"Any Old Joe Named Zilch"?: The Senatorial Campaign of Dr. Louise Oftedal Wensel
Lewis, George, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
"I was totally puzzled when I got into it," said Louise Oftedal Wensel of her 1958 campaign against incumbent United States senator Harry Flood Byrd, Sr. "I didn't know much about politics; I just knew I wanted the schools kept ,open. But I thought all of this segregation and discrimination against people because of their skin color was very foolish, very sad, tragic." The thirty-nine-year-old practicing physician, a native of Fargo, North Dakota, had moved to Virginia only four years earlier. She and her family had been living in Washington, D.C., but had chosen to move south for the education of her children. "I didn't know," she recalled, "that I was going from the frying pan into the fire."1
A reluctant political candidate, Wensel proved to be Byrd's primary source of opposition in a campaign that was steeped in the often vitriolic rhetoric of massive resistance and the questions surrounding desegregated schooling. In an era overshadowed by the Cold War, she also injected an international perspective into the racial affairs of Virginia politics. Above all, perhaps, her challenge demonstrated the lingering attitude in late 1950s Virginia that politics was an all-male domain.
Her campaign, however, has been largely dismissed or ignored by historians and biographers of Byrd.2 Although ultimately unsuccessful, it is a campaign worthy of further investigation, not so much for the final outcome as for the manner in which it was conducted. Indeed, the result was never truly in question, even though, four years after the Supreme Court's ground-breaking Brown decision, cracks were beginning to appear in the Byrd machine's previously homogeneous public facade. Byrd's campaigns had traditionally encountered a minority protest vote, against both him personally and his political organization in general. A Richmond News Leader editorial, written on the day after the election, declared emphatically: "In any election in which Mr. Byrd is a candidate... roughly 30 percent of the vote automatically will be cast against him. This is the 'anti-Byrd vote.' It is instinctively anti-Byrd, as cats are instinctively anti-dog, and it [is] as easily predictable as the rising of the sun."3
With the rallying cry of massive resistance, first proclaimed and indeed coined by Byrd in 1956, the senator's political organization appeared to be on steadier, unifying, ground.4 The Old Dominion was set on a path of resistance to the Brown ruling specifically, and to school desegregation more generally. Across the South, segregationist leaders employed legislative measures in attempts to circumvent the decision, and many embarked on campaigns stressing the primacy of states' rights over such incursions by the federal judiciary.
By campaigning against Byrd two years after the incumbent senator's pronouncement, Wensel joined a procession of candidates who had previously attempted to harness the anti-Byrd protest vote, none of whom had received more than 38 percent of the total ballots cast. In 1946 Martin A. Hutchinson, a former state Democratic party chairman, had afforded Byrd the first opposition he had faced in a senatorial primary. His campaign against the incumbent garnered 36.5 percent of the vote. When challenged by Francis Pickens Miller in 1952, Byrd received 216,438 votes to the retired colonel's 128,869.5
Coupled with her enthusiasm, youth, and bravado in a traditionally male-dominated arena, the timing and circumstances of Wensel's campaign showed distinct signs of promise. Theodore Roosevelt "Ted" Dalton's gubernatorial contest against J. Lindsay Almond, Jr., in 1957 had been fought mainly on the efficacy of continued legislative resistance to school desegregation. Wensel felt that she, too, would be able to take full advantage of voters' dissatisfaction with the course of Virginia's reaction to the Brown decision. Furthermore, in the time between Dalton's campaign and Wensel's, public schools had actually been closed: Warren County's schools had shut their doors in September 1958, followed by Charlottesville's and Norfolk's.6 An editorial in the Richmond News Leader of 5 August 1958 explained, "Any old Joe named Zilch could draw 20,000 votes against Senator Byrd in November, and a good-looking lady doctor may be expected to exceed that total substantially."7
If the final result was of little surprise, what is more illuminating is the response of the Old Dominion's politicians and media to active participation in the state's electioneering and politics by a working mother of five. As the News Leader's editorial had so clearly stated, Wensel was, after all, a "good-looking lady doctor." Much was made, in certain quarters, of the fact that Byrd was being opposed by a woman. "I was treated by the Byrd machine as a frivolous candidate," Wensel remembered. "They sort of 'enjoyed' me-I was decorative or something. They'd always talk about me as a 'pretty little woman."8 Such attitudes of condescension and belittlement continued throughout her campaign and help shape a broader understanding of the gender dynamics of mid-twentieth-century Virginia politics. Byrd himself harbored views on women that were not altogether progressive; as his biographer Ronald L. Heinemann has pointed out, he had voted against the woman's suffrage amendment and had difficulty in accepting the wider societal changes that the interwar years had wrought on the "separate spheres" of discrete male and female social, economic, domestic, and political domains. Indeed, "women were even excluded from the [senator's] dinner table" when discussions turned to politics.9
In 1958 Virginia politics was an almost exclusively male realm. Although the woman's suffrage movement had been popular in the Old Dominion, especially in urban areas, Virginia failed to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment, and female political success was slow indeed.10 Sarah Lee Fain, from Norfolk, and Helen Timmons Henderson, who represented Buchanan and Russell counties in southwest Virginia, had been elected to the General Assembly in 1923, but sexist attitudes toward female political representation persisted.11 Forty-three years later, for example, Mary A. Marshall was elected from Arlington. Looking back on her early days in office, she remembered that it was reporters from the women's pages of newspapers who were most interested in her success. They "asked about my recipes," she recalled, "and how my husband managed when I was away."12
Speaking on a nationwide level, Susan Lynn has commented that "women's political activism in the postwar era remains relatively unexplored, in part, because of the prevailing assumption that most women's lives were awash in a sea of domesticity. "13 Indeed, Brent Tarter has identified the need to look more closely at the first generation of aspirant female politicians in the Old Dominion, even those who were unsuccessfUl.14 Assumptions of female domesticity were certainly firmly inculcated into the mind-set of Virginia's elites at mid-century, assumptions that Louise Wensel battled hard to dispel.
Wensel's campaign began simply, with a letter to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. It was prompted by a breakfast-table discussion in her home near Fishersville, Virginia, on 13 July, following that morning's delivery of the newspaper. Her eldest son, Bert, clutching a copy of the paper, proclaimed that "Boss Byrd's massive resistance plan could start another civil war!" Angered by the Republican party's decision not to proffer a candidate to run against Byrd, and spurred on by her family, Wensel wrote to the paper's editor.15 On Monday, 21 July, her letter was printed. The response was not what Wensel had expected. Indeed, she did not realize that the letter had appeared until she received a telephone call from the president of the AFL-CIO in Virginia, Harold Boyd.
