-rTI A Dsc E I EL
LUM 210AEWER: Adolp l
INTERVIEWER: Adolph-Dial /
INTERVIEWEE: Reverend Harry Long pwh
DATE: October 25, 1970
D: This is October 25, 1970. Adolph-Dial speaking. We-had Homecoming at
Prospect Methodist Church today, and it was also the Indian Week
Revival, by the Reverend Harry Long of Oklahoma City, who was born
at Salt Creek, Oklahoma. Reverend Long is a veteran of World War II,
served in the U.S. Marine Corps, uh, attended Oklahoma City College,
Oklahoma City University, and my purpose for making this tape is to
get some of his impressions here after he has been here for one week,
and he preached at Prospect in a predominantly Lumbee Indian church.
I am sure that he recognized among the Lumbees some Indian things
that we do that are Indian, and perhaps, some we do maybe that are
not so much Indian, that they do in Oklahoma. So, it's, this is very
informal, and so these, some of these impressions that we want to
talk about. Now, his revival during the week, I attended several
churches, his revival and singing, is like, uh, you might say, the
country Lumbees do it down here, uh, in Robeson County, the Lumbee
way. And the two groups who are, Harry and the Lumbees seem to be
very much at homeiAth each other. Harrysuppose you just speak at will
here to some of these things. What's your impression here after you've
spent a week, and also, what did you expect to see and you didn't see,
and uh, how were you surprised and how were you let down, and so forth
and so on?
L: Thank you Adolph, I don't think that there was any letdowns really. I'm
honest, sincere about it. Uh, to begin with, uh, I'd read just a little
bit about the Lumbee Indians and I'd looked forward to being with you,
uh, a number of ears ago, I didn't think that I would ever get a chance
to come this way again. However, I've never been in this particular
area, but I was over on the, at Jacksonville, for a little while, in
some training, during, back in 1944, but uh, I read Lew Barton's book,
before coming here,] so I had some idea as to you know, the uh, what
I was going to be meeting and so forth, because I haven't, well, I met
you, I guess, about one of the first ones from this area, and then
Simeon, Brother Simeon, andthen uh, Brother (iBh h 4 I ) s there at
Chicago. And just from meeting you three, well, just given the idea
that/you people, the people here, the Indians here, the Lumbee Indians,
are no different from my Creeks or the Cherokee, Choctaws, or any other
Indians that we have in Oklahoma. Uh, however, I've been greatly
impressed because of the great, great intelligence in your, among your
people. You have far greater percentage-wise far greater, much
greater in number the college graduates and teachers than any of us
that I know of back in Oklahoma. And uh, well, I was...
D: Right along, right along on that question, uh, would you, with the
various tribes that you have visited in the United States, uh, would
you say this group seems to have had an advantage maybe,by'not being
on the reservation over the years? Of course, now in Oklahoma, you're
not on the reservation, but uh, does it seem that ie, they have)had
some advantage that some of the reservated Indians didn't get?
L: This is my observation, Adolph, yes. I think that your Lumbee Indians
Raelmade much, much progress, because they have had to, they have had
to just stay here and fight. I don't mean, you know, just out and out
fight, but politically, and scholastically, and just, just all phase
of life, they've had to dig for all that they have, and they've done,
they've done mighty, mighty good. And they far out exceed ar out
they've done mighty, mighty good. And they far out exceed/ far out *,
excel any of our people that are-knfow as a tribe,as a group, as a
community, and then, speaking from the church standpoint too, you
have a great community, you have a great church here. You seem to
have people who are really devoted and loyal to their church,well,
I can speak for Prospect now, I tried to sound like an authority,
already, like I told some of the people tonight, I feel so much like
a member that I was, I was inviting people to come and visit our
church, and people that were visiting there, I just welcomed, and I
just felt like, one of the, one of the members. And this has just been
a tremendous week for me, and I'm greatly impressed Adolph, with the
D: Now, Harry, what are some of the, what are some. of the Indian things
you see here, that you do in Oklahoma? You spoke in your sermon, of
squirrel, and gravy and potatoes, and so forth,uh. What are some of
the things you see us doing here that seem to been, seem to, seems
that it had been customary over the years, and some of the things
that y'all do,you might say that are what we say, quite Indian?
Would you speak to that please?
L: Yes. Well, I think tkeC, I'm not, I'm not, I donft think Itm being
prejudiced when I say this, that, uh, I felt a real, a real acceptance
on the part of your people tr-of me, they accepted me, I think to
begin with because I'm an Indian, they're Indians. Indians just naturally
accept one another. Now this was the Indian that I say, in the Lumbees.
