Santee-Cooper hydroelectric plant, the Charleston Air Force Base, and the Savannah River nuclear weapons plant, funne led a considerable amount of money into the impoverished state. Furthermore, they created high paying jobs and paid for much needed internal improvements. For white voters and their elected leaders, securing funding for federal projects was both a politic al and economic necessity. Even elected officials who vilified federal intervention in civil rights i ssues vigorously lobbied for national funding for improving the state s infrastructure and its economy. In the wake of nascent signs of federal in terests in civil rights enforcement and the intensification of internal black pressure, there were some concerns about the states increasing dependence on federal funding, but th ey were minor in comparison to calls for more, not less, federal aid to South Carolina. For example, George Grice, the president

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63 of the College of Charleston, wrote to Senato r Burnet Maybank in June 1950 to ensure that the schools plan to borrow federal f unds to improve its faculty housing would not involve the College in any way in the raci al problem. Grice, who was a committed segregationist, worried that accepting the much needed funds w ould place the school under federal regulatory cont rol. Such control, he surmised, could result in a desegregation order. Despite these apprehensions, Grice and the college continued to seek federal monies whenever possible. 1 For many whites, even Grices mild worries were unwarranted. In spite of the post-World War II recession, the states econom ic outlook and the standard of living enjoyed by its citizens had vastly improved si nce the depths of th e Great Depression. Most South Carolinians felt that these impr ovements were a direct result of federal investments during the New D eal and World War II. The Second World War had saved the Charleston Navy Base and Naval Shipyar d, the Korean conflict had rescued Fort Jackson from threatened closure, and the Cold War had helped pump money into the states various other defense facilities. Th e Charleston Naval Shipyard alone employed between 10,000-15,000 workers during the late 1940s and early 1950s, and navy yard employees earned on average nearly tw ice as much as other area workers.2 1 George Grice to Burnet R. Maybank (June 17, 1950), Burnet Maybank to George Grice (July 17, 1950), College of Charleston Archives, Special Collections. 2 Fritz Hamer, A Southern City Enters the Twentieth Century: Charleston, its Navy Yard, and World War II, 1940-1948 (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of South Carolina, 1998). Andrew Herbert Myers, Black, White, and Olive Drab: Military-Social Relations During the Civil Rights Movement at Fort Jackson and in Columbia, South Carolina (Ph.D. Dissertation: Un iversity of Virginia, 1998). Ivan D. Carson to Burnet R. Maybank (March 3, 1952), Earl J. McGrath to Burnet R. Maybank (February 28, May 27 and March 10, 1952), and Howard J. Sears to Burnet R. Maybank (October 6, 1952), Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections.

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64 In addition to military spending, New Deal agriculture reforms contributed farm subsidies, low interest loans to buy agricu ltural equipment, and increased funding to agricultural colleges like Clemson University in the South Carolina upstate. Furthermore, Federal Housing Authority funds helped to alleviate South Carolinas housing shortage and the rura l electrification project funde d the expansion of electric lines across the bucolic state. Indeed, even though the state had roundly rejected Roosevelts successor in 1948, New Deal progr ams remained popular as South Carolina entered the 1950s.3 African Americans in South Carolina, who ha d also been stalwart supporters of the New Deal, were also generally optimistic that the 1950s would usher in an age of prosperity. However, unlike their white ne ighbors, they hoped that new economic and educational opportunities would go hand in hand with the expansion of their civil and political rights. African Americans throughout the South yearned for rapid social change and an official endorsement of black rights from regional a nd national leaders. For the states African American population, progre ss meant more than a bigger paycheck and rural electrification. Black South Carolinians had reason to belie ve that substantial change was on its way. By the dawn of the new decade the South Carolina branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Co lored People (NAACP) had challenged educational inequality in the state, Pr esident Harry S. Truman had ordered the desegregation of the military and promised to support civil rights in the waning years of 3 Jack Irby Hayes, South Carolina and the New Deal (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2001). George Calvin Waldrep, Southern Workers and the Search for Community: Spartanburg County, South Carolina (Urbana: University of Illinois Pre ss, 2000) 123-126. Dewey W. Grantham, The Life and Death of the Solid South: A Political History (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1988) 102-124.

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65 his administration, and northern Democrats were advocating antipoll tax legislation, anti-lynching bills, and support for African American voting rights. These national trends provided a crucial backdrop for local in itiatives in South Carolina where, in 1950 alone, Progressive Democratic Party (PDP ) leader and Charleston NAACP President Arthur Clement challenged white supremacist Congressman L. Mendel Rivers in South Carolinas First Congressional Districts Democratic primary, blacks in Clarendon County allied with NAACP Legal Defense Fund to initiate Briggs v. Elliott and civil rights leaders attempted to use black ballots to influence stat e elections in a meaningful way for the first time since Reconstruction. It was within this context of cautious, if differently c onfigured hopes for the future of the state that white and black South Carolinians confronted th e civil rights issue. Civil rights had dominated state politics in 1948 a nd the expansion of black activism since President Trumans re-election heightened an xiety among white segreg ationists. Support for segregation remained a litmus test for white office seekers in South Carolina, but it was not the only issue that concerned white voters. Politicians also had to preach economic progress and support for educati on while simultaneously cautioning against rapid social change. Elected officials faced enormous, ofte n contradicting, pressures to preserve white supremacy without jeopa rdizing white economic prosperity or surrendering local autonomy in exchange for federal funding. This chapter explains the nature of those pressures and the numerous responses to them by black and white South Carolinians during the va rious elections of 1950. The economic concerns of Charleston ex emplified the controversy over federal funds in South Carolina. Charleston was th e largest city in South Carolinas Low

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66 Country region and home to the states mo st conservative daily newspaper, the News and Courier In the post-World War II era the city wa s also a hotbed of white resistance to NAACP and PDP activism. However, Charlest on was also an important bastion of the Cold War military industries and its civi c leaders demanded that its congressional representatives direct federal funds to the region even if, as conservatives like George Grice feared, such money brought with it the specter of possible federal intervention in racial arrangements. After suffering through numerous post-World War II cutbacks, the military initiated a building boom in the region beginning in the early 1950s. By the mid-1960s, more defense dollars were spent in the Charle ston area than anywhere else in the nation except Norfolk, San Antonio, and San Di ego, and no region saw more internal improvements funded by the United States military than the South Carolina Low Country. Moreover, federal contributions to dredging and maintaining the harbor contributed to improvements in commerci al shipping. These improvements created scores of high paying jobs and provided a substantial amount of political capital for elected officials. Most of these proj ects were navigated through congress by Representative Rivers, who was a powerful me mber of the Armed Services Committee. Throughout his nearly 30 years in Congress, Rivers was notorious for steering federal defense money to his home district and lauded for his ability to increase defense spending throughout his home state.4 4 George Hopkins, From Naval Pauper to Naval Po wer: The Development of Charlestons MetropolitanIndustrial Complex, in ed. Roger W. Lotchin, The Martial Metropolis: U.S. Cities in War and Peace (New York: Praeger, 1984) 1-34.

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67 Riverss influence on the growth of military industries in South Carolina was ubiquitous, but other city leader s were also important in recruiting federal projects to the previously impoverished area. Although Charlest on area boosters prom oted the city with the zeal of many New South a dvocates, city leaders were al so happy to sell the historic districts genteel charm. In 1949, the Ca rolina Art Association published a book praising Charleston for its ability to be both a prime tourist destination and a modern industrial city. The book, entitled Charleston Grows pointed out that the hi storic peninsula was a city with a heritage, but it was not an anachronistic place sleeping through the present. According to the various contributors to the book it was not a reconstruction of the eighteenth century, preserved as a museum piece.5 Charleston Grows portrayed the city as divided in to two distinct districts. Peninsular Charleston was the epitome of southern charm and gentility and the area northwest of US 17 and southeast of Berkel ey County was a booming industrial marvel. In the book, prominent Charleston author Herbert Ravenel Sass claimed, The old historic Charleston and the new industrial Charleston are geographically separate and distinct, so that indus trial development here can be w holly helpful with none of the disastrous cultural sacrifices which progr ess . often involves. Sass and other Charleston area boosters recognized that econom ic advancement might blur the lines of racial and ethnic separation, but hoped that the city could find a way to foster development without risking the loss of white supremacy. Sass concluded that the new 5 Carolina Art Association, Charleston Grows (Charleston: Walker, Evans & Cogswell Co., 1949). For a discussion of role of historical memory in Charleston, see: Stephanie Yuhl, A Golden Haze of Memory: The Making of Historic Charleston (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005).

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68 Charleston could find inspi ration and courage in the strong and masculine old Charleston.6 The convoluted mixture of historic memory and economic boosterism in Charleston Grows represented the desire of many white South Carolinians to promote economic modernization without upsetting the racial status q uo. This bifurcated mindset was evident throughout South Carolina, but it was especially influential in the Low Country region in the southeast corner of the state where Charleston was located. Nearly the entire region was part of the First Congre ssional District and ev ery county in it was part of the black belt. In the early sp ring of 1950, Low Country whites began pressuring the South Carolina Democratic Party to take immediate action to thwart various expressions of civil rights reform and activ ism. The Charleston County Democratic Convention passed a resolution commending th e Palmetto States opposition to the FEPC [Fair Employment Practic es Commission] law, the anti-lynching law, the anti-poll tax law, the anti-segregation laws, comm only known as the so-called Civil Rights program. The group also instructed its dele gates to the State Demo cratic Convention of 1950 to oppose any effort to have the Democr atic Party of South Ca rolina sacrifice or compromise its traditional principles or re verse and repudiate the State Partys opposition to the so-called Civil Rights program and those who advocate such programs. 7 Nonetheless, black activists pressed on with their calls for an end to South Carolinas restrictive election process. And, when Arthur Clement challenged Rivers in the Democratic Primary of 1950, he became both a symbol of the incr easing intensity of 6 Ibid 7 Resolution for the County Convention (c. 1950), Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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69 black political activism and a reminder of th e deeply entrenched discrimination in the states election system. His challenge is es pecially noteworthy because, other than Strom Thurmond, no politician in South Carolina embo died the Dixiecrat movement more than Rivers. Indeed, Rivers and Re presentative John L. McMillan of Florence were the only members of the South Carolina congression al delegation to campaign openly for the Thurmond-Wright ticket in 1948.8 Rivers had built his reputation as an ardent segregationist with vicious political attacks on the Truman Administration. He ca lled the president a dead chicken who did not have sense enough to lead the nation. In October 1948, Rivers went so far as to issue a public statement requesting that the st ate Democratic Party remove his name from the Truman ticket. The move was unnece ssary because in South Carolina, the Democratic ticket was headlined by Thurm ond and not Truman, but the congressmans rhetoric helped solidify suppor t from angry whites. I wouldnt be true to my convictions, he explained, if I ran also on the Truman ticke t. I want it known that Im supporting the States Rights Democrats and not the Truman Democrats. Rivers followed the Dixiecrat Party line arguing that the States Rights primary was the regular Democratic primary of South Ca rolina. He declared, I dont want to sail under false colors or to mislead you or anyone else, and cert ainly it is not my desire to give Truman any intentional or inadvertent help or assistan ce. Rivers called on every Southerner to stand up and be counted, and warned, You re on one side or the other, not both.9 8 Ibid 9 Ibid

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70 Like Rivers, Clement was a political vete ran. He was the Executive Secretary of the PDP and had campaigned for Henry Wallace during the presidential election of 1948. In a letter to the Charleston News and Courier that year, Clement wrote: The Progressive Democrats do not want to get into the Party of the White folks. We want to fully participate like any other citizen in the only ma terial and realistic election machinery in this State The Democratic Pa rty and its Primaries. The present government of South Carolina is not good enough for the Progressive Democrats. We desire no part of it. It is putrid. It s odor stenches the clear clean air of South Carolina.10 In addition to their obvious differences re garding racial politics, a host of other issues separated Rivers and Clement. The South Carolina Democratic Digest which was an official publication of the national Demo cratic Party in South Carolina, gave brief biographies of all of the candida tes. It described Clement as a statewide leader of Negro groups and as a liberal who was pro-labor and pro-National Democrat. The paper claimed that Rivers was an arch-foe of Truman and Civil Rights who was strongly conservative.11 During the election Rivers promised voters that he would continue our fight in Washington to uphold our traditi ons, our customs, and our rights to run our own business in South Carolina against outside interference. In a half-page political advertisement in the News and Courier he pledged not to sell the sout hern birthright for a mess of political patronage. The congressman also cl aimed to be one of the foremost defenders of states rights and local se lf-government. Rivers, however, refused to discuss Clement directly. Instead, he attemp ted to remain aloof. The c ongressman was contemptuous of 10 Arthur J. Clement to To the Editor of the Charlest on News & Courier, (June 1, 1948), Arthur J. Clement Papers, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Colu mbia [Hereafter cited as Clement Papers, SCL). 11 South Carolina Democratic Digest (Columbia: May 1950), Clement Papers, SCL.

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71 black forays into politics and, rather than campaign directly against Clement, Rivers utilized the publicity surrounding the race issue to enhance his reputation as defender of white privilege. He declared, I am not ta king any notice of the candidacy of one A.J. Clement, Jr. for Congress from the First Congr essional District, as he did not wish to lend dignity to [Clements] candidacy. The congressman dismissed Clement as an unsuitable opponent who was an officer in the organization created by Henry Wallace, known as the Americans for Democratic Action, that opposed every concept and political philosophy of which the South Carolina Democratic Party is made and of which it is composed.12 In addition to provoking declarations of contempt from Rivers, Clements candidacy helped to exacerbate white fears and reinforced th e notion that the states Jim Crow voting restrictions were under siege. That anxiety was a poten t tool for mobilizing white political power. State Representative Joseph Wise of Ch arleston published a campaign leaflet that warned against the m enace of bloc voting. The advertisement quoted former North Carolina Governor Charles B. Aycock who had said in 1898: When we came to power, we desired merely the security of life, liberty and prosperity. We had seen all these menaced by 120,000 Negro votes cast as the vote of one man. Wises campaign literature pointed out th at several North Caro lina cities had been affected by bloc voting by blacks in the stat es primary. Furthermore, he contended, These same tactics are BEING ATTEMPTED in Charleston County, South Carolina. 12 Telegram from L. Mendel Rivers to Calvit N. Clarke, Chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee, Moncks Corner, South Carolina (July 9, 1950), Rivers Papers, SCHS. News and Courier (July 9, 1950) 7A. Rough Draft of Letter from L. Mendel Rivers to Dear Mr. Chairman (June 21, 1950) Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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72 He also cautioned that white must UNITE TO GETHER in order to preserve our TRUE SOUTHERN DEMOCRACY.13 Like Wise, Rivers understood that white pol itical unity was very important to his re-election, but Rivers seemed more con cerned about setting the stage for future elections. Like other white leaders in the S outh, Rivers was tasked with rallying whites to his cause without encouraging political ly ambitious moderates to recognize the prospective power of a biracial coalition. While he feigned a lack of interest in the election and assured voters of his certain victory, Rivers also reminded voters that the primary was very important, and he urged ev ery eligible white person to register to vote by June 10, 1950 so that all qualified wh ite persons could show up at the polls. According to the congressman, It is essential that we register and vote to maintain and preserve good government and prot ect our interest against the forces that are working day and night to change our wa y of life and deprive us of the freedom we cherish.14 Riverss actions in the campaign revealed a tension that perm eated white political ranks across South Carolina in the 1950s. Ji m Crow restrictions were created to limit the potential power of black ballo ts and to prevent the forma tion of a biracial political alliance that could threatened the elite white power structure. The erosion of those controls on African American vo ting rights threatened to create new political coalitions and weaken white unity on the issue of segregation. During the election Rivers worried privately that a high black turnout might en courage moderate whites to seek office in future elections. He understood, as did most white leaders, that such a combination of 13 Bloc Voting By Any Group is a Menace to Democracy (n.d.), Clement Papers, SCL. 14 L. Mendel Rivers to Y.C. Weathersbee et al. (May 25, 1950), L. Mendel Rivers to James Henry Clark et al. (May 25, 1950), Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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73 white and black votes could pose a serious ch allenge to more conservative candidates. Rivers proclaimed: I believe that the white people in Charleston are alert to the potentialities of the negro (sic). The election this year will de monstrate one thing that we have in our midst people of the Waring ilk who are prom oting the negro (sic) and in the future we will have white men running with their bl essings. Then they can really wield the balance of power.15 Clement recognized the same potential a nd spent most his campaign attempting to energize black voters and, as Ri vers feared, reach out to more moderate whites. He realized that in 1950 it was impossible for a bl ack candidate to win an election in South Carolina, even in the First District where blacks comprised a major ity of the population. According to the 1940 census there were approximately 170,000 blacks in the district compared to just over 120,000 whites. Howeve r, despite the legal advances for black political rights in the previous decade, the majority of the districts African Americans were still not registered for the elections of 1950 reflecting a recurring void between increasingly progressive laws and judicial rulings rega rding race and consistently conservative practices at the local level.16 Journalist and publisher John McCray also understood the potential effect of a large black voter turnout. He urged African Ameri cans to register before the June 10 deadline and called for the chairman and execu tive committee of each precinct, club and organization working under the Progressive De mocrats banner to begin at once a daily 15 L. Mendel Rivers to Ashley Halsey (June 3, 1950), Rivers Papers, SCHS. 16 Lighthouse and Informer (May 13, 1950) 4. Howard Quint, Profile in Black and White: A Frank Portrait of South Carolina (Washington D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1958) 1-25. For a discussion of the political situation of Low Country African Americans see: Millicent E. Brown, Civil Rights Activism in Charleston, South Carolina, 1940-1970 (Ph.D. Disserta tion: Florida State University, 1997). L. Mendel Rivers to Y.C. Weathersbee et al.( May 25, 1950), L. Mendel Rivers to James Henry Clark et al. (May 25, 1950), Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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74 campaign of registration which must not be slowed up until the last minute is used. McCray instructed the Executive Committee of the Progressive Democratic Party to arrange transportation for citizens who wished to register. Mendel Rivers must not go back to Congress he proclaimed, We can k eep him out, but we must do it by registering now and following through w ith the voting until July 11th.17 Since many whites and blacks were apprehensi ve of being associated with radical leftist politics, Clement attempted to c ounter the accusation that civil rights was euphemism for communism. Instead, he clai med that black progress was an important issue for all South Carolinians. When we hear the term civil rights we immediately see color, observed Clement, but he conte nded, Civil Rights is the essence of our American Way. It is our chief weapon against all foreign isms. In South Carolina, civil rights have been a dead truth, an untouchable. We wish to bring it onto the open for its avoidance has affected all our people not just a segment. We have frittered away our glorious heritage, said Clement, and th e possibilities wrapped up in the American Dream by allowing our attitudes and amb itions to become wrapped by racism.18 Despite these efforts, Rivers easily defeat ed Clement in the primary election. The incumbent garnered over 42,000 votes compared to Clements 7,000. Most of Clements support came from the African American communities in Charleston and Beaufort Counties. The Charleston Evening Post smugly declared, We beli eve he [Rivers] would have won the election even if there ha d been any serious opposition to him.19 17 John H. McCray to Fellow Citizen (May 26, 1950), Clement Papers, SCL. 18 News and Courier (May 17, 1950) from the Rivers Papers, SCHS. 19 Evening Post (July 12, 1950), Lighthouse and Informer (July 15, 1950) from the Rivers Papers, SCHS. Evening Post (July 17, 1950) 4.

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75 The African American communities in South Carolina and across the South were divided over how to react to Clement s showing. In an editorial, the Atlanta Daily World claimed to have nothing but the highest es teem and commendation for South Carolinas young A.J. Clement, Jr. The paper noted that Clement had received enough financial support to pay for campaign expenses and th at he had made a remarkably good showing despite the overwhelming challenge of confr onting the white political hierarchy. The editorial stated: Although he received only 7,299 votes against his opponents 43,489, we do not think that was a poor showing for a candi date entering a campaign with so many grave and insuperable obst acles. Not only was the total atmosphere of the campaign rabidly anti-Negro but the atmosphe re and tempo of the state was hostile. Dixiecrats and the Dixiecrat spirit was th e central note, the like of which only Georgia could equal or surpass. Accordi ngly, his race, while badly beaten, served to educate white voters and to give Negr oes a keener interest and appreciation for the right of the franchise.20 Closer to home, however, some members of the black community were outraged by the limited support that Clement had receiv ed from African American voters. An editorial in the Lighthouse and Informer complained that blacks in Charleston could have done more to promote Clements candidacy a nd hinted at alleged improprieties in the election process. In the ini tial probing of the matter, the paper claimed, it seems that several [blacks] were urged to vote against Clement and for his Dixiecrat opponent. McCray and Clement each condemned conservative blacks who supported Rivers in order to gain political patronage. The Lighthouse and Informer editorial argued that the loss was a serious blow to the political rights of African Americans. The article stated, 20 It Was Worth the Try, Atlanta Daily World (July 16, 1950), from the Clement Papers, SCL.

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76 Never again soon will we have the golden opportuni ty we had in the first district. In a letter to Clement, McCray declared the black participation in the election disgraceful.21 Although McCray, Clement, and other black leaders had not expected a victory for the African American candidate, the miniscul e voter turnout in th e black communities of the First District was a serious blow. Not only was it evidence that white state leaders had minimized the effectiveness of court orders to end the lily white primary, but the low turnout also meant that it would be even harder to convince white candidates that a moderate biracial coalition could unseat cons ervative Democrats, such as Rivers. White solidarity coupled with the absence of federa l enforcement of anti-discrimination laws and rulings meant that black voters could be sa fely ignored in black belt elections for the foreseeable future. The election also demonstrated the degr ee to which white segregationists still controlled the political process. White leaders had made Clements candidacy as difficult as possible. Clements campaign received no assistance from the Democratic Party of South Carolina, and party officials actively s ought to limit his involvement in official events. For example, The County Chairman of the Democratic Party of Hampton County refused to allow Clement to speak at a party rally. When the challenger complained to state party officials, William P. Baskin, the State Chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, responded that local officials were not requ ired to invite any candidate to speak. Baskin claimed that he had no au thority to invite a candidate to a county meeting.22 21 A Lesson to Learn Early, Lighthouse and Informer (n.d.), John H. McCray to Arthur Clement (July 21, 1950), Clement Papers, SCL. 22 William P. Baskin to Arthur J. Clement (June 1, 1950), Clement Papers, SCL.

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77 White newspapers encouraged the notion th at Clement was a fringe candidate with little or no support from whites or blacks. For example, Clement was vilified by the Charleston News and Courier On two occasions, the conservative newspaper attacked Clement for not properly answering the race question. The Charleston paper editorially condemned him for failing to oppose the comp elled mixture of the white and colored races in industries (the FEPC) and for his support of mixed race schools and colleges. It also noted that Clement was not in favor of separation of the races in railroad cars, public buses, hotels and restaurant s, or in favor of residentia l separation of races as is now customary in cotton mill villages and othe r localities. In summation, the editorial declared that Clement was undesirable becau se he did not commit himself to opposing any kind of racial mingling or as favori ng any kind of racial separation. The News and Courier insisted that its opposition to Clement wa s not based on the candidates race, but on his political beliefs. In fact, an editorial declared that African Americans should enjoy the same political rights as whites, as long as any prospective black candidate favored segregation. Of course, the ne wspapers editorial staff was we ll aware that such a caveat would eliminate any serious black candidate.23 After the election, segregationists were convi nced that their efforts had paid off. Whites were jubilant at the lack of black political participatio n in the primary, and Riverss easy victory seemed to alleviate paranoid fears of an African American takeover of the Democratic Party. The Hampton Democrat declared: Apparently the fear that many South Carolinians had that the Negroes w ould flock to the polls and vote into office candidates unpalatable to the majority of wh ite voters was without justification. The 23 News and Courier (July 8, 1950) 4A.

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78 newspaper argued that voter turnout among African American s was so low in the state that there is no real reason to believe Negroes would vote in a bloc. For many whites, Rivers triumph was an indica tion that they had stemmed th e rising tide of black activism that had characterized the pr evious year. It was also additional fodder for whites to utilize to argue that most South Carolina blacks were content with white political leadership.24 Nonetheless, any display of black politi cal activism, no matter how circumscribed, elicited a palpable degree of fear from South Carolinas white communities. For some politicians, the time seemed ripe to take adva ntage of these apprehensions in a statewide election. Governor J. Strom Thurmond, w ho had won over 70 percent of the states popular vote in the presidentia l election of 1948, hoped that wh ite distrust of President Harry Truman and the national Democratic Party would lead him to victory over the states most prominent Truman supporter, United States Senator Olin D. Johnston. Against the backdrop of the Rivers-Clement race, NAACP legal challenges to white supremacy, and the desegregation of the milita ry, Thurmond initiated his first attempt to reach the United States Senate. By the time the former Dixiecrat announ ced his candidacy, many of the states leading political observers had already envisaged a victory for Thurmond. The Charleston News and Courier forecast an overwhelming triumph for the governor. Conservative newspaperman William D. Workman predicted Thurmond would garner almost 60 percent of the popular vote, and the Sumter Daily Item declared that Johnstons support for the president would tr anslate into a sure victory for Thurmond. In fact, few 24 Hampton Democrat (July 16, 1950), from the Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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79 political observers felt that Johnston could defeat the popular governor. Several political prognosticators reasoned that the recent el ection losses of other southern Truman supporters and racial moderates like Claude Pepper of Flor ida and Frank Porter Graham of North Carolina were evidence of Johns tons vulnerability on the race issue.25 In each of these cases, political pundits ca lculated that a conservative backlash against the national Democratic Party would provide an election-day win for Thurmond. However, these same analysts underestimated Johnstons own reputation as an ardent white supremacist at a time when the race i ssue was especially vexing for many voters. For example, when the incumbent senator received the endorsem ent of his hometown newspaper, the Anderson Independent it defended his record on matters of race and attempted to draw a contrast between Johnston and several other southern senators who faced difficult elections in 1950. The Anders on newspaper editorialized that Johnston had little in common with the defeated lib eral senators from North Carolina and Florida. Instead, the paper asserted that Johnston was a member of a powerful block of southern senators who helped defeat civil righ ts initiatives, such as the permanent FEPC. The newspaper concluded, Both Pepper a nd Graham gave support and sympathy to FEPC legislation. Johnston never has and ne ver will. Furthermore, the Anderson daily claimed that the Senator had more in comm on with arch-segregationists Lister Hill of Alabama, Walter George of Georgia, and Clyde Hoey of North Carolina.26 25 News and Courier (June 23, 1950) 4. William D. Workman, Jr. to Judson Chapman (n.d.), William D. Workman, Jr. Papers, Modern Political Collections, Un iversity of South Carolina, Columbia [Hereafter cited as Workman Papers, MPC]. Sumter Daily Item (July 10, 1950) 4. 26 Anderson Independent (July 9, 1950) 4. The State (July 1, 1950) 3. Several Thurmond campaign advertisements and clippings that deal with this st rategy are located in the 1950 Democratic Primary campaign files of the Olin D. Johnston Papers, Modern Political Collections, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina [Hereafter cited as Johnston Papers, MPC].

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80 Johnston adopted much the same tactic as his hometown newspaper. He tried to reach out to popular southern conservatives and distanced himself from the moderate wing of the national Democratic Party. Th e senator even attempted to gain an endorsement from Georgia Senator Richar d Russell, who was well respected amongst segregationists for his efforts to preserve Jim Crow. Russell praised Johnston and fellow South Carolina Senator Burnet R. Maybank, but did not wish to interject himself into the South Carolina primary. Despite Ru ssells desire for neutrality, Johnstons campaign staff reprinted Russells praise of the incumbent in newspaper advertisements.27 Fortunately for Johnston, conservativ e newspaper editors and black belt segregationists did not constitute the majo rity of white voters. Convincing white Johnston supporters to abandon the senator was a difficult sell. He was a former mill worker who had a strong following in the ups tate region and appeal ed to white voters on both racial and economic grounds. Johnston co nsidered himself the political champion of the states white textile workers, and, like many of his constituents, he was a vocal supporter of Franklin Roosevelt s New Deal and white workers rights. He was the only southern senator to vote for the repeal of th e Taft-Hartley law, which limited the rights of workers to form unions and to strike. He had also led the Souths efforts to limit the effects of the Smith v. Allwright decision. As governor (1943-1945) Johnston was the architect of the South Carolina Plan, whereby the state legislature removed any 27 Richard Russell to Olin Johnston (June 27, 1950), Johnston Papers, MPC. Several of these advertisements are located in journalist William D. Workmans files on the campaign, Workman Papers, MPC. For a discussion of Russell, see: Gilbert Courtland Fite, Richard B. Russell, Jr., Senator from Georgia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991). Robert Mann, The Walls of Jericho: Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Russell and the Struggle for Civil Rights (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1996).

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81 reference to political parties from state law, and declared the Democratic Party a private club that was not subject to the court deci sion. Almost overnight, the state legislature repealed 150 state statutes governing primar y elections. Although this process was later declared unconstitutional in Elmore v. Rice it nonetheless boosted Johnston a reputation as an uncompromising segregationist.28 Thurmonds strategy was more one-dimensional. He hoped to recreate the Dixiecrat alliance that had helped him win the state in 1948. Thurmond felt that white voters would flock to his campaign and cast thei r ballots based on his stalwart defense of segregation two years earlier. Th e governor realized that, due to his stint as a Dixiecrat in 1948, he had no hope of winning the black vote. Even though he and every other white politician in South Carolina were aware of the increase in black voting rights, Thurmond felt that he could attract enough alienated white voters to offs et the modest increase in black participation. He anticipated that alienating blacks would make him a more attractive candidate to the segr egationist electorate, but also understood that his victory depended on his ability to persuade South Caro lina whites that the re-election of Johnston actually threatened the ins titution of segregation. Many political observers knew that the governors strategy was a risky one. Former South Carolina State Senator Paul Quattlebaum cautioned the governor not to miscalculate the effects of the African American vote in the primary, and United States Congressman L. Mendel Rivers contended that state NAACP leader James Hinton was openly campaigning against Thurmond. Quattlebaum expressed a common concern and 28 Tinsley Yarbrough, A Passion for Justice: J. Waties Waring and Civil Rights (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987) 68-106. Richard Kluger, Simple Justice: the History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black Americas Struggle for Equality (New York: Knopf, 1975) 299.

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82 alleged that blacks were register ing to vote at a rate of twenty to one when compared to new white voters. Moreover, he repeated th e common speculation that African American voters would cast their ballots as a herd.29 When the official campaign tour co mmenced in Lexington County on May 23, 1950, neither Thurmond nor Johnston wasted any time with polite debate. Each candidate accused the other of jeopardizi ng the foundation of se gregation with his political actions in 1948. Johns ton repeatedly claimed that the only way to preserve the separation of the races was for southern poli ticians to maintain seniority within the national Democratic Party. Thurmond accused Johnston of collaborating with the very forces that sought to dismantle Jim Crow. Thurmond reminded voters that I stuck my neck out for you two years ago. Referring to the Dixiecrat revolt, he declared, Dont forget that I fought the fight for states ri ghts while my opponent ran out on the Democrats of South Carolina. Since the South Caro lina Democratic Party had endorsed Thurmond in the presidential election of 1948, the governor even claimed that Johnston had violated his loyalty oath to the state party by supporting Truman.30 Thurmonds campaign rested largely on his assertion that Johnston was trying to pose as a loyal segregationist at home, but was really a committed Trumanite. My opponent, declared Thurmond, may think he can play around in Washington with the TrumanC.I.O. crowd and then come back down here and pose as a great States Rights Democrat, but he is not going to get by with it. He gr ouped Johnston with those who 29 Paul Quattlebaum to J. Strom Thurmond (April 22, 1950), Paul Quattlebaum Papers, Special Collections, Strom Thurmond Institute, Clemson Univer sity, Clemson, South Carolina [Hereafter cited as Quattlebaum Papers, Thurmond Institute]. Rive rs to Thurmond (n.d.), Rivers Papers, SCHS. 30 News and Courier (May 25, 1950) 9B. The State (June 3, 1950) 3, (June 8, 1950), 8. News and Courier (June 10, 1950) 3.

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83 stabbed the Democratic Party of South Carolina in the back and repudiated its principles. . He warned that Johnston should not now try to get back in the party and seek favors from party membership, and suggested that the incumbent Senator sail under [his] true colors and offer [himself] openly on the Tr uman Party ticket. Moreover, Thurmond claimed that United States Attorney Genera l J. Howard McGrath was the driving force behind Trumans civil rights initiatives and that Johnstons support for him was a direct threat to the legal structure of segregation. In one campa ign advertisement, Thurmond labeled a photograph of Johnston and McGrath together with the cap tion: Olin Johnston Drinks Toast to the man Harry Truman Appoi nted to End Segregation in the South. Thurmond alleged that no southerner could wo rk within Trumans Democratic Party to protect segregation. Instead, he insisted that southern leaders should refuse to compromise with party members who advocat ed civil rights for African Americans.31 By contrast, Johnston urged South Carolina voters to look toward the Democratic Party to defend segregation. He claimed th at southerners could only counteract the burgeoning support for black voting and civil rights within the national party. The senator told voters that he had been fighti ng for states rights for thirty years. He cautioned South Carolinians not to isolate th emselves from the rest of the nation, and declared that the fight to save segregation should remain within the party. Johnston preached a unified front in the battle to pres erve segregated society. As long as we are split, he said, we cant hope to accomplish much.32 31 News and Courier (May 25, 1950) 1. Olin Johnston Drinks Toast to the Man Harry Truman Appointed to End Segregation in the South, Thurmond Campaign Advertisement, Workman Papers, MPC. The State (June 21, 1950) 1B. News and Courier (June 8, 1950) 11. 32 News and Courier (May 27, 1950) 1. The State (June 2, 1950) 5, (June 2, 1950) 5.

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84 Unfortunately for Johnston, South Carolina s black belt newspaper editors tended to agree with Thurmond. The Sumter Daily Item went so far as to announce that a Thurmond victory would be a defeat for Tr uman and his supporters. The editorial labeled Johnston Trumans man, and decided that he was tainted with Trumanism. The Charleston News and Courier joked that, if Johnston were to defeat Thurmond in the primary, the state should hold a run-off elec tion between the Trumanite Johnston and the anti-Truman Johnston. When Johnston labe led President Truman a political mishap and a blabbermouth, the Charleston pape r asked whether the Senator referred to Truman as Mr. President or Mr. Blabbermouth while in Washington D.C.33 The governor tapped further into white anxiety by accusing Johnston of secretly working with black leaders and pandering to black crowds. At one debate, Thurmond declared, I appreciate the fact that the applause for me came from the white people of Berkeley county, and noted that Johnst on only received cheers from the African American attendees. Thurmond was clearl y attempting to influence the medias perception of the event. Journalist Willia m Workman, whose articles appeared in the News and Courier and The State newspapers, frequently repor ted on the racial makeup of the campaign audiences. He also took deta iled notes regarding which candidate curried the most favor from white audiences and wh ich participant receive d the most applause from African Americans. Workman, who had a clear political agenda, privately warned 33 Sumter Daily Item (July 6, 1950) 4, (July 10, 1950) 4. News and Courier (July 11, 1950) 4. The State (June 10, 1950) 3. News and Courier (May 24, 1950) 1, (May 25, 1950) 4.

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85 Thurmond that the National Democratic Party and the NAACP planned to spend $250,000 to organize black voters an d rally support for Johnston.34 Despite the near constant attacks from Thurmonds campaign, Johnston did not shy away from his allegiance to the national Democratic Party in 1948 or from his record on the race issue. The incumben t senator argued that it was he, and not Thurmond, who had struggled to defend white privilege. For inst ance, Johnston attacked the former Dixiecrat for naming Dr. T.C. McFall, an African American, to a South Carolina medical advisory board in 1949. The board, which was appoi nted by the governor, was charged with working with the state board of health to evaluate hospital construction. State law stipulated that the members of the council were chosen on the recommendation of the South Carolina Medical Association. Th e Association had recommended McFall so that state policy makers could bette r understand the health need s of South Carolinas black population. Johnston characteri zed Thurmonds actions as an attempt to break down segregation, and accused Thurmond of pa ndering for black votes with the McFall appointment. According to Johnston, Thurm onds appointment of the African American doctor was directly related to the end of the white primary with the Smith v. Allwright decision.35 In the face of Johnstons audacious att ack on his segregationist credentials, Thurmond claimed that state la w had required him to appoint McFall and that he took no pleasure in the selection. He vigorously denied Johnston s accusation of pandering to 34 The State (July 7, 1950) 1. Notes on the 1950 De mocratic Primary and Untitled manuscript dated February 6, 1950 from the Workman Papers, MPC. 35 The State (June 30, 1950) 5B, (July 1, 1950) 1. News and Courier (June 30, 1950) 4. Thurmonds Appointment of a NEGRO, (n.d.) Johnston Papers, MPC. The State (June 27, 1950) 7. Nadine Cohodas, Strom Thurmond and the Politics of Southern Change (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993) 201-214.

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86 black voters. Thurmond was supported by the state medical association, and a number of South Carolina newspapers. The Charleston News and Courier proclaimed that the McFall nomination contributed to the health of all the people, white and colored.36 Thurmond sought to distract attentio n from the McFall nomination issue by implicating Johnston in a race scandal of hi s own. While serving as governor, Johnston had approved the parole of Dave Dunham. Upon his release, Dunham, who was an African American, murdered a white 22-year -old Chester County veteran. Thurmond blamed Johnston for the crime and declared that Johnstons pardon racket was to blame for the murder. Thurmond charged that during Johnstons gube rnatorial term, an unbridled and unbelievable pardon and parole sp ree occurred. He claimed that Johnston was responsible for the release of over 3,000 convicts from South Carolina prisons. According to Thurmond, during Johnstons admi nistration it was easie r to get out of the penitentiary than it was to get in.37 In spite of Thurmonds defense that he was simply following state law and his condemnation of the Senators gubernatorial re cord, Johnston refused to let the former Dixiecrat off the hook. Johnston presented evidence that, as governor, he had only pardoned or paroled 671 people. Furthermore, he pointed out that he had only released half as many prisoners as his predecessor, Ib ra C. Blackwood. He also noted that voters should hold Thurmond responsible for the McFall nomination. He reminded his constituents that Thurmond had signed the law in the first place. I would have suffered my right arm to be severed, claimed J ohnston, before I would have signed any 36 Ibid Sumter Daily Item (July 7, 1950) 4. News and Courier (June 28, 1950) 4. 37 News and Courier (June 9, 1950) 1. The State (June 9, 1950) 1.

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87 commission for McFall. The Senator went so far as to place a full-page advertisement in The State proclaiming: Thurmond Appoints Negro! Wade Hampton s Era of Segregation Ends in South Carolina as Thurmond replaces white Doctor with Charleston Negro in Bold bid to Capture Negro Vote of State! First Negr o Appointed to State Position Since Days of Carpetbaggers and Scalawags! On another occasion, Johnston declared, I would never have appointed the nigger physician . to displace your beloved white physician . . When a group of African Americans in the audience took offense at J ohnstons remarks, Johnston declared, make those niggers keep quiet. When the T hurmond campaign declared Johnston a closet integrationist, he proclaimed that his opponent s were low down contemptible liar[s]. 38 In addition to instigating the uproar over the McFall affair, Johnston also chastised Thurmond for inviting the black governor of the Virgin Islands, William H. Hastie, to visit South Carolina as the governors guest. Following the national governors conference in 1947, Thurmonds office sent inv itations to visit South Carolina as the official guests of the governor to each state executive who could not attend the conference. Since Hastie did not attend, he received the invitation. Apparently, Thurmonds secretary was unaware that Hast ie was black. Unfortunately for Thurmond, Hastie was also a Truman appoint ee who had participated in the Smith v. Allwright case.39 Beyond his attacks on Thurmonds commitment to racial integrity, Johnston also re-enforced his own reputation as a committed segregationist with a well-timed attack on 38 The State (June 27, 1950) 7, (June 12, 1950) 12C. News and Courier (July 7, 1950) 1. Pardons, (n.d.) Johnston Papers, MPC. The State (June 23, 1950) 1. 39 Ibid Cohodas, Strom Thurmond 206-220. For a discussion of Hasties involvement with Smith v. Allwright see: Kevin J. McMahon, Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race: How the Presidency Paved the Road to Brown (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004) 153-154.

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88 the FEPC. In the months leading up to th e campaign, Johnston was a leading spokesman against the establishment of a permanent FEPC. He and 21 other southern senators used the filibuster to prevent a vote on the bill. Johnston also utilized his position as the chairman of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service to slow down congressional committee work until the bill was ultimately def eated. Each of the 12 attempts to end the impasse and create a permanent FEPC faile d. For Johnston, the defeat of the FEPC legislation was one of his most im portant achievements. Both the Anderson Independent and The State newspaper in Columbia congratulated the senator for his stand against the FEPC, and he did not hesitate to remind voters of his victo ry over the legi slation. I have fought for you in the United States Se nate, Johnston declared, and I mean to continue. Predictably, Thurmond was less impressed with his opponents efforts to block permanent FEPC legislation, proclaim ing, I fail to see how he can claim any support from the people of South Carolina for helping to kill the pet measure of the man he helped elect on a platform calling for civil rights programs. 40 By the time the votes were tabulated in the primary, Johnston had defeated Thurmond by over 27,000 votes. The upcount ry Democrat carried 186,180 votes to Thurmonds 158,904. Thurmonds showing paled in comparison to his performance in the 1948 presidential campaign when he car ried every South Carolina county except Anderson and Spartanburg, which were domin ated by the textile industry and populated by staunch New Dealers.41 40 Numan V. Bartley, The Rise of Massive Resistance (Baton Rouge: Louisian a State University Press, 1969) 35-40. News and Courier (May 25, 1950) 1. Anderson Independent (May 13, 1950) 4. The State (June 3, 1950) 3. News and Courier (June 21, 1950) 4B. 41 The State (July 19, 1950) 1. For a discussion of the nature of the Dixiecrat movement, see: Kari Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968 (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 2001).

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89 Thurmonds 1950 campaign failed on thr ee levels. First, the governor underestimated Johnstons reputation as a de fender of Jim Crow and overestimated the potency of his own credentials as a white supremacist. Second, he gambled that the recent challenges to the racial status quo would alienate a large number of white Democratic loyalists, but faile d to attract enough white voters to offset the effects of a growing African American electorate, wh ich voted largely for Johnston. Third, Thurmond criticized federal funding of state sponsored projects in a state that was economically dependent on such funds. Each of these tactical e rrors merits closer attention and each reveals important informati on about the tone and substance of racial politics in South Carolina in the years before the Brown decision. Although Thurmond is routinely rendered in the histori ography of massive resistance as a peerless segregationist, in fact, his reputation for supporting white supremacy was no stronger than Johnstons in 1950. Indeed, prior to his stint as a Dixiecrat, Thurmond was widely regarded a progressive governor. It was no surprise, then, that Johnston supporters refused to accept the governors claim that a vote for the incumbent senator would undermine the racial status quo.42 Ironically, Thurmonds demagoguery was more successful in driving away African American voters than in uniting whites. Black leaders had few real choices. In a state where civil rights minded public officials we re extremely scarce, African Americans were forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. Th e senator secretly met with black leaders to help drum up support for his campaign in African American 42 Jack Bass and Marilyn W. Thompson, Ol Strom: An Unauthorized Biography of Strom Thurmond (Atlanta: Longstreet, 1998) 79-88 (Bass and Thom pson actually titled their chapter on Thurmonds gubernatorial administration The Liberal Governor). Cohodas, Strom Thurmond 93-125.

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90 neighborhoods and the nearly 73,000 regist ered black voters in South Carolina overwhelmingly supported Johnston. Though he remained steadfast in his support for segregation, he did promote economic reforms that were beneficial to black voters. Civil rights activist Modjeska Simkins, for exampl e, charged that Johnstons support of New Deal and Fair Deal programs that aided bl acks made him a more acceptable option than Thurmond. He also received th e support of the states most influential African American newspaper when the Lighthouse and Informer urged its readers to vote for Johnston. In an editorial, the weekly news paper declared that Johnstons brand of segregation was preferable to the Dixiecrat vision of Thurmond.43 The impact of black ballots on the elec tion was unmistakable. For example, Columbias Ward 9, a majority black vo ting precinct, supported Johnston with 1,249 votes compared to a paltry 72 for Thurmond. John McCray wrote that ,000 black votes carried Johnston to victory in South Carolina, and the Charleston News and Courier reported, there is little doubt that the colored vote. . went to Mr. Johnston. 44 For the most part, Thurmonds campaign st rategy only worked with white voters in the traditional black belt areas. White work ers in South Carolinas textile regions remained loyal to the New Deal coaliti on and supported Johnston. Thurmond only won five of the 23 counties where textile work ers made up at leas t 10 percent of the population, and each of those five was locate d near Edgefield, which was Thurmonds 43 Bass and Thompson, Ole Strom 119-134. Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt 200-216 Lighthouse and Informer (July 8, 1950) 4, from the Johnston Papers, MPC. Modjeska Simkins Campaign Letter (March 30, 1950), Johnston Papers, MPC. 44 Ibid News and Courier (July 13, 1950) 4. For Election data see: Numan V. Bartley and Hugh D. Graham, Southern Elections: County and Precinct Data, 1950-1972 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978) 201-216, 383-402. Report on the United States Census, 1950, Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections Also see statistical analysis in : Luther Faggart, Defending the Faith: The 1950 U.S. Senate Race in South Carolina (M.A. Thesis: Univer sity of South Carolina, 1992).

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91 home county. Aside from having a home fi eld advantage, Thur mond also benefited from white anxieties over the large black popul ation in that region. For example, in Edgefield African Americans made up almost 60 percent of the population, and in nearby McCormick blacks accounted for nearly 63 percent of the tota l population. Like Edgefield and McCormick, Thurmond did best in counties where blacks were a majority of the population, but a minority on the voting rolls. Twenty of the 28 counties where African Americans accounted for at least 40 percent of the population voted for Thurmond.45 Johnston collected over half of his votes in counties where at l east 25 percent of the population was employed in th e textile industry where Ne w Deal allegiances were traditionally strong. Furthermore, Johnston defeated Thurmond in towns, cities, and suburbs. The only notable exception was Charleston. Johnston carried Columbia, Beaufort, and Greenville-Spartanburg. Un like state government representation and Electoral College voting, the malaportionment of votes that gave a greater voice to South Carolina whites in rural countie s did not tip the balance of the election to Thurmond. Senators were popularly elected; therefore, the disproportionate voice given to rural white voters in South Carolina did not help the more conservative candidate.46 Race was clearly important in this contest, but white voters did not simply jump on the bandwagon of the candidate who declared himself the most racially conservative 45 Ibid For a discussion of Johnstons relationship with Textile workers see: JoAnn Deakin Carpenter, Olin D. Johnston, the New Deal and the Politics of Class in South Carolina, 1934-1938 (Ph.D. Dissertation: Emory University, 1987). Anthony Ba rry Miller, Palmetto Politician: The Early Political Career of Olin D. Johnston, 1896-1945 (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of North Carolina, 1976). John Ervin Huss, Senator for the South: A Biography of Olin D. Johnston (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1961). 46 Ibid Bryant Simon, The Devaluation of the Vote: Legislative Apportionment and Inequality in South Carolina, 1890-1962, South Carolina Historical Magazine (July 1996) 227-245.

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92 choice, and did not abandon truste d political figures because they were told to do so. In 1950, voter concern for a variety of economic a nd social issues other than race had not yet been wholly eclipsed by a monolithic pub lic debate on desegregation. Urban whites and white workers in the South Carolinas textile mills trusted Johnston to defend segregation just as much as they did Thur mond, but deemed the incumbent senator more likely to promote progressive ec onomic reforms while doing so. For many voters, Thurmonds alarmism wa s unwarranted and his portrayal of Johnston as liberal integrati onist was preposterous. Many South Carolina whites were reluctant to follow Thurmonds brand of Dixi ecratic separatism because doing so could isolate the states business interests and deter federal agencies from steering much needed capital to South Carolina. Nowhere was Thurmonds post-Dixiecrat militant racism more apparent than in discussions about the issu e of education. In fact, during his run for governor, and even in his Dixiecrat ca mpaign, Thurmond had championed federal expenditures on education. In an attempt to ingratiate himself with South Carolinas segregationist electorate, he changed his vi ews on federally supporte d public education in the senatorial campaign of 1950. During his inaugural address in 1947, Thurmo nd had cautioned voters that fear of federal aid to education is without foundation. He insisted, the e ffect of federal court decisions requiring equalization between the r aces will cost the state much more money, and would lower the quality of the total sc hool program unless aid [was] received from federal sources. Three years later, in an address to state legislators, Thurmond concluded that federal aid would eventually mean federal control, and, thus, an end to segregated schools. Thurmonds comments came as congress was debating on a massive

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93 federal education bill that planned to provi de over $14 million dollars for South Carolina schools. Throughout the senate campaign, T hurmond expressed his steadfast opposition to the acceptance of federal education funds in South Carolina. We have long since learned, he said, that fe deral funds are not free. 47 Johnston, on the other hand, claimed that the state could not afford to refuse federal aid, but insisted that the stat e and local school districts woul d retain control over how the money was spent. Johnston maintained that if the federal courts insi st on this ruling of equal facilities, then I say, le t the federal government pay for it. . The only way in which we can have equal and separate school facil ities is through federal aid. According to Johnston, if South Carolina declined federal aid, it would be unable to equalize black and white schools. Such a failure would result, he claimed, in the court ordered desegregation of South Carolinas public sc hools. The plain trut h, alleged Johnston, is that state controlled federal aid is the only insurance available for continued segregation of the races.48 Johnston also pointed out that everythi ng else in the state received federal monies. Thurmond, who limited his discussion of federal f unding to education, refused to take the bait. He did not address South Carolinas grow ing reliance on the national defense budget, social welfare programs, and farm subsidies. Johnston, on the other hand, referred simply to the all-encompassi ng federal aid. . e xpended and controlled by the states. Implicit in Johnstons more general language was the notion that the 47 Strom Thurmond Inaugural Address (1947), L. Mendel Rivers Papers, Special Collections, College of Charleston, South Carolina [Her eafter cited as Rivers Papers, Special Collections]. The State (June 7, 1950) 1, (January 20, 1950) 4. Greenville News (January 19, 1950) 4. News and Courier (June 7, 1950) 11, (May 24, 1950) 1. 48 News and Courier (June 13, 1950) 4.

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94 rejection of education funds w ould lead to the refusal or withdrawal of other federal monies something which few in South Carolina were willing to consider.49 In truth, South Carolina whites found them selves simultaneously dependent on and at odds with the federal government. In 1950 white South Carolinians still hoped for a political solution to the segregation probl em. Though they were discouraged by the federal governments burgeoning interests in r acial matters, white South Carolinians were not yet convinced that fe deral authorities would ch allenge local customs beyond demanding compliance with the Plessy decision. So, the question for white South Carolinians became: Since we cannot do without federal funding, can we at least manage those monies at the state and local level so as not to jeopardize segreg ated arrangements? As Johnston had suggested, the dilemma over federal money went far beyond education funds. It was also apparent at S outh Carolinas Cold War military bases. For example, Fort Jackson in Columbia was sc heduled for closure in 1949 but the build up for the Korean War saved the facility, which became an im portant training facility for soldiers headed to Asia. Between 1949 and 1951, city and state leaders fought to keep the economically important base open. Ev en after Fort Jackson initiated token integration in 1950, local newspaper editors and city leaders conspire d to keep news of the bases desegregation out of the public eye.50 The closest that Thurmond came to menti oning the desegregation of Fort Jackson was when he harangued Johnston for allowing President Truman to desegregate the armed forces. Even though Johnston had no direct authority over military matters, the 49 News and Courier (June 10, 1950) 3. Campaign Letter to South Carolina Voters (June 26, 1950), Johnston Papers, MPC. 50 Myers, Black, White, and Olive Drab.

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95 governor charged that Johnston did nothing to counter th e presidents move. Upon hearing Thurmonds accusation, the Senator stood up from his seat and yelled, I want to tell you. . you are a liar! A visibly a ngry Thurmond responded by waiting outside the courthouse, where he attempted to attack Johnston as the senato r exited the building. After the two candidates were physically se parated, Johnston bra gged that after the campaign, he would fix up Thurmond. I was a boxer in the army and Ill knock the hell out of him in one blow, said Johnston. In the end, the exchange was remembered more for the two mens histrionics than fo r their discussion of desegregation in the military.51 Generally, Thurmond was unable to convince enough white voters to reject federal money of any kind. According to histor ian Kari Fredrickson, Thurmond and the Dixiecrats achieved so much success in 1948 precisely because the organization had persuaded southerners to unify against the me nace of federal author ity. Rural elites and business leaders had combined forces to mainta in the privileges of whiteness. Two years later it was Olin Johnston who most eff ectively called for unity. While Thurmond advocated breaking away from the national pa rty, Johnston encouraged southerners to work together in Congress to thwart civi l rights legislation, and he did so while simultaneously promising to maintain a hi gh level of federal investment in South Carolinas economy. Unlike Thurmond, who calle d for a continuation of Dixiecrat-like political separatism, Johnston insisted that it was possible to retain a large measure of local control over federal m oney. Combined with his long history of protecting 51 News and Courier (June 27, 1950) 1.

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96 segregation, the support of work ing whites, and the unlikely support of South Carolinas African American voters, this agenda ul timately carried the senator to victory.52 Still, Thurmonds ability to capture over 40 percent of the vote against an avowed segregationist like Johnston was evidence that some incendiary race-baiting was an effective campaign strategy for winning consider able numbers of white votes, especially in the states black belt. Had Thurmond faced an opponent whose reputation for white supremacy did not equal his own (such as Senator Maybank), he may have been even more successful. Nonetheless, even this limited success worried black activists who determined that the only defense against futu re race-baiting during election season was to prove that black ballots were as important in each election as they had been in the Thurmond-Johnston race. This was no easy ta sk. Though they were in strumental in the senatorial primary, black voters had almost no effect in the Rivers-Clement contest. African American leaders realized that wit hout additional electoral success they would be unable to convince many white politic ians to address black concerns. It was with this strategy in mind that African Americans in Charleston soon attempted to recreate the coali tion that helped elect Johnst on in 1950. In the Charleston mayoral election of 1951 Clement and other prominent members of Charlestons black community endorsed O.T. Wallace, a moderate white. Wallace returned the favor by openly campaigning to black voters. Voti ng machines were located in Clements insurance office and in an A.M.E church. For his efforts, Wallace received scathing rebukes from the News and Courier The Charleston daily declared that Wallace was pandering to African American bloc-vo ting, and even accused Wallace of making 52 Frederickson, Dixiecrat Revolt 200-216.

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97 backdoor promises to black community. Clem ent countered that whites had engaged in bloc-voting based on racism for 50 years an d proclaimed that whites had put men into office and statutes on the books that ma de African Americans go in side doors, sit in galleries, ride in the rear of buses. With the help of many black voters Wallace was able to force a run-off election with William Morrison. Morrison easily defeated Wallace in the run off by winning nearly all the wh ite vote, but Wallace did retain significant support in the mostly black areas of Char leston. In the wards with the highest concentration of black residents he receive d almost 4,000 votes compared to Morrisons total of just over 3,300. Wall aces strong showing was worrisome for segregationists because it demonstrated that ambitious wh ite candidates might be willing to ally themselves with African Am ericans. White South Carolinians recognized that any further extension of voting right s to African American s could create the potential for such a coalition to unseat conservative white o fficeholders and thus ensuring that South Carolinas white supremacists would seek to undermine white moderates while simultaneously limiting black political activism.53 As Mendel Rivers had suggested during hi s campaign against Clement, it was the possibility of an increase in th ese kinds of moderate biracial alliances that most worried South Carolina segregationists. White leader s understood that if th ey adopted a hard-line stance against federal intervention they risked losing the support of mainstream whites who for the time being at least were e qually concerned with economic issues. The senatorial primary election in 1950 had divi ded white voters and revealed the fragile nature of white solidarity on the segregation i ssue. Of course, it also demonstrated to 53 Bulletin entitled Pre-Election Rally (July 23, 1951), McCray Papers, SCL. News and Courier (July 11, 1951) 1, and (July 25, 1951) 1. Arthur Clement Letter to the Editor, News and Courier (July 21, 1951) 4.

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98 South Carolinas political elite that most whites wanted to maintain the status quo and forestall dramatic racial change. More important, however, the election proved that when whites were politically divided African American votes coul d turn the tide of a close election to a more moderate candidate. In the wake of those realizations, it seemed to South Carolinas mainstream segregationi sts that white unity would be the most effective tool in the fight to preserve the racial hierarchy in South Carolina.

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99 CHAPTER 4 STRADDLING THE FENCE: POLITICS AND AMBIGUITY ON THE EVE OF BROWN In the preBrown period, most white South Caro linians endorsed measures that threatened militant resistance to forced desegregation, such as public school closure, but had not given up hope that a polit ical or bureaucratic solution could halt, or at least slow the pace of, racial change before the state would actually need to carry out those threats. More moderate whites understood that, unt il the courts reached a final verdict in Briggs v. Elliott there were other less incendiary ways of forestalling significant racial change in South Carolina. Moreover, even after that cas e was settled, most white realized that the states response would depend on the federa l governments willi ngness and ability to enforce the United States Supreme Courts d ecision, and that was by no means clear. As this chapter reveals, the tensions and am biguities created by those uncertainties were exposed during the presidential election of 1952 as the debate over the relative merits of accepting federal funds and the restrictions that came with them began to take on a more anxious tone. Differing commitments to resisting desegregation, a multitude of competing economic concerns, and lingering apprehensions over the future of public education in South Carolina created an uncertain political environment for the states white elected officials. Even though hardcore segregati onists had used legislative malaportionment, white fear, and a potent propaganda campa ign to control the public debate over desegregation in the early 1950s. The 1950 prim ary elections had confirmed that whites

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100 in the upstate textile regions and urban areas were as influenced by economic concerns as they were by the emerging challenges to Jim Crow. At the forefront of white economic concerns was a determination to maintain a high level of federal spending in South Carolina. Even middl e and working class whites who demanded a militant resistance to encroachme nts on white privilege tended to demand more not less federal aid. Federal jobs, especially defense industry jobs in South Carolinas black belt, were viewed by many working class whites as a path into the middle class and toward economic security. Therefore, even as tensions over the desegregation crisis began to escalate in the mid-to-late 1950s, white elites were under enormous pressure to maintain the flow of defense dollars into South Carolina. South Carolinas segregationist leaders we re mindful of these concerns and, despite a near uniform devotion to segregation, the states most uncompromising white supremacists worried that some white b acksliders might eventually endorse a compromise on the desegregation issue if it came with desirable economic benefits. Therefore, the architects of South Carolinas strategy for preserving Jim Crow worked to find legal and legislative solutions that woul d attract hardcore se gregationists without jeopardizing support from more moderate wh ites. During the campaign for Governor James F. Byrness equalizati on plan, for example, Lieutena nt Governor George Bell Timmerman, Jr., First District Congressman L. Mendel Rivers, and other equalization advocates argued that the plan would cure multiple problems. In addition to the governors pledge that equalization would help preserve segregation in education Byrnes and his supporters also promised that it would improve South Carolinas failing school systems and, therefore, promote economic improvements.

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101 Whites understood that federal monies thre atened to jeopardi ze local control, thereby complicating white desires for bot h economic advancement and less federal interference. Although a few white leaders, such as former Governor Strom Thurmond and Byrnes, had questioned whether the state could maintain both its reliance on federal funds and its autonomy to ma nage race relations, most el ected officers ignored those worries and argued that insisting on local cont rol of such monies wa s more prudent than refusing them altogether even when those demands were ignored by bureaucrats in Washington D.C. After all, the looming threat of civil rights activism was not an entirely new phenomenon. South Carolinians had ev aded federal nondiscrimination efforts before. For example, during World War II, au thorities at the Charleston Naval Yard had essentially ignored the Fair Employment Pr actices Committee (FEPC). Local officials were charged with enforcing the rules rega rding equality in the workplace and, in Charleston, they simply allowed significan t racial discrimination to continue. Encouraged by their ability to circumvent executive order 8802 in South Carolinas defense industry, state leader s were confident that, even if the courts did order the desegregation of white schools, deadlines fo r compliance could be pushed back years or even decades. Many elected officers hoped that lax federal enforcement of court-ordered desegregation would help diminish the scope of racial change and slow the pace of compliance to less than a crawl.1 Whether or not the state c ould continue to utilize such evasive tactics, however, was an unanswered question in the early to mid-1950s. Regardless, white economic leaders continued to demand an active federal ro le in the states local economies. John E. 1 Fritz Hamer, A Southern City Enters the Twentieth Century: Charleston, its Navy Yard, and World War II, 1940-1948, (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of South Carolina, 1998).

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102 Hills, the Executive Secretary of the Columb ia Merchants Association, for instance, wrote to United States Senator Burnet Mayba nk in May 1952 to express his delight at the possibility that more troops may be sent to the desegregated Fort Jackson. Hills bragged that Columbia offered the superi or advantage of having available jobs and excellent housing facilities, including an enormous project not yet completed, for the families of service men.2 Maybank, like most other South Carolina politicians, recogni zed that federal monies were one of his most important sour ces of political capital. The senator told Columbia Mayor J. Macfie Anderson that he had made repeated request for additional troops at Jackson. Maybank also promised to use whatever influence I have on the subcommittee of the Appropriations Comm ittee, to bring more money the South Carolina midlands. Still, Anderson worried that, as part of the post-World War II military downsizing, the base might be threaten ed with closure. Fort Jackson means a lot to Columbia, the mayor wrote, and we w ould hate to have this happen again if the Korean situation were settled. 3 Andersons call for an increas e in the number of troops stationed at Fort Jackson occurred shortly after the United States Congress debated a measure to allow all deployed service men and women to vote with absentee ballots. In March 1952, Truman proposed a Servicemens Bill of Rights. The propos ition declared that all military personnel 2 John E. Hills to Burnet R. Maybank (May 2, 195 2) Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections. 3 J. Macfie Anderson to Burnet R. Maybank (September 26, 1952), Maybank to Anderson (October 2, 1952), Frank E. McKinney, Chairman Democratic National Committee, to Burnet Maybank (April 10, 1952) Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections. Voting in the Armed Forces: Message from The President of the United States transmitting The Report of the Special Committee on Service voting, American political science association, with recommendations for the enactment of appropriate legislation, (Washington D.C.: United States Printing Office, March 28, 1952) from the Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections.

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103 should be able to vote in primary and gene ral elections without paying a poll tax, without registering in person, and without unreasonable restrictions, such as literacy tests. Much to the chagrin of southern segregationi sts, the legislation w ould have extended the vote to every African American soldier on deployment.4 As the state moved closer to the elec tions of 1952, however, questions about the states ability to control congressionally allocated funds became more numerous. Though they attempted to minimize the federal overs ight that came with this revenue, South Carolinas elected representatives were not al ways successful in pr eventing the expansion of federal jurisdiction. For instance, when First District Congressman L. Mendel Rivers called for a plan of optional segregation for military trainees, the House Armed Services Committee rejected his proposal even though a fe llow southerner, Georgia Congressman Carl Vinson, chaired the committee.5 As had been the case since the Dixiecrat defection in 1948, the contradictory nature of the states relationship to the federal government created tensions within South Carolinas one-party political system. Even mo re moderate South Carolinians, such as Senator Burnet Maybank, occasionally preached opposition to the national Democratic Party even though his rank within that pa rty allowed him to secure significant investments in the South Carolina economy. Maybank had been a staunch New Dealer and was committed to most of the Democr atic Partys economic and foreign policy programs, but, in the spring of 1952 even he called on the Charleston County Democratic Committee to oppose the weird, socialistic and unsound proposals, of the national 4 Ibid. 5 Will Huntley, Mighty Rivers of Ch arleston, (Ph.D. Dissertation: Un iversity of South Carolina, 1993), 152.

