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Title: Clifton Oxendine
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Title: Clifton Oxendine
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r
ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
INTERVIEWEE: Clifton Oxedine
INTERVIEWER: Adolph Dial
DATE: July 30, 1969





D: I am here at the home of Clifton Oxendine, Professor of History at
Pembroke State College. ProfessorOxeamiIne served as Dean of Pembroke
State College and has worked as a full professor for a number of years
at Pembroke State College. Professor Oxendine is considered somewhat
an expert in the field of Lumbee history, and he is going to relate
some of his ideas with us today. Professor Oxendine, what is your age?
O: Sixty-nine.
D: Will you tell us something about your early education and your college
education? Go through your entire program of education.
O: I began elementary school at the so-called Croatan Normal, which was
located near New Hope Church. When I first began, the late W.L. Moore
was the teacher at his school. I only went a few weeks during that
first year. I am assuming that was about 1907. Later I attended a
small elementary school just off the campus of the Croatan Normal School
at New Hope. After a few years at this elementary school, I went to
Pembroke to the college which had been transferred from New Hope to a
new site on the western edge of Pembroke.
D: Was Pembroke State University known at any time as Croatan Indian Normal,
or was it Cherokee Indian Normal from the time it was at its present
location?
0: It was changed within a year or two to the Indian Normal School.
D: Yes, it was Indian Normal and then Cherokee, right? In other words, it
was first Croatan Normal School, then Indian Normal, then Cherokee, then
Pembroke State College, and then Pembroke State University?
O: The second name was the Indian Normal, then it changed to the Cherokee
Indian Normal School. The name was changed to Pembroke State College
for Indians. Later, it was changed to Pembroke State College, .and just
recently it was changed to Pembroke State University.
D: Do you have the dates for each one of these?
O: No, I haven't got them.
D: Pembroke State University would be 1969.
O: As of July first.
D: Where did you do your college training?
O: I went to McKendry College in 1924 which is a small Methodist college
in Southern Illinois.
D: Did anyone from here go with you?





2
O: Yes, Earl Cranston Lowry went with me. At present, he is Dr. Earl Lowry.
I believe he is head of the Blue Cross work in the state of Iowa.
D: Yes, he's a retired colonel. Had anyone gone to McKendry College prior
to this time?
O: No one from here. Dr. Lowry and I were the first two Indian students
from this area to attend McKendry College.
D: How many Indians from this area went away to college prior to the time
that you went away? Were there very many who'd gone away for college
training?
O: No, there had only been three or four. As I recall, John Lowry finished
high school about 1912.
D: Was this James R. Lowry or which John Lowry?
O: This is Johnny Lowry, son of the late Henry Lowry. He went to John
Hopkins, and completed his course in medicine there. After him, Mr.
James R. Lowry went away to college. I believe he went to Lynchburg
College in Virginia. These two men--Dr. John Lowry and the late Mr.
R.J. Lowry--were the only two men with college training that the Indians
of Robeson had in World War I.
D: Prior to World War II, very few Indian people had gone away to colleges
and universities.
O: Very few.
D: You did your master's at Peabody. Is this correct?
O: Yes, George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tennessee. I
began my graduate program there in the summer of 1930.
D: What was the title of your thesis?
0: I wrote, as a partial fulfillment for the masters degree in the field
of history, a thesis entitled, "A Social and Economic History of the
Indians of Robeson County, North Carolina."
D: In doing your research for this book, was your material somewhat limited?
O: Very limited indeed. I made several trips to the state library in
Raleigh, to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to Duke
University, and then I consulted the works in the libraries at Vanderbilt
and George Peabody College University. The material was very limited in
each of these institutions.
D: Professor Oxendine, I looked through your thesis, and I noticed that you
go into the origin of the Lumbee Indian, or at least the various theories
dealing with the origin of the Lumbee Indians. I believe you have two
theories. Would you tell us about the two theories?





