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Brown v. Board of Education: Virginia Responds
An Exhibition at the Library of Virginia
Originally Displayed December 2003—June 2004.
Brown v. Board of Education Documents: Virginians Respond — Central Piedmont, Valley & Blue Ridge

Return to Letter from Eliza E. Fitch

June 16
136 Stribling Ave
Charlottesville, Va

Governor Stanley

Dear Sir:

I am an ordinary middle-of-the-road citizen and have never written a letter to a public official before. However, your statement on segregation published today has startled me into action.

You say you have listened for forty days to the people and the majority want our schools to remain separate as to race. It is possible that there are a good many people who, like I did, assumed that the hot heads naturally blew their tops when the Supreme Court decision was announced, but that it would all blow over, common // decency would win out, and the decree would be accepted in time. I have discussed this matter with everyone I come in contact with and most of these people say if we have to do it O.K., even tho not all are enthused over the idea. These are the younger people, who are not prejudiced in the way many older people are. But these are the people whose children go to school.

I have no fear that my children (I have three-5 to 11 yrs) will be corrupted thru association with negroes. Nor do I have any objection to colored children teachers for my children. If a teacher is qualified to teach she has a right to the job. //

I have always been proud of Virginia, thinking of us as one enlightened Southern state, not to be put in a class with Mississippi. No reform has ever been accepted with open arms -if so, there'd be no need for it. No patchwork system to please everybody will ever work-except to increase tension between the races.

In the Army where desegregation was put into effect we are told the trouble predicted by one and all, simply never developed. It is my sincere belief that we would have the same experience in our state. I trust you will hear from others, who I know feel the same but have not realized the importance of making their opinions known.

Eliza E. Fitch

RG 3, Executive Office, Thomas B. Stanley Papers