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Title: Oral History Interview with Elizabeth Pearsall, May 25, 1988. Interview C-0056. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Pearsall, Elizabeth, interviewee
Interview conducted by Campbell, Walter E.
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 120 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-02-15, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Elizabeth Pearsall, May 25, 1988. Interview C-0056. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series C. Notable North Carolinians. Southern Oral History Program Collection (C-0056)
Author: Walter E. Campbell
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Elizabeth Pearsall, May 25, 1988. Interview C-0056. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series C. Notable North Carolinians. Southern Oral History Program Collection (C-0056)
Author: Elizabeth Pearsall
Description: 138 Mb
Description: 37 p.
Note: Interview conducted on May 25, 1988, by Walter E. Campbell; recorded in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Jovita Flynn.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series C. Notable North Carolinians, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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An audio file with the interview complements this electronic edition.
The text has been entered using double-keying and verified against the original.
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Elizabeth Pearsall, May 25, 1988.
Interview C-0056. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Pearsall, Elizabeth, interviewee


Interview Participants

    ELIZABETH PEARSALL, interviewee
    WALTER E. CAMPBELL, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Now, listen, may I be a Mama?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
You may be a Mama.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
I told a young man the other day, if you don't say the word "introduction" right, I am going to haunt you. You're saying "interduction." The word is "introduction."
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Okay, here is my introduction.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Excuse me, but I do like the English language spoken correctly when it's so simple. It's going down the drain if we don't.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
[Laughter] This is Walter Campbell interviewing Mrs. Elizabeth Pearsall at her home in Rocky Mount, North Carolina on May 25, 1988. Mrs. Pearsall has suggested, and I think it's a good idea, that she read from some of the notes she made shortly after the Pearsall Plan was initiated. She will read about two pages worth from a scrapbook that she has on her husband's life and on the Pearsall Plan specifically.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Not much on his life here really. This is written under the loose title, To whom It May Concern. This is the story of one man's labors and day and night thinking over a two year period in an effort to keep North Carolina calm during a time when emotions were highly charged over the Supreme Court's decision, handed down in May, 1954, saying that segregation, because of race, was no longer legal in public schools. It was in August following that fateful May that Governor Umstead called Tom over the telephone and asked him to be chairman of an eighteen-member committee to study the school question and to

Page 2
make recommendations to the governor and to the legislature on how to meet the situation.
This was the last thing Tom wanted to do. He had been out of public life by design for some six or seven years except for serving as chairman of a milk commission created by Umstead. This had been an irksome job with much traveling over the state to hear disgruntled farmers and dairymen air their views and to try to bring about necessary arbitration. Just having resigned from that headache, he was stunned to be asked to take on the integration issue. For he knew, as did everyone else, that there was no answer to that question. That somebody must be made mad either way, and that the task would be unpleasant from beginning to end. He asked for twenty-four hours to think it over. We spent a sleepless night fighting it and arguing that we deserved some time to live normal, uncontroversial lives like other people, knowing all the while that duty would compel him to say yes.
This scrapbook is being compiled in January, 1957, when it is too soon to see whether the recommendations that evolved from his hours, days, weeks, and months of thought and persuasion and organization would do what he so much hoped—preserve our public schools by inaugurating a minimum of integration, appealing for separation of races by choice for most of the state." I signed it EBP, and then I must have gotten up the next morning to sign it more formally, and there was more to be said. "Governor Umstead died in office two years before his term had expired. Governor Hodges, going in, asked Tom to continue as chairman of

Page 3
the steering committee. Tom's committee had, before Umstead's death, turned in a report recommending a pupil assignment law giving local school boards power to assign children to schools, weighing each case as it came up with regard to community harmony, ability of applicant, geographical location of schools to which admission had been applied for in relation to residence of applicant, and so forth. The legislature had passed this law at its regular 1955 session and while other states were doing loud talking and worsening interracial relations by saying defiantly that they would not integrate, on the part of the whites, with NAACP declaring publicly that it would push relentlessly for integration. North Carolina made no extreme statements.
Tom searched for a positive approach to the question and came up with it one hot summer day as Paul Johnson, the governor's aide, representing the governor who was in the west, sat with us in our sunroom. The positive attitude, it was decided, as the three of us sat there, was to talk every day of preserving the public schools. That that was the issue before the state now, the Supreme Court having destroyed the old foundation on which our school system was built. A recognized fact among thinking people and those who filed out over the state with an ear to the ground, politically speaking, was the fact that North Carolinians would not, at that point, see their tax monies voted to maintain integrated schools. So a way must be found to preserve schools at all costs. My contribution to their discussion was a suggestion to dramatize the situation by

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changing the word "preserve" to "save." In the months that followed I had a feeling of playing a small part in history as I saw that phrase daily in our state newspapers. Of course, the opposition, of which there was not much, took a very different view that the things that Tom's committee subsequently advocated and succeeded in getting made into law would destroy the public schools. The debate is recorded in these clippings." That's sort of obscure there at the bottom.
But I will go on further in this thing, to say that one prime consideration of Tom's was to keep it out of the newspapers. Every morning of his life the News and Observer and the Greensboro paper and others would call for news of the committee, and he would beg for mercy because anything you said would inflame somebody. And I think that was really the genius of the plan—the cooperation of the press. I was so proud of us. Virginia was up there, flaunting its defiance. Prince George County closed its schools, I think, for two years. Alabama was down there doing the same thing. Eventually they sent committees up here to see what had been done. But that was the thing, I think, that made Tom so effective in everything he did. He did not want the credit for it. He was that mature.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Why do you think that Governor Umstead called on him to do this? Why him specifically?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Why did they call on him?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Why Tom, specifically, to do this?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Well, that's in one of these editorials here. You'll have to cut it off while I find that—something about Tom's

