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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Barton interview w/
Earlie B. Maynor
B: This is Lew Baron recording for the Doris Duke American Indian Oral
History Program. This is December 18, 1972. I am in my home in Pembroke,
North Carolina and with me is Mayor Earlie B. Maynor. Is that right?
What is tLat "B." for in your name, Mayor?
M: That's for "Broncia". Earlie Bronci'Maynor.
B: How do you spell that middle name?
B: I see.
M: Earlie Brancia Maynor.
B: Well, I've been wanting to interview you for this program for a long, long
time because you're certainly a central figure among the Lumbee Indians. We're
all very proud of you and your work and we certainly want other people to know
about it, and I'd like to ask you something first of all about your personal
biography, you know, your family. How old are you n ow?
MY I'm 59 years old;come February the 24th, if I'm still livin', I'll be 60.
And I believe that, counts up to about 3/5 of a century.
B: Right! The time really goes by. And tell us something about your family if
you would--your father and your mother. 'Course I know them, or knew them ...
M: Well, my ... my mother and father were Mr. and Mrs. Willie D. Maynor and
of course I lost my mother in 1950 at sixty-nine years of age, and I lost my
father three years ago at 95. They were farmers all of their lives--church-
goin' people, and they stood well in the community in which they lived.
B: Yes, I'm sure of that. Your father was especially well-known with church
work and your brothers and ... I know some of your brothers. Uh, how many
were in your family, Mayor?
M: There were four boys and two girls. We have two boys, two of the brothers
have gone on and there's two brothers and two sisters yet. Four of us still
B: Uh, huh. Would you mind us telling us the names of those who are surviving?
M: Miss ... Mrs. Bill Thompson, Mrs. Alverti Jacobs, The Reverend Roy W. Maynor,
and myself, Earlie B. Maynor.
B: Yes, sir. You've been active in some many areas I hardly know where to start.
But I think perhaps you begin in the teaching profession and then your church
work first of all. Maybe your church work even before your school work, is
M: Yes, as we mentioned about my father there, he carried us to church all of
our lives and of course that came first with us and then of course, we were
farmers in the beginning and I went into 'or a number of years--
timber business, ...
B: Um, huh.
M: I then went .... after going and pullin' a good long period in the United States
Army, being discharged then, I came back and finished my college work, and wen
into the profession of teaching.
B: Um, huh.
M: And I taught for a number of years. Presently now I am still)of course the
mayor of the town of Pembroke and executive director for a newly established
organization in the state of North Carolin4, ., namely the North Carolina
Commission of Indian Affairs.
B: Yes, sir.
M: I'm executive director of that at the present time. And we'll talk about either
one you prefer first, the commission or the mayorship.
B: Well, we certainly want to cover that ground. I was just wondering if
there were any details we missed on your personal biography because this
will go permanent file in the University libraries, and could you give us
the dates you were in service and which branch of service you were in?
M: Well, I went in in June of 1942, and came out in July, 1945.
B: Um, huh.
M: And of course I served with the United States Army in the artillery and
also in the medical aid department. Uh, I never did get overseas, but it
was very essential for some to rema'f\ here and prepare and set up the things
that were necessary for those to serve on foreign soil
B: Yes, sir.
M: So I served in the Medics in the service as well as in the Field Artillery,
uh, while I was in the U. S. Army.
B: Um, huh. I remember, if you'll excuse this personal injection, when you were
deciding to run for mayor, you and I had a conversation, and you said, "Well,
Brother Barton, I'm praying about it and whichever way the Lord leads me,"
you says, "that's the way I'll go." And says, You can depend on / because
I was one of the people who wanted you to run.
M: Um, huh.
B: And uh, what year was that? Do you rem--?
M: Um, ... that was ... '66.
B: '66. I remember it very well and I know you did run and you did ... you did
go over well, and you came to be considered a man of the people and you're
still considered as the people's man, and uh, 'course I've always been very
proud of that-- of having known you and maybe you could tell us something about
your experiences since you became mayor of Pembroke.