And then the next thing, of course, is I like to eat, and I've met
some Lumbee Indians that also like to eat, and they like to cook, and
they like to, a"* they like the people that come to visit them to just
enjoy the meal, you know, and this is Indian. Well, it may be other
races too, but this is, this is the Indian that I saw. And then another
thing was singing, uh, and the type of singing, the pace and the pitch
and all of that seemed to be just right down my alley, when I, I was
scared to death as I came into your community to the church, and
especially after I saw all the cars out there when my first Sunday, I'll)
woe-just a week ago today, for my first service, as I came on the
grounds of the church, I saw all those cars, and then I saw your
people, especially the womernlk wearing hats, and:-this is something tHdt
our Indian women don't do, that is, not all of them. Some of them
wear hats, of course t they go to church. But most of your women,
I would say 95 percent, I saw, maybe it was more, that were wearing
hats, and this maybe said to me that I'm, that I didn't know what
I was getting into. But when, as I walked in, and I heard the singing,
Adolph, this just did something to me, you know, to say that, well,
you're at home, yu'relat home. And so this was the Indian, and of
course, the teachers and some of the people that I've met here and
there. I've met so many people here among fe Lumbee Indians that people,
ket they reminded ma of people back in Oklahoma, of some of .our
Creeks, some of our Cherokees, some of our Choctaws and |(J_'__ 5
and some of the other tribes.
D: Out of the various tribes ZbLt you've known then in Oklahoma, could
you now, I know the Indians in Oklahoma are quite different from the
Indians here, and uh, physical features are quite different, but uh,
some of the Indians you saw that seem to show more Indian blood than
others here, what tribe do you remind you of, most of the tribes that
you've met over the years with, or had you thought about that?
L: Well, I hadn't thought too much about it, Adolph, but now that you've
asked, I think, I guess possibly in my mind, it just flashed in on
across my mind, well, here is one that looks like a Cherokee, I guess
the Cherokee features, you know, flash across my mind, more than any
D: Well, that would certainly, certainly sound logical. You know there's
a theory here that the people, the Lumbee Indians are descendants
of White's Lost Colony, and of course, you know that, you know the
theory of the colony and of course, I think, one can see a lot of
English thingshere and they can see a lot of things that you might
see out Oklahoma way, and I'm sure that you got this, you kind of got
this mixture of impression of what's going on. Now in the way/ I think
you were able to observe you know, that in the congregation, it was
basically all Indian, you might say, 100 percent, we did have one or
two visitors out of the church today, and Lumbees, and one or
two cases where Lumbees have married whites, but they call themselves,
the whites now call themselves Lumbees, of course, and the, is it
the same way in Oklahoma, the people are petty much segregated? I
noticed, you do have your churches, you have some churches, now the
churches of the Oklahoma Indian Mission, they are basically all Indian
pretty much, or just how? lco10
L: Most of them are all Indian, an Indian congregation. However,Ithere's
a sprinkling of non-Indians,7 you know, whites, that our people inter-
marry with. They naturally, most of them come into the Indian church.
And our young -speC le, you know, more and more of them, are intermarrying
with the whites. But all of our churches are predominantly of the
Indian Mission Conference are Indian.
D: Now you belong to the Creek tribe, do you not? And you're, what about
your wife, is she Creek also?
L: She's Creek.
D: She's Creek also. Now, any of your children married?
L: Yes, my daughter. We have two daughters, and the oldest of the two
is married, she has a little boy, so this is our first grandson.
D: Did she marry a Creek also?
L: No, a Navaho.
D: )o she married a Navaho, I see. Now, your ancestors, uh, your, how
far can you, you can t-a4l your ancestry back to where, say your
great-grandfather, was he, did he come from North Carolina, or where?
L: From Alabama.
D: From Alabama. In other words, the Creeks came from Alabama to Oklahoma.
L: And the southern part of Georgia.
D: And the southern part of Georgia. Yeah, I remember Andrew Jackson and
the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.
D: What does your group think of Andrew Jackson?
L: Kind of a taboo. Andrew Jackson is not a hero, to the Creeks of course,
now the Creeks are trying their best to forgive, and forget, they've
been able to forgive, I think, but maybe a sprinkling of Creeks here
and there that haven't forgottenI yet. No, Andrew Jackson is something
that they don't recognize.
D: What do you feel here in Robeson County, as you visited around for the
week? What are some of the things you feel, maybe that we ought to be
doing that we're not doing? What would you suggest?Speak freely on it.
L: This is a real tough one, Adolphlet... Now, I haven't, to be fair about
it, I think that I would have to spend a little bit more time. I have
nothing but, but just iebif for, for the Lumbee Indians here in Robeson
County. Because you have a state university, and uh, you have more
schoolteachers, you have more professors, you have more professional
men, I don't know, I don't know what else I can tell, tell the Indians
here to be doing.
D: Do you have some of your Indians who are teaching their children to
marry within their race, or out of their race, or what's the feeling,
uh, do some of them when they marry out of their race, feel well, tkey,
they've really done something, now they've married white-, or are they
sorry about it, or is it just a matter of mixed feelings?
L: I think it's a matter of mixed feelings. Some of the, Adolph,some
of the parents, I think uh, without coming out in the open, you know,
in the house, anyway, in the family, within the family, they uh, they
try to teach their youngsters to marry within their own face, and even
in their own tribe.