Page 5
background. It was a combination of the political and the agricultural with a little bit of business, too, thrown in, banking business and a lot of things. Is that just going to burn itself out?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Oh, that's okay. It doesn't matter.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Well, let me find it because there's something here. That thing I handed you, didn't that say… [Interruption]
No, where was it? No, that wasn't it.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Well, that's all right. We don't have to worry about that now.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Don't have to. Well, I'll tell you, it was an accumulation of things. You see, when Tom and I were married, he was a young lawyer.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
1930, right?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
What?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
1930 was when…
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
That's right. He was in the practice of law. It was a Depression. And it was slim pickings for lawyers. Lawyers and doctors were being paid in hams and chickens and eggs and things. But he loved practicing law, and he was beginning to be recognized by some of the older lawyers as a young man of ability and willing to work. But then, when he married me, I was one of four daughters, no sons, and we had a lot of land. My father had died suddenly when I was fifteen. My two uncles, my father's brothers who lived in Rocky Mount, came over to see my mother the day after the funeral and stunned her by saying, "Alice, we think

Page 6
Mack would like for you to qualify as administratrix of the estate." Well, my mother had just been a mother and a wife, just the usual domestic person. And she couldn't believe that they meant it. I still don't know why they singled mother out that way except that they had confidence in her, I guess. So after a while she said, well, she would try. So for a number of years—I was fifteen, and I was married at twenty-three and a half. Then after we were married about four years, I think, Tom was doing our legal work, and he saw the magnitude of the work that mother had, I mean, the management she had because we had a lot of farms scattered all around. She asked him if he would consider giving up his law practice to take over the running of all this. We had to do some soul searching then because it meant giving up the life he had planned for himself. But he did. He felt so sorry for mother, and he'd come to care for her a lot and she for him— he was the son she never had. So he did and he just did his own legal work after that.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Were you all living together at that point?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
No, Tom and I were living in Rocky Mount. You see, I grew up in the village of Battleboro. But after we were married, I lived in Rocky Mount, and he managed the farms from there. But he went to the country store everyday and rode the farms, you know, overseeing their management. We had a cotton brokerage and a peanut brokerage and all that kind of stuff. There was an overseer on each farm and what they called a riding boss over Nash and Edgecombe. So there were a lot of people to do the real farming. And right away, he said the only thing he knew was that

Page 7
he didn't know anything about farming although his father had had a farm. But he'd sold it. So he went to State College that summer for some sort of crash course or something and began to send his overseers up there for new methods and all that. So it was at a very good time for some fresh blood to come into our farming situation.
At one time we had, in all, a thousand black people. I don't mean all grown people. Some of them were children. But one of the things he started was what he called a farm dinner. We always had a barbecue in August or early September when the crops were laid by, you know. So he combined it all and had one big farm dinner out on Belmont, the farm between Battleboro and Rocky Mount. And it was sort of like a little fair, prizes for preserves and canned stuff and all that, sewing, and the best cow. He wanted everybody to have a cow and a vegetable garden.
And he got an award. That's one thing I forgot to tell you about. So after a few years, he got the Firestone Award for improvement in landlord-tenant relationships. The bronze medal is out there in the hall. He was keenly interested in improving the lot of farm workers and children, and he started a cannery for the farms. And he hired somebody like a county nurse to see that the newborn babies had boric acid in their eyes and were taken to Chapel Hill or somewhere, to the hospital, when necessary. He understood, and he had the respect, really the love, of the black community around here. And he'd been on the school board here for a long, long time, and of course, he loved Chapel Hill with a passion.

Page 8
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
How was he different in running the farms from your father? Were they very much alike in the way they handled the families, or was Tom closer to the tenants than your father?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Well, it was more or less the same pattern. It was still paternalistic. But with Tom's generation you tried to improve the quality of their lives and give them access to education more. My father inherited the system from his father. He was Marse Mack as he was called, much beloved by the people. But as I look back now, it was on a different plateau, sort of. But it came with the times. My father did the best he could in his position and in the scheme of things. So I think it was the agricultural prominence maybe that stood out.
Then by that time, it had been recognized, I think, almost over the state that Tom had a gift for arbitration. He really did. I often told him, I said it just doesn't go with what a doctor in Philadelphia called his "dynamo" personality. We went up there one time. He had an ulcer of the stomach when he was twenty-two in college because he was revved up all the time. But the doctor up there said, "Mr. Pearsall, you have a dynamo personality and you're going to have to live with it but you can curb it." I said, "And this great patience that you exhibit whenever you're handling a hot potato," and he was always handling them. I said, "It's just amazing to me to see that you have two personalities." He always believed, he said, "You sit around the table and you hear this little man, and that little man, and that other. Let every man have his say. He feels that he's with it. And no man has all the ideas anyway. Then you go

Page 9
home and you call up that man and this man." He spent half his life on the telephone. But it was that really basic gift of his to walk in other people's shoes, to see it from that man's point of view. Once people understand that in you, they trust you and more or less they're with you.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So in other words then, why Umstead would have come to him was one, his interest in agriculture; two, he's in certain banking and industrial circles; and three, he had a natural gift for arbitration, in a way.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Yes.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Did he have strong, he had strong political ties, obviously, with the east in a lot of ways.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
He did.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Did he have strong political ties with local black leaders at all?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Well, it seems that there weren't so many black leaders then. But he had some good friends in Durham who were black leaders up there. One man, I think, was in insurance or something. I remember, of course—Umstead, how far ahead of Umstead was Sanford, several?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Right. Umstead…
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Umstead, Hodges.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Umstead died in '54, and Sanford was elected, I think, in either '60 or '62. I'm not sure which.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Umstead, Hodges, Sanford, is that the way it came? No, It was Scott.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Scott, that's right.