M: Well, first of all, Mr. Barton, let me say that I have always appreciated you
and your interest in people and the welfare of everyone and especially the
way you felt about me. I know that you have supported me through these
years in every election and as you forestated there I did give it much con-
sidoeration before I decided to shoulder the responsibility if it was the will
of the people. And it was sorta hard for me to get out of it because I had
been consulted about it for eight years and finally some of my friends called
me in and they stuck the filing fee in my pocket and says, "You go file, and
uh, we'll put you in office. 'YMu won't even have to work for it." But I
came 6 to the conclusion before I did accept it that I'd give it what I had and
seek the guidance of the Almighty in performing' the duties that I was sure
I would be faced with. And as a result, I feel like that it's helped me as
well as many of our people--in the town of Pembroke. I feel that we have ac-
complished many things. One of the most important things were the upgrading
of the water and sewer--two items that any municipality must have. It's im-
possible to get along without it and ours just weren't sufficient. So one of
the first things we did after we got in office and surveyed the overall
situation. We began to look for monies to help us out in this affair and
I took the clerk and part of the board and we went immediately to Raleigh-.
And went to the co-ordinator for the state of Norht Carolina that has to do with
EDA funds. And of course he was nice enough, Mr. Charles S. Edwards, to
come to Pembroke and help us file the application. And after this in eleven
months, we were given in the form of a grant by the Federal.Government $215,0001
B: Um, huh.
M: And of course we matched that money and they also loaned us that at an interest
rate of 4 ]/4% which I thought was very good. And of course we've upgraded
the water and sewer to where we've been able to meet the demands of our
university, namely Pembroke State University.
At that time I believe we had about six to eight hundred students. Now
I believe it's somewehre in the area of two thousand.
M: Just today we contracted the engineers that 0 looked after this upgrading
for us before and they've consented to come in a period of thirty days and
observe the situation agin for us and write a proposal in order that we
might be able to gather at least another lf a million dollars to continue and
expand more yet our water and sewer facilities. It's very demanding that
we have this simply because we have according to my knowledge, one of the
most outstanding univeristies in the state--in the United States, and it's de-
manding much from the town. And we feel that it's our duty and our responsi-
bility to stay sorta ahead of the game. We're looking' ahead now uh, several
years. We ... we have been assured that if we get a half a million dollars
or more that the Federal Government will pay 55% of it and that the state
will pay 25%; this will give us 80% of the cost of it and that will lighten it
very much on the taxpayers of the town of Pembroke. Now we ... we have done
many other things there nine with this but I feel like this is the most
urgent and the most outstanding accomplishment that we've made since we've
been in this office here because now and that number of people-- we have
students there from New York to Florida-- we have students from the West and it's
a great asset and a / service to not only the Indian people of this area,
but to one and all that will come and indulge in the educational facilities
of Pembroke State Univeristy. I'll tell you, I'm ... I'm very pleased with
the overall operation. On this campus we've had many new buildings con-
structed recently, and I understand that the potential is about as great as
ever for a continuation of this same sort of thing.
B: Um, huh. And the town has worked hand in hand with the university, hasn't it?
M: We've been very close in every respect--good understanding, good relationship,
and I feel like that there's not another university in the ... in the United
States that have had a better relationship and have gotten along any better
than the people of the university and especially the students and the
original people of the immediate area.
B: Um, huh. And the town ... the town has always ... has always furnished these
facilities for the institution. This has bec--, this has come down to us
... down through the years, has it not? I mean it's sort of a traditional
thing, isn't it?
M: Well, for a few ... for a while there, they did have a water tank up there
that weren't sufficient and the operation was such that they realized that
they'd come out better to allow the town of Pembroke to furnish these
utilities for them. So we've been doin' it now for a number of years and
it iwo(ks better for all.
B: This is something that most people don't know about I suppose and it is
very important and uh, I'm sure that ... the facilities you were describing
to me a while ago ... this is very interesting and also I was interested
in the facilities for the ... the plant that you anticipate coming to the
area. I wonder could you comment on that?
M: Well, in my term in office here we ... we have two factories that have
come. We have one here now that's just getting in full operation and it's
owned by Stuart Modular Homes of New York City and they're building' a trailer
type home which is very essential, easy to be had, and it's serving' a good
purpose we feel like. Many of our people have been able to secure positions
or jobs in this particular plant and we t that it's growing daily.
B: Um, huh.
M: We also have in our town a ... a sewing factory that has been most successful
to our people for a number of years and we have another one that was just
set up last week, the paper work was processed on it and I happened to be)
in a sense a part of it and I had to sign some of the papers. And we
expecting' that to be opened up and running' pretty well in full operation
within the first thirty days of 1973.