3
O: Perhaps the strongest theories, as to the origin of the Lumbees, are
these: First, the Indians now known as Lumbees came from the great
Cherokee nation that occupied western regions of North Carolina, South
Carolina, and Georgia. The second theory is that they are descendants
of the colonists sent from England by Sir Walter Raleigh under the
command of John White, who attempted to set them out at Roanoke Island
in 1587.
D: Will you go into each of these theories? What about the Cherokee
theory?
O: I'm indebted, largely, to the late Governor A.W. MacLaine of Lumberton,
for material concerning the Cherokee theory. The late Mr. MacLaine
brought out in his writings that, in the early part of the eighteenth
century, the various tribes in eastern North Carolina, headed largely
by the Tuscarora Indians, engaged in war against the white settlers who
were coming in to settle in eastern North Carolina. The governor asked
South Carolina for help against the Indians led by the Tuscaroras, and
Colonel John Barnwell, of South Carolina, sent help to subdue the
Tuscaroras in eastern North Carolina. That was in about 1711.
D: Did Barnwell come through this area, or how near did he come to this
area?
O: From the best I can learn, in his route from Western North Carolina to
eastern North Carolina, where New Bern now stands, he passed through
the area of what is now Robeson County. Once the Tuscaroras were sub-
dued, Colonel Barnwell left with his forces to go back to South Carolina.
On his return journey, many of his followers, who were Cherokee Indians,
settled along what is now called the Lumbee River, and decided that that
was a good place to live. The early white settlers that came into this
area found these people living along the Lumbee River for a distance of
about twenty miles.
D: Very fertile soil and good fishing, I suppose.
O: Yes.
D: According to this Cherokee theory, there is a possibility of Cherokee
blood here. Would there also be a possibility of Tuscarora blood?
O: I believe so. Some of the Indians say they are descendants of the
Tuscaroras.
D: There is also some talk that there is some Hatteras blood here. Would
you care to elaborate on that?
O: If, I understand, the Hatteras Indians lived near Roanoke Island, and
when John White left his colonists on Roanoke Island in 1587 to go
back to England for supplies, these colonists disappeared. Historians
are of the opinion that these colonists migrated in a southeasterly
direction from Roanoke, mixed with Indians known as Hatteras Indians,
that descendants of those Indians migrated in a southwesterly direction





4
across the state, and that their descendants are in Sampson, Hoke,
Robeson, Columbus, Bladen, and Scotland counties. They are also in the
counties of Dillon and Marlboro in South Carolina.
D: How about in Columbus County?
O: I believe that Columbus County and the Indians of Bladen are of the same
general descent.
D: In other words, Robeson County and the adjoining counties--including
counties in South Carolina--are of general descent?
O: Yes, I believe that.
D: This looks like there is some Hatteras blood, some Tuscarora blood, some
Cherokee blood, and of course, descended from White's Lost Colony, some
English blood.
O: I think theres a combination of all those various strains in the Indians
known today as the Lumbee Indians.
D: What do you see today, or what did you see many years ago that would
cause you to think that we're descendants of White's Lost Colony?
O: I think the appearance of the people is a big factor, and also the lang-
uage that is spoken among the Lumbees.
D: For as long as we have any record of the Lumbees, or the Indians who are
known as Lumbees, they were always speaking the English language, were
they not?
O: Yes.
D: Tilling, the soil, living in European type homes, and so forth.
0: That's right.
D: They could "speak in a book," so to speak.
O: Yes.
D: Professor Oxendine, Fred A. Old visited the old Cherokee Indian Normal
School at one time, known then as Croatan Indian Normal School, and he
had something to say about the people here. What was the date on his
visit to the Normal School?
O: I haven't got a date on that, but Colonel Fred A. Old was a collector
for the North Carolina Hall of History. When I was securing information
for my thesis, I remember seeing Colonel Fred A. Old at Raleigh, once
or twice in the Hall of History. He said, "The language spoken by the
Croatans is very pure but quaint Anglo-Saxon, and there are in daily
use some seventy-five words which have come down from the great days
of Raleigh and his mighty mistress, Queen Elizabeth. These old Saxon





