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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Reverend Barto Locklear (L)
Railroad Street, Pembroke, North Carolina
Interviewer: Lew Barton (I)
December 28, 1973
Typed by: Paula Williams
I: This is December 28, 1973. I'm Lew Barton recording for
the Oral History Program. With me today at my home at
214 C Dial Terrace here in Pembroke is Reverend Barto
Locklear, who has kindly consented to drive all the way
from his home over here for an interview. And we're so
appreciative of that. Where is it you live at Brother
L: I live here on Railroad Street.
I: Uh, you spell Brother Locklear's name, b-a-r-t-o, l-o-c-
k-l-e-a-r. Which street?
L: On Railroad Street.
I: On Railroad Street. Where do you pastor at?
L: Rock rove Baptist Church.
I: Uh-huh. You are-very kind to come over and be with us.
We'll just take this in a relaxed atmosphere and talk back
and forth between you and me. Let's see, would you tell
us something about your family?
L: Well, right at the present there's nobody living with
me and my wife but one boy, the new baby boy. The older
LUM 155A 2
boy and the baby boy lives in Charlotte. And the girl,
she's over in Germany. And the third oldest boy, he's
living in England. He's over there in service.
I: Oh, I see. Could you tell us their names and ages?
That's asking an awful lot because fellows aren't as
good at remembering ages as the mothers.
L: Well, I'll just have to guess at it. My oldest boy, he
lives in Charlotte, he's twenty-six years old. And the
baby boy, he's...
I: What's his name, Brother Locklear?
I: Boyd, b-o-y-d.
L: And the baby boy, he's living with Boyd in Charlotte,
he's twenty years old. And the second boy lives over
here in the Lowry settlement, and he's twenty-three year
old. And the third boy, he lives...he's over in England.
He's about twenty-two year old. And this fourth boy,
he's living at home, he's twenty-one year old. And the
baby boy's in Charlotte with his brother, he's twenty year
old. And-the girl, she's living in Germany. She's married
a soldier and they're over there and she has three children.
She's planning on living over there until '74, sometime in
the fall of '74 she'll come back.
I: That makes you a grandpa. How many grandchildren do you
LUM 155A 3
I: Six. That's fine. Who was your wife before you got
L: My wife was Cletus Oxendine, Reverend Lawrence Oxendine's
I: Brother Locklear, I know you to have been a church man for
a long long time, and a very devoted Christian. Would you
tell us something about your work, and Dqw you began, how
you were called to the ministry and this sort of thing?
Anything you care to tell us. Would you do that?
L: In, let's see...in 1933, I was called into the ministry
and I began to preach at 4iCCO d/r4 $Finally
in the fall of '33, then the church /Coi.fC. and iV
from that, then, all eight years, I went to the
'l I (Cr church. And I was ordained and I stayed with
them fourteen years, and I helped'em to build a new church.
And while I was working there, I pastored then at Galilee,
and I built...
I: That's Galilee Baptist Church?
L: Yeah. And I helped them to build a ne church. And I
finished up my work at the pic_ and I helped
them in to _l___ I went before the Board of
""' " : A A" /O C l/ C/ O 9 li w /
J: no Gy e4 L^Iv <7
LUM 155A 4
Education and I got them a school for fifty thousand
I: Uh-huh, now who's this you're talking about?
L: The Smilings..
I: The Smilings. We want to talk about them when you get
through with this.
L: So I left there then, and I finally then pastored a while
at Leed's Creek.' But I didn't do so well there. Seemed
like they didn't cooperate. I left there then, and at
the present I been across Rockfish Creek for two year.
And I'm trying to help them to remodel Rock Grove Baptist
Church over there. And we have it bricked, now we're
trying to get it paneled on the inside. If I can do that,
why, I think I'll be accomplished because I been into
this work now forty, going on forty-one years. And I
think my age now would allow me to retire because I'm
going to be seventy year old the first of the year, and
the ninth of March I'll be seventy. And I think I been
in this a long time--fifty-one years that I been in
church work. I'm about wore out now, and I'm ready to
retire from it because I ain't really able to carry on
like I once have.
I: Brother Barto, do you remember...now I know some of you
ministers have had it...you had to do pioneer work, this
LUM 155A 5
sort of thing, and start new churches and this sort of
thing. Different people seem to be gifted by the Lord
for this sort of'thing, don't you think?
L: That's right, because when I went to Galilee I got in an
old tent and preached a while. Anda rotted down and fell
down on us. And I preached under the shade trees. And I
finally left there and got in a house until we
could raise money enough to build a church. And I've had
it tough in my day.
I: But you never gave up, did you?
L: I never give up.
I: And you haven't given up today, either, have you?
L: No, I'm still into it. I've enjoyed it.
I: Do you remember...have you ever been to a brush arbor meeting?
L: No, I...
I: That was a little earlier than you or me, wasn't it?