Boyd had called because he, and the organized labor concerns that he represented, wanted her to enter the Senate race against Byrd.16 An afternoon meeting that same Monday with Boyd and his Virginia AFL-CIO vice-president, Julian F. Carper, at the Wensel family home initiated Wensel into the politics of running for public office. She was handed a copy of V. 0. Key, Jr.'s seminal Southern Politics in State and Nation, received a telephone call of support from defeated but respected gubernatorial candidate Ted Dalton, was offered fund-raising promises from Richard S. "Major" Reynolds of the Reynolds Metals Company, and, perhaps most important, was filled with the confident enthusiasm of Boyd himself. Boyd and Carper, Wensel recalled, treated her throughout that day's meeting as if she had already agreed to run.17
Although a working mother of five, Wensel decided to take up the challenge, egged on by the enthusiasm of her seventeen-year-old son, Bert. "Mother," said Bert, "will make a good senator." Boyd instructed her to prepare an initial press release. It was decided to delay the announcement that she would join the race for the Senate until 25 July, the day that nominations closed.18 Wensel's campaign announcement was thus immediately making two clear points. First, she had waited until the last moment in the hope that someone more qualified to challenge the incumbent senator would come forward; she was, therefore, a reluctant candidate. Second, this reluctance gave the impression that, because the issues at stake were so important, a woman doctor responsible for patients across a wide geographical area, as well as a family comprising a working husband and five lively children, felt that she had no option other than to take a political stand; it was to be a campaign centered on heartfelt matters of principle. Picking up on the contemporary themes espoused by such authors as Eric Fromm and Hannah Arendt, the letter in the Times-Dispatch that had initially attracted Harold Boyd's attention contained what became the main pillars of Wensel's campaign.19 "Is Virginia to become a dictatorship?" Wensel asked. "How can we parents face our children if we sit back and accept the one-party rule of the Byrd machine with its plan for closing our public schools? Can we persuade our children that democracy is better than communism if we succumb to the dictatorship of an old man who proposes to destroy the very foundation of democracy-our public schools?"20 In the prevailing Cold War climate, references to communism, internal or external, were not new in political races. Toward the end of Byrd's campaign against Francis Pickens Miller, for example, billboards started appearing across the state emblazoned with the slogan "Vote American-Return Harry F. Byrd.to the United States Senate-Maintain your Democratic form of Government."21
In 1958, regardless of the downfall of Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy four years earlier, anticommunism was still a favored, malleable weapon in the armory of southern segregationists. Communist sympathies or involvement were heavily stigmatized, and the two were rarely differentiated by red-baiters. This circumstance handed politicians a fiery rhetorical sword with which to fend off potential threats to their political hegemony. Indeed, racial moderates and more extreme integrationists were a favored, if not routine, target. Given the Organization's record in the campaign against Miller, an innuendo of subversion lodged against the senator's reluctant female opponent would not have been a surprise.22
It was, therefore, perhaps all the more unexpected that Wensel should grasp this demagogic weapon of choice and wield it for her own ends. Furthermore, she injected a new dimension into the anticommunist rhetoric that Virginians were increasingly used to, by drawing parallels between the totalitarian aspects of Soviet Russia and contemporary Virginia. Senator Byrd and his machine, she maintained, had been working feverishly for the establishment of a dictatorship within the state-so successful had they been, in fact, that the Republican party had decided not to pit a candidate against him. To all intents and purposes, it was to be a one-party election, Soviet style. "Unless someone comes forward to be Republican candidate for the United States Senate," she had declared, "Virginians like Russians will have only one choice in the next election."23 She astutely laid bare the contradiction-so common in the South-of political leaders opposing centralized government on a national level while simultaneously attempting to consolidate government on a state level.
Not only had Wensel established a profitable line of attack, but taking up the anticommunist stance herself also worked as a preemptive strike, by denying Byrd the opportunity of using red-baiting against her. Perhaps consciously drawing on his experience with Wensel, Byrd displayed the tactic himself seven years later. In a speech denouncing the Johnson administration's "so-called Voting Rights Act of 1965," given on 2 April 1965, Byrd asked, "What would remain of our form and system of government if all elections in all States and localities were controlled by central government? Only last month, 99.9 per cent of the people of Moscow voted in an election of candidates who had no opposition. And when Mr. Khrushchev voted, he was not required even to produce identification."24
What is perhaps even more surprising is the coverage that Wensel's anti-totalitarian strategy received in the Winchester Evening Star. It published two articles on Wensel's appearance before the local AFL-CIO chapter, in which she was quoted as stating that "Virginia's program of Massive Resistance to integration is un-American" and that it constituted "massive sabotage against our U.S. Government. He [Byrd] wants Governor [J. Lindsay] Almond to declare himself superior to the Supreme Court. But Governor Almond is a lawyer. He knows the consequences of sedition." This was a forthright exposition of Wensel's views for any Virginia paper to print, but the Evening Star was not just any Virginia paper; it was owned by Harry Byrd, Sr., and edited at the time by his son, Harry Byrd, Jr.25
The visit of Boyd and Carper to Wensel's house helps shape the debate over the decline of an opposition machine to the Byrd Organization. Previous challenges to the incumbent senator, such as those from Hutchinson and Miller, were greatly assisted by a faction within the state Democratic party opposed to much of Byrd's own style of politics. Indeed, both Hutchinson and Miller were mainstays of these so-called "antis."26 Labor unions in Virginia had contributed to the efforts of those Democrats who had opposed Byrd, but in 1958 they offered their own, separate support for the candidate opposed to the ruling machine.