B: That's certainly great because employment is so very important to this de-
pressed area here in Rob/son County.
M: Also in line with this plant that we're speaking' about, I'll tell ya a little
more in detail on' it there, ...
M: We're goin' to have one hundred sewin' machines installed. And that will
work a hundred of our women. We'll have some maintenance help in there
and chances are some cutters and some packagin' and there'll be a office
crew. I don't know if ... if we don't be a working' in this new plant at least
150 people. And I ... I'm certainly pleased with this. I feel like that this
will be one of the greatest assets to this immediate area right here, namely
Pembroke, shich I take to 6e the capital city of the Indian people, the Lumbee
Indian people of Rob son County and surrounding areas. This might be deviated
a little bit, but listen to ... I just want to mention it. If you'll notice
every Sunday our streets and highways in and around the little town of Pem-
broke here are just corroded with people--it's bumper on bumper and it's that
way all the evening. I'm glad because our Lumbee Indian people feel this way
about Pembroke, North Carolina.
B: That's great. You don't believe ... you don't think there's any animosity
well, on our part anyway toward anybody do you mayor?
M: No, I feel like that we're a peace-lovin' people and let me say againthe re-
lationship in the town of Pembroke and the surrounding areas with three races
here, the black, and the Indian and the white, and then with the different
personalities that we have coming' to our area from across the state to attend
the university, uh, I feel like that we've had excellent relationship, and I'm
certainly thankful for that.
B: It's cert--, it's certainly encouraging uh, there's so many things that
we could talk about but I want you to feel free to discuss the things
which are important to you because you're ... you're close to the ... activities,
all the activities of the Indian community, I think. -(
M: I just like to talk here, Mr. Barton, a minute about another project we have in
the town of Pembroke that we're pleased to have and the need was very great
for it.. And that is a housing project.
B: Um, huh.
M: We have in ... in our town here under construction now a housing project and some-
times I try to say it in a way that everybody will understand because some
of us are country people and some are city people, but this project is ... is
70 homes. And I don't know, tell you the truth, IjX't know how many families
it will really take care of, but it cost $1,360,000. And this is some-
44--is reffered to by me as sixteen acres of homes---sixteen acres of homes.
And the thing that is so pleasing about it-- those people that are old, those
people that have been under-privileged, and haven't had a chance in life, and
many of them now that would sleep cold if it weren't for this, and wouldn't
have a comfortable place through the daytime even to rest, those I that have
passed the age of being able to render service, they come first in being able
to get into these homes. And you know, that ... that makes me feel good be-
cause so many people today have never had to suffer and they don't know what
it is to suffer and to not have a good, warm comfortable place especially in
M: ... to sleep and to stay, and this just thrills me to know that we've got un-
der.: construction sixteen acres of homes. Now ...
B: That's wonderful.
M: We've put in for another 300 such homes.. You know they don't always
give you what you ask for.
M: We asked for 200 and got 70. We've asked for 300 and this time we've got
75. This is being processed, which will be a continuation in the area of
housing that we're dealing' with at the /time. So when we get along with this
seventy, seventy-five more, along -ih the other homes that are bein' built
in town by contractors and individual builders, I feel like that it won't be
long before A have our housing pretty well under control.
B: Yes, sir. How about the appearance of Indian homes in the area. Do you if
they compare favorably with those of other groups, people from other ethnic
M: Well, I think, I think we're a little above the average. Now I was on the
Cherokee reservation in the western part of the state a little better than a
week ago and I didn't go in and look, but to observe it looked to me that they
weren't as far along as we wge in the quality of homes that I was able to
observe. We have other areas in even in the state of North Carolina here.
Some, some areas I go in with about r(Chours, about equal hours, some
I go into would be a little under. I don't think I found any anyplace that
would excel us in appearance, in quality and comfort. So I feel like we're
not in too bad a shape, but the thing that is thrilling, we're getting bet-
ter all the time.
B: Nothing is ever so perfect it couldn't be a little bit better, right?
M: There's always room for improvement, but we're human beings and we're limited
and ... that's the thing I'm looking' for is progress and growth and improve-
B: Well, now this gives you connections with other Indian groups. As a matter of
fact you're in close contact with every Indian group in No1li Carolina, right?
