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Collection Title: Gautier (James D.) Letter

Collection Number: M311

Dates: November 21, 1945

Volume: 1 Letter

Provenance: Donated by Mary Dodson Hall of Madison, MS on November 14, 1990.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

James Donovan Gautier, Sr. was born in 1884 in Gautier (then West Pascagoula), Mississippi, and was a member of the family for whom the town was officially named. Mr. Gautier was a life-long resident of Jackson County, and made his residence in Moss Point for many years, where he worked as an electrician at the International Paper Company Mill. He married Mattie Riggles, and they had five children: James D. Gautier Jr., Walter J. Gautier, Mary Agnes Gautier, Mrs. Gertrude Johnson, and Mrs. Mary E. Dodson. In addition to assisting in the formation of a gardening society, the Camelia Club, Mr. Gautier served on the Board of Trustees of the Moss Point Schools, and was an active member of the Kreole United Methodist Church.

Mr. Gautier died on June 17, 1980 at the age of 96. His funeral was held at Kreole United Methodist Church, and he was interred in Griffin Cemetery in Jackson County, Mississippi.

Scope and Content:

This letter dated November 21, 1945 from U.S. Senator, Theodore G. Bilbo (D., Mississippi) to James D. Gautier is written on District of Columbia letterhead. Bilbo, responding to a letter written by Gautier on November 18, 1945, discusses his views concerning conscription of young soldiers and the technological and social changes brought about by WWII.

Bilbo uses very colorful language to express his reasons as "one Southerner to another" why young men should not be conscripted into military service. He supports the idea that young white men should continue their education so that they will be prepared for the technologically advancing world, whereas young African American men, if exposed to the way of life of white northern soldiers, will return to the South with dangerous ideas.

This is an original letter signed by Theodore G. Bilbo, and there appears to be no other copy of it, or of the letter written by James Gautier to Senator Bilbo.

Related Collections:

Theodore G. Bilbo Papers, M 2

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