In retrospect, Wensel believed that she was slotted into a preexisting political structure opposing Byrd and that it was "the kind of thing I said in my letter" that attracted the Organization's traditional opponents.27 It was from organized labor, however, and not from the "anti" movement that Wensel received much of her support, aside from that early telephone call from Ted Dalton, and further calls and letters from Lester Parsons, Francis Pickens Miller, former governor Colgate W. Darden, Jr., and Thurgood Marshall.28
As part of labor's attempts at organizing and overseeing Wensel's campaign, Boyd and Carper immediately suggested a campaign manager for her. They chose Republican Richard Bain, who was writing on Virginia politics for a think tank based in Washington, D.C.29 He had the required experience to manage such a campaign, having done just that for Virginia's Republican congressman for the Tenth District, Joel T. Broyhill, in 1956.30 More immediately, the AFL-CIO officers helped to get Wensel's campaign under way as quickly as possible. "They gave me a series of envelopes," remembered Wensel, "all addressed to all the newspapers in Virginia, and they said I should have a picture taken, and that way every time I was going to give a speech, I should write it out, so that it could be on one page, and then I should be sure that every newspaper in the state got a Copy Of it."31
The main motive of Boyd and Carper in taking up the campaign was to advance the aims of organized labor in the state. Byrd's right-to-work laws had devastated the Old Dominion's union activities, and the unions themselves played a central, if inconspicuous, role in the campaign. As early as 28 July 1958, for example, the Wensel camp received the official endorsement of the Carpenters' Industrial District Council of Eastern Virginia.32 But there was a more hands-on part for union members to play. On Labor Day, Wensel made the first public appearance of her campaign in Grundy, in southwest Virginia. She was preceded by a Byrd machine speaker and accompanied by a labor movement representative. It was only once they had entered the arena that the labor man confided to Wensel that she would probably not be allowed to address the audience at all, unless she simply stood up and began to speak. Intimidated by her surroundings, Wensel thought that she might be physically pulled back down to the ground if she did so. "We'll take care of that," was the response from her labor minder. She was indeed physically barred from speaking, and "the labor boys," as she referred to them, duly pulled down the assailants to protect her. The meeting ended in pandemonium.33
For Wensel, the Grundy meeting further exposed the long, suffocating arm of the Byrd machine. Disappointed with the less than enthusiastic response she received in Grundy, Wensel was enlightened by Harold Boyd. "It was hard for me to believe Harold Boyd," she recalled, "when he told me later that the Byrd machine paid a few people in every labor organization to report co-workers who applauded enthusiastically when I made speeches or showed other signs of disloyalty to the senator. "34
There was no real prospect of defeat for Byrd in 1958, but his supporters nonetheless expended considerable energy on the campaign to get him reelected. The principal reason for that effort was rooted in the school desegregation question. The Supreme Court's 1954 Brown ruling created concern throughout the South about how to react to the judicial dismantling of segregation. The first decision, of 17 May 1954, played straight into southern hands by refraining from imposing a strict timetable on school desegregation. The second, a year later, deferred to the white South's strengths again by leaving implementation of the decision in the hands of the local school boards-many members of which were the very people who wanted to perpetuate segregation.35 Of all the southern states, it was Virginia that set the agenda for the legal response to Brown.36
Governor Thomas B. Stanley began Virginia's planned response in 1955 with the establishment of a commission headed by state senator Garland "Peck" Gray. Indeed, by his actions Stanley was positioning the Old Dominion at the forefront of the South's legislative battle to negate Brown.37 On 11 November that same year, the commission presented its report to Stanley. Just as the second Brown decision had done, the main thrust of the Gray plan was to put school placement criteria in the hands of local school boards. More radically, the Gray plan called for the institution of state tuition grants to enable students to attend nonsectarian private schools in the event of federally mandated public school integration. In order to enact that provision, a referendum was held to call for a constitutional convention to repeal the Old Dominion's compulsory school attendance laws. Held in January, the referendum showed that the majority of Virginians backed the proposed tuition grants, although, with 144,000 voting against constitutional change, they were certainly not supported unaniously.38
Sometime counsel for the Gray commission, and one of the finest legal minds in the South, David J. Mays was one of those deeply involved in formulating Virginia's proposed legal opposition to Brown.39 He kept a personal and very frank diary of the internal machinations of the Virginia legislature during the period of massive resistance. Mays's journals reveal that he considered Byrd to be a man bereft of new ideas on the maintenance of segregation in what was an increasingly hostile federal climate for the senator.40
To compound Byrd's problems, as veteran Virginia political correspondent James Latimer recalled, "Just before [Brown], the Young Turks had done something that nobody else had done for an awful long time[-]that was take control of the House of Delegates at least temporarily away from the Byrd organization leadership." In the wake of this downturn in the Byrd machine's electoral fortunes, remembered Latimer, directing the commonwealth's response to the Brown decision seemed to offer an opportunity to revitalize the Byrd camp.41 Devoid of fresh ideas before the ruling, and facing an onslaught from a younger generation of politicos, Byrd and his cohorts embraced the reaction to school desegregation as a political panacea. The machine's hegemony had seemed under threat, and Brown presented the perfect rallying point; white Virginians could once again stand politically united behind one simple, binding issue.
As more astute contemporary observers realized, however, Byrd and his allies failed to make the most of this opportunity for regeneration. On 13 January 1956, for example, Mays admitted in his diary that "last summer, I went to Byrd and asked that he make any suggestions that occurred to him, then or later, to meet the segregation problem. He merely shook his head and said nothing." Four months later, Mays was driven to further-albeit very private-condemnation of Byrd and his regime. In the wake of Byrd's reporting that the Gray plan offered nothing to ensure continued segregation in Virginia, Mays concluded that "it is obvious that at the moment the top political leadership in Virginia is bankrupt. An energetic young man, with a decent program, could take over the state in short order.1142
It was against this backdrop of uncertainty and uninspired political leadership that Harry Byrd rolled his machine into the 1958 elections. Even among his partisans there was a widespread belief that school closures would be unpopular, especially in the localities in which they were taking place-a belief that was balanced by the notion that, in theory at least, some form of massive resistance still enjoyed support.43 Perhaps because of the recent inner turmoil of Byrd's organization, and more substantively because he was a consummately professional politician, the senator's electoral machine burst into action. On 28 October, the Wensel campaign received a letter from R. L. Trichener of Waynesboro, who informed her of Byrd's concerns. "You are doing a fine job," he wrote, "so good, in fact, that Harry Byrd has written several persons here asking them to get out the 'right' voters and pointing out that lethargy among his supporters could cause an upset on Nov. 4.1144 Resplendent in his double-breasted white jacket, Harry Byrd resembled a gliding swan: calm and publicly untroubled by any opposition in the 1958 campaign, below the surface his machine worked feverishly to allow him his graceful imperturbability.