M: Yes, uh, huh. Yes. Unlessin' there's a few some place that I don't know
about, and 'course I got a rundown on the census just recently and I find flyf
there's only three or four counties in the whole state that don't have at least
one Indian. Some of 'em have only one, or two.
B: Well, you know, that's interesting.
M: That is interesting. And if I ... I'm gonna try to remember to mail you one
of these packets that I made up with the Indian Commission. Before we get off
of this let me mention one other project; now in this upgrading of water and
sewer we put in one water tank. And all of this past stuff the Federal Gov-
ernment paid half of it for us. But we're coming' up now with another water
tank to increase pressure yet, which ill give us three high-rise water tanks
in our municipality here of 1982 /. Of course the university on the ... on
the rim here of the city puts many of their people on us for a period of time
so we do have many more than 1982 that we're supplyin' the need. But we have
a third water tank that's bein' put up to increase pressure for industry
that's here, for industry that's comin'now, and for industry we expect to come
later. And this tank we'll set on a two-acre tract of land that the town of
Pembroke owns, but the Federal Government will pay the full price for it. It
won't Dst the Indian, the WPack, nor the white taxpayer in the town of Pembroke
and the surrounding area any extra tax,
B: Well, that's great.
M: This is another something' that sorta thrills me and we're not out a'lookin'
for handouts or looking' for something' that we're not entitled to, but I felt
like that our area was entitled to the things that we've gone out and got
and we're entitled to more and we're by no chance stopping ; we're still moving'
in that direction and trying to gather that which it would take to sustain
for the needs of our people in this immediate area.
B: Well, that's certainly encouraging, and I think everybody ought to know about
the advancements that the town is making and we're certainly glad to have
you tell us about it, because naturally you know more about it than just about
anybody else. How about ... how about the racial division in the town itself?
We have ... we know we have all three races and this is something some people
don't generally know about, but what percentage, do you ... have you any
idea as to what the percentage is or ?
M: We've got ... it's just about 85% Indian, about 5% black, and 10% white.
B: Uh, huh. That's in the town proper.
M: In the town of Pembroke.
B: That doesn't count the University?
M: No, hu, uh. We've got also in the town of Pembroke another something' that
might be interested in the government. We've got all races on our boards.
And on our police force we've got Indian and white. It's been open for the
black, but no one has come uh, for a position as a policeman. Now we have
a ABC Board, we have a Housing Authority Board, we have a zonin' board, and
we have a board the town commissioners, / governing' body of the entire town.
Along with myself, and the relationship to me seems to be just excellent
with all of those boards, with the governing' body, with the fire department--
and it seems to me like the operation is overall very successful. In other
words, I'm delighted with it when I read and learn about what goes on
4 in some of the other smaller municipalities, even in the state of North
B: This is certainly interesting because h the percentage of Indians being
as high as it is the Indians could absolutely control public offices and shut
out other groups if ... if they were so minded.
M: That could easily be done.
B: But this has never happened, has it?
M: No, we'll ... we'll have better relationship when we respect all races.
M: And do that which is just, honest, and acceptable.
B: Right. Right. In other words we're more democratic than most people
realize, aren't we?
M: I think so, yes. Yes, we definitely are.
B: And this is Christian too. It's certainly encouraging. Well, I don't
mean to interrupt you always, but I ...
M: This is good, we want this because the more questions you ask, the more in
detail I can go and 1 chances are bring more of the things out that would
be really and truly interesting to the people that ha-e never been in this
area. And again let me say we do have all three races here--- we, we livin'
in the same municipality ; we have all three races in ... various positions,
even though the Indian is far ahead so far as percent or number is concerned.
In our municipality her we have all three races that have business or at least
the Indian and white. Our ... our colored people are so few until ... we
wouldn't expect too much from them; they're, they're very few. In fact I
believe in number, one count I had of it, was thirty-odd.
B: Just thirty-odd ...
M: Yeah, that would be even less than 5%, a whole lot but I didn't want to be ...
I didn't want to give them less than they really were.
M: Now we might come back to this but since we're ... we're speaking' about housing'
there and this sort of thing, I'd like to this now and sorta tie it
with the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs.
B: Right. That's a great idea.
M: We ... we ... we've travelled over the state and especially the eastern part
of the state; I mentioned a while ago about goin' to Cherokee, but their a
reservated Indian and they have a direct line into the Federal Government.
