Interview with Elisha Dial and Betty Rogers, July 26, 1971

Material Information

Interview with Elisha Dial and Betty Rogers, July 26, 1971
Dial, Elisha ( Interviewee )
Rogers, Betty ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Florida History ( local )
Lumbee Oral History Collection ( local )
Spatial Coverage:
Lumbee County (Fla.)


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.

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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
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and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

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LUM4 216A

Page 1.

INTERVIEWEE: El9sha Dial/petty Rogers


July'26, 1971

D: Testing one, two. Testing one, two. Testing one, two. Testing one,

two. Testing one, two. Testing.... Testing one, two. Testing one, two.

Testing one, two. Testing one, two. Testing....Testing one, two.

Testing one, two. Testing one, two. Testing one, two. Testing.

Testing. This is July the 26th, 1971.. Adolph Dial speaking, Pembroke

State University, Professor of History and Government. I'm here in

Hoke County with my uncle, Elisha Dial, and his, and his granddaughter-

in-law, Mrs. Betty Rogers. Mrs. Betty Rogers is one of my former

students at Prospect School and also Pembroke State University. What

is your age? I'm going to call you Mr. Dial in order to make this

.easier. Mr. Dial, what is your age?

F: Eighty.

D: Eighty, what, what year did you come to Hoke County?

E: '17 I believe.

D: You moved here in 1917. I believe you said you married in 1914?

E: Yes.

D: Speak a little louder. What was Hoke County like when you came here?

What was the school situation like when you came here? Were there

any schools for Indian children at that time?

E: No, sir, no, no -chools for Indians.

D: How did you go about getting the school started?

E: Well, I met the Board of Education and they.'told me to go back and

LUM 216A

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see how many I could find df students: If I could get thirty they

would give me a teacher'.' Well,' I came, backhand gotAthe number that

they asked for, rehit bback,i the siperirintrndent told me, he said, "Well,

you've 'got' thi inumibei,'" He Isaysv,' "Now +i4 go get you a teacher,

find 'you a teachiel 'sdmhie.tlP- So 'I't enet bdcki'own to, around

in that' section lah4dI foidnda' Ctirl dbri 'there, br 'the name 'of Della

Oxendine and I ded with her to take the school.

D: Do you remember what they paid her?

E: I think about forty dollars or something like that a month.

D: Now so you began with one,.you began with one, one teacher. This was

in the 1920s I suppose.

E: Yes, began with one teacher.

D: Did you have a school bus at this time?

E: No, we didn't have any school bus.

D: How long before you had a school bus?

E: Oh, five or six years I reckon before we got a school bus.

D: How far would some of the students have to walk to school?

E: Well, three or four miles, five.

D: Some walked as far as five miles?

E: That's right, about fveumiles.

D: This was a one-teacher school?

E: One teacher, one teacher-school.

D: Now when they finished their, you didn't have a high school, did you?

E: No, sir.


LUM 216A

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D: So they went a few years and then stopped out and went to work on

the farm most of them?

E: That's right. They went to the farm after they quit school. That's

a six months school at that time.

D: Now how-many months' school did they have when you were a boy?

E: Well, about three .months I believe when I started school.

D: Now when you, you went to school tell me about some of your earlier

childhood days. A while ago you remarked about drinking water out

of a stream and so forth. Suppose you tell me this story.

E: Well, we didn't have anything to'drink'water out of at that time but

the well.

D: This, is down in Robeson County.

E: Yes, that's Robeson County, old Prospect, and we went to the swamp

to drink the water out of the run because the well was filled up with

these green :,-e5 w cal1eC-cL ern- and wei couldn't drink that water.

We'd go down to the branch and lie down on our stomach and drink the

water out of the run and it was pretty and clear. It looked good and

it was good and then we'd go back to the school house, get our dinner and

eat that, !be ready for school. That would be at noontime. We didn't

get any water, only at recess or at noontime to drink. The teacher

I was goi'jg to school to was Reverend Moore, W. L. Moore, and his

daughter told me something down at the swamp and told me that...just

want me to speak it c.' ; o4os ?

"D; .Yes, speak i't as it was.
E: 4.Q bOf thte"boys had peed in the water, in the swamp, the branch, and

she told me to tell Mr. Moore, that was her father, about what the

LUH 216A

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boys had did in the branch and they couldn't get no water to drink

because they had peed in the swamp into the run. And so she told

me to tell Mr. Moore about it. So I got back to the school house

and I got out and X told him, I says, "Miss Emma told me to tell you

that the boys had peed in the swamp and we couldn't get any water to

drWnk down there." And he told one of the students there, William

Bl3e,"take me down to, out to the well and wash my mouth out with

a corn cob," and he satd, "Well' we can't fin4 no corn cobs around

here." He says, "Take -you up a huckleberry to scrub-your mouth out."

Well, I didn't do that. I told him if I had to do that we'd go back

just like I came.

D: So you went on back. o you remember, do you remember any other in-

teresting tales in your real early days, any fun or serious business

when you were in school? i

E: Well, I didn't get to go to school but: just a little while and I

didn't get a chance to go for just a few days school at that time

and'on the next year I got to go*a few days and that was just about

all' that 1 got. Two or three months schooling was all that I got.

D: You learned to read somewhere. How did you learn to read?

E; I learned to read. myself. I went to Wilmington on a train and bought

a book from the porter and asked "him, "What kind of book is that you've

got?" He said, "This is a self-educating book. Everything in this'

book that you get in. school." So I told him to give me one of them

thaei He pays, "They're a dollar' and d half." I says, "Well,' I want

the book."' So he, I paid him for' the book and he give me the book.


