Documenting the American South Logo
Loading
Title: Oral History Interview with Emily S. MacLachlan, July 16, 1974. Interview G-0038. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: MacLachlan, Emily S., 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: 192 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 Emily S. MacLachlan, July 16, 1974. Interview G-0038. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series G. Southern Women. Southern Oral History Program Collection (G-0038)
Author: Jacquelyn Hall
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Emily S. MacLachlan, July 16, 1974. Interview G-0038. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series G. Southern Women. Southern Oral History Program Collection (G-0038)
Author: Emily S. MacLachlan
Description: 173 Mb
Description: 51 p.
Note: Interview conducted on July 16, 1974, by Jacquelyn Hall; recorded in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Joe Jaros.
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.
Editorial practices
An audio file with the interview complements this electronic edition.
The text has been entered using double-keying and verified against the original.
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as "
All em dashes are encoded as —

Interview with Emily S. MacLachlan, July 16, 1974.
Interview G-0038. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
MacLachlan, Emily S., interviewee


Interview Participants

    EMILY S. MacLACHLAN, interviewee
    JACQUELYN HALL, interviewer
    HUGH BRINTON, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
JACQUELYN HALL:
Tell me a little bit about your family. The historical origins of your family … were they all Mississippi people?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yes, I was brought up in Jackson, Mississippi. I was born in Hattiesburg in 1908. My mother was the daughter of a Methodist minister, Walter Featherstun Her name was Ethel Featherstun and she married John Morgan Stevens, who was a lawyer, a graduate of Ole Miss, came from a large south Mississippi family. My father's people came originally from Lee, Massachusetts to a big farm near Mobile in Perry County, Mississippi. My father's grandfather came from Lee, Massachusetts about the time Mississippi offered … it was around the beginnings of the 1800's. My mother's people came … were Whites, who came from Philadelphia to the Natchez area in 1804. My mother was …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Do you know why they moved South?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Why my father's people moved South? Well, this was the frontier, it was a land of opportunity and excitement and it was just … the only cities were on the coast. Mobile, Pensacola … New Orleans was

Page 2
the big city, and so there was just a lot of cheap land, I suppose.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did they own slaves?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
My father's family, the Stevens family from Massachusetts, probably had three or four, five slaves, yes, but they were not a slave plantation, no. This was really not of the plantation country. You might call it the yeoman farmer, it was a large yeoman farmer type. Over on the river, at Natchez, of course, you did have the slave plantations. Because they raised cotton that traveled down the river, you see, to New Orleans. And they were cotton plantation people in my husband's family, but in my own family, we had lawyers, doctors, big farmers, and people like that. Middle class people. My mother was brought up in a strict Methodist family which believed in the social gospel of helping the helpless. Her father was a Methodist minister, Walter Featherstun, had been a schoolmaster as well as a minister. He had established schools for the Indians and for the freed slaves. He was sort of a missionary type.
JACQUELYN HALL:
In Mississippi?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
In Mississippi. He went out to California as a missionary and out there my mother was born. She was the only one of a large family of girls born outside the state. She was born around, I suppose, 1882 and died at the age of 80 or 81 in 1962. Well, my mother was the middle girl of this large family who lived in various parsonages all over Mississippi and were very poor, as poor as churchmice. And she was not able to enjoy any of the luxuries of life until my father began to rise in the legal profession. He was appointed to an unexpired term of the Supreme Court. We moved from Hattiesburg, Mississippi to Jackson and he was on the Supreme Court bench for five of the six years of that term.

Page 3
But since judges had to run for office, he did not want to run again. So, he made his own law firm with another gentleman and they practiced law. Eventually that firm merged with another, and they became a leading law firm of Mississippi and my brothers joined it. Well, so my mother had this heritage of the social gospel type of Methodism.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How did her father happen to be a social gospel …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, this is something that I would like to know, and I don't. I don't know as much about my Grandfather Featherstun's heritage as I do about the Whites. My grandmother, Emily White, for whom I am named, lived during the siege of Vicksburg in a cave. Her father was a physician who tended to the wounded. And she wrote this story of living in a cave during the siege of Vicksburg, a children's story, and left it to me, her namesake, and I wrote it up as a children's story. One chapter of it came out in the Girl Scout magazine, The American Girl, at the one hundredth anniversary of the siege, that would have been … oh, 1963. Because 1863 … Vicksburg fell at the same time that Gettysburg fell, you know. So, I came as …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Go back just a little bit, where did she go to school?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
She went to Whitworth College, a school for girls in south Mississippi. I believe that it is in Crystal Springs. She finished college, she was a college educated woman and a woman of very formed character opinions. She never hesitated to voice her opinions. She was a very liberated woman, you might say.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did her sisters go to college?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yes, some of them did. There were so many sisters, I don't know whether they all finished or not.

Page 4
JACQUELYN HALL:
Do you know how many children there were in the family?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, there were five sisters and one brother. The brother turned out to be sort of the black sheep because he wouldn't go to college. He ran off up to Akron, Ohio and started working for the rubber industry. He raised a large family up there. But the girls did go to college. They were talented, they sang, they read, they were literary. My mother then reared a large family of children, she had seven children. Two of the boys died, one in infancy, one at age ten and so there was a gap in the family. She had the two oldest of them and then the gap where the two little boys died and then there were three younger ones. I was the next eldest. I was the eldest daughter, my sister is seven years younger. So, my mother was very strict with us. She was a strict disciplinarian. She ran a very disciplined household. She did have servants to help her. She always had black people in the household. There was a yardman, there was a cook, there was a nursemaid and she took quite a personal interest in their lives. She used to have a class of Negro girls to come to the house to learn sewing. And she taught them sewing and I imagine that she probably taught some principles of her religion to them in the meantime. Her religion was a sort of activism, doing more than … a religion of doing. She was very active in community affairs. So, when Jessie Daniel Ames came down there from Texas who Will Alexander appointed to head up the Southern Society for the Prevention of Lynchings … what was it … the Association …
JACQUELYN HALL:
The Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
… Mrs. Ames was looking for a lady from Mississippi to have the Mississippi area. And she persuaded my mother to take this on in

Page 5
addition to her other duties there at home and abroad.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Had your mother been involved in the suffrage movement at all, or sympathetic to it?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
No, I can't recall that she was, but she firmly believed in women voting and she never hesitated to let it be known that she voted opposite from my father.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Is that right?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes. It was a joke in the family that she …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did their politics differ?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Somewhat. She was much more liberated. She would tend to vote for the liberal candidate and my father would never tell who he voted for, but since there was a kind of joke about it, we just assumed that she had sort of killed his vote.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Where did she meet him and when did she marry him?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, she was in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, where her father had the Methodist Church. Every four years he had to move, you know, that was the rule of the Mississippi Methodist Conference. And he was a young lawyer in Hattiesburg, and I suppose that they met at a Methodist picnic or somewhere, I really don't know. But they courted by letter. My father wrote a beautiful letter and she said that she fell in love with his love letters. And I'm sure that she had many suitors, because she was very attractive, very pretty. She had auburn red hair, very vivacious and very outspoken. And my father was very shy and retiring, so, they had what the sociologist speaks of as complementary personality traits. They filled in the needs of the other. He needed her because she was outgoing and she needed him because he was steady and reliable and was rising in his profession.

