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Title: Oral History Interview with Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, August 4, 1974. Interview G-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Lumpkin, Katharine Du Pre, interviewee
Interview conducted by Hall, Jacquelyn
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: 332 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.
2007-02-23, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, August 4, 1974. Interview G-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series G. Southern Women. Southern Oral History Program Collection (G-0034)
Author: Jacquelyn Hall
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, August 4, 1974. Interview G-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series G. Southern Women. Southern Oral History Program Collection (G-0034)
Author: Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin
Description: 465 Mb
Description: 100 p.
Note: Interview conducted on August 4, 1974, by Jacquelyn Hall; recorded in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series G. Southern Women, 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.
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Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, August 4, 1974.
Interview G-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Lumpkin, Katharine Du Pre, interviewee


Interview Participants

    KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN, interviewee
    JACQUELYN HALL, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
JACQUELYN HALL:
I have read your fascinating The Making of a Southerner, and so I know something about your family background, your heritage and events through which you became alienated from that heritage, or … from aspects of that heritage.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Right.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But that book is primarily, I would say, an intellectual biography, and I'm very curious to have a little more information about the personal history that lay behind that intellectual odyssey. So I thought I'd like to ask you a little bit more about your family and your childhood and your education, and then we could go on to talk about your career after your work as the YWCA secretary in the twenties, which is pretty much where that book stops, as far as your own life is concerned.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes. It had a certain object to fulfill.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Yes. You were born in 1897 in Macon Georgia?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Could you tell me a little bit about the family situation that you were born into?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, I was born in Macon, Georgia, and Georgia was my native state, as you'll remember. There were seven living children in my

Page 2
family, of which I was the youngest. And I'm not sure what type of detail … my father … I don't know whether you remember this, was trained as a lawyer. Do you remember? This came by reading law, which was a custom in his youth. But he, for a good many years, he was a product of that period when it was very difficult - the period following the Civil War - when it was very difficult for a young man to find a way of life that was anything resembling what they had known as they grew up and from their childhood. So he moved over into a salaried position for a good many years. Actually, I think at the time of his death, he was - which came, my recollection is, around 1910 - he was beginning gradually to work back in to the law, which was his first love. He'd been in politics some, in, I would almost say, a desultory sort of way.
JACQUELYN HALL:
He worked for the railroad?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What railroad did he work for?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
The Georgia Railroad. I had to stop and think, It no longer exists as such, naturally. It was a smallish railroad. And I don't really remember precisely what the nature of his work was. I should remember, because I would have been in my early teens at his death, twelve or thirteen, something like that. But I was never clear in my mind just what type … I'd been up to his office many times. He traveled, I remember that, but …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Your portrait of your father in your book is a very fascinating portrait of that generation of young men who grew up expecting to be master of their entire environment, and found themselves in the kind of position …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
You mean, if he had … when you say he grew up, you mean master of

Page 3
his …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Of his plantation and his slaves and his …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes. This was his rearing, of course.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Was this very much in retrospect, your sense of your father, or, when you were growing up did you have a feeling of your father being a man who was not at ease in the …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
In the world in which he had … I would say he was a man torn between the past and the present, perhaps. Never having given up the past. The very emphasis he placed upon the Lost Cause was — which were his terms, not mine. I mean, these were the terms which, in the period of the first decade of the century, people used when they spoke of the by-gone Confederacy, you see, as the Lost Cause. And we were certainly reared, each of us in turn, to revere the veterans of that period and to do everything we could to help them. I mean, well, of course, naturally those who came out of the ranks of the old Confederate Armies were just ordinary people. They were those who had been brought in. And many of them at this period - not the officers, but the veterans who came to reunions were, many of them, old men - they were getting quite old by this time, those who had fought through the war. Of course, my father only fought the last year, as a boy, fifteen maybe. Those who had fought through it were now old men and were disappearing fast. And lots of them were in need. I mean, they were poor, they hadn't much to live on. And they were great … people would visit, trying to do something for them, to help them, you see, to carry on.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Well, your own family was not very affluent.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, not … I may have overplayed that some. [Laughter] I don't

Page 4
mean consciously. I don't at all mean consciously. We were certainly not well to do, by any manner of means, because we were living on my father's salary, which wouldn't have been affluent then. But we always lived in the "nice neighborhood." And … we rented, we didn't own, until just before his death, he had purchased this farm where you find me as a young girl, going to school.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What kind of effect did your father's disappointment in the historical circumstances he found himself in and in his own career have on his relationship with his family? I've wondered whether, in that kind of situation, a man would tend to turn very much inward and put a lot of the energy and hope that he might have put into his own career into molding his children and his hope for his children?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Into molding them, you say?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Yes.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
He was a very active person, in the causes he was concerned about. So I don't think your picture is quite correct. He said the usual things that a husband said, in those days, that his wife was the one who … I've forgotten how the phrases ran in his speeches, though heaven knows I've heard them enough, But just remember, I was quite small, and where a sister or brother a few years older than myself would remember all these things of that period very clearly, and what he was like, my memories would be colored by my awe of him. Because he was a strict discipliarian, and you can see this would overcloud what was really there. But he had a phrase which many speakers had in that time, his wife taught the children prayers, he taught them to revere the Lost Cause.
I mean, you see, this conception. I may

Page 5
have remarked in The Making that I doubted if there were many monuments to the Confederacy around in the little towns of South Carolina that he hadn't helped to dedicate. This would have been true. He was forever going around making speeches to groups, whatever the groups, along these lines, and he was also very active, though, in Masonic affairs. He was a thirty-third degree Mason and very active in state affairs of the Masonic Order. Now, you ought to remember there were a couple of periods when he was running for political office. So, he was an extremely active, outgoing man, and was known as one who was a great story-teller. These stories would be couched in what some would call long jokes. But he loved that old book, Slow Train through Arkansas. Have you ever heard of it? It was a book of tales, you might call it a book of jokes or tall tales. And he would have wonderful laughter over the tales or something of this kind. And similarly, his audiences, when he told them, were filled with laughter, because these were very well told and with quite a wry tone and an eloquent gesture and a sober face. In other words, had hosts of friends. Now, some of this I may not have made clear in my account, because I was evoking a picture of what it felt like then, hence my after-view, as I look back now, might not have come through as clearly as it should have.
JACQUELYN HALL:
He ran for the Senate in 1908, I think.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
He what?
JACQUELYN HALL:
He ran for the U. S. Senate …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
… in 1908?

Page 6
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Your dates are better than mine at this point. [Laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
But he was beaten very badly.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did he run for other political office and lose?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No, I think he started again, to run for the Senate. I would have to go in and refresh my own memory, because some of these things I checked on and got down so I would have them accurately, at the time. But I think he once ran for the Senate and there was a great host of people running, as there so often was in South Carolina politics then. And all of them, as you remember, speaking from the same platform. This was the custom. They would go around together, the candidates, in the country places, and so on. But then I think he ran again when Tillman was running for re-election. I know his health became … he was ill. I mean, becoming ill. And he was not well, and I think the doctor advised him to … not to continue.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But he wanted to run against Ben Tillman?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes, and I think he entered the race. I won't say this for sure, but this is my memory of it. I get the two races confused, but I know he was running.
JACQUELYN HALL:
When you talked about an incident in which you saw your father chastising a black maid …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I know. Oh, how I … [Laughter] … have not been appreciated for that.
JACQUELYN HALL:
By your family?

Page 7
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, let's not get that on the recorder. I don't want to be too specific on a thing like that.
JACQUELYN HALL:
We can delete anything that we want to …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes I know. But this was tough medicine. It was my memory, and a very vivid one. I was small, quite small. But I had decided, because it was for me a traumatic experience, and, without being over-psychological, it is easy to see that it would be an alienating factor as far as the racial system was concerned, and I don't question but that it was. So, it would have been removing if I hadn't cited it, I think, something that I know left a lasting impression on me. In this book I've just finished on Angelina Grimke, she had similar experiences with slavery. And this did not mean that on the spot she rejected slavery. She didn't reject slavery outright and consciously until she was twenty years of age, at least. But it created a sense of uneasiness in her. It made her disaffected, and she began almost unconsciously taking up for "the servants," you see. Well, this I could understand as I would read her diary and her letters, which recorded so faithfully (she didn't begin to write in the diary until she was twenty), but it recorded her memories so faithfully of these sentiments, how disturbed it would leave her, even though she still accepted the system. And this, I think, is the kind of effect that experiences of that kind on a child reared in the Old South, especially … even now it could be the case. The child is taught to be just and fair and kind and considerate and all these things, as important values and ideals, and then to feel just appalled inwardly by something you

Page 8
see or someone helpless, in the throes of those who rule. And this has a very deep effect, I think.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Does that incident stand out so much because it was in contradiction to your image of your father? Was it the only incident like that in your childhood, or is it just one … ?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No, it was not the only incident. It was the only one of that kind. I never had any occasion for any other. I mean, there never was any occasion. But all of the conceptions of black people, all of the racial attitudes that were common, these were just everyday affairs, and not in any mean way, not in any unkind way, but simply a part of our environment. So you can't say that was an incident. What you found was that you were deeply imbued with the whole patterns of racial attitudes that were common in your environment. You soaked them in through the pores of your skin, quite unconscious of how you did it. You knew that all those around you, my people especially, my parents especially, put the greatest emphasis with us, their children, on the highest values, the most basic conceptions of American democracy and consideration for others and high ideals. I mean, all of this was just part and parcel of our upbringing. It was implicit.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What's so fascinating about your book is that I don't think I've ever read anything that showed so clearly how assumptions and values become … how children are socialized. How southern children become what they are. And then you begin to try and talk about how a child raised in that kind of atmosphere

Page 9
changes, mores beyond it, becomes aware of the contradictions in it and moves in one direction instead of the other.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I wish everyone who has read that book comprehended what I was trying to do as well as you do.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Do you feel that people did not?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, often they do not. Often.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Well, tell me, why did you write that book?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Why did I?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Yes.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I can give you my general purposes, I think, if I can vocalize them. I felt that there was still extant, widely extant, at the time I wrote it, which was in the late forties, a conception of a whole people being "inferior." I mean, innately inferior. The black people, Negroes. Hence, out of this grew the notion that prejudice was natural and could not be overcome if these people were inferior. So I knew out of my own personal experience, that it was neither innate nor true, and so I thought one of the best ways to demonstrate this was to give a picture of my personal experience which showed that I was indoctrinated with all these conceptions, and I got over it, completely. This was one of my aims. The other was to show the … so to say, the other side of the coin, that these feelings and attitudes were not innate, namely that they were culturally conditioned, that they came out of one's cultural background. And hence my reasons for this attempt to evoke how I was culturally conditioned was this story of my family, its background, its upbringing, our indoctrination with the Lost Cause, the way I loved it. Now, if a child learns to love this thing, so that she herself is

Page 10
caught up in it, this is really heady stuff. This is terrifically potent. And this could explain more for us, because we placed unusual emphasis upon all of this - but it was similar for white children of any class. And if people could but realize, at the period at which I wrote, you see, one just has to keep bearing in mind, this was pre-1954. At that period, segregation was just as intact as you can conceive of, as it had been for the last … well, for the period before it. So my wish there was to say, if this is culturally conditioned, then it can be changed by the culture.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You went to Columbia University, you taught at Smith, you were at …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I was at Mount Holyoke for a year.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Mount Holyoke. When you speak of the kind of intellectual climate at the end of the forties, in which black inferiority was assumed, Sumner's notion of mores being embedded, not amenable to intervention, was that …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, this was the kind of sociology I was trained in, even in Columbia.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Is that right?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Sure. Summer. Folkways. I know you wouldn't have been brought up in it, but I was.
JACQUELYN HALL:
By 1947, when you wrote Making of a Southerner, was that still the kind of training that people were getting in universities?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
It depended upon the university, as to how much stress. At Columbia there was Giddings … you wouldn't know him, but he was one of the great sociological pioneers in this country. But, at this time, and even out at

Page 11
Wisconsin, when I went there, in the late twenties for my doctorate - I took my doctorate, I guess, in 1929 there, there was still a great stress on this conception of the mores and how implacable they are.
I don't suggest for a moment that this affected people in general. I'm now thinking of my particular field of specialization, where much of this was accepted. But in some universities - at the University of Chicago, I doubt if it was, by the books that came out of there in that very period. They had Park. You wouldn't know him, perhaps, but he was a great scholar in this whole area. So I don't think one could generalize about that. It just happened to be my experience. And you must also realize that when I went to Columbia University for my master's degree, which I took in, I think it was 1919, if my memory serves me right. I'd have to look up on my vita to see. But when I went there, I was raw, fresh from the South. I'd never been out of the South, until I went there, and this meant that everything that I was seeing, learning, hearing, was mediated through this kind of veil of southern experience, even though I found I welcomed breaking these good old taboos in which I'd been reared, I thoroughly enjoyed having Negroes in my classes, eating with them and listening to them and feeling, oh, my this was very exciting. I was just throwing overboard all these stupid things, I mean, you know, the way a youngster does. And I was very, very raw, I felt … I feel, as I look back. I didn't feel it then. But, again, so that my biases of breaking away from the mores, myself, would have made me see probably more emphasis than was placed on the mores, I suspect.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But this book was meant to be read by, in effect, a popular audience more than to …

Page 12
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, very much so, very much so. That's why I attempted to make it as personal as I did. It was not, I'm sure, as personal as the publisher would have liked, But I had these certain objectives in view, so that I brought to it what material I felt was pertinent to my objectives, not a lot of side issues that might have been — looked into in a full-fledged autobiography.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Have you ever thought of writing a full-fledged autobiography?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No, I haven't. Angeline Grimkà satisfied me on that, very much. Very much. Hers could be, in my view, having just marvelous material, as I had, all those first hand letters and diaries, very deeply intimate stuff. It was very satisfying material.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How was The Making of a Southerner received?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Very well indeed. Extraordinarily well. Far beyond anything I expected, not in sales, because these things rise and fall. If I could find my scrapbook of clippings, you would see how very widely … I had some of the most interesting of people who reviewed me in the major [publications] the reviews came out the very week the book appeared, which surprised both me and the publisher. I had a third page review in the Times Book Review by Lillian Smith. No, that was not in the Times. I'm sorry. Lillian Smith's was in the Herald Tribune Book Review. In the Times. I forget the man's name who did it … oh, Hodding Carter. And what … Daniel … what's Daniel, the former publisher of the Raleigh News and Observer.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Jonathan Daniels.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Jonathan Daniels reviewed it in one of the papers. I had an

Page 13
excellent review in the then Saturday Review. And then, what interested me in many ways, I took a clipping service so I had it, was the wide-spread reviews in the southern newspapers.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Oh, really?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes. Oh, very widespread. I haven't looked it up in years, but I made a scrapbook at the time of the reviews, and they are really voluminous.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I read a review in the Journal of Negro History, just very, very …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, I didn't appreciate that as much as I should have, because I knew … I'd had much correspondence with the man who wrote it. He was then the editor. And he was a very interesting person, and a nice person. I could tell you more about him some time. He's no longer there, I guess, probably. But he was quite undiscriminating. It was just laudatory, and I don't like that kind as well.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Well, he also took off from your book to …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Tell of his own experience.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Tell of his own experience.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, he had a very interesting history, which he had told me of. He owned a small plantation, he and his brothers and sisters, his family, down in Georgia, and would go down there fairly often. He taught. He was a teacher in a junior college, I think, in the Washington area, of history. And he wrote me that his … within his own family he had - I don't remember now. I probably have the letter tucked away somewhere - but he had one or two siblings - I don't recall whether they were brothers or sisters - who had passed into the white world. And he sent me a picture to show how white looking he was. And he was, tremendously.