The senator never took an election victory for granted and consistently sought to reap the highest electoral return possible. On 20 October, Byrd himself was moved to write to resolute machine supporter Mills E. Godwin, Jr. "I know you are doing everything you can," he urged, "but it is very imperative that we get out the best possible vote." The next day, Godwin replied: "You may be sure we are making a strong effort to get out a good vote for you in this area. In Nansemond County we have a large organized block of Negro votes, together with some Labor votes, and there is little we can do about these votes, but otherwise we appear to be in good shape.1145
The machine cranked into gear. On 29 October, Godwin's memorandum to campaign workers in the Fourth District mobilized supporters. The trickle-down nature of the Byrd machine's influence was evident in Godwin's text:
The general election is next Tuesday, November 4 .... Senator Harry F. Byrd is a candidate for re-election, and we must get out a good vote for him. He is opposed by Dr. Louise F. Wensel, an Independent Republican, and by Clarke T. Robb, a Socialist. Both Dr. Wensel and Mr. Robb openly advocate the mixing of the races in our public schools. This fact alone should stirr all of us to do our utmost for Senator Byrd.46
Byrd tried to maintain his outer facade of nonchalance. He had, after all, successfully managed to ignore the Wensel campaign publicly in an attempt to give the impression that it posed no real threat to his continued political dominance. Indeed, the first time that he made any formal acknowledgment of his opponent was on 27 October, at a public meeting in Richmond sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The senator declined to appear in person, but his statement was read to the assembled audience before Wensel spoke. "[M]y record is the best platform I am able to offer," he declared, before briefly outlining his strong stance on reducing taxes, on national defense, and, in keeping with the broader themes of massive resistance, on repelling any force intent on destroying the rights of the sovereign states.47
Privately, Byrd continued with his attempts to maximize his vote gathering. The senator's letter to Godwin extolling the necessity of a good turnout significantly went on to state that "the result will be scrutinized both in and out of Virginia as to resistance to integration."48 He had written to Godwin ten days previously, setting out his belief that "the election on November 4 will be a momentous one, by reason of the conditions that now confront us. Ordinarily, there would be no need to conduct a campaign to get out the vote, but, as I see it, it is imperative for those of us who believe in preserving the sovereignty of Virginia and our Constitutional principles to form an organization which will poll an overwhelming vote."49 But it was also imperative to be seen to be untroubled by any opposition candidates, especially one who, like Wensel, concentrated on the central issue of school desegregation. Asked whether her campaign received any reaction from Byrd, Wensel believed that, publicly at least, "he tried to ignore it."50
Nonetheless, Byrd attempted to derail his main opponent's campaign in a variety of ways. When Wensel was asked to give a talk at the University of Virginia, former governor and Byrd machine stalwart John S. Battle managed to organize a similar speech at the Charlottesville town hall on the same evening. Invited by students from the university, Wensel drew an audience that outnumbered Battle's by about four to one. There was, however, no mistaking the motive behind Battle's gathering. "Former governor Battle had, I guess, less than a hundred at city hall," remembered Wensel, "but he was telling them to get out the calls, everybody should make at least ten calls, all this kind of thing, because they weren't used to having any opposition. He told them they better worry about this one."51
Louise Wensel continued unabashed with her campaign. Although she had no direct knowledge of the political system from a candidate's perspective, her husband had taught politics at Harvard, and some of the finer points of politicking had undoubtedly rubbed off. Richard Bain, too, secured as her campaign manager, imparted advice that his experiences with previous candidates such as Joel Broyhill had lent him. Indeed, Bain offered to help Wensel with her speech writing, but, she recalled, when "he compared one that I had written, with one that somebody else had supposedly written for me, . . . he said, 'You know, I like your speech much better, so you please write them yourself.' "52
Remarkably, her activities at the Fishersville clinic continued three days a week, although by that time an assistant doctor had been employed to share the workload. For the rest of the time she was driven around the state from appointment to appointment in the family station wagon by her eldest son, Bert, while she sat in the back with a typewriter, on which she hammered out speeches and press releases.53
The focus of Wensel's campaign remained remarkably similar to that of her original letter to the Times-Dispatch. The schools, she believed, had to be kept open at any cost. The News Leader initially reported that, in common with so many other racial moderates of the time, Wensel "did not believe in enforced integration," a policy that then had the hallmarks of a radical, not a moderate, political challenge. The same day's Times-Dispatch noted that "[a]s an alternative [to closing schools], she proposed local option controls that would permit each city and county to deal with its own problems."54 By October, she had set out a more detailed plan. Her proposals included the discontinuation of school social functions and the establishment of integrated, dual vocational and academic schools. Then, she told the Evening Star of Washington, D.C., "parents would have to assume their rightful responsibility for their children's social life. School would be a place for serious learning instead of a place to play at taxpayers' expense." In a further attempt not to appear too radical for the moderate voters to whom she was trying to appeal, Wensel pointed out that her suggestions "enable us to meet the Supreme Court requirements for desegregation without encouraging racially mixed marriages or offspring and without lowering the academic standards of our schools."55
Such subtleties, however, were soon hammered flat by members of the press, who seemed determined to portray the contest as a Manichean struggle between open and closed schools. This tendency was reflected in much of the correspondence Wensel received during the campaign. William B. Abbot, for example, simply asked her to send "1,000 copies of the leaflets on Louise Wensel and any other campaign literature that you have. I will see to it that some of the school children displaced from schools by the ridiculous 'cut-off-the-funds-close-the-schools' plan enacted by Senator Harry F. Byrd, pass them around in our neighborhood. "56
Continuing her Cold War and totalitarian themes, Wensel argued that, by closing the schools, Harry Byrd was displaying far greater subversive intent than any of Nikita Khrushchev's agents, who had never succeeded in disrupting the country's education system. "Khrushchev really should give Sen. Byrd a medal," she was reported as saying in the Winchester Evening Star, "for accomplishing what none of his workers had been able to do-close American public schools and persuade many Americans to defy the laws of their country."57 It was a popular campaign theme. The Times-Dispatch, for example, reported on a speech given to about one hundred members of the Richmond League of Women Voters in the tearoom of the Richmond YWCA. The league turned out to be staunch supporters of Wensel throughout her campaign, and, when she rebuked Byrd for his "dictatorial control" in imposing massive resistance, her audience "applauded heartily and warmly."58
She extended that Cold War theme into a plea for more backing for the United Nations. In direct opposition to Byrd's admiration of the policy of massive retaliation as a reaction to Soviet aggression, she pledged to do "everything possible to keep American soldiers out of foreign countries and Russian hydrogen bombs out of the United States."59 It was the schools issue, however, that attracted the most attention.