Page 10
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
That's when everybody down here wanted Tom to run for governor. You remember all that?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
A little bit.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
But I mean, Tom always recognized human worth regardless of the skin. I remember when we went to Puerto Rico. This was with Governor Sanford, but this was later on. There were some black couples along, some North Carolina committee down there for something. Tom didn't hesitate to go over and ask one of those black ladies to dance. And they danced too. Somebody joked about it and said, "Suppose the photographer sent this back to the paper." Tom says, "All right." "But what would have happened if Elizabeth had been asked by that man's husband." He said, "Elizabeth would have danced. Why not?" But fortunately, we both—I don't know, because we were born lucky or what—we have always, I think, faced the black situation with maturity. It's not what you are on the outside; it's what you are inside.
So some of that hate mail that he got when that thing was going on, right away he knew that he didn't want all that mail going to the office. So he hired two stenographers and put them in a room in the basement that we had, and all that mail came there. So I read it all.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So actually the committee was housed in the office at first.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
It was in my basement. We had a recreation room down there. It was just converted, well, it was two rooms really. Oh, I remember a professor, I won't even say from where, who sent

Page 11
a diagram of what would happen with the amalgamation of the races. Drew the black brain and the white brain, awful!
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
This was received in the mail. Somebody sent this to him.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Yes, during the heat of the solution, the effort to find a solution. But he knew, we all know, that fright is the enemy, always. And he knew that people had to be given time. He kept saying, "We must buy time." That was his philosophy about everything. I wrote a little booklet not long ago, two years ago, after I'd had an illness that came out all right, and I dedicated it to Tom. I dedicated it to my doctor and to the memory of Tom who over the years of our long marriage would always say of a given situation, "Things have to evolve." He had the patience to wait for things to evolve. That's a rare thing, a rare commodity right now. People want things to move so fast. This generation wants it instantly. And maybe it has to be like that. But some things can't be hurried.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
In dealing with the Pearsall Plan, setting it up, was there any one particular person that irritated Tom, that was a thorn in his side that he had to work with?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Yes, Beverly Lake.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Really, in what ways?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Well, how can I say it? At first, they were together. I don't know how to say this because I don't want to make any enemies. I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. I don't want to—but politics being what it is… People change bed-fellows, you know, and at some point, they diverged. But I

Page 12
cannot recall exactly what—Lake was more reactionary. So it became a contest between those two in a way. I know he gave him a lot of concern. He had a right to his opinion but Tom and the committee saw it the other way. That was all right. One of his strong men on the committee was Colonel Joyner. He was wonderful.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
They worked together well, he and Colonel Joyner.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Yes, yes.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Well then, where do you think your husband's propensity to see the black side of things came from? Was it some sort of natural instinct? Was he naturally just drawn to let people do what they could do because of their own ability, or was there something in his life that you think changed him in that direction?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
I think he was born with a happy outlook. They say he inherited his mother's disposition. She died when he was seven. In a few years his father remarried but he loved that mother, too, and she loved him like a son. He had the greatest capacity for love I've ever known in my life. Every child loved him, a little boy was "partner." A dog had to have a pat on the head. People used to say it was political aspirations. It wasn't. It was his nature. I had so many beautiful letters at his death. And one that appealed to me most, quoted something, there was a minister in Boston called Phillips Brooks, and this letter quoted something from a sermon that was preached in Boston years later. And it said, "It is said that when Phillips Brooks walked down the street, the sun shone more brightly and the birds sang more

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sweetly." That everybody felt better for having seen him. And Tom was that way. Every old friend he had, "Hi, sport." And everybody said, "Tom, where have you been?" even in these high circles, these erudite people over there at Chapel Hill and all. He would say, "I've been on the backside of the farm. Been working on the backside of the farm," and laugh. That sort of thing. You see, Tom came up without a silver spoon in his mouth. I had the silver spoon. His people had lost what they had after the Civil War. They were from Duplin County down there. When we were married, he was a Sunday School Superintendent.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
How did y'all meet?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
At the Country Club dance here on a Saturday night. We had dances there every Saturday night. He was practically engaged to somebody else. I was too, in different places. Our family lawyer introduced us. In those times, in those years, you had breaks—you know what a break is, cut-ins—and a girl's life was ruined unless she got a break every three feet, you know. And somebody tapped Tom on the shoulder and said, "May I cut in?" And it was our family lawyer, Mr. Jim Bunn. He was a widower but loved to dance and never missed a dance. And instead of cutting in to dance, he had a young man with him, and he said, "I want two nice young people to meet." You see, he'd been doing some things with Tom as a lawyer, and he knew me. Tom was four years older so I knew his name and he knew mine but we'd just never been thrown together. He was always working in the summer. He usually went off to Highlands and worked at a hotel up there. Taught tennis and ran the desk and all. He later said he got his