5
words arrest attention instantly. For man, they say 'mon,' pronounce
father, 'Fayther,' use 'mension' for measurement, 'aks' for ask, 'Chard'
for card, 'whing' for wing, 'hosen' for hose 'wit' for knowledge,
'lovend' for loving, 'housent for house, and many other words in daily
use by them have for years been entirely obsolete in English speaking
countries."
D: I understand that he made a visit here once and was very impressed
with the Indian people of the area. We also find, at the beginning of
the French and Indian War in 1754, that something is said about the
people here which you included in your thesis. What did you have on
that?
O: The records show that in the early stages of the French and Indian War,
Governor Dinwitty of Virginia asked for his neighboring state of North
Carolina to subdue the Indians along the Ohio Valley. An investigation
was made relative to the military force of each county of the state of
North Carolina. Governor Arthur Dobbs' report, with reference to the
Indians in North Carolina, states the following: Drowning Creek, Lumber
River, at the head of Little Pee Dee, is reported as having fifty
families, a mixed crew, a lawless people, possessing the land without
patent or paying any quick rent. They shot a surveyor for coming to
view vacant land. They were living in great swamps, quakers as regarding
the muster, or That's a report Governor
Arthur Dobbs made to Governor Dinwitty of Virginia in 1754. Many
historians believe that Dobbs' reference to the people along Drowning
Creek was a reference to what later became the Lumbee Indians.
D: I think so too. Mr. Oxendine, what about some of the names among the
Lumbees, and do you find these names in other places in early history?
0: Many of the names among the Lumbees are identical to those found in the
log of White's vessel which came to Roanoke in 1587. Here are the names
most frequently found among the Lumbee Indians: Brooks, Brown, Chavis,
Johnson, Jones, Sampson, Smith, Lowry, Oxendine, such typically Indian
names as Locklaid, now Locklear, Braveboy, now Brayboy, Lowry, and
Warriax. These have become an integral part of the band, and would
indicate that they are a mixture of White's Lost Colony and some tribe
of Indians.
D: Professor Oxendine, in 1669 and 1670, I believe you included in your
study John Lawson, a German who made some explorations in eastern North
Carolina in the regions south of the Roanoke River. Would you tell us
about this?
O: In his travels,John Lawson mentioned a powerful nation of bearded men
whom he met. He supposed them to be Spaniards, because full-blooded
Indians didn't wear beards. Many historians believe that this refere-
nce by Lawson could have referred only to a tribe resulting from the
intermarrying of White's colonists and Indians.
D: Am I correct in saying that John Lawson wrote the first history of
North Carolina?





6
O: Yes. He was a severe general and historian of North Carolina.
D: What does he have to say?
O: In his History of North Carolina, published in 1709, Lawson wrote about
the Hatteras Indians who were later called Croatan Indians by the late
Hamilton MacMillan. Lawson said these Indians lived on Roanoke Island,
or much frequented it. "They tell us that some of their ancestors were
white people and could talk in a book as we do. The truth of this is
confirmed by gray eyes found frequently amongst these Indians and no
other. They value themselves for their affinity, the English, and are
ready to do them all friendly offices. It is probable that this settle-
ment miscarried for want of a timely supplies from England, or through
the treachery of the natives, for we may reasonably suppose that the
English were forced to co-habit with them for relief and conservation,
and in process of time, they conformed themselves to the manners of
their Indian relations, and thus we see how apt human nature is td. deg-
enerate." Lawson wrote this no later than 1709, as his book was first
published in that year. It is very plausible that the story told by
him is founded on the truth, for he wrote within 120 years of the orig-
inal settlement at Roanoke, and he may have talked with men whose grand-
fathers had been among the original colonists.
D: Professor Oxendine, where is Scuffletown?
O: Scuffletown is hard to locate, but roughly speaking, Scuffletown was an
area from roundabout where Moss Neck up to Almy and that's east-west,
and within a couple of miles of Lumber River on either side.
D: What about the prospect area?
0: I'd say the prospect area was in Scuffletown, also. It was customary
for the peddlers to come through selling their wares. Peddlers travelled
in covered wagons. I've heard my father speak about when these covered
wagons would come through. They had general places where they'd camp.
The peddler had a bugle or a horn that he'd blow in the evening, and
people for miles around could hear it--they'd know where the camp was
to be held that night. They'd gather there, and some of them imbibed
too freely of intoxicants. Rumor has it that they would dance and
scuffle and have merry-making, more or less, all night. Someone
coined the name Scuffletown to refer to the area where these campgrounds
were, where the men with the covered wagons would stop and camp for over-
night.
D: Do you suppose they brought some whiskey for sale also?
O: One of the commodities they sold was whiskey.
D: A little firewater would make them have a good time, I suppose.
O: Yes.
D: You mentioned your father a while ago. What was his name?





