This from CEW Dorris, Nashville, TN to Cled Wallace, Austin TX, September 9, 1942:
Dear Brother Wallace:
I have viewed your war baby which was displayed in the June issue of the Bible Banner and I must say that its one of the ugliest looking youngsters that I ever saw to have such a good looking papa. It is a monster. A very dangerous baby indeed. It has its head and tail both up and shoots from both ends. It looks to be as dangerous, if not more so, that its daddy thinks that Bollism is. If the baby is generally accepted, I fear that it will do the cause of Christ far more harm than Bollism ever did, or can do. It has been fed so much Texas goat milk that it has a bad complexion and needs some baby oil. I am sending it a dose and if taken according to directions its complexion ought to clear up in three or four days. But if it don’t let me know and I will send it a dose that will do the work.
Strike throughs represents Dorris’ own editing, which occurrred likely sometime in late 1945 or 1946 (my best estimate) as this letter (the first of several) was prepared for publication in booklet form, to be issued by BC Goodpasture and/or the Gospel Advocate Company.
Follow the link above to two articles in the June 1942 Bible Banner. They set Dorris, an ardent pacifist, off in a years long (1942-1945) correspondence with Wallace. Actually, Wallace replied once that I know of by letter, and he reprinted an excerpt from one of Dorris’ letters later in the Banner. Otherwise it seems that he (Wallace) did not answer Dorris. He evidently shared the letters he received from CEWD with OC Lambert and perhaps others. What I have are Dorris’ letters…There is much here I haven’t even read yet. And then I have to unpack it and contextualize it.
So, this set of letters in particular and the general thrust of my research thus far, has brought me here: there is much, much more to CEWD that we ever knew. For my paper at Stone-Campbell Journal Conference I will of necessity have to be brief and sketch the parameters of his life and ministry. Skeleton-type stuff, pegs on which to hang things, rough outline, prelimiary findings, hypotheses. I have another conference paper pending for later in the fall. Looks as if I may then take up this correspondence for an in-depth look at Dorris’ ecclesiology vis-a-vis (Cled) Wallace-Lambert-(Foy) Wallace’s renunciation of David Lipscomb’s Civil Government. Whew. How’s that?
The state of my Dorris research is good news/bad news. Good news is I have found some wonderful things; the bad news is it will take more time than I initially thought to process it all and begin to unpack it. On second thought…that’s good news after all.