They have a connection that the non-reservated Indian don't have. And we
are non-reservated on the eastern shore here, and in the housing area, we've
gone to, to different county seats and carried in carpenters that ... to the
FHA and got set-ups there for people to get homes built much easier. We've
got a set-up in process that will pay a portion of any individual's home 4SE
if his income is not what they feel like it ought to be. And in the town of
Pembroke here, I talked to the Brooks boys over there and to a Mr. Sam Kerns
that looks after the housing' and I've been working' with him on this. There's
other people over the state that are doin' the same kind of work, and he told
me he number of homes several months ago that they had built, were building ,
and would built that had been traded for was somewhere above ninety.,,
M:...or underprivileged people out there that otherwise wouldn't have had a home.
B: Um, huh. Was the program a little late in getting' started or did it start
about on schedule or what? I really don't know --- the housing program.
M: Now you're talking' about the commission housing ?
B: I'm talking' about the housing' here in Pembroke.
M: Oh. Well, the housing' here in Pembroke--you know, a big operation like that
you take $1,360, 000 worth of homes or sixteen acres and you're dealing' with
the Federal Government there, they can set a date as a general ruleeAs a general
rule, it's hard to get right in on that date. There was some things with
some of the sub-contractors, to begin with that held it up, I know what
thinking' about, it appears to be off schedule but there was someone under
contract and they didn't perform satisfactorily and they had to make some
M: And in making' these changes, it throwd it behind sometime, and of course
these things will happen all over. But now along with this we do have a
state operation that's reaching' out into the areas and finding' the people
that are livin' in homes with holes through the floor in some places and
... leaks in the top and we're able to help many of these people get decent
homes to live in.
B: That's wonderful. I ... I certainly hope it continues. YQu know my wife worked
with the poverty program for a while and I heard her talkMM about going
into homes, uh, you know, among 4 races, ...
M: Im, huh, yes.
B: ... poor people where they didn't even have a cook stove, ...
M: Uh, huh.
B: 'Course these are extreme cases.
B: But this is all so encouraging and .... what do you envision for the Commission
on Indian Affairs in North Carolina?
M: We're going to get grants, and we're going to get help to set up programs,
and we're going to have what is known as an endiig desk, and this is just
going to be another agent, sorta like community relationship, sorta like
good neighbor council, uh, it's going to be another agency in the area that will
promote livelihood in many respects for the people. I'll tell ya, I'll
tell you one thing there now, when I was hired executive director they didn't
tell me what to do, but the bylaws and the bill itself mentioned recreation,
and housing' and so forth. And on the ... in the field of recreation we're
deviatin' a little bit but let me reach back to the municipality here on re-
creation and then we'll go back to the commission. In the town of Pem-
broke here we just about finished up a very unique Little League park, I like
to call it, here in the twen of Pembroke, fixed up with good lighting' a
good fence around it, good building's, good bleachers, and the Federal
Government paid half of the cost of that. We have another park area here
that we're working' on now, the lawyer is processing' the papers, and
the land for this particular park in our town here will be given. And of
course uh, uh, the Federal Government''will give the value of that land in
money to develop it.
B: Um, huh.
M: Alright, let's reach back now to the Indian Commission. In the Indian Com-
mission when theyhired me and I didn't know just what to do, but I went right
out and the first place I went to was this International Paper Company,
which is a big organization. And over among the Lake Waukemau Indians,
namely the i they have no recreation; they have to drive thirty-six
miles for any type of recreation, and I went over there along the highway
with some of them and we picked out a nice place there, and we went to In-
ternational Paper Complany down in Georgetown, South Carolint, and asked
'em for five acres of land there. They're going to give that land because
they asked us to go ahead and survey if off and pay for the surveying, and
send them a copy of the survey, and that we did.
B: Well, that's great.
M: Then they took that survey along with all of the other things and made up a
complete package and sent it to headquarters, and we're waiting' now for that
to come back to us--a deed. When we get that then we're going to some foun-
dation, or we're going to some department in the Federal Government, and
we're going to get money to develop that. We plan to go there and build some
type of recreation building' as well as set up a Little League ballteam that
could be used for other baseball set-ups also. This is in one area now if
this works in that one area and it's going to Wc, we're going to the other
areas and do the same thing. We've got an area up in Sampson County--these
are the c --_ri Indians. We want to do the same thing there. Then we want
to go on up little nearer to the line of Virginia, uh, to Warren and
Halifax County, and do the same thing up there.