7
O: His name was James Wesley Oxendine.
D: What type of work was he engaged in during his early days?
O: He followed the turpentine industry, and as far as his trade, he was a
cooper-he made barrels for the turpentine firms. They did not have
bought barrels at that time, so my father would go in the woods, rive
out the staves for these barrels, shape them up and put them together.
He was an excellent cooper.
D: Did you help him in this work?
O: No, I never did help him, but I remember seeing some of the homemade
barrels he made. They would put wooden hooks on these barrels because
they couldn't get metal hooks for them. They cut small white oaks about
two to three inches in diameter, split them, and put the hooks around
these barrels to hold them together, so they'd hold the rosin that the
turpentine firms had.
D: Other than being a cooper, what was some of his work?
O: He was a great maker of shingles and boards to cover buildings.
D: He did some tanning, did he not?
0: Yes, he could tan hides very well. He could tan deer hides, cow hides,
and hides of that kind. He could tan them with the hair on, or he had
special recipes for treating the hides to get the hair off, add then
tan them. He used red oak bark to give his tanning material the right
color.
D: What did he use other than red oak bark? Could you tell us something
about the process of tanning?
O: No, I never did learn that process. I wish now that I had learned it,
but I took no interest in it when he was doing it. He could do a right
good job of tanning hides. For instance, he never bought a piece of
leather from to mend his harness. He could make reins that you drive
the stock with from leather that he processed himself.
D: Your father was a great foxhunter. Tell us something about his fox-
hunting.
O: He hunted fox more or less in his late days. In his earlier days he
was a great fisherman, and he hunted game, such as squirrels, raccoons,
and otters. He trapped quite a bit when he was in Georgia and Florida.
He followed the turpentine business down there--he usually had a task,
and when he'd performed that task, say by two o'clock during the day,
he'd use the rest of that day to hunt. He had quite a bit of luck
trapping game and also killing wild turkey which were plentiful in
Georgia. He killed a good many of them down there.
D: You spoke of people going to Georgia. When did a lot of the people of
this area go down in Georgia to work in the turpentine industry?