Page 14
first insight into flirtatious wives up there that summer, up there with their children, up there from Charleston. [Laughter] Of course he was a good looking young man, you know, with his great joy in life. You can imagine.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So he cut in on the dance and …
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
That's right.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
And the sun got brighter and the birds started to sing. Was that what…
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
They really sang. We both admitted later that we knew something had happened. The proprieties had to be observed so we couldn't let on, had to play that mating dance game, you know. But that was in the early spring. By September we were engaged, and then I went around the world for six months. You see, my father was dead, and one sister, my oldest sister was married, and I had a crippled sister. She had a bone disease called osteomylitis. All her life she was in and out of the hospitals. She died when she was thirty-two. She had twenty-three operations. But she was in remission then and my mother wanted to take her to a doctor in Vienna, a famous bone surgeon that the doctors in Philadelphia told her about. So she arranged a trip around the world with a stop over in Europe to see that bone surgeon.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So it wasn't to get you to think about your impending marriage, to give you a little time to think about it? That wasn't the reason?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
No, Mother liked Tom and admired him. So we left in December and we got back the first of June. I was married the

Page 15
next October. But you know Tom and I had not said that we would write everyday, but we did, every single day. The letters came in batches. We had worked out a little code for cabling once a month. You see, it was a Depression. Tom had no money. He put his little Ford coupe up, except to go to the courthouses in Nash and Edgecombe, and walked to work. In those early years, he was Sunday School Superintendent of the Episcopal Church, and I was Episcopalian. And he was a scout master. He was busy.
Well, the morning after the dance, when we met, the Bishop was over here at Good Shepherd's Church. That was Tom's church. Mine was St. John's in the village of Battleboro. So I came over here to hear the Bishop. My sister came with me. I didn't know that Tom belonged to that church but I was sitting on the aisle, and when the choir went out, here was this same person of the dance singing his heart out. He just loved to sing. Had an average voice. He was just as surprised to see me as I was to see him. But being Tom, he didn't stop singing. He gave me this tremendous wink and went home and called me up.
In those days you had a lot of dates. I couldn't see him for several days. So when we could get together for a movie, he came to get me. It was in the summertime and 7:30 at night, you know, daylight. The doorbell rang. I went there, and he had his little eighteen-months old niece with him. He had picked her up. He just loved everybody. They were visiting him, his brother's family from Florida. This little girl's name was Marietta. So he brought her over there to ride back with us. And when I got in the car, he put me in, and then before he put the baby in my

Page 16
lap, he gave me a diaper pad, plop, and then put the baby down. It was so natural. Can't you see, that sort of personality. Where was I? So it was that sort of a nature, a zest for life. Where it came from? I think he just inherited it from his mother. He expected life to be good and people to be good. Tom was realistic. But he loved people.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So how long was it after y'all were married, that he began to take over the farms and run those, several years, or was it almost immediately?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Let me see. At first he'd just go with mother for interviews and things like that. You had to go to courthouses and sign up for crop allotments and all that. Well, it must have been…
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
You were married in '30, right?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Let me see. I was married in 1930.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
October of '30.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
My sister died the next November. It must have been two years, something like that. Because when mother died, she died four years after we married, he was well into the business.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
And at that point he began going to visit the farms and that kind of thing?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Learning how to farm.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Well, when it came time for the Pearsall Plan, you said you were a little reluctant to do it at first. What really pushed him over the edge? Did he just feel like this was something he had to do? He didn't seem to relish it. He felt a sense of public duty, maybe?

Page 17
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Oh yes. I mean, who wants something when you know you're going to alienate a lot of people and some of them might be your best friends. He didn't know. All he knew was that the rank and file people did not want integration. And here was something you had to bring about.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
What was the response from the Rocky Mount community and Battleboro? Were they upset that he was doing it for the most part or were they… ?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Were they upset? No, they were glad because they felt that he would do the best he could. I think everybody had confidence in him. I don't know that anybody ever questioned Tom's motives unless it was some local person about business deals where that envy comes in. If you have more than other people, certain other people are going to be green-eyed. But no, and everybody knew that Tom was a worker.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So y'all weren't socially ostracized because of doing it?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
No indeed.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Well, that's good. I wouldn't have thought that. I thought that would have been one of the harder parts about it, locally, that there would have been a lot of animosity.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
No, well, there are still John Birchers around, you know. But it doesn't affect your social life.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
How did it affect his handling of the farms? Did he have to pretty much give that up while he became involved in the plan?

Page 18
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
No, no, he just had to work harder because he had to try to be both places. And he was conscientious about anything he did.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Did the tenants have any reaction to him doing it? Was there any problems there?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
No, as I just said, he had the complete trust of all those people.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So, do you think he saw his activities with this plan as one of the major achievements of his life? Would you think that he would say that, that that was one of the major things he was proud of?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Yes, I think as he grew older, he worried that maybe the blacks felt that he hadn't done quite—I remember once, he felt that some of the blacks thought he hadn't done enough or something. I don't know what it was. After he became ill, this is so hard for me to go back to all this.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
I'm sure.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
But you see he developed lymphoma almost a year, it was just about a year before his death, and we went to Duke for treatment. The doctors told him, in the beginning they did a biopsy, and the doctor came in and told him the next morning there was a 30% chance that he would live. But I remember before the biopsy that night, the doctor came in to tell him everything was in order. And Tom held out his hand, and said, "Well, doctor," the doctor was Jewish, "We both believe in the same God." And those things nearly killed me, you know. But then the chemotherapy wasn't effective. The radiation wasn't. But he