B: For the __ Indian.
M: That's right. And of course we're going to be getting these things largely
for the Indian people.
B: Um, huh.
M: We, we wouldn't dare block anybody else out but when you go in an area where
there's pretty well nothing' but Indians, then you can call it Indian.
B: Right. You know, this is the first time you were, you were employed originally
with a brand-new organization, and uh, o4course you had to start from
scratch, everything new has to start from scratch, but could you tell us a
little something about how the North Carolina Commission on Indian Affairs
came into existence since it is fairly new?
M: Yes, well, I odn't hardly know where scratch is at, but we started and ... we,
we got together and wrote a bill several times and carried it in, and it, they
let it down. Some of the di UJ, some oithe others, mostly worked on this,
now I didn't put much time in it.
B: Yes, sir.
M: And on about the third time we just got together and we had people from all
over and we went up and we went into a caucus with members of the General
B: Um, huh.
M: And uh, after we had gone through discussion after discussion, asked ques-
tions and answered questions, I know I got out of my bed one night and drove
all the way to Raleigh, better than a hundred miles, and we had a meeting
there 'til 2:30 in the morning, something like that; then in a ubus the
next day with members of the Gderal Assembly, and we sorta educated 'em on
the, the set-up that it would be successful and they pushed it through the
General Assembly and the last assembly. And ... the ... why I say it was
scratch, and really scratch, the only appropriated $25,000 for a bi-/nnium--
two years, and they, they were about to get out and not do that, but we
took that $25,000 and waited til ten months of the two years had passed, and
then we broke it down and got what we could and we've moved with that. I'm
the only one on the staff--paid. And of course another one of he things
that I'm pushin' for, besides recreation is a.budget--state budget.
B: Um, huh.
M: I've gone through the important people there in getting' this budget set
up. We, we've asked for a change in budget--from $25,000 to $ 200,000. That
B: Um, huh. Do you feel optimistic about it?
M: Oh, I feel good! Now you take our budget advisor uh, member, Mr. Gardner,
I had explained this thing to just about everyone on the budget adv--, budget
committee. And he told me that when he presented it there weren't one
question asked about it. They passed it.
B: That's great.
M" 'Course now when the pass it uh, it goes into the General Assembly, and the
General Assembly is the one that says whether we have it or not--the final
say on it. But I think maybe the General Assembly will take what they've
said when I bought them up to date on things we were doin', things in the
field of recreation, things that had to do with manpower, getting jobs,
we've done right much of that, helping' Indian numbers set up businesses and
get money through ... organizations like small business. We worked right ex-
tensively in the field of education. However, just one man on the staff--you
couldn't expect too much. But it seems to me like that we we're going to
have it off of the ground in a little bit. Now ...
B: Well, now we have here a dream uh, coming into fruition and I wonder if you
mind let's ... backtracking just a little bit, and if you would mind naming
some of the people you know who were responsible for the ideas, or those
you remember and those responsible for bringing it into existence--this
would certainly be helpful because this commission is not going to end
as you and I both know, it;s going to grow. I share your optimism there2
and it is working out.
M: Let me come back to that in just a minute when I finish about this budget.
I might forget that.
M: As has been forestated twice I believe I'm the only one on pay, but when
this budget goes through then we're going to put people out in the field.
Educationalist specialists, research workers, uh, people in general, to
help in finding' the needs where that we can be useful to and that will
relieve my ...'
B: This is Side 2 of the tape of the interview with Mayor Maynor. And I'm
sorry we were interrupted there by coming to the end of the tape. But I
hope you can pick up where you were.
M: That's ... that's to be expected. We ... we were ready for that. Now when
we get enough of people on staff that something' will beacomin' across the
desk to entertain pretty well all of my time. Then of course I will spend
that time in Raleigh. But up until now I've had to get out in the field and
travel far and near and make personal contacts to get eft this thing moving as
far as we have gotten it already. Now let me reach back to the question
you asked here about the beginners. Uh, tell you the truth, this thing
started several years ago. John Wheeley Oxendine, Hilton Oxendine, and seem
to be like Horace Locklear, who is our attorney now, and Herman Dial and
there was a few others; this was several years ago made an attempt at it.