L: Yes, yeah.
I: But our people used to have...you've heard of them, haven't
I: They would go into the woods and cut the branches out of
trees and pile those branches up and make a kind of a shed
out of tree branches. This was in the days when we weren't
LUM 155A 6
allowed to have schools and churches, and I understand
our people really had it tough. But when ministers like
you came along, they still had it tough.
L: That's right.
I: But they never gave up, as you said. I understand you've
also worked with the church, theHollowah ndians. N c
L:- Yes. 4.^y
.J -t/e I: Where is this at,/Brother Barto? b-- rU. C
L This is up in r un rre^
C L: This is up in ?ff G County, that I worked there.
This is where I taught school for one year, and I worked
there for a year with the church. Do you the name of that
church where I worked? Is that Mount Gilead?
L: Mount Gilead Chapel. Went there, me and Brother 9 riO
and Brother ( lf// J and organized that church four
or five years ago. It's still in progress, but...
I: Well, that's great. They are wonderful people. They are
so appreciative of anything you do for them, aren't they?
L: They sure is. They're wonderful.
I: Do you think our people are a lot luckier than our(Ho lowa
L: Yeah. They have a better chance than those people have.
Them people's had it tough there. And with a little help,
now, they could make great progress there...
LUM 155A 7
L: ...but it'd take a little outside help to go in there and
L: They need help.
I: Of course, you go every chance you get, don't you?
L: Yes, sir. And if I was a young man forty years old, I'd
go there and make it my home and try to help them people
to get into progress.
I: They are so earnest about anything, about their group and
their heritage, their churches--all this. You get good
cooperation, don't you?
L: Yes, I get good cooperation there. People's very intelligent
but they do need a little outside help to go in there and
cooperate and work with them.
I: Let's go back to-when you...you know, when you were converted.
Do you recall that?
L: Yeah. That was in 1921 that I was converted. I was working
for the Beaufort Lumber Company at that time.
I: How old were you at that time? I have to think...
L: Uh, something like about eighteen year old at that time, no
mistake that when I accepted the Lord. Mr. Clarence was
preaching at Re e y _-st e was there
running a revival and I went there and that's where I found
LUM 155A 8
I: Mr. Clarence Locklear?
I: That's Reverend Clarence Locklear who became the first
mayor of Pembroke.
L: That's right.
I: Indian mayor, that is.
L: That's right.
I: Go ahead, I didn't mean to interrupt you. I want to get
all this in. This is all important.
L: Reverend Clarence has been a great success in his ministry
work. He's always lucky to get good churches. I've never
been that lucky. Looks like I had to get with the poor
people and just really work and help to build churches.
But after all, I've enjoyed it, Brother Barton, because
I had went to Philadelphia in '36 and I could have got a
city church and I could have went to night school and graduated,
CZdtbeen a doctor today. But I wanted to come back to my people
and help them what little bit I could. And it's always
been a time in this world with me, but I've enjoyed it.
I've enjoyed every day of it, because I felt like if a
man don't love his people he don't love God.
I: Very true.
L: Jesus Christ loved the Jews because he was born out of a
Jewish parent. And he loved his people beyond anything
LUM 155A 9
else. But when his people rejected him, then he came
to the Gentiles and it's through that that we have a
chance. We're only a draft-in. The Jew is the original
God's people, and the Gentiles is just only a draft-in.
Through the rejection of God's people we come to know
Him, then, through a draft-in. But after all, God loves
His people and I think a man ain't what he ought to be
if he don't fight and die with his people. Because God
intended everybody to fight for his own people. And then
if there's any progress that he knew anything to help his
people, he ought to be I to go back and help
his own people that they might make progress and come to
know God and to pardon (i fr giving /AJisin.
I: Well, that's great. Brother Barto, I know that in my own
thinking, I admire you and ministers like you more than I
admire the so-called educated preacher who had all kinds
of chances and opportunities. You fellows went out there
on the firing line and you had nothing to depend on but
the good Lord Himself. And somehow you're carried on
no matter how disappointing, no matter how hard it was.
You worked through-:the burden in the heat of the day
and I admire you more than I can say, more thm I can put
into words because it's people like you who've kept the
church alive. I admire you. I think your crown will be
LUM 155A 10
greater than people who've had better opportunity.
L: Brother Barton, I never go to sleep at night but I study
about the church and the people that I might be able to
do something to help them to progress / Because
I'm working with a poor group that don't have many, and
I'm trying to establish the church. I've been out today
begging, trying to get something to carry to my church.
I weren't so much at getting, but I was trying to carry
something there to help them to go on and make...build
a nicer church and remodel it. Go on so they'll be with
the modern people of the day.
