This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of
Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.
This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
materials under certain conditions.
Fair use limts the amount of material that may be
For all other permissions and requests, contact the
SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Date: November 19, 1973
Subject: Mrs. Woodrow Sampson
Interviewer: Lew Barton
Transcriber: Josephine Suslowicz
B: This is November 19, 1973. I'm Lew Barton interviewing for the Doris
Duke Foundation's and the University of Florida's American Indian Oral
History Program. This afternoon we're favored to be at--in the home of
Mr. and Mrs. Woodrow Sampson. Is that right, Mrs. Sampson?
B: You're very kind to give us an interview.
S: Why, thank you.
B: Uh, would you mind telling us something about yourself?
S: Well, what would you like to know?
B: Well, uh, lot's of interesting things. Uh, first of all, would you tell
us who you are, something about your parents, maybe, brothers and sisters,
S: Well, I was born in 1921. I came from a family of educators, uh, going
back to, uh, my grandparents on my mother's side. Um, my grandmother from
my mother's side was, uh, the first Indian lady teacher among the Indians.
Uh, my grandfather was, uh, one of the founders of Pembroke--what is Pem-
broke State University, now. My mother taught school. My father taught
school. One of my uncles, uh, was the first--instigation of starting high
school where I finished high school, who kept and, um, the first high
school teacher in his home.
B: You better tell them where that is.
S: And this is in Prospect Community, uh, Robeson County, um, oh, about five
miles from Pembroke, and, um, I have two sisters who are teachers, uh, a
brother who is a teacher, I'm a teacher. I was--my first marriage was
to a--an educator who was, um, one of the, uh, first, well, I guess, the
LUM 142A 2
first Lumbee Indian to receive a doctorate in education, and, uh, who
came back here and taught in the university up until his death, uh, in
'66--1966, and my second marriage is to a school teacher who's been in
it and soon will be ready to retire, and I'm a teacher, but I've said
S: And I have one brother who is in, uh, insurance business, and that's just
about takes care of my education.
B: Uh, I wonder, did we mention the Doc's name, you know, Dr. Herbert G.
S: Oh, yes. My first husband was Dr. Herbert G. Oxendine.
B: Uh, he's one of the people who always inspired me more than anybody else
I can think about.
S: He was always interested in--very much interested in his race and especially
young people, and, um, he always seemed to see the need for an education
for, um, the Lumbee Indians, and he felt like this was a salvation for us
to, uh, get an education.
B: Right. Uh, would you tell--mind telling us the children's names?
S: My children?
B: Uh-huh. (affirmative)
S: Uh, I have, uh, four. Linda--Linda Ellen who is, uh, 27, I think, and she
is working in Washington. She's a graduate of U.N.C. and taught two
years in Richmond. She came back home and taught one year in our local
senior high school here, and then she went with, um, volunteer work with
the United Methodist Church, and from that into, um, Washington with, um,
what is it? Congress of American Indians? What is that called? National
Congress of American Indians, and she's been--then she took a year's leave
last year and went to graduate school and got her masters in administration
LUM 142A 3
of education from, uh, Penn State University. She had a scholarship there
and she's back in Washington, now, working again. Uh, my oldest son, Richard,
uh, graduate of the local high school here, he went into service and, uh,
was given a, uh, appointment, uh, through the army to West Point and he
stayed there one semester and decided that he didn't want the army as a
career, so he resigned from West Point and came back and, ur, entered the
University here. He has three years, uh, well, maybe a little better than
three years college, but he's working now as a foreman in one of our big
plants here, 'L Glass Com--Plant. Um, I have next is a daughter who is
21, Mariam, and she has about three years of college, un, very much interested
in music, in fact, that's her whole life, music, and my youngest will be
sixteen in December and he's a sophomore in the, uh, senior high school
B: Um-hum, did we mention his name?
S: And he's Herbert Junior, and that's the four children.
B: Are you happy about your children?
S: Oh, yes. I--I was sort of disappointed that, uh, maybe that Richard
didn't go onto college at, uh, and finish in the beginning, but, uh, finan-
cially wise, he's doing, maybe better than if he had a college degree, and
he's contented with what he's doing so, that's what makes everything happy.
He's the only one married, by the way, and I'm a grandmother as of three
B: Um-hum, how does that make you feel?
S: Oh, I don't know whether Ifeel anyi-differently or not. (Laughs)
B: Uh, did we mention the one brother who, uh, who is not actually teaching,
but who is an, uh, who is actually attached to-a-university? He's on the
Board of Trustees. He's also, uh, Robeson County Commissioner
LUM 142A 4
S: Yes, he's the one that's in--he's the one that's in the insurance business,
S: And, uh, of course, uh, .
B: He gets around, doesn't he?
S: Yeah, my brother, Adolph, uh, he is on leave nowfrom the university here.
Of course he's on, um, our Congressman, Charlie Rhodes' staff in some
S: And also he's writing, uh, co-author of a book on the Indian people--Lumbee
B: Uh, does his book have a title yet?
S: Uh, I don't think so. Uh, um, at least I haven't heard him say it.
S: Yeah, oh.
B: Uh, and that book sounds very interesting. I was talking with him the
other day, and he was telling me some of the things about it. He's been
working on it for quite a while, hasn't he?
S: Yeah--yes, he has, interviews and research and. .
S: and ____ -
B: Uh, did we mention your father's name and your mother's name?
S: Uh, my father was LUOy H. Dial, and my mother was, uh, Mary Ellen
Moore before she died--I mean, before she married. (Laughs) And, uh, I
didn't mention that her father, though, um, had to go to school with the
Negroes. That's the way he got his education because we didn't have Indian
schools and we were not allowed to go with the White, and that he got his
education with the Negro.
LUM 142A 5
B: And, of course, that was, uh, the Reverend W. L. esrr
S: L. T, yes.
B: Um-hum, uh, he's touched this university in so many ways, he's, uh, so
closely connected with the creation and then the first years .14( 1
many years thereafter he was the first teacher there, too.
