Title: Interview with John Henry Lee (June 10, 1974)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007169/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with John Henry Lee (June 10, 1974)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: June 10, 1974
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: UF00007169
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 192

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
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




DATE: June 10, 1974

PAGE 1 bes

B: This is June 10, 1974. I'm Lew Barton recording for the University

of Florida's American Indian Oral History Program. This afternoon I'm in

my home at 114-C Dial Terrace in Pembroke, North Carolina. And with me

is a gentleman who has kindly consented to give me an interview. What is

you name, sir?

L: John Henry Lee.

B: John Henry Lee.

L: Yes sir.

B: Uh, how old are you, John? May I call you John?

L: Yes sir. Sixty-one years old.

B: Sixty-one.

L: That's right.

B: You've lived here in this community...

L: All my life:

B: Hm hmm. You've lived, uh, near the Indians in the...

L: I used to stay with them.

B: Is that right?

L: That's the truth.
OJ\ KnocuJ duJ
B: Hm hmm. Well just abouththe Indians I know of a L -mbee, I know...

L: Yes sir.
yOu_, doi'+ 4--he .
B: ...and they sure do like at..r.. er.

L: Yes sir.


B: Thea get along just fine. Uh, who were your uh, how many people

were in your family, John?

L: Well, there was a, twelve of us.

B: Twelve children in your family?

L: No, there was twelve my own people.

B: Uh huh. Who, who was it you married.

L: I married Esther Mitchell.
wl'-a wa6 4-a .ga*h
B: Hmm.. her first name was...?

L: Esther Mitchell down there at the uh, Holy Cross.

B: Hmm hmm. And did you have any children?

L: Didn't have any.

B: Hmm.

L: Now my mama, now look, my mama was named old lady, lady Lee.
B: Hmm hmm. What makes you call her old lady thes? Ha ha.
L: Well that's becauseAwas my mama.

B: Uh, where were you born at, right here in Robeson?

L: Hm. Sure was.

B: Where at?

L: Right down there over on, over, right down there over on Cherry ,
"PLAd -.bovwr -tOere- i'
CherryvilleAFarm.t4faal t a little log house.

B: Hmm hmm.

L: I was.

B: John, I was delivered to the world by a mid-wife...

L: That's what I was.

B: Hmm hmm. Do you, do you know who delivered you?

L: Well, old lady Nash, Nod Lowry.



B: Uh huh. An Indian wen...

L: That's right.

B: Uh, I was delivered by Brantley Blue's grandmother. Her name was uh,

they called her Fist, Fist Blue. I don't know what her name was.

L: I don't know. Old Lady Nask that was the 1o-\O Lowry's mama.

B: Hmm hmm. We're getting' away from that now though, aren't we? You

don't find mid-wives delivering babies.

L: No, you don't find them now.
140 1-oj betcUa e
B: Doz--u upp-pae there's a law against it now, you think or what?

L: Yes sir. Now now that's what it's got against 'em now.

B: Hmm hmm. You say there were how many in your family?

L: There was twelve of us.

B: Uh huh. What did you do when you were a boy, where

were you brought up at?

L: Right down there on, right dbwn there on...oh, the Kirby Farm.

B: The Kirby Farm.

L: Hm hmm.
Ntear bridge
B: Yae what they call the Kirby amsedg

L: Naw' That's right.

B: Hmm hmm. What did you do John, did you plow or what?

L: Well I plowed all my life.

B: Hmm hmm.

L: Yes sir.

B: How much money did you make a day plowing?
remerrtW 0l2wk ,g w5S plowing, I
L: Oh, Lord...I, I.4didn't make but forty cents a day.
V :r:'veC, fAoWQe ok ac "\oid...
B: /hew .T..a .. hcir-fIi ....



L: ... -pe D now, yes I g. I plowed for Mr.

Jinmy Revels. I don't know why you dou know him or not.

B: June...

L: James Revels.

B: James Revels, or Jimmy.

L: James.

B: Hmm hmm. Uh huh. Well, the things...

L: His, his wife was named, ohhh...Georgiana, Georgiana Revels.

B: Where did you go to school at, John?

L: I didn't go to school a# school because mama and me, and if you

didn't plo them. pazpe, you didn't go to school. I went to

schoolnAn=4he raining...

B: When you couldn't work on the farm?

L: That's right. That's -t.

B: Do you know what year you were born?

L: Well I know...nineteen...oh 1918.

B: You must've been bornAbefore that if you're sixty-one. Did you tell

me a while ago you were sixty-one?

L: Yes sir.

B: Hmm hmm. Well, well that's

L: '- I didn't know when, when I was born,\ my mama told me
she said4you was born in that -fctjr 0(?`qr aa time.

B: Which digging time?

L: When they dug 'taters.

B: Hmm hmm.



L: Sweet potatoes.

B: Do you re, do you remember hearing any*- tfre old people talk about

the shakes?
L: Wiftl my grandma.used to tell me that.