Page 19
said to me one day that he worried. He loved the blacks so much. He felt so keenly, he said so many times, "They've been so much more patient than I would have been." He meant over the generations. He had that deep feeling for them. So when he said at the hospital one day that he hoped that the blacks felt that he had done the best he could for them, it worried me. So I wrote a letter to Governor Hunt and told him the circumstances. That this seemed to be on Tom's mind, and I asked him if he knew any outstanding black person who could come and talk to him and give him comfort. So the governor did, and that man—I wish I had followed it up, I had gone down for lunch—and that man came and he left his card. The nurse was there. But I didn't follow it up. I was so distraught. But Tom felt a lot better after that conversation. Apparently that was some highly regarded person in the community. Then I also wrote to Bill Friday and to Paul Johnson and told them that that was how Tom felt. So they came over together, and I remember Tom said, "I don't want to go to my grave feeling that I haven't done the best I could for the blacks." And they assured him that nobody could have done any more. But that was the measure of his sympathy for them. I guess that's one of the reasons that he was successful in his plan. His motives were right. And I believe right will prevail, don't you?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
We have to hope so.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Ultimately. It may take a long time. Look at Gorbechev. He's 'bout to get religion, isn't he? What else would you like to know?

Page 20
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
How did he feel when the Supreme Court overturned the plan in '66? Did he think that that was justified? Did he understand that things had changed?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Oh yes, I think he knew it was part of an evolutionary process. By that time the hysteria had been quelled.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So the goal was accomplished, more or less.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
That's right.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So when they originally sat down, when y'all were having these conversations here with Paul Johnson, or at your other house, was it originally the plan or the approach to the Supreme Court Brown decision, was the original plan that we should have a safety valve of some kind, or did that evolve as they tried to figure how to handle it? I mean, a lot of the criticism seems to be, of the plan, that they knew that they didn't want integration from the very beginning so they were going to do everything to stop it. Where, on the other hand, you see some people saying, "No," that they knew that there was going to be a lot of reluctance in North Carolina to do this, and they wanted to save the schools so they did it strategically this way.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
They did it only to buy time. Let people get used to the idea. Let them overcome their great fear which can only be done, you don't get rid of fear in a minute. It has to be done by degrees. And you remember that 15% or something—the local school board, you remember all that—that can be transferred to another school. Well, that was legitimate. It wasn't used widely, I don't think. But the set-up was there. The mechanics were in order. And it could not have been denied. No, I don't

Page 21
see how people can, well, of course, people… Tom used to have a sister who would always come up at times with, "What you see depends on where you're sitting." Well, those people were sitting in a different position. But no, it was done with complete integrity. The Supreme Court had said integrate the schools. And Tom said, "We will not deny the law of the land." He was a lawyer, and he was that way. He couldn't stand Nixon, but he said, "He's our president." Our minister was at one time not very popular. He said, "He's our minister." I mean, authority, he respected authority.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So originally then, he conceived this as something that we were going to have to eventually comply with…
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Of course, we were going to.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
We've got this fear among the general population about…
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
You have fear to contend with. You fear
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So what is the best way to do it.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
That's right. Buy time. Give people time and don't inflame emotions. That's why he kept saying to the newspapers, "Please, go along with me. Just don't put any…" It was impossible to say anything without getting somebody riled up over something.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
I know that on several occasions right after the committee was instituted, he met with some black people, some black leaders, and I think one NAACP leader from Greensboro, in particular, was very outspoken against the plan. How did that affect your husband? Was he upset that these people weren't

Page 22
going along, or did he sympathize with them and realize that, yes, they have a legitimate…
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Yes, but he was too broad in his thinking not to. Tom always thought on the broad level. They had a right to their opinion but something had to be worked out above private opinions. And he went around a lot at night to these little country schools where there would be just a little knot of farmers or something— these would be white people—would go round to allay their fears. And he would always go alone. That was part of the strategy. One night he didn't come in until 2:00, and I just thought, oh my Lord, somebody's shot him. I found out he'd gotten stuck and had to go wake up a farmer and get pulled out of the mud and all that. But he almost put it over by force of his personality. And his belief in right, and that it had to be done. And it would be done slowly, and we are not going to secede. We had tried that and that didn't work. We were going to obey the law of the land.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

Page 23
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So how did your husband feel about the power of the central government? Did he see this as an incursion of federal power that should be blunted by North Carolina's own action? Did he mind the fact that the federal government was mandating this? Did that issue even arise?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
He never showed any fear or any feeling—as I say, he had the overview of everything. We were both like that. I don't mean that I had the capacity of thinking on the deep level that he did. But I had been out working for world government, world peace.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Where had you done that?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
In Rocky Mount, from going as a young girl to Europe and seeing the battlefields of France, all those crosses. I look back now and I think, I wonder why I was so much more affected by it than those other young girls, about twenty-five of us, you know, whole bus load. And they ate Swiss chocolate and sang songs. I mean, I don't mean they did that through these cemeteries, but as soon as we'd driven through them, it was off their mind. I hadn't lost any brothers or a father or anything, but I think it was because I had had a crippled sister all my life, and I related to the pathos of it, the human condition. Tom said he thought that having lost his mother at seven, he developed that too.
Anyway, when our first son was born, I just began to think about, you know, the futility of war. And about that time, world government was coming on the scene. There was a man from Mount

