Interview with Rev. Dawley Maynor, August 27, 1971

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Interview with Rev. Dawley Maynor, August 27, 1971
Maynor, Dawley ( 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.

Record Information

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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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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INTERVIEWEE: Reverend Dawley Maynor pwh
DATE: August 27, 1971
D: This is August 27, 1971, Adolph Dial speaking. I am here at the home
of the Rev. Dawley Maynor, who has been with the Burnt Swamp
Baptist Association for a number of years. Mr. Maynor, suppose you
tell us something about your association with the Burnt Swamp
Baptist Association. Have you acted as moderator and pastor and so
forth of various churches? Give us a little of your background.
M: Well, Mr. Dial, I joined the Baptist Church in 1931, and in 1932
I began, I was called into the ministry, and I servedseveral
churches in the Burnt Swamp Association. And after serving for a
period of around thirty-two years, then the Association called me
as a Superintendent of Missions, and I served in that capacity for
six years. I never did serve as an officer in the Association because
I felt that as a pastor, that I should give my time to the church i
instead of trying to go and in the capacity of an
associational officer.
D: You taught in the public schools for some time, did you Mr. Maynor?
M: Yes, I taught in the public schools for fourteen years.
D: And where did you teach during that time?
M: I taught at the school, it was Piney Grove, and then later on, I
taught at New Bethel, and I also, I taught the remaining of the fourteen
years was at Magnolia School.
D: Now, Mr. Maynor, in 1929, there was an Indian legislative committee,
established by the legislature, the North Carolina Legislature, and

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this Indian legislative committee, had as its purpose to oversee
admission policy into the Robeson County Schools, also including
Pembroke State College; that is, admission policy in regard to race,
is this right?
M: Yes, Mr. Dial, this is right, because there was a lawsuit and it
was, took around two weeks because there, as we might see, undesirables.
They could not meet the qualifications of the Indian people in Robeson
County, so then the general assembly passed a law governing the entrance
to the Indian Schools in Robeson County. Now the law, states, stated
that any applicant, they had to prove that they were defendants of the
Indians of Robeson County prior to a registration, when the Indians were
given the schools in 1885. There was seven committees, and this committee
was appointed by the governor with the recommendation of the local
people, and then this committee was self-perpetuating.When one member
died or he resigned, then the other members,they had the authority
by law to go and appoint their own committee.
D: Mr. Maynor, without calling names, would you relate,'some of your
experiences on the committee, and so forth?
M: Mr. Dial, at times, it wasn't very pleasant, because we tried to help
everybody, and we had a law togovern our rdes and our regulations and
our, or our decision. There was lots of people that if we could have
helped them in any way, without violating the law, but we took the
law, we took the oath to support the law as written, and when people
come up they would see that we ought to have sympathy, we did. We would
do everything that we possibly could to try to help them, and to
instruct them and guide them. When the people would come from other
places besides Robeson County. We tried to tell them that we ourselves
didn't have any schools up until 1885, and that if our people, they

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attended any school, they had to go with some of the other races. So
after the law was passed in 1885 that we would have our separate
schools, and also our teachers, then the Indians of Robeson County,
they began to see the need of education and to try to keep someone
corning in from exploiting. And the burden that we had been under
during these uh, oh say fifty years, without any schools, they were
wanting to be, we would call uh, Free Lodas or Free Lopas. They
wanted to come in at our expense. But this law was written only to
protect the Indians of Robeson County, in order that we could have
schools of our own race.
D: So you would say at the time that the law was written and the
committee established that it did serve a wothwhile purpose?
M: I think so, Mr. Dial, because any race or people, or persons, that
they do not take any pride in themselves and their tradition, their
heritage, their family life, I don't think that they are the type
of people that any community or any group ought to accept. If we
would have accepted someone that did not qualify, according to the
law, then we would not have been true to our oath.
D: Now, looking at the law today,Mr. Maynor, and looking at the situation
today with black schools, or with all schools in the area integrated
with blacks, Indians, and whites. I believe every school in the county
now has all three races. How do you view the situation today as the
result of a 1954 decision? By the way, your committee never did meet
again after the 1954 decision, and how did you feel about that?
M: Mr. Dial, the committee was very pleased. If there was undesirables
that wanted to come into our schools, and then the other races, that
they did not want to accept them, we had pride and our Indian heritage,
and we wanted to continue it like that, and so there wasn't any offense

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or no antagonism, or there wasn't anything that we had against the
decision of the Supreme Court of the United States letting the other
races come in, and I think that if administered by our Federal Govern-
ment, it's fair to all and give to all each privileges and opportunities
which I think every citizen of the United States should have.
D: Now when the Brown Decision was passed in 1954, I believe this committee
was active even on as late as 1953, when the Brown decision was passed
in 1954, what happened, did the committee just never did meet, to
decide that they were going to disband, or did they just never did meet
again, is that the way it was?
M: Mr. Dial, that's true, we never did meet again, because we didn't have
cases coming up. The cases were always brought to us, because it is
like the judge. The judge never did go out and pick a case. But they
always referred to him for his decision, and we never did go out to
hunt a case or stir anything up, it was always brought to us.
D: I suppose you knew that then there would be no use even if you met
and ruled on a case, it would be no good, in the light of the Supreme
Court Decision, is that correct?
M: That's correct, Mr. Dial, because when the Supreme Court made their
decision, all laws that was contrary to the decision of the Supreme
Court, it was void and of no value, so then well the committee never
did, we say disband, but we felt like there wasn't any use for the
committee under the present decision of the Supreme Court of the
United States.
D: Most of the cases that you had to deal with, did you feel that it
was Indians mixing with blacks, or was it mostly whites and blacks
wanting to be Indians?
M: Mr. Dial, I would say most of the cases, in some cases there were the

