Title: Interview with Rev. Barto Locklear (December 28, 1973)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007142/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Rev. Barto Locklear (December 28, 1973)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: December 28, 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: UF00007142
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 155

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LUM 155A

Reverend Barto Locklear (L)
Railroad Street, Pembroke, North Carolina

Interviewer: Lew Barton (I)
December 28, 1973

Typed by: Paula Williams

I: This is December 28, 1973. I'm Lew Barton recording for

the Oral History Program. With me today at my home at

214 C Dial Terrace here in Pembroke is Reverend Barto

Locklear, who has kindly consented to drive all the way

from his home over here for an interview. And we're so

appreciative of that. Where is it you live at Brother


L: I live here on Railroad Street.

I: Uh, you spell Brother Locklear's name, b-a-r-t-o, l-o-c-

k-l-e-a-r. Which street?

L: On Railroad Street.

I: On Railroad Street. Where do you pastor at?

L: Rock rove Baptist Church.

I: Uh-huh. You are-very kind to come over and be with us.

We'll just take this in a relaxed atmosphere and talk back

and forth between you and me. Let's see, would you tell

us something about your family?

L: Well, right at the present there's nobody living with

me and my wife but one boy, the new baby boy. The older

LUM 155A 2

boy and the baby boy lives in Charlotte. And the girl,

she's over in Germany. And the third oldest boy, he's

living in England. He's over there in service.

I: Oh, I see. Could you tell us their names and ages?

That's asking an awful lot because fellows aren't as

good at remembering ages as the mothers.

L: Well, I'll just have to guess at it. My oldest boy, he

lives in Charlotte, he's twenty-six years old. And the

baby boy, he's...

I: What's his name, Brother Locklear?

L: Boyd.

I: Boyd, b-o-y-d.

L: And the baby boy, he's living with Boyd in Charlotte,

he's twenty years old. And the second boy lives over

here in the Lowry settlement, and he's twenty-three year

old. And the third boy, he lives...he's over in England.

He's about twenty-two year old. And this fourth boy,

he's living at home, he's twenty-one year old. And the

baby boy's in Charlotte with his brother, he's twenty year

old. And-the girl, she's living in Germany. She's married

a soldier and they're over there and she has three children.

She's planning on living over there until '74, sometime in

the fall of '74 she'll come back.

I: That makes you a grandpa. How many grandchildren do you

LUM 155A 3


L: Six.

I: Six. That's fine. Who was your wife before you got


L: My wife was Cletus Oxendine, Reverend Lawrence Oxendine's

baby daughter.

I: Brother Locklear, I know you to have been a church man for

a long long time, and a very devoted Christian. Would you

tell us something about your work, and Dqw you began, how

you were called to the ministry and this sort of thing?

Anything you care to tell us. Would you do that?

L: In, let's see...in 1933, I was called into the ministry

and I began to preach at 4iCCO d/r4 $Finally

in the fall of '33, then the church /Coi.fC. and iV

from that, then, all eight years, I went to the

'l I (Cr church. And I was ordained and I stayed with

them fourteen years, and I helped'em to build a new church.

And while I was working there, I pastored then at Galilee,

and I built...

I: That's Galilee Baptist Church?

L: Yeah. And I helped them to build a ne church. And I
SrimI, t-
finished up my work at the pic_ and I helped

them in to _l___ I went before the Board of

""' " : A A" /O C l/ C/ O 9 li w /

J: no Gy e4 L^Iv <7

LUM 155A 4

Education and I got them a school for fifty thousand


I: Uh-huh, now who's this you're talking about?

L: The Smilings..

I: The Smilings. We want to talk about them when you get

through with this.

L: So I left there then, and I finally then pastored a while
at Leed's Creek.' But I didn't do so well there. Seemed

like they didn't cooperate. I left there then, and at

the present I been across Rockfish Creek for two year.

And I'm trying to help them to remodel Rock Grove Baptist

Church over there. And we have it bricked, now we're

trying to get it paneled on the inside. If I can do that,

why, I think I'll be accomplished because I been into

this work now forty, going on forty-one years. And I

think my age now would allow me to retire because I'm

going to be seventy year old the first of the year, and

the ninth of March I'll be seventy. And I think I been

in this a long time--fifty-one years that I been in

church work. I'm about wore out now, and I'm ready to

retire from it because I ain't really able to carry on

like I once have.

I: Brother Barto, do you remember...now I know some of you

ministers have had it...you had to do pioneer work, this

LUM 155A 5

sort of thing, and start new churches and this sort of

thing. Different people seem to be gifted by the Lord

for this sort of'thing, don't you think?

L: That's right, because when I went to Galilee I got in an

old tent and preached a while. Anda rotted down and fell

down on us. And I preached under the shade trees. And I

finally left there and got in a house until we

could raise money enough to build a church. And I've had

it tough in my day.

I: But you never gave up, did you?

L: I never give up.

I: And you haven't given up today, either, have you?

L: No, I'm still into it. I've enjoyed it.

