Title: Interview with Dr. Fuller Lowry, Mr. Peter Brooks (March 27, 1973)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007110/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Dr. Fuller Lowry, Mr. Peter Brooks (March 27, 1973)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: March 27, 1973
Spatial Coverage: Lumbee County (Fla.)
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00007110
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Lumbee County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: LUM 123

Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
Full Text


This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.

This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
materials under certain conditions.
Fair use limts the amount of material that may be

For all other permissions and requests, contact the
the University of Florida

Lum 123AB
DATE: MARCH 27, 1973

B: Today is March 27, 1973, in the home of Dr. Fuller Lowry, and in
this conversation will be Mr. Peter Brooks, andArenda Brooks ask-
ing questions, but mainly listening to two who have witnessed much
of the forming of the history of the Indians of Robeson County.

Bf. O.k.,just start where ever you like.

P: Well, I'll go...going back to just what we were speaking about, the

Oxendine family, and the Lowry family, and the Brooks family to

uh, introduce to Mr...to you Mr. Lowry my people for a record for


L: Yeah, I see.

P: Uh, there's Mr. Billy Oxendine, Mr. Allonzo Oxendine, and Melvinj

Oxendine, and Mr. Jody Oxendine, and Mr. Saul Oxendine who was their

father, who was also Sandy Brooks's father.xfou remember I told you....

B: Saul Oxendine, now was Sandy Brooks's father, and Sandy Brooks is

your father.

P: Yeah..Sandy Brooks is my father, born out of wedlock to Middy Brooks,-..

L, -4nd was reared in the Lowry family over near what is now Ellroy.

9: Yeah, Hopewell sec...

)_P: Was sent to Lowry in the Hopewell section.

T,--- -



L: That's correct.

P: He...he uh, grew up over there with the Lowry boys, same as one

of the brothers.

L: That's right.

B: How did he .why did he end up with the Lowry$ rearing him? You

can probably remember him very well.

L: Yeah, I remember Mr. Sandy Brooks well, I'd see him around there,

I didn't know but what him and Uncle Sinclair was brothers. One why,

because they were together all the time you knowiiwen I was a young

man they...brother Brooks was always around, and I just considered

him one of the Lowry boys.

B: And what....

L: An him and Uncle Sinclair were great cronies, you know.

B: Well how do you think what do you think accounts for him ending

up with the pwrys though? What can you tie this relationship for


L: Well that s, was uh, in connection with his mother and father.

They had some relation there with Uncle Sinclair. His...what was

uh, his mother's name?

P: His grandmother's...uh...Middy.

L: Middy?

P: Middy...and Middy was the mother of uh...Patty Lowry.

L: Patty Lowry.

P: Who was Patty Brooks after she married John Brooks.




L: Patty Lowry is a close relative to Sinclair Lowry, and the Lowry

family. That is the same Lowrys as Sinclair Lowry. ,Patty Lowry

was. And that made the connection, and why that uh, Sandy Brooks

grew up with these boys. They were close relatives.

B: Now did I follow that right? Patty Lowry is the daughter of Middy?

P: No.
B: Vi.e versa?

P: Vife versa, Sandy Brooks is the son of Middy, anand Middy was

the daughter of Patty.

L: Patty Lowry.

P: And John Brooks.

B: Uh huh.

L: Patty Lowry married John Brooks, that's right.

P: That's right.

B: Right.

P: Thatta right.

L: And this was their daughter.

B: O.k.

P: Uh....I'd like to connect now...I'd like to get another ..-.veri-

fication from you on this fact. That uh, Sandy Brooks married the

daughter of Arlin Hunt.

L: Yes, I remember that Jack, that he married the daughter of Arlin

Hunt. Arlin Hunt lived over in South Carolina at that time did he





P: Right on the...right on the state line.

L: Right on the state line.

P: It was always known as the state line. And to that union there was

fourteen children born.

L: Fourteen.

P: Yeah...uh, eight boys and six girls.

B: Give me the names if you can of those.

L: Name the eight boys now.

P: Uh, the oldest boy was named Arlin...James Arlin, after his grand-


L: Yeah.

P: And Raymond Brooks, Ed Brooks, Andy Brooks, Sandy Brooks, Johnny

Brooks, Peter Brooks, who is myself, and Joseph Brooks.

L: I knew all t ese boys, we...all along, I knew...I knew them from

Arlin Brooks on down. -

P: And the girls...the girls of this family was Mary Liza Brooks.

L: Who did Mary Liza marry now?

P: Who...who...who married Chester Locklear.

L: Chester Locklear.

P: Chester Locklear was the son of Mac Locklear and Agie Nora.

L: And he lived over here at St. Anna.

P: Yeah, he lived at St. Anna for a long time. Betty was the second

youngest daughter, and she married Allen Hunt, who wasthe son of

Joe Hunt, and I don't remember here.his wife's name right at the

present time. But I believe, let me see, I believe that it was




P: ...Martha.

L: Now you mean Joe Hunt was uh...?

P: The father of Allen Hunt.

L: Oh, Allen Hunt. Allen Hunt was the man that bought the Baker place?

P: That...that's correct.

L: Well Joe Hunt...when I used to pass through old Dogwood Church,

as I remember, he's one of the members of #he old Dogwood Church.

P: That's right.

L: Old Bethel Church....

B: And where is that...where was Bethel located?

L: Bethel is located uh, on Ash Pole Swamp, just uh, say uh, northeast

from Roland, about two miles, maybe two and a half miles.

P: Yeah, maybe three miles.

L: There's a school down there known as Ash Pole Center, and uh, Bethel

was just down a little east of Ash Pole Center School. About a mile

I'd say.

P: Yeah.

B: Is the church still there today? Is that old church...?

L: No, they tore down the church, and moved it and built a church at

the school house. And after they moved the church, Bethel Church,

to the school house, it...it's known as Ash Pole Center now, but

the Baptists came in and built another church there on the grounds.

B: Now is this that nice white wood church across from the school?

L: Yes.




B: Do Indians attend that church? Is...that is an Indian church?

L: Yes, I think a Mr. Allen Hunt was the leader in establishing

that church. As I understand, he.-.-he--u put up most of the money.

P: I understand that too, yeah, that agrees. Uh, we want to say too

that previous to all this, there was also a school at Dogwood.

L: Yeah.

P: Yeah.

L: I taught school at Dogwood.

P: Yeah.

L: In the little huase just on the hill from the church.

P: By the way, that's the first school I attended. And I started there

when I was five years old, and I was born in 19fl-, April the fourth,

April the twenty-...April the twenty-ninth, 1902.

B: Who was your first teacher?

P: My first teacher was uh, Miss Morilla Chavis. Mister...uh...a sister

of Reverend Z.R. Chavis, and Reverend George Chavis.

B: How many...

L: Miss Morilla was a classmate of mine up at the old college at Pates.

She was uh, one of the best english students in the school.

B: How many students went to this school at Bethel when you taught

there? About how many Indian students?

L: About uh...fifty, fifty to sixty.

B: And how many grade levels did you have? What...?

L: We had uh...about...we had ten grades.




B: Was it all in one room, or did you have...?

L: In one room. Just one teacher. We'd have ten...ten grades.

B: Did you go to school every day...I mean five days a week for how,

how many months of the year? Or...?

L: Well, we have a...usually have a summer school six weeks, and the

winter school san-three months.

P: Uh huh.. three months.

B: And then...because most of the people had to be at home working on

the farm?

L: And for the lack of money. The state didn't appropriate, back then,

as much money as they do now. They could only appropriate money

enough to run a certain length of time.

B: What kind of distances did these students have to walk to get to

school some of them?

L: Anywhere from four miles to a half a mile.

B: And some of them were five...

L: three or four miles away.

B: Five years old, walking that distance to school?

L: I was six years old, and I walked three and a half miles.

P: Yeah.

B: One way?

L: One way.

P: I'd like to say too that uh, the next school I attended at this...

this particular school house, Mr. Breck Sampson was teaching at




P: ...that time, and I being a young fellow, and not knowing who to

expect after having a lady teacher for my first teacher, when I

saw him coming, I got scared to death, and went to crying.

L: I've seen....

B: Were you a student along with Mr. Breck Sampson, was he in school

up at the old Hope School?

L: At Hope School. And he was there...after I graduated there, I

taught school there a year, and he went to school, he was a student

of mine. We were in school together, and then later on he was a

student of mine for one year...

B: I...

L: Ict-cvw n t-

B: I've uh, heard that when you finish school at the old normal school

this was part of-the condition that you got to go to school, that

you would commit yourself to teach at least a year after you

finish. Is this what happened to you, the reason you taught at the

old norma school.

L: No, that...that wasn't in existence then...that's a new law since

then. That was uh...wasn't connected to that school at Pates. That

was connected to the school later on, after it came to Pembroke.

B: Uh, other family connections, there's a lot of them I want to talk

to you about, because I'm interested in you talking some about

your family geneology, just the Lowry side of it, after he gets all

the connections here with the Brookses he can recall.

P: Uh...I had always heard about, uh, the old man, John Brooks, who




P: ...was my great grandfather, but here of late...well, I understood

this more fully in the year 1933. But in the year 1967 I found out

for sure that somewhere he had a war record, and I've been trying

to locate, and I'm still trying to get a little more evidence and

advice from the War Department on his-ten-years service. And this

uh, particular John Brooks had a grant for a piece of land. He also

had a pension, and he was a soldier in the revolutionary war, and

for this reason I'm still waiting for some more evidence that we've

wrote back for concerning his warrant...warrant number under his

soldiers, and his warrant number under his grant for a piece of

land. There's a little footnote there that said to write those

numbers for further information about...about the whereabouts of

the land that we haven't received yet. But an aunt of mine who is

a very truthful woman, uh, give me to understand that by two or

three hearsayers... (telephone)

Yes, I was just speaking about my great grandfather's service in

the Revolutionary war.

B: Can I read this letter to confirm that. I don't know if you've

ever seen this...this before, or maybe you would read it for me,

I'd like to have it in your voice if you can read that for me. Can

you see it alright?

r~ P: I want to say a few more things about this.

B: While he's reading it, you can go ahead and...

L: Uh, you want me to read this out loud?




B: Yes, I'd like to have that on tape in your voice.

L: Mr. Joseph Brooks, Pembroke, North Carolina. Dear sir: reference

is made to your personal request of this date, for the record of

John Brooks, a soldier of the Revolutionary War. Uh, this data

furnished here in are obtained from the reports on file in the

Revolutionary War Pension Claim S6722. Based upon the military

service of John Brooks in that war. The date and place of birth of

John Brooks are not stated. While residing in Bladen, that part

which was later on Robeson County, North Carolina, he enlisted,

date not given, and served -a- 4Prousa at various times on tours

of from three to six months, such as a private under Captain

Alexander McNeil. Gibson, and uh Hadley, and Col. Riggen Bridge.

Let me see...Col. Riggen in the North Carolina Troups. He was in

an engagement at uh...

P: Betty's Bridge.

L: Betty's Bridge, and in this battle of Camden, where he and Captain

Gibson, under whom he was then serving, were captured, /aken to

St. 4iustine, and held for about four months. He was discharged

about the close of the war, having served between three and four

years in all. It was stated that all of his service was rendered

v +A t Ca ff country. John Brooks was allowed pension in

his application, ezecat ediay. executed May the twentieth 1882.

P: '83.

L: 18...18...is that '82?

P: '83.



L: 1883...at which time he was about ninety-five, or ninety-six years

of age, and resided in Robeson County, North Carolina. That looks

like...just a minute...it looks like 1853. Let's get...

B: That's correct, 1853.

P: Yeah, 1853.

L: Yeah, 1853. Uh, back for correction. John Brooks was allowed pension

in his application, executed May the thirtieth, 1853.

P: That's correct.

L: At which time he was about ninety-five or ninety-six years of age,

and resided in Robeson County, North Carolina. He was also allowed

one hundred and sixty acres of land in warrant number 80080.:For-the

location of the land you should apply to the Commissioner of the

General Land Office, Interior Department, this city, citing the

following warrant number, 80030-150-55...fifty-five. In 1865, the

soldier was residing in Johnson, formerly Bladen County, North

Carolina. Now I'd like to say that in getting up the statistics for

my address in Raleigh, in the change of the name of the church from

Cherokee to Lumbee, we used this uh, man's name, John Brooks, and

recited the fact that he was a soldier in the Revolutionary War,

and that he received a grant of a hundred and fifty acres, known

as Bounty Land, for his service in the Revolutionary War. And that

was stated several times in our campaigning for the Lumbee name.

B: This uh, grant of land was granted by the King of England, is that

correct, George the Third, I've read. Is that...do you know?




L: I'm not sure about that, but uh, it was granted by the government,

you know after the Revolutionary War. It must have been from them

because they owned this country, you know.

B: And you wanted to supplement that now, concerning John Brooks and

this Revolutionary service?

P: I just wanted to say that this John Brooks married Patty Lowry,--ho

became Patty Brooks, and we have here in our possession, as we...on

the behalf of this aunt that I spoke of previously, Aunt Matilda

Locklear. I went to see her one night, whenever I was planning to

write something for my children, to leave for my children, perhaps

fifteen, eighteen years ago. And whenever I got to talking with her,

and was questioning about some of the...to know where this particular

man came from, she wasn't able to tell me. And the only thing she

did tell me was, that they said he come from St. gustine. So this

affadavit clears up the feetr-tha fact by saying that he was

captured/and taken to St. Ugustine, and was there for something

like four months until the war closed, and then he was brought back

and was discharged. And of course she didn't know all this, she

just thought that he probably come from England or someplace, and

came there by boat, instead of being captured out of this war that

we're speaking about. Now this...ti man John Brooks, the way I

figure it out, uh being ninety-five years of age in 1853, if you

subtract that ninety-five from 1853, you arrive at the figure2

1758 would have been his birth date. And he was either born here




P: ...in--Wt,-.in this location, in Robeson County, and if we can't

find him here, and whenever we get more infL.r..information about

him, I believe we'll have to look elsewhere, and perhaps it'll be

in England. Because England at that time owned Scotland, Ireland,

and miles, and I've been told by some friends that I made in

Florida once, that Brooks was a Scotch name, and they A pretty

sure that some of my ancestors come from Scotland.