M: They got together and had a meeting over there and it just didn't work. Then
later on Bruce Jones, Ruth Roberts, W. J. Strickland, uh, Bill Loughery,
Shirley Loughery, uh, and there's several others that had a part in it ...
B: Um, huh.
M: ...from this area; from the Columbus County area we had Priscilla Jacobs,
Cliff RTayrnl and Mrs. Raym* d and there's some others from that area that
I don't know their names, that's the 9 Y Indian area; up in Sampson
County we had Dolphus PRn we had James L. Jacobs, and we had Mrs. Dolphus
Broynton that really took a part in it, in preparing' it and making' it
ready. We had up in Warren and Halifax County W. R. Richardson, the chief
up there, and Herbert Richardson, and a Mr. McGhee, and uh ...
B: Bill McGhee?
M: Bill McGhee, and there's several others I ... I don't remember right off their
names, along with folks like our Indian Commissioner, Brantley Blue in Wash-
ington, D. C., and fellas like Tom Oxendine, and Mr. Sweat, uh, that Pernell
that's in Washington also with HEW; Mrs. Helen Shurbeck and there's many
others that were interested in it and got behind it and put their shoulder to
the wheel and pushed on if and of course by so doing after this group made
the second stab at it, they passed it, and I think it's one of the most out-
standin' and will be one of the greatest assets that the state has realized.
B: Uh, yessir.-
M: Because we've got one agency, listen to this, we've got one agency LRDA,
Lumbee Regional Development Associates, I was in the office there this mornings
They've had several funding from the Federal Government. I don't remember
the total number, amount of money but the last funding' they got, or grant,
B: Um, huh.
M: I was able ...
B: You were associated with that also aren't you, Mayor?
M: Yes, well, these organizations come within the range of the Indian Com-
B: Yes, sir.
M: I was in there this morning and he has forty-five on his staff, working' now.
Now the good thing about this, this is not state money, but this is
Federal money that's coming' into the state because of the Indian Commission.
M: Along with that, the other three areas that I just mentioned the _____i
CO2 Aar)a Ho 0/o We 4
the _, and the Hgita, we have the same kind-of organization set
up there. I personal took the articles of _eea era and carried them
to dS(Thad j/t I's office, the Secretary of State. The lawyer and myself
went through them and made sure that they were correct and they've been
registered or recorded with the state. The bylaws as a non-profit organi-
zation has been accepted. Now these three other areas are ready to write
proposals and get funded the same way from the Federal Government to carry
on different programs in their area. And this is under the North Carolina
Commission of Indian Affairs.
B: Um, uh. Now who um, we, we'd like to say a word if we 'may, about the ones
who our statesmen who you know had the job of pushing it through the Gen-
eral Assembly. Would you mind mentioning the names of the people, you know,
who, who sorta pushed it through the General Assembly, our statesmen from
this area, who were ...?
M: Yes, um, huh. We had A Mr. McFadden from ... representative from Scotland
County, the area; and we have ... we had a Mrs. Mary Odum, that was
right behind it from the Assembly, a member of it; we had Mr. Gus Spiro, another
representative that was very inte-rested in it, and the ReverenjJoey
JpasTr from Fairmont, ...
B: Um, huh.
M: He's a black man but an excellent man; he's a minister, pastor of two
churches, and he gave it everything that he had. I feel like that he's
more responsible than anyone else for the $25,000 that we got to operate
with even though it was a very meager sum.
B: It was hard to get that, wasn't it?
M: It was. And he ... he stood his ground, and he spoke up and they gave it to
us and out of that $25,000 we've bought office equipment, got our offices set
up, and we've had enough money to ... to buy other things that we had to
have as well, as pay me my salary and pay me mileage and uh, uh, for meals
and this sort of thing when I was a long ways from home. So I'll tell ya, I
feel like that those four people there in particular, since they are from
our area, were very interested in it and they really and truly wanted
to see it passed. And I'll have to say, and put it in tape here, that
I do appreciate it and many thanks to those people. Now we had a Mr. Irvin
Aldridge, that was with the Department of Local Affairs there in Raleigh and
some of his staff that played a mightly big hand in helping' us to get this
agency set up. And we appreciate that so much. I understand he's gone back
to private law practice now, but we appreciate he ... what he did and his
staff in givin' us a help in preparing' and getting' this to where the General
Assembly could pass it.