I: Do you remember...have you ever been to a brush arbor meeting?

L: No, I...

I: That was a little earlier than you or me, wasn't it?

L: Yes, yeah.

I: But our people used to have...you've heard of them, haven't


L: Yeah.

I: They would go into the woods and cut the branches out of

trees and pile those branches up and make a kind of a shed

out of tree branches. This was in the days when we weren't

LUM 155A 6

allowed to have schools and churches, and I understand

our people really had it tough. But when ministers like

you came along, they still had it tough.

L: That's right.

I: But they never gave up, as you said. I understand you've

also worked with the church, theHollowah ndians. N c

L:- Yes. 4.^y

.J -t/e I: Where is this at,/Brother Barto? b-- rU. C
L This is up in r un rre^
C L: This is up in ?ff G County, that I worked there.

This is where I taught school for one year, and I worked
there for a year with the church. Do you the name of that

church where I worked? Is that Mount Gilead?

L: Mount Gilead Chapel. Went there, me and Brother 9 riO

and Brother ( lf// J and organized that church four

or five years ago. It's still in progress, but...

I: Well, that's great. They are wonderful people. They are

so appreciative of anything you do for them, aren't they?

L: They sure is. They're wonderful.

I: Do you think our people are a lot luckier than our(Ho lowa

Indian brothers?

L: Yeah. They have a better chance than those people have.

Them people's had it tough there. And with a little help,

now, they could make great progress there...

I: Yeah.

LUM 155A 7

L: ...but it'd take a little outside help to go in there and

really help.

I: Yeah.

L: They need help.

I: Of course, you go every chance you get, don't you?

L: Yes, sir. And if I was a young man forty years old, I'd

go there and make it my home and try to help them people

to get into progress.

I: They are so earnest about anything, about their group and

their heritage, their churches--all this. You get good

cooperation, don't you?

L: Yes, I get good cooperation there. People's very intelligent

but they do need a little outside help to go in there and

cooperate and work with them.

I: Let's go back to-when you...you know, when you were converted.

Do you recall that?

L: Yeah. That was in 1921 that I was converted. I was working

for the Beaufort Lumber Company at that time.

I: How old were you at that time? I have to think...

L: Uh, something like about eighteen year old at that time, no

mistake that when I accepted the Lord. Mr. Clarence was

preaching at Re e y _-st e was there

running a revival and I went there and that's where I found

the Lord.

LUM 155A 8

I: Mr. Clarence Locklear?

L: Yes.

I: That's Reverend Clarence Locklear who became the first

mayor of Pembroke.

L: That's right.

I: Indian mayor, that is.

L: That's right.

I: Go ahead, I didn't mean to interrupt you. I want to get

all this in. This is all important.

L: Reverend Clarence has been a great success in his ministry

work. He's always lucky to get good churches. I've never

been that lucky. Looks like I had to get with the poor

people and just really work and help to build churches.

But after all, I've enjoyed it, Brother Barton, because

I had went to Philadelphia in '36 and I could have got a

city church and I could have went to night school and graduated,

CZdtbeen a doctor today. But I wanted to come back to my people

and help them what little bit I could. And it's always

been a time in this world with me, but I've enjoyed it.

I've enjoyed every day of it, because I felt like if a

man don't love his people he don't love God.

I: Very true.

L: Jesus Christ loved the Jews because he was born out of a

Jewish parent. And he loved his people beyond anything

LUM 155A 9

else. But when his people rejected him, then he came

to the Gentiles and it's through that that we have a

chance. We're only a draft-in. The Jew is the original

God's people, and the Gentiles is just only a draft-in.

Through the rejection of God's people we come to know

Him, then, through a draft-in. But after all, God loves

His people and I think a man ain't what he ought to be

if he don't fight and die with his people. Because God

intended everybody to fight for his own people. And then

if there's any progress that he knew anything to help his

people, he ought to be I to go back and help

his own people that they might make progress and come to

know God and to pardon (i fr giving /AJisin.

I: Well, that's great. Brother Barto, I know that in my own

thinking, I admire you and ministers like you more than I

admire the so-called educated preacher who had all kinds

of chances and opportunities. You fellows went out there

on the firing line and you had nothing to depend on but

the good Lord Himself. And somehow you're carried on

no matter how disappointing, no matter how hard it was.

You worked through-:the burden in the heat of the day

and I admire you more than I can say, more thm I can put

into words because it's people like you who've kept the

church alive. I admire you. I think your crown will be

LUM 155A 10

greater than people who've had better opportunity.

L: Brother Barton, I never go to sleep at night but I study

about the church and the people that I might be able to

do something to help them to progress / Because

I'm working with a poor group that don't have many, and

I'm trying to establish the church. I've been out today

begging, trying to get something to carry to my church.

I weren't so much at getting, but I was trying to carry

something there to help them to go on and make...build

a nicer church and remodel it. Go on so they'll be with

the modern people of the day.

I: Right.