Page 14
He sent me a photograph, which I'm sure I may have returned to him. Probably he asked me to. But he was trying to convey to me this highly contradictory … and it was fascinating. I found it very interesting. Highly contradictory experience which he had, in his own immediate family. This happened often, with a book of this kind, that people write you, and I got many, many, many letters on this book. Quite different ones, quite contradictory. Occasionally I still get one.
JACQUELYN HALL:
From people from the South, talking about their own …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Usually people from the South, yes. Speaking of their own experience, or telling wherein theirs differed from mine, but more often that they had had the same experience of change that I had. Once in a while I'd get one saying you aren't fit to tie the shoelaces of your ancestors, or something like this, but not many of that kind. A vfew crank ones, you know. I think writers always … I mean, authors of books often get … expecially if they're on a controversial subject.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was the book criticized for?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I haven't looked at these reviews in so long, my dear, I'd have to look it up. I'm not sure. I seem to remember that Jonathan Daniels felt … in fact, I think it's on the jacket of the book now. I know what Lillian Smith criticized it for. I can tell you that. She had a formula, which was that there were three things wrong in the South … sex … I've forgotten the other two … which accounted for the whole

Page 15
racial situation. There were three things. They all began with "s" I think. Do you remember that?1
JACQUELYN HALL:
I sure don't.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, she had felt I didn't have enough sex in it. [Laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
Very interesting.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes. And Jonathan Daniels … this is just on the second or third edition, printings, I mean, not editions, but printings. It is out, you know, in a reprint. It came out just a couple of years ago in a reprint.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I read it in the older version.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, naturally. And the reprint is just … they crowded it into the space. It's a facsimile reprint, but they put it on very thin paper, so it … this is natural. This is to save money on the reprints. And the reprint is quite expensive. Jonathan Daniels: "She has written a story of her section and her generation, and not merely the richly remembered and vitally developed record of a girl named Lumpkin who followed the North Star …" I deserted the South, you see… "But has not ceased to look back South with as much affection as fear." This is the type of thing that would be considered, perhaps, critical. I don't know. But that was the nature of it. Most of them, though-Hodding Carter, William McFee, in the New York Sun, which was still extant then, Zonathan Daniels in the Chicago Sun Book Week, Harnett T. Kane in the Philadelphia Enquirer-they were extraordinary reviews. I was thrilled with it, of course. But you would have found those from the South very thoughtful. I don't recall any that were heaping approbrium on it, at

Page 16
all. On the contrary, they were very thoughtful, and often even penetrating. I mean, in recognizing this was the kind of thing that could happen to children, to be indoctrinated with these racial views and have to get over them.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What about your own family? How did they react to it?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, I don't mind telling you, but I don't like to put it on the record, because it's their business, if you see what I mean.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Do you want me to turn it off for a minute?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes, and I will … [interruption]
JACQUELYN HALL:
We've talked about your father. What was your father's name, by the way?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
William.
JACQUELYN HALL:
William Lumpkin.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I have a feeling he was called Will, but my mother always referred to him as Mr. Lumpkin. Oh, this was a custom in that day. Or "your father", in talking to us. But I think I can remember hearing her when she would call him that. We were very respectful, deeply respectful, of my father, so that … I don't think people, men, in those days, exchanged first names, you know, much. They either referred to people by their last names or it was mister. Actually, my father was called … wherefrom, I don't know, "colonel".
JACQUELYN HALL:
Your mother was from an old plantation owning family as well.

Page 17
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes, that was her childhood background, but you may recall, I think I tell this, that her parents died and she and her three sisters and I think there was one brother were cared for by her grandmother, and then it became too much of a burden.
They were still, then, on the parental home plantation in a different part of Georgia from where my father's people came from. And so kind friends of the family took two of the girls one place, and the two others went to other kind friends and were reared. And my mother and a sister just younger were reared by wonderful people in Augusta, Georgia. And my mother I do say in the book, was given this remarkable education by her tutor.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I'm very interested in this.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Mr. Neely. You see, his name I will never forget because it was always on her lips. My mother … as my father was, they were both brilliant people intellectually, no question of that.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Your mother's learning was a prized family possession. I remember you using that. A prized family possession, your mother's education.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, yes. Oh, yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I thought that was great.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
And this, I'm sure, quite without my … You see, you have an interesting combination here, looking at it in a detached way. The inner pressures of the individual herself, which I certainly felt, you know, a keen interest in intellectual things from childhood in my reading and all, but also, you had - I had, as we all did, - this tradition of my mother's of the importance of learning, of the importance of intellectual things, of the joy of them. And nothing was more fun in my childhood

Page 18
than, of a Sunday, mother would always read aloud to us. And there are certain books that I still cherish more because of that association of the pleasure of hearing interesting … Pilgrim's Progress. I adored it, you see. It was almost up to a mystery detective story in the fascinating grip that it could have. These adventures of this pilgrim. These were great fun. Not that that was why they were read, but it was a classic and we were read to. So, yes, I think you cannot tell: there could be the potential for interest, but whether that interest would necessarily have surfaced to make the person go ahead and pursue those, without this experience which aroused them. I don't know.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Your mother had taught a while before she was married.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Is that … ?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
But I don't know much about that period. I was not old enough to want to ask questions about that. Something like that I would ask about, you know, experiences and what you did there and here, but I don't remember asking questions about that period. She may have talked about it and I not listened. I don't doubt she did. But I do know that she taught for … well up to the time she married.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Were you closer to your mother or to your father?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, I think it's easy to say that I was closest to mother, because, for one thing, father died when I was still pretty young to feel close to him. And as it chanced, he was … my oldest sister, he was very close to her and she to him, and this was a wonderful experience for her. And, of course, she is now dead. But I had the opportunity to see much more of my mother as I was growing, and she … in fact, she lived until 1925, and I had her, not

Page 19
all the time, but I had her with me when I was traveling on the national staff of the YWCA. I had an apartment, for example, for a while in Atlanta … for a couple of years we had headquarters there, in about '23, '24, '25, somewhere in there. And she came and stayed with me, because by this time she was a widow, you see, and all her children were grown up, and I would persuade her to come and be with me for many months out of the year, many. So that I did see much more of her. She was a beautiful person.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Tell me a little more about your brothers and sisters. What were their names and what did they do? You were the youngest, so whose footsteps were you following in, or how did you … how were you affected by your older … ?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I don't know that I was following in any footsteps in particular. [Laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
Who's shadow were you trying to get out from under?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Pardon?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you feel yourself to be in the shadow … ? [interruption]
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
… six older than myself. Actually there were three other children that came first, and they … two, at least, died in a matter of a short time. Had one of these diptheria epidemics in the year when they were … this would have been back in the last century, you see. After all, I, the youngest, came toward the end of this century, and this would mean that they dated quite far back. But there were seven surviving children. That's nothing. Angelina had eleven living children, with four others, so … [Laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
It's hard to imagine.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Isn't it, though?

Page 20
JACQUELYN HALL:
What were their names?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, well, it began with my oldest sister, Elizabeth, and my oldest brother, called Hope. He became an Episcopal clergyman.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What did your oldest sister do?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
She taught first. She trained …
JACQUELYN HALL:
She went to college?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, she was a very gifted woman, and father had her trained … took her for training - and I can't remember, I did know - either in Boston or New York - I think it was Boston - for teaching of what they called then elocution. What we would call today theater, you see. I had a colleague over at Wells who taught theater there, drama, and - a very gifted woman, she is. She's now retired. And she loved it when I would sit down and talk about my sister in those beginning years of teaching. Then she taught at Winthrop College in South Carolina, up to the time of her marriage. And I couldn't tell you … I don't know how many years she trained. I know father would take her North. He was absolutely intent that she should have her gifts developed. She had magnificent gifts. But then she married and had four children herself. But she had a wonderful intellect, and at the … when she had … either had hit eighty - she died a number of years ago - maybe she was already eighty, I'm not sure of this, she began the writing of a novel. And she was staying with a son, married son, a surgeon in Birmingham, Alabama, and she commuted down to the University of Alabama and took the writing course and worked on this novel. So, you see, she was a very enterprising woman. And she did "little theater" for many years in Asheville, where she lived. She was very, very talented.

Page 21
JACQUELYN HALL:
She lived in Asheville after she married?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes. Oh, yes. After she married. She died there. Her husband was a surgeon there. So she never lost her interest in the area of teaching and study, but she never went back to it. Oh, indeed, I am quite wrong. She didn't go back to that, but she took a correspondence course at the University of North Carolina Law School - I think it was North Carolina - in law, and got her law degree, passed the state bar examination When her children were growing up and she needed to handle various family affairs that had been left her - real estate and things by her husband. And she continued to maintain her connection, mostly doing good deeds toward people who hadn't … she didn't have an office. She may have had an office for a while, I'm not sure of this. I think maybe she did, in Asheville. But in any case, she continued her little occasional practice of law for somebody who was in difficulties and she would go and help them get out of it. Which was, I thought, a most delightful thing. [Laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
When did she get her law degree? Do you remember when it was that she got her law degree?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I thought … I don't know whether they have a correspondence course at North Carolina. I would doubt it. But it was somewhere … some perfectly respectable law school in the state somewhere, and she passed the bar examination.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Amazing.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
[Laughter] So you see she did keep up her professional interests, in one way or another.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What did she think of your work? Did you maintain close relations with

Page 22
your older brothers and sisters?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I … you know, once you move out of the orbit of the South, you never have as come-and-go relations as you do if you just settle down right in the midst of family. But, naturally I always kept up with her, and delighted in her. She was a remarkable person.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Your brother became an Episcopal … ?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Only my oldest brother became an Episcopal clergyman, and his son after [him]. The other brothers … the next two brothers, named Alva and Morris, were both lawyers, which was also in the family tradition. And then a sister, Grace Lumpkin, about whom you wrote to me. And then my youngest brother next to me, whose name was Bryan Lumpkin. And his family, wonderful family, still live in Columbia.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did all of your brothers and sisters stay in the South except … ?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
All the brothers and sisters did, except myself and my sister Grace who lived in New York for many, many years. But all the others. I hope I'm remembering correctly. Oh, no. No, no. My brother Hope. My oldest brother was a missionary in Alaska for five or six years. Then he returned from there and took a church in Madison, Wisconsin. And I lived in his home during the three years that I was doing my residence work and writing my dissertation for my doctoral thesis. That's one reason why I ended up at Wisconsin for my degree, because they were there and live in the rectory, which was a great big old rangy house there. And I happened to be very specially devoted to that brother, and it was a great privilege for me that I always cherished that I could live there.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You went to college at Brenau?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes.

Page 23
JACQUELYN HALL:
Had your … ?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Family gone before me?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Yes.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes. My sister. [Laughter] My oldest sister. And my sister Grace was there for a year or so.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Is that a girls' school?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes, it's a little college. It's still on the books. I still get their stuff, you know, their alumnae association. I don't keep up with them much, but …
JACQUELYN HALL:
I thought it was very interesting that that's where you were exposed to the social gospel.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well…
JACQUELYN HALL:
Is that the case?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Only I happened to be there when I was exposed. I graduated from there, and then stayed on two years as a kind of a little handyman assistant in history, which was my first love and I always wish I'd stayed in it. And this was the time at which the so-called social creed of the churches was appearing. By pure chance … we had a visit from one of these ranging national secretaries of the YWCA, who came in, saw us as a fruitful field - hopefully fruitful field - there, and I … this was the great wide world that they were bringing in. They were far-thinking women. They were professional-minded women, too: in this period, you see, in that they [Y.W.C.A.] were able to draw to themselves some very remarkable women. One of them was a southern woman, another was a northern woman who visited us often, and then there was still another one on the national staff who was one of their prize kind of people, who went around for a series of meetings, talks, this kind of thing, what we might call today … oh, I forget what they call them in the colleges, now.

Page 24
the kind of religious weekends, this kind of thing, that the local YWCA organized. And then there were, you see, the ten-day student conferences at Blue Ridge and places of that kind. And there you would just hear the whole run of exciting people, who were talking about the "problems" that we were feeling ourselves bumping up against all the time. Well, this whole thing burst for me about my last year in college, then I stayed on there two more years. And I was part time assistant in history, but, also, I was called local YWCA secretary, because I'd been president of the Y my last year. And so I was just dumped into or propelled or something - or drawn is probably the best word - into this whole fascinating world outside. And I could… I could depict for you … I mean, I don't mean I will do so, but what the elements were at this period. Now, bear in mind, World War 1 broke out in 1914. I graduated in 1915. I was on there [at BEENAU] the two succeeding years. Immediately following World War 1, the whole peace movement burst with full force, you see, on American society. Especially the student world. The whole reaction against what, up to that time, had been the foreign missions business. There was a tremendous reaction against it, right at this time. And I was at conventions of … what was then called the Student Volunteer Movement, and went to state [meetings] over these next years, where this sense [emerged] that we had no right to foist on these other countries this missionary type of action, which didn't take account of their social conditions, you see, because then it was "Save the world for Christ." And it was not, "Help these people out of their poverty and out of their need and out of their … these terrible conditions in which they are living." So that you'd go to one of these great student volunteer conventions and you would have these rising student groups getting up and saying, "We want to hear about the

Page 25
bad industrial conditions of this country. We want to hear about the ending of war. We want to hear about the starving in these countries, et cetera." This kind of social gospel thing. And it was just the … the atmosphere was ripe with it. We were just awash with it, and it was a very exciting time for young people.
JACQUELYN HALL:
It's so interesting, because the twenties are always seen …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
What's that?
JACQUELYN HALL:
It's interesting, because the twenties are conventionally seen as a time when social concern and reform movements were on the wane, in which people were turning to …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
At that time?
JACQUELYN HALL:
(Yes. turning to their private lives and the new morality and whatever.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
That came after, I think. This was a later thing. This receded, this movement I'm talking about. But not before the student volunteer movement practically disappeared.
JACQUELYN HALL:
When did the student volunteer movement disappear?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, I'd have to check my records. I … you know, I kept somewhere various little bits of records out of that period. I can remember one report I wrote while I was a student secretary for the national YWCA - this was between 1920 and 1925, some time - to my department in the national YWCA, student department of the national YWCA, which was dealing with a visit I had made where someone had come back from one of our summer student conferences saying that the national YWCA was advocating social equality between the races. And it happened that this remark reached my home city of Columbia. I hadn't lived in Columbia for