B: It takes a lot of people working together for a common cause to do anything,
M: It certainly does and one of the things that I'd like to impress here is
cooperation. Cooperation, with good relationship, and uh, I feel like that we
have, we have that among our people and I've got good cooperation in all of
M: Everything hasn't been completely satisfactory to everyone, and it wouldn't
do for that to be true. If anything fitted everybody then I'd want to
B: Right. I don't think, well, not ... not even everybody accepts free salva-
tion, do they?
M:t. That's right. Well, we're in the form now of writing annual report; however,
we've only been in operation for seven months, but I'm in the process of
writing up an annual report, uh, giving in detail as much as possible what
we've done up til now, and what we're doin' and what we anticipate. This
must be prepared to go to theGeneral Assembly to make sure that we get this
budget that we have in for passed.
B: That's great.
M: Now Mr. Barton, if you don't ... if you don't have something' else in particu-
lar that you'd like to ask me about, I feel like that in a very weak way we've
pretty well covered the most important things that I've been associated with,
and had a part in, since my term in office began, and the seven months that
I've been withthe North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs.
B: Well, that's certainly great! I would i like to ask you just a few more
questions if I may. I know how very valuable your time is and we appreciate
it so much, but this is for alot of people and it can do alot of good I think.
B: I think it's a worthy program. I did want to ask you something about your
early life, your schooling, where you attended school, and uh, your degree,
and honors, and various things that have happened to you---we don't want to
M: Well, feller bein' sixty years old, why it's been a long time since he entered
school, but I went to what is known as New Hopes up here for a short while.
Then we ...
B: Is that the site, the original site of what is now Pembroke State University?
M: That's the original site. A little ... a wood building' there.
B: That's right.
M: We moved bein' farmers from the east side of Pembroke to the west side,
and then I went to what is known as the Chavis school over there. In a
building in a section where there were alot of Chavis people and we called
it the Chavis school.
B: Was this a one-room ... school?
M: No, there were two rooms in this one. Two rooms, Then after a short, after
some three or four years there, uh, I went to what is now Pembroke Elemen-
tary School. We know it, we knew it as the Pembroke Graded School.
B: Um, uhuh.
M: But it's really an elementary school, and that's what is is today. I wouldn't
remember the years, this and that and the other, because back then alot of
our people were i4school a while and they'd have get out and stay out a while
and get a little something to go back with and ...
M: ... and sorter your ... your way along and ... I finished elementary there
and then went over to the Old Main building that we have in question now.
That there's been alot of talk about recently--lot of pictures of it run
through the paper. So I went over there and finished my high school work.
And got about two years in normal work. Then I went to the Army, and when I
came back from the Army, and married with a family, it had changed over into
a college -- a four year college, so I went and did four years of college
k there after I was married and along with the building' and the timbering
I went into the classroom and taught for about twenty years. I came out
of the classroom last April, uh, in the middle of the month uh, to take
over this executive position of the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs.
Now with his Indian Commission, uh, Mr. Barton, and 44,000 Indian people
in the eastern part here, with an office in Raliegh and an office in Pem-
broke, those two offices a hundred miles a part, of course I feel like that I'm
going to have to let the mayor ship go, if I hold to the executive director's
position in this North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs. I might have
to let it go anyw-y, you know, that would depend on the vote of the people.
But as it is ....
B: Well, I'm sure u have that.
M: As it ... thank Iou ... as it is, and right now I have more on me than I
really need. Because there are many things that I need to personally give
my attention to, and I just cannot C to all of them. However, I'm pleased
to have had the privilege to have been here with you and make this tape and
give what information I've been able to give about the town of Pembroke
and to tell you as much as I've been able to tell ya up until now about the
North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs. Let me say again we just
getting it off the ground and getting it started. I'm the complete staff --
one. And of course with this budget goin' through and with these other
organizations that we're expecting' right away to be funded I feel like that
it will be a great asset to everybody in the state and especially to the
Indian people of the state of North Carolina. We thank you for your time
uh, so much.
B: And we thank you for the Doris Duke Foundation and the University of Florida.
You've been very kind to grant us this interview and it's been a most in-
teresting and enlightening interview and we thank you very much.
M: Thank you.