L: And God may bless them and they may be able to carry ion

when I'm dead that they'd have a nice place to worship

there and they could worship God and think about men that

stood for God and fought that they might have a place to

stay warm when it is cold. And then have a place to be

there to stay cool when it is hot weather. And it's

been a great task. Many a man wouldn't have stood out

on the street corners and a-begged money that his church

might be able to go on to victory. But I've stood out

and asked my good friends for money that I might be able

to carry it back to help-them to carry on till God should

come back after His people.

LUM 155A 11

I: Right. I certainly admire you and wish you Godspeed

in whatever you attempt to do. I know you'll do it

because when you go out you go with the Lord behind

you, and you have that faith. And that's what it takes,

and no matter how hard it is I know you'll come through.

L: And with all of my testing, the people have been nice

to me, people that I've met. Maybe some of them I

hadn't and never knew before and come and ask them for

donations to my church that it might be able to survive

through all the heartaches and yet, they give me money

and helped me off, and I'm carrying on till God calls

me. God, God...if I can live, if God prolongs my time

then I can live through this year. I'm in hopes that

I might be able to finish it this year sometime. And

I'll be ready to do like Apostle Paul then. I've fought

a good fight, though it's been laden with sorrow and

disappointment. But deep in my heart it was a joy

that nobody knew but a child of God.

I: Right.

L: And I thank Him for all of'that. :With all-of the disappoint-

ment, there's been a joy. I love my people beyond anything

else in the world. I've stood for my people and I'll die

with my people, trusting and trying to help them to carry

on for almighty God.

LUM 155A 12

I: Brother Locklear, I know...when I think about you, I know

you're a minister in your own right. You are a man of

God and you've done whatever you could in your life. But

I also think about your sweet wonderful Christian sister

who's passed on, Mrs. Annie E. Wilkins. And if she was

here today, she would be on one of these tapes because

she believed in doing whatever she could for the Lord.

Could you tell us something about her?

L: Well, Sister worked here, my Sister Annie E. Wilkins

worked I reckon forty years in training, trying to

train children for the Lord that they might be able to

carry on in the church. And so I know she'll be missing

in many homes because she always tried to carry on the

kindergarten. And there are many young men and girls today

in Robeson County that she taught when they was little

children. Trying to teach them how to be saved and how

they should love the Lord. Her works is not dead, but

Brother Barton it'll live on and on.

I: Right.

L: As long as these children live they'll be talking about

how they went to kindergarten and how she taught them

about the Lord.

I: Right.

L: And so when we're dead, if we've lived the right kind of

LUM 155A 13

a life, our life will be speaking of our 0CorfTfCi

because we tried to live right and tried to do the things

right to please the Lord. And so when you die, the body

may go to the grave, but the memory that you put in the

minds of people while you're here to visit, it'll live

on and on when you're dead, sleeping, waiting for the

coming of the almighty God.

I: Right. We know when Jesus called the disciples there

was onlygreal educated man in the group.he called, if I

remember correctly. And that was possibly...was that

Saint Luke?

L: Yeah.

I: And some of them were fishermen, Brother Barto, and they

were men who worked with their hands. But these men es-

tablished the church and it's been established ever since.

And Jesus said the Gates of Hell should not prevail against

it. And the Gates of Hell have not prevailed against it.

It's still, today it's stronger than it ever was. Don't

you think so?

L: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. The church will live on and on because

God is back of it a hundred percent. And if God's for you,

who can be against you.

I: Brother Locklear, do you know how many churches you've

helped to build? I know you've helped to build a lot

LUM 155A 14

of them, but do you even know how many churches you've

helped to build?

L: I believe it's about four or five different churches.

I know I've built, I believe it's three...no, two

straight out, and then I've helped to remodel some.

About, I reckon it's been about four churches that I've

helped on.

I: You've preached all over, haven't you?

L: Yeah, I've preached all over Robeson County. Preached

all in Philadelphia, preached all in South Carolina.

Preached all over on I_ /t 4 Virginia.

I: I would like to ask you now if I may something about

your work with the Smilings, you know. They're called

the Smiling Independents, and as we started to say about

the disciples, Jesus it seems picked them to do special

things and to go into the byways and hedges and the

neglected places. These places too have to be reached.

And you went among the Smilings and you did work there.

Could you tell us something, anything you'd care to

tell us about...
L: Well, when I went to the Smilings, Brother Barton, they

had a church and I believe we sold it for seventy-five

or a hundred dollars. And I told them we needed a modern

church. And they wouldn't go along with me at first but

LUM 155A 15

finally, at last they began to respond. They began to

get up money to build them a modern church. And I lived

there and stayed with four or five years and we began to

start on a new church. And I built them, helped them build

a modern church. And after I built that church then we

went before the Board of Education and got them a school

for fifty thousand dollars. And at the time I went there,

none of the Indian people didn't want to have nothing to

do with I've always worked where other people

would shun and wouldn't go and help the people. But I

tried to do like Christ said, go in the hedges and the

highways and help the lame and the blind t t 1 fand

I've tried to live a life clean before the people that

they might turn-ttoGod and live while they had space and

opportunity. I've not tried to beat people. I've tried

to treat them straight. I've tried to do unto all men

as you would they do unto you. And I've had a great


I: Right, you certainly have. Wonder why it was that some

of the Indian people sort of shunned working with the
Smilings_ _

L: Seemed like because they come from the south out of another

community. Seemed like they didn't love the people there.