LUM 216A

I went home and studied that book and there's some of everything

in that book that you get out of school.

D: Now how old were you then?

E; I' was, about six, seven, sixteen years old.

D: What were you doing on the train going to Wilmington?

E: Well, r had a sister down there that lived below Wilmington. I was

going' down to visit her.

D: Which one?

E: Catherine Ann.

D: So that was the beginning of, this was before you married, and that
wasAbeginning of you learning to read and write with this book you

bought from the porter. Do you recall the name of-that book?

E: No, I can't remeinber the name of that book right now.

D: You bought it from the porter on the train.

E: Bought it from the porter, yes. He told me there was everything in that

"book that you could get in school.

P.: Speaking of Wilmington, did you ever go down to Cherry Grove to the


E: Oh, yes, I've been down to Cherry Grove when I was a.boy about seven

or eight years old.

D: This was back in the 1890s then, lat 1890s. Would you tell me about

your trip, how you had planned to go and how you looked forward to

it and so forth and how you would get ready to going and how the

trip would 'be on your way down and so o?

E: Well, I weit with -my father. He went down and with a five, one-horse

*i ,

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wagon, went down with us. My father, Mr. Wesley Bullard,

"6oi Fro"n_ Locklear, Ellie Cloyd Lowry and William Blue,

we all five went down together with five wagons, one-horse wagons,

and drove all the way down to the beach and stayed down the rest
of that week and the' drivedhon Tuesday of the next week. Took

us about two weeks to go down there and back by wagon and horses.

So that was my first trip to the beach. I was about seven or

eight years old at that time. Got on there and got -on the mule's

back and rode up and down the beach and I thought that was as much

sport as I wanted. I wasn't afraid of 'the mule falling down because

there wasn't no stumps or nothing like that. 5hu*ni-, over .

D: Did you have -a'covered wagon?

E: Yes, I had a covered wagon.

D: When would you usually leave and when gould you arrive?

E: Well, we'd leave home on Tuesday torniig and arrive down there about

Friday night, Friday evening.

D: How, long would you stay? > :

E: We'd stay till the next Tuesday ahd start home.

D: And when would you get home again?

E: About next Friday.

D: $o it was a. two weeks, it was a two weeks trip.

E: Two week drive; yes.

D: What all would you bring with you'home?'

E: Well,! we'd bring some salt fish-'fresh fish from down there. ;Sometimes

*' i
\ *

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we'd get out and hunt, kill possom, coons--there's plenty of them

down there. Just every while you'd get around there you'd find


D: Well, you sa4d fresa fsh, how would you keep them fresh till you

got hbomS?

E: Well, we'd get them, just kind of take them out of the water and

pack'them down in a barrel, you know. We'd dress them like that and,

or they 'd dress them for us and we'd buy them right then and pack

them down in they'd salt them...

D: As far as..

E: what they called a pot.

D: In other words they were fresh fish salted down.

E: Yes.

D: But they wouldn't be too, the time you arrived home you could cook

some of them as fresh fish I suppose.

E: Oh, yes. Yes, they...

D: You know `J yes.

E: We'd, we'd salt them when we'd get home, you know.

D: Yes.

E: Sali them again, you know, and then they'd stay all the rest of the

year like that. Theykxe e+-wa&e alonglin the summer the next year.

D: Did you enjoy fresh fish?

E: Yes, I did and ........ecause we couldn't get them up

here and Oe could enjoy them going down there cooking and eating.

D: What about Lumbee River, didn't you fish the Lumbee River any?

E: No, I never did fish in the Lumbee River.

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D: Speaking of your diet, what was your diet like? You're eighty years

old and you're inr rghf good health, what was your diet like?

E: Well, most anything that anybody else would eat. Meat and bread
... O Stc S ;i : .l i l y .1 .1. 1 i l ,, I a I vI i
and fitsh,-foree-and things like that.

D; I believe you told me you never did drink milk.

E; Never did drink any milk in my life.

D: Never any milk in your life.

E: No cheese or nothing like that. No butter,

D: Yes, that's high cholesterol content. Maybe that's why you're living

so long. You laid off the milk. They're saying now it's not so good
for children and so on. They're not recommending niA 7ey drink lots

of milk. 'Now while you were down would you do any hunting, would you

see many squirrels?

E: Plenty of squirrels down there, just about like the chickens is around i,

the yard. You'd get out there add kill them with a lik4u)ooO.l nt-+ or-

O_\ i_ i ._ They would run in front of you. Someone would

take their gun and shoot them, just plenty of themj-e4 aeyindown

there give us the privilege, the man that owned that parf of_

D: So you'd actually kill some with qi-k_+ooc.t nu.'

E: Oh, you could. Yes, you could. They're all around you. Just take

-f4'. lI j -Looc& uk If you hit him Lou'd kill him.

D: Yes,

E: -oLiJA kill them, you know, if lyou hive a rifle or a gun.

D: Did you pitch tents when you arrived at the beach or when you stopped

on the way down? Would you pitch a tent or what?
f Ii':'

L '- \___ __ _

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E: Well;.,it wasijusti'acordingitb hbii the weather looked. If it was

raining or' anything ltke* thad, why, w 'd d't iup'"geteIn the wagon,

covered wagon. We'd get ityouththei lit '' We didn't

care nothing for building no tents or nothing like that. We 'd

just get in I the wagon and 'stay I while lthe rain as -goington.

