Interview with Herbert Brownell, Jr.
QUESTION 18
INTERVIEWER:

NOW, GOING ON TO LITTLE ROCK, WHY WAS IT THAT PRESIDENT EISENHOWER WAS SO EAGER TO GIVE GOVERNOR FAUBUS EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO SOLVE IT HIMSELF? UM, WAS IT FAUBUS'S RECORD, WAS IT THE PRESIDENT'S HESITANCY? WHAT WERE HIS REASONING?

Herbert Brownell, Jr.:

The President realized the significance of the Brown decision's being won, which was in its way uh, as serious as the question of slavery before the Civil War and that it would be uh, very easy to have flare ups which would be almost irreconcilable, and therefore he had kept him uh, himself in a position where he could talk to the moderates uh, throughout the country including uh, the Southern states. He felt that and was, was told by many advisors that Governor Faubus could be reasoned with and that a uh, an amicable solution could be found to the Little Rock crisis.** He therefore formed a committee of southern governors to talk to Governor Faubus and later led to a confrontation between Eisenhower and Faubus uh, up at, uh Newport, Rhode Island. Uh, up to that time he was uh, very much of the opinion that he could persuade uh, Governor Faubus uh, to an amicable settlement that would protect the federal rights that were involved, and protect the black children who wanted to go the public high school there in uh, Little Rock.