Didn't want to work with them and wouldn't accept them in

LUM 155A 16

the association. But in the time I was there, I couldn't

have never got them in the association at that time. But

I told them there'd come a day that you wouldn't have no

trouble, you'd go on through.

I: They wouldn't have this discrimination.

L: That's right, that the day would come. And when that time

come, they went right into the Asociation and didn't have

a bit of trouble. And today their school that I worked

hard to get for them, they sold it to the Methodist Conference

and today they're in school anywhere they want to go.

I: Uh-huh. For the sake of our listeners and readers who don't
II 11
know about the Smilings, maybe I should add this footnote

right here. Robeson County, North Carolina, at one time

had four different races legally speaking. Right, Brother?

L: That's right, that's right.

I: And that was the Indian race, that was the white race, the
black race, and the Smiling--they called themselves the
II nl
Smiling Independents. And I've always admired them for

call-...I like that word "independents." They were going

to accomplish something whether anybody helped them or

not, weren't they?

L: That's right. That's right. They went on and worked

hard and today they're outstanding people.

I: Right.

LUM 155A 17

L: And they cooperated with everybody now.

I: Brother Locklear, now, we spoke about the attitude of

some of the Indians toward them, how about the attitude

of our black people and our white people in the county

toward the Smilings?1 How was it? Was it bad?

L: Well, it was bad. It was bad. That day it was bad.

Seemed like they was looked down on, but they still was

a hard-working people. And they progressed, they made

money, and today they're outstanding. Their children,

they're trying to educate their children and trying to

go on to the front.

I: Some of my best friends come from that group and I'm very

proud of them. But we don't have that four race situation.

We're probably the only county in the world that has four

races like that, Brother Barto.

L: Yeah. Yeah. I ain't never heard of a place, only here

in Robeson County where they had four races.

I: Of course, when integration came, they were, the Smilings

were absorbed in the Indian schools, weren't they?

L: Yeah.

I: And that's when we had the freedom of choice plan. And

then later we had more complete integration. Is that


L: That's right.

LUM 155A 18

I: And of course, we don't have complete integration even

today, but it's not like it used to be.

L: That's right. It's a whole lot better. It was thirty

years ago.

I: Right. Well, things have changed quite a bit since you

came along then, haven't they?

L: Yes, sir. They certainly have.

I: Things have changed. Did you get to go to any school

at all, Brother Barto?

L: Yeah. Back when I was small my mother died, in 1911.

And I hadn't went to very much school, but later then,

when I growed up, I finished high school when I was thirty-Ai4k

year old. But when your background is not too good, then

it bothers you when you're finishing up. You'Ve not got

the education you would have had if you had had good


I: Well, that took a lot of determination to go back and

finish at high school ,LT L

L: Yes, yes, sir. I was a grown man when I finished, thirty-

eight year old when I got my diploma from high school.

I: That's wonderful and it shows a lot about your charac-

ter and the kind of a person you are. And you are per-

sistent and you do stand by anything when you start it.

You like to see it completed, don't you?

LUM 155A 19

L: Yes, sir. When I start working at a church to remodel

it or build it, I like to stand by it till I can com-

plete it. Because, if a task is once begun, never leave

it till it's done. Do it well or not at all.

I: Brother Barto, can you remember...I know you remember

that when you were confirmed you say you were saved

under Reverend C. E. Locklear.

L: That's right. Reverend C. E. Locklear was preaching.

I: Was this a tent meeting or...?
L: No, this is at AeL ..B' in 1921.

I: I know people come to you to get married and things like

this. Do you like to marry people? I know you getting

somebody married better than you enjoy preaching a funeral,

or do you?

L: Well, I ain't never done much marrying in my times. I

don't know why it was but I never did do much marrying.

There's some people prefers people to marry and others

that don't, so it's been my fortune to never marry many

people. There's a lot of people that wants different

people to preach their funeral, but I ain't never done

much preaching at funerals. I don't prefer funerals,

I don't like to preach one but I have had a few requests

from people if I'm the onliest brother they wanted me to

LUM 155A 20

preach their funeral, then. So I have preached a few

funerals in time. Not too many.

I: Well, if you live longer than I do, I want you to be at

my funeral and help preach mine. Will you promise me


L: Yeah, yeah. If I'm the one'that's living, Brother Barton,

I'll be at your funeral.

I: Because I appreciate people who work with our poor people.

But have you ever thought about the Lord calls people in

different walks of life and people who are especially

qualified to reach certain groups of people. Some of the

groups you've reached, somebody that had a college degree

or something wouldn't have been able to reach them at all,

would they?