D: Now backlwhen you :were, ayboywh ireIdid yourldad doelmostilof his

Shopping? ,i.;... pw i l yIi pit i i t l r l

E: Well, around Pace I believe is mostly the place where he did his


D: Now before Pace, when he was a boy, where did he do his shopping?

E: You mean yy father?

D: Yes.

E: Well, he mostly done all the business as far back as I can remember

with R. W. Littlemore.

D: But I mean before that time when he was a boy, back before the Givil


E: Oh, well, he...

D: He was born in 1838, August the, August the 19th, 1838. Now did you

ever hear him talk about.walking'to Fayetteville to shop?

E: Oh, yes, I've heard about that, yes. I've heard him say that.

D: Well, these people, these people who walked to Fayetteville, would they

go and come back the same day?

E: No, they wouldn't go. They'd probably be gone for a week maybe.

And then he rafted timber down the Lumbee River to Georgetown'in them



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D: Oh, yes, he did, he did take part in that?

E: Oh, yes, yes, he, he went down there several trips. Take him two

weeks after he'd get his timber in the river to drive down to


D: Yes, I knbw\ without thls. How, how would they do this timber?

E: They'd wrap At together, you know, in fleets, you know. Put several

logs together.

D: Would they tie, what would they tie them with?

;: With strips, you know. They'd get poles and nail them together, you

know so they couldn't scatter and so they could handlethem, you

know. So they'd drive down, they'd get a good raft of timber and they'd

get on that raft, they'd live on that raft, they'd cook and eat on

that, There'd probably be a couple of weeks to going down to

Georgetown and then about the same thing coming back. You'd have

to walk back to Georgetown, and after a way they'd get their little

money. They'd have'to wrap the timber down there and they'd shake :

it up down there at Georgetown. Pay them for it and then they'd get

back, walk back from their homer

D: They'd go right down Lumbee River into P.D.

E: That's right. Go down Lumbee River right on into P.D. Trail.

D: You say that usually this entire trip would be about a month?

E: It'd take them two weeks to make' that trip and then they'd walk

back f om Georgetown. A "-K A rgoF the timber.

D: Yes, I imagine it'd be a good three weeks, maybe four.

E: Yes, irnoimong ^_ about three or four weeks on making the

round trip.

LU 216A : ,

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D: Would they cook right on top of a log.

E: Right on top of a log.

D: And sleep on top of them.

E: That's right.

D; Do you, do you remember any stories that he told back in those days

bout going to Georgetown?

E: No, I don't remember. I wasn't old enough to remember in those days.

D: Was this before the Civil War that he did this or after?

E: I think it was after the Civil War, along about the time it was

something like that.

D: Do you know if he was married then?
E: No, I don't, I don't know whether he was married or not.

D: Do you, do you recall any stories that he told you about the Georgetown


E: No, sir, I don't remember. I wasn't old enough to think much about it

when he was talking about it. I didn't try to keep any record of it.

D: Getting away from the beach now, when -you were a young boy, real young,

say fifteen or sixteen, what, what were the young boys doing for fun

back in your day?

E: Well, they worked on the farm for their father and mother, father.

D: What about fun and entertainment?

E: Well, t{ey didn't know nothing about that, any entertainment. Lots

of them going to school, you know, they might have what they call

school lobaing and.bhg dinner out there then and that's about

L ____________-----------

.i I I I I. I 1 1. .

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all the kids ever got in them days.

D: Well, did they hunt, enjoy hunting and so on?

E: Oh, yes, you go down to the beach you could hunt.

D: Well, what about around here, didn't they they enjoy hunting?

E: Yes, they hunted around in a section 'r6tu'. -' They had plenty

of game than there ever was. a have plenty of it around Prospect

there'.' Way down orn tihe'beacl own oy 'the hunk" there's just every,
t., ," I I I
therets,' squrrelsaad possoms a o s nd' codn and everything, just plenty
of triem d w n t1 e ' hi iil:+++ i ,]- t I ir ,, i t l l s l : ." i
of them down theYre. ai tc thnem anyone.

D: In your young days how did your parents teach you to feel about a

white man?

E: Well...

D: Or what did they, teach you and so forth? What did they tell you about

white people?

E: Well, I never did get out amongst'the white people. I didn't know

nothing about them. My daddy always sit down probably if he had time

and tell us his old story about something or another, you know, way

back. But 1we were so little we didn't even know, understand what he

was talking about, and after I got up old enough to know,why,he got

out to work and I never had any. chance, you know, to pay any attention
toA much. what he was talking about.

D: Well, how dq you feel about white people in your young days?

E: Well, I'didn't know nothing about them. I didn't know one thing about

them. I never had seen none of them much until I saw a white man PuI j

LtJc fmrcftrl1 Q qo5hY>%. except Mr.' Elislah Brown.
^j ^j -

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.' ,1 t 1 + I 'I. 1 1 I: t I t ,
D; In other words your contact with the white man was far removed.
I l lI
You didn't come in contact with. him very often.

E: Not in later years probably even after I got grown and got to
I I '. t I i .1 1 I
working out in publte work, I began to talk with these white people
I I i I i I i.+ +. i l i. i. r' ,I ) i > L .' y i 1 1 ,
and colored people.;

D: Did you grow up to kindly dislike them?
+' ..< .i r ," l'l i '.,i: l. l'r w n .
E: Well, no, 1 liked the colored people and I liked the white people.

They was all nice to me here, mighty good people.

D: Well, didn't you realize back in those days that the white people

were taking advantage of the Indian people?

E: Well, yes, I'd hear my father and other people say things about that,

but I was so small until I didn't think nothing about it, you know.