The campaign took to the airwaves. There was radio exposure and even some television. Funding was piecemeal, however; Wensel's war chest filled slowly, as the odd dollar or two arrived in the mail. As a result, paying for media advertising was difficult. "Someone might send a dollar in the mail anonymously, that sort of thing," Wensel noted. "The biggest contribution I remember seeing was a hundred dollar bill from somebody. The idea was that I should try and be interesting enough so that I would make news, and they'd want me on. There were a lot of people," she added tellingly, "interested in two-party politiCS."60
By embracing such issues as concern for a stronger United Nations and an end to a policy of massive retaliation, Wensel's campaign exemplifies, on an individual basis, a major trend in women's postwar political activism that Susan Lynn has identified as taking place on a group level. "Many liberal women's organizations," wrote Lynn, "expressed serious reservations about the increasing militarism of U.S. foreign policy in the postwar world and played a critical role in educating the public about international issues.1161 Wensel had attempted to do just that, until Virginia's press began to concentrate so stubbornly on the single issue of school desegregation. "What I didn't mention in my letter [to the Times-Dispatch]," remembered Wensel, but what was nevertheless "one of the things that I stressed in my campaign, was that we should be more interested in strengthening the United Nations.... [W]e had the nuclear weapons pointed at us at the time. Unfortunately," she continued, "that idea went along with this southern resistance or decadism, or regressiveness, or whatever you want to call it." Asked to describe her contemporaries' reaction to her discussions of such internationalist concerns, she stated simply, "I'm sorry to say I think it was essentially indifference. "62
The Wensel campaign received considerable support from women's groups attempting to redress the male-oriented slant of Virginia politics. That male dominance is exemplified by the membership of the Forum Club, a low-key yet highly influential gathering of leading Richmonders. Meeting on a regular social basis at the Commonwealth Club, usually on the second Monday of each month, the Forum Club included among its 112 members in September 1958 David J. Mays, James J. Kilpatrick, T. Coleman Andrews, Thomas C. Boushall, Virginius Dabney, Richard S. Reynolds, Jr., Albertis S. Harrison, Jr., and countless other-male -members of Virginia's commercial and political elites. Throughout the course of its existence, there was not a single female member.63 In order to amend such disparity, therefore, Virginia women's groups jumped at the chance to support' Wensel. "League of Women Voters organizations in many parts of the state invited me to speak at luncheons, often on the same platforms as Democrats," she noted. Support was especially strong from women in Norfolk, where schools were closed. There Republican women, the Norfolk Ledger-Dispatch reported, planned "to bring into being a non-partisan 'Women for Wensel' organization to assist the lady doctor from Fishersville in her uphill campaign against U.S. Sen. Harry Flood Byrd." Wensel characterized these backers as "probably the most active group" working toward her election.64 The YWCA, too, offered its services. In October, Wensel had given her fiery speech on Byrd's dictatorial control to the Richmond League of Women Voters in the Richmond YWCA; Women for Wensel set up an "organizational tea" in the Norfolk YWCA. Unlike the gatherings of such exclusive, male groups as the Forum Club, "any women interested in the movement" were "invited to attend."65
The press coverage of the race, and in particular the portrayal of the doctor herself, also illuminates the assumed gender roles of mid-century Virginia, especially in politics. The media were ultimately owned, run, and predominately staffed by men, and that orientation permeated the reporting of Wensel's campaign. One of those male editors was the bulwark of Virginia's mainstream segregationist press, James J. Kilpatrick. He was then editor of the pro-Byrd News Leader, which Bain and Wensel felt had all but ignored the campaign. As a result, Bain encouraged a reluctant Wensel to seek an appointment with Kilpatrick.66
As she entered Kilpatrick's office, the patronizing intimidation began. According to Wensel, "He leaned back in his well-cushioned swivel chair and smiled while asking, 'What can I do for you little lady?"' His reason, when approached face to face, for not giving the Wensel campaign as much coverage as some of the other newspapers did was that he had not taken the doctor's run for office seriously. In what Wensel later decided was another attempt at intimidation, Kilpatrick suggested she remedy the situation then and there by writing an article on her campaign on an old-fashioned linotype machine that Kilpatrick kept in the corner of his office. "How could I compose a news article on this monstrosity," thought Wensel, "while he watched over my shoulder?" Much to her surprise, and as a testament both to her bravado and to the intelligence of her campaign, Kilpatrick was sufficiently impressed by what Wensel had written under such pressures to print what she had typed and to afford her campaign more publicity from then onward.67
From the first batch of newspaper articles covering Wensel's campaign, reporters discriminated against her and appeared reluctant to take her candidacy seriously. Because Byrd's previous challengers had not suffered the indignity of a derisive, patronizing press, it can be assumed that it was Wensel's gender that so colored the reporting.68 The Richmond News Leader, in an article tellingly entitled "Woman Doctor Seeks Senator Byrd's Seat," ended its first-page column with the instruction, "See WOMAN, Page 3," and referred unnecessarily in the circumstances to Wensel as "the attractive physician." Writing in the next evening's edition, Guy Friddell noted that "a family station wagon that has doubled as an ambulance took to the road today as a political bandwagon." It was, he continued, one that had "a petite, pretty woman doctor at the wheel." Friddell's article introduced two other electoral hopefuls, Frank M. McCann, who was opposing Fourth District congressman Watkins M. Abbitt, and Henry A. Oder, Jr., running in the Seventh District against incumbent congressman Burr P. Harrison. Friddell's readership was left with no idea of either of the two male challengers' sartorial appearance, beyond the two mug shots printed alongside the article. "Young Dr. Wensel," on the other hand, was wearing "a beige suit with white trim at the collar and cuffS."69
Similarly, in the early days of the campaign, the Times-Dispatch ran as a headline "Woman Physician to Challenge Byrd." "A very pretty young woman doctor," wrote political correspondent James Latimer, "made her first leap into Virginia politics yesterday." The Times-Dispatch outdid the News Leader in portraying Wensel as a frivolous candidate. Taking advantage of Wensel's political inexperience, the paper engineered a photograph of her holding an apple. The extraneous character of the half-length shot, juxtaposed again with two pertinent head-and-shoulders portraits of McCann and Oder, was underscored by a caption including the quip, "Mrs. Wensel, a physician, holds [an] apple as if to say no apple-a-day can keep this doctor away from a campaign against the state's biggest apple-grower, Sen. Byrd." As if that were not trivializing enough, the caption concluded, "She likes apples."70