D: What do you think our progress has been based on here, basically, would
you say that our progress has been uh, largely because we were probably
naver wards of the government, and were basically, we were free, but yet
not free, we were in what you might call a semi-free condition, uh. But
uh, perhaps, even with limited freedom here over the years, we were Vocld loya
say somewhat freer than the Indians of Oklahoma or the Indians of the
L: Yes, I think that because, because of the fact that you were notwards
of the government. I think attributes to the fact that you are, you are
far ahead of any of our Indian tribes that I know of. I would say that,
yes, because you were not wards of the government.
D: Of course, another advantage we had here too, we had some fertile soil,
and the Indians who went West in many instances, uh, found themselves
on desert land and very dry soil, and mostly less than twenty inches of
rainfall and, what's your impression of this land here?
L: This land is beautiful. Uh, the terrain, the farmland, is just about
like the place where I grew up, around Salt Creek, that's in just
about the center of Oklahoma. We have a lot of, we have a lot of sandy
places where peanuts, pretty much peanuts is grown, and then we have
the river bottomland, AwrF- corn and cotton, and we have red clay
around there, the gummy type, where sometimes nothing will grow, in
some of the rocky places. The Cherokees I would say, of Oklahoma, were
the ones who got in some of the roughest places, where nothing, no
vegetation, just only wild berries, and the only source of income that
they have, there's one county there, the Adair County, I believe it
is, is the poorest one fr the entire state of Oklahoma, so far as I
I)what knowledge of it I have, and about I maybe wrong, but percent
of our people in that county are state, ae state aid, and -fttt-lst'S /s
because of the roughness of the place, there's nothing, not much can
grow there. But now, they are beginning to come into their own because of
strawberries, they found that strawberries can really grow there.
D: How would you compare, the say the Lumbees t-hse, with'various groups
in Oklahoma, on I don't mean real militant-type people, from the
standpoint of violence and burning, but uh, do you think, do you feel
the Indians here would be a little more defending for something that
they're entitled to than the Indians of Oklahma? Which ones do you
think might be more complacent?
L: Well, with the ones that I've been exposed to, and those wvs have been
exposed to me, and have been kind of open with me, I find ttet pretty
much the same type of temperament, you know, with our Oklahmma Indians,
because in Oklahoma, we have some that are real militant, without, you
know without really burning down without tearing down, but it doesn't
mean that they won't, you know. These areqthe ones that I'm speaking
about, are those that have jist pushed and pulled, pressured they
would. They would destroy, and I think that some of your Lumbee Indians
have been open enough, that my reaction or my observation/that they
are of the same type.
D: I beldive you are a friend of uh, or you w-F a friend of uh, Ari Hayes.
Did you know him before he went into the service, and while he was
in service and so forth? Suppose you tell us the story of Ari before
he went in, and after he returned and so forth, and some of his
treatment and so on. I believe you gave this to us the other day, and
I'd like to record that story.
L: Adolph, I didn't know him, before uh, before we went into the service,
I think I was probably in just a little bibearlier than he was, I was
a little bit older, but we just happened to get acquainted, while we
were overseas on one of the islands, there was no action, but where
we were at a rest period, rest camp. And he was in the Yourth-Marine
Division, and I was, I spent most of my time in the Second Marine
Division, and our division, as I recall, never got on the same island
together. Well, and then a couple of times, back in the States, Ari
and I had met downtown San Diego, Los Angeles, and then another time
at Washington, D.C. And he, of course, they used him and many of the
other viCewr of the war to sell war bonds, and it was here that he
was exposed to all of this wining and dininand where the politicians
just exploited him, and just used him for theulselling of war boids,
and for this and that, and many other things seemed to be for their
advantage, and then when begot out of the service, and went back to
the reservation, on the Pnd 'reservation in Arizona, then once he
was out of that uniform, he was just another Indian,see. Back to the
reservation, and when his people needed his leadership, he offered
his leadership, of course, and I think, I'm not, I'm not sure about
this story, but it was told to me later on that his own people maybe
kind) refused his leadership, yet later on when they got desperate for
water, well, I think his tribe, thinking that if he would go to
Washington, because they remehered tht it was these politicians that
maybe had promised Ari that if there was anytime that they could be
of help to him and his people in any way, that they would be available.
Well, the story goes that Ari was sent there with other delegates, but
they didn't recognize him, because now that'he's out of uniform, he
was out of uniform, he was back in his civitan clothes, he's back to
being an Indian, and they didn't, they wouldn't recognize him. They
wouldn't accept him.
D: So he died somewhat a broken-hearted man, I read, the story goes.
L: Right, right. He was pretty much disappointed and discouraged, and
D: I think it's a good example sometime, of horeven the government may use
people for their advantage, and then let them down maybe in a time of
need. Did you happen to know the Jim Thorpe Family?