8
O: I'd say it was mostly in the 1880's and 1890's, but I'd say the big
decade was from about 1875 to '85, when a good many of them followed
the turpentine industry to Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and
Louisiana.
D: I believe you met a cousin in Memphis, once. Tell us about that.
O: Three years ago when I attended the Southern Historical meeting, I looked
in the telephone directory in Memphis, Tennessee, and noticed the Oxendine
name. I called up an Oxendine that I knew was connected with the tele-
phone company and sure enough, he happened to be a grandson of one of my
uncles who left here and went to Georgia in 1874. This grandson had
quite a nice job there in Memphis with the telephone company. He belongs
to the Executive Club. While I was down there at this Southern Historical
meeting, Dr. Adolph Dial, who heads the history department at our college,
and I had lunch with this Oxendine, who has made quite a name for himself
in Memphis.
D: What were the names of the two Oxendine boys who went to Georgia?
O: One was John and the other was Henry.
D: Was his name John Wesley?
O: Yes, John Wesley Oxendine, a sales representative for Western Union in
Memphis, Tennessee. I first got in contact with John W. Oxendine in
about 1941, when my nephew...
D: Isn't he Joe W. Oxendine, and his father John W?
O: A correction there is that this Oxendine is Joe W. Oxendine, a sales
representative for the Western Union.
D: He was a grandson of John Wesley Oxendine?
O: Grandson of John Wesley Oxendine.
D: Who was Joe Oxendine's father? Was it Charles?
O: I don't know. It might have been Charles. I believe it was Charles.
D: It seems to me his names was Charles. Mr. Oxendine, let's look at
education for a moment. Will you tell us something about education for
the Indians prior to 1835?
O: Information concerning the education of the Indians prior to 1835 is
very scant indeed. The Indians have been devoid, more or less, of
written records, and it's mostly tradition that they depend on. What
records we can find indicate that a few of the Indians went to school
prior to 1835, and that they went to school with the whites. In 1835,
we had a revised constitution which closed the door for the Indians--
it closed the door for schooling for any except the whites. That of
course, included the slaves. They couldn't go to school. For a long





9
period, until 1885, the Indians were without any public schooling.
These were the Dark Ages for the Indians.
D: Would you say that,from 1835 to 1887, it was a dark age for the Indians
of the area?
O: That's right. Following the Civil War--when schools were set up for the
emancipated Negroes under Freedmen's Bureau--the Indians refused to
attend these schools, and the whites didn't appropriate any funds to
operate Indian schools, so the Indians had no schools until 1885.
D: Before you get into this period from 1835 to 1885, from 1864 to 1874 was
the decade in which the Lowry gang reigned. Would you tell us a little
bit about what you thought of the Lowry gang?
O: I think the Lowrys had some justification for the uprising which took
place during the Civil War. Many of the young men of the Indian group
here were forced to work as laborers down at Fort Fisher, near the
mouth of the Cape Fear River. They were not allowed to carry guns and
fight in the army of the Confederacy, but were forced to engage in
manual labor there, throwing up the breastworks or sand dunes behind
which the fighting forces operated. The Indians, of course, resented
having to go there and work as slaves since they were not Negroes.
D: This had something to do with Henry Barry Lowry's refusal to go and as
a result, with the home guard looking for him, I suppose, this was not
the immediate cause of the beginning his reign as an outlaw, but per-
haps this had something to do with it. I notice you have something
else here--read that paragraph from your thesis here.
O: Regardless of the objections raised by the Indians, of having to go and
work at Fort Fishner as slaves, the Confederate authorities drafted
some of them, and used them to help build the immense sand fortifications
at Fort Fishner. The work was hard; the Indians complained or murmured,
but to no avail. George Lowry, his brother had several
sons. Two of these sons were carried to Fort Fisher to work during the
year of 1863. After remaining there about a year, they were granted
furloughs for a few days. For some reason they never returned to Fort
Fishner. Finally, J. Brantly Harris, a member of the Home Guard of
Robeson County, arrested them as deserters. He put them aboard the
train at Moss Neck Station, which was four or five miles away, to send
them back to Fort Fishner. On the way to the station, Harris killed
both of these boys--nobody knows why--instead of sending them back to
Fort Fisher.
D: What is your view on Henry Barry? Do you look at him today as a man of
respect and a justified cause?
0: I think of him as sort of a Robin Hood--he took the part of the under-
dog, the group that was underprivileged. He was trying to help the
Indian people who were discriminated against when it came to entering
the Confederate Army and helping to bear arms, but were used as manual
laborers the same as the slaves were. I think he was rendering a
service there.