S: Yes, and taught his first year, if I remember correctly, without any
S: And, of course, uh, I have a sense of great pride that one of the buildings
was named for him, and, also, this last--this past year the Science Building
at the university here, was named in honor of my first husband, Dr. Herbert
B: Well, you do have a lot to be proud of.
S: And also the, uh, athletic field at the senior high school is named for
Herbert, and he was the, ur, I think the first president of the Booster Club
there, long before we ever got football started, and the football field was
named in his honor.
S: So, we have, uh, have quite a bit to be proud of.
B: Uh, I wanted to ask you one thing about MIen Hall. Which building--could
we identify that building?
S: Uh, that's the Arts, uh, building, uh, Hert Hall, and there is the Music
Department, and, un, the, un, Arts and Crafts, and, of course, um, the
Auditorium where all the plays, um, they put on all the plays now.
B: How do you feel about, uh, Prospect?
S: Well, I'll always have a warm spot in my heart, I guess. It's home.
B: It's called PeM Community, isn't it?
S: Yes, it is. Uh, it's one community that always sticks together. When they
LUM 142A 6
decide to do something, they do it.
B: Um-hum, real cooperation.
S: Real cooperation and closely knitted community. They really stick together,
and when they set out to do something, you can bet your dollar it will be
B: Ur-hum, I'm proud that I came from that community too. Uh, you know, I
was priveleged to interview a lawyer--a young lawyer, uh, just a couple of
months ago who, of course, who comes from Prospect and that's,,uh, next
to Locklear. Uh, do you remember his first name?
S: Uh, is it Arnold?
B: Arnold, I believe.
S: Arnold, I think.
B: Ur-hum. He and I were talking. By the way, we sat down and started talking,
and I said, do you remember the Prospect brogue ? He said, oh yeah.
B: I said, well, let's talk Prospect on this interview. So, we had a ball.
S: Yeah, I'm often teased, you know, um, today, ur, one of the teachers was
teasing me. He said, well now, you come from Prospect. And I said, you
bet I do. (Laughs)
B: I'll bet it's a strange thing that even-isn't it--that even among the
Indian communities, uh, there's just a little bit different accent.
B: Just a little different dialect.
B: And Prospect is very distinctive.
S: Well, I think maybe that's because, um, well, for example, here in Pembroke
we--we do have, um, you know, teachers coming in as--almost as far back
as we can remember there's always been a few White teachers who come from
LUM 142A 7
other states, or other parts of the state, and I think maybe that had an
influence here. When they get Pembroke, urn, Prospect, you know, we didn't
B: We didn't have too many Whites, either.
S: Not too many, no. I guess we already had it when they came. (Laughs)
B: Ur-hum, it's kind of hard to get rid of.
B: And sometimes I wonder if we should.
S: Well, uh, it doesn't bother me now as much as it used to, you know, I've
seen the time it would have made me mad had someone teased me about it, but
now, um, I don't know. It's, uh, I don't mind--mind it at all, now.
Sometimes I think that's, uh, part of being different from the--maybe the
rest of the community.
B: Yes, I--I think every community should be distinctive.
B: And have its own pride and, uh, its own spirit and so on. Uh, you--you've
S: Yes, for quite a few years.
B: And, uh, uh, it seems that, uh, among Black students, uh, they're being
encouraged, now, to hang onto their dialect and have two languages, uh, and
this is sort of what we have, isn't it?
S: Yes, uh. .
B: We have a language we speak among ourselves, and we don't, uh, we don't
polish it up, but we know what we're talking about.
B: And, uh, it's, uh, it's a little bit different from, uh, what you might
think of as a standard language.
S: The trend is, today, that, um, you know, you can't say that any, um, language
LUM 142A 8
or grammar, or dialect is wrong and any is right. Um, the thing is, you
show them that there is a difference and, um, there's nothing necessarily
to say, well, this is right and that's wrong, but show there is a difference,
and, of course, um, but a lot of times it does, um, maybe just what you do,
uh, speak has an influence on maybe your economic and social, uh, standings
as far asfinancial standings, which all three ties in together, but you
don't try to, uh, you know, downgrade anything and say it's right or wrong.
S: And. .
B: Of course, if you get into this, you get into, uh, trouble over cultural
differences, don't you?
S: Yes, um-hum.
B: Now, uh, your father, uh, of course, was the son of, uh. .
S: Marcus Dial.
B: Ur-hum, and Elizabeth.
S: And Elizabeth Harris, who was supposed to, uh, have been the daughter of
S: And I guess you could tell them more about who Brad Harris is than I could.
B: Yeah, uh, well, maybe I could.
S: But we won't go into that. (Laughs)
B: He was--he was also a veteran of the Civil War, wasn't he?
B: He was a Civil War veteran. Uh, sometimes people think that, uh, Lumbee
Indians didn't fight in the Civil War, at least on the side of the South,
but some of them did, and he's Pone who did.
LUM 142A 9
B: I don't know whether they put him down as White or what, but he was--I
know he--didn't he draw a pension actually?
S: Uh, I don't know. It--I was sort of young when he died. I don't remember
that, uh, too much.,..*
S: About that.
B: He was a cabinet maker, too, at one time, wasn't he?
B: And Commissary keeper, uh, what we would call the Commissary keeper.
B: Or rMOCrer,,,
S: He also made coffins. (Laughs)
B: He was, uh, he was quite happy with tools.
B: Uh, how old is Professor Dial? He's retiring--well, he's not retiring, is
he? He's--he's simply giving up one position for another.
S: Who? My brother?
B: Um-hum. (affirmative)
S: Uh, well he's just, ur, uh, I think he's just taking a, uh, you know, leave
of absence for a year, or well I don't--I'm not sure how long, but for a
year. I don't think he's really retiring.
S: Of course he enjoys so much, he might.
B: Uh-huh, ur, I remember plowing with him as a boy, and neither of us loved
to plow very much, but, uh, we did it every summer. Um, we had quite a bit
of fun. Uh, do you remember a mule we used to have. .
S: Called Moral?