B: They'd look at a person n -a whwas very old and say that person

is as old as the shakes. or 4eA21'd -So ao- acd

f ft's been a long time they'd say, as long as, as the natural shakes. And

the shake was minor earthquake that came in 1888.

L: I don't know anything about that.

B: I've heard some of the older people talk about it and say how they

were frightened and so forth 'course, earth tremors and earth quakes fhts
6orH Of
smabe thing is very rare in this partof the country. Almost never happens)

but it did happen that year.

L: Yes sir.

B: It scared a lot of people. It didn't do any damage to the appearance...
scared frevo
L: Itiraxri my Uncle #ay...

B: You ever hear him talk about it?
L: Yup. Uncle 4etr was, he he was out there plowing, WA.< dk CO-ik uveCr

4i-i'ke- a+ ..- -h o^ OLJ[ Miv k"LleS nArd Ue.txP #4o ri# hCi ----
'O,----- _L &oj'd)

I know the world's coming' to an endAou,.

B: Hm hmm. Who um, who did you, did you live with your mother when

you were growing up?

L: No, I stayed with my grandmama.

B: With your grandmama. Who was your grandmama?



L: C" Old- xrx nic- Lee.

B: .. Anni' Lee.

L: Hm hmm.

B: Yeah, when you say Lee, uh, I forget because that's your last name,

it's Lee.

L: That's right.

B: L-e-e. Uh huh.

L: Well my, my daddy was named oh, oh Doc (-t1Ut.

B: Uh, John do you remember a sweet old lady who lived near Maxton's,

her name was Grace Cobb?

L: Lord have mercy. Se=Gms ath- Qld man Ar+ Cobb, and uh...yes

I did.

B: I heard her tell about one time when she was uh,...

L: Wait a minute, where you, where you stayed at now? Wait a minute.
Where you slay that? You know where they lived at? Up there on, on,

what's the name...where...the man....

B: pL ovWaXC M toA-
5sell ,becr /
L: No where the man used to-ta up+here, CP 44-e oI. .-

B: George dewmBthe river? That was when they had legal beer? No you,...

L: I, I don't...-1 renomb-e Ulh&e\ Lk- Ce r .f- Psr 4r.&

B: Ha ha ha. -.l .-. .... .., -- ..and it was illegal beer.

L: Ooh, ooh...
B: You don't kaes anybody like that, do you? ha ha ha.

L: Uh uh, Mama don't let her old ---------

Art Cobb's place...and they took off on Red Bank.



B: Uh huh.

L: Naw!

B: Thi-wae the same person...

L: Yes, only the Ar-f Cobbs, and uh, ---------- 4ohe had

he had, a fish shop up there. John Henry you come on in here you know, yoLu
-oll -40
mama eoat you mad come on in here and buy some fish from me today.

B: How)d4-A1you tell any difference in the way white people treated

blAck people and Indians in this county? Or did they treat them all

about the same?
L: Msn sir. No G'r.
B: Which onesA7 hey treat better?
L: They didn't treat yomr Indians like they did treat yourself. That's the


B: Would they treat the Indians better than they would black people there?

L: Oh I don't know about that. Now I tell you what I usedto do. I use4to

work for all the you

know what I mean? And I use to come from up there,

and pick up those children some milk, go
over the house. Umn hi. You know M1 Murrey* he was white. You know him?

He ____________________. ft&- die 1/ 41, l1'4

B: Who treated you, I shouldn't ask you a question like that.

L: Oh you can ask me. I'll be glad to.

B: Who treated you *dt? The white people or the Indians?

L: Indians treated me better.

B: Is that...


L: Now that's the truthhope m e.

B: What do you think of the Indians in the ?
L: 4t, they're my people. They is my people.

B: Just about everybody knows you don't they?
PicuirJ hern if kdLQrd Aorl e''.
L: Yes sir. I-=hve=e you ask them about John Henry.

B: They( m not remember the Lee but they'll remember John Henry won.'t they?

L: .And that's the truth.

B: How was a, did you ever enjoy fishing, going fishing? And that sort of


L: Yeah.

B: Didn't the Indians teach you how to fish a'rd /lC

L: Uh-uh.

B: They didn't have to teach you did they?

L: No because I know that.

B: Indians are suppose Ito like to fish and hunt. You reckon that's the


L: Yes sir. Yes sir. Yes sir.

B: Do you think, now we got 3 races in this county according to, you know,

the law. And course if those three. races are about equally divided

as far as the numbers are concerned. iSee people are a little bit

more numerous than Indians and Indians are a little bit more numerous
Now 6cOJsel
than black people. A AffSSa a lot of black people are leaving the
OF Courje-
county, going elsewhere and getting jobs for them. esppse a good

many Indians too. But how do you think the three races get along in

Robeskson, John?

L: Me and the Indians get along good.

B: Whenou, when you go to get a favor from a white man...