Page 26
several years because after I graduated from college I was, you know, going other places, taking jobs that kept me away. I wasn't living there and hadn't lived there. Well, this little report that dealt with … I was asked by people, the chairman of our student department, as it was called then, the national YWCA, to go there, because this was creating problems in the city YWCA. We [in the] student department were always creating problems for the city YWCA, because we were interested in industrial questions and interracial questions and these matters, and this was very tough for boards in the cities made up of more or less conventional women, who were trying to serve the industrial girls in the community and the girls who worked in clerical jobs and so on and so forth. This was really creating a crisis, because one or two ministers had taken hold of it and read it to attack us in the pulpits. There was one particular woman who was very active in the local Y there, who was extremely wrought up about it and so on, and I was to go in and look into this whole thing and try to interpret what had really happened.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Were you sent there because it was your home city?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No, not at all, because that was in my territory. No, they probably didn't even realize it was my home city. No, it was just my territory.
So I wrote this up, my experiences, conversations and so on. It was quite … I ran across it a few years ago, and had forgotten I even kept it. It was just a copy of the report I sent to them, and filed, and I suppose when I put it away I thought, "Well, that will remind me of some of …"
JACQUELYN HALL:
I'd love to see it.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, I don't know whether I would … I don't know where to lay my hands on it. It's way… in one of my boxes up in the attic. But, this kind of situation was frequently, fairly frequently, developing in those

Page 27
years when we in the student division, the student end, of the national YWCA, were considered to be concerning ourselves about social problems when we should have been concerning ourselves about religion, you see, and this kind of crisis quite often arose.
JACQUELYN HALL:
So conflicts would arise both on the local level, between student chapters which were mainly in colleges and the city YWCA in the lo …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
In the locality.
JACQUELYN HALL:
… as well as on the regional and national level, or how did those kind of conflicts work themselves out?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Now, you've asked me a couple of questions. I'm not clear what it is you …
JACQUELYN HALL:
I just … I'm very interested in the relationship between the YWCA …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Organization.
JACQUELYN HALL:
… organization and the student division.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, it's a very different relationship now, from what it was when I was working in the nineteen-twenties. It's virtually, to the best of my knowledge, virtually an independent … the student division is, still, I think, under the national board of the YWCA in New York, but I think it virtually moves in its own orbit, along with the men. But for many years, we were quite separate from the YMCA. And always, of course, felt ourselves far in advance of them. [Laughter] This was …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Do you think that was really the case?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
That we were in advance? Oh, that would sound … what is the word I want? You can think of it …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Grace Hamilton told me that that was definitely the case.

Page 28
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, have you seen her?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Well, it does seem to me, that from what I've read and people I've talked to that that was the case. I'm very curious about why women students seem to have been more progressive on social issues than their contemporaries
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I always felt … well, let me remind you of one thing. Your lady that you did your …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Jessie Daniel Ames.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes. Just remember women were far in advance of men in these matters, in the churches. I … I can't remember her name. I think it was Mrs. Steel. Did she ever speak of someone named Mrs. Steel? Oh, you didn't … you had to go by the records for her.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Uh huh. (Yes.)
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
There was a Mrs. Steel - I think I'm right about her name - who was a leading figure in the Methodist women's groups, who worked on such things as anti-lynching laws and other … some of these very social problems that I am referring to, on better race relations, on these interracial groups, et cetera. Mrs. Weatherford was very active in all of that. And they were always way ahead of the men in what they did, what they advocated, their willingness to take steps contrary to the mores of the community, so that I think that it's not so much a matter … I wouldn't classify it as greater courage or daring or any of these ways of categorizing it. But I think I would almost say that these women students as I knew them, and the group was relatively small who were ready to just down the barriers, you know, just

Page 29
discard them and ignore them. It was relatively small. But I think they were able, because of their ability to accept what their humaneness dictated to their consciances, I think they just took their best impulses and acted on them. And it was easier, they did not have as many of the fears, the very deep-laid fears, and bigoted attitudes that men were reared in.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But they were …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
They were … they had the same environment, I grant you that. I'm really floundering here. I don't know how to express what I mean. But we surely experienced it. This …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Well, I'm very interested in trying to document this phenomenon. That's why I …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
What's that?
JACQUELYN HALL:
I'm interested in trying to document this phenomenon.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, it is difficult.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I don't know the answer myself.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
And I'm not really now referring to the way the older men felt. This system that Dr. Weatherford set up at Blue Ridge, for example, of segregating these black … Negro speakers, you see. [Laughter] I'm so well adapted now to the new terminology I can hardly say Negro. All this segregating them and taking their meals to them, except when they spoke and all was cosy and we'd all go in in a company to the platform, et cetera. This was something that our Negro staff members, our younger ones, not the Miss Ruffin period, the ones I talked about, but these younger women over on our student staff. Frances Williams was … I still hear from her, a lifelong friend. Jane Sadler is

Page 30
now dead, the one who was at Blue Ridge that time that I …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Jane who?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Saddler. Juanita Saddler, Juanita Jane Saddler. We called her Jane. Juanita was what she signed her name. Her middle name was Jane. Juliette Derricotte, who was a marvelous person on our staff, and who … she was killed … injured badly, in an auto accident, and didn't get the right treatment, I'm afraid, at the hospital. But these women would just say to us in staff meeting, "We aren't going to do it."
JACQUELYN HALL:
Well, then, maybe the difference was in the leadership that was being provided by younger black women, not from so much a difference in …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, this was the beginning of our education in this. But, you see, by the time we began to have, say, interracial groups, I would say they raised the level of our education and our practices. But we were ready for them to raise the level, you see.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Do you suppose it has something to do with women being less vulnerable to social pressures …?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I think so. This is what I was trying to express a while ago. This is what I meant when I said that the men were really imbued with some of these attitudes and were vulnerable, yes. Very much so.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I wonder, not to make too much of Lillian Smith's theory, but I just happened to come across last week when I was in Atlanta a little article by Mrs. Andrews, who was the head of a right wing organization called Southern White Women for the Preservation of the White Race, something like that, she was always heckling Jessie Daniel Ames. And this was an article in her newspaper …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, it's early.

Page 31
JACQUELYN HALL:
… criticizing a YWCA meeting which had taken place, an interracial meeting taking place in Atlanta in which, according to her, black men were seated next to our southern white women.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Right.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And I wonder whether that whole aspect of deep, emotional, psychological racial fears, which must have centered around, not white men and black women of course, but black men and white women being thrown into situations together, was something that white women did not really feel.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Did not feel. I'm sure you're right, and I'm certain that Lillian Smith, in my view, was quite right in the stress she placed, not in - I don't bother about her more or less Freudian interpretation of this Mammy-white male relationship… I mean, black mammy, white male - if I remember rightly. I haven't looked at her stuff for years. I don't mean that, but I do mean the fears, partly from guilt and partly from just the way any youth, boy, can grow up, with fears about the competition or whatever of another race, and their fears that their women may be subject to approach by these tabooed people. Although they are not tabooed from approach to black women, you see. Now, I think Lillian Smith's stress on that is certainly a very important factor, and I don't question it at all. It just happened that wasn't what I was dealing with.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But didn't …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Is that what you are … ?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Yes, that's exactly my opinion. But, if you can remember, didn't young white women … I mean, didn't you have to deal with your … the stories of rape and assault during Reconstruction, dangers of white women being left alone on the plantations, and that whole fear of what …

Page 32
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
The whole thing in The Clansman.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Yeah, right.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yeah.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But that, I think, would have been internalized by white women so that they would tend to view their own vulnerability …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I suspect … this kind of thing is awfully hard to pin down, because this emotional aspect of one's make-up, so to speak, is very deeply buried, and we just plain don't know what our … in a bi-racial situation, what are the roots of the fears that are usually found there, you see. We don't know what contributes to those fully. We can kind of analyze it, and guess at it, but the truth is that if anyone asked us to pinpoint it in ourselves, we wouldn't know. We would know that we were always required to have a man with us after dark, to walk home if we were somewhere, or to come and call for. We would kind of sense "Hush-hush" in the atmosphere about certain topics. But … and we would read in the newspapers sentiments expressed by politicians such as, "I will go and join the … whatever you call it, the crowd that was going to lynch so-and-so for the rape of a white woman." This kind of thing. All this seeps in to the consciousness, of course, and we sense these things, that they are there. But I think there are all sorts of un-analyzed and un-realized fears that arise in such a bi-racial situation, on both sides. And one of the things I had to learn was that if we feared the intangible, how much more did women on the black side fear the intangible. And when that penetrated to my consciousness, that our intangible fears were nothing to what they (black women) had tangibly to fear… they were helpless, in other words, and their men were helpless.

Page 33
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did Juliette Derricotte and these young black women that you were working with in the YWCA verbalize such fears and talk about those experiences?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
It depended on which ones you were talking about. Some did. Some of my friends did, and others did not. But I think I learned enough. And I couldn't tell you which ones did what. But I learned enough from them, and from students, to know … I mean, youngsters who were … I came to know, to realize, have this penetrate. Sometimes it would be in group discussions between us. Those discussions of very small groups of people. And it would not be said in so many words, but it was a kind of thing that one comprehended as you listened, what lay back of it. It was a very intangible thing, and not one that is easily expressed. But I am confident that it is a persisting and very hard to discard set of fears. And they are intangible. And probably it is one of the most difficult areas to, so to speak, clean up for the person who is rooting out of herself, her upbringing. Cut it off a minute … [interruption] What is your feeling of Lillian Smith, what impression … ? If I may ask a question. I'll try not to ask questions.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, you don't have to answer that.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
It's a pity she's not alive so we could talk to her.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I went to Old Screamer Mountain, about two and a half years ago, three years ago, and interviewed Paula Snelling, who was her companion and worked with her. The visit to Old Screamer was very fascinating.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I'm sure it was.

Page 34
JACQUELYN HALL:
The interview was not very satisfactory. I didn't … well, I got a sense of her as being extremely protective of Lillian Smith's image and her …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
And her memory.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And her memory, and not willing to say anything that was not pretty much conventional and in praise, you know, and not at all willing or interested in talking about herself. She really subordinated herself.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
How very interesting.
JACQUELYN HALL:
This was a fairly short conversation. I don't know whether that … Did you know both of those women?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No. I only knew, and fairly casually, Lillian Smith. I met her on a couple of occasions, chatted with her. Her review of my book, of course, was lengthy.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I got interested in her when I was working on my dissertation and working on the end of the period when the old Interracial Commission ended and the Southern Regional Council began, and she was a very early critic of the Southern Regional Council for not facing the issue of segregation.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Of course.
JACQUELYN HALL:
There was an exchange between Guy Johnson defending the Southern Regional Council and Lillian Smith resigning from the board over that issue. And …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Actually, I … yes, go ahead.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And also, I was interested in the whole thing between her and Ralph McGill and the kinds of very unprincipled and awful attacks that he made on her.

Page 35
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I didn't realize that.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Oh. And then they were reconciled at the end But I'm curious about the way she now is a revered figure among southern liberals. During her career, I think the opposite was the case. She was very …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, she was controversial.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Yes. Strange Fruit was a terrible thing, and people didn't want to deal with that at all.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, yes. Well …
JACQUELYN HALL:
I don't know. Tell me how you see her … you were doing your work at the same time that she was writing …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
More or less, yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you see yourself in the same …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
World?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Were you trying to deal with the same kind of thing?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Not really, because I always felt that she was very much influenced by her psychoanalytic views, and I tended more to detach myself and see it more or less in experiential terms, you see, rather than giving them some theoretical explanation. I gave them explanations in my mind, but … so I didn't feel myself particularly close to her point of view. You understand, on principles, yes, I was completely sympathetic with her. I took her little paper for a while that she was getting out. I think she then called it The South Today, so I read that, and I respected her and admired her very much. But now I suppose I felt she overemphasized one explanation.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I suppose it was especially scandalous for a southern white woman to write about those kinds of topics, because explanations that she …

Page 36
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
It was if she was living in the South. If she'd been living out of the South I think it would have been … what I did was to admire her for staying in the South, tremendously. I thought it was a very wonderful thing to do. And to be as fearless as she was in expressing her views. This was really quite something then. When it comes to the position of some of the men, such as … well, such as in the old … what was that called? Interracial … ?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Interracial Commission.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
… Committee. Commission. Right. I always felt, and I knew Dr. W. W. Alexander a little, saw him often in conferences and that sort of thing. I always felt that he was well in advance of some of the others. That part of his discretion, which the women for some reason seemed able to ignore, but … I mean, being so discreet. But some of the men honestly thought… and some of those associated with him at Blue Ridge, honestly thought it very unwise, for example, to eat together. This used to be one of our big debates there at Blue Ridge. Seems just childish stuff, that could have been …
JACQUELYN HALL:
What kind of relationship was there between the Interracial Commission and the YWCA student movement?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
The YWCA?
JACQUELYN HALL:
YMCA-YWCA.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
YMCA. I would say, as far as the YMCA went, it was a kind of an interlocking group. This is my impression, but you could substantiate it if you just took the list of boards. And I have it purely as an impression. I've never gone and checked it. But if it wasn't interlocking, it was interworking. They were very close in their relationships with each other.

