Nov. 14, 2011

111105LawrenceRaymond Lawrence, then director of chaplains for Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York, attended Bob Kelly’s trial on several occasions and founded the Committee for Support of the Edenton Seven.

This passage is excerpted from a memoir I asked him to write for

“One Monday morning on arriving at my office I noted a special delivery overnight package in my mail pile. Just as I walked in, my secretary buzzed me to say I had a long distance call asking whether I had opened the package. I told her to get the number and I would call back.

“Instead, the caller said he would call back. I assumed it was the kind of crank call which often comes to chaplains.

“When I finally turned to the special delivery package, I found inside cashier’s checks made out to various defendants in an amount of about $450,000.

“Finally the donor called back, but he didn’t want his name disclosed to the secretary or anyone else. He felt the case was a witch hunt, and he was in solidarity with the accused. He was a businessman who had made a fortune in the emerging computer industry. A year later he gave another $300,000.

“When I flew to Ohio to meet him, he told me he had a terminal illness, and some years later he died. He was a humble, unassuming man. I was in awe of his sensitivity and generosity.”