Page 24
Airy, a Quaker. His name was Sam Levering. I'm told he's still alive. He had been in the Olympics early in life, and he had gotten a world point of view from that. He had an apple orchard up there, outside of Mount Airy, and every year he gave $10,000 to this new movement for world government. I was doing some church work, and I was what they called district chairman and had to get speakers for my meetings. We were studying a book called Racial Amity as a Pillar of Peace. We were studying all about the Chinese, the Hindus, the Catholics, everybody except the people right around us. So I got Sam, Sam Levering came down here and talked about world government one time.
Tom had discovered somebody up at—have you ever heard of Palmer Memorial Institute, the black college up there near Greensboro—well, he had discovered the president of that. It was a small college. Her name was Charlotte Hawkins Brown, Dr. Brown. He had met her on some committees. So he said I want you to meet that Dr. Brown. We were coming and going up that way one time, and stopped and went into chapel with her students and all like that. I was very much impressed with her. So I got her to come down and talk about racial amity from that point of view. She brought a quartet, two boys and two girls. And I got some hate mail from my fellow churchmen, and telephone calls. One lady, honestly, she couldn't have been a better person, practically held the church together by her physical strength. She called me up the night that they were going to appear—this woman was going to make the talk—and she said she just wanted me to know that she would be among those not present. She couldn't

Page 25
go along with that. And the book we were studying at that time, racial amity. So we both were always looking for the higher authority. I had these meetings. I went for two years having these meetings for world government.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Do you remember when that was?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
That would have been about 1936, '7, something like that. I would hire the ministerial association to come in and give them dinner, you know, and beat the bushes for my friends to come and go. They were so apathetic. What can one person do?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Well, how was the meeting with Mrs. Brown? Did it go well?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
It went well. I had enough support, and she made a splendid talk.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Was it white and black there together or just white?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
It was just my white people. But they were there. She was the speaker, and she brought her quartet. But then I did go to church meetings in Greensboro and Charlotte with black women from the little black church over here, very nice cultivated women. It nearly killed me one time when we went to Southern Pines to a meeting. I took my car. I had one colored woman—this women's husband was a dentist here—and I had to get her a room out in the village. I took her there first and then we went on to the Inn. Those things sear your soul, you know. So I guess Tom and I, well, a good marriage brings out the best in both of you. Are you married?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
I am.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
How long have you been married?

Page 26
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Ten years this June.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Ten?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
That's right.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Well, that's good. Any children?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
No, unfortunately not yet.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Well, you have got time.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
We've had three but they all died.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Did you marry a girl from Savannah?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
No ma'am, a North Carolina women actually. Her father was a Methodist minister in the western part of the state.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Well, that's nice.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Yes, it is nice.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Well, you understand these points of view then.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
I do. And I think it gives us a very good background to understand what Tom was all about and how he operated in this context. I mean, this is very good background. Did your paths ever cross with Mrs. Brown again at all?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
No, I don't think, I think we stopped by to see her once. I don't believe we ever did. But we certainly did admire that woman.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Were you and your husband, would you consider yourself racial liberals then for the most part?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
I would now. We didn't think of it that way. We just felt this queer obligation. You can call it what you want to. But it's just hard for me to understand how anybody living among so many of them, and so many of them we love, and I mean, brought up our children and brought us up.

Page 27
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Brought you up?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
And gave us all this love. And when the time comes to make it easier for them, then we're not willing to do it. But I say it is fear. Oh, I know, something else. This happened, oh Lord, long after our children were grown. This was a colored church. I forget what it was called. Had a funny name, but it's been changed—The Church of the Holy Hope (Episcopal). Now it's different. But anyway, they had bought a little church up here at Spring Hope and brought it down here.
We had a minister, a mission church here, at a branch church (Episcopal), his name was Will Spong, and he was avant garde. He's still in our national church and is controversial on other issues. He's making a lot of people mad because, oh, has all these ideas. But anyway, he did a lot of good things.
One of the things he did was to have interracial meetings, and he got some people from Chapel Hill, four people—they were all white—to come down here and have a panel. It was in the paper. Everybody was invited, both races. So Tom and I went. You've never heard of the name Kemp Battle, I suppose. Well, Kemp and Maude, they were the two people [who also went]. Early in my married life, I didn't know the word "role model." If I had known it, I would have used it. I thought Miss Maude—we called her Maude—Kemp because there were two Maude Battles, "Miss Maude Kemp is the woman I want to be like." And apparently Tom, by himself, might have said that about Kemp because they were older than we were, ten years or more. But we saw a lot of them because we thought alike and then they were fun to be with.

Page 28
So that night the four of us went over to this panel meeting, and we were the only four whites there except the minister and the people from Chapel Hill. It was not widely attended. I guess there were thirty-five blacks, laborers and everything. So we went two nights. It was to last three nights, and the third night Tom and Kemp had to go to a vestry meeting so Maude and I went alone. That was the night they asked for questions to be written.
The questions were read and they were, oh, terrible, so pathetic. I had been on the hospital board here for a long time. I didn't know anything about how to run a hospital. But I had sense enough to know not to talk unless I felt like I couldn't not talk. But every time anything came up about the blacks I spoke up because at that time we had a rather nice brick hospital, and we had a little one story cottage in the back for blacks or colored people as they were called. It was not adequate. My sisters and I had given some money to help that. That didn't do much. They were still there in that same place. Anyway, so one of the questions that came up that night was from a doctor. And he said, "I'd like to know why it is that when I take my patients to the hospital, I cannot prescribe a pill or anything else." His participation ended at the door. Well, we batted that around. And I felt so terrible because I was on that board. But that question was not directed to me so I didn't say anything.
Then a man said, he was in work clothes, "I'd like to ask why…" You passed a lake up here. City Lake we called it,

