Lawrence, executive chairman of In Friendship, had initiated a fund-raising campaign asking 1,200 churches to pledge $10 each week to the MIA "for the duration of the emergency in Montgomery." Lawrence had intended to meet with King and Bayard Rustin during King's 16 October stop at a New York airport, but illness forced him to ask by mail on 18 October for a list of MIA contributors. He also requested additional photographs of Coretta Scott King, who was scheduled to sing in an upcoming fund-raising concert on 5 December that also featured Duke Ellington and Harry Belafonte.
The Rev. George Lawrence
Friendship Baptist Church
144 West 131st Street
New York 27, New York
This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter of October 18. Absence from the city for a few days has delayed my reply.
We are very grateful to “In friendship” for the interest that it has taken in our struggle. I can assure you that we will long remember your coming to our aid at this time.
After checking with the secretary I find that we have the names of more than seven thousand persons and organizations that have contributed to our association in the past. It will entail a great deal of time to compile this list. The pressure of work in the office is of such a nature at this point that it will almost be impossible to get to it in the next few days. Please know that we regret this very deeply, and it is more regrettable in the light of the fact that the forwarding of such a list to you would greatly help our organization. But the volume of work before us at the present time makes it impossible to compile this list of some seven thousand persons and organizations. Be sure to let me know what else we can do to assist you in this project.
I have mentioned your request to Mrs. King concerning the additional glossy photographs. I am sure that she will be getting them to you in the next few days.
I hope things are going well with you. I too am sorry that I did not have the opportunity to see you in New York the other day.
With warm personal regards, I am
M. L. King, Jr.,
(Dictated by Rev. King but signed in his absence.)
MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Boston University, Boston, Mass.