L: And God may bless them and they may be able to carry ion
when I'm dead that they'd have a nice place to worship
there and they could worship God and think about men that
stood for God and fought that they might have a place to
stay warm when it is cold. And then have a place to be
there to stay cool when it is hot weather. And it's
been a great task. Many a man wouldn't have stood out
on the street corners and a-begged money that his church
might be able to go on to victory. But I've stood out
and asked my good friends for money that I might be able
to carry it back to help-them to carry on till God should
come back after His people.
LUM 155A 11
I: Right. I certainly admire you and wish you Godspeed
in whatever you attempt to do. I know you'll do it
because when you go out you go with the Lord behind
you, and you have that faith. And that's what it takes,
and no matter how hard it is I know you'll come through.
L: And with all of my testing, the people have been nice
to me, people that I've met. Maybe some of them I
hadn't and never knew before and come and ask them for
donations to my church that it might be able to survive
through all the heartaches and yet, they give me money
and helped me off, and I'm carrying on till God calls
me. God, God...if I can live, if God prolongs my time
then I can live through this year. I'm in hopes that
I might be able to finish it this year sometime. And
I'll be ready to do like Apostle Paul then. I've fought
a good fight, though it's been laden with sorrow and
disappointment. But deep in my heart it was a joy
that nobody knew but a child of God.
L: And I thank Him for all of'that. :With all-of the disappoint-
ment, there's been a joy. I love my people beyond anything
else in the world. I've stood for my people and I'll die
with my people, trusting and trying to help them to carry
on for almighty God.
LUM 155A 12
I: Brother Locklear, I know...when I think about you, I know
you're a minister in your own right. You are a man of
God and you've done whatever you could in your life. But
I also think about your sweet wonderful Christian sister
who's passed on, Mrs. Annie E. Wilkins. And if she was
here today, she would be on one of these tapes because
she believed in doing whatever she could for the Lord.
Could you tell us something about her?
L: Well, Sister worked here, my Sister Annie E. Wilkins
worked I reckon forty years in training, trying to
train children for the Lord that they might be able to
carry on in the church. And so I know she'll be missing
in many homes because she always tried to carry on the
kindergarten. And there are many young men and girls today
in Robeson County that she taught when they was little
children. Trying to teach them how to be saved and how
they should love the Lord. Her works is not dead, but
Brother Barton it'll live on and on.
L: As long as these children live they'll be talking about
how they went to kindergarten and how she taught them
about the Lord.
L: And so when we're dead, if we've lived the right kind of
LUM 155A 13
a life, our life will be speaking of our 0CorfTfCi
because we tried to live right and tried to do the things
right to please the Lord. And so when you die, the body
may go to the grave, but the memory that you put in the
minds of people while you're here to visit, it'll live
on and on when you're dead, sleeping, waiting for the
coming of the almighty God.
I: Right. We know when Jesus called the disciples there
was onlygreal educated man in the group.he called, if I
remember correctly. And that was possibly...was that
I: And some of them were fishermen, Brother Barto, and they
were men who worked with their hands. But these men es-
tablished the church and it's been established ever since.
And Jesus said the Gates of Hell should not prevail against
it. And the Gates of Hell have not prevailed against it.
It's still, today it's stronger than it ever was. Don't
you think so?
L: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. The church will live on and on because
God is back of it a hundred percent. And if God's for you,
who can be against you.
I: Brother Locklear, do you know how many churches you've
helped to build? I know you've helped to build a lot
LUM 155A 14
of them, but do you even know how many churches you've
helped to build?
L: I believe it's about four or five different churches.
I know I've built, I believe it's three...no, two
straight out, and then I've helped to remodel some.
About, I reckon it's been about four churches that I've
I: You've preached all over, haven't you?
L: Yeah, I've preached all over Robeson County. Preached
all in Philadelphia, preached all in South Carolina.
Preached all over on I_ /t 4 Virginia.
I: I would like to ask you now if I may something about
your work with the Smilings, you know. They're called
the Smiling Independents, and as we started to say about
the disciples, Jesus it seems picked them to do special
things and to go into the byways and hedges and the
neglected places. These places too have to be reached.
And you went among the Smilings and you did work there.
Could you tell us something, anything you'd care to
tell us about...
L: Well, when I went to the Smilings, Brother Barton, they
had a church and I believe we sold it for seventy-five
or a hundred dollars. And I told them we needed a modern
church. And they wouldn't go along with me at first but
LUM 155A 15
finally, at last they began to respond. They began to
get up money to build them a modern church. And I lived
there and stayed with four or five years and we began to
start on a new church. And I built them, helped them build
a modern church. And after I built that church then we
went before the Board of Education and got them a school
for fifty thousand dollars. And at the time I went there,
none of the Indian people didn't want to have nothing to
do with I've always worked where other people
would shun and wouldn't go and help the people. But I
tried to do like Christ said, go in the hedges and the
highways and help the lame and the blind t t 1 fand
I've tried to live a life clean before the people that
they might turn-ttoGod and live while they had space and
opportunity. I've not tried to beat people. I've tried
to treat them straight. I've tried to do unto all men
as you would they do unto you. And I've had a great
I: Right, you certainly have. Wonder why it was that some
of the Indian people sort of shunned working with the
L: Seemed like because they come from the south out of another
community. Seemed like they didn't love the people there.