P: Did you ever hear him talk about, did you ever hear your dad tell

about them, white people taking the Indians land or putting things

in his barn and claiming he stole them' and'so forth?

E: No, I never did hear him say anything 'about that. I heard that

after I got to be a grown man and I'd bear people speaking about that,

you know, :iwy back the old people of the white people coming in and

taking their, the Indian's land,.you know, from them.from out of

Scotland and for Scotland I believe he said and some other place over


D: Speaking of education did, do you remember or did you ever hear him

tell of having their own schools and paying their own teachers and

so forth. without the state doing'it?

E: Yes, I remember that. I went to school along in them days. That's

r '

~ r. i

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when I was going to school.

D: Where were you going to school?

E: I went to what they called the Barton Schoolhouse in Prospect.

Do Now the Barton School, who paid the teachers?

E: Well, I don't know about that. I never did...

D; I mean when I say who, the state or the people.

E: I think the people paid the teachers when it first started. The-

parents would get together and pay him:. so much I think.

D: I see. What was that school like, the school room?

E: Well, it looked like, just like it is now. It wasn't as large and

there wasrnt as many students then as there is now, you know. If uAS
ju-5f a-r-
guoeeokbe ordinary school building. Prospect was just a medium

size building and up there to the Barton Schoolhouse was just an

ordinary building.

D: One room?

E: One room, yes, and Prospect was dne room.
D: And a fire-place or heater?

E: Fire-plac.

D: All of yod tried to sit around the fireplace?

E: That's right. I would sit there.'

D: What" kind of bench you have?

E: We had a wboden bench,

D: Did you hbVe A desk?

E: Well, r think they had the desks built'in the back of the schoolhouse.

11 X

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D: Di4 you use a slate?

E: Well, that's what we started with. at f rst, you know, and we'd

use a slate. I'4 go to the blackboard sometimes and...

D: Now- wth your books, 4did you use a, what did you call that thing you

used to keep from wearing out your books, *sumf pads?

E; Sum?

D: Yes, did you have a little pad you put...

E: Oh, yes, they, you had to keep your little paper like this thing here.

Doubled it up and put it on to your thumb because that thumb would

eat a hole slam through one of them leaves in the back.

D: You didn't know that did you, Mrsl. Rogers.

E: Yes, sir,.mine...

D: I used to hear my mother talk about that.

E: ...mine would eat a hole through fthe hole, that book slam to the

back of it.

D: Seems like it'd 'take you a long time to learn that page. You need

to turn that page. t

E: We'd turn it, but it'd be right over the next page, that same thing.

It wouldn't take ou long to get through that leaf. When you started

the book you'd start in there, you'd hold it with your thumb, you know,

a book like that. Wouldn't be but a few weeks before the sweat or

something done eat a hole through" that fnd they just keep on eating

Sand eating"and the leaves would be coming up above your thumb, you know,

and your thumb is going on down toward the back of the book. ?ckor-

S.. 4 'oC be on the back. You couldn't' the leaves down then. They

just come up, yoO know.

_ ____ ________ p__-_______________'' i--------------- -----

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D: Was there more drinking going on in your young days or would you say

more today among the Indian people?

E: I didn't understand just what...

D: Did you have more people drinking alcohol in the young, in your

young days or more today?

E; Well, they drank pretty bad in them days. Most, everybody mostly

would drink pretty well.Ho0i oi 4et h1- u as a little rough some


D: What do you mean by rough?

E; Well, they'd fight, shoot at one anothrr,,you know. sometimes kill'


D: Do you think the -men back then were braver than they are today?

E: Well, I don't think so. I thinkthey All come along about the same

wajy same-.thing. I don't think there's much change in them. They

didn't have no education in themidays,3you know. The father, the

mother didn't have any education Aand they couldn't teach the thild

and what little schooling they got to about three months.

D: Well, now%'in your boyhood days what was the most important thing that

you' look forward to? Say when you were twelve, fifteen years old

o or something, what was the most important thing that you'd always

look forward to?

E: Well, I' didn't have no particular things, working all the time in

the new ground ditching, my daddy would have te a ditching and a

clearing 'and all the time.

D: Well', didn't you hve, look forward to ioing something? To have a

little funl?

L _____Ii

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E: Well, we didn't know nothing about nothing like that much.

D: Well, you'd look forward to 'going to the beach, wouldn't you?

E: Well, that was years after, well, later on after that. I didn't

go but one time when I was a boy. I went one time.

D: It thought maybe you went every year.

E: No, no. One time till I got married and got grown and went myself.

D: And what did you think the beach was like when you first stared

as a boy?'

E: Well, it just looked like a big ocean of water there. You...

D: You have never read about it, have you?

E: I've never read about it nor saw'it. We got on our mules back

and rode tp and down the beach. We enjoyed that. That was good

riding. You get up there and you could run a mile down the beach,

you know, was on your mule's back, back and ride all you wanted to.

D: Did the puIllen' fsh out with the netsnlike they do today?

E: Yes,q they had nets then. Yes, they had the same thing then that they've

got how, on the ground. They'd pick them up and stand them up

or fit4': tiem up in barrels and thingsi'you know, just about abet

like they do now, r

D: Now when you arrived at the beach, of course, there was lots of people

there fror4 other places and so forth, did you all kindly get in your
own group or did all of you mix together with the whites and the black

and all? How did you do?

E: At the beach? Well, there would iiever'be nobody down there.