Nevertheless, it would appear that in the Virginia of the mid-1950s, the sphere of employment-especially in the professions-was seen as more acceptable for women than that of politics. As Peter Wallenstein has written, "[t]he notion of separate spheres for the sexes [in Virginia] could stretch sufficiently to accommodate women whose new activities could be perceived as consistent with traditional nurturing or care-giving functions.1171 Correspondingly, newspaper reports of Wensel's taking up her position as Fishersville's doctor were more favorable and less skeptical than those that heralded her arrival on the political stage, though they were still patronizing in tone. Certainly, articles such as that in the Times-Dispatch in July 1955, titled "Fishersville Finds Charming Doctor," did find some novelty value in her appointment but were broadly more accepting than when she ran for senator. She was still described as an "attractive, quiet-voiced brunette," though, and the reporter noted that "[s]he is 36 and admits it." An article in the News Leader in March 1956 profiled Wensel with another new, female physician, Dr. Yvonne Varese of Newbern in Pulaski County. By then, Wensel reported that her male patients had accepted her new role. "Dr. Wensel said men patients seem completely unselfconscious with her," the paper noted. "Men patients were a 'little slow' in coming to her at first, she added. 'But now they are arriving in increasing numbers.'"72 Here was another gender-based taboo that Louise Wensel was helping to dismantle. Initially, so surprised had some prospective patients been that they had trouble with their gender terminology: an article in the New York Times Magazine, written by associate Virginian-Pilot editor William Meacham and his wife, Margaret, reported on Wensel's initial interview for the Fishersville job. One member of the assembled audience was quoted as saying that "she gave us a man-to-man talk."73
By the time of the Senate campaign, attitudes in some papers had changed sufficiently to suggest that opinions in the state were modernizing. Not all papers took the ruggedly dismissive original stance of, among others, the News Leader and the Times-Dispatch. An editorial in the Waynesboro News-Virginian, for example, on 28 July 1958, steered clear of any patronizing condescension in its introduction of Wensel. She had, suggested the editorial, "electrified Virginia political circles by filing as an Independent candidate for the United States Senate." There were no references to her looks, taste in fashion, or fondness for apples. Similarly, The Washington Post and Times Herald of 26 July introduced Wensel with a minimum of fuss. The only mention made of anything beyond her campaign promises was that she was a "mother of five children," which was relevant in a campaign based on the fate of public schooling for the state's children.74
Less predictably, perhaps, female journalists proved no more likely to imbue Wensel's campaign with gravitas than some of their male colleagues. One article by Mary Lou Werner, on the front page of the Sunday Star, ran under the headline "Woman Might Defeat Byrd-If Spunk Won Elections." Werner, just as Latimer and Friddell had done, characterized the candidate as "the plucky little woman physician."75 Likewise, Frances Lanahan of the Northern Virginia Sun referred to Wensel as "a slim brunette." In mitigation, unlike other commentators who confined physical comments to women, Lanahan also described the doctor's husband, Henry, as "tall, [and] handsome in a professional sort of way."76
The intimidation that Wensel suffered both in the press and in Kilpatrick's office was dwarfed by the vituperative nature of what was to come in the campaign. Having spoken at the Norfolk Arena in September, Wensel received firsthand experience of electioneering intimidation, southern style. "I realized when I was on the way home [that] they had the streets blocked off and everything, that I had almost caused a riot," she recalled. The Norfolk chief of police telephoned her and "said that I was a troublemaker, and that he just couldn't assure me that if I came back and gave another speech in Norfolk that he could give me protection-I think they had a sort of 'lunatic fringe' you might call it, organized around the state."77
Wensel's main regret, however, was that she had not realized that, by taking up the gauntlet against the dominant political force of her state, she was exposing her children to so much danger. Unlike much of the press's lighthearted assessment of the campaign, the more extreme segregationist elements were not prepared to dismiss her so readily. Her elder daughter, who at that time looked similar to her mother, was spat at while walking in Waynesboro. Her home, too, was inundated with threatening telephone calls and abusive letters. Some of those calls were "from people who said that the only reason Bain was willing to be my campaign manager was that I had a sexual relationship with him," remembered Wensel. In a humorous twist to such a humorless situation, Wensel and her husband, Henry, decided to send the younger children to a private school to shelter them from such intimidation. It was only once they were safely ensconced in the school that the Wensels became aware that on the board of governors sat a certain Harry Flood Byrd, Sr.78
The number of voters who turned out at the polls in November represented a 49.3 percent increase since the 1954 Senate race. In the election, Wensel polled 120,224 to Byrd's 317,221. Independent Socialist candidate Clarke T. Robb picked up just over 20,000 votes, 5 percent less than he had in the Senate contest four years before. With roughly 27 percent of the vote, Wensel broadly fulfilled the predicted number of votes for a Byrd opposition candidate. Indeed, her campaign was most successful in the expected localities: in Virginia's anti-Byrd northern heartland of Falls Church, she outpolled the senator by twenty-seven votes; in Charlottesville and Norfolk, where school closings had taken place, she garnered 34 percent and 39.2 percent, respectively; in Waynesboro, her home district, she received 41.7 percent.79 "A close scrutiny of yesterday's returns," suggested a News Leader editorial, "may disclose some measure of discernible discontent in the three localities in which public schools have been closed, but viewed for the State as a whole, the returns show no significant
decline- in Senator Byrd's strength in Virginia."30
Wensel remains disappointed that her campaign's place in the history of twentieth-century Virginia has essentially been ignored. "I believe that it is important," she wrote, "as a demonstration of what a person with political, social and financial handicaps can do to prevent evil, entrenched politicians from destroying the democratic process in American communities. "81 Moreover, her campaign offers not only an example of the permeation of Cold War themes and rhetoric into politics at the state level but also an incisive look at the mores of Virginia's sexual politics at mid-century, and of the expected role of women in a society still deeply entrenched in the separate sexual spheres that-elsewhere-the New Woman of the 1920s and 1930s had successfully begun to deconstruct.