B: Now this uh, John Brooks married Patty Lowry?

P: Patty Lowry.

B: And here, I have an old letter...now how is this person, is this

Polly or Patty...I wondered if she forgot to...

P: No, that's...that's Polly...that's Polly.

L: And was Sandy Brooks the daughter of Patty and John Brooks?

P: That's correct.

L: O.k.

P: No...no, he's the...he's the...he's the son of their daughter, Middy.

L: Of their daughter?

P: Middy.

L: Yeah, we wanted to get that straight.

P: And I...and I...

L: He was the son of their daughter Middy...

P: Yeah.

L: Middy was the daughter, that is, John Brooks married Patty Lowry,

and they had a daughter named Middy, and she had...




B: A son?

L: A son...

B: Sandy?

L: Named Sandy born out of 'en-..wedlock, who's father was...

B: Oxendine?

L: What's his name?

B: Alvie?

L: No...uh...uh

B: I thought this was .....

P: I have it right here

L: And there's no doubt then that Patty Lowry was some of the family

of Allen Lowry, the father of Henry Bear.2

B: Here...here's some of it right here.

P: Just a minute, that's not it.

B: Was it this Alph Oxendine, in the Chapel area you were referring

to earlier?
ko.A Ats-
L: I was well aquainted with Mr. A&iae Oxendine, because I taught

school at Chapel for two or three years, and uh, I went to his home

very often. He had a large family of boys, and I knew the entire

family. He had an outstanding family in the Chapel community was

Lonzie Oxendine's family.

B: And is that the father of Lockie Oxendine?

L: Yes.

P: Yeah...

B: Alphonso Oxendine is the father of Lockie Oxendine?




L: Yes.

P: Let atef you this too. Uh, Lhokl. et a. .Lockie is also the

father of Henry Ward Oxendine who has recently been named to the

State House as our latest...

L: Representative.

P: As our representative from this district.

B: As the first Indian?

L: Yeah, the first...no...he's not the first...

B: The first Indian to serve in the House of Representatives?

L: The second. There was an Oxendine away back yonder when they first

organized. Name...I believe his name was Jim Oxendine. And I think

he was the father of Oscar Sampson's wife. When they first organized

the legislature at Raleigh, uh, Jim Oxendine was elected represent-

ative, and he was the first of our people. It wasgim-Oxendine...uh,

lived on the farm, this side of Harper's Ferry, where Oscar Sampson's

widow died recently. That was his home.

B: And was Mr....

L: You've heard that haven't you?

P: Yeah...I didn't know all aBat-4e, but I know the...I know part of

what you said about Mr.Oscar.

L: Yeah. Well he was a representative at Raleigh when they first org-


B: And was he elected by vote of the people like we do now? I mean this

is when the legislature was set up?

L: Yeah.




B: He was elected by a popular vote?

L: By the votes of the people...yeah. So Mr. Oxendine at present was

appointed. Uh, he succeeded the uh, late uh...

B: Frank...Frank White.

L: Yeah, the late Frank White. He was appointed to take his place.

B: I wanted you to get down and get to the connection of this letter.

It seems like this is a family that left here, and she was writing

back to her father.

P: That's a...that's a man...this letter that we are kind of squabbling

about here was just one that I happened to find in the Bible that

my aunt Matilda gave me the night that I went there st..for some

information. She says, "Why son," She says, "I've got an old Bible

here." And whenever I begti to look at it, and admired it so much,

she says, "well I'll give it to you." So I've had it in my possessions

now for about eighteen years, and it-a...it's a real gem. I'm going

to have Miss Brenda to tell you something more about the Bible,

when it was dated and so forth.

B: The Old and New Testament translated out of the original tomes, and

with the former translation diligently Pppared and revised, =

stereotype edition, uh, for the American Bible Society in 1829.

And in it is written some of the birth records of Indians, as well

as some of the death records, including a letter that was written

by a family that it seems had moved to some of the turpentine fields,

or turpentine woods in Georgia, and it sounds like she is writing




B: Xack to her father. But the English she uses is really interesting,

it reminds me of the old English, the way she has spelled some of

the words, and it's surprising that this woman...is this Polly

Lowry...is that the person writing it...it looks like...?

P: No, that's uh...

B: It looks like PaNft but I can't say...what is that?

P: Yeah, that...that's...that's right.

B: Is that Pai4e?

P: That's a-8e.

B: Pa44e Lowry.

L: She meant...she put it Pollie?

B: Yes, but many of the words spelled in this letter sometimes have

the "e" ending, and it just...it's so similar to what I learned in

the contemporary high schools as old English. This is what's so

amazing to me, and the letter is dated January 27, 1901. And she

has written January, and t-h-e, 27, 9..19001. So this is, she knew

what she wanted to say, but the way that it's written is really

interesting. And then she addresses it to her father, who is Mr.


P: Alvie Oxendine.

B: And it's written from the Georgia...what is the name of that turp-

entine company, can you read that to me?

P: jowell Turpentine.

B: In...what is this?





P: In care of...in other words, she was giving her address, and...and

asked that they write...

B: In care of this man?

P: Yeah.

B: Ray Mills?

P: Ray Mills, Georgia, uh, Powell Turpentine Company.

L: I knew Mr. Alvie Oxendine, I boarded at his home when I taught school

in Chapel.

B: Well tell us something about...about him, while he's...have you found

your correct name? Now give me the geneology again...who was this?

P: Uh, this fellow that we were talking about a few minutes ago, Mr.

Henry Ward Oxendine, who has recently been appointed...been appointed

to take...to fill the vacancy of a fellow that died, Mr. Frank

White. Uh, he is the grgndson...he's the...his father is the...

B: Whose name is...if you'll give the name...you might give to her.

P: Whose father's name is Lockie...Lockie Oxendine...

L: Lonzie Oxendine's son.

P: Lonzie Oxendine's son, and Saul Oxendine was Lonzie Oxendines father.

B: And Saul...

L: Solomon...you knew his name was Solomon?

P: No, this is just Saul.

L: Saul Oxendine.

P: Now Saul...the Solomon that you're talking about was one of Lonzie's





P: ...boys.

L: Lonzie's boys, you're right.

P: Yeah.

B: So now this Saul Oxendine is also supposedly the father of Sandy?

P: Sandy Brooks.

B: O.k. this is the connection we were trying to make here.

P: Yeah, I've already explained that Sandy Brooks was born out of wed-

lock. And therefore he had a right, a perfect right to take his

mother's name...who was Middy Brooks.

B: And then, were there other children born to Middy Brooks?

P: Oh yes...oh yes, there was several children born. Now I don't...I

wasn't living at that time, that's quite Awhile ago, but from what

I knew whenever I was a little boy, uh quite a few people, if they

had more children than they could hardly feed, they would give one

away once in awhile, but he was always given to some of his people.

So my dad was given to Mr. Sinclair Lowry, and my father always

spoke of three people, and he put emphasis on their names to the

extent that he called Sinclair Lowry...my uncle Sine. And there

was two sisters in that family that I remember very well. Now there

was others that I don't remember so well, and one of them was my

aunt France...he would talk about, and the other one was my aunt

Pert, and both of these were Lowry ladies...young ladies at that

time. And I become to know myself, being born in 1902, uh, aunt Pert,

and aunt France, but I never remember seeing uncle Sine.





B: Now Mr. Fuller can you give me some connection, you might remember

aunt Pert and Aunt who?

P: France.

B: Aunt France...can you give me some relation...some recollection

about them from your experience? Do you remember these two?

L: Uncle Sinclair, he uh...had the home place. See his father, Allen

Lowry, was the man that was killed, well uncle Sinclair then became
heir of the home place, where Henry Beer grew up, and all the boys.

Where Allen Lowry and his wife reared the family. Uncle Sinclair

then owned that home. He lived and died in that home, where...where

they were born and reared.

B: Now uncle Sine is Sinclair Lowry?

P: Yes, Sinclair.

L: His name is Sinclair Lowry.

B: Brother to Henry Barry Lowry.

L: Brother to Henry Barry. Henry Barry was the baby boy.

P: Now wait...wait a minute

L: ...of about ten boys I believe.

P: Sinclair...I believe we're...I believe we're a little bit ahead of

ourself. Uncle Sine was the...was the brother of Allen Lowry, who

was Henry Barry's father. That correct?

L: No sir.

P: Isn't it?

L: Uncle Sine was Allen Lowry's son.





P: Oh, is that so?

L: Yes sir. Uncle Sinclair was my father's brother, and my father was

Allen Lowry's son.

B: And your father was who?

L: Calvin Lowry.

B: Calvin Lowry. Now do you know the...

L: Now see...Purdy Lowry lived on Saddle ree. The oldest boy was

named uh...let's see now...the oldest boy left here during the war,

and went to Tennessee. And he married and reared a family in

Tennessee. His name was Murdoc, and he didn't come back until he

was forty years old That is he was gone forty years. He left a

young man, about the age of twenty-one, and stayed forty years be-

fore he came back to visit his country. And he was the oldest one

of Allen Lowry's boys. And it came...Allyen...then it came to uh,

pat...Patrick Lowry lived over near Harper's Ferry. And then there

was one lived on Saddlejree. What was the Saddle ree man...?

P: I wouldn't know vhts avte.

B: A jwry?

L: Huh? It was one of the Lowrys lived on Saddle...June Lowry's daddy

you know. We might think about it after while ived on Saddlejree.

Anyway, there was uh, about uh, ten or eleven of these brothers,

and they were all Allen Lowry's boys. See Allen Lowry is the man

that they tried to take his land.

P: Oh yeah, I see that now.





L: Allen Lowry was the man who owned the two hundred and fifty acres

of land, and the Scotch tried to fool him off from his land you know.

Get him to leave so that he could get his land. It was a man named

Bob McKinzie, owned two hundred and fifty acres of land joined

Allen Lowry, who owned two hundred and fifty. And this Scotsman tried

to scare Allen Lowry off from his land. And he couldn't do that.

P: Mr. Fuller, let me tell...let me inject here...uh, my father was

a little bit older than you are.

L: Yes.

P: Uh some twenty-five thirty years wasn't he?

L: Well, I expect so.

P: Yeah, about twenty-five or thirty years older than brother Fuller

here, and my father had one of the keenest memories, I believe, of

any man I ever heard talk. Uh, he didn't have a formal education,

but he had a handwriting that would equal any professor that I

knew of. And he always read his-...hs Bible and his newspaper. Now

what I wanted to say was that my daddy taught his children all the

things that he knew about the Lowry family. And uh, he always told

us that these Scotsmans that Mr. Fuller has talked about who wanted

Mr. Allen Lowry's land...uh they couldn't go right out and kill him

and take it, but what they did, according to my father, they took

some of the meat out of their smokehouse, and they went and put it

in uncle Allen Lowry's haystack, and went and got a warrant for his

arrest for stealing meat. And went there the next morning, and because





P: ...he...he denied it, they made him dig his own grave, and took

his oldest son, who was William, and shot and let U fall in

that grave and covered him up. And then they could take his land.

L: Yeah, that's part of the story. Uh, they didn't only take meat, but

they took his wagon harness, and buggy harness. They took the har-

nesses of his wagon and so forth along with the meat. And Allen

Lowry had cut his corn and shqoked'it in the field. And they would

but a piece of meat in one shock, and a piece in another one, and

another, and the other one...and they hung the harnesses under Allen

Lowry's wagon sie And so the next morning they came over there

and-arrested him for robbery. And said, "You stole our meat, and

you stole our wagon and buggy harnesses last night. We tracked you,

where you came back from over there, uh, in the frost." And uh, he

says, "I've got plenty of meat in my smoke house, and I've got

plenty of harnesses for all my horses. I don't have to steal."

Said, "Come on out here, let's look around a little bit." And they

walked on out to the wagon shelter, and McKinzie pointed, "Yonder's

my harness "fi6_e ." And Allen looked and saw them, and said,"Yeah

you put them there." And he said, "My meats around here somewhere."

He had a slave along with him that hid the meat, and he knew just

where he put the meat. And he says uh, to his slave, "Go search out

there for the meat." And he went from shock to shock, and gathered

up the meat. And then they arrested Allen, and the...and William,

and Uncle Sinclair...they put...my father was locked up. They locked





L: ...up...even to the baby girl, aunt Pert. She was in the smoke house

they locked the whole family up.

B: In the smoke house?

L: In the smoke house, all they could get. There was some that they

couldn't findpyou know. But uh, they locked my father, Sinclair,

and all of them up. And uh, what happened...the reason why they

killed William and Allen. Allen Lowry had gotten behind with his

tax. And William was working off, making money. He came home and

went to Lumberton, and payed his father's tax.

B: Where was.