L: Can't get it. But I can go to my Indians. I can leave that right here

tonight. I can leave thea right here tonight and go to my Indians and you


know what they'll say? Johnny ain't that you?A,7hat's me. What you want son?

B: Do you want us to talk about the Klan for a minute?

L: You can talk.

B: He L-wi- d=bLg k foa- that night when the Klu Klux Klan was shot up by

a group of Indians.
,No Wona- 1-'0?
L: -jm k, I was in .hm i i

B: You were in Washington,D.C.?

L: Yes sir.

B: Did you hear about it up there?

L: Yes sir.

B: Di =F*=e=id the1papers and te radioA television?
L: 4MWi, ______________ i

B: In Washington?

L: Yes sir. And the boy told me said" Yun=nim, ain't'you from Pembroke?"-4Ad
+-h-A o:/ ;A' Zoys gLUT-r)(id
I said "Yes." He said "Boy4yeurle-i.' T! that thing, last

night/I'm glad, they did." Well that's the truth, hope me die. If that

ain't the truth give my hand to Christ.
B: John, how do you think, how do yu think most of our black brothers felt

about that in Robestson?' Think most of them LJre. tXq--/ A/t.Il? T

L: Yeah, They ain't, they ain't no, they ain't Jproved that.

B: Do you think our people and m people are closer together than they use to


L: Yes sir.

B: You think relations between them are improving?

L: Yes sir.

B: John f you had. I'm going to ask you a question.

L: Yes sir. Ask me.

B: Think about it for a minute. If you like. If, I know it isn't possible

but if, if it were possible to change anything at all about Robetson


County, we had the power to change anything you wanted to change anything

you wanted to change. Can you think of anything you'd like to change?

Or like to see changed?

L: Not a thing.

B: That right?

L: That's right.

B: Had you rather lived in Robejtson than in any other?

L: I'd rather. Lu- __ around here with my Indians. And that's the truth.

Yes sir.

B: Have you always lived near Pembroke here?

L: Yes sir.

B: John, what is it, what is the correct pro (nciation of Pembroke? How do,

how do people who live in Pembroke, what are they taught? Do-ye* say

Pembroke or Pembrook?
L: Pembrag.
0 ed
B: And if they're educat4ea they may try to say Pembroke. What if they're not


L: Well if /here now, e3'jd hb ou rthEt ra 444 Now I been here in all in

-ourn+, swamps, yes sir.

B: And what do they say? Pembrook or Pembroke?

L: Well, they some of them down long years ago. See they didn't have no

education down ker ad A KI Ii i ok and I ain't lying I know that.

B: When you say they kill you what do you mean kilwho? Eachtther or?

L: Oh they kill a black man or a white man, if he go there.

B: And that was years ago.

L: Yes sir.

B: Was that when you were a boy Johnny?

L: Yes sir.


B: Was it, were they worse around Per_'_ .

L: No,

B: Now where was it, which part of the community are you talking about

they were like that?
LI -C)U +t 4 3 0Cc c 4& ^ ,r burnVt r WUOJ1N

B: Is that somewhere close to Lt-te IF*a Chapel? Isn't it?

L: Yes.

B: m LmadEan Chapel.

L: Yes sir. *6 r 6e uc L

B: Do you think that community is not int- .aM ...d..as

L: No sir.

B: Do you think it's changed?

L: Yes sir.

B: Maybe it's a good thing.

L: Oh lord them's alright now.

B: Well what do you think brought about this change John?

L: Well I, I.

B: Churches, school, television, radios, -or?

L: Well, I'm tellingayou I think what it comes about he found out who

this black man was and stuff. A --'- --a-- --- e1.

B: Do you think the civil rights bills helped everybody)don't you?

L: Yes sir.

B: Well I agree. The civil rights legislation certainly helped all

minority y groups.


B: Dr. Martin Luther King he wanted to help all the minority groups don't

you think?

L: Um-huh.


B: Do- you remember his speech? I'm on the.mountain.

L: I seen a vision.

B: Um-um. I had a dream.

L: Yeah. And I didn't get f to -p r-ui)ut the lord showed him.

B: But he, he was close enough he could see the promise land, wasn't he?

L: That's right.

B: And of course, I know he's held -e in high esteem among iva black people

and among other groups as well. Among all black Americans, among all Americans.


B: All well informed people honor Martin Luther King. Donlt you think?

L: I d .i

B: You don't know anything you'd change about Robeabson?

L: No, sir. Not a thing I'd change about it.

B: John did you ever go to the theater in Red Springs? In the years past? When

you were?

L: W c OL-, I was a little boy.

B: When you was a little boy.

L: Uh huh. And Red Springs, up there, dieu&s them white people don't
li'e. elieve^
let no Indians, don't like no black people, I mean you4vaewhat I tell you?

B: In Red Springs they don't?

L: No, and you know they don't. Now you know they don't.