B: That youffather had, anyway, named Nell?
LUM 142A 10
S: Yes. (Laughed)
B: And she seemed to be an educated mule because, uh, uh, at noon time--when
noon time came she wanted to go to the house and get some fodder and hay
and stuff for her dinner, and she didn't wait to get to the end of the row,
she just turned out and went across the field. (Laughs)
S: Yes, I remember her quite well. I remember her throwing me one time.
B: Were you riding?
S: Yeah, trying.
B: I can still see, uh, Professor Dial in my--in my memory, uh, hanging onto
the reins and trying to keep her from trampling down the cotton and stuff,
and, uh, he just was no match for her. Nobody was really. She was really
a stubborn mule.
B: And she would clamp the bits in her mouth, and. .
S: But you know what I remember about you? You were always reading.
S: You'ld have to look for you and you might be in the cotton barn, or the
hay loft somewhere with a book reading. (Laughs)
B: And that's for sure. Uh, he plowed Nell and I--I mean, he plowed, uh, the
mule and I plowed the--the mare, you know, the black mare.
B: She was jet black and very sensitive, and I'm sure that Nell must have been
very happy when I stopped at the end of the row to pull a book out of my
pocket and start reading.
B: Trying to write poetry or something.
B: Uh, I think Nell must have been politic, herself.
LUM 142A 11
S: Um-hum, could have been, and I always remember you could stay out a week
of school and come back and read the French just like, uh, you had been
there all the time.
B: I was always reading something on the side, but it was not as organized as,
uh, as it should have been. Uh, I was getting something, anyway.
S: I've often said that I thought that your name and your sister's name must
have been on every book in Prospect library, because I think you checked
out every book that was in there.
B: (Laughed) We didn't have a terribly large library.
B: But, uh, it was--it was a pretty big task to read all the books.
B: I think the things we didn't read, probably, were the encyclopedias.
S: Probably. (Laughed) That's the only thing you missed.
B: The dictionary. I don't know where--do you know where we all got that
reading, your family and mine?
S: Oh, I don't know.
B: W bookworms.
S: Yeah, I guess we have. I guess we all enjoy it. I really don't know. The
person that I know that loved to read, and especially history. She loved
to read history.
B: Um, she passed away just. .
S: Uh, in June.
B: In June.
B: Uh, this was very tragic. She was, uh, connected with, uh, you know, church
work, uh, social work and this sort of thing. Everybody loved her.
LUM 142A 12
B: And, uh, everybody called her Sugar because she was. She was Sugar.
S: (Laughed) Yes, she was known as Sugar. Very few people knew her name.
B: Urn-hum. She was--she was very sweet.
B: She encouraged me a lot and, uh, I always remember her with, uh, great
admiration--respect, of course. She was--she was wonderful in so many ways.
S: Yeah, she was a firm believer in education, too.
S: Um-hum, yes.
B: Do you remember anything much about your grandfather, though, uh, Mr., uh,
S: No. I must have been, oh, seven or eight when he died. I was quite young,
and I'm--I remember, you know, seeing him in the pulpit.
S: Uh, preaching a few times, and I remember him coming to-visit us, and what
I remember about him most, you know, is when he was sick. He was sick for
quite a while, and my mother going up to the house everyday to see him, and
then we would go back at night, and I remember this about him more than
anything, other than, you know, what I've read, and what my parents have
told me about him. I feel like I knew him all my life.
B: Uh, your mother, I've heard you speak of, uh, Mr. Hamilton McMillon, who
was the father of PSU.
B: And the father of Lumbee Indian education, actually.
B: A great friend of, uh, Indian people, and, uh, your brother, Adolf, and I
were talking the other day about him--that he was a friend of the Indians
at a time when it was extremely unpopular to be a friend of our people.
LUM 142A 13
St That's right.
B: And we were .
15 REVOLUTIONS OF TAPE ERASED
B: Redsprings was named in honor of the,--m, Indians, as I understood some of
Mr. Hamilton P .7 writings, you know, he said, you know, uh. Red-
springs, uh, were mineral springs.
B: They're supposed to be, uh. healthful, and all this, and he considered it
to be a contribution of the, uh, the Indians here, so he called it Redsprings.
B: And, uh, this was quite interesting, I think, and, of course, Mr. McMillon
was of the belief and conviction that our people were direct* Iinef/
descendents of Sr WheC k 9af's lost colony. Uh, do you want to talk
about that any?
S: Um, I was thinking about in American literature, the other day, you know,
we were reading this, and, uh, I was telling the children how. of course,
uh, the children now don't remember, ou know. the word uh,
being used referring to, um, to us as and I was telling them about
it and how we resentedtit at the time.
B: And we changed to. .
S: Uh, we resented it because it was used in a negative manner, and, probably,
two thirds of the people never knew, really, what the word CrV&0 )
meant, and being used by the White man, it was, uh, didn't go too well, but,
uh, I was explaining to them that, you know, that we, uh, might be, uh,
descendents of *White's lost colony, and I told them about how the word
( lIff came about, and how we were called _____o_ at one time
in a slurring way, and really, it, uh, was something to be proud of.
LUM 142A 14
S: But it was just the way that it was used, and most people, and a lot being
uneducated, never knew why we were called d, of course, the
White man wasn't using it in that sense anyway.
S: And they, uh, found this quite interesting because, um, today we don't hear
the word, and they never knew this, and this was quite interesting to them.
B: I guess the difference could be, don't you think, that, uh, well, comparison--
you could think about, uh, northern people. They don't mind being called
B: But they don't like being called Damn Yankees.
S: Uh-huh (Laughs) That's right.
B: But it--but today, it seems that they're--they're fond of the name even
"when you put the Damn to it.
S: Oh, yes.
B: You know, it's, uh. .
S: And it's just, uh, like, you know, the Negro now.
S: He, uh, would have resented, a few years ago, being called Black, and today
this is what he wants to be called, Black.
B: Um-hum, or if you call him Negro, but don't mispronounce it.