L: No. I feel like they wouldn't have wanted to bother with

them in the first place, and they didn't feel like getting

down that low to preach for them and work with them and

help them. And therefore, they would never'have been able

to reach them. But I've never felt myself like that,

Brother Barton. I've felt like I weren't no better than

the poorest man in the country.

I: And of course, the Gospel's gonna get out. God's gonna

see to it that it gets out, isn't He?

L: Yeah, you've got men that's gonna carry it into the high-

ways and the hedges and the by-places. God's got men who's

LUM 155A 21

going to carry it there whether the people accept it

or not. But He's got His plan, and.His7plan's-gdnna

be fulfilled.

I: Right.

L: And I'm glad that God'isa:-god like that. He loves the

poor and He loves the rich and He loves everybody. And

He's got a way of carrying it to ,- f ...........

. .... .................................................

I: Brother Barto, I got so interested in what we were saying

just now that our tape ran out on us on that side. So we

lost some of what we had to say when we were discussing the

Tuscarora movement among our people. Of course, there is

this group, for the benefit of those who don't understand

it, there are those who believe that we should have the

Tuscarora name and there are those who believe we ought to

have the Lumbee name. And so there is much disagreement

on the subject. But Brother Locklear here is close to the

people, to what I think of as the grassroots people, the

people who are close to the earth and who understand the

feelings of our people. And so I wanted to discuss it

with him and see what he thought about it, and see if

he would explain it to you because he explains it much

better than I could and he's able to explain things

LUM 155A 22

in a way that even a child could understand it. Brother

Barto, would you do that for us? Tell us something about

the Tuscarora and the Lumbee business?

L: Brother Barton, I feel that the people to who wants to be

the name of Tuscarora, it ain't so much that they're so

hard against the Lumbee, but they feel like that that's

the historical name. And they feel like if they could

get their name through that then they would be recognized

through the government. That's the original historical

name. And not so much in the name that they're blaming

the people for, but it's a name that would be...they feel

like they ought to have the original name, the first name

they inherited from their ancestors back hundreds of years

ago when the white man first come to America. And they

feel like if they could get that name they'd be satisfied.

That is, the poor people, the outcast people, the people

that people don't pay no mind, maybe the man that's got

money would pay no mind to them, they feel like if they

could get their original name they'd be satisfied. They'd

feel like they had got their great inheritance.

I: Of course, the Tuscarora brothers believe as I do, you

know, they don't disclaim these other groups like the

Hatteras Indians. Because we're a composite of several

groups. But they believe that this is the name out of

them all that we should have, right?

LUM 155A 23

L: Yes.

I: And of course, there's the Hatteras Indians which fur-

nishedso to speak, the nest egg, the nucleusfrom which

our people grew, and other people joined us here in what

I think of as Hideaway Valley--the Lumbee River Valley or

the Lumber River Valley, whichever you prefer. But there

are these four groups from the Hatteras Indians, and then

in 1711 to 1713, there was the Tuscarora War fought between

the colonists and the Tuscarora Indians. And in case some

of our listeners and readers don't understand, the Tus-

carora Indians lived originally in southeastern North

Carolina right where we're living or right near, in the

general vicinity. But after the Tuscarora War of 1711

to 1713 when the Tuscarora was disastrously defeated by

the colonists, they were...well, they were not removed to

Niagara Falls, New York. Rather, they migrated to Niagara

Falls, New York, and they joined the Five Nations Confederacy

to become the Sixth Nation. So now it's called the Six

Nations Confeddracy; But now here's where the distinction

comes in. You see, there were people in the Tuscarora War

who fought on the side of the colonists and there were

people who fought on the side of the Tuscarora proper.

Well, some of the people who fought on the side of the

colonists naturally were not received back into the Tus-

carora of the main part. The main body, the people migrated

LUM 155A 24

to Niagara Falls, New York. Now, swe'have the ancestors

of these people. And in the Tuscarora War, also there

were some Cherokees. And the Cherokee, some of them, you

know, are proud of their Tuscarora descent. Some are

proud of their Cherokee descent. Some are proud of Hatteras

descent. And of course, during the Tuscarora War, the

/-( 441'ti I.'l / were fighting against, against

the Tuscarora on the side of the colonists. Some of them

were taken prisoners of war and brought back to Robeson

County, what is now Robeson County, and they were later

incorporated into the tribe, too. So we have these four

groups. But this-name Lumbee is sort of a umbrella name.

Those who stand by that name say that this includes all,

but our Tuscarora brethren feel that we should have a name

which is more historical. And the Lumbee name wasaccor-

ding to old newspaper articles, the name of the river. Some

of the Indians said it was the name of the river. And so

when you say Lumbee Indian, you simply mean the Indians

that live on Lumber River. And that's all it says. Right,

Brother Barto?

L: That's right.

I: And so they want azname which they feel is more meaningful

than this. Am I explaining that right?

L: That's right.

