Title: Interview with Nancy Chavis Locklear, Violet Chavis (August 2, 1969)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007203/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Nancy Chavis Locklear, Violet Chavis (August 2, 1969)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: August 2, 1969
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: UF00007203
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 234

Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
Full Text
INTERVIEWEES: Nancy Chavis Locklear
Violet Chavis
DATE: August 2, 1969

D: This is August 2, 1969, Adolph Dial speaking. I'm here near the
Preston Church to interview Mrs. Nancy Chavis Locklear. Mrs.
Chavis, how old are you?
L: Eighty-five.
D: You've been around quite a long time, haven't you? What community
were you borned in?
L: North Carolina.
D: Where in North Carolina? Were you born near Prospect or New
L: New Prospect.
D: Near New Prospect Church. Your father was a man we called Uncle
Dick Chavis, is that correct?
L: That's right.
D: I have heard it said that Uncle Dick Chavis, as we know him, was
a Lumbee Indian who fought with the Yankees during the Civil War--
that is, he fought on the Northern side. Did you understand that
to be true?
L: Yes, sir.
D: Mrs. Violet Chavis is here with us also. Mrs. Chavis, have you
heard this story, too, that Uncle Dick Chavis fought with the
Yankees during the Civil War? You are a public school teacher,
and you'd know if you've heard this story.
C: Yes, I have.
D: What relation are you, Mrs. Chavis, to Uncle Dick Chavis?
C: He's my grandfather.
D: Thank you, Miss Violet. Mrs. Locklear, would you tell me who
you remember of Uncle Dick Chavis's brothers?
L: Uncle Murdoch and Uncle Preston.
D: Who was Uncle Ben Chavis? Was Uncle Ben Uncle Dick's brother?

L: Yes, sir.
D: Uncle Murdoch and Uncle Preston and Uncle Dick were all....
L: All brothers.
D: Uncle Ben Chavis, then, was your daddy's brother.
L: Right.
D: And also Uncle Dick Chavis?
L: That's right.
D: And also Uncle Murdoch Chavis?
L: That's right.
D: And also Uncle Preston Chavis?
L: That's right.
D: Is that all of them?
L: That's all I know.
D: It appears that back then, during your time, the families were
much larger than we have today. How many in your family? I
believe you told me you're one of twenty-three?
L: Yeah, that's right.
D: One of twenty-three half-brothers and sisters. That's certainly a
large family, isn't it?
L: That's my brothers and sisters, and then there comes in my half-
brothers and sisters.
D: Yes, I follow you. If I understand you correctly, Mrs. Nancy
Locklear, Uncle:Dick-Chavi-s was the father of twenty-three children.
L: Twenty-three children.
D: That's certainly commendable. In your early days, Mrs. Locklear,
where did you attend school?
L: Levarton schoolhouse.

D: Who was your first teacher?
L: Mr. Moore was my first one.
D: Mr. W. L. Moore was your first one?
L: That's right.
D: Was he at Levarton school or at a different school?
L: He was at Prospect. And Mr. Anderson Locklear teached at Levarton
D: I don't remember Levarton School. What was a day at school like
in the early days? Just describe it to me when you went, and
something about it.
L: I'll tell you, the schools weren't like they is now.
D: No?
L: Lot of difference.
D: You recall how many months you attended--about three or four months?
L: Yeah, about three or four.
D: Was it a one room school?
L: Just one room and that was it.
D: Did you have many books or did you write on a slate?
L: Slate and a speller; that was all we'd have.
D: Did you do any arithmetic on that slate?
L: No, no arithmetic.
D: You didn't do any arithmetic as well as you remember. Was there
a big fireplace in the end of this building?
L: No.
D: What did they use for heat?
L: They didn't have any.

D: Didn't have any heat at all in the building?
L: No.
D: Is that right?
L: We was all young, but I remember going to Mr. Moore some. You
remember Mr. Moore?
D: Yes, I remember him. He was my grandfather.
L: And then Mr. Anderson Locklear?
D: Yes. Were they pretty strict on discipline? Did they make you
listen to them back in those days?
L: Oh, yeah. You'd have to or you'd get spanked by them.
D: I imagine they did quite a bit of paddling back in those days,
didn't they?
L: Yes, sir. write a note to my daddy, and you got another
D: You got another killing when you got home?
L: Yes, sir. We'd even tear up that note. We were so scared to
tear that paper up. You'd have to carry it home and give it to
our daddy.
D: If he gave you a note, you knew to carry it home.
L: My daddy'd tan us again.
D: So you were pretty much under strict discipline?
L: The schools, you know, weren't as now. I notice our
young 'uns, they can't hardly get on the bus. They're loaded
down with books and it's wrong. When they go to college--what
will they know? Nothing.
D: Maybe if they work real hard.... You were saying that they have
so many books, and they don't learn what's in those books.
L: That's right.
D: If they had less books, they'd master what they had. Perhaps
that would be better. A lot of educators feel today that they're
trying to do too much with too many books and not mastering those
that they have.