B: I'm afraid you're right,John.
o0P1 c(Our./-
L: I -=n' Ef--t I__2t I'm&right, I know what I'm talking about.

B: I wonder why they're that way, John?

L: Because they just turkeys, like so, I, I can't call them names like you can.

B: Prejudice?

L: Yeah.

B: You think that's changing any?


L: Yes sir. Yes, sir.

B: Can you remember the time when an Indian or a black person could even buy a

ice cream in the drug store unless he went in the back way.

L: Yes, sir.

B: If you'd go to the back door they'd bring it around to you in the back.

L: Uh-huh.

R: But they wouldn't let you come in at the front.

L : & n o ,] _
B: And you could get a hotdog at the hotdogkbut you couldn't sit down with

white people.

L: Nah.

B: If it, wuil. these hotdog stands these outdoor stands, the way they were

built you could stand up and take your hotdog in your hand.

L: But you better not sit down.

B: And how 'bout the theater, John?

L: The theater?
B: Didn't they, didn't they have a fcea way division?

L: Yes sir. Had Indians over there, and white people downstairs and colored

people ome on one side. And the Indians was over there on the other side.

B: And they leave a partition between therIadaim?

L: ThOY5 ri

B: That is something isn't it?

L: Ya.

B: But all that's changed hasn't it?

L: Yes sir, yes sir.

B: How, why do you think prejudice people, we know that when the civil rights

legislation passed.

L: I don't know when.


B: We know that that didn't change people's hearts.

L: Ok. /or .

B: But do you think they're, that they have ways of evading?

L: -OLL see-f this here CUJ I, I, I, don't know all that thing like you

do, now look at here. What I think

B: I believe that 4oa ^.

L: If you don't believe you, you just cut my hand then and anybody's got the

same U\ooS you got.

B: Right.

L: I know but I, I may not have Indian blood in me like you got, you know what

I mean?

B: All blood's alike. Yes.

L: Thats' right, all blood's is red.

B: Right. Going back to the, ,to the old days of segregation, how 'bout the

courthouse which is supposedto be the seat of justice. How many divisions

did we have over in Lumbertonea our county seat? The county seat of

Robextson? How many different kinds of restrooms would you, could you find

in Lumberton? Two, three?

L: Two.

B: What were they?

L: And I, I, I,

B: But do you remember kind of, a when you wentAyou had, a now counting the

men and the women.

L: Um-um.

B: You had one for white women, one for white men.

L: Um-um.

B: Right, that's two.

L: Um-um, um-um.


B:. How 'bout black people?

L:. One's for Co one for colored man, and, and one for the Indians. And

if that ain't the truth give my hand to Christ.-

B: Well that was, that makes six different restrooms, right?

L: No, that make four.

B: Um-um, 'O.K. Let's seethey did have three when that civil rights act was

passed. They had, they wamne have white, Indian and colored, or black.

L: Um-um.

B: John, do you. a I don't like kizs word "colored". Do you?

L: Uh-uh, I'm a black man. I'm black.

B: You think all black people prefer tobe called "black" instead of "colored"?

L: That's right. -Right.

B: I wonder why that is, John?

L: Just because that's what we is.

B: This burnt swamp community, course we know that things are better now and

people are not so opposed, but they would, they didn't want other boys, other

Indian boys even to come into there from other communities and talk to the

girls in there, did they?

L: I know they didn't, I, I know they didn't, I know they didn't.

B: What would happen if they did, John?
? s 4Veyw xcJ uS L4-a odd)r'\LtJ
L: It was very disliked, .". I l _I'm, I'm telling you what I


B: So the rivalry among and between in these different, eani different Indian

communities was

L: Well, now I'm going to tell you, see them Indians down there,they ain't like

the Indians up here.

B: What you mean by that, John?

L: Um?


B: How do you_ mean?
forr you,
L: Because they didn't likeAe to come down there. And try to get them gals.

B: Well it's, I'm glad it's changed a little bit. Do you think it's improving?

L: Yeah, yeah, I use to go down, you know Clayton Bell?

B: Uh-hih.

L: Now he usedto live down there. Old man Charlie Bell's son.

B: Uh-huh.

L: I wouldn'tAa boyA r-BffEcFi _m__ to take me down there,

because I went with him. Ws if I hadn't been with him.

B: Do, do you think there's some of the Indian communities which were, are more

Indian than other Indian communities?

L: Yes sir. Yes sir.

B: Can you think of one?

L: Yes sir. w'i wkshy you t*e up there at Harper's Ferry ?

B: Um-um.

L: Look at here. When you dig them Indians up there? You, you.

B: Is that, is that the brook settlement you're talking about?

L: That's what I'm talking about.

B: And the Harper's Ferryarxa-

L: Yeah, old carpret brooks Indian.

B: Um-um. They a, they, you would find more Indian stock over there or.

L: That's not, that is the, that is the God, that is the God's truth.