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I mean, in their work relationships,
My guess is that the evaluation would place the Interracial Commission more in advance in its work and its views than was the …
JACQUELYN HALL:
But the YWCA was not connected with the Interracial Commission very much?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I don't think the YMCA was connected with it.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Uh huh. But not much overlap of personnel between the YWCA and the Interracial Commission.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, no. No, no. Because women … well, there was Mrs… what's her name? Your …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Mrs. Ames.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
She was on the staff there at the Interracial Commission. But it worked more with the churches. I believe I'm right about that. And there are books on it which you can check.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And it was dominated by men pretty much.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I would say so. But so … it's a little like comparing students in women's colleges with women in universities. In a women's college there are only women, among the student body. And this was the old story, anyhow. And naturally they had opportunities for leadership. Whereas in the man-dominated organization, women played very little part. Whether they did more out in the communities when later they set up these community relation councils - there are remants of it still around Virginia, for example, which began with the old Interracial Commission and continued a little under the Southern Regional Council but they practically, I think, have died out.
JACQUELYN HALL:
There are so many different questions that are coming to my mind, and

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I'm afraid I'm getting … I'm not proceeding chronologically at all, but you … you worked in the YWCA and you have taught mostly in women's collges in your career. Is that the case?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Say the second thing again.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You taught mostly in women's colleges.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes. You mean in my teaching years. Yes, I did.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you deliberately choose to do that,, or how did that happen?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No, I think those were the jobs available. I don't think … well, this, for example, would illustrate it. When I was at the University of Wisconsin as a graduate student there, working for my doctorate, and we had a wonderful department, and I loved it. Professor E. A. Ross was head of it then, and some of the older generation of sociologists there. I was very anxious … because up to that time, you see, I had finished my YW work in 1925, and then I went on to Wisconsin then and was there for three years. And I was eager to have what we called then a teaching assistantship, which gave one teaching experience, usually in the introductory courses …

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and applied for it. This was, say, after I'd finished one year of my residence work. You wouldn't ever hope to get it the first year, but the second. What they did was to offer me - and I took, it of course, a fellowship in sociology, which I was glad, indeed, to have… but not a teaching assistantship because these were reserved for the men. The reason I wanted it was to get some teaching experience, you see, before I applied for a job when I finished my doctorate. The fellowship for that … I worked there - you worked some for your fellowship, helping Professor Ross organize his course material, pull together the readings for the course, this kind of thing. I did that for two years and I graded some papers. That's all; that sort of thing. But, this was not the point. So this kind of expectation - shall we put it, rather than anything harsher [Laughter] was quite prevalent. Now, there were on the Economics side - at that time there was a joint department - there was at least one woman who was a teaching assistant, on the Economics side. I think only one. There would be as many as seven, eight, nine teaching assistanships, you see, because these were huge …
JACQUELYN HALL:
There were probably no women on the faculty.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
There was one, and she was both a Dean and taught a course in History. She was a distinguished historian, a woman historian who had come from … I'm not sure where she had taught history before. I think Wellesley. I forget her maiden name; it was known among historians. But she was then married to a judge there in Madison and so was located there. A wonderful person, but she had, I believe, faculty full-time status. I think there were no others, but there were some at the levels of Instructor.

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JACQUELYN HALL:
Let's go back a little bit, because I want to talk about this theme of how you as a woman happened to achieve the kind of professional independent life you achieved. When you graduated from Brenau and then you stayed there two years as a tutor: how did you happen then to go on to Columbia and get your M.A. How could you afford to do that? What made you…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, just as I did at Brenau, I think I remember rightly, I borrowed to get through, because, I mean, it was kind of an operation for which I gave some service. But, I guess I - goodness - I think I was helped on it somehow; I think I borrowed some for the Masters. Now then, I had saved a bit from my Y. W. salary to go to Wisconsin, but also then I got, the second year, a fellowship, and then for my Ph.D. dissertation I won a research fellowship, for work on my Ph.D. which was a fellowship granted to a woman - called the Harriet Remington Laird Fellowship, which had been endowed, and then a woman was appointed to it, one each year, and I got that for my doctoral dissertation. So, by these various means, …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Your family was not able to help you…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, I suppose surely they were able to help me some. My memory is very vague on it; I always managed to make my way.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Something which I thought was very interesting that you said in your book was that a little circle of women you knew in college who were interested in the same things wou were, were interested in intellectual pursuit were not girls of family, of "good" families…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Did I say that? … I didn't remember.

Page 41
JACQUELYN HALL:
They were girls who vaguely thought that they were going to do something after college, that kind of division between …
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
You see, some of these memories… this is a very interesting thing about writing a thing of that kind, that as you write, or as you work on it and make notes, your memory jogs and things come back. But if you just thought here out of the blue - you see, I've even forgotten that I said that. But as you work it triggers, these things… and it's amazing how much you can remember…
JACQUELYN HALL:
What it made me wonder was what was the class background of the young women who became involved in the YWCA with you, and went on to become the student that…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Let's make a distinction here. There was first, as I remember it, and now you bring it back a little, the group of girls in college that I felt most intellectually congenial with who were also interested, we'll say in History as I was, several of whom who went on to teach; most of them taught in the public school system, not so many, maybe seven, eight, nine - good friends, splendid minds. There was another young woman who was really a girl from - and I guess this is maybe what you are thinking of - I may have spoken of her, she comes back to me now, and she was probably from the country, and had more or less a rural education and made her own way and I suspect may have been working her way along in college; we had various ways of doing that then. A good many of us were doing it. And, she was a very bright person, extremely bright. And later did have a career; I cannot think what was the nature of it, but I think it was in the field, that I went into, Sociology. And she became a very excellent scholar. I cannot even recall her name, but there was this group, within college. Now, they did not

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go along with me.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You were the only one?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Now I'm not going to say I was the only one because I can't remember. There were numbers of us in the last year or two when I was there kind of acting as secretary. I used to take a fairly… maybe eight or ten people if I recall rightly, from Brenau. We'd go to the YWCA summer student conferences. This was some measure of interest. And to save me, I can't remember out of these groups whether there were others who had begun to develop my types of interests in these racial matters and so on. What I do know was that at this period the national staff, that would come around visiting us… Actually, the country was split into regions then and they were the south Atlantic staff, but that doesn't matter. They were on the national staff. They were beginning to build up a student leadership in the colleges so that they would, more or less, pick out people that they thought had potential interests in the work of the YW and the problems that it was dealing with and have us go to more or less regional conferences and other groups. And it was really in such a regional conference that a group of us—8 or 10 or 15, I don't recall how many we were there—had to sit down and thrash through how we were going to behave and deal with ourselves when we were to listen to Miss Ruffin—which was her real name. This Negro woman leader in the Y. And it was at one of those that we confronted that. Now we were from various colleges and I was the only one from my college at that meeting. So that the number was not… I'll go back. I'm trying to say that there were those with whom I had intellectual interests at college, or one group [of them] These others (in the YWCA) were much more touching people out in other colleges and the national staff people.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I came across some interesting things about Adele Ruffin as I was

Page 43
doing my research because Mrs John Hope—did you know her?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
The name rings a bell.
JACQUELYN HALL:
She was John Hope's wife, who was president of Atlanta University. But she was involved in Atlanta with other black women. Charlotte Hawkins Brown and women like that—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
—in trying to get more autonomy and recognition for black women within the YWCA on the national level.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And one of the major grievances of the women in Atlanta—this was in about 1918 to 1920. Before World War I. The controversy went on then up… right after the war.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
That preceded my time on the national staff, see.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Right. These were the older women. They did not want Adele Ruffin to be the—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
The black woman on, Negro woman on the national staff. There was a real thing over that.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Could you tell me more about that whole…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
It's very vague, because I came in at the end of the line, when this was being ironed out. There was one woman, whose name I do not recall, who was also a Negro on the national staff, a black woman, who was the opposite of Miss Ruffin. And who could not agree with Miss Ruffin for her catering to white sensibilities. She would not, for anything, have done what Miss Ruffin did at the home of this city board member a wealthy woman in Richmond. When we were meeting… I guess it was our staff meeting of the region. But all branches of the Y were in this staff. The city people, the industrial staff people, our

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student staff people. At that time I think we had five student staff people on just the South Atlantic area. This was right at the beginning of my career on the staff. Around 1920, 1921. And we met out at this woman's house. And that was the occasion when Miss Ruffin sat in, what amounted to the kitchen, I guess, while we had our tea. She had some out there. And then came and joined us. Right now this makes me shiver. And the woman in whose home this was was a magnificent person. She was a woman I admired down to the ground. She saw no other way. And Miss Ruffin let herself do that.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How did you become aware of the criticism of Adele Ruffin?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I became aware of it right at such times as that. These occasions. I knew this controversy was going on. I knew it was going on in the cities. And I knew from our staff, our Negro staff members that they wouldn't tolerate, for themselves, the things that Miss Ruffin would accept. Of course when I first saw her none of that arose because we just had her in a meeting and this dire problem of ingesting food didn't arise.
JACQUELYN HALL:
She was finally…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I don't know what happened to her. She may have retired. She was not too young then. They may have kept her. I just honestly don't know what… This just fades now into oblivion because I was by that time just deeply involved in our own group on the student staff.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Who were some of the white students who were on the YWCA staff with you at the time, leaders, and the kind of activities you were involved in? Have you kept up with any of those women?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I'd have to look up their names. Isn't that terrible? I haven't thought of them for all these years. I did hear of one, the

Page 45
other day. Someone wrote me of her and I can't think who it was and said she was very ill. In fact in a sanitarium. I mean, cancer or something. And I hadn't thought of her for years and now the name has slipped from me again. I could characterize them, but I do not know their names. I apologize for that. See, I do better… I know the Negro members of the staff. They are perfectly clear… But I kept up with them [throughout the years], I was throughly congenial with them. I knew Eleanor Copenhaver and Louise Leonard. I was thoroughly congenial with them. They were after my heart. But I can't remember these other people. The truth being that I was not… and it's one reason I turned to the academic… I was not interested in the day to day activities of the YWCA very much. I found it very dull to go around and visit campuses and talk about what this committee should do and what this committee should do. But when we got into industrial and racial activities and were moving on in the direction of some changes that were going to… This fascinated me and that part of it I was completely caught up in. So those are the areas where I remember and feel close to those people still, even though I haven't seen some of them since then.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Give me some examples of the kinds of things that the Y tried to do in the area of race relations and industrial problems?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
We started, Frances Williams and I, who is now retired and in very poor health, I'm sorry to say. She lives in her old home city of St. Louis. She was a Negro, very light. We started, she and I, I guess, were the first, in the first group. We selected two or three localities for interracial student groups. And the first one we set up was in Nashville, Tennessee. Mrs—[weather to my memory slipped me. I said her name just a few minutes ago. It will

Page 46
come back to me. Was our local adviser. This first group consisted—and I can even remember the first meeting, it's so vivid with me because it was so touchy and we were all worried for fear it wouldn't go well. Frances Williams and I came to know each other well, we didn't know each other as well then. And she was a very independent woman and a woman who stood absolutely on her own feet and would—how I wish you could see her, but she's way over in St Louis. She'd fill you full. If she were coming east and you could talk to her, you would really get a… I know I'm interrupting here, but she is… she would just fill you chock-a-block. Later, when you aren't doing this, I'll tell you something about her career. But she… we were trying, just leaning over backward both of us. We often reminisced about this because I've seen her off and on many times. I have another name for you but I'll go on.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Go ahead.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No, I don't want to interrupt you at this point. We were trying to, you know, be such good collaborators and all this and both wanting to do well by each other. And I don't think she trusted me and I was probably a little scared of her because she was a very outspoken woman. And I loved her for it, but this was just… So this meeting gathering these people together. And we were there. We were both national staff people but we both wanted… this was a very, very big thing for us.
JACQUELYN HALL:
This was the first interracial student group in the South? Or anyplace?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, as far as our knowledge, it was. So we met at Mrs. Weatherford's home, I think it was. She was our adviser.

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JACQUELYN HALL:
This was the early '20s?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes, early '20s. It would have been. Because I only worked for the Y from 1920 to '25. So it would have been about… This came later, not earlier. Let's say it could have been around 1923 to 4. Probably '23. I wouldn't be surprised. And we met at Mrs. Weatherford's home. And then from there on… once it got going, they continued to meet for a good while. So this was a group from Fisk
JACQUELYN HALL:
Scarritt College, probably.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Probably. And from… I guess there were women at Vanderbilt then, but also Peabody. One of my oldest friends was a student there then and I expect she was in that first group. She's still going.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Who is that?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Her name is Sarah Neblett. You wouldn't know her. But she didn't continue down there. She was just in college at Peabody. So this group met. We got them going, got it started. And it continued to meet over that season. Either for one semester or two. Probably for two. Then we organized another. I imagine in Atlanta and I'm sure Grace Towns Hamilton was in it. And this continued this way. The one in Atlanta, we may have set up… I think that was Jane Saddler's territory and she may have been working with us on that. Then our next move, after these had operated—I guess it would have been the next year—was to set up a interracial student council of the YWCA with representatives from women's colleges. I mean representatives of women from the colleges women attended, both Negro and white. And by that time our headquarters were in Atlanta for the region. We were on the whole Southern region then, not merely the South Atlantic. So that we would usually come down from Blue Ridge. I can remember one dreadful hot night when we were all riding down [by train]. Coming down from Blue Ridge. We met in Atlanta in our offices there.

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But Grace Towns Hamilton, I think she was the first president of that, co-president. We had co-chairmen. a Negro and a white—of this student council, which discussed student YWCA problems and issues in the South. It was not a body that had authority, but it was a body that discussed and oversaw.
Then, after I left, they began to have, as I recall it and I forget just when, they began to have joint summer conferences. We first, I think, had exchanges of students and then we began summer conferences. Some. Not the only ones that were held, but particular joint summer conferences. I can't tell you the tale of that because it happened after I left.
JACQUELYN HALL:
It occurred to me in thinking about the industrial secretaries and the industrial work of the YWCA… you talked quite a bit about the way black women felt and were treated if they were brought in as sort of tokens to speak before white audiences and yet were segregated. Do you have a similar sense of the way working class women felt as they were recruited and brought in to organizations?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
You mean among students?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Uhhuh.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
This, some attempt at interchange there. We had that but it was totally different type of thing.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How did that work?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I'm having difficulty remembering just what our reactions were to it at the time. I have a faint impression, and it could be different as seen from the standpoint of a person like Eleanor Copenhaver or Louise Leonard McLarin. I have a feeling that it was harder to break the ice there. There was too much disparity of experience of these girls who came out of middle class homes and these who

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were factory workers themselves as many of them … Or store workers, or whatever. Now I'm not sure of that. I really am not.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was the YWCA trying to do about the condition of women in textile mills and industrial…?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
It was trying, as much as anything… well it was kind of a two-fold, if I remember it rightly, a two-fold aim. One was to provide opportunities for self direction and initiative for groups of these girls to advance their abilities, to express themselves, to consider their own lives, their own conditions and to work for changing them.
JACQUELYN HALL:
[Unclear.]
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, it was called the Industrial Department of the YWCA.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Were working class girls more or less segregated into their own little…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, not segregated. They were really a part of the city department. The overall city organization. But they operated, they worked, their aims were so different from the city's. But they used the city buildings for the location of their work, normally. They had separate industrial conferences, summer conferences. And I attended two or three of those. I remember them well. And then, in some sense, I think the work of the Industrial Department, of this wing of the city work, was very much more, shall we say, advanced in its conceptions of how the conditions should be changed. And educating these young women in what standards should be were considered. But it was also, you must remember, a religious organization so some of their classes would be… and these factory girls especially… youngsters from cotton mill villages… were very often very deeply religious. And I remember… an industrial

