The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988 Page: 150
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Johnson argued that if he complied with the deputy administrator's
request "three results would be inevitable." One swift consequence
would be that all nine members of the advisory board would resign.
Another would be Johnson's own resignation, because, he said, "Should
I make such an appointment, my judgment would thereafter always be
at a discount in Texas, and I would be convicted of making a blunder
without parallel in administrative circles of the state. I might even go so
far as to say that I would, in all probability, be 'run out of Texas."' A
third inevitability, according to Johnson, would be the loss of the coop-
eration of the black leaders of the state. "To one unacquainted with
conditions in Texas," Johnson explained, "this may seem paradoxical,
but I sincerely believe that an investigation will reveal that negro [sic]
leaders would have no confidence in any of their number who per-
mitted his name to be proposed as a member of the Board, because of
the friction they know would certainly ensue."
Negroes in Texas were more interested in the progress of their race
than they were in creating an issue, Johnson wrote, and black Texans
realized that the only way they could help their race progress was
through cooperation with white leaders, not in attempting to thwart
their will and ignore their customs. "They know that there are limits
upon this cooperation and that intrusion upon white boards is beyond
the limits."4 Though he could not agree to Corson's request for an inte-
grated advisory board, Johnson continued, he had already appointed
an entire Negro advisory board composed of "the finest men of the
race" who had spent years trying to uplift their people and "who enjoy
the confidence of white people and who are respected by white leaders
for their work and ideas." The board, Johnson said, had already held a
meeting at Houston, and one was scheduled in the near future for
Waco, Texas. The members were "selected at the recommendation of
negroes themselves, and I feel that if this board were lost I could not
match it among the negroes again."'
Johnson explained to Corson that these meetings with black leaders
had already led to the inclusion of several of their ideas in policy forma-
by his staff, since it is known that he sometimes even rehed on his staff to write letters to his
mother. I believe, however, that Johnson himself wrote this letter, for two reasons. One, in his
early years as an administrator he did not trust his staff enough to delegate much to them. Even
when he was congressional secretary to Richard Kleberg, Luther Jones (then LBJ's secretary)
claims LBJ looked over each letter he wrote to every single constituent until he felt that Jones
had learned to write the type of letter LBJ wanted. Second, LBJ felt that this matter was impor-
tant enough to threaten resignation over, and therefore probably would not have delegated the
task of writing the national office about it.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988, periodical, 1987/1988; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101211/m1/190/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.