B: Um-um. How do you think they feel towards the other Indians? How about

these Indians that are ia, you know, have a lot of, that aren't as much

Indian as they are?

L: Well I don't know how they feel about that but I will tell you- one thing
I don't go up there because of them fkhs is up there. I don't go around

aw, yeah John Henry come on in.


B: If you go there, if you go around them and you happen to be hungry would

they feed you?
L: Yes sir, yes sir. And then zyea tell his old wife look at here, and you'
jorfsJ-i/ c 40 co-+
go up there, he get you fm=-r -s plee, says old John Henry.

I hope me die if that ain't the truth give my hand to Christ.

B: Yeah, yeah I know it. I was just laughing at that expression you used, I

remember that's one of their expressions. They don't, it's not a curse word,

as God damn.

L: No, no.

B: Something like that is there
^Li,:K (to Ceo ,h m hear
L: Man, you go out theree, meyou re welcome, ) not _dt d hear

what I say.

B: I declare. How about the churchAkeea, John? Did you ever go to church any

1: No, I didn't go to school we&t to church but I went on up to the

I mean, White Hill.

B: White Hill?
35c ru ren\erri-eer
L: Um-um. Sl-ye- 4 -ve k1-w. when that boy miss, a boy got killed down here off

the railroad, the ..------..-- --* ,. rrP rnj

B: No, I don't think I remember his first name.

L: Well I do. 5 renr\&A- And here are these, do you know where?

B: Yeah I know where.

L: But I, I was working for Jed Alferdean, digging graves. I digging graves

right up there. John Henry come on here,

help dig the grave here. I said "Miss Millie, I said, now you go

ask that man here". I said there's not a chapel's that's a church, you ask


B: They couldn't, they couldn't decide where they wanted a grave dug or what,



L: I think.

B: You have a lot of trains coming through here don't you?

L: Um-um.,

B: Reckon how many trains come through Pembroke each day? Do you have any idea?

L: Oh Lord. L CoLidnJ fLoun-.

B: Was it in the dozens, do you think?

L: Something about like that.

B: Course we have the Seaboard IIr- line and the Atlantic Coast line and the

,crosstheycriss-cross right in the center of town here.

L: Wk l
SB: Uh-huh.

SThere's been a lot of people killed on those railroads over the years haven't


4: Yes sir. Yes sir. Two boys that I know got killed up here on off

flour mills, you didn't know where that was did you?

f ,: Um- um.

.--A: Right up there off of big old white station up there.

Si: What do you see for the future of, of ACee County, do you think it's

going to keep improving?

vj/: Yes sir.

b f: Do you think the nonwhite people in Robeason County are becoming stronger?

Politically? And in other ways?

f/: Now see now you r. ----- .

Db : Do you think te people are voting among your people and among mine more than

they use to?

vi: Yes sir.

i'.: They usecto be kind of defeatist about this, as what's the use of voting?


k ': Doesn't do us any good to vote. Do you think that's true?

V : But from now on it do us some good to vote.

A ,: Well do you think education helped to bring that about, John?

Lh: Yes sir. Yes sir. There was a boy from over there, and

he say in two or three~now he going to bring us back a paper.

) : Uh-huh.

L-: And you know I didn't hear from nothing.
.K ]i
o b : How did the black people feel about the lan when it came throughA58, John?
+11CP f'ee-I
7B: Why I don't know COMKa:= about it but I know what I 4*a about it.

S./4 : How did you feel?

L-: I was glad that the Indians do it to them people, did you hear what I say?

If I'd a beenhr I IoJ=.W.E. IJ T htih s.

0) : So, so would you John?

-: Yes sir. Anytime, anytime now Mr. Lew, you down there messing with the Indians

you go up there to be killed.

t: Do you think most black people feel that way too, John?

V: I believe they do.

S1: They're learning to stand together and pool their votes together aren't

they better?

l: What they use to.

S: Uh-huh. And do you know Dr. 'y, J. Jdhnson? He's a black gentleman from 0-

he's a minister, you know, he's in the state house of representatives, this

is tfe a_ his second term or maybe his third term?

h : He lives in, I believe his homes around Fahinone. But he's very

for example, this year we have, we have, we sent a black man to the state

house and we sent anIndian man to the state house and we never had this


before. But are people beig to realize that the black ammaa...y together

outnumber the white people?

[4: Guess not.

0 : You think people are realizing, so ou don' know this

ti: Look at here, now wait a minute. Right here in Pembroke, there's four or five

white people out here in Pembroke.

S/i: Uh-huh, but there's lots of them in other parts, in say the northern part of the

eastern parts.

L: h. And the Indians use=to, the Indians around here.

): East of the

L,,: They, they, they out number the colored. Yes they do. But this is a- ncs op e-,

f.: Think the big ones, think the big nests of them, as you called it, live around


'.: Yes sir.

QX: Is Pembroke roughly around the center? Of the Indian?

vK: That's right.