Page 6
JACQUELYN HALL:
What kinds of things was she involved in before she became involved in the Association of Southern Women?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, I can remember going with her to the meetings of the Research Club. The Research Club in Jackson, Mississippi is a very old literary club. Women would write papers on various novelists and poets and bring their papers to read to the other members and they were very serious about it, you know. Somebody would write a paper on Browning … there was a Browning Club too, you know. There's always a Browning Club in all southern cities.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Right.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
And my mother sometimes shocked the other members of the club with her outspoken views on novelists and poets.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What kind of views did she have?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, Of Mice and Men was written by, who?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Somerset Maugham?
HUGH BRINTON:
Steinbeck.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Steinbeck. I think that she did a paper on Steinbeck once. And something that she said about … Lenny in Of Mice and Men?
HUGH BRINTON:
[unknown]
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
[unknown]. I wish I could recall what it was, but … shocking to her fellow club members.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Not so much her critical views, but her …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Her social views, her literary views were So, really, literary women have been living in the South for a long time. Nothing new about it. I think there were always women who had a husband who could give them social status so that they could express their views without suffering. And I think there was a tendency for men to feel that, "Well, she's just a woman and what she says is not so important that we need

Page 7
to be afraid of her." I think that was the attitude.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did she have unorthodox views on racial issues and issues of women's rights …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yes, she did.
JACQUELYN HALL:
…before 1930, when the Association came along?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes, yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How did she act those out?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, her mother and father had felt that slavery was very wrong. They were of the abolitionist type going way back, you see. They came from a … my grandmother, Emily White, came from a family of physicians, preachers … these were people who always felt that slavery was not right. I mean that a great many of them did.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But what about segregation?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, segregation was not really the issue until after the twentieth century started. The segregation laws, as you remember, VanWoodward, the historian, tells us were not passed until 1898, 1900, 1904, you know, the legal code was not …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Yes, I was thinking of your mother rather than of her parents.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
The problem with the black people during my mother's generation and her mother's generation was really one of simply trying to do something about their health, veneral disease was rampant. Child care, they didn't know how to feed their children. Their incomes, so many were in poverty, and it was a kind of personal, helping of the individuals, you see. The idea of equal rights didn't occur to them because there were pressing problems of their physical existence and of course, the whole problem of lynching was a terrible, terrible, horrible thing. And the idea was just to save their lives and to get them to trial before they were lynched by a mob. And so, Jessie Ames's whole organization was one that tried to use

Page 8
educational propaganda, to go throughout the counties and speak at women's meetings, speak at churches, visit the prosecuting attorneys, visit the judges, shame them … the sheriffs, shame them into protecting their prisoners from the mobs. Because, it was a certain class of people who formed a mob and it was the poor white class, but it was the acquiesence of the owning class that made it possible. And so, they tried to teach the owning class, the people who ran things, that this was wrong.
JACQUELYN HALL:
They really didn't try to reach working class minds?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Working class, that's right.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Do you think that?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, the working class whites, of course, had their churches and they were fundamentalist churches. Now, whether they went to speak at those churches too, I don't know. They probably would not have been allowed to come. They may or may not. I doubt it. I think that it was to reach the people who could change things.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Do you actually remember Jessie Daniel Ames coming to Mississippi?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I remember my mother talking about her a great deal. You see, while this was going on, I was in Chapel Hill …
JACQUELYN HALL:
You were in graduate school?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
So, I was not at home when it happened and when I went home …
JACQUELYN HALL:
When did you come to UNC?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
In the summer of 1929, after finishing at Millsaps College, I came just for one summer to work in a Mississippi survey that my professor, Dr. Hunt Hobbs, was making. And then I took Dr. E.C. Branson's courses that summer in rural sociology. My husband was teaching, my

Page 9
fiancee was teaching at Jackson Central High School, teaching Spanish. He was offered a Spanish fellowship here and I was offered a scholarship in sociology and I talked so much about sociology that I think I persuaded him to switch and got Dr. Odum to give him a fellowship. So, then, we started, both in sociology. And he became a very prominent sociologist and headed the department at the University of Florida for many years, twenty-one years.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What do you remember your mother saying about Jessie Daniel Ames?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, she admired her very much and worked very closely with her. She felt that this was something that very much needed to be done. And she used to travel back and forth to the Atlanta meetings of the Southern Racial Commission. Dr. Will Alexander, as you know, was in charge. And she used to speak a lot about the Rosenwald people who were funding it. And it was really one of the activities that my mother did. I don't know whether you would say it was the foremost thing she did, she did a lot of things. I think her main interest was in running her own family and taking care of her children. My mother was a spartan. She never believed in demonstrating her affection openly, but she demonstrated her affection for children by always having a well run house or good meals, everything done on time and required us to be neat and on time and to never show any discouragement. We had always to be cheerful and she said that it was "our duty to be cheerful, even though you didn't feel like it." [Laughter] She was a disciplinarian.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did she feel any conflicts between the time that she devoted to things like the anti-lynching movement and the time she devoted to her

Page 10
family?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
That's an interesting question. I imagine she did, because in those days you were supposed to put your family first.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And she did.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
She did.
JACQUELYN HALL:
She probably made sacrifices in that direction.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, it wasn't easy in those days to travel to Atlanta and back. I suppose that she did it on the train, I guess that those were days when trains were running. I'm sure that she did it on the train. And so, it took away from her time at home. You didn't have the kind of servants that you could just leave and they would run things, you know. You had to be directing there. They had so many problems of their own. I remember that we had a cook that cooked for us for many, many years. She was a marvelous cook named Fanny. And she came in tears to my mother once and told her, confessed that the doctor said that she had an advanced case of venereal disease and she would have to stop cooking for us. And my mother saw to it that she had medical care and she was taken care of. I guess that by that time they had learned what to do about it. They didn't know about the anti-biotics, but they knew about something else.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Were you never home again, then, after …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I was home during vacations.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You were home during vacations. Do you remember lynchings taking place in Mississippi? That your mother investigated or was really concerned about, incidents like that?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
It wasn't talked about. Lynchings were not talked about in the household. They were in the paper, you know. I really didn't understand the seriousness of the problem of lynching until I did graduate work here in the sociology department. I did know about the history of lynching and how

Page 11
many had taken place, the statistics of it. I was very protected, over protected, I guess, as a girl. A little girl from Mississippi was not supposed to know about the harsh things of life. Perhaps I was too lightheaded and … little girls are concerned with their own crowd and movies and their studies. I don't remember my mother talking to me seriously about lynching when I was young, but when I became a student of sociology, she did talk to me about it. And she impressed on me that her mother had felt this way about black people. They had suffered so much and that there must be something that could be done about it. She did talk to me when I was grown up.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did your father, or your family friends, or anyone around you view it as a little bit strange for a woman like your mother to be involved with …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes. She had friends and relatives who thought that she was a little way out, you know. But it didn't seem to bother her.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What about your father?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
My father was very tolerant. He loved her very dearly and I imagined that he was proud of her.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did he involve himself in any …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, the thing that he did for black people was to give them free legal services. It was the custom for every black person to have white sponsors and to have a lawyer that you could go to was essential. And so, this is how my brother, Francis, became interested in helping the Negros in a legal way. And so, seven years ago, he resigned from the family law firm and …
JACQUELYN HALL:
What is the name of the law firm?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Butler, Snow, O'Mora, Stevens and Cannada. Butler, Snow, and O'Mora were one firm and Stevens and Canada was my family's firm.

Page 12
My father was Stevens and after his death, Butler, Snow and O'Mora merged with Stevens and Cannada and they are growing all the time. They are becoming the biggest and most prominent law firm in Mississippi. And my eldest brother died at forty, at the height of his legal career. He had rheumatic fever … oh, I should have told you that one of the great sorrows of my mother's life was not only that she had lost the two little boys who came in the middle of her sequence of children, but then, when the eldest son, who was named for our father, John Morgan Stevens, Jr., was forty, he died on the operating table of a heart attack because they gave him ether for an emergency gall bladder operation and they didn't have the other kinds of anesthetics. He could have been saved by heart surgery of the type used today. He had an enlarged heart that went back to rheumatic fever as a child and so he had these rheumatic joints and this enlarged heart. He was a semi-invalid. He was sent to the University of Michigan law school and really couldn't stand the cold climate and came back to Ole Miss. And so, her eldest son was really a constant care to my mother. And his death, at the age of forty, really, I think, gave her an experience that perhaps broke her spirit to some degree.
JACQUELYN HALL:
When did he die?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
He died in 1946. He had been unable to go into the Second World War as my younger two brothers did, one in the army and one in the navy, because of his condidtion. But so many of his lawyer friends went to serve that he took on extra legal work for them and burdened himself and so, he died after the war was over. And this was a great blow to both my father and mother. And then there were the two younger brothers

