Interview with Gov. John Patterson
QUESTION 31
INTERVIEWER:

NOW GOING BACK TO WHAT YOU WERE SAYING EARLIER, ABOUT MR. SEIGENTHALER, HE'S BEING SENT DOWN, ACCORDING TO HIS ACCOUNT AND ACCORDING TO ATTORNEY GENERALS ACCOUNT, HE'S SENT DOWN AS AN EMMISSARY AND HE IS AT A MEETING OSTENSIBLY WITH YOU AND YOUR CABINET AS TO WHAT THIS TO DETERMINE HOW THIS RIDE COULD CONTINUE, AND HOW IT WOULD CONTINUE WITHOUT VIOLENCE, AND HE CLAIMS THEN HE, TWELVE HOURS LATER HE'S LYING IN THE STREET IN A SITUATION WHERE HE WENT IN BECAUSE HE HAD HEARD THAT YOU HAD GUARANTEED LAW AND ORDER OR THAT COLONEL MANN HAD GUARANTEED LAW AND ORDER.

Gov. John Patterson:

Well, I don't remember that meeting with Mr. Seigenthaler. However it could have happened. And if it did happen, it must have happened the day before the bus arrived at the Montgomery bus station. If a meeting like that did take place, and later on one did take place with Mr. White, who was my, state supreme court, we, every time we met with anybody, connected with the federal people, we assured them that we believed in law and order, that we had ample forces to maintain law and order, that we intended to do so, and that they didn't have to be down here with their forces or be interfering with what we were doing down here. Never at any time did we ever get to the position where we were the least bit concerned that we were not able to maintain law and order. We had ample forces, we had the will to do it and we intended to do it.