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104 party. We Southern Democrats, wrote Mayb ank, have a great responsibility at this period of or National life and I hope that we will all stand together with sufficient strength to insist on the Part y adhering to its basic Jeffersoni an principles and following its historic policies.6 Despite these apprehensions and frustrations with the national party, nearly every southern Democrat shared a hope that party leaders would find a way to alleviate these acute partisan divisions before the upcoming presidential election. In the spring of 1952, many white South Carolinians placed their hopes for party reconciliation with the presidential candidacy of Georgia Senator Ri chard Russell, who was one of the regions most prominent segregationist leaders. On February 29, 1952 the South Carolina General Assembly adopted a concurrent resolution th at endorsed the senato rs candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the presidency a nd praised Russell as eminently qualified for that high honor. It claimed that he stood for constitutional Government, the American way of life, the rights of the States and la uded Russells integrity and knowledge of the workings of our Government.7 Nevertheless, even with the endorsement of the South Carolina legislature and numerous other southern political leaders, Russell had very little chance of winning the nomination. The greater like lihood of a Democratic nominee emerging with at least a modest interest in civil rights reforms worried South Carolina Democr ats. The political situation in South Carolina, warned Ma ybank is very bad for the Democrats. Moreover, he predicted that either of the top Republican candidates, Dwight D. 6 Burnet Maybank to J.P. Wilcox, Chairman of th e Charleston County Demo cratic Executive Committee (April 7, 1952), Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections. 7 Copy of the Resolution from the Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections.

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105 Eisenhower and Senator Robert Taft, could carry the state. The people are very bitter about the Civil Rights Program, the Supreme Court opinions, etc., explained Maybank.8 Senator Maybanks worries took on an ev en more serious note after numerous prominent white South Carolinians endorsed Eise nhower in the presidential contest. H. Sanford Howie, Jr. of Greenville, for exam ple, wrote to Byrnes to encourage the governor to lend his support to Eisenhower unless, of course, a pro-segregation southerner was named as the Democratic nominee. Too long we have allowed the Northern wing of the party to completely ignore our interests and candidates, Howie warned. He claimed that to vote Republica n. . would not mean a divorce from the Democratic Party.9 This growing resentment of the national Democratic Party, Eisenhowers personal appeal, and increased GOP overtures to s outhern voters made the outcome of the presidential election of 1952 esp ecially hard to predict. Fu rthermore, the elimination of legal limits on participation in primary elections by Judge J. Waties Waring in Brown v. Baskin had helped to foster an increase of n early 140 percent in the number of registered voters in South Carolina between 1948 a nd 1952. According to political scientist Gregory Sampson these new, relatively inde pendent party members were less inclined to trust party elders, and more likely to take an unpredictable path at the polls. This trend was exemplified by a new grass roots citizen s club in Charleston that urged its members to capture control of local Democr atic Party machinery so its members could 8 Maybank to Wright Morrow, Democratic National Committeeman for Texas (January 11, 1952), Maybank Senatorial Pape rs, Special Collections. 9 H. Sanford Howie, Jr. to James F. Byrnes (July 11, 1952) copy in the Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections.

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106 more effectively pressure the national party to reverse its drift toward the political left. By the spring of 1952 similar grass roots or ganizations had formed throughout the South Carolina black belt and began to function as loosely organized inte rests groups within South Carolinas Democratic Party.10 Despite this uncertain and fluid context the South Carolina Democratic Party still hoped to avoid another contentious schism like the one that blossomed during the 1948 presidential election. Nonethel ess, every indication was that the party remained divided into two distinct factions. Democratic loya lists and their political allies who had opposed the Dixiecrat revolt and supported the New Deal and its Fair D eal successor held most of the major leadership positions in the state pa rty. The loyalist fac tion was particularly popular with the states large population of wh ite textile workers a nd with some white farmers in the piedmont and upstate regi ons. The more conservative faction was personified by Governors Byrnes and Thurmond. It promoted racial conservatism and a pro-business environment. The new grass ro ots groups tended to side with the Byrnes wing of the party and served to exacerbate the existing political rift by attempting to challenge the leadership of loyalists like State Senator Edgar Brown, House Speaker Sol Blatt, and Senator Olin D. Johnston. Th e loyalist faction, however, was deeply entrenched in the Democratic Partys power structure and was able to limit the influence of the new organizations. After finding it di fficult to undermine the more entrenched 10 Gregory Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 1948-1974: A Case Study of Political Change in a Deep South State, (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of North Carolina, 1984) 217-219, 230. News and Courier (January 30, 1952) 2.

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107 members of the party, the citizens clubs refocused their efforts on organizing a movement to place Eisenhower on the st ates ballot as an independent. 11 Though their impact was limited within th e Democratic Party, these new groups were able to exert enormous political pressure on some Sout h Carolina politicians. For example, one group, the Grass Roots Crusade, targeted Congressman Rivers with subtle reminders of his white constituents allegiance to states rights. In many ways, Rivers was an unlikely target for any conservative political organization. He was a diehard segregationists and a strict anti-communist. N onetheless, his uncertain efforts to navigate the intersections of local and national politic s regarding racial and sectional concerns encapsulated the dilemmas facing white segregationist politicians on the eve on the Brown decision. Despite his record, the Collet on County Grass Roots Crusade wrote to Rivers in April 1952 and urged th e congressman to use his bes t efforts to protect States Rights . and to see that the Constitution is preserved. Rivers wholeheartedly agreed and bragged to the organization that he had spoken out on the issue of States Rights in 1948, and wished the Grass Roots Crusade had b een around then to take action. I shall continue to exert every effort to see that States Rights are uphel d, promised Rivers. What remained to be seen, however, was how Rivers would traverse another Dixiecratlike political schism within his own part y. Though the congressman and the newly 11 The various factions of the South Carolina Democratic Party are discussed in: Kari Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001). Howard Quint, Profile in Black and White: A Frank Portrait of South Carolina (Washington D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1958). Frank E. Jordan, The Primary State: A History of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, 1876-1962 (c.1965, no publication information av ailable). Paul Quattlebaum to James Lee Platt, Myrtle Beach News (March 15, 1952), Quattlebaum Papers, Thurmond Institute. 11 For information on Thurmonds sabbatical see Jack Bass and Marilyn Thompson, Ol Strom: an Unauthorized Biography of Strom Thurmond (Atlanta: Longstreet, 1998) 135-138. Jack Bass and Marilyn Thompson, Strom: The Complicated Personal and Political Life of Strom Thurmond (New York: Public Affairs, 2005) 136-152 For a discussion of Byrnes relationship with the Dixiecrats after 1948, see Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt 180-229.

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108 organized pressure group seemed to be in complete agreement, the Grass Roots Crusade was less committed to party loyalty than Ri vers, who had narrowly avoided the loss of congressional seniority for his part icipation in the Dixiecrat revolt. 12 What little unity that was left in South Carolinas Democratic Party was tested in July when both major parties held their na tional conventions. Although it was not as contentious as the 1948 convention, the De mocratic National Convention revealed continued factionalism and dissent within the party. For example, the convention members approved a measure that required dele gates to sign a loyalt y pledge promising to vote for whoever was the official nominee of the party. In anticipation of a fight over the partys civil rights plank, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Virginia declined to comply with the pledge, but, in an effort to avoid the walkouts that had plagued the convention in 1948, each of the rebellious delegations was eventually seated.13 In this environment of rancor and di vision, deciding on a nominee proved difficult for the Democratic delegates. Convention attendees made several efforts to find a candidate who could unite the fractured pa rty before nominating Adlai Stevenson. Though he was more liberal than many of th e southern delegate s would have liked, Stevenson was generally viewed as a modera te candidate who was unlikely to push for rapid change in the Souths Jim Crow system. Stevenson did, however, hold an unfavorable view of racial se gregation. To decrease the likelihood of another southern walk-out, a concession was made with the na ming of Alabama Senator John J. Sparkman 12 Alice T. Beckett, Secretary of he Colleton County Citizens Grass Roots Crusade, to L. Mendel Rivers (April 21, 1952), L. Mendel Rivers to Alice T. Beckett, April 23, 1952, Rivers Papers, SCHS. 13 Congressional Quarterlys Guide to United States Elections, Third Edition (Washington DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1994) 108.

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109 as the partys vice-presidential candidate. Sparkman was a moderate, but his record confirmed that he would use his authority to su pport the maintenan ce of segregation. Commenting on his nomination, The Nation declared: If the nomination of Sparkman was a slap in the face of the Negro voters, it was given a special sting by the dishonest atte mpt to induce Negroes to accept him as something he is not and to justify his record on the grounds that, after all, a Southern liberal must hedge on civil rights measures.14 African Americans within the convention were equally outraged. Fifty black delegates led by Congressman Adam Clayton Powell of New York bolted the convention. They can cram a candidate down our throat, but th ey cannot make us vote for him, declared Powell.15 Both parties adopted a civil rights plank in their platforms, but the Republicans seemed less inclined to disregard states right s in favor of federal intervention in racial matters. Their plank stated: We believe th at it is the primary responsibility of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions. S till, the Republicans conceded, the Federal Government should take suppl emental action within its constitutional jurisdiction to oppose discrimination against race, religion or na tional origin. The Democrats avoided any explicit discussion of states rights and adopted a much more forceful civil rights plank, calling for effort s to eradicate discri mination based on race, religion, or national origin.16 South Carolina Democratic l oyalists recognized the need to rally party members in the face of doubts about the national Democrats commitment to states rights, and were 14 The Nation (August 1952). 15 Ibid 16 Congressional Quarterlys Guide to United States Elections, 108.

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110 also faced with the unenviable task of c ountering Republican overtures to southern whites. By the fall of 1952 a growing faction within the Republican Party, led by Senator Robert Taft of Ohio, had stated its support of curtailing the rapid e xpansion of the federal government. Though many southerners may not ha ve agreed wholeheartedly with Tafts particular brand of conservatism, any rhetor ic that called for limits on federal activism were appealing to diehard segregationists who feared an active federal role in the expansion of black civil and political rights. Moreover, conservative Republicans, such as Taft, openly supported states rights a nd the GOPs nominee, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, was generally viewed as the more conservative candidate in the presidential election. After nearly a century of one-party rule in the South, more southern whites than ever began to question their loya lty to the Democratic Party. Greenville Mayor J. Kenneth Cass called the Democratic separatists rebel rousers, while Edgar Brown, who directed the Stevenson-Sparkman campaign in South Carolina, predicted that many good peopl e would vote for Eise nhower, and that the Republican supporters would organize a defi nite Eisenhower campaign and try to make a strong showing in the State. To counter th is challenge Brown insi sted that rallies, speakers, radio programs, and a significan t fundraising effort would be necessary to support the Stevenson campaign in South Caroli na. The Democratic Party stalwart was clearly worried about th e rising popular support for the Republican nominee.17 Brown and Cass had good reasons to be alarme d. In the late summer and early fall Governor James F. Byrnes, Mount Pleas ant Mayor Francis Coleman, and former Charleston Mayor Thomas P. Stoney all announced their su pport of Eisenhower. Stoney 17 J. Kenneth Case to Burnet R. Maybank (August 8, 1952), Edgar Brown to Burnet R. Maybank (August 8, 1952), Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections.

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111 went so far as to say, Stevenson has a loaded gun and its pointed at the heart of the South. Coleman declared, If we endorse the national party platform, it will be a mandate to the United States Supreme Court to do away with segrega tion in the South. I beg you not to endorse the nominees of the Democratic national party and thus put a straitjacket on South Carolina, and Byrnes proclaimed, I shall place loyalty to my country above loyalty to a political party a nd vote for General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The GOP nominee was also promised positive press coverage in the black belt areas when he received the endorsements of prom inent newspapermen Thomas R. Waring and William D. Workman. 18 Of course, Byrnes and other state Demo crats could support Eisenhower without the threat of losing congressional seniority in Wa shington D.C. With leading South Carolina Democrats divided over how best to respond to the nominees and platforms of the two major parties, and confronted by the formati on of a grass roots revo lt against the national party, the states congressiona l representatives were left with a difficult decision. Initially, the entire South Carolina contingent to the United States Congress decided that the threat of losing seniority was so strong that each of th e states congressmen gave his support to Stevenson.19 Like his fellow congressmen, Rivers endorsed Stevenson. However, he also signed the petition calling on the stat e party not to punish indivi duals who in good conscience voted independent. Rivers was in a particul arly precarious situati on as he attempted to strike a balance between his out raged constituents a nd the threat of losing his seniority 18 Ibid The State (September 19, 1952) 1. News and Courier (August 20, 1952) 3A. 19 L. Mendel Rivers to Paul Quattlebaum, Jr (August 20, 1952), Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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112 within the national Democratic Party. Th e congressmans district had a substantial number of hardcore segregationists and his attempt to have his cake and eat it too was unpopular with the leadership of the Grass R oots Crusade. Crusade member and former State Senator Paul Quattlebaum felt Rivers decision to sign the resolution allowing Democrats to vote for Eisenhower without repercussions while formally endorsing Stevenson was hypocritical. He told the c ongressman, I have always supported you because we could tell how you stood. But this issue puts you in the same boat with [Senators] Maybank and Johnston. I did not think that I would ever see you ride the fence.20 Rivers worried that an organized attack from even a small white pressure group would undermine his credibility with segrega tionist voters. Though he was unlikely to face a serious challenge from the political right, Rivers did worry that a divided conservative vote would create an opportunity for a biracial moderate alliance to emerge in the Low Country region. Moreover, he cha ffed at the suggestion th at he was less than forthright about his commitment to states rights and was insulted by any questions about his devotion to the preservation of Jim Crow. In a letter to Quattlebaum, he wrote: I know the generous spirit which prompted your letter and I can assure you I accept it as such. I am amazed you didnt k now I was against this [Truman] administration. I believe I have been more outspoken than any other South Carolinian. I am also amazed that you thi nk I am straddling the fence. I have stated publicly I propose to vote for th e Stevenson-Sparkman Ticket unless pressure groups make it impossible for me to do so. This is still my position. If Stevenson and Sparkman should attack the institutions of the South as did Truman in I would oppose them as I did Truman and I would advocate a third party. This year things are not similar.21 20 Paul Quattlebaum, Jr. to L. Mendel Rivers (August 16, 1952), Rivers Papers, SCHS. 21 L. Mendel Rivers to Paul Quattlebaum, Jr (August 20, 1952), Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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113 Nonetheless, Rivers understood that Eisenhower had received a groundswell of popular support in South Carolina and that mo st of those endorsements had come from the First Congressional District. Ever the po litical pragmatist, Rive rs left the door open for a political change of heart and insiste d, I have not made up my mind the part I propose to take in this campaign other than vo te. Conveniently, he arranged to be out of the country on a congressional trip for most of September so that he would have little time to take much part in the campaign. Rivers, like many southern Democrats, hoped to protect his congressional seniority without taking part in the presidential campaign.22 His attempt to juggle cont radictory agendas, however, became even more problematic in the wake of the South Caro lina Democratic Convention. Less than three weeks after the convention, members of the Grass Roots Crusade and other citizens groups banded together to form South Caro linians for Eisenhower. The organization, which was directed by Columbia attorney Ge orge Warren, circulated a petition to place an independent slate of electors on the ballo t. In less than a month it had over 50,000 signatures. Few members of South Carolinia ns for Eisenhower had previous political experience, but the group was able to mount a well-organized and well-funded campaign in a relatively short time. Its biggest supporter was Governor Byrnes, who not only endorsed the movement but also campai gned across the state for Eisenhowers candidacy.23 22 Ibid 23 Kari Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Movement and the Origins of Massi ve Resistance: Race, Politics, and Political Culture in the Deep South States, 1932-1955 (Ph.D. Dissertation: Rutgers University, 1996) 454455. News and Courier (September 15, 1952) 1. Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 225-227. Records from the South Carolinians for Eisenh ower, Modern Political Collections, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia [Hereafter cited as Records from the South Ca rolinians for Eisenhower, MPC] these papers consist mostly of a financial ledger from the organization.

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114 Still, even with the endorsement of Byrn es and a strong grass roots following in the black belt, Eisenhower had a tough row to hoe in South Carolina. He was on the ticket as an independent, but voters knew that a vi ctory for Eisenhower would place a Republican in the White House for the first time in tw o decades. Former Charleston Mayor Thomas Stoney worried that unless we can get down to th e precinct level and r eally sell the littler farmer and the textile employees on just what the National Democratic platform, if carried out, will mean to them, I am very much afraid that we are whistling in the dark. In response to such fears, the Grass Root s Crusade handed out pamphlets and collected campaign contributions on behalf of the South Carolinians for Eisenhower. The new group quickly became a large mainstream orga nization and established a headquarters at the Jefferson Hotel in Columbia. South Carolinians for Eisenhower was so successful that it quickly eclipsed the states sma ll Republican Party in both numbers and organization.24 One possible problem for the independe nt movement, however, was that Eisenhowers name appeared on the ballot twice. The printed ballot had a column for the Republican Party on the left side, the Democrats in the middle, and the independent electors for Eisenhower on the right. The or ganization spent a significant amount of time urging voters to support the independent m ovement and not split the Eisenhower vote by voting in the Republican column. Pamphlets told voters: To vote for IKE, vote on the 24 Thomas P. Stoney to Paul Quattlebaum, Jr. (September 9, 1952), Thomas P. Stoney Papers, South Carolina Historical Socieity, Char leston, South Carolina. Records from the South Carolinians for Eisenhower, MPC. For a discussion on the independent movement in South Carolina see: Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 225-227. Fredrickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt 224-236.

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115 right. By the end of the election, even S outh Carolinas Republican Party had called on its members to vote for their candi date in the independent column.25 The members of South Carolinians for Ei senhower and other southern Eisenhower supporters were especially encouraged when the former general made a campaign swing through the region. Before the 1952 campai gn, presidential electioneering by the GOP rarely took place in the South. Eisenhower however, exploited the white southern perception that Democratic Party leaders were taking the section for granted. The Republican candidate told a Little Rock audience, There is a mounting mass of evidence, to show that you are in no ones co lumn, that you are not in a captive precinct, and you are going to express your judgment and your decisions as you see fit. Eisenhower also made a stop in Columbia, S outh Carolina, during which he promised to uphold the constitutional principle of states right s. In the Palmetto State, his visit was not sponsored by the Republican Party, but by South Carolinians for Eisenhower and Governor Byrnes.26 Thanks to such efforts, the Republican became the candidate of choice for many black belt whites who began to pressure loca l political leaders to jump on the Eisenhower bandwagon. Rivers told Representative E. E. Cox of Georgias Second Congressional District: In my locality people are frenzied. Just about everybody who is anybody is supporting Eisenhower. It is very possibl e that I will have to make a strong statement in his behalf before the election. I have never seen such bitter opposition to Truman and Stevenson as exists in th e whole South Carolina Low country from Columbia South. I am not certain Eisenhow er can carry South Carolina, but he is 25 Ibid 26 Eisenhower quoted in: Earl Black and Merle Black, The Vital South: How Presidents are Elected (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992) 178-180.

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116 going to get a whale of a vote . Jim Byrnes is really going to bat for Eisenhower. He made a fire-eating speech in my hometo wn of Charleston last night and I am waiting to get the results.27 Three days later, on October 25, Rivers caved to constituent pressure and issued a public statement endorsing Eisenhower. Ea ger to rationalize his abandonment of Stevenson, Rivers professed his loyalty to the Democratic Party of John C. Calhoun, Thomas Jefferson, and Wade Hampton, but cl aimed that the national party had been captured and was controlled by elements with ideologies foreign to democracy. He insisted the partys turn to the left was a result of dangerous outsiders with communistic ideas. In a nod to Cold War xenophobia, Rive rs declared, America has been a mecca for many people from across the seas. They have come to this country and grown rich beyond their wildest dreams, and many of them now seek to change the very type and form of Government under which they have waxed so rich. Many of these people are now charting the course of the National Democratic Part y. Although Rivers never explained who these people we re, his diatribe struck a c hord with white southerners who were similarly convinced that outsiders we re intent on wreaking havoc with their way of life.28 Rivers worked throughout the fall to convi nce voters he had not changed his basic ideological position. When Governor Steven son was nominated at Chicago, I had hopes that he would lead the party of our fathers b ack to the road of St ates Rights and local government, said Rivers, but upon my return from a harrowing trip abroad, I find that the Democratic campaign has sunk to a low typi cal of Fair Deal supporters. He claimed 27 L. Mendel Rivers to E.E. Cox (October 22, 1952), Rivers Papers, SCHS. 28 Statement by Congressman L. Mendel Rivers (October 25, 1952), Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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117 Truman had taken over the campaign and point ed out that, in a recent speech in New York, the president proclaimed a strong Civ il Rights program. He advocated a Federal FEPC law of the strongest kind, with teeth in it. Accord ing to Rivers, Stevenson had vigorously supported these propos als. Rivers, who was no stranger to hyperbole, warned his constituents that his decision to support the independent movement could cost him his political job, but he claimed any other acti on would cost him his self-respect. It is often the practice of some Democrats, when they dont like their candidate, to go fishing come Election Day, said Rivers, I call these men cowards. The congressman argued that it was the responsib ility of every good citizen to vote.29 Once Rivers made the jump onto the Eise nhower bandwagon he was a vocal leader in the independent movement. He told his c onstituents that he was well within his rights as a South Carolina Democrat to suppor t Eisenhower. The state party had given permission for any Democrat to stand up in de fense of states rights. Rivers announced, I followed this course in 1948 . Only a fool would think that I have changed during that short span of years. He insisted, T o me, however, the responsibility of every good citizen is to vote his, or her, honest convictions, and I insist on having a similar right, and I will take it . I am not a slave and will never be pulling an oar on the galley ship of State. Come Election Day, it is my intention to cast my vote for the Democratic electors for Eisenhower.30 29 Ibid 30 Greenville News (October 26, 1952) 1. News and Courier (October 26, 1952) 1A. News and Courier (October 26, 1952) 4A. L. Mendel Rivers to Robert L. Scott (November 4, 1952), Hampton Guardian (n.d.), and the Jasper Record (October 29, 1952), from the Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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118 Privately, however, Rivers was less dogmatic. In his letter to Georgia Representative Cox he wrote, I have ma de it my policy to always do everything my constituents ask . I always also try to st raddle every fence on which I can conveniently stand on both sides. Rivers, like most othe r politicians in South Carolinas black belt, chose not to fight the politi cal currents sweeping through the Low Country. Despite his public pronouncements, Rivers knew that th e Stevenson campaign had not changed its message since the convention. No subsequent statement by Stevenson had called for civil rights more forcefully than did the platfo rm adopted at the pa rtys convention. If anything, Stevenson had purposely tried to di stance himself from Truman and his civil rights programs. What had changed since the convention, however, was the level of support for Eisenhower in the Low Country ; a phenomenon which reflected both the personal appeal of the Repub lican candidate and increased white anxiety about the perceived civil rights agenda of the Democratic Party. These political realities prompted Rivers decision to break ranks w ith Stevenson and support Eisenhower.31 In a very short time, South Carolini ans for Eisenhower had built a powerful campaign and altered the state election ba llots. By Election Day, over 53,000 voters had signed petitions to place Eise nhower on the ballot as an i ndependent. That support was so strong that the Republican Party had attemp ted to remove itself from the ballot so as not to confuse voters, but th e ballots had already been printed. Moreover, South 31 L. Mendel Rivers to E.E. Cox (October 22, 1952), Rivers Papers, SCHS. Jeff Broadwater, Adlai Stevenson and American Politics: th e Odyssey of a Cold War Liberal (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1994) 117-120. Fredrickson, The Dixiecrat Movement, 200-300.

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119 Carolinians for Eisenhower had raised nearly $100,000 within South Carolina and pressured politicians, like Rivers, to jump on the Eisenhower bandwagon.32 Although Rivers agonized over his decision and was a latecomer to the cause, the choice to support Eisenhower was, ultimately, not a difficult one for many South Carolina whites. The former general seemed to transcend party affiliation. He was a popular leader with widespread name recogni tion and most South Carolinians considered him the most racially conservative candidate Of course, many southerners were also impressed by Eisenhowers notable military cr edentials. For some, it was his military career that lent credence to the notion that he would also maintain high levels of federal spending at defense installations. The combin ation of these factors made Eisenhower an appealing candidate to white South Carolini ans. His perceived racial conservatism attracted hardcore segregationists and more moderate whites who feared that increased federal interests in the management of lo cal race relations would push more and more whites into the hardcore camp. Indeed, for mo st whites it appeared as if Eisenhower was the candidate most likely to slow federal involvement in civil rights matters while simultaneously maintaining a high degree of Cold War military spending in the South. It was no coincidence then that the Stevenson-Sparkman campaigns most concerted attempt to diminish Eisenhowers appeal in the black belt was targeted at defense workers. The Democrats implied th at a Republican victory would cause the loss of jobs in Low Country defense industries Stevenson campaign officials argued that Eisenhower would dole out pa tronage to Republican congressmen and limit funding to Democratic states. No South Carolinian was in a better position to refute such claims 32 Slim Suttles Viewing the South from Washington: Weekly Review of the Washington Scene As it Affects the South (October 31, 1952), from the Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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120 than Rivers. The congressmans position on the Armed Services Committee and his reputation for steering defense dollars to the region made him a local authority on military spending. It is an insult to the inte lligence of these fine, patriotic Americans for these self-styled leaders of th e Stevenson movement to try to pressure these employees into believing that a vote for Eisenhower would affect these installations, Rivers insisted. Congressman Rivers encouraged workers at Charleston s naval shipyard to vote as they please, and he promised if they voted for the Republican presidential candidate they would get every protection guaranteed by the Civil Service. Rivers explained that the funding for Charlestons military installations was specifically set aside by law and can be used for no other pur pose, and was not, th erefore dependent on who was elected to the presidency. 33 Despite such fierce opposition from Rivers and Byrnes, Stevenson won the state in 1952. He collected over 170,000 votes comp ared to Eisenhowers 165,000. Loyal Democratic voters in the piedm ont and upstate regions of th e state voted two to one in favor of Stevenson. The votes of white text ile workers and the strong support of African American voters helped the Stevenson-Sparkman ticket achieve one of its few victories. Republicans did, however, learn an important lesson during the el ection. Eisenhowers strong showing verified that the Sol id South was cracking. Eisenhower overwhelmingly carried the black-belt areas wh ere fears of widespread racial change were most acute. Riverss First Congression al District provided the most support for the independent ballot, casting ove r 65 percent of its vote to Eisenhower. The Republican also won the Second Congressional District which included the area around Columbia, 33 News and Courier (October 30, 1952), from the Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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121 with 60 percent of the combined independent and GOP vote, and the Sixth District with 50.29 percent. Eisenhower supporters te nded to be white working class voters who were not employed in the textile industry and who lived near large African American communities. Thus, it is not surprising that Eisenhower carried many of the same voters who had supported Strom Thurmonds bid for the Senate in 1950. However, the Republican also added a large number of white-collar workers in Charleston and Columbia to Thurmonds totals.34 As had been the case for Olin Johnston in the senatorial primary in 1950, the deciding factor for the overall success of the Stevenson campaign was the increased African American electorate. Though Stevenson made almost no official effort to reach out to black voters in South Carolina, African Americans were more comfortable with the Democratic candidate than they were with th e more conservative Eisenhower. In fact, African American voters were more likely to support Thurmond in 1948 than Eisenhower in 1952. In an election post-mortem, Gover nor Byrnes estimated that about 59,000 black voters had cast their ballots for the national Democrat. According to the governor, nearly all of Eisenhowers votes cam e from white voters. Thus, Eisenhower carried the states white vote by a significant margin. Polit ical correspondent Raymond Moley concluded that Stevensons total vote amongst South Carolina whites was a scant 114,000. Byrnes concluded that South Carolina whites ju mped on the Eisenhower bandwagon because they feared the socialistic policies adopted by the Trum an Administration. He also 34 These totals include the ballots cast in both the Republican and Independent columns. In the election the ballot totals were not combined. Had Eisenhower collected more total votes than Stevenson, but collected less ballots for the Independent ticket he still would have lost the state. News and Courier (November 11, 1952) 1A. Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 230-232.

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122 pointed out that Truman supported the FEPC, th e repeal of the Taft-Hartley law, and had bungled the situation in Korea.35 After Eisenhowers election, South Caroli nians for Eisenhower chose to remain a non-partisan advocacy group. Most of its members, however, refused to abandon the Democratic Party. In spite of strains am ong white voters in South Carolina and the national Democratic Party, at the local leve l South Carolina remained essentially a one party state in the 1950s. The past two presid ential elections had demonstrated disunity and factionalism within that party, but those divisions had not led to the growth of a viable opposition party in state elections. The Republican Party had little to no official structure, almost no ability to raise funds for candidates, and was incapable of electing anyone to a statewide office. In other word s, the road to politi cal success in South Carolina was through the state Democratic Pa rty and few whites were willing to abandon those advantages. Instead, they chose to pr ovide a local voice of dissent against the national partys interests in ci vil rights causes. Remaining in the Democratic Party also meant that the groups members could become a forceful informal advocacy group and a potent source of criticism fo r candidates across the state.36 Because of the newfound power of Eisenhow er supporters in state politics, the election had exacerbated tensions within the De mocratic Party as a w hole. State leaders may have been able to abandon Democratic candidates during nationa l elections without risking their status in the pa rty, but the loss of congressional seniority was a very real 35 Raymond Moley, A Political Perspective, Newsweek (December 15, 1952) 108. Byrnes, Ike, and the South, Newsweek (December 15, 1952) 31. 36 Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 230-264. Byrnes, Ike, and the South, Newsweek (December 15, 1952) 31.

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123 threat to the states representatives in Washington D.C. Even though congressional Democrats had chosen not to punish Dixiecrat defectors in 1948, there was no guarantee that their generosity would continue. Rivers, for example, was very concerned about sanctions from the national Democratic Party. He was determined to stay on the House Armed Services Committee, ev en if it meant changing his party affiliation. After the election the congressman wrote to House Minority Leader Joseph W. Martin (R): I dont know what [House Ma jority Leader] Sam Rayburn and those are going to try to do when we reorganize but it may be necessary for me to have a talk with you before the convening for the new Congress. If you will be in Washington between now and then for any period of time, I hope you will let me see you. I am going to see [Governor] Byrnes this w eekend and discuss the future of our organization in South Carolina. Senators Maybank and Johnston were only able to beat us by a few votes. We had the larges t turnout in the history of South Carolina and Eisenhower received almost fifty percen t of the votes cast, with every big name in South Carolina against him with the exception of Jim Byrnes and me.37 Rivers also wrote fellow Armed Forces Committee member Congressman Dewey Short (R) of Missouri. Again, Rivers expre ssed concern at the fu ture actions of Sam Rayburn. He informed Short, It may be necessary for me to have a conversation with you before Congress is reorganized. I am de termined to stay on the Armed Services Committee. Rivers was not disciplined, and he remained on the Armed Services Committee, but the congressmans concerns about his ability to straddle the fence between his constituents and his national party lingered l ong after the new president took office.38 In the months after Eisenhowers electi on, little changed in South Carolina, but white anxieties remained high as the Briggs case continued to m ove slowly through the 37 L. Mendel Rivers to Joseph W. Martin, Jr. (November 6, 1952), Rivers Papers, SCHS. 38 L. Mendel Rivers to Dewey Short (November 6, 1952), Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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124 courts. Although many southern leaders expe cted the United States Supreme Court to rule against state sponsored racial separation, many segreg ationists hoped that the new president would name more c onservative judges to the judici ary and, therefore, slow the process of court ordered desegregation. Ot hers predicted that the more conservative Eisenhower administration would allow for lax en forcement of any judicial order. In any event, many of the states segregationist leaders found Eisenhowers politics more acceptable than his predecessors and were co mfortable with his record of supporting states rights. This relative calm, however, was mildly disrupted in April 1953 when the NAACP called on the administration to end segregat ion at Charlestons navy yard. Clarence Mitchell, the Washington Dir ector of the NAACP, chastised the Department of the Navy for allowing rigid racial segregation at th e facility. Mitchell poi nted out that African Americans were forced to use different restr ooms, drink from segregated water fountains, and dine in blacks-only dini ng halls. Since the navy yard was federal property, Mitchell called on new Secretary of the Navy, Robert B. Anderson, to end the discriminatory policies.39 The Eisenhower Administration and Secret ary Anderson were slow to respond to the NAACP demands. Throughout the spring and summer of 1953, the Charleston navy yard remained segregated and the presiden t continued to receive praise from South Carolina segregationists. For example, at the 54th Annual Governors Conference, Byrnes declared that southerners would not re turn to the Democratic Party in presidential elections so long as the partys platform incl uded calls for granting civil rights to African 39 News and Courier (April 2, 1953) 1.

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125 Americans. Southerners need not worry that their ancestors were turning over in their graves, according to Byrnes. I listened pretty carefully in our state last year, he claimed, and no noise was heard from the gr aveyards. The South Carolina governor praised Eisenhower for s upporting states rights.40 Byrness admiration of Eisenhower did not however, lead the governor to dismiss the danger that federal civil rights initiatives still posed to the racial caste system. The governor, much like Strom Thurmond in the 195 0 Democratic primary, insisted that the only way to limit federal authority was for stat es to reject federally funded projects. Byrnes declared that all 50 st ates had made the United Stat es Treasury a grab bag for local projects. He contended th at the lust for federal money inevitably led to the transfer of control from the states to the national gove rnment. I want to see the governors . who go to Washington, Byrnes proclaimed, k eep their hats on their heads instead of going hat in hand begging for money the people of their state have sent to Washington.41 Byrness call for reduced federal aid was contrary to the wishes of many of his constituents and came during a time when the state was relying more and more on federal defense spending. The Charleston Air Force Base was in the construction phase and other military bases in Charleston, Beaufort, and Columbia were struggling to maintain civilian employment levels equal to their Korean War peak. Likewise, work on the federally funded Santee-Cooper hydroelectric project, which began in the 1930s, was near completion, and federal authorities had also provided most of the funding for the Clarks Hill Dam project. 40 Ibid ., (August 6, 1953) 1. 41Ibid ., (August 4, 1953) 1.

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126 Despite Byrness foreboding, many whites and blacks jointly praised these large projects and declared them a positive influen ce on South Carolina. Indeed, it was not the prospect of an expansion of federal patronage or anxiety ov er Eisenhowers limited racial initiatives, but his call for greater fiscal responsibility and a reduction in federal expenditures that most worried South Carolinia ns. The rapid decline of defense industry jobs after World War II had wreaked havoc with state and local coffers. South Carolinas leaders were determined to avoid a similar economic collapse at the end of the Korean conflict. It is not difficult to apprecia te the intensity of these c oncerns about the future of federal funding in South Carolina. Even i ndustries and state reve nues that were not directly related to national defense ha d become dependent on Cold War military spending. For example, the South Carolina Cotton Manufacturers Association (SCCMA) vigorously protested changes in the way that the Departme nt of Defense contracted textile work. According to one member of the group, the federal governments decision to hand out defense orders like WPA jobs, contributed to the national debt by driving up prices and deprived South Carolina wo rkers of countless hours of employment to which they were entitled. In a telegram to Senator Maybank, a re presentative of the SCCMA warned that, in many cases, Sout h Carolina textile mills were already operating without profits.42 Furthermore, defense appropriations also funneled money into the states social welfare programs. Charleston and its surroundi ng counties were named critical defense areas, which made them eligible for larg e sums of additional federal money. This 42 Telegram from John K Cauthen to Burnet R. Mayb ank (February 6, 1952), Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections.

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127 money was intended to help limit the local impact of military expansion on public services and amenities. For example, in 1952 alone congress authorized over $600,000 dollars for school construction in North Charleston. According to correspondence between Maybank and Earl J. McGrath of th e United States Commission on Education, Charleston County only had to provide a loca l match of $20,000 in order to secure the funds. Also, the federal Housing and Ho me Finance Agency allocated $175,000 for construction of new homes in the Charleston area.43 In some cases, defense appropriations co mpletely and permanently altered South Carolinas infrastructure, its social system, a nd its economy in a very short time. No such project had a greater impact on post World War II South Ca rolina than the construction of a nuclear weapons plant in parts of Ai ken, Allendale, and Barnwell Counties. The project, which was built under the directi on of the Atomic Energy Commission by the DuPont Company, transformed the rural area on South Carolinas southwestern border into a bustling Cold War suburbia. The fe derally funded project was the single largest construction project in state history and provided a much needed boost to the states economy.44 Aiken, the areas largest town had a popul ation of only 7,000 in 1950. The largest city in the region was Augus ta, across the stat e line in Georgia, and it boasted a population of only 70,000. In a matter of months the local population was dwarfed by the thousands of new residents required to build and operate the facility. The construction 43 Ivan D. Carson to Burnet R. Maybank (March 3, 1952); Earl J. McGrath to Burnet R. Maybank (February 28, May 27 and March 10, 1952), Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections. 44 James O. Farmer, Jr. A Collision of Cultures: Aiken, South Carolina, Meets the Nuclear Age, Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association (1995) 40-49.

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128 crew alone brought almost 40,000 new people to the area and on ce the facility was operational it employed 4,000 full-time workers. The changes to the local infrastructure and economy were rapid and dramatic. Almost overnight the sleepy southern backwater known for its fertile soil and red clay mud b ecame a federal town. According to historian James Farmer, the impact of the facility on th e Aiken area was greater than that of the Civil War. Shermans army was larger, notes Farmer, but it did not have families in its train and it only passed through.45 Farmer contends that most South Carolinia ns were supportive of the plant and were willing to endure the rapid soci al changes that it brought in exchange for the economic benefits it produced. The facility appealed to the regions economic need, its staunch anti-communism, and traditional support of the military. However, the plant did come at some cost to local residents. By March 1952 construction had resulted in a government take over of land owned previously by 6,000 mo stly rural residents. Landowners were paid below market prices for their property and renters and sharecroppers received no reparations at all. Nonetheless, its po sitive economic impact was undeniable. The facilitys property and its construction cost $1 billion at a time when all of the real and personal property in the state was valued at a mere $4 billion, Aiken quickly became home to some of the highest paying jobs in the South, and the plan ts employees and their families rapidly transformed the impoverished region into a bastion of middle class homes and white collar consumerism.46 45 Ibid. 46 Ibid.

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129 Despite the plants clear economic benef its for many white South Carolinians, some hardcore segregationists remained appreh ensive about the potential of federal civil rights initiatives to influence local racial cu stoms. Days after the project was introduced to the public Senator Maybank received corres pondence from Thomas L. Hamilton of the States Rights Association concerning th e new factory. Hamilton asked Maybank to stop an NAACP petition demanding integrated facilities and housing at the plant. Hamilton, who Maybank identified as a memb er of the Ku Klux Klan, insisted that integration was a Marxist-Zi onist Movement. It is no table that Hamilton did not suggest abandoning plans for the factory, only that it be a segregated facility.47 Others worried that the rapid changes would undermine the local community and overwhelm its traditional infrastructure. The construction contract called for improvements to the areas tran sportation system, but did lit tle to address the projects impact on local education. The school system was already poor, even by South Carolina standards. Annually, Aiken County spent onl y $124 for every white student and $61 for every black student compared to the state average of $139 for whites and $77 for African Americans. Like the rest of the state, the county faced the dilemma of improving its schools while maintaining segreg ated facilities. Aside from the additional income from Governor Byrness sales tax, the region did not receive any new state funding to improve its overcrowded schools or its lack of proper housing until the federal government contributed over $6 million to construct 3,225 rent al units and 625 sale units to alleviate the housing shortage, and Congress allotte d funds to build new schools. As a 47 Thomas L. Hamilton to Burnet R. Maybank (December 5, 1950), Ma ybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections.

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130 consequence of such measures the Savannah River region soon became almost entirely dependent on federal funds.48 Though no other region experienced the kind of rapid social and economic changes brought about in the area surrounding Aiken, many other parts of South Carolina also benefited from increased federal investment. For the most part, white South Carolinians welcomed these changes. White workers in South Carolina mentally separated the federal government that provided funding a nd issued paychecks from the federal government that allowed Justice Department investigations of voting rights cases and promoted a handful of civil rights reforms. At the same time that the states segregationists were lambasting the federal courts for seeking to enforce equal protection statutes, South Carolina was actively seeking more federal involvement in the states econom y. In many cases, local officials actually requested federal monies to pay for segregated facilities. For example, the Charleston County Council unanimously supported a peti tion requesting funds from the federal government to build a new hospital for African Americans. Howard J. Sears, the Charleston County Manger, noted that the ne w hospital was necessa ry because of the high number of new black residents who ha d moved into Charleston and Charleston County because of employment at the Char leston Naval Base and the Airforce ( sic ) Base. The Charleston County Development Board concluded that the impact of defense activities in the Charleston Area had led to an acute shortage of general hospital beds. According to a county re port, The expected influx of construction workers and civilian employees at the Airf orce Base, and further expansion of the 48 Farmer, A Collision of Cultures, 40-49.

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131 Charleston Naval Base, would lead to a severe shortage of hospital facilities for African American patients. There are no acceptable general hospital beds, claimed county officials, where a Negro patient may be treated by his own Negro physician. Charleston did not receive funds for a new hos pital for African Americans, but the state did receive a federal grant of nearly $6 million for the construction of a medical college in Charleston. The new fac ility was also awarded a $100,000 grant for cancer research, and applied for an additional $1.1 million from the federal government for additional construction. The federal funds for the new medical school dwarfed the $3.6 million allocated by the state.49 School and hospital construction were indicator s of local aspirations to lure federal dollars to the South Carolina, but payroll statistics offer an even better guide to the impact of defense spending on the region. Ov erall, shipyard workers were the highest paid employees in the area. With less th an 10,000 workers, the shipyards payroll hovered around $30 million in the early 1950s. The to tal payroll expended by manufacturers, wholesalers, re tail businesses, and the service industry in the Charleston metropolitan area was slightly less than $40 million. Manufacturers employed a similar number of employees for less than $20 m illion. The total payroll for manufacturers, wholesalers, retail bus iness, and the servic e industry averaged approximately $1,900 per year per employee while the navy yard worker s averaged a yearly salary of almost $3,500.50 49 George Hopkins, From Naval Pauper to Naval Po wer: The Development of Charlestons MetropolitanIndustrial Complex, in Roger W. Lotchin (ed.), The Martial Metropolis: U.S. Cities in War and Peace (New York: Praeger, 1984) 1-34. Howard J. Sears, Charleston County Manger, to S.J. Ulmer, Acting Administrator Hospital construction Section Division of Administration (September 26, 1952), Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections. 50 Ibid.

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132 Although African Americans were limited to less-skilled jobs at the shipyard, the prospects for black workers at th e facility were still better than in civilian industries. In August of 1952, the facility employed approximately 2,350 non-white workers. Additionally, the $28 million Charleston Air Force Base under construction in 1952 promised to employ as many as 550 African Am erican workers. In fact, prospects for black workers were so good in Charleston County that between 1940 and 1950 almost 10,000 new non-white residents relocated to th e Charleston metro area. County Manager Howard J. Sears argued that this increase was due to defense activit ies. He pointed out that Beaufort, Colleton, Dorchester, Berkele y, and Georgetown Coun ties all had increases in their African American population of at leas t five percent in the same 10 year span due to relocations for defense related work. Furt hermore, he estimated that more than 1,500 African Americans had moved into Charlest on County since the 1950 census. Since most of those workers brought their families with them, local schools witnessed a spike in African American enrollment. The number of black students in Charleston County, for example, increased from 13,708 in 1947 to more than 17,000 in 1952.51 These demographic changes, which took place while the Briggs case was working its way through the court system amplified both black determ ination to challenge second class schools and white anxieties about pr eserving the privileges of whiteness. Nonetheless, military officials spent as muc h, if not more time, reassuring local leaders that military spending would remain high as th ey did addressing civil rights issues. For example, in Charleston, Captain T.T. Dantzl er assured local business leaders that the shipyards future role is secure. The shipyards commanding o fficer predicted that, 51 Ibid.

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133 despite moderate layoffs in 1953, the f acility would employ between 7,000 and 8,000 civilian workers throughout the 1950s. His pr edictions were a marked increase over the roughly 5,000 workers who had been employed at the navy yard in the late 1940s. Dantzler also attempted to assuage fears of de segregation at the ship yard. In response to a rumor that the Navy was planning to order th e desegregation of civilian employees in the South, Dantzler assured the Charleston News and Courier that the navy yard was following the policy of separate but equal as in the past.52 Dantzlers reassurances, however, did little to prolong Eise nhowers honeymoon with white South Carolina segregationists. Any hopes of supplementing local revenues with federal dollars while maintaining segreg ated facilities ended when the new president ordered the final desegregation of militar y installations thro ughout the region in September 1953. A direct order from Secr etary of Defense Anderson led to the elimination of segregated water fountains at the navy yard on September 14, 1953. Just over a month later, the cafeteria was desegr egated. Just as Thurmond and Byrnes had warned, federal money had led to the loss of local control ov er racial customs.53 By October 1953, criticism of the president had increased substantially in the South Carolina black belt. The News and Courier condemned Eisenhower for appointing Earl Warren as Chief Justice of the Supreme Cour t. The Charleston daily claimed that Eisenhowers desire for compromise has caused him to lose an opportunity to make a substantial change in the complexion of the c ourt. The paper warned in an editorial that Warren was the Republican who was most closel y associated with the Fair Deal. The 52 News and Courier (August 11, 1953) 16. 53 Hopkins, From Naval Pauper to Naval Power, 1-34.

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134 editorial declared that Warren was pro-FEPC pro-labor, and had advocated socialized medicine. It even hinted that Warren wa s likely to rule against state sponsored segregation in education in the upcoming Brown v. Board of Education case, which was set to decide five consolidated cases, including South Carolinas Briggs v. Elliott .54 Like their hometown newspaper, white work ers at the naval shipyard took umbrage with the Eisenhower Administrations supposed interests in civil ri ghts. Following the desegregation of dining facili ties at the navy yard, white workers sporadically boycotted the cafeteria over a three-year period. According to the News and Courier the boycott was the result of an insidious NAACP plot The paper reported, as soon as the separation policy was ended at the Navy Yar d, a group of 14 or 15 Negroes entered what had been the white dining room. Instead of s itting together, each took a seat at a separate table. The paper, which considered Char leston the paragon for southern gentility and good manners, condemned the militant way in which African American workers responded to the desegregation order. The editors seemed especially appalled at the impoliteness of the whole affair. A gr oup of well-mannered persons, according to the editorial staff, would not walk into a downtown restaurant in Charleston or New York and disperse among the tables. The News and Courier affirmed that men of good manners . should recognize the social ri ghts of others. It warned that poor manners could lead to violence and frict ion at the shipyard, and encouraged both whites and blacks to resist racially mixed tables.55 54 News and Courier (October 1, 1953) 4A. 55 Ibid ., (October 21, 1953) 4A.

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135 In a letter to the editor of the News and Courier Clarence Mitchell chastised the conservative newspaper for giving the impre ssion that the only goal of the NAACP was integration at meal time. Instead, Mitc hell claimed that the groups aim was the complete and final end of all racial segrega tion. He called the e nding of segregation at the Navy Yard cafeteria. . but a small part of a very necessary program in democracys war against those forces that would destroy the rights of man. Few Charleston whites agreed with Mitchells assertion that the lunchroom incident was a small part in the worldwide fight for democracy. One letter to the editor insisted that the African American workers acted like hoodlums. It called the action rude, and declared the efforts to integrate the cafeteria an invasion of privacy.56 The controversy over the desegregation of the shipyard lunchroom did not deter the bases military commander from taking further action to comply with the federal desegregation order. Anderson also ordered the desegregation of the yards restrooms in January 1954. Unlike the cafeter ia, workers could not boycott the restrooms. They did however protest the change. Af ter the order, the base pandere d to racist stereotypes about black hygiene and installed sanitary toilet seat covers for the first time. For a short time, white workers took to wearing the seat c overs around their ne cks and dubbed them Eisenhower collars.57 The federal bureaucracys new interest in civil rights also impacted South Carolinas other defense installations, a ll of which had also undergone token desegregation by 1954. For example, the Depart ment of Defense declared Fort Jackson 56 Ibid ., (October 27, 1953), 4. 57 Hopkins, From Naval Pauper to Naval Power, 1-34.

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136 in Columbia % integrated in October of 1953. As on most military bases, black soldiers formed a sizeable portion of the popul ation at Fort Jackson. African Americans represented almost a quarter of the enlisted personnel at the base, which also housed a number of black officers who lived in desegregated housing facilities.58 Of course, the racial arrangements that ex isted on the base did not extend to offbase areas. Even though the desegregation of Fort Jackson was considered a success by federal authorities, local whites were not so quick to consider it a laudable goal or a welcome outcome. Whenever soldiers ventured off the base, they were subject to local and state laws regarding race relations. In order to comply with local laws, the USO established two clubs in the ci ty. One of the Columbia clubs was for whites and the other for African American soldiers.59 Like the USO clubs, Columbias bus system operated under strict segregation rules. African Americans were expected to ride in the back of th e bus and leave the front seats for white passengers. On Thanksgiving Day in 1953, roughly 50 black soldiers left the African American USO club on Taylor Street to return to Fort Jackson. It was nearly midnight and the bus had few passengers. Afte r moving toward the b ack of the already overcrowded bus, two African American soldiers sat in a seat that was also occupied by a young white waitress named Judy Mattox. Mattox protested and the driver of the bus demanded that the two men return to back of the vehicle. The driver, W.G. Brooks, stopped the bus and called on a city policeman to remedy the situation. While the driver 58 Andrew Myers, Black, White, and Olive Drab: Military-Social Relations During the Civil Rights Movement at Fort Jackson and in Columbia, South Carolina (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of Virginia, 1998) 328-333. 59 Ibid ., 344-348.

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137 was off the bus, Mattox claimed that when sh e tried to leave the bus, one of the men grabbed her by the wrist and asked her sit back down.60 When the officer got on the bus he attempte d to arrest one of the servicemen, but was prevented from carrying out the arrest by the other African American passengers. Brooks returned to his car and called for back up. After anot her police officer arrived, an African American Lieutenant named Austell O. Sherard confronted the officers. Sherard attempted to mediate the s ituation but was rebuked by th e white policemen. When Sherard demanded to know the police officers names and badge numbers, they refused to provide the information. Mattox was removed from the bus and all but two of the black servicemen were charged with disord erly conduct and fined $25. One soldier was fined an additional $100 for contempt of court, while Sherard was fined $100 for disorderly conduct and another $100 for inte rfering with a law enforcement officer.61 James Hinton, the President of the Sout h Carolina NAACP, was outraged at the charges. He helped Sherard hire a defe nse attorney and publicized the incident. President Eisenhower received complaints from over 50 NAACP branch offices. The charges against Sherard were eventually dropped and the bus c ontroversy died down quickly. Unlike the African American boycott of the segregated bus system in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that same year, or the Montgomery Bus Boycott two years later, Columbia blacks did not seem interested in using the case against the African American officer to initiate a similar ci ty-wide protest. Either they were too unorganized to mount a successful boycott or simply did not view the incident as an offense against the local 60 Ibid ., 347-350. 61 Ibid ., 350-353.

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138 black community. The only support that the soldiers received from Columbias African American community was legal assistance from the state NAACP, which was headquartered nearby.62 The next day, Columbia whites were reassure d that base officials would work with city officers to avoid future incidents involving soldiers sta tioned at Fort Jackson. The bases information officer declared, When military personnel go off the post they become subject to local laws the same as a ny other citizen. Nonetheless, white city leaders worried that future white reprisals ag ainst black soldiers could spark an increase in local civil rights activism. In the mont hs that followed, the city worked out an agreement with the base that a llowed black soldiers who violat ed city laws to be tried by a military tribunal. Unlike civil and criminal proceedings, a court martial was carried out away from the public eye.63 The bus incident in Columbia was yet a nother reminder that th e desegregation of federal installations could easily disrupt the racial status quo in nearby communities, but it was also a signal that whites could still nego tiate with federal officials to slow racial change and maintain local cont rol over the racial caste syst em. As Olin Johnston and the loyalist wing of the Democratic Party had contended in 1948 and 1950, using white southern political power to fo restall desegregation was one of the many tactics available to segregationist whites in their fight to preserve racial se gregation. Certainly, negotiation with federal officials had helped to prevent the Columbia bus incident from escalating to a broader protest campaign involving local blacks. 62 Ibid ., 353-354. 63 Ibid ., 357-359.

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139 Nevertheless, calls for negotiation and bur eaucratic resistance were beginning to lose strength in South Carolina by 1953. The desegregation of the states military installations had given creden ce to the notion that using federal monies to speed the process of equalization and, therefore, prot ect segregation was misguided. Most white South Carolinians supported racial segreg ation and many had voted for Eisenhower primarily as a means of expressing those views. For local civilian workers, such as those at the Charleston shipyard, the concept of working toward integration conflicted with their personal, political, and social convictions. Even some of Eisenhowers most steadf ast supporters condemned the Republican president for his limited civil rights agenda Representative Rivers declared that Eisenhower had given a cold shoulder to the pe ople of South Carolina. He maintained the president had turned his back on the Republican platform and the Southerners to whom he dedicated his campaign on states ri ghts. According to Rivers, the Eisenhower Administration had needlessly bartered the Presidents popularity in the South for the pressure group assistance of th e big cities in the North. He also verbally thrashed the president for allowing the Department of Ju stice to investigate court cases involving school desegregation in Washi ngton D.C. Rivers called the executive branchs actions nothing short of arrogant effrontery, and accused the justice department of attempting to dictate to the U.S. Supreme Court.64 Eisenhowers tentative interests in enfo rcing federal civil rights rules confounded South Carolinas white segregationists who had hoped that placing a sympathetic president in the White House could avert the enforcement of any potential desegregation 64 News and Courier (December 10, 1953) 1A.

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140 court verdicts. Before the Supr eme Court could even hear the Briggs case, many worried South Carolina segregationists had give n up on finding an electoral solution for preserving segregation. Indeed, the loom ing court decision had also left many segregationist parents with li ttle confidence in public edu cation. Whites, especially in Charleston where the News and Courier constantly lauded the benefits of private education, pulled their children out of the pub lic school system at an alarming rate. Between 1950 and 1954 the number of white students enrolled in private academies in Charleston increased from just over 2,000 to well over 7,000.65 The uneasiness in Charleston at the e nd of 1953 was symptomatic of the unease engulfing the entire state. Resourceful whites who had rallied behind a supposedly sympathetic president, initiated efforts to equalize the segregated schools, and reluctantly threatened to abandon public educa tion as a last resort to avoid integration were increasingly fearful that their efforts to combat court ordered desegregation were doomed to fail. For many mainstream whites, equalization and voter participation were a means to protect segregation without giving in to the radical politics of hardcore segregationists. However, the effectiven ess of desegregation on federal property was perceived as a harbinger of future civil right s enforcement. In the months before the Brown decision, it was already apparent to educat ed observers that this middle of the road approach was, at best, a delaying tactic. 65 R. Scott Baker, Ambiguous Legacies: The NAACPs Legal Campaign Against Segregation in Charleston, South Carolina, 1935-1975, (Ph.D. Dissertation: Columbia University, 1993) 160-164.

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141 CHAPTER 5 AFTER BROWN : FROM MODERATION TO EXTREMISM In May 1954, the United States Supreme Court finally handed down its ruling in South Carolinas Briggs case, which was settled as part of Brown v. Board of Education The verdict, which declared that segregated schools were inherently unequal, ignited a firestorm of criticism from s outhern whites. White leaders in South Carolina uniformly condemned the ruling, took ever y opportunity to undermine the authority of the federal courts, and repeatedly questio ned the ability as well as the right of the national government to enforce court ordered desegregat ion. Governor James F. Byrnes, Senators Burnet R. Maybank and Olin D. Johnston, and the entire state delegation to the United States House of Representatives lambaste d the decision. Maybank called the ruling a shameful political move, rather than a judicial decision. Clarendon County School Superintendent L.B. McCord described the de cision as the single worst event to happen to the South in the twenti eth century. We positively will not mix the schools, he warned. South Carolina Attorney General T.C. Callison went so far as to refuse to acknowledge that the Supreme C ourt even had jurisdiction in the matter. It is my opinion, claimed Callison, that no action be ta ken by this office which would indicate that we consider the State of South Carolina as such, a party to the controversy. The

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142 ending action is purely a local matter so far as the parties to the suit [the Briggs case] are concerned.1 The near uniformity of these responses wa s significant, indicating that in South Carolina white solidarity was as important as white supremacy. From the beginnings of the Briggs case white South Carolinians had prea ched the importance of a united front against any challenge to segregat ed education. But following the Brown decision white resolve reached new heights as segregationist s from the states various political factions expressed their determination to evade enfor cement of the desegreg ation order. This hardening of white public opinion prompted Southern School News to report that The solidarity of official opinion was the most significant aspect of South Carolinas early response to the Brown .2 Nonetheless, this superficial unity con cealed deep divisions within the white communities over the best course of action. I ndeed, whites in South Carolina were united in their fervor to protect de jure segregation, but demographi c differences and economic divergence between the rural bl ack belt counties, the upstate region, and the three major metropolitan areas made statewide agreement on the most effective and appropriate method to preserve Jim Crow difficult. Th ese tensions and the manner in which white segregationists worked to overcome, or if that failed, camouflage them is the focus of this chapter. 1 News and Courier (September 16, 1954) 1. Idus A. Newby, South Carolina and the Desegregation Issue, (M.A. Thesis: University of South Carolina, 1957) 53. The Catholic Committee of the South, Segregation and the Catholic Schools: A Study (Rock Hill, South Carolina: The Catholic Committee of the South, 1956) 30-31. Howard Quint, Profile in Black and White: A Frank Portrait of South Carolina (Washington D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1958) 21-23. Southern School News (October 1, 1954) 13. 2 Southern School News (September 3, 1954) 12.

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143 The early reaction to the Brown decision produced few specific plans for defending segregated education from vigorous federal en forcement of the verdict. Unsure of the degree of white anger, South Carolinas polit ical elites offered little more than vague threats and exaggerated indignation. Elected officials spoke on the illegality of the courts verdict and promised to find a legal way to circumvent it. White leaders urged calm and asked the states population to assist public officials in the maintenance of law and order. Of course, they also preach ed that law and order depended on the continuation of racial segreg ation. White organizations re warded these unrealistic but popular proposals with a ringing endorsement of the state legislature. For example, the Loris chapter of the South Carolina Farm Bureau voted unanimously to support the General Assembly in anything they see fit to do to preserve segregated education.3 In hindsight, whites should have been more prepared for the Brown decision. Governor Byrnes may have declared that he was shocked by the verdict, but political officers, legal experts, and other informed whites had generally expected the Supreme Court to declare segregated education uncons titutional. The elimination of admission restrictions in higher ed ucation (especially in Sweatt v. Painter and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education ) set legal precedents for future court rulings and the states newspapers did not seem surprised by the verdict. The Columbia Record for instance, acknowledged that the Brown decision was consistent with the series of court decisions from the previous decade that had gradually eroded the legal 3 Ibid

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144 tenets of de jure segregation and the Charleston News and Courier had predicted a wave of pro-integration court verdic ts as early as the mid-1940s.4 Nonetheless, up until 1954 the threat of court ordered desegregation of primary and secondary schools was an abstract fear. Once the court ruled that segregated education was inherently unequal, southern leader s understood that a s howdown with federal authority was approaching. However, neither th e intensity nor the specific terrain of that confrontation was predictable. In 19 52 South Carolina whites had overwhelmingly supported the notion of abandoning the public school system if necessary to avoid desegregation. Once the Brown decision made the enactment of that plan a real possibility, more serious di sagreements over the merits of school closure began to surface. For example, State Representative Ernest F. Hollings called the idea of closing the public schools foolish. When rural whit es and the conservative newspaper editors at the Charleston News and Courier championed the idea of replacing the schools with a private education system, Hollings pointed out th at the courts might also abolish any such private system by declaring it an unconstitutional attempt to circumvent the decree.5 The states white leaders may have promot ed the idea that a unified white response was necessary to prevent or delay cour t ordered desegregation, but, as Hollings 4 Quint, Profile in Black and White 93-97. Independent (May 26, 1954) 4, (July 25, 1954) 4. News and Courier (August 9, 1954) 4. Tony Badger has pointed out that few Southern politicians were really shocked at the Supreme Cour ts ruling. He argues that most southerners were simply resigned to notion that the courts would rule against segregation. Farley Smith, a future leader in the Citizens Council movement in South Carolina, frequently complained about the apathy of South Carolina whites regarding the desegregation order. Unlike Sm ith, most whites preached resistance, according to Badger, in hopes of delaying desegregation for years or even decades, s ee: Tony Badger, Fatalism not Gradualism, in eds. Brian Ward and Tony Badger, The Making of Martin Luther Ki ng and the Civil Rights Movement (New York: New York University Press, 1995) 67-95. For an example of Smiths comments, see: News and Courier (May 26, 1955) 14A. 5 Columbia Record ( May 18, 1954) 4A. The News and Courier s position on private schooling is discussed in the previous chapters.

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145 demonstrated, white unity was superficial at be st. White South Carolinians were actually divided into four distinct, if not wholly discreet, factions. The first and most vocal were hardcore segregationists who were willing to abandon the public school system, utilize violent intimidation of civil rights activis ts, and force a showdown with the federal government if necessary to maintain the ra cial status quo. The second group was made up of more moderate whites w ho were willing to accept minimal compliance, if it meant that the basic structure of the racial hierarchy remained in place. The third, smallest, and least influential group was made up of white racial liberals who supported desegregation, albeit with different opinions as to a timetable. Most wh ite South Carolinians, however, belonged to an ill-defined four th group that tended to opera te between the hardcore and moderate group. As the states largest white faction, these mainstream segregationists were willing to accept a modicu m of overt intimidation and ma ybe even a little violence, but preferred the use of bureau cratic and legalistic device s to thwart court ordered desegregation. Members of this group ranged from very active to ve ry apathetic and, like white moderates, were only willing to tole rate a small amount of social and economic unrest in their fight to safeguard Jim Crow.6 From 1948 to 1954 South Carolinas loose coalit ion of these segregationist factions was held together by a strategy that prepar ed paradoxically for both an uncompromising approach to court ordered dese gregation and a more flexible and legalistic alternative that downplayed the most overt forms of white resi stance. State leaders indulged each group 6 For a discussion of the division between white moderates and hardcore segregationists throughout the South, see: Matthew Lassiter, The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Politics and Society in Twentieth Century America (Princeton: Princeton Un iversity Press, 2005) and The Rise of the Suburban South: the Silent Majority and the Politic s of Education, 1945-1975 (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of Virginia, 1999).

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146 by promising to uphold the rule of law and prevent public unrest while simultaneously pledging to avoid any desegrega tion especially of the public schools. Indeed, the only real consensus among South Carolina whites was that segregation was preferable to desegregation. In the face of such a comp lex political dynamic, most of the states elected officials chose rhetorical post uring over policy making even though they recognized that the specter of a federal de segregation order would ultimately force a showdown between the partisans of each appr oach. In the meantime, white politicians simply promised the continuation of public order, economic improvement, and racial segregation. South Carolinas hardcore rhetoric co ncealed, for a short time, the difficult decisions facing the state. But, in May 1954, journalist William D. Workman summarized what he saw as the states fe w real options: it could simply accept the courts verdict and implement a desegreg ation plan, it could eliminate the public education system entirely and replace it with a private system, or it could resurrect John C. Calhouns doctrine of interposition and nullification and declar e the ruling itself unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it; or it could simply ignore the order and prepare for a legal process that could take years, or even decades, to resolve.7 In the immediate afterm ath of the original Brown ruling, few South Carolinians, save for a small number of right-wing news paper editors and rural Klan sympathizers, wanted to raise the ire of federal au thorities by reviving Calhouns treatise on nullification. White South Carolinians rec ognized that the threat of interposition and nullification would, at best, only postpone federal intervention and not overrule the 7 News and Courier (May 30, 1954) 4.