D: Jim Thorpetl As a youngster, back there at Salt Creek, there, the nearest
town was Holdenville, ten miles away. And there was a wealthy Indian
by the name of Ben ~;zgo that sponsored an all-Indian baseball
team, kind of a semi-pro team, and he emplqed Jim there one year to be
the manager. And this was my only chance to see Jim in person, but it
was at a distance. I never got to speak to hi/i, 2h~ a-n it was as
a youngster.Then in my first full-time pastorate, I was a pastor for
three years of, of some of Jim's people, the SaclFox
Indians in Oklahoma, between Drumright andStroud, Oklahoma.
D: How is that spelled?
L: It's two words, S..A..C.. and fox, F..O..X.. Sac and fox, sac and fox,
the two tribes,l I understand that they were two distinct, different
tribes but being small that they came together and formed at sort
of a confederate, I guess,lSac and fox. And it was his nephewS and
his cousins, and nieces that I was a pastor
D: Yes. What about your early days in school Harry? /ou never did attend
the SM school, did you? What was your sclEl like, ~t was it?,,.
Years ago, I guess it was all Indian segregated, and so forth, wvuld
you tell us a little about that?
L: The day schools, around there, I never did attend them, but see I
grew up at Bacone Indian School, that's at Muskogee. That's a school
that was operated by the American Baptists, the Northern Baptists,
but a lot of our Methodists...
D: What grades did they have at Bacone at that tire
L: At Bacone, at the time that I was dumped off there had first grade
through junior college. It was a boarding school, we stayed there, and
some of us started out at the rpfhe HRome. And then later on, was
transferred down to the main campus, of, in uh, well, the PIrrot Ot~pa5
Home is part of Bacone.IWe, I grew up there, well I had my first
ten years of schooling was there.
D: I see, and then later you went to Oklahoma City. Did you have a
scholarship when you went to Oklahoma City University?
L: No, I didn't. I went on the G.I. Bill.
D: G.I. Bill. Yes, I guess that provided an education for many of you
or' qo r-
just as it didllots of the Lumbees. Uh, the, what are some of tfe,,
htee t- 0hon4-)h )
now we mentioned, well, let's shift the sibjectlto something else. Harry,
you're a member of the Oklahoma Indian Mission. Suppose you give us
the Oklahoma Indian, United Methodist Mission...Suppose you give us
a little background on that, and whaeerienominations operate4lthere,
and who weE first and second and so forth and so on, in numbers and so
on. I hope the Methodists are first, but they might not be.
L: Yeah, I'm afraid that the Methodists may be a poor, poor second. Uh,
it's kind of a nip and tuck between the Methodists and the Southern
Baptists. The Southern Baptists has rfa lL fine work among the
Indians. In my particular tribe, the Creeks, I would have to say
that Southern Baptists probably have more, a larger work among the
Creek Indians than maybe the Methodists. But the overall picture
of the State of Oklahoma, the Southern Baptists and United Methodists
are pretty much nip and tuck. Well, our membership consists of twelve
thousand. We have a membership of twelve thousand in our Mission
Conference. We cover the entire state of Oklahoma, and we have five
preaching places, or churches in the state of Kansas: Topeka, Horton,
Wichita, Lawrence, and ArkanJgS City. And then we have two in the
State of Texas. At Dallas and Paris, Texas, and all the rest are in
Oklahoma. And we're divided into four districts, and they're named
for their geographical location: northeast district, southeast diz-
trict, southwest district, and northwest district. Lindy Waters is
the district superintendent of the northwest district, and he lives
in Ponca City, Oklahoma; Kenneth Deere is He district superintendent
of the northeast district, and he liveslPreston, Oklahoma, and this
is where in this June of 1971, the Indian Mission Conference will be
held there; and then Durant, who is a Choctaw Indian, is the
superintendent, district superintendent of the southeast.n district,
he lived at Atoka, Oklahoma; and then Robert PonsadelbyC?), who is
trained,minister that we have, who is a member of the Oklahoma Conference,
is the district superintendent of the southwest district, and he lives
at Anadarko, Oklahoma. And all of oir pastors are Indians and all of
our district superintendents are Indians.
D: Yes, I believe I've met all of your district superintendents. Maybe
one I haven't met. I guess most of them -Telin Farmington. Very fine
fellas. Uh, one other question here, what's integration doing in
your area today, uh, I guess all your schools are integrated in
L: Yes, Adolph, we're, they're having their problems now. When they first
integrated, I don't know just how far back that was, but the ones that
are having their problems with integration is the whites and the
blacks. The Indians never really had much problem; however, there
are some isolated places that I can name you in Oklahoma, where the
Indian's maybe,llooked down on. But an Indian from another tribe, if
the whites, in this particular town, where they're maybe having a
little bit of that trouble, if the whites that look down on those
local Indians, but if there was another Indian coming from another
tribe, and they knew that he was from another tribe, he would get
much better treatment than a local Indian. Most of these are local
D: Yes, but what about, the white, integration with the white? Is there
as much resentment within the tribe5, as say, Indian and white, or,
how, what would you say on that?
L: There's really not too much trouble that I know of; however, you know,
when I speak on these things, it's mostly from my own,...