Page 13
left and they came into the law firm and my father then died in 1951 and after he died, my brothers merged with the other firm.
Then, my brother Francis was very active in the Mississippi Laymen's Conference of the Methodist Church, he was a fundraiser. He liked to go out into the counties and help the rural churches raise their funds and he did a lot of volunteer work, with the laymen of Mississippi and their organizations. So, when the big civil rights push of the 1960's came, he very much hoped that the Methodist Laymen's League would take it upon themselves as a duty to follow up the law on this and to integrate the schools gradually and integrate the churches. It was a particular concern of his that the churches be integrated. And when they failed to follow his lead on that, he became very much upset about it. He tried to get his law firm, this family law firm, to take a stand on it, in favor of it, but there were too many conservatives in it. And so, he really …
JACQUELYN HALL:
He wanted the law firm to issue some kind of public statement in favor of …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
He wanted them to go into the defense of civil rights workers. You see, from outside came all these …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Right.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
The civil rights workers flooded into Mississippi and then they would have to be defended in court. And he wanted to organize young lawyers in Mississippi to defend them. Well, they wouldn't follow him as he wished and so he did organize some, but some of the members of the firm were conservatives. They were some of the leading Presbyterians in Jackson. Bob Cannada was the main one that opposed him. Bob Cannada was taken into my father's firm and it was Steven's and Candada and then Stevens and Canada merged with

Page 14
the other firm. So, it was particularly significant that the man my father had befriended as a young lawyer and taken in was Francis's greatest opponent in the civil rights movement. So, there was this feud between them. Their houses adjoined, their backyards. Their wives and children played together. Bob was a strict fundamentalist Presbyterian. Francis Stevens was a liberated social gospel Methodist. And they would argue, you know, biblically, all the time like this. Trying to maintain their friendship, yet …Bob was hired by the school board to prevent segregation, you see.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And they were both in the same law firm?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yes. And neighbors. It was a very, very difficult situation.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Was your mother alive during that time? When did she die?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
No, she died in 1962, so she missed all that. She would have been terribly upset about that, you see. My brother Francis felt that he was carrying on my mother's work. It was a continuance.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Clearly, she would have supported him.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes, yes. So, eventually, he gave up his position in the firm, he was of high income. And he went to Washington and got office space with the lawyers committed to civil rights there and acted as a kind of an independent consultant in public law and civil defense law. And went all over the country lecturing among college kids. Then, a few years ago, they needed him to head the North Mississippi Legal Defense Organization, headquarters at Oxford, Mississippi. The young lawyer who was heading it needed to go out … I don't remember his name, Francis could tell you, all these young people. Francis became sort of a leader of the young lawyers of Mississippi who were anxious to do the right thing and

Page 15
to organize a defense of poor people and the defense of civil rights workers. And so, he took temporarily the directorship of this organization, which was funded by the federal government, by the Office of Economic Opportunity. And then, they worried about getting this renewed from time to time, after Nixon was elected, you know, they were afraid of all this money being taken away. So, now, he has turned it over to a young black lawyer. He was trying to find a black lawyer who could take it over and he will go back to his Washington, D.C. home in August and will be an administrator in poverty law at Antioch law college in Washington. Not teaching directly to the students, but acting as sort of a consultant in clinics. They will have people come in in clinic situations. So, he feels that if you can teach the minorities themselves to defend themselves legally, the Chicanos, the Indians, the blacks, you can do more by getting a lot of young lawyers well trained in the minority groups, than having white lawyers defend them. He believes in the minorities doing these things for themselves. He is very opposed to paternalism. He saw that the generation that my mother belonged to did things paternally because perhaps there was no other way to do it. But Francis believes in helping yourself and in knowing how to help yourself. Knowing the ropes. And sometimes we argue about paternalism.
JACQUELYN HALL:
In what way?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, I tend to see, as a sociologist, that paternalism has some virtues. I believe that there is too much competition, too much conflict between the various social groups of the United States. This is why I am interested in the communitarian movement, the cooperative movement, in which people cooperate rather than compete. And so, my views are quite different, I think.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What is the connection that you see between cooperation or collective efforts and paternalistic models?

Page 16
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, I think that all societies, my social theory is that all societies are elitist. That they are run by the smartest and the most aggressive and that it will always be this way. I don't think that you can really have … I may be wrong; a sophisticated democracy, in a large urban society like ours, doesn't seem to work. I taught a course in social problems for twelve years and I saw the difficulties. Somehow or other, the owning class will come to run things.
JACQUELYN HALL:
The owning class isn't necessarily the brightest people, or you don't become a member of the owning class necessarily by being …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, they are the people who are the best educated, they know the ropes. And see to it that their children are given the techniques of maintaining wealth and power. It's power, you know, it's power more than wealth, I think. And so, I really think that democracy can work only on the smaller scale. The big complex society is doomed to elitism.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Go back a little bit and tell me about your career. You're telling me where you are now. Go back and tell me where you came from.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
All right.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You went to Millsap College?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yes, I graduated there in 1929. I came up here for the summer session …
HUGH BRINTON:
Did you major in sociology at Millsap, or what …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yes, I did have a little introductory course there. I guess that I just became interested in it through that course. My major was in English.
HUGH BRINTON:
Why did you come to Carolina?

Page 17
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Because … you can tell me his name, Hugh. in the department of rural sociology, what was his name?
HUGH BRINTON:
Hobbs.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Hobbs. Hunt Hobbs. How could I forget? Dr. Hobbs came to Mississippi to make a study of the counties of Mississippi. You remember how he used to write …
HUGH BRINTON:
Yeah, he …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
And he needed some college students to help him, so he got two of us from Millsap College, myself and Vernon Wharton, who got rather important, Vernon Wharton, who became a historian at Layfette, Louisiana. He got two from other colleges, you know, they kind of spread it around the colleges of Mississippi. And so, we started working on this statistical data. We had an office down in the capitol building. And that was the first introduction to simple statistics. He was publishing just simple …
HUGH BRINTON:
Who was funding that thing?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
That was the Brookings Institute. Dr. Hobbs then wanted us to come up here and continue that work that summer. And we worked in the basement of the library there and in the department of rural sociology. Then, I persuaded my husband to switch from Spanish to sociology. Dr. Odum gave him a fellowship, I had a scholarship … Dr. Odum, I don't think had as much faith in female brains as he did in male … [Laughter] .
JACQUELYN HALL:
Well, I'm very surprised that you had a scholarship in the sociology department in 1929. Did very many women get that kind of financial help?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Did Lillian Brinton have one?

Page 18
HUGH BRINTON:
[Unclear]
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I think that especially since my father was a prominent lawyer and I suppose he could have paid my way.
HUGH BRINTON:
She had a fellowship from some other group that came over here, but it wasn't from the sociology department.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You came here for the summer, was it then that you applied to the sociology department, were you planning to go on?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
No, I just fell in love with Chapel Hill. I thought that I had come … I felt when I got to Chapel Hill that I had come to my intellectual home. That's just the way I felt. For me today, it's still the place where my mind was really awakened.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was Chapel Hill like that summer?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, I lived in a dormitory and I was living on a shoestring, then we were just paid a small wage. And I remember eating a lunch composed of an apple and a peanut butter cracker and just eating there in the basement of the library where we were. And we had these funny old, the first calculators, you know, and we got sort of tennis elbow, punching out the statistics. It was a very happy summer. I was very much in love with my fiancee and wrote to him constantly and told him about Chapel Hill and I was lonely for him, so I went back home the fall quarter and stayed there the fall quarter. No, I came back the fall quarter and I couldn't stand it any longer being separated from him, so beginning the winter quarter, I stayed at home and he was teaching in the high school. And I saw that I didn't want to stay in Jackson, I wanted to come back to Chapel Hill, so I persuaded him and we came back together.
JACQUELYN HALL:
He got a fellowship in the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences as well?