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conference I was attending and it was in the period when Billy Sunday was a revivalist. And he had been to two or three of the villages from which these girls came. The Bible classes really almost were wrecked … I mean the classes in Bible study which they would have in the summer conferences, you know… as I say, it was much more a religious organization then even than now. Because these youngsters would say "But Billy Sunday says…" And this could throw you if you were the leader of a Bible class because most of the women who were leaders were what we might think of today as liberal religionists and not at all of the Billy Sunday school of thought. I was starting out to say, I think they had this two-fold thing. This trying to develop these youngsters into independence and thinking on their own feet and learning how to conduct organizations and to look out for their best interests in their work place and this sort of thing. But then they also had a general adherence to the so-called social gospel of the churches, meaning shorter work day, shorter hours, better wages, equal wages for the same work. This whole program or "social creed of the churches" it was called. Which was about an eight or ten point program. And the Industrial Department was very vigorous in promoting this and in getting the adherence of the full national YWCA to legislation that would change… They threw themselves in with other organizations in the South such as League of Women Voters and other organizations in that day to reduce hours from 11 to 10 to 9 to 8 to try to struggle for equal pay for equal work. Those were the years when the women's bureau of the Labor Department, [U.S. Government] Labor Department, was very very active.
Is that your husband? [interruption]

Page 51
JACQUELYN HALL:
You were telling me about Frances Williams.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
She was a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and is still an active alumna. Her parental home was St Louis, Missouri. Her father was superintendent of Negro schools there while they were still segregated. She now lives there in her parental home. She came on the YWCA national student staff in the middle of the 1920s, I think. She and I became co-workers in the southern region and we worked, were co-members of the staff there. I think it was in 1923 or 1924. I can check that date. [interruption] I ran across a bit of correspondence upstairs, which I failed to bring down with me, where we were exchanging letters. This was when we first began to work together. Working out our relationship. It was very interesting. It was a co-relationship for the first time. In her letter it said "You, of course, are responsible for the white colleges and I am responsible for the Negro colleges." When we go into each other's colleges, which we did, then I will report to you. If you go into the Negro colleges, you will report to me about what happened. It was this kind of correspondence, working, hammering it out. She, I guess, stayed on the national staff there in the South longer, after I left. And when Betty Webb came on—Elizabeth Webb that I've told you about—succeeded me in the position, she and Frances became fast friends and they have remained close friends ever since. They are today. On my last visit to Betty, last year, Betty went to the phone, called St Louis and got Frances on the phone and the three of us had a long talk… about the "good old days." Which for us were… every time any of us worked in those years, they were something very special. That it would never

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let us go. Frances will say it. Betty will say it. I will say it. Others that we know…
JACQUELYN HALL:
What did Frances go on to do?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Then she became… at a later period. And I have a skip there that I don't recall what she did in this period. But during the war, Second World War, she worked in … what would the organization have been in the government… but she was in charge of minority relations there. I can't think of the name of it. It will come to me. It's almost a public relations… You'd know in a minute if I could remember… And then, after that, she became… went on the staff of Sen. Lehman and for many years, while he was Senator, up to the time when he retired, she was on his staff especially for the whole minority group matters and was wonderful in the political field. He was devoted to her. And she thought nobody on earth could equal his fineness and statesmanship. So that this was, to the best of my knowledge, this carried her up at least to the point… I don't think she went on at least in any kind of staff work of that kind after. I'm not sure. But it was a fascinating career. That whole period in Washington was fascinating.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What were the major issues that the student YWCA was concerned with? You mentioned anti-lynching legislation.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
They had two major interests, not necessarily in terms of issues. Two major interests of a public interest kind, of an issues kind, were their interest in race relations, including student interracial commission work we got going, and the industrial conditions and industrial relations. We not only set up student interracial groups of Negro and white, we also established student-industrial groups. And I ran across a little thing

Page 53
there which I also seem to have not brought with me which dealt with how to make these groups more natural and give-and-take. It was very difficult to bring about easy, friendly and relaxed relations in student industrial groups. Usually these would be focused in a student group from a college in a community where there was a city YWCA so that there would be groups that would come out of city YWCA groups. I mean industrial women who would come out of that and sit down with the [student group]. So it would be an Industrial secretary in a city YWCA collaborating with, if there was a college or university there in the same, near or nearby community. Then we would go in as staff people and work with them to establish these collaborative groups. Then they would have exchange of students and industrial women at their summer conferences. This kind of thing. And then, in the college groups themselves, the local YWCAs in the colleges and universities, they would become interested in all the legislative issues and study them, advocate [legislation] if they wished to. And in our summer conferences we would always deal with important legislation effecting women and girls, child labor. These questions. Which could be dealt with through state legislation and through federal legislation. Minimum wage. All these issues of this kind. So I would say that… of course, it depended on the period.
The question of world peace was a basic issue. But this was periodic. It would follow a world war, say. [Laughter] In the '20s. You see, it was following on World War I.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was the YWCA's stand on anti-lynching legislation in the '20s?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, we stood with the [anti-lynching church] women's groups in the South, as far as my memory carries me. I mean they wanted federal anti-lynching legislation and worked for it. Is that what you mean? Yes.

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JACQUELYN HALL:
Yes. So that at summer conferences they endorsed…?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
We always had a problem there as to how far a summer conference, which was not a convention, a delegated convention…
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you have delegated conventions?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes. Those occurred at the regular conventions of the national board of the YWCA. And if you wanted to find out what the national YWCA did in that period, you would look up or ask them or write the National Board. They would have it ready at hand, I'm sure, their proceedings of their conventions. And you could write and ask them what were their actions on current issues such as anti-lynching legislation and so on.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But the summer conferences were not official policy making bodies, at all?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
That's right. They were not. It was not a delegate body duly elected in that people who came to these were people who could come. You understand. They would be called a delegation, but they had no legislative power. And while… we may have occasionally passed resolutions, they were not the action of a representative body in any way. There were discussion groups of these things in the summer conferences and often they would act kind of like a workshop and they would come out with conclusions, you see. This sort of thing.
JACQUELYN HALL:
So the woman from Wesleyan sent a telegram to Congress saying that she spoke for the southern…? Who was she?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
She did it… Let me go back. In our summer conferences… our two… we then had separate, Negro and white student conferences. I

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attended two or three of the Negro ones. One I remember well at Fisk University. It happened to come after ours at Blue Ridge. And I went over there and was present there. But at each of them, while we would nominate and elect people to sit on the regional student council, it was merely a council that could discuss and take actions on issues, but in its own name only. We were a council, elected at our summer conferences. Which, for the YWCA, it had force. We would say these are the sentiments of this southern regional council on such an issue. We believe that this should be, these should be the next emphases for the year in the work here in the South and in the college. This would, for me, as a staff member, I would feel this was almost binding. But it could not be said… we could not issue a statement and say we, representing the members of the YWCA in the colleges in the South, say thus and so. We had no elective power. So when this student made that statement, it was simply not true.
JACQUELYN HALL:
She was on the regional student council.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Were there men as well as women on the regional student council?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No. This was purely within the YWCA.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Would you say there were about 20,000 students in the—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
You know, I don't know where she got that 20,000 figure.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I see.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I think she plucked it out of the blue. I think she made a guess. I don't remember anyone… I certainly have no recollection of having ever estimated… We could have estimated because, actually, you know, on a college campus in those days in the South most students quotes "belonged to the YWCA." Most students quotes "paid dues." It

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was very small. Maybe it was a dollar. I don't know. And they went around. The membership [committee] went around and got people… it was a Christian organization. They didn't know what they were joining, particularly. And there you had it. It depended on how alive or how dead the organization was on campus. Some of them were dead as… anything. But it certainly had no genuine weight to add up the numbers that were nominally members on the various campuses and say these were, all these students felt this way. They didn't. On the contrary, if you could have gathered up… if you could have had 100 students all told—this… I'm just giving you a figure of speech. 100 students who would have supported that telegram, you'd have been lucky. They weren't educated enough at this point. The smaller group that met in the student council was. And it believed this fervently. But after all, we didn't have more than 12, 14, 16 people on that student council.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But it is interesting that those people happened to be the ones who were elected at the summer conferences.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, you know the way those things happen. You would have probably a nominating committee. I don't recall how we did it. Or you might ask delegations—this may well have been more probably the way—delegations to group themselves from a certain area and select. And there were always leaders—
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]
JACQUELYN HALL:
How did the regional student council react to the furor that followed her telegram?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
There my memory breaks down. Unless I can find the material. I thought this was the only folder I had but I must have another one because there's something else

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there, I think. But these things I haven't been into since I [unknown] I retired and moved to Charlottesville, which was in 1967. I don't think they would have minded. It was the national YWCA that would find this difficulty. Because they would get the backwash from it. And the local city. Now Atlanta did not have much of a city YWCA at this time. Did anything of this come out in Grace Towns Hamilton, your interview with her? Do you remember? She might have well have been on the council then.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Not this particular incident.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Did she recall her days on the student council, regional student council?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Oh yes. Very vividly.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
That's good.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And she talked about them very much the way you talk about them. Their importance to her and the relative importance of the activities of the YWCA in comparison with other things that were going on in the South at the time. She thought they were very important.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
You mean as a force, a factor there. What you're getting, in a sense, is the same, I mean part of the same story from several different angles.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Exactly.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Which is really much sounder research materials than if you just got one, if you just got mine, for example. I would have both my memories and my viewpoint on the events. I am confident that the Negro members of the staff or of the council would have different slants on it and a different reading of situations and of

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how they had to pull us along. if you know what I mean-"pull us along." We were willingly pulled, but we were ignorant in a curious kind of way that the white side is ignorant. Shall we say it is really an unperceptiveness. It's perceptions are dulled. Whereas on the other side, I think, the perceptions are sharpened because that is where the shoe pinched. Mixing our figures. Well, this interests me about… Go on with your questions.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was the upshot of the incident in which you asked that the contract with the Blue Ridge association be changed so that blacks be fully integrated…?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
You know, the awful part about having a few scattered documents is that you don't always have the outcome. Now, I think this happened. And this is a guess and it's a guess because I remember a certain speaker we had. I think what happened was that the matter was resolved for that year and I believe it was the last year I was on the staff before my resignation, when I went on for my doctorate. What we did was arrange with our Negro staff for them to bring in a speaker who would simply drive over, give the speech, would meet with groups afterward who wished to talk, and drive away again. They would not submit to the segregated… and we would not let them submit to the segregated condition, the segregated eating. We would either have it that we would have them sit down at our staff table or we would not have them … on those conditions. I think… because I know this is what happened. It was a man speaker as I recall it. I'm not sure. And he was probably an outstanding Negro in the South. But I don't remember who it was.
JACQUELYN HALL:
The Blue Ridge Association, now, was the YMCA.—

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KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Dr W. D. Weatherford was in charge there. He was the manager. He was from Nashville. He had some regional responsibility. I'm not sure of this, but I think the national YMCA owned the grounds, but Dr Weatherford was really in charge.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you meet with Dr Weatherford and present your case to him?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, he knew our point… you see, this had to be handled according to protocol, which was that our national board made the arrangements for renting it for us. So we had to make our statements to them and they did the negotiation.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But the national association did negotiate with Weatherford and the Blue Ridge Association in your behalf, but to no avail?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
What happened there I have no documents on. They may have documents. It would be very fascinating to see them. But I have no documents on it and I don't even know who did the negotiating. It was a financial matter, so it may have been negotiated by the finance division of the national board for all I know. They probably negotiated the arrangements for the rental of the grounds, which is what it amounted to. In all, there were these summer conferences, as you know, all over the country at different… Silver Bay in Wisconsin I guess it is. And… oh, I forget and on the West Coast and so on. Up in the East. All over the place. They negotiated them all, I think. It was a headquarters thing.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I wanted to ask you a little more about your involvement in the Industrial Department
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
It was a collaborative work with the staff members of the Industrial Department. And those staff members I collaborated with were those assigned to the

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South. And they were Louise Leonard McLaren and Eleanor Copenhaver, who became Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson.
JACQUELYN HALL:
They were the national industrial staff members assigned to the South?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Assigned to the South.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I wondered how you got involved with those two.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh yes. And for a while we had our headquarters in Richmond. With very active headquarters and even… This was when I first went on the staff… even a head of our staff in the southeastern region, it was then. Then later the whole region was put under… called the southern region.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did they live in Richmond?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes indeed. I remember Louise Leonard McLaren and I one year had a little apartment there, which was not very… because we were never in, you know. It was just a place to go and hang your coat and hang your hat and brush your teeth. And then you were off on the road again, travelling, by train, you might say. There was nothing else. By train. Not even buses then.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Were black students involved in the industrial—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Juanita Saddler… While we were there Juanita Saddler was on our staff. Juliette Derricotte was national head for the black student, the Negro student—I keep correcting myself so as to be in the terminology of the time. It was either colored or Negro then. I found a phrase where one of the … the woman I was speaking of who was then Dean at Talladega Negro College referred to "colored" students. She was Negro. It was in good repute, they used the term "colored." But Negro was commonly used. Juliette was the head, Juliette Derricotte, and

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Juanita Saddler was assigned to the southeastern Negro colleges. And there were three of us. At first there was only one Negro staff member but Juliette often came down and worked with us. And Juanita. And then there were three of us on the student staff. We changed some in that period as to who they were, but three. And Juanita Saddler (which we insisted upon in renting the offices in this Richmond office building), had her desk right there with our group of student secretaries in the one office… We had one office, I think, of several there in this group. And she had her desk there. And this we made a condition of renting. So that we had joint, we had our offices together in Richmond. That was, you see, '20, '21, '22, in there. So did the industrial staff people. Have desks in these offices. So that when we were both in our offices, off the road at the same time, we worked together on these student industrial relations matters. One year we… and it may have been two years that it existed… we had this project, as you know—or maybe don't know, I don't know—with the industrial department. Set it up jointly. For what we called students-in-industry. And we would go and work in industry—our students would. We would recruit students interested in having the experience of working for six to eight weeks in industry. I did it myself. I didn't do it in the South. I did it in Philadelphia. Took off, got leave from my job. I told of that I think in The Making. And worked in a shoe factory, or two shoe factories in Philadelphia. But then we had a project for the southern region, in Atlanta. And that summer I'd been assigned to work briefly… when the colleges were closed we did other types of work, so I'd been assigned to work at the University of Georgia in Athens. This was also in order to help super-

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vise the group of students in Atlanta who were working in industries there. And Louise Leonard McLaren was on the ground supervising and I would go over several… oh, once a week at least from Athens, and we would talk over and meet with the students and discuss industrial problems and legislative means and what they were encountering and they would relate their experiences to us.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What did you hope to accomplish by having…?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Students work in industry? A better understanding of what industrial conditions were. They were still very poor. [interruption]
JACQUELYN HALL:
I asked you what you were trying to accomplish by having students work in industry.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, this was to… They literally had no knowledge of the life… After all, the great mass of students in the colleges were middle class students. Comfortable—reasonably. Some came out of ruralish backgrounds but even those were comfortable rural backgrounds. And many out of small towns and a great many others out of, nearer cities. But they had no knowledge, first hand knowledge, of the condition of industry in the South. Which, at that period, was still in an era of, for women as well as for men, longish hours in the cotton mills, deleterious conditions, and with a certain measure of child labor, though that was declining in the factories. This book I collaborated on, co-authored on child workers in America… that was, after all, in the 1930s.
We were studying conditions in various parts of the country, in particular in one area in the South, a sample, and another area in Pennsylvania. And child labor still existed to some extent. But what was being attempted through state legislation was to end child labor and to