D: Yeah, that's right.
L: ...My own, yes, uh,huh. Now, I've never really had any trouble. I
run into a discrimination just really, the one that really scared me,
was during the service. I was under a lieutenant for two years, that
didn't like the blacks or the reds they didn't believe in God.
didn't like the blacks or the redsajthey didn't believe in God.
This kind of disturbed me, but it took him two years to, well,
apologize to me, but he had to be drunk to do it. And uh, but the
reds, the Indians and the whites, there's really not too much of a
problemthere, as I said a while ago, that if there is any, it's
kind of a local situation you know, and there were still some signs hdJ7/fj ArC
that said, "Indians Not Allowed," but it was just some isolated
D: I understand down'in Philadelphia, Mississippi, it.might be quite
cl l'TFert n+ among some of the Choctaws, even today.
L: Yes, that's right, I understand that they've come a long way in the
last ten years, I guess,but see, one of our men, Vincent Wallace, who
is a Choctaw, full-blood Choctaw Indian, from Oklahoma, is now
pastoring in Topeka, Kansas, but uh, oh, for about six years, maybe
a little bit longer, he was pastor at Green Hill in Philadelphia,
Mississippi, and they had a son, when they went there, but he was
not allowed to go to any other public school, the high school there,
so as a result they had to send him back to Oklahoma, I believe it
was, so he could attend, 5u ht euld finish high school. But he relates
to us, shares with us some of the bitter experiences that the Indians
had to endure, but they've come a long, Inng way, but He I understand +ha4- i^(+' S-4
zie, they still got a long ways to go.
D: Do you think ibat we ought to have more of this various tribes getting
to know each/other? You know, the Methodist Church has done quite a
bit to aid this indirectly, when we brought all the Indians together
to discuss some df their problems and so forth, within the church, we
wind up visiting each other and so forth, therefore learning more
about other tribes in other areas. What's your opinion on this?
: in that this is the thing ha Iall, n s f nw
L: I think that this is the thing that really, needs full, now I kinda
issued a challenge or an invitation to the Lumbee Indians here at
Prospect Church4 well, it's open to any of the Lumbees that want to
come out and visit with as, but in June, when we have our Annual
Intermission Conference, at Preston, I believe it's the first week
in June..I'll just send back the correct dates but, uh, about
twenty-five people have already indicated that they've committed
themselves to signing up and wanting to go out, and we're hoping
and praying that pur people will be able to come out in June, and
just share with ts their testimonies and their faith, and I think
that this is good, and then hopefully, we'll try to work up something
where some of our people can come here and spend maybe, a part of
a week in some kind of services here with your people.
D: Um,hmm. Yes, it seems to me that that's a wonderful idea, and of
course, we'll belooking forward to a visit with each other, looking
forward to some going to Oklahoma, and looking forward to some of
your people returning here to see whatr:s going on among the Lumbees.
Well, it was a real pleasure having you down. Before we sign off
here, tell me what your camp meeting's like that you have out there
L: Well, this one in June is not, we don't call it a camp meeting, it's
our regular, you know, annual conference, when weill;t at, on Sunday
you know, we'll receive ee, or maybe Before Sunday, the bishop that
we have now, reads the appointment off, maybe either the first day
or the second day of the conference. But we usually have preaching
service, you know, about three times through the day, maybe a little
bit more, but we always start off on a Thursday the official business
of the conference starts on Thursday evening with the Lord's Supper,
with a preaching service and the Lord's Supper. And then after, we
dismissed maybe about nine o'clock or so, some of the people
wi-ll retire to their motel rooms, hotels in town, it's, then the
younger ones, will gather under the tabernacle that will hold.about
T4'S y o> p>)
seven or eight hundred people.1 The sides are open, you know, this type
of tabernacle, and we'll sing gospel songs, you know, until maybe
about midnight. And then since our people who are doing the cooking,
are trying to get their rest,you know, we let them rest from midnight
until about four o'clock they have to get up and start preparing the
breakfast, and then about five-thirty, I believe it is, or six o'clock
the first bell wings, and then the second bell will ring about thirty
minutes later which means that there will be a sunrise service,and
somebody's already designated to be in charge of the sunrise service,
they come under the tabernacle, and tima after the service is over,
for about thirty minutes, they hold it for about thirty minutes, and
then about seven o'clock, well the breakfast is served, see. And then
they serve breakfastlfor abut an hour a*w-)hour-and-a-half or so.
Some of them. Because some of the people that are spending the night
in a motel in town or a hotel, well, they drive out for their break-
fast out therecn the grounds. And we try to give time, you know, for
them to get there to eat their breakfast, because all of the meals
are free. Breakfast on Friday morning, and then after breakfast of
course, we get ready for the Annual Conference Session, the business
session of the conference, and our bishop presides, there will be some
guests there that will be introduced, and then we begin to take care
of the business of the conference. And then, at noon, of course, or
around eleven o'clock, we do some more singing, and then a preaching
service, and then right at twelve o'clock, well, we issue tickets again,
hand out tickets, and if they're numbered anywhere from one to nine,
they're at Preston, and then you just take your ticket, and whatever
number of tickets you have, you look for the number of camp that
coincides with your ticket, we have nine kitchen cabins,)you just
take your ticket, and hand your ticket to the ticket-taker, and
you go in and eat, you don't pay a thing, you don't pay a thing for
it. And then uh...