L: Can you go for miles, in some parts of this county without finding anything

but Indians?

VB: Um-um, r .

SHow 'bout churches, John, how do, how do our people feel about going to church?

Are they church goers?

VT: Well I hope me die, now you take old _, he's been trying to get

me to go.

P Church.

Jf/: I've been to the Church of God. I said man, I ain't going up there. He said
3a+ ecd 0 S Cx
"John Henry, you sbwi- mast treatAi;eev nice, +ies=stheMeything in the

world." If that ain't the truth, send my hand to christ.
p^ope n- cniip


VV: And I, I, I 've seen the bus come by every Sunday. I could of go, I won't


NY: Do you think the Indians have a lot of churches?

L,: Yes sir. jr meoA I'-

X: Some people say that Indians aren't ijherece1 A edU CoXW religion Ltur a lot of

them are 4VcucWn, ajri -KtL

L-: Well, I'm going to tell you what I feel about that. There ain't no church

but Church of God. Jesus was killed.

/,: Um-um.

Vi: And if you don't believe you read your bible.
are- J3s '^s
j': All of them smces*= church.

iL: Yeah, and on this church I build my, I mean on this Kock I'll build my

church and the gates of hell wht _____

cf,: Um-um.

j~I: He ain't nobody's church except the Lord's church.

),: This is a big town, you know it.

Ul: No you can be presbyterian, you can be baptist, you can be your a methodist,

you can be church of Christ, you can be your a O-oa-' 4ac oe4er &a.I know that

much. You can be ...

.b: John.,.

vey: Six day adventist.

K: Six, six, seventh day adventist.

:Well now.

:Are there six, are there are some six day adventists too?

cB: NoAthink there's seven.

: .K. I was going to ask you something about... Has the ground, has the

geography changed much? When you were a boy, say, there was a lot more woods

land, that sort of thing?


1-: Yes sir.

S: You say most trends have been cut out and that sort of thing now?

L': Yes sir, yes sir. Cuz now you can take me out there where I don't know

where it's at. We had lof friC

1: They call long leaf pine.

L,: Yes sir.

Z l: Well, what do you thinks going to happen, John when the, /or example, there's

a lot of excitement about the election, the primary, not long ago, it wasn't

the election year, it was the nomination.

k' Well X don't,/ don't speak too much hi-h Tho-I knowaRt, you know what

I mean?

6 4: Um-um.

(^: Cuz I didn't get no higher then the third grade.

.A Do you think, did you hear about what happened when fo Black ran for sheriff?

4 n: Um-um.

6: Against Yo-IC.-olr McCloud.

L. Yes.

) g: And almost got it. He beat him by 700 votes in the run off.

Li Well you know what that was for, now listen, let me tell you, I have thought of

this, look it here. See the Indians people, now look it here, let me tell

a year ago then, the Indian people uselto pay rM0lc6jr McCloud off to run

whiskey, now because, I, I, was working with them, and I know. I,I,. I ain't

lying, hope me die, yes they did.

St: You +ljnrt +j dccL

LB Yes sir.

: Do you think he's an easy going sheriff, John?

.": Well now, I don't know, I'm going to tell you in my birth time, MYIc6 w. McCloud

ain't ......cuz he's a white man. But now the old Indians went white, you, you


d what I think, did you hear what I say.

b: Um.

: Cuz look it here I, I.
:r+ look fce 14h0-----_
Z2L: Y -" tidk 4aF= I people don't like...
~rcc LO ) tdOuM 0k- iQ ct)rrr
':. A NwAI'. 1w lWeve, thea look down from _____lr- McCloud. Cuz
sh__ have them to go over there and raid their Ihe and their
? bCCf- Mlc6o0 M
che!kene ad leg whiskey. Well now if they go up there ahd paid Mademe

McCloud off..... D YX you hear me now? Well now, that

Indian man, hell, he didn't know nothing about that. Did you hear me now?

bZ: A-huh. Or just pretended he didn't know nothing about it.

XL: Well.

S/: Oh me. Do you think that EastToc ina Robetson County pretty dirty?

L3 Yes sir.

Z-: Do you think it's dirty everywhere, John?

d: No it ain't dirty everywhere but now it's dirty around here.

?IQ: I wonder why that is?

i: Lord if I know, cuz if you, you pay the man off.

Z: But if you don't like a man you can always move him out of office, if you've

got the voting power.

,-,: Nah. If.you working for, voting for I don't guess you can.

: Doesn't serve right-kick him out.

L-: No, I ain't that you got to have

V~ f: Sit him down and sit somebody else up.

l-b: But you got to have the voting power.

kt: Right. Well the black people and thendian people together have it, John.

Don't they?

V: Look it here, Mr. Lew, looks it here, Mr. Lew, if, now listen, listen to me.

If I come here and said Mr. Lew, I want you give me somae no I ain't got


hma. If I ain't got no money, sometime you kid me sometime you mean it.