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make better, through legislation, the conditions of women, both in terms of hours and in raising the wage level and getting a minimum wage. Which… none existed. These were far more remote problems to the ordinary student. They recognized them and became interested in them, but it was difficult for them to put themselves in the place of… whereas racial problems and racial relations, they could not escape. So you did not have any need there to get the issues raised. They were there. But in this other instance it was partly an educational process, a "put yourself in the other fellow's place," kind of conception.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Do you have any idea how many students you had working in industry?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I don't recall, no. These projects went on for quite a while, I think, in any one group. Now, in the Atlanta group I could merely give a guess. My memory carries me back to sitting in the rooms with these girls. I would think we probably had 12 or 15 that summer, at least. And it may have been more.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you get the jobs for them?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No. They had to… that was a condition. They had to find their own. The most we would do would be to give them some indication of the types of jobs that they could look for and help them find the streets where the factories were. Then the great difficulty, in a place say like Atlanta, was that it was a light industry town and most of the jobs they could find were in such industries as candy factories, box factories… places such as this which were semi-, almost unskilled. They could learn their process, if they got a job, in a day or two. And then that was it. They went in as regular people asking for work.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What about labor unions?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, you see, these industries were the least organized. And

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certainly I'm sure none of them were organized in Atlanta. Even cotton mills were not much organized then. The great organizational effort came at the time of the CIO in the cotton mills. There had been sporadic efforts and there had been sporadic walk outs of cotton mill workers because of the deleterious conditions, but this came after the period.
There had probably been some of it then, but—
JACQUELYN HALL:
In Making of a Southerner you talk about… that you began to feel uncomfortable with the kind of solutions and the kind of advice you could offer to women who worked in industry. You could tell them to eat better food and not have so many children and to go back to school and get beter education, but you realized as you went along, the conditions that made those kind of individual solutions useless.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Impractical or… yes, I don't recall that. I haven't looked at it for a good while, but this would ring a bell all right.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I'm just wondering, since later in your career you got very interested in organized labor and worked—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes, more as a student. I minored in labor when I took my doctorate. In labor history and labor and became very much interested in it. My little short and unimportant period when I worked in industry grew out of that interest and aroused it further. And the work on the child workers in America was a product of that interest. I suppose my original impetus toward the interest came at this work that I was doing in collaboration with Louise McLaren and Eleanor Copenhaven. Because they were quite unique people. It would have been difficult to find better informed people, more gifted people in working with others, in this general area. They were really experts. Both of them. The great woman, and I've been trying to recall her name and I think it's come to me, on

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the national YWCA staff, the person under whom they carried on their… And I think her name was Miss Simms, and I can't recall her first name. But she was superb in this whole area. I hope I have her name right. I'm sure it is Miss Simms. It kind of flutters through my memory. But the ones I had close association with—she would sometimes visit the South and I got to know her and admire her, revered her. She was an older woman.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How much importance do you place on your experience in YWCA industrial work in the '20s as to the course the rest of your career took?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
That's a difficult question to answer. Perhaps it directed me much… I mean it effected me in my scholarly interests in the sense that I did minor in labor when I was working on my doctorate. But my racial interests were so strong that although I, they lay fallow for a while, the racial interests— because I had wanted to do a doctoral thesis in some area of the racial field. But I was at Wisconsin and that was not a dominant interest among them. And then I was given this Harriet Remington Laird Fellowship, research fellowship for work on my doctorate and it had been established by a Wisconsin person. And you know, in a state university they have strong wishes to have material studied that is pertinent to the life there. And so the thing that came up and I've always been grateful for it because it turned me toward one of my teaching interests, was an opportunity to do a study in Wisconsin on child delinquency, girl delinquency it was. I took my samples from a state correctional school for girls. This absorbed that interest. I later taught crime and delinquency and during all my teaching career I taught it. At Wells in

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my last teaching post there. But also, as soon as… you see, meanwhile I was reading in southern social history. And I spent several years, with my spare time, reading in southern social history. I'm trying to show you the direction my interests took. So that I've always felt I had this two-fold area of interest. My scholarly interest in the sociological field. Well, it's really three-fold. The interest I've always maintained, and it's always continued, though not stressed in recent times, in the whole field of labor. Which for a period in my career, I worked on directly, writing and with the Institute of Labor Studies. We put out a couple of volumes on labor. And then this whole area of southern race relations, southern social history. The whole rise, the whole background of slavery, the developments which I had to—by reason of my upbringing, as I think I say in The Making of a Southerner. [unknown] really go back and re-do, for myself
I had to relearn from the sources, because my picture is the one I depict early in the Making of a Southerner, that I was reared in. This had to be revamped. So I did go back. And in that time I built up… I don't have many… I may have 100 volumes or more of Americana here which I picked up over the time which was some of the material I was gathering, as I became deeply interested. And I have some of the kind of basic works there which I have gathered as I have browsed in book shops and so on. So I have volumes that I value very much, in the whole social history of the South. So then I was writing… You see, when I turned to the Making of a Southerner, I was writing in a major field of my interest. And now, when I've done Angelina Grimke this continues this major field. And I have

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loads of material still that I could write on if I had the time.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Your academic work was…?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Was sociology. But in that I taught courses on the Negro in the United States. I had one semester course at Wells on the Negro in the United States. A second semester course on ethnic minorities. So that there I was able… what I'd long wanted to do, to teach in the whole minorities field. And that really was my major… the course I loved best. It was one that… as I taught it… my classes began to… And you see, I was teaching that in the '60s. I couldn't teach it the same way each year, so much was changing. From 1954 on, when I began it… or I began to teach the course in 1956 or 7. From then on, the moment you got the Supreme Court decision, the whole situation became such that in teaching a course on minority groups and the Negro minority in the United States, you were having to recognize changes occurring. Every year you were having to gather in different material.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why did you have so little opportunity to write or teach about race relations before that period?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, there wasn't much time before that period, you see. All I meant was… If I turned to sociology, if you're teaching sociology, certain things are required. In the period when I was at Smith College, I was dwelling in my industrial interest period. I was directing a project there in local industrial history, where we were producing volumes and my women, who were fellows, would do studies and they would use them for their doctoral dissertations, wherever they were taking their doctorate. One or two at Columbia and so on. But they used the materials they had gathered. But this was my industrial [history] interest. It

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just happened to come along.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Do you think it happened partly because of the importance of the CIO in the '30s and the importance of the labor unions…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
It could be, it could be. I hadn't thought of that. It could be.
JACQUELYN HALL:
One thing about your career that's so interesting to me is how you combined your social concerns, your sense of yourself as a reformer or someone who's trying to effect society, and your—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
This is more characteristic of my earlier career and, of course, it began in the '20s in the YW. But I still have this sense of moving and changing conditions, if this is what you mean. I presume that will stay with me to the end of my days.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why did you decide to leave the Y and go to the University of Wisconsin to get your Ph.D.?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Leave the YW?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Uhhuh. And leave the South.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, they are two different questions, really. Not totally different. When I talk about these interests that we were emphasizing as staff members and the importance to us of them, of our building up of our interracial groups and hopefully, changing attitudes in racial relations among the students we had contact with, this sort of thing. And hoping to effect the patterns of relations between Negro and white. When I speak of this and of my interest in the industrial side, which was a co-interest. It didn't have the great background roots, quite, but it was related in a sense to my concern about policy, you see, the industrial interest and the opportunity for people to develop their full potential. But when I speak of these… this was only one small part

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of my work as a staff member for the YWCA. I would have gladly given the full time to it. But unfortunately such a job as that carries… it was partly administrative, but more than that, I was on the road all the time, traveling. You were rarely in one place long. I would be weeks and weeks going from place to place. This is a very wearing life and that part of it I didn't enjoy. I did it because it was part of the job but it was not the kind of thing I wanted to keep up indefinitely. That's one thing. That was only a small part. But the difficulty was all this other paraphenalia that went with the job. Going to visit the local YWCA. Well, most of them hadn't the remotest idea of the local—and you had to get into the colleges once a year if you could. Or at least once every two years. Or they might not survive. You'd go in there and most of those students had no knowledge of these issues, no interest in them. They were running their little local organizations mostly along traditional lines, with a certain, very great religious emphasis depending upon the nature of their particular collegiate environment and of the administration of that institution. Some would be almost totally interested in the religious aspects, which was all right with me, but I was not burningly interesting. I was in sympathy with it up to a point, but not just their point. This really… well, I'll try not to use too strong a word. It didn't grip me. And I wanted—it was superficial for me. To me, I was not coming to intellectual grips except in those rare times, those interval times, when you were sitting down with colleagues or with these student groups and coming to grips with important things. Which people had studied up on and were dealing with below the surface. Which is the kind of thing you can do in teaching. You can assign readings. You can say we are going to come to

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grips with this. We are not just going to do the flutter, flutter top layer thing. Just off the top of your mind where you put nothing. So I wanted to get into academic work. I wanted to get into where I could study, where I could refill my own reservoir, which was getting mighty, mighty empty, as far as time for reading. I didn't have time for reading. I didn't have time to study. So there was nothing for it, for me, but to… If I could have just done the two fields of interest, it would have held me. But not the other stuff. So I turned to go for my doctorate.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How did you happen to go to the University of Wisconsin?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, that was largely a family thing.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Your brother—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
My brother was rector at Grace Church there. My oldest brother. One of those things as in a family he'd always been my special favorite and I was devoted to him and to his wife. When I decided and began to think where I would go, I naturally thought of Columbia University because I'd taken my master's there. But then the opportunity came to go out there (to Wisconsin) and my brother and his wife invited me to come and make my home in their house while I was working on my doctorate in their home there, the rectory. It was irresistable and I made a beeline. And of course at that time in the field of sociology Wisconsin stood very well, as it does still. But I mean then it was very fine.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you make a conscious decision at some point not to come back and live in the South?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh well, this is the second question you asked me. I doubt it. It's a very difficult question to answer. I seriously doubt it. But

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when at a later time, a number of years later, I could have… I had teaching opportunities, and good ones, where I might have gone back to the South, I found I refused them. This was a number of years later. In fact, this would come up, from time to time, that I would get them. As I begin to think about it, there were several that came up. So I found myself thinking that if I couldn't live in the South and be able to feel free and at home in my whole relationship to friends and acquaintances who were in the Negro world, I knew I couldn't take it. I made a visit—as I think I said—why can't I remember the name of the woman's college in Greensboro, North Carolina, the Negro woman's college. It'll come back to me. You would know it in a moment. But I visited there and I found that I had a very happy time. That was before the Supreme Court decision, I think. Just before it. I'm pretty sure it was just before it. I'd have to stop and think but I think it was. A very happy time there. Enjoyed it thoroughly. I was staying on campus in a guest room in the college. And they were friends, people I knew, or were friends of friends—Frances Williams had sent letters and others had. So I had a splendid time. If I could have done that it would have been fine. [unknown] in that day, not now, but in that day, you lived in a different world. You were not having these issues of: Will they feel comfortable coming to my home, etc., etc. You see. This kind of thing… I was just… Here you just… how to put it. It's artificial, if you like, comfort [Laughter] because you have isolated yourself, in a way, from the problem, by sitting down in the place you can feel comfortable.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you come back to the South on visits to your family or con-

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ferences or whatever, and find yourself feeling uncomfortable?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh yes… no, not for brief stays, I would not say, no.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you feel any kind of pull toward coming back to the South?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I don't think it operates just that way. I don't believe so. My interests would be where my work was, you see, and I was just very happy in the feeling.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You continued to think of yourself as a southerner—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Very much so.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh yes. You don't escape that. My speech, naturally, was affected a little, I think, by living in the North for a good while. Naturally a lot of the motivation in these things, you can't track down, you're not sure of.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you have a sense of difference between yourself as a southern woman and northern professional women that you worked with and had to deal with?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Not as I became a professional. I mean not as I moved over into academic work. No. Certainly my earliest moving into the North I did. But it was not from a professional standpoint at all, it was just that I was fresh, out of this other environment, and it was a little like Angelina Grimkà becoming a Quaker in Philadelphia. She was out of her depth really. I mean she was conspicuous a little at the more plain clothing that Quakers wore, this sort of thing. Your speech and your general situation would give you away and then you… people tended then, much more than now, to identify a southerner and to kind of make them feel a little conscious of the fact, perhaps a little pleased at having this different type of background or something. I don't know.

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JACQUELYN HALL:
Were you conscious of having to make your way under special disabilities because you were a woman?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Because of being a woman? There again I find it hard to answer. The jobs I had were not particularly competitive with men. In the scientific societies today, if I had been coming along as a young sociologist today, into the American Sociological Association, I would have been very conscious of it. The whole situation there is very much in flux. I, for example, had a communication the other day from—what do they call themselves? It's a group of women sociologists in the South that are organizing themselves. I was busy at the time so I haven't replied to it, but I think it's very interesting. I watch with great interest in the journals, in my sociological journals. I don't go to the meetings anymore, because I have, after all, been retired for some time now and am out of touch. But I do watch the changing nominations (Association) within the Sociological and I'm sure it's true in the historical associations. There has been a woman commission, as there is in the American Association of University Professors. There's been a commission working on this. They're very careful in distributing nominations. They're… I would say the number of women now being nominated for positions, and getting positions and positions on all the committees and positions in the offices and on the executive committee and all this. Now if I'd come into that situation I would have felt… No such thing existed in my day. The fact was that I… when I was in graduate school, they made a good deal of us women who were in graduate school within the department at that time. This was the late '20s, you see. Because we were women. And they didn't have a lot of women. But they had more then. This was a period when women were more and more going to

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graduate school. You could track this down. I mean this can be tracked down. A few years back, ten or so, back where I was teaching, at Wells College, we were having difficulty finding women for our department and we wanted to get
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE B]
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
—the point I was going to make on this matter of the women's suffrage amendment, up to that point… And I'm saying this, not off the top of my head because I've thought of it a lot, but saying it as comment, not as fact.
The energies and the impetus that came out of the woman's suffrage movement that finally culminated in the amendment to the Constitution in 1920, this had just achieved it's goal. And none of us can realize, because you can't measure, how much all of this energy that was poured in by the women's suffrage movement to achieve this long sought goal, how much it affected us. The waves of it could have affected us even if we hadn't known the woman's suffrage amendment had passed. This gave an impetus not alone to an amendment to the Constitution, but throughout these years of the '10s and even 1900 to 1910, this was the time of the strong move forward to enter those occupational opportunities that [women] had never held before. And this was a great movement in that direction. And you find if you look up the data… I think I am correct, that there was a rising number of women in the graduate schools, taking higher degrees. In 1919, if I'm correct that that was the year I took my master's at Columbia, I was searching desperately for… [a topic] … And I really, I tell you, I was raw then as far as my knowledge of the world was concerned, out of this southern background I had come out of. Now I hadn't yet learned what I learned in the '20s, you see, or developed

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the interests, really. They were just latent. But I was searching for a topic for my master's dissertation and I couldn't find one that really gripped me. My professors weren't any help. And finally I did a silly thing. I thought it a silly thing then, but I got away with it. Don't mean got away with it. I wrote the best I could. I don't know whether I have a copy of it any more. I certainly haven't looked at it since then. I'm sure it's a very poor product for a master's essay. But I took the Women's Who's Who [in America] for a period and searched out the southern women in it who had achieved the Women's Who's Who to find out what had been the developments in the numbers and in their backgrounds. And in what you could sense from the short biographical data you found there. Women who had achieved and worked up the background for this out of the southern conditions and so on. This is my general memory.
JACQUELYN HALL:
That's exactly what I'm doing.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, I wish I could find that little essay, master's essay.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How interesting that you turned to that. That's very interesting.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I contend, though I was unconscious of it, it was a product of this current of thinking and achievement that the women's suffrage movement set going by it's effort to gain suffrage and this rising movement of women to go into occupations which they had hitherto not known. And somehow, because it didn't come out in my classes at Columbia in sociology I can assure you, somehow this thing, I drew it in from the atmosphere that must have been around me and in the press. You know, this kind of thing. You don't know how you absorb this sense of things happening. And it spurred me to investigate this as for the South.