Didn't want to work with them and wouldn't accept them in
LUM 155A 16
the association. But in the time I was there, I couldn't
have never got them in the association at that time. But
I told them there'd come a day that you wouldn't have no
trouble, you'd go on through.
I: They wouldn't have this discrimination.
L: That's right, that the day would come. And when that time
come, they went right into the Asociation and didn't have
a bit of trouble. And today their school that I worked
hard to get for them, they sold it to the Methodist Conference
and today they're in school anywhere they want to go.
I: Uh-huh. For the sake of our listeners and readers who don't
know about the Smilings, maybe I should add this footnote
right here. Robeson County, North Carolina, at one time
had four different races legally speaking. Right, Brother?
L: That's right, that's right.
I: And that was the Indian race, that was the white race, the
black race, and the Smiling--they called themselves the
Smiling Independents. And I've always admired them for
call-...I like that word "independents." They were going
to accomplish something whether anybody helped them or
not, weren't they?
L: That's right. That's right. They went on and worked
hard and today they're outstanding people.
LUM 155A 17
L: And they cooperated with everybody now.
I: Brother Locklear, now, we spoke about the attitude of
some of the Indians toward them, how about the attitude
of our black people and our white people in the county
toward the Smilings?1 How was it? Was it bad?
L: Well, it was bad. It was bad. That day it was bad.
Seemed like they was looked down on, but they still was
a hard-working people. And they progressed, they made
money, and today they're outstanding. Their children,
they're trying to educate their children and trying to
go on to the front.
I: Some of my best friends come from that group and I'm very
proud of them. But we don't have that four race situation.
We're probably the only county in the world that has four
races like that, Brother Barto.
L: Yeah. Yeah. I ain't never heard of a place, only here
in Robeson County where they had four races.
I: Of course, when integration came, they were, the Smilings
were absorbed in the Indian schools, weren't they?
I: And that's when we had the freedom of choice plan. And
then later we had more complete integration. Is that
L: That's right.
LUM 155A 18
I: And of course, we don't have complete integration even
today, but it's not like it used to be.
L: That's right. It's a whole lot better. It was thirty
I: Right. Well, things have changed quite a bit since you
came along then, haven't they?
L: Yes, sir. They certainly have.
I: Things have changed. Did you get to go to any school
at all, Brother Barto?
L: Yeah. Back when I was small my mother died, in 1911.
And I hadn't went to very much school, but later then,
when I growed up, I finished high school when I was thirty-Ai4k
year old. But when your background is not too good, then
it bothers you when you're finishing up. You'Ve not got
the education you would have had if you had had good
I: Well, that took a lot of determination to go back and
finish at high school ,LT L
L: Yes, yes, sir. I was a grown man when I finished, thirty-
eight year old when I got my diploma from high school.
I: That's wonderful and it shows a lot about your charac-
ter and the kind of a person you are. And you are per-
sistent and you do stand by anything when you start it.
You like to see it completed, don't you?
LUM 155A 19
L: Yes, sir. When I start working at a church to remodel
it or build it, I like to stand by it till I can com-
plete it. Because, if a task is once begun, never leave
it till it's done. Do it well or not at all.
I: Brother Barto, can you remember...I know you remember
that when you were confirmed you say you were saved
under Reverend C. E. Locklear.
L: That's right. Reverend C. E. Locklear was preaching.
I: Was this a tent meeting or...?
L: No, this is at AeL ..B' in 1921.
I: I know people come to you to get married and things like
this. Do you like to marry people? I know you getting
somebody married better than you enjoy preaching a funeral,
or do you?
L: Well, I ain't never done much marrying in my times. I
don't know why it was but I never did do much marrying.
There's some people prefers people to marry and others
that don't, so it's been my fortune to never marry many
people. There's a lot of people that wants different
people to preach their funeral, but I ain't never done
much preaching at funerals. I don't prefer funerals,
I don't like to preach one but I have had a few requests
from people if I'm the onliest brother they wanted me to
LUM 155A 20
preach their funeral, then. So I have preached a few
funerals in time. Not too many.
I: Well, if you live longer than I do, I want you to be at
my funeral and help preach mine. Will you promise me
L: Yeah, yeah. If I'm the one'that's living, Brother Barton,
I'll be at your funeral.
I: Because I appreciate people who work with our poor people.
But have you ever thought about the Lord calls people in
different walks of life and people who are especially
qualified to reach certain groups of people. Some of the
groups you've reached, somebody that had a college degree
or something wouldn't have been able to reach them at all,
L: No. I feel like they wouldn't have wanted to bother with
them in the first place, and they didn't feel like getting
down that low to preach for them and work with them and
help them. And therefore, they would never'have been able
to reach them. But I've never felt myself like that,
Brother Barton. I've felt like I weren't no better than
the poorest man in the country.
