More poignantly, Gray received letters from two Mississippians who thanked him for his willingness to speak out, but confessed their own lack of courage to do so.
A businessman in Natchez wrote simply, “I wanted to speak out, but I was afraid.”
A man in Starkville wrote, “I still cannot speak as I should. I am a coward. Just the other day I was invited to a conference at Tougaloo. I had to refuse because I dare not let it be known abroad where my sympathies lie. My son is a freshman at the medical school in Jackson and you get the idea.” …
A number of letter writers identified themselves as Episcopalians, often lapsed.
One such, a seventy-three-year-old man in Connecticut wrote, “It was my intention to stay away from church until I went in feet first. Maybe now I better go once to see if some cobwebs have been brushed out of the high corners.”
A woman in Raleigh wrote, “I am an Episcopalian, although an unenthusiastic one, for ever since my college days I have felt that the Church temporized toward all pressing problems,” but she added that she and her husband “send you our grateful respect for your goodness and courage. We thank you as Churchmen and even more as Americans.”