L: That's right.
D: Mrs. Locklear, were you born and reared on the farm?
L: Yeah, that's right.
D: What was your farm life like in the early days, in your childhood
L: When we got up on the farm, we went to the ditch banks; cutting
down, cleaning up the ditch banks, in my childhood days. They
they dig a ditch and throw in that trash.
D: Did you help do it?
L: Yes, sir. I didn't ditch now, I was throwing the....
D: Throwing the trash out?
L: Yeah, just throwing the trash out.
D: So times were pretty hard.
L: Yeah.
D: But as you look back on those days today, were they rather
interesting? Did you enjoy this type of work?
L: Yeah.
D: What was your diet like in your day? What did you eat mostly?
L: A biscuit every Sunday.
D: But not every day?
L: If Mr. Moore were living, he'd tell you the same thing. A biscuit
when Sunday comes.
D: You ate cornbread through the week?
L: Oh, yes.
D: What about cake? No cake?
L: Well, sometimes.
D: Now, where did the people trade when you were in your childhood

L: Livermore.
D: As you look back at old times, what's some of the outstanding
things in your childhood days? Some things you can never forget.
What are some of the things that you guess you'll probably
remember until you die?
L: I can remember lots of things, many happy times. Yeah, I can
remember lots of them.
D: As you go back and reminisce, what are some of things that you
seem to be most proud of today?
L: I'm glad my daddy raised me just like he did raise me.
D: What do you mean when you say just like he did?
L: I mean, another thing--we children was brought up in family prayer.
He believed in that prayer night and morning.
D: Was he active in the church?
L: Yeah.
D: Did he do any singing in the church, lining out hymns?
L: That's right.
D: Mr. Danny was right good for that, too, wasn't he?
L: Yeah.
D: Mr. Danny was your brother?
L: That's my brother.
D: I suppose that back in olden times, the reason they lined out
the hymns, in lots of cases only had one songbook. So somebody
would have to line out the hymns so they'd know what to sing,
wouldn't they?
L: That's right.
D: Yes, that was the reason.
L: The meetings now ain't like they used to be.
D: What were meetings like back in your day?
L: Lord, they was good. They weren't like they is now.

D: Did you have revivals back when you were a child?
L: Yes, sir.
D: What church do you...?
L: Then another thing, we'd have a big dinner.
D: Yea, you'd have a dinner every day. You'd have August meetings.
L: Yeah. Then have a big dinner. I enjoyed that.
D: Hasn't been so long since they had the August meetings.
L: That's right.
D: Everybody would bring their food, their basket, and have a sermon
in the morning.
L: One in the afternoon.
D: One in the afternoon, and maybe they'd have some converts, and
maybe they wouldn't, and then they'd close it out on Sunday
with a big day. What was the first church you attended?
L: New Prospect.
D: Do you ever remember going to church before New Prospect was
built? You don't.
L: We children believed in Prospect.
D: Yeah. New Prospect was built around the turn of the century,
L: Yeah.
D: About sixty-eight years ago. But I was wondering if you didn't
attend somewhere before you went to Prospect. Did you pick
cotton in your young days?
L: Yes, sir.
D: How much could you pick?
L: I could pick sometimes over 200.
D: Over 200?

L: We'd race, you know.
D: Yeah. Some days you'd start at daylight.
L: Yes, Lord.
D: Yeah, get all the dew, so the cotton wouldn't lay heavy. What
were some of the other jobs that you'd--pull fodder?
L: Yeah, pull fodder.
D: Did you look forward to these days of getting together and working?
Was it a lot of fun?
L: Yeah, lots of fun.
D: It wasn't just all work, it was part fun. You could have fun
working, couldn't you?
L: Yes sir, you enjoyed it. Yeah, I'd get out there and work. I
could got married. The very night John was born, me
and Russell won the race that day. And I picked 370 pounds of
cotton. John was born at nine o'clock that night.
D: You picked 370 the day he was born?
L: That night John was born at nine o'clock.
D: You were not living during the time of Henry Berry Lowrie but
perhaps you heard your father talk about him. Did most of the
Indian people back in your day seem to have a lot of respect for
Henry Berry Lowrie?
L: I don't know.
D: It appears that lots of them I talk with seem to have a great deal
of respect for him. Many people seem to think that he had a
reason, or a good cause, for doing what he did. I was wondering
what your opinion was on this? So you wouldn't have an opinion
on this?
L: No, I don't and didn't know him.
D: Mrs. Locklear, as you look back today, what are some of the changes
that you've seen that's come about over the years? What are some
of the changes that you see for the best?
L: I don't know.

D: Do you feel today all people would be getting along better if they
were all working on the farm or do you think industry has moved
L: Not much on the farm.
D: Not much today, is it? So you think that industry coming in the
area and people getting better jobs has helped the Indian people
a lot?
L: It might. I don't know.
D: It seems like a lot of new homes have gone up as a result of
people having more jobs. It's very difficult to make a living
on the farm today. You told me Uncle Dick Chavis's wife's name--
the woman who drew this pension from the Civil War. What was
her name?
L: Who was?
D: Mrs. Locklear, getting back to the Chavises here, Uncle Dick and
Uncle Ben were brothers, right?
L: Right.
D: In other words, Mr. Dick Chavis and Mr. Ben Chavis were brothers.
You say that on second thought, that it was Mr. Ben Chavis who
fought in the Civil War. And what was his wife's name?
L: Downy.
D: I understand that he fought on the Northern side. Did he have a
second wife?
L: Annis.
D: I understood that one of these drew a pension. Did you ever hear
L: That was Annis Osborne.
D: Annis drew a pension. How many times was Mr. Dick Chavis married?
L: Twice.
D: What was his wives' names?
L: Charlotte and Esther.

D: Charlotte was the first one and Esther the last one.
L: That's right.
D: What were their names before they married? Were they Locklears?
L: My mother was a Locklear before she married.
D: I appreciate this information, ladies. We'll be seeing you
again and thanks a lot. I'll check on these two men, Mr.
Dick and Mr. Ben,and verify their age and also try to check
out for sure the Civil War record here on these gentlemen.
Thank you very much.

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