I: And of course, the Gospel's gonna get out. God's gonna
see to it that it gets out, isn't He?
L: Yeah, you've got men that's gonna carry it into the high-
ways and the hedges and the by-places. God's got men who's
LUM 155A 21
going to carry it there whether the people accept it
or not. But He's got His plan, and.His7plan's-gdnna
L: And I'm glad that God'isa:-god like that. He loves the
poor and He loves the rich and He loves everybody. And
He's got a way of carrying it to ,- f ...........
. .... .................................................
I: Brother Barto, I got so interested in what we were saying
just now that our tape ran out on us on that side. So we
lost some of what we had to say when we were discussing the
Tuscarora movement among our people. Of course, there is
this group, for the benefit of those who don't understand
it, there are those who believe that we should have the
Tuscarora name and there are those who believe we ought to
have the Lumbee name. And so there is much disagreement
on the subject. But Brother Locklear here is close to the
people, to what I think of as the grassroots people, the
people who are close to the earth and who understand the
feelings of our people. And so I wanted to discuss it
with him and see what he thought about it, and see if
he would explain it to you because he explains it much
better than I could and he's able to explain things
LUM 155A 22
in a way that even a child could understand it. Brother
Barto, would you do that for us? Tell us something about
the Tuscarora and the Lumbee business?
L: Brother Barton, I feel that the people to who wants to be
the name of Tuscarora, it ain't so much that they're so
hard against the Lumbee, but they feel like that that's
the historical name. And they feel like if they could
get their name through that then they would be recognized
through the government. That's the original historical
name. And not so much in the name that they're blaming
the people for, but it's a name that would be...they feel
like they ought to have the original name, the first name
they inherited from their ancestors back hundreds of years
ago when the white man first come to America. And they
feel like if they could get that name they'd be satisfied.
That is, the poor people, the outcast people, the people
that people don't pay no mind, maybe the man that's got
money would pay no mind to them, they feel like if they
could get their original name they'd be satisfied. They'd
feel like they had got their great inheritance.
I: Of course, the Tuscarora brothers believe as I do, you
know, they don't disclaim these other groups like the
Hatteras Indians. Because we're a composite of several
groups. But they believe that this is the name out of
them all that we should have, right?
LUM 155A 23
I: And of course, there's the Hatteras Indians which fur-
nishedso to speak, the nest egg, the nucleusfrom which
our people grew, and other people joined us here in what
I think of as Hideaway Valley--the Lumbee River Valley or
the Lumber River Valley, whichever you prefer. But there
are these four groups from the Hatteras Indians, and then
in 1711 to 1713, there was the Tuscarora War fought between
the colonists and the Tuscarora Indians. And in case some
of our listeners and readers don't understand, the Tus-
carora Indians lived originally in southeastern North
Carolina right where we're living or right near, in the
general vicinity. But after the Tuscarora War of 1711
to 1713 when the Tuscarora was disastrously defeated by
the colonists, they were...well, they were not removed to
Niagara Falls, New York. Rather, they migrated to Niagara
Falls, New York, and they joined the Five Nations Confederacy
to become the Sixth Nation. So now it's called the Six
Nations Confeddracy; But now here's where the distinction
comes in. You see, there were people in the Tuscarora War
who fought on the side of the colonists and there were
people who fought on the side of the Tuscarora proper.
Well, some of the people who fought on the side of the
colonists naturally were not received back into the Tus-
carora of the main part. The main body, the people migrated
LUM 155A 24
to Niagara Falls, New York. Now, swe'have the ancestors
of these people. And in the Tuscarora War, also there
were some Cherokees. And the Cherokee, some of them, you
know, are proud of their Tuscarora descent. Some are
proud of their Cherokee descent. Some are proud of Hatteras
descent. And of course, during the Tuscarora War, the
/-( 441'ti I.'l / were fighting against, against
the Tuscarora on the side of the colonists. Some of them
were taken prisoners of war and brought back to Robeson
County, what is now Robeson County, and they were later
incorporated into the tribe, too. So we have these four
groups. But this-name Lumbee is sort of a umbrella name.
Those who stand by that name say that this includes all,
but our Tuscarora brethren feel that we should have a name
which is more historical. And the Lumbee name wasaccor-
ding to old newspaper articles, the name of the river. Some
of the Indians said it was the name of the river. And so
when you say Lumbee Indian, you simply mean the Indians
that live on Lumber River. And that's all it says. Right,
L: That's right.
I: And so they want azname which they feel is more meaningful
than this. Am I explaining that right?
L: That's right.
LUM 155A 25
I: And so that's why this dissension. Brother Barto, you
know in 1970 we had a squabble over our school. When
our schools were lost, you remember?