1 :h 1

r I I II
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I, '' i :'-1 !, t.t.: i u 1 V F -r l 1,. ,,b ,l y Ilt Iw n i l k .,
I would never see anybody around there then except the people that'd
be coming out there, country down there.
D: Well, there'd be people there from other places.
E: Well, there'd be very few, very few people there.
D: Would you all associate With the other people there?
E; We was always getting in a group ourselves and they'd get over in
another group and that's the way it would work out.
B: You didn't mix much with them?
E: No, we didn't bother with them. They didn't bother us and we didn't
bother with them.
D: So you had your first school. How did the Board of Education feel
about giving you supplies and so forth, things that you needed for
this schooling'you had asked them for?
E: Well, I didn't know. You had to go to school long enough to know just...
D: No, I mean your school here in Hoke County, how did...
E: Oh, they was willing to go out ahead and
help me to get the school organized. Told me to find a place --Ld-
build it and I could have it.
D: But your school was never like the whites, like that big brick building
here in Jacobs Point. There was quite a difference between those schools,
wasn't it?
E: Oh, yes./ Well,Aephow they built' that school, they didn't use it but
about two years before '4 '. a, and went that Rapan Bf. So
we didn't get no school till they built ...
D: Well, now when they built this big brick white school building at
Sr. *

LUM 216A i I ., '. 1

Page 18. d' !i I .

Antioc, why didn't they give that 't Itihe Idans' aft'r they moved

to Rapanville? in

E: Well, some of 'them '' want'a' ttl' giV! i' to us and some didn't. So
"' thatwas " i-fe W L't ]"":"..' ". ". I'-. ,, ,., ',,, ,.*..,.,,,, ,'.,,

D; Why didn't they want you all to have that school?

E: Well, I never did learn why. I never did talk to them about it, you


D: What happened to that school?

E: Well, it went dead at Antioc. They didn't, they didn't teach there -

but two or three years in that building before they left.

D: What happened to the building after they moved out?

E: It's there yet.

D: And that was a right nice brick building that you all would have

been glad to have.

E: Oh, yes, it's a nice building all right.

D: But they didn't want the Indians to have it.

E: Well, some of them wanted the Indians to have it and some didn't.

That's the way, that's what theytsaid.

D: Who bought that school?

E: I don't know whether it's ever been bought yet-unless WalterlGibson

bought it. I' believe he finally bought that.

D: How iuch did he pay for it, Mrs. 'Roger?

R: I don't have any idea at all, but I imagine it was just a nominal sum.

E: I believe ihe paid ten thousand dollars for it or something like that.

D: Mas." Rogezs, what was your idea as to why they didn't want them to have

this school?

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i i \,l i (.' i ;;i ,/ Dill 'i(Lc'..i J. .; [ v> \;lio L. lil y d i,ii l' t %. l III[
R: Well, I can only offer my op union based on observations based

on my little knowledge of the agricultural economy in Robeson

and surrounding counties. It was not economically beneficial

to the white man to encourage the Indians to have education because

they wouldn't want to work the farms for nothing and they would

know, too, when they were being cheated.

D: So you're saying that they would only want them to have just a

little, not much...

R: Only what the law demanded and.,- ....

D: And what they really demanded.

R: Right.

D: And they would hope that they wouldn't demand too much.

R: Right, only, they, I think they only gave what, what they had to in

order o L556OSUjI their conscience and try to satisfy the la6 in

the least degree.

D: Now here we'll:-say your two are what, three generations apart?

Four? Yed, yes, you are one, two, three, three generations apart

and I wonder what the thinking is now here on the school situation.

How do yod view it today, will you tell me something, Mrs. Rogers?

You re teaching what is considered the best high school of Hoke

County and you teach twelfth grade English and you teach white

students, black students, Indian students and so forth. Would you

comment on this? r c

R: Well, I think the school system itself is a fine school system and

I think the attitude of the Board of Education and the principal

under whom' I'm working is, couldn't berbetter, and I don't know

LUM 216A

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whether it's because they had to integrate and had to change
I l iC; 1 I I 1
their attitudes or what, but for whatever reason I'm glad it's

as it is. But I think as far as students' attitudes, and I'm

not blaming the students all together for this, poor education

is lamentable, especially the Indian students, and I think one
S1' I I 'tl I Ii i. ,, ) it
reason for this is that he is such a small percentage of the

total student population and he feels lost and overwhelmed in

this situation. Besides that education is really not encouraged

in the Indian homes as much,:Il think, as it is in the white and
4 i I I, i4 ii,,l ,l, I h ', n l i i i I,
the black home. Now I don't know why I ha that feeling. I guess

it's because of the attitude of the students thae I 'bb'served

in the classrooms. They don't ive that much for education.

They don't want to go beyond the)high school level to any extent.

I don't know how many seniors we had this time from Hoke High, Indian

seniors who went or planned to go on to college, but I don't think

it was more than three or four if that many, and I think I came

in contact with more Indian students than the other twelfth grade ft.r'\-f

D: Well, there must be a reason forlthis.: What would you...

R: I know, I know there is a reason and well, I know there's more than one

reason and I guess I would have to look at what the students do after

they.get out and try to assess what that reason is also, because when

the Indian students get out of high school they get a job to make some

money. They want that money in their hands that they won't be having

if they gd on to college or go to somecother school, and now,1you

might not' think that this would te typical but it's, it's becoming more

and more typical for the Indian boys especially to have his own car

LUM 216A

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before he gets out of high school and his whole life is planned

around that automobile right now, and that's why' he has to work -

to support that automobile. He just doesn't, he just doestAe

A .. anr he doesn't have that spirit of being willing to

put off pleasures and things to start for that education that he

has to have.