Well now, I dbt that the money, and slip it right on you like that, or was

it? Yeah, that's so, see what I mean?

S: Urm.

L4: Well now that's, that's the way itAis cf Mda McCloud and them. Sye is,

he wanted get in there and a stay a whole year and (':.That.TWtA

Ke-' i, ( ,-re
-: Think en &t rl do you think you'ae be in there a lot longer, do you think

he'll be in there as long as he wants to?

V-: Well he's been in there, how long, fourteen years. -
WelJ again he must have wanted to go back in but he had to runoE __ .

W(: Come now, had to run on twice didn't he?

be: Uh-huh, they had the primary on June 7, and then they had the cuz it was so

close JohBlack ti' for a run off so, r. they had the run" off and this time

he beat him by 700 votes.

l B_: But held 700 votes.
narrow veru nourrouo ra0r3qn.

VX: Now wait a minute now, 700 votes, he never, he never lost?

y: No tanritiny margin. That's just by the skin of his teeth.

l: Yes sir.

b: 700 votes in this county, you know.

L : In- what- cbfnty?

S4: Robeisson. That's not many votes.
eP, haere, W' -FrO
': Where yreAin from? WVte did he _a-e

5": Well he's as I understand it, his heavy support came from the white community

in Lumberton. Of course there were, you know there were some black people.

E" What about fCa n ?

S2 : Indian people probably voted for him .


Ll: What about LOr mc'rt ?

foi: Well I don't have, I have don't the figures before me right now, John.

L-B2. Alright, but what about a- eed?
P4y1,-\ ..
S.: ----------- d knowAabout that -WS0

LR: What about a-reed?
Se's 6shgn
f: Well. We% around there?

L-V No.

JX: See there. Well.

I-BT Well now look at Red Spring. (C.oCu)

L: I done told you.
,nice of jo-.o0 /' ?
(i: Well, John it's beenAtalkag to me ar the-phne.

LW Yes sir.

X Well then is there anything you'd like to say at all?

L.y: I, I like, I likes the Indian people. I was raised with

them all my life.

__: _like you too.

LjB. I raised with them all my life.

S.: Do you think they'll give you a square dealjJohn?

[l: Yes dir, they sure will.


t-Er AndAif I want'a'favor I know where to go to.

A : Well I'm certainly glad of that too.

L,$: niabr.s are vaf Indians.

L ,: Well John I want to think you for being kind enough to giveAthis interview.

I've enjoyed it.

LB: Thank you, thank you sir.


SL: Thank you very much. But John just before we part, it occurred to me, I

haven't askedjabout Pembroke State University and course now you never were

supposecto have integration right? Well the last count I had, we had

about 54 black people, about 200 Indian people and the rest were white people.

How do you feel about this?

L: Everything's alright with me.

g : Do you think we ought ta have more black people tfn more white people out,

and more Indians?

V4: No, everything nice with me.

b : Uh-huh. That doesn't bother you that we have this little?

V: No.

f: Well, it bothers me John.

:Now you take old man, see the old man up there, that's the last thing ya'll

got from the Indians. Nah.

b : You think old me should have been saved?

L-: Yes sir.

b : I think there should be you know an effort made to recruit more black people

and more Indian people so it'll be more evenly distributed, you know.

L4: Oh, they coming in everyday.

6L: Think we're getting more black people and more?

V: Yes sir.

6 I: How 'bout other nationalities?

LB: Ok them from up the road, then like japs and all, and Portuguese, and

their all, what them people wash theirshirts and things, the, the ( Ch'ese
+hre- -4he
Chinese. I go upAother day, I know. I know what I'm talking about.

>I: Well that's good John, that's good in there. That we're getting alot of

different people. A bitt of ueb3

l: I know. Now, wait, wait wait a minute. Wait a minute now. Let me tell


you something now Mr.

B: O.K.,

L: that use to been, be nothing but the Indian and coloreds. Now

did it?

B: Right.

L: Well I don't what you all doing. Now listen, I don't what you all done, but

how come them white people come in and moved ya'll out?

B: Ha-ha.

L: Uh-uh, now go ahead laugh and tell me.

B: Well its a long, its a lojg story John.

L: iti Henr Lowry was living then maybe it wouldn't do that.

B: .Hbw do, how do you feel about Henry Barry Lowry?

L: My man. My man.

B: How do you think that black people generally feel this way too?

L: Yes sir. Yes sir.

B: Do you think he did something for non-whites in this county?

L: No sir. He did, he done everything was right.

B: Uh-uh.

L: Yes sir.

B: I don't know if you know this or not, John. But there were black people in

Henry Barry Lowry's gang.

L: I know it.

B: And a couple white people were

L: I know, I know it, I know that.

B: All three races were represented there weren't they?

L: Um-um, yeah. But now listen here. When, when, when he got down and wanting to

do something, shit. He sat down and he's gone.

B: How do you think white people feel about Henry Barry Lowry?