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147 Supreme Courts decision. Hard core segregationists, such as First District Congressman L. Mendel Rivers pandered to the states most outspoken critics of black activism and backed efforts to renew the nullification c ontroversy, but even he understood that such hardcore rhetoric was unlikely to provide a ny real solutions if the federal government chose to demand enforcement of Brown For many South Carolinians, especially white workers in the upstate region, such a showdow n with federal author ities was clearly not in the best interests of the state.8 Even in the rural black belt areas which tended to support the hardcore approach, white groups feared alienati ng their more moderate nei ghbors and refused to jump headlong into the most militant forms of white resistance. The South Carolina Farm Bureaus board of directors encouraged its members to protest forced desegregation peaceably and to avoid the hysteria and turmo il of shotgun thinking. The president of the organization, E. Hugh Agnew, reasoned that South Carolina whites should shift the emphasis from defeatism and resistance to one of hope for an improved educational base providing equal and better school ing while retaining the ma ximum amount of separation possible. Of course, Agnew and likeminded whites understood that this, too, was a form of resistance and remained steadfast in their determination to avoid any real desegregation for the foreseeable future.9 8 News and Courier (February 7, 1956) 1B. South Carolina tex tile workers were strong supporters of the New Deal Coalition, and tended to shy away from the histrionics of many Low Country politicians, for examples see: George Calvin Waldrep, Southern Workers and the Search for Community: Spartanburg County, South Carolina (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000) and Bryant Simon, A Fabric of Defeat: The Politics of South Carolina Millhands, 1910-1948 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998). 9 Southern School News (November 4, 1954) 14.

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148 Agnew later told a Charleston audience that the state must admit that we can no longer prevent mixed schools for those who wa nt mixed schools but those who wish to attend separate schools should not be denied the right to do so. He argued that the farm people of South Carolina, both white and colo red, are bitterly opposed to such a program as the Supreme Court outlines. According to Agnew, forced desegregation would lead to chaos and jeopardize the social, economic, and political stability of the state. He outlined the feelings of most white South Carolinians when he insisted, They want neither abolition of public schools nor do they want a shotgun soluti on, but if worst must come they are ready for either or both. Agnew, like most white South Carolinians, recognized that, in the absence of an impl ementation order, the state still had some options. In 1954 the only choice that was absolu tely unacceptable to the vast majority of the states white communities was meaningful compliance with the Brown verdict.10 At its annual convention in November 1954, the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation adopted a resolution in which its me mbers pledged to give their best efforts and full support in the development of any plan of operation designed to improve our public school system and to avoid such chaoti c deterrents to that e nd as would result from forced integration. The organiza tion, which represented between 15,000-20,000 members, also declared that the segregated school system was the best and most natural arrangement for the public school system.11 Like the members of the South Carolina Fa rm Bureau, private businesses were also disinclined to promote the most extreme re sistance tactics. Though less militant than 10 Ibid ., (January 6, 1955) 14. 11 Ibid ., (December 1, 1954) 13.

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149 their rural neighbors, white business inte rests endorsed legislative measures for circumventing court ordered desegregati on, but, due to economic concerns, were skeptical of calls to abandon public education. Likewise, the South Carolina Senate Committee on Education insisted that the st ate remain mindful of the close interrelationship between public edu cation and economic, social and spiritual process in South Carolina. A legislative report from Se ptember 1954 pointed out that there was still a public demand for an adequate system of public education.12 Since the majority of the states white population favored the continuation of free public schooling, it was, as Workman calle d it, the option of noncompliance that created the largest consensus in white commun ities. The states segregationists were well aware that they could not simply ignore the Brown order forever. However, rather than expose the deep divisions in South Carolinas white communities, political leaders chose to encourage the notion that th e state could preserve the public school system and keep it completely segregated for the foreseeable future Many of the states political elites later told historian John Sproat that they privately realized that the state would have to comply with the Brown verdict at some point, but also re cognized that their political careers depended on a firm commitment to pres erving the maximum amount of segregation rather than promoting meaningful compliance with the law. Likewise, members of the General Assembly sensed that tokenism mi ght be the best way to comply with the decision while still preserving the basic Jim Cr ow system. Nonetheless, not one single 12 Ibid ., (September 3, 1954) 12.

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150 elected official chose to share the opinion th at eventual compliance was inevitable with their constituents.13 While the fiery rhetoric of state demagogues drew most of the attention of the press and placated the states angry white citizenry, South Carolinas white leadership initially adopted a policy that is best de scribed as managed noncompliance. In the short term, the state and local governments took almost no offici al action to negate Brown. In the long term, they began to prepare quietly for a st rategic accommodation of the court order that minimized desegregation and maintained as much of the racial caste system as possible. The states only official response to the ve rdict was a moratorium on the construction of new segregated schools.14 Formal responsibility for placating segrega tionist whites, maintaining the rule of law, and combating court ordered desegr egation fell on the South Carolina School Commission, headed by State Senator Marion Gr essette. The Gressette Committee, as the group was popularly known, issued a report to the legislature calling for the state to continue operation of its dual school system in the 1954-1955 academic year. It insisted that, since the Supreme Court had not addressed enforcement of the Brown ruling, 13 John Sproat, Firm Flexibility, in eds. Robert H.Abzug and Stephen E. Maizlish, New Perspectivs on Race and Slavery in America: Essays in Honor of Kenneth M. Stampp (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1986) 164-184. 14 Southern School News (September 3, 1954) 12, (May 30, 1954) 4. Quint, Profile in Black and White 93-97. Anderson Independent (May 26, 1954) 4, (July 25, 1954) 4. News and Courier (August 9, 1954) 4. Interim Report of the South Carolina School Commi ttee (July 28, 1954), located at the South Carolina State Library, Columbia, South Carolina. Southern School News (September 3, 1954) 12. Marcia Synnott, Desegregation in South Carolina, 1950-1963: Sometim e Between Now and Never, in eds. Winfred B. Moore, Jr. and Joseph E. Tripp, Looking South: Chapters in the Story of an American Region (New York: Greenwood Press, 1989) 51-64. Stephen Howard Lowe, The Magnificent Fight: Civil Rights Litigation in South Carolina Federal Courts, 1940-1970, (Ph.D. Dissertation: Michigan State University, 1999) 201-203. For a defin ition of strategic accommoda tion, see: Joseph Hard in Crespino, Strategic Accommodation: Civil Rights Opponents in Mississippi and Their Impact on American Racial Politics, 1953-1972 (Ph.D. Dissertation: Stanford University, 2003).

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151 segregation in public education could con tinue indefinitely in South Carolina. Furthermore, the committee called on the govern or to resume new school construction. The Gressette Committee concl uded that, if the state ha lted improvement in black education, it would only serve as incen tive for African Americans to demand the immediate desegregation of the states sc hools. David W. Robinson, the commissions lead attorney, informed Governor Byrnes that, if the stat e withheld funds from an African American school, the local board of trustees would have no choice but to desegregate the countys school system. By August of 1954, the state sales tax was once again funding the construction of segr egated school buildings.15 The resumption of school construction and the recommencement of segregated classes in the fall of 1954 was more than a retu rn to the status quo. During the summer of 1954, state lawmakers began to devise a stra tegy for apparent compliance with the Brown ruling without actually desegregating th e states school systems. Robinson concluded that South Carolina could pr event integrated schools by adopting a complicated pupil placement law. He argued that the state should place all enrollment practices under the direction of local boards of trustees and that pupil placement should be decided on a case by case basis. Thus, any African American parent who wished to send his or her child to an all white school would have to petition the local officials individually a year in advan ce. Since the proceedings woul d involve the states judicial system, Robinson also reasoned that only attorn eys residing in the state of South Carolina should be allowed to take on such cases. He concluded that the convoluted bureaucratic procedures and the knowledge that white local officials would rule in each case would 15 Ibid

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152 discourage black parents from seeking a transfer of their children. Even if an African American did manage to hire a lawyer, navigate the complicated bureaucracy, and petition for school reassignment, the board c ould always reject the transfer on academic grounds.16 Like its lead attorney, the Gressette Comm ittee was also determined to alter state laws and school regulations in preparation for approaching legal battles. In its first postBrown report, the Commission noted that the protection of segregated education depended on clear planning and not fiery rhetor ic. In the pursuit of these ends, the report stated, your committee has moved with caution and with a minimum of publicity to avoid hasty action and public misundersta nding, which could cause inflammation and friction.17 This bureaucratic approach to forestalli ng desegregation and slowing potential legal challenges received a significant amount of support in the General Assembly. State Representative Hollings, who was a candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 1954, agreed that basing student placement on residential patterns and academic aptitude was a sound strategy for preserving Jim Crow as long as possible. He argued that since many of the newly consolidated school districts had been gerrymandered based on the race of their residents, it would be easy for many coun ties to simply group all, or most, of the black students together based on their home address. According to Hollings, in cases where residence could not limit desegregation, school administrators could claim that pupil placement was based on academic ability. Just as many educated African 16 Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 201-203. 17 Southern School News (September 3, 1954) 12.

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153 Americans were denied the vote through selec tive enforcement of literacy tests, black students could be denied opportunity thr ough the selective enforcement of academic standards.18 Robinson agreed. He claimed that there are few Negroes educationally qualified to go to schools with similarly aged white children, adding that scholastically gifted African Americans would not wish to go to a school with a large number of white children. Even if some black parents did insist on isolating their children in an all white school, insisting that those students could be legitimately disqualified by the Board of Trustees.19 Although diehard segregationists were sure to condemn any plan that allowed even the slightest integration, the no tion of token desegregation as a tool of resistance gained some support in the states urban centers, espe cially in the majority white upstate region. The Columbia Record concluded that, if th e General Assembly removed any mention of segregation in education from the stat e constitution and based pupil placement on academic ability, only a miniscule number of African American students could meet those standards. A group of wh ite teachers polled by the Charleston News and Courier seemed to re-enforce this perception. Mix Negroes and whites, said one teacher, and they are at a disadvantage intelle ctually and never able to rise to their capacity. Another educator argued that the stat es school system would become overcrowded with 17, 18 Quint, Profile in Black and White 97-98. 19 Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 201-203.

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154 18, and 19 year-old Negroes in our six and seventh grades because African American students would fail to perform at the same level as whites.20 South Carolina segregationists understood th at testing and bureau cratic resistance could be a powerful force in preserving th e basic framework of segregation following a federal court order. After all, South Caro lina had successfully maintained a system of unequal teacher pay, even though the federal co urts had ordered the state to equalize teacher salaries, and it had done so without th e support of South Carolinas most hardcore segregationists. In his investigation of S outh Carolinas response to the teacher salary equalization process, educat ion historian R. Scott Baker discovered that, following the court order to pay black teachers the same wa ges as white educators, the South Carolina legislature made changes in teacher licen sing and school administration that ensured white teachers a higher salary than black ones. The state, claims Baker, used National Teacher Exam scores and employee evaluations to deny equal pay to African Americans. Although black teachers were paid better than before, their pay was never truly equalized. Though the most diehard segregationists were appalled that a few black teachers received raises, the majority of the white population was willing to accept these changes in order to avoid further judicial scru tiny. In the process, state l eaders learned that cleverly 20 Newby, South Carolinians and the Desegregation Issue, 73-74. News and Courier (August 7, 1955) 4D.

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155 formulated minimal compliance could both sa tisfy the courts and avoid rectifying the most obvious inequalities between blacks and whites.21 Nonetheless, segregation through bureaucr atic pupil placement hearings was a more difficult problem than preserving racial differentials in teacher salaries. It was easier to manipulate the smaller number of t eachers who all taught in single race schools than it was to comply in even the most token manner with the Brown ruling. Even minimal desegregation would have had a dr amatic effect on the states educational system, especially in rural di stricts with a black majority. In 1954, more than 42 percent of the 524,000 students enrolled in South Caro linas public school system were African American. Only Mississippi had a higher percentage of bl ack pupils in its schools. Moreover, the vast majority of the 295,000 African American students lived in rural counties where residential segregation was not an effective way to ensure mostly segregated schools. In Ma nning in Clarendon County, for example, there were nearly 3,000 black students compared to less than 300 wh ites. Therefore, if only 10 percent of the 3000 African American students in Manning were able to integ rate the all-white schools, the racial make-up of the previously all-white schools would be nearly even. In 21 R. Scott Baker, Testing Equality: The Nati onal Teacher Examination and the NAACPs Legal Campgain to Equalize Teachers Salaries in the South 1936-63, History of Education Quarterly (Spring 1995) 49-64. R. Scott Baker, The Paradoxes of Desegregation: Race, Class, and Education 1935-1975, American Journal of Education (May 2001) 320-343. R. Scott Baker, Ambiguous Legacies: The NAACPs Legal Campaign against Segregation in Charleston, South Carolina, 1935-1975 (Ph.D. Dissertation: Columbia University, 1993) 174-177. In his dissertation, Baker asserts that the lessons learned in denying African Am erican educators equal pay were directly applied in efforts to combat forced desegregation.

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156 other words, even token school desegregation would have had a direct effect on nearly every white child in the majority or near-majority black counties. 22 These demographic differences concerned militant segregationists who worried that whites in South Carolinas urban and subur ban areas would undermine the hardcore position. Of the three major metropolitan ar eas in the state (Greenville-Spartanburg, Columbia, and Charleston), only Charle ston had a significant black population. Charleston County was more than 40 percen t African American, but its black population was highly concentrated in th e city and the rural outskirts while the post-World War II suburbs were largely white. The Columbia ar ea had a large number of black residents, but the white population in Richland County was double the size of the African American population and residential segregation was firmly in place in Columbia by the end of the 1950s. Therefore, many rural whites worried that their urban count erparts would subvert massive resistance and rely on bureaucratic meas ures that simply were not effective in majority black counties.23 Partially due to these demographic concerns the success of bureaucratic resistance in limiting black voting and maintaining the white economic advantage did not convince the states most devout segregationists to leav e the protection of segr egated education in the hands of testing administrators. Sin ce malaportionment favored the less developed counties, the rural voice was disproportionate ly represented in the statehouse. South Carolinas black belt had voted overwhelmingly in favor of the 1952 school amendment, 22 William D. Smyth, Segregation in Charleston in the 1950s: A Decade of Transition, South Carolina Historical Magazine (April 1991) 99-123. Andrew McDowd Secrest, In Black and White: Press Opinion and Race Relations in South Carolina, 1954-1964 (Ph.D. Disse rtation: Duke Univer isty, 1972) 19-21. Southern School News (November 4, 1954) 14. For a detailed analysis of changes in public school enrollment throughout the civil rights era, see: Baker, Ambiguous Legacies. 23 Ibid Report on the Census of 1950, Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections.

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157 had traditionally fostered the least amount of interracial cooperation, and had been more prone to violent racial oppression. By the end of 1954, rural white segregationists began to lend increasing support to abandoning the public education system entirely and began to apply more pressure on state legislat ors to resist the call for even minimal compliance.24 Segregationist political lead ers were sharply aware of these trends and adapted their political strategies to take advantage of white anxiety. Du ring his campaign for governor in 1954, Lieutenant Governor George Bell Timmerman, Jr., a Batesburg native who had built his political career as a spokesman fo r rural causes, blasted the idea of allowing even the most qualified black student to ente r a white school. If you let one child come in, he insisted, youve opene d the door. Timmerman main tained that the state could not compromise on the issue of segregation. You cant compromise right with wrong, he said. Officials in Clarendon, Orangeburg, Colleton, and other majority black counties agreed with Timmermans assessment and freque ntly rejected the idea of even minimal desegregation.25 The vigor with which rural whites in S outh Carolina defended white privilege and segregated education concealed a serious pr oblem for government officials and school administrators. Rural school districts were bur dened with the fact that they could barely afford South Carolinas dual school system ev en in its unequal incarnation. Byrness 24 Bryant Simon, The Devaluation of the Vote: Legislative Apportionment and Inequality in South Carolina, 1890-1962, South Carolina Historical Magazine (July 1996), 227-245; reprinted, South Carolina Historical Magazine (July 2000) 234-252. In The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Politics and Society in Twentieth Century America) Matthew Lassiter argues that the unequal electoral districts in the South actually gave ardent segregationists an advantage in the political fight over segregation even though they were actually a minority in the region. 25 Anderson Independent (July 29, 1955) 1.

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158 sales tax plan had aided the maintenance of se gregated schools across the state, but it did not cover the entire cost of the equalization program. The al ready struggling rural school systems were also aware that if their s uburban and urban counterparts succumbed to token desegregation, they would have no choi ce but to follow suit, mount a difficult and costly legal battle, or tackle the expens e of establishing private schools for white students. The South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) noted that, despite the implementation of the three-cen t sales tax, the state was having serious difficulty paying for its schools. The per-pupil cost to educate South Carolinas students increased by 133 percent between 1944 and 1953. During that same time period, average incomes only increased by 63 percent. The problem, according to a SCASA report, was even more pronounced in the states black be lt, which experienced a more significant increase in costs and a smaller increase in salari es than the rest of the state. In fact, by the summer of 1956 Orangeburg County could no longer afford to pay for its segregated school system and was forced to reques t a higher debt limit from the General Assembly.26 Another problem for school administra tors was that South Carolinas white citizenry refused to acknowledge the difficulty the state had in paying for its dual school system. Meanwhile, elected and civic lead ers addressed the issue with unrealistic proposals designed primarily to increase their popularity with the white electorate rather 26 Southern School News (September 1955) 7. For information on the various school funding issues addressed by the General Assembly, see: Journal of the Senate of the State of South Carolina (1956). For a discussion of the unequal economic develop in Sout h Carolina, see: Richard Phillip Stone II, Making a Modern State: The Politics of Economic Development in South Carolina, 1938-1962 (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of South Carolina, 2004).

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159 than offer viable plans of action. For instance, Hugh Agnew of the Farm Bureau declared: Since South Carolina owns its public school system and pays the costs of operation, it is the right and the responsibility of our General Assembly to say how public schools shall be operated. If the federal government has a right to say how the South Carolina public schools shall be ope rated, then the federal government has the right and responsibility to pay the bill. Aside from calling for federal monies, state l eaders also promised money that the South Carolina government simply did not have. State Representative Burnet R. Maybank, Jr., for example, called on the General Assembly to allow South Carolina residents a tax grant equal to 30 percent of the total cost of private school tuition as long as the school was located in South Carolina. He also proposed that the grant be increased to 100 percent if the public sch ools were desegregated.27 Faced with a mounting financial crisis, the fear of school closure, and the hardening of rhetoric from political leaders such as Timmerman, the South Ca rolina Federation of Womens Clubs, the South Caro lina Education Association (SCEA), the Association of School Administrators, and the School Boards Association all expres sed their support for public education and rejected id ea of replacing it with a priv ate system. By the end of 1955, each of these urban-based middle class organizations, which were made up of white educators, administrators, and parent s, had pledged to keep the public schools funded and open. In doing so, they essentially rejected the rural mode s of resistance, but failed to present an alternative plan for pres erving segregated education. For example, The SCEA, which represented approximately 10,000 white teachers, issued a statement in the fall of 1954 that called for an adequate system of free public schools, local control 27 Southern School News (October 1, 1954) 13, (July 6, 1955) 14.

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160 of school administration, con tinuation of the equalization pr ogram, and the continuation of segregated education. The organizati on declared, The pres ent pattern of public education in South Carolina is the best fo rm of organization for meeting the needs of children of both races.28 Other education groups and teaching professi onals also declared their support for public schools or, at the very least, downpl ayed the threat to free public schooling in South Carolina. For instance, Richard Breel and, a Columbia teacher who served in the General Assembly, warned that the state legi slature had walked backward for 25 years, in its school policy. Likewise, the Parent -Teacher Association in Columbia and the Superintendent of Schools in the city of Charleston endor sed the public school system, but, like both Hollis and Breeland, also insisted that state and local officials find a way to maintain segregated education. Indeed, even though no white educat ional organization or parents groups would publicly support the notion that the states schools should remain open even if the federal government did for ce desegregation, a sizab le number of white education professionals and suburban middle class white parents certainly made open schools a priority for the near future.29 Although the call for open schools resonate d with a large portion of the white population, it paled in comparis on to the calls to preserve the dual school system. The central weakness of the open schools moveme nt in South Carolina was its unwillingness to address the issue of complia nce. It was clear in 1954 that, at some point, the federal 28 Newby, South Carolina and the Desegregation Issue,196-198. Southern School News (November 4, 1954) 14. 29 Southern School News (November 4, 1954) 14, (September 3, 195 4) 12, (December 1, 1954) 13, (June 8, 1955) 11, (July 6, 1955) 14.

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161 courts were going to demand observance of the Brown verdict and that school boards were going to have to at leas t appear as if they were de segregating their schools. The inability of the SCEA, the local PTAs, and ot her open school advocates to promote a plan for compliance rendered the organizations impote nt in the public debate over segregation. The constant reassurances from white professi onal groups that they supported segregation only strengthened the impression of white so lidarity and made it more difficult for dissenting viewpoints, however limited they may have been, to emerge.30 Fear of rebuke from hardcore segreg ationists was a poten t obstacle, but the formation of a moderate coalition in 1954 was also hampered by the lack of an implementation order from the Supreme Court. Open school advocates were not forced to answer the single most difficult ques tion facing mainstream South Carolina segregationists: should the state maintain a free system of public schools, even if the federal government demanded im mediate compliance with the Brown decision? Had there been such an implementation ruling in place, the debate would have broadened, and the question of whether, how, and to what extent to comply would have been more pressing. In 1954, the moderate white position was to maintain the status quo. Thus, a coalition between more mode rate whites and African Americans did not develop. Many African American leaders were willing to accept tokenism and a gradual desegregation, at least in the short term, but few civil rights advocates want ed the state to simply ignore the Brown order completely. 30 Morton Sosna argues in In Search of the Silent South: Southern Liberals and the Race Issue (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977) that by refusing to argue for desegregation, moderate whites effectively ceded the issue to more hardcore segregationists.

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162 South Carolinas black activists rarely advocated the immediate implementation of the Brown decree. Amidst the rhetorical firest orm surrounding the case, South Carolinas African American leadership responded c onservatively. Severa l studies of NAACP activism in South Carolina point out that the states larges t black organization was more inclined to call for calm conf lict resolution than immediate de segregation. Some of the organizations officers, such as Charleston NAACP President Arthur Clement, preferred to form interracial councils that could devel op a plan for gradual desegregation of public education. South Carolina NAACP presiden t, James Hinton, declared that African Americans would welcome the appointment of a committee composed of leaders of both races to sit down and work out plans for the best interests of all the citizens of South Carolina.31 The key problem for African American l eaders was that black South Carolinians were also divided over how best to respond to the Brown decision. African Americans certainly supported the Supreme Courts ruli ng, but did not agree on how it should best be implemented. Even though the Clarendon school case was the one that Thurgood Marshall of the NAACPs Legal Defense Fund pe rsonally argued before the court in the late 1940s and early 1950s, most of the stat es civil rights activists had focused their attention on the issue of voting rights and not school integration. The efforts to coordinate the Progressive Democratic Pa rty (PDP) in South Carolina were at the forefront of civil rights activism in the 1940s. At the beginning of the new decade, 31 For examples of the conservative response to the Brown ruling, see: Stephen ONeill, From the Shadow of Slavery: The Civil Right s Years in Charleston (Ph.D. Dissert ation: University of Virginia, 1994) 144-197. Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 94-186. For information on black activism in South Carolina, see: Patricia Sullivan, Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolin a Press, 1996) 170-220. Kari Frederickson, Dual Ac tions, One for Each Race : The Campaign Against the Dixiecrats in South Carolina, 1948-1950, International Social Science Review (Spring 1997) 14-25. Segregation and the Catholic Schools: A Study 30.

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163 African Americans in Charleston and Columbia were some of the most politically active civil rights leaders in the South. The PDP faction within the state NAACP felt that if blacks could vote in significant numbers, they could use their electoral might to tear down segregated society and replace it with a more egalitarian system. Arthur Clement even predicted that the harsh rhetoric of white politicians would give way to compliance with the desegregation order. No one, he claimed, likes to be identified as being a gradualist but we who are realists have got to unde rstand that the custom of segregation could not be eras ed overnight. Clement believ ed that the best equalizing force was the power of black ballots. More over, black leaders, such as Modjeska Simkins felt that the voting rights issue wa s politically and bureaucratically less complicated than school integration.32 Some African Americans, especially t hose in rural areas where white oppression was more acute and blacks were less or ganized, argued that pressuring whites to desegregate the public school system w ould do more harm than good for black Carolinians. Lewis L. Butler, the principal of the Ehrhardt Negro School, sent a letter to the Bamberg Herald to express his concern over Brown s impact on race relations. Butler, who also operated a barber shop that ca tered to white clients, argued that with a few exceptions, African Americans were sa tisfied with segregated schools. He warned that the Supreme Court had placed black students and teachers in a most peculiar situation which will be beset with many perplexing problems and grave 32 Ibid Southern Schools News (September 3, 1954) 12, (January 6, 1955) 14. For information of the importance of the voting rights issue to black political coalitions in the 1950s and 1960s, see: Steven F. Lawson, Black Ballots: Voting Rights in the South, 1944-1969 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976). Steven F. Lawson, Running for Freedom: Civil Rights and Black Politics in American Since 1941 (New York: McGraw -Hill, 1997).

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164 consequences. According to Butler, the Negro childrens educ ational opportunities will suffer for the next 50 years, as a result of the Brown decision. In North Augusta, 30 African Americans circulated a petition suppor ting segregated education. There is a very, very good feeling as of now between the races which the Negro parents do not want destroyed, explained Leon Penda rvis, the groups spokesperson.33 Other rural African Americans, however, di d voice their displeasure with the white reaction to the desegregati on case, and there was a growing sentiment among many South Carolina blacks that a more forceful respons e to white obstructionism was needed. The Clarendon County Civic League declared that segregation was unchristian, undemocratic, unscientific, and asinine, and James Hinton promised that local groups would begin challenging the le gality of continued segregat ed education. However, the NAACP president also promised not to take any direct action until after the Supreme Court issued its implementation order. 34 In 1954 and early 1955 the diffe rent responses to the Brown ruling among South Carolinas African American population exacer bated the divisions within the black community. For example, some members of the Charleston County NAACP began to question Arthur Clements leadership. Although he had helped to organize multiple campaigns and participated in countless voti ng drives, Clements cautious approach to non-political protests led to dwindling s upport for his presidency, especially among the 33 Southern Schools News (September 3, 1954) 12. 34 Ibid.

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165 black working class. By the end of 1954, Clements popularity in African American households was limited and local NAACP membership was stagnating.35 Clement, like most of the states black leaders, initially dismissed the harsh rhetoric of white officials as mere posturing and poli ticking. This impression began to abate as African Americans realized that the states white authorities had no intention of enacting any desegregation plan unless they were forced to do so. Unfortunately, organizational infighting failed to turn this new dissatisfa ction into a united black response. Clement resigned from the Charleston NAACP in 1955 a nd moved out of stat e; John McCray and Modjeska Simkins engaged in a malicious public feud, and efforts to elect blacks to local offices in Charleston and Columbia failed miserably. The lack of an implementation order, the commitment of whites to segregat ed education, and the absence of a united black front all contributed the failure to achieve compliance with Brown in 1954. According to Southern School News South Carolinas approach to the desegregation order was manifested more in words than d eeds. Likewise, African American reactions to those words were fragmented and produ ced no concerted campaign to integrate the schools.36 Unlike African Americans, however, white s were at least ab le to prolong the illusion of widespread unity into 1955. Whites Carolinians united behind a new group of segregationist leaders during the 1954 political season. Inde ed, for the most part, the primary and general elections of 1954 were th e least competitive in recent memory. In the fall of 1954, the state elec ted George Bell Timmerman, Jr. as Governor and Ernest F. 35 Southern School News (September 3, 1954) 12. ONeill, F rom the Shadow of Slavery, 124-127. 36 Southern School News (November 4, 1954) 14. ONeill, From the Shadow of Slavery, 124-127.

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166 Hollings as his Lieutenant Governor. Strom Thurmond also replaced the deceased incumbent, Burnet R. Maybank, as one of stat es United States Senators. Both Hollings and Timmerman had spent the entire campaign reassuring voters that they would find a way to maintain segregation in the S outh Carolina public school system. In the Democratic Primary, Timmerman easily dispatched Columbia businessman Lester Bates, taking every opportunity to blast his opponent on the race issue. The Lieutenant Governor called Bates the prefer red candidate of the NAACP and warned that if Bates won he would owe a debt to civil ri ghts leaders. Like Hollings, Timmerman also promoted a plan to legally circumvent the Brown verdict. He called for the creation of a three-tiered school system. Under his pla n, which was similar to freedom of choice plans under consideration in North Carolina and Alabama, parents would have the right to send their children to a ra cially segregated school or an integrated one. Although Bates attempted to criticize the plan because some of the schools would be integrated, he failed to provide a school pl an of his own. Instead, Bates called for the formation of a statewide committee to study the problem a nd solve it peacefully. Timmerman simply responded that James Hinton, the President of the South Carolina NAACP, had proposed the same plan, and reiterated his claim that Bates was soft on the race issue. The Lieutenant Governor won the primary with mo re than 60 percent of the vote and then the general election without serious ly addressing a single other is sue. It is especially noteworthy that Timmerman never explained how the state would finance the additional school budget during a time when education f unding was already stretched thin. Again, the official response to the desegregation th reat took place in a netherworld of unrealistic

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167 plans and promises, where white politicians told their constituents what they wanted to hear without facing up publicly to the realities of the situation.37 As was often the case during the post-World War II civil rights movement, African Americans and whites entered 1955 with starkl y different expectati ons. Black leaders expected a gradual end to Jim Crow and most whites expected the status quo to persist for the foreseeable future. African American s hoped that, once in office, Timmermans rhetorical assault on the civi l rights movement would give way to a more responsible public debate. For several months after the Brown decision, African Americans had waited patiently for white officials to announce a realistic desegregation plan. Unfortunately, Timmerman embodied black f ears of recalcitrant white politics and launched his own campaign of uncompromisi ng resistance to desegregation in South Carolina. The new governors rhetorical onslaught agai nst civil rights activism continued in his inaugural address. He called desegregation a communi stic idea and warned that gradualism was a cowardly approach, and that the idea of slow ly removing racial boundaries was a creeping evil th at has no place in the govern ment of free people. The new governor promised that segregation w ould remain the law of the land during his tenure and refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the courts in the Brown case. 37 Quint, Profile in Black and White 128-129. Numan V. Bartley, The Rise of Massive Resistance: Race and Politics in the South During the 1950s (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Un iversity Press, 1969), 70-71. Thurmonds campaign was especially interesting, in that he was elected as a write-in candidate in November to replace the departed Ma ybank. Although race played a role in the campaign, it was not the central issue. For information on this peculiar elec tion, see: Doyle W. Boggs, A Different Brand of Education: Strom Thurmond Goes to the Senate, 1954, Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association (1984) 77-85.

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168 Timmerman even told the South Carolina E ducation Association that integration was contrary to the divine order of things.38 With Timmerman setting the tone for resistance, in March 1955 the South Carolina General Assembly repealed the compulsory attendance law. The following month, it passed a law to revoke funding from any school that desegregated and ended the practice of automatically rehiring teachers for the ne xt academic year. The result of these new laws was, as Governor Timmerman put it, to ensure the people of South Carolina that they will not be forced to send their childre n to mixed schools, and to place more power in the hands of local official s. Although these new directiv es were important statements of white determination, they were also effec tive in further limiting black activism. The changes in teacher employment rules gave the Boards of Trustees more control over who taught in the states classrooms and the threat to revoke funding made certain that whites would blame integration-minded African Ameri cans if their local sc hool closed because of a lack of money.39 Nevertheless, even though Timmerman promoted the new pupil placement and school funding laws as evidence that South Ca rolina whites were united in their defense of racial segregation, cracks in the faade of white solidarity began to show in the spring of 1955. When the Supreme Court s implementation order in the Brown case was handed down in May, African American calls for an end to segregation in education gained a new source of credibility. For the first ti me, it became apparent that South Carolina 38 Inaugural Address of the Honorable George Bell Timmerman, Jr. as Governor of South Carolina (January 18, 1955), South Caroliniana Library. Southern School News (April 1955) 13. Also quoted in: Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 206-207. 39 Southern School News (February 1955) 3, (May 4, 1955) 6. Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 206-207.

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169 whites would have to move beyond rhetoric a nd a plethora of impractical schemes, and decide which tools of resist ance to employ in the fight to save Jim Crow schooling. Brown II was the beginning of the end for efforts to threaten militant options, such as school closure, while simultaneously pursui ng various kinds of tokenism and managed compliance or delay. In their attempts to minimize the effects of these tensions and conflicting agendas, state lawmakers explicitly declared that the federal government was acting beyond the realm of constitutional authority rendering both Brown decisions moot. Although lawmakers frequently called on South Carolinians to obey the rule of law, they also implicitly encouraged the notion that, regard ing segregation, only state laws need be observed. For example, in August 1955 Cl arendon County officials warned Thurgood Marshall that local schools would close and bl ack teachers would be fired if the courts ordered desegregation in the county. Alt hough the threat of closure was perfectly consistent with South Carolina law, it was a direct violation of the Brown ruling. Moreover, Brown II unequivocally applied to Clare ndon County. Since the Summerton school district was specifically named in th e case, it was directly under court order to initiate a prompt and reasonable start toward compliance.40 Although unconstitutional, the actions of Clarendon County did prove effective. Rather than combat racial separation in education in areas that exhibited the most resistance, the NAACP Legal Defe nse Fund initially chose to fight for compliance in the less hostile border South. Hinton went so far as to promise not to resort to legal action until every local effort had been exhauste d. R. Scott Baker concludes that the NAACP 40 Baker, Ambiguous Legacies, 170-171.

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170 basically retreated from South Carolina ra ther than challenge the combination of complex legal resistance and local intimidation.41 This NAACP retreat combined with misr epresentations of the impact of the Brown decisions to foster white hopes for the co ntinuation of the st atus quo. Throughout 1954 and early 1955 most white South Carolinian s clung to the notion that there was still a legal way to protect segregated education. The near constant assurances from state leaders that South Carolina would find a wa y of maintaining its dual system was reenforced by frequent pronouncements from th e states media outlets that the court had erred. According to Andrew McDowd Secrest, editor and publisher of The Cheraw Chronicle from 1953 to 1968, this perception was la rgely due to misreporting in the states print media. The lead ing newspapers of South Carolina, he wrote, often misled their readers and encouraged them to support policies that threatened to precipitate a dangerous confrontation between state and fede ral authority. Secrest also pointed out that the most of the states media justified calls for a composed response to the Supreme Courts order by promoting the idea that the c ourts would allow years, if not generations, for full enforcement of the ruling.42 Despite these assurances from state leader s and media outlets that South Carolinas system of segregated education was safe fo r the foreseeable future. There were obvious, if widely ignored, warning signs that this would be difficult to ensure. The Federal District Court, for example, barred Cl arendon County from denying admission to any 41 Ibid. 42 Secrest explained the press opinion in his dissertation, which is partly an autobiographical examination of the press during his tenure at The Cheraw Chronicle see: Andrew McDowd Secrest, In Black and White: Press Opinion and Race Relations in South Carolina, 1954-1964, (Ph.D. Dissertation: Duke University, 1972) xi, 73-80.

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171 qualified student from its schools in a July 1955 ruling. The court stopped short, however, of placing an exact timetable on integration and refused to demand that Clarendon officials create a nondiscriminatory se t of qualifications for pupil placement. Mainstream segregationists insisted that the vagueness of the courts ruling meant that discriminatory pupil placement rules would e ffectively block any re al desegregation of the South Carolina public school system.43 The only faction of the white population that argued that Brown II or the federal district courts ruling was a serious threat to segregated education was the hardcore group. Even though the order stopped short of insisting on immediate or even gradual integration by failing to give an explicit timetable for compliance, some diehard segregationists had grave doubts about the ability of state lawmakers to combat federally mandated integration. Hardcore segregationists called for a more determined mass effort to forestall what they saw as the inevitable enforcement of the Brown rulings. Their desperate and resourceful efforts helped to transform the tenor of white resistance in South Carolina, shifting the balance towards more militant tactics. The passion and dedication of hardcore segregationists ulti mately hardened the mood of whites across South Carolina and their fervent resolve to defend de jure segregation effectively silenced an already embattled group of moderate whites. The increasingly hostile and determin ed mood of South Carolinas white population became more apparent during the summer of 1955. Some whites sought out pro-segregation organizations to vent their frustrations with the challenges to white privilege. A meeting of the Ku Klux Klan in Sumter attracted several hundred people, 43 Newby, South Carolina and the Desegregation Issue, 45-46. Southern School News (August 1955) 6.

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172 and a cross was burned in front of an African American recreation ce nter in Anderson. However, the KKK had never enjoyed mainstre am support or official sanction in South Carolina. Horry County Sheriff John Henry, fo r instance, warned Klansmen to stay out of his jurisdiction and even the conservative Charleston News and Courier preached against of the dangers of Ku Kluxism. Nevertheless, a moderate resurgence of the KKK in South Carolina was an unwelcome si gn of intense white outrage and evidence that many whites wanted to organize protests ag ainst the threatened changes in the racial status quo. In order to provide a voice fo r that protest without succumbing to the distastefulness of Ku Kluxism, white s began to lend their support to more respectable outlets for dissent. 44 Throughout the Low Country individuals who supported mass action against civil rights advocates formed chapters of the Stat es Rights League. The largest groups were in Darlington, Charleston, and Florence. For a short time, the League enjoyed an air of respectability that other white supremacy gr oups lacked. It was able to book prominent southern leaders, such as former Georgi a Governor Herman Talmadge, for speaking engagements and succeeded in drawing member ship away from other white supremacist organizations. For example, the Florence ch apter of the National Association for the Advancement of White People regrouped as the States Rights L eague in March 1955 after national NAAWP leader Bryant Bowl es became ensnared in several public controversies.45 44 Southern School News (July 6, 1955) 14, (August 1955) 6. Time (August 1, 1955). News and Courier (February 4, 1955) 11A. Morning News (March 11, 1955) 1. 45 Ibid. Bowles was accused of nonpayment of federal income taxes. He was later convicted of the murder of his brother-in-law in 1958 and spent most of his life in the Texas prison system.

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173 Although it never attracted a la rge number of people, the League was a precursor to later white fringe groups. Initially founde d in the late 1940s by supporters of Strom Thurmonds Dixiecrat campaign, the group experi enced a growth spurt after the original Brown decision, and again following the impl ementation ruling. The organization professed a belief in the individual libertie s guaranteed by the Federal Constitution and avowed legal dissent in the opposition to socialistic platforms. The States Rights League argued that its strongest opposition was to the Supreme Court, which wrongly abrogated, modified or amended the provisions of the U.S. Constitution. It had a strong following among white members of the South Ca rolina Farm Bureau. For example, a meeting of the Sumter group at the count ys Farm Bureau office in September 1954 attracted over 700 people. At an Oct ober meeting, Georgias Commissioner of Agriculture, Tom Linder spoke to an equally large group at the facility. He charged that the NAACP was not only seeking an end to segr egation in education but to segregation in the church, and then before the marriage alter. Voicing the f ear of miscegenation that underwrote much of the rh etoric of white resisters, Li nder concluded that the battle to save segregated schools was a fight for th e very existence of the white man down here in the South.46 At an August 1955 meeting of the Sumter States Rights League, Thurmond called on an audience of more than 3000 white South Carolinians to resis t integration by every legal means and to oppose desegregation har der than the integrationists fought to end segregation. According to Thurmond, the Supreme Courts decision in the Brown case was an illegal usurpation of the right of Congress to legislate and was an unlawful 46 Quint, Profile in Black and White 43-45. News and Courier (February 4, 1955) 11A. Morning News (March 11, 1955) 1. Southern School News (October 1, 1954) 13, (November 4, 1954) 14.

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174 attack on states rights. The re are some people who advocat e and others who have been led to believe that we should submit to the co urt without resistance. I reject any such proposal, declared the former Dixiecrat.47 Like Thurmond, most League members hoped to find a legislative solution in their efforts to save de jure segregation. Edward Atkinson, the president of the Sumter chapter of the States Rights League, called on sout hern congressmen to band together and fight for a constitutional amendment or some form of legislation which will eliminate integration. Atkinson worried that if southerners allowed th eir protests to die away, the program for integration will proceed. His worri es were consistent with the fears of other massive resisters throughout the South. According to historian Tony Badger, segregationists rallied so fe rvently because they thought th at gradualists and those who supported compliance might have the uppe r hand in the segregation debate.48 The League and its supporters may have pr ofessed a belief in legal protests, but many of its members were militant segregati onists who, should legal methods fail, had no intention of meekly deferring to the federal courts. For exam ple, G.L. Ivey, a restaurant owner and member of the Florence States Ri ghts League, had fired all of his African American employees after the first Brown decision. Other members of the Florence chapter of the League attempted to force a Baptist minister to resign for preaching to black parishioners. When a member witn essed several African American children drinking from a whites only water fountain, the Florence organization condemned the 47 Southern School News (September 1955) 6-7. 48 Edward Atkinson to William Jennings Bryan Dorn (December 21, 1954), William Jennings Bryan Dorn Papers, Modern Political Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia [Hereafter cited as Dorn Papers, MPC]. Tony Badger, Fatalism not Gradualism, 67-95.

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175 staff of the Florence County Agricultural Bu ilding for failing to monitor the use of the buildings facilities. While the rhetoric conti nued to stress legal resi stance, the actions of many League supporters revealed a willi ngness to embrace more militant tactics to stymie black advances and racial change.49 The formation of organized, militant resistance to desegregation in South Carolina was a serious concern to the small populati on of whites actually advocating compliance with the Brown verdict. However, instead of mounting a united campaign against hardcore segregationists, even some liberal wh ites joined the chorus of their more diehard neighbors and blamed the heightened tensions on the civil rights activists who were pursuing adherence to the desegregation order. For example, Jack ODowd, the editor of the Florence Morning News worried that the pressure to integrate was pushing South Carolina down the road toward militant resistance. ODowd, who was one of the few newspapermen in the state to encourage state le aders to face up to th e fact that they had lost their battle to maintain the dual school system, worried that some districts were hellbent on closing the schools rather than dese gregating them. He blamed the NAACP and the federal courts for jeopardizing the improve ments that had been made in the education of African Americans in the pr evious five years, but his primary cause for concern was the potential white response to the freedom struggle. Outside agitators, he claimed, would push white South Carolinians into a position that would e ndanger black progress and prosperity.50 49 Morning News (July 21, 1954) 1. Morning News (August 12, 1955) 9A, (June 17, 1955) 1. 50 Morning News (April 16, 1955) 4. For more on ODowds moderate politics, see: Walter Edgar, South Carolina: A History (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1998) 527.

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176 Although there was a small but dedicated group of white liber als who championed black civil rights, the cause of desegregation failed to at tract a significant number of whites. When Alice Norwood Spearman took ov er the states branch of the Southern Regional Council, the South Carolina Counc il on Human Relations, she found it difficult to promote even basic interracial cooperation, let alone support for a more radical racial readjustment. According to historian Pete Daniel, white members of the SCCHR felt that the NAACP was too aggressive. The failure of the Council on Human Relations to support the legal agenda of the NAACP led prominent civil rights leader Modjeska Simkins to resign from the organization and created a schism between African American activists and the SCCHRs mostly white membership. Between 1954 and 1955, when white support might have been the most valuable, membership in the organization declined. White members blamed the rad ical agenda of th e NAACP and African American members blamed the failure of thei r white colleagues to repudiate segregation in education. Daniel concludes that ther e was a near collapse of cooperation between South Carolinas blacks and whites.51 In August 1955 at the National Governor s Conference in Chicago, Timmerman urged his fellow southerners to unite behind a third political party. That same month, state Attorney General T.C. Callison declared, it is going to be impossible, in my opinion, to operate free public schools on a se gregated basis without being in conflict with the ruling of the court. The only option, he claimed, was to abandon the public schools. Seemingly in agreement with his a ttorney general, the governor reiterated his call for political separatism at the Southern Governors Conference in October. Although 51 Pete Daniel, Lost Revolutions: The South in the 1950s (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000) 230-234.

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177 his remarks were not well received, Timmermans rhetoric encouraged South Carolinas radical fringe to push for a mass and resolute response against any efforts to desegregate southern society.52 Perpetually concerned that they might lose the political advantage to white backsliders on the race issue or that apathy would erode whit e commitment to resisting the Supreme Courts desegregation order, hardcore segregationists took every opportunity discredit the possibi lity of a moderate solution. For example, after a number of white ministers encouraged their white congregation to refrain from partaking in hateful or hurtful actions toward their black neighbors, they were quickly silenced by their hardcore parishioners. The Governor s father, George Be ll Timmerman, Sr., for instance, orchestrated the re signation of Reverend George Ja ckson from his position as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Batesburg by convincing the conservative congregation that Jackson was far too liberal to continue minister ing at the all-white church. A similar incident occurred in Orangeburg, where conservative worshipers forced the Methodist Church to relocat e Reverend John V. Murray for speaking out against segregation.53 With virtually no support for even token compliance amongst whites, African Americans were left with no option but to retu rn to the courts and demand that the state observe the Supreme Courts de segregation order and instigate a legitimate plan of 52 The State (August 14, 1955) 1. Southern School News (August 1955) 6. News and Courier (October 18, 1955) 1. 53 Southeastern Office of the American Friends Serv ice Committee, Department of Racial and Cultural Relations, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, Southern Regional Council, Intimidation, Reprisals an d Violence in the Souths Racial Cr isis (n.d.), in the South Carolina Council on Human Relations Papers, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia [Hereafter cited as SCCHR Papers, SCL]. Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 213-214.

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178 action. Beginning in June 1955, various chap ters of the NAACP had reorganized and renewed the black legal activism that had s purred the desegregation order in the first place. By the end of September, the NAACP had filed desegregation petitions against school boards in Greenville, Sumter, Richland, Florence, Orangeburg, Beaufort, Greenville, and Columbia.54 White South Carolinians condemned this new activism, and, again, blamed the deteriorating racial climate on the African Americans. No prominent white elected official argued in favor of answering the peti tions with a plan for gradual or even token desegregation. For hardcore segregationist s, the NAACP petitions were simply another example of why more concerted resistan ce was necessary. As in 1950 and 1951, when Clarendon County whites had attempted to quell civil rights activism through intimidation, white South Carolinians answered the petitions with a determined effort to coerce African Americans into withdrawing their requests for compliance with Brown. The names on the school desegr egation petition were made pub lic in a not-too-subtle call for white supremacists to seek out and en act retribution on black agitators. The Charleston News and Courier encouraged its white readers to study carefully the list of names in the newspaper and also advocated firing black teachers who were members of the NAACP. Membership in the NAACP or an y similar organization, it editorialized, 54 A reproduction of the Orangeburg petition is in: Cecil J. Williams, Freedom and Justice: Four Decades of the Civil Rights Struggle as Seen by a Black Photographer of the Deep South (Mercer University Press, 1995) 81. News and Courier (August 5, 1955) 1, (September 13, 1955) 3A. Neil R. McMillen, The Citizens' Council: Organized Resistance to the Second Reconstruction, 1954-1964 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971) 73-79. Quint, Profile in Black and White 40-53. The Orangeburg Citizens Council (February 13, 1956) 1. News and Courier (August 20, 1955) 1B, (August 24, 1955) 10A, (August 27, 1955) 2B. The State (August 26, 1955) 10A. News and Courier (September 2, 1955) 16A, (September 18, 1955) 2A, (September 17, 1960) 1A. William D. Workman, Jr., The Case for the South (New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1960). News and Courier (July 1, 1956) 14C, (September 18, 1955) 2A. Morning News (June 30, 1955) 1. Southern School News (August 1955) 6.

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179 should be grounds for dismissal. Much of this new wave of intimidation was crafted by white supremacy organizations, such as the States Rights League. The League worked behind the scenes to ensure that white public officials would cooperate with the effort. For example, the white superint endent of Charleston Countys schools turned over a copy of a desegregation petition to the News and Courier after he was pressured to do so by James Hayes, the leader of the lo cal League. The paper printed all 47 names from the city petition.55 The publicity garnered by releasing the na mes of the petitioners helped fuel an upsurge in white community activism. Afte r the petitions were filed in Charleston County, 450 whites from the Moultrie District met to draft a reso lution opposing the operation of any school in Moultrie School Di strict No. 6 on a non-segregated basis. The group also pledged that, although it would regret to see the absolute closing down of the district schools, it would support c losing down the schools before any school in the district is permitted to be operated on a non-segregated basis. A similar meeting in the unincorporated North Char leston area attracted more th an 500 whites, and another 175 whites met at the Johns Island Ci vic Club to discuss the petitions.56 In August 1955 a group of prominent poli ticians, businessmen, and journalists joined the battle by forming an unofficial group called the Committee of 52. The 52 55 Michael Klarman, How Br own Changed Race Relations: The Backlash Thesis, Journal of American History (June 1994) 81-118. Baker, Ambiguous Legacies, 174-175. News and Courier (August 11, 1955) 3A, (July 15, 1955) 12A.. The paper did not publish the names of the 250 signers from the unincorporated area surrounding the Charleston Navy Base and Naval Shipyard or the 124 signers from the Moultrie School District in Mount Pleasant In his disse rtation on the Fort Jackson Army Base in Columbia. Andrew Myers claims that most of the signers from the north area were most likely federal employees, and therefore had civil more job protection and security th an blacks in the city, see: Black, White, and Olive Drab: Military-Social Relations During the Civil Rights Movement at Fort Jackson and in Columbia, South Carolina (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of Virginia, 1998). Southern School News (September 1955) 6. 56 Southern School News (September 1955) 6.

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180 founders of the organization, which included several members of the General Assembly, journalist William Workman, College of Charle ston President George Grice, and many of the states wealthiest business leaders, ha nded over a signed proclamation to the South Carolina Schools Committee that called on the state legislature to protect state sovereignty and segregation in education. According to the document, the committee was intended to reassure the people of Sout h Carolina that many substantial citizens are standing steadfast against usurpation of the constitutional rights of the state to manage its own affairs. Within a wee k, it had received over 7,000 endo rsements of the resolution and was bombarded with thousands of requests for copies of the document.57 Other noteworthy South Carolina whites t ook it upon themselves to rebuke civil rights activists. S. Emory Rogers, an atto rney who had represented Clarendon County in the Briggs case, wrote a public letter in which he proclaimed: We are not engaged in an ordinary law suit in which legal principles will be applied and decisions founded thereon, but rather in a sociological and psychological crusade aimed at destroying our Southern bi-racial culture. We had good and sound law in our favor in the Clarendon cas e, but this was ignored by the Supreme Court in a legislative decision . 58 Rogers argued that South Carolinians should not expect the courts to rule in favor of segregation unless the Supreme Court can be convinced that psychologically and sociologically its decisions do not represent th e will of the people. According to Rogers, it did not matter if the state created a tri-school system as Timmerman had suggested, or abandoned public education altogether. The NAACP, he predicted, would challenge any system that practiced racial separati on. Therefore, it was necessary for South 57 Ibid ., Resolution of the Committee of 52, Workman Papers, M PC. The Workman Papers also contains a significant amount of correspondence that endorses the committees statement. 58 Southern School News (September 1955) 6.

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181 Carolinians to convince the federal courts that desegregation was not in the best interests of the states children. Implicit in his remarks was the noti on that any interracial cooperation would prove to the Supreme Court that desegrega tion was, indeed, likely to see a sociological a nd psychological success.59 At a meeting of the Virginia Bar Association, Thurmond seemed to agree with Rogers assessment. If propaganda and ps ychological evidence are effective for our opponents, Thurmond said, they can be effectiv e for us. The former Governor also insisted that whites treat Af rican Americans humanely. He urged each of the southern states to engage in a true equalization program in spite of the temptation to punish all southern blacks as retaliation for the actions of the NAACP.60 The events in South Carolina were emblem atic of racial episodes throughout the South. Vocal pro-segregation advocates a nd organized protest groups, such as the Defenders of State Sovereignty and Individual Liberties in Virginia and The Patriots of North Carolina, Inc., emerged in nearly every corner of the region. However, the largest mass resistance groups were the White Citi zens Councils (WCC). Each of these organizations utilized various forms of coer cion, intimidation, and political pressure to ensure the continuation of wh ite privilege, but no organiza tion could match the Councils effectiveness.61 The first Citizens Councils were form ed in Mississippi immediately after the Brown decision in 1954, but the organization swep t across the South after the Supreme 59 Ibid. 60 Southern School News (September 1955) 7. 61 Bartley, The Rise of Massive Resistance 92-107. The Citizens Councils never referred to themselves as White Citizens Councils, but the nomenclature wa s widely used by contemporary journalists, activists, and observers as was the designation WCC to refer to the groups.

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182 Court handed down its implementation order. Most of the various WCC chapters eventually formed a loose confederation calle d the Citizens Councils of America, which was based in Mississippi. The CCA distri buted Council propaganda, produced a radio program that was disseminated to stations throughout the South, and it arranged for prosegregation speakers to attend rallie s at various locales in the region.62 The Councils provided an important poten tial outlet and framework for white protests in South Carolina. The wave of Council organization first reached South Carolina in August 1955 in Orangeburg C ounty. Shortly after the filing of a desegregation petition in Ora ngeburg District #5, the Orange burg and Elloree Citizens Councils were born. The groups claimed they sought to oppose the use of force by radicals and reactionaries to compel in tegration. Within a month nearly every community in Orangeburg County had formed its own Council. There were WCC units in Cope, Eutawville, Holly Hill, North, Norway, and Cordova. For months, whites had held community meetings and demanded th at civic leaders find a way to protect segregated education but had not formed an organized system for promoting white resistance. The Councils provided such a sy stem and the CCAs standing as the premier organization for combating civil rights activ ism made it an attractive model for South Carolina segregationists. 63 The Orangeburg group obtained a state inco rporation charter that declared the organizations purpose: 62 For examples, see: Klarman, How Brown Chan ged Race Relations: The Backlash Thesis and McMillen, The Citizens Council 63 News and Courier (September 13, 1955) 3A. McMillen, The Citizens' Council 73-79. Quint, Profile in Black and White 40-53. The Orangeburg Citizens Council (February 13, 1956) 1.

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183 "To maintain good relations among the members of all races residing in School District No. 5 (City of Or angeburg), Orangeburg County." "To oppose the use of force by radicals and reactionaries who attempt to disrupt the peace and good relations among the races of this area." "To make every legal and moral effort to save the segregated public schools." "To study ways and means for providing an adequate education for children in School District No. 5 if radical agitat ors force the abandonment of the public schools." "To acquaint well-meaning but misled public officials from outside South Carolina with the local conditions and attitudes whic h make integration impossible in said school district, both white and colored, fa vor continuing segregation in the public schools."64 The Orangeburg Councils received strong endorsements from local whites, with much of the support coming from local busin esses and community leaders. Atlanta journalist William Gordon claimed that Orange burg Council members were elite, church going, club and business-minded folk who also claim to be God-fearing. Several business owners demonstrated their suppor t by purchasing advertisements in the Orangeburg Times and Democrat The issue of desegregation quickly dominated the daily life of Orangeburg Countys roughly 70,000 inhabitants. Since more than 60 percent of the county was black, it was a pa rticularly pressing matter for the white minority. On at least one occasion, the Orangeburg Citizens Council placed a recruitment advertisement on the front page of the local newspaper. An August 29, 1955 Council meeting attracted over 3,000 local whit es. At that meeting, South Carolina State Senator Marshall Williams encouraged every white man in the area to join a WCC chapter. The Elloree chapter received the endorsement of the towns mayor, W.J. Deer. He proclaimed, We will fight the l eaders of the NAACP from ditches to fence 64 News and Courier (September, 13 1955) 3A.

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184 posts to keep Negroes out of white schools. Less than a day after the NAACP petition was filed in Elloree, the WCC claimed 225 mo stly middle class members. Just over a week later, the group had grown to over 800 members. 65 From Orangeburg, the group quickly spread throughout South Carolina. The first meeting of the Kingstree WCC drew 225 attendee s. The second, held a week later, drew over 300, by which time the group claimed a me mbership of nearly 500. In Bowman, over 100 people met to establish a Council chap ter. The organizational meeting of the Winnsboro Citizens Council attracted 300 me mbers. In Manning, near where the Briggs case had originated, nearly 300 whites joined the Councils. On September 1, 1955, the Charleston States Rights L eague renamed itself the Char leston Citizens Council. League President James Hayes claimed the move was motivated by the WCCs superior ability to resist civil rights agitation. He argued, The NAACP is more fearful of the Citizens Councils than any ot her organization opposing their integration campaign. By July 1, 1956, 55 separate Councils had formed. Most of the groups were based in the Low Country. Charleston County alone boa sted over six WCC chapters. Orangeburg County remained the most organi zed with eight active Councils.66 The legitimacy of the WCC and its intimida tion tactics were bol stered by a strong endorsement from South Carolinas politic al elite. In November 1955 Congressman 65 Times and Democrat (October 15, 1955) 8, (August 18, 1955) 1B, (September 1, 1955) 1. News and Courier (August 16, 1955) 1B. William Gordon, Boycotts Can Cut Two Ways, New South (April 1956) 5-10. Report on the Census of 1950 for South Carolina in the Maybank Senatorial Papers, Special Collections. 66 News and Courier (August 20, 1955) 1B, (August 24, 1955) 10A, (August 27, 1955) 2B. The State (August 26, 1955) 10A. News and Courier (September 2, 1955) 16A. McMillen, The Citizens Council, 73-77. News and Courier (September 18, 1955) 2A., (September 17, 1960) 1A. Southern School News (September 1955) 6. Workman, The Case for the South News and Courier (July 1, 1956) 14C, (September 18, 1955) 2A.

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185 Rivers spoke at a rally in Hemingway (Williamsburg County) where he denounced the New Deal, raw deal U.S. Supreme Court. He declared that the court was confused, indoctrinated and brainwashed when it hande d down its desegregation decision. The judgment, he proclaimed, was an insu lt to the 40,000,000 white southerners. He insisted, The mixing of the races is an insu lt to the intelligence of both the white and Negro races. According to Rivers, the S upreme Court had forfeited its self-respect, and he pledged to never submit to that i llegal decision. Rivers urged Council members to act now to save the Cons titution from itself. He praised the WCC for its support. When Congress convenes in January, Rivers announced, it is going to be pay day so far as the left wingers are concerned. They are going to demand of Eisenhower the things he promised them to get their votes. Southern congressmen face a tremendous fight, but with the support of the Citizens Councils such as yours, backing us, we can fight without fear.67 The Councils also received the approval of South Carolinas Committee of 52. The unofficial committees approval augmented the WCCs air of respectability and acceptance in the country clubs and chambers of commerce throughout the state. The Councils also benefited from the publicity th ey gained from Committee of 52 member and prominent reporter William D. Workman, w ho later endorsed the Citizens Councils in his book The Case for the South Some committee members, however, were concerned over the Councils connection to violence in Mississippi. College of Charleston President George Grice, for exam ple, wanted the group to encourage the Citizens Councils to subscribe to our principles and platform of non-violence, legal 67 News and Courier (November 21, 1955) from the Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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186 means, and relentless pursuit of the NAACP in the press and in the courts. He described the Committee as an elder statesman that could guide, not join the WCC. The college president declared that leadership in white resistance to desegregation should come not from Mississippi and the CCA hea dquarters, but from South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia where less militant whites held power.68 Less than a month after the Charlest on WCC formed, Congressman Rivers, Lieutenant Governor Hollings, Governor Marvin S. Griffith of Georgia, and Executive Secretary of the Mississippi WCC W.J. Si mmons met at the Charleston County Hall to launch a Council membership drive. By the middle of October, the Charleston group had recruited 271 official members. Over the co urse of the next year the number of Councils in South Carolina grew at a rate of one per week.69 That growth was encouraged by a series of front page editoria ls in the Charleston News and Courier in which editor Thomas R. Waring called on all white South Carolinians to lend their support to the Citiz ens Councils and engage in mass protest against forced desegregation. Not only c ould the Councils defend segregated society, Waring claimed, but they could protect the r ank and file Negroes from the wrath of ruffian white people who ma y resort to violence. When the City of Charleston WCC opened an office at 161 Calhoun Street in 1956 the News and Courier celebrated: The News and Courier has supported the Citizens' Council movement. The people of South Carolina long needed an organization, efficient, temperate, and guided by able men for the purpose of putting across their States Rights views. The 68 Quint, Profile in Black and White 27-28. Workman, The Case for the South George Grice to John A. Rice, College of Charleston Archives, Special Collections. 69 News and Courier (September 2, 1955) 16A, (October 1, 1955) 1A., (October 1, 1955) 8A, (October 17, 1955) 7A. McMillen, The Citizens Council, 73-77. News and Courier (September 18, 1955) 2A, (September 17, 1960) 1A, (July 1, 1956) 14C.

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187 South Carolina Citizens' Councils have act ed responsibly. They are bulwarks of constitutional government. We hope that many residents of Charle ston County will visit the new office. Charleston County needs a str ong Citizens Council movement. 70 Using his position as editor of the News and Courier as a soapbox, Waring contended that, by finding a lawful means to protect segregation, the organization actually prevented racial turmoil. The editor, unlike fellow Charlestonian George Grice, encouraged South Carolinians to model th eir councils after th e Mississippi groups, which, according to Waring, had a vested interest in maintaining law and order and had no sympathy for the Ku Klux Klan, or a ny other group that advocated violence. Moreover, he concluded that Council memb ers were valuable contributors of the chamber of commerce and the Community Chest. Council membership was good for democracy, in Warings view, because its members were officers of churches who did the civic chores in every town worthy of a name. He quoted a Citizens Councils of America pamphlet that state d, The Citizens Council is th e modern version of the oldtime town meeting called to meet any crisis by expressing the will of the people . The Citizens Council simply provides the m achinery for mobilizing, concerting, and expressing public opinion. 71 Despite Warings insistence that the WCC pr omoted democratic rule, the Citizens Councils endorsed and promoted the idea that South Carolina could, indeed should, defy the Supreme Court and that black activism wa s an insidious plot hatched by outside 70 News and Courier (September, 15 1955) 1A, (November, 16 1955) 1A (November, 17 1955) 1A, (May 1, 1956) 8A.. For a discussion of Warings status as a spokesman for racial conservatism see: Steve Gyorffy. Thomas Richard Waring Jr.: Southern Spokesman for Massive Resistance, 1954-1963. (M.A. Thesis: University of Ch arleston/The Citadel, 1996). 71 News and Courier (September, 15 1955) 1A, (November, 16 1955) 1A (November, 17 1955) 1A.

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188 agitators, radical northerners , and foreign led political ex tremists. Even though they couched their calls for defiance with demands that white protesters obey the law, the spokesmen for the loose conf ederation of WCC groups al so implied that the overt intimidation of civil rights activists and their supporters was consistent with the enforcement of state regulations and the pr otection of southern culture. It was no coincidence, therefore, that their appearance coincided with an increase in white violence throughout the state. Indeed, the veneer of respectability concealed widespread acceptance within the Councils of more radical massive resi stance tactics. Blacks in South Carolinas rural counties we re particularly at risk. White on black violence was often underreported and, when it was, unsympathetic law enforcement officials turned a blind eye. One of the first targets of angr y segregationists was Reverend Joseph Delaine. According to the De Laine family, whites in Lake City blamed the minister for the Suprem e Courts decision in the Brown case. As a result, DeLaine and his family faced a barrage of threatening phone calls and overt acts of intimidation. On September 3, 1955, for instance, the wi ndows at DeLaines A.M.E Church were shattered when five young white men threw ro cks at the building. The reverend wrote down the license number of thei r car and called the sheriff, who later returned to the house in the car. He informed DeLaine that it was a dealer car and that no one could testify as to who had the car during the rock-throwing episode.72 Over the course of the next month a seri es of escalating actions revealed that DeLaine and his family were in serious je opardy. A cross was burned in front of the DeLaine home, DeLaines church was burned to the ground, and he c ontinued to receive 72 Julie Magruder Lochbaum, The Word Made Flesh: The Desegregation Leadership of Rev. J.A. DeLaine, (Ph.D. Dissertation: Univers ity of South Carolina, 1993) 132-133.

