The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 66
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The dismissal of his friend J. Frank Dobie from the University of
Texas faculty that year truly saddened Perry. Their friendship dated
back at least ten years, at which time Dobie had already established his
credentials as Texas's foremost writer and spokesman. Before the war
they frequently discussed hunting, politics, each other's books, and his-
tory, with Dobie often sharing research materials. World War II sent
Dobie to Cambridge University in England and Perry to the
Mediterranean war zone, but their correspondence continued. From his
Rockdale home in early 1944, George briefed Dobie on current events
in their home state from a mutual viewpoint that he rarely stated pub-
licly. He decried the practice of hoarding in violation of rationing laws
and judged Texans good soldiers but otherwise "the most incorrigible
outlaws, obstructionists and cantankerous folks that this nation affords."
Your friend [sarcasm] Coke Stevenson is doing everything within his power to
keep the soldiers from voting in the fall elections. So few of them, you see, are
president of the Humble Oil Company ... I am sure that the eminent old ward-
heeler is deeply afraid that if the soldiers vote without poll taxes it will somehow
weaken our historic bamboozlement of the Negroes out of the franchise, that in
a word, horror of horrors, Texas might become a democratic state with actual
Now I know that you are hungry for news of that old favorite of yours, W. Lee
O'Daniel ... His political intuition is as keen as Hitler's and his financial back-
ing virtually without limit ... He has got the rich folks voting for him because
he's anti-labor and has got the poor ... voting for him on a straight basis of
mendicancy and an undying love for cheap entertainment.8
Unlike Perry, Dobie flaunted his liberal views to the conservative
establishment. His support in 1946 for the unsuccessful gubernatorial
candidacy of Homer P. Rainey, a dismissed University of Texas presi-
dent, brought the smoldering opposition to a boil. When Dobie asked
for an extension of his four years' leave without pay, the university
regents denied the request. Although both Dobie and Perry well under-
stood the gravity of the situation, their correspondence reflected the
mundane. The besieged older man wrote of his progress on a book
about coyotes and sent Perry a requested booklet on rattlesnakes.
George, almost laconically, submitted, "I am doing nothing of any par-
ticular interest, an occasional article, and mostly trying to think up a
1947, Works, Perry Collection (4th quotation); typed carbon copy letter (hereafter cited as tccl)
to Roberts, Miss, n.p., Mar. 18, 1947, Letters A-Z, Perry Collection (1st quotation); Perry,
"Assault," 1947, Works.
"A Perry toJ. Frank Dobie, Dec. 12, 1937, Dobie,J Frank Recip., Perry, Perry Collection; Perry
to Dobie, Feb. 19, 1941, Dobie Recip. Perry, Perry Collection; Perry to Dobie, Feb. 7, 1944,
Dobie Recip. Perry, Perry Collection (quotation).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/94/ocr/: accessed July 23, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.