Page 19
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
No, he did, I just got a scholarship … [Phone ringing]
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why did your husband get a fellowship instead of you?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, it was customary to give these fellowships to men students. Now, we did have some women students who had them. I was not … it's nice my husband had one and I had a tuition scholarship, so I felt that we could get along.
HUGH BRINTON:
You were back in Chapel Hill after he had been spending some time teaching in Mississippi.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, I wanted to fill in about Dr. Hobbs. Dr. Hobbs was funded by the Brookings Institute in Washington and they gave him the funds to come to Mississippi to start this study. And he continued here, you see, the counties of Mississippi study and both my husband and I worked on it.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Was that published?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes. And later on, my husband was urged by Dr. Odum to do his dissertation on the counties of Mississippi. I guess that it would have been the 1930 census, because he got his PhD. in '37. We got our Masters in '32 and we lived in a little cottage, Mrs. Ellen Winston's little cottage down the hill on the gorge down there. A very picturesque little place. It's still there and when I was here several years ago, I walked down there and a history graduate student was living in it. It pleased me very much that the little cottage was going on and on, the little cottage in the woods.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Right. So, you knew Ellen Winston?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes. She was a marvelous woman. And I knew her

Page 20
daughter. That cottage had been occupied by a lady bootlegger, a Negro lady bootlegger. And some of her customers used to still come to get their booze. All under the house, you know, were these great big bottles. Mrs. Winston took a great interest in us and she had some old curtains from her big house that she gave us. My mother came up and helped decorate it. It was a very idyllic existence. My father had given us the money to take the train to Chapel Hill and our honeymoon consisted of one weekend in the country and then driving in an old Model-T Ford from Jackson, Mississippi to Chapel Hill. Because we spent the money that my father gave us for the railroad fare on this old Model-T. And it took us ten days to go from Mississippi to Chapel Hill. We just made a couple hundred miles a day. And we had a Dutchman along with us. Nicky den Hollander. Arie Nicholas den Hollander was a graduate student in sociology who was doing post-doctoral work. He had received his doctorate at Amsterdam University where he now is a full professor. And he was a Dutch boy, lonely, and he was making a study of the poor people of the South, the poor whites of the South. I have his study of the poor whites in the South, in Dutch, at my home now, and it should be translated, because it was their condition in the 1930's. And he traveled all over the South studying them. Well, he came down to our wedding, he had always wanted to go down the Mississippi River on a steamship … [Phone ringing]
JACQUELYN HALL:
So, you were both in the sociology department, you and your husband were both …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
We were both graduate students and we were here for one year and single, an engaged couple, and we lived in a household of girls, over on Macauley Street.

Page 21
JACQUELYN HALL:
You remember that?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Up in the attic. And he came to see us and we had Dr. and Mrs. Guy Johnson come to dinner and I baked them an angel food cake in one of those little portable ovens, you know, and it came out just beautifully. It wouldn't get very hot, and an angel food cake has to be baked very slowly. I very well remember it, they came up … there was kind of a little commune of girls upstairs, seven or eight of us. And we just really lived on a shoestring. Food was very cheap. You could get buttermilk for five cents a quart, bread was ten cents a loaf and we lived on prunes and oatmeal and turnip greens and buttermilk and a few eggs. We very seldom had meat. You could buy steak for twenty-five cents a pound, but you couldn't afford it. Now, I never asked my father for funds during this time.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why was that?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, my father disapproved a little bit of my marrying John Maclachlan because we were graduate students, and you weren't supposed to marry until the man had a steady job, you see?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Uh-huh.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
It seemed to my father a little bit precarious, so he really … [Phone ringing]
JACQUELYN HALL:
So, Guy Johnson was teaching then?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Both Guion and Guy Johnson were young professors. I would say that they were about ten years older than we graduate students. And they were our favorite professors, because of the age …
HUGH BRINTON:
Johnson's seventy-five this year.

Page 22
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
And I'm sixty-six, so that would be about a decade.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was Guion Johnson doing at that time?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
She was one of the research people at the Institute. And we had anthropology under Guy because he was the first anthropologist that they had. And my husband wrote his master's thesis under Guy on Negro newspapers and we were interested in his work with the Gullah dialect, you know. So, we were very fond of the Johnsons.
HUGH BRINTON:
You know, Guy went down to Sea Island and studied it himself. That was the big thing when I came here.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
No, I never knew that. We learned about it in the classwork that we did.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What did you think of Guion Johnson?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, I thought that she was just delightfull, she was so friendly. Not all faculty wives take that much interest, you know, in graduate students and we felt very comfortable with her. And then there was Miss. Herring, she was working in the Institute and then Virginia … who was that girl graduate student?
HUGH BRINTON:
Virginia Denton, you mean?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Virginia Denton, yes.
HUGH BRINTON:
Her sister lives right here in town now. Ginny comes down here occasionally.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
There were several girls who did have fellowships. There were several girls here with fellowships in the Institute.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Actually, it seems to me that there were more role models of professional women gravitating around the sociology department than …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes. You see, there was Katherine Jocher, and

Page 23
Miss. Herring and the lady who wrote the book on southern women, what was her name? She was the wife of a faculty member …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Julia Spruill.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yes. So, we had any number of role models. And of course, I had my mother's role … actually, I was not one of these girls who thought of herself as a career woman. And unfortunately, I didn't, because I should have gone straight for the PhD. If I had had any sense, that is what I would have done. I was satisfied to stop with the M.A.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why was that?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Because I was … I think that in my personality, I was more dependent, more interested in a family and children. We got our Masters in '32. I didn't go ahead with my … nobody encouraged me to.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Nobody in the department?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Nobody at home or in the department.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why didn't your mother encourage you to?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I think that really, she would have been pleased. But my father had disapproved of our marriage. He felt that we should not marry until Jack was established and when he did become a professor at Ole Miss, his first post, my father was delighted. Took him to his tailor to have a suit made for him … [Laughter] …professorial, you know. I think that my father and mother really expected us to settle down and have a family, and so, after Bruce was born, which came between the M.A. and the PhD., I just quit. I quit cold. I didn't think about my career or anything. It never occurred to me that I would have to support myself.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And you moved to Mississippi with your husband?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, you see, we had an interesting chapter there between the M.A. and the PhD. After the M.A., the next thing that happened was that

Page 24
my husband was asked to go to State at Raleigh, North Carolina State, to teach for Horace Hamilton with a course in rural sociology and social economics. So, we went to Raleigh.
HUGH BRINTON:
He was the only person? Jack was the only person that he had helping him then?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
From our group of graduate students, yes.
HUGH BRINTON:
I mean, outside the department.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
No, he had …
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
In Raleigh we lived on the top floor of a beautiful old Victorian house [unknown]. And we liked to take rides around the countryside and one time when we were riding out, we found an old abandoned plantation house about nine miles out from Raleigh, and we found out who owned it and we decided to move out there. And we had to commute, of course, and I don't know whether it was a wise move or not, but we had ideas of raising our own food on the land and all that sort of thing. We had a black couple who lived there in the basement and he farmed and so we sort of had our own little commune, our own little plantation. [Laughter]
Then, the Rosenwald people came by and wanted somebody to go to one of the farm resettlement administration projects that was opening up down in Georgia between Columbus and Atlanta at Pine Mountain, Georgia, near Warm Springs. They were trying to take the unemployed carpenters, electricians, painters, out of the city of Atlanta, put them on forty acre farms, under the resettlement administration. And so, we went down there. In the nine months, Sept.-June 1935-36 I think that Horace Hamilton was a little disappointed that John Maclachlan did not stay with him at the department at Raleigh, but the people offered us more money. I think they offered us three thousand dollars, which was great

Page 25
wealth.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was the position that he held?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
They wanted John to set up the school, to organize the school. They got a brilliant young architect from Dallas design the houses and supervise their building. He later became a very famous architect and is still living, has his architectural firm in San Antonio. O.Neil Ford. Then, the social worker was Joe La Rocca. He's high up in social services administration work in Washington now. These three young men were idealists, they were enthusiastic, they had in mind something like people who are organizing communes today. They wanted this to be run by the people.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Were these going to be white farmers?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
They were all white. It was not integrated.
HUGH BRINTON:
Never thought about that.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
No, never thought about that.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Really?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
And it was supervised by the welfare administration in Atlanta.
The head of that was Miss. Gay Sheppardson. Gay Sheppardson was the one who signed our checks. Actually, I don't quite understand why we were under her supervision since we were being funded by the Rosenwald Fund. But we had travel money and often, the three young couples would go up to Atlanta for weekends. Joe La Rocca was married to Margaret. Neil Ford was not married, he was sort of dating a girl, but the six of us ran around together.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How closely was Gay Sheppardson involved in the program? What was her supervision like?