D: Go right ahead.
L: Yeah, all right. in the afternoon, we uh, go into our separate meetings
(jill) C1ro *fAir
then. The youths will go into theirJtabernacle to meet, and then the
women will go to their tabernacle to meet, and then the delegates of
the conference, usually have a discussion period, or k question-and-
answer period on the conference floor. Many of the touchy issues, that
we consider touchy in a way, you know, are discussed and maybe
cussed and, we try to thrash this out on the conference floor. And
that's usually the daily routine, and then of course, supper, serve
supper somewhere around five-thirty or six o'clock, and then, all of
theameals are just free. Now, all you do is just get a ticket, and
then go to that camp, that the number on your ticket 4af* coincides
with, and this is all you have to do to eat, and then after supper of
Course, there's a little bit oflbreak, you know, and everybody visits,
and it's a good, wonderful fellowship. And then the bell will ring a
couple of times, you know, for the people to come in under the
tabernacle to start the singing. And all of our singing is done in
the Indian language, the Choctaws, the Creeks,-the Cherokees, the
_tozujaS Comanches, Cheyennes, Arapejos, and Pawnees, and Poncas,
and some others. (Cdchj and Wichitas and so forth. Uh, and then,
well, every tribe don't get a chance to sing their hymn in one
service, but then, we'll have a preaching service, and then, somewhere
around nine o'clock they-are dismissed again, and then of course, the
young people again, the younger ones will gather fatlmore gospel
singing, -w just have a wonderful time with the Lord. And tein we
just about do this every night. On Saturday night is our evangelistic
service, and then Sunday morning of course, is Sunday school, and
at eleven o'clock the bishop preaches. And then at noon everybody
eats, and then some will go to their appointments, or disappointments,
whatever it might e. That's about it.
D: Well, now Harry, you're the first Indian that I know of to come into
the area who tried to teach them some of the Indian language, at
least the Indian languages of other tribes, at least each night
I believe, you had them singing "Amazing Grace" in Choctaw and in
Creek,and also in(herokee. So, I'll use this tape for class someday
when we get our Idian Studies going here next year, and of course, I'm
sure my students will he looking forward to you know, to some singing,
so I would like for you to sing one verse in English, and then in
the other threelanguages, if you please.
L: All right. "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch
like me. I oncewas lost, But now I'm found, Was blind but now I see."
INow the tape has singing in other languages, which I can't transcribe]
D: Now that was in herokee, was it not?
L: That s right.
D; Now, what now, Choctaw coming up.
: chQ"-' noj. f1s5 I
L: Yes, is Choctaw1 TMore singing] And now Adolph, the Creek,lmy, this is
my language. IMore singing]
D: Uh,huh. Very good, very good. Do you, would you say a word or two about
your dead, or that is, -when someone passes in the family, do you have
any old customs or traditions that you hang onto, or just how do you
do it there among our group?
L: Well, Adolph, this is you know, a death in the family e&Jan Indian
family among my own tribe, the Creeks,lpretty much like the rest of
the tribes in Oklahoma I think, in that we usuallyllbury the body on
the fourth day; however, you know, unless the state medical people
you know, tell s that it's expedient to bury one real quick-like. But
usually the remains will spend a night at home, and then the last
night, the night before the funeral, it's usually at church. It's
still a must with our people of the church incraway.lin our
community of Salt Qeek,]we e up all night, not everybody, but
most of the peoplethat, and then we usually have preaching service
at the church with the body there, and we'll have anywhere from
about three to fur different preaching services, because -many of our
people the Creek people, the Baptists, the Presbyterians,the Methodists,
they just, oh, they just come in together, you know, in a situation
like this, and they, they're ready to do what they can, so maybe a
Baptist preacherwill preach, and a Presbyterian preacher will preach,
and well, the Methodists have always been open with their, and free
with their pulpit with their church' you know, ai-allowing the other
ministers from other churches to come in and fill their pulpit, or
to preach the Word. Aid then around midnight, they take a break, a
coffee break, this means that they're really intferf +. ..cL you
know, everybody takes coffee breaks, uh, then after midnight, if
there is enough there, and they want to, well, they'll just start fe lc
singing, maybe around one-thirty or two o'clock in the Imornigg,1 just
real informal-like, and sometimes if people just feel like preaching,
they'll get up there and preach. If they feel like offering prayer,
they'll do that, just as the spirit leads, you know, they're just
free about it. And this is one of the customs, Adolph, that is out-
standing in my mind, and we still carry on this tradition.