Page 29
and it was dug with ERA money. And this man said, "I'd like to ask a question." Said, "My peoples dug that lake, and my mother-in-law loves to fish more than anything in the world. How come she can't go down to it, sit down there and hold a fishing pole?" If you didn't feel like a worm. But anyway, then a woman, she was a nicely dressed lady, said, "I pay my bills promptly. I have a charge account in the best department store here. Why is it that when I give my charge, the girl will ask me, I say, ‘Mrs. George Anderson.’ And she will ask me what my given name is. She wants to write Mary Anderson instead of Mrs. Anderson." Well then, we just felt all this in our souls.
But then, there was a black undertaker there. He's well known by blacks and whites. His name is Chauncey Stokes. He's an educated man. But I had never really seen Chauncey 'until that night. He and his wife were there. So when the meeting was about to close, Chauncey Stokes rose to his feet, and Miss Maude recognized him and said to me in a whisper, "This is Chauncey Stokes." He said, "I'd like to address a question to Mrs. Pearsall." You can imagine what happened to Mrs. Pearsall. He said… Well, I'll have to start by going back. By that time we had some Howard Johnson franchises, and we had been thinking about integrating them. We had really wanted to for a long time. We knew it wasn't fair. It didn't make any sense really when you eat their food in your home, and you know, wouldn't let them come there. So Tom had been working on the waitresses out there, at the local Howard Johnson's, but their husbands had all said that they would make their wives quit

Page 30
before they would serve blacks. But anyway, it worried Tom and me a lot.
It nearly killed me one night when I was out there, a bus load of soldiers came by and the whites came in and ate and had to take boxes out to the blacks. I was standing there at the cash register and didn't say anything. The hostess is an older woman. She was trying privately to indoctrinate those waitresses and their husbands. But one of the waitresses was there where I was, and I said, "How did that make you feel? They're going off to risk their lives for us and yet they can't come in." And this woman, the waitress, said, "It makes me feel pretty bad." Anyway, we had not yet worked it out.
So Chauncey Stokes is addressing Mrs. Pearsall. He said, "I'd like to know why it is, my wife and I travel extensively up and down the eastern seaboard, and why is it when we get to Chester, Virginia, we can no longer go in a Howard Johnson's restaurant, from then on, Rocky Mount, Durham, Lumberton, and Fayetteville." Well, my heart was racing. But I said, I had never used the word "Mister" to a black person in my life. God put it in my mouth really. I said, "Mr. Stokes, I'm glad you asked that question. That situation has been on my husband's heart and mine for a long time, and we're working towards changing it. You will have to remember, Mr. Stokes," I said, "the waitresses are in an economic strata where there exists the greatest racial prejudice. That's because they're competing for the same jobs." And I said, "The husbands of the waitresses have threatened to make their wives quit. But we have an ally there

Page 31
in the hostess. She teaches a Bible class of young adults out at Oakdale Church." And I said, "I think she is going to be able to change things, and I think before very long, you'll see a change." Well, that was all that was said.
So when I came on home and Tom came in from the meeting, I didn't know whether I'd gotten Tom in trouble or what. So when he came in, I was very busy brushing my teeth. [Laughter] And he said, "How did the meeting go?" I said, "Very well." And then he said, "Did they ask any questions?" "A few." "What did they ask?" Well, then I had to come clean. I told him what Chauncey Stokes asked me. He said, "Well, what did you answer?" And I told him, and he said, "Well, that was all right. You told the truth. You can't improve on that."
So the next afternoon my doorbell rang. I have to say, I always tell our ministers, the new ones, you don't have to come see me unless I send for you because there are so many people who need to be visited and so many people who are sensitive about not being visited, that I'm not going to be sensitive. If I get sick, I will certainly call you. So don't bother about me. But that afternoon the door bell rang, and it was our minister. He'd been here about four years. So I said, "Well, what brings you. Come in." When he got in, he said, "I want to tell you. I had a visit this morning from Chauncey Stokes. And he said, ‘Mr. Smythe, I want to tell you that last night one of your parishioners came clean. It is the first time in my life that I have had the feeling that a white person was being completely honest with me.’" And he said, "I just want to congratulate

Page 32
you." That was a simple episode but one of those little pebbles in the pond—Tom's theory of things evolving. So it wasn't that Tom just had that feeling for the committee on integration that just ran a span of two years. It was before; it was after. It was just a philosophy of ours.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So how was the racial situation finally handled at the Howard Johnson?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Oh, of course, it was integrated right away. And the irony of it, right away the waitresses said, "Mrs. Pearsall, we want to tell you they are the best behaved children we have, and the families are the best tippers." Don't you see how that fear was so deadly. But what can you do? People will always have their fears. After it began to ease up, Tom and I were invited back to Battleboro, my village, one night with some college people. And we went, and some of them were blacks. It was very pleasant, and driving home, I said, "Tom, you know, I kept thinking about my mother and father, all the time I was there. How surprised they would have been to have seen me sitting there supping with these people." And I went on, "But my next thought was that I was being unfair to my mother and father. They would have changed with the times, exactly the way I changed."
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Maybe so.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
But you see, we grew up with them in the house, blacks. My mother had a mammy in her house, a black mammy, who slept in the house forty years and raised grandma's children. Grandma was left a widow with seven children when she was in her thirties. But this Aunt Lucy or Mammy Lucy, as we called her, that was the