L: And he got a sheriff's deed for the land. And uh, McKinzie was

sharp enough to kill the two that owned the original deed, and

the sheriff's deed. Trying to...undermin#AYou know he was trying

to...he thought he was using skill you know. And uh, we'll kill

the uh, two what holds the deeds. And ehs&!a..that's the reason

for killing William and Allen. And they turned my dad and Uncle

Sinclair, and Aunt P a a' loose. Uh, in fact they got uh...one or

two white people, white men, and locked up in the smoke house, for

feeding, uh, and helping in...in the process. And uh, after it was

all over they took them out. And during the time they were in the

smoke house, Aunt P4 told me, the home g qrds were gathered

around the smoke house, and she heard one say, "What'll we do with

them?" Another soldier...home g rd said, "Let's set this smoke-

house afire and burn all of them out." And another one said, "Nope





L: ...you'll not do that. There's women in there, and if anybody stole

the meat and the harnesses, the women didn't have a thing to do

with it. And the first man strikes a match...I'll kill him." These

were the home GArc on the outside that Aunt Prd told me. And she

heard them saying that. And then they would go off and caucus and

come back, "What'll we do with them?" "Let's burn the house up, burn

them all up." And another one would say "Nope. You'll not burn them

up. The first man strikes a match...I'll kill him." Now Aunt P?

told me this, and finally, they opened the smoke house up and, and

uh, had the slaves to hook the mule to the cart, and told them to

put some shovels on the cart, and they drove on towardsAllen Lowry's

home from Bob McKinzie's, and when they crossed the line between,

Allen Lowry and McKinzie, they stopped, and they made them dig the

grave, and then they blindfolded Allen...I mean Allen and his oldest

son William. And made them stand with their backs to the grave, and

these home 44rds all fired at one time. And in the mean time, Henry

Barry who was only seventeen years old, he had crawled through the

bushes, and was hid over behind some bushes, listening to all that

was said. And after they left, Henry Barry claims he emeo out to

the grave, and he made a...some kind of a statement that he wouldn't

stop 'til he killed the last one of the home gaurds. The people who

had shot his father. And so from then on, Henry Barry went in the

woods, with a...one gun. But white friends, and other friends help-

ed him with...get ammunition and other guns. One white man-e.r





L: ...ordered him a rifle...that uh,.Kermit, my son has in his

possession. Uh, the night I think...when they killed sheriff King,

somehow, somewhere, they got Henry Barry's rifle away. And when

Earl made a speech at the normal college out here, his speech was

put in the uh...Wilmington Star. And then I got a letter from a

weo a aged woman in Wilmington, and said, "I read uh, Dr. Earl

Lowry's address, and I'm interested in that. And I've got Henry

Barry Ri...Henry Barryy rifle here. And if you'll bring me ten

dollars I'll give you the rifle. Now the rifle cost a hundred dollars.

A white man ordered it for Henry Barry, and he paid uh...he paid

a hundred dollars for it a way back then when you could buy a gun

for two dollars. And the part...the metal part of it is solid

brass, And H.B.L. Henry Barry Lowry in big letters is on this brass.

Was put on it in the factory when it was made. H.B.L. Henry Barry

Lowry. And Kermit today has that rifle in his home, at Gastonia.

And so they came out, and dug the grave, and they blindfolded. The

two men who held at ease, and killed them and turned the other ones

a loose. And that was the solution. And that's a pretty logical thing

you know. And that's pretty....

P: Well, I've learned something....



DATE: MARCH 27, 1973

P: I have another comment I'd like to make, because as I said, as I

foresaid, my father was about thirty years older than Mr. Fuller.

L: I was born in '81, when was he born?

P: Mine? You were born in '81? Mine...my dad was twenty years then,

he was born in...born in '51...thirty years!

L: Thirty years.

P: He was born in '51.

L: Thirty years.

P: And by him having uh, fifty years age on Mr. Fuller, uh, he saw a

lot of things, and heard a lot of things, that...before Mr. Fuller

was even born.

L: He saw Henry Barry didn't he...he was with Henry Barry.

P: Yeah. Yeah, he knew all the Lowry gang, from the first one to the

last one, and the whole time that they reigned. So what I wanted

to say...

L: In other words, he grew up with Henry Barry?

P: He grew up with Henry Barry.

L: Yeah.

P: What I wanted to say too, was the fact that my dad...it was unc...it

was uncle Sine that raised my dad. His home was only a short distance

from this place where they were killed. And he...he heard the guns

fire, uh, that killed Uncle Allen, and his son William. And he also





P: ...heard Henry Barry when he came out of the bushes, as Mr. Lowry

has told you. And Mr....and Henry Barry made a uh...made uh...a

quote from...quoting from my daddy, that he said, that he would

kill the last man that had anything to do with it, if God give him

the life and the strength to do it. And there was only one that

got away, and he left here, and never did come back.

B: Uh, how old was your Aunt Fran when they were locked up in that log

...in the smoke house? How...what age do you assume she may have

been at that time?

L: I would uh...

B: She was the baby of the family.

L: She was uh...I would say she was in the teens. She was less than

twenty years old.

P: Yeah...yeah.

B: Have you ever uh, had any written record...I'm sure in the Lowry

family somewhere a lot of written documents have been uh...placed

in secure places concerning your family history. Personally, haven't

you had a lot of research done about your own family?

L: Yes, Earl has a book that S0v everything.

P: Tell who Earl is...tell them who Earl is.

L: My son Earl. He's got a book written, and is fixing to print it

now that goes back to the origin of the whole thing, and come up

all these secrets and stuff I was telling you about, come out in





L: ...his book. But uh, Dr. McGhee, he didn't know about all of that

you know...this book that's out.

P: I'd like to have another comment about Mr. Earl. He was one of my

best friends. He and I was in school together, h ...in the

second Old Main that was ever built. And we were good friends, and

uh, I know him very well. He's...he's one of the smartest men who

ever went to school at Old Main. I don't...I just don't know hardly

how he did it. I remember that when he graduated from a normal

school there...two year normal work. A fellow by the name of uh,

let me see now what his name was...

L: That state supervisor?

P: Yeah. Dewbowls...Newbowls.

L: Newbowls.

P: A fellow by the name of Mr. Newbowls was...

B: Newbowls?

P: Newbowls.

B: N-e-w-b-o-w-l-s?

P: I think that's correct.

B: Is the way it sounds.

P: I think that's correct. Uh, after he made a speech to the graduating

class, uh, Earl...Mr. Fuller's oldest son, was graduating in that

class, and he got a chance somehow or another...he was...Earl was

just one of these fellows that didn't like...didn't let nothing get

away. And back then he was thinking in terms of higher education.





P: And he went to Mr. Newbowls on the...on the ground, and asked Mr.

Newbowls where he could go to further his education. And Mr.

Newbowls, according to what Mr. Earl told me, and I know it's the

truth, because I've had him tell it to other people in my presence,

and he gives the same story. That Mr. Newbowls told him that there

weren't nowhere for him to go now, that he had had all the education

that he needed to teach for his people, and to get out and start

teaching for his peop...people. And if he had took that for an

answer, he wouldn't have never been able to accomplish what he's

accomplished. He's one of the...

L: Uh, he told him it was against the law for the Indians to go to

white schools, so you've gone your limits.

B: And it's interesting though...how...do you...can you tell me how

he pursued to...to get more education? What did he do after...then

he didn't accept that answer?

L: He...he didn't pay a bit of attention to what he said, it just

tickled him you know because uh, he...he knew he could go. Go

anywhere he wanted to. He didn't pay any attention to that. It

didn't effect him at all.

B: And he is a...he holds a doctors degree today? A...is a medical


L: Yes sir.

P: Not only a medical doctor, he's a surgeon.

L: Yeah, he holds a...he uh, after he uh, finished there, he uh, went





L: ...to McKinzie College one year.

B: And where is that located?

L: That's in uh...McKinzie College is Lebanon, Illinois. Uh, Clifton,

Clifton Oxendine was with him that year in Lebanon, Illinois, in

McKinzie College. And later on, uh, one of uh, Oscar Sampson's boys

graduated, and married the presidents daughter.

B: Otis Sampson?

L: No...no.

B: But who was the...?

L: James.

P: James Sampson..

L: James.

P: James Sampson.

B: And married the president's daughter.

L: Married the president's daughter at McKinzie College. And then Earl

went to the University of Chattanooga til he graduated and got his

degree, and then he came and taught in the normal two years after

he finished college. He taught...he was a science teacher for two

years. And then he went to Wake Forest to get special study in

uh...physics and chemistry, in order to enter Vanderbilt. Now

Vanderbilt University was the highest graded medical school in the

south. And there wasn't many students...no one could enter there

but an "A" student. And so Earl was a little dubious about his

science and chemistry and physics, and so he went to Wake Forest





L: ...to -6 y chemistry and physics. And then when he finished,

reviewed that over, he entered Vanderbilt, and stayed there until

he got his degree in surgery, and he was one of six students that

their grades were so high...they didn't have to take a final exam.

And the highest one was a Jew. He was just one fraction of one per

cent in the final exami...examination, at the graduation. He was

the highest man, the Jew was,.but he was just a fraction of one per

cent ahead of Earl. And Earl was the second highest of the six. And

they didn't have to take a...

B: And where is Mr. Earl located today?

L: He's in DesMoines, Iowa. He's retired, he uh...took his last year

with the Surgeon general in Washington D.C. He was there two years,

and retired with the Surgeon General in Washington, in

P: Mr. Fuller, tell us about your son's participation uh, in the...in

the war, about the generals and majors, and these high ranking

officers, and even the President./He was iuh, first made Lieutenant

Cokpel, you know, and then he was made FPll Co nel, and...

B: This is Earl?

L: Yeah. And he was working in uh, Atlanta, Georgia, in the government

place in Atlanta. Uh, I can't think of the name of it. But he was

sent overseas, and in two and one half months after he had gone

overseas...he was appointed chief consultant in surgery, in the

European Theater, which covered five nations. And he was chief

consultant in surgery, appointed by, uh the war, you see, so he,





L: ...he worked at five different nations, and he would fly in an

airplane, and when general...what was that general's name...


P: Eisenhower, and Patton.

L: Nope. Was it general Eisenhower that was wounded?

P: No, it was Patton, I think it was General Patton.

L: General PAtton. When General Patton was wounded, Earl flew to where

he was on a plane, and he took charge of him, but he said he knew

that the condition of his...he was in a...a car wreck I believe.

In a car wreck. And he knew he couldn't live when he went to him.

But he was the doctor who took care of General Patton when he got

uh...wounded in the automobile wreck.

P: And I've heard that he also uh...

L: He was Eisenhower's doctor. Eisenhower would go to him in Georgia

when he was a...uh, the regular general in...in another town in

3eorgia, and said to him one day, uh, "You know, I'm going to be

a President of the United States." Eisenhower was then a general.

General Eisenhower, and he says, "Doctor..." or he called him

corel, "Colel...I'm going to be President of the United States

one of these days, and I've got you on my list, I'll look after


B: And what did he do for Earl after he got to be President?

L: When he got to be President, then he uh, moved Earl...he was the

one that moved Earl with the Surgeon General in Washington. And he





L: ...stayed with him until he retired. He didn't have much to do

then with the Surgeon General you know. He just...in office...just

into office. Then he...that's what he did for him, he...he gave him

that pos$,ion, until he retired.

P: I understand that uh, Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower is...he's...he's Miss

"Amie...Amie Eisenhower's doctor now...is that correct?

L: His...his widow woman?

B: Eisenhower's widow, yes.

P: Yeah, his widow.

L: I'm not sure about that, it seems like I did hear...

P: I've heard that...I've heard that.

L: It seems like I did hear him speak about this.

P: And I've also heard that he uh...the doctor who was uh, Mr. Truman's

doctor...I'm...I don't remember his name now. But on one occasion,

doctor...I mean President Truman had a kind of a cough that lingered,

and they didn't...wasn't able to pin oint it somehow or another,

and they called Earl in to...in that case.

L: Yeah, I believe I heard him tell about that in the Sunday schooll

lecture oat here one time in the church.

B: Do you know of another Indian man from Robeson County who proceeded

your son in quiring a medical doctor's degree?

L: Uh, you know Tillford Lowry, he's uh...he's brother Henry's son.

He's a...he's a doctor in Sweetwater, Tennessee. And then uh...

P: Mr. Johnny.




L: And Johnny, J.A.B. Lowry...another brother of Tillford's, he...he's

dead now. He lived in Crew, Virginia, and he was overseas in

World War I. Earl was in World War II. But Johnny was in uh, World

War I, and he settled-in Crew,'Virginia. And he died i& a heart

attack And since then I was going...marching for a meal, and I

looked back and I saw the Bishop of our Conference in the march,

and afterwhile I heard somebody walking up, and he he got beside

of me in the march. And he says, you know, uh, Dr. Earl's widow,

gave us ph...one hundred and fifty thousand dollars the other day

for one of the schools in Virginia."

P: Dr. Johnny's widow?

L: Yeah, Dr. Johnny's wido yeah. Dr. Johnny, J.A.B. Lowry in Crew,

Virginia. He says, "When I'm holding conferences in Crew, Virginia,

Dr. Lowry's home was my home. I always spent my nights with Dr.

Lowry. He was an outstanding member of our Methodist Church in

Crew, Virginia. And his widow donated a hundred and fifty thousand

dollars the other day to one of the schools." And so Johnny died.

He had a lot of money. ,He had a big insurance you know, and he...he

probably had...

P: Half a million dollars?

L: Several hundred thousand dollars, he...he was...he had plenty of


B: It seems a tradition that the Lowry's pursued education. Can you





B: ...in any way relate this to the land base of the Lowrys because

Allen Lowry had something to start with, and they were able to

hold on to it? This kind of security and collateral, uh, enabled

them to send their children other places to school. Would you

agree with this, or what accounts for the Lowry education?

L: Well, I think that's correct, because uh...the uh, procedure of

Henry Barry Lowry, and the steps he took, as standing up for his

peopleyyou know. Uh...put an incentive in all the Lowrys to...to

try to accomplish something. I think that we will just charge that

to the braveness of Allen Lowry's act in the war, and Henry Barry

Lowry's procedure uh, to uh, show the people that they should

stand up for their rights.

B: Well this is one thing w & probably take two or three more

conferences with you, but I wanted to talk to you about your family,

the geneology. And then, something about the educational progress

of the Indians in Robeson County. And knowing that you were the

first student I think to be graduated from the Hope School?

L: Yes air.

B: I wanted to just uh, have a time to come back just to talk about

education, but there's so much you know...