D: How'do you, how are you treated by your friends in the school

profession at school?

R: Well, I couldn't be more satisfied with my treatment there either.

D: I've always felt personally as a Lumbee Indian myself, there seems

to be some difference between whites we'll say, on the professional

level and then socially mixing with Htrv_, on Sunday afternoon.

Would you comment on this?

R: Well, there is, there is no social mixing among the faculty at

Hoke High beyond the professional atmosphere of the school unless

maybe it'would be isolated individuals who go on a shopping spree

or something, but as far as communicating socially or in social

circles,'it's just not done yet.

D: Do'you ever have any of your friends to come out? You all ever

take a tkip or anything together, you'and any of,the white people?

R: No, nonerwhatsoever. This one lady, boris Hastings, she and' I go

around'pretty much together all the time because we have our rree

p periods together and she has invited me to her home for lunch and

I've gon4 and of course I'd reciprocate except that the time that

h f t

LUM 216A

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we have to communicate during school or to socialize during school

is limited, so we just don't do that. And I think to be perfectly

honest I, I don't feel that she would really be too enthused about

coming to my home.

D: And actually you're not too enthused going to hers.

R: Well, no, I, I really honestly would not feel comfortable going

to her home to participate in any social affair with her circle

of friends.

D: So I guess it's about as broad one way as it is another.

R: Yes, yes.

D: Do you fell that prejudice exists among Indians as much as among

the whites?

R: Ye, I do. I have to say this honestly and I tell you I guess one

thing that brought this to my attention a long time before I ever

had any hopes of going to college andireally being able to analyze

the situation'like this, was th lan-Indian class at Maxton when

the .lai "&AC Indians had their mutual riots. I went over there

and I fully expected to see what I sa*.

D: You, are you saying that you attended the clan rally in '

R: Right. 5 X 1

D: Yes', tell me about this.

R: Well, my husband and I and Henry, Mr. TDial's son, and his wife

whd was, iell, she wasn't his wife thin but she is now, we knew

that the meeting was going to bd over there and so we decided to

go and we went and we were all ebccited about what we were going to

i;, ?. l

!: I: ?

LUM 216A"

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see because we knew that the day had passed when the Indians wasn't

going to cower no more, and so when we got there it was just a few,

minutes before the thing got started and the cars were, had lined

both sides of:the road and as I remember there were three bare

bulbs, bulbs, light bulbs hanging on some poles stuck in the ground

and that was the only light there. Neither one of those bulbs as

I remember, was too close to the speakers stand which was already

erected. But anyway by the time that we had gotten turned around

and headed back the way which we had come in everybody kind of

flowed across the road from the cars afd went over near the speaker's

stand and of course when the first shot rang out that meant the

lights were gone and everybody just started generally shooting and

I really think that most people must have shot up in the air because

nobody god injured that I know of.

D: Now how many people would you estimateito be there?

R: Well, I think that there was somewhereein the neighborhood of two

hundred and fifty to three hundred, but what I went to see I saw

and I can't honestly say that I didn'teenjoy it. But I also had

another feeling. I saw something in odr people also that was not

pretty. t

D: And what was that? 9

R: It was the hate and the anger and the same kind of frustration& and

prejudice 'that they were objecting to.' They were expressing the

same thing. Maybe they were a little more justified and if you can

(* l .E.:

LUM 216A 1I 1'1 '

Page 24. i

11: 1),. /b h .y uf-'r a i t I I i l I : i : jt:t. i I it' l i

say that you are ever justified in violently assaulting anybody,

but maybe the intent was not to violently assault and just to

violently frighten. Whatever it was the lan was frightened and

they left, but also...I left,there was plenty of sympathy for them

because I realized how stupid and ignorant these people were and

we were behaving in the same way.

D: Let's see, a question here. Let's see, describe some more of the

Slain rally at Maxton.

R: As far as I am able to determine the speaker that night never

appeared on the platform. He may have begun to appear and maybe

that's when the shots started. I don't know, but I know, though,

about twdhty-five or thirty shots fired and with that many shots

being fired I don't think the intent and the purpose of the clash

was to shed blood. If it had been thdre was ample opportunity

to shed the blood. I think it was to fight more than to mame and
o K
kill. -s ,i. t m9e a point.

D: Now if they, if they had resisted you think the Indians of course,

there may have been some bloodshed.

R: Right, I fully believe there would have been some bloodshed, but I

knew a week before we had planned ahead when we heard that the meeting

was'going to be over there. I had, I had told my husband that there

was'going'to be-a riot and I knew it would be and of course he knew

there wasi'going to be a riot, but he didn't call it a riot. I guess

he, he'd considered it the last straw.

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D: Mrs. Rogers, sometime ago when you were at Pembroke State University

you said something to me about the curriculum, you said something

about curriculum. In other words you were speaking specifically

about the treatment of the native Americans, the American Indians

in the North Carolina textbooks and you did something about that.

Would you'tell me about this incident and the response and so forth

and so on and how you look at it today and what you're doing and

so forth.

R: Well, the textbook in question is entitled, Your Country and Mine,

which is 1 think ironic because the...'

D: What grade?