1 Interview with Dr. Louise Oftedal Wensel Fernbach, conducted by George Lewis in Charlottesville, Va., 18 Apr. 1998, University of Newcastle upon Tyne Oral History Collection (hereafter cited as UNOHC).
2 In his stately biography of Harry Flood Byrd, Sr., for example, Ronald L. Heinemann simply notes that the senator was opposed by Wensel, who had "labor support" (Ronald L. Heinemann, Hany Byrd of Virginia [Charlottesville and London, 1996], p. 344). Wensel does not receive mention in J. Harvie Wilkinson 111, Harry Byrd and the Changing Face of Virginia Politics, 1945-1966 (Charlottesville, 1968). In a recent collection of essays on the subject of Virginia's massive resistance, Wensel is referred to in only one essay, as a candidate offering a "quixotic challenge" to Byrd (Matthew D. Lassiter, "A'Fighting Moderate': Benjamin Muse's Search for the Submerged South."
in Matthew D. Lassiter and Andrew B. Lewis, eds., The Moderates' Dilemma: Massive Resistance to School Desegregation in Virginia [Charlottesville and London, 1998], p. 184).
3 "Conservative Beach-Head," Richmond News Leader, 5 Nov. 1958, p. 14.
4 The first time that the Richmond Times-Dispatch officially characterized Virginia's strategy of defiance as one of "massive resistance"-and indeed, probably the first time that the phrase had appeared in print anywhere-was in an Associated Press story on Byrd, carried on page I on 26 February 1956. Several weeks earlier, James Latimer had reported that the senator called for "passive" resistance, although Latimer wondered afterward whether he had misheard Byrd. See Earle Dunford, Richmond Times-Dispatch: The Story of a Newspaper (Richmond, 1995), p. 362.
5. V. O. Key, Jr., "Virginia: Political Museum Piece," in Thomas R. Morris and Larry J. Sabato, eds., Virginia Government and Politics: Readings and Comments (2d ed.; Richmond and Charlottesville, 1984), p. 38; Francis Pickens Miller, Man from the Valley: Memoirs of a 20th-Century Virginian (Chapel Hill, 1971), p. 203.
6 Prince Edward County's schools followed later, in September 1959.
7 "The Lady Will Get Some Votes," Richmond News Leader, 5 Aug. 1958, p. 10.
8 Interview with Louise Oftedal Wensel Fernbach, 18 Apr. 1998, UNOHC.
9 Heinemann also notes that "throughout [Byrd's] life he treated women in a gentlemanly but condescending manner. He tolerated them in public life, but he preferred them in their customary roles as wives, mothers, and homemakers" (Heinemann, Harry Byrd, p. 27).
10 By 1919, for example, the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia boasted almost 32,000 members, 12,000 in Richmond and 3,000 in Roanoke. See William A. Link, The Paradox of Southern Progressivism, 1880-1930, The Fred W. Morrison Series in Southern Studies (Chapel Hill and London, 1992),_pp._195-97.
11 Henderson died in July 1925. Fain was joined, in the 1926-27 session, by Sallie C. Booker of Henry County. For more on Fain, see Sandra Gioia Treadway, "Sarah Lee Fain: Norfolk's First Woman Legislator," Virginia Cavalcade 30 (1980-81): 124-33.
12 Quoted in Karlyn Barker, "Changes in Virginia Assembly Slow For Blacks and Women," in Morris and Sabato, eds., Virginia Government and Politics, p. 106.
13 Susan Lynn, Progressive Women in Conservative Times: Racial Justice, Peace, and Feminism, 1945 to the 1960s (New Brunswick, N.J., 1992), p. 11.
14 Brent Tarter, "The New Virginia Bookshelf," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (hereafter cited as VMHB) 104 (1996): 89.
15 "Virginia Candidate for the United States Senate in 1958: Defeating Harry Byrd's 'Massive Resistance' School-Closing Policy" (bound memoir), Louise Oftedal Wensel Papers, 1958-93 (#11108), Special Collections Department, Manuscript Division, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville (hereafter cited as ViU). The Wensel family comprised Louise, husband Henry T. Wensel, Jr., a psychologist at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center near Fishersville, seventeen-year-old Bert, fifteen-year-old Linda, nine-year-old David, six-year-old Pamela, and five-year-old Teddy.
16 Wensel recalled that Virginius Dabney, the editor of the Times-Dispatch, also encouraged her to run (interview with Louise Oftedal Wensel Fernbach, 18 Apr. 1998, UNOHC).
17 "Virginia Candidate for the Senate" (bound memoir), Wensel Papers. Wensel closed her letter to the editor with the statement, "I feel obliged to oppose Senator Byrd in his bid for re-election" (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 21 July 1958, p. 14). Boyd and Carper may have interpreted this wording as a declaration of intent. Wensel had voted for Dalton in 1957 (James Latimer, "Woman Physician to Challenge Byrd,"-Richmond-Times-Dispatch,-26 July 1958, p.-2).-
18 "Virginia Candidate for the Senate" (bound memoir), Wensel Papers.
19 Hannah Arendt's writings on totalitarianism, for example, shattered the received dogma that right-wing totalitarian regimes, such as Hitler's Third Reich, were totally unacceptable, while the left-wing equivalents, such as Mao's China and Stalin's Soviet Union, deserved some credit for impressive modernization. Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism, first published in 1951, ridiculed this distinction. By pressing for the castigation of all oppressive totalitarian regimes, regardless of their left- or right-wing political polarity, she thus bridged any previously perceived gap between Stalinism and totalitarianism. See Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (3d ed.; London, 1967).
20 Richmond Times-Dispatch, 21 July 1958, p. 14.
21 Miller, Man from the Valley, pp. 199-200.
22 Admittedly, Byrd was far less vehement in his anticommunism than others, such as his red-baiting Virginia colleague William M. Tuck, one of whose committee appointments was to the House Un-American Activities Committee. Generally, Byrd opposed what he saw as a genuine internal, communist, subversive threat to the United States. "I have been doing my utmost," the
senator wrote to W. A. Burridge of Cleveland, Ohio, for example, "to combat the menace of Communism in our country and do not think it should be minimized." See W. A. Burridge to Harry F. Byrd, Sr., 14 Oct. 1964, Harry F. Byrd, Sr., to W. A. Burridge, 16 Oct. 1964, Harry F. Byrd, Sr., Papers (#9700), Box 265, ViU.