Page 26
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, you might say that her administration kept the books on us. And this is the problem, because the farm manager was Mr. Tapp Bennett.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Tapp?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Tapp Bennett, a very prominent Georgia family. I think that his son was in the state department …
JACQUELYN HALL:
How do you spell it?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
T-A-P. Or maybe it was T-A-P-P. Tapp Bennett. And when I read about the revolution in the Dominican Republic, it said that our representative there was a Mr. Tapp Bennett from the state department, and so, I wondered if it was the same family. But he wanted to run our project like an old southern plantation, in a dictatorial and paternalistic manner. Whereas these young people wanted to run it in a manner of participatory democracy, with town meetings. I will never forget when the administration there decided, Miss. Sheppardson's people, decided to eliminate the subflooring. It was up in the hills, you know, and …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Eliminate what?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
The subflooring in the houses. And Neil Ford, the young architect, thought that was dreadful and we made a big fuss about it. Well, we didn't win. We never seemed to win our issues.
JACQUELYN HALL:
So, she was on the side of Tapp Bennett?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Right, economic feasibility was the thing that they had to be interested in, as I look back on it. They only had so much money and they had several of these resettlement projects, this wasn't the only one, the federal government gave them a certain amount of money, and the state of Georgia, and they only had so much money and so if the project didn't show a profit, you see, if it showed a loss, they would soon go through their

Page 27
funds. But you know, young people don't think about that. That practical angle.
JACQUELYN HALL:
When you arrived, was the farm already in operation and the families settled?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
They were just building the houses, the families were moving in, it was a gradual process.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How many families?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
They were going to have … I don't remember. Jack … we sent it to the administration … was Dr. Raper the head of it?
JACQUELYN HALL:
The Farm Security Administration?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yes. John Beecher was with it.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you know John Beecher?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes, he was one of our close friends.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Really? What was his role in this particular project? Was he there in Georgia?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
No, he was with the administration in Washington. Mr. Woofter had something to do with it. You had the Washington people and you had the Atlanta people and you had the local people. And we were part of the local group.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why did you have such a close relationship with Beecher, who was in Washington?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, we had known him here as graduate students.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I see.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
He came in and out of Chapel Hill during those years. And he belonged to that group of liberals that we belonged to. We were all

Page 28
great liberals in those days. In fact, I guess that we were a type of radicals to some degree. We had friends who were Communists … you will be interested in this. There was this darling little lady from New England, Miss Hillsmith, Miss Elsie Hillsmith, who was from a prominent New England family including the Nordoffs. You know, Charles Nordhoff wrote the book on the communistic colonies of the United States that was published in 1875, and one of his descendants wrote Mutiny on the Bounty, and Miss Hillsmith took a fancy to John Maclachlan and to me. We were kind of her favorites. She was in our classes, she sat in as an auditor in Dr. Branson's courses in rural sociology. And she invited us to her little studio. She had a little tiny cabin somewhere down on Franklin and she would serve tea, you know. I remember that she would have salad, it was nothing but lettuce and olive oil and a little garlic, I had never tasted such a simple, sophisticated salad. [Laughter] She had this big sheepdog named Roxanne and every time that it would thunder, Roxanne would go run under the bed. She was really a personality and she was convinced that the only salvation for the United States was for us to go Communist. You know, she was real way out radical. So, she suggested that …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Was she a good deal older than you?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
She was an old lady. She was a cute old lady, you know, one of these New England …
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was she doing in Chapel Hill?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
She just came down here because she had heard that it was a good place to sit in on courses, it was an exciting place, there were a lot of revolutionary groups [unknown], you know, and people who belonged to the Communist groups would come by and slip in the back door sometimes. We would have all these meetings and Bill Couch, the editor

Page 29
of the press was in on them… my husband always had his feet on the ground, so when Elsie Hillsmith suggested that we give up our graduate work and go out and organize for the Communist party and she would pay our bills … [Laughter] It sounded so romantic and exciting I might just have done it, you know, just for the excitement and experience. But fortunately, my husband knew that we had better stay in graduate school and get the PhD.
JACQUELYN HALL:
It sounds fascinating. Tell me more about …
HUGH BRINTON:
You see, Chapel Hill in that day was really interesting.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Who were some of the groups around and speakers, what kind of organizations?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, there was the farm workers union, longshoremen, I suppose that they would have all these union people that would come by and speak. The problem was to have any kind of meeting places where Negros could stay, you know, and meet. And sometimes we would meet at the basement of the Presbyterian Church, I think that they would allow black people to come and speak there.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Was Charles Jones here then? I guess that would have been before …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I don't know Charles Jones, no.
JACQUELYN HALL:
He was here in the forties, the late forties. He was a local preacher that let interracial …
HUGH BRINTON:
This last Saturday, he spoke at this funeral in Durham. He was the only white speaker that they had there.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
You see, I really don't know Chapel Hill in the forties, because my husband got his PhD. in '37, the same night that C. Vann Woodward, the famous southern historian got his. And Vann Woodward was one of my close friends, he and his wife Glynn.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And he was here …

Page 30
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
In the history department and we were in the sociology department. We were very close friends. I saw a lot of Vann and Glynn Woodward.
JACQUELYN HALL:
He was involved in things in the thirties, wasn't he?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Like?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes. And he was very close to Will Alexander in Atlanta. Will Alexander was one of his sponsors. He had come from Georgia and he was writing his dissertation on Tom Watson, which became a well known book. So, when Vann Woodward got his degree here, he went directly, as I recall it, to the University of Florida and joined University College, which was an experimental college of general education, following the Harvard plan of general education. It was established in '35, '36. So, he went there in '37, he got his PhD. in '37, June, and went there the following fall. And we went to Ole Miss, because that's where Dr. Odum urged us to go. My father and all our family in Mississippi were pleased that we came. But we were very unhappy at Ole Miss, it was a very reactionary place then. The salary was very low, I didn't like the climate. I was asked to speak several times on my thesis subject, which was southern dietary. I wrote my thesis, master's thesis, under Rupert Vance. He made me work two years on it, he was a perfectionist And at that time, poor people in the South died from all sorts of nutrional problems, you know, as well as hookworm. Pellagra was rampant. You know, pellagra comes from a lack of B vitamins. And they were making a good many nutrional studies throughout the South in experiment stations. They would take surveys of school lunches and diets of farm families. And Dr. Dorathy Dix of the Mississippi Experiment Station was active in that, had

Page 31
published bulletins, and I collected these bulletins and correlated the findings. Also, Dr. Vance asked me to go back into the history books, the old travelers books, and so I used the collection here to see what the southern people had eaten from the very start, you know, and rural illness. So, that was my Master's thesis. And when I got down there, I was asked to speak on it several times. I went down to State College once to speak on it and I went to Columbus once to speak on it. But we weren't very happy there and so, Vann Woodward had come to Florida and he wrote and said, "Why don't you come to the University of Florida and teach? You will find a lot of things going on of interest." And he told us about this general social science course required of all freshmen, a general introduction to American culture. So, we went there. And at that time, there was only one sociologist there, Dr. Bristol. He took Jack on and so my husband was with both the Arts and Sciences department of sociology and the University College (they called it the General College then) in the freshmen course. Soon, he took over the sociology department, several people came and he was chairman of that department until his death in '59. He took it over, I think, in '42. For two years, he was associate dean of Arts and Sciences. He was chairman of the All University Committee that planned the medical school, which was perhaps the most well known thing that he did and his name was put on a plaque, a bronze plaque in the medical sciences building lobby. So, when he died, he gave his body to the medical school. But to go back to Chapel Hill in the thirties, yes, it was a very exciting place to be.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How did Howard Odum and some of the older faculty people view the radical interests and sympathies of some of the younger people?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, I'm sure that they saw all this in the way that the faculty saw the movement of the college students in the sixties. The