L: Uh, the school up there, I was a looking at a bulletin out there,

and it said the school at Pate was a elementary school from 1887

to 1903 I believe when it was moved to Pembroke it was just an

elementary school. But that's a...that's as far from being correct,





L: ...as the east is from the west. Uh, because prior to that...uh,

after this school was established, and prior to the time, we had

schools, about twelve Indian schools over the county. And we had

men like Johnathan Spalding, and they called him professor Jacobs,

who would come up here and teach the schools in the county at

Union Chapel, and the first Indian schools. And these men were

college men. And men like Oscar Sampson, and Foster Sampson, and,

and uh...and Anderson Locklear, and these older teachers...

B: Moore...was Moore...

L: Moore, he...he didn't...he went to school elsewhere you know. He

finished a four year normal at, at uh...uh, Lumberton under

professor Allen. Uh...the D...Dr. Allen came from the north. He was

a Yankee Negro. And uh, he established a school in Lumberton, that

would give a four year normal, which would be equal to college work.

And uh, Mr. Moore graduated under uh, Professor Allen at Lumberton.

B: Allen...Allen was black. I want to understand this. Allen was black,

L: Yes, from the north.

B: And he was over this four year school?

L: He was over this particular school at Lumberton.

B: Was that a white?

L: He built that school.

B: Did just whites go to that...?

L: No, for colored people...Negroes.





B: O.k.

L: It was a Negro school in Lumberton, and professor Allen...

Why)when I was a young teacher, and would be in the office of the

county superintendent, like...uh, Mr. McCallister. When professor

Allen would come in there, and I was standing...he was a black man,

uh, professor McCallister would get up out of his chair and shake

hands with him, and call him professor Allen. And uh, he stood as

a...a outstanding man in Lumberton where he was working. And men

like Johnathan Spalding, and professor Jacobs taught in this county.

And men like Oscar Sampson, and Anderson went to them to school.

And after they were taught by these men, then they entered the

school up here. And uh, this school at Patewas called a Nona

Standard School...a No&a Standard School, meaning you can study

anything you want to, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, all the sciences,

anything you want to take, you could take it up there. It had

nothing to do with an elementary school, because Oscar Sampson

was said by the county superintendent to be one of the best

students in the county, regardless of color. And he made a hundred

per cent every year on spelling. We had, back then, all the teachers

of all three of the races, had to go and take two days public

examination, in all the books that they taught in the public school.

And the county superintendent said Oscar Sampson was one of the

smartest students in the county, and he made a hundred per cent of

spelling every year. He knew every word, he knew all the rules of





...spelling. For instance, I learned this rule from Oscar, proceed,

pro, ex, and suc...proceed, exceed, and succeed...is cee-e-d, and

all the other cedes is c-e-d-e, and that was a rule in spelling

that I got from Oscar Sampson. And it caused me to make a hundred

sometimes when I was on examination. But the...Oscar knew all the

rules of spelling, and he never missed a word on...at Lumberton

on this examination. And he was a student of what they called the

elementary school. And uh, he would go on examination with graduates

from Wake Forest, and Davidson College, and make just as much as

they did. And then went to school at Patey So it wasn't elementary.

I took...I went up there to school after I finished high school at

Hopewell, and the professor says, The Indians)you know, it was

against the law for them to go to white colleges, but I'll give

you a college education right here." And he ordered a catalog

from a northern school that taught the...the...they taught three

grades. They taught normal, advanced normal, and scientific. And

he says, "If you'll graduate these three, we'll order all the

books...I'll give you a degree." And so I took the normal, advanced

normal, and the scientific...covered all the sciences you know,

chemistry, physics, botany, zoology, physical eeIk, and all

that. They covered all the sciences, and astronomy, and uh, when

I finished, he says, "Now if you can get up five dollars, I'll

give you a master's degree. If you'll get three dollars, I'll





L: ...give you a scientific degree. And I couldn't raise but three

dollars. Back then, one cent was as big as a cartwheel. You know

the professor...uh, the professor wasn't getting but sixty dollars

a month to teach the college up there...sixty dollars a month. So

he couldn't help me. It took his sixty dollars to live on. hat

I'm the first man that got above sixty dollars. The man ahead of

me taught for sixty dollars, and when I...the year I taught, they

paid me seventy-five. I'm the first man that got a raise up there,

sixty dollars, from sixty to seventy-five. So I got seventy-five

dollars a month the year I taught. So money, you couldn't get

money back then you know. And so I couldn't raise but three dollars,

and I got a college degree hanging up back there in the sun parlor.

And says, Lowry completed the scientific course,

as it was taught in Pembroke, or in Coritan Normal College." Now

that's on my degree...Coritan Normal College.

B: Um huh. And you were born in 1881, and it was not until 1885...is

that correct?

L: '87.

B: '87 that ...

L: That this school was...

B: ...this school was established?

L: Yes sir.

B: And how old were you now when you entered that school?

L: I was uh...about uh...seventeen.





B: And all the education you had prior to then...to then was one of

these community schools like the Hopewell?

L: At Hopewell. And schools back then wasn't graded like they are

now. You could study anything. At Hopewell, we took uh...Sanford's

High Analytical Arithmetic.. There was a Sanford's Intermediate,

Sanford Common School, and Sanford's High Analytical. Three books

in Sanford's course of mathematics. And we took all three of them

at Hopewell. And you could study just as far as you could go. And

the school of the kind of teacher you


B: The people in the community had to put up money for the building,

and then the state just gave them a little token fee to...?

L: Yeah, a little fee to build it. The people went in the woods and

hewed out the frame for the old college at Pates. And the man sold

them the acre of land for ten dollars I believe. Old man Jacobs,

preacher Jacobs sold them an acre of land for ten. And the people

went in the woods and hewed out the timbers, and raised money, and

bought the lumber, and built it...and then the state made them a

small corporation to pay the teacher.

B: Is this _...

L: And Mr. W.L. Moore was the first teacher.

B: Is this...now I may have my history ahead of itself...is this when

the state gave...this is not the five hundred dollars a year they





B: ...gave, I'm sure.

P: No...the...

B: They just payed the teacher's salary when it was up at Pates...is

that what they paid?

L: Just the teacher's salary.

P: They had to build that building too without any money.

L: Yeah.

P: They built that school without any money, and then the state

appropriated five hundred dollars, if they would complete their

building...they would give-that then for the support of it.

L: Yeah.

P: Uh, the teacher's salary, and the whole...uh, the whole thing.

L: And that five hundred dollars had to pay for nine months you see.

P: Yes..

B: Um huh.. What about the uh...input...well, like you, did you have

te get some of the wood? You said the men went out and hewed the

wood...did you actively participate in the construction of the...?

L: No, I was...I was a little boy then.

P: His father ...his father...

L: I wasn't in there, but...I did go around with Oscar Sampson and

raise the money to buy the ten acres in Pembroke, to move the

school from Pate to Pembroke.

P: Now this land was...was bought too for ten dollars an acre.





P: That was promoted money.

L: That's it, yeah.

P: That up yonder might have been given....

B: No, he said it was uh, Jacobs, a preacher Jacobs.

L: Jacobs, preacher Jacobs...

B: Do you know the first name?

L: He charged them ten dollars.

P: Is that so?

B: What is the first name of preacher Jacobs at Pate...do you know?

L: Uh, Bill Jacobs, William Jacobs.

B: Bill...William Jacobs?

L: Everybody called him Bill Jacobs, Reverend Bill Jacobs.

B: And also the land that uh, is that P.S.U. now that was bought for

ten dollars... the original plot for the building?

L: No, it was ten acres...

P: A hundred...a hundred...

L: kwyay-veLLk

P: It was a hundred fL Ct

L: From Mr. Overland. And then later they kept adding to it. But it

stayed ten acres for a long time.

B: Do you have any old pictures of the building at Pate? I'm sure you

must have pictures. I don't want to see them, I just want to know

that you have this kind of documents.

L: Yes, I have...





B: Like students that went to that school?

L: I believe there's...this uh...I'm not sure...it seems like part of

the old pictures

P: There's a...there's another question that I'd like to ask you,

and I believe I asked you the other day when I was here...I don't

uh...uh, see if you remember it well enough. Uh, what do you think

would be...would have been rather the condition of the Indian race

of people in Robeson County, had it not been for Henry Barry Lowry?

L: Uh, Henry Barry Lowry's move I think saved the...the country here.

In other words, uh, there wouldn't have been but two races here

now. That's what I would conclude. That uh, by this time there

wouldn't have been but two races here. Part of the people here

would have went for white, and the other ones for uh...

P: Colored.

L: Colored.

B: And do you see that uh maybe the reason why more of our older people

didn't get education...I've often heard it said by old people that

maybe we were a little bit too proud to go to school along with the

blacks. Like Mr. Moore was willing to go to the black school in

Lumberton. What do you...

L: Well Mr. Moore, well he was reared in Columbus County you know,

until he was a grownA man...he was a grown man when he came up here

andrstarted teaching school. There were several Moores down...my

brother married a Moore, Josephine. His first wife was Josephine.





L: She was the daughter of Arron Moore in Columbus County. And my

oldest sister married A Vlidkoa Moore, a preacher. Uh, I

consider the best preacher that's ever been in North Carolina.

And f14L Moore, you remember?

P: I've heard of him...yeah, I've heard of him.

L: He...he was considered the...the best preacher in the state. He

could go anywhere, and...and uh, preach. He was uh...he had a

master's degree you know.

P: Sort of like you was. I want you to tell me a story. Remember when

you and your wife went to the west, and you went to that place

what's called Devil's Half Acre?

L: Yeah.

P: Tell her that...I'd like to hear it.

L: We...we were going...my oldest daughter lived in Harlem Montana

and we decided we'd drive through to Harlem, Montana. And we was

uh, a week or more going. And uh, wea we were up there, we got uh,

we got up in the state of...let's see what state were we in, where

we got...Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. We were in Wyoming

once...one Sunday morning. We had spent uh, Saturday night at the

hot springs, the hottest springs in the world. We spent Saturday

night at a hot springs, and...and then we got up early the other,

early Sunday morning, and drove about fifty miles, and stopped in

a big city for breakfast. And on going down the street, we looked





L: ...across the street and we saw a big brick church along the front

there was a Methodist...First Methodist Church of the town. We

went in. And we suggested, the town has a Methodist Church, and we

were both Methodist...we'd stay for preaching. And so we went in,

and the pastor met me you know, and introduced himself, and I

introduced myself. I happened to have one of these Methodist books

in my pocket. All I had to do was show him that, and that's...made

him know I wasn't a hum bug. And he says,.tWell now, uh, the Bible

class teacher is looking for somebody to give the devotions to uh,

to have the prayer for them this morning. I'm going to take you and

introduce you to him, and...and he'll use you in the prayer."

And so I went in, and he asked me to...to lead the prayer in the

opening. And then he says, now...I want you to come back in uh, for

preaching. And we went back in the front. And he came to me and

says...we, me and my wife took our seat back. He came down the aisle,

and said, "Now I know you're wanting to sit with your wife, but

when I'm through preaching I'm going to call on you to come up to

the stage and have something to say." So I went up to the stage,

and...and uh, told them I was a southerner, I was from North Carolina.

And I says, if you people up here that's got a real bright skin,

better...go down to...to North Carolina, and go down on the beach

and lay around awhile in the sun, you would=havera tanelikeelve.

got: Yoaud ah, have uh, a tan, a good tan on your face. And I guess

you think uh...uh, I'm from the south and uh, And I've got to tell





L: ...you...a good tan on my face. The difference with me is...you

and myself, I was born with this tan. I'm a Indian. I'm a Indian

from North Carolina. And then it looked like that everybody got

about six inches high. And I went on with speaking, told them about

my Indian people down here you know, and we came out on the yard,

and they gathered around us and said,"Which way are-yousgoigg?" I

said we were following thirty. Well uh, there's a Highway Three that

goes around and they come together again. And uh, seventy-five miles

from here there's a place they call "The Devil's Half Acre." And

it's a...it's a great uh...uh, mystery. You...you...you don't want

to miss that. Uh, you want to go...go Highway Three, and stop at

The Devil's Half Acre. You never saw nothing like that. And so we,

we followed three, and when we got to uh, The Devil's Half Acre and

parked, another car parked over there, and they jumped out of the

car and come laughing you know. Said, "You might not know me, but

I heard you speak in the church this morning..."

B: They followed you?

L: "And uh, we just wanted to hear you talk some more. And we followed

you, my wife and..-.and uh, two or three of the other church members."

Was all in the car. "Acafoad of usimand we just, we followed you

seventy-five miles to hear you talk some more. And they..."We'll

take you around." They were used to the place, and they took us

around, and demonstrated that there was a way down there...looks





L: ...like the people down there was uh...I t they were statues

you know. Was made uh, Stone statues, And they said they hadn't

never heard of...it was pretty deep down there, and straight down

almost. Said there hadn't never been but two people down there

and back. And there was a half acre way down yonder, and you

couldn't tell just how it was because it was so far down. And it

looked like statues standing all around.

B: What did the two who went down there say about it? The two who

came back, what did they say?

L: Uh they...they were just telling us the history of it, and said,

"We come down here right often, but they...we've never known but

two people to go down there and come back." It's like uh...what's

-thmhe ru6...Niagra Falls, you know, it's a place that uh, you can't

get down and back.

P: Mr. Fuller, I have another question. I'd like to know...since uh,

since we've been talking here, and we find out, or I....

L: It's about out, ain't it?

B: Mr. Fuller, I've got some more. I've got....

P: I've...I've found out since we've been talking here that education

is money, and money 4d-economic...and money is economics. You see,

the person who has money has the privelege to have power to do

something. And them that don't have no education, don't have any.

Do you think this...this uh, has any uh, rele...relevance on our

day tqday, as far as we've come that the Indian people are still





P: ...not having as good an education as they need?