10
D: Yes, I think so too. Moving on to 1885, do you consider Hamilton
MacMillan a man that was well-liked by the Indian people?
O: I think so. In fact, I think he's been neglected. I've told my history
students in Pembroke State University time and again that I thought a
suitable marker should be placed for the late Hamilton MacMillan because
he studied the Indians rather closely for several years, and worked out
this so-called White's Lost Colony theory that the Indians here were
descendants of White's colonists who amalgamated with the Indians. He
sold this idea to the state legislature at Raleigh in 1885, and on the
basis of his argument, the state legislature gave these people a name,
and passed legislation establishing a school for them. So I think the
late Hamilton MacMillan should have a marker at some appropriate place
around Pembroke.
D: Yes, I think so too. I understand from Judge Bullard that at one time
this area had what was known as "Hamilton MacMillan Day," and many of
the people would come together and have a big celebration. Do you know
anything about the Hamilton MacMillan Day?
0: No, I don't recall anything of this.
D: Out of Hamilton MacMillan's work grew legislation in 1885 which provided
for the nucleus of Pembroke State University, Croatan Indian Normal
School. Is that correct?
0: That's right. ...the general assembly passed the _legislation,
"whereas the Indians now living in Robeson County claim to be descendants
of a friendly tribe that once resided in eastern North Carolina, on
Roanoke River, known as Croatan Indians. Therefore, the general assembly
do enact that said Indians and their descendants shall be hereafter
designated and known as the Croatan Indians, that said Indians and
their descendants shall have separate schools for their children, schools
committed of their own race and color, and shall be allowed to select
teachers of their own choice, subject to the same rules and regulations
as are applicable to all teachers in the general school law."
D: I understand from Mr. Gaston Locklear, son of Mr. Preston Locklear, that
Mr. Preston was for the name Croatan because he and many of the Indian
people in that area felt--if they used the name, "Cherokee" at this
time--that they might be moved west as the Cherokees had moved west
esrlier. Have you ever heard anything about this?
O: No, I haven't heard this theory.
D: This was told by Judge Bullard and Mr. Gaston Locklear, in a recent
interview. Judge Bullard is the nephew of Mr. Preston Locklear,and Mr.
Gaston is a son of Mr. Preston. Mr. Preston was born around 1840, and was
one of our pioneers in that day. Professor Oxendine, over the years, the
Indians of this area have been known by various names. Pembroke State
University has also been known by various names, going along with the
name given the Indians of the area. Let's look at that just for a
minute.





11
O: I believe the first name of the school was Croatan Normal College.
Was that right?
D: Yes, Croatan Normal School, in 1887. Let's look at the names of the
institution at various times.
O: It was first called the Croatan Normal School, then it became Cherokee
Normal School, then Indian Normal School, next Pembroke State College
for Indians, then Pembroke State College, and last, Pembroke State
University .
D: That's certainly a lot of changes over the years, isn't it? Professor
Ozendine, from this date, July 30, 1969, what do you see in the future
for the Indians in this area, and the adjoining counties? Will you
comment on that, please?
O: I think perhaps, in the future, the Indians will tend to lose their
identity, as a separate group here. The greatest mixer we have at
present is Pembroke State University, and with the integration being
the practice that is followed in all state institutions, I think it
will follow in other areas, as well as in the education area.
D: Do you believe that the Indians should try to hold on to some of their
heritage, or should they more or less, forget everything?
O: I feel that we should be proud of our identity as Indians, but when
that identity brings discrimination as we have experienced in the past,
it sometimes makes one feel that he's not quite as proud of the term as
he should be--because of the discrimination which have gone on over
the years.
D: Was there much intermarriage among the people prior to World War II?
O: Very, very little. In fact the law used to prohibit the intermarriage of
Indians and whites; however, they continued to marry and so a few years
back the state legislature did away with that law.
D: That was sometime during this decade.
O: Yes, in the last decade, the state legislature did away with the law
forbidding the intermarriage of whites and Indians of this area.
D: Many Indians married whites during World War II, and since that time
they figured the law was no good anyway--at least no one was abiding by
the law. However, I remember when people left the area and went into
South Carolina to marry because they did not want to issue their
marriage license here in Robeson County. You look at the future as the
Indians of Robeson County losing their identity and a hundred or two
hundred years from now, it will be history.
O: Yes, I think the so-called "salvation" for the people here would be to
become intellectually and economically independent. Once we reach that
stage I think we'll be getting along better.





