Title: Interview with Evelyn Lowry (November 22, 1973)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007120/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Evelyn Lowry (November 22, 1973)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: November 22, 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: UF00007120
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 133

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Full Text


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behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

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LUM 133A
Date: November 22, 1973
Subject: Mrs. Evelyn Lowry
Interviewer: Lew Barton
Typist: Josephine Suslowicz


B: This is November 22, Thanksgiving Day, 1973. I'm Lew-Barton recording for

the University of Florida's History Department and for the Doris Duke

Foundation for American Indian Oral History Program. This afternoon I'm

privileged to be in the home of Mr. and Mrs. David Jackson, and with me is

one of the daughters, who is married, who has kindly consented to give me

an interview. Would you tell us what your name is, please, ma'am?

L: Evelyn Lowry.

B: Who was it you married?

L: Eugene Lowry.

B: Uh, how many brothers and sisters do you have?

L: Five sisters and three brothers.

B: And would you mind giving us their names?

L: Eileen, Norma Jean, Rosemary, Carl, Donna, ilian, and Wentdell.

B: Uh, I won't ask you their ages because, uh, I--I will ask you about your

children, though. How many children do you have?

L: Four.

B: What are their names and ages? Can you remember? Mothers usually can

remember the ages of their children right off, but if you ask a father

you're in trouble. The mothers usually know. You see, the ages are always

changing anyway, and I have to make an excuse for the fathers. I never can

quite keep up with those ages.

L: Uh, Ann Margaret, she is 6 and going to school. She was born October the

third, 1967; Eugene Edwin, he is, uh, four, he was born, uh, October the

23rd, 1969; and Robert Lee, he is--he is two--three. He was born, um,

December the 15th, 1971, and, uh, Bentley, he is one month, and he was born

LUM 133A 2

October the 15th.

B: All right.

L: 1973.

B: That's good, uh, I never had much trouble with the mothers. Uh, who was

it you married?

L: Eugene Lowry.

B: Uh, is this a local boy, or somebody

B: Where did you go to school?

L: I went different places, but I graduated at Hawkeye High School.

B: Uh-huh. Well, I should mention the fact that we are in the community is

near Hawkeye, isn't it. It's not too very far from Hawkeye. As a matter

of fact, it's closer to Ra ford, North Carolina, and we're in Ho e County,

aren't we?

L: Yes, sir.

B: Hoe County used to be upper Robeson. You know, it was cut off from Robeson

in 1911, as I remember, uh, as I remember the dates. I don't remember 1911

now. Uh, what do you do every day?

L: My housekeeping.

B: Uh, what does your husband do?

L: He works at He's in maintenance.

B: He's in maintenance.

L: Un-hum.

B: Uh-huh. Uh, who are his folks?

L: Uh, Willie Lowry, and Helen At_ [/

B: And your mother and father were, uh, Mr. and Mrs. David Jackson, right?

L: That's right.

B: I heard about your father passing away recently and I was very grieved about

LUM 133A 3

this because he was the sort of person I loved, and just about everybody

who knew him loved him, and I'm very sorry to, uh, that this came about.

Uh, how long ago was it that he passed away?

L: About five months now.

B: I know it was a crushing blow to all of you because, uh, your family has

always been so closely knit together, you know, so closely organized and

everything-yad-I always enjoyed coming into this home because, uh, this

was a home where real love prevailed,-uh,.and the mother, and the father,

and the children are always very close together. Is your home like this?

L: Yes, sir.

B: That's good, and you stay home and keep house while your husband works.

L: Yes, sir.

B: Uh, what do you think about women out? Uh, do you think it would be better

for the children that they're raising if they did stay home and take care

of the homefront while the husband works away, or do you think it's all right

for them to farm the children out to a day-care centerror somewhere -e&

and work?

L: No, I definitely think it's a mother's place at home with her small


B: I'm glad to hear you say that. Have you ever heard of an organization known

as Women's Liberation Movement-Women's Lib?

L: (Laughs)

B: What do you think of Women's Lib?

L: Well, I don't really kano-know. It's according to how you look at what

they'?T*b& talking about.

B: Um-hum. Well, I agree with them on one thing, and they think that women

ought to have equal pay for equal work, the same as men. Uh, I'm with them

there, but I don't always agree on everything that they 4-ae-se. Uh,

LUI 133A 4

but, of course, I don't agree with anybody a hundred percent on everything--
not even the President of the United States. Um, do you have any hobby?