LUM 155A 25

I: And so that's why this dissension. Brother Barto, you

know in 1970 we had a squabble over our school. When

our schools were lost, you remember?

L: Yes.

I: And we went to federal court in Fayetteville before Judge

Algernon M. Butler. And Judge Butler read that Lumbee Act

which recognizes us as Indians, as the Lumbee Indians of

North Carolina. Now there was one act, the first act was

passed by the General Assembly of North Carolina on April

20, 1953, and then the Congress of the United States passed

an almost identical act on June 7, 1956. But in this bill,

although it says many wonderful things about us and builds

us up and calls us, recognizes us as American Indians, yet

the last sentence in it says that we shall not have any

special=privileges because of our status as Indians.

Brother Barto, I'm sorry this lengthy explanation--it's

too lengthy, isn't it? But it is involved, it is an in-

volved problem and the situation now is that the Jordanp

g ill introduced by Senator Jordan in the United States

Senate last year, seeks to strike out that discriminatory--

and he calls it discriminatory--sentence in that law. And

he says if this is stricken out, then we have all the rights

and privileges of other Indians. But our...now Brother

LUM 155A 26

Barto, I want you to correct me anywhere along, stop

me anywhere. As I understand it, our Tuscarora brethren

feel that, well, the whole thing's wrong. It ought to,

just ought to be done over again and this name has some-

thing to do with it, the Lumbee name. Is that right?

L: Yeah, and they didn't have...they feel wrong towards it

because of the discrimination in it. Because there's

no reward nothing,that would help:the Indian at all.

j_ Because...and therefore they're wanting the name, the

historical name that they would get better reward from

the government. And I feel likekif they'd a got the

right name, if they'd a got the nameAthey'd have had

rewards from the government, everybody'd be satisfied.

But under the present conditions, they're not fighting

the name, they're fighting that clause in there where that

the Indian has no benefits at all. And I think they're

right about it because the Indian, he ought to have his


I: He ought to be treated like other Indians.

L: That's right. He ought to be treated like all other

Indians. He ought to have the rights and the privileges

and the benefits of all other Indians. And they feel like

the people didn't treat them justly. Our leading educated

people fooled around and let them trap them on the very

LUM 155A 27

thing that they think is wrong. And I go with them a

hundred percent. I feel like if they'd a got the name

and got the rewards and the benefits of all other Indians,

the Indians all over Robeson County would be plumb satis-

fied. But under the present conditions I feel like they're

trying to get a name that will include the benefits of

all other Indians. And I don't blame them for it because

they ought to have the rights and the privileges of all

other Indians...

I: Right Ib r Ar !

L: ...in America.

I: Right. Go ahead and say whatever you...explain...that's

good. You're telling it...you're explaining it so I can

understand and so everybody else can understand.

L: Well, under the present conditions, I feel like there are

a bunch of Indians that other people may feel like they're

foolish. But I feel like they're intelligent people. They're

fighting for their rights and privileges like all other

Indians, and they want a name that will stand up all over

the United States and before Congress and the government

and everything. And I feel like they're right in it. You

may look at them, the average educated man may look at

them and think they're foolish, but I think they're intelligent

LUM 155A 28

people. Though they you may count them foolish, but

when the man who thinks he's smart wakes up he'll find
It nI
he's just a block behind the ignorance of the world.

Because they're working that they might have their rights

and privileges and that's what all intelligent people is

working, that they might have their rights. You know,

the colored man; fs woke up and he's fighting for his

rights. And I don't blame him to fight for his rights.

Everybody's working that he might be benefited, that he

might have his rights and privileges like all people

should have.

I: That helps a lot. That makes it clearer, because this

is one thing we wanted understood is how our Tuscarora
b re-kr n
h thrc feel about this thing.

L: Well, they're just wanting their rights. They're wanting

their privileges, and they're getting it, too, boy! You

saw them people come into there, didn't you?

I mean, saw them over television when they come into

Wilmington and talked.

I: Uh-huh.

W: And Doc andKeever, they went clear, too, boy!

I: That's Doc Locklear...Keever Locklear and Doc ..what's

Doc's last name?
W: ( Keever Locklear and Doc Locklear.) They got out of that

mess and they thought they had them wound up. They thought

LUM 155A 29

they was gonna...and them boys, if they hadn'tta been

0-C e / i 1 they'd a got fifteen or twenty


I: Now, you're talking now about the BIA...let me explain

this now. The.BIA documents were stolen or taken from

the BIA--the Bureau of Indian Affairs--and this property

was found...where was it found at, Brother Barto?

L: Up there at Doc's and Keever's home. Somewhere up in


I: But just last week, wasn't it?

L: Yeah.

I: They came clear of that in a federal court. They were

cleared on those charges and so Doc Locklear and Keever

Locklear didn't receive any jail sentences. And some

people are a little bit surprised at this, aren't they,

Brother Barto?

L: Yeah. Yeah, they're surprised.

I: But they came clear of that thing. But as you know, this

was in the news. I mean national news last...was it last

year when the BIA was taken over by the American Indian


L: Yes.

