LUM 245A 12? / ,
INTERVIEWER: Adolph Dial
INTERVIEWEE: Mr. Fuller Locklear pwh
DATE: July 29, 1971
D: This is July 29, Adolph Dial speaking. I'm here at the home of Mr.
Fuller Locklear, in the iion Chapel Section. Uh, Mr. Locklear, what
relation are you to the late Steve Lowry who was a member of the
L: That would be my granddaddy.
D: You are the grandson of Steve Lowry.
L: That's right.
D: Would you relate to us some of the stories that have been passed
down in family history concerning the Lowry Band, uh, for instance,
what about Steve? What kind of fella was he? What was his make-up
say, as compared to Henry Barry or some of the other-boys?
L: Well, I 've been told by my grandmother that Steve was a very fine
man, that-he'd-always-take time to think before he'd do the things
he would do, and try to do the right things.
And he was a great man to his people, he liked'lto do things that
pleased his people, and all of that.
D: Now, will you tell me the story of his death? Do you remember just
how he died? And so forth?
L: Yes, he was killed, by the gang that was hunting him. He was shot
through a cathole.
D: Was he the one playing the b banjo as he was shot?
L: Yeah, he was fixing his banjo when he was killed.
D: Where was he living at that time?
L: I think he was living across from the Lowry settlement which was
across over towards the Hopewell section.
D: Of course Tom Lowry lived over in this section, didn't he?
L: Yeah, he lived over here for a while.
D: That was because he married, I guess, over in this section.
L: That was because he married over here.
D: Mr. Locklear, much has been said and much has been written
about what happened to Henry Barry Lowry, and of course, it
doesn't take away from the importance of this man, regardless to
whether he left or was killed accidentally by his own gun. What
has been told to you in the family as to what happened to Henry
L: As far as Henry Barry Lowry is concerned, I really talked to a man,
which was just, in those days, a little bit younger than he was, but
he still knew all about his shooting. He heard the gun fire, and he
said he went to the house and Henry Barry was a-lyin' on the floor,
but he ran off and left his body there, and before they could get
back, they had taken his body, and carried him away. And nobody,
from that day, knew where he was carried. There's more than a story
been told that he was buried on a sandbar in Lumber River.
D: The, this was the story of Mr. James Prevatt, who heard the shot. As
to what happened to Henry Barry if he died, or if he went away, do
you feel that that really took anything away from the man and from
the cause that he had fought so diligently for?
L: No, I don't think it would have any effect either way, even if he
went off, or either he died.
D: How do you look at the Lowry gang today, as making a contribution to
the Indians and their cause in history?
L: Well, I think that was one of the greatest things they could have done
in that day, because it meant much to the Indian people of Robeson
D: Had there been no Lowry gang, and hadn't noneaof this happened, I
wonder just what it would have been like. What do you think, uh,
what do you think might have happened?
L: Well, I couldn't exactly tell you what might have happened, but I
think one thing, that what they did wis a great history to the
D: In other words, we might have lost more of our lines, and we might
have been set back in education, and so forth, uh, we would have,
I guess, just things began to get better as the Lowry gang fought
and demanded that things get better.
L: I think that was right.
D: Mr. Locklear, in the way of race relations of Robeson County today
as compared with your boyhood days, say right after the turn of the
century, how would you compare the two?
L: I compared it, today is much better than it was in -my day. Much
better relations in all races of people.
D: Mr. Locklear, would you relate the story to me, about Mr. Alvin
L: Well, this is actually a true story that uh, my uncle Alvin Oxendine
they came and got him, and carried him up on an old road, which was
at that time, right in the road to my site, and
that's where they was going to hang him, if he didn't tell the route
that these boys travelled on. And they had the rope around his neck,
and there came along two white men,, and they told them to let him
loose, because he didn't know nothing about them, so they let him
D: So the white man saved his life, so to speak.
L: That's right, they saved his life.
D: Mr. Locklear, I believe you've spent some time, in Nash County, up
around Bailey was it? Would you tell me something about your
experience and so forth up there?