L: No, not really, unless it's cooking.

B: You love to cook?

L: Yes, I like to cook pies and cakes mostly.

B: What do you think of the Lumbee Indian Community and, uh, our cooking?

Do you think, uh, I may be a little bit prejudiced in favor of, uh, our

women. You know, just a few minutes ago I said I thought that Indian women

were the most beautiful women in the world. I'm also a little bit prejudiced

when it comes to their cooking because I always thought Indian women cooked

great. Uh, how do you feel about this?

L: I think they really do. (Laughs)

B: Your mother, uh, Rose is a great cook, wouldn't you agree?

L: Yes, sir.

B: Ayou cook as well as she does?

L: Not by my taste. (Laughs)

B: You still think she can beat your cooking?

L: Yes, sir.

B: Well, that's great. Uh, you went to Hawkeye Schoolt id your-how far did

you get along before you.

L: I finished.

B: You graduated from Hawkeye. What year did you get married?

L: '66.

B: How old were you at that time?

L: Twenty-one.

B: Ob, that's great. Most, you know, there seems to be a tendency in, uh, be"

Indian community for girls to get married at a very early age. Do you think

this is true?

LUM 133A 5

'Ca use
L: No, not really, l-feas. some of them wait until they're pretty old. (Laughs)

B: k t.OJ Oh, my, well I guess I must be wrong then in my obser-

vations. I--I heard of some people getting married along about fourteen.

Wonder how old your mother was when she got married?

L: I don't know, uh, eighteen.

B: Eighteen, oh, that's not bad. Uh, somebody whispered and said seventeen) SO

hee. I don't know which figure to accept.

L: Eighteen.

B: Eighteen,-aeyoa uh-huh. As I recall it, uh, your father, the late David

Jackson, uh, was a minister. Is this correct?

L: No, sir.

B: Uh-huh, but he was a Christian man, wasn't he?

L: Yes, sir.

B: Uh, what do you think of, uh, parents -fir enhmi*s-raising their children,

or rearing them--we shouldn't say raising them because you raise plants

and things, and you rear children--uh, do you think they're too strict, or

in general now, I'm not asking you about your parents in particular, but,

uh, parents in the Indian Community in general, do you think they're too

strict on their children, or not strict enough, or what, or do you have

any idea?

L: Froem ir T---ranQg they're not strict enough.

B: They're not strict enough. I recall that in the old days, uh, uh, when a

boy was dating a--an Indian girl, uh, they used to call bedtime at nine

o'clock. Do you think this is too early?

L: (Laughs) I don't know.

B: Uh. .

L: I wouldn't. .

B: I'm asking you for your opinion, but if you don't want to comment on it,

LUM 133A 6

that's okay.

L: Mostly it's eleven o'clock, now.

B: Well, we're improving, t least we're changing. Uh, 4^fecs usually

in the community, uh, let the daughter be up till eleven o'clock.

L: Yes, sir.

B: Uh, Robeson adjoins-Hoke-Country and that county is spelled H-O-K-E. I'll

say that for the benefit of the girjwho has to type this out. Uh, and,

uh, so we--we consider the Indian Community as a whole, don't we? In other

words, the Indian Community from Robeson County and the Indian Community

in Hoke County is part of the same community overlapping two county lines,


L: Right.

B: UhA are you a church gipYM

L: Yes, sir.

B: Where are you a member? Are you a member of any particular church?

L: No, sir.

B: Uh-huh, you just go to Sunday School and things like this.

L: Yes.

B: Uh-huh. Uh, I've heard somebody say that, uh, Lumbee Indians have more

churches than anybody. Do we have too many churches do you think?

L: No, I don't think we do.

B: You can't have too much of a good thing, can you?

L: (Laughs)

B: I want to ask you for your personal opinion about a matter related to

childrearing, I guess. How old do you think a girl ought to be before she's

allowed to date?

L: Seventeen.

B: Seventeen? Well, how do you feel about inter-racial dating?

LUM 133A 7

L: Um, I don't.

B: You don't feel about it?

L: Z ""5,+

B: You don't approve?