I: Well, our people, particularly some of our Tuscarora

brethren--many of them, wasn't it?--took part in that.

LUM 155A 30

L: Yeah, ,f mY r

I: They were right there and they were part of that movement

and they worked with the American Indian Movement.

L: That's right.

I: And Mr. Dennis Banks is their...is he the director or

president or what?

L: Y1O'He's some kind of director in that.

I: Well, that's where the matter is at present, isn't it?

L: Yeah.

I: And so those boys did get out of it, as you say. They

weren't convicted. What's the reason? What explanation

did they give in court? Do you remember anything from

it, Brother Barto?

L: Uh, you see, Nixon had signed the bill and that man had

that bill and everything. He had the record of it. And

he brought it down there and presented it.

I: By the way, do the Indians feel that President Nixon is

on their side?

L: Yeah! Yeah' Yeah.

I: Well, he's the one who appointed Brantley Blue, whom you


L: Yes.

LUM 155A 31

I:. ...to be the first Indian Claims Commissioner who was

an Indian. And he's the only one, and he was appointed

by President Nixon which is...we all hail .that as a great

thing, don't we?

L: Yes. And Oxendine, he's up there, right?

I: Yeah, that's Thomas Oxendine, Jr., who is director of

the Department of Information in the Bureau of Indian

Affairs. Is that correct?

L: That's right.

I: Tommy's a great guy. He was a World War Two hero. He

was a pilot. He has all kinds of medals on his chest,

and he has been a great Indian, hasn't he?

L: Yeah.

I: Tom looks the part, too.

L: And he's a hundred percent k. il k W,-

I: Yeah.

L: f Huh?

I: I think so, too.

L: Yeah, he would.

I: Well, in the last year or the last two years, there has

been a lot of movements. A lot of movement going on. And

the American Indian Movement is behind the Tuscarora, right?

L: That's right.

LUM 155A 32

I: And the Tuscarora Indians in this county. Brother

Barto, is there anything else?

L: No. I reckon that'll be all.

I: You think we made it clear? Do you think...?

L: Yeah, I think people ought to understand it now.

I: Well, tell us a little something about this blood test

thing. Could you do that?

L: Well, I believe this is in '30.

I: 1930.

L: In 1930 they passed twenty in Washington. Took the

blood test and passed. And so if our people is to

ever get on the government, they got to go through

this n-b0vi i .i ___i____

I: In other words, the legal theory is that...was it twenty-


L: Maybe it was. Twenty or twenty-two.

I: I've forgotten the number myself, really. But anyway,

they were according to the law,legal Indians. Nobody

can deny that.

L: That's right.

I: And they had the legal documents to prove it. Now,

according to legal strategy, these twenty-two could adopt

all the other Indians in the county that they want to

LUM 155A 33


L: That's right.

I: They could, of course, they're related to them--a lot

of them are. And in this way, it would bring the other

people in. Now, am I telling it right, Brother Barto?

L: That's right. There ain't no way to get in unless they

adopt you in.

I: So that makes them, these twenty or twenty-two men, very

important, doesn't it?

L: Yes.

I: How many of them are still living, Brother Barto?

L: I don't remember. I know some of them's dead. Brother

Doobie and Brother Jimmy up there on the canal, they're


I: Could you tell us the names of some of the other ones?

L: No, that's the only two that I remember.

I: Now, among our people, you know, we've always talked among

ourselves and we've always considered the Brooks settlement,

these people to be almost completely Indian. Right?

L: That's right.

I: More Indian blood,maybe, than among other Indian communities.

And when it comes to biological things, you find that...

where is this community located? Is that around Harper's

LUM 155A 34


L: Yeah. That's right on Lumber River above Harper's


I: But our Brooks settlement...and when we talk about

settlement, maybe we ought to explain that too Brother

Barto, because people outside, you know, in other states

and other counties might not understand that when we talk

about settlements, the pattern has seemed to be in the past

that when our people settled, they settled down;according

to families or according to name. So you have the Brooks

settlement. Of course, the Locklear name is so big that

it's spread all over, right?

L: That's right.

I: Because it's the most numerous family name among our people,

by far the most numerous. And what do you think would be

the next most numerous name among our people, Brother Barto?

L: The 2&% Y 6.


L: Yes.

I: Well, an.interesting footnote on this--and you've probably

heard this, but I read it many years ago--is that this name

Braveboy, which appears on the colonial records in two words,

tr-a-v-e, -o-y, and both words capitalized in the colonial

records, there's a tradition that they fought under General .

LUM 155A 35

no, under Colonel Barnwell, B-a-r-n-w-e-l-l, in the

Tuscarora War. And there was one Indian from this

area who was cited for some brave deed, for some deed

of valor, and named Brave Boy. And so this is where

the name Braboy comes from. .And of-course it was later

shortened and today we spell it -r-a-b-o-y. It's sort

of an abbreviation, isn't it?

L: Yes.