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189 menacing threats. On October 7, 1955 DeLa ine received a letter that referenced a lynching that took place in Lake City afte r President William McKinley nominated an African American postmaster for the small town at the end of the nineteenth century. Like DeLaines church, the postmasters hom e was burned to ground. Unfortunately, the man was home at the time and was burned to death during the attac k. The letter to DeLaine stated: We have been notified by the best of aut hority that you are the one that started the school segregation mess at Manning, S.C. and that you was run out of Manning for your dirty filthy work. Maby ( sic ) you dont know Lake City but you are goin ( sic ) to fin ( sic ) out real soon. Several hundred of us have had a meeting and pledged ourselves to put you where you belong, if there is such a place. I wander ( sic ) if ever heard about the negrow ( sic ) postmaster that was sent to Lake City and notified to leve ( sic ). He refused. However, he le ft, but in a coffin. So we have decided to give you 10 days to leave Lake City and if you are not away by then rather than let spread your dirty filthy poison here any longer we have made plans to move you if it takes dynamite. . 73 Church officials worried for DeLaines safety and offered him a position as a minister in Bermuda. DeLaine refused and re turned to a temporary pulpit in Lake City the following Sunday. The next day, Octobe r 10, 1955, shots were fired at the DeLaine home. The minister sent his family to a neighbors house before seeing a car blocking the driveway. Several more shots were fired from the vehicle and DeLaine returned fire. Fortunately for DeLaine, he was a better shot than his white adversaries. He hit the car and slightly wounded two of its occupants. The reverend claimed that he only returned fire to mark the car so that authorities co uld properly identify it. As the assailants car sped off, DeLaine pursued in his own vehicle. As the two cars passed a service station, a 73 Michal R. Belknap, Federal Law and Southern Order: Racial Violence and Constitutional Conflict in the Post-Brown South (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987) 18. Letter addressed to Rev. J.A. Dlane, Collard, (Oct ober 7, 1955) from the DeLaine Papers, SCL. Also quoted in Lochbaum, The Word Made Flesh, 135.

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190 third car joined the chase. DeLaine, who by th is time began to fear for his safety, had to drive through several small towns and along numerous rural roads to evade the vehicle that was following his car. Shortly afterwards, DeLaine fled the state concealed under blankets in the back seat of a friends car. The next day, the minister flew to Washington, D.C. before finally arriving in New York City. 74 DeLaines hasty exit from the state was a prudent move on his part. After the incident, he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon by a Florence Grand Jury and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Rather th an return to South Ca rolina and face certain conviction, DeLaine sought to defend his re putation from beyond the segregated South. He sent a letter to a Charleston newspaper a nd a radio station that explained his actions: I feel like my lifes career as a minister has wound up and also like my life is in danger because of the terrorism and my answer with gunfire on Monday night about 12 oclock. I dont know the results, but I am glad that I was able to do what the city policemen should have done, that is, mark the car or the men where the gunfire was coming from. With all of the shooting it didnt disturb the policemen of the town. I waited appr oximately 45 minutes for the policemen but they did not show up. This incident affirms the efforts of hist orians like Timothy Tyson, Cynthia Griggs Fleming, Charles Payne, Akinyele O. Um oja, and Glenn Eskew to complicate our understanding of the uses and prevalence of non violence during th e civil rights era by noting the many examples of individual and collective armed self defense among African Americans in the South. While nonviolent dir ect action would become a prime tactic of 74 Lochbaum, The Word Made Flesh, 135-136.

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191 the freedom struggle, it always co-existed with the willingness of African Americans to protect themselves, their homes, their love d ones, and communities from white terror.75 DeLaine blamed the episode on South Carolin as institutional racism and the hatred that had been promulgated by white resistance groups. The Citizens Council, he declared, has stirred an unn ecessary bad feeling against the hapless Negro. The black minister was convinced that his actions were justified because his predicament was ignored by white officials. If I was born into the white race, he wrote, I would have been an honorable citizen of S.C., but being born a Negro I was forced to what the law enforcement officers could have and should have done.76 Given the states success in imprisoning John McCray just a few years earlier, DeLaine was determined not to stand trial in the Palmetto State. New York refused South Carolinas extradition request based on the grounds that the civil rights advocate would not face a fair trial in the state. DeLa ine told FBI investigators that he was not trying . to dodge justice. Instead he described his escape to New York as an attempt to dodge injustice. Governor Timmerman publicly dropped the matter and declared that South Carolina was better off without the troublemaker anyway.77 75 Southern School News (November 1955) 11. Timothy Tyson, Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams & the Roots of Black Power (Chapel Hill: University of North Ca rolina Press, 1999). Cynthia Griggs Fleming, In the Shadow of Selma: The Continuing Struggle for Civil Rights in the Rural South (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004). Charles Payne, Ive Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995). Akinyele Umoja, The Ballot and the Bullet: A Comparative Analysis of Armed Resistance in The Civil Rights Movement, Journal of Black Studies (March 1999) 558-578. Glenn Eskew, But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997). 76 Southern School News (November 1955) 11. 77 Lochbaum, The Word Made Flesh, 135-136. Jet (October 30, 2000).

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192 Unfortunately for South Carolinas black citizens, the specter of white terrorism also targeted other prominent civil rights a dvocates. A month after the DeLaine incident, the ministers nephew, Billie Fleming also faced violent reprisals for his civil rights advocacy when shots were fired at Flemings home by local whites who were angry at his efforts to force desegregation in the Ma nning school system. Although no one was hurt, it is important to note that the incident happened not long after the WCC appeared and three months after a Ku Klux Klan rally at tracted nearly 1,000 pe ople to the Clarendon County town. Moreover, it was yet another example of how state sanctioned resistance groups helped to create a climate in which viol ence against civil rights activists and their supporters became more commonplace.78 Other forms of intimidation were also appa rent throughout the state. In the fall of 1955, Esau Jenkinss daughter, Ethel, wa s not rehired for a teaching position on Wadmalaw Island, outside of Ch arleston. Jenkins, who had spent the previous two years establishing a Highlander Folk school on J ohns Island with Septima Clark and other civil rights activists, surmised that his daught er was fired due to his own participation in voter education and literacy training programs. The daughter of J.H. Richburg also had difficulty securing employment as a teach er. During the summer of 1955, Richburg asked that his name be removed from the original Briggs v. Elliott petition in order to help his daughter secure a j ob. According to Jenkins, this kind of retribution kept many 78 Intimidation, Reprisals, and Violence. ., 26, 3.

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193 African Americans from signing desegrega tion petitions, away from the Highlander school, and absent from the voting booths.79 In one of South Carolinas most notor ious intimidation campaigns the White Citizens Councils in Orange burg County initiated economic reprisals that targeted student activists at South Carolina State Coll ege, members of the NAACP, and other civil rights advocates. Shortly afte r an integration petition was filed in Orangeburg District #5, the Orangeburg Times and Democrat published the names of the petitioners. Almost immediately, the signatories found themselves facing a wave of intimidation from their white employers, creditors, and suppliers. For example, the empl oyer of one of the petitioners asked that the employee withdr aw his name and make a public statement rejecting the NAACP cause. When the wo rker refused, he was immediately fired.80 Orangeburg Mayor Robert H. Jennings, w ho was the president of a local bakery, the Coca-Cola bottling company, and the Oran geburg Ice and Fuel Company, led the way by refusing to sell goods to black merchants who had signed the petition or joined the NAACP. Numerous other African Americans lo st their jobs, local banks recalled loans, area retailers refused to sell to black clients, and dairies stopped de livering milk to the homes of signers. Civil rights activist Modjeska Simkin s later recalled that the Citizens 79 Jerome Do Franson, Citizenship Education in the South Carolina Sea Islands, 1954-1966, (Ph.D. Dissertation: Vanderbilt University, 1977) 57. Milli cent Brown, Civil Rights Activism in South Carolina, 1940-1970, (Ph.D. Dissertation: Florida State University, 1997) 79. Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 212. 80 Gordon, Boycotts Can Cut Two Ways, 5-6. Edwa rd Gamarekian, The Ugly Battle of Orangeburg, The Reporter (January 1957) 32-34. James M. Hinton to Roy Wilkins, Execu tive Secretary, NAACP (August 16, 1955). NAACP Papers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. Benjamin Muse, Ten Years of Prelude: The Story of Integration Since the Supreme Courts 1954 Decision (New York: Viking Press, 1964) 83-84.

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194 Councils also pressured pharmacies to de ny assistance to black customers who had signed the petition.81 John Brunson, of the local NAACP, clai med that a significant amount of preparation went into WCC efforts to intim idate Orangeburg petiti oners. In a later interview with WRFG-FM in Atlanta, Brunson remembered: All persons who signed the petition were ev aluated by the white folks to see what they could do to them as far as economi c pressures. Everyone who had credit with the store, the credit was cut off. A pe rson running a business, a small business, they would make no deliveries to them. The persons who worked in the white folks kitchens were either asked to take their names off or be fired. Banks would not let you have any money.82 According to Reverend Matthew McCollom, who had instigated the desegregation petition, even petitioners who had some personal relationships with whites were targeted. He alleged that some African Amer icans were denied basic medical services. McColloms own wife was subjected to one of the most common forms of retribution when she was fired from her job as an assist ant principal at Bowman Elementary School. Although the family remained in Orange burg until 1962, she was never re-hired.83 Other evidence supports McColloms clai m that even prosperous African Americans were also vulnerab le to white economic intimidation. A black contractor alleged, I once had more business than I coul d handle during the height of the season. 81 Ibid Transcript, oral history interview with Modjeska Simkins in Ronald J. Chepesiuk, Ann Y. Evans, and Dr. Thomas S. Morgan (eds.), Women Leaders in South Carolina: An Oral History (Rock Hill: Winthrop College Archives and Special Collections, 1984) 66. 82 Will the Circle be Unbroken?: A Personal History of the Civil Rights Movement in Five Southern Communities. Episode 3: Under Color of Law, Columbia, South Carolina (Atlanta: Southern Regional Council, 1997) Audio distributed by Public Radio International, Transcript available at www.unbrokencircle.org (January 2005). 83 Panorama News: Orangeburg, South Carolina: A Microcosm of Various attitudes, opinions &Feelings (c. 1976), South Caroliniana Library [Hereafter cited as Panorama News SCL].

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195 But now, Im lucky to get three decent jobs a month. The same contractor pointed out that he had employed as many as 12 full-time workers, but could no longer afford to maintain a large staff. Likewise, an Ora ngeburg minister who also owned a gas station was denied credit for gasoline pr oducts and forced out of business.84 James Sulton, a NAACP officer and black se rvice station owner believed, The Negroes in Orangeburg overestimated the white mans integrity when they petitioned the school board. Sulton, whose establishment cat ered to both black and white clients, charged that the WCC pressure nearly drove hi m out of business. He alleged, in an April 1956 interview: They cut off all my credit They have tried to squeeze Negroes economically. The man came in and took the ice cream box away from my station. I havent had Cokes in the station since Jul y. Sultons claims were bolstered by a NAACP memorandum that warned: Firms hol ding franchise from Coca-Cola, Sunbeam Bread and Paradise Ice Cream and several other products d ecided thru [sic] Citizens Councils not to deliver any products to Negro Merchants, if those merchants signed the petition for Desegregation. 85 Orangeburg police and fire o fficials were also involved in the intimidation. Police officers recorded the license plate numbers out side of civil rights meetings, and a patrol car followed McColloms every move for se veral months. When a few cars were parked outside a house, McCollom remember ed, firemen would burst into the house yelling, Wheres the fire, wheres the fi re? Combined with Mayor Jennings involvement with the White Citizens Councils, such actions suggested a level of official 84 Gordon, Boycotts Can Cut Two Ways, 6. 85 James M. Hinton, Orangeburg, South Carolina Teaches a Lesson Thru Economic Boycott. (October 13, 1955), Papers of the NAACP, Part 20, Reel 10. Gordon, Boycotts Can Cut Two Ways, 6-7.

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196 endorsement for the WCCs model of massi ve resistance and served to discourage African Americans from publicly campaigning for black advancement.86 Within a few months, the economic reprisals had begun to take their toll on the black community. Only after the WCC c onfirmed that an African American had renounced membership in the NAACP or remove d his/her name from the desegregation petition did the economic intimid ation against the individual and his/her family end. John E. Brunson of the Orangeburg NAACP r ecalled, During that period [African American] people were afraid of the NAACP. To make matters worse, more than half of the original 57 petition signers had re moved their names from the desegregation request.87 White efforts to counteract the spate of desegregation petitions were common throughout the state. In Sa ntee, which was in the south eastern portion of Orangeburg County, 14 of 18 African American petitioners asked that their names be removed from a desegregation petition. The group declared th at As signers of th e petition we did not fully understand the meaning of the languages of the petition. In a prepared statement, the 14 signers argued that they did not wish to desegregat e the public schools. We are satisfied with the public school facilities pres ently maintained and operated, in Santee, for members of the colored race, the statem ent read. In Charleston Countys Moultrie District, 10 petitioners denied that they had actually sign ed the desegregation request, four asked that their names be removed, a nd 13 others claimed th at they had signed under a misrepresentation of the fact. An Af rican American in Kingstree went so far as 86 Panorama News SCL. 87 Ibid.

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197 to purchase an advertisement in a local paper to announce that he was no longer a member of the NAACP.88 The ability of whites to use economic in timidation to get African Americans to renounce calls for desegregation is a testimony to the effectiveness of middle class white protests. The political, economic, and social dynamic of the black community in South Carolina was nuanced. The classic narra tive of a united an unshakable black commitment to civil rights simply does not correspond with the evidence that white coercion, especially through econom ic reprisals, was frequently if often temporarily successful. Moreover, the successful coercion of vulnerable African Americans added to the ability of hardcore segregationists to propagate the myth that it was outside agitators who were to blame fo r the states racial disharmony. Hardcore segregationists also used the success of reprisals and organized intimidation to create an oppressive air of censorship in the white community that effectively marginalized dissenting white voice s. Still a small number of white racial liberals did speak out. James McBride Dabbs of the Southern Regional Council, for example, decried the intimidation of African Americans in Orangeburg. He claimed that civil rights advocates were acting in the spirit of the fathers of the American Revolution and warned that the right freely to petition was one of he cherished rights bought by the blood of the Revolution. Fu rthermore, Dabbs suggested that WCC activity was evidence that segregationists kne w that their legal argument could not stop the federal courts from enfo rcing the desegregation order.89 88 Southern School News (September 1955) 6. 89 Southern School News (September 1955) 7.

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198 At Furman University, college officials re vealed evidence of a generational schism when they seized all 1,500 copies of the student newspaper, the Echo after student editors included an article supportive of integration. In response to the schools actions, editors Joan Lipscomb and Huby Cooper resigned from the publication. The article, which was written by Lipscomb, appeared later in The Greenville Piedmont In it, she called the Brown decision a fact which all the emotionali sm of Southern politicians cannot alter with all their oratorical eloquence. Accordi ng to the article, many of the students at the Baptist-affiliated college favor ed integration. Lipscomb appe aled to the leaders of the day to lead the way, not backward by adding to already existing pr ejudice, but forward by promoting a program of adjustment to the situation as it stands.90 Most whites, however, had no interests in speaking against the wave of economic intimidation, occasional violence, and legisl ative resistance that characterized South Carolinas response to the two Brown decisions. More importantly, many of the relatively small numbers of white liberals w ho may have privately criticized the most radical forms of white resistance were afraid to do so publicly. According to historian Pete Daniel, Being a southern white integrationist in mid-fifties South Carolina required not only bravery, but also resignation to being shunned. This was certainly the experience of Chester C. Travelstead, the Dean of the School of Education at the University of South Carolina, who called for an end to segregated schools in August of 1955. It is my firm conviction, declared Tr avelstead, that segrega tion of the races in our public schools can no longer be justified on any basis. The academic dean recognized that the white community was divi ded over the issue. He recommended that 90 Southern School News (June 8, 1955) 11.

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199 local communities form biracial committees to oversee a gradual desegregation and integration, arrived at reluctan tly but sincerely. Following his remarks, the University decided not to renew his contract for the fo llowing year. After June 1956, Travelstead was no longer employed at the university.91 The successful intimidation of both white li berals and black activists led several state leaders to conclude that a concerte d legislative effort could strengthen the effectiveness of pro-segregation activism and limit the efficacy of civil rights advocacy. Although violence, selective law enforcemen t, and economic intimidation had always been weapons in the arsenal of white s upremacy, the Citizens Councils and the postBrown backlash brought a new level of coordi nation to the mechanisms for managing white supremacy in South Carolina. Befo re the Councils, such as in the case of Clarendon County during the original Briggs case and the intimidation of Judge Waring after Brown v. Baskin white reprisals were typically an isolated response to a specific event that were directed at a small numb er of individuals. The Citizens Councils allowed whites to coordinate attacks on civil rights leaders and their rank and file black supporters across the state. The Councils were capable of disseminating large amounts of information and rallying white South Carolinians to a specific cause. It is revealing that, whereas in 1950-51, the A.M.E. Church fe lt comfortable moving Joseph DeLaine to a different town within South Carolina to pr eserve his safety, but by 1955 the church felt 91 Daniel, Lost Revolutions 229. Travelstead speech reprinted in: Margar et Gladney, Ill Take My Stand: The Southern Segregation Academy Movement, (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of New Mexico, 1974) 36-38.

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200 compelled to relocate the minister to a co mpletely different geographic region or even another country.92 92 J. Douglas Smith, Managing White Supremacy: Race, Politics, and Citizenship in Jim Crow Virginia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002).

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201 CHAPTER 6 BOMBINGS, BULLETS, AND BEATINGS: THE ZENITH OF MASSIVE RESISTANCE IN SOUTH CAROLINA Between the 1954 Brown decision and the forced desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in September 1957, South Carolina whites rarely questioned the states commitment to Jim Crow and only a tiny handful of white liberals, such as Jack ODowd and Alice Spearman, even dared to suggest that the state comply with the 1955 Brown implementation order. Despite this superfic ial unity, the widespread white endorsement of South Carolinas system of racial apartheid remained a complex and often contradictory phenomenon. Many whites privat ely sensed that t oken compliance and bureaucratic obstacles were more effective l ong-term strategies for preserving both public order and white privilege without doing irre parable harm to state and local economies, but such concerns were undercut by the continued reluctance of more moderate whites to endorse even minimal compliance. Whethe r from apprehension that doing so would open the way to greater desegr egation, or from fear of be ing branded race traitors by the most extreme proponents of massive resistance, moderate whites rarely questioned the effectiveness of uncompromising resi stance at least not publicly.

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202 The lack of a vocal opposition to the ha rdcore approach combined with the disproportionate representation given to rural coun ties in the General Assembly to give the impression that the vast majority of South Carolinas white population zealously supported the hardcore segreg ationist agenda championed by Governor George Bell Timmerman, Jr. This superficial consensus allowed for an increase in state sponsored action that was, paradoxicall y, prompted by the exposure of certain weaknesses within the massive resistance movement. This chap ter explains how, using these advantages and motivated by anxieties over the various leve ls of commitment within the states white communities, the most determined massive resist ers were able to direct official policy to the point where the states actions implicitly encouraged an escalation of racially motivated violence and economic intimidation in South Carolina. Moreover, it will also examine how this intensification of hardcore resistance began to drive a wedge between the states most recalcitrant resisters and proponents of a mo re legalistic and bureaucratic approach for preserving the states Jim Crow system. Not surprisingly, the dogged determinati on of South Carolinas most committed segregationists to prolong the illusion of white solidarity intensified when confronted with an escalation in African American demands for equality. Following the Brown decision a host of related court cases contin ued to undermine the basic structure of Jim Crow. For instance, in March 1955 when th e United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals declared that racial separation in Marylands public parks was unconstitutional, African Americans and NAACP lawyers used the case as an impetus for challenging segregation in South Carolinas 22 state park s, 17 of which were for whites only. The initial effort to desegregate the system was directed at Edisto Beach State Park, where

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203 segregation had frustrated Af rican Americans in southern Charleston County for some time. It was in a majority black area, and th ere was not a comparable black facility in the region. In many ways, the case was indicativ e of both renewed legal activism by local African Americans and of th e array of bureaucratic and legal devices used by South Carolina whites to thwart those efforts.1 In May 1955, President of the Charlest on NAACP J. Arthur Brown, Charles C. Mason, and Edith Clark wrote a letter to Donald B. Cooler, the superintendent of Edisto Beach State Park, and asked for permission to stage a gathering on May 25. Charleston attorney John H. Wrighten threatened lega l action if the desegreg ated meeting was not allowed. Wrightens presence as lead counc il was particularly worrisome for whites in Charleston County. His challenge to segregati on at the College of Ch arleston in the late 1940s had led to the privatization of the school and it was his lawsuit against the University of South Carolinas School of La w that had led to the creation of the law school at South Carolina State. In his letter, Wrighten wa rned that the group would force the issue in the federal courts if the state refused to acquiesce to its demand.2 Cooler, in accordance with state law, denied the request He advised the group that Hunting Island State Park, over an hour away ne ar Beaufort, had segreg ated facilities that could accommodate such a meeting. The Char leston chapter of the NAACP immediately called a meeting at the Morris Street Baptist Church to discuss the matter. Less than a month later, Brown and Wrighten filed a comp laint against Cooler, State Forester Charles 1 Southern School News (June 8, 1955) 11, (April 7, 1955) 13. 2 Southern School News (June 8, 1955) 11, (April 7, 1955) 13. Letter to John L. Chisolm from Donald B. Cooler (May 21, 1955), J. Arthur Brown Papers, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, South Carolina [Hereafter cited as Brown Papers, Avery]. Maxie Myron Cox, 963, The Year of Decision: Desegregation in South Carolina (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of South Carolina, 1996) 263-265.

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204 H. Flory, and State Park Direct or C. West Jacocks. The plaintiffs called on a federal appeals court to declare that the policy, custom, usage, and practice of segregation at Edisto Beach State Park was in contra vention of the Four teenth Amendment.3 Initially, Brown and the NAACP attorney s were hopeful that the federal court would rule in their favor. Brown wrote, T he same Judge [Ashton Williams] who classed us with the K.K.K. and the Communist Party has informed the Attorney General of South Carolina. . that Regardless of his persona l opinion, he is bound by the rulings of the Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supr eme court. His confidence, however, was short lived. On August 23, 1955, Federal Judge Ashton Williams, who had managed Harry Trumans presidential campaign in S outh Carolina in 1948 and replaced J. Waties Waring in 1952, ruled that the complaint wa s a matter for the Supreme Court of South Carolina. Williams chastised the plaintiffs for stirring up racial conflict and declared that, until the state amended its constitution, se gregation was the law in South Carolina. According to the judge, civil ri ghts leaders should take ca re and not push too hard for civil rights. Williams and Attorney Genera l T.C. Callison, who was the lawyer for the defendants, agreed that until the Supreme C ourt heard the appeal in the Maryland parks case the federal courts had no jurisdiction over the matter.4 In November 1955 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Brown decision applied to the Maryland case. According to the ruling, Marylands Smallwood Park and Sandy Point Beach had to immediately desegr egate. Moreover, the ruling created the 3 Letter to John L. Chisolm from Donald B. Cooler (May 21, 1955), Advertisem ent for NAACP meeting at the Morris Street Baptist Church (May 24, 1955), Brown Papers, Avery. News and Courier (July 24, 1955) 1A. 4 J. Arthur Brown to Henry L. Moon (February 7, 1956), Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. News and Courier (August 24, 1955) 1A, 12A. Southern School News (January 1956) 5.

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205 potential for African Americans in South Caroli na to renew their challenge of segregation in the states park system. Moderate white s remained silent on the issue, but South Carolinas hardcore segregationists used th e controversy to encourage uncompromising commitment to a strict system of segregati on in which even strategic minimal compliance was deemed unacceptable. The Darlington Citi zens Council called on th e state to sell all public parks immediately and requested permi ssion to purchase the state-owned parks in the Darlington area. The North Charleston WCC resolved: . that in our opinion both races, wh ite and colored, could get along very well without any State Parks at all because only a very small percentage of our citizens now use these parks anyway. Be it fu rther resolved that we suggest and recommend that our Honorable Governor George Bell Timmerman, Jr., and the State Forestry Commission take the necessa ry steps to close all of our 22 State Parks now, indefinitely, and forever if n ecessary, rather than permit any form of integration or breaking down of our segregation laws. 5 Like his segregationists al lies, Timmerman also worried that the Sandy Point and Smallwood Park case would lead to the court ordered desegregation of Edisto Beach. Responding to those fears, the governor promised, There will be no mixing of the races in our state parks. Just as he had with the schools, Timmerman agreed with the various Citizens Councils and promised to close the parks rather than desegregate them. In February, he kept that promise. Just as a new hearing commenced before Judge Williams, Timmerman called a special session of the state legislature to discuss the matter. On February 7, 1956 the park was cl osed by order of the Governor and on March 1, the General Assembly passed a law that officially closed the facility.6 5 News and Courier (November 8, 1955) 1A, (November 9, 1955) 1, (February 4, 1956) 1A. Cox, 3, 265-267. Southern School News (January 1956) 5. 6 Ibid News and Courier (February 4, 1956) 1A.

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206 Though the state had circumvented a desegr egation order for Edisto Beach, whites were hardly confident that th ey could continue to forest all meaningful desegregation, especially because the Edisto Beach case coin cided with other efforts to dismantle Jim Crow. Several months before the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama, Sarah Mae Flemming sued South Carolina Electric and Gas in an attempt to end segregation on Columbias public transpor tation system. Flemming brought the suit against the company, which operated the citys bus lines, after she was ordered to give up her seat to a white individual. Her comp laint called for $15,000 in damages and alleged that the bus driver had enforced an unconsti tutional and discriminatory law. The case was quickly dismissed by the governors fath er, George Bell Timme rman, Sr. who was a district judge in the federal court system Timmerman mocked the Supreme Courts ruling in the Brown case. Education and personality, he scoffed, is not developed on a city bus.7 Timmermans ruling was quickly overturned by the Circuit Court of Appeals when the appellate court declared that the Brown ruling had effectively overturned Plessy v. Ferguson That case [ Plessy ], claimed the court, recognizes segregation of the races by common carriers as being governed by the sa me principles as segregation in public schools. Therefore, the recent decisions which relate to public schools leave no doubt that the separate but eq ual doctrine approved in Plessy v. Ferguson had been repudiated. Despite the new verdict, Callison ordered that the state ignore the appellate courts ruling until the matter was heard by the Supreme Court of the United States. However, even after the highest federal cour t declined to review the cas e, thereby upholding the appeals 7 Southern School News (June 8, 1955) 11, (August 1955) 6.

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207 court ruling, segregation conti nued in the states transit syst ems. The episode suggested to white segregationists that de facto segregation, as sancti oned by local courts and politicians, could continue in spite of federal court orders to the contrary.8 In spite of the states ability to mainta in the basic framework of Jim Crow, the mounting legal victories for civil rights advoc ates posed an interesting dilemma for the states most diehard massive resisters. No meaningful desegrega tion had occurred, and yet, whites remained apprehensive that, wit hout the legal endorsemen t of segregation as outlined in the Plessy verdict, the pressure to comply with Brown would eventually undermine white resolve. Indeed, South Caro linas hardcore segregationists had good reason for these concerns. Members of the White Citizens Councils had promoted the idea that using economic pressu re could prevent black challe nges to Jim Crow (such as the one to the segregated st ate parks). Though the use of economic reprisals did shift some attention away from legal activism against de jure segregation, black relief efforts had allowed some African Americans to resi st white economic pressure. For example, although white reprisals had effectively limited civil rights activism and NAACP membership in Orangeburg, only half of th e original signers of the District Five desegregation petition had actua lly removed their names from the petition. The others continued to push for compliance with the Brown order. The willingness and ability of even a small number of Afri can Americans to endure the re prisals was troublesome for Orangeburg whites, especially for member s of the local Citizens Council who had coordinated the intimidation campaigns.9 8 Ibid. (August 1955) 6, (May 1956) 14. 9 Cecil J. Williams, Freedom and Justice: Four Decades of the Civil Rights Struggle as Seen by a Black Photographer of the Deep South (Macon: Mercer Univ ersity Press, 1995) 78-79

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208 A small cadre of the most dedicated civ il rights leaders formed the Orangeburg Movement for Civic Improvement, a new organization that worked with NAACP leaders to raise money for those most affected by the ongoing reprisals. African American activists outside Or angeburg also helped those affected by reporting on the intimidation and distributing relief through o fficial and unofficial NAACP channels. For example, James Hinton, the President of th e South Carolina branch of the NAACP, secured a loan of $1,053 from Modjeska Simkin s Victory Savings Bank for a petitioner who had his mortgage called in. Simkins la ter alleged that such fundraising efforts helped save a number of those farms after white fertilizer suppliers refused to deliver to black customers. Indeed, one Orangeburg rally for victims of economic reprisals raised over $3,000. Encouraged by these results, Hint on wrote to Roy Wilkins, the Executive Secretary of the NAACP, to declare, I am pr oud to day [sic] that we have taken care of each person who signed a petition and who have had reprisals. Several petitioners were relocated, the NAACP paid the rent for four signers, and numerous others were given seed and fertilizer when local merchants refused to offer them credit. In January 1956 alone, the NAACP donated $2,331.63 to Ellor ee members who were affected by economic reprisals.10 Local civil rights activists were also ab le to convince students at Orangeburgs Claflin and South Carolina State colleges to join the effort to combat economic 10 James M. Hinton to Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary of the NAACP, (January 23, 1956), Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20 Reel 10. Williams, Freedom and Justice, 78-95 William Gordon, Boycotts Can Cut Two Ways, New South (April 1956) 5-10. James M. Hinton to Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary, NAACP (August 16, 1955), M iss Black to Roy Wilkin s, Executive Secretary, NAACP (October 26, 1956), Papers of the NAACP, Jame s M. Hinton to Roy Wilkin s, Executive Secretary, NAACP (August 16, 1955), Papers NAACP, Microfilm Editio n, Part 20 Reel 10. Oral history interview with Modjeska Simkins, transcript in Women Leaders in South Carolina: an Oral History eds. Ronald J. Chepesiuk, Ann Y. Evans, Thomas S. Morgan (Rock Hill, S.C.: Winthrop College Archives and Special Collections, 1984) 66-67.

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209 intimidation. When the students learned fr om the NAACP that Coca-Cola and Sunbeam bread had stopped supplying black merchant s, the students ceased purchasing these products. They also refused to patronize an Orangeburg apparel store whose owner was a Council member. One local student activist po inted out that Orange burg college students learned how easy it was to do without Cokes, and even became skilled at baking their own bread.11 James Sulton, a leader in the Orangeburg NAACP, and student leader Fred Moore asked South Carolina State president Benner C. Turner to join the boycott. Moore and Sulton wanted the college to limit its purchas es to suppliers who did not discriminate against NAACP members. McCollom later note d that students tried in vain to win Turners assurance that he was on their side that he understood the nature of their grievances, but, like other middle class black educators, Turner re alized that publicly siding with the NAACP would lead to the lo ss of his own livelihood. Furthermore, he recognized that he might also face some fo rm of punishment if he failed to quell the student unrest and refused to join the boycott. Turner encouraged Moore to end his involvement in the movement. In response, students at the school held food strikes and refused to eat in the cafeteria. When th ey were served Sunbeam bread, the students poured water on the bread and refused to eat it.12 11 James M. Hinton, Orangeburg, South Carolina Teaches a Lesson Thru Economic Boycott. (October 13, 1955), Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20 Reel 10. Gordon, Boycotts Can Cut Two Ways, 7-8. Williams, Freedom and Justice 97-122. Also, for a discussion of activism at South Carolina colleges, see: William C. Hine, Civil Rights and Campus Wrongs: South Carolina State College Students Protest, 1955-1968, South Carolina Historical Magazine (October 1996) 311-331. 12 Panorama News SCL. Benjamin Muse, Ten Years of Prelude: The Story of Integration Since the Supreme Courts 1954 Decision (New York: Viking Press, 1964) 83-84. Hine, Civil Rights and Campus Wrongs, 310-331.

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210 Much to the dismay of Turner, McCollom, Moore, and Sultan were able to convince a large portion of the local African American commun ity to join the students in protest. As was the case throughout the South, black activists in Orangeburg determined that most effective way to gain leverage over white civil rights opponents was through economic pressure. The State Conference of the NAACP called a meeting at the Trinity Methodist Church to organize a boycott th at targeted 23 white businesses whose proprietors were members of the Citizens Councils. The list included Bryants Drug Store, Beckers, Curtis Candy Company, Duncan Supply, Edisto Theater, Holmon Grocery, Horne Motors, Kirkland Laundry, Lane s Television, Limehouse Mens, Orange Cut-Rate, Smoak Hardware, Taylor Biscuit Company, Waltz Grocery, and Fersners 5 & 10. Black patrons were also asked to avoid purchasing pr oducts from Toms Toasted Peanuts, Coca-Cola, Coble Dairy, Lance Crack ers, Lays Potato Chips, Paradise Ice Cream, Sunbeam Bread, and Shell Oil because local distributors of these products had taken part in the Citizens Council campaign. One service station Coke machine held a sign that read: This machine has economic pres sure. It is dangerous to insert money.13 Hinton, who was impressed by the effort in Orangeburg, wrote: Negroes in the south can do great harm to business operated by these who would try economic reprisals against Negr oes. The $16,000,000,000 market of Negroes can be the difference between success and failure in this fight for desegregation. Negroes must spend their money with their friends, whether those friends be White or Negroes. All of the enemies are not White, for some Negroes who are in business have taken the side of White Citizens Councils, and those Negroes must be denied trade for the same reason that White Merchants are denied Negro Trade. We are not angry with any one, but we ar e fully determined to spend our money with those who believe in FIRST CLASS CITIZENSHIP FOR EVERY ONE, 13Gordon, Boycotts Can Cut Two Ways, 7. Mark Pendergast, For God, Country and Coca-Cola: The Unauthorized History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company that Makes It (New York: Charles Scribners and Sons, 1993) 272.

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211 White or Black. I SAY AGAIN, ORANGEBURG TEACHES A LESSON one that it will do well for other communities to follow. 14 Council leaders disputed the effect s of the NAACP counter-boycott and The Orangeburg Citizens Council informed its readers that th e local firms, many with a large volume of Negro business in the past, ha ve come out publicly and strongly in favor of striking back at the integrationists. The local WCC mouthpiece declared, The amount of money they are losing is being o ffset by a picked-up, wh ite trade, although all were, and still are willing to absorb the lo ss and maintain their integrity. The paper urged its readers to frequent the affected es tablishments. However, this call for white solidarity was largely unsuccessful It failed, for example, to rescue a branch of a local laundry company located near South Carolina St ate that was forced to close when black students stopped patronizing the facility. Indeed, less than three weeks after local blacks initiated the counter-boycott, most of the areas white owned holding companies and distributors denied any k nowledge of organized economic retaliation by African American merchants and resumed the delivery of goods to black owned businesses.15 The NAACP counter-boycott also affected the Citizens Council in the nearby Orangeburg County town of Elloree. African American leaders reported that blacks in the small South Carolina hamlet were more united than ever. Assistance from the NAACP had helped victims of economic retaliat ion and rumors of white fiscal hardship circulated throughout the Af rican American community. Black newspaperman and political activist John H. McCray report ed that, even though wh ites still zealously 14 James M. Hinton, Orangeburg, South Carolina Teaches a Lesson Thru Economic Boycott. (October 13, 1955), Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. 15 Ibid ., The Orangeburg Citizens Council (February 13, 1956) 1. Gordon, Boycotts Can Cut Two Ways, 8-9.

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212 collected debts and mortgages in Af rican American neighborhoods, the WCC campaign and NAACP unity had brought econo mic hardship to many whites as well.16 The ability of African Americans to w ithstand white economic reprisals exposed the always present, but frequently obfuscated divisions within the st ates segregationist alliance. Mainstream whites were willing to maintain solidarity with Orangeburgs hardcore white supremacists for a time, but, on ce the reprisals began to have an adverse effect on the local economy, some whites chose to limit their involvement in the economic intimidation. Benjamin Muse surmised, by the spring of 1956 the white business community was ready in effect to cry enough. A number of white businesses quietly attempted to bring back African American customers without losing their standing in the white community and severa l un-named white la wyers supported local blacks with legal advice. In general, however more moderate whites were still afraid of openly supporting African Americans and white professionals generally continued their refusal to endorse even minimal compliance.17 In addition to worries about the unwillingn ess of local white merchants to endure the black response, more militant whites were uneasy over the inability of the ACCSC to coordinate a statewide effort to strength en the intimidation campaign. When local suppliers would not sell goods to Jim Sultons Es so service station, he received shipments from Standard Oil Company in Charleston, which refused to bow to Council requests to cease doing business with him. Even duri ng the height of WCC organized pressure, 16 John H. McCray, Council Pressur e Unites Elloree Squeeze Victims, The Afro-American (December 15, 1956) clipping from the Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. 17 Gordon, Boycotts Can Cut Two Ways, 8-9. Orangeburg Citizens Council membership form, Workman Papers, MPC. Muse, Ten Years of Prelude 83-84.

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213 Sulton and other local black leaders simply arranged to buy essential goods in bulk from Charleston and Columbia, and rationed out necessities to the most needy in the Orangeburg area. 18 Like the struggle over implementation of the Brown decision all over South Carolina in 1956 and 1957, the fight to desegr egate Orangeburgs school system had reached a stalemate. The schools were not desegregated, NAACP membership had declined, and numerous petitioners had aske d that their names be removed from the desegregation petition. Still, Council organized direct action campaigns declined as well, and some whites even began to question the long-term effects of WCC activities. A WCC memo from December of 1956 declared, race relations are getting better. . We do not expect to fan the fire as long as the NAACP stays out of Orangeburg. In an interesting inversion of the original rationale for its formation, the Orangeburg WCC decided not to meet because the organization feared a meeting of the Council would stirup the NAACP. Along with its membership, the Orangeburg Councils lost much of their funding. Embattled local WCC leaders declared that they were attempting to convince the ACCSC to take over publishi ng a regular newspaper, and encouraged members to submit Council dues immediately.19 In sum, the stalemate in Orangeburg expos ed both the strengths and weaknesses of South Carolinas white resistance. As ev idenced by the reprisals and ensuing counterboycott, even the most well organized white intimidation campaign could not entirely impede black progress or eliminate civil righ ts pressures. On the other hand, it could 18 Gordon, Boycotts Can Cut Two Ways, 6-7. 19 To the Members of the Orangeburg Citizens Counc il, (December 1, 1956), Workman Papers, MPC.

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214 redirect African American activism and dela y any meaningful alterations in racial arrangements. Slowing the pace of change, however, was unacceptable to more militant whites who now realized that even well-coor dinated extra-legal in timidation would not entirely eliminate African American calls for equality. Hardcore segregationists worried that, without even stronger endorsements fr om the state government, white backsliders, like those who refused to fight to the bitt er end in Orangeburg, would continue to undermine the more militant forms of resistance. Rural control of the state legislature m eant that many of South Carolinas most powerful white politicians agreed with th is assessment and, when the inherent weaknesses of hardcore extra-legal resistance were exposed, state leaders demonstrated a willingness to make up for the ACCSCs deficiencies. In order to bolster the vitality of South Carolinas white resistance movement the General Assembly made the defense of Jim Crow its primary focus during the first legislative session of 1956. When Governor Timmerman called the General Assembly to a special session to close down Edisto Beach, he had also asked the legislature to pass a series of laws aimed at thwarting civil and voting rights agitation. According to one contempor ary observer, the state legislature enacted anti-integration and anti-NAACP proposals at an almost a mass production rate and Southern School News described the change as abrupt. In what journalists dubbed the Segregation Session, the South Carolina General Assembly adopted a series of laws and resolutions that addressed civil rights activism in the state and reflected a region-wide hardening of the formal politics of massive resistance. 20 20Stephen ONeill, From the Shadow of Slavery: The Civil Rights Years in Charleston (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of Virginia, 1994) 166-169. Howard Quint, Profile in Black and White: A Frank Portrait of South Carolina (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1958) 104. Southern School News (February 1956) 16.

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215 Between January and March 1956, as the limits of extra-legal resistance were being exposed in Orangeburg, state legislators worked at a feve red pitch to strengthen the embattled edifice of de jure segregation in South Carolina. One law required the suspension of funding for any college or university that was forced to desegregate. It also declared that if any all-white college or university was shut down, the state would close its largest black college, South Carolina Stat e. South Carolina lawmakers also formed a committee to investigate NAACP activity at S outh Carolina State and passed a law that forbade any state, county, or municipal agency from employing any member of the NAACP. Furthermore, the General Assembly passed resolutions praising the Citizens Councils, commending Virginia for its decl aration of massive resistance to desegregation, and demanding that the State Li brary Board ban a list of books that were antagonistic . to the traditions of South Carolina. The legislature also took action against federal involvement in civil right s enforcement by demanding that the United States Attorney General declare that the NAACP was a subversive organization. Additionally, it stoked the fire s of massive resistance when it passed an interposition resolution that claimed South Carolina coul d overrule federal statutes that conflicted with state law. Along with Louisiana, Missi ssippi, and Alabama, it was one of only four southern states to adopt such an interposition resolution.21 Even after the end of the Segregation Se ssion, some state lawmakers continued to propose a seemingly endless array of bills targeting civil rights activism in South Carolina. According to Howard Quint, I n the contest to see who could introduce the most segregation bills, Repr esentative John Calhoun Hart of Union County won handily. 21 ONeill, From the Shadow of Slavery, 167-169. Resolution praising the Citizens Councils, Workman Papers, MPC. Southern School News (January 1956) 1.

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216 Hart unsuccessfully proposed legi slation to rescind the tax exem pt status of churches that allowed the Communist Party or the NAACP to meet on their property, a bill requiring all state employees to take an anti-NAA CP and anti-KKK pledge, and a resolution condemning Vice-President Richard Nixon, who was a member of the NAACP, for arousing and causing dissenti on among the races. The Un ion County representative successfully sponsored a bill that that pr ohibited Union County sc hool employees from belonging to any organization that prom oted integrated schooling, a resolution demanding that the Democratic Party re-inst itute the two-thirds rule, and a resolution insisting that President Eisenhower reinstate segregation in the military. The success of these kinds of militant proposals prompted a white Australian visiting professor at Furman University in Greenville to declare the states repression of civil rights activism as being characteri stic of communism.22 Although the Segregation Session and the reactionary ru ral conservatism espoused by Hart were largely a response to grassroots black activism in South Carolina, no southern state was isolated as it developed tactics of re sistance. Many of the new and proposed laws were also reactions to events in other parts of the region. For example, after the University of Alabama expelled Au therine Lucy for disturbing the peace early in 1956, South Carolina whites utilized the Lucy incident as a model for its own efforts to circumvent court ordered desegregation. When a federal court ordered Alabamas flagship university to accept Lucy, a riot ensued State officials did not blame the rioters, but argued that Lucys presence had incite d the violent episode. Her expulsion was heralded as a victory for se gregation throughout the South. So that South Carolinians 22 Wilkins, Hinton, Condemn Carolina Anti-NAACP Law (March 22, 1956), Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. Quint, Profile in Black and White 112-113.

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217 could use a similar justification for de nying African Americans admission to white schools, the General Assembly passed a measur e that allowed school officials to order county sheriffs to remove any student whom school administrators deemed disruptive.23 White militants targeted South Carolina State partially out of fear that black student activists at the school might try to replic ate the Lucy incident in South Carolina by seeking admission to the University of South Ca rolina. After students at the college were instrumental in resisting Citizens Council intim idation of local blacks, Timmerman ordered the State Law Enforcement Division (S LED) to investigate subversive activity at the school. Under the di rection of Fred Moore, n early all of the schools 1,500 students walked out of class and refused to return until SLED halted its investigation. White leaders threatened to close the sc hool and President Turner announced that students who did not return would face expul sion. Students responded with a list of grievances and 176 of the schools 190 faculty members signed a petition defending their right to join or support the NAACP. After six days of pr otests, the students finally acquiesced rather than face expulsion. None theless, the all-white board of trustees expelled Fred Moore immediately and inform ed 11 female and three male students that they could not return for the fall semester. Several faculty members were also fired and several more resi gned in protest. 24 23 ONeill, From the Shadow of Slavery, 167-169. Southern School News (January 1956) 1. For a description of the Lucy Incident, see: Dan T. Carter, The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics (Baton Rogue: Louisiana State University Press, 1995) 83-109. Brian Ward, Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness, and Race Relations (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998) 98-100. Michael J. Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) 423-427. 24 Hine, Civil Rights and Campus Wrongs, 318-320. Students H it Surveillance (A pril 10, 1956), clipping from the Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Ed ition, Part 20, Reel 10. Septima P. Clark to Roy Wilkins (June 6, 1956), Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10.

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218 The state sponsored intimida tion at South Carolina Stat e was a clear victory for white supremacy. The SLED investigation and threats of expulsion had augmented the WCC reprisals and provided an additional laye r of white resistance to South Carolinas already complicated racial dynamic. Afte r the expulsion of Moore and other student leaders, it was nearly four years before a second mass protest was successfully organized at the college. By limiting st udent activism at the school the state demonstrated that it was not only willing to pick up the slack fr om a limited ACCSC, but that it was also much more effective at managing white re sistance than the loos e confederation of Citizens Councils.25 In addition to resulting in the expulsion of several student leaders at South Carolina State, the laws passed during the Segrega tion Session undercut any local effort to moderate race relations in Orangeburg and furthe r delayed any meaningful racial progess. A.T. Brown, the City Administrator of Ora ngeburg, told Alice Spearman of the SRC that white leaders had hoped to organize a human relations council following the boycott and counter-boycott, but that every time an announcement was planned, some situation develops in the community to add to the te nsions. Brown specifi cally pointed to the state investigations of the NAACP at South Ca rolina State as the biggest impediment to interracial cooperation in Orangeburg. He called the investigation unnecessary, unfortunate, and politically inspired.26 In spite of concerns such as Browns, th e state began to vigorously enforce the new anti-NAACP statute during the summer of 1956. South Carolina sent out questionnaires 25 Ibid 26 South Carolina Council on Human Relations: Report of Mrs. Alice N. Spearm an, Executive Director, (July 1956), Papers of the Southern Regional Council, Microfilm Edition, Reel 146.

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219 to all public school teachers that required th em to divulge whether or not they favored integrated schools, whether they agreed with the aims of the NAACP, and whether or not they were members of the NAACP. Th ese questionnaires a nd the anti-NAACP law had an almost immediate effect on South Caro linas African American educators. For instance, in Elloree 24 teachers were either fired or resigned for refusing to sign the NAACP questionnaire. Charlest on County refused to renew the contracts of more than 10 teachers one of whom was an activist named Septima Clark who had championed black civil rights in South Carolina for more than a decade. The SRC reported that administrators in Clarendon County had begun hiring teachers without college degrees to fill the void left by the firings. According to an organizational memorandum, Principal J.T. McCain was ousted without being given a reason, in spite of the fact that it is conceded that he is one of the best school men in the state.27 Levi Byrd, of the Cheraw branch of the NAACP, was so outraged by the new law and the rash of firings that followed that he declared that white South Carolinians ought to know better. In his criticisms of the new laws passed during the Segregation Session, Byrd concluded, I t is so low and dum ( sic ) the way the citiz ens council and others did at Ala, University thay ( sic ) are worst ( sic ) than Red Chinie ( sic ). He did, however, express confidence that the federa l courts would undo any discriminatory legislation passed by the South Carolina General Assembly.28 27 Southern School News (June 1956) 14. W.E. Solomon, The Problem of Desegregation in South Carolina, Journal of Negro Education (Summer 1956) 315-323. Southern School News (July 1956) 11, (August 1956) 9. Whats Next in Clarendon County? (n.d.), Papers of the Southern Regional Council, Microfilm Edition, Reel 146. 28 Levi G. Byrd to Miss Black (February 9, 1956), Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10.

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220 The new laws were successful in that they weakened the ability of educated African Americans, many of whom were teachers, to advocate openly for ch ange without losing their livelihood. Rather than face state sa nctions, some African American educators publicly rejected the NAACP and its goals. Indeed, many black state employees simply had a different perspective on the most appropri ate forms of civil rights activism and their reaction was more than a simple response to white intimidation. For them, the NAACPs legal challenges to Jim Crow only served to increase white oppression and threaten fragile black economic stability. Accordi ng to P.B. Mdodana, a black principal and minister, the NAACP was jeopardizing the constitutional rights of African Americans. If South Carolina is to be saved from the pressure group, proclaimed Mdodana, it will be through the Negro school teachers. He even praised the new law barring state employees from NAACP membership. It is a pure and simple violation of trust, he said, for a Negro teacher to accept money from the state and use it to pay the enemies of South Carolina to tear down and destroy th e public school system. Pittmon Lemon, the principal at Carver High Sc hool, issued a public statement declaring that he was not a member of the NAACP. Lemmon announced th at he had left the organization in 1950. 29 In another, rather idiosyncratic, exam ple of black criticism of the NAACP an African American minister from Kingstree went so far as to praise the White Citizens Councils. Reverend Webster McClary said th at WCC members were smart steady men who had the best interests of both races in mind. He insisted that desegregation would have a detrimental effect on black educati on in South Carolina. Nobody has to tell you that colored children don t learn books as fast as whites, he declared. He asked black 29 Southern School News (May 1956) 14, (June 1956) 14.

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221 parents if they had enough money to dre ss [their] brood in clot hes they wont be ashamed of, and urged African Americans not to slam the door in [their] white friends faces.30 Despite the various perspectives within the black community, the majority of the states African American population shared a ge neral dislike of state repression, despised the WCC, and chafed against the daily indigni ties of South Carolinas Jim Crow system. Morgan Hilton, a sixteen-year-old African Amer ican student in Clarendon County, told a reporter, I never wished I was white. I just wished many times I was treated like the whites. Hiltons brother Leroy complained about the Jim Crow balcony in the local theater. When theres a good picture, he sa id, well be standing up there even though theres empty seats downstairs. . Every time I go, I get mad, but I dont say anything. Leroys 13-year-old sister complained: I feel insulted every time I got to sit in the back of a Ji m Crow bus. I feel insulted every time I go into the drugstore for ice cream or a soda. All the booths are for whites. We got to have our ice cream out on the hot street. I just wonder what makes them think theyre superior. Sometimes, you walk down the street and white people just look at you scornful. You can feel it.31 Like these black Clarendon County youths, the vast majority of South Carolinas African American population wanted an end to Jim Crow. African Americans disagreements were mostly over tactics a nd the appropriate pace of change. Unlike whites, however, African Americans did not possess open access to mainstream media or to state and local political office. Whites were able to use these advantages to exacerbate internal black disagreements and re-enf orce the notion that only outsiders and 30 Rev. Webster McClary quoted in Quint, Profile in Black and White 75. 31 Ibid ., 73.

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222 professional agitators were pushing for racial change. More important, whites were able to accomplish this while simultaneously mask ing their own divisions and disputes. Whites may have had a diverse range of opinions regarding the appropriateness of certain kinds of resistance, but their debates over segregation were carefully worded, and even more carefully reported on, to convey uni ty on the fundamental need to preserve the racial caste system. As a result, most wh ite South Carolinians failed to recognize how thin the veneer white unity really was. Of course, even those moderates who did appreciate the nuances of white commitmen t to segregation rarely challenged this superficial solidarity out fear of being s hunned by their white neighbors. Even when moderate whites criticized the vicious retaliations of the Ci tizens Councils and the KKK, they were careful to reaffirm their belief in separation of the races. For example, the South Carolina Methodist Conference (S CMC) condemned the Citizens Councils because of their aim to exert economic pr essure on a portion of [South Carolina's] citizenry to prevent the exercise and devel opment of their moral conscience and their civil rights according to the dictates of th eir conscience," but the organization refused to endorse even minimal compliance with the Supreme Courts desegregation order. Likewise, the Florence Morning News which repeatedly spoke out against the excesses of the WCC, the States Rights League, and other pro-segregation groups, concluded that desegregated schools were not in the best interest of the stat es African American population. In an editorial, the paper charged: We believe that an integrated school syst em would deepen the Negros inferiority complex, that it would magnify his sense of being a second class citizen, that he would not develop normally under the tensions and inequalities of integration. We believe that his finest opport unities are with equal segregat ed facilities. We believe that he is entitled to equal facilities, that he, like his wh ite brother, is entitled to all the benefits of being an American citizen, but for the sake of his race, its potential,

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223 its integrity, its development, he shoul d demand segregation in the public schools as offering the only normal, natural atmo sphere in which to work for maximum racial development.32 As evidenced by the SCMC episode and th e carefully worded editorial in the Florence Morning News between 1956 and 1957, the moderate position in South Carolina was to call for better treatment of African Americans, the continuation of the states equalization effort, and the advocacy of voluntary segregation. Even though each of these proposals called on the continuatio n of Jim Crow, such relatively lukewarm endorsements of segregation did not go over well with South Carolinas hardcore segregationists who treated any hint of white backsliding with contempt. The Charleston News and Courier for instance, condemned the SCMC fo r its critique of Citizen Council intimidation. Its editorial staff argued that members of every race enjoy the freedom of expression, but "in exercising this freedom people must be ready to bear the consequences. If those consequences include unpopularity, public disl ike or refusal to do business with them, they need not be surprise d." According to the Charleston paper, "It is one thing to regard our fe llow men as all God's creatures. It is quite another thing meekly to submit to pressure against cust oms and convictions he ld by our people these many centuries."33 32 News and Courier (31 August 1955) 10A. Quint, Profile in Black and White 78. 33 Southern School News (May 1956) 14. Howard Quint pointed out that the majority of South Carolinas white ministers argued in favor of better treatment for the states black population, but refused to condemn desegregation. Quint maintained that, during the late 1950s, the vast majority of South Carolina whites thought that African Americans supported segregation as strongly their white counterparts. Likewise, in April 1956, the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of S outh Carolina voted 94 to 43 to pass a resolution condoning the voluntary recognition of racial differenc es. The group argued that segregation should not be characterized as Christian or un-Christian [ Southern School News (May 1956) 14]. News and Courier (31 August 1955) 10A. Quint discusses the situation in South Carolinas white churches in The Brotherhood of Segregated Men, in Profile in Black and White

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224 The News and Courier played an important role pr olonging the impression that the majority of white South Carolinians endorse d an uncompromising defense of Jim Crow. No one expressed the segregat ionist viewpoint more clearly than the papers editor, Thomas R. Waring, who skillfully pulled t ogether the various strands of antiintegrationist sentiment into a well-articul ated critique of th e nascent civil rights movement that encapsulated white anxiety over changes in race and class relationships in the post-World War II period. In January 1956 Harpers Magazine published Warings The Southern Case Against Desegregation, in which Waring cri ticized outsiders for issuing anti-southern propaga nda and civil rights activists for advocating equality at too fast a pace. He claimed that the cultural difference between blacks and whites were too great . to encourage white parent s to permit their children mingle freely in school. According to Waring, Ne gro parents as a whole are not so careful . as their white neighbors in looking after the health a nd cleanliness of their children. He also pointed out that incidence of venereal di sease, out of wedlock births, and sexual improprieties were greater among African Ameri cans. Whites, he asserted, did not wish to expose children to the primitive view of sex habits practiced in black communities. He argued that desegregation would bring an increase in th e amount of contact between down and rowdies of both races, which would lead to an increase in i nterracial strife. Finally, Waring wrote that Southe rn Negroes . are below the intellectual level of their white counterparts. Although there was no ev idence for Warings pseudo-sociological characterization of black socialsexual beha vior and even though (or perhaps because) it was denounced by state and national NAACP l eaders, Warings piece drew widespread praise from South Carolina whites. The Fl orence County Democratic Convention lauded

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225 the piece and Waring and the News and Courier also received a public endorsement from the Kingstree Citizens Council. 34 Like Waring, author and South Carolina native Herbert Ravenel Sass also endorsed segregation in a widely read nati onal publication. In an article in The Atlantic Monthly Sass repeated the belief that school desegr egation was undesirable because it would result in miscegenation. Even Though we have encouraged the mixing of many different strains in what has been called the American melting pot, he wrote, we have confined this mixing to the white peoples of European ancestry. With scant respect for evidence or history, Sass called the fact that the Un ited States is overwhelmingly pure white the most distinctive fact about this country. He dismissed any criticism of racial segregation as unjust and declared: It must be realized too that the Negroe s of the U.S.A. are today by far the most fortunate members of their race to be f ound anywhere on earth. Instead of being the hapless victim of unprecedented oppressi on, it is nearer to the truth that the Negro in the United States is by and large the product of friendliness and helpfulness unequaled in any comparable inst ance in all history. Nowhere else in the world, at any time of which there is r ecord, has a helpless, backward people of another color been so swiftly uplifted and so greatly benefited by a dominant race.35 Sass described the culture of race pref erence in the South as the most distinctively American thing there is and wr ote that United States was built solidly upon acts of racial discrimina tion. Moreover, he argued that racial separation was perfectly consistent with natural order a nd declared that a fantastic perversion of scientific authority has b een publicized in support of the new crusade [to end 34 Thomas R. Waring, The Southern Case Against Desegregation, Harpers Magazine (January 1956) 3945. Steve Gyorffy, Thomas Richar d Waring, Jr.: Spokesman for Massive Resistance, 1954-1963 (M.A. Thesis: College of Charleston, 1991) 32. Southern School News (April 1956) 12. 35 Herbert Ravenel Sass, Mixed Schools and Mixed Blood, (1956) clipping from the South Carolina Historical Society, Char leston, South Carolina and Atlantic Monthly (November 1957) 45-49.

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226 segregation]. Though everywhere else in Natu re (as well as in all our plant breeding and animal breeding) race and heredity are recognized as of primary importance. 36 Like Waring, Sass also argued that it was necessary to protect states rights from the Courts usurpation of power, and th at the Supreme Court had replaced legal precedent with sociological and psychological theory. However, his primary argument contended: . the underlying and compelling reason fo r the Souths refusal to operate mixed schools its belief that mixed schools will re sult in ultimate racial amalgamation has been held virtually taboo and if menti oned in the North is not examined at all but is summarily dismissed as not worthy of consideration. . the fear that mixed schools in the South would open the way to racial amalgamation is not a bogey or a smoke screen or a pretense of any kind but the basic animating motive of the white South in resisting the drive of the NAACP and its supporters. 37 Both Waring and Sass achieved nationa l recognition for their defense of segregation and the prominence shared by th e two South Carolini ans in bringing the Souths case to the nation is noteworthy. Wa rings justifications were widely praised by southern whites and Sasss essay was reprinte d, at the request of C ongressman Rivers, in the Congressional Record Although both men spoke from the point of view of a privileged white southern male, their ar guments resonated with all white South Carolinians who were upset with the rapid pa ce of racial change. They argued that the civil rights movement not only challenged th e legal aspects of Jim Crow, but was an affront to a superior kind of democracy that was dependent on white ra cial purity. It is no wonder, then, that the two aut hors were particularly appalled by the prospect that social 36 Ibid 37Ibid

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227 and educational race-mixing might lead to wi despread miscegenation, which most white South Carolinians suspected would do i rreparable harm to southern society. 38 The justifications for de jure segregation employed by Waring and Sass were often echoed by other South Carolinians who were eag er to defend and justify the states Jim Crow policies. The President of the Sout h Carolina Farm Bureau, E.H. Agnew, for example, announced that the Brown ruling was a wedge that could easily result in the destruction of all the freedoms that we hol d sacred in America and Strom Thurmond declared that as long as we keep public sen timent strongly against integration in South Carolina, we will not have integration in South Carolina. An Episcopal Church rector even went so far as to declare that a belief in protecting racial integrity was a legitimate Christian position and should not be considered uncons titutional and un-Christian.39 Whites generally perceived the preservation of white racial pur ity as an obvious good and agreed with Sasss assertion that race-mixing would lead to the evil of miscegenation. Therefore, according to desegregation opponents, even minimal desegregation could do irreparable harm to s outhern society. Micah Jenkins, who was the President of the Association of Citizens Councils of South Caro lina, told the Kiwanis Club of Charleston that a united front agains t liberal agitators a nd do-gooders was the only way to preserve the southern way of life. It is everyones fight, declared Jenkins, youre either for segregation or against it. The Orangeburg Citizens Council which was printed by the Orangeburg Times and Democrat for the local WCC, declared that the 38 Correspondence relating to Mixed Schools and Mixed Blood can be found in the Herbert Ravenel Sass Papers, South Carolina Historical Society. Correspondence relating to Warings article in Harpers is located in the Thomas R. Waring Papers, South Carolin a Historical Society. C lipping of Mixed Schools and Mixed Blood, from Congressional Record in the Rivers Papers, SCHS. 39 Southern School News (May 1956) 14.

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228 inevitable result of in tegration, was that e ither blacks or whites w ould have to leave the South because there is no room for both ra ces to live together. The same editorial promised that, if southerners resisted long enough, racially diverse cities in the North would join southern efforts to preserve se gregation. If the race mixing efforts [in the North and East] continue, the opinion pi ece warned, some day the white people will become so nauseated they will realize the suckers they have been and have nerve enough to stand up and demand their rights.40 These criticisms were circul ated throughout the state in political speeches and Citizen Council propaganda that warned: M illions of decent self-respecting Americans are at last awake to the true objective of the NAACP and its sinister, alien philosophy, which many people believe to be marriage of whites and Negroes. The Orangeburg Citizens Council claimed that several prominent black leaders were in favor of miscegenation and erroneously quoted Howard University professor Roosevelt Williams as saying It is well known that the white wo man is dissatisfied with the white man, and they along with us demand the right to win and love the Negro men of their choice.41 A complicit white media, state sponsored action, and the bugaboo of miscegenation were powerful tools for encour aging South Carolina whites to continue the fight even after they began to witness the accelerat ion and mounting successes of civil rights activism in other Deep South states. In a ddition to the Autherine Lucy controversy and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama, the NAACP had stepped up its legal campaign 40 News and Courier (January 6, 1956) 12A. The Orangeburg Citizens Council (February 13, 1956) 3. 41 Orangeburg Citizens Council (February 13, 1956) 3, (April 2, 1956) 1. The Williams quote was widely circulated by white supremacists as a means to disc redit the NAACP leader. The controversy over it is discussed in: Alex Lubin, Romance and Rights: The Politics of Interracial Intimacy, 1945-1954 (Jackson: University Press of Mi ssissippi, 2005) 66.

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229 against Jim Crow across the region leaving most whites fearful of an expansion of black demands for civil and political rights in South Carolina.42 In January 1956 many of South Carolinas leading political officers attempted to maintain the momentum of the states diehard massive resistance movement by participating in a rally in Columbia that drew over 4,000 people to hear Mississippi Senator James O. Eastland speak at the state capital. In attendance were Representatives Rivers and John J. Riley, United States Senators Thurmond and Olin D. Johnston, Speaker of the South Carolina House of Repr esentatives, Sol Blatt, Former Governor Ransom J. Williams, State Senator Ellison Smit h, Jr., State Superintendent of Education Jesse Anderson, and former Governor James F. Byrnes.43 During the rally, Congressman Rivers praised the hardcore segregationist agenda of the WCC and criticized moderate whites who disapproved of the organization. He drew raucous applause when he called the NAA CP the National Association for the Advancement of Communist Propa ganda, and when he declar ed that the people of the South had rights before you had a Supreme Court in Washington, and you didnt give them to Mendel Rivers to give away or to Earl Warren to Destroy. Senator Eastland urged every white South Carolinian to demons trate their commitment to segregation by 42 In addition to the newspaper sources cited in this dissertation, there is also evidence that radio played an important role in disseminating information that favored the continuation of segregation. For example, in an oral history interview Avram Kronsberg claims that John Rivers, Sr., who owned Charlestons WCSC radio and television stations, was a virulent racist. Likewise, Frank Best, who owned WDIX in Orangeburg, broadcast Citizens Council radio programs spearheaded efforts to open segregated private schools in the 1960s, and was a pr ominent supporter of George Wall ace. For Kronsberg, see: Dale Rosengarten, Oral History Interview with Avram and Edward Kronsberg (2001), Special Collections, College of Charleston, South Carolina. For Best, see: Broadcast Archives, McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina, Columbia [Hereafter cited as Broadcast Archives, McKissick. 43 Southern School News (February 1956) 16. News and Courier (November 21, 1955) from the Rivers Papers, SCHS. News and Courier (January 27, 1956) 1.