D: Yes, I would say, well, as far.back as fifteen years ago, almost,
all the Lumbees here when there was a death in the family, they would
set up all night, now, there's a few who still do it, but most of them
have gone away from it in recent years. Now you mentioned) he they
set up for four nights, or is it just one night/that they more or
less set up? 7
L: Adolph, I've worked among the Pawnee and the, Ponca Indians
over on the west side, these are the plains Indians. And there they
still set up four nights, they set up four nights, but among our
Creeks, well, the immediate family will probably set up you know,
three nights, anyway, because it's the fourth day that we usually
bury ours And it used to be a custom, they don't this much anymore,
Adolph, I'll share this with you. Among aur Creek people, after
we bury our dead, while I'm on that, let meXust say tho At the
gravesite, we're not in a hurry, and nobody is in a hurry. And
after we have lowered the body, it seems like everybody stays there
until all of the dirt is thrown on the grave. But before the dirt
is thrown on the grave, we have a custom yet that we still carry
on, maybe two or three or four of the men, will take a shovelful
of the dirt, and stand at each end of the grave, and people wir
come around and will take a clod or a piece of dirt off of the shovel,
and drop it into the, onto the box, into the grave, and this, I'm
not quite sure, but I interpret this to mean the lastkind of a
farewell handshake, you know, it's symbolic of that. And we still
do this. Many of our youngsters don't know what they're doing, but You
because grandparents, because their parents doing it, they still
take part in this, and I meant to say that the fourth day after
we bury our dead, this was the custom, that the menfolk would
gather back with their carpenter tools,lwith some boards, and
nails and stuff, to build a little shed, to build a little
house over the grave. We no longer do this, but this was the
custom as I grew up.
D: In other words, it went out, the custom there, about fifteen or
twenty years ago, maybe.
L: Yes, about twenty.
D: About twenty years ago. Well, that's certainly interesting, and
it's also interesting here, t1bt some of the things that you do
that has prevailed among the Lumbees over the years. We're
probably drifting behIFaway from some of the customs, and some
of the Oklahoma tribes, and of course, there might be various reasons
for that too. Now do you find still quite a bit of superstition
among your people, or does education seem to eradicate most of this?
L: Adolph, we still have a lot of people that are superstitious, but
I, well, I may have to retract tett7statement. Let me say that in
the last five years, I have not been as close to my people as I was
the six years I was on the district, in the northeast district,
because the last five years I have been living in Oklahoma City. But
I happen to know a few, even living in Oklahoma City, of my tribe,
the Creeks, that are still of this school where they're superstitious.
They believe in some of the older people, you know, having super-
natural power, where they could possibly turn themselves into an-owl,
or turn themselves into a bear, this this type of thing. But you'll
find that the younger ones don't go for this, they don't accept this.
And they're questioning, you know, not only that part of it, but
they're questioning also our old established church, and this
kind of scares me at times.
D: Yeah, do you remember any of the stories among your own family that
were told as your ancestors moved to Oklahoma from Alabama, aai they
were moved out West? a1 '
L: Yes, Adolph, the only one that/stands out in my mind, I've heard
oh, quite a few stories from Grandpa, but this happens to be about
my mother's grandmaw. Her Indian name was Adiat ord and it
means, like "stirring up" you know, where you mix flour, and milk,
and you know, you kinda, to get ready to make bread, and you know,
,^Lk) Day, ftt Kn b t )
wherelmaybe you're making some tew,1!. you put in a lot of
ingredients, and you just stir it up. That's what the name means,
to stir up./Maybe it was, maybe that was really/ her name was to
live down in history. In our family anyway. When she was about six
years old, five or six years old, her mother had died, and she and
her father and her brother were the only ones of that family, and
Trail oS- Tears or
they were on one of the caravans of the trail .r-C, s Jthe removal*.
You see, it took the government about ten years to round up what
they thought were all of the Indians in this section, and then
caravan after caravan of them for ten years, you know, were forced
to Indian territory which is now Oklahoma. But when they got to
the Mississippi River, even before they got there, thousands of
Indians died, because many of them were sick, many of them were weak,
and old, and couldn't keep up with the pace, and stories you know, h-ve,
been I trhiK
uely handed down,?I would guess that most of it is true, how some of
the soldiers, you know, just mistreated the Indians, and even some of
the soldiers that were on that forced march, well, liter on, you know,
told some of these stories too, because they themselves felt that it
was not, that this was not the right kind of treatment for Indians?