L: Well, I'd like to say this, in 1923 I moved up in Nash County and
farmed with a man by the name of Mr. Morgan, M.F. Morgan, so in --
I stayed with him two years, and I came back home, and later in
1927, he came back down to this country. He liked.:the Indians so
well, their working, their farming, they're good farmers, and so,
he wanted me to go back so bad, so I put a proposition to him,
that if I was to go back, would he build a school? Oh yes, said
that wouldn't be no problem, says, "I'm on the board and I can
work that out very easily." So we did, and I think as good as
I can remember, there was seven families of us moved up to Bailey,
North Carolina. Some stayed two years, some three years, but we had
our own school, we got along fine, and enjoyed it. And I think I can
call out a good many of the names now, that did go up there, which
was Mr. Luther Revels, Mr. Locklear, and let me see now,
there were seven families, I just can't, some of them died, and...
D: Mr. Arthur Oxendine.
L: Mr. Arthur Oxendine, so he was with us too. So we all enjoyed it, and
then some moved back in two years, and some three, and we came back.
D: Could y'all have attended the white school?
L: We could have.
D: But you preferred to have your own?
L: We preferred to have our own.
D: Good. Now, do you, back then, why do you think, did you have any
reason why you think you preferred to have your own?
L: Well, I'd say this, because there was so used to going to their own
school, that's why they preferred to go to their own school.
D: That's a very good point. Now, down in Georgia too, I understand that
there were schools built too for our own people down there?
L: Yes, there was a period of years which was before then, that there
was a group that went to Georgia, and they did the same thing. They
had their own schools down in Georgia.
D: Mr. Locklear, people went to Nash County, or people went to Georgia.
What reason, what was the basic reason for them to leave? Wasn't any
L: Well, I think more or less that they figured they might do better
farming in those countries at that time. They had a Ouch better
D: Did they get along better as far as racially speaking?
L: Yes, I think they did get along better.
D: And there was more just jobs available in Georgia, and so forth?
L: There was.
D: Do you think that, do you think, which would you say was stronger
reason for leaving, race or jobs?
L: Well, I'd say it was for jobs. They just seen it would make more
D: I see. After I left Mr. Fuller Locklear's house, I thought that
I ought to record something that he mentioned that he asked me
not to record, at that time, but uh, he told me that Jim Prevatt
told him, that he witnessed, uh, it was on the same night after
Henry Barry Lowry was shot, he heard the shot, and he went around
there, and there Henry Barry Lowry was dead. Mr. Locklear, also said
that Jim Prevatt was uh, a churchman and a good friend to the Indians,
and he believed what he saw. Mr. Prevatt told Mr. Fuller Locklear
about this, at the time when Mr. Prevatt was the only living human
being who had witnessed the-:death of Henry Barry Lowry. Changing
subjects here, I just happened to pick up an old paper, July 9, 1939.
And this the Robesonian, July 9, 1939.Headiing'Funeral Services for
Gas Victim Attended by 4,000. Harper's Ferry, July 9. The big
metal casket was lowered into the sands-of the banks of the Lumbee
and this first Robeson County Indian to be executed for his .
crime since 1910 was laid to final rest, after his race, more
than four thousand of them, had paid last respects at funeral
services here today. It was Hammond, twenty-eight year
old Indian, who died in Raleigh Central Prison Gas Chamber
Friday morning, fpr the murder of the late Sid Brumbles,IB..R..U..
M..B..L..E..S.. B as in boy] County Prison guard, in January.
Said by J.L. Stevens, owner of the Steven Funeral Home which!-had
charge of the body,"to be the largest crowd ever attending a funeral
in Robeson County, and certainly the largest I have ever witnessed."
Members of the departed's race, came from every point, from the
departed's race, came from every point in the county, adjoining
counties in South Carolina. Long before the church was opened,
shortly after Sunday School was completed Sunday Morning, the
crowd began to arrive. But by 1 P.M. the church was filled and
services were delayed for more than an hour when it appeared that
it would be impossible for the family procession to gain entry to
the church. Traffic was held up for fifteen minutes on Highway No. 74,
when the family arrived with the body. Indians lined the walls, as
every available seat was taken, the pulpit was packed, and every aisle
was packed, and jammed with humanity. Conductors of the services had
reserved several rows for tiring relatives that literally were broken
and the seats taken by _."