Letter from Gerald D. Morgan to L. Francis Griffin (August 29, 1959)


In this letter, dated August 29, 1959, Gerald D. Morgan, President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s deputy assistant, responds to L. Francis Griffin’s letter requesting the president’s help in enforcing an end to segregated schools in Prince Edward County. In 1957, President Eisenhower signed an executive order sending federal troops to maintain order and peace as nine Black students integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.




Dear Mr. Griffin:

The President has asked me to acknowledge your letter to him of August twentieth. He appreciates your interest in writing concerning the difficulty being experienced in respect to the integration of the public schools of Prince Edward County.

The Supreme Court decision did not, as some suppose, require the States to have public schools. It merely held that if a State or locality did operate public schools, it could not deny admission to such schools solely on the ground of race or color. While the President deplores the action of the Board of Supervisors in depriving the children of Prince Edward County of opportunity for public education, he is powerless to take any action since public education is exclusively within the jurisdiction of the States—subject only to the requirements of the United States Constitution. The President is fully sympathetic with the reasons that prompted your letter.


Gerald D. Morgan

The Deputy Assistant to the President

Mr. L. Francis Griffin


Prince Edward County Christian Association

Farmville, Virginia

APA Citation:
Morgan, Gerald D.. Letter from Gerald D. Morgan to L. Francis Griffin (August 29, 1959). (2023, May 12). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Morgan, Gerald D.. "Letter from Gerald D. Morgan to L. Francis Griffin (August 29, 1959)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (12 May. 2023). Web. 27 May. 2024
Last updated: 2023, May 12
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