S: No, don't call him Nigger, (Laughs) But they prefer Black, um, to anything
that you can call them. Anyway, the ones that I have in school, I know they
B: And I think this is almost universally true.
B: I don't think, uh, the Black race likes to be called Colored, uh.
S: No, no, and there's one thing about, um, them too. They're becoming very
LUM 142A 15
proud of them, uh, selves. Things that, ur, they used to, um, be ashamed
of, I guess, well, for example, now, instead of trying to straighten their
hair, they take on the Afro hair style, and it's, uh, one of the things
that they're trying to hold onto now, instead of doing away with it.
B: You know, I was privileged to, uh, lecture over at / r' College,
uh, two weeks this sum--this past school session, and, uh, we had some
very gifted Black people over there, and very well educated, and, uh, we
had a lady, uh, who unfortunately I can't remember her name, but she told
the entire history of her people in--in Negro Spirituals.
B: And she was so impressive. I was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole
time. Uh, she was so sweet about that thing, and the way she told the whole
thing, uh, it was so dramatic. She was the most gifted girl in,4uh, then
another girl, who was, uh, in drama, she asked me to play Summertime for
her on the guitar, and kind of accompany her. I never practiced with her,
but I think we did okay. (Laughs) But, uh, it was quite inspiring to meet
S: Yes, I. .
B: Do you think our people have a different attitude now, uh, along similar
S: I think. .
B: Now they're proud.
S: I think that things that we at one time, um, maybe were made to feel small
about or inferior, that now we're, uh, proud, or we're becoming proud of
these things, and at one--well, I think maybe this was due to, um, lack of
education, on, uhi ,the Indian peoples' part. They were not educated, and
they were made to feel so inferior by the White man that, maybe, we tried
to act and try to go for White, those that could, and, but now, um, .
LUM 142A 16
B: It's the other way around, isn't it?
S: It's the other way around. We, uh, we don't feel inferior. We, uh, ur, feel
that we're up there just like anyone else, and things that we at one time,
maybe tried to hide, or do, we--we're proud of it now.
S: And this is good.
B: And I think this is something that, uh, that may puzzle some of the people
connected with the university because, uh, there were people who, uh, when
it was Pembroke State College for Indians, who actually wanted for Indians
off there, they thought it was discrimination.
B: And, uh, that's when we lost it, uh, then it changed, and so, some of those
same officials today say, well, I don't understand people. This is what
we wanted and now we don't want it.
B: And maybe it's after you lose something that you realize how valuable it
was, or how. .
S: This is often true.
B: But, uh, human nature is, uh, uh, often--often puzzling, I guess.
B: But, uh, I've always been very proud of, uh, my Indian blood, and wished
I had more of it.
S: Yes, I am too. You know there's been, uh, there has been times, many years
ago--not so many years ago, either, where--that if you could get away with
not putting Indian on an application or anything because you felt like that
you would be discriminated against, you know, you wouldn't.
S: And, of course, now you're proud to put it there. Of course, they.almost
LUM 142A 17
to do away with putting race on anything anymore.
B: Ur-hum, well I'm--I'm not sure I--I go for that idea. I--I. .
S: No, I'm, uh, like a teacher I heard say one time, she was filling out her
form for the teachers'-English teachers'--North Carolina English Teachers'
Association, and, of course, on there, you know, it--it said race, and she
put the human race.
S: So that's just about the way I feel about it.
B: Well, that's nice. I would like people to think of me as a--belonging to
the human race first of-all, but in as much -as you have to identify with
B: Uh, and I'm always a rooter for the home team.
S: Right. Yes, I think we have a lot to be proud of.
B: If you had, uh, if Alladin should suddenly appear and say, uh, if I give you
a wish, uh, I'll let you change anything in this world you want to change
about Robeson County, what would you--would you change?
B: Just--if you had just one thing to change.
S: One thing? Oh, dear. Let's see. It would have to be a wish that would
include many things.
S: Uh. .
B: You're a practical woman.
S: (Laughs) Well, you know, uh, there's not as much discrimination now as there
has been, but there still'is, in all phases; employment, education, and every-
thing. I guess that's the one thing I would change, is, uh, discrimination.
B: Do away with it?
LUM 142A 18
S: Yes. Equal rights for everybody.
B: Mrs. Sampson, we've got--you've got a very distinguished husband, and he's
here, and also Mr. Bill Boll. I just wish we could include them on this
interview, don't you?
S: Yes, I wish you could. (Laughs'
B: Uh, you mentioned something about the Church and religion among our people.
Um, I know your grandfather was, uh, well, he was a religious leader, and,
uh, there've been--we were talking about educational leaders. There've been
many, uh, uh, church leaders and this sort of thing, too, haven't there?
And you were saying that .
S: Yes, well, the Indian people as a whole are a religious people, I think.
They've always--always have been, and I think, maybe, um, the Indian people
are more religious than any other race. Am I right?
B: I think so. Uh, you know, sometimes, uh, a book comes out, or somebody who's
supposed to be an authority on the American Indian, and, uh, Indian survivors,uh,
and the descendents of Indians, and so on, and they say, uh, how those Indian
survivors are just not too interested in religion, but that just doesn't
apply to us, does it?
B: I guess we've got more churches than anybody.
S: We certainly have.
S: Especially.in this area we have. I--we have more churches.
B: Uh, the Burnt Swamp Baptist Association has some forty odd churches alone,
doesn't it, and that's all Indian.
B: Uh, how about the Methodist? Uh, you belong, of course, to the United
S: No, I did. Uh, before I married, but I'm a Baptist now. I belong to the Burnt
LUM 142A 19
Swamp Association. (Laughs)
B: Well, welcome to the club. (Laughs)
S: Uh, the, un, United Methodist is not just Indian.
S: Well, they do have this one, um, oh what is that called, the Lumbee, um,
Lumber--what is the church, um, Methodist, um, group? They're all Indians.
You know, the James Harold, and all those belong to. What are they called?
B: Uh, I'm not sure, but I know--I know. .
S: But there is.
B: That they do have a Methodist. .