L: -Wh -Pn People don't feelAo adajln about i. Now I'm telling.

B: bL0 bouCt 1ut yect non-white people-kind of feel like he was a hero right?
L: Yes. But that, that, that, that's, down in, that, that in tieAminds. But

they didn't tell you in theirheart.

B: Uh-huh.

L: Now, did you hear what I say?

B: Well they're beginning to speak out more and more.

L: Um-um.

B: Do you think they'd be afraid to Jell you that they, thathey thought Henry

Barry Lowry was a great leader?

L: There won't never be another Henry Barry Lowry.

B: You think he was a great folk hero?

L: I think he was great.

B: Well, I ...

L: And you, you can go down there to, you can go down there to


L: What that big from? When I was coming up with Rosco Sampson, now

listen. Rosco, he show me where he had -tree.

B: Um-um.

L: Now I'm telling you. Now I hope me die, now if that ain't the truth.

Yes sir.

B: John, do you think they ever killed him? Anybody ever killed him? John, we ran

out of tape on the other side of this tape over there when we were talking about

Henry Barry Lowry. And you said that you believed he was a great man like, aid

the Indians hold him in great esteem. Do you think all, all non-white people

in this county mostly hold Henry Barry Lowry in high esteem?

L: Yes sir, I really do.

B: Uh-huh. I had asked you just before the tape ran out, do you think they ever


killed him? Or do you think, what do you think:happened to Henry Barry Lowry?

L: No sir, I don't think they never killed him.

B: You know there was a great reward on his head,about 45 thousand dollars,

I believe and we have ,no record to show that that was ever paid to

anybody. Do you think anybody ever, we know he couldn't be living this late

Though, don't we? But, do you think anybody knows where his body is?

L: No sir, I really don't.

B: Because if they did, you know, they could still collect the reward probably.

L: Now that is the truth.

B: If anybody knows, it's the best kept secret among the Indians isn't it?

L: Yes sir. NoR that is the truth.

B: I've got a feeling that somebody knows but nobody's talking. Do you feel that


L: Well ain't nobody gonna talk.

B: Do you think Henry Barry Lowry helped all non-white people?

L: No hell, he, he hated white people.

B: The question Was, do you think Henry Barry Lowry helped all non-white people?

L: Well, I, I can't answer that, because I don't even know what you said. I didn't
know that 4see in school.

B: No I'm talking, when I say non-white, I mean blacks and Indian people.

L: Oh he helped black people.

B: _there was at leasthmember of his gang that wasAblack man, right?

L: Yes sir.

B: There might have been more than this, John.

L: I don't know.

B: Have you ever heard there were more than one?

L: I hear there was two.

B: Two? That's probably right. I believe there were people from all three races,


but there ,probably wer ore Indians than anybody else. I don't Knou)

L: Yes sir. Now that's the truth.

B: Uh-huh. Well at least when we ran out of tape had we already talked about
Con u mn od Core- me I think\had hadn't we?

L: Yes sir. Yes sir.

B: And we've covered a lot of ground haven't we?

L: Yes sir.

B: And we talked a little bit about the-nose and the superstition.

L: Yes sir.
B: And I think we covered it pretty thoroughly don't you?

L: I think we did too.

B: I certainly want to thank you. This has been a very enjoyable interview.

You've been.

L: Thank you.

B: Very pleased John, for giving this interview.

L: Thank you, thank you.

B: Thank you very much. Footnote colon. In checking this interview I learned

that we did.loose the material on CDnjI're women and On uje-men. Comma.

John's opinion as to whether alcohol has a different effect on black people

and white people than it has on Indians and a discussion of what is known

in the Lumbee River Valley as a quote tote, period, end quote. Unfortunately,

comma, we had to slightly censor some of John's remarksbecause his language

grew very rough when we were discussing the recent re-election of recent

renomination rather of Sheriff Malcolm G. McCloud, comma, who seems to be very

unpopular among the black people of this county. Comma, judging from John's

remarks Im period. Johkaid yes he, he knew about can re women and CoG) uemen

and that he knew of the presence of some in this county but that he didn't

believe in them period. He said yes, comma, alcohol does have a different


effect on Indians from the effect that it has on blacks and whites, period.

According to John, comma, Indians sometimes go berserk, under the influence of

alcohol, period. He explained that he heard about totin, comma, which was

suppose to be, comma, according to Lumbee superstition, comma, the spirits

of people about to die who visit friends, comma, relatives, and near
aquaintances just before their departure from this world, period. John,

was a little mixed up on his numbers of the restrooms whichAere in service

at the Robetson County Courthouse and county's capital of Lumberton, before

the civil rights legislation of 1964, period. There were six instead of four,

comma, one for white men, one for Indian men, comma, one for black men, semi-

colon, one for white women, comma, one for Indian women, comma, one for black

women, period. This in'the interest of accuracy. (tape discontinuity for

awhile) End of tape.

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