I: And we went to federal court in Fayetteville before Judge
Algernon M. Butler. And Judge Butler read that Lumbee Act
which recognizes us as Indians, as the Lumbee Indians of
North Carolina. Now there was one act, the first act was
passed by the General Assembly of North Carolina on April
20, 1953, and then the Congress of the United States passed
an almost identical act on June 7, 1956. But in this bill,
although it says many wonderful things about us and builds
us up and calls us, recognizes us as American Indians, yet
the last sentence in it says that we shall not have any
special=privileges because of our status as Indians.
Brother Barto, I'm sorry this lengthy explanation--it's
too lengthy, isn't it? But it is involved, it is an in-
volved problem and the situation now is that the Jordanp
g ill introduced by Senator Jordan in the United States
Senate last year, seeks to strike out that discriminatory--
and he calls it discriminatory--sentence in that law. And
he says if this is stricken out, then we have all the rights
and privileges of other Indians. But our...now Brother
LUM 155A 26
Barto, I want you to correct me anywhere along, stop
me anywhere. As I understand it, our Tuscarora brethren
feel that, well, the whole thing's wrong. It ought to,
just ought to be done over again and this name has some-
thing to do with it, the Lumbee name. Is that right?
L: Yeah, and they didn't have...they feel wrong towards it
because of the discrimination in it. Because there's
no reward nothing,that would help:the Indian at all.
j_ Because...and therefore they're wanting the name, the
historical name that they would get better reward from
the government. And I feel likekif they'd a got the
right name, if they'd a got the nameAthey'd have had
rewards from the government, everybody'd be satisfied.
But under the present conditions, they're not fighting
the name, they're fighting that clause in there where that
the Indian has no benefits at all. And I think they're
right about it because the Indian, he ought to have his
I: He ought to be treated like other Indians.
L: That's right. He ought to be treated like all other
Indians. He ought to have the rights and the privileges
and the benefits of all other Indians. And they feel like
the people didn't treat them justly. Our leading educated
people fooled around and let them trap them on the very
LUM 155A 27
thing that they think is wrong. And I go with them a
hundred percent. I feel like if they'd a got the name
and got the rewards and the benefits of all other Indians,
the Indians all over Robeson County would be plumb satis-
fied. But under the present conditions I feel like they're
trying to get a name that will include the benefits of
all other Indians. And I don't blame them for it because
they ought to have the rights and the privileges of all
I: Right Ib r Ar !
L: ...in America.
I: Right. Go ahead and say whatever you...explain...that's
good. You're telling it...you're explaining it so I can
understand and so everybody else can understand.
L: Well, under the present conditions, I feel like there are
a bunch of Indians that other people may feel like they're
foolish. But I feel like they're intelligent people. They're
fighting for their rights and privileges like all other
Indians, and they want a name that will stand up all over
the United States and before Congress and the government
and everything. And I feel like they're right in it. You
may look at them, the average educated man may look at
them and think they're foolish, but I think they're intelligent
LUM 155A 28
people. Though they you may count them foolish, but
when the man who thinks he's smart wakes up he'll find
he's just a block behind the ignorance of the world.
Because they're working that they might have their rights
and privileges and that's what all intelligent people is
working, that they might have their rights. You know,
the colored man; fs woke up and he's fighting for his
rights. And I don't blame him to fight for his rights.
Everybody's working that he might be benefited, that he
might have his rights and privileges like all people
I: That helps a lot. That makes it clearer, because this
is one thing we wanted understood is how our Tuscarora
b re-kr n
h thrc feel about this thing.
L: Well, they're just wanting their rights. They're wanting
their privileges, and they're getting it, too, boy! You
saw them people come into there, didn't you?
I mean, saw them over television when they come into
Wilmington and talked.
W: And Doc andKeever, they went clear, too, boy!
I: That's Doc Locklear...Keever Locklear and Doc ..what's
Doc's last name?
W: ( Keever Locklear and Doc Locklear.) They got out of that
mess and they thought they had them wound up. They thought
LUM 155A 29
they was gonna...and them boys, if they hadn'tta been
0-C e / i 1 they'd a got fifteen or twenty
I: Now, you're talking now about the BIA...let me explain
this now. The.BIA documents were stolen or taken from
the BIA--the Bureau of Indian Affairs--and this property
was found...where was it found at, Brother Barto?
L: Up there at Doc's and Keever's home. Somewhere up in
I: But just last week, wasn't it?
I: They came clear of that in a federal court. They were
cleared on those charges and so Doc Locklear and Keever
Locklear didn't receive any jail sentences. And some
people are a little bit surprised at this, aren't they,
L: Yeah. Yeah, they're surprised.
I: But they came clear of that thing. But as you know, this
was in the news. I mean national news last...was it last
year when the BIA was taken over by the American Indian
I: Well, our people, particularly some of our Tuscarora
brethren--many of them, wasn't it?--took part in that.