Page 32
sixties were very much like the thirties. And I didn't start teaching …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you really have a feeling of generation then?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes. There's always that feeling, I think. And the younger faculty members were the ones whom we felt closer to. I stood in awe of Dr. Odum, he scared me to death. [Laughter] I was afraid to go in his office.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What did you mean when you said that he didn't have as much faith in female brains as he did in male?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, maybe he did have, but nobody urged me to go ahead with my PhD. And just to look at me, I was little, I was timid, I was …
HUGH BRINTON:
I think that some other women here felt that he didn't have quite the same feeling …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Oh, Guion Johnson has some interesting things to say about how he felt …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, then perhaps that's true. You have sort of a feeling about that, you know. I think that my own father was more interested in my going ahead with my education than Dr. Odum was. Now, we lived in Dr. Sander's house for awhile. I liked him, I liked the whole faculty very much, particularly Branson, I just adored Dr. Branson.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What kinds of conflicts or schools of thought were there within the Institute? Is the sociology department co-existent with the Institute? The two things are the same …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What divisions were there, controversies that came up?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I really don't know. I remember that Guy Johnson used to say some cynical things, I think, about … Guy was a liberal and I think that Rupert was the most brilliant professor that I studied

Page 33
with. I took his course in social theory and it stayed with me, somehow. And I always thought that his book, The Human Geography of the South, was a more readable book and a more teachable book than Southern Regions.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was Howard Odum like?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, he was a tremendously big guy and he was seldom in the seminar. He was running around the country, you know, running to Washington. And it was a case of where you signed up for a course and the professor just didn't always come. He left it in charge of somebody else. Whereas Rupert was always in his class, he gave brilliant lectures and Guy likewise. So, you just didn't get very much of Dr. Odum. He was too busy doing other things, writing his books. We stood in awe of him, at least I did. But I didn't feel in any way personally close to him. I think that's always a problem.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But would you describe your political views as being very much like Guy and Guion Johnson's, for example, at the time?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Very much.
JACQUELYN HALL:
There wasn't a division between them and the younger people?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I didn't notice any, no, I think that they felt the same way about things. Yes, we felt very close to them.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Was Arthur Raper here then?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
He was in Washington, wasn't he? With the Resettlement Administration.
JACQUELYN HALL:
He was in Atlanta, wasn't he?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
In Atlanta …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Oh, with the Interracial Commission.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes, with the Interracial Commission.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But he would have been here in sociology.

Page 34
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
He had been here in sociology.
HUGH BRINTON:
Yes, he had.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Dr. Woofter was here.
HUGH BRINTON:
Who else do you …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Dr. Brooks was here, Dr. Sanders …
HUGH BRINTON:
Brooks, Sanders …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Have I forgotten anybody, Hugh.
HUGH BRINTON:
There was the Italian gentleman, you know.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes. Oh, gosh, yes. Man and the family …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Groves? Ernest Groves?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Groves, yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
He was here?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yes. I took his seminar, his course on the family. I wrote my term paper on the Chinese family. Yes, Groves was here.
HUGH BRINTON:
He was the one who said that the higher education a girl got, the less chance she had of marrying. He said that …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
He said what?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, the girls who had careers, you know, generally turned out to be spinsters, you know. It was true. Girls were not expected to have careers once they married. They should have children. And I suppose that that was so dinned into us, that you had to make your choice. Of course, girls today who want to, don't have to make the choice. I have two daughters-in-law who are career girls. And Gretchen works for the Southern Regional Council, they give her a good salary. She's just

Page 35
finished a big study of poverty in the South based on the latest statistics. My daughter-in-law, Mary Belcher Maclachlan, in Columbia, South Carolina, is married to my professor son, professor of anthropology at the University of South Carolina, associate professor now, and she is getting her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Texas where …
JACQUELYN HALL:
What is Gretchen's last name?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, Gretchen Ehrmann grew up in Gainesville. Dr. Ehrmann was a member of the sociology department, so the marriage between Bruce and Gretchen, Bruce Maclachlan and Gretchen Ehrmann, was a marriage of perfect homogeny, as we say in sociology. Their fathers were sociologists in the same department. Their mothers were very much alike, liberal women. Peggy Ehrmann was very active in local politics, she was state Democratic committeewoman from our county. She was the national committeewoman from Florida from '57 or '58 to 1960 and attended the National Democratic Convention in Los Angeles. She ran for national committeewoman and lost to a conservative in 1960. Dick Ehrmann was the first chairman of the NAACP chapter there at Gainesville and on the Executive Committee of the Florida Human Relations Council. He was very much criticized for his views on the race issue, so, Mrs. Ehrmann was politically active, Dr. Ehrmann not only was a human-relations-civil rights man, but he taught a course in marriage and the family, and he made one of the first studies of dating and sex behavior of students. He made an early study of University of Florida students' habits of dating and sex life. And it was published. It was a classic study.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Somehow, we got off the subject of the Farm Security Administration.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yes, we did.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I'd like to find out what happened. You had the people in Washington, you had the Atlanta administration, which was mainly Gay Sheppardson and who else?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, there was a big group, there was a big administration. She was in charge of welfare during the Depression for all of Georgia. This

Page 36
little project was a minor thing in her life.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But she was the top person in the state that you had to deal with.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I suppose that she was one of the very top women administrators in the United States.
HUGH BRINTON:
Then, didn't you have regional people from the Farm Security come down and watch you too, didn't they?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes. And we had a Swedish sociologist who came over, Tage Palm, and his wife. And they were friends of the Rosenwalds and Dr… what was his name? Who was head of the grant, Dr. Embree …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Oh, Edwin Embree?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yes Embree. And he was our immediate boss in the Rosenwald Fund. He had us come up to Chicago once, to a meeting of the Fund.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But you arrived on the scene to find the houses being built, the white farm families from the surrounding area moving off of their farms onto this …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
No, no. They were unemployed carpenters …
HUGH BRINTON:
City people.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yes, city people.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Oh, I see.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Artisans. City people from Atlanta. They were electricians, carpenters …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Then, they didn't know anything about farming.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
No. They may have had farming in their family backgrounds, but … so, they had to be supervised. And it was supervised like a big

Page 37
plantation.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How did Tapp Bennett happen to become the farm supervisor?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Miss. Gay Sheppardson appointed him.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What were his qualifications for that?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I think that he had been a plantation man. [Laughter] So, at the end of that nine months, the group of idealists, these young people, were completely disallusioned and …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you have real verbal confrontations and arguments and …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And you lost every issue?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Lost every issue.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did the Washington office back him up? I mean, with this controversy going on, Gay Sheppardson usually supported him on the grounds of economic feasibility …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, we always tried to go outside and then I think that Tapp Bennett always won, because this was a sort of minor project in her life.
JACQUELYN HALL:
The big controversies were never large enough to come to the attention of anyone in Washington?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, I'm sure that they came to the attention of people in Washington.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you have a sense of allies in Washington or enemies in Washington or …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I don't recall that. But one of the problems of my recollections of it was that I became pregnant. I was pregnant when I went there, as a matter of fact, and it was my first pregnancy and I was terribly

Page 38
nauseated for awhile. When I got to Columbus, we lived in an apartment and I was terribly nauseated and we didn't have any decent housekeeping facilities and I said that I was tired of staying in the apartment while my husband went to the project everyday, it was a long distance. And I said, "We are going to live on that project, I don't care where we live." So, our house was not finished, you know. They couldn't go ahead and build our houses first, that wouldn't have looked right. (Neil Ford eventually built us a little house) So we moved out to an old barn and lived in it. It was a terrible place and Mr. Embree came down from Chicago and found the Maclachlan couple in this place and he was horrified. He thought that we were going to catch some terrible disease. And to me, I would rather have been on the project and in the middle of everything that was going on, even if I had to live in an old barn. I didn't want to be just stuck out in Columbus in an apartment. So, we ate in the dining room and I can remember the very harsh fare that we ate. It didn't seem to hurt the baby, but I remember that we ate a lot of great big old lima beans and very little greens, you know. The only time that we got any decent food was when we went up to Atlanta on the weekends, or went down to Columbus to eat. We were kind of a gay young group, we had a lot of fun. And then after it was all over, Mr. Embree asked us to …
JACQUELYN HALL:
How did it come to an end?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, we just left.
JACQUELYN HALL:
All six of you?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
All six of us. And Mr. Embree asked John Maclachlan to go over the South and study the other projects and write a report on all of them. And this report must be buried somewhere in the files of the Resettlement Administration.