L: Um-um. (Negative)

B: Uh-huh. We know that in the Indian community usually the father is absolute

head of the home, uh, as a rule. All rules have exceptions, of course, but

do you think this is the-natural order of things. Uh, do you think this

istthe--is the way it shoulA be? Whose the boss in your home? Who wears

the pants?

L: My husband. (Laughs)

B: Are you glad of this, uh, do you think this is--do you approve?

L: Yeah, I agree with it.

B: Ur, I guess somebody has to have the final say in just about anything. Uh,

you have a sister named Norma. What do you think of her?

L: (Laughs) She's unbelievable.

B: She's unbelievable. (Laughs) Uh, we like to tease her a little bit, you

and I, sometimes, don't we?

L: Yes, sir.

B: She's so good natured. She takes it all in stride. Are your grandparents


L: Yes, sir, on my mother's side.

B: What are their names?

L: Mr. and Mrs. Bricy Collins, and AwM- Collins.

B: How do you spell, uh, you would spell it B-R-I-C-E-Y?

L: C-Y

B: B-R-I-C-Y, C-0-L-L-I-N-S?

L: Um-hum. (Affirmative)

LUM 133A 8

B: Uh, have you lived in Hoke County--have they lived in Hoke County very


L: They're living in Scotland.

B: Oh, they live in Scotland, which is another county adjoining Robeson, right?

L: Robeson and Hoke.

B: Yes, 4wt-they adjoin both counties, doesn't it? I said they--I should have

said it. Uh, uh, how do you feel, of course, when you finished school,

that was before integration, wasn't it?

L: Yes, sir.

B: Uh, what do you think about integration now, as you observe it--not as a

person going to school, but as a person who is close to the Indian community?

L: Well, I don't really think it has any Pffect on the kids as of yet.

B: And do you think children are as prejudiced as older people, usually?

L: No.

B: And do you think that integration in the long run, may have beneficial

L: Yes, sir. I think it will.

B: You have a very talkative sister named, uh, Rosemary, I think. How--what

do you think of her? Is she un--is she unbelievable too?

L: She's

B: (Laughs) Uh, uh, Rosemary says she's going to give me an interview and

she'll get you back. How about that? Uh, your parents to me have always--

seriously--they've been unusual parents. Uh, and I know they've influenced

your life for good, and, and the lives of all you children, uh, because

you're all so very well-behaved, and, uh, what do you think of this? Well,

I guess everybody thinks they have great parents, but don't you know that

you've got absolutely great parents?

L: Yes, sir.

LUM 133A 9

B: Had. Were you brought up on a farm?

L: Yes, sir.

B: What do you think of farming?

L: I like farming.

B: Um-hum. Do you think farming has changed a great deal within recent years?

L: Yes, sir.

B: About what kind of changes have you noticed happening?

L: Uh, they have the tobacco strainer, and now they have the tobacco fenCi

B: How about the cotton picker?

L: Yeah, they have it, but I haven't seen it changing the cotton, unless you

plow it under.

B: Uh-huh. Do you think farms have a tendency to get larger instead of

smaller, and if, uh, do you think that--tha small farmers are just about

doomedrwon't be able to continue because of machines?

L: Well, I think that unless you have one of your own, I don't think youf d

be able to farm in the years to come.

B: Um-hum, so you think farms are going to continue to get bigger? Did you

ever pick any cotton?

L: A little.

B: Were you good at it?

L: No, sir.

B: I've heard some Indian people say they could pick as much as 500 pounds

in a day. Have you ever picked--have you ever picked even 300 in a day?

L: No, sir.

B: (Laughs) What's the most you ever picked in it, do you remember?

L: I don't really know the--my sister and myself we'd put on the same sheet,

see. We'ld get about a hundred and eighty pounds a day.

B: Uh, together?

LUM 133A 10

L: Yes, sir.

B: Ia aa hundred and eighty pounds? Well that's pretty good, I guess. Uh,

I don't-do you remember how much cotton your father could pick?

L: Yes, sir.

B: How much could he pick?

L: Five, uh, five hundred pounds a day and imraT e three labor hands.

B: Hey that's great, and I just don't know how people do it, do you?

L: No, sir.

B: I never in my--I've picked cotton just a--a little--no more than I could

help, but I've never picked two hundred pounds in my life. Uh, but the

cotton picker came along, and so that put a lot of people out of work,

didn't it?

L: Yes, sir.