Page 33
first death I remember, was when she died. She had a little room in the back of the house, and of course she was old and couldn't do anything. She wore a thousand petticoats. Had a great big fireplace back there, and she caught fire and was badly burned and died. Well, every child, and every grandchild came to that funeral. I thought it was the saddest day of my life because it was the first time I had ever lost a loved one. And Tom had a nurse like that, too, that cared for him a lot after his mother died. But that happens to a lot of people around here.
But I still think that people who had access to education and a reasonable amount of money to live on, didn't have that economic competition. I think that's a very real thing in a lot of people's lives. So you can't blame the rednecks and those sort of people. You're from Georgia. You all have rednecks down there right on, don't you?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Well, everybody in Savannah believes that everybody outside of Savannah are rednecks, but in Savannah they're not. [Laughter] So the saying goes.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
But your Governor Mattox, I could have wrung his neck. He has just terrible, wasn't he?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
A blight on the landscape.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
And Wallace down there. But you know, Virginia is so conservative. But they have had blacks in their universities way back there. But they were not the rank and file. They were brought up, you know, educated. But then Virginia was not going to integrate over there in Prince George's County.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
You went to school in Washington, D.C., right?

Page 34
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
I went to school in Washington and Salem.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
When? In Washington for high school and Salem for college?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Well, that's it. That was a finishing school. I went to Salem. I did not graduate from Salem. I went there too. I was the twenty-sixth member of my grandmother's family to go to Salem. And I think I had Salem indigestion. I loved it, but I wanted to go, my other sisters had all gone to Washington to school.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
To Gunnston Hall?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Junior colleges. One sister had gone to Gunnston Hall. And father thought it was broadening to go to school in Washington and go down to the capitol and all like that. So I went up there for two years after. So I had really four years, same thing I would have had in college. But I could choose courses more of art, or history, literature, and that sort of thing. And not have to have physics and all that stuff. I had a silver spoon in my mouth. I'm not proud of it now. I wish I could feel like I had really done a lot on my own.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Well, it's what you do with what you have.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
I think so. And I certainly helped Tom. I mean I…
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Seems like his marriage to you was critically important in terms of his ability to muster political power. I mean, you say that he didn't have much when y'all were married.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
That's right.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
And he married into an economically prominent family.

Page 35
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Well, he ran the Deke dining room at Chapel Hill. He got into this good fraternity. As I say, this old lawyer that introduced us and all the other lawyers wrote letters and got… We hobnobbed with all those wealthy people in Winston Salem. They always, the Bowman Grays, the boys always called him "Peace" because this black man servant there in the Deke house would come at six o'clock in the morning—Tom had a little room on the top floor, third story—and this Brother Johnson, as they called him, would stand at the foot of the stairs and call, "Mr. Peace." Couldn't say Pearsall. "Mr. Peace, oh, Mr. Peace." So Bowman and Gordon Gray and all of them called him Peace as long as he lived. They'd write letters, "Dear Peace."
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
That's a nice nickname.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
It is a nice nickname. [Laughter] The best one you could choose, isn't it. And Tom never drank.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Never drank.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
No, and when he would drive them all around from dances, you know, he was a great favorite, chauffeur, like that. He took his sports seriously. He was manager of the baseball team. Played on the football team for a little while, and a wonderful swimmer, and a scout master. He just did about everything he could have done. And he did it so joyously. He just thought that life was made for joy and service.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So did he play golf or anything?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Played tennis, played a lot of tennis. Said golf took too much time. Played tennis right on up. And sailed, and he loved to sail. He sailed right on up until he got sick. Had a

Page 36
sailboat. We had it in Florida, called the "Carolina." Tom learned to sail when he was sixty years old and was good at it. And tried to teach me. I would go out with him, but it didn't take on me. He said I was always looking at the clouds when it was time to do something.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Good for you. [Laughter]
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Just about the truth of it.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So how did he feel about not having a degree from Carolina? Did that bother him, or did he like the fact that he was among people who had had to get where they were by degrees? Did it ever bother him that he didn't have one?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Didn't he have a degree from Chapel Hill?
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Not that I remember. I think he went and took courses in the Law School and then took the exam without getting a degree, if I'm not mistaken.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Was that right? I know he decided to study law right there at the end of school and went over to Wake Forest. I thought, I thought he graduated. Anyway, he had three honorary degrees, Chapel Hill and Weslyan College here and UNC-Greensboro.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
So what made y'all decide to give the professorship in political science, just because of his long affiliation in politics?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Because he believed so in government. When we went to Chapel Hill to talk about it, we didn't know what field to get into. We just really wanted the memorial, I was thinking about medicine because he was on that original medical committee. I

Page 37
remember when there were twelve men meeting in my dining room and had dinner—most of them doctors—it was just a dream at that early stage.1
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
On the medical committee?
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
Oh yes, that was one of the things he was proudest of.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Oh, I didn't know that.
ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
The medical school. What was I going to say? Oh, so we were sitting there with the men from the university and Tom, our oldest son, said, "Don't you think a chair in political science sounds like Daddy?" I said, "Yes, I do." He started out as city prosecuting attorney here, you see. And he believed in orderly government. And I do too.
WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
I think that's a good way to end it.
END OF INTERVIEW
1. If I were to suggest anything else, it would be to elaborate a little on Tom's part in the UNC medical school. The idea had his whole hearted support, and I remember having some doctors from over the state and some local ones and Pat Taylor, Lieutenant Governor, for a dinner one night at our house in Rocky Mount, when the idea of the school was still a dream. There was a Dr. Whittaker from Kinston who, long after the school was a reality, would write Tom letters of appreciation for his support. Tom was proud of having had a part in it.