L: Well uh, that's a...that's a very deep...deep question to think

about, but uh I think there must be something to that.

P: I think so too. Now the reason I posed that question is this: my

father was poor, and he had a big family. And I had only one

brother out of eight that ever taught school.

B: That being?

P: My brother Johnny. V&Si older than I am. He taught for

about uh, well, he retired.

B: So he retired?

P: Yeah, he's retired teaching. But when we were in school, my...my

father and mother started both of us together. He's a year and six

months older than I am, but she started me along with him, and I

was only five. Well, after we got big enough to help out on the
1: wouv,
farm...he'd go to school today, and -r4igo tomorrow, and whenever

I was in school he was at work in my place on the farm. And one

day I got tired of that, and uh, quit school. But I didn't quit

until he and I both came back when we were men, and went back to

the college, and finished the sixth and seventh grade. And that's

the only school I've ever had. And the reason I quit was simply

because before I was eighteen years old I left here and went to

the north, and got a job in the automobile shop. And I came back

home the...on the third year to go back to school. And looked like

after three weeks I just had to quit, because I found out then,





P: ...that the school teacher was making forty-five dollars a month,
and I was making thirty-five and forty dollarY a week in the

automobile shop.

L: Yeah.

P: So the...the nice young girl that was my girl friend, when I talked

it over with her, and after she agreed that we would get married

then, instead of waiting any longer...if I would ask for her, and

I loved her so much I asked for her.

L: Yeah.

P: And that settled my schooling then.

L: And Johnny kept going?

P: Johnny kept going. In fact, when he graduated I bought him an out-

fit. I bought him shoes, hat, a suit, underwear, and socks, and tie,

and everything, and shirt...and sent it to him.

L: Thirty-five dollars 0- Lolrvcarit wasn't no incentive to

you, and you we're getting that once a week.

P: It wasn't no incentive to me. And uh, of course I would've liked

to had a college education, but at that time I couldn't afford to

do anything else, but go ahead and get married, and go on back to

the automobile shop, And I finally stayed there until 1931. And

this was in 19...uh, 1922.

B: Uh, I'd like to just have you tell me that uh...maybe I can come

back and cover another phase of the Indian history, as far as

the progress of the Lowrys. I'm real concerned about how political





B: ...the lowrys got. And Allen Lowry, did you have any knowledge of

how involved the Indian people were back then as far as the

political process is concerned? Did you ever hear about voting, or

registering or being a part of the decision-making positions in

the county?

L: Now back uh...how far back now?

B: Well, say Allen Lowry.

L: You mean...

B: Do you recall anything...I know you mentioned we did have a Jim

Oxendine who was a Indian, to the House of Representatives in the

state, when it was formed. But uh, how much talking did your family

ever do as far as passing it from child to parent?

L: Way back then, the...it seemed like that uh...the uh...Indian people

uh, a lot of them believed in the Republican Party. You know the...a

lot of them would vote a Republican ticket. Uh, they claimed to

have uh, some meetings for that you know. They...at first uh, there

was a few of them that didn't like the Democratic ticket. But later

on, the Democratic ticket became a little more popular than the

Republican did. It kept gaining until later on, most uh, most of

the people got to be:Democratic.

B: But what...the thing I wanted some correction on, or if I'm wrong,

the little bit of reading I've done, I've learned that the reason

that the Indians maybe leaned toward the Republican was because it





B: ...under a Republican administration that Indians were uh, given

the right to attend schools. There was laws introduced that would

no prohibit Any person regardless of race to go to school.

L: Right.

B: And then another thing that it did...that it was the Republican

administration which uh, gave the Indians their right to vote

again. And so this...I think these two things...

L: That's why they...so many of them were Republicans...the reason the

Indians back then were voting the Republican ticket. But later on

the Democrats, uh, got ashamed e* all that, and they got to doing

more and more. And winning people over by making big appropriations

and that.

B: What kind of process, if you can remember your father-andrgrandfather,

did they have to register like we do today, or tell me something

about the process that enabled a man to vote?

L: Yeah, they...they had to register to vote. They had the registration

about through the country.

P: What did...Mr. Fuller, what did the uh, Red Shirts do for us? You


L: Well that was a...that what you call a Democratic move you know.

Try...but uh...changed some of the Republicans to the Democrats

you know.





P: 4-kc I people.

B: : _[^

L: I don't uh...I don't hardly think that it did very much for the

progress of the folks here.

B: Well I'm not aware of what the Red Shirts mean. You've got to tell


P: Well the...this is from my father, I don't remember it. This happened

before my time, and uh, as I understand it, from what he said, the,

the Red Shirt organization, it wasn't an organization in its entirety.

Uh, the...the Democrats begin giving this Indian and that Indian a

shirt, and it was a red shirt so they would know them as they saw


L: Trying to win the Republicans over to the Democratic Party.

P: That's right. And my father never did vote a Democrat ticket as long

as he lived.

L: Mine didn't either. Mine voted Republican ticket.

P: Republican ticket.

B: And both you men are probably registered Democrats?

L: Yeah, we...we voted Democrats, you're right.

P: That's right, and we...

B: Well what else did this....

L: But we later on got to...to where...we didn't all together look at

the party, but the man.

B: Right.





P: That...that...that's what we...but-yeek, there's been so many tactics

that the Democrats have put forth. Only a few years ago, uh, they,

they would always have as many as three running on...say on the uh,

board of...school board. And if you didn't vote for as many as three,

your...your vote wasn't counted.

L: Right.

P: You remember that?

L: Yeah.

P: And these are schemes whereby they...they, the Democrats uh, uh,

work in order to keep the Indians out of the schools, and in

pos unions of authorityship.

B: Well, what else did this red shirt mean other than just the means of

identifying. If a Indian said he would change from Republican to

Democrat, and they gave him a red shirt, what else did he get because

he changed his party?

P: Nothing, he...he got something took away from him.

L: He thought he might get a poslion later.

P: Probably did...probably did.

L: But he...he...he was...he was looking forward to a position.

B: Well, it's been about a hundred years...about a hundred years since

the Republicans had the Indians on their side so to speak in Robeson


L: Well, fifty years anyhow.





B: Because this is...well, this is the first Republican Governor we've

had in this century, so it was in the late 1800s. And so now, young

people my age, there are a lot of us who are having the tendency to

respond to the Republican administration again. So do you agree with

me that maybe history is repeating itself?

P: Yes I do sister, that's what happened.

B: Alright, back during that time, the Republican administration, the

Indians were Republican, this was during the time that Henry Barry

Lowry reigned, when there quite...much tension in the county. We

never had a Republican....



DATE: MARCH 27, 1973

B: Talking with Mr. Peter Brooks, and Dr. Fuller Lowry, and I was saying

that in comparing the tension in Robeson County about a hundred

years ago, with that of today...we have 'c similarities that...we

had a Republican administration at the time of the Henry Barry

Lowry reign, and now we have a Republican Governor for the first

time in this century, and also in Robeson County we are witnessing

quite much racial tension, and some violence that I feel could

possibly erI pt into a similar reign of terror unless our elected

officials respond in ways to avoid it. Now you may go on with your


P: What was I speaking about, the double-vote?

B: You were talking about just the thing concerning the Republican

reign I think. Anyway, tell us about the double vote, I'll get that

on tape, and as soon as you say when.

P: Well about the double vote, was the fact that uh, how they...how

the Democrat party manuvered. How...how they manuvered, looked

ahead and saw that uh, well maybe we better fix it so they won't

never amount to anything. Maybe we'll keep them under our thumb.

And uh, keep them from wher 4&-re having any education. This goes

back to the time that I spoke of previously whenever I had to work

a day and go to school a day. And that I had one brother that stuck

it out, and finally finished, and was a school teacher. And taught





P: ...until he retired. But this same-pro, uh, program is being

carried out today, as the way I see it...politically instead of

outright denying us the privilege to vote.

B: It's...they're using more subtle type tactics, something that we can't

put our hands on, but the control is there, even though we can't say

he is doing a gross visible injustice. But he's doing it in sort of

undercover type ways.

P: And I...I think that's what's wrong with the county. And then again,

I was also saying that a two-party system is one of the best

governments that the world has ever seen. Uh, every country that has

...there's several countries of the world today that have patterned

their government after the United States. In other words, they've

got a two-party system. And you take the countries that haven't,

and have a dictator, or a king...look at England if you please.

They've always held on to their king, and...and she was Old England

when we were a baby, so to speak, in our government. So what I'm

saying is that the two-party system, if it doesn't work as a two-

party system we'd just as well have a king or a dictator.

L: Yeah.

P: Because when one party stays in too long...too long, he gets too

dirty, and uses too many tricks, and we never can't catch up with

him no more. And he just...he just simply is able to carry on just

like he wants to. And the minority groups especially, have no way

of knowing his tricks, and...and getting along. And we are deprived





P: ...of a lot of things that we ought to have in Robeson County

today, on account of this.

B: Uh, Mr. Lowry I appreciate your talking with me, but there was some-

thing that I should have gotten at the beginning of my tape that I

want you to tell me now. Just give me your full name, and your

birth date, and your...the names of your parents, and if you can,

name your brothers and sisters, and I'll let this conclude our tape.

I've enjoyed it, but I don't want to hold you too long.

L: O.k. My father was named Calvin Lowry...he was brother to Henry

Barry Lowry. And my mother was named Maria Sampson. Uh, she was

born and reared uh, in the Deep Branch section. And she had a

brother named william Sampson who was a Baptist minister, and a

brother named John Sampson, a Methodist minister. So my father was

uh, originally a Methodist, and my mother was a Baptist, but she

joined the Methodist church after she was married. And there was

uh, twelve children. There was seven boys, and five girls. Now

H.H. Lowry was the oldest brother, and Billy Lowry, and Abner Lowry,
and KennedyrLowry4-and- rank-Lowry, and Edmond--Lewryy and.-land F?

myself.J.E.F. Lowry. O.k. Then I had five sisters. The oldest sister

was named Annabelle, and the second oldest Deborah, and the next one

named Suzy...Susan, that's S-u-s-a-n...Susan, they called her Suzy.

Susan, and uh, the third one was named Nancy, who is now living.

tAe annts -i Nancy Rebel. And uh...and the baby be- was named uh,

Maria, she was named after mother, Maria the II. So she was the





L: ...baby girl, but the entire family is down to two. My sister Nancy,

the widow of Luther Rebels, living in town, and myself. And she's

uh, ninety-five, and I'm ninety-two.

B: This is what I was going to ask you. I've been reading something

about the Indians of Robeson County. We are traditionally written

about as loving alcoholic beverages. And it says that even though

we do have such a desire for alcoholic beverages, we seem to be long

livers. How old were your brothers at death? Like Mr. France, I

know he was old.

L: France was a hundred and two years and...and about uh, nine months,

somewhere, almost made a hundred three. And bro...my sister Annabelle

was the second, she was a hundred years old, and eleven months. And

then Billy was a hundred and three months. One hundred years old and

three months. And they were the longest livers in the family. We had

some now that died younger. My baby sister, she died perhaps uh,

around sixty. She was about the youngest, but from then on up, around

eighty and eighty-five, and was the life of the rest of the family.

B: And I've heard that Mr. Billy used to do some kind of exercise up

until the time of his death. Did he ride a bike, or...?

L: Oh yes, he rode a...a bicycle over to his farm, after, I imagine

ninety some years old. He had a farm over on Back Swamp, he'd ride

a bicycle over there, work all day, and come back on his bicycle at

night...living in Pembroke.





B: Well, I hope...

P: Tremendous... tremendous.

B: I hope the lord will bless you for many more years, and I'll get to

talk with you much more, because I could talk for hours and hours.

But I'm not going to make it too strenuous for you, but I do hope

you'll let me come back some time, and we can talk some more.

L: O.k...o.k.

L: Became friends, and the Indians hated to report him. For instance,

uh, after Bob McKinzie done all this work, he sold his farm to his

brother Samuel McKinzie, and Samuel McKinzie and his family of

five children were great friends. Uh, you've heard tell of a Miss

Mary McKinzie you know, that worked among the Indians so much, among

the Baptists and what have you. And uh, Miss Mary McKinzie was such

a great friend, she was the daughter of Samuel. Now they would

claim they couldn't help what the other folks had done, but we're

you're friends. And so we didn't want to expose them you know, and

you know, these that were so friendly m& passed away, and then we

don't mind writing the history now.

B: I think I had missed my question that asked why we didn't have any

written record of the Indians in Robeson County. But I felt too,

maybe we didn't do it ourselves because we were, a lot of us were

prohibited from learning the art of how to do it...actually how to

write it down.

L: Yeah.





B: To conclude the tape that was started at Mr. Fuller Lowry's, I

would like for you$Mr. Peter Brooks to give me just some-uh, historical

family history of your immediate family, begingng with you, your parents,

and then your wife, and down to your children.

P: About three and a half, or possibly four miles,-k, west of Roland,

I was born on April the twenty-ninth, 1902 to Sandy Brooks and

Effie Hunt Brooks, being the thirteenth child in a family of four-

teen children. My older brother, a year and sitonths older than I

was, we were always together, and loved one another very much. And

my father and mother wanted me to start school along with him when

he would start. So they started me to school at five years old. And

until I reached the age of about well, twenty-one years old, the

only formal education I'd ever had was to possibly the fourth grade.

And after nineteen...in the month oh uh, August, 1919, before I was

eighteen years old, me and this dear brother of mine left Robeson

County, and went to Detroit, Michigan, where we received a job in

the automobile shopo

B: You're speaking of Mr. Johnny...Johnny Brooks?

P: Um huh.

B: What contact did you have in Michigan to go to Michigan rather than

some other place?

P: We had a older brother there. Brother Raymond was in Michigan at

that time, and he already had a job when we got there. And I worked





P: ...along with my brother Raymond for about eight months...six

months after I got there. And then it happened so that he had to

go to another town and left me there, and...me and Johnny there.