I: But this stands to reason, and this has been recorded

by Mr. Hamilton Nolan, by Dr. Stephen B. Weeks, by

Colonel Fred A. Olds, who is also an authority in the

early days of Lumbee Indian study--or Robeson County,

I should say. Maybe I should say Robeson County Indian

study. We want to include everybody. We don't want to

leave any of our brothers out. We don't feel this way

at all. But anyway, these are interesting things, aren't


L: Yes.

I: Or they're interesting to us, and apparently they're

interesting to a lot of other people, too. Well, Brother

Barto, how is it all going to end? Do you have any idea?

What's your feeling about it?

L: Well, I really don't know about how it's going to end, but

I hope it'll end good.

LUM 155A 36

I: Yes, I do too.

L: I hope the ending will be good.

I: Among the other things that the Tuscaroras advocate or

ask for is the return of their schools. Is that right?

L: Yeah.

I: In other words, they believe that we should have our

original Indian schools back. And there's been a lot

of publicity, a lot of talk about this, also. Is there

anything we've left out?

L: No, I reckon not. I think that the Indian people should

get their schools back because they was here in America

when everybody else come and they never had disturbed the

other people. And I feel like the white man and the

colored man should not disturb the Indians. Let them

go on and have their own schools.

I: And we're living; right now, Brother Barto, on our original

lands, aren't we?

L: Yeah, we're...

I: We're right where we were when we were discovered by

colonists of, uh...you know, 1715, 1730, thereabouts,

this area was discovered by French Huguenots from France

who tooklup positions on the South Carolina side. And

then the Scotch people came here from Scotland and took

up positions on the opposite side. And so that we've

LUM 155A 37

been here ever since. And we were occupying a distance

of about twenty miles or more along the Lumbee or Lumber

River when these first white colonists came. They recorded

that this is what happened. And they owned their lands in

common. I've got a cold and it shows on this statement.

L: Now, my great-great grandfather was the last Indian chief ti0

was here, Lazy Will Locklear.

I: The one they called Lazy Will, yeah.

L: Yeah, that was my grandpappy way back.

I: And he was a chief, Brother Barto?

L: He was a chief, the last Indian chief who was here among

us. Lazy Will Locklear.

I: Well, the Locklear name, by the way, is supposed to mean

"hold fast" isn't it?

L: Yeah.

I: That's the Indian meaning for the word Locklear. And

for our authority on that I think we can go back to Douglas

A. Reitz and his book called Indians of North Carolina.

And of course, he tells where he gets his authority. Well,

Brother Barto, I'm proud of our people. I'm proud of our

heritage. And we people say we have no heritage, they just

don't know, do they?

LUM 155A 38

L: No, no. We got a great heritage.

I: And we want to preserve what's left of it, don't we?

L: That's right.

I: And I guess...do you think this is why? the fight for

1 l/,4i///went on so far? Brother Barto, I'm not patting

myself on the back, but I wrote the original article that

precipitated the OL, /MI/A/ movement. The so-called

de-Indianization article telling how the University was

being de-Indianized and sort of complaining--rather, I

raised questions about that in this article. But, tell

us what your group, the Tuscarora group, tell us what

they did. Were they there from the very beginning, Brother


L: Well, part of them was.

I: Well, some of them were, weren't they?

L: Yeah, some of them was.

I: So they were represented from the very beginning and they

were on the side...they are for _L / /L/A/_ aren't


L: Yeah, yeah.

I: And I remember that during the campaign, Mr. Carnell Lock-

lear, used to be secretary and treasurer of the movement.

He went with us to many places including Duke University,

the University of North Carolina, other places, and he

LUM 155A 39

would get right out in the streets with us and we'd get

petitions signed and we went to the office of Mr. Terry -

Sanford who is a former governor of the state of North

Carolina. We got him to sign our petition. We got...

well, we got well over a thousand petitions signed just

in one day. And Carnell was so...he was so dynamic and

active in that, and hew just as hard at that as anything

I've ever seen him work at. And Carnell was right along

with the American Indian Movement when they took over the

BIA, I understand. But somewhere in there, you'll find

Carnell, won't you? And of course, they have other leaders.

How about Mr. I Elias Rogers who is now chief of...now

which group is he chief of?

L: Tuscarora. They had him in there. Ee, Ld'v 1 /

I: There are two groups of Tuscaroras now, though, aren't

there, Brother Barto?

L: Yeah, there're a couple of groups.

I: Well, Mr. Elias Rogers was the first man to become a board

member on the Lumbee Co-op. For many years, the Lumbee

Co-op seems to have discriminated againstndians whose

name it bore and who actually owned it to a great extent.

There are more owners who are non-white than there are white

owners of this corporation, this electrical co-op. And he

And he had to be seated by state officials and federal

LUM 155A 40

officials on both occasions. And so he's had many, many

legal battles. So he is a very persistent man, too, isn't


L: Yeah.

I: I had an interview with him. I had an interview with

Carnell on some other tape. But not after the takeover,

the BIA takeover in Washington, D.C. But..............


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