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When I… about ten years ago we were looking for someone for the department where I was teaching. A woman. I went back to my census data. Not in a very thorough way but just in a very superficial way. To look up the women… the numbers… who were now, in the past and now, were working for higher degrees. And there had been a definite decline. In fact I had one of my students in one of my courses who did a paper touching the trends in womens occupational interests, including their academic… going forward. It was a good paper. Wish I'd kept a copy. It was an excellent paper. She did a thorough job. And there was a decline there, for a period, after this great emphasis. I was suggesting to her… this was a time when it was very difficult. The Friedan book [The Feminine Mystique] had just come out. It was very difficult for you to interest your students—this was at Wells and in the '60s—to interest your students in say women's movement things. Not even the history was very interesting to them. There was no such thing… You see, this was the low point. Back there in the period of the '50s and the '60s I think. The '40s possibly. I'm not sure where the low point came. There was a low point there. And then we… you know, you're living in the period when this whole thing has broken open again.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How would you compare the students, for example, that you were in contact with in the '30s and the students that you taught—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, I was in contact not with undergraduates in the '30s. So I wouldn't have a comparison. [The ones I was in contact with] would have had interest in this kind of thing, professional interest. Well, I had contact. I was at Mount Holyoke briefly, but then I went into a Social Science Research Council post-doctoral fellowship and that took

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me on into the research field for a while.
JACQUELYN HALL:
We talked yesterday about your mother and some of the things in your background that predisposed you toward education and toward a career. You grew up thinking that you would do something.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
That's right. Oh yes, definitely.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But you also, I'm sure, must have assumed that you would fulfil the kind of role that your mother fulfilled. That you would somehow do both of those things at the same time.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, I think so.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you feel a conflict between those two self images—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Not consciously. Not consciously. Probably I was fairly conventional in assuming both roles… I mean in assuming that both would take place. No… though one was constantly reminded, as you moved on toward professional life. One was constantly being reminded of the other role.
JACQUELYN HALL:
In what way?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh just… Well, of course, "When are you going to get married?" You see.
JACQUELYN HALL:
It's extraordinary how women have to operate under that kind of thing. That is the most important question that people have. Are you married or not?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
It's probably one of the reasons that you had professional women in that period more often not married. Whereas now, it's just the other way around.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why were professional women more often not married?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Merely because the conception prevailed, I'm sure, that you couldn't do both. That the one meant giving up the other.

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JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you consciously make a decision like this?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I don't think consciously. I think that I assumed it, though. That if you did one, you gave up the other. You see, it's as though you're having this… you could call it almost a drive toward attainment, toward intellectual interests, toward professional life or career or whatever you want to call it. And you simply… you don't drift, but you just keep on in that direction and let the other things kind of take care of themselves. This other role. And if the other role just doesn't emerge, if it doesn't eventually… you may not consciously say "Well, I'd have to give up one if I did the other." You just keep on with what your major, uppermost interest is.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you have a period of fairly conscious conflict over the direction that your life was going? A period in which you said "I haven't had three children."
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I don't think so. I would have if I had married. That would have been a different thing.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Then the choice not to have children would have been a more—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Something you'd have to consciously deal with.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes. Or simply the frustrations that come for a woman who cannot carry on her, if you want to put it in short terms, a career or a professional life because of the demands of her life. I've dealt with all that. You know, this is what comes up in my Angelina Grimke. In her period you see. And the tragedy of her life was that she wasn't able for a time… This is the part of her career that has never been written of before. And I found documents which enabled me to write of it.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Part of her career when she was—

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KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
When she withdrew. When she withdrew from public life. Now she reemerged again and became active in the women's rights movement, but that first great blaze of glory, so to speak, that first… which released all of her whole roster of talents—which were phenomenal—never did return. Why, has been the question that's been asked over and over again about her. So I determined that I would go after the answers. I think I have related it. And it was a matter of the interpersonal relations; Weld, Sarah and herself. Both a tragedy and for her a triumph, because she reemerged, not the same person, but absolutely never having deviated from her basic principles. And this is the main thing. And she was there to the end, adhering to that, working for that. Not in the same way, but she was steadfast. And she was steadfast in her adherence to a woman's right to fulfill her potentialities. Hers were frustrated, but she never departed from her conviction of this right for women. She had to work through a tragic period. Fought to establish her own independence. You see, the title is the Emancipation of Angelina Grimkà. So this is the turn I give it and in my view she achieved it. But it was a long life.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But in your own history you see a much smoother progress. I mean there were not periods in which you really lost ground or felt very uncertain of the direction you were going and had to—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No I don't… I doubt if that's the case. I'm sure there would be such periods. But I think there was a steady thread running all through. But what particular direction one would take… I'm sure there were periods like that. It's hard to recapture them now simply because I… I'm sure it wasn't smooth. I know it wasn't as smooth as it sounds. [Laughter.]
JACQUELYN HALL:
That's right. It does look awfully smooth.

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KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, don't deceive yourself. You know, this is never the case, I'm sure. Again, I go back to my friends and colleagues here who were… the period of those earlier years, when we worked so closely together on the issues and the problems and so on. The question that we were concerned about and all of that. And I followed their interests and their careers in my mind and there was so much we had in common. There's another person I now think of. I don't know whether she's still alive or not. You see, that's the trouble. You don't keep in touch with these old friends. Her name was Lois Macdonald and she taught… she took her doctorate. She was with us in those years, the '20s, not on the national staff but a local staff. South Carolina woman. And then she came North and was a professor… She would be retired now because she was my age, I think. At New York University for years in economics.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You felt a great deal of solidarity with the—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
It's remarkable. Betty and Frances and I were talking about that. We've talked of it practically every time we've met together. Very great solidarity. There is a sense of kinship with most of us—not all. McLaren was not a southerner. But she became identified very much with us. But there was a sense of kinship with it—all of us. And there was a sense of being women working on these things. And what we could have achieved. I meant, when I said kinship, I mean southern kinship. And curiously, a sense that, after all, just because one is southern doesn't mean one can't throw off these things that' may have curtailed us and be able to do something … So, yes, it was a very interesting solidarity that is recalled every time we get together.

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JACQUELYN HALL:
What kind of relationships did you have with your male colleagues?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Very nice ones. We [women colleagues] enjoyed them. In talking with ourselves, you know, we would always feel well maybe they'll catch up someday. Actually some of them were, especially the [YMCA] student secretaries, were right with us on things. They were held back by their elder brothers, so to speak, who were not so… But the men were fine.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What about in the academic world? Department heads…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, splendid. Perfectly splendid. There was never… I have never felt that there was… They'd say "You don't think there's any discrimination against women?" And naturally you'd say "Of course there is." But you know, nothing to be… I mean one doesn't have to be bad tempered about it. Just say "Yeah, sure." This is a part of the climate in which we find ourselves, the situation in which we find ourselves. And you want to change and you work for your change, but… it's there. No. I've never felt unaccepted, so to speak. Of course, partly, if you're teaching in a woman's college it's a different situation from teaching in a men's college… in a university. At Wisconsin there was a wonderful relationship with your fellow candidates for the doctorate - most of whom were men. Wonderful. They were friends and we were colleagues. And with the faculty. And all of them, except the woman who taught social work, they were all men. And certainly on the faculties of the colleges where I taught there was a splendid relationship always. I never… I have never felt any… But you have an advantage when you're teaching in a woman's college. I mean over women who are trying to compete directly in a man's university where they can't get the promotions. They don't hold women back in a women's college when

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it comes to promotions. There are a few instances, sometimes at salary differences that you might have, but even those were not as conspicuous. I don't mean to down play that these things exist. I know that they do. I'm really speaking of my own feeling. My own experience. My own sense of not feeling that… well perhaps I just didn't feel… I didn't have any sense of a chip on my shoulder. I think I'm not making this up… that I'm misreading… I can conceive of people that might. In the same situation. In fact I can think of people who did.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Other women that you worked with?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes. In the same situation. But this could be a combination of things. They were younger, perhaps than I was at this time and there could be a combination of reasons why they were held back. Not necessarily a sex discrimination, but that would have been there. It's easy to favor a young man over a young woman, you know, when apparently their qualifications are the same. Discrimination—sex discrimination especially—can be a very subtle thing. And I recognize it as existing. Don't misunderstand me. It's everywhere.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I'm interested in trying to understand the motivations of women, in trying to understand the roots of the different directions that women's careers have taken; in the families, in their early experiences. I'm interested in their relationships with their mothers, with their sisters, with their women colleagues. And one thing I was thinking about last night, in your case there's an intriguing kind of comparison that can be made between… I had read your Making of a Southerner. I had read your sister Grace's very fictionalized but autobiographical novel.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Which one is that?

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JACQUELYN HALL:
Full Circle. And I know something about both of your careers. And you were both… Grace was an industrial secretary in the YWCA at one point, I think.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I'd forgotten that. Where was she? Isn't that stupid? I mean I should have known.
JACQUELYN HALL:
In the '20s. After she went to college… for a year… she went back and taught school near Columbia, South Carolina.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And I believe that during that period she worked—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
In the City YWCA? She may have. Living in town she may have done so. I know that for a while she was an agricultural extension agent. And that was in that general period, I think. But I had completely forgotten that she had been an industrial secretary. In the local Y.
JACQUELYN HALL:
When was she born? What was the difference in your ages?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, I'm not sure. It would probably be five or six years. I'm not sure.
JACQUELYN HALL:
She was five or six years older than you?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And she went to New York to become a writer and you went to New York to go to—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I went to Columbia and then national YWCA training school.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did that period overlap, when you were both in New York?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No, I think… I'm not sure of this… my memory doesn't serve me. But I have a hunch that it was more when I was on the staff of the YW, not in the period when I was going to university, Columbia University and to the [YWCA National] training school.

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JACQUELYN HALL:
So you were back in the South, or travelling back and forth between cities in the South—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes, but I was often in New York, you see, at headquarters. I was going back and forth. I would get up there a number of times a year. And I think this was the period when there was some overlap.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Then when you began to publish sociological works, dealing with the problems of labor and poverty and race, she began to write proletarian novels. [interruption]
JACQUELYN HALL:
I was pursuing a question about the parallels and differences between your career and your sister Grace Lumpkin's career. So she then began to write proletarian novels and to be, as many liberal intellectuals were in the '30s, involved in organizations that were close to the Communist Party. She wrote for the New Masses. She was involved in the protest against the Saco-Vancetti conviction, those sort of things. I wanted to ask two big questions about that all. One was, how did you influence each other, or how did you see yourselves—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, I don't think at that period we were particularly… I was much more involved in academic things. However, I also had very liberal-to-left interests in this period, you see. But not cutting across hers in any way. I mean not overlapping in any way. Because she was living one life… the life of a writer in New York… and I was living a pretty conventional life in an academic community. So I would say… I think in the period of that time you look much more to the period than you look to the person to understand the interests that people had. They don't necessarily influence each other. Certainly this was true—

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JACQUELYN HALL:
Often an older sister will influence a younger sister, or vice versa.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, I would say that my interests moved very much independently, throughout this whole time. There was one time back in the '20s when I was in my YW work as student secretary when our headquarters were in Atlanta. And I think, if I remember rightly, there was one year before she went—and I don't remember when she went to New York, don't remember the date in relation to my peregrinations, at all. But she hadn't been then, and this was in the '20s sometime, after we had our headquarters in Atlanta. I had an apartment there one year. And my mother came and lived that year with me and she was there, my sister was there part of the time. But I was hardly ever at home. I mean, back in Atlanta. I was travelling all the time. So I saw neither one of them very much but they were there. But then the next year I got a different apartment. One migrated all the time, you know, there in Atlanta. And mother stayed with me. I know my sister wasn't there that year. But mother was there.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Had you been close as children, when you were younger?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
My sister and I? Oh, normally so. Our family was a fairly close family. You know… I mean… my oldest sister… she was so much older… and I never saw her. [as much as the other children. She was away from home by then]
JACQUELYN HALL:
Well, what did you think about the more bohemian and—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, that didn't really impress me. I mean, I didn't mind it at all. I didn't see a lot of it. But I certainly didn't mind it in the least.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You didn't see large differences between your activities and political commitments and hers?