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Indians, they went out and they mixed with the other two races, more or
less, it was the Negro blood. And most of the cases that was brought to
our attention, they could not prove any connection with the Indians of
Robeson County. So then we did not say whether they were mixed with
whites and the Indians, and Indian and Negro, or white and Negro, the
decision was left entirely to them, and the burden of proof was upon
the appellant, the one that wanted to have a hearing.
D: Mr. Maynor, how old are you, and abort when was your father born, and
relate some of his experiences to us, as far as education goes?
M: Mr. Dial, I'm sixty-three years old. My sixty-third birthday was the
first day of June. My father lived to be eighty-nine years old. When
he came up there wasn't any schools at all. He was born about 1867,
so he lived to be about eighty-nine years old. So there wasn't any
schools at all; if he attended school, he would have to attend the
school with the Negroes, and because of the prejudice .
his mother and father, he did not get any education at all.
D: So he chose to stay at home,rather than go with the blacks? Now, I
guess some of them chose to get their education so a few did attend
the school withthe blacks at the time that we had no schools. In that
particular time I guess it was a matter of choice. Of course we look
back on it today, I suppose since it's an integrated society today,
then people don't feel as much embarrassed about it as they did at
one time, I suppose. Would you agree with that?
M: Yes, Mr. Dial, this is true, because if back then, if the race would
have been integrated as they are today, I don't think there would have
been any difficulty at all, but the Indians they were set apart, and
there wasn't any schools at all. There was school for the Negro, there
was school for the whites, btt there was no school at all for the

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Indian, and therefore, because that they knew they wasn't welcome,
even in the schools back then. Because I remember hearing my mother,
tell about sheaent to school only a few days, and how that they were
really treated rough by the Negroes, because they didn't even want
them in their own schools.
D: Yes, what about some of you recall any incidents of people
going to Georgia, in the old stories, or rafting logs down the Lumber
River, or the boys working in batteries during the Civil War, and
so forth? Mr. Maynor, I believe your dad, what's his name? Yes, Mr.
Steve Maynor, Itelieve he went down in Georgia and worked in turpentine,
back in his day. He probably went before the turn of the century
because I believe your brother Elias Maynor was born in Georgia,
and he's in his seventies now, so I guess it was about in the 1790's...
I mean in the 1890's that they went, many of them and some maybe even
M: My dad, he had worked in the turpentine business here, and after the
they began to, the business began to get poor, they was __
down in Georgia, because it was just beginning, the turpentine work,
and there were plenty timber down there, plenty pine, and so he went
down and he stayed for three or four years, at least, because my older
brother, Elias, he was born down in Georgia, and I just remember
hearing him telling about some of his hunting trips and some of the
great, some of the good coonhounds, foxhounds, and also deerhounds, that
he had down there. I remember one tim he said he had some, and he went
out and the dogs got on the trail, and they went, and they made me think
of President Theodore Roosevelt, when he went hunting down in Georgia,
and he was a great opposum hunter, he went down there, and so when
the dogs treed,they thought that they had.a possum, but when they

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sent someone up to climb the tree, there was a bear up there, and my
daddy had the very same experience. I've heard him laugh and tell
about, and he told some of the men that were with him, I can't recall
their names, but they went out hunting and they thought that it was a
coon, or a oppossum, more or less, a coon, and some of them climbed
up the tree to try and locate it, because he said that the forest, the
trees hadn't shed their leaves, and when they went up there, when he
saw this bear, he just turned loose, and he came right on down to the
D: How many was in your family, Mr. Maynor?
M: Fourteen, there was eight girls and six--boys.
D: How many of them are living today?
M: Eleven, there are the six boys and five girls.
D: And how many teachers in that family?
M: Three of us were teachers, Wayne, Theodore, and myself.
D: Are you, you told me earlier, that your father was illiterate, he
could not read and write, and do you recall of any moves being made
in education in which anyone called on him or"anything for any aid?
M: I remember Mr. Locklear, everyone called him Locklear.
He was a schoolteacher, and he was an educator, and a former trustee
of Pembroke State College. I remember when I was just a tot, my daddy,
my dad was out plowing and he came under the shade tree and he was
changing the sweep(?) and Mr. Locklear walked up to him, spoke to
him, and he said that we want to do something about our children's
education. And my daddy looked up at him, he was a man of few words,
and he said, "What do you want me to do about it?" He said, "We are
trying to get some money and buy some land where the present Pembroke
State University is located." And I remember my daddy pulled out his

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old long pocketbook and he gave him three or four dollars. That was the
most money I've ever seen given away in my life. And Mr. Locklear
asked him, did he want him to sign his name, he couldn't write, and
he said, "No. Just take it, and if it'll do any good, that's all
I want."
D: Mr. Maynor, there's lots of white blood here among the Lumbee Indians.
How do you think, do you think some of this came about in recent years,
in the last hundred years, and even before? Could you give an example
of any that you happen to know of?
M: Yes, Mr. Dial. I can tell you of our own family. During the war, the
Civil War, the Northern army was coming down through the South, there
was a young man, his name was John Connally, and he was from the
State of Ohio, and he was coming through, and that happened to be my
grandfather on my mother's side. That was my mother's father. And I
remember after I was up, just a small boy, she corresponded with him,
he kept in touch with her; and the last time we heard of him, he was
down, he lived down in New Mexico.
D: So, he, did he stay around here, I wonder, after the war, or did this
affair take place right during the war, do you know? Or just how did
that happen?
M: It was sometime right, he must have stayed around for a few years after
the war, and then he went on down to South, the first place I remember
her talking about hearing from him, he was in Texas, and then later he
must have died in the State of New Mexico.
D: I see.


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