12
D: To my knowledge, we've never produced a millionaire.
O: No, we haven't.
D: Professor Oxendine, speaking of the future, many people have gone away,
and many have moved into positions of prestige. Do you feel that this
is good or bad for the area? How would you comment on this?
O: I'd say it's good for those who have gone away, and yet, if our people
with ability leave, that does not solve the problem here at home. I
think we're losing an undue amount of the so-called "cream."
D: Why are these people leaving?
0; They are leaving for two reasons. One is social conditions (discrimin-
atory practices), and another is economic conditions.
D: Perhaps it would be fine for some of them to return after they have
stayed away for a few years.
O: I think that some of the people that have left here could make their
mark here, if they were to return. But social discrimination has been
practiced so long that they are not willing to endure it here--they
leave here and lose their identity as an Indian. The Indians get no
credit for the progress that these special leaders are making elsewhere.
D: A white man in Robeson County recently told me, "There's no problem
here." What would you say to this man?
O: I think we do have a problem. This social discrimination still exists.
You can see that in the write-up of social news. From my little town
of Pembroke, for instance, there are only a few whites, but the whites
will not mix their social news with social news pertaining to the
Indians. A good many of the whites who have children will leave
Pembroke and reside in towns like Laurnburg, Lumberton, Red Springs,
Roland, and so on, in order that their children will not have to go
to the Indian schools, or associate with the Indian children.
D: I see. I suppose you would sum it up by saying that Robeson County is
a place where social justice does not prevail, it is a place where
racial prejudice does prevail, and it is a place that has not reached
a utopia in race relations, so problems are still here. How would you
compare discrimination today with your boyhood days?
O: I think it's better, but the treatment that's accorded the Indians today
may largely be forced upon the whites. As far as doing or treating the
Indians fairly or equally, the majority of the whites are still unwilling
to do so.
D: Do you feel that the Indians of the area have made progress as a result
of legislation that was intended basically for the American Negro?





13
O: Yes, every time the Negro gets a break and gets more privileges and
things of that kind, the Indians apparently share in increased opportun-
ities. For instance, when I finished high school in 1924, I applied to
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for admission. I was
denied purely because the Indians were not admitted to the University at
that time. Now, our young people who are academically qualified go to
the University without any question.
D: I understand.
O: What about yourself, Mr. Dial? How do you feel about the privileges
of the Indians? Are they increasing as rapidly as they should?
D: I feel that much progress has been made in recent years; however I feel
that there is room for lots of progress, because when it comes to county
officials, state officials, and so forth, we do not have many Lumbee
Indians elected to office--only a few--and it's still pretty difficult
for the American or Lumbee Indian to get the white vote, unless he turns
out to be somewhat an "Uncle Tonto."
O: What do you think about the church? Don't you think the church is sort
of dragging its feet on the matter of integration? Of all the organiz-
ations, it seems the church ought to take the lead in this matter.
D: As someone said, the church ought to take the lead. They ought to be
the head, but instead, they often appear to be the tail. I feel that
they are not doing what they could do. I appreciate this interview,
Mr. Oxendine. By the way, are you thinking about retiring soon?
O: Yes, I'm looking forward to it.
D: Do you intend to do some hunting and fishing?
O: Hunting more than fishing because I enjoy hunting more than I do fishing.
D: You're still quite active. Do you think this is because you've been
active so much over the years?
O: I'm used to outdoor life, although I've been in school and worked for
the last forty-one years.
D: How long have you been at Pembroke State College?
O: I've been with the College since it became a four year institution.





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