And we made it there .e.wby ourselves then for a long time. And

kept on working where I was, in-Lth-e with the Timkin Detroit Axle


B: But this...well you said for a long time, is this...does this mean

months or years after Raymond left Detroit?

P: No, that was six months. Six months after we got there, Raymond

left Detroit. And uh, the next thing I quit that company, and went

to work with the American MotorCompany. Being young, and not

aquainted with city life, and how people got along, I didn't know

what kind of a job I was getting, and they carried me to the

upholstering department for the Wadsworth Manufacturing Company.

And I stayed there until that place changed hands, about three times.

I...I could...I remember all the changes, but the last change it was

sold to the Chrysler CoQperations, and I worked for them then about

seven years. At which time, I had been coming back here, and went

to school during the winter for...for two winters. Me and my brother

went in the sixth...started back to school in the sixth grade, after

we were men. And I went in to school two ears, and came back the

third year, and got dissatisfied in school. But my brother Johnny

kept on going to school, and taught school in the public schools of





P: Robeson County for a period of, I believe, twenty-seven years. At

least, he retired from school teaching. And the third year that I

came back, I began to get dissatisfied, as I foresaid, and I got

to watching everybody that was so busy with their school work, and

I begin to ask the price of school teaching, and it was forty dollars

a month. Forty-five dollars a month. And I was making in the automo-

bile shops from thirty-five to forty dollars a week. And I just got

so dissatisfied until I went back to the automobile shops. Uh,

terminating my school career. Under...not...not with...not without

understanding that uh, I would of certainly loved to had a college

education, but at that time, I didn't see where it would pay off.

In other words, money has always talked. And I became very much in

love with a young girl, and I told her the condition I was in about

my school. And the fact that I was making about, well better than

twice what the school teachers was making. And we got married, and

went back to Michigan. And we lived there until we had five chil-


B: What was your wife's maiden name? Who was your wife?

P: Uh, I'll go back just a minute to the time when I talked it over

with this girl friend of mine that I was in love with very much, and

she said I would have to ask her father and mother. And if they did-

n't agree, it would be ai4gg a that we would get married and go back.

So that...





B: If they didn't agree, you would do it anyway? Is that what you are


P: That...that's what happened, yes. If they didn't agree, she would,

she would uh ...

B: Slip off?

P: She would slip off, run away so to speak. So when I asked her mother

for her. Let me tell you their names first. Uh, and not only their

names, but I'll tell you some of their uncles and aunts. She only

had one aunt on her mother's side. Her...her aunt on her mother's

side was named...umh...let me see now...I...I don't know her real

name, but they always called her "Dink' She married Mr.Meatgomery

Lowry. Mr. Montgomery Lowry had a brother by the name of Buddy Lowry,

married Miss Crosly Maynor. My wife...my wife's mother's maiden name

was jaynor. She was...she was also a sister of Mr. Alfred Maynor,

who was a minister. And Mr. Jim Maynor...

B: Maynor?

P: Maynor, who was a...who was a minister, and Mr. Luther Maynor, who

was a resident of near Pembroke for all his life. She was the first

cousin of the late Judge Lacy Maynor. And she married Mr. Jimmy

Cummings. And she was the daughter of Jimmy and Lester (?) Cummings.

Her name was Addie Maye Cummings. Uh, to that home, to that union

there was nine children. And whenever I asked for her, she...she be-

ing the oldest girl, her mother told me that she had nine children,





P: ...and she didn't have nary of them to give away. And whenever I

had to ask her dad too, he...he brought up the excuse that we were

both in school, and that she was so young. By the way, I'll tell you

her age, she was eighteen years old in February after we got married

in November, on the twenty-fifth of November, 1923I1 believe. And we

made our home in Michigan then, until 1931. Uh, 1931 brought on the

Hoover Depression, which every person my age knows all about.

B: Hewimahn-children did you have while you were-inh.Miehigan? What are

their names?

P: During the time we were in Michigan, or during the time -wmVa in

Michigan rather...she...she came back home for the birth of three of

the children that was born when we left there.

B: Why would she come home to have her babies?

P: Well the reason why she came home, was the fact that mothers were

so lg up with their daughters they didn't think they could have

a baby unless they 4id ix in their house. And uh, the oldest daughter

to this union, was Alfia, her grandfather named her after a story he

had read years and years before that. The next girl, Nettie, uh, by

the way, let me go back to Alfy. She fi...she married Reverend

Lawrence Maynor's boy.

B: Lonnie.

P: Lonnie Maynor. Nettie, the next girl married Stevie Lowry, the son

of Crossie as I aforesaid, Maynor...married Buddy Lowry, who was the





P: ...brother of Mentgomery Lowry.

B: This is uh, a point here I wanted to break in here. Some...in my

reading about my people, I've often found that if we begin tracing

a family tree, that some...somewhere back, we're going to run into

the same individuals. And it seems here that Nettie Lowry, your

daughter, and rev Lowry had common relatives.

P: Probably.

B: And this is what you're explaining, that Miss Crossie Lowry, whose

husband was Buddy Lowry...

P: Buddy Lowry.

B: Was the son of Montgomery's...

P: No, Buddy Lowry, and Mo&gomery Lowry were brothers. And uh...

B: Montgomery was married to who?

P: Montgomery was married to my wife's aunt. And the lady that Mr.

Buddy married wasn't no relation to me that I know of, she comes

from the Maynor family.

B: But after...after Nettie, then...?

P: After Nettie was Daphne. There were three...three daughters born

before there was a son. And I had read, the story of Martin Luther,

the great Protestant reformer, or I should say the great Protestant

protestor, uh, some time before he was born. And when he...when he

was born, and was a boy, I named him Martin Luther, after this

great After Martin, there was Jimmy, Paul, Ronald, and





P: ...Howard, six boys. And after Daphne, was Bernice and Joyce.

Bernice married Marvin Lowry. Uh, no relation that I know of

particular, and Joyce married Walt Maynor, a relative of Miss Crosjie

Maynor. Uh...Jimmy, I don't know who his wife's people is. She...he

married her in California. Paul married Mr. Lacy Sampson's daughter,


B: Is this the same Sampson family that the educators, Otis Sampson,

Oscar Sampson, is this the same family line here?

P: Corteat;. .;t...correct, yes, it's the same Sampson family line.

Uh, three other boys, I have ten boys...uh, nine boys. Nine boys and

five girls...makes the same amount of children in my family that

there was in my father's family. And...but three of them, the last

three is by another marriage, because my wife died when Howard, the

baby boy was two months old. And pretty near all of our friends

wanted us to give...give Howard away, so we could uh...so he could

have better care, but we never did, we always kept all of our

children together, and raised them together. But after I married erm

again, there're three other sons in the family now, and one named

Ray...Ernest Ray Brooks, the middle boy being Verle Brooks, Verle

Glenn Brooks, and the baby in our family today is David...David

Earl Brooks. And if I should live to see the twentyninth day of

next month, I'll be seventy-one years old. Born in the year of

1902, April the twenty-ninth. I'd like to give you...how much more





P: ...do we have there?

B: We've got plenty, don't worry about that, just all you'll tell me

about. The only thing I want you to talk to me about is some-

thing about the trend, or the way you have tried to maintain the

Indian identity within your teltd And what have you done as a

father to pass down your family history, and to try to instill

within your children to be passed on...Indian pride. Something about


P: Well, first of all, my father was very close related to the Lowry

family. And he comes from the stock of Henry Barry. And to answer

Brenda's question about my identity of being an Indian. I've always

been an Indian first, and if I was ever a Democrat it was second.

And my political affiliations was always second. But pre...but

before each of...any of this, came my church affiliation. I've been

going to sunday school and church now for about forty years...

forty-five years, and I don't believe that...I also believe that I

could count the days...the Sundays rather, that I've missed, on my

...well, I'd say my fingers and my toes.

B: This is an interesting point about the -pe religious affiliation

the Lumbee Indians have. Back as far as we can find about our history,

this has been one of the ways, I feel, that uh, the power structure

has sort of kept Indians in a vacuum. You know, lots of times

because we felt like it was morally wrong, or that there was Biblical





B: ...teachings against doing certain things The whites allowed us

to learn religion, and learn these certain rules, but not education.

They wouldn't let the blacks preach in Robeson County. But they

would let Christians come in and teach Indians, and I feel that

maybe somewhere in the past this has been a handicap to us I

am as convinced as you that it's a very vital part of one's being

to have spiritual security. Do you...what do you think about the

religious influence on the Lumbee Indians in Robeson County?

P: Well I...really, I believe that uh, if it hadn't of been for...I

really believe we've been too strict in the religious part of it.

We took too many things for granted. We took too many hearsay. We

took too many I says and so forth.

B: And hasn't this been through the manipulation of whites, who have

allowed us to become...maybe the wrong word is brainwashed, but at

least, to put such emphasis on religion that we forget the whole


P: I think that's right Brenda. What I'm...what I'm looking at here

is from...is in the year of 1835. From 1835 until 1885, the

Croitan Indians as we were known at that time, had no access to

education. And the only educational facilities available to the

Cherokee, that's the group of Indians in the western part of the

state, who live today on a reservation. We've never lived on a

reservation in Robeson County. Uh, facil...and the only educational

facilities available to the Cherokees was the mission schools




P: ...operated by thec,-the Society of Friends. Even the first public

school law was not passed in North Carolina until 1840. The policy

of the state with regards to Indian education has been inconti tent

since the early 1800s. Not only the early 1800s, it's been that way

since 1492, to be exact. The dis...the disfranchisement of Cherokees

was amended in 1889, requiring the Cherokees to attend government

schools, and not allowing them to be admitted to public schools. At

least, this provided them with access to an educational system, but

the Indians in eastern North Carolina were denied this opportunity

from 1835, the time of their disfranchisement, until uh, almost the

nineteenth century. Almost 1900 I should say. An entire period of

about 85 years, instead of fifty years.

B: Can we talk some about how the education of the Indian children was

left primarily to the parents, and because there was no starting

point for Lumbee Indians, even today, we still have the struggle

going on to beaer educate the Indian children in Robeson County.

P: It seems that there's no real reason for us to relate the history

of the struggle, because the history of the struggle was wrote by

white people, and it's not true altogether. Of the Indians in Robeson

County, to gain rec...recognition, at any level, much less their

continuous attempt to provide for an Indian education. However, some

facare necessary. In 1885 the General Assembly assumed the res-

ponsibility for the education of the Indians in Robeson County uh,

pertaining...op...operating...appropriating rather, five hundred





P: ...dollars per year for the support of the Croitan Indian School.

Now this appropriation was made after we would finish a school.

After we would, uh, go in the woods, and cut the logs, and saw the

timber, and put the school building up ourselves.

B: You had to have enough initiative to get something physical started

to show that maybe it would be worth the state's investww& five

hundred dollars to educate Indian children.

P: That's the truth, and at that time, the population of our group of

Indian people that was in Robeson County, I imagine was something

like...uh, possibly three thousand...three...three or four thousand

people. The General Assembly enacted legislation to establish a

normal school in Robeson County called Croitan Normal. However, the

law contained several rigid requirementst or the Croitan Indians

to meet in order to obtain, in order to establish rathe5 an educa-

tional institution...students had to be above fifteen years of age,

and sign a contract to teach at least one year before being allowed

to attend. And the five hundred dollars would be withdrawn if the

local people did not provide a building. Uh, it was not until 1921

that the legislature appropriated seventy-five thousand dollars

for a new and up to date building, the present Old Main, at Pembroke.

The first state orppraprted.-appropriation for Indian educational

facilities. This emanss-a.ean means simply that from 1837 until 1921,

the state did little to educate its India citizenry by providing

facilities and pfo e.nd programs for their Indian eean.constutientcy.





B: Constituency.

P: Constituency.

B: I'd like to change that date to 1973, because they've done only...

P: Done nothing yet.

B: Only what the law has forced to be done specifically...

P: Yeah that's...

B: Here in Robeson County.

P: That's mighty well spoken.

B: I wanted to ask you, uh, something about your long time concern about

education. You know presently we have a real...seemingly the hottest

political potato in the legislature concerning the Robeson County

school system. And I know that there are men, like your seventy years

of age, who've been trying to improve education for Indians in

Robeson County, and then your son specifically, Dr. Martin Brooks,

and Dr. Herbert Oxendine made a dynamic impact on trying to improve

the education. But somewhere in learning about my people. I've

learned that you were directly connected with the transportation of

Indian children to some of these community schools, even before they

could get to go to this normal school, they had to be transported.

Can you discuss that a little bit for me? When you came back here

perhaps with your wife, and with your first children?

P: I remember very well in 1931, when I returned back to Robeson County.

Uh, all the Indian people that I knew I was begging, and begging, and

begging for transportation to schools. And our schools were so





P: ...located in the county system, until we needed transportation more

than any other school system in Robeson County, of which we have

six school systems in the county. These other five is located in the

cities where that uh...the furthest, in 1931, that any school child

that had to walk in the city, wouldn't have been over a mile and

a half. And when they started us, we had to walk a mile and a half

before we could get to a bus. This is all true because I know, I...

I'm the first man that drove...the first man that drove an Indian

school bus. And in order to have that job, somebody had to have a

truck to haul the children on. And whenever I moved here from

Michigan, I moved my belongings on a truck, and I...I was very

fortunate to have the truck. And they said if we would furnish te

truck, a man and a truck, they would give us an old body so with a

days work or two of repairing this old body...I managed to get it

on my truck, and I hauled school children with it for one year.

B: Did the white, in quotes, have school buses?

P: Oh yeah.

B: Why did the Indians, or did you all ever have a campaign to get

a school bus for Indian transportation?

