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To M. C. Williams

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Author: King, Martin Luther, Jr. (Montgomery Improvement Association)

Date: May 16, 1957

Location: Montgomery, Ala.?

Genre: Letter

Topic: Montgomery Bus Boycott


In April, Williams, executive secretary of Tallahassee's Inter-Civic Council (ICC), which was formed in May 1956 to manage a boycott of city buses, invited King to address that organization's first anniversary observance.1 On 7 May, Williams requested a loan from the MIA to underwrite the cost of the event. King denies the request because the MIA’s "financial position is too precarious at this time.”2 On 29 May, King addressed the institute in Tallahassee.

Dr. M. C. Williams, Executive Secretary 
The Inter-Civic Council, Inc. 
803 Floral Street 
Tallahassee, Florida

Dear Dr. Williams:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter of May 7, making inquiry concerning the possibility of The Montgomery Improvement Association making a loan in the amount of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) to The InterCivic Council to underwrite the cost of your anniversary observance. I took this matter up with the Executive Board yesterday, and while there was a great degree of sympathy [with?] all that you are doing and the real desire to make the loan, the consensus was that our financial position is too precarious at this time to comply with your request. We are facing tremendous financial responsibilities and still find ourselves confronted with court cases which leaves a large obligation for legal defense at all times. I certainly regret very deeply that it is impossible for us to aid you at this point. I can assure you that our non-compliance with this request is not due to a lessening of interest in your struggle but to the pressing obligations which confront us in our own struggle.

I would suggest that you contact the American Friends Service Committee and some of the other national foundations which Glenn Smiley can recommend. I feel certain that some of these agencies will come to your aid.

Again let me express my deep regrets that we cannot meet this request. I hope something will work out. I am looking forward with great anticipation to being with you and the Tallahassee community.

With kindest regards.

Sincerely yours, 
M. L. King, Jr., 

(Dictated by Rev. King, but transcribed and signed in his absence.)

1. Williams to King, 3 April and 11 April 1957. Millard Curtis Williams, Sr. (1920-1976), born in Pensacola, Florida, graduated from Florida A&M University and received a D.D.S. (1950) from Howard University’s School of Dentistry.

2. According to the MIA financial report of 31 May 1957, the organization had $98,219 in assets, of which over three-quarters was considered earmarked.

Source: MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Boston University, Boston, Mass.

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