Page 39
HUGH BRINTON:
I worked on some of that kind of stuff, because I was brought up from Raleigh to Washington and worked on some of these came back in 1937 …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, that report might be in the files …
HUGH BRINTON:
Oh, they had a lots of reports. I remember lots and lots of those things that I had at the time.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I think it more likely that it would be in the files of the Rosenwald Fund. Because you see, we were highly independent in the finance and direction … of that study.
HUGH BRINTON:
It wasn't Farm Resettlement …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
No, you see, we were paid by the Rosenthal Fund to …
HUGH BRINTON:
[unknown]
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yes. So, we didn't have to stay. And then, Mr. Embree was very generous and he said that he felt that he had interrupted John's academic career and offered to send us back to Chapel Hill for a year for him to wind up his PhD. And so, he said, "What do you think that you could live on?" And he had been paying us … no, he paid us $3600 that year and travel expenses. So, we said that we could live on $3000 and that was fabulous. Because when we went to 01e Miss, we went for $1800. We had been paid as graduate students that last year by the Rosenwald Fund for $3000 and we went for $1800 to 01e Miss and then when we got to Florida at the urging of C. VanWoodward (he wanted us to come down) we got $2400 and we inched up from there.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I'd like to go all the way back and ask you a couple of questions about the Anti-Lynching Association, that have just come into my mind.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
All right.

Page 40
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you know Mrs. Alford, Mrs. Alford.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, now, was she one of the state representatives?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Yes.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Her name is familiar to me, yes. I didn't know her, I'm sure that my mother did. She was probably among the group of women.
JACQUELYN HALL:
She was the chairman of the Mississippi Council. And I think that she and your mother …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Maybe my mother represented Hinds County.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Well, she and your mother are two of the most prominent Mississippi women whose names come up, but she wasn't someone who was a close family friend?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
No, she probably lived in a different county.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Yes, she did.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
What year did she die?
JACQUELYN HALL:
She lived in McComb.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
McComb, yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
I'm not sure when she died. She was chairman of the Mississippi Council, though, up until it ended. She resigned in 1942, so, she was there all along. Do you have any real memories of how the Mississippi … the feeling that I got from going through the papers is that the Mississippi Council was one of the most active and effective ones with the strongest women leaders. And Mississippi was one of the highest states in lynching …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
In lynching, yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
You see, I've never seen the official records of that organization.
JACQUELYN HALL:
They are at Atlanta University.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Are they?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Yes. The Association papers are there, the organization papers,

Page 41
but Jessie Daniel Ames's papers are here in the Southern Historical Collection.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I see.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But there seemed to have been a number of women in little towns scattered all over Mississippi who were quite active. Whereas in places like Tennessee, the organization centered pretty much in Nashville, around Scarritt College and …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, I wonder how you could account sociologically for this attitude of Mississippians …
JACQUELYN HALL:
That's what I want to ask you? [Laughter] Some of the people during my dissertation defense, or maybe it was one of my readers, I said that it seemed to be the case that the states with the highest lynching record had the most active Councils. And he said that he would expect it to be the other way around.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
No, I would expect it … because the more horrifying it was and the more frequent it was, I think the more people who were attracted to it, the people who were trying would try harder.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Whereas Virginia and North Carolina did not have very strong Councils. How did your mother view lynching? What did she view as the causes of it and the significance of it? Do you remember her talking about it in terms, sociological terms at all, or just as a moral evil?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
No, my mother thought sociologically, just in a sort of practical, amateur way. And I think she saw that it was the frustration of the poor white people and their difficulties in getting expenses for their children, the price of cotton and all was entered into it and their poor health and their ignorance and … she saw it as their ignorance and their frustration as the cause. Which I think is the general way that it has been viewed by historians. In other words, they were themselves an oppressed people, oppressed by the economic system, by all the problems that affected rural people in many parts of the United States.
[Phone ringing]

Page 42
JACQUELYN HALL:
I was asking you about the Association, but I can't remember what I was asking you.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
You were commenting on the fact that Mississippi had more active members than …
JACQUELYN HALL:
Oh, yeah, right.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
And we were trying to account for it sociologically. And then you asked me how my mother …
JACQUELYN HALL:
How your mother talked about it.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
How she talked about it and how she viewed the causes of lynching. And I was saying that she had great sympathy for the poor people, whites as well as blacks, and she felt that it was the frustrations and stresses of life among the poor people who were white that caused them to turn against black people, and their ignorance and frustration.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How did she see the responsibility of the plantation owners? Do you remember her talking about that?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, we had one plantation owner in our own family. One of her sisters married a plantation man up in the Delta. And I remember visiting up there as a little girl, my aunt Juliette, and I was horrified because my uncle-in-law carried a pistol and he'd my that he never shot them but he'd use the butt of it to hit them with. And, well, the whole plantation attitude was one that horrified me. And I will never forget the rows and rows of cotton, it was level country and you could look down a row all the way to the Mississippi River miles away and those counties were 75, 85% black and everywhere you would see the little cabins sitting in the plantation fields. So, I got a personal view of it when I was about eleven or twelve years old.

Page 43
JACQUELYN HALL:
But that area of Mississippi seemed very strange to you?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Very strange to me.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Coming from Jackson …
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I lived in the capitol city and among enlightened and professional people. And to go up there and see it with my own eyes was a rather startling experience. And to see the black hands coming in at twilight, you know, it was just like slave days. And the terrible disease. I remember reading years later a study of the venereal disease and the death, and of how the birth rate was cut way down because of the venereal disease.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How did your mother view the New Deal, Roosevelt and the New Deal?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, she was very much a New Dealer.
JACQUELYN HALL:
She was completely sympathetic?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, yes, uh-huh. So, she was very fond of my husband. You see, my father was a little worried that he wouldn't be able to support me, my mother was always very fond of him. My mother and his mother were fifth cousins and we had this common ancestor, James White, who came from Philadelphia. So, she didn't approve of my husband's mother, she thought that she was a little way out, she took up the Hindu religion in the days when it was not popular, you know. She was a follower of Krishnamurti and a very independent woman, my mother-in-law was. She was very independent in a different way, a kind of mystic way, you know. She traveled all the way from Mississippi to California on a bus, and all, to sit at the feet of a Hindu swami, Krishnamurti when he was young, you know. He was young and handsome, still going, I think, isn't he? And so, these two southern ladies really didn't agree. Because my mother believed that you should practice

Page 44
your religion and sew some good works and political movements. Whereas my mother-in-law felt you should go the way of the mystic. But, my mother was very fond of Jack. And he was the only son of a divorced woman, and you see, to be a divorced woman was …
HUGH BRINTON:
That was something, wasn't it?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Yeah, that was bad. And my mother-in-law had been divorced not once, but twice. [Laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
That's pretty heavy.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
She had come from plantation people and had had a very unhappy childhood. Her mother… talk about liberated women! Her mother, Juliet Holt Stockett who married a cotton broker, a Mr. Harrison of New Orleans, of the old Harrison family, two presidents, you know? She was Juliet Holt Stocket who married Allen Harrison, she was the first newspaperwoman for the Times-Picayune. She conducted the women's page on the Times-Picayune. And she would have been a contemporary of my grandmother. She would have been a cousin of my grandmother, Emily White Featherstun, the minister's wife. They all lived out around Woodville, Mississippi. And there was a big family of Holts who were very prominent. Dr. Joseph Holt was the first sanitary officer for New Orleans and the State of Louisiana. He invented the metal guards that go around ropes to keep the rats from bringing cholera in. He closed the open sewers in the streets of New Orleans. So, there were a lot of liberated women in both sides of my mother's family, not my father's, going way back. And my mother-in-law and her mother had been very interesting women. My mother-in-law tought in a business college after she was divorced, so she was a career woman.
HUGH BRINTON:
Did she have many children?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Only John.