S: Uh-huh, yeah.c They have a Methodist Conference that's all, uh, Indians, but
the United Methodist, uh. .
B: Reverend James Harold Woods, of course, is, uh, .
S: My brother-in-law.
B: Ur-hum, and he is such a wide awake, promising, young man. He--he's still
young. I think of him as being young.
S: Yes, I think -so.
B: And he's--he certainly is a hard worker, and he's so devoted--such a
S: Yes, he's very serious with everything that he works with.
S: And, of course, he, uh, he came up the hard way. His father, you know,
died when he was quite young, and, uh, I think you really learn to appreciate
a lot when, uh, this happens to you. As you grow older you--you become--
when you become an adult, that you appreciate things that maybe otherwise
you wouldn't have.
S: Makes you work this much harder.
LUM 142A 20
B: Of course we went through a period of time when, uh, after we were dis-
franchised in 1835. During this period our people were not allowed to
build churches or schools. We had been ejected from White schools, and, uh,
I--do you think this, uh, there might be a little resentment still attacked
to that because we were in those schools one time, and, uh, .
?: We were disfranchised.
B: We lost our right to vote, we lost the right to have schools and churches,
and, uh, a fifty year period was, uh, imposed on us as a result of this,
which is very devastating.
S: Well you don't, uh, forget these things over night.
?: 1874, wasn't it?
S: I guess it takes, uh, many generations for it, uh, for you to forget it.
B: Do you think some of our people might feel, well, if, uh, we go in and,
except for integration, in a few years they'll be wanting to, uh, change
it again and force us out? Then we'll be left stranded without any
S: Uh, no. I don't think we'll ever get back to that. Um, Indians today--
the younger generation, ur, (J say they're educated, and, uh, they
would never stand for anything like this now. I don't think so.
S: I don't think we'll ever go back. We, uh, we know, um, the young people
today know much more and how to get things done, than our uneducated fore-
parents knew. You know, we--our foreparents took, uh, whatever was given
them. Ur, whatever the situation was, they accepted it and went along and
didn't know how to correct it.
LUM 142A 21
S: But today our people are educated and they're being educated, and they
just wouldn't stand for anything like this.
B: Do you have any idea at all as to how many Lumbee Indian teachers there are
in this service today?
S: No, I don't.
B: But it must be past five hundred, musn't it?
S: Oh, I'm sure.
B: Uh, we certainly. .
S: We have many of them who, uh, you know, who--young people today, not, uh,
aren't come out of college, maybe, with a teaching certificate, but yet go
into, uh, other work.
B: Ur-hum, now you've had, though--doing things more varied than they used to
then, aren't they?
S: Yeah, it used to be that, uh, we didn't know anything else to do other than
teach or farm, and so we went into teaching, but now the young people, um,
went into just about as many fields as any--anybody else.
B: Um-hum. Ur, what do you think we need most toward improvement? Have you
ever thought about that?
S: The Indian people?
B: Um-hum. (affirmative)
S: Um. .
B: Have you thought about, uh, our most pressing problems? Of course, any
community has problems.
S: Mmn, I don't know. I have to think about that, but uh. .
B: But you probably would come up with education because you're so gifted. Um,
how about Magnolia School? This is where you teach, isn't it?
S: Yeah. ?
B: And hiaB" Mr. Mark Brooks I [ over there?
LUM 142A 22
B: How long have you been over there?
S: Um, since 1956.
S: My husband before then. (Laughs)
B: Uh-huh, well, this--is this not the largest school among the Indians? I mean
traditionally Indian schools.
S: Uh, yes. Of course we have elementary, um, and, you know, high school both
there. It's--it's--it is the largest.
B: Um-hum, and how--how well integrated is it?
S: Um. .
B: Maybe it's 54A_____ G' lkiy3
S: Well, I would say it's fairly well integrated. Wouldn't you Woodrow?
S: Ur, I guess there's more, ur, you know, Black than Indians and White.
B: Uh, do you find more of a cosmopolitan spirit around Pembroke, say, than
you would find around, uh, the Magnolia Community, or maybe the Prospect
Community? Do you think that, uh, we have a tendency to--to merge with the
main population in thought as well as other, uh .
S: In Pembroke you say?
B: Ur-hum. (affirmative)
S: Uh, perhaps.
B: I noticed you were a little bit careful there, weren't you?
B: Well, one thing we have. .
S: Well, I think. .
B: In our communities, and all of them--all of them--asking you this I haven't
really thought about it, uh, but there is, uh, a competitive spirit among--
LUM 142A 23
and I think a healthy--helpful, competitive spirit among the various
Indian communities. I don't know whether we go to extremes or not, but
we certainly have heartfelt ball games, don't we?
S: Yes. Used to more--more so than now. Do you remember how Pembroke and
Prospect used to be? (Laughed)
B: Uh, if we didn't beat Prospect--if we didn't beat Pembroke, uh, .
S: We hadn't done anything. (Laughed)
B: Right, and when we did, it gave us a great deal of satisfaction, didn't it?
B: (Laughed) All kinds of athletics. Uh, how about in field of--the field of
the arts. I'm'stuttering. Um, do you think our people are as gifted as
anyone, or moreso?
S: Um, I would say they're as gifted as anyone. They probably haven't had the
chance. Well, they haven't had the chance, you know, that others have had,
but I'm sure they-are just as gifted as any other people, given the same
opportunity, uh, and brought up in the same environment, they will be just
as gifted, maybe more so.
B: Um, wonder what, uh, we know that, uh, uh, from the late, uh, Proctor Oxendine,
what do you think his keenest dream was. I mean he, you know, he had a lot
of dream--lot's of dreams, uh, he was so interested in athletics, uh, he was
interested in all phases, but did--did he have a pet dream, do you think?
S: Well, I don't--I guess, uh, I'ld have to say, you know see, um, the, um,
Indian people educated to where, um, they, uh, would become to where they
knew, um, well I guess, to feel just equal to, uh, anyone else, and, uh,
with education, of course, you can fight a lot of things that--against you
as a minority race, and I think this was, uh, the one thing--to see our
people, um, educated and able to, um, do the things that other people did,
I guess, as he would say.