R: Fifth grade, fifth grade level, because the textbook really doesn't

). live up to that in the full sense of the title and the reason I

say that is the image of the American Indian in there which is

portrayed as a coward and a robber and he's bloodthirsty and 'he's

really kind of stupid. He's childlike. And I didn't think too much

about this, so I wrote Dr. Craig Phillips, who is state superintendent

of public instruction, and he didn't answer my letter, but one of

his assistants did and he told m6 a lot of things which amounted

to really'nothing about the fact that they have supplementary ma-

terials t6 use along with these textbooks to amplify some of these'

things and to really, to elucidate somi of the things that the

textbooks might have presented id a manner unfavorable to the Ameri-

can Indian, but I think it was a'lot of rot in a way of getting rid

L: C ;H '

I i ', \ i I [ I T V I I I .
I- I

1W i l -I, i"L ,' ,,' i I '
14UH 216A

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of me. And I think he, he is not as wise as I think state superin-

tendent o pub4.l -enstruction should be to overlook an ethnic

stereotype in a social studies group which really has no place

there. History is supposed to be fact and I think they left out

a lot of facts. As a matter of fact I'm sure they did and they

elaborated and made many fairy tales to make a point about the

heroism of the caucasian Americans to the detriment of the Ameri-

can Indian and I did not get any further wiirr teSuJt4S after

having written Mr. Phillips about the textbook. But a friend of

mine who was in college with me, she is: working in Washington,D.C.

this summer with the Commission on Civil Rights, and she remembered

and she gave me a form to use in criticizing the book and to mail

back to her for use in the civilr'rights, some civil rights project

or something. But anyway that'sfwhat i'm presently doing about it.

ButI think it's, it's tragic that they would take our tax money

andmisuse it this way. If, I think it would be better not to have

any social studies in the fifth grade at all if this is what they're

goitg to waste their money on, and give us the money to build schools


D: Now how mdny in the twelfth grade in Hoke, how many Indians do you

teach, how many black and how many whites do, could you give me

some breakdown on some of your classes?

R: Well, I hAd, I had about a hundred and fifty-three students all to-

gether and I think I took a tally one time and I had about sixteen

E. t 1

I f, ^ *

..,- i 'I. ,'l i i iI ,_ ._, ___i. .,, i_ _.

LUM 216A
*~ i I 11.1 ll 11 ; : l 1 11t:l 1: .I l i I I h ti. l 1 ,
Page 27. dib
Pag llitt2l. .1. t il. a l lI y ,i Lw I., ;[1!J 1 l,:ii .,

Indians and then the rest, then the remainder was about fifty

percent, you know. It was better than fifty percent black because,

because of the ability levels that I had. It was probably about

sixty percent black and forty percent white ._e .

D: With sixteen Indians out of how many, about a hundred students?

R: I had sixteen Indians out of a hundred and fifty-three. See,

that's how many I had, and the other twelfth grade ia teacher,

she had about a hundred and seventeen students a day and she didn't

have that many Indian students because she, she had mostly college

prep students.

D: The Indians are very much in the minority in Hoke County with black

and white...

R: Well, black is the majority.

D: Black is the majority.

R: Black is the majority. :

D: Nov would you tell me something about the experience, do you find

any association between Indians and white or black and Indians and

or do all of them just do their 'own t~ing?

R: Well, in ithe classroom you see them group together in their own

little racial cliques. r I

D: You mean they sit separate in the classrooms mostly?

R: Right, right, and I don't think it's basically a thing of race.

I think it's just natural that anybody would congregate with his

own'friends and because we've been raised to live separately, of
; [ *

LUM 216A

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course our friends all belong to the same race basically.until

you get in the integrated school where you do have maybe a friend

who is black or a friend who is white. But still you may be seen

around campus with him and you participate in some of the extra-

curricular organizations with him, when you get in the classroom

you naturally gravitate toward your own racial friends.
D: Do you try to break them up and alphabetize the group byAseating

arrangement or anything?

R: Yes, I do this periodically not just to break up the racial groups

but because these friends get together and they want to take a

social hour every now and then and you have to get them separated

so that they can realize that it's supposed to be an instructional
period. But I, I think I haj a good relationship with my students.

I had some personality conflicts but Ilcan honestly say that I

didn't have any racial conflicts.' Evidentally they thought I was

mainly a pretty nice guy because I wag elected senior teacher

of the year.
D: Very goodA senior teacher of the yeaf. By the senior students?

R: Yes, uh huMh.

D: And do yod see much difference iri the young generation and say

the teaching generation, you know, amoig students...

R: In what .ay?

D: ... a far as breaking racial barriers? '

R: Well, I honestly think there is more, &at the, the teaching genera-

tion is mjre inclined toward that, that kind of thing than th6 stu-

danti are.1

F i c :

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vi 7 I i I !l .. ; I i l I I i '

-d t It l I -d l I i i 1 1, i ii 4 1 n ii I t I
D: You mean breaking it?

R: Right, because the students that I had are in that phase of their

life where they're Kltd you know, on the lookout for the

mate that they're going to live with the rest of their lives, and

they're not too interested in marrying somebody else of another

race because it's not socially or economically desirable, because

we still have strong prejudicial attitudes in our society, and the

kids are realistic.

D: So I guess realistically speaking, as a matter of fact my mother

always told me to marry Indians and there were five of us and

of course then.we did and...

R: Fine.

D: ...I suppose it has certain advantages'and the same goes for the

white or the black.

R: And then, too, I really think, I'thinkit would take a super strong

person to marry somebody of another rate, especially and live

in our community and fight the resistance all his life. I think

when you consider somebody in matrying'you think now how much

resistence am I going to get from my friends, from my parents and

the people that I'm going to be close to the rest of my life, and
sometimes you haveAdefer, well, most of them to defer these attitudes

because'it's just too much to fight all your life.

D: Yes, I suppose so. Too many battles.