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230 joining the Councils and called on the crowd to move toward militant organization in the defense of the Jim Crow South.44 After more than a year of these near c onstant reminders from political leaders and grass roots white activists that the white S outh was under attack and that any decline in white determination would imply a willingness to comply with the Brown verdict, rank and file whites began to action to defend Jim Crow in more confrontational ways. Indeed, the political demagoguery and the near constant reminders that a crisis was imminent fueled white anger and created an explosive combination of rhetoric and racism. In Elloree, or example, over 300 people showed up for a Council demonstration at Elloree High School after th e local WCC had circulated rumors that a number of African American students were going to attempt to integrat e the all white campus. No violence occurred, mostly due to the fact that no black students turned out for the rumored protest. However, the large crowd at the small school increased fears that a violent confrontation was inevitable and was evidence of the commitment of recalcitrant white segregationists to fight desegregation with any and ev ery means at their disposal.45 In spite of such warning signs that milita nt rhetoric had fostered an increase in racial violence, state leaders had no intenti on of relenting when it came to calls for continued resistance. First Di strict Congressman Rivers, for example, went so far as to compare federal efforts to enforce civil ri ghts laws to the tactics employed by the Kremlin. He insisted that the destructi on of state sovereignty by either the Supreme Court or subordinate courts is as final as the destruction of the small and captive nations 44 News and Courier (January 27, 1956) 1A. Southern School News (February 1956) 16. 45 Southern School News (October 1956) 4.

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231 behind the Iron Curtain. Like wise, Governor Timmerman deri ded the fellow travelers, left wingers, and crack-pot do-gooders who called for even token desegregation and called integration a very real and very meani ngful part of the Communist conspiracy. Even some religious leaders joined the fray. Olanta minister M.A. Woodson, for instance, told the Lake City Citizens Council that it was the duty of white South Carolinians to protect the pr inciples of a constitutiona l form of government and a segregated society.46 None of these statements, however, carri ed more weight than the Southern Manifesto. In the spring of 1956, South Ca rolinas congressional delegation had given its unanimous support to the protection of white supremacy when each of the states representatives in the Unite d States Congress signed the Southern Manifesto. The original draft of the document, which was actually titled a Declaration of Constitutional Principles, was written by Senator Thurmond. It pledged to use all lawful means to bring about a reversal of this [ Brown v. Board of Education ] decision which is contrary to the Constitution and to prevent the use of force in its implementation. According to the proclamations signers, the Supreme Court had ignored court precedent and constitutional law. The original Constitution does not me ntion education, it read, Neither does the Fourteenth Amendment nor any other Amendmen t. This justification was evidence to many whites that resisting federal authorities and intimidating black activists would have 46 Southern School News (February 1957) 11. A Speech Prepared for Delivery by the Honorable George Bell Timmerman, Jr., Governor of South Carolina, At the South Carolina Democratic Convention, Columbia, South Carolina, March 21, 1956, Workman Papers, MPC. Southern School News (March 1957) 6.

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232 no legal repercussions in South Carolina a nd garnered widespread support across the region.47 Even though South Carolina had avoided any meaningful desegregation and its state government was clearly committed to defending Jim Crow, South Carolina whites could not help but be affected by this kind of rhetoric from its civic leaders. As far as most whites were concerned, the state was unde r attack, and its very existence was at stake. The blatant fear mongering and relen tless calls for racial unity led many rank and file whites to believe that citizen enforcemen t of the racial caste system was within the bounds of state law and implicitly endorsed by state leaders. Between 1956 and 1957 South Carolina witne ssed a marked escalation in racial violence that was largely due to a noticeab le upswing in Ku Klux Klan activity. During that period Klan rallies spread across the state and cross bur nings were frequent sightings on black college campuses and near the homes of African American activists. These events typically attracted cr owds ranging from a few hundred to over 1,000 participants, but the largest rally occurred in Sp artanburg and involved between 6,000 and 10,000 attendees. According to Southern School News the gatherings all followed the general pattern of denunciations against the Supreme Court . along with condemnation of other groups deemed hostile to either the South, to America, or to the KKK. One Grand 47 Multiple drafts of the D eclaration of Constitutional Principles, are located in the J. Strom Thurmond Collections, J. Strom Thurmond Institute, Special Collections, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina [Hereafter cited as Thurmond Papers, Thurmond Institute]. Copi es of the final version are located in the James F. Byrnes Papers, J. Strom Thurmond Institute, Special Collecti ons, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina [Hereafter cited as Byrnes Papers, Thurmond Institute] and in the Workman Papers, MPC. Numan V. Bartley, The Rise of Massive Resistance (Baton Rogue: Louisiana State University Press, 1969) 116-117 Robbins L. Gates, The Making of Massive Resistance: Virginias Politics of Public School Desegregation, 1954-1956 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1962)117-119. Tony Badger, Southerners Who Refused to Sign the Southern Manifesto, Historical Journal (June 1999) 517-534.

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233 Titan told an audience of over 400 that the United States Supreme Court justices were We now have a three percent sales tax to build nigger schools. Ill pay three percent more, even six percent more, if theyll use the money to send all the niggers back to Africa. In a clear demonstration of how thes e pronouncements impacted future race relations, a five-year-old KKK mascot at a ra lly in Chester publicly announced, I aint goin to school with niggers.48 Few episodes epitomized this escalation in Klan sponsored intimidation more so than the string of violent incidents in Ca mden, which was the county seat of Kershaw County. In addition to the cross burning a nd several KKK rallies, a series of racially motivated church burnings had spread thr ough the Camden area in 1956. The arsons received almost no attention from South Caroli nas white media, but a letter to a black newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia claimed that six churches had been burned, and that each of the incidents was carried out by the various hate groups in Camden. Then, in July 1956 a desegregated student work camp drew the ire of local segregationists who burned a cross in front of Mather Academ y where the 15 interracial students were staying. After receiving multiple anonymous bomb threats, school officials decided to move the project to Kentucky.49 Several months later, Guy Hutchins, the band director at Camden High School was severely beaten after four or five me n accused him of making pro-integration statements at a local Lions Club. Hutchins wa s tied to tree, flogged, and threatened with 48 Southern School News (1955-1957). Greenville News (October 7, 1956) 1. Southeastern Office, American Friends Service Committee, Department of Racial and Cultural Relations, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, Southern Regional Council, Intimidation, Reprisals, and Violence in the Souths Racial Crisis (n.d.), SCCHR, SCL. 49 Southern School News (January 1957) 3. Southern School News (August 1956) 9. Intimidation, Reprisals, and Violence .

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234 a hand gun and a shotgun. In a demonstration of the combustible nature of violating race/sex taboos in South Carolina, the assa ilants also accused the music teacher of expressing his pro-Negro opinions to a se veral white women. He was only released after promising his attackers that he would leave town immediately. If he did not, the men promised to set his house on fire. Eventua lly, the band teacher resigned his post. In a public statement, he said only that he had gotten another job, but refused to say where.50 In January 1957 SLED arrested Homer W. Fields, Steve B. Broadway, John Walter McManus, George Dewey Bigbee, Jr., Newal W. Seegars, and Horace William Frith. Fields, Broadway, McManus, and Bigbee were charged with assault and battery for the attack on Hutchins. The other two men were charged with conspiracy. A grand jury failed to indict Seegars and Frith, and reduced the charges against the other four to simple assault. State Solicitor T. Pou Taylor refuse d to lower the charge and, after months of judicial wrangling, reinstituted the original charges against all six men.51 After the case was presented to a grand ju ry, Judge G. Duncan Bellinger refused to give directions to the jury members. Instead, he launched into an anti-Supreme Court rant in which he declared that Supreme Court relegated to themselves the power to amend the Constitution. Bellinger also procla imed that it was his humble opinion, that as surely as there is a God in heaven, this decision will be eventually reversed. The judge did declare that unabate d lawlessness was not the be st way to defend segregation, but it was clear that Bellinger held the Supreme Court respon sible for any racial acrimony 50 Southern School News (January 1957) 3, (May 1957) 3. Intimidation, Reprisals, and Violence . 51 Southern School News (February 1957) 11, (March 1957) 6, (July 1957) 4. Intimidation, Reprisals, and Violence .

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235 that surfaced as a result of the Brown ruling. Apparently, the grand jury agreed and failed to issue a single indictment in the Hutchins case. In doing so they created yet another example of the how the apparatus of the st ate tacitly endorsed the use of violence and other forms of intimidation agai nst anyone sympathetic to black civil or political rights.52 Unfortunately for black South Carolinians and their allies, these violent episodes were not isolated events. In Octobe r 1956, the Manning home of Reverend James W. Seals was burned to the ground while Seals vis ited his wife in New York. Mrs. Seals had been forced to move to Brooklyn for work after WCC economic intimidation led to the loss of her job. Seals, who was a pastor at an AME church in Summerton, was one of the founders of the local NAACP branch and a proponent of school desegregation. An NAACP press release pointed out that the mi nister had received various threats because his NAACP activities, and also has been subjected to economic pressure for the same reason.53 In this atmosphere of violent reprisals, ev en minor violations of Jim Crow etiquette could lead to an arrest or worse. For inst ance, Ruth Bishop, the wife of an enlisted man at the Charleston Naval Base, was arrested a nd fined $50 for sitting next to white woman on a Charleston bus operated by South Carolina El ectric and Gas. The arrest was carried out despite the fact that Bishop was pregna nt with her sixth child and had undergone a minor surgical procedure that very morning.54 52 Ibid 53 Burn Home of NAACP Leader in Clarendon County, S.C. (October 4, 1956), Memorandum to Mr. Wilkins from Mr. Current Re: Burning of Home of Rev. J.W. Seals (October 10, 1956), Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20 Reel 10. 54 Report on Investigation of Ruth Bishop Case , Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10.

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236 In a reminder that white economic intim idation was still a potentially potent weapon, Billie Fleming, who was Joseph De Laines nephew and President of the Clarendon County Improvement Association an d the local chapter of the NAACP, saw his business wither af ter his name appeared on WCC boycott lists. Fleming, who was part owner of a Clarendon County funeral hom e, claimed that Dr. T.M. Davis, the only full-time surgeon on staff at Clarendon Memorial Hospital and the President of the Manning WCC unit, had encouraged employees at the tax funded hospital to support the Council boycotts. As a result, Fleming claimed that many of the families who have lost relatives at the Clarendon Memorial Hospital have experienced difficulties in getting the hospital to call my establishment to pick up the remains of their loved ones. 55 Like Fleming, most black ci vil rights supporters remain ed the targets of white intimidation throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s. After NAACP official Clarence Mitchell was arrested in Florence for using a white waiting room at a train station, state Representative Hart urged the use of physical intimidation to prevent future challenges to the racial status quo. Bashing Mitchells head, claimed the Union County official, would have had a highly salutary effect on in tegration psychology in the Florence area. Hart went on to predict, We must have a showdown sooner or later. . A few cracked heads here and there could easily avert bloods hed on a large scale la ter on. According to Hart, Theres more law and order in a S outh Carolina night-stick than in sociological U.S. Supreme Court opinion. Mitchell respon ded that If the white citizens of South Carolina would be free to do violence to pe rsons who are exercisi ng rights guaranteed by federal law, what would there be to stop th em from also assaulti ng policemen who seek 55 Billie Flemings Testimony Before the Senate Su bcommittee on Constitutional Rights (April 16, 1959), Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20 Reel 11.

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237 to make them obey traffic regulations? The NAACP leader challenged Hart to visit Washington D.C., where he could see white and black congressmen working peacefully side by side.56 Incidents such as the savage beating of Hutchins, the string of church burnings, the continuation of white economic pressure cau sed even South Carolinas small community of white moderates and racial progressives to lament the air of oppression enveloping the state. Florence Morning News editor Jack ODowd concluded that: Those who should have spoken out, a nd did not, must look to their own consciences . Men seeking the fair solu tion have not, in two years come forward. They do not exist, or they have been unw illing to face the scorn and abuse of those in the extreme fringes of both groups . Hate is stronger than the forces of understanding. Todays South is becomi ng dominated by those unable or unwilling to accept the good sense or even the good faith of a conflicting or modifying idea. And, Reverend Styles B. Lines of the Grace Epis copal Church in Camden (one of the few whites who urged his congregation not to seek a radical solution to the desegregation problem) declared: Fear covers South Caroli na like a frost, he declared, men are afraid to speak up. There is no freedom of speech except for those who choose to run with pressure groups.57 Like Lines, many whites were troubled by the wave of violence overtaking the state, but few dared to speak out against the terrorism. Even city and county leaders who denounced the violence faced threats and intimi dation from angry whites. After the home of black tenant farmer in Cowpens was bombed, the city council of Gaffney offered a 56 Quint, Profile in Black and White 112-113. NAACP Press Release, Advocate of Violence Invited to Capital, (March 8, 1956), Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. 57 Southern School News (April 1956) 12. White Student Fired from Job for Criticizing Segregation (March 12, 1956), Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20 Reel 10. Southern School News (January 1957) 3, (February 1957) 11. Intimidation, Reprisals, and Violence .

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238 reward for information about the bombing. The next morning, a cross was burned in front of the home of one of the council members.58 Though some members of the state legislatur es wanted to assume control of South Carolinas resistance efforts as a means to te mper white extremism, the fact that the legislature was supportive of the goals of or ganizations like the WCC, and even the KKK to some extent, created an environment with in which more radical groups could, if only temporarily, flourish. In the absence of any mean ingful official effort to temper the tenor of white resistance under the Timmerman regi me, white participati on in these kinds of violent acts reached a crescendo in South Ca rolina during 1957. In one of the most vicious attacks, 11 Greensville County Klansmen raided the home of Claude Creull. Creull was a prosperous African American w ho was a farmer and a deacon in the local Baptist Church. On July 21, the men broke in, and four of them proceeded to chain and beat Creull. According to Cruells wife, Fannie, the Klansmen accused her and her husband of trying to mix with white people. The attack was prompted by Cruells relationship with a white tenant named Sher wood Turner, whose children witnessed the beating. Turner, his wife, and their seven ch ildren rented a small home from Cruell and relied on their landlords for tr ansportation. Mrs. Turner was frequently ill and relied on the Cruell family to care for her children when she was sick.59 A week later, Greenville Klansmen beat Willie Lewis Brown. J.H. Bickley, the Grand Dragon of the South Carolina KKK, declared that his organization had no involvement in the incident and repudiated the use of violence. However, A. Marshall 58 Ibid 59 Quint, Profile in Black and White 40-41. Southern School News (September 1957) 2.

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239 Rochester, the leader of the Greenville Ku Klux Klan, not only admitted that the Klan was involved in the Cruell and Brown beati ngs, but also acknowledged participating in the incidents himself. After a police inves tigation, Rochester and eight others were arrested and charged with the beatings. J udge James M. Brailsford, Jr. dismissed the charges against three of the assa ilants. Two others were found not guilty in a jury trial. Rochester and four others were found guilty of conspiracy and assault and battery. Their sentences ranged from one to six years in prison. Rochester received the maximum sentence of a six year jail term from Judge Brailsford. Turner and his family fled the area in fear for their safety. The case and the resulting verdicts were yet another example of South Carolinas unequal justice system and of the official sanction of violence by state authorities, but the limited prison sentences hand ed out to the worst pe rpetrators was also evidence that white South Carolinians were be ginning to tire of the nearly unchecked violence that was sweeping across the state.60 That same summer, 17 white men from We lls, South Carolina savagely beat a 60 year-old black farm worker. According to one historian, the attackers simply wanted to beat up a Negro for the fun of it. The African American farmhand was cut with a pocket knife and pelted with soda bottles. A magistrate handling the case refused to indict 16 members of the mob. Only th e groups purported lead er was brought up on charges. He was fined 50 dollars for disor derly conduct. The same magistrate blamed 60 Ibid

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240 the victim for the attack and charged the elderly black man with assault and battery for attempting to defend himself.61 Like the magistrate in the Wells incident, state leaders did little to persuade South Carolinas grass roots segregationists to rele nt or relax in thei r fight to preserve segregated education. In the fall of 1956, South Carolina admitted the largest number of public school students in the states hi story. Despite the fact that the Brown implementation decision was over a year old and that the order applied directly to Clarendon County, state school Supe rintendent E.R. Crow boldly declared that for the foreseeable future there will be no racial mi xing in the schools in this state. Crow insisted that the equalization program remained a legitimate tactic in avoiding compliance with the Supreme Courts edict. According Crow, since percent of all racial inequities [had] been eliminated, there was no need to comply with the Brown verdict. 62 In addition to the continued denial that th e state might eventually have to either comply with the Brown decision or act on its threat to close the public school system, state lawmakers also worked to enhance th e already numerous legal and bureaucratic obstacles delaying desegregation in South Ca rolina. In the spring of 1957 the General Assembly, under the advice of the Gressette Committee, passed a new law that allowed the states governor to call on the South Caroli na militia to maintain law and order. In the event that the desegregation of any public building or vehicle led to an outbreak of 61 Orville Vernon Burton, Black Squint of the Law: Racism in South Carolina, in eds. David Chestnutt and Clyde N. Wilson, The Meaning of South Carolina History: Essays in Honor of George C. Rogers, Jr. (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1991) 161-185. Michal Belknap, Federal Law and Southern Order: Racial Vi olence and Constitutional Conflict in the Post-Brown South (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987) 32. 62 Southern School News (September 1956) 4.

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241 violence, the governor could, essentially, decl are martial law and or der the separation of the races to re-establish peace. The legislatur e also passed a number of measures directed at specific localities. It re quired train and bus stations in Florence to post signs marking segregated waiting rooms and restrooms and demanded that the membership lists of groups advocating equal rights in Laurens County be made public. Another provision that required South Carolinas blood banks to label donations according to race was approved by the state Ho use of Representatives.63 For civil rights activists, the most threatening new law passed by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1957 was a st atute which required state, county, school district, and municipal offices to require applications in writing for employment that may include information as to active or honor ary membership in or affiliation with all membership associations and organizati ons. Since the NAACP had challenged the states anti-NAACP law in fe deral court, state lawmakers repealed the 1956 ordinance and replaced it with a new law that did not si ngle out particular organizations. State officials hoped that the new legislation c ould withstand judicial challenges. White leaders also hoped to stay one step ahead of black activists in the courts. For African Americans, the change meant that a whole ne w legal challenge had to be mounted against South Carolinas most recent attemp t to criminalize NAACP membership. This new law was especially dangerous after South Carolin a passed legislation authorizing the state attorney general to investig ate non-profit organizations in South Carolina. Meanwhile, 63Southern School News (April 1957) 9, (May 1957) 3. Quint, Profile in Black and White 115.

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242 some state lawmakers began advocating the creation of state agency similar to the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission.64 The states apparent determination to preser ve Jim Crow at all cost was especially problematic after President Eise nhower ordered troops from the 101st Airborne Division into Little Rock, Arkansas to protect ni ne African American students who were integrating the all-white Cent ral High School in the fall of 1957. Nearly every politician in South Carolina condemned Eisenhower for us ing the military to enforce a federal court order. Congressman Rivers even blamed the inability of the United States to launch a successful mission into space before the S oviet Union on the presidents misplaced interest in racial politics.65 Combined with the passage of the Civ il Rights of 1957 in August, the forced desegregation of Central High School was an important indica tor that federal enforcement was a very real possibility in ever y southern state. Like state leaders in South Carolina, Arkansas G overnor Orval Faubus had declared his uncompromising determination to fight to the bitter end to pr eserve Jim Crow. Neve rtheless, white leaders remained steadfast in their opposition to even minimal compliance with Brown The Anderson Independent predicted that federal enforcem ent of the desegregation order would result in violent acts by hoodlums, be dsheet gangterism and vandalism. The upstate newspaper bemoaned, It does not seem to have gotten through the thick heads in Washington and elsewhere in th e North and West that Southerners will not quail in the 64 Southern School News (April 1957) 9, (May 1957) 3, (July 1957) 4. Quint, Profile in Black and White 116. For an examination of the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, see: Yasuhiro Katagiri, The Mississippi Sovereignty Commission: Civil Rights and States Rights (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2001). 65 News and Courier (October 22, 1957) 1A.

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243 face of bloodshed, if bayonets are directed agai nst them by hogwild racist South-baiters. The State paper in Columbia placed all blame on the federal judiciary. There was no disorder, it claimed, until the judge cau sed the Arkansas Guard to be removed.66 There were, however, some indications that South Carolinas always uneasy coalition of segregationist whites was about to unravel over economic and social concerns. During the summer of 1957, a group of ministers from the Pee Dee region in northeast South Carolina circulated a prospec tus calling for a more moderate approach to race relations in the state. The orga nization, which called itself Concerned South Carolinians, called for moderate South Caro linians to submit essays for a publication. The works that were collected were ev entually printed in a pamphlet titled South Carolinians Speak: A Moderate Approach to Race Relations .67 The group of ministers, which included Reverends Ralph E. Cousins, Joseph R. Horn, III, Larry A. Jackson, John S. Lyles, and John B. Morris, argued that white South Carolinians should back away from extrem e positions. They also alleged that organized groups are feeding the flames of raci al hate, and professed their belief that a large group of South Carolinians disagree w ith the extremism of both the NAACP and the Citizens Councils. In their ca ll for submissions, the ministers wrote: South Carolina needs people who will st eer a course between the excesses of certain Citizens Councils on the one hand and the extreme actions of the NAACP on the other. It is imperative that pe rsons in South Carolina who are honored and respected in their severa l communities speak words of calmness and moderation. 66 Quint, Profile in Black and White 159-160. For a broader discussion of the reactions of South Carolinas white owned newspapers, see: Andrew McDowd Secrest also makes this argument in his dissertation: In Black and White: Press Opinio n and Race Relations in South Carolina, 1954-1964 (Ph.D. Dissertation: Duke University, 1972). 67 Southern School News (August 1957) 13. Reverends Ralph E. Cousins, Joseph R. Horn, Larry A. Jackson, John S. Lyles, and John B. Morris (eds.), South Carolinians Speak: A Moderate Approach to Race Relations (1957).

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244 This is the conviction which has drawn us together as ministers of Christ and as concerned citizens of South Carolina. The statement drew an immediate respons e from South Carolinas hardcore segregationists. The Florence WCC scoffed at the notion that it was an extremist organization and challenged the ministers to prove when and where the Citizens Councils have acted contrary to the law. 68 Nonetheless, 12 whites from South Carolina contributed essays to South Carolinians Speak The nine men and three women w ho wrote essays for the publication were a mix of lawyers, doctors, businessmen, and professionals. Their educations and occupations made them atypical South Carolina whites, but they did represent most of the state geographically. Even though the authors admitted de jure segregation had no place in a democracy, a few essayists hoped for a continuation of voluntary segregation in education in order to prevent the irritations and turmoil that will prevail if integration is forced on the public schools. Most of the authors, however, recognized that South Carolina could not win a show down with the federal government over segregation, that Jim Crow and public order were no longer compa tible, and that the stat e needed to foster a greater degree of interracial cooperation to solve the desegregation problem. Despite overwhelming evidence from their state and acro ss the South to the contrary, most of the authors insisted that African Americans we re not yet ready or willing to push for meaningful integration. Therefore, they reas oned that biracial negotiations could provide a solution that was agreeable to the majority of both black and white South Carolinians.69 68 Southern School News (August 1957) 13. 69 Cousins, et al, South Carolinians Speak

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245 To South Carolinas few white liberals, the moderate tenor of the pamphlet seemed encouraging, especially when compared to the states official position in 1957. Benjamin Muse, for instance, contended that many South Carolinians had given up on saving de jure segregation. He argued that white South Carolinians, especially middle class urban and suburban whites, were appalled by the postBrown violence and the re-emergence of the KKK in South Carolina and had placed thei r hopes for maintaini ng racial segregation into plans for voluntary separation. Though neither Muse nor th e contributors of South Carolinians Speak necessarily agreed with the st ates black activists in matters concerning the pace of change, their repudia tion of the more militant forms of white resistance was a notable sign of white middle cl ass discontent with th e various tactics the massive resistance movement.70 Undoubtedly, many white South Carolinians agreed with at least some of the proposals presented in the pamphlet, but it was the violent reaction from the states most militant segregationists that provided an even more persuasive argument for altering the states commitment to the most oppressive fo rms of massive resistance. Mainstream whites may have been willing to look at KKK intimidation of African Americans and declare that blacks were some how asking for it, and they may even have tolerated an occasional attack on some misguided white liberal, but middle class South Carolinians were caught off guard on the night of N ovember 19, 1957 when the home of co-author 70 Ibid ., Matthew Lassiter, A Fighting Moderate: Benj amin Muses Search for the Submerged South, in eds. Matthew Lassiter and Andrew B. Lewis, The Moderates Dilemma: Massive Resistance to School Desegregation in Virginia (Charlottesville: University Pr ess of Virginia, 1998) 168-202.

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246 Claudia Sanders was bombed by a group of lo cal klansmen who were outraged at her endorsement of gradual desegregation.71 From its planning stages, the bombing wa s disorganized mess. Two of the Klansmen, James Roy McCullough and Robert Martin constructed the first bomb by attaching an alarm clock to dynamite and taping them to a keg of nails. They then placed the homemade explosive in the Sanders garde n. After the timer failed to detonate the device, the two men, and fellow klansman John E. Painter decided to light a stick of dynamite, drive past the Sanders home and th row the explosive at the unexploded bomb in the garden. Fortunately for the Sanders family, the wick went out on the dynamite and the second attempt by the amateur terrorists was also unsuccessful.72 The failed conspirators finally overcame th eir own incompetence after local klavern leader Luther Boyette returned from an out of town trip and en listed the aid of his brother-in-law Cletus Sparks. Boyette, Martin, and Sparks (McCullough was working the graveyard shift at a local textile mill) dr ove to the Sanders home. This time, Sparks lit the fuse and Martin heaved the dynamite toward the residence. Several minutes later, the explosive detonated and bl asted a large hole in the Sande rs chimney, terrifying their family and several friends who were visiting fr om out of town. Had the third attempt to harm the Sanders family detonated the first tw o, most or all of the occupants of the home would have most certainly been se verely injured or possibly killed.73 71 Timothy Tyson, Dynamite and The Silent South: A Story from the Second Reconstruction in South Carolina, in eds. Jane Daily, Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, and Bryant Simon, Jumpin Jim Crow: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000)275-297. Quint, Profile in Black and White 172-173. Southern School News (December 1957) 6. 72 Ibid 73 Ibid

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247 According to historian Timothy Tyso n, the states newspapers offered a lukewarm condemnation of the violent episode but as usual blamed the incident on the heightened racial tensions and insisted that it was civil rights activists who had incited the Klan in the first place. Although public officials condemned Klan activity in general, no one of note declared their support for Sanderss right to offer her opinion on the matter. One of the editors of South Carolinians Speak noted that state leaders approached their response to Klan viol ence with far less fervor they had their condemnations of the presidents use of force in Little Rock.74 Still, according to contemporary observer Howard Quint, respectable South Carolinians were appropriately shocked. Sanders was a memb er of at least four old Charleston families. She had graduated from the prestigious Ashley Hall girls school and her husband was a local physician in Ga ffney. For upper and middle class whites, the specter of members of the white worki ng class blowing up the home of a prominent white woman was an affront to white southern notions about gender and class. Likewise, the incident raised the ire of the State Law Enforcement Division, which was determined to arrest those responsible for di sturbing the public order in Gaffney.75 Finding those responsible was not difficult. Quint observed, With all due respect to the extremely efficient SLED, it required neither a Sherlock Holmes nor a Dick Tracy to track down the culprits, for the trail led di rectly to a Ku Klux Klan group operating in the area. Boyette, Martin, McCullough, Sparks, and Painter were arrested soon after the incident. The investigators found the minutes from Klan meetings in Boyettes car, and 74 Ibid 75 Quint, Profile in Black and White 172-173.

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248 the Federal Bureau of Investig ations (FBI) determined that dirt in the nail keg bomb was from the yard of the Klans meeting house. Martin gave a full confession to SLED officers and implicated the other men in the attack.76 The next day, the five men were releas ed on bond. They did not, in any way, attempt to conceal their involvement in the cr ime and all five men spoke about the attack at a KKK rally in Gaffney in early January. Shortly after that Klan meeting, a car that Martin was working under mysteriously fell, k illing him. As Tys on noted, most Gaffney residents assumed he had been murdered for giving a confession to SLED agents, but his death was ruled accidental by local authorities. After his death, magistrate I.B. Kendrick reasoned that, even though Martins te stimony was witnessed by law enforcement officers and notarized, it was hearsay, and therefore inadmi ssible in a court of law. Kendrick also threw out the KKK minute book found in Boyettes car. The case disintegrated and only Painter and McCullough were brought to trial. Both men were defended by State Senator John D. Long of Union County, who was able to win an acquittal in each case.77 Following the Sanders bombing, the capstone of increasingly violent and desperate attempts to hold the line of complete segreg ation, South Carolinians were left to ask themselves whether they were willing to to lerate overt violence in order to silence dissension in the white ranks. With the specter of federal enforcement of the Brown decision hanging over the entire region, many wh ites came to realize that the preservation of Jim Crow would no longer ensure public orde r. In fact, some wh ites finally began to 76 Tyson, Dynamite and the Silent South, 275-297. 77 Ibid

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249 appreciate that it could have precisely the opposite effect. The attack on Sanders was a reminder that, when state leaders implicitly enco uraged whites to resist any alteration in the racial status quo, more militant segregationi sts would not hesitate to light the fuse of racial violence. South Carolinas state courts its civic leaders, a nd its elected officials had helped to create a climate where some white extremists felt comfortable taking drastic measures to defend the states rigid sy stem of Jim Crow. In the process, however, they also convinced many whites that unchecked white resistance was not necessarily in the states best interests.

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250 CHAPTER 7 FISSURES IN THE FACADE OF WH ITE UNITY IN SOUTH CAROLINA By the end of 1956 many whites in South Ca rolina began to look for options other than the crudest forms of massi ve resistance to the threat of desegregation. Support for hardcore segregationists was still strong in some sections of the stat e, especially in the rural black belt, but middle and professional class whites in South Carolinas urban and suburban areas had become uncomfortable w ith the steady increas e in overt racial hostility in the first two years after the Brown decision. Though they rarely voiced these feelings publicly until after 1957, there were always indicatio ns that some white South Carolinians preferred the use of more bureaucratic and legalis tic tactics that drew less attention from civil rights proponents. Indee d, the lengths to which federal authorities were willing to go to enforce court ruli ngs was unknown in the late 1950s and some whites hoped to circumvent a confrontation with federal regulators by avoiding militant resistance in favor of a these less overt approaches. Ultimately, as this chapter explains, a comb ination of civil rights victories and clear examples of federal enforcement led a larg e portion of South Carolinas white population to move away from the hardcore position. Moreover, it will explai n that the fears of hardcore segregationists about the willingness of some whites to adopt less militant forms of resistance were exacerbat ed by the outcome of the el ections of 1956, which exposed the divisions within the states white communitie s. As these cracks in the faade of white unity became fissures a year later, several co mpeting strategies for protecting the racial hierarchy shared time on the public stage a nd white leaders adopted competing and even

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251 contradictory resistance stra tegies. At times, two or more seemingly incompatible agendas were promoted by the same politicia n. With this in mind, this chapter also describes how the veneer of white unity, always more fragile and vexed than many assumed, finally cracked only to be glo ssed over by a new consensus built around the idea of limited managed compliance with integrat ion orders and civil rights demands that alienated South Carolinas most unc ompromising segregationists. On the surface, it seemed that hardcore segregationists had the upper hand in South Carolina during the late 1950s. Many white s refused to believe that the federal government could enforce the courts desegreg ation order in South Carolina and massive resisters insisted that the S outh could protect segregated education and avoid compliance with federal desegregation orde rs. As late as the summer of 1957, the membership rolls of South Carolinas most uncompromising segreg ationist organizations were substantial. The leader of the Association of Citizens Councils of South Ca rolina (ACCSC), Thomas D. Keels, for instance, claimed that the Councils had over 55,000 members. Though it had already begun what would become a term inal decline, the ACCSC still had the support of the governor and widespread backing in the South Carolina General Assembly.1 Many of the states most militant white resistance advocates operated from positions of significant power within South Ca rolinas state government. The delegation from Union County, for example, used state funds to purchase nine semi-automatic guns 1 Southern School News (July 1957) 4. Howard Quint, Profile in Black and White: A Frank Portrait of South Carolina (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1958) 162. Southeaste rn Office, American Friends Service Committee, Department of Racial and Cultural Relations, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, Southern Regional Council, Intimidation, Reprisals, and Violence in the Souths Racial Crisis located in SCCHR, SCL.

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252 and 1000 rounds of ammunition for the purpose of giving the sheriff and his eight deputies the firepower to rep el any invasion by federal troop s or anyone else violating South Carolina laws. Other state leaders proposed less violent, but no less militant solutions to the desegregation crisis. G overnor Timmerman, for instance, pledged to follow through with threats to close the public school system and do without federal education funds if necessary to avoid desegr egating South Carolinas school system. The governor claimed that he was opposed to children attending school with bayonets pointing in their backs, and proclaimed that southern leaders should Let federal agents patrol empty halls and empty classrooms, let them point their weapons at the backs of empty seats rather than surre nder to federal force. Timmerman also accused moguls of centralization of left-winging along in a frenzied rush to outdo the other side of the Iron Curtain in nationalizing ever ything presently involving a free peoples choice and claimed that resurrected rec onstructionists had launched a cr usade to take the Bible out of schools and replace it with Gunner Myrdals An American Dilemma .2 Despite some internal disagreements, white segregationists encouraged this kind of grandstanding as a means to convince federa l authorities that a peaceful desegregation was impossible in South Carolina. Former St ate Senator Paul Quattlebaum, for example, argued in a letter to President Eisenhower that non-southerners were incapable of understanding the social turmoil that de segregation would cause and insisted: The South fought a war to maintain states rights. Though defeated on the battle field, we are still fighting. You how ever, do not understand us, nor do we 2 Ibid Southern School News (September 1956) 4, (February 1958) 7, (April 1957) 9. South Carolina Attorney General Callison also endorsed the idea of refu sing federal education funding. He claimed, We need no aid from the federal government and we want none for our public school system, see: Southern School News (February 1957) 11.

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253 understand you. . You have lost face in the South because you advocate things that we consider contrary to states rights.3 In most cases, the deep racism among S outh Carolina whites led them to believe quite sincerely that, even if they disagreed w ith the most militant forms of resistance, the preservation of segregated education was a la udable goal. Indeed, th e vast majority of white South Carolinians agreed that desegreg ated education would be an abject failure and few were willing to sacr ifice their childrens educa tion to what state leaders deemed a sociological experiment. For example, Harold Petit, a Charleston businessman, told the Associated Press that The Negro is irresponsible in every degree. Although he felt that many of the problem s faced by African Americans could be diminished by a better education and mo re economic opportunity, Petit refused to acknowledge that a desegregated education was a good place to start. He echoed many of the arguments presented by Thomas R. Waring and Herbert Ravenel Sass a year earlier when he argued that mixing black and wh ite school children would lead to the mongrelization of the races and create a South which is predominately mulatto. Middle class whites, such as Petite, worried th at any disruption in th e quality of the white education system would make white workers more vulnerable. For a generation that was barely removed from the difficulties of the Great Depression, class and status anxieties provided an additional incentiv e to preserve racial inequality in South Carolina.4 Even after President Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne into Little Rock and border states, such as West Virginia, began to voluntarily comply with the Brown verdict, the South Carolina General Assembly, with su pport from rank and file whites, continued 3 Southern School News (August 1957) 13. 4 Southern School News (January 1957) 3.

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254 to pass new legislation that ta rgeted civil rights activism a nd strengthened Jim Crow. In April 1958, a commission to investigate comm unist activities in South Carolina was established by the state legislature. Timmerm an promoted the new committee as both an important part of the states defense of white supremacy and of the national crusade against world communism.5 Like the earlier investigation of co mmunism and NAACP activity at South Carolina State, the new committee was larg ely a response to burgeoning activism at South Carolinas black colleges. In the y ears preceding the creation of the committee, Timmerman and other white segregationists ha d a series of confrontations with the students and faculty at Allen University and Benedict College in Columbia. Both schools were private, religiously affiliated institutions that catered to black college students. In 1958 a number of those students had requested admission to the all-wh ite University of South Carolina. In his inaugural address, Timmerman claimed that the presence of Communists at these two negro institutions was a grave threat to the security of South Carolina and to the United States as a whole. He insisted that communist agitators at the schools had duped Afri can American students into supporting desegregation in South Carolina. Timmerman also claimed that an investigation of Communist activities has led to the discovery of a record in the possession of the college [Allen University] relating to several faculty members that alleged that three faculty members were engaged in communist-front or ganization at the school. In response to student activism and Timmermans charges, the South Carolina School Board rescinded the schools 5 Paul Lutz, Desegregation: A Crisis Without Drama, Journal of the West Virginia Historical Association (1986) 16-33. Joyce Johnston, Communism vs. Segregation: Evolution of the Committee to Investigate Communists Activities in South Carolina, Proceedings of the S outh Carolina Historical Association (1993) 19-29.

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255 accreditation, which made it impossible for A llen graduates to earn a state sanctioned teaching certificate.6 While such maneuvers attested to official white determination to thwart desegregation and crush black activism, they occurred simu ltaneously with the growing sense that a large segment of the whit e population was disturbed by the wave of bombings, beatings, and racially motivated intimidation that had swept through the state in 1956 and 1957. The rhetorical firestorm em anating from the mouths of the most dynamic and militant massive resisters ma y have temporarily eclipsed competing viewpoints and altern ative resistance strategies, bu t it did not eliminate them. A large number of whites ha d initially joined the C itizens Councils hoping to discourage violence, not endorse it. Even in towns such as Elloree, where Councils were very effective at using the pow er of economic reprisals to stifle civil rights activism, some WCC members vocally opposed the use of violence. Former Congressman Hugo Sims told Alice Spearman, the Executive Director of the South Carolina Council on Human Relations, that the main reason white s supported the Councils was to limit the influence of the Klan. According to Sims: For many years the town [Elloree] was r un by a political machine headed by the mayor. This machine was composed primar ily of persons of the KKK variety. The better element in the town in the last election succeeded by a close margin in putting in the town office as mayor a much higher type man. Then, the school petition presented by the N.A.A.C.P. caused th e political pot to boil again. In an effort to beat the rowdies to the draw , a W.C.C. was formed and Mr. H.L. Bowling, a former teacher, who now operates a gin, was made president. Mr. Bowling is admired and liked by whites and Negros ( sic ) alike. The charter set 6 Journal of the Senate of the State of South Carolina (1958) 100-210. Also quoted in: Joyce Johnston, Communism vs. Segregation, 19-29. Southern School News (February 1958) 7.

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256 forth on purpose in words not unlike a statement which a human relations council might make.7 Many middle class South Carolinians looked down on the rednecks and Klansmen who had brought so much negative attention to Mississippi and Alabama. Florence Chief of Police Julian Price, for in stance, attended a speech given by Clarence Mitchell, the Director of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP, at Trinity Baptist Church. Price, who was a member of the local White Citizens Council, justified his position in the front row of the civil rights leaders speech by declaring, There has been a lot of telephone calling rela ting to this meeting. I dont want another Alabama or Mississippi incident in South Carolina. Thats why I am here. For his part, Mitchell praised the citizens of Florence, many of whom he claimed had supported him, but condemned the WCC, who he blamed for inci ting violence of the kind used on Singer Nat King Cole in Birmingham.8 Like Price, many white South Carolinians had become suspicious of the kinds of resistance that were ubiquit ous in some areas of the Deep South. Furthermore, as the regions reputation for lawlessness began to attract national a ttention, many upper and middle class whites in the Palmetto State bega n to look for alternatives to the kind of hardcore resistance promoted by the Citizens Councils of America. This trend was first 7 South Carolina Council on Human Relations: Report of Mrs. Alice N. Spearm an, Executive Director, (July 1956), Papers of the Southern Regional Council, Microfilm Edition, Reel 146. 8 NAACP Press Release (April 24, 19 56), Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. Price was most likely specifically referring to riotous re sponse when Autherine Lucy attempted to enroll at the University of Alabama and the savage murder of young Emmett Till in Money Mississippi. However, there was a general sense among many South Carolinians that Mississippi and Alabama were overwhelmed by lawlessness. Also, Cole was attacked while performing by members of the White Citizens Council in Alabama at the behest of Council leader Asa Carter Brian Ward, Race, Politics, and Culture: The Cole Incident of 1956, in eds. Melvyn Stokes and Rick Halpern, Race and Class in the American South Since 1890 (Providence, RI: Berg, 1994) 181-208 and Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness, and Race Relations (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998) 95-105.

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257 exposed during the elections of 1956, which reve aled significant diffe rences between the political potency of the ACCSC and its c ounterparts in Mississippi and Alabama.9 The majority of South Carolina whites, especially those in the black belt region, had voted against the national Democratic Party in the presidential elections of 1948 and 1952 and endorsed Strom Thurmonds senate primary campaign in 1950. Though they were unable in 1950 and 1952 to overcome the co mbination of white New Deal loyalists and black Democratic voters, the political soli darity of white South Carolinians in these political contests was evidence of a deep hos tility toward black rights and a steadfast resolve to limit federal interference in southern racial arrangements. As had been the case in 1948 and 1952, white South Carolina Democrats were once again left to debate the meri ts of party loyalty after th e national Democratic Partys official 1956 platform included a strong ci vil rights plank. Unlike in 1948 and 1952, however, a viable third option was not immedi ately available to disgruntled southern whites. Since the previous election, Eisenhower, who had overwhelmingly won the white vote in 1952, had appointed Earl Warre n, who many whites subsequently blamed for the Brown verdict, as Chief Justice; enforced desegregation in the armed forces; and allowed the Justice Department to investigate civil rights violations. Despite the best efforts of Timmerman to convince southern governors to support a Dixiecrat-like third party, there was little interest in ab andoning the Democrats among other well-known politicians.10 9 For a discussion of the White Citizens Councils in Mississippi and Alabama, see: Yasuhiro Katagiri, The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission: Civil Rights and States Rights (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2001) and Ward, The Cole Incident of 1956, 181-208. 10 Hallie Henry, Governor George Bell Timmerman an d the 1956 Southern Solidarity (M.A. Thesis: University of South Carolina, 1972).

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258 Many whites felt that the state had no option but to return to the Democratic Party and hope for the best. After the nationa l convention in Chicago, even Timmerman attempted to put a positive spin on the partys position on civil rights. According to the governor, southerners had won a decisive vict ory in their efforts to create a more moderate civil rights plank. He claimed that the rejection of specific language in the 1952 platform that had promised to expand the federal governments ro le in civil rights enforcement was a clear southern victory and evidence of the successful efforts of massive resistance throughout the region. The governor di smissed the idea of supporting the Republican candidate. He declared that Eisenhowers efforts to desegregate the school system in the District of Columbia were percent more damaging than the decision of the court itself. Neville Benne tt, the South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman, claimed that he had received assura nces from Adlai Stevenson that the partys candidate for the presidency would not forcib ly implement federal desegregation rulings and Stevenson himself wrote to the Camden News and promised to use the prestige of the presidency to work out a compromise on the desegregation issue.11 Despite their public argument for party l oyalty, most of South Carolinas leading Democrats were not truly convinced that Stevenson would re strict civil rights enforcement on the federal level and some stat e leaders eventually chose to express those views to South Carolina voters. After the convention, 36 members of the South Carolina delegation signed a statement of opposition against the civil rights plank in the partys platform. However, given that Eisenhower had supported the dese gregation of South Carolinas military bases and that the Republican Partys platform also contained a strong 11 Southern School News (September 1956) 4.

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259 civil rights plank, most of the delegates ev entually endorsed the Stevenson candidacy. Many were convinced that prot ecting southern seniority in congress was cause enough to remain loyal to the national party. Like most elected officers, the state Democratic Convention also endorsed Stevenson by a vot e of 167 to 152 Even though the vote was close, it was a sharp contrast to the pr evious two elections. The party had endorsed Stevenson in 1952, but it did so with a speci al caveat that allowed party members to support and vote for Eisenhower. There was no such stipulation in the first postBrown presidential contest. Moreover, after the State Democr atic Convention, even hardcore segregationists, like Governor Timmerman and Congressman Rivers issued calls for party unity and endorsed Stevenson. Their appr oval of the national Democrat is evidence that South Carolinas elected officials rec ognized the futility of supporting a third party candidate. Timmerman had spent months rally ing for a united southern party and Rivers had not supported the Democratic Presid ential nominee since 1944. According to Timmerman, the choice of Stevenson was the best of a bad lot.12 Nonetheless, many rank and file white Sout h Carolinians still felt alienated by the national Democratic Party. By the end of Se ptember, a group of gr ass roots dissident Democrats had formed South Carolinians fo r Independent Electors and demanded that the state place their organization on the pr esidential ballot of 1956. The group, which had promised to award all un-pledged ballots to Virginia Senator and massive resistance proponent Harry F. Byrd, issued a statement declaring its belief in the restoration of constitutional government, respec t for states rights, and against federal 12 News and Courier (August 17, 1956) 1A. Gregory B. Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 1948-1974: A Case Study of Political Change in a Deep South State (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of North Carolina, 1984) 254-257.

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260 interference in school matters. In order to assure itsel f a place on the ballot, the organization recorded more than 36,000 signa tures on its petition, ev en though state laws only required 10,000. It also received the e ndorsement of Senator Thurmond and former Governor James F. Byrnes. 13 South Carolinians for Independent Elect ors, was a hodgepodge of WCC leaders, former Dixiecrats, and veterans of the S outh Carolinians for Eisenhower movement. Nearly all of the organizations leaders ha d voted Dixiecrat in 1948, for the independent Eisenhower ticket in 1952, and had suppor ted the Citizens Councils after the Brown decision. For example, Farley Smith, Micah Jenkins, S.E. Rogers, Stanley Morse, and Thomas Stoney all played a leadership role in South Carolinians for Independent Electors. Smith, who was the organization s chairman, Jenkins, and Rogers were all prominent members of the ACCSC. Morse wa s the chairman of the Grass Roots League, and Stoney, who was a former Charleston Mayor, was a Council member who had been a well-known Dixiecrat in 1948. 14 After a strong start, however, the un-pl edged electors movement fizzled. In doing so, it revealed some deep-seated sc hisms among white voters and gave an early glimpse of the kinds of divisions that woul d undermine later efforts to preserve white solidarity. Three separate studies of the presidential election of 1956 later found that white voters were divided across regional and socioeconomic lines. Overall, Stevenson collected just over 45 percent of the vote, co mpared to less than 30 percent for Byrd and 13 Southern School News (October 1956) 4. 14 Donald Fowler, Presidential Voting in South Carolina, 1948-1964 (Columbia: Bureau of Governmental Research and Service Publications, 1966) 35-52. Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 255-261. Bruce H. Kalk, The Origins of the Southern Strategy: Two-Party Competition in South Carolina, 1950-1972 (New York: Lexington Books, 2001) 26-36. Quint, Profile in Black and White 137-138.

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261 25 percent for Eisenhower. In contrast to th e previous two elections, a majority white vote failed to emerge. The un-pledged el ectors movement, unlik e the Dixiecrats and the independent Eisenhower campaign, was a co mplete failure with voters. Voters in only 11 of South Carolinas 46 counties cast a ma jority of their ballots for Byrd. Even black belt counties like Berk eley, Orangeburg, and Dorchester demonstrated limited support for the WCC-backed campaign and aw arded the independent ticket a mere plurality. Moreover, accordi ng to political scientist Gregory Sampson, the socioeconomic and regional divisions among white vot ers combined with a decrease in voter turn-out to demonstrate a sense of ambiguity as to which party or candidate held the least objectionable position on the issue of black civil rights.15 The presidential election of 1956 was th e only contest between 1948 and 1972 in which fewer South Carolinians voted than in the prior election. More than 40,000 voters in South Carolina chose to stay home ra ther than choose between Eisenhower and Stevenson for a second time. In his dissert ation, Sampson conclude s that when given the choice of a racially mode rate Republican presidential candidate and the symbolic representation of a movement organized around racially reacti onary politics, white voters in the black belt counties overwhelmingly pref erred the latter, but, in more urban and suburban areas, many white (and even some black) voters were conflicted over which candidate best represented thei r interests. Sampson and poli tical scientists Bruce Kalk and Donald Fowler agree that persistent Ne w Deal loyalties combined with a divided 15 Ibid

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262 white vote to hand victory to Stevenson in th e election, thereby revea ling the thin veneer of white unity.16 Aside from being a sign of political divisions in the states white communities, the election results also exposed the inability of the ACCSC to convince white voters to endorse a protest candidate with no hope re al hope of actually winning the general election. Unlike third party backers in 1948, the organization simply could not convince enough mainstream white voters to abandon the two major parties in 1956. Many Council members undoubtedly supported the goal s of the ACCSC without voting for the organizations preferred candidate, but the W CCs inability to operate a campaign with the same level of organization as the Sout h Carolinians for Eise nhower was revealing. In 1956, the ACCSC was the largest civic group in the state and it had an established organizational structural, yet, it was still una ble to mount an effec tive statewide electoral campaign. The poor showing of the independent move ment was not the only political failure for the ACCSC, nor was it the only indicat ion that many whites were searching for alternatives to uncompromising segregation. The Councils also failed in their efforts to apply pressure to state offi cials to endorse their comm itment to radical massive resistance. The North Charleston Citizens C ouncil sent a questionnaire to each of South Carolinas United States Congressmen asking fo r their views on the segregation issue. S.E. Rogers, the ACCSCs Executive Secretary, promised to make the results available to members of the Councils and the pub lic generally. The survey asked: Do you give your whole hearted support to th e actions to maintain segregation that have already been taken by the state of South Carolina? 16 Ibid

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263 Are you willing to advise those voters, Ne groes or otherwise, advocating policies of integration, not only that they need not expect you to fight, with every means at your disposal, any attempt to bri ng about integration of the races? Has the NAACP, or any other organiza tion dedicated to the breakdown of segregation in South Carolina, made a ny financial contribution, directly or indirectly to your campaign? Do you here and now, promise not to seek the Negro vote directly or indirectly? Are you a member of the Citizens Council? If not, will you join a Citizens Council?17 In many areas of the South, failure to join or support the WCC could mean a serious electoral challenge from a Council frie ndly candidate. Most of the members of the South Carolina delegation, however, simply refused to answer th e questionnaire. All but one of the states delegates to the United States House of Representatives declined to join or claim membership in a Council chapte r. Instead, Representatives Riley, William Jennings Bryan Dorn, Robert T. Ashmore, Ri vers, and McMillan sent a joint letter in response to the questionnaire. The letter t ouched on most of the key elements in the segregationist rationale for opposing civil rights activities, but it di d not specifically answer the Council query: We believe continued segregat ion to be in the best inte rest of South Carolina and the United States. Our country is threat ened from around and from within by an atheistic menace which will stoop to any methods to create unrest and disunity. South Carolinas record of tolerance, patriotism, a nd understanding is second to that of no other state. It is far superior to that of some other states which spawn the chief critics of our way of life a nd harbor fugitives from justice. There are in South Carolina many patrioti c colored citizens who are not misled by outside agitation and who are working at the local level with our white citizens to 17 S.E. Rogers to William Jennings Bryan Do rn (May 5, 1956), Dorn Papers, MPC. News and Courier (May 27, 1956) 14D. S.E. Rogers to William D. Work man (May 4, 1956), (A copy of the questionnaire is attached to this letter), Workman Papers, MPC.

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264 solve this complex problem. They are helping to promote unity among our people at a time when it is most needed.18 Of the states two United States Senato rs, only former Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond returned the completed survey, though he also refused to join a WCC chapter. Senator Olin D. Johnston sent Rogers a letter in whic h he denied that he had been contacted by the NAACP, pledged his support for segrega tion, and reminded Rogers that he was a frequent speaker at Council functions. J ohnston did not claim membership in the organization, but he encouraged the ACCSC to remain in the hands of responsible and law-abiding citizens. The senator also made su re that Rogers realiz ed that he defended segregation on radio, from the floor of Congre ss, and in public speeches. He also boasted that he had signed the Southern Manifesto. 19 Although all of the states representative s replied to the C ouncil inquiry, it is noteworthy that only Rivers belonged to the organizati on. Each member of South Carolinas congressional delegation, and the two candidates for the House of Representatives in the Fifth Congressional Dist rict used the questionnaire to reaffirm their faith in the doctrines of white suprem acy. However, the delegation clearly did not view membership in the WCC as a litmus test for retaining white electoral support. Their response indicated that South Carolinas white leadership wanted to retain some degree of flexibility as it navigated the complicated politics of massive re sistance. Moreover, 18 John J. Riley, William Jennings Bryan Dorn, Robe rt T. Ashmore, L. Mendel Rivers, and John L. McMillan to S.E. Rogers, May 15, 1956, Dorn Papers, MPC. News and Courier (May 27, 1956) 14D. S.E. Rogers to William D. Workman (May 22, 1956), Workman Papers, MPC. 19 S.E. Rogers to William D. Workman (May 22, 1956), Workman Papers, MPC. Olin D. Johnston to S.E. Rogers, (May 18, 1956). Johnston Papers, MPC. The Southern Manifesto, Thurmond Papers, Thurmond Institute.

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265 the ability of South Carolinas politic al elite to deny a WCC request without consequences foreshadowed later developments. Like South Carolinas congressional dele gation, white officials in the General Assembly continued to denounce desegrega tion and demonstrate their commitment to uncompromising resistance. However, also like their congressiona l counterparts, there were tentative signs of a pending changes in those commitments by the end of 1957. Nearly all of the laws pa ssed by the South Carolina Ge neral Assembly to protect segregation in 1956 and 1957 were of the ha rdcore variety, but one new statute was evidence that some lawmakers were alrea dy concerned with preparing for a more bureaucratic and less confrontational wa y to forestall compliance with the Brown decision. During the summer of 1957, the st ate legislature approved a measure that allowed local schools to collect tuition for students who atte nded a school without living in that school district. The law permitt ed whites who lived in racially diverse neighborhoods to transfer to an all-white or majority white district for a fee. State lawmakers also drafted legislation to allow tax exemptions for dependents who attended private schools. What separated these new laws from earlier statutes was that a school district could technically desegregate under co urt order and still ope rate as single race institutions. Lawmakers reasone d that, if all of the white students transferred voluntarily to a private school or to a dist rict that was not under court or der, the state would not be in violation of the courts verdict. Unlike pr evious proposals, this solution did not call for public school closure in the ev ent of a desegregation order.20 20 Southern School News (May 1957) 3, (July 1957) 4.

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266 These kinds of official endorsements of segregated private education were key indicators that state legislators and bureaucrat ic officers knew that th e federal courts were going to order South Carolina to desegregate its public school system in the near future. For example, when former University of South Carolina President Donald Russell launched his campaign for governor in 1958, he called for the state to implement a system of grants to help students pay tuit ion at private schools. Unless the whole concept of private education is to be voided by a headstrong Supreme Court, he declared, the court could not invalidat e under the Constitution such a system. According to Russell, the state would provide the grants directly to students, and would not discriminate based on race. Since black students would also be eligible for private school grants, Russell concluded that the new system would pass any constitutional tests. Of course, being eligible for the grant would not assure admi ssion to an all-white private school.21 Even within the Gressette Committee, whic h was made up of some the states most stalwart supporters of segregation, differences over tactics began to emerge. In October 1958, state legislator Sam Harrell demonstrated that there was an ongoing debate over the states preferred strategies for preventing dese gregation when he criticized the Gressette Committee for not doing more to establish a sy stem of private schools in South Carolina. In its fall report, the committee concluded that there is no need for further action on the part of the state of South Ca rolina at this time. Harrell was among those convinced that the federal courts would soon order the state to desegregate, and urged the committee to do something to set up private schools before th e courts act the time is now. He also 21 Southern School News (April 1958) 14.

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267 insisted that the General Assembly abolish the Gressette Committee and establish another group that will do something. According to Harrell, Gressettes committee had not done one thing for the people of South Carolina and theres plenty to be done. The fact that the committee did not respond and went about the slow process of placing bureaucratic roadblocks in fr ont of integrationists was itself evidence that many of the states white leaders had abandoned militant a nd absolute massive resistance for a more effective, but less dogmatic response.22 In addition to concerns such as Harrells that the state legislature was moving away from the most militant forms of massive resi stance, there was also evidence that some rank and file white South Carolinians were upset at the unwillingne ss of many of their counterparts to follow through with threats to close desegregated public schools. The pastor of the Duncan Baptist Church in Sp artanburg, for instance, urged his congregation to do what state leaders had not and establish a private school system for their children. Christian integrationists, politicians, the NAACP and th e Klan are all busy doing something about the problem, said Reverend B. Philip Martin. He encouraged Christian segregationists to join in th e fight to preserve segregated education. Likewise, the Kershaw County Farm Bureau, wh ich was also frustrated by the lack of official action toward the creation of priv ate schools, voted unanimously to ask the General Assembly to give serious cons ideration to abandoning the public school system in favor of a private one.23 22 Southern School News (November 1958) 5. 23 Southern School News (April 1958) 15, (December 1958).

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268 The Charleston News and Courier which had always been suspicious of public education, also called on South Carolina to fors ake state funded schooling. It warned that South Carolina hasnt unlimited time in which to prepare for the day when the federal courts put the communities of this state in a vise and begin to tighten down. If taxes were cut, the papers editors reasoned, citi zens would have money to create a private school system. The newspaper called for ta x cuts for individua ls and corporations who contributed to private e ducation. According to the News and Courier any effort to construct a new system of private schools w ould have to involve private action not legislative action, in order to assure that the new schools did not fall under the jurisdiction of the federal courts.24 Nonetheless, even the most diehard wh ite supremacists understood that creating a private school system from scratch was a da unting endeavor. For example, even after Thomas H. Carter, Director for the Seve n Citizens Councils of Charleston County, concluded that the desegregation of county schools was no longer a matter of if, but of when that day is forced upon us, he and his organization found it impossible to secure the necessary funding and organizational infrastruc ture to make their plans a reality. In a WCC newsletter, Carter confe ssed, Others will have to so lve the problem of student transportation and the manner of financ ing our private educational system.25 These kinds of funding and organizational co ncerns had a dramatic effect on white resisters across the state. Early in So uth Carolinas massive resistance campaign, hardcore segregationists felt th at, if the state closed its schools in response to a federal 24 News and Courier (December 2, 1958) 4. 25 Thomas H. Carter, untitled newsletter (M arch 12, 1959), Workman Papers, MPC.

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269 desegregation order, mainstream whites would have no choice but to help build a private system. By the late 1950s, however, even the most intractable massive resisters began to recognize that a significant number of wh ites would oppose school closure. That realization caused many militant white segregatio nists to alter their st rategy in order to avoid alienating their more moderate neighbor s. Instead of abandoning and replacing the public school system as some had suggested, most hardcore whites began to advocate the creation of an alternative that would co-exist with the public education system. Even the most diehard proponents of militant white re sistance realized that any private school system would require This decision to focus less on defiance and more on creating segreg ated alternatives to the public school system was encouraged by the emergence of a small but vocal community of opponents to hardcore resist ance. Racial liberals like John Bolt Culbertson, a former member of the South Ca rolina House of Representatives and an attorney who had fought for the right of African Americans to serve on juries in Jasper County, understood the weakness of the hardcore position and urged South Carolinians to comply with the Brown decision. The White Citizens Councils and the Ku Klux Klan have reached their peak, he declared, I think they realize that in spite of everything they do, the South is part of the United States a nd federal laws will pr evail. Although they were concerned over renewed efforts to energize the forces of uncompromising resistance, the moderate members of the Sout hern Regional Council al so felt that by early 1957 the flame or white resistance had began to smolder. Unlike Culbertson,

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270 however, most of South Carolinas contingent to SRC spent more time equivocating over the pace of change than working toward meaningful compliance.26 Other observers also took note the declin ing influence of diehard resistance in South Carolina. In March 1957, the Rock Hill Evening Herald reported that the areas Ku Klux Klan was riddled with dissent and that the various disagreements amongst Klan leaders had hampered KKK recruitment. Addi tionally, state lawmakers had added to the Klans woes by introducing legi slation directed at limiting the Klans ability to recruit young members. Although the new law, whic h prohibited minors from joining such organizations, was of limited practical effect, it was an indication of the strong anti-Klan sentiment in the General Assembly. Moreover, Jack ODowd of the Florence Morning News compared the infamous Segregation Sess ion to McCarthyism, the Walterboro Press and Standard accused state politicians of cashi ng in on the segregation issue rather than finding a legal and peaceful way to preserve segregation, and the Columbia Record questioned the states ability to enforce statutes that criminalized the NAACP, since the NAACP could simply be repla ced by another, similar organization. 27 In addition to the growing chorus of criticisms directed at uncompromising resistance, it also became clear by the late 1950s that whites w ould not abandon or shun every public figure who endorsed some m easure of compliance with the federal desegregation orders. This inclination was most apparent during the controversy that erupted when, in October 1958, Governor Ti mmerman refused to allow evangelical 26 Southern School News (January 1957) 3. Rebecca Reid to Haro ld C. Fleming (February 3, 1957), Papers of the Southern Regional Council, Microfilm Edition, Reel 146. 27 Southern School News (April 1957) 9, (May 1957) 3. Newspapers quoted in: Quint, Profile in Black and White 111-112.

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271 minister Billy Graham to hold a rally at the state capitol. Billy Graham is well known for his support of the program to mix the ra ces in the South, claimed Timmerman. The governor accused the minister of causing m uch harm to the South. He argued that allowing the rally would be a violation of the separation of church and state, and declared: I cannot remain silent. Already the progr am to mix the races in the South has brought heartbreak and suffering to countle ss numbers of parents, both white and Negro. It also has brought racial tensions to areas wh ere peace, understanding and goodwill formally prevailed.28 Many South Carolinians, however, seem to have disagreed vehemently with their governors decision. Grahams rally was, instead, held on federal property at Fort Jackson. Former Governor Byrnes and Colu mbia Mayor Lester Bates attended, as did over 60,000 other South Carolinians. Before the rally, Graham chastised the governor and criticized hardcore segregationists. Some have been so unbalanced on the whole issue that segregation or in tegration has become their one Gospel, said Graham, God pity us if we let our differen ces about this prevent us from presenting Christ to a lost world.29 Perhaps the most vivid demonstratio n of the post-1957 breakdown of South Carolinas massive resistance movement, howev er, was the rapid decline of the White Citizens Councils. After peaking at between 40,000 and 60,000 members in 1956 and 1957, the organization nearly faded into nonexi stence in the state by 1960. S.E. Rogers 28 Southern School News (November 1958) 5. 29 Southern School News (November 1958) 5. For a discussion of Grahams racial politics, see: Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith, Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000) 46-68. David L. Chappell, A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004) 140-141.

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272 retired from the WCC in 1956 and Jenkins follo wed a year later. During this period of unstable leadership outbreaks of violence and rumors of Kl an infiltration of the WCC plagued the organization. For instance, after journalist William Workman reported rumors that Klan members were attempting to take over the Sumter Citizens Council, a group of WCC members called for an immediate response from ACCSC lead er Baxter Graham. Graham declined to disavow any Klan connection. The dispute eventually led the Sumter group to leave the ACCSC.30 In retrospect, the decline of the WCC movement in South Carolina was perhaps predictable. From its inception, many of the leaders of the South Carolina Councils were divided over tactics. These differences comb ined with the lack of clear plan and an inability to exhibit political power on the state level to convince many whites that Council membership was unnecessary and unproductive. In July 1958, the Charleston News and Courier declared that the organization wa s on a siesta. Several abortive efforts to renew support for the Councils char acterized the next few years, but, for the most part, the ACCSCs main activity was inactivity. By 1963, Council membership had declined to less than 1,000 members in th e state. Farley Smith argued, "When the council was first organized, thousands of persons flocked to join because of the emotional appeal to be in an organiza tion that was doing some thing." Once people realized that the goals of the organization did not require a large membership, numbers declined to a manageable level, according to Smith. In stead of a mass movement, the Citizens' Councils had become a small group of true believers who published pro-segregation 30 Neil McMillen, The Citizens Council: Organized Resistanc e to the Second Reconstruction, 1954-1964 (Urbana: University of Illinoi s Press, 1971) 73-80. Untitled memorandum (December 10, 1958), J.D. Dinkins to B.A. Graham (January 20, 1959), Workman Papers, MPC.