LUM 142A 24
B: Ur-hum, well, the, uh, do you think the, uh, industrial revolution has had
a tremendous effect on the farming efforts in this county?
S: Oh, yes, yes.
B: I can remember when you just absolutely had to plow part of the time in
order to get to school. You wouldn't have had any clothes to wear if you
S: Well, people--it's not too much fun. Well it's--you know, mechanized now
B: This is side 2 of the interview with Mrs. Sampson. Uh, do you remember
where we suddenly ran out of tape, and I was so interested in what you were
saying I didn't catch it right away?
S: We were speaking of farming and children staying out from school to work
on the farm, comparing today with, uh, a few years ago, but now we don't
have this, uh, farming is done by machine. Then the parents farm and
work in industry and the children are not missing school.
S: And this used to be, uh, one of the things--a study was made that as children
entered school, just as intelligent as any other children in first grade,
and by the time they reached the sixth grade, um, you know, they were behind
a couple of grades, and it wasn't, of course, that they didn't have the
ability, but they were not in school, and now the children are in school.
They do have, um, good attendance.
B: Um-hum, and that makes the difference, too, doesn't it?
S: Yes, quite a difference, because you can't get it if you're not there.
B: I know there was a time when, uh, attendance was so bad because of students
having to stay out to work that, uh, actually there was some record
LUM 142A 25
S: Oh, yes.
B: This is something I heard, uh, .
S: You just made ure ju y cM AJf
B: A Oxendine complain about. He said, I'm not putting up the bet.
I don't do that for anybody. (Laughs)
S: Yeah, you just made sure you didn't mark the bus driver. (Laughs) Oh, but,
uh, you had to do it in order to have the pieces there in the middle of the
year when you had the students. If you didn't, then you lost teachers the
next year, and when the children did, you know, start regular attendance,
then you were overcrowded, and if you had not padded, uh, you would have
just been overcrowded in the middle of the year when the kids did come in.
S: Because, uh, your teacher allottment was based on your average daily attendance.
Urn, you know, for so many--well, it changed--it changed several times, but
maybe the last so many months, or the first so many months, and if you didn't
pad, then you'd lose part of your teachers and then when the kids did
come in regular, you'd be overflowing in the room.
S: So it was--we had to, uh, look out, you know, for ourselves.
B: It was the law of self-preservation.
S: We didn't have anybody else doing it for us. (Laughs)
B: That's right. Oh, me. Can you see,t uh, now, since integration--can you
see a marked change in the, uh, scholarly level? Uh, maybe I should
use some other term, uh, you know, the level of your classroom?
S: Well, I think it's good. Integration is, uh, good. I think it helps all
LUM 142A 26
S: And, uh, we have, uh, just as smart, uh, have the ability in all three
races. Ur, they're all the same. You have, um, poor students in all three
races, and you have good students in all three races.
S: A d I think this is good from the standpoint that the two minority races
then are not, uh, made to feel inferior because they do see, you know that
they--they have--that some of their race has the same--has just as much
ability as, uh, the White race, and I think it shows the White race that,
um, that others 4f Us 4 W; l r them, too, no matter what color you
are, so I think it's good for all three races. I think integration is
B: Ur-hum, it's here to stay, whatever, isn't it?
B: And you might as well get used to it. Actually, uh, uh, perhaps people
are right when they say that you can't be well educated if you don't know
anything about anybody except your own race.
S: That's right, you--you're just in one vicious circle, you know, if you
don't know anything about any other race but your own.
B: And this is what our school's had for years, isn't it?
S: It is, yes.
B: Althoug an autonomy has certain.. .
S: iFbnoed is what we had.
B: (Laughs) Right, that may have certain advantages, uh, but there are also
disadvantages SJ4 _44 don't have new ideas coming in.
S: Right. Inbreeding's not good for anything, or anybody.
B: Well, we, uh, I don't think we have that problem much now anymore.
B: Our people get around, uh, other people come into this, uh, community. Do
LUM 142A 27
you ever think about our community, uh, you know, this is a very unique,
uh, community geographically it's--I think of it as hide-a-way valley
because, uh, the Lumbee River Valley's entirely surrounded by swamps and
in the old days they were inpenetrable, and sometimes, uh, people--displaced
persons may have come into the community and found refuge here, uh, but, uh,
this is all very colorful to me, you know. Uh, you can conjour up all
kinds of ideas, but, uh, that also shut some things out, too, didn't it?
B: So I'm glad the gates are down anyway. Uh, were you surprised when, uh,
integration come--came--I'm very good at my Prospect.
rt- cri of raOj54e
B: T rr .. "m-. Uh, are you--were you surprised that, uh, like
some people, uh, you know, people all--used to fear that, uh, Indians and
Blacks and people like this were clamoring to--to batter down their walls
and get in anyhow, you know, and, uh, when they didn't--when integration
did come, I guess you--you met more resistance here in Robeson County, almost,
then anywhere else, and it was among our people. It wasn't the White people
who were fighting it. It was our own people.
Si Uh, yeah.
B: And some of them still haven't accepted it.
S: No, uh, I wasn't.
B: They're not for it, anyway.
S: I wasn't surprised because, you know, it's--you could see it coming, and,
like I -said--I said several times that, um, our people were becoming
educated and, uh, they were seeing where we were missing a lot of things,
and, uh, no, I wasn't surprised.
B: Uh, did you have any ideas about tests and measures, uh, you know, there's
been some--there have been some complaints that, uh, perhaps that tests and
LUM 142A 28
measurements, uh, which were based on the main population, perhaps, uh,
weren't so fair when applied to, uh, minority groups because, uh, it was
based on the, uh, main population culture and so on, but do you see any
of that there? or do you think that, uh .