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KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, in so far as I was aware of them, of hers, I found her novel To Make My Bread very well done and very interesting. I remember that. Very much. But I think you're searching for something that isn't there. I find that… That is, you're searching for inter-influences that just … just happenstance that I had certain areas of interest and she had certain areas of interest. But what you have to recognize is her talents are very different from mine. Hers were in the novel, and writing and the fiction field. And mine were always in the scholarly and biographical field. The very fact that I pursued my graduate studies and so on, my doctorate, and my whole teaching field. This was quite independent and may even, I don't know, have come earlier. I presume it must have. Mine date back, you see, to my college days and I certainly don't remember anything of that kind in her areas. But I don't know.
JACQUELYN HALL:
It's just interesting for… out of a southern family… for two women to come that had the kind of careers that the two of you have had.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
And yet they are very different careers. Very different.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How do you account for the differences, then? Do you see, going all the way back to your childhood, a very different—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yeah. I found… in my early… I'm taking a diverging route for a moment. I go back to Angelina Grimkà's sister Sarah, who was 12 years her senior To all appearances for those who came after and looked superficially back on their careers, their two careers were parallel, you see. They weren't in the least. They were as different people as you can imagine. And what brought them into juxtaposition was that when Angelina, who did follow Sarah into

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Quakerism because she visualized a career… she was seeking a way… she had these great, phenomenal gifts which were pressing for expression. And she was seeking… she believed she was called to a great work. She was very religious. She believed God was calling her to a great work. And she was… kept seeking what this was. And then when the antislavery movement, which was all around her when she was in Philadelphia, emerged as the cause which her heart had been looking for, her mind had been looking for, her intellect had sought. And she had already rejected slavery, of course. She moved into that. Well, at first, Sarah, whose career had been largely that of a religious person, who was profoundly religious, seeking God, struggling to find God, and having a hell of a time—excuse me on the profanity—ever finding him and feeling satisfied. A miserable person, basically. Just as unhappy… not when she began life, but as she moved over into Quakerism, trying to be a Quaker minister and finding herself not accepted, really, by the elders and so on because she wasn't very articulate. She didn't like to speak on her feet and so on. She objected… she was also antislavery, but she objected to Angelina's abolitionism. She objected to her going into public lectures. She objected to her letter to William Lloyd Garrison, and reproved her for it. Because she [Angelina] had never sought permission of the Quaker authorities, Friends authorities to do these things. But she [Sarah] finally, because she wanted companionship—she had rejected marriage—she wanted companionship, so she finally turned to go with Angelina on what she was going to do in her public career. And she did go with Angelina. And for a brief period they were known, in that brief, brilliant public life when Angelina was this magnificent platform speaker and Sarah was very dull and very uninteresting in her speaking but in earnest. Intellectual, but earnest. And earnest but not

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interesting-they were known as the Grimkà sisters and they remained known as the Grimke sisters through the years. This little biography written about them in the 1880s by Catherine Birney, ties them together, and people have always thought they were just [parallel.?] And then you deal with them and you realize Angelina was the one and you find that Sarah's was a totally different nature and she loved totally different things. And she was a person in her own right, but hers was just… They just were not alike at all and their careers were not truly alike. Now Sarah was a very fine woman's rights advocate. She had her background reasons for this. So was Angelina. But for different reasons. I'm using this to illustrate that I… my young friend… as one who has been a sociologist for many years, I do suggest that… don't try too hard in your work, in your analysis of people, to account for things by these interpersonal relationships in the family—important though they are. Look for not only the likenesses and the interinfluences but look for the differences. And the way—I know I sound like I'm preaching. I don't mean to be. I'm just speaking from the standpoint… as I understand the different ways… and this is, to me, extremely important to account for people… the different ways in which the same cultural environment influences different people. The self-same conditions they'll come out of. This is the more remarkable thing.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Exactly. And the thing that much sociology glosses over.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, I don't know whether it does or not. I think people have their idea that it does, but I don't—it isn't what I learned from it. Or maybe what I learned was separate from that. Oh, I know, there are those who… But this would be much more those who have a special

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interpretation of the influence of the family, for example. But for me, I think it exceedingly important to give sufficient weight to the special—and we emphasize this in the development of personality—to the special personal influences for each individual as well as for the interpersonal influences. And it is these influences that are special for each person that probably account for the way the same cultural environment, whether a family or surroundings or regional, whatever, how they have, resulted in different persons taking… Now these special and personal experiences, which can date to early childhood… I mean infancy almost. It can date to the place the person had in the family. Sarah was a middle child, Sarah Grimkà. She focused on her father very much. Angelina was the youngest child and felt some estrangment from her mother. Here are two just totally different special experiences of two people.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Which makes them … They could as well have grown up in different families almost—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes. Well, that takes away the fascination of the thing, if you see what I mean.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Right. Well, in your own experience, what differences do you see in the personality development of you and your sister and in the way your careers developed differently.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
The only thing I could see would be the likenesses. Probably both of us were affected by the emphasis in our family on intellect, on achievement, on concern for other people.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What about differences?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, perhaps I wouldn't know well enough. My own I might know, but I wouldn't know hers well enough. You see it's one thing

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to study people whose documents remain, like the Grimkàs, where you really hear them talking in their diaries themselves. But it's another thing to do it within your own experience and someone else's, I think. They have to account for theirs.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I'm interested in your experience and your perceptions of how you were different from your sister and chose a different path…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, I can only say… especially in terms of the fact that she was a gifted writer. And I don't consider myself a writer. I consider myself more in an academic, scholarly field and my interests lay there, though I write nonfiction. Which is a very different thing from attempting to do the more imaginative, the more—if you like—more artistic. So, what I should have said a while ago when I talked about special experiences, also the difference in one's native equipment. I mean one's temperament, one's—what's the word I want—one's talents. Mine would never lie in the area of writing fiction, you see. That isn't something I'm endowed with. The potentialities. I don't mean you're endowed as a writer, but you're endowed with the potentialities for something. And I struggle—of course anybody who writes anything struggles, but I have to work and work at it.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But she became not just a writer of novels, but a writer of a very special kind of novel. And the themes she was concerned with in her novels were themes of the South, of race, or slavery…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, this was her background, my dear. She came out of the South. Why would she not? I think most writers who came out of the South have written on southern subjects, even those who move away for a while. Haven't they? The ones I know…
JACQUELYN HALL:
But they haven't all had the kind of passionate social concerns.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No, they varied a lot in that. A great deal. But I don't know

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fiction well enough because I'm not a student of it. But I've naturally read southern writers of recent times. But Faulkner, his concerns express themselves in very subtle ways, but he really, basically, had concerns, even though they were mediated in his own characters and so on. That was vivid. No, no, you're quite right, but that to me is not a difficult problem as to why one might have and another not.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I wondered whether… you talked about your family's reaction to your Making of a Southerner as being problematic in certain ways. What kind of reaction did your family have to Grace's writing?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I think she'd have to tell you that. Wouldn't she?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Well, yes… she might not know as well as you would.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
For one thing, I wasn't at home then so I really wouldn't know, would I?
JACQUELYN HALL:
When I first started reading Full Circle, I didn't know… As I read it I was also trying to find out about her actual history, so that I was interested in the different places in that novel in which she does use actual events from her history, from your common history, from your family. And then the places where she completely fictionalizes or at least transforms the raw material from life into a whole different thing. And it's interesting at what points she… Like the whole thing about having a twin sister, which I assume she didn't have.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Having what?
JACQUELYN HALL:
A twin sister.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No, she didn't.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you see the sister in that novel as being modeled on any of your sisters?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I don't think that occurred to me.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Because there's some very unflattering pictures of a sister. [Laughter]

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KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
That could be, too.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Oh, just one other thing about that novel that sort of intrigued me is…
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 3, SIDE A]
JACQUELYN HALL:
—it would look like you… she would have been a less conventional person in certain ways, or her life was less within the mainstream, the conventional mainstream. In fact, I got a sense, especially from that later novel, of her being much more… by that time, more defensive about the South, more conventionally religious…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
More… So that in fact, from Full Circle you get the opposite impression.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I think so. I think that's clear.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But then that seems like a contradiction unless it's just the matter of her having changed a great deal from the '30s to the '50s and '60s—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, I think you have to judge that from both reading the book and from your talks with her. I certainly don't want to be judgmental on it.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I'm not asking a question on it. I'm really trying to… focus on you rather than ask you to talk about her. I'm really just trying to think of how having a sister involved in those things that she was involved in and writing about things in the way she wrote about them, affected you or…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
In no way at all.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Not in any way at all?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Not that I'm aware of. Not that I am aware of. I was leading

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a very different life at the time. As I say, I was academically and professionally, you know, just going my route.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did she live outside the South as consistently as you did, or did she come back to the South sooner or… is there a difference in that way?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I think so. But I think she may have visited home more, back there, than I did. I'm not sure of that. I think, though, that she lived pretty consistently in New York City all those years, as I think back on it. I'm pretty sure she did. I'd have to kind of cast my mind back. Now where are we? We're getting on toward one o'clock.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I have two more questions.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
All right. Let's see how quickly we can deal with them. I want to bring that little dog in out of the heat.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You want to go ahead and do it?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No, let's go ahead and get your questions.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Two things that I wanted to talk about. One is that we haven't gone at all into your work with the Institute of Labor Studies.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, that's another—
JACQUELYN HALL:
Could you tell me a little about what that organization was?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
It was an organization a group of us set up.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You were involved in the very beginning of it?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes, oh yes. Certainly. I helped establish it. And it was—I'm trying to place it in time. It was in a period of interest both the war period and on, following the rise of the CIO. And before it's merger with the AFL. And then later came the merger. And it was to get hold of material on labor to show current developments a little bulletin, monthly, I think, that informed on what was happening in the labor world and

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as the organizing movement spread. And we issued one volume on labor and the war which was a contributed volume. Colston Warne he was an Amherst economist, labor economist at Amherst. He was the chairman and I directed the thing. I was the research director. And we issued one volume on labor and the war, which I have over here, and a second volume on labor in post-war America. They were pretty thick volumes. You've seen them. Which were contributed volumes with some of the leading labor economists in the country who contributed to them. And those took time to organize and…
JACQUELYN HALL:
You were editor of them?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I was managing editor. Actually I suppose… Colston Warne was chairman of the board of editors and it was a board—
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was his name?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Colston Warne. W-a-r-n-e. labor economist at Amherst college and has been president of Consumers Union ever since it was founded and still is. He's retired now from Amherst.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was your purpose… This material was to be used by labor organizers…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No, no. Not by labor organizers but by labor economists. It was a scholarly type of thing. Keep them informed and inform. It was educational, an educational organization in the labor field.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was the relationship between the Labor Research Association and the Institute of Labor Studies?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No, none.
JACQUELYN HALL:
No connection?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No, no connection at all.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But you were connected with both of those?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No. I was only connected with the Institute of Labor Studies.

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I knew the people at the Labor Research Association, but I was not connected with it in any way.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you write for them?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I wrote one book which they published.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Your South in Progress was published by them.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
That's right. But I wrote it, I gathered the material for myself and wrote the book.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How did it happen that they published that book?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
It was because they asked me to write the book and hence they wanted to publish it, you see. They wanted a book on that subject.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Who was involved with you in setting up the Institute for Labor Studies?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, the people who are on the editorial board.
JACQUELYN HALL:
They were the founders.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Largely involved in it.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why did you happen to do that?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Because of a major interest in that period in labor and the developing CIO. The whole industrial [organization movement] which was so important for labor in the country.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why did you need to set up a new institute rather than just—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I don't suppose we did need to. It was an interest and so we did it. Then I returned to teaching.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Who funded the Institute?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, it was funded by various people.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Was it very closely connected with the CIO organizationally.
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Not at all. Had no connection. You see, it was a research thing. It was a scholarly thing. It was not a labor thing as such.

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I had been doing the work at this job at Smith. The director there of this local industrial history thing, during the 30's. And then in the 40's we did this. Most of the '40's I did this part time. And then went back to my teaching, after writing the Making of a Southerner, which I did spend several years on in the 1940's. In fact I worked on another book after that, but it never came out.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was that about?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh, it was of no importance.2 I mean now, because it never did come out, but I was awarded a Houghton Mifflin literary fellowdhip to work on it and it just didn't pan out. So I moved right from that into … I had this literary fellowship which gave me a couple of years to work on that. But it didn't pan out.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How was the South in Progress received in the South?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
I don't really remember except as I was running through my materials upstairs I found some reviews of it and they were very good. It was in the New Deal period, you see, the period of the Roosevelt New Deal. And it was marking the progress that came with the New Deal in the South, with the right to organize, labor to organize, with developments in agriculture—which were very important, and so on. I haven't looked at the book for many, many years and I honestly don't remember a lot about it.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you have any connection with the southern sociologists who were around Howard Odum and the Institute for Research and Social Sciences at UNC?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No, I had no official connection with them at all. I knew about them.
JACQUELYN HALL:
My impression is that they were very much a coherent group of

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people—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
—developing regionalism and they were beginning to write about—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
That's right. They had a great interest in regional development. But I published… in the early '30s I published a book with the University of North Carolina Press.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What book was that?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
It was a sociological study. The Family. A Study of Member Roles. They reminded me of it the other day… I mean last autumn when they were accepting this book on the Grimkàs. That 43 years before they had published a book of mine.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But The South in Progress and the Making of a Southerner, at any rate, seem to be those two books were concerned with the same kind of problems that that group of liberal intellectual southerners were concerned with. Perhaps simply because you were not living in the South, those were not your peers. I mean those were not your colleagues or… you could see yourself—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
No. No. If I had been teaching in North Carolina, see, they would have… I mean I would have looked on them that way. But at this period, no. Until I got back into that… in my Making of a Southerner, I presume I may have felt a little remote. You see. It would be purely based upon the material I gathered.
JACQUELYN HALL:
This is what made me think of that question. There's a review in Social Forces which was the Institute's—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Of the South in Progress?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Uhhuh. Of The South in Progress. It was a favorable review but it was sort of amusing to me because there's a little dig in it about

Page 98
northern writers…
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
That's right. Southerners who go North. I always would get that in speaking on that. And this was a legitimate dig, in a way.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Do you think so?
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well, I'm trying to be objective about it. If I were living and working and remaining in the South and someone who had gone North wrote about the South after having been away a while, I would, if I reviewed their book, I think I would say they should be nearer home. Even though I might say their facts are right. Their facts are correct and their facts are based on "us" a lot, which they were.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Right. You used Howard Odum—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Oh yes. I admired him greatly. He was quite a hero for me.
JACQUELYN HALL:
The major difference is this, that you weren't in the South and they were. But I think there were differences in The South in Progress, too. How openly you advocated… how important you saw unionization as being and the importance of the New Deal. Your condemnation of segregation. I don't think that that group of southern writers—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Not at that point. But they did do it later. And nobody was … actually practiced nonsegregation any more than Howard Odum. By this I mean, in his scholarly contacts and so on… he was a wonderful person. I had occasion some years later to talk to one of his former colleague, who had retired. And I can't think of the man's name or where I saw him. I think I saw him out West when I taught one semester at Mills College. This is just my memory of it. And he was reminiscing about things that they were doing. He was on the faculty there [U.N.C] then. In their relations with their colleagues, Negro colleagues, in other parts. It was wonderful. It was great.

Page 99
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you think of yourself at the time as taking a position on those questions that was in advance of the positions that the UNC—
KATHARINE DU PRE LUMPKIN:
Well this would have been easy to do if I were away from there. (i.e. away from the South). I put this rather wryly, if you see what I mean.
END OF INTERVIEW
1. Sex, sin, and segregation.
2. The book I worked on under my Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship was about a Negro figure in the Reconstruction period in South Carolina (between about 1868 to 1875). He was a crippled man, who had been a slave, who became a preacher and local leader of his people in the time of severe KKK raids. The manuscript, as I wrote it, was not accepted by Houghton Mifflin, so I put it away, and never went book to it.