23 Richmond Times-Dispatch, 21 July 1958, p. 14.
24 "Statement by Senator Harry F. Byrd (D.Va.), in re: the Administration's so-called Voting Rights Act of 1965. For release in morning papers Friday, April 2, 1965," Byrd Papers, Box 415.
25 Winchester Evening Star, 11 Oct. 1958, p. 1. The reasons for this apparent filial disloyalty are unclear, although Harry Byrd, Jr., had clashed with his father before in Evening Star editorials. After the 1952 Democratic convention, for example, the younger Byrd had endorsed the Stevenson-- Sparkman ticket, while his father was considerably more circumspect. See Heinemann, Hany Byrd, p. 314.
26, Heinemann identifies other leading "antis" as former governors Westmoreland Davis, E. Lee Trinkle, and James H. Price; Congressman John W. Flannagan, Jr.; Hutchinson; Norman Hamilton; and Charles Harkrader. See Heinemann, Harry Byrd, p. 186.
27 "Virginia Candidate for the Senate" (bound memoir), Wensel Papers.
28 Record of telephone calls, in ibid. The labor unions aided Wensel in obtaining sufficient signatures of support to become eligible to run for office. Boyd told her that "the labor unions would obtain most of the signatures required to support my candidacy but that it would be helpful if Bert and some of his friends would go from house to house to obtain signatures" ("Virginia Candidate for the Senate" [bound memoir], Wensel Papers). Lester Parsons had himself run against Byrd in 1946 and received 77,005 votes,
29 Although an acquaintance of Byrd and a Republican, Bain was nonetheless working at the liberal Brookings Institution. He was a leading member of Arlingtonians for a Better County, a cross-party alliance working to end the Byrd Organization's dominance of Virginia politics. See Frances Lanahan, "Both Democrats, Republicans Meet Sen. Byrd's Opponent," Fairfax Northern
Virginia Sun, 8 Sept. 1958 (clipping), in "Virginia Candidate for the Senate" (bound memoir), Wensel Papers.
30 The state Republican chairman, 1. Lee Potter, announced the GOP had no plans to support Wensel's campaign. Intriguingly, Drew Pearson's "Washington Merry Go Round" column of 13 November 1958 suggested that Harry Byrd, Sr., had entered into a pact with Vice-President Richard A Nixon: Byrd would support Nixon for the presidency in 1960, asserted Pearson, provided the
Republicans offered no candidate against Byrd in 1958 ("GOP Not Backing Woman Doctor," Richmond News Leader, 1 Aug. 1958, p. 1; Drew Pearson, clipping enclosed in M. Macon Wrenn to Harry F. Byrd, Sr., 14 Nov. 1958, Byrd Papers, Box 263).
31 Interview with Louise Oftedal Wensel Fernbach, 18 Apr. 1998, UNOHC.
32 Carpenters' Industrial District Council of Eastern Virginia to Louise Oftedal Wensel, 28 July 1958, Wensel Papers.
33 Interview with Louise Oftedal Wensel Fernbach, 18 Apr. 1998, UNOHC.
34 "Virginia Candidate for the Senate" (bound memoir), Wensel Papers
35 As Jack Bass has noted, southern federal judges also had a role in implementing the Brown decision. See Jack Bass, Unlikely Heroes: The Dramatic Story of the Southern Judges of the Fifth Circuit ... (New York, 1981).
36 Much of the dissemination of Virginia's massive resistance material was carried out by the Virginia Commission on Constitutional Government, created by an act of assembly on 7 March 1958. The sheer scale of the commission's publication activities is staggering. The biennial report to the commission by the executive director, covering the period from 1 December 1963 to I December 1965, for example, asserted that the total number of publications distributed by the commission since its inception stood at 1,262,621. See Virginia Commission on Constitutional Government, biennial report to the governor and General Assembly, I Dec. 1963-1 Dec. 1965, Minutes and Reports, 1958-69, Box 1, Virginia Commission on Constitutional Government (RG 70), Archives and Research Services, Library of Virginia, Richmond.
37 Other states were undoubtedly more forceful and violent in their adherence to the policies of massive resistance, although North Carolina did join Virginia in attempting a legal response through both the Boutwell amendment and the Pearsall plan. Figures such as Governor Orval E. Faubus of Arkansas attracted more media interest than Governor J. Lindsay Almond, Jr., of Virginia. But, if the states of the Deep South were the iconographic focal point of massive resistance, Virginia was certainly at the legal, legislative, and imaginative vanguard.
38 Lassiter, "A 'Fighting Moderate,"' p. 175. -
39 According to Mays, it was Stanley who suggested him as counsel for the Gray commission (David J. Mays, diary, 19 Nov. 1954, David John Mays Diary, 1914-71, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond [hereafter cited as ViHi]).
40 Because his diaries were sealed until 1996, even the most recent histories of Virginia have been unable to take them into account. Heinemann's Hany Byrd makes no mention of them. Lassiter and Lewis note that the diaries are open but make no use of them (Lassiter and Lewis, eds., The Moderates' Dilemma, p. 205 n. 8). Political reporter James Latimer is one of the few who have mined the Mays diaries. See James Latimer, "The Rise and Fall of 'Massive Resistance,"' Richmond Times-Dispatch, 22 Sept. 1996, pp. Al, A9, A10-12.
41 James Latimer, interviews with Colgate Whitehead Darden and William Munford Tuck, 1975 (#10139), Program 6 (transcriptions), ViU.
42 David J. Mays, diary, 13 Jan., 9 May 1956, Mays Diary. In an oral history interview conducted in the 1970s, Virginius Dabney appeared less convinced than Mays that the Byrd Organization used massive resistance and continued school segregation to keep itself in power (interview with Virginius Dabney, conducted by Jack Bass and Walter DeVries, 12 Mar. 1974 [A-2041, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection [#4007], Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).
43 See, for example, "Conservative Beach-Head," Richmond News Leader, 5 Nov. 1958, P. 14.
44 R. L. Trichener to Louise Oftedal Wensel, 28 Oct. 1958, Wensel Papers.
45 Harry F. Byrd, Sr., to Mills E. Godwin, Jr., 20 Oct. 1958, Mills E. Godwin, Jr., to Harry F. Byrd, Sr., 21 Oct. 1958, Mills E. Godwin, Jr., Personal Papers, Box 1, Manuscript and Rare Books Department, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary, Will