S: Well, I think, uh, I don't think it was fair, um, because you can't expect
somebody to, uh, measure up to another person if he hasn't been exposed
to, uh, i 1 S and environment, um, contributes a lot to our education,
and not to our ability, I wouldn't say, but if he hasn't been exposed to
things, he can't know about them, and it's not fair to--to test someone
against someone else, if they haven't been exposed to the same things. Do
you think so?
B: Right, I agree with you. And what you're saying, uh, we had, uh, a y ay
B you remember some of the teachers we had up at Prospect--some of the
White teachers we had, uh, who were very good, and we loved them very much,
and, uh, they were quite devoted and perhaps we were lucky that we did have
a few teachers coming in fnom outside.
B: So we weren't, uh, stagnant, you know, we did have, uh, some new ideas
S: Yes, um, as I've said before that we--we have ability as anyone else, but we
just haven't been exposed to the things--do you know that I took a class to,
um, Fort Bragg's Playhouse a few years, uh, oh, a couple of years ago--an
English class, and no one in that class had ever seen a stage play before?
and I tried to make a--a point to, uh, at least once a year to take a group
to see a play because they've never been exposed to these type of things.
The only thing they've seen is television and movies. Well now, you couldn't
expect someone to know about plays and to know, um, about things that he
hasn't--that he didn't-; norwa- you know. There's a difference in being-
LUM 142A 29
what is it I want to say?
B: Willfully ignorant?
S: Yes. (Laughed)
B: And otherwise.
S: Right. Uh, just because you're ignorant with some things doesn't mean that
you're--have a low mentality or something.
S: It just--it simply means you haven't been exposed.
B: Lack of opportunity.
S: Right. Uh, to these things, and I think maybe this is one--has been one
thing, uh, that has been missing among our race of people, is that we
haven't been exposed to, uh, you might say, the finer things of life--the
culture we're missing in that. Of course, we are making progress, but we
have been missing in the culture aspect, and this is one thing, I think,
that maybe when our teachers, um, a few years ago used to go for, you know,
the National Teacher's Exam.
S: Because, uh, a lot of that is, uh, culture. You know, they show you, uh,
pictures of art and they want to know if it's gothic, or this type of thing.
Well, if you've never heard of it, or never seen it, you know, then how
would you be expected to know?
S: Of course, the whole purpose of this thing I read and heard, uh, this
National Teacher's Exam, anyway, was to, uh, in the beginning it came about
to, uh, really teach the, urn, Black race of teachers, you know. I've heard
that. I don't know how true it is.
B: Well, it must have, uh, a grain of truth in it at least.
S: Yeah, at least they say the three lowest paid states in the union are
LUM 142A 30
three that require it. (Laughed) North Carolina, South Carolina, and
B: Uh, we've come a long way, though, with teachers' salaries, although they're
not adequate at all.
S: No, not compared to uh. .
B: Other states.
S: Other states, and, um, other jobs, you know.
S: You take someone who finishes high school, and he, uh, lays brick, hangs
sheet rock--he makes much more than the teacher who has spent half of his
life in school.
B: Right. Preparing for his job.
S: Preparing for his job, and yet he's--he's underpaid.
B: That's uh, reminds you of somebody who went into a store and played a trick
on all the price tags, you know--switched them around while somebody was
S: I guess we're supposed to be missionaries. (Laughs)
B: Uh, how about the political climate? Have you been affected by it, or do
you think, uh, we--our teachers are affected by the political climate. Are
&*press -tst*uAw ?
they reluctant to, uh, ?
S: Well, I don't think as much now as they have been. You know, it has been
that, uh, you just remain neutral, or else you--you didn't dare do it in
the op--open, you know, but I don't think, uh, that's true now, uh, as much
as--well, I'm sure it isn't as much as it has been i the past. Um, these
young people are wise, you know. They sayct-j t--they don't have to
teach school, Jgr*A T go do something else. I don't have to live
around here, and when we came along we had, uh, we didn't know anything
else but to teach school. We didn't know we could get out and go do something
LUM 142A 31
B: Just preach or farm.
S: Yes. (Laughs)
B: Usually three--three of the things combined.
S: We didn't know that we could, uh, leave Robeson County and do anything
else, or even get a job teaching, but young people today, um, you know,
express themselves, and they feel that, well, if I can't stay here and work,
I can always go somewhere else, and many of them don't even begin working
here. They go away as soon as they're out of college.
B: Um-hum. Uh, how does Linda like it in Washington, D.C. working with the
S: She loves her work. She's, uh, sometime not too crazy about Washington,
itself, but she--she enjoys her work.
B: Washington is a city of gray and concrete and. .
B: And other things tbe-t- __ I suppose, but, uh. .
S: But she's had quite a few, um, when she worked with, um, graduate scholar-
ships for Indians, um, two years ago, um, she had quite a few good experiences--
traveling. She--just all over the United States, and even, uh, one trip
took her to Europe. In fact, she has, um, um, two trips to Europe, and by
the way, her roommate, who has been her roommate up until this year, is
co-author on, uh, the book called A Million Acres, I believe it is.
S: Abouthe, uh, land that was taken from the Indians, and, uh, this girl,
Karen urn, come from South Dakota, I believe it is.
S: Out from the reservation out there, and she's been in Washington--well, she
was there before Linda was there, and, um, she, and maybe it's, uh, I'm not
LUM 142A 32
who the other one is. I have her book here, but anyway, I think it's called
A Million Acres, and, uh, there's an article about it in, uh, this, oh,
what is it? Education*nIndians, and I have that e But it
was supposed to be a true--true book.
B: Um-hum. Uh, I've often said that this is the most benevolent period that
the--the American Indian has ever encountered, or experienced. Uh, people
are begging, for, uh, Indian material, uh.
B: They want it. In the old days they wouldn't even listen. They, uh, seemed
to feel that all the Indian was capable of saying was Ugh and stuff like
S: I noticed where -i-n paper where we have five, uh, movies coming
to the college T_ 44 tYClt Odfl are all Indian movies. Uh, I
believe it's five of them.