R: Oh, you have too many battles to fight in your life to use all your

1 5

LUM 216A

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energies fighting one and it's not a defeatest attitude. It's

a realistic one. You have to live in this world and you want

to live among people that you love and know that gives you a

feeling of security. So you have to decipher their attitudes


D: How do you feel that minority groups can teach identity and still

not teach prejudice?

R: Well, one way would be to get rid of the fifth grade textbook

that we're using, social studies textbook, because I think that

defeats any, any constructive purpose we could have in teaching

racial identity without teaching'prejudice, because it's books

like this that tend to perpetuate prejudice. And another thing

is to show people as people, which I think the social studies

textbook again could do.rather than showing the Indian as some-

body stupid who just runs into a group,;of soldiers who has a

gun. Teach the fact that this was part of the Indians belief about

showing his manhood. If he could makee:the coup, which is touching

his enemy without getting injured, he was really considered a

hero in ttat battle that day. But thelway we've been shown on

television and in social studies textbooks this was stupid and

it was a childlike thing to do, which in actuality was not. Show

how people have some of the same common problems like entry into

manhood. 3hat is it that the whfte American- uses to signify'that

he's becoming a man? One of the things is to make plans for when

you get ott of school. Another thing is to get a car.and another

', : .t1
< ^ t y' .

.1 I 9 ILi i,

LUM 216A ;

Page 31. db

thing is to become engaged to la, igl and get' married. Well, what

Ssh could do: ies to .shot how people in. other cultures' do; this same

thing in their own way, whete, we. cad' t downgrade, other cultures

because they don't doi the same way that whJtte Ametrian culture

has devised for its toffspriingA!r i it doesn'tmean that they are back-

ward or primitive,' because! many timers they ecouild teach us some

lessons just like. the reenet tstfone,:age culture that was I discovered

in the Philipines. They don't have any cavities because they

never had any, any sugar and something, or salt. So there's some-

thing to be learned, and they also had a method for cleansing their

teeth. This thing about teaching racial identity, I think we have

to in some way get the people responsible for curriculum development

and educate parents and begin educating students to see people as,

as people.and, and to, to awaken theif conscience in some way because

they're never really going to do anything until you find something

that you can stimulate besides this concept of curriculum Wrt-i

These social study textbooks, which i' my pet peeve, are really

a lot of fairy tales in many ways, and I was taught that history

was supposed to be objective and present the facts as they happened

without any glossing over or candycoating and whatnot. But we

don't get3it that way. We criticize the Russians for rewriting his-

tory tokwhichver premier is in! office, but we do the same thing

for IwhichTver of our ethnic groups id in the majority.

D: In teaching the three races do ybu feel that you have as many friends

among the Indians, whites percentage-wise and so forth?

1 '" i'

LUM 216A

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R: No, I really don t, because I, I think when it comes down to

things like showing that you're a warm person or can be a warm

and understanding person, I think the black child is more receptive

and more appreciative than the white child and maybe it's because,

I mean that I feil that way, but I get the feeling that, that the

white kids are, think're not doing them any great favor

itEd'A 1Aher, and it doesn't make any difference you're

going to have to pass them anyway. But with the black kids it

was different.. I only had one black girl that showed any hostility

toward me at the beginning of the year, and she plainly told me

in her autobiography that she would prefer to have a black teacher

and I wrote her a note on her paper and I said, "Well, I hope race

doesn't make any difference in this classA" And by the end of

the secoAd six weeks she and I were getting along fine. Of'course

we didn't have any problems, any arguments or anything, but she

found out that I was not going to hold blackness against her.

D: Did any white student ever say that she'd rather have a white


R: No,' noneenever said that, but Pihave one girl who, she went to
the guidance office and told the guidAnce counselA3 that I was

prejudiceaand that's why we were having such a terrible time

getting along, and which is really not so, and I don't know what

was wrong with, with Diane. I do know she had a home problem and

she had dome from a school system, sh& had come from Asheville

where they had had a lot of racial problems, and I think
I ,1 r

-- I -

LUM 216A .

Page 33. : '

that she-wbtrild probably warr" rac er bls -a.are>

but she told the 'guidance counselor thatd I tilted ier' because she

was white and' ail this that 'add t'he v'ther. "but she,' but I never

did take any points from' her.' 1 as always ar lrni grading her

and so after'that I'bolid her, 1Y said'I Id n' t'are what color

she was', 'but i 'waB 'edd up 'with'hh' add thal 'ii was' 'tting pretty

late' ixi 'the 'ye' t61, her b1" w^N *6f"atd le b''change

classes, but if she wouldn't straighten up she was going to have

to get out of my class, and I told Mr. Maynor that I didn't dislike

Diane at the first of the year, but I was rapidly coming towards

d;spising'her. But she straightened up. I guess she thought I

must have meant business after that time. She straightened up and

by the end of the year she was one of 'sweetest people I had in my


D: Well, I certainly enjoyed this interview with my uncle, Elisha

Dial, the son of Marcus Dial, ana some of the stories relate: way

back because Marcus was born October the, August the 19th, 1838,

and here we have a span of three generations. Hoke County has

moved from a position where there were no Indian schools to where

they had a one-teacher Indian school, to where Mrs. Rogers now

works in an integrated situationiand yet racially-speaking mankind

still hasn't gotten to the point'where-he looks at man as man. Per-

haps there is prejudice among the blacks, among the red and among

the 'white and oftentimes each like their own little social groups

to do their'own thing, but th 46 being awarded the award of senior

LUM 216A

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teacher of the year seems to show that she has worked well into

a situation and seems to be making lots of progress. Perhaps

a few hundred years from today there'll be a difference.