LUM 155A 30
L: Yeah, ,f mY r
I: They were right there and they were part of that movement
and they worked with the American Indian Movement.
L: That's right.
I: And Mr. Dennis Banks is their...is he the director or
president or what?
L: Y1O'He's some kind of director in that.
I: Well, that's where the matter is at present, isn't it?
I: And so those boys did get out of it, as you say. They
weren't convicted. What's the reason? What explanation
did they give in court? Do you remember anything from
it, Brother Barto?
L: Uh, you see, Nixon had signed the bill and that man had
that bill and everything. He had the record of it. And
he brought it down there and presented it.
I: By the way, do the Indians feel that President Nixon is
on their side?
L: Yeah! Yeah' Yeah.
I: Well, he's the one who appointed Brantley Blue, whom you
LUM 155A 31
I:. ...to be the first Indian Claims Commissioner who was
an Indian. And he's the only one, and he was appointed
by President Nixon which is...we all hail .that as a great
thing, don't we?
L: Yes. And Oxendine, he's up there, right?
I: Yeah, that's Thomas Oxendine, Jr., who is director of
the Department of Information in the Bureau of Indian
Affairs. Is that correct?
L: That's right.
I: Tommy's a great guy. He was a World War Two hero. He
was a pilot. He has all kinds of medals on his chest,
and he has been a great Indian, hasn't he?
I: Tom looks the part, too.
L: And he's a hundred percent k. il k W,-
L: f Huh?
I: I think so, too.
L: Yeah, he would.
I: Well, in the last year or the last two years, there has
been a lot of movements. A lot of movement going on. And
the American Indian Movement is behind the Tuscarora, right?
L: That's right.
LUM 155A 32
I: And the Tuscarora Indians in this county. Brother
Barto, is there anything else?
L: No. I reckon that'll be all.
I: You think we made it clear? Do you think...?
L: Yeah, I think people ought to understand it now.
I: Well, tell us a little something about this blood test
thing. Could you do that?
L: Well, I believe this is in '30.
L: In 1930 they passed twenty in Washington. Took the
blood test and passed. And so if our people is to
ever get on the government, they got to go through
this n-b0vi i .i ___i____
I: In other words, the legal theory is that...was it twenty-
L: Maybe it was. Twenty or twenty-two.
I: I've forgotten the number myself, really. But anyway,
they were according to the law,legal Indians. Nobody
can deny that.
L: That's right.
I: And they had the legal documents to prove it. Now,
according to legal strategy, these twenty-two could adopt
all the other Indians in the county that they want to
LUM 155A 33
L: That's right.
I: They could, of course, they're related to them--a lot
of them are. And in this way, it would bring the other
people in. Now, am I telling it right, Brother Barto?
L: That's right. There ain't no way to get in unless they
adopt you in.
I: So that makes them, these twenty or twenty-two men, very
important, doesn't it?
I: How many of them are still living, Brother Barto?
L: I don't remember. I know some of them's dead. Brother
Doobie and Brother Jimmy up there on the canal, they're
I: Could you tell us the names of some of the other ones?
L: No, that's the only two that I remember.
I: Now, among our people, you know, we've always talked among
ourselves and we've always considered the Brooks settlement,
these people to be almost completely Indian. Right?
L: That's right.
I: More Indian blood,maybe, than among other Indian communities.
And when it comes to biological things, you find that...
where is this community located? Is that around Harper's
LUM 155A 34
L: Yeah. That's right on Lumber River above Harper's
I: But our Brooks settlement...and when we talk about
settlement, maybe we ought to explain that too Brother
Barto, because people outside, you know, in other states
and other counties might not understand that when we talk
about settlements, the pattern has seemed to be in the past
that when our people settled, they settled down;according
to families or according to name. So you have the Brooks
settlement. Of course, the Locklear name is so big that
it's spread all over, right?
L: That's right.
I: Because it's the most numerous family name among our people,
by far the most numerous. And what do you think would be
the next most numerous name among our people, Brother Barto?
L: The 2&% Y 6.
I: The &BANOYS
I: Well, an.interesting footnote on this--and you've probably
heard this, but I read it many years ago--is that this name
Braveboy, which appears on the colonial records in two words,
tr-a-v-e, -o-y, and both words capitalized in the colonial
records, there's a tradition that they fought under General .
LUM 155A 35
no, under Colonel Barnwell, B-a-r-n-w-e-l-l, in the
Tuscarora War. And there was one Indian from this
area who was cited for some brave deed, for some deed
of valor, and named Brave Boy. And so this is where
the name Braboy comes from. .And of-course it was later
shortened and today we spell it -r-a-b-o-y. It's sort
of an abbreviation, isn't it?