B: A lot of-- lot of new books out--everything. I had the privilege of
meeting, uh, who is a Pulitzer Prize Winner, who is the head
of the English Department in--at some University in California. They call
II II ii t1
him the Man Made of Words.. The Indians call him The Man Made of Words
because he is so fluent in the English language as well as his own. Uh,
but, uh, I think this is a great opportunity for our people. If they want
to express themselves, at least somebody's willing to listen now, aren't
S: That's true.
B: I'm certainly glad I lived to see this day come, because I--I can remember
when I first started writing for newspapers, uh, I had a little trouble
with a typesetter once. Nothing I wrote ever came out correct. I misspelled
words, and I knew darn well I spelled them right, and I finally traced it
LUM 142A 33
down to the uh, the typesetter, and lino-type operator, and he was
actually, uh, on the defensive about it--let an Indian trying to talk like
a White man and write like a White man.
B: Oh, but I'm so glad these things are changing, and. .
S: Yes, I am too.
B: Perhaps television, movies, and all this, uh, I'm sure Mr. 0.) would
know more about the movie part of it than the television part.
B: But, uh, they certainly have had their influence, haven't they?
S: They have, that's true.
B: Well, uh, do you have any advice you'd like to pass on to younger people--
you're still young.
S: (Laughs) I wouldn't say that.
B: I'll say younger.
S: I'm counting the years to retirement now. Oh, to young people today? Um,.o.
B: That's great. I like that. I like that very much. Uh, you don't mean
try to imitate anybody?
S: Anybody. Don't try to be anybody but yourself, and stand up for your
S: Know your right and then fight for it.
B: Sometimes, uh, culture comes a little hard to us in, uh, in this valley,
and sometimes, uh, it takes time, but I was thinking as we are talking
here, of, uh, a little anecdote I might throw in there. Uh, you know, when
I went over to your school and, uh, taught poetry over there. .
LUM 142A 34
B: Or-discuss poetry, of course, you don't always. .
S: I want--by the way, I want you to come back and do that again.
B: (Laughs) That's great. I--I was-this young man wasn't too hep on poetry.
Boys usually aren't as, uh, keen on poetry as girls. He--he said, uh,
let's see, how was that? He was telling me about it later--later on.,#,.
S: I can't remember. II
B: Where does that pnllj man come in?
S: Oh yes. (Laughs)
B: Oh, it reminded me of a time when I was lecturing on poetry at the--at a
college class, and, and one young man on the front, see, had gone to sleep
and Dr. Oxendine was sitting there and he JLAW hAl
"some of you are f I rEf ^ rJ We tah h ggeste
kick out of that, but I was discussing something about the Raven, and
apparently the Raven didn't interest him at all.
S: Well, I found the best way to get them interested in the Raven is to, um,
tell them all about Poe's life first. (Laughs)
B: Yeah, that really adds spice to it, doesn't it?
S: Yeah, it really does.
B: Uh, he was certainly a human kind of person.
B: With all the human frailties and faults, but also, uh, the genius.
B: The great genius.
S: They always seem to think that writers, uh, not exactly human, or something
and I think if you can show them that they do have weaknesses like
anyone else, then this helps.
B: I discussed, um, the problems that other poets have, and we have twenty
poets on the Poet's Friend School Program in this state, and I'm fortunate
LUM 142A 35
enough to be one of them, and we were exchanging ideas in-fwly last year,
and, uh, this is quite often thought out that if you're a poet, you're
supposed to be eccentric, or a little different, or, or--but they're not
so terribly different from anybody else. I think that poets have, uh,
developed a high degree of appreciation, but I think this is generally
true of everybody in all, uh, like actors, actresses, and producers. Why
I'm sure Mr. Bill 8 would agree with me that, uh, they have developed
a high degree of sensitivity. Uh, they appreciate beauty-those things--
artistic things, uh, but they've just been exposed to them more, perhaps, or
maybe they've just been more conscious of those things.
S: Un, probably both.
B: Well, I--we certainly are appreciative of you giving us this interview. It's
been very interesting. I'm afraid I've rambled on and, and maybe disturbed
S: No, I've enjoyed it.
B: From time to time.
B: Uh, but you certainly are very kind to give us this interview, and I want
to thank you very much. Uh, is there anything you would like to add?
S: No, I like your ideas that come Monday when I do give them poetry. Bring
your guitar along, or wait till I get into, uh, folk lore and let you come.
B: Well, I certainly would be glad to do that because I--I enjoyed it. Uh, I
always enjoy, uh, working with you when we have an opportunity to work to-
gether because, uh, we're interested in so many of the same things--English
and so on.
S: Well I guess we'll charge it up to that. I'll let you know when--when to
LUM 142A 36
S: You can come and spend the day and, and, uh, meet each class. I might even
let you meet Woodrow's ninth grade class. (Laughs)
B: I like the ninth grade, by the way. Do you--you've taught in the high
school, but do you find--now I don't want--you don't--you're not going to
agree with me, anyway, unless you really feel that way, but I--for me,
personally, I'm a little different--prejudiced in favor of the ninth and
tenth grades. y ..,?
S: Well, maybe I'ld have to say ninth grade, because I've had them, uh, I had
just ninth grade for I don't know how many years, up until this year. I
do have one class of tenth and one of, uh, eleventh graders,,,,
S: And I guess, maybe, ninth graders. Maybe because I'm--I'm grown accustomed
to them or something.
B: Well it does--it's always a challenge, though, isn't it? It--it--you never
get to the place where you take things for granted in teaching, do you?
B: And every class is different?
S: Every class is different, and every student within that class is different.
B: And that's what--that certainly ought to make life interesting. I guess
this is why I like young people. It makes me feel young. (Laughs) I don't
ever intend to get old till I have to.
S: Well, it has a lot to do with your aging. It keeps you young and agesfyou
all at the same time. (Laughs)
B: I certainly do appreciate it. You've been very kind to have us in your home
here. You have a lovely home, too.
S: I thank you.
B: Very beautiful. On behalf of, uh, the University of Florida's History
LUM 142A 37
Department, I say thank you very much.
S: Thank you.
END OF TAPE.