B: Uh, of course, industry, uh, are there very many industries in Hoke County,

or would you know?

L: I wouldn't know.

B: We-we call it--in this area we say public work, as opposed to farm work,

don't we?

L: Yes, sir.

B: But does most people do public work, or are most people in the county on

farms in the Indian community) would you think?

L: J public working.

B: Um-hum, uh, Mr. Rogers--what's his first name? Is--isn't he--isn't he a

chief--isn't he chief of the Tuscarora. He lives in Robeson--in Hoke County,

too, doesn't he?

L: Yes-

B: Mr. Elias Rogers, and he is chief of one group of--of the Tuscarora Indians?

L: Yes, sir.

LUM 133A 11

B: Um-hum. Are you a Lumbee or a Tuscarora?

L: A Lumbee.

B: Uh-huh. I heard somebody in the background who is a Cherokee, so I guess

we're well--we're well represented. 4.tj-st hle things got me stuttering

just a little bit. What was it like in the school when you went toY you

know, at Hawkeye and it was completely Indian? Uh, of course, you don't

have any way of comparing it with schools today because, uh, they are

integrated now, and I understand that Hawkeye is very well, uh, integrated

today and I believe they even changed the Indian name from Hawkeye to

South Hoke. Is that right?

L: South Hoke.

B: South Hoke. I wanted to say Hope, but it's H-O-K-E, South Hoke High School.

I taught over at South Hoke for two years, by the way. Uh, do you know

how many students yettnave out there now?

L: It d 2torrr I jtCr'nd-

B: Well, it's much smaller than than it was when I was working over there,

isn't it?

L: Yes, sir.

B: Uh, do you know who founded the school? Who, uh, do you know Mr. Elisha


L: Yes, sir.

B: Is he still living?

L: Yes.

B: He's--he's old and ailing a little? Well, uh, you finished high schooltat

what is now South Hoke, did you go to any other school besides South Hoke?

L: Yes, sir.

B: Uh, which school were they--or schools?

L: Prospect High School.

LUM 133A 12

B: That's a traditionally Indian school. Go on.

L: Elementary-Union Elementary, and Union Chapel.

B: Um-hum.

L: And Hopewell.

B: Um-hum, all those are traditionally Indian schools, aren't they?

L: Yes, sir, and Gibson.

B: How about Gibson? Is that a traditionally White school?

L: Yes, sir. It's alljAite.

B: How about today, is it still all white?

L: I don't know.

B: Probably integrated, today, but it wasn't integrated when you were going,

was it?

L: No, sir.

B: Were you the only Indian student there?

L: There was about 75 of us.

B: And how many--about--out of about how many students?

L: About nine hundred.

B: That was at Gibson.

L: Yes, sir.

B: Were there any lack students?

L: No, sir.

B: Just Indian and--and white.

L: Yes, sir.

B: Were you treated well?

L: Yes, sir.

B: Uh-huh, uh, do you recall any--any incidents you could call racial incidents

that occurred while you were going?

L: If just that I had one teacher I couldn't get along with.

LUM 133A 13

B: And do you think this had something to do with race?

L: Yes sir.

B: Do you think t teacher was prejudiced?

L: Yes, sir. C ___wea all of us that were Indians.

B: Uh-huh, but there was just one--one teacher you felt this way about?

L: Yes, sir.

B: If you had the opportunity to make one wish, and you knew that wish would

be granted, and that wish could be anything in Hoke County, or Robeson

County, that you would like to see changed, and you knew you could have

this wish, what would you wish for? You want to think about it for a


L: Uh, that the Indians would get their schools back--be put back in their


B: You would like to see the Indians have their traditionally Indian schools


L: Yes, sir.

B: Are there any particular reasons that you would wish for this?

L: Well, I was brought up that way, and I guess it--it goes along with me.

B: It depends on what you're used to, do you--is that what you mean?

L: Yes.

B: Um-hum, I understand. Uh, is there anything else you'd like to change?

L: No, not really.

B: Um-hum, I certainly appreciate this opportunity to talk with you, and, uh,

I wish we could talk longer, but your husband just came to the door and

said that he was ready to go home, so, uh, I appreciate the time you have

had to give me, and I want to wish you and your family, uh, a very happy

Thanksgiving Day, and thank you so much for talking to us on the American

Indian Oral History Program.

L: Thank you. END OF TAPE

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