I: But this stands to reason, and this has been recorded
by Mr. Hamilton Nolan, by Dr. Stephen B. Weeks, by
Colonel Fred A. Olds, who is also an authority in the
early days of Lumbee Indian study--or Robeson County,
I should say. Maybe I should say Robeson County Indian
study. We want to include everybody. We don't want to
leave any of our brothers out. We don't feel this way
at all. But anyway, these are interesting things, aren't
I: Or they're interesting to us, and apparently they're
interesting to a lot of other people, too. Well, Brother
Barto, how is it all going to end? Do you have any idea?
What's your feeling about it?
L: Well, I really don't know about how it's going to end, but
I hope it'll end good.
LUM 155A 36
I: Yes, I do too.
L: I hope the ending will be good.
I: Among the other things that the Tuscaroras advocate or
ask for is the return of their schools. Is that right?
I: In other words, they believe that we should have our
original Indian schools back. And there's been a lot
of publicity, a lot of talk about this, also. Is there
anything we've left out?
L: No, I reckon not. I think that the Indian people should
get their schools back because they was here in America
when everybody else come and they never had disturbed the
other people. And I feel like the white man and the
colored man should not disturb the Indians. Let them
go on and have their own schools.
I: And we're living; right now, Brother Barto, on our original
lands, aren't we?
L: Yeah, we're...
I: We're right where we were when we were discovered by
colonists of, uh...you know, 1715, 1730, thereabouts,
this area was discovered by French Huguenots from France
who tooklup positions on the South Carolina side. And
then the Scotch people came here from Scotland and took
up positions on the opposite side. And so that we've
LUM 155A 37
been here ever since. And we were occupying a distance
of about twenty miles or more along the Lumbee or Lumber
River when these first white colonists came. They recorded
that this is what happened. And they owned their lands in
common. I've got a cold and it shows on this statement.
L: Now, my great-great grandfather was the last Indian chief ti0
was here, Lazy Will Locklear.
I: The one they called Lazy Will, yeah.
L: Yeah, that was my grandpappy way back.
I: And he was a chief, Brother Barto?
L: He was a chief, the last Indian chief who was here among
us. Lazy Will Locklear.
I: Well, the Locklear name, by the way, is supposed to mean
"hold fast" isn't it?
I: That's the Indian meaning for the word Locklear. And
for our authority on that I think we can go back to Douglas
A. Reitz and his book called Indians of North Carolina.
And of course, he tells where he gets his authority. Well,
Brother Barto, I'm proud of our people. I'm proud of our
heritage. And we people say we have no heritage, they just
don't know, do they?
LUM 155A 38
L: No, no. We got a great heritage.
I: And we want to preserve what's left of it, don't we?
L: That's right.
I: And I guess...do you think this is why? the fight for
1 l/,4i///went on so far? Brother Barto, I'm not patting
myself on the back, but I wrote the original article that
precipitated the OL, /MI/A/ movement. The so-called
de-Indianization article telling how the University was
being de-Indianized and sort of complaining--rather, I
raised questions about that in this article. But, tell
us what your group, the Tuscarora group, tell us what
they did. Were they there from the very beginning, Brother
L: Well, part of them was.
I: Well, some of them were, weren't they?
L: Yeah, some of them was.
I: So they were represented from the very beginning and they
were on the side...they are for _L / /L/A/_ aren't
L: Yeah, yeah.
I: And I remember that during the campaign, Mr. Carnell Lock-
lear, used to be secretary and treasurer of the movement.
He went with us to many places including Duke University,
the University of North Carolina, other places, and he
LUM 155A 39
would get right out in the streets with us and we'd get
petitions signed and we went to the office of Mr. Terry -
Sanford who is a former governor of the state of North
Carolina. We got him to sign our petition. We got...
well, we got well over a thousand petitions signed just
in one day. And Carnell was so...he was so dynamic and
active in that, and hew just as hard at that as anything
I've ever seen him work at. And Carnell was right along
with the American Indian Movement when they took over the
BIA, I understand. But somewhere in there, you'll find
Carnell, won't you? And of course, they have other leaders.
How about Mr. I Elias Rogers who is now chief of...now
which group is he chief of?
L: Tuscarora. They had him in there. Ee, Ld'v 1 /
I: There are two groups of Tuscaroras now, though, aren't
there, Brother Barto?
L: Yeah, there're a couple of groups.
I: Well, Mr. Elias Rogers was the first man to become a board
member on the Lumbee Co-op. For many years, the Lumbee
Co-op seems to have discriminated againstndians whose
name it bore and who actually owned it to a great extent.
There are more owners who are non-white than there are white
owners of this corporation, this electrical co-op. And he
And he had to be seated by state officials and federal
LUM 155A 40
officials on both occasions. And so he's had many, many
legal battles. So he is a very persistent man, too, isn't
I: I had an interview with him. I had an interview with
Carnell on some other tape. But not after the takeover,
the BIA takeover in Washington, D.C. But..............
END OF TAPE