but they were under orders, and some of them were forced to mistreat
the Indians. In other words, it's justlequivalent to the death march
of Bataan during the Second World War,'on CO rrfct ior Philippines,
when our man were captured and they were prisoners and they were
forced to hike from one prison camp to another, many of them with
malaria and dysentery sick and wounded, couldn't keep up, and
many of them werelleft to die there by the side of the road. And
many of our people, Indian people were left, and than as they,
the further West they got, and the further North and they run into
some climatesj-seme weather that they were not used to, and they
were ill-clothed, you know, and some of them were walking, some of
them were on horseback, some of them in wagons, and many of our
people died from exposure to the weather, snow and cold and all of
this, and when they got th the Mississippi River well, they made
arnjl jet loaded thrse ZndinS oDAn thesc hon-emrnd/e barces
some homemade bargesland they guided them with a steamship across,
you know, or pulled -l across, or shoved them across, and in the
midst ofJone of those trips there, while the steamship was in the
midst of turning around, I guess it was, but anyway, it just happened
7 hct i+
to hit one of those barges,t+dthappened to be the barge that my
mother's grandmother ,akolwas on, and as a six-year-old youngster,
you know, naturally, she probably panicked, but the father, you
know, said to them, as the barge was being wrecked and the people
were falling into the Mississippi River, and it was swift, and the
water was just taking the Indians down the stream, and the father,
as he jumped into the water, well, he grabbed his son, and the little
six-year-old ,} ok I and then they drifted around, and they finally
hung on to some logs there until they were rescued by the crew. And
then they made their way across the Mississippi River, and they said,
that sAbt she related, she remembered some of the, part of XtLex-
perience, she said when they landed on the other side, it was late
in the evening, and they had campfires built all up and down the
Mississippi on the west side of the Mississippi, and she said, she
remembered it being chilly and cold, and her little brother got
sick, and Oe1pneumonia and died. And then even before they got
to Indian territory her father died, and there she was, left all
alone. This was the only family that she had, yet out of just this
little CJitn ^ eh well, she was adopted, or taken in by one of
the families, one of the Creek families, and they settled around
a little community called C&ho neJc I don't know what the
meaning is, but it's just an old Creek word, Chokneita '? one
of the communities,lone of the tribal towns, and there's a church
there now, F :-dian LJOrT united Methodist Church, and this is
where my mother grew up at this church, a little rural church.
And it was on the grounds here where they were holding some
religious services. See, when the Creeks were removed heglwas maybe
close to a thousand that were members of this Methodist Church. But
after the removal, well, they had nothing to do with the church. They
felt that/church, they even used the church you know, to take away
their lands, and to make them strangers in their own ladd. This they
couldn't forget. So they bitterly opposed all of the missionary
endeavor there among their own people, and they were still superstitious,
and suspicious you know, of the people, of the church. But ij o/CC /
when she was about seventeen years old, she was converted to the
Christian religion, and the Creeks had what they called a light
horseman. Indian police, made up of Creek men, they would go around,
and it was their mission to break up any religious service that was
being carried on, Well, they happened to run across /ChAoVhuJL and
some of her people holding religious service under a little brash
harbor and they happened to come around there and they broke it
up, and as they broke up the meeting, well, they tied up all the
menfolks that were involved in the religious service, and they had
the womenfolk5put them out there in the center of the circle, and
they just tore all of their clothes-off, and with their bullwhips,
and with their whips, well, they just lashed the backs of these
Indian women, Creek Indians were doing it.to the Creek Indians,
whipping them, and to, it was supposed to have been a lesson to them,
to say that, "You don't do this anymore." But after the light
horsemen got through whipping the women, they were getting back on
their hMrses, and so the womenfolk after they, many of them were
beaten to the ground, they got up and they began to put their clothes
back on, and they said to the light horsemen, and asked them if they
would stay for lunch, that they were, they had their lunch already
prepared, they were in the wagons out there under the shade tree.
And the light horsemen rather reluctantly got back off/their horses,
and accepted the invitation, and they, the testimonies that many of
these light horsemen were won to the Lord because of the action of
people like this.
D: Well, that's certainly an interesting story, but yet a sad one.
Well, Harry, I see it's twenty after eleven, and you have to catch
a plane in Fayetteville in the morning at 8:20 and it looks like
you're only going to be sleeping a few hours. I hate to do this to
you, but I wanted to take this opportunity to make this tape, as I'm
engaged in research with'.it on the Lumbee Indian5here, and I'll be
using some of this information, and ever get that book out, I'll have
some of this in the Lumbee History book. It's been certainly a
pleasure to have you visit in the home, and we hope you'll be coming
this way again. It's been a new experience. You'll be the first
non-Lumbee, no, not the first, but perhaps the'second, to hold a
revival in the Prospect Church. It was a good experience, and
already a busload's talking about going out to visit you next June,
when you have your big conference. I suppose that's similar to what
we call the North Carolina Annual Conference.
L: 1 Right.
D: Well, maybe I'll be able to make it with them also. But if I don't
I certainly hope that those who are able to go will have a good
time. So it has been a real pleasure having you down in the Lumbee
territory, and I can truthfully say that all the people enjoyed you.
When they first talked about well,who will we have for a revival?
And they mentioned someone, that they didn't know, and some said,
"Well, I don't know," you know, but I talked with them later on,
after the revival started and they were just thrilled that we did
what we did, that we got someone from Oklahoma to come in to do
the job, and of course I've noticed among some of the boys that I've
worked with in the Methodist Church, the American Indian Committee,
they say that you are very good at this stuff, running a revival. So
it's been a pleasure and we hope to see you again soon. Thank you.