P: At this time...we were such a few in number, whenever you speak of

registered voters...we didn't know what it was then to register and

vote. Uh, our people was always led by two or three white Indians,

that cooperated a hundred penent, maybe a hundred and ten percent





P: ...sometimes with the white uh,...

B: Power structure?

P: Power structure,-and the white people. And they would go along with

just about anything at that time, that the whites told them they had


B: Why would they cooperate with the whites, and victimize their own

race of people?

P: Well that's a...now that's...that's a long story. I don't know if I

could even...uh....

B: Were they given comfortable pos iions, and maybe their environment

was a little bit better than the majority of the Indian people, and

they may have forgotten where they came from?

P: Well I've heard tell of one person who said that he was oh, about

twenty years old before he knew he was an Indian, but I doubted that

very much. But it is true that uh...if you...I had...I had a brother.

I want to tell you about him. My oldest brother was...at the time-he

was twenty-six, he was made a school committee.

B: This is your brother...?

P: My brother Allen, he's dead now. Uh, being the...being the second

oldest in the family, and I'm the second...there's only one younger

than I am. There's such a spread of years between us, until I never

remember him whenever he was home. But I...I did know...I did know

that he was my brother, simply because that he was the oldest one





P: ...in the family, that was a...I mean the oldest brother in the

family, and he was always around whenever he was needed by the family.

And he was this kind of a man that uh...was this school committee,

not only was he a committejan, but he was...he generally always had

the chairmanship of the committee.

B: Who appointed this committee, or what did the committee do?

P: Now this committee was supposed to be appointed by the school

dis...by the school community. In other words, the...if they circ-

ulated a paper to get the committees...you could vote for anyone you

pleased...uh, out of a certain school...school community. And perhaps

the three that got the most votes would...would be the one that the

chairmanship would fall on.

B: But you never did...the Indians didn't have anything to do with

counting those marks that were put on the paper, and they usually

would put who they wanted it seems on these committees, because no-

body questioned the results, or had a part in counting the results.

Is that right?

P: Well anyway...there's an old...there's not an old saying, it's an

old truth. That, "The love of money is the root of all evil." So if

a...a man...man had a few dollars...with a very few dollars...uh the,

the chair...the man who was going to be chairman could be given uh,

two or three dollars so to speak, or maybe ten or fifteen dollars,





P: ...in order to pull with the uh, the structure. And this structure

to my knowledge has been...has been Democratic structure for the

past seventy-two years. And he was the kind of man that as long as

he was chairman, even when he got sick, he offered to give up, but

they says no, as long as you are here/and you're able to talk, we'll

come to your house. tAc'nm -- .

B: They meaning the community, or...?

P: No, I'm talking about the...the board of education. After that the

board of education would come to his house, and they would make their

plans for who to teach the schools, and also for who to be committees

of the school. Any committee could be put down, or ano...a new one

put up, as long as he was their chairman. And the power structure

ruled that school community through one man. And today they don't

even have that one man. The county board of education, rules every

Indian school in Robeson County today.

B: Now my impression of this chairman board...I want to be sure I'm

getting the right impression of...of your brother 14fe-. Is he what

we call the white Indian, because they could buy him off?

P: Well he wasn't only just a white Indian, he was just as white as any

of the white men. So whenever you...whenever you speak of it in

color, but he was also that person that would, uh, just liked to do

what they wanted him to do. If you want to call that a white Indian,

he's a white Indian.





B: He didn't really have the...what was good for the people at heart,

at all times, and all decisions he made didn't necessarily think

about the future of Indian children?

P: Well what I/wse saying too, again, is the fact that uh, it's only

been in late years...I'd say since 19...since 1954, when uh, the

Supreme Court of the United States made the ruling for everything

to be segregated in public sc...public education.

B: Integrated.

P: Integrated...integrated, in public education. And since then only,

and the life of some of those dear dear black people who have

given their all for the cause of their freedom, that the Indian

people havea known freedom. I'm seventy-one years old, and I

never knew until, uh, last November I believe it was, when we help-

ed...when...when there was held a civil ri...an Indian Civil Rights

B: Hearing.

P: Session here in Robeson County, and in particular, in the court

house of Lumberton...that Indian people had any rights hardly at

all. So it's not a question of going back, and uh, and seeing

where the...they'd...they'd been treated so mean, so long, until I

don't think they knew anything else.

B: They didn't question it because...something was said or done?

P: -Didn't question it.





B: Uh, we seemed some how to get off on interesting tangents every time

I ask a question it can easily lead into something else. But uh,

back to what I asked you about the allotment of school buses in the


P: Oh yeah.

B: We got kind of on an interesting story, and I don't think you an-

swered my question.

P: Uh, at that time, in 1931, now I'm positive of this, there was only

two sections of our great Indian populations in Robeson County that

was asking for anything.

B: Being which sections?

P: Uh, Prospect section, and Saddle Tree section. Uh, the Prospect sec-

tion is made up of...uh, near about a hundred percent Indian. Uh,

Saddle Tree section was made up of about seventy percent And the

same year that I came home, uh, not the same year I came home

either. Uh, a year or two...yeah, a year or two ..well yeah, the

same year that I came home, there were people coming to high school

from Saddle Tree and Prospect, to the high school in Pembroke.

B: How did they get to these schools?

P: They walked or rode bicycles, or their parents pooled rides.

B: Did some of them sometimes have to live over here with relatives?

P: Yes. Yeah, that was a...a big part of the people, but some very dear

friends of mine that I knew on Saddle Tree uh, had begged and begged





P: ...and begged for help. And I believe there was about thirteen of

them that were coming over here to school.




DATE: MARCH 27, 1973

P: Start another one?

B: No this is just the second side of that one. When we finish this

side, then this will be the completion of this interview.

P: How much time we still got?

B: Well, we've got plenty, if you want to take longer, I'11 put more

tapes on, but if you want to quit when we get this one, we'll just

talk about the school bus situation.

P: The school bus situation in...in North Carolina, in Robeson County

rather, in 1931 looked very bleak for the Indian people. Uh, they

had been begging and begging as I first said, and they were paying,

they were paying a little gasoline expense from Saddle Tree. And up

here at Prospect, there was a...a great big fellow up there named

Crawly Locklear, I'll never forget him. Uh, he went down, and J.R,

Poole was our county superintendent at that time.

B: He was elected by voters too, wasn't he?

P: No, he wasn't elected, he was just that kind of a man in that com-

munity that was trying to get something done.

B: J.R. Poole was elected.

P: Oh yeah, J.R. Poole.

B: By registered voteP





P: Well I don't know whether he was elected or not, but I imagine he

was. But even at that time, it didn't matter, the white people

elected everybody, and still does. We've only...begir ng to help

out a little bit. Or maybe break through in one place that I know

of. Three...wait a minute, three places. I know of three places t~

that the Indian vote has uh, done a pretty good job. And that was

in the Prospect section where they elected a county commissioner,

in the person of uh...

B: Herman?

P: Mr. Herman Dial. And over in the Burnt Swamp section, Mr....

B: Bobby Dean.

P: Bobby Dean Locklear. And I don't believe we can give full credit in

Saddle Tree section on our school board, because it's a different

set up when we come to the school sy...system. It's a county-wide

thing. And I think some of the whites got confused in her name.

She has a lovely home, but she's an Indian...she's a hundred percent

Indian lady.

SP: So now we...we...we're looking...going back to the bus situation,

and buses for children. Uh, whenever they began to get...be more

than the car...more than people wanted to pay the...half the ex-

pense perhaps, or maybe furnish the car and the county pay the ex-

pense of gasoline. Uh, we needed a bus so bad, until they just kept

right on hammering for a bus. And Mr. Poole, who was then the county





P: ...superintendent, finally told them at Saddle Tree, says, "Listen

we...we don't have enough of buses for ourselves yet. And besides,

if we had enough, if we give you one, the Negros would want one."

So you see the conditions of the Indian people until since 1958.

Well later than 1958, it...there was nothing done about the '58

situation until about '56 and '57, and nothing really done until

Martin Luther King got in there. And he's the first man I ever heard

talk about having a dream about, uh, educational facilities at

black people and minority groups, and for everybody, especially uh,

people who had been so put down in Robeson County. And...and we've

had very little so far, but we're beginning to uh...climb the ladder

just a little bit.

B: Now I'd like for you to give me a typical day's experience of your

bus driving route.

P': Hmrm.

B: Can you tell me exactly what...the kind of pay, after you were able

to get all the discarded parts of buses that may have been used by

white schools, and they were no longer useable, and they were put

on the junk pile, and you were able to put this bus together. What

kind of money did you get for transporting Indian children, and how

big an area?

P: Uh, I'd be afraid to say how much mileaghad, but I know it was a

pretty good mileage. And it was through...I didn't have no paved





P: ...roads. The only paved road I had was P fftghlsli, 74 Highway

at that time. Uh this highway has been changed to 211 in Pembroke.

B: 711.

P: 711 through Pembroke. And it was Highway 74 at that time. And I

had about uh...let's see, about two miles and a half I reckon,

everyday on this highway on one of my trips. And the other trip was

through the mud and...and mud holes, and dirt roads.

B: You transported students from which communities into Pembroke

proper to attend school here? ct communities did you come from?

P: I took uh...the route to the...to the Kirby farm, down thrngh the

crossroads, uh...uh, one side of the road then was Deep Branch. I

never hauled any of the...any of the Deep Branch folks. We'd turn

then and come back to the...come back to the uh...brick station on

74. On...straight on to...to Moss Neck Mill Pond, and then I'd

cross Moss Neck Mill Pond, and uh...I believe then I came up through

the Henry Godwin section. And...

B: Uh, the numbers of these roads...currently, your route would be 711

toward Lumberton, then over to uh, Highway 74...now.

P: Um huh.

B: And you were traveling on what we call now the Chicken Road, and

the number is 1003. Then, from 74 you would come back across 711
*+ i-
asi -s numbered now, over to Moss Neck, and the road that goes

through the Godwin farm is 1563?

P: 1563 I believe it's named now. I don't believe I came back through





P: ...there. I believe I went on up and uh, and took in the Neilk and-

BugaklPrs... (?)

B: Is that up from...on 74 towards Maxton?

P: No l -J)OSA V-

B: Well after you got over to Highway 74...

P: 74...we went on across Moss Neck you see, and went on out by uh...

B: After what...the road that is now 72? The road that it...that goes

down through the Mt. Airy sectionz--7

P: Yeah, down 72, and then back through the \o kA/ center, and

then back into Pembroke.

B: So how many miles can we generally estimate from...for this one

route...now this was made daily...so from Pembroke over to what is

now 74?

P: No, not now 74...I'd go down here through the Kirby farm, through

the...through the McCormick farm to the river.

B: Alright, that...instead of the now 74, you would take the route
from Pembroke, down what iskJones Street Extension, to the Deep

Branch Road, 1339, you would go back to the intersection of Chicken


P: That's right.

B: Which is 1003.

P: Um huh.

B: And from there you would go across what is now 711, you would go





B: ...through the Moss Neck Swamp, and then to what is now 72, and

turn towards the presently existing Union Chapel School.

P: Um huh.

B: Then you got to the intersection of Union Chapel School, which is

uh, 1515, road number, you would turn back to Pembroke, and again

you would cross Highway 72 at Maynor brothers Ere.-

P: Um huh.

B: And then on into Pembroke on what is now...

P: No. I wouldn't cross...I wouldn't...I...I'd be on 72 and leave it


B: Right...

P: Um huh.

B: You would cross 72 on what is now 1563...is the road number, into


P: Well I would say I had about uh...

B: Now is this the only trip you made daily?

P: No, I made two trips. Did two trips daily, and I don't just remember

how the other trip lies now see?

B: But this was to cover this one particular community, and then you

went in another community area. Every morning?

P: Every morning, and back again in the evening.

B: So that's actually two round trips daily?

P: Yeah. And then the second year I hauled school children...school

children to Union Chapel. I only had one load there. And then I





P: ...brought a load of uh...college people, not...not, not exactly

college people, it was normal people...the two year normal course.

I had about, I believe it was seventeen or eighteen, something

like that, that I would bring out from Chapel area to the college,

and then back to Chapel. I lived over there.

B: And this type of transportation is now practiced, where the...the

children from the same household...they meet at the elementary

school, and then those going on to a higher institution of education

would change buses at that point, and then transported all the way


P: No, we didn't have that kind of system then. See, this is the only

high school that we had. Everything was elementary. We didn't...we

didn't have no high schools, except that...

B: But uh, to get a clarification on the children that you would bring.

Would you take some to Chapel, and then you would pick up others at

Chapel, or they just remained on the bus?

P: No, no...well if I could bring them I'd...I'd...if I could bring

somebody that was waiting on the road...I believe I had one or two

that always waited for me, because I wasn't loaded. And if I wasn't

loaded I could bring them you see. But you know, you could always

squeeze in one more.

B: Umh...

P: I...I'm saying it was already full, but you could squeeze in another one.





B: How many children would your bus carry?

P: Uh, that bus...I...I've counted fifty-two off of it a million times.

B: Fifty-two children?

P: Fifty-two and forty-eight, and any...anywhere from thirty-eight to


B: And what kind of a annual school term did you have? How many months

of the year did you...?

P: Eight months.

B: Eight months. And do you think the school attendance in those years

was commendable for the progress the Indians had made, or what is

your response to that?

P: I think so. I think for the...for the progress...for the advancement

we have made I think it was commendable. Simply because that...there

was nothing like a free lunch, there was nothing like a...a whole

lot of the things that you have in school today. Everything that

you had come from your home. And that was very little in a lot of

the homes...very little.

B: Uh, now I wanted you to...let's go back from another question we

rambled a little bit from that I wanted you to talk to me about.