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273 propaganda in an attempt to sway public op inion. Workman later recalled that the Councils ultimately dwindled because of a lack of opportunity to do anything because of the constant stepping up of the Federal pressures and the unwillingness of South Carolinians to assert themselves with a force or violence against Federal mandate.31 Elected officials were well aware of the ACCSCs rapid decline, and, by 1957, were not afraid to disagree with the organization in matters of race. In the spring of 1957, a number of Citizens Council members protested the presence of African Americans at Brookgreen Gardens, a popular tour ist spot south of Myrtle Beach. B.T. Matthews wrote to State Repres entative Harrell to complain about the throng of negroes ( sic ) at the park. According to Matthews, it was very embarrassing to walk around, a negro in front, one in back, and if you weren t careful they would walk right side of you, your wife or friends. He was appalled that the African American patrons acted as if you were black too.32 Even Council supporters, such as Workma n, openly disagreed with WCC leaders over how best to address the race-mingling issue at Brookgreen Gardens. For example, new ACCSC Chairman Thomas D. Keels char ged that the popular vacation spot was promoting race mixing by admitting both black and white races, but was unable to stir enough publicity or outrage to attract any mean ingful attention to his cause. State Senator L. Marion Gressette informed Keels th at the state had no c ontrol over the private gardens. He urged Keels to organize a boyc ott against race mixing at Brookgreen. Keels 31 McMillen, The Citizens' Council 73-79. News and Courier (January, 18 1957) 1B, (January, 30 1960) 1A. A Transcript of a Tape-Recorded Inte rview with William D. Workman, Jr., Editor, The State and author of A Case for the South John Egerton, Interviewer, Columbia, South Carolina, July 16, 1968 (Washington, D.C.: The Civil Rights Documentation Project), from the Workman Papers, MPC. 32 B.T. Matthews to George Sam Harrell (April 29, 1957), copy in the Workman Papers, MPC.

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274 then turned to News and Courier capital correspondent William Workman to create publicity about the problem. K eels told Workman, The trouble with Senator Gressettes suggestion . is that there are so few people that know of conditions at the gardens. He implored Workman to write about the probl em. The newspaperman responded by urging Keels to ignore the issue. Any publicity, said Workman, . . will simply call the attention of other Negro groups the availability of a private recreational area which they likely will then begin to patronize in large numbers.33 Predictably, the rapid dec line of the ACCSC further emboldened a few moderate whites to challenge hardcore segregationist s and call for a more constructive dialogue between white South Carolinians and their bl ack neighbors. For instance, Dew James, a white student at the Universi ty of South Carolina, wrote in the student newspaper, The Gamecock that the pro-segregation legislati on passed by the General Assembly had succeeded in widening the gap of misunderstanding between the whites and the Negroes. 34 This small wave of moderation was especia lly noticeable in South Carolinas white churches. Across the state religious leaders began to call for a more reasonable and less confrontational approach to ra cial issues. A moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, for example, told an Olan ta audience that the solution to the race problem rests in communication between lead ers of both white and colored men, and, in August 1957, the South Carolina Methodist Conf erence accepted a change that allowed 33 T.D. Keels to L. Marion Gresse tte, Chairman of the South Carolina Segregation Committee, (May 6, 1957) and Gressette to Keels, (May 24, 1957). T.D. Keels to W.D. Workman, (June 12, 1957) and Workman to Keels, (June 18, 1957), Workman Papers, MPC. 34 Southern School News (September 1957) 2, (November 1958) 5, (July 1959) 10. South Carolina Legislature Aided Bias, Student Asserts (April 5, 1956), Papers of the NAACP, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10.

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275 black and white churches to affiliate with one another for first time. The alteration of SCMC regulations was ridiculed by more c onservative members of the organization, but the resolution eventually passed by a vote of 287 to 261. Soon after the SCMC also rejected, by a vote of 258 to 124, a measure de manding that the national church withdraw from the National Council of Churches to protest the NCCs endorsement of desegregation. In the end, thes e narrow victories, which of ten pitted professional clergy and upstate congregations agains t their black belt brethren, represented the emergence of a moderate voice that had (with rare exception) been drowned out by hardcore segregationists in the i mmediate aftermath of the Brown decision.35 Education professionals also joined th is new chorus of small but dedicated moderates in calling for an end to the crude st forms of massive resistance in South Carolina. Dr. L.P. Hollis, a retired school superintendent from Greenville County who had served on the committee charged with equalizing the states segregated school system, called on whites and blacks to estab lish the lines of communication between the two races. Hollis declared that the educat ional progress exhibited by African Americans following the Civil War was nothing short of marvelous. He also called for blacks to become more involved in the political proce ss and in the states education system. During the spring of 1958, one Spartanburg Count y teacher challenged South Carolinas endorsement of massive resistance legisla tion and called on the General Assembly to reinstate the compulsory attendance law. Th e law became a particular point of contention between lawmakers and educators when Lee O. Gaskins wrote in the Journal of the International Asso ciation of Pupil Personnel Workers that the repeal of the law had led to 35 Ibid

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276 a dramatic increase in truancy among 12 to 16 year olds. Although he refused to call on the South Carolina legislature to make school mandatory for the states children, one high ranking official in the South Ca rolina Department of Education agreed that a compulsory attendance law was desirable.36 Many African Americans were skeptical of these new calls for interracial cooperation. For years white segregationists had called for interracial dialogue, but refused to endorse any desegregation as part of those discussions. These new calls for white moderation, however, were in stark contrast to the nearly unchecked hardcore resistance that was exemplified by the Segregation Session and were therefore generally welcomed by African American profe ssionals as signs of progress. Dr. Thomas C. McFall, whose appointment to a physicians group had become a campaign issue in the Democratic Primary for United States Se nator in 1950, was esp ecially supportive of white calls for interracial cooperation in Sout h Carolina. McFall, who was named to the State Advisory Committee for the United St ates Civil Rights Co mmission, pledged to serve, along with other memb ers of the committee, in investigating in a just and impartial manner those unconstitutional acts br ought to the attention of the Civil Rights Commission. However, McFall al so pledged to be always co nsiderate . of the rights of all individuals to their pe rsonal feelings and opinions.37 In addition to the decline of the Councils a nd flickering signs of tentative interracial cooperation there were numerous other in dicators that by 1958 the states white population was more interested in limiting the ex tent and impact of desegregation than in 36 Southern School News (May 1958) 11, (June 1958) 15. 37 Thomas C. McFall to William D. Workman (S eptember 24, 1958), Workman Papers, MPC.

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277 mounting a futile challenge to federal authority. Southern School News reported that The General Assembly convened for th e 1958 session without very much stress on segregation. Likewise, when Citizens Counc il leader and Charleston attorney Hans F. Paul attempted to use the clout of the WCC to pressure South Ca rolinas congressional delegation, Congressman William Jennings Brya n Dorn dismissed Pauls accusation that, with the exception of Senator Thurmond, the st ates representatives had failed to provide enough support to Council efforts to save de jure segregation. According to Dorn, it was pointless to introduce legislati on that cannot possibly be pa ssed, or legislation that would prejudice more people against the Sout h. Dorn argued that the only way for the states segregationists to circumvent fede rally enforced desegregation was to avoid saying things publicly which will harm our cause among the members of Congress from other states. The congressman pointed out th at, to minimize civil rights legislation, the region would need friends in Congress fr om other sections, and that can only be obtained by positive, quiet, determined courtship. He warned Paul that South Carolinas leaders should avoid being branded as cheap demagogues.38 In a letter to Johnston Sc hool Superintendent Charles Lockwood, Dorn seemed even more resigned to token desegregation. The congressman warned that the South was simply outnumbered in Congress. He noted that the Supreme Court and the President were opposed to segregation, and th at at least three out of five Congressmen and Senators opposed southern efforts to defe nd the racial caste system. Rather than endorse a recommitment to defending Ji m Crow, Dorn worried that unchecked 38 Johnston, The Committee to Investigate Communist Activities in South Carolina, 27-29. Southern School News (February 1958) 7, (May 1958) 11. Hans F. Paul to William Jennings Bryan Dorn (December 19, 1955), Dorn to Paul (December 29, 1955), Dorn Papers, MPC.

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278 demagoguery would weaken the case for segreg ation and drive away potential legislative allies who might help delay or limit th e effectiveness of federal civil rights enforcement.39 Dorn and other likeminded whites recognized that throughout the South the social barriers between whites and blacks were er oding under the combined might of black activism and federal pressure. He understood that the politics of massive resistance filled the emotional need of white segregationists to protest, but he also appreciated that the tactics of hardcore segregationists were ba sed on a misunderstanding of the realities of the situation. Quite simply, the federa l government had the power to enforce a desegregation ruling whenever it chose to do so. Given the unrelenting calls for equality emanating from civil rights advocates acro ss the nation, such action seemed more and more likely with each passing year. Moreover, if a controversy, such as the Emmett Till murder, the Autherine Lucy incident, or the Little Rock confrontation erupted in South Carolina it would bring unwanted national attention and limit the states ability to entice public and private investment in the South Ca rolina economy. Many whites realized that South Carolinas best option for maintaining white privilege was to avoid this kind of scrutiny whenever possible. Everywhere in South Carolina the wr iting was on the wall for proponents of uncompromising massive resistance. James McBride Dabbs, of the Southern Regional Council, sent a letter to the editor to the News and Courier in which he encouraged whites to accept the inevitable. Though Dabbs was atypical of white South Carolinians, he did sense that whites were beginning to recognize the futil ity of hardcore resistance. 39 William Jennings Bryan Dorn to Charles M. Lo ckwood (February 13, 1956), Dorn Papers, MPC.

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279 It would pay us to recognize th e realities, wrote Dabbs, not only of politics but also of morality. According to Dabbs, Gettysburg was gallant though hopeless. Segregation is merely hopeless.40 By the late 1950s the South Carolina Ge neral Assembly seemed disinterested in calling for regional unity or pa rticipating in the various intimidation campaigns that typified other parts of the Deep South. When state Representative Hart sponsored a resolution condemning the federal governments use of force in Lit tle Rock, less than 30 members of the South Carolina House of Re presentatives even bothered to vote. The measure passed by 15 to six, and was then approved by the state senate with little fanfare. Even South Carolinas Committee to Investigat e Communist Activities seemed impotent. The committee, which was chaired by m oderate State Senator John West, issued numerous reports, but was larg ely inactive for most of its existence. One study of the committee found that its reports for the next five years indicate that no new legislation was considered necessary to battle communi sm in South Carolina. Historian Joyce Johnston argues that The quiet creation of the committee and its general lack of activity indicate that the public and legislature in South Carolina were, from the start, not so much enthusiastic about the Committee as they were not opposed to its existence.41 Dr. Joseph Margolis, a professor at the Un iversity of South Carolina, reasoned in the winter of 1957-58 that the resistance of the South is not wholeh earted resistance. According to Margolis, by 1958, whites were n ot hopeful that they could halt the process of desegregation. He concluded that: 40 Southern School News (August 1958) 5. 41 Johnston, The Committee to Investigate Communist Activities in South Carolina, 27-29. Southern School News (February 1958)7.

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280 The southern segregationist can find an swers for the inexplicable plight of the Negro only in unreasonable mouthings about racial inferiority and contradictory testimony of the ingratitude, disease, stupidity, childishn ess, arrogance, viciousness, irresponsibility, contente dness, well-being, cunning of the Negro.42 These signs of changes in the domin ant tactics of South Carolinas white resistance movement, did not, however, signal an acceptance of court ordered desegregation. Margolis, for instance, was not invited back to the University of South Carolina the following year despite the perceived thaw in race relations. Most white South Carolinians may have agreed with Marg oliss assessment, but few were willing to admit defeat in their fight to preserve wh ite supremacy. The majority of white South Carolinians found his comments objectionable because they still hoped that there was time to limit desegregation. Any hint that S outh Carolina was resign ed to desegregation, they reasoned, would generate more support in the federal government for rapid and sweeping racial change. White South Carolinians understood that, so long as federal authorities were worried about out-of-contro l violence and widespread resistance, the national government would continue to equivo cate on the best course of action. In the late 1950s, federal regulators had not yet determined whet her or not their involvement would generate more social disorder than the current policy of limited entanglement in the southern race problem. Nonetheless, it was becoming more difficult for South Carolinas white leadership to hold toge ther a large enough coalition of whites to maintain the illusion of white unity and hardco re resistors worried that the appearance of 42 John G. Sproat, Firm Flexibility: Perspectives on Desegregation in South Carolina, in eds. Robert H. Abzug and Stephen E. Maizlish, New Perspectives on Race and Slavery in America: Essays in Honor of Kenneth M. Stampp (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1986) 164-184. Southern School News (February 1958) 7.

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281 a weakened white resolve would serve as an invitation for a more pro-active federal policy. 43 By the late 1950s, even the states most diehard segregationists began to recognize the fragility of the white pro-segregationist coalition. Slight alterations in the dogmatic rhetoric of hardcore white supremacists were early indications that they were fearful of alienating mainstream whites in South Carolina s urban areas. No state official was more demagogic in matters of race than Timmerman who had proclaimed that his state could not be bribed into accepting compliance with the Brown order. However, even Timmerman, who had assailed federal educ ation funding as sugar coated federal taxation and who had claimed that Sout h Carolina would forego congressionally allocated monies if they came with a desegr egation requirement, wa s not actually willing to reject all additional fundi ng from the federal government. Instead, he, and many other hardcore segregationists, balanced their attack s on federal aid with calls for bloc grants and other forms of no-strings attached funding. State lead ers also promised that the rejection of federal education funding woul d not impact other forms of congressional spending in South Carolina.44 Timmerman, who had supported nearly ever y massive resistance law proposed by the General Assembly, later refused to cal l a special session of the South Carolina legislature during the summer of 1957. Afte r the Fourth Circuit Court struck down Virginias pupil placement law, the delega tion from Union County asked the governor to order the session so that South Carolina coul d rewrite its placement law, which was very 43 Southern School News (May 1958) 11. 44 Quint, Profile in Black and White 98-101. Southern School News (January 1956) 5.

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282 similar to the Virginia statute. Timmerma n refused and declared, rather misleadingly, that the two laws were actually quite dissimila r. It was likely that Timmerman and other state leaders did not want to raise the ire of federal investigators by making a very public effort to avoid compliance with the Fourth Ci rcuit Courts ruling in a special legislative session. After all, South Carolinas effort to re-write state election laws after the Smith v. Allwright decision had led to a successful lega l challenge from the South Carolina NAACP.45 Even Timmerman understood that, although attacks on federal intervention were still popular among South Carolina whites, most South Carolinians were hesitant to call for the outright rejection of federal involve ment in the state. Aside from drawing unwanted attention, such assaul ts on federal author ity threatened to weaken the states fiscal health. The South Carolina Conf erence on Education, which was formed by Governor Byrnes, testified that most of th e states schools could do without the additional monies, but the groups study did not include the area surrounding the Charleston Navy Base or Aiken, where the Savannah River Nucl ear Facility was located. Moreover, the state ranked in the lowest thir d in nearly every education ca tegory when compared to the other states. Thus, it was clear to many that South Carolinas education system did need every available resource to improve its school s. Furthermore, the impact of federal spending on wages and infrastructure was obvious in much of the state. The Anderson Independent even noted that it was absurd for st ate leaders to oppose federal taxes for 45 Ibid

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283 building schools when tax dollars from the na tional treasury continued to flow into South Carolinas defense industries.46 The specter of losing federal funding was es pecially troubling for school districts in South Carolinas black belt that were alre ady having difficulty ma intaining the state mandated dual school system. Thomas A. Ca rrere, the director of instruction for Charleston city schools, pointed out that, in the 1956-57 scho ol year, 65 percent of the pupils enrolled in the citys public schools were African American. According to Carrere, white migration to Charlestons subur bs had made operati ng whites only schools in the city enormously expensive. White s-only elementary schools in the city of Charleston, for example, had lo st over 200 students in a singl e school year. By the late 1950s, many of the white schools were barely oc cupied while the city's African American institutions were severely ove rcrowded. Some black schools were even forced to hold double sessions to alleviate overcrowding during a period when there were 17 unused classrooms in the whites-only schools. In 1958, city officials had to change the new Courtenay Elementary from a whites-only sc hool to an African American one, but the change did little to help the overburdened schools system.47 In a sign of the persistence of white racism even within the somewhat differently configured resistance of the la te 1950s state leaders refuse d to acknowledge these fiscal constraints and declined to concede that th ey had already sacrificed minimal compliance for federal money throughout the state. Fo r instance, Timmerman ignored the positive 46 Quint, Profile in Black and White 98-102. Southern School News (January 1956) 5. Independent (December 17, 1955) 4. 47 Southern School News (August 1957) 13, (August 1958) 5. See also: Millicent Brown, Civil Rights Activism in Charleston, South Carolina, 1940-1970 (P h.D. Dissertation: Florida State University, 1997) and R. Scott Baker, Ambiguous Legacies: The NAACPs Legal Ca mpaign Against Segregation in Charleston, South Carolina, 1935-1975 (Ph.D. Dissertation: Columbia, University, 1993).

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284 economic impact that the desegregated m ilitary had had on South Carolina during his tenure, but did not hesitate to blame a nationwide shortfall in military recruits on desegregation in the armed forces. He proc laimed, There are few young men of ability who would voluntarily choose raci al mixing in our armed forces. He derided military training facilities as sociological camps for co mpulsory racial mixing. It is noteworthy that the governor did not specif ically mention Fort Jackson. His remarks were endorsed by former General Mark Clark who told U.S. News and World Report that African American soldiers performed poorly during World War II, and that integration could jeopardize the nations ability to defend its elf. Like Timmerman, however, Clark declined to discuss the positive economic effect of military spending in his home town of Charleston.48 Unlike Timmerman and Clark, federal o fficials and more moderate whites considered the desegregation of the milita ry a success. By the summer of 1955, the Secretary of Defense had declared the desegreg ation of the armed forces complete. Most white leaders understood that these change s made the issue of federal money more complicated, but publicly downplayed the impact of desegregated military bases in South Carolina. Privately, however, many white S outh Carolinians wrestled with the dilemma posed by federal funding and gradually alte red their opinions regarding hardcore resistance. James McBride Dabbs observed: We mingle with Negroes at games on government reservations because enforcement there is taken out of our ha nds: we are on federal property, we have no responsibility. Take Shaw Air Force Ba se, near Sumter, South Carolina, where at integrated athletic contests white citi zens council leaders may be seen sitting by Negroes and chatting with them. But when they come away from the Base and 48 Quint, Profile in Black and White 98-101. Southern School News (January 1956) 5. Southern School News (June 1956) 14.

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285 back downtown they assume again, with s ober faces, the policemans role. A part of the Souths present excitement over main taining segregation is due to the fact that it senses how little it r eally cares, and is trying to whip up enthusiasm for an attitude no longer deeply believed in.49 Although Dabbs was over-optimistic about the racial conditions on desegregated military bases, the fact that local whites continued to frequent on-base events and rarely protested federal efforts to desegregate military installations is evidence that, when they were given no choice in the matter, most whites were more likely to confront desegregation with annoyed resignation th an calls for secession. For this reason, hardcore segregationists worried that a di scussion of desegregation on military bases would demonstrate the success of minimal co mpliance in desegrega ting without altering the racial power structure. In the first few years after the Brown decision, civil rights leaders were often willing to accept token dese gregation as a first step toward gradual integration. During the height of massive re sistance, hardcore segr egationists ridiculed tokenism as simply another term for integrat ion. However, they all but ignored military desegregation, which demonstrated both the su ccess and limits of federally enforced minimal compliance. For all of the successes of desegregation in the military, the racial hierarchy had changed little in the 10 years after Trumans executive order to desegregate. At the Charleston Naval Shipyard, for example, Af rican Americans made up almost 40 percent of the workforce, the facility had desegr egated lunch rooms and restrooms, and it afforded African American employees the same civil service protections as it granted to white workers. Nonetheless, blacks were mo stly limited to menial jobs. Less than 10 49 Dabbs quoted in: William Peters, The Southern Temper (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1959) 143.

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286 African Americans held supervisory positions at the base in the late 1950s and only one of the civilian police officers as signed to the base was black.50 African Americans in Charlestons other fede ral offices did even worse. Only two black workers were employed at the Headquart ers of the Sixth Naval District, which was located in the city. One was a mimeograph operator and the other was a janitor. The federal customs house on East Bay Street di d not have a single African American employee, the Charleston Internal Revenue Service office did not employ blacks as anything other than janitors and none of the federal judicial offices had a single African American employee. Even the Charleston Post Office, which had a number of black mailmen and several African American cler ks, did not have one black supervisor.51 The desegregation of South Carolinas military bases was at one level a progressive measure; on another level it actually demonstr ated to some whites the probability of protecting the basic structure of unequal racial relations while simultaneously allowing for minimal compliance. Yet, hardcore segreg ationists refused to ac cept that this might serve as a model for minimizing the effects of other desegregation measures. Despite the persistence of racial inequali ty in South Carolinas educ ation system and its federal employment rolls, the desegregation of the m ilitary and the legally mandated civil service protections that federal em ployees enjoyed did give some African Americans the opportunity to challenge de jure segregation with less fear of local intimidation. Militant racists found this unacceptable and worried that these safeguards would eventually 50 Ibid. 245. 51 Ibid. 245-247.

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287 undermine white privilege by giving black federa l workers the ability to take their cases to sympathetic authorities outside of the South. Of course, after Eisenhowers use of for ce in Little Rock, South Carolinas most diehard segregationists were also worried about the possibility th at a desegregated military might be charged with the responsibil ity of enforcing a desegregation order. Southerners were well aware that the only st ate force large enough to prevent a violent episode at a desegregated inst itution was the National Guard. Timmerman declared that only a state governor could call on the Guard. Therefore, according to the governor, the federal courts lacked the ability to enforce any desegregation order without the assistance of the state executive.52 In fact, diehard segregationist s often pointed to the fact that, after an initial period of tokenism, some federal agencies had began to promote the concept of black advancement in the workplace. After the Unite d States Post Office began advertising that it promoted equal job opportunity, United St ates Senator Olin Johnston directed the Senate Post Office and Civil Service Committ ee to begin drafting le gislation to prevent the use of postal property for vicious politic al propaganda. According to Johnston, the promise of equal opportunity was little more th an an effort to build support in the black community for Richard Nixon before the next presidential election.53 Johnston, however, realized that black ballo ts were also important to him. Though the number of black voters in South Carolin a had been relatively stable throughout the 1950s, the Civil Rights Act of 1957 promised a modest increase in the number of African 52 Southern School News (October 1956) 4. 53 Southern School News (January 1957) 3.

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288 American voters in the coming years. With that in mind, Johnston had pledged privately to support the extension of more civil service jobs to Af rican Americans in exchange for black political support. According to John McCray, Johnston had promised black leaders that, if they encouraged African Americans to vote for him, he would put every qualified black anywhere in the country into a fe deral job. The senator, however, was too politically astute to make his work for black employment a public matter.54 Unlike Johnston, most South Carolina wh ites were both publicly and privately appalled by any weakening in de jure segregation. But, like the senator, they were unwilling to reject federal investment even if it meant relaxing South Carolinas system of racial controls. For example, even though Senator Thurmonds record breaking filibuster against the Civil Ri ghts Act of 1957 was widely prai sed in South Carolina, local officials in Columbia worried that the se nators efforts would alienate his fellow congressmen and hamper his ability to prevent the closure of Fort Jackson. To them, the economic benefits of the base outweighe d its limited effect on racial politics.55 The state witnessed, first hand, the heavy price of rejecting federal funding in 1957 when the Clemson College Board of Trustees turned down a grant for nuclear research at the school. College officials worried that a ccepting the funds would require the school to accept federal equality opportunity rules. According to Timmerman, accepting the funds required the school to agree th at no person shall be barred from participation in the educational and training program involved or be subject to other unfavorable 54 John McCray, from South Carolina Voices of the Civil Rights Movement, transcript (Charleston Museum, Charleston, S.C., November 5-6, 1982), Avery Research Center, College of Charleston [Hereafter cited as Voices. . . transcript, Avery]. Johnston had a long history of secretly working with African American leaders to garner black ballots. John Sproat discusses the level of secret negotiations conducted between white and black leaders in Firm Flexibility. 55 Quint, Profile in Black and White 157.

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289 discrimination on the basis of race, creed, or religion. The loss of the grant cost Clemson over $400,000. More importantly, it wa s evidence that, if the state refused to comply with federal court orders regardi ng segregation, it risked losing an important revenue source.56 By 1958, these kinds of financial and elec toral concerns led some state leaders publicly to back away from threats to abandon the public sc hool system or to reject federal investment. A new generation of lead ers emerged who were still pro-segregation, but more flexible in their approach to th e difficult issue. Donald Russell, who had resigned his position as the president of the University of South Carolina to run for governor told a meeting of the Horry County Citizens Council that the maintenance of segregation was the states duty to youth and nation. Likewise, his leading opponent, Lieutenant Governor Ernest Fritz Holli ngs, also endorsed segregation at an open meeting in Columbia. Yet, neither candida te was an advocate of closing the public school system. Hollings had championed public schools for over a decade as a legislator and Lieutenant Governor, and Russell was a professional educator who recognized the relationship between a strong education syst em and a strong economy. In the next few years this new generation of politicians would develop a more adaptable but no less determined approach to preserving the greate st feasible amount of segregation and for maintaining the fundamental architecture of white privilege. They would do this by shifting the focal point of segregationist e fforts from uncompromising massive resistance to managed (non)compliance with desegregation ordinances. 57 56 Southern School News (September 1957) 2. 57 Southern School News (January 1958) 12. Sproat, Firm Flexibility, 164-184.

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290 CHAPTER 8 FROM HARDCORE RESISTANCE TO MA NAGED (NON)COMPLIANCE: EARLY DESEGREGATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA During the summer of 1957, the United States Congress established a commission to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the American Civil War. The Civil War Centennial Commission (CWCC) was hailed as way to pr oject national unity and foster economic development. Southern business l eaders hoped that the cen tennial celebration would help the region capitalize on an increase in heritage-based tourism and therefore scheduled celebrations throughout the South ove r the course of seve ral years. Although each observance was dominated by local interests, CWCC planning and federal funding promised to make the events a success. Organizers attempted to focus the publics attention on the gallantry of Civil War soldie rs and on the nations success in rising from the ashes of its bloodiest and d eadliest war. At the same time, they downplayed the racial aspects of the sectional crisis and refused to draw parallels between the war and the dominance of the segregation issue duri ng the middle of the twentieth century.1 Extricating race from the celebration, however, proved impossible during the CWCCs annual meeting in April 1961. Orga nizers decided to hold the meeting in Charleston, South Carolina so that it would co incide with the 100 year anniversary of the bombardment of Fort Sumter. The decision was not controversial until the segregated Francis Marion Hotel on King Street refused to accommodate an African American 1 Robert Cook, (Un)Furl That Banner: The Response of White Southerners to the Civil War Centennial of 1961-1965, Journal of Southern History (November 2002) 879-912.

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291 member of the New Jersey CWCC delegation. After Centennial o fficials refused to intervene in the matter, New Jersey and seve ral other northern delegations protested and the matter became a national news story. The public embarrassment forced the Kennedy Administration to act and the CWCC meeting was moved to the desegregated Charleston Navy Base. 2 South Carolina officials lambasted the CWCC, President Kennedy, and the members of the New Jersey delegation. South Carolina Governor Ernest F. Hollings and several other state leaders accused northern po liticians of stirring up controversy in South Carolina to score political victor ies at home. In the end, the state went forth with its own segregated celebration by re-enacting the Ap ril 1861 attack on Fort Sumter, while the desegregated CWCC meeting was held on fede ral property at the navy base a few miles away. 3 The Civil War Centennial controversy hi ghlighted many aspects of the battle over desegregation in the South Carolina. By the early 1960s most wh ite South Carolinians were no longer determined to combat any and all affronts to southern racial customs. Instead, white leaders opted to choose their battles carefully in order to maintain the maximum feasible amount of segregation. In the first decade after the initial Briggs case whites had learned that the state simply coul d not withstand every pressure to relax its rigid Jim Crow regulations. In the case of the centennial, South Carolinians were once again reminded that external pressures could have a dramatic effect on two of the most important aspects of the st ates economy: tourism and federal defense spending. 2 Ibid 3 Ibid

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292 By the time of the 100 year anniversar y of the attack on Fort Sumter, only Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina had completely avoided a ny desegregation of public schools. A federal court had ordered sc hools in Charlottesvil le, Front Royal, and Norfolk, Virginia and Little Rock, Arkansas to reopen after state l eaders chose to close them rather than desegregate and the direct action phase of the civi l rights movement was gathering momentum with a spate of sit-in s, freedom rides, an d boycotts across the region. For elected officials in South Ca rolina the proverbial writing on the wall had never been clearer: the civil rights movement was intensifyi ng and at some point in the very near future, the federal government wa s going to force desegregation in South Carolinas public schools. However, even as late as 1961, it was still unclear where federal officials were going to set the bar of compliance. The manner in which white South Carolinians approached this uncertainty and the mechanisms that they developed to limit black progress are the principle themes of this chapter. Although in some regards, the state became more accommodating of black civil rights in the 1960s, this chapter reveals the continued tenacity and, to a large degree eff ectiveness, of new, more sophisticated modes of white re sistance during this period of apparent racial change. As has been noted, the changes that were sweeping across the South, especially in the border states, coupled w ith changing circumstances wi thin South Carolina had begun to take their toll on support for hardcore white resistance in South Carolina as early as 1956. The defeat of the legal and bureaucratic forms of massive resi stance in Virginia and Arkansas may not have signaled the end of the fight to preserve de jure segregation, but it was certainly a terminal diagnosis. By the late 1950s, southern whites were left with limited choices: they could force a show down with federal authorities and test the

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293 limits of Washingtons commitment to civil rights enforcement, they could escalate the use violent intimidation and economic reprisal s against African Americans, they could simply allow legalized racial separation to cr umble, or they could adapt their resistance tactics to preserve as much white privilege as possible without directly challenging federally enforced desegregation. To white South Carolinians none of these ch oices seemed ideal. Most of the states white population wholeheartedly believed in se gregated education, but very few whites were willing to jeopardize the social or ec onomic stability of the state to defend every single segregated school seat to the bitter e nd. As had been the case for the entire postWorld War II period of the African American freedom struggle, the position of rank and file whites was complex and often contradict ory. State leaders were charged with the difficult task of devising a po licy to satisfy whites who did not want a showdown with federal authorities, or civil unrest, or equality for African Americans. Given the paucity of viable choices ava ilable to white segregationists, South Carolinas state government shifted its age nda from preventing any desegregation to delaying and minimizing any meaningful inte gration. Under the direction of newly elected Governor Hollings, the tenor, as we ll as the goals, of white resistance changed significantly after 1958. In order to maintain unity in the white communities, Hollings and other state leaders made the preserva tion of civic order the hallmark of South Carolinas official policy rega rding segregation. To quiet criticisms from the most hardcore segregationists, state leaders such as Hollings, L. Marion Gressette, David W. Robinson, and Chief of the State Law Enforcem ent Division J.P. Strom, promised to force civil rights activists to work through a complicated array of legal obstacles and

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294 diversions to achieve even limited desegreg ation. While conceding that some might succeed in navigating these obstacles, these l eaders held out the prospect of a calm, peaceful environment in which economic deve lopment could flourish and the essential patterns of white privilege would remain intact.4 Like his predecessor, George Bell Timmerm an, Jr., Hollings publicly promised to preserve segregation. Unlike Timmerman, how ever, Hollings balanc ed his efforts to preserve racial separation with a promise to respect the law. In his inaugural address, Hollings derided the Supreme Court for its unconstitutional ruling in the Brown case and pledged to undo the courts decision. There is no law and provision of the Constitution requiring racially integrated schools, said Hollings. I cannot conscientiously take this oath to protec t and defend the Constitution of the United States, he declared, and not object to the Supreme Court usurping the amendatory power that constitutionally is vested in three-f ourths of the states. Nevertheless, the new governor also proclaimed, We are a law-abid ing people and will not stand for violence against our churches and schools.5 Hollings, like other mainstream segregatio nists, was appalled at the wave of violence that engulfed South Carolina in the first three and a half years after the Brown ruling. The governor, new Attorney General Daniel R. McLeod, and various other state leaders were determined to maintain public order and were often as suspicious of working class white violence as they were of civil rights activism. Shortly after his 4 John Sproat, Firm Flexibility: Perspectives on De segregation in South Carolina, in eds. Robert H. Abzug and Stephen E. Maizlish, New Perspectives on Race and Slavery in America (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1986) 164-184. 5 Southern School News (February 1959) 8.

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295 inauguration, Hollings promised to work with McLeod for stronger laws against bomb threats and bomb violence. During the first few days of the legislative session of 1959 Lexington County Representative Ryan C. Sheal y introduced legisla tion that made life imprisonment mandatory for anyone convicted of bombing a church or school in South Carolina and the judiciary committees in bot h houses of the General Assembly began working on Hollingss anti-bomb threat legislation. 6 This changing political dynamic hastened th e evolution of both black activism and white resistance in South Carolina. Hollings and other white elites recognized that the creeping desegregation of the border-states would soon reach the Deep South, and began to view tokenism and minimal compliance as important resistance tactics. They did not support desegregation so much as they had a ge nuine desire both to avoid a violent racial confrontation and to evade federal scrutiny. African Americans, on the other hand, had made it perfectly clear that they intended to fight for civil rights in South Carolina. Therefore, some politicians, such as Columbia Mayor Lester Bates, wanted to work with black leaders to minimize public disturbances. Unofficial meetings were held with black leaders in all of South Carolinas major citie s, except Charleston. Negotiations, however, were difficult, not the least because for ove r a decade, the state of South Carolina had adopted the position that the states larg est African American advocacy group, the NAACP, was a foreign and subversive organization.7 6 Southern School News (February 1959) 8. 7Paul Lofton, Calm and Exemplary: Desegregation in Columbia, South Carolina, in eds. David Colburn and Elizabeth Jacoway, Southern Businessmen and Desegregation (Baton Rogue: Louisiana State University Press, 1982) 70-81. Sproat, Firm Flexibility 164-184.

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296 For most of the states white population, NAA CP membership carried a stigma that had been reinforced by hostile official stat e policy. During the early months of 1959, however, state leaders began to reconsider the legitimacy of the organization. White politicians in South Carolina felt that the NAACP would be more open to negotiation and compromise on the extent and pace of any dese gregation than other, newer, more militant civil rights protest groups, su ch as the SCLC. Under the di rection of Secretary of State O. Frank Thornton, the state finally issued an official charter to th e veteran organization. Elected officers promised that the move would help bring the NAACP within the provisions of South Carolina law. It would also, according to Thornton, allow the attorney general to investigate, and to ex amine the books, accounts, records, etc. of the NAACP. For civil rights activists, rec ognition was an admission that the state of South Carolinas attempts to criminalize th e NAACP had failed. The previous attorney general, T.C. Callison, had argued that denyi ng a charter to the NAACP would allow the state to hold the Association liable fo r violations of laws governing foreign corporations. The charter was recognition th at the NAACP was not foreign at all, but comprised of homegrown civil rights advocates.8 This shift, though pronounced and ultimate ly decisive, was not uncontested. As ever, there were counter currents to the main flow of events. Certainly, there remained a significant number of unrepent ant diehard resisters who wanted more anti-integration legislation and were appalled by the NAACP charter. Some white legislators, with widespread support from black belt whites, we re outraged that the state would formally recognize what they still perceived as a s ubversive organization. Representative John 8 Southern School News (March 1959) 9.

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297 C. Hart of Union County, for example, proposed a resolution condemning the NAACP charter and demanded that the General Assemb ly instead pass a bill requiring the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to investig ate the organization. However, in a sign that the politics of massive resistance were becoming more subtle, the South Carolina House of Representatives refused to bring Ha rts proposal to a vote. A week later, another proposal from Hart to place restrictions on state charters was buried in a legislative committee. 9 Like Hart, some other state lawmakers were also reluctant to abandon the prosegregation lawmaking that had typified the previous two and a half years. Representative Sam Harrell introduced legisl ation to require blood banks to label all blood according to the race and sex of the donor and introduced a bill to require South Carolina to sell all public school property and provide tuition grants to help citizens pay private school tuition. Representative Fl oyd D. Spence, of Lexington County, called for a resolution that would disqualify voters who had fathered an illegitimate child, and Union County Representative John D. Long declar ed, I prefer to see the colored progeny and the white progeny in Union County living in primitive illiteracy than integrate. Long encouraged the General Assembly not to give up on its fight to preserve Jim Crow and claimed, We do not have to cover and fawn before bigoted and fanatical zealots trying to cram down our thro ats a way of life we abhor.10 Most South Carolinians, however, were no longer so willing to adopt such drastic measures to preserve every vestige of the st ates Jim Crow laws. An editorial in the 9 Ibid 10 Southern School News (March 1959) 9.

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298 Greenville News for example, called Harrells proposal s ridiculous. Apparently, most of the states lawmakers agreed and his propositions were never passed. Even Hollings softened his stance on the issue while in office. At the annual convention of the all-white South Carolina Education Asso ciation in 1959 Governor Holli ngs urged local leaders to provide more financial support to the public sc hool system, but declined to discuss the segregation crisis at all. According to Hollings, addi tional funding and a concerted statewide effort was the only way for South Carolina to make up for past failures to educate its children properly in the past. The governors commitment to public education and his reluctance to affirm the sanctity of segregation explicitly was another example of the changing tenor of the desegregation de bate in South Carolina and an important indicator that hardcore rh etoric was no longer the pr eferred language of white segregationists.11 Hollings was a political prag matist. Despite his occasio nal race baiting, he never seemed fully committed to the use of school closure one of the most extreme measures in the arsenal of hardcore segregationists as a resistance tactic. The governor told Emanuel Celler, the Chairman of the House J udiciary Committee, that he was not intent on closing public schools. My intent, he ar gued, is exactly the opposite, to keep them open. According to Hollings, he would onl y authorize school closure in order to maintain peace and good order in South Carolina. He informed Celler and the committee that: . the main thing is, as we all know, to k eep little children from injury. So despite my desire for continued schooling otherwis e, and the desire to maintain law and 11 Southern School News (April 1959) 13.

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299 order, I might in the idea of keeping law and order ha ve to close the school, or have to put persons around it.12 Above all other considerations, perhaps, Hollings was determined that South Carolina should handle the desegregation i ssue on its own terms, without federal involvement. Thus, he promised to adopt a policy of no cooperation with the Civil Rights Commission, calling the commission unnecessary and worried that state participation in its political scheme would extend the idea that there is a need and at the same time give substance and support to a commission in viola tion of fundamental constitutional principles. According to Hollings, We have good race relations in South Carolina. We have law and order in South Carolina. He claimed that the state had adequate civil rights laws and promised that the people know that these laws will be enforced.13 The governor later sent a prepared statement to the commission in which he declared: In South Carolina, despite some minor setbacks, the races continue to live in peace and harmony with mutual respect. In our schools peace patrols the school corridors; unlike New York, we do not need ar med guards. The Negroes of our state feel as all of us feel th at schools are intended for education and not for integrati on or social experimentation.14 The governor may have been convinced that race relations were good, but African Americans understood that less confrontational white resistance did not signify an end to the states commitment to white supremacy. Hollings may have backed off from the kind of race baiting that typified George Bell Timmermans tenure as governor, 12 Southern School News (May 1959) 13. 13 Statement by Gov. Ernest F. Hollings, (December 29, 1959), Workman Papers, MPC. 14 Southern School News (May 1959) 13.

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300 but he was still a segregationist. According to historian Tony Badger, Hollings set about to educate people in 1962 that change would ha ve to come, and he told newspaper editors that they should prepare their readership for an end to de jure segregation. Yet, as Badger pointed out, the governor refused to allow local officials to begin formal negotiations with African Americans and remain ed steadfast in his determination to limit desegregation to a handful students in a small number of schools. Hollings was a proponent of managed non-compliance. That is he was interested in maintaining the highest level of white privilege within a tech nically, but minimally, desegregated system. He embodied, the aim of South Carolinas whit e leadership in the early 1960s, which was to evade the spirit, if not the letter, of the Brown decision.15 As far as African American leaders were concerned, the most troubling aspect of Hollingss assessment of race relations in S outh Carolina was his description of racial harmony and his insistence that the state re spected black civil ri ghts. Although their influence was diminished in the era of managed non-compliance, hardcore segregationists remained a powerful c onstituency and uncompromising white supremacists controlled local political offices in most of the rural black belt counties. Even though the Citizens Councils were signif icantly weaker than during their heyday in 1956 and 1957, organized economic intimidation pers isted. Likewise, violations of black voting rights were an unrelenting problem for So uth Carolina blacks. If, as historian John 15 Tony Badger, From Defiance to Moderation: South Carolina Governors and Racial Change, The Citadel Conference on the Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina (Charleston: The Citadel and Columbia Cooper Educational Films, 2003), Video Cassette: Plenary Session 16. Sproat, Firm Flexibility, 178. Marcia Synnott, Desegregation in South Carolina, 1950-1963: Sometime Between Now and Never, in eds. Winfred B. Moore, Jr. and Joseph F. Tripp, Looking South: Chapters in the Story of an American Region (New York: Greenwood Press, 1989) 51-64. Marcia Synnott, Federalism Vindicated: University Desegregation in South Carolina and Alabama, 1962-1963, Journal of Policy History (1989) 292-318. Hollings quoted in: Maxie Myron Cox, Jr. 3: The Year of Decision: Desegregation in South Carolina (Ph.D. Dissertati on: University of South Carolina, 1996) 9.

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301 G. Sproat has argued, the racial temp erature began to cool under the Hollings administration, the difference went unnoti ced by many African Americans in South Carolinas rural black belt counties.16 Black South Carolinians were outraged by Hollingss rosy characterization of their state. For more than a decade the state s African American civil rights leaders had challenged the notion that blacks were treated fairly in South Carolina through an array of political and legal assaults to Jim Crow. According to Clarendon County activist Billie Fleming, little had changed since the Supreme Court handed down its verdicts in the two Brown decisions. In his testimony before the Senate Committee on Constitutional Rights in 1959 Fleming reported that the intimidati on of African Americans was repeatedly sanctioned by state and local authorities. Fo r example, he recalled that, on July 30, 1957, a Ku Klux Klan caravan parked in front of his funeral home. According to Fleming, the procession included 28 cars filled with r obed Klansmen. In the sixth car from the front of the caravan, reported Fleming, I saw Sheriff T.K. Jackson and one of his deputies in a car bearing his official insignia.17 In response to Hollingss testimony before the Senate Committee that South Carolina had committed no civil rights violations, Fleming filed a number of complaints with the Justice Department in late 1 959 and early 1960. The NAACP leader from Clarendon County pointed out that there were more than 18,000 African Americans in the county compared to approximately 8,500 wh ites. Of those 18,000, only 325 blacks were registered to vote compared to over 2,500 wh ite voters. Moreover, he claimed that 16 Sproat, Firm Flexibility, 170. 17 Billie Fleming Testimony (n.d.), NAACP Pape rs, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 11.

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302 African Americans were denied the opportunity to serve on th e Board of Registration. Fleming alleged that blacks were forced to prove property ownership valued at a minimum of 300 dollars and pass a literacy test while whites were not subjected to the same requirements. In his testimony, Flemi ng emphasized, The Governor inferred to this Committee that in South Carolina we ar e all happy with conditions as they are. I want to state to this Committee that I, fo r one, am most unhappy about present conditions in our State.18 Fleming was particularly upset at the unrelenting use of economic intimidation against black agitators and at the persistence of other forms of massi ve resistance in the South Carolina black belt. He reporte d that members of the Clarendon County Improvement Association (CCIA) could not ge t credit for farm supplies. The NAACP had provided loans so that farmers could purch ase materials with cash, but the effects of Hurricane Gracie in the fall of 1959 virtually wiped out the entire crop in the county, leaving many of the farmers . not only in debt for the money advanced in 1959 but unable to finance planting for 1960. As if ec onomic reprisals and natural disasters were not enough, a cross was burned in front of Flem ings funeral home after his congressional testimony and many Clarendon County doctors re fused to treat members of the CCIA. Fleming attempted to build a doctors office and a pharmacy for black patrons, but could not find an African American doctor willing to move into the facility while white suppliers refused to stock the pharmacy.19 18 Ibid 19 Memorandum to Mr. Moon, (February 10, 1960), N AACP Papers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 11. Southern School News (June 1959) 10.

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303 The NAACP also reported continued economic intimidation in Jasper County. During the summer of 1960, the mortgage was called in for the property of Vanuel Mitchell. I. DeQuincey Newman, who wa s South Carolinas NAACP Field Secretary, contended that local bankers were attempting to apply pressure to Mi tchell because of his involvement in a voter registration drive in the early months of 1960. According to Newman, Mr. Mitchell . was among the few NAACP Members who remained firm against the white Citizens C ouncil onslaught during 1955-56-57.20 The states reluctance to desegregate voluntarily, the persis tence of economic intimidation, and the continuation of terrorist threats frustrated, but did not halt civil rights activists. In August 1959 at least 15 black students in Clarendon County requested reassignment to the countys all white school s. By September, African Americans had petitioned all three districts w ithin the county and the number of student transfer requests had grown to nearly 80. Even though Clar endon County was specifically named in the Brown decision, Clarendon County Superinte ndent of Schools and local Citizens Council leader L.B. McCord promised that There will be no Negroes in the [white] schools of Clarendon County when they open, and all three of the countys school boards turned down the requests. County o fficials argued that any request for pupil reassignment had to be made at least 40 da ys prior to the beginning of the new school year. State officials endorsed this positi on. Governor Hollings simply stated, The situation in Clarendon County will come out all right, a nd Gressette assured worried 20 I. DeQuincey Newman to John A. Morsell (July 28 1960), NAACP Papers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10.

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304 white South Carolinians that the county had ac ted within the laws of the state of South Carolina.21 Revealingly, the mounting challenge to se gregated education in Clarendon County did not generate a call for le gislative action from the Gre ssette Committee. Gressette promised to keep a close eye on the situ ation, but did not an ticipate making any additional recommendations regarding se gregation to the Ge neral Assembly. According to the powerful state senator, The present laws on the subj ect appear to us to be adequate for the present. In realit y, Gressette and many other members of the General Assembly had quietly come to the conc lusion that, in the very near future, some desegregation would have to o ccur in South Carolina. Of c ourse, that had been inevitable for several years, and yet, state leaders had previously chosen to pretend otherwise and generally avoided any compliance wi th federal desegregation orders.22 That is not to say that Gressette and othe r white leaders were committed to any true compliance during the early 1960s. Especially regarding school desegregation, white leaders had laid the groundwork for significan t delays of meaningful desegregation. Throughout the 1950s, the General Assembly had enacted a series of complicated pupil placement laws and academic standards designe d to prevent integration of the states schools. Before students could sue in fede ral courts for admission to a whites only school they had to exhaust every bureaucratic avenue put in place by the state and local governments. Furthermore, cases were heard individually. Each st udent had to request 21 Southern School News (September 1959) 4, (October 1959) 13, (November 1959) 12. 22 Southern School News (October 1959) 13. Stephen Lowe, The Magnificent Fight: Civil Rights Litigation in South Carolina Federal Courts, 1940-1970 (Ph.D. Dissertation: Michigan State University, 1999) 229-230.

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305 transfer, prove that they were within the corr ect geographic area, and that they could meet certain academic standards before they could ta ke the matter to a federal court. In South Carolina, state and local officials were adep t at using these complex pupil placement laws to frustrate most attempts to desegregate the states schools.23 Although the intricate system of pupil plac ement rules and the reluctance of state officials to begin planning for desegregation created a daunting challe nge for civil rights attorneys across the South, black activists in other states had successfully challenged nearly every aspect of de jure segregation between 1958 and 1963. Even in South Carolina, African Americans had successfully sued to desegregate public parks and won nearly every school desegregation case brought by the NAACP legal team. Though implementation of court orders had lagged in the Palmetto State, these legal challenges had eroded white confidence in massive re sistance. During the 10 years after the Brown decision, it seemed to embattled South Carolin a whites that, in ever y avenue of public life, black activists were fighting with growing success for an end to racial discrimination. By 1962, white apprehension in South Carolina was near its zenith. By the end of the year, every other southern st ate had experienced some desegregation in their educational systems and every indication was that S outh Carolina would have to follow suit during the course of the next ye ar. Though the state had managed to evade court ordered desegregation thus far, legal experts recognized that other cases (such as 23 For a detailed discussion of the evolution and inte nt of South Carolinas pu pil placement laws from the 1940s to 1975, see: Lowe. The Magnificent Fight, and R. Scott Baker, Ambiguous Legacies: The NAACPs Legal Campaign Against Segregation in Charleston, South Carolina, 1935-1975 (Ph.D. Dissertation: Columbia University, 1993).

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306 those in Charlottesville, Norfolk, and Little Rock) had set legal precedents that would eventually apply to cases alre ady pending in South Carolina.24 As the lone hold-out, some of South Ca rolinas state officers and candidates for election began to acknowledge publicly that local governments would face a difficult decision in the coming months. For instance, Representative Robert McNair argued that local governments were best equipped to d eal with the segregation issue. Although McNairs suggestion left the door open for so me hardcore resistance, it also recognized that, in many areas, whites were simply unwillin g to engage in the most militant kinds of resistance. Moreover, it was yet another example of the growing tactical schisms dividing the states white se gregationists. James McBride Dabbs of the Southern Regional Council (SRC) noted that The Deep South is cracking, and predicted that in the near future, the crack will open in South Carolina.25 In the late 1950s, African American s had laid the groundwork for several challenges to de jure segregation in South Carolinas sc hools and to racial separation in public places. By the beginning of the 19561957 school year, repr esentatives of the Greenville County Chapter of the NAACP reitera ted its desire for the local school board to respond to its 1955 desegregation peti tion. Donald James Sampson, an NAACP attorney, sent a letter to th e chairman of the county school requesting that the county reply to the petition. We are anxious to exha ust our internal remedi es with the hope that formal litigation of this matter ma y not be necessary, wrote Sampson. However, local 24 For a discussion of the multiple challenges to Jim Crow working their way through the court system between 1958 and 1963 see: Lowe The Magnificent Fight, 94-306. 25 Southern School News (October 1959) 13. Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 229-230. James McBride Dabbs to the South Carolina Council on Human Relations (1962), James McBride Dabbs Papers, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Co lumbia [Also cited in Maxie Myron Cox, 963: The Year of Decision, 9.

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307 civil rights leaders did promise to take lega l action to desegregate county schools if the school board failed to do something positive in the near future.26 African Americans also began to flex thei r political muscle in Rock Hill. During the summer of 1956, Dr. Dewey M. Duckett, a prominent African American in the city, led a group of middle class blacks in calling for the Board of Trustees of Rock Hill District Three to comply with the Brown implementation order. The committee challenged the city to facilitate the carrying out of the Supreme Courts ( sic ) decision on public schools, particularly the public schools of Rock Hill, and asked that the city government not enter into, encourage or endor se any sort of agreement expressed or implied to circumvent these laws of the Unite d States. Black leaders also initiated a boycott against Star Transit Company to prot est segregated seating on city buses. The boycott eventually led to the companys bankr uptcy and became a startling reminder to white businessmen of black economic power.27 However, the most successful desegrega tion battle involved public spaces in Charleston. In November 1958, a group of African Americans led by local NAACP President J. Arthur Brown attempted to play golf at a segregated municipal course in Charleston. When John E. Adams, the facility s manager, refused to allow the men to play, the local NAACP initiated plans to cha llenge the courses Jim Crow policies. NAACP members John H. Cummings, John L. Chisolm, Robert Johnson, and Benjamin Wright filed a suit against the City of Char leston, the Charleston Municipal Golf Course 26 Southern School News (October 1956) 4, (November 1956) 13. 27 South Carolina Council on Human Relations: Report of Mrs. Alice N. Spearm an, Executive Director, (July 1956), Papers of the Southern Regional Council, Microfilm Edition, Reel 146. Southern School News (January 1958) 12.

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308 Commission, and Adams. The suit alleged that segregation at the facility was unconstitutional and asked for an end to racial segregation in public parks and recreational facilities in Charle ston. The plaintiffs also asked that the court issue a restraining order preventing the City of Charleston from en forcing the states Jim Crow laws at the municipal course.28 After two years of judicial wrangling, Judge Ashton Williams ruled, grudgingly, in favor of he plaintiffs and declared that the course must be open to all patrons, regardless of race. The judge argued that recent court decisions left him no choice but to order the desegregation of the golf course. He di d, however, express his hope that the United States Congress might some day pass legisl ation forbidding the Supreme Court from rendering decisions that were unconstitutional and contrary to judicial precedent. Williams also granted Charleston an eight month grace period before his ruling took effect. However, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the eight month delay and ordered the immediate de segregation of the course. 29 In response, the city attempted to privatiz e or close the facility, but was prevented from doing so by a clause in its original cont ract with the Edisto Real Estate Company. When the company had donated the land for the c ourse, it stipulated th at it must be used for a golf facility. The contract also required th e city to return the property to its original owner should it cease to operate a golf course on the land: th e property could not be used for any other purpose and the city could not se ll it to another party. Charlestons city government could have simply closed the prope rty, but that would have resulted in a loss 28 News and Courier (November 24, 1958) 1A, (July 7, 1959) 1A. Voices. . Transcript, Avery, 281. 29 News and Courier (June 29, 1960) 1B, (November 29, 1960) 1A, 8A, (December 22, 1960) 1A. Voices ,Transcript, Avery, 281.

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309 of all profits generated by the popular facil ity. With no other viable choices the city finally relented on May 26, 1961 and allowed African American golfers to play on Charlestons municipal course The desegregation of th e facility occurred without incident. According to the News and Courier it was the first time in history that black and white golfers had played the municipal course together.30 The NAACPs victory in desegregating Ch arleston municipal golf course gave J. Arthur Brown the confidence to resume his ch allenge of segregation in South Carolinas state parks. Moreover, it was an importan t victory that blacks hoped would eventually undermine Jim Crow. According to historia n Grace Hale, leisure and cultural spaces were the places where racial identities were formed a nd the psychological underpinning of segregation were acted out. Brown and other black leaders unde rstood, at least on some level, this dynamic and continued to pr essure state leaders to abandon segregation in South Carolinas recreational facilities. In June of 1961, Brown and nearly 20 other African Americans attempted to enter Sesquice ntennial State Park near Columbia. Park officials closed the facility while officers from SLED and the Richland County Sheriffs Office blocked it off to all visitors. Once again, the NAACP initiated a suit against the South Carolina Forestry Commi ssion with Brown, H.P. Sharper, and J. Herbert Nelson as plaintiffs.31 Two months later, Brown, Sharper, and Nelson attempted to enter Myrtle Beach State Park. Again, the men were denied access. And, once again, Brown and the 30 News and Courier (June 29, 1960) 1B, (November 29, 1960) 1A, 8A, (December 22, 1960) 1A. Voices ,Transcript, Avery, 281. News and Courier (May 27, 1961) 1B. 31 Grace Elizabeth Hale, Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1998), especially pp. 121-198. Matthew J. Perry to J. Arthur Brown (March 15, 1963), Brown Papers, Avery. Voices ,Transcript, Avery, 74-75. The State (June 17, 1961) 1A.

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310 NAACP brought a challenge to segregation in state parks in South Carolina. The case did not go to trial for nearly two years. When the case was finally heard in 1963, David Robinson, who was the lead attorney for the Gr essette Committee, argued that if Judge J. Robert Martin desegregated the parks, the st ate could not safely operate them. According to Robinson, removing the racial re strictions at state facilities would lead to racial unrest. Martin, however, found the arguments made by NAACP attorneys Matthew J. Perry and Lincoln C. Jenkins more compelling. In July 1963, he ordered that laws which require separate parks for the use of white citizens and Negro citiz ens are in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. Rather than comply with Martins order, the State Forestry Commission closed all 26 of South Carolinas state parks. The decision was further evidence that, alt hough weakened and increasingly eclipsed by advocates of managed non-compliance, supporters of recalcitrant massive resistance still had their moments in South Carolina.32 Although disappointed in the parks case, Af rican Americans continued to pressure whites to dismantle the states Jim Crow syst em. In addition to the petitions and new legal challenges, African Americans instigated inspections of federal offices located in South Carolina. For example, the United Stat es Department of Agriculture responded to race-based economic intimidation by launching an investigation of the Clarendon County USDA office. In July 1960, the investigator s issued a report which concluded that the local office had illegally discriminated agai nst black farmers. Two USDA employees were suspended for two weeks for the offe nse. Although the punishment was hardly severe, it was, according to Billie Fleming, another great victory against those that 32 The State (June 17, 1961) 1A, (March 15, 1963) 1A, (April 19, 1963) 1A, (July 11, 1963) 2E, 9A. Stephen Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 164.

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311 would deny us our God given rights as Ameri can citizens. The President of the CCIA understood that the wheels of the federal gov ernment sometimes turn slowly, but he emphasized, the important thing is that we did get affirmative action. Even a limited victory for civil rights activ ists in Clarendon County was cause for celebration in the black community and an incentive for more action.33 Political pressure to desegr egate also increased in the upstate region when African Americans challenged Jim Crow at the Gr eenville Municipal Air port waiting areas. Segregation at the airport had been an issue for a number of years. Richard B. Henry, who was serving in the United States Air Force, had challenged segreg ation at the facility in the federal courts in the late 1950s. Hi s initial case was dismissed by Judge George Bell Timmerman but was appealed. As He nrys lawsuit worked its way through the judicial process another high pr ofile incident occurred at the local airport. In October 1959, former baseball player Jackie Robinson visited Greenville to give a speech to members of the NAACP. During his visit, Ro binson was asked to v acate a whites-only waiting area at the airport. The African Am erican baseball legend and his hosts in the local black community were e qually outraged by the episode.34 On New Years Day 1960 between 250 and 300 African Americans marched around the airport to protest th e Robinson incident and the co ntinuation of segregation at the facility. The march, which was called th e Emancipation Day Prayer Pilgrimage, was organized by the Greenville Ministerial A lliance and the Greenville chapter of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE), an organi zation which later tested desegregation of 33 Billie Fleming to John Morsell (July 8, 1960), NA ACP Papers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 11. 34 Southern School News (January 1960) 2.

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312 interstate transportation facilities during the freedom rides of 1961. Participants wanted to make it clear to white officials th at they were no longer content to quietly negotiate for better treatment from whites. We will no longer make a pretense of being satisfied with the crumbs of citizenship while others enjoy the whole loaf only by the right of a white skinned bi rth, proclaimed Reverend C.D. McCullough of Orangeburg.35 The legal and direct acti on protests in Charleston Clarendon, and Greenville Counties, however, were merely precursors to a larger wave of black dissent in South Carolina. On February 1, 1960 four black st udents sat at a segregat ed lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina and refused to leave until they were served in the same manner as whites. Over the next two months similar protests pr oliferated across the South. The first such incident in South Carolina occurred less than two weeks after the Greensboro episode when African American st udents attempted to desegregate a number of lunch counters in Rock Hill, a midsized to wn just south of Charlotte, North Carolina.36 On February 12, a group of black students from Friendship Junior College entered Woolworths, McCrorys, and a pair of local drug stores in Rock Hill. The students sat down at the businesss whites only lunch count ers and requested service. Employees at the two drug stores asked all of their customer s to exit the stores and closed for the day. 35 Southern School News (January 1960) 2, (February 1960) 11. For a discussion on CORE in South Carolina, see: Derek Catsum, Into the Maw of Dixie: The Freedom Rides, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Politics of Race in South Carolina, Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association (2005) 1-20. For a broader discussion of the Freedom Rides, see: Adam Fairclough, To Redeem the Soul of America: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987), for South Carolina, see: pp. 78-81. Harry Ashmore, Civil Rights and Wrongs: A Memoir of Race and Politics, 1944-1996 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1997), for South Carolina, see: pp. 146-148. John Lewis with Michael DOrso, Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998), for South Carolina, see: pp. 115-334. 36 For a discussion of the studen t sit-ins, see: William Chafe, Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina and the Black Struggle for Freedom (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980) 71-101. Steven F. Lawson, Civil Rights Crossroads: Nation, Community, and the Black Freedom Struggle (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2003) 102-236.

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313 Each of the variety stores initially closed only the lunch counters, but a series of bomb threats eventually forced them to close entire ly for the day. The black student protest was nonviolent, but one of the pr otesters was knocked from his stool by an angry white teenager, a female student was kicked by a wh ite man, and another was hit with an egg as he was exiting one of the stores.37 Several days later, C.A. Ivory, the President of the Rock Hill branch of the NAACP, and three students from Friendship Junior College attended a meeting with student leaders from across the South in Ra leigh, North Carolina. At that meeting, Martin Luther King, Jr. called on the young activis ts to form a youth oriented wing of the SCLC. The students resisted Kings overtures (as well as ov ertures from CORE and the NAACP) and formed the Student Nonviol ent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Following the meeting in North Carolina, the leaders of the Rock Hill movement and the state NAACP called for a similar coordina ting committee in Colu mbia. Although SNCC was less active in South Carolina than in othe r parts of the South, the Rock Hill protests and formation of the national organizati on provided a spark for similar sit-in demonstrations across the state.38 37 Evening Herald (February 13, 1960) 1. NAACP Memorandum, Summary of Sitdown Demonstrations, Rock Hill, South Carolina, NAACP Papers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. Impressions of SitDown Demonstrations in Rock Hill, S.C., (n.d.), Pa pers of the Southern Regional Council, Microfilm Edition, Reel 146. 38 Ibid For a broader discussion of the founding of SNCC, see: Clayborne Carson, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981) 9-44. David Chappell, A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004) 67-86. For a discussion of the SCLC and SNCC, see: Adam Fairclough, To Redeem the Soul of America: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Marin Luther King, Jr. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987) 59-110. For a discussion of the relationships between various civil rights organizations, see: Aldon Morris, Origins of the Civil Rights Movement (New York: The Free Press, 1984) 120-138.

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314 The new youthful and dynamic direct ac tion campaign added to the worries of South Carolinas white leadership. The h ead of SLED and the mayor of Rock Hill demanded that Friendship College President Reverend J.P. Diggs intervene and call for an end to sit-ins. Diggs, however, issued a statement proclaiming that, even though no one at the school had assisted in planning the demonstration, he was not opposed to this movement. Governor Hollings condemned the demonstrators for trying to create violence and not to promote anyones rights. Local whites were equally outraged, and shortly after the incidents, a group of ove r 120 local whites met with ACCSC Chairman Farley Smith at the Union Hall of the Celanese Corporation to discus s the organization of a local Citizens Council. At the meeting, wh ich took place after an extended period of declining WCC influence, Smith encouraged the new chapter to refrain from physical retaliations against the proteste rs. He professed his belief that violent retaliation would do more harm than good and urged anxious whit es to channel their anger through a local WCC chapter. By the end of February, th e first York County Citizens Council had a membership of over 350. Though the local pape r expressed some misgivings about the Councils, it credited Smith with wetti ng the fuse of an emotional powder keg.39 Nonetheless, at a meeting a year later, whites seemed to have re-lit the fuse of racial hatred in Rock Hill. Morrison Shaw the President of the Rock Hill Citizens Council urged businesses to fire any African American employee who had participated in civil rights protests. Shaw remembered that Smith had visited Rock Hill on the day we had pistols on our hips and bl ood in our eyes, and Im sometimes sorry that he came. I wonder if we couldnt have straightened it out right then. Although he believed that 39 Southern School News (March 1960) 4. NAACP Memorandum, Summary of Sitdown Demonstrations, Rock Hill, South Carolina, NAACP Papers Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10.

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315 These Negro organizations dont care if you kill every Negro in Rock Hill, so long as they get their picture taken and publicity in the New York papers, he did acknowledge that the WCC did not want to gi ve them that kind of publicity.40 The notion that violence was the certain re action of working class whites to black agitation was accepted dogma in South Caroli na. Many middle and upper class whites were still convinced th at, if their anger was not properl y directed, working class whites would respond to any challenge to the racial status quo with physical force. Membership in the Councils may have declined sharpl y after 1957, but the pe rception that ACCSC membership was a somewhat more respectable outlet for white frus trations than the KKK remained intact. Most upper and middle class whites had lost confidence in the effectiveness of WCC tactics, but they preferred that worki ng class white segregationists operated within the Councils, where white pr ofessionals still had some influence. Reverend M.A. Woodson, who was an executive member of the ACCSC, told a North Charleston audience that If the Citizens C ouncils dont resist, the Ku Klux Klan will. He encouraged whites to re-energize the WCC in South Carolina so that segregationists could work in the open in a dignifie d manner to resist judicial tyranny.41 Not withstanding the renewed appeals of the WCC faithful, however, general interest in adopting Council tactics and platforms continue d to wane during the 1960s as other less overt modes of resistance grew in popularity. Within weeks of the Rock Hill protests some of South Carolinas state legi slators attempted to re-energize the hardcore faithful and introduced several new proposals to the state legislature. Despite these 40 Sit-in Problem Solution is Proposed, undated clipping from the Rivers Papers, SCHS. 41 Southern School News (April 1959) 13.

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316 efforts, their counterparts in the Genera l Assembly refused to pass any emergency legislation to deal with the lunch counter i ssue. Rex L. Carter, the Speaker Pro Tempore of the South Carolina House of Representatives sponsored a bill that required a $100 fine or 30 days imprisonment for anyone who refu sed a request from management to vacate a business or eating establishment. State Repr esentatives Ryan C. Shealy and Albert J. Dooley of Lexington County called for a new law allowing restaurants and lunch counters to levy an arbitrary cover charge from individual patrons. Other proposals were aimed at intimidating businesses with the thr eat of closure and pr oprietors with public scorn if they allowed race-mixing. Represen tative John C. Hart of Union County even introduced a bill to withdraw South Carolinas ratification of the fourteenth amendment. Although these new propositions were representative of the hardcore perspective and in line with Citizens Council proposals, it is noteworthy that they were all rejected. Hardcore segregationists were still a sizeab le faction in South Carolina, but they no longer dominated the public debate or had th e influence to determine legislative agendas regarding segregation.42 The failure of these proposals in the stat e assembly was evidence that most white South Carolinians wanted to keep the stat e out from under the national microscope on racial matters. Hollings and other white leaders understood, more clearly than their predecessors, that violent out breaks and heated rhetoric would bring unwanted and unflattering attention to South Carolina. Especially for middle class whites, orderly mass arrests by trained law enforcement professiona ls were more desirable than unchecked white vigilantism. After student activi sts threatened a marc h on the state capitol, 42 Southern School News (March 1960) 4, (April 1960) 4.

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317 Governor Hollings declared that protesters w ould be arrested if th ey went through with the planned protests. Tapping in to the venerable rhetoric re garding outside agitators, the governor rejected the notion that the ma rch was a grass roots campaign against South Carolinas Jim Crow laws. Instead he clai med to have definite proof that outside, selfish, antagonistic groups we re involved. The governor argue d that regardless of the purpose, groupings together, parades, pilgrimage s, sitdowns, silent marches, or whatever they may be characterized, are explosive in na ture. He promised that the state would not allow such explosive situations to de velop in South Carolina. According to Hollings, there was no point to any further incidents or de monstrations other than to breach the peace and cause violence. Rev ealingly, the governor warned both African Americans and whites that state officials woul d not tolerate a disruption of law and order in the state.43 White South Carolinians, however, also understood that mass arrests had not ended civil rights protests in other southern states. Even the st ates few white moderates were unsure of how best to respond to the growing number of dire ct action campaigns. At a meeting of South Carolinas interracial br anch of the Southern Regional Council, the South Carolina Conference on Human Rela tions (SCCHR), in March 1960, members were split along racial lines as to whether or not to endorse the sit-in protests. According to an SRC member from Atlanta, Paul Ril ling, the Negro group [was ] extremely militant and insistent upon a strong statement of support. In an effort not to draw unwanted 43 Southern School News (April 1960) 5.

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318 attention to the racial divide within th e organization, SCCHR members decided not to vote on the issue.44 Moderate whites, many of whom still refused to push openly for even token desegregation, worried that this intensifi cation of African American direct action campaigns represented an increase in black m ilitancy. In spite of the efforts to convince the states SRC members to be more suppor tive of black aspirations by liberal SRC members like Rilling and Spearman, the S CCHR simply could not reach a consensus over how to respond to the quickening pace of bl ack direct action protests. According to Rilling, It would only be candid to state that the South Caro lina Council as an interracial movement is definitely in jeopardy. He wa rned the organizations officers that African Americans were no longer interested in partic ipating in any interracial agency which is not clearly and openly in favor of the ends they seek, and reported that few token whites in South Carolina can be openly re lated to this kind of interracial group.45 Student protesters took little notice of Hollings s warning to desist in their protests and did not share the concerns of moderate whites that they were asking for too much too soon. By Rillings own admission, it was incre asingly clear that the sit-down situation has been a tremendous shot in the arm for Ne gro morale, spirit and militancy like nothing since the Montgomery boycott. Several days after the Rock Hill demonstration, a group of 40 black high school students protested segregated lunch counters in Charleston. The young activists marched down King Street, th e citys most important commercial corridor, and rallied for an end to segregation at a local variet y store. Twenty four of the 44 Paul Rilling to Harold Fleming and Paul Anthony (M arch 10, 1960), Papers of the Southern Regional Council, Microfilm Edition, Reel 146. 45 Ibid

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319 protestors were later found gu ilty of trespassing and of failin g to obey a police officer. Each was ordered to pay a 50 dollar fine or spend 15 days in jail for every offense.46 By March, youth driven prot ests had erupted all over the state. According to Southern School News the demonstrations ranged from two or three people to crowds approaching 1,000 in number. In the first m onth and a half after the Rock Hill sit in, African American high school a nd college students staged sitins at white lunch counters, marches in front of white businesses, and prot ested at whites-only libraries. By the end of March, state and local police had settled on a policy of arresti ng the demonstrators who refused to disperse, and, within a fe w weeks, had jailed nearly 200 African American students in separate protests in Florence, Rock Hill Denmark, Sumter, and Greenville.47 In the largest protest, police used tear gas and fire hoses to disperse a crowd of over 1,000 protesters in Orangeburg before arre sting 388 students for disorderly conduct. The arrested students, most of whom attended S outh Carolina State or Claflin College, were herded into a temporary holding facility out side of the county jail. They were not provided with dry clothes or protection from th e elements. Numerous students were later treated for exposure and for other injuries sustained as a result of exposure to tear gas or for injuries from the high pressure fire hos es. One woman suffered a fractured knee, another had several of her teeth knocked out, and another suffered a serious eye injury after being hit by water from hoses. Acco rding to an NAACP memorandum, nearly 40 46 Southern School News (March 1960) 4, (May 1960) 3. NAACP Memorandum, Summary of Sitdown Demonstrations, Rock Hill, South Carolina, NAACP Pa pers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. Paul Rilling to Harold Fleming and Paul Anthony (March 10, 1960), Papers of the Southern Regional Council, Microfilm Edition, Reel 146. 47 Southern School News (April 1960) 4, (May 1960) 3. NAACP Memorandum, Summary of Sitdown Demonstrations, Rock Hill, South Carolina, NAAC P Papers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10.

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320 students required medical attention as a re sult of their treatment during and after the protests. It is important to note that all of these injuries happened despite the professed agenda of Hollings and his al lies to avoid the kind of viol ence and disorder that might attract federal scrutiny.48 National NAACP officers authorized organi zation funds for the students bail and promised legal aid. Local NAACP members provided the students with food until their bail was paid by T.K. Bythewood, a mortician, G.W. Daniels, a retired farm extension agent, James Sulton, a service station owner, and Dr. Charles Thomas, a professor at South Carolina State suggesting significan t adult, middle-class support for the student protesters. Over 200 of the defendants were tr ied within the first m onth and a half of the protests. The jury consisted of five whites, and one ha nd-picked African American. Each defendant was found guilty and fined 50 dol lars or 30 days in jail. In another illustration of white opposition to the protests, at the end of the semester over 20 student organizers from South Carolina State were informed that th ey could not return to the school for the fall semester.49 Reverend H.P. Sharper, a Florence mini ster who was an NAACP officer, was exasperated by the police reaction in Orangeburg. He declared: Because of the strong-arm, fascist-like tactic s of peace officers. . we conclude that appeal to federal agencies is our last reso rt. Regretfully, these appeals will be made immediately, for responsible officials of our state and municipalities have shown 48 Ibid. Memorandum to Roy Wilkins, Robert Carter James Farmer, Henry Moon, John Morsell from Lucille Black (n.d.), NAACP Papers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. 49 Memorandum to Roy Wilkins, John A. Morsell, Henry Lee Moon, Lucille Black, James Farmer from Gloster B. Current (March 15, 1960), NAACP Pa pers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. Southern School News (April 1960) 4, (May 1960) 3. NAACP Memorandum, Summary of Sitdown Demonstrations, Rock Hill, South Carolina, NAAC P Papers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10.

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321 no inclination to hear the students grievanc es or to seek a democratic solution to problems posed by their protests.50 Incidents like the Orangeburg protests were an indication to even the most ardent white supremacists that neither legal challe nges nor direct action campaigns were going to stop until the state initiated some effort to desegregate its public school system and its public spaces and accommodations. Between 1960 and 1963, South Carolina activists unleashed an unrelenting flurry of legal challenges and nonvi olent civil protests that targeted the basic structure of Jim Crow. N onetheless, some white segregationists were determined to fight until the very end to preserve the racial caste system. African American protesters became frequent targets of white anger, and, de spite the best efforts of the Hollings administration to preserve public order, the state witnessed numerous outbreaks of violence in the final years of codified segregation. In February 1961, for example, two students from Friendship College were beaten by a mob of angry whites while protesting the segregated lunch c ounters at Tollison and Neal Drug store in downtown Rock Hill. According to an NAACP telegram, there were several police officers on the scene. The officers refused to intervene during the attack, but they did manage to arrest the wheelchair bound pr esident of the Rock Hill NAACP, Reverend Cecil Ivory.51 Although at the national level the NAACP was still agonizing over the appropriateness of direct acti on demonstrations, local NAACP o fficials in South Carolina aided students in organizing additional protests. In la te April, the NAACP Student 50 Southern School News (April 1960) 4. 51 Roy Wilkins to Ernest F. Hollings (February 23, 1961), NAACP Papers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10.

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322 Leadership Conference held a meeting at the Penn Center in Frogmore, South Carolina. Students from North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida attended the meeting. Two weeks later the NAACP spon sored a meeting in Rock Hill to educate potential protesters on the procedures for conducting Sit-ins. The NAACP also organized a State-Wide Youth Rally at Claflin College in Orangeburg on May 14-15. 52 The wave of arrests and the increasing i nvolvement of more pro-active civil rights organizations, such as CORE and SNCC, in the protests intensified th e level of anxiety in the states white communities. To whites, th e direct action campaigns heralded a new era of black militancy. Local officials adopted various policies to curtail the demonstrations, but were often thwarted by the irresistible tide of black protests sweep ing across the state. For example, the City of Charleston Sc hool Board adopted a policy which forbade students in the citys schools from particip ating in demonstrations during school hours or on school property, but the new rule did litt le to discourage y oung black activists. Moreover, the arrest and intimidation of p eaceful black protesters often rallied even skeptical black adults to support the cause NAACP Field Secretary I. De Quincy Newman derided the Charleston school board and claimed that its members had carried race relations to the slaughter pen. The local NAACP called the ban Hitleristic. Under the direction of J. Arthur Brown, the Charleston chapter adopted a resolution calling for the school board to lift the ban. In the end, the boards ac tions did little to dissuade students from Charlestons black high schools from continuing to protest 52 Southern School News (April 1960) 4, (May 1960) 3. NAACP Memorandum, Summary of Sitdown Demonstrations, Rock Hill, South Carolina, NAACP Pa pers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. For a discussion on the history of the NAACP, including its various responses to direct action campaigns, see: Gilbert Jonas, Freedoms Sword: the NAACP and the Struggle Against Racism in America, 1909-1969 (New York: Routledge, 2005). Manfred Berg, The Ticket to Freedom: Th e NAACP and the Struggle for Black Political Integration (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2005).

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323 segregation in the city. During April and May of 1960, high school students from Burke, Immaculate Conception, Cresham Megget, and Bonds-Wilson High Schools engaged in fourteen demonstrations agains t segregated lunch counters at Woolworths, W.T. Grants, and S.H. Kress.53 Across the state, young black protesters contin ued to pressure for rapid change. In March, a second protest in Rock Hill led to the arrest of 70 students from Friendship Junior College. After attaining bail, the st udents prayed in front of the Rock Hill City Hall and sang the national anthem. In Co lumbia, students from Allen University and Benedict College marched on the statehouse. While police were busy shepherding them away, a second group marched on the governor s mansion singing Give Me the Old NAACP Spirit and I Shall Not Be Moved. Sit-in demonstrations also continued in Orangeburg, Darlington, Flor ence, Denmark, and Sumter.54 Student activity often prompted adult par ticipation. In Darlin gton, for example, a group of local parents initiated a lawsuit calling for the county to fire Mayo High School Principal Bennie A. Gary after he had expell ed three students for participating in a boycott against the school cafet erias milk supplier because it was listed on an NAACP boycott list. Dozens of students had poured thei r milk into the garbage rather than drink it. According to the plaintiffs attorney, Ellio t D. Turnage, the suit was an outgrowth of a statewide decision on the part of Negro pupi ls not to drink this milk. Although the 53 Report of Field Secretary: South Carolina Conference of Branches, NAACP (April 20-May 19, 1960), NAACP Papers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. 54 Southern School News (April 1960) 3. Report of Field Secretary: South Carolina Conference of Branches, NAACP (April 20-May 19, 1960), NAACP Papers, Mi crofilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10.

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324 case, which was brought in state court, was quickly dismissed, it was evidence that adult African Americans were becoming supportiv e of student protests in the state.55 This kind of white militancy brought the attention of national civil rights organizations to South Carolina and helped to energize the de termined young activists who participated in the di rect action campaigns. In February 1961, Charles Jones, Charles Sherrod, Diane Nash, and Ruby Doris Sm ith of SNCC came to Rock Hill to help organize demonstrations in South Carolina. The participation of these prominent SNCC members may have been a boost to black mora le, but it did little to curb the white backlash. Soon after arriving the four SNCC workers were arrested. Nash and Smith were sentenced to 30 days in the York County Jail. Jones and Sherrod were sentenced to a month on a chain gang. Though no doubt di scouraging for some local blacks, the militant white response to SNCC activities did little to slow the increasing pace of black agitation.56 In 1961, African Americans set forth to test the Supreme Courts 1960 ruling in Boynton v. Virginia which outlawed segregation at inters tate bus and railroad stations. Members of the CORE and SNCC organized a Freedom Ride from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans, Louisiana. The protest reached South Carolina on May 9, 1961. At a Greyhound Bus Station in Rock Hill, John Lewis, a founding member of SNCC, and Albert Bigelow, a white ex-Navy Captain, atte mpted to enter a whites-only waiting room where Lewis was approached by a group of young white men one of whom directed him to use the other side, nigger. Lewi s protested that, acco rding to the Supreme 55 Southern School News (April 1960) 4, (May 1960) 3. 56 Cynthia Griggs Fleming, Soon We Will Not Cry: The Liberation of Ruby Doris Smith Robinson (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.: New York: 1998) 72-78.

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325 Court, he had a right to en ter the segregated waiting ar ea. The men responded with a vicious attack. Bigelow attempted to interv ene, but he too was quickly thrown to the ground. Only after a white female freedom rider named Genevieve Hughes was knocked to the ground did police interced e. It seemed that, even in such a tense situation, local officials would not condone physical violence against a white woman.57 In the midst of the direct action campa igns, South Carolina whites were also confronted with a revitali zed legal campaign from the NAACP. In April 1960, the parents of 42 children in Clarendon County Di strict One filed a fe deral lawsuit alleging that the county had ignored the Supr eme Courts ruling in the original Briggs case. According to the lawsuit, racial segregati on persisted in the dist rict, even though it was one of the places specifically named in the Brown decision. Like the challenge to the pupil placement rules, the new case called for enforcement of the Brown ruling and the immediate desegregation of the countys schools.58 The new Clarendon case even revived some support for closing the schools in the majority black county. Members of the Gre ssette Committee, however, worried that, if the schools in Clarendon County were closed, the situation would only get worse. In a private statement to the committee Wayne W. Freeman, the Gressette Committees secretary, accused the Summerton School Board (Clarendon District On e) of placing the rest of the state in jeopar dy of court-ordered integrati on, through its uncompromising resistance of any integration. According to Freeman, the best opti on available to South 57 Lewis Walking With the Wind 142. Derek Catsam, Into the Maw of Dixie: The Freedom Rides, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Po litics of Race in South Carolina, Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association (2005) 1-20. See also: Raymond Arsenault, Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice (New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2006). 58 Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 224.

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326 Carolina was to fight out each case and limit dese gregation to a handful of students. If Summerton officials closed their schools, they risk a court order similar to the one issued in Charlottesville, Front Royal, and Norfolk.59 Freeman expressed his sympathy for th e determination of the people of Summerton either to keep their schools segr egated, or to close them, but he cautioned that while Summerton can cl ose its schools and still provid e schooling for its relatively small number of White children, this is not true in my Count y or in other parts of the Piedmont section of our state. Instead, Freem an, like most of the states elected officers, supported the plan of the Gressette Committ ees lead attorney, Da vid W. Robinson, who believed that the state could limit desegrega tion if it made every Negro child seeking admission to a White school a pply individually and be judged on his own merits. That way, only a court order would result in desegr egation. At that poi nt, and only at that point, should a local government exercise the option of school closure, he argued. Freeman also acknowledged, Closing school is a form of surrender, and pointed out that if African American petitioners were given class action status, the class suit in Clarendon County will immediately open the way to integration of the schools in other parts of the state where the problem of operating private schools is impossible. 60 Since South Carolina law required each stude nt to petition for tr ansfer individually Robinson moved to eliminate every name on the Clarendon petition except for Bobby Brunson, whose name was the first listed. Di strict Judge C.C. Wyche agreed with 59 Statement of Wayne W. Freeman, Secretary, South Carolina Special School Committee, (May 2, 1960), Workman Papers, MPC. Margaret Gladney, Ill Take My Stand: The Southern Segregation Academy Movement (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of New Mexico, 1974) 42-56. 60 Ibid

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327 Robinsons interpretation of the law and refused to hear the case as a class action lawsuit. Therefore, Brunson v. Clarendon School District #1 went forward as a desegregation case involving only one student until the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Wyches ruling in December of 1962 to allow desegregation cases to be brought as a class action. As of May 1963, the case was up for adjudication in the courts.61 By the time the Clarendon County Case made its way to the federal courts as a class action suit, other black activists had orchestrated several major challenges to segregated education in South Carolina During the summer of 1960, a group of Charleston parents, led by the NAACPs local President J. Arthur Brown, demanded that Charleston District 20 improve African American education in the city. Black schools were overcrowded and the per pupil expenditure s for African American pupils was nearly 100 dollars less than the average spending on wh ite students. White schools had a 19:1 student to teacher ratio while African American institutions had a ratio of 25:1. Even though black leaders in the city were determined to eradicate Jim Crow schools, they also recognized that demanding improvements in ex isting black schools would benefit African American students and increase the fiscal pr essure on the citys white segregationist leadership to accept token desegregation as a means of alleviating some of those pressures.62 White officials in Charleston were faced with a difficult task. The main reason for the disparity between black and white school s in the city was white flight. White residents had been relocating to the suburbs around Charleston for more than a decade, 61 Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 224-227. 62 Ibid ., 227-229.

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328 resulting in a black student population of approximately 70 pe rcent in Charleston District 20. In that district, which encompassed the Charleston peninsula, many of the existing problems could have been solved through dese gregation. Since city officials knew that the days of segregated education were numbe red, they had little incentive to invest in new black schools. Before 1962, the NAACPs legal strategy faced one crucial obstacle. At that point the appeals court had not yet ruled in the Brunson case, therefore, African Americans could not bring a class action suit against th e district and, until a transfer request was denied, they could not even sue for admission to a white school on an individual basis. During the summer of 1960, the parents of 15 black students petitioned for transfer to Charlestons whites-only schools. The request s were denied, but black parents remained reluctant to involve their children in a pub lic court battle. In May 1961, five African American parents, including Brown, again peti tioned the Board of Trustees of Charleston District 20 to allow the transfer of 13 black children into the c itys all white schools. 63 Unwilling to remain idle while they navigated the difficult bureaucracy of student transfer procedures, Charleston civil rights advocates sought to engage in a form of civil rights activism that did not place their children at the forefront of the freedom struggle. In 1962, the Charleston NAACP launched a selective buying campaign. The organization targeted merchant s that catered to black cu stomers, but did not employ African American workers. The NAACP distri buted over 30,000 circular s to raise public awareness about job discrimination in Charle ston. Within six weeks, the boycott had a 63 NAACP Drive Gains in Charleston, S.C. (May 4, 1962), NAACP Papers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. Stephen ONeill, From the Shadow of Slav ery: The Civil Rights Years in Charleston (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of Virginia, 1994) 215-219. Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 227-229.

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329 dramatic effect on several businesses. Some merchants told NAACP officials that their profits were down by at least 25 per cent. Reverend Ben Glover, the Chairman of the Charleston NAACP, estimated that the boycott was 50 to 60 percent effective. Paul Rilling reported to the SRC that there seems to be little doubt that the boycott is hurting the merchants. This was confirmed by second hand accounts from several white persons. After less than two months of pr otests, Piggly Wiggly Supermarket, Moskins Credit Clothiers, Farmers Market, Kaybee, and South Carolina Gas and Electric Company all hired at least one African Americ an employee. By the end of June, West End Dairy, the Goodyear Tire Company, Sears Roebuck, Wards Five and Ten Cent Store, Vanes Appliances, The Shoe Box, Le ons Mens Wear, and Kays Drugs had also hired black workers.64 In truth, the campaign was only a limited su ccess. All of the merchants who hired black employees were located north of Calhoun Street near predominately black neighborhoods and away from the tourist dist rict at the end of upper King Street. The News and Courier refused to print articles about the pr otests and local merchants, such as Edward Kronsberg (a prominent member of Charlestons Jewish community who owned Edwards Department Store and was considered by Rilling to be a political moderate), attempted to limit publicity surr ounding the boycott. Whites claimed that the protesters represented a small part of the black commun ity and insisted that most of the citys African Americans had essentia lly ignored the boycott. An SRC report on the situation 64 NAACP Drive Gains in Charleston, S.C. (May 4, 1962), NAACP Papers, Microfilm Edition, Part 20, Reel 10. Stephen ONeill, From the Shadow of Sl avery, 215-219. Paul Rilling, Field Report on Charleston, S.C., Visit of May 14-16, 1962), Papers of the Southern Regional Council, Microfilm Edition, Reel 146. Paul Rilling to LWD (June 22, 1962), Pa pers of the Southern Regional Council, Microfilm Edition, Reel 146.

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330 revealed that black protestors had indeed failed to win support from even moderate whites: There seems to be woefully few forces for support in the white community. The Chamber of Commerce will do nothing. The Ministerial Association likewise; the Ministerial Association is completely in active on such matters, so are the United Church-women, the YWCA, etc. 65 The most difficult problem for the black pr otesters was that all of the merchants south of Calhoun Street simply ignored the campaign. African Americans, essentially, gained some concessions within their own neighborhoods, but were unable to exert sufficient pressure on the white areas on uppe r King Street. Rilling reported that none of the big establishments have . coopera ted and there is certainly some doubt as to whether the boycott can be maintained until effective results are achieved. To make matters worse, the NAACP desegregation petition was ignored by city leaders.66 Regardless of its limited success, blac k leaders such as Brown and Glover portrayed the selective buying campaign as a much needed victory for African Americans in Charleston. Moreover, Glover and Brow n hoped to use the momentum of the boycott to fuel support for their school desegregation efforts. When moderate whites failed to join the campaign or to embrace token school desegregation African Americans were left with no recourse but to bring a suit de manding the immediate desegregation of Charleston District 20 in accordance with the Brown verdict. The new lawsuit, which was brought by Brown on behalf of his daughter stirred significant interest but little public reaction from local whites. An SRC report indicated that there was no indications that the community is making any efforts to consider its future action. 65 Ibid 66 Ibid

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331 Rilling concluded that there is a general expectation among whites and Negroes that I met that the school crisis will not culminat e in school closing or major disorders.67 While these various school desegregation su its worked their way on to federal court dockets, the NAACPs legal team chose to focus its efforts on the desegregation of Clemson College and the University of Sout h Carolina. It was easier to get cases involving desegregation in highe r education heard by a federal court, since a student need only apply for admission and be rejected on th e basis of race for a case to be brought. Unlike public schools, attendance was not lim ited by geography. Anyone could apply to a state college, even if they lived in another district county, or state.68 In January 1962, an African American st udent named Harvey Gantt applied for admission to Clemson. Gantt was the ideal ca ndidate to break the race barrier in South Carolinas system of higher education. He had been a student at Burke High School in Charleston where he was active in the youth chapter of the NAACP and he had previously attempted to enter Clemson in the late 1950s. After the school denied his admission on the basis of race, the state ha d paid for him to enroll in Iowa State University. Sensing the time was right for de segregation in South Carolina, Gantt sought a transfer to the upstate college for the 196263 school year. At firs t, Clemson officials again refused to act on Gantts request. During the summer of 1962, Gantt and the NAACP sued the school and demanded that it end its commitment to segregated education in accordance with multiple federal court rulings. 69 67 ONeill, From the Shadow of Slavery, 215-223. Pa ul Rilling, Field Report on Charleston, S.C., Visit of May 14-16, 1962), Papers of the Southern Regional Council, Microfilm Edition, Reel 146. 68 Ibid. 69 ONeill, From the Shadow of Slavery, 215-223. Cox, 963: The Year of Decision, 17-19.

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332 The Gantt case and the numerous desegreg ation petitions and lawsuits challenging South Carolinas racial apartheid threatened to alter the states racial hierarchy on a permanent basis. White leaders realized this and softened their public stance regarding token desegregation by the end of 1962. In hi s farewell address to the South Carolina General Assembly in early 1962, Governor Hollings proclaimed the Brown decision was the law of the land, and that the states efforts to avoid compliance had failed. The governor declared that If and when every le gal remedy had been exhausted, this General Assembly must make clear South Carolinas c hoice, a government of laws rather than a government of men. He called on his fello w lawmakers to reali ze the lessons of a hundred years ago, and move on for the good of South Carolina. In doing so, Hollings vocalized the opinion that had quietly become the new orthodoxy among South Carolinas white political leadership.70 More than anything else, Holli ngss decision to back away from the harsh rhetoric of diehard resistance was motivated by events outside of South Caro lina. Hollings knew that the national judiciary would eventually rule against South Carolina. Just a few months earlier, federal marshals had forced the desegregation of the University of Mississippi in Oxford. After the court-orde red admission of James Meredith to Ole Miss, whites rioted. By the time Pres ident Kennedy nationalized the Mississippi National Guard and ordered more than 23,000 tr oops into Oxford to restore order, 160 federal marshals had been injured, two pe ople were dead, and 28 had suffered gunshot 70 Journal of the Senate of the State of South Carolina (1963) 44-45.

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333 wounds. Hollings, apparently, learned a less on from Mississippi that other southern governors, such as Ross Barnett and George Wallace, did not.71 During the Ole Miss crisis, Mississippi G overnor Barnett had called Hollings to elicit the South Carolina governors support. He encouraged Hollings to lead a motorcade from Columbia to Oxford as a sign of southern determination to prevent forced desegregation. The South Carolina gove rnor refused. He later determined that only kooks, rednecks, or Ku Klux Klaners would be interested in such a protest. The end result, according to Hollings, would be a dangerous confrontation that could get a lot of people killed.72 Hollings did, however, send J.P. Strom, w ho was the head of SLED to Oxford. Stroms mission was not to support Barnett or to encourage white officials in Mississippi to continue resisting court ordered desegr egation. Instead, Hollings had charged the states chief police officer with devising a strategy to ensure the safe and orderly desegregation of Clemson. The governor want ed a plan in place that would limit public disturbance without the presen ce of federal officers. He commanded Strom to witness the events and report on any mistakes that were made in Mississippi, so that South Carolina could avoid potential di fficulties. If South Carolina was forced to desegregate, Hollings was determined that it not do so under the direction of federal authorities.73 71 Synnott, Federalism Vindicated, 292-318. John Dittmer, Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1994) 140-141. 72 Transcript, Oral History interview of Ernest F. Hollings by Marcia Synnott (July 8, 1980), Modern Political Collections, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia. 73 George McMillan, Integration with Dignity, Saturday Evening Post (March 16, 1963) 16-21. Sproat, Firm Flexibility. Cox, 63: The Year of Decision, 19-20.

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334 Hollings, of course, had other reasons for in sisting on public order. For more than a decade white South Carolinians had worried that the hardcore approach would jeopardize federal investments in the state. In March 1962 those fears reached again resurfaced when Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) Abraham Ribicoff declared that segregated education would indeed impact federal education funding. According to Ribicoff, any segregated sc hool that was attend ed by children whose parents lived on a federal military base would lose all federal funding in February of 1963. The new rule, which was derided by Hollin gs and other South Carolina officials, would affect schools in nine South Carolina counties. It was esp ecially troublesome for officials in the Charleston and Beaufort areas where there were many military bases.74 By 1964, the desegregated Charleston Navy Yard had a total payroll of over $155 million and accounted for nearly six percent of the states total income. Moreover, Charlestons commercial ports, which had b een upgraded and improved with federal funds and depended on federal dredging operatio ns, accounted for another six percent of the net state product. One economist went so far as to call the regions economy one dimensional and noted that it depended almost entirely on military spending. He explained that the Charleston Navy Bases impact on the local and state economy represented over $600 million in investment. Local officials did not want ra cial discord to impact federal decisions concerning base closures or funding le vels at low country military installations.75 74 Southern School News (April 1962) 3. 75 George W. Hopkins, From Naval Pauper to Naval Power: The Development of Charlestons Metropolitan-Military Complex, in ed. Roger W. Lotchin, The Martial Metropolis: U.S. Cities in War and Peace (New York: Praeger, 1984) 22.

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335 Defense dollars were especially important to the state, but a lengthy and violent battle over desegregation could have also cause irreparable damage to other areas of the South Carolina economy. For example, if business leaders perceived a racial problem in Charleston, they may have chosen to import goods to another port without such difficulties. Civic leaders in Little Rock, Arkansas had cautioned their fellow southerners not to underestimate the impact of bad public ity on economic development, and chamber of commerce types all over the region were worried that investors might shy away from states with conspicuous racial pr oblems. Between 1950 and 1957, over 40 new factories had relocated to Litt le Rock. After the local sc hool board ordered the schools closed rather than desegregated none were opened. Southern School News reported that one in five professional persons wanted to or was planning to leave the city.76 Throughout the South, business leaders and local chambers of commerce usually concluded that the defense of segregation wa s not worth sacrificing public order and with it economic stability. In the months after the zenith of the Birmingham, Alabama protests of 1963 it seemed especially apparent to ma ny whites that ending bl ack protests through compromise, even if it meant sacrificing some segregation, was the only means for calming southern race relations. In South Caro lina, local politicians, such as Columbia Mayor Lester Bates, organized secret meetings with busin ess leaders and civil rights advocates. In July 1963, he informed many of th e citys business elites that, if they failed 76 For the Little Rock example, see: Elizabeth Jacoway, Taken by Surprise: Little Rock Business Leaders and Desegregation, in eds. Elizabeth Jacoway and David R. Colburn, Southern Businessmen and Desegregation (Baton Rogue: Louisiana State University Press, 1982) 15-41. Southern School News (October 1959) 2.

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336 to yield to at least some of the demands of civil rights activists, Columbias economic prosperity was in jeopardy.77 To some extent, amongst the states busine ss elites race relations had been in the process of a slow, uneven thaw for so me time. Between 1958 and 1962, industrial construction in South Carolina surpasse d $850 million and created nearly 60,000 new jobs and the New York Times had acknowledged that South Carolina did not want to create an atmosphere of rebe llion that would discourage th e economic development of the state. At the Hampton Watermelon Festiv al in 1961, industrialist Charles E. Daniel gave voice to those concerns when he encour aged South Carolinians to deal with the segregation issue before a solution was for ced upon them by federal authorities. He argued that the states economic success was dependent on its African American workforce and insisted that it was in the stat es best interest to im prove black education. He reminded the audience that South Caro lina ranked near the bottom in per capita income, education, and standard of living.78 In this era of intense apprehension about pr ecisely how to resist, or at least manage the rising threats to white supremacy in Sout h Carolina, the Federal Appeals court finally ordered Clemson to accept Gantt in January of 1963. By that time it was apparent to most South Carolina whites that the state had much to lose and nothing to gain by resisting the order. As the last state to desegregate, South Carolina would be under a national microscope. Fighting the order w ould have brought unwelco me attention from 77 Lofton, Calm and Exemplary, 70-81. 78 Cox, 1963: The Year of Decision, 10-17. New York Times (October 17, 1962) 36.

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337 national civil rights l eaders, unwanted federal interventi on, and acute economic setbacks to the Palmetto State. Some of the states most intractable ha rdcore segregationists, such as state Representatives John D. Long and Red Bethea, championed efforts to encourage white protests at Clemson or to close the school altogether, but the majority of the General Assembly advocated the maintenance of la w and order during the difficult admissions process. Leading politicians, such as state Senator Edgar Brown, and prominent businessmen, such as Daniel, made public st atements supporting a p eaceful desegregation at Clemson. The colleges president, Robe rt Edwards, met with student leaders and publicly encouraged the student body to place personal safe ty and responsibility above racial discord. Even L. Marion Gressette, who had presided over the most successful attempt to preserve school segregation in the South, conceded that the state had lost this battle. In the end newly elected Governor Russell had secured the support from all but the most unswerving massive resisters and felt comfortable in refusi ng federal assistance to secure the troubled campus. Russell and other state leaders assured United States Attorney General Robert Kennedy that the dese gregation of Clemson would not result in riots like the ones that had engulfed Ox ford, Mississippi a few months earlier.79 By the time Gantt arrived on campus on January 28, 1963, 150 law enforcement officers were on duty in Clemson, students and staff had been issued new identification cards, and the state police had establishe d checkpoints around the campus. Only authorized personnel were allowed on school property. The absence of outsiders meant that if trouble occurred, it would come from the student body and not from local whites. 79 Cox, 63: The Year of Decision,-37. McMillan, Integration with Dignity, 20.

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338 The students, largely due to the year of prepar ation and fear of expulsion, remained calm. Within 15 minutes after arriving at the sc hool, Harvey Gantt became the first African American student to ever enroll at Clemson.80 Governor Russell, President Edwards, and numerous other state officials received widespread praise for avoidi ng the kind of bloodshed and chaos that had characterized desegregation in other Deep Sout h states and civil ri ghts activists were encouraged by the clear victory in the Gantt case. Neverthele ss, Gantt remained the only African American attending a previously segregated school in the entire state during the spring of 1963. Opposition to his admission was only overcome by a concerted effort to prove to South Carolina whites that absolute segregation a nd the preservation of public order were no longer compatible. At no point during the de segregation of Clemson did the states white population, and certainly not its political le adership, reject white supremacy. White opposition to desegregation, which only a few years earlier had been dominated by the doctrine of uncompromising massive resist ance, had morphed into a new political coalition that placed the pr otection of the maximum feasib le amount of white privilege above its commitment to complete segregation in all cases. Though some true believers persisted in calling for militant white resistance to every specter of integration, most of the states white population seemed willing to sacrifice some se gregation for civic harmony and economic opportunity, providing the essential patterns of white privilege remained intact. Across the state, white leaders bega n the process of implementing token desegregation. Limited black a ttendance, it seemed, was preferable to intrusive federal 80 Ibid

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339 intervention. The relatively peaceful ma nner in which the state managed the desegregation of Clemson encouraged other colleges to follow the lead of the upstate university. In June 1963 the SCMC authorized school administrators at its three South Carolina colleges; Wofford, Columbia, and Sp artanburg Junior Colleges; to desegregate at their own discretion and, that fall, Judge Robert Martin or dered the University of South Carolina to accept Henri Montieth, the niece of prominent civil rights activist Modjeska Simkins.81 Desegregating South Carolinas flagship university was far more difficult than desegregating Clemson. Unlike the upstate school, USC was located in the heart of downtown Columbia. Therefore, the stat e would have a difficult time keeping troublemakers from entering the campus grounds Administrators were particularly nervous after a homemade bomb left a five f oot wide crater in the front yard of Montieths uncle. However, when Montieth entered the campus for the fall semester of 1963, the desegregation occurred largely without incident.82 South Carolinas other colleges gradually followed suit. Furman University became the first private college to end its practice of segregation in the fall of 1964. Though some South Carolina Baptists were a ppalled that the church-affiliated school voluntarily ended its single ra ce policy, it too desegregated wi thout violent protests. The next year Lander College, a Lutheran affilia ted school, and Winthrop, a state college for women, voluntarily desegregated. Even the College of Charleston, which was the only college in the state to privatize to avoid desegregating, finally relented on June 12, 1966 81 Lowe, The Magnificent Fight,141-142. 82 Cox, 1963, 14-69.

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340 when its Board of Trustees announced that, du e to the near bankruptcy of the school, it had no choice but to desegregate and, theref ore, become eligible for public funds. It seemed to most white observers that the token desegregation of the states higher education system was, indeed, dignified. To there black counterparts, however, the limited desegregation was little more than a sm all victory in a larger battle for equality.83 83 Ibid. Lowe, The Magnificent Fight,141-142. The Meteor (October 3, 1966) 1.

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341 CHAPTER 9 WHITE FLIGHT, MANAGED COMPLIANCE, AND THE NEW POLITICS OF RACE IN SOUTH CAROLINA In the 1960s, most white South Carolinians c onceded defeat in their quest to defend de jure segregation, but they were determined to negotiate favorable te rms of surrender. In the previous decade intractable hardco re resisters had hoped to maintain white solidarity on racial issues by creating the perception that the state had limited options. Uncompromising segregationists such as the grassroots white supremacists of the Citizens Councils had attempted to contro l the debate over compliance by preaching that, if white South Carolinians capitulated in the fight to maintain a rigid system of Jim Crow or failed to resist every attempt to weaken racial segregation, they would have no other option but to surrender to black demands and federal pressure for full compliance. Essentially, hardcore whites argued that the only options were uncompromising resistance or immediate and full integration. As the state entered the 1960s, however, a growing number of whites sought an alternat ive to the more militant forms of white supremacy championed by rural conservatives like Governor George Bell Timmerman during the 1950s. As discussed in the previous two chapters, tensions between militant white supremacists and their more moderate neighbor s had been present in South Carolinas white communities for some time. The stat es uneasy alliance of white segregationists was always more conflicted than its lead ers admitted, but it was not until mainstream whites concluded that hardcore massive resi stance was no longer compatible with the

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342 preservation of public order that widespr ead support for uncompromising resistance began to wane in South Carolina. Although the states decision to accommodate federal desegregation orders at the University of South Carolina and Clemson elicited a harsh response from hardcore segregationists such as state Representa tive John D. Long, many urban and suburban whites realiz ed that the state could not ri sk the economic turmoil of a prolonged battle with federal regulators and supported a peaceful, albeit limited, desegregation of the states education system. Upper and middle class whites generally understood that this kind of minimal compliance would allow state leaders to manage racial change with less federa l interference and limit the erosion of white privilege within a technically desegregated system. However, whites also recognized that minimal desegregation would only work as a resistance tactic if federal authorities were satisfied that tokenism qualified as compliance with the Brown verdict and subsequent legislation. Therefore, some white conservatives began to search for a pragmatic political alternative that would alleviate federal pressure and pl acate non-southern whites. The consolidation and consequences of this trend is the primary focus of this chapter, which deals with the political implications of these events and the manner in which whites confronted the process of desegregation in South Carolina.1 1 Beyond divisions among South Carolinas segregationist whites, the complexity of the white population was also demonstrated by South Ca rolinas small but vocal community of white liberals that became more outspoken in the early 1960s. For the best example of this, see: Marcia Synnott, Crusaders and Clubwomen: Alice Norwood Spearman Wright and her Womens Network, in ed. Gail S. Murray, Throwing off the Cloak of Privilege: White Southern Women Activists in the Civil Rights Era (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2004) 49-76. According to historian Joseph Crespino, whites in Mississippi came to a similar conclusion by the late 1960s and adopted a policy of strategic accommodation that was intended to maintain as much white privilege as possible within a technically desegregated system, see: Joseph Crespino, Strategic Accommodation: Civil Rights Opponents in Mississippi and Their Impact on American Racial Politics, 1953-1972 (Ph.D. Dissertation: Stanford University, 2003).

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343 Since it was clear to most whites that Di xiecrat-like regional protest candidates alienated non-southerners and attracted unw anted attention from national civil rights groups, many whites began to look toward the conservative wing of the Republican Party in hopes that it would provide a political solution that would allow for the maximum amount of segregation within a system that had technically complied with the Brown decision. An alliance with New Right cons ervatives seemed like a potentially potent political union. Unlike southern third-party movements, New Right conservatives tended to downplay overt racism in favor of calls for limiting federal influence and rolling back New Deal social programs. Moreover, this group, which was generally a combination of white social and economic conservatives, echoe d southern white fears about the moral decline of the United States and, especially in the West and Mid-West, conservative Republicans campaigned using staunch anti-comm unist rhetoric and ra cialized attacks on social welfare spending that carried a numbe r of rhetorical similarities to southern critiques of the civil rights movement.2 One of the earliest proponents of this new political alliance in South Carolina was Republican organizer Greg Shorey who declar ed in the late 1950s that the states Republican Party organization s hould take advantage of voter angst over racial issues and abandon any notion that it was a biracial opposit ion party. Shorey pred icted that internal 2 For a discussion of New Right conservatism, see: Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton: Princeton Univ ersity Press, 2001). Se e also: Kenneth D. Durr, White Working-Class Politics in Baltimore, 1940-1980: Behind the Backlash (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003). Mary C. Brennan, Turning Right in the Sixties: The Conservative Capture of the GOP (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995), for a discussion on South Carolina, see p. 39-44. For a discussion of the growth of the Republican Party in South Carolina, see: Bruce Kalk, The Origins of the Southern Strategy: Two Party Competition in South Carolina, 1950-1972 (Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2001) and Gregory Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 1948-1974: A Case Study of Political Chan ge in a Deep South State (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of North Carolina, 1984). For a discu ssion of the conservative economic appeal in South Carolina, see: Richard Phillip Stone II, Making a Mo dern State: The Politics of Economic Development in South Carolina, 1938-1962 (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of South Carolina, 2003).

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344 changes within both national pa rties would lead a majority of white South Carolinians into the GOP. To help facilitate this ch ange, he skillfully combined the conservative critique of the welfare state with white anxi ety over the pace and scope of racial change to offer white voters a political alternative. The Democrats, he clai med, were the party of socialist-labor, and th e Republicans were the party of fre e enterprise. Over the next several years, Shorey introduced his fellow Sout h Carolinians to the conservative wing of the national Republican Party with extraordinary success.3 South Carolina already had a number of prominent political and economic leaders who tended to side with conservative Republi cans on some national issues. For example, during his tenure as governor, James F. Byrn es had supported the strongest right to work laws in the nation. Both Senato r Strom Thurmond and Congressman L. Mendel Rivers had championed staunch anticomm unism and worked with Republicans in congress to ensure massive increases in the national defense budget. Newspapermen Thomas R. Waring of the Charleston News and Courier and William D. Workman of The State in Columbia frequently wrote editorials favoring a reduction in social welfare spending. Construction magnate Charles Daniel had promoted a lower corporate tax rate and anti-union legislation. Each of these issues was a significant component of the 3 News and Courier (July 13, 1958) 1. Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 292-297.

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345 emerging conservative agenda that dominated discussions within the John Birch Society and on the pages of William F. Buckley, Jr.s National Review .4 Such a convergence of interests notwithst anding, during the late 1950s Republicans still had a long way to go in South Caroli na before they would be competitive in elections. Allying with the GOP was a very different thing from jo ining it. There was virtually no statewide Republican organizati on in South Carolina until the mid to late 1960s. Furthermore, Eisenhowers use of fo rce in Arkansas, Democratic support for farm subsidies, and traditional allegiances to the Democratic Party made it difficult to form a potent GOP at the precinct level in S outh Carolina. However, the issue of race was a powerful catalyst for the growth of the Republican Party in the Palmetto State. Eisenhower may have demonstrat ed that Republicans would not allow the South to defy Brown but in the early 1960s the partys cons ervative wing, best represented by Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, gave many southern ers hope that a coali tion of conservatives could negotiate for less string ent rules of compliance to federal judicial orders. For whites who recognized the impracticalities of diehard massive resistance, minimal desegregation was an attractive alternative to true integration and they surmised that a Republican Administration might be more conducive to their agenda. 4 Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Part y in South Carolina, 310-316. Nadine Cohodas, Strom Thurmond & the Politics of Southern Change (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993) 268-314. Jack Bass and Marilyn W. Thompson, Strom: The Complicated Personal and Political Life of Strom Thurmond (New York: Public Affairs, 2005) 155-181. William Hu ntley, Mendel Rivers and the Expansion of the Charleston Naval Station, Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association (1995) 31-39. Stone, Making a Modern State, 253-444. For a discussion of Buckley and the New Right, see: Frank Paul Mintz, The Liberty Lobby: Vanguard of the Dispossessed Right (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of Maryland, 1983). John B. Judis, William F. Buckley, Jr.: Patron Saint of the Conservatives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988). Jean V. Hardisty, Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence from the John Birch Society to the Promise Keepers (Boston: Beacon Press, 1999).

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346 The first visible signs of an electoral shift occurred dur ing the presidential election of 1960. Despite Texan Lyndon B. Johnsons ap pearance on the ticket as the partys nominee for the vice-presidency, white segregat ionists had largely given up any hope that the national Democratic Party would soften its stance on race. They also had no faith in the Republican Party to defend any vestige of racial segregation, but given the growing sense that national Republicans were more amenable to t oken desegregation there was hope for the creation of a potent conservati ve political alliance. Nationally, the Republican Party was more homogenous than the Democratic Party. Therefore, GOP candidates outside the South faced less pressu re from African Americans and New Deal liberals to push for immediate and far reaching integration. By 1960, Republican strategists began to recognize th at they could pursue the vote s of southern whites without jeopardizing important voting blocs within their own party. Richard M. Nixon, the Republican candidate for presid ent in 1960, proclaimed that I ts time for the Democratic candidates to quit taking the South for gran ted and its time for the Republican Party to quit conceding the South to the Democrats. Although Nixon was a member of the NAACP and had courted black voters for Eisenhower during the 1956 presidential campaign, he presented himself as a more r acially conservative candidate than his opponent, John F. Kennedy.5 Nixon and his campaign staff knew that Kenne dy was vulnerable in the South. The Democratic Party Platform ca lled for an affirmative new atmosphere in which to deal with the racial divisions and inequities which threaten both the integrity of our 5 News and Courier (November 7, 1960), clipping from the Rivers Papers, SCHS. For a discussion of race, civil rights, and Democratic Party politics, see: Mark Stern, Calculating Visions: Kennedy, Johnson, and Civil Rights (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1992).

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347 democratic faith and the proposition on whic h our nation was founded that all men are created equal. Furthermore, the platform d eclared, The time has come to assure equal access for all Americans to all areas of community life including voting booths, schoolrooms, jobs, housing, and public facilities . In the months leading up to the Democratic National Convention, Kenne dy and his future running mate, Lyndon Johnson, campaigned for an active federal role in desegregating th e nations schools and for ending racial discrimination in federal housing programs. Though Kennedy downplayed that role in the general electi on, his nominal interest in civil rights was disturbing to southern whites who were especi ally uneasy after the Democratic candidate telephoned Martin Luther King, Jr.s wife Coretta on the eve of the election after a number of black activists, in cluding Reverend King, were jail ed in Georgia during a civil rights protest. In the mind of both whites and blacks the call associated Kennedy with Kings agenda despite the fact that Kennedy s support for civil right s was tentative and circumscribed during the 1960 campaign and for several years in office.6 Kennedy enjoyed a reputation as a politic al moderate throughout much of the nation, but southern whites tended to view th e northern Democrat with skepticism. To conservative critics, Kennedys phone call to Coretta Scott King was evidence that he was not the moderate candidate that he claimed to be. Sout h Carolinas delegates to the national convention reacted to those concer ns and protested the civil rights plank. Although those protests were futile, conserva tive South Carolina Democrats were once again able to convin ce the state party to adopt a reso lution allowing party members to 6 Democratic Party Platform of 1960, reprinted in ed. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. History of American Presidential Elections, 1940-1948 (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1971), 3508. Kennedys call to King is discussed in: Jonathan Rosenberg, Kennedy, Johnson, and the Quest for Justice: The Civil Rights Tapes (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003) 27-29.

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348 vote for the presidential electo rs of their choice without jeop ardizing their standing within the Democratic Party of South Carolina. That, however, was not enough to convince many hardcore segregationists to remain loya l to the state party. In the weeks following the national convention, severa l leaders from the 1956 inde pendent elector movement, such as former Association of Citizens Councils of South Carolina (ACCSC) Chairman Micah Jenkins, announced their defection to the Republican Party. In the metropolitan areas around Columbia and Char leston, the GOP seemed to win scores of converts almost overnight. One study of these new Republican s, found that most of them had followed a similar path to GOP membership. Either th ey were political novice s in their twenties or early thirties, or they were former Demo crats who felt alienated by the partys new liberal image. According to poli tical scientist Gregory Sampson: They had supported Thurmond in 1948 as the official Democratic Party nominee. In 1952, they had been prepared to forsake the Democratic label entirely to back Eisenhower as an Independe nt. In 1956, they had voted against the policies of the national Democratic Party by supporti ng Eisenhower or the Independent slate of electors.7 Given the Democratic Partys strong state organization and lingering distrust of the Republican Party among working class whites, some political hopefuls chose to endorse national Republicans without formally leaving the party of their gr andfathers. For the fourth consecutive presidential election, di ssident Democrats formed an independent organization that endorsed a ca ndidate other than the partys nominee for the presidency. Under the direction of Albert Watson, a Colu mbia attorney, South Carolinians for Nixon and Lodge campaigned for the Republican candida tes in South Carolina In a portent of 7 Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 313-316.

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349 things to come, the new organization focuse d almost exclusively on the issue of civil rights to woo white voters in the Palmetto State.8 In the national campaign, the ideological differences between Nixon and Kennedy were hardly perceivable. E ach candidate argued in favor of civil rights, but downplayed the issue during the campaign; they both we re staunch anticommunists; and they both called for increases in the defense budget. On the state level, however, Republican Party officials and dissident Democrats drew a st ark contrast between the two candidates. Watsons organization was especially adep t at portraying Nixon as the only true conservative in the race. He claimed that communists were hopeful of a Kennedy victory, and arranged for ex-Dixiecrat and former governor of Texas Allan Shivers to campaign for Nixon in South Carolina.9 ACCSC Executive Director Farley Smith refused to endorse any candidate, but declared that the Republican civil rights plan was less offensive than the Democratic one. Likewise, Senator Thurmond called on voters s imply to vote their conscience. Although he retained his Democratic Party affiliati on, Thurmond did not campaign for, or endorse, Kennedy. Former Governor Byrnes, who had endorsed Eisenhower in 1952, publicly declared his support for Nixon. Other former Dixiecrats, such as Rivers, preached party loyalty, but took little or no pa rt in the campaign. The end result, according to Sampson was that opponents of black civil rights im plied that, if Kennedy were elected, the new president would inflict the most da mage on southern racial convictions.10 8 Ibid ., 317-319. 9 Ibid ., 318-323. Billy B. Hathorn, The Changing Politics of Race: Congressman Albert William Watson and the S.C. Republican Party, 1965-1970, Southern Carolina Historical Magazine (October 1988) 227241. 10 Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 323.

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350 Conversely, Senator Johnston, Edgar Brow n, and other Democratic stalwarts reminded voters of Nixons membership in th e NAACP, his courtship of black voters in 1956, and his support of civil rights legislation. However, th eir efforts did not persuade many white segregationists that Nixon and th e Republicans would be more aggressive on civil rights than a Democrat ic Kennedy White House. A t ypical Nixon voter was either a middle or upper class white professional li ving in or around one of South Carolinas major cities or a less educated white li ving in a county with a significant black population. Population growth, eco nomic changes, and national political realignments all contributed to this change, but racial politics united poor black belt whites and urban educated whites under the Republican banner as both factions seemed convinced that rapid desegregation would lead to widespread social unrest, economic instability, and a palpable loss of white status and advantage.11 Despite the stirrings of a significan t Republican presence, Kennedy narrowly defeated Nixon with 51.2 percent of the popular vote in South Carolina. His victory was due to a combination of votes from white wo rkers in the piedmont region, white farmers in the Pee Dee area who were suspicious of Republican efforts to restructure farm subsidies, and African American voters. However, the fact that Nixon did win the majority of the white vote was evidence of underlying changes in South Carolinas political atmosphere. Nixons white major ity was a combination of what political scientist Bruce Kalk called a coal ition of cosmopolitan whites and ultrasegregationists. Furthermore, Nixon was able to preserve his reputation on the 11 These trends are discussed in: Donald Fowler, Presidential Voting in South Carolina, 1948-1964 (Columbia: Bureau of Governmental Research and Service, University of South Carolina, 1966) 99-127. Kalk, The Origins of the Southern Strategy 25-54. Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 274-343.

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351 national stage as a racial moderate while simultaneously giving the perception to South Carolina whites that he would be less apt to force rapid and sweeping racial change on the South. Though his southern strategy ha d not yet matured, Nixons campaign tactics did foreshadow his later political agenda.12 In South Carolina two distinct trends emerged from the Republicans strong showing. First, the election was the first time that many white Democrats in South Carolina openly endorsed a Republican candida te on the Republican ticket. Second, it was the first election in which a large number of Democrats changed their official party affiliation on a permanent basis. Even Wats on, who had been reluctant to switch parties, later announced that he would change hi s affiliation. The strong support for Nixon among ultrasegregationists, like Micah Jenkins, demonstrated a sharp contrast between South Carolinas hardcore se gregationists, and massive re sisters in other Deep South States. In Alabama and Mississippi, for example, whites handed their votes to unpledged electors rather than endorse Nixon while white South Carolinians, it seems, had abandoned this kind of last -ditch political protest.13 Despite Nixons success with white vot ers in 1960, the nascent conservative coalition in South Carolina faced numerous obstacles. Rural sout herners were not yet comfortable with the suburban Sunbelt Republ icanism that was emerging in southern and western cities. For South Carolina Republicans the most difficult task became attracting white rural voters in state elections. South Caroli na Democrats, such as Olin 12 Ibid 13 Jack Bass and Walter De Vries, The Transformation of Southern Politics: Social Change & Political Consequence Since 1945 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995) 58-59, 470-471. Jack Davis, Race Against Time: Culture and Separation in Natchez Since 1930 (Baton Rogue: Louisiana State University Press, 2001) 161.

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352 Johnston, Edgar Brown, and even Mendel Rivers had campaigned in rural counties by perennially supporting popular farm subsidies, rural electrification, and other New Deal programs. As popular as the Goldwater wing of the party was with South Carolinas rank and file Republicans, its opposition to pr ograms like the Santee-Cooper hydroelectric plant was a significant impediment to buildi ng a dominant Republican Party in South Carolina. So long as rural whites believed that there was a significant difference between the Democratic Party of South Carolina and the Democratic National Convention, winning state and local elections was near ly impossible for the South Carolina GOP. Nevertheless, there were some indications that the kinds of ec onomic concerns that still animated urban working class whites a nd rural Democratic voters had begun to wane in South Carolinas suburban areas. As the state moved further away from the poverty of the Great Depression many of South Carolina s leading businessmen, such as Charles Daniel and textile executive John Cauthen, had stepped up their support for laws that were anti-union, anti-minimum wage, and pr o-corporate tax cuts. More important, however, was their increasing tendency to ca ll for an alternative to diehard massive resistance that took economic considerations into account. By 1961 it was clear that, as the influence of conservative Republican id eas gained strength among business elites, fiscal concerns would have a dramatic impact on the tenor of white resistance. Daniel and others continued to argue that the stat e had to solve its race problem or face the same kind of fiscal setbacks that plagued Mississippi and Arkansas during their massive resistance campaigns. Public disorder, he argued, would limit the states economic

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353 potential. Likewise, Cauthen pr eached that law and order was absolutely necessary to ensure economic success.14 The kind of law and order conservatism preached by Daniel, Cauthen, and other business leaders was a sharp contrast to th e working class campaigns directed by Olin Johnston, Edgar Brown and other South Carolina Democrats. It was also quite different from the conservative populism espoused by ot her southern leaders, such as George Wallace and Herman Talmadge, and less acer bic and demagogic than the rhetoric emanating from rural social conservatives li ke John D. Long. The appeal of law and order conservatism in South Carolina was undeniable. White resistance advocates recognized the emergence of law and order c onservatism and tailored their efforts to appeal to business minded whites.15 For white segregationists, who still constituted the vast majority of South Carolinas white population in 1960, the need for a new political option seemed to become even more urgent after Kennedy was elected. Soon af ter his inauguration, Kennedy named several African Americans to his cabinet. The new presidents nominees for Special Assistant to the Presid ent, Deputy Assistant Se cretary of State for Public Affairs, Associate White House Press Secretary, Special Assistant to the Secretary 14 John Sproat, Firm Flexibility: Perspectives on De segregation in South Carolina, in eds. Robert H. Abzug and Stephen E. Maizlish, Race and Slavery in America: Essays in Honor of Kenneth Stampp (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky Press, 1986) 165-181. Stone, Making a Modern State, 387518. Other business leaders, such a Charles W. Coke r of Sonoco Products Company in Hartsville and E.R. McIver, Jr. of McIver-Shaw Lumber Company in Conway also expre ssed concerns that recalcitrant resistance would do irreparable harm to the states econo my and impede progress, see: E.R. McIver, Jr. to William Workman (August 21, 1961) Workman Papers, MP C. George Grice to Charles W. Coker (March 24, 1965) College of Charleston Archives, Special Collections. 15 Dan T. Carter, The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics (Baton Rogue: Louisiana State Univer sity Press, 1995, 2000). Mark Royden Winchell, Talmadge: A Political Legacy, A Politicians Life (Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers, 1987). For a discussion of conservative populism, see: Michael Kazin, The Populist Persuasion: An American History (New York: BasicBooks, 1995).

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354 of Labor, and Ambassador to Norway were all black. He also named Thurgood Marshall to the Second Court of Appeals. The co mbination of Kennedys support for African American appointees and the increase in bl ack direct action campaigns notably the student sit-ins and freedom rides convinced many segregationists th at the president was encouraging civil rights activism. By the time Kennedy federalized the Mississippi National Guard and ordered troops into Oxford Mississippi in the fall of 1962, southern whites had grown increasingly hostile to the De mocratic president. The perception that South Carolina had no choice but to desegr egate Clemson peacefully in 1963 was even further evidence to conservati ve whites that the federal government was acting beyond its constitutional authority.16 Republicans in South Carolina hoped to cap italize on this growing dissatisfaction and hostility and launched a c oncerted effort to win state and local elections with a monolithic campaign strategy. They simply reminded white voters that the Democratic Party was the liberal party of a presiden t who they distrusted. The GOPs first opportunity to score an elector al victory in a state electi on occurred in Richland County in 1961 during a special race to fill a vacant seat in th e South Carolina House of Representatives. The Republican candidate was Columbia attorney named Charles E. Boineau, Jr. Like most of the states GOP members, Boineau had formally joined the party during the 1960 campaign, but actually ha d not supported the Democratic nominee in a presidential election since 1944.17 16 Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Pa rty in South Carolina, 337. For a discussion of Kennedys African Amer ican appointees, see: Carl Brauer, John F. Kennedy and the Second Reconstruction (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977). 17 Sampson, The Rise of the New Repu blican Party in South Carolina, 332-335.

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355 Boineau and his opponent Joe Berry held sim ilar political views. Both men were avowed conservatives who believed in segreg ation. The biggest difference between them was their party affiliation. Even though the election was for a state office, Boineau was able to win by a landslide simply by campaigni ng against the national Democratic Party. He condemned the Kennedy Administration fo r telling us whom we should hire and attacked federal control of education. The combination of economic conservatism and white supremacy made Boineau an attractive candidate to both wh ite professionals and die-hard segregationists. His more subtle criticisms of desegregation, economic conservatism, and carefully constructed defens e of white rights spoke to his belief in white privilege without the kind of uglin ess and impoliteness that was typical in racially based campaigns. His election-day victory in a solid Democratic state was evidence of the groundswell of popul ar support for an alterna tive political option in the South Carolina midlands.18 When GOP leaders examined the election re sults, they confirmed that the fastest road to victory in South Carolina was the combination of racial politics and economic conservatism. They were determined to bu ild on their victory in Richland County by using Boineaus strategy to win a statewide office in the 1962 mid-term election. In the senatorial election of 1962 South Carolin a Republicans nominated newspaperman and outspoken conservative William D. Workman to challenge Olin Johnston. Workman was the only Republican whose name recogniti on could even compare with the popular 18 News and Courier (July 18, 1961) 2. Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 333-335.

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356 upstate senator and his book The Case for the South was an indictment of federal intrusion into state and local matters and a defense of southern segregation.19 The 1962 election was also notable in that it featured a strong Republican challenge in the Second Congressional District. The di strict, which included Columbia and several mostly rural counties surrounding it, was domi nated by hardcore segregationists. Its Democratic representative, Al bert Watson, was a well-known se gregationist, but that did not stop ultra-segregationist Floyd Spence fr om challenging the maverick Democrat. Though there was a large African American community in Columbia and Richland County, it was dwarfed by the size of the white population. Furthermore, most of the African Americans in the surround ing rural counties we re not registered voters. Thus, if Watson was to defeat Spence, he could not rely solely on high voter turnout from African Americans who tended to vote Democratic.20 In a sense, both Workmans and Spences strategy was the same as Thurmonds had been in 1950 and Boineaus in 1961. Both would remind voters that a vote for Johnston or Watson was an endorsement of the Democratic Party and, therefore, an implicit endorsement of the national partys pl atform. Of course, Thurmonds race based campaign against Johnston had been derailed by a combination of Democratic loyalists and African American voters. Nevertheless, GOP strategists, such as Shorey, felt that the state had changed enough during the 12 years since Johnstons victory in the Democratic Primary to give Republican candidates a ch ance using the blueprint first utilized by 19 William Workman, The Case for the South (New York: Devin-Adair Co., 1960). 20 Russell Merritt, The Senatorial Election of 1962 an d the Rise of Two-Party Politics in South Carolina, South Carolina Historical Magazine (July 1997) 281-301. Hathorn, T he Changing Politics of Race, 227241.

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357 Thurmond. Unlike in 1950, the threat of forced desegregation was immediate. Furthermore, the post-World War II economic boom had led to a dramatic increase in white collar workers in South Carolina. It was with this in mind that Republican strategist Drake Edens coordinated the partys campaign strategy in 1962.21 Throughout the campaign Workman and Sp ence limited their attacks to the liberal politics of the national Democratic Party and urged southern voters to find a new political home in the conservative wing of the GOP. Workman, for example, specifically assailed the unchecked growth of the federal bureaucracy and blamed the judiciary with undoing good r ace relations in the South. In essence, his campaign reiterated the criticisms of the nationa l government that he had spelled out in The Case for the South .22 For many whites, the GOP strategy made for a compelling argument in the senatorial election. Olin Johnston had to rely on class politics and a strong African American turnout to defeat the GOP challe nge. He labeled Work man the candidate of big business and declared that the Republican platform was at odds with the well being of working people. He also defended his suppor t for popular New Deal programs, such as the minimum wage and Social Security. According to Johnston, Workman would be loyal to corporations and Republican fat cats. He also noted that his own record as an independent Democrat in the Senate were im peccable and demonstrated that he rarely voted along the liberal party line.23 21 Merritt, The Senatorial Election of 1962, 281-301. 22 Ibid 23 Ibid

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358 Workman was unable to overcome Johnst ons strong support from white textile workers and African Americans. Neverthe less, he captured over 44 percent of the popular votes, nearly the entire black belt, and the majority of the white vote. Moreover, the election was an important step in the GOPs long term plan for South Carolina. Workmans polite defense of racial segreg ation attracted both mainstream whites and hardcore segregationists. Moreover, Republican organize rs, especially Eden, used Workmans campaign to build a precinct leve l organization. The f act that Workman was able to galvanize support from hardcore se gregationists and former Citizens Council members without resorting to the kind of ugly racism espoused by rural segregationists like John D. Long buoyed Republican hopes in South Carolina and laid the groundwork for the 1964 elections.24 Though it achieved similar results, Spence s campaign was more difficult. Watson had been a frequent critic of the nationa l Democratic Party and had broke ranks and supported Nixons campaign in 1960. Nevert heless, Spences relentless attacks on northern liberals won him 47.2 percent of th e popular vote. Like Workman, however, he was unable to unseat his Democratic oppone nt, who ironically, most likely owed his narrow victory to the small number of black voters in Richland County. Despite this success, the small margin of victory worri ed the conservative Democrat. With the exceptions of Mendel Rivers and Strom T hurmond, no congressional representative from South Carolina had a more credible reputati on than Watson for defe nding white privilege 24 Ibid

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359 and endorsing conservative candidates, and ye t, Spence was still able to win over white conservatives a core group in Watsons political base.25 Politics is important in understanding race relations in South Carolina. The strong showing by Workman and Spence in the election was a defining moment for the Democratic Party. It became clear to many state Democrats that without black ballots they risked losing future elections to cons ervative Republican candida tes. As Democrats became more reliant on black voters, however, they also became, reluctantly, more open to negotiation with African American leader s. Though decisive change was still years away, Workmans ability to take the white vot e away from one of South Carolinas most entrenched Democrats and Spences capability to challenge one of the states most uncompromising segregationists served as important lessons to later Democratic candidates. For example, in the election fo r the deceased Johnstons senate seat in 1966, Fritz Hollings, who had been elected G overnor in 1958 on a promise to preserve segregation, worked with black leaders to ensure a high African American turnout on election-day so as to offset the widespread defection of whites to the Republican Party. In other words, as more segregationist mi nded whites sought refuge in the conservative wing of the Republican Party, they also he lped usher in a new, fragile, biracial Democratic Party in South Carolina.26 25 Hathorn, The Changing Politics of Race, 228. 26 Sproat, Firm Flexibility, 165-181. Marcia Synno tt, Desegregation in South Carolina, 1950-1963: Sometime Between Now and Nev er, in eds. Winfred B. Moore, Jr. and Joseph F. Tripp, Looking South: Chapters in the Story of an American Region (New York: Greenwood Press, 1989) 51-64. Tony Badger, From Defiance to Moderation: South Carolina Governors and Racial Change, The Citadel Conference on the Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina (Charleston: The Citadel and Columbia Cooper Educational Films, 2003), Video Cassette: Plenary Session 16.

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360 For more than a decade, South Carolina whites had rallied to calls for white solidarity. The desegregation of Clemson and the University of South Carolina tested that unity and exposed divisions within th e white communities that had been obfuscated by the white defense of racial segregation. Though cracks in the faade of white unity had been apparent, and on occasions widene d to a breaking point, throughout the postWorld War II period, it was not until the fede ral courts began the lengthy process of desegregating South Carolinas public schools that the various ideological factions within the states white communities began to coales ce into two separate political parties. Though protest votes in the presidential el ections of 1948-1956 were indicative of white resentment of the national Democratic Partys nascent interests in civil rights, it was after the South Carolina Republican Party stepped up its grassroots organization in the early 1960s that many black belt whites finally shif ted away from diehard massive resistance and toward the GOPs more nuanced racial c onservatism. Even then, it was only after the GOP offered an alternative to both massi ve resistance and court ordered integration that it gained a lasting foothol d in South Carolina politics.27 The Republican preference of scaling b ack national pressure for immediate desegregation seemed especially important in August 1963 when Federal Judge J. Robert Martin ruled in Brown v. School District 20 of Charleston County that segregated primary and secondary schools in the city of Charleston had to accept 11 African American students and had to desegregate completely for the 1964-65 academic year. The case, which was filed by J. Arthur Brown on beha lf of his daughter Millicent in May 1962, 27 For a discussion of the importance of white political protests in South Carolina during the 1940s and 1950s, and their effect on state politics into the 1960s, see: Kari Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001).

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361 marked the first desegregation of a public school system in South Carolina since Reconstruction. Furthermore, it provided a mu ch needed legal precedent for all of South Carolinas unsettled school desegregati on lawsuits. Though it was not the first desegregation suit, it was the first successful example of court orde red desegregation of a public school in South Carolina. To accommoda te Judge Martins order, state and local officials adopted the same plan that they had used at Clemson and the University of South Carolina. SLED agents worked with the city police to insure public order, and Charlestons political establishment pleaded w ith Charlestonians not to do anything that would draw the attention of federal law en forcement. With the exception of several telephone bomb threats to the schools in Dist rict 20, the desegregat ion of Charlestons city schools was peaceful and orderly. 28 That superficial calm may have concealed th e deep resentment that most whites felt toward forced desegregation, but it is notew orthy that South Carolinas political and economic elite were generally able to avoid th e level of racial violence that erupted in other Deep South states. In the months fo llowing the desegregation of Clemson and the admission of African Americans to the Univ ersity of South Caro lina and Charleston District 20, the nation was preoccupied with civil rights struggles in Mississippi and Alabama. In June 1963, Medgar Evers, the NAACP field secretary for Mississippi, was assassinated. In September, four young girl s were murdered when a reputed Ku Klux Klansman bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptis t Church in Birmingham, Alabama. When 28 Charleston County, a report on Brown et al v. District 20 of Charleston County Workman Papers, MPC. News and Courier (August 23, 1963) 1A. Paul Wesley McNeill, School Desegregation in South Carolina, 1963-1970, (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of Kentucky, 1979) 19. Maxie Myron Cox, 63: The Year of Decision in South Carolina (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of South Carolina, 1996) 144258.

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362 contrasted with this kind of well-publicized violence, South Carolinas resistance to court ordered desegregation did seem moderate. South Carolina had no counterpart to Sheriff Eugene Bull Conner, who allowed police dog s to attack SCLC protesters and black bystanders in Birmingham and ordered the use high pressure hoses against African Americans. In 1963, SLED agents tried to minimize the use of force and demanded an orderly non-violent response to peaceful protests in South Carolina. In doing so, South Carolina was able avoid the kind of national scrutiny that descended on Mississippi and Alabama. An article in the Saturday Evening Post declared the state had achieved integration with dignity a nd United States Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and other national leaders congratulated Sout h Carolinians for avoiding the kind of disruptions that plagued the dese gregation of schools elsewhere.29 Still, some of the praise for South Carolin as lack of civic diso rder was warranted. With a few notable exceptions, state elit es were less dogmatic than many of their southern contemporaries and SLED did seem up to task of preventing racial violence as the state dismantled the Jim Crow system. Biracial committees had been organized in most of South Carolinas cities and white business leaders in Ch arleston, Columbia, and Greenville had negotiated some desegregation of stores, agreed to extend courtesy titles to African Americans, and, most notably in Columbia, began hiring African American employees. Even Orangeburg, which was the s ite of some of the states most visible 29 George McMillan, Integration with Dignity: The Inside Story of How South Carolina Kept the Peace, Saturday Evening Post (March 16, 1963) 16-21. Keith Morris, Desegregation with Dignity: Those Who Made it Work in Their Own Words, Upcountry Review (Fall 1999) 28-51. Alfred L. Burgess, Working Together For Integration, Carologue: Bulletin of the South Carolina Historical Society (Winter 1992) 7. Sproat, Firm Flexibility, 165-181. Paul Lofton, Jr., Calm and Exemplary: Desegregation in Columbia, South Carolina, in eds. Elizabeth Jacoway and David Colburn, Southern Businessmen and Desegregation (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Un iversity Press, 1982) 70-81. For a discussion of the violence in Alabama, see: Glenn Eskew, But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle (Chapel Hill: University of North Caro lina Press, 1997), especially pp. 193-237.

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363 racial conflicts, witnessed an increase in interracial cooperation. Governors Hollings and Donald Russell had both conceded that South Carolina whites had lost their battle to maintain complete segregation in the public schools, and, after a decade of frustration, the SCCHR increased its membership and began to assert itself as a potent advocacy group for moderate whites.30 Nonetheless, it should be noted that this praise came at a time when less than 20 African American students atte nded desegregated public sch ools and colleges in South Carolina. Moreover, it would be an overstat ement to suggest that white South Carolinians voluntarily acquiesce d on the issue of desegregat ion. Any desegregation in the state came piecemeal, grudgingly and usually as a result of concerted black activism. It was obvious to even the most casual observer that Judge Martins ruling in Brown v. Charleston failed to spark rapid desegregation across th e state. In spite of the order, most of the states rural school districts were determined to carry on the fight against desegregation as long as possible, state parks remained closed until 1966 to avoid desegregating them, and most of the states restaurants and hotels enforced a policy of strict segregation. Even in urban areas where state leader s considered race relations good, desegregation came only as a last re sort. For example, in Greenville school officials agreed to a court ordered desegr egation of county schools in the spring of 1964, but only after Judge Martin made it clear to them that he would use the Charleston precedent to rule against them. In Charlest on, movie theaters, most restaurants, city parks, and hotels remained completely segreg ated. Only businesses that relied on a high 30 Ibid Marcia Synnott, Federalism Vindicated: University Desegregation in South Carolina and Alabama, 1962-1963, Journal of Policy History (Fall 1989) 292-318. Marcia Synnott, Crusaders and Clubwomen, 49-76.

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364 level of black trade had dese gregated during the sporadic boycotts that enveloped the historic city in 1960-63.31 By the summer of 1964 local school di stricts in Charlest on, Clarendon, Sumter, Orangeburg, Darlington, Richland, and Gree nville County were either under court ordered desegregation or facing a legal chal lenge to segregated education, and it was clear from events inside and outside of the state the numbe r of desegregation cases was going to continue to increase. Nevertheless, most local districts refused to even begin negotiating the desegregation of their public schools. As the 1964-65 school year commenced only 16 of the states 108 school di stricts had undergone any desegregation. In Clarendon County and Orangeburg County, de segregation battles had raged for nearly a decade without even token desegregation. Both Brunson v. School District 1 of Clarendon County and Adams v. School District 5 of Orangeburg County were the result of desegregation petitions filed shortly after the Brown implementation order, and both cases had been meandering through the court sy stem for nearly all of the 1960s. Whites refused to concede defeat in either ca se until every legal option was exhausted.32 This resistance continued despite the f act that whites knew that in every desegregation case the courts would eventually ru le in favor of the plaintiffs. Still, whites took every opportunity to slow what should have been a flood of dese gregation to a mere trickle. Even in the few cases where South Caro linians voluntarily desegregated, they did so under intense economic and legal pressu re. With legal prec edent on their side, 31 Morris, Desegregation with Dignity, 28-51. Burgess, Working Together For Integration, 7. Stephen Lowe, Grass Roots and Marble Columns: Civil Rights, Public Accommodations and South Carolina Federal Courts, 1955-1966, Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association (2000) 27-42. See also, Stephen ONeill, From the Shadow of Slavery: The Civil Rights Years in Charleston, (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of Virginia, 1994) 198-247. 32 McNeill, School Desegregation in South Carolina, 19.

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365 federal authorities in the executive branch understood that their most powerful tool was economic coercion and did not hesitate to use the promise of federal monies to encourage compliance whenever possible. For example, when the textile industry desegregated in 1961, it did so because the Presidents Committe e on Equal Employment reported that all future federal contracts would include a non-discrimination clause that prohibited a segregated workplace. Even then, it was not until the late 1960s that desegregation moved beyond the token phase and the mid-1970s before the percentage of black textile workers began to resemble the ratio of African Americans in the states overall population. 33 It was clear to South Carolinas political a nd economic elites that, largely due to hundreds of local campaigns and increased pr essure from nationally prominent civil rights activists like Martin Luther King, Jr ., the federal government had become more committed to forcing desegregation during the Kennedy years. By 1963, the president and his brother, United States Attorney Gene ral Robert F. Kennedy, had concluded that a more concerted effort was necessary and ha d authorized federal agencies to develop strategies to ensure compliance. As was th e case with the desegregation of the textile trade, those strategies were most successful when they tied compliance to federal aid. For example, in February of 1963, the Assistan t Secretary of the de partment of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) asked Charle ston County to desegregate any school attended by children of military personnel. Ma ny of those schools had been built with the assistance of military impact funds and HEW o fficials argued that failure to comply with 33 Charleston County, a report on Brown et al v. District 20 of Charleston County Workman Papers, MPC. News and Courier (August 23, 1963) 1A. McNeill School Desegregation in South Carolina, 19. Morris, Desegregation with Dignity, 28-51. Burgess, Working Together For Integration, 7. Southern School News (August, 1964) 8. The State (July 8, 1964) 1A.

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366 federal policies regarding dese gregation could result in the revocation of that funding. HEW demonstrated its commitment in the fall of 1963 when it opened desegregated schools at the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base a nd at Fort Jackson in Columbia using funds that could have gone to the local communit y. Confronted with examples of various regions losing federal income due to segrega tion in the early 1960s, Sumter District Two near Shaw Air Force Base offered to rent a school to the military for the education of children whose parents served at the base. Federal officials balked at the idea and pointed out that military impact funds had paid for the construction of Shaw Heights Elementary in 1953. HEW authorities not ed that during the 1950s the federal government spent close to one million dolla rs on school construction near the base compared to a paltry 7,000 dollars contributed by Sumter County.34 It was under this kind of pressure from HE W that Charleston Dist rict Four (North Charleston) agreed to dese gregate its schools in the fall of 1964 when it allowed the transfer of four African Am erican students to schools prev iously designated whites only. Though the decision was lauded by civi l rights activists, it was hardly voluntary. The district included or was located adjacen t to the Charleston Navy Base, the Polaris Naval Weapons Station, the Naval Shipyard, the Charleston Air Force Base, the Navy Minecraft Base, and a host of other federa l installations. All four of the African American students who were granted transfers were the children of military personnel.35 34 News and Courier (February 8, 1963) 1A. Morris, Desegregation with Dignity, 28-51. Burgess, Working Together For Integration 7. Southern School News (August, 1964) 8. The State (July 8, 1964) 1A. 35 Charleston County, a report on Brown et al v. District 20 of Charleston County Workman Papers, MPC.

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367 Still, black activists and their allies had made undeniable, if circumscribed, progress in South Carolina. There was cau se for hope, but there was also cause for trepidation. Without additional leverage, civ il rights advocates understood that, for the foreseeable future, the extent of social and educational desegregation would remain limited. Advocates for black civil rights were given that leverage by the United States Congress in the summer of 1964. In the mont hs after the assassina tion of President John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson advocated strong civil rights legislation as a tribute to the fallen leader. Kennedy had origin ally proposed a civil rights bill. However, in part out of frustration with the continued southern intransigence and in response to the escalating violence surrounding the civil rights movement in many Deep South states, the new proposal was more far reaching than the one that Kennedy had supported.36 When President Johnson signed The Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law in July 1964 it was one of the most sweeping pieces of le gislation to pass through congress since the 36 For a detailed discussion of the immense toll that the multitude of legal challenges to segregation in South Carolina were taking on the limited resources of civil rights workers, see: McNeill, School Desegregation in South Carolina, 15-68. Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 94-186, 222-306. After George Wallace threatened continued defiance to court mandated school desegregation with his symbolic stand in the schoolhouse door at the Univer sity of Alabama, Kennedy had beco me convinced that it was time for the federal government to assert itself more vigorous ly in the South. The n eed for such action became more apparent during the months following the presid ents assassination. After a jury in Alabama refused to find Ku Klux Klansman Robert Chambliss guilty of murder in the Birmingham church bombing and Mississippi failed to convict Byron De la Beckwith in the assassination of Medgar Evers, the majority of Congress concluded that the lack of consequences fo r such violence proved th e need for a potent civil rights act. During the debate over the new law, the n eed became even more apparent when three Freedom Summer workers disappeared in Missi ssippi, see: Mary L. Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy (Princeton: Princeton University Pr ess, 2000) 198-202. Adam Fairclough, To Redeem the Soul of America: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987) 155-162. Hugh Davis Graham, Civil Rights and the Presidency: Race and Gender in American Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992) 67-86. Michael J. Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005) 433-444. Carter, The Politics of Rage 133-155. Maryanne Vollers, Ghosts of Mississippi: The Murder of Medgar Evers, the Trials of Byron De La Beckwith, and the Haunting of the New South (New York: Little Brown, 1995). Davis, Race Against Time 158-183. Charles M. Payne, Ive Got the Light of Freedom: Organizing Tradition & Mississippi (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995) 288-316.

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368 Great Depression. The new law strengthened the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and ordered the desegregation of public accommodations, fa cilities, and public school systems. The law also gave the office of the Attorney Ge neral of the United States sweeping authority to prosecute civil rights viola tions and to take legal action on behalf of complainants in civil rights cases. Every notable elected official in South Carolina condemned the new legislation. Senator Strom Thurmond, for instance, denounced the law and the judicial activism that it encouraged. Thurmond argued that the civil rights law violat ed states rights, constitutional provisions regarding voting, and laws governing property rights. According to the senator, The Declaration [of Independence] does not state that all men are equal. It explicitly points out that all men are created equal. He insisted that voting was a privilege and not a civil right. Third Congressional District Congressman William Jennings Bryan Dorn called the law A n attempt by sinister forces to give the United States a guilt complex. When th e South Carolina Democratic Convention was held in Columbia in March of 1964, party members passed a resolution commending the states delegation to congress for oppos ing the dastardly civil rights bill.37 For black South Carolinians, however, the Civil Rights Act was a long overdue remedy to the slow pace of desegregation in the Palmetto State. When it was passed, less than 20 of the states 108 school district s operated under token desegregation, public accommodations were mostly segregated, and South Carolinas system of state parks remained closed. These remnants of de jure segregation lingered despite multiple court 37 Congressional Record (March 17, 1964) 5434; Strom Thurmond, Report to the People (March 23, 1964; April 6, 1964); News Releas e, (March 24, 1964), all located in the Thurmond Papers, Thurmond Institute. News and Courier (January 25, 1964) 9A, (March 25, 1964) 6B.

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369 orders, widespread popular protests, and thre ats of executive enforcement of judicial decisions. On paper, the Civil Ri ghts Act promised to undo what the Brown decision and more than a decade of internal and external pressure could not and correct these egregious violations of black civil rights. However, like their elected leaders, white South Carolinians were generally appalled by the new law and their outrage was conspicuously displayed during the presidential election of 1964. Democrats were obviously worri ed that the partys support for the civil rights law would accelerate th e exodus of white southerners to the Republican Party and the growth of grassr oots Republicanism during that election in South Carolina was evidence that Democratic fears of losing white southern votes were well founded. When the Republican Nationa l Convention nominated Barry Goldwater for the presidency in July 1964, it was clear th at a significant number of southern whites would bolt the Democratic Party. In 1960 Goldwater had published The Conscience of a Conservative. The book, which condemned the unchecked growth of fe deral power and the di ssolution of states rights, received favorable revi ews in South Carolina. The senators call for a smaller, less intrusive federal go vernment was a popular message among the states segregationists and its business leaders. At the Republican Nati onal Convention of 1960 a small group of South Carolina Republicans even attempted to encourage their fellow Republicans to place Goldwater on the partys presidential ticket.38 At first glance, Goldwater was an unlikely choice for South Carolina segregationists. He was a member of the NAAC P, he helped organize and lobbied for the 38 Kalk, The Origins of the Southern Strategy 39-40. Barry M. Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative (Shepherdsville, KY: Victor Publishing Company, 1960).

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370 desegregation of the Arizona National Guard, and he argue d that integration was a positive goal. The senator also voted fo r the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960. Nonetheless, he was a staunch advocate of states rights during the debates over civil rights legislation in 1964. A ccording to Goldwater, decisi ons regarding desegregation, and the management of the process, should come at the state and local level. The federal government, he argued, did not have the cons titutional authority to force desegregation on the South. The Arizona senator visited South Carolina in 1959 and gave the keynote address to the state Repub lican Convention in 1960 and 1962. As South Carolinians became more familiar with Goldwaters pa rticular brand of conservatism, they recognized an opportunity to relax some of th e states rigid Jim Crow restrictions while also maintaining many of the aspects of traditional racial patterns in the South. 39 Despite Goldwaters personal opposition to segregation, his presidential candidacy gained a large following in S outh Carolina. Many of his most staunch supporters were veterans of independent political movement s and the White Citizens Councils. For example, Micah Jenkins, Farley Smith, and fo rmer Charleston Mayor Thomas Stoney all supported Goldwater on the Republican ticket. Likewise, Congressman Albert Watson, who was still a Democrat, endorsed Goldwate r for president. However, Goldwaters most notable support came from former Di xiecrat Strom Thurmond. In early fall, Senator Thurmond formally left the Democratic Party and declared himself a Republican. 39 Kalk, The Origins of the Southern Strategy 62. Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 310-316. For more on Goldwater, see: Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (New York: Hill and Wang, 2001).

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371 The switch sent shockwaves through southern political circles and helped legitimize Goldwaters status as an accepta ble choice to white southerners.40 Goldwater helped his cause among white South Carolinians with a vigorous campaign in the state. Like Goldwater, most white South Carolinians were staunch anticommunists and there was growing support for conservative economics in the states urban districts. However, race was the dominant issue for state Republicans in the election. At one campaign appearance in Greenville, Goldwater unknowingly appeared on stage with the grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan and at a rally in Columbia on Halloween, he declared that the Civil Right s Act required southern ers to destroy the rights of some under the false banner of pr omoting the civil rights of others. Moreover, he accused President Johnson of en couraging the spread of socialism at home and Communism abroad, and compared the en forcement of the Civil Rights Act to the institution of slavery. According to Goldwa ter, the enforcement of the law would create a police state in the South.41 As in South Carolina, Goldwaters passionate denunciation of the Civil Rights Act and his conservative reputation garnered him significant support throughout the South, but that popularity never translated to widesp read endorsements outside of the region. It was clear throughout the campaign that Johns on was assured victory in the November election. Goldwaters abrasive personality and penchant for pres enting himself as an ideologue cost him votes in the west and mid-west regions. Un like Richard Nixon four years earlier, Goldwater was unable to in crease the GOP vote in the South without 40 Kalk, The Origins of the Southern Strategy, 62-65 41 Goldwater quoted in: Kalk, The Origins of the Southern Strategy 65. Earl Black and Merle Black, The Vital South: How Presidents are Elected (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press) 150.

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372 alienating voters outside of the region. Th e certainty of a Democratic victory in the presidential election plac ed state politicians in a very di fficult situation. As was the case in every presidential elec tion since 1948, South Carolina Democrats who endorsed a candidate outside of their own party risked losing congressional seniority. Those who chose party loyalty risked voter alienation in their home state.42 Although Watson endorsed Goldwater and T hurmond switched parties, most South Carolina Democrats actually chose to support John son in the presidential race. Even First District Congressman Mendel Rivers chose to endorse the Democratic ticket. For politicians like Rivers, it seemed that race wa s no longer the only electoral concern. By the mid-1960s Rivers had joined a growing chorus of southern leaders who were unwilling to fight a losing battle that could result in irreparable harm to the states economy. Moreover, Rivers made sure that his constituents understood that fighting a last ditch effort to preserve Jim Crow woul d be a costly decision. In 1964 Rivers joined the Lady Bird Special at a campaign stop in Charleston. During the event the crowd jeered the first lady and drowned out any at tempt to begin the proceedings. The crowd chanted in support of Johnsons opponent, but Rivers quieted the unruly group when he boasted that many of them had Johnson to th ank for their jobs in Charlestons many military installations, and warned that, if Gold water won, those jobs could be in jeopardy. Even though Goldwater promised to sustain or increase the nations Cold War military budget, Rivers worried that much of that sp ending would be relocated to a district belonging to a senior Republican congressman if the Arizona senator was victorious. Of 42 Jeremy D. Mayer, LBJ Fights the White Backlash: The Racial Politics of the 1964 Presidential Campaign, Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration (2001) 7-19. Bernard Cosman, Five States for Goldwater; Continuity and Change in Southern Presidential Voting Patterns (University: University of Alabama Press, 1966).

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373 course, Rivers was also aware that implica ting the Republican in the potential loss of local defense dollars was an important politic al tactic regardless of whether or not the charges had any real merit. He told the cr owd that he had no inte ntion of abandoning the Democratic Party in the election and informed his audience that the last time he had left the party in support of a Republican, The ne xt thing I knew Fort Jackson was to be closed, the Navy Yard was non-existent, and the Air Base was to be skeletonized.43 Riverss determination to use his congression al seniority to conti nue to steer federal funds to the First District was also apparent in his criticis ms of Thurmonds decision to leave the Democratic Party. He declared Thurmond a friend, but warned that the senator had made a mistake. According to Rivers, the loss of Thurmonds seniority within the Democratic Party would make it more difficult for the senator to bring federal money to South Carolina and to combat civil ri ghts legislation. I would rather recapture the party of my fathers than leave that part y, claimed Rivers, who added, I would rather add to my seniority so I can fight the enemies of the south from a position of power. The congressman declared his loyalty was warranted because he believed that the greater amount of good, honest, and efficient public service has been and will be rendered by Democratic office holders.44 Like Thurmond, Rivers was a committed se gregationist, but by the mid-1960s the congressman had realized the futility of dieh ard resistance and was especially conscious of taking risks that might damage his ability to shape the federal defense budget. The congressman was poised to takeover as Chairman of the House Armed Services 43 News and Courier (October 9, 1964) 1B. 44 Untitled Speech (n.d.), from the Rivers Papers, SCHS.

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374 Committee when congress reconvened in the sp ring of 1965. He wanted to make certain that his constituents understood his reasons fo r voting contrary to their wishes in the presidential contest and was worried that he might face serious Republican challenge in future elections. He claimed that the best way to prevent such opposition was to ensure that voters equated hi s re-election with the continuati on of federal investment. In his defense Rivers proclaimed: Look around. You can see the monuments you have enabled me to bring to Charleston and the lowcountry through my seniority within the Democratic Party the Naval Shipyard, Polarisville, the nucle ar deterrent capital of the world, the Minecraft Base, the Supply Center, the Ai r Force Base, our Marine Bases in the lowcountry, the entire sprawling military complex which is so vital to our economic growth. Additionally, we have a new Veterans hospital. And who do you think brought Lockheed to Charleston and Douglas to St. Stephens and Continental to Walterboro? I can tell you, there will be others.45 Though most white political l eaders understood Riverss motivations, some critics targeted the congressman for public scorn. Ri vers had rarely faced harsh criticism from within the First Congressional District, but Goldwater was immensely popular in South Carolina, especially with black belt whites. Amongst his most ardent supporters were the editors of the Charleston News and Courier In an editorial entitled Betrayal of Heritage, the Charleston newspaper criticized both Rivers and Senator Olin Johnston for supporting Johnson. The editorial demonstrated the way in which the race issue, even when it was unspoken, still shaped the terms of public discussions and debates. It charged that the two politic ians had advocated South Carolinians should vote according to handouts instead of convictions . It also mocked the two Democrats by declaring that 45 Ibid

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375 it was thankful that South Carolina did not have such leaders when the American Revolution took place, and by comparing th em to Reconstruction era scalawags.46 Apparently, most white South Carolini ans agreed with the editors of the News and Courier that Goldwater was the most acceptable candidate. He easily defeated Johnson in South Carolina with nearly 60 percent of the popular vote. He overwhelmingly won the white vote. Only in Mississippi (87.1%) and Alabama (69.5%) did Goldwater garner a higher percentage. It was the first time since Reconstruction that South Carolina had voted Republican in a presidential election but the fifth consecutive election in which the black belt region had voted for a candidate ot her than the regular Democratic nominee. In Charleston County alone, Goldwater won over two-thirds of the ballots.47 As Rivers had predicted, sacrificing po litical expediency fo r party loyalty was costly. Albert Watson, Riverss counterpart from the Second Congre ssional District, was stripped of two years of his seniority for hi s campaign efforts on behalf of Goldwater. Watson was furious. He resigned from office, changed his party affiliation, and ran for re-election in a special cont est as a Republican. His oppone nt, Preston Harvey Callison, was a moderate Democrat who advocated comp liance with the Civil Rights Act. Both Spence and former Governor Byrnes endor sed Watson. Throughout the short campaign Watson race-baited his opponent and his campa ign circulated a pamphlet entitled The South is Under Attack that was designed as both a repudiation of De mocratic civil rights initiatives and as an appeal to alienated wh ites. This strategy was successful and Watson won with almost 70 percent of the popular vote. The victory, however, was a costly one. 46 News and Courier (October 26, 1964) 8A. 47 Alexander Lamis, The Two Party South (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984) 19. News and Courier (November 2, 1964) 8A.

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376 Watston had lost much of his congressional authority and, after th e election, he was a member of the minority party with li ttle ability to steer official policy.48 Race was clearly the most important issu e in these campaigns, but the argument that Goldwater (or Watson) supporters had exerci sed little more than a protest vote is superficial. For South Carolinas emer ging conservative Republican Party, the Goldwater campaign was more than a last gasp or a final fling of standpat racists, as contemporary observer Sam Ragain claimed. Granted, many Republican supporters were drawn to the GOP because of Goldwaters denunciation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but Goldwater offered more than just a way to voice voter displeasure with the national Democratic Party. Goldwater and the conser vative wing of the Republican Party offered another way of protecting white privilege w ithout forcing a showdown with the federal executive branch. In February 1963 an article in the National Review pointed out that the Republican Party in the South is, in gene ral, far less committed to all-out segregation than the Democrats. Southern Rep ublicans, according to the article: Understand and accept the fact that they cannot dictate a national Republican platform or candidate committed to se gregation. They make, on the other hand, no apology for opposing the Warren Courts bree zy ventures in social pioneering and it may well be that here they have something to teach conservatives of the North.49 Though many white voters were undoubtedly drawn to Goldwater through a combination of rage and racism, it is important to note that the Republican Party platform actually called for an end to racial segregation. The more sophisticated members of the emerging Republican Party of South Carolina understood that, no matter what Goldwater 48 Hathorn, Changing Politics of Race, 230. 49 Sam Ragain, Dixie Looked Away, The American Scholar (Spring 1965) 202-212. William A. Rusher, Crossroads for the GOP, National Review (February 12, 1963) 109-112.

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377 desired, the national Republi can Party would not endorse segregation and that, even under a Republican administration, at least a minimum amount of desegregation would occur, even in recalcitrant South Carolina. It was the GOPs less forceful language and willingness to settle for slow change that helped encourage Thurmond, Watson, Jenkins, Spence and other segregationist Democrats to join the Republicans in an official capacity. Goldwater may have been a protest candidate for some alienated southern whites, but on the local level in South Carolina the growth of grass roots Republicanism signified the desire of white professionals to find an altern ative to massive resistance. In almost every election between 1964 and 1980 the number of Republican candidates elected to local and state offices increased in South Carolina. Long after th e mis-characterized protest vote of 1964, the GOP remained the voice of conservatism in the Palmetto State. Nonetheless, Johnsons re-election was a clear cut victory for civi l rights activists and an unmistakable defeat for segregationi sts, although the election results were not unexpected. Johnsons victory assured that, when the Civil Rights Act went into effect in 1965 the executive branch would insist on some form of compliance with the new law. South Carolinians were especially concerne d about school desegregation, but they also resisted other portions of the Civil Ri ghts Act. The debate over the public accommodations requirements of the law had been one of the most contentious aspects of the legislations road through congress. Fo r many whites it was an unwelcome federal intrusion on personal property rights. Nevert heless, it was the stat es acceptance of the desegregation of public spaces that garner ed it positive publicity and a reputation for moderation.50 50 Sproat, Firm Flexibility 165-181. Lowe, Grass Roots and Marble Columns, 27-42.

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378 In South Carolina, the Civil Rights Act e xpedited a process that had been going on since the 1940s. The creepi ng desegregation of public sp aces and workplaces during the 1950s and early 1960s had already eliminated many of the legal and economic tenets of Jim Crowism in South Carolina. By 1964 th e federal government had already initiated the token desegregation of South Carolinas numerous military bases, federal hospitals, and textile mills. Furthermore, African Amer ican economic protests and legal campaigns had forced the desegregation of many businesses and municipal parks. By 1964, whites in the states metropolitan areas were accust omed to some race-mixing at work, in shopping centers, and even in some restaurants. One study of desegregation in Charleston noted that the week after President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act; African Am ericans ate at desegregated restaurants, visited desegregated city parks, and even stay ed at hotels that were previously designated for whites only. Likewise, investigations of desegregation in Co lumbia and Greenville contend that desegregation in those cities was Calm and Exemplary and Dignified. Nonetheless, this kind of voluntary desegr egation was enforced only as a last resort, and even then only to maintain civic or der and to avoid economic disruption. In Greenville, one author observ ed, the tone of desegrega tion was one of reluctant acquiescence. Still, most whites in South Carolina in the mid-1960s did seem to be more amenable to token desegregation th an their counterparts in Mississippi and Alabama. By the late 1960s, attempts to ev ade compliance with this portion of the Civil Rights Act were mostly limited to isolated events or to small rural enclaves.51 51 Morris, Desegregation with Dignity, 28-51.

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379 Although most white South Carolinians c onceded that the Civil Rights Act was the law of the land, it is misleading to d eclare South Carolinas compliance with the new law an unqualified success. There were several notable cases of continued popular resistance to the desegregation of restaurant s and other public places. The most notorious example occurred when Columbia restaurateur Maurice Bessinger refused to desegregate his popular barbeque eateries. Only after a federal cour t order did he allow black customers to eat at his restaurants. Even then, Bessinger made certain to make the experience an uncomfortable one for African Amer ican patrons. His role as an apologist for the Confederacy and notable George Wallace supporter combined with the omnipresent displays of confederate flags and memorabilia at his Piggie Park eateries to ensure that black customers did not feel entirely welcome.52 Though less colorful than Bessingers stand against the Civil Rights Act, a number of state hospitals also resisted desegregati ng their facilities. For example, Orangeburgs public hospital enforced a rigid system of pa tient segregation until a federal court ordered that it desegregate and begin treating white a nd black patients equall y. In Charleston, the private Roper Hospital sacrificed federal f unding to remain segregated. Even though the rest of the city, including th e hospital at the Medical Colleg e next door, had desegregated by the end of the 1960s, Roper remained segreg ated until a court ordered it to admit African American patients in 1970.53 52 The Bessinger lawsuits are discussed in Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 181-186. See also, Maurice Bessinger, Defending My Heritage: The Maurice Bessinger Story (Columbia, SC: Lmbone-Lehone Publishing Company, 2001). 53 E.H. Beardsley, Good-bye to Jim Crow: The Desegregation of Southern Hospitals, 1945-1970, Bulletin of the History of Medicine (Fall 1986) 367-386.

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380 South Carolinas most violent racial confr ontation occurred over a violation of the Civil Rights Act in Orangeburg. As late as 1968, the citys All Star Bowling Ally still refused to service black customers. In early February students from nearby Claflin College and South Carolina State University or ganized a protest. The students from these historically all-black colleges demanded that the facility co mply with the nations civil rights laws. The situation became contentious by the second night of the protest and on February 8 1968 it became deadly. After a sher iffs deputy fired into the air to disperse the crowd of black protesters several officers opened fire on the crowd itself. Three black students were killed and 27 were wounded. Although there were fewer overall injuries, the incident was more deadly than the riots at Ole Miss in 1962 that had sparked outrage across the country. As was often the case in circumstances of white on black violence in the South, nine patrolmen were tried in th e case but all were acquitted by a South Carolina jury. The episode marked the most violent racial incident in South Carolina since the blinding of Isaac Woodward, and yet it received little publicity outside of the state. It was not until political reporter and native South Carolinian Jack Bass and fellow newsman Jack Nelson published The Orangeburg Massacre two years later that the confrontation received significant attention.54 The violent white response during the Or angeburg Massacre may not have been typical of white resistance in South Carolina during the peri od, but it was certainly an example of the unequal enforcement of the law in the Deep South. Most of the states resistance to integration wa s directed at preventing the full desegregation of South Carolinas public school system while avoiding the kinds of racially motivated violence 54 Jack Bass and Jack Nelson, The Orangeburg Massacre (New York: World Publishing Co., 1970).

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381 that had typified the late 1950s Journalists like George McMillan and historians like John Sproat and Paul Lofton have argued that this relative lack of violence in South Carolina was evidence that the state had accepted court ordered desegregation with dignity. This interpretation, however, under-em phasizes the fact that resistance to racemixing in schools remained strong into the 1970s and that whites c ontinued to utilize some of the traditional methods of massive resistance to slow black progress. For example, when A.J. Whittenberg of the Greenville NAACP filed a lawsuit to desegregate the citys schools during the mid-1960s, he faced a well-orchestrated campaign of economic reprisals. His service station went out of business afte r clients refused to frequent the establishment. African American customers reported to Whittenberg that, if they were seen doing business with him, they risked being fired by their white employers. After his daughter, Elaine, began attending a pr eviously all-white ju nior high school the family received threatening letters and phone calls. One letter encl osed a picture of Elaine that had been doctored to make it ap pear that a rope was around her neck. An attached note warned, This is what will ha ppen to her if she goes to a white school.55 As the Whittenberg case demonstrated, civi l rights advocates still paid a heavy price for demanding equality. This kind of in timidation combined with persistent white opposition to meaningful compliance to ensure that school desegregation remained one of the most contested avenues for racial change in South Carolina. According to Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, school districts had to sign a HEW compliance form, prove that they were operating under a federal court order, or provide a voluntary desegregation plan that promised to desegregate four grad es per year until comple te desegregation was 55 Morris, Desegregation with Dignity, 28-51.

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382 achieved. Title VI of the new law gave the HEW Office of Education (USOE) the authority to terminate federal funding from a ny school district found to be in violation of Title IV of the civil rights law. Moreover, the Civil Rights Act created new funding opportunities for desegregated school systems. The act authorized the United States Commissioner of Education to provide teacher training grants and other federal funding to assist school districts in making the transition to desegregated schools.56 Between 1965 and 1970, the states school di stricts walked a fine line between compliance with and violation of Title IV. South Carolina whites may have generally accepted the notion that they had no choice but to desegregate, but some resistance persisted in majority or near majority black districts. Only 42 of South Carolinas 108 school districts met the HEW imposed dead line for completed compliance forms in March of 1965. Although 95 districts had submitted the forms two months later, the Office of Education deemed that more than 70 of those were inadequate.57 By 1967, 19 South Carolina dist ricts had new federal funds deferred while district officials negotiated with the Office of Edu cation. One district had its federal funding officially revoked. Calhoun County District Two, located in the town of Cameron, refused to submit a required compliance form to the Office of Education. In 1965, the public schools in Cameron enrolled just over 250 white students in one school and nearly 1000 African Americans in two schools. Unlike Charleston, Colu mbia, and Greenville, residential patterns and other pupil placement restrictions could not effectively minimize desegregation in Calhoun County. School Superi ntendent J.P. Dufford and the Board of 56 Ibid 57 Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 261-263.

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383 Trustees argued that the district will be bett er served if its schools are operated without federal financial assistance on terms which are available.58 That kind of radical rejection of federa l funding to preserve segregation, however, was short lived and costly in South Carolina Monies allocated th rough the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and by the Elementary and S econdary Education Act of 1965 created significant funding opportunities for local di stricts that met HEW requirements for desegregation. For example, after Richland County District One desegregated in 1965 it was awarded nearly $800,000 in new federa l aid. In Cameron, on the other hand, Calhoun District Two forfeited nearly $14,000 in federal aid and became ineligible for nearly $150,000 in new aid available through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act when local leaders refused to comply with federal regulations. Despite the fact that most families with children in the district earned less than $2,000 a year, Calhoun County officials chose to raise property taxes by two m ills to offset the loss of federal funding. A year later federal officials also announced that they would withhold $55,000 from the Elloree school system in Orangeburg Di strict Seven and nearly $140,000 from Calhoun County District Two. These funding restrictio ns also impacted the states segregated colleges and universities. In July 1965, fo r instance, the College of Charleston, which had privatized in the late 1940s to avoid a desegregation lawsuit, became ineligible for the National Student Defense Loan program The program had generated over $100,000 for the College of Charleston. In the prev ious academic year 65 students at the small school had borrowed $43,000 through the loan program. That same year, the Medical 58 Southern Education Report (November-December, 1965) 31, (January-February, 1967) 31.

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384 College of South Carolina was ordered to su spend a training program at Roper Hospital or forfeit $16 million in federal aid.59 To ensure proper funding, most districts did work to meet the bare minimum requirements allowed by the USOE, but th ey nearly always played a game of brinkmanship with federal regulations. By September 1965, even Summerton (Clarendon County District One), which wa s the home of the original Briggs v. Elliott case and therefore specifically required by the Brown rulings to desegregate with all deliberate speed, finally desegregated. Nowhere in S outh Carolina had resistance to desegregation been more intense than in Clarendon Count y, and yet, local officials complied with a federal court order from Judge Charles E. Simo ns, Jr. to allow the transfer of five black students to the previously lily white high sc hool for the fall semester. So long as the racial balance in any one school heavily fa vored whites, and no white students were forced to become a small minority in a public school, whites seemed increasingly willing to trade minimal compliance for public orde r and heavy federal investment. By 1965, nearly one-third of the funding for Clar endon District One ($ 216,000) came from the federal government. Moreover, the situati on in Summerton was fa r from unique. By 1968 it was clear that the states reliance on congressionally alloca ted education funds had dramatically altered the state-federal re lationship and diminished South Carolinas ability to reject HEW demands. In sum, the federal government allocated funding that exceeded $33 million to South Carolina s public school system in 1968 alone.60 59 Southern Education Report (November-December, 1965) 31. McNeil, School Desegregation in South Carolina, 48, 55. Students Federal Loans Discontinued at College, (July 31, 1965) and The College Says No, (August 8, 1965) clippings from College of Charleston Archives, Special Collections. 60 Southern Education Report (September-October, 1965) 32, (November, 1967) 15.

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385 On the surface, South Carolinas move from open defiance of Brown to acceptance of federally mandated desegregation appeared remarkable. The states politicians reveled in self-congratulatory rhetoric and, after the first full year of public school desegregation, Governor Robert E. McNair declared th at South Carolinians have proven their determination to maintain law and order duri ng the recent years of transition. He urged black and white South Carolinians to conduct themselves with digni ty and restraint. Local school boards followed the governors lead and, by 1966, all but two of South Carolinas school districts had either subm itted compliance forms to HEW officials or were operating under a court or der to desegregate their publ ic schools. The eventual compliance with Title IV of the Civil Rights Act made it seem that South Carolina was well on its way to desegregating its public scho ol system, but the real ity of the situation was far more complicated. 61 Nearly every district operated under a fr eedom of choice plan that harkened back to some of the very firs t legalistic responses to Brown in South Carolina and across the South. Under the freedom of choice system, which had first been touted as resistance tactic by state officials like David W. R obinson and Hollings in the immediate postBrown period, African Americans were free to appl y for a transfer to a previously whites only school. School officials cl aimed that they would not base their decisions on the basis of race, but most districts used such plans to prevent or severely limit black enrollment in white schools. Ninety-t wo of South Carolina s 108 school districts 61 Tony Badger concluded that South Carolinas white political leadership engaged in a general practice of self-congratulations for steering the state through th e turbulent civil rights years and then adopted selfexculpatory rhetoric that downplayed the role of wh ite leaders in fanning the flames of racism, see: Badger, From Defiance to Moderation, Video Cassette: Plenary Session 16. Southern Education Report (September-October, 1965) 31, (January-February, 1966) 31. Status of School Desegregation in Southern and Border States Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (1966) Papers of the Southern Regional Council, Microfilm Edition, Reel 146.

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386 operated under such plans in 1966. Because of those plans, less than 4,000 of South Carolinas nearly 264,000 black students a ttended desegregated schools that year.62 Initially, freedom of choice was accept ed by federal regulators. However, integrationists, such as M. Hayes Mizell of the American Friends Service Committee, argued that the plans were superficial mechanisms for giving the impression of compliance while simultaneously preserving the dual school system. Mizell complained that freedom of choice was ineffective b ecause the burden has been primarily on the Negro parents and it is only with their d ecision to send their children to predominately white schools that these institutions have b een desegregated. According to Mizell, distrust of white officials, fear of repris als, trepidation over so cial ostracism, and the continued segregation of priva te after-school activities, such as team sports, enforced a policy of tokenism and gradualism and allowed the basic structure of Jim Crow education to persist.63 The evidence suggests that Mizells concerns were valid. In 1964, only 55 black students attended desegregated schools in Gr eenville County, 84 black students attended such schools in Charleston, 22 in Columbia and 28 in Orangeburg. As of January 1966, 80 percent of South Carolinas 108 school di stricts were in compliance with HEW regulations (as opposed to 40 percent a year earlier) and 88 percent of the states public school students attended schools in districts with at least token desegregation, but less 62 Ibid 63 Southern Education Report (January-February, 1968) 19-21.

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387 than one and a half percent of black children attended school with wh ites. A year later, that figure was still below six percent.64 Whites consistently used bureaucratic pro cedures, careful transfer decisions, and gerrymandered districts to assure minimal compliance with HEW requirements. For instance, in Greenville, resi dential patterns guara nteed that, for the 1966-67 school year, only 26 of the countys 98 schools were desegr egated. Even in those schools, the 308 black children attending schools with whites pa led in comparison to the white enrollment of almost 19,000. In Orangeburg Countys most desegregated distri ct (District Eight), 311 black students enrolled with 3,215 whites. In seven of Orangebur gs eight districts, the number of African Americans attending previously white only schools numbered under 35. This limited enrollment was despite the fact that Orangeburg was a majority black county.65 In many cases white officials simply refuse d to grant transfers to African American students and even when such requests were gran ted, black students were left to feel like isolated minorities in mostly white schools. For the start of the 19667 school year, less than 15,000 black students attended desegreg ated schools with almost 400,000 whites. Over 230,000 African American public school stude nts remained in segregated schools. In other words, two full years after the Civil Rights Act took effect 94 percent of black children in South Carolina were educated in Jim Crow schools. The situation was worse in South Carolinas public colleges. Excl uding the predominately African American 64 Southern School News (September, 1964) 8. Southern Education Report (January-February, 1966) 31. Southern Education Report: Statistical Summary, 1966-1967 28. McNeil 19-28. Carolina Contrast (September 3, 1966) Papers of the Southern Re gional Council, Microfilm Edition, Reel 146. 65 Southern Education Report (January-February, 1966) 30-32. Southern Education Report: Statistical Summary, 1966-1967 28-29. McNeil 19-28. Carolina Contrast (September 3, 1966) Papers of the Southern Regional Council, Microfilm Edition, Reel 146.

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388 South Carolina State, only 169 black college students attended state schools compared to almost 23,000 whites.66 Throughout the state, but especially in th e rural black belt, white administrators frequently and systematically violated Titles IV and VI and ignored HEW regulations. In one egregious case in the Dorchester County town of Summerville a school official told a black parent that the new fe deral guidelines did not apply to rural districts. In another example, Mizell, who was a graduate of the University of South Carolina, reported that the Orangeburg District Two Boar d of Trustees refused to grant a transfer request based on academic aptitude. In th e fall of 1964, Cheraw illegally rejected 25 transfer requests for missing an unpublished deadline. The rejec tion was despite the upcoming target date for complying with Title IV of the Civil Rights Act. The following year, even though nearly all of South Carolin as school districts ha d technically complied with the Civil Rights Act, Bishopville Hi gh School and Manning High School cancelled varsity football games with St. Johns Hi gh School because St. Johns had one black player.67 Though state and local leader s often preached against th e intimidation of African Americans whose children attended desegregated schools, several repor ts of threatening phone calls and economic intimidation were report ed throughout the stat e. In Blackville, Superintendent Arnold W. Heiting reminded local whites that The choice of schools for students has been made by law, a law passed by the federal government, and it is not our 66 Ibid 67 Carolina Contrast (September 3, 1966) Papers of the Southern Regional Council, Microfilm Edition. Southern Education Report (March 1967) 30-31. Lowe, The Ma gnificent Fight, 253. McNeill, School Desegregation in South Carolina, 62.

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389 own choice, and warned agains t whites trying to take the law into their own hands after students and teachers reported a rash of phone threats. One Williamsburg County family was forced to withdraw a transfer re quest after being told that they would lose their rented land if their child attended a dese gregated school.68 However, the most common remnant from the repertoire of intractable massive resistance was the creation of private segregat ed academies. Recogni zing that the state had no option but to comply with federal desegregation orders, some white South Carolinians, especially those who lived in majority or near ma jority black school districts, finally established a system of segregated private school s. In doing so, many whites gained a new confidence in their ability to avoid the full impact of federally mandated desegregation. In June 1964, just a few months after Orangeburg County announced that it would begin the process of desegregating its sc hools, a group of whites formed a private academy to serve the communitys white students who did not wish to attend desegregated public schools. The group incl uded several wealthy whites, such as Frank Best and T. Elliot Wannamaker. Best whose Orangeburg radio station, WDIX, broadcasted Citizens Council programming, had been a pa rt of an earlier attempt by members of the White Citizen s Councils to establish a private school system. Wannamaker, who owned a chemical company, al so had ties to the Citizens Councils of America. Committed white segregationists fo rmed similar schools th roughout the rest of 68 Southern Education Report (December 1966) 29, (Mar ch 1967) 30-31.

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390 the state. Between 1963 and 1966 28 new segregated private schools formed in South Carolina and by 1967 there were 44 such academies in the state.69 The General Assembly was supportive of th ese developments and encouraged other majority black districts to do the same. Befo re the Civil Rights Act could take effect state lawmakers passed the Tuition Grants Bill. It allocated $250,000 to pay tuition grants to parents whose children attended secular private schools during the 1964-65 academic year. Under the new legislation, stude nts were awarded an amount equal to the per pupil expenditures alloca ted by the state to South Carolinas public schools.70 Support for private schools, however, was limited principally to fervent segregationists in black belt districts. In July 1964 a group of white ministers, mostly from the upstate, announced that they would not allow the use of church property for secular private schools Although the group was relativel y small, the lack of public outrage was a stark contrast to the states violent r eaction to the publication of South Carolinians Speak in 1957. Likewise, professional educators also voiced opposition to private school vouchers and discouraged white flight from the public school system. Southern School News concluded that South Carolin as teachers overwhelmingly opposed the private school tuition grants. Education professionals understood that many of the states schools were already under-funde d and recognized that, if state legislators began to think of public schools as black schools, education f unding was in serious jeopardy. Concern over funding was particularly strong in rural district s. In Orangeburg, 69 Southern School News (April, 1965) 8. Southern Education Report (November 1966) 22, (November, 1967) 15. T.E. Wannamaker, Private Schools: Developments in South Carolina Annual Leadership Conference January 7-8, 1966, Read House Chattanooga, Tennessee Audio Recording, Reel 1, Mississippi State University. The text of this recording was printed in: The Citizen: Official Journal of the Citizens Councils of America (January/February 1966) 70 Southern School News (April, 1965) 9.

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391 for example, the exodus of white students from the public system led to a drop in enrollment. Since state funding was based on per pupil expenditures, the drop in public school enrollment led to a reduction in state funding. According to Orangeburg Superintendent H.A. Roberts Jr ., it was up to the county to acc ount for the lost revenue. What happened here, he alleged, is that th e district now is bear ing the expenses of keeping the teachers to offer a full curriculum.71 African Americans also opposed the creation of private se gregated schools in South Carolina. Within a month of the passage of the Tuition Bill, Matthew Perry and the NAACP legal team secured an injunction th at prevented the state from awarding the grant money to parents. In October 1964, the United States Department of Justice joined the suit. Perry and justice department at torneys argued that the grants were an unconstitutional attempt to avoid compliance with Brown v. Board of Education On May 31, 1968, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal s ruled that the Tuition Grants Act was illegal.72 Though discouraged, private school proponents were determined to move forward without financial assistance from the state. Within a year of the founding of Wade Hampton Academy in Orangeburg, a group of more than 20 private schools formed a statewide association and bega n the process of applying for a state charter. Though the private segregated schools enrolled less th an 5,000 students compared to more than 660,000 in the public schools, the private academie s were concentrated in the rural black belt where school aged black children significan tly outnumbered their white counterparts. 71 Southern School News (April, 1964) 9. Southern School News (April, 1965) 9. Southern Education Report (November, 1967) 15. 72 McNeil, School Desegregation in South Carolina, 33-34.

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392 Only Mississippi and Alabama had more segr egated academies than South Carolina, and only Louisiana and Virginia had more white private school students. Unlike South Carolina, each of these states provided tuiti on grants to help pare nts pay private school tuition. Despite the lack of official stat e assistance, Wannamaker hoped that the number of whites enrolled in private schools would increase as th e federal government began to insist on more than token desegregation. The heavier the hand of Washington on the public schools, he warned, the more rapid the growth of private schools will be. Even education professionals who argued that the growth of private schools was motivated by a desire for better schools, acknowledged th at enrollment in these institutions were directly linked to desegregation. G. Thomas Turnipseed, the Executive Secretary of the South Carolina Independent School Associ ation and a campaign officer in George Wallaces 1968 presidential campaign, admitted that the integration and increased federal control of the schools was the impetu s for the private-school movement. Without it, the movement would have never gotten off the ground.73 Since race, and not education, was the pr imary motivation for the formation of these schools, the quality of the faculty and the facilities of South Carolinas segregated academies varied tremendously. For exampl e, Wade Hampton Academy in Orangeburg was a well financed school located on a s cenic campus. Thanks to donations from wealthy whites, such as Wannamaker and Best, the 600 students at Wade Hampton enjoyed a 10 acre campus valued at ov er $300,000 for only $300 a year in tuition. Meanwhile, the segregated private school in Summerton had about 100 students who attended classes in the educa tion building of the First Baptis t Church, in a nearby mobile 73 Southern Education Report (July-August, 1965) 31, (November, 1966) 22, (November, 1967) 14-15.

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393 home, or in a private residence near the c hurch. The schools limited budget meant that students in 12 grades had to attend classes with only 11 full time teachers. The conditions of some new privat e schools were even worse. State Superintendent of Education Cyril Busbee joked, All you have to do to open a private school in South Carolina is to have a spare stable.74 The lure of the segregated academies became more pronounced in the late 1960s as federal regulators began to dismantle the linge ring bureaucratic hurdl es to desegregation in South Carolina. HEW authorities and fe deral judges had tolera ted freedom of choice so long as such plans fostered an increase in public school desegr egation, which was not hard to demonstrate given the paucity of a ny integration before the mid-1960s. In 1966, HEW director Harold Howe II proclaimed th at freedom of choice was illegal unless it promised to lead to substantial race-mixi ng in local schools. By 1968, the Office of Education became frustrated with the Souths unwillingness to move beyond token desegregation. HEW argued that districts should take action to create unitary school districts in which each school ha d a racial balance that reflected the statistical make-up of the area. Federal authorities were well aware that gerrymande red districts and residential segregation had prevented progress toward true integration and, in February 1968, HEW declared that 21 South Carolina counties had not made satisfactory progress toward desegregation. Of course, th e fact that HEWs idea of p rogress was ill-defined and often open to negotiation with lo cal leaders limited the effect iveness of such a mandate. According to the Office of Education, the freed om of choice plans governing the districts had not achieved enough desegregation to meet the standards dictat ed in Title IV, but 74 Southern Education Report (November 1967) 15-17.

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394 HEW announced that only four of the 21 di stricts would receive no federal funding until the situation was remedied. The others were able to prolong negotiations with federal authorities without providi ng meaningful desegregation.75 Peter Libassi, the Director of the HE W Office of Civil Rights argued that the agency had to follow the freedom-of-choice pl an to prove its ineffectiveness, but is more likely that HEW and the USOE had b ecome frustrated with the white Souths ability to use freedom of choice as a tool of resistance. Mizell argued that the South had used the plans to maintain tokenism and gradualism. He pointed out: In a region whose history has been an anat hema to freedom of choice, it has been interesting to observe the conversion of political and educatio nal leaders who now contend that each child has the freedom to choose whichever school he wants to attend. The dual school system, they say, is at an end. Yet, thousands of Negro parents and their children know that the dua l system is still very much a part of Southern education, and in South Carolin a alone 93 per cent of the Negro school children are in segregated schools today .76 Libassis concerns were finally addresse d by the Supreme Court in May 1968. In Green v. County School Board of New Kent County, Virginia the court ruled that freedom of choice plans were an unconstitutional effort to avoid compliance with Brown v. Board of Education The following year, in Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education, Mississippi the Supreme Court ruled that c ounties must form unitary school districts that placed students based on reside nce, and not by race. These decisions should have caused the belated death of dual systems of schooling in the South. However, white officials in Charleston, Columb ia, Greenville, and South Ca rolinas other metropolitan areas were confident that residential se gregation and racially gerrymandered school 75 Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 282. McNeill, School Desegregation in South Carolina, 56. 76 Southern Education Report (January-February, 1968) 19.

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395 districts would limit race-mixing to an accepta ble level. By contrast, in small towns such as Cameron, which had only three public schools, the elimination of freedom of choice meant that white students would be outnu mbered by a ratio of more than three to one. Rather than send their children to integrated schools where whites were a minority, white parents simply removed their childre n from the public school system. In 1968, no white student attended a public school in Cameron. Whites ei ther transferred to other districts under rules first es tablished in the mid-1950s as part of the states massive resistance campaign, or to Wade Ha mpton Academy in nearby Orangeburg.77 White Orangeburg parents were so concer ned over the possibility of a black majority in integrated public schools that they formed an organization called Help Orangeburg Public Education (HOPE). Unlike similar organizations, like the open schools movement in Virginia or around Atla nta, Georgia, HOPE worked to preserve freedom of choice and then disintegrated when that became impossible. According to the organization, it was the only way to protect education in the rural county. Its members understood that if African Amer ican students became the ma jority in county schools, whites would pull their children out of those schools. The organization foundered once it became clear that the federal government would enforce the S upreme Courts ruling against freedom of choice plans.78 77 Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 286. 78 Lowe, The Magnificent Fight, 296. For a discussion of the gradual development of the open schools movement in Virginia and Georgia, see: Matthew Lassiter, The Rise of the Suburban South: The Silent Majority and the Politics of Education, 1945-1975 (Ph.D. Dissertation: University of Virginia, 1999) and The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton: Princeton Un iversity Press, 2006). Lassiter claims that in Virginia and Atlanta, Geor gia open schools advocates also supported freedom choice. Unlike in Orangeburg, how ever, these groups did not fall apart when the continuation of freedom of choice plans became impossible.

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396 While the schools were still mostly se gregated, whites once again looked for a political solution that would assist the stat e in managing its desegregation process in a way congenial to white needs. White South Carolinians may have surrendered de jure segregation, but they were not going to give up on freedom of choice easily and looked for candidates who would accept minimal complia nce. However, the political climate had changed significantly and white segregatio nists no longer held complete control of the electoral process. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the committed efforts of black activists like Modjeska Simkins to register bl ack voters had helped the increase the power of black ballots to the po int where African Americans now represented more than 200,000 voters and 35 percent of the electorate Moreover, white defections to the Republican Party had left many state De mocrats dependent on these new African American votes. In 1968, Democratic Governor Robert McNair went so far as to enroll his daughter in a desegregated public school in Columbia, a gesture that symbolized his partys new reliance on biracial moderate politics. By the time the Republican National Convention nominated Richard Nixon as its candidate for the presidency in 1968 and George Wallace announced his candidacy as an independent, it seemed like the white vote might be divided enough to ensure a De mocratic victory in South Carolina that would usher in a new era of racial moderation. In any event, it seemed to most South Carolinians that the election would determin e the extent to which the state would be required to move beyond token desegregation. Of course, it woul d also give white Democrats a clear indication of the true de pths of the white defection to the GOP. By the time of the election most white South Carolinians had acquiesced on minimal segregation. Therefore, the key i ssue for them was how and to what extent

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397 desegregation would be enforced in the stat e. As was the case throughout the nation, this issue typically revolved ar ound the issue of busing. During the campaign Nixon assured Thurmonds key strategist Harry Dent that he did not favor forced busing as a means of enforcing desegregation. In doing so, Nixon left open an opportunity for whites to continue the use of district gerrymandering and pupil placement restrictions to limit school desegregation. The GOP candidate also met with Senator Thurmond and promised to appoint strict constructionists for Supreme Court vacancies and to find a way to allow freedom of choice to continue. These pledges promised to limit the federal governments regulatory control over school de segregation and the th reat of continued federal court demands for meaningful desegregation.79 In return for Nixons commitment to scali ng back federal inte rference with school desegregation, Thurmond pledged to campai gn for the GOP nominee in the primary and general elections. The endorsement of the se nator gave Nixon inst ant credibility with white southerners. However, the independent candidacy of Alabama governor and ultrasegregationist George Wallace provided an alte rnative for hardcore whites that threatened to divide the white vote and ensure a Demo cratic victory in the general election. Thurmond and Dent tried to limit Wallaces app eal in South Carolina with a series of newspaper, radio, and television advertisements that instructed voters that a vote for the independent would put Democra tic nominee Hubert Humphrey in the White House, but they were unable to convince many working cl ass whites that the former member of the NAACP was a true conservative who would defend white rights.80 79 Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 499-502. 80 Kalk, The Origins of the Southern Strategy 79-88.

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398 Thanks mostly to the vigorous campa igning of Dent and Thurmond, Nixon won South Carolina, but, as GOP strategists had f eared, his victory exposed an acutely divided white electorate and demonstrated the signi ficant power of black ballots. The three presidential candidates nearly divided the states votes even ly only 38 percent of voters cast their ballots for Nixon while 32 percen t voted for Wallace a nd nearly 30 percent supported Humphrey. Though he won a pluralit y, Nixons inability to secure a majority or near majority vote confirmed that, when given a choice, hardcore segregationists would continue to support the most racia lly conservative candi date in any election, irrespective of party affiliati on. Nixons endorsement of gradualism and conservative judicial appointments was popular with middl e class whites in South Carolinas major cities a group that prized law and order and limits on federal activism but it also alienated working class whites across the st ate who had chosen to endorse Wallaces particular brand of racism and economic populism. Other Republicans took notice of these results and concluded that without a unified white vote they had no hope of defeating the cautiously, but increasingly biraci al Democratic Party that had emerged in the South in the wake of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.81 National elections aside, in state contests the Democratic Party still held significant advantages in South Carolina. With near ly uniform black suppor t and a solid foundation of white Democratic loyalists, the South Caro lina Democratic Party had a more stable political base than its GOP counterpart. Though conservative Republicans had managed to lure the support of a white plurality in st atewide elections, they had not consistently been able to overcome these Democratic advant ages. Within this context, the Republican 81 Ibid ., 86-89, Sampson, The Rise of the New Republican Party in South Carolina, 511-523. Badger, From Defiance to Moderation, Video Cassette: Plenary Session 16.

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399 nominee for governor in 1970, Albert Wats on, hoped that a combination of Nixon and Wallace voters would end the Democratic contro l of the governors office that had been unbroken since Reconstruction. In order to accomplish that goal Watson vigorously denounced federal desegregation policy and e ngaged in a blatant race-baiting campaign against his Democratic opponent, Li eutenant Governor John West.82 In sum, Watsons strategy was a combinat ion of critiquing the Supreme Court for ruling against freedom of choice plans, accusi ng West of sacrific ing local control and states rights for the benefits of black bloc voting, and promising to fight to the bitter end against federal control of the states desegreg ation. Furthermore, he frequently wore a white tie to symbolize his support for his whit e segregationist constituents and utilized Wallace-like rhetoric that reminded voters of his militant segregationist past.83 West and his Democratic allies worried th at the relatively new biracial political alliance was not strong enough to ward off Watsons relentless attacks and were concerned that Thurmonds endorsement of the GOP nominee would be impossible to overcome. West, who did not share Watson s flair or charisma, called for voters to support the same kind of steady leadership that had navigated the state during the desegregation crises with minimal bloodshed and also minimal desegregation. West hoped that voters would recognize that the De mocratic Party had managed the problem of desegregation with every avai lable resource without resorting to the kind of unproductive demagoguery associated with Georgia under Lester Maddox and Wallaces Alabama.84 82 Randy Sanders, Mighty Peculiar Elections: The New South Gubernatorial Campaigns of 1970 and the Changing Politics of Race (Gainesville: University Pre ss of Florida, 2002) 113-145. 83 Ibid 84 Ibid

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400 Democratic leaders understood that most white South Ca rolinians (and their black neighbors) took pride in the states peaceful reputation during the turbulent process of desegregation, but they also worried