Page 45
HUGH BRINTON:
Only John.
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
And then after she lost a baby girl … she went out to live in San Antonio among a big household of women relatives and then she came back to Mississippi to live and eventually, she came to Gainesville to live with us. For the last years of her life. But she never really fitted in with the family, because we were activists and she was sort of a recluse, a mystic. She was a beautiful woman. But she was independent in her own way, you know. She followed her own beliefs.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But your mother never thought of having a career and didn't really encourage you to?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, no. In those days, if you had … she never encouraged me, but I think that she would have been very, very happy to see me have one. So, I never had a career until my husband died. I had never earned my own living. And suddenly, I was called on to educate the two younger sons. Only the eldest had been educated. I was fifty-one when my husband died. I had never made a paycheck. And my income was drastically cut. I had just recently taken a job at a little country school as a librarian, I had gone back to the university's college of education to get a teaching certificate, because no matter how many degrees you had, you couldn't teach in a county school unless you had your teaching certificate and I had been qualified to teachiin English, social sciences and library, to run a school library. So, I was sent out into the county just two weeks before my husband died. And he said, "Well, you can try it out there and see how you like it." And I wanted the money to put my middle son through a private college. The other one had gone to the University and the second son wanted to go to Millsap College, our old school back in Mississippi. So, I was out there when he died and fortunately did have a job, but it only paid $3200 and he

Page 46
had been … his salary had gotten up to about $11,000, I guess, which was high for 1959. It would be low for today. And my salary today is about what his was when he died.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You went back to school and got your PhD.?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, I taught at the country school for a year, had charge of the library and taught the senior social science students, there were only twenty of them, commuted back and forth to this little town with a group of girls. Then, I had to make a decision as to whether I should teach in a country school for the rest of my life and maybe eventually hope to get into the city schools, or whether I would try for college teaching. I had had a little taste of college teaching, I ought to take this back, I did get a paycheck while he was still living. Because one of his former graduate students who headed the department of sociology at Mississippi Southern, now part of the university system, called me in desperation and said that he had lost one of his sociology professors and needed somebody to be sent to fill the spring quarter. So, I said, flipantly, "Well, if you can't find anybody, I'll come." And he took me up on it and my husband urged me to go. So, I came up to Mississippi Southern and taught that spring quarter. And that was the first paycheck that I had made. That was the spring before he died, '59, in September of '59. But I had never expected to continue, it was just kind of a lark, you know. But all the time I was teaching at the county schools out in the country, I realized that I had done it at Mississippi Southern and I could do it again. I remember that I used to sit up almost all the night at Mississippi Southern in Hattiesburg working at the lecture for the next day, because I had never done it before. And I think that my mother's example of being a very independent woman gave me the courage to do that. My husband would write to me and every letter, he would say, "Dear Professor," you know, he was very proud of that. So, he encouraged me and I shouldn't have done it, because he was not well. I didn't

Page 47
know that his health had deteriorated that much. But he had emphysema from tobacco smoking and an advanced case of it and it finally got him. But my three sons have always been women's rights people, they read The Feminine Mystique when it first came out, the two older ones, the youngest was only eleven when his father died, and I still have him as a graduate student at our university.
JACQUELYN HALL:
So, did you finish your degree or did you start teaching?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I went back to college education and headed for an Ed. D. After I had taught at the country school. And then, in the summer of '61, the Sociology department was just falling apart. Not only had my husband died, and another professor in the department had died, two or three had left, and so Dr. Shaw Grigsby, the man that took it over temporarily asked me to come and teach that summer. And he said, "I hate to offer you the job, almost, because I know if I do, you probably won't finish your doctorate in education." I did the course work in '60 -'61 term … see, I taught at the country school during the '59-'60 term, and then in the '60-'61 nine month term, I went back to graduate school. In the summer of '61, my husband's mother, who lived with us was dying of lung cancer and I was nursing her, but Dr. Grigsby wanted me to teach at the university. It was a very hard decision to make. I needed the money and I wanted to get my foot in the door. So, I did. I taught the course in marriage and family and I taught the course in rural sociology. I had taught marriage and the family at Mississippi Southern, I had never taught rural sociology before. So, by hook or by crook, somehow, I got through that summer. And then, I decided that to finish the dissertation and to get the Ed. D. didn't mean that much; what I really needed was income and to get on with my university teaching and I still had a lot of family

Page 48
responsibilities. I had a big house to care of. So, twice, I didn't go all the way for the PhD., you see. But it didn't seem to matter, because they finally did give me tenure and I never could rise above assistant professor, but it didn't make that much difference. I enjoyed my teaching, did what I needed for the family budget and my colleagues … I was the first woman to teach in the social sciences department of the university college, for a long time, for about six years, I was the only woman.
JACQUELYN HALL:
When did you start teaching?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
In the summer … I had taught two sociology courses in the summer and then I began teaching the freshman social science course in the fall of '61. Partly, I was teaching this course in social problems for sociology, so I was teaching in two different departments.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was being the only woman in a department like?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Oh, it was a lot of fun. I felt certain things that I didn't like about the way that it was being run, I voiced my opinion, I spoke up at staff meetings … for instance, I felt that if it was going to be a course in all the institutions of American culture, they should say more about the family, you know. They were practically saying nothing about the family. They had the economic institution, the political institution, but the family, education and religion were three institutions that they very much neglected. So, I spoke up about that. So, they said, "All right, you pick a textbook for the family." And so, I picked a Prentice-Hall college series text, William Good's text, which is just called The Family, which we have been using ever since. My office mate was the man that we relied on to pick the text for the textbook committee in religion. He was

Page 49
a Presbyterian minister who was getting his PhD. at Columbia … and by the way, my office mate now is a young black woman from Haiti, Nicole Couvain, and she's a sociologist. So, she came recently, and by this time, we had three or four women members of the department. But I was the first and for about eight years, I was the only woman. And they treated me as a kind of amused … I was kind of a little mother superior, you know, and they, I think, all became very fond of me. It was a big staff of about thirty-five people …
JACQUELYN HALL:
How do you see sociology being written about, taught, thought about now in comparison to the way it was being done in the thirties at Chapel Hill?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
Well, we were beginning to be rather quantitative and statistical even then, but of course as the years went on, it became much more so, until the articles coming out in sociological journals were very difficult for my generation of sociologists to understand, because you hadn't had all this statistical background.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What do you think about that change?
EMILY S. MacLACHLAN:
I was opposed to it, but even anthropology has become that way. When my son went to India to study an Indian village, he came back with 6,000 computer cards and had to put them through the linear computer out at Stanford, you know, had to work out his own program, and it was a very statistical …
END OF INTERVIEW

Page 50
To conclude this rather rambling account of my mother's life and of my own graduate school experiences in the thirties, I'd like to comment that I have left out all the hardships. I have made it all sound too easy. My mother's life, in spite of her advantages in belonging to the educated class and having a husband with a good income, was one of great burdens, including the tragic loss of three sons, the last at age forty. Running a large house-hold, even with servants, was a demanding enterprize in the days before we had ready-to-eat foods, detergents, dishwashers and many conveniences that women now take for granted. She did have a primitive washer with a wringer. She had a big gas mangle on which the cream-colored or white linen summer suits of my father and brothers were ironed. She had a black woman to cook, and for many years the washing was taken to the home of another Negro woman, bundled up with a cake of yellow soap and a box of starch. The finished laundry was later called for, after 1915 by car. It always had about it the odor of wood smoke and snuff, the characteristics smells of a Negro cottage. For many years we cooked on a wood stove, later adding a gas stove for summer use. Our home was at the cross-roads of the state and our relatives by the dozens used us as a free motel as they passed through Jackson. During many years there was a niece, a nephew or cousin living with us and going to Millsaps College.But the greatest burdens involved the illnesses of family members. You have to remember that every child in those days was likely to have to be nursed through measles (several kinds) whooping cough, chicken pox, scarlet fever, bronchitis, intestinal disorders, perhaps even pneumonia, diptheria, malaria, or typhoid.As for my own years in graduate school, living on nickels and dimes required extreme self-denial. After our model T Ford gave out (soon after we married) we had to walk everywhere, carrying our groceries for over a mile. Our professors were demanding. For a while I worked part-time for Dr. Dashiel, head of the Psychology Department. If I had my life to live again, I would get that PhD while young. Entering an academic career after fifty, after the trauma of losing my husband, and under the need to work full time, I had not the stamina to complete a PhD. However, if I

Page 51
had had that degree my salary during the fifteen years of teaching would have been higher, and now that I am planning to retire, my pension would be larger. Sometimes it seems that a woman's life is like a patch-work quilt, and a crazy one at that. No wonder women learn to be flexible. We are the sex who has to adjust ourselves to the needs of others and to our ever-changing fortunes. Perhaps this is the key to our ability to endure and to survive.