Is some of the input you have had in the formation of maybe the
ideals and standards, and the kind of thinkingyou have tried to

instill into your sons and daughters. To make real men and women

out of them, what kind of things or tactics did you approach the





B: ...responsibility of a father, and to make it a little bit more

difficult, an Indian father? What about your children's education

and the value that you tried to impress upon them? After you came

back, tell me something about the elementary education of your

children, and what you did to encourage this, and how successful

you may have been?

P: Well uh, going back to...I...I would have to go back to the time

before I had any children to maybe explain this simply because in

1919 whenever I went to uh, a different state to live, uh, I found

different attitudes. I'll never re-rtr T'11 tev.e forget the

night that I got off the train in Petersburg, Virginia. Having never

been out of Robeson County before, it was really surprising for me

to see colored people in the waiting...in the xestvtwau in the

waiting room...or colored people in the waiting room. And from this,

I begin to realize that uh, not only was I changing places, but I

was in chan...I was...I was changing environmental things. What I'm

saying is, that uh, life wasn't the same in the other place.

B: You mean they were more humane like, or more....

P: They were more humane, they were more...they were more uh, friendly,

they were more willing to help you to do something. I remember once

whenever I went for a job, and uh, I had some experience in machines,

but not enough to...to say I was a qualified machinist. And whenever

I saw that I was going to have to tell the truth to the foreman...I

says, "Well now Mr. Robinson," I says, "I want to tell you the truth,





P: ...I don't want to...I don't want to do anything else but be truth-

ful, and be a good worker if I may work for you." And I says, "I'm

not able to do your work by blueprint, but if you will simplify it,

I've got enough experience that I'm pretty sure I'll make you a

good worker." And he looked at me right in the eye, and says, "Well

Brooks," he says, "we all had to learn, and I'm willing to give you

a chance." So that's the kind of environment I worked in, and which

may...even today you don't have that chance here in Robeson County.

Uh, what they want you to do...what...what they hold up before you

is that you haven't the experience. Well, somebody had to learn them

you see. Uh, in other words, the whole set-up here has been that

Indian people couldn't learn to do nothing but to plow and ditch and

cut wood and work with their hands. Even...even, I...I know even one

doctor who was a Lowry, that when he graduated from college, he asked

for where he could go to...to further his education. And the super-

intendent of our schools at that time told him that there was nowhere

for him to go, and the thing he would have to do, would be to teach

school for his people. So it's always been a second rate society for

Indian people in Robeson County. And...and seems like uh, politically

now, you see, it's going to make it about a third or fourth rate.

Uh, what I'm saying is, uh, since the days of uh, 1958, and Martin

Luther King, and...and so many of the other colored people who had

education that come along and...and demanded things for their people,





P: ...and they have gotten them. And I...I see know on televisions...on

the television screen every once in awhile, where the white people

are even...even kissing the...the colored people. They're taking all

the...the leading part in baseball, football, basketball, and act-

ing on the stage. And I don't see this happening for Indian people

for a long time yet. Now...

B: About your children now?

P: I want to go back to my family. Going away from this state in 1919,

and going, and being...and becoming aquainted with people from every

state in the union nearby, I know there was Tennessee, uh, Kentucky,

Miss...Mississippi, Arkansas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland,

well practically every state in the union was represented where I

worked. And I got along with everybody, and had friends with all the

people. Some of the best friends we ever had was our next door

neighbors. Uh,
nection with other people, and learning what other people done, have

given me the...the privilege to try to keep my...my children busy.

If it wasn't with a book, with his daily cho...chores that he was

supposed to do, in order that he might help out on the farm. And this

is what I think has...has been the thing, if I have made any success

to Robeson County, and I'm now paying about a thousandia year for

taxes, and I think I have...I think that uh, by leaving here and





P: ...coming back, and...and keeping my family together...uh, with

inspiration, and education it...it caused them to do as much as

they have done. And that's not very much, considering there's

fourteen of them.

B: Well it looks like you're not going to tell me specifically any of

the things, but of your fourteen children, how many of your children

have completed a four year college program or higher? Can you tell

me the names, or at least maybe tell me how high....

P: Uh, let's start with the boys first, and then I will...we will try

to finish up. I have uh...I have three boys that have finished

college, and have done work towards uh, higher education. One of

them becoming a doctor, uh...a medical doctor, and one a druist,

a registered pharmacist, and then I've got one now that's uh, in

school for his PhD. And the girls, I've got one that's a mas...has

a Master's Degree in Reading, and she's teaching in the schools of

Michigan. And I have two daughters, Bernice, and Joyce that has uh,

college educations. Five in all that have college educaitons, and I,

I would have...if all of them would have went...sent every one of

them to college. And I just believe I would have done it, because

that was my goal in life, to give them all a college education.

B: You have one son who is finishing college?





P: Wait, wait a minute.'..wait a minute, I've got uh...I've got...I've

got four sons, uh finished college, and another one, the baby boy,

is in his second year, and the boy inbetween, Verle Glenn, whenever

he finished high school, he didn't want to go no more, and he's a

brick layer. 4

B: And then Ernest Ray has gone.

P: Yeah, Ernest Ray makes the fourth one...fourth boy.

B: So.you have four sons who have finished college, one son who is in

his second year, a daughter who has her Master's in Reading, and

teaching in Michigan schools, and two daughters who are certified

teachers, and one of them is teaching in schools that we have very

few Indian population because she's a good teacher, and they wanted

her talents over there. Uh, I'd like to have you just tell me some-

thing about, maybe the struggle financially, if you had a struggle,

rearing your children, and having such a success in educating those

of your children who would take advantage of it. We can start for

example with uh...withsDr. Brooks. He was in school here, in the

elementary system?

P: Yes, he was, at that time, at the time he was supposed to finish

school here, we only had the eleventh grade...we didn't have the

twelfth grade added then. And back when he was finishing the eighth

grade, we had a little...always had a little uh, program for clos-

ing for the children. And one of them was a declamation contest,





P: ...which was known as the speaking contest, and he entered that

contest, and won the contest. And after that happened, he always

kept it up that he wanted to be a doctor. And I watched him for

three years through the eighth, ninth, and tenth, and he was very

smart. Uh, in fact I've had quite a few of his teachers tell me

that he was the only...about the only student, that he...that they

had that they dreaded. And he says, "He always makes me study."

He'd ask them questions, and they'd have to dig to find out the

answer so they could give it to him. So...and one of them teachers

is a good teacher too, Mr. Danford Dial. He had him in the eighth

grade, and the ninth grade, and the tenth grade. And he's told me

a many of time that...eh, well...there's several more...there's two

or three more, but there's two of them that was always girls. And

always when a girl and a boy is in competition together if the boy

is a little bit better, and not enough that everybody can see it,

the...the prize will go to the girl. You see what I mean?

B: Um huh.

P: And uh, he happened up to this after he left here. I told him one

day, I says, "Son if you still want to be a doctor maybe you better

go somewhere else and finish your eleventh grade. Maybe it would

be an advancement for you. Maybe it'll be...maybe it'll be just the

thing that'll cause you to get in med-school." And this is what

happened. At this time, my oldest daughter was living in Michigan,





P: And I wrote her a letter to find out if she was uh...willing to take

care of him in school. And she says, "Yes, send him on. Send him on

up here." And he went up there, and he made valedictorian of a class

of 139. And there was something like seventeen that didn't pass their

grades. And he only had one year in that school, and made the

valedictorian. And this is the thing that uh...give him a recom-

mendation to the University of Michigan. One of the best schools,

one of the best med schools in the country.

B: Did he have to do any remedial work to get because he came from

the inferior school in Robeson County?

P: No...no, no...no...no intermediate work at all. He was just ahead,

as I told you, Danford Dial said he was the only student that ever

made him scratch his head a lot. And uh, he came out as valedictorian

of that class. Now I'm not telling you what I thought, or what...

somebody said, I was there, and seed it, whenever he graduated. And

the principal of that school, I'm sorry I can't tell you his name now,

I've forgotten it, but because of this he give him a, uh, a whole-

hearted recommendation to the University of Michigan. And by the way,

that's the only way you can get in that school even today...is by a

recommendation. And he went there and took his pre-med work, and he


4 T edtdn't, get in med school whenever he was ready, but never the

less he didn't give up. He took a course in medical technology, and





P: ...got a degree in that, which took him a little over two years.

And then, they says, "Well Brooks looks like he's going to stay

around here right on." And says, "We're going to let you get in

med school this time." Now before this...before this happened

though, back here at home, I had went to every politician that I

knew, and even to my brother that was such a politician in the

schools, to help me to get him in somewhere here. And I don't be-

lieve there was ever a letter wrote to no...to none of the schools.

Although they told me they were doing all they could. I never heard

from anything of it anyhow. And whenever that...whenever he finished

that medical technology .they said,"Now..." And he was working too,

and the school...he, he carried a full load after his first six

months in med...in med school. He didn't...he didn't work any for

six months, but after that he carried a full load in the hospital,

and whenever he was, uh...put in med school...whenever he was put

in med school, they told him he couldn't work. But after six months,

his grades was up with the rest of them. In fact, he was among the

...he was...I believe he was among about the first ten in his class.

About ten in his category. Because in that situation, he was doing

a...he was doing research work on cancer. And his work was judged

to be the best in any school in the United States. And he received

an award that carried five...a five hundred dollar prize...uh, prize





P: ...for the best, uh, research program of any student in...in the

United States, in that year. And the Borden Milk Company is the

one that furnished this money. We just...we want to go back now

to the first six months of his med school, in which uh, they told

him he wouldn't be able to work anymore. And previously, uh,

Brenda asked me about the finance. I'll tell you what, finance

was a problem. With...when you've got eleven children, and most

of them in school, and no mother with them, aha makes it a big-

ger problem. But I always had friends...always had good friends.

Uh, I went to Mr. Raymond Hendrix a many of time, and..."Uh,

Raymond I want to borrow fifty dollars." Or if I wanted to bor-

row a hundred dollars, and he'd...he'd say well...I says, "I'll

pay it back to you so and so." Never give him a paper in my life,

and he'd give me the money. And every time Martin has ever sent

to me for money for school purposes...he always got it even if I

had to borrow it and give a mortgage on something. But I'm...I'm

pretty glad today that uh, them mortgages and deed of trusts have

always...all been paid up. And I want to tell you something else.

If you pay a debt, you'll have friends. If you borrow money from

a man and you pay him, you can generally go back and get another

one. Sometimes he'll ask you to loan you money. I've had that

happen to me. Whenever he...after that first six months in med





P: ...school, they said, "Well Brooks, if you want to now, you can

go back to work again." And you know what he was doing whenever

he left...whenever.. .whenever he left there? He was administering

oxygen to the...to the university hospital in...of the University

of Michigan. There was three of them. He worked one eight hours

and the other two fellows worked their particular eight hours.

And he always had time enough that he had a book along with him,

studyi4tg-e@.. And I want to tell you another thing that he's

told he several times, and I know it's the truth because we never

didn't pay no out-of-state tuition, and they never even brought

it up to him until he got his...until he got through his...his

uh...his pre-med work. And whenever he got through his pre-med

work...they brought him...no, his...his...his whole college work.

And whenever they brought it up to him, he told them that he did-

n't have...fourteen -hundred dollars I believe is what it run to

at that time...his...his out-of-state tuition.

B: Why was he...if he had been in school there year as a...as a

student in the high school level, why was he required to pay out

of state tuition? What kind of...

P: That's what I can't tell you. But uh, he was confronted with that

bill whenever he went to pick up his...what do you call it?

B: His grades, or his...

P: When he went to pick up his diploma. Whenever he went to get his

credentials for his...





B: For having completed med school?

P: Yeah, for having done everything.

B: Then they raised the question of...

P: Then they raised the question of the tuition...of the out-of-state

tuition. And he says, "Well," he says, "I'll just have to give it

up because I don't have that kind of money, and I know my dad do-

n't." But I imagine, somehow or another I would have get it...got

it up for him. But uh, they sent him to, and this...this lady who

was talking to him, told him, he says, "I'm going to send you to

see another...a...a man." And the-only.reas...way he ever told me

about the man was, that he was the mouthpiece for the uni...for

the whole university of the state of Michigan. And whenever he

talked with this particular man, and they wanted to know how he

had got through med school, and he told him about how he had work-

ed, and how that my daddy had...his daddy had uh helped him all

he could. He turned to him and says, "Well if you were that

interested in your education, he says I'm going to give you this

bill. And that's the only reason why there wasn't fourteen more

hundred dollars added to all that I had ever done for him in

school. And by and by, I had told him that if he ever got in med

school, and I knew that he'd be there four years...you weren't

going to get kicked out is what I meant...I would go there and

build him a house to cut down the ninety-five dollars a month





P: ...rent that we were saying away'back'yonder.

B: And during the time now...we've missed something...during the time he was in school

he got married?

P: During...before he...before he finished his...his uh, pre-med work he got married.

And I was about to throw him away at that time, and tell him I wouldn't be able to

help him no more, simply because always-iheepromised-melhe would...he would go

through school, and come back home to practice, and that's where he is today.

But after I thought about it, and while I was thinking about it, he wrote me a

letter and told me hew much he appreciated the help I had done...given him, and

he says it will only take me longer to do what I intend to do...but he says,

I'll do it...I'll get through sometimes...says, I don't know how long it will

take me. Well whenever that happened, you know how a father's heart gets melted

down. And it was about Christmas time when this happened. And I sent him a fifty

dollar bill for a special Christmas gift. And he made it on through school. And

I remember one or two fellows that I got aCuainted with while he was in med

school. And one of them was the son of the...of the uh...head surgeon at the,

at the general...at the Wayne County General Hospital in Detroit. And this son

of the...of this man who was the head surgeon, failed to the extent that he

had to go back over som,-efohis work. And Martin came out with flying colors,

and I was looking whenever he received his medical degree also. And you talk

about uh...a problem...it ha been a problem, but as I said previously, if

you're the type of man that works, pays your just debts, and got some friends,

you'll have some friends to help you.


University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs