Citation
Interview with Robert A. Gettys, October 15, 1973

Material Information

Title:
Interview with Robert A. Gettys, October 15, 1973
Creator:
Gettys, Robert A. ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Catawba Indians -- Florida
Kataba Indians -- Florida
Catawba Oral History Collection ( local )

Notes

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

Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Catawba' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text































SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


In cooperation with the Catabaw Nation


INTERVIEWEE: Robert A. Gettys
INTERVIEWER: Emma Echols


DATE: October 15, 1973




















E: I am visiting in the home of Mr. Bob WilliamsBob Gettys,
excuse me. Mr. Gettys, give us your full name,

G; Robert Alexander Gettys.

E: And your address,

G: 1817 Ebenezer Road,

E: And do you mind telling us how old you are?

G: I'm eighty-two,

E: Eighty-two, Well, you have lots of things to tell us. Now,
Mr. Getty's grandparents came from Ireland, and he remembers
some of the things that his grandmother told him about the
Indians. When your grandmother came to this part of the
country from Ireland, tell us where the Indians were living,
and what you remember,

G: The Indians lived in the Nation, but they lived all around.
But they lived mostly down in the Indian reservation, I don't
know where they lived. They were supposed to live all about
in this section, I reckon. I just don't know; I never did
think to ask her. Because she told me that they had sixteen
square miles, and that's what they claimed, I think that
South Carolina traded with 'em, traded them out of that
and put'em on the reservation, and gave them so much a year,
you know, money a year,

E: Now, what date was the date your grandmother came here?

G: 1823.

E: 1823.

G: And she was four years old when she came here, and she knew
a lot about it. She remembered everything, She could talk
gossip all the time, and my mother wouldn't even pay any
attention to her. She'd say, "Um-hmmm, hmm, ummm-hmmm,"
and Grandma knew all the gossip in the country,







2







E: Now, the Indians would come and collect the.rent from your
grandmother?

G: They would come and.collect rent from her and from her father.
And they lived at that time right at the old Simpson place.
You know where the Simpson place is? Right behind where we
used to live, That was the old Boyd homestead,
Grandpa Boyd, I'll tell you a little about Grandpa Boyd.
Grandpa Boyd was quite well-to-do in Ireland, but he was
smothering. And his wife was,..oh, she was smart as she
could be. She was a doctor. She could go everywhere and see
the patients, you know. But anyway, they all got their..,
he ran a store, not a big store, and they all sold whiskey
at the stores, you know-everybody.
But they would get one barrel from the English govern-
ment, and then they'd smuggle the whiskey in from Holland.
And so Grandpa got three barrels in one night. They came
off from...somebody from Holland came and rolled them up
on the beach there, and so Grandpa got three barrels.
And Grandma says to him, "Now, Thomas, you'd better
bury them in the garden tonight."
"Oh, no. Nobody's down on Tom Boyd,"
And the next morning, the gaugers were there- that is,
the government men, you know, Somebody had told on him.
And they just sold him out and give him a ticket to
Charleston for his family. And that's all.

E: So that's how they happened to come to Charleston?

G: That's how they came to America. Because they were sold
out for selling whiskey--I mean, for smuggling whiskey,
And they just sold him out and gave him a ticket for his
whole family to Charleston,
And when he got to Charleston, Grandma says, "All right,
Thomas, I've been to see the captain." They came over in
the Caledonia, "And the captain says he'll give you a dollar
a day to dig salt out of the ship."
You know, they had ballasts of salt. And Grandpa says,
"No, sir, That captain won't go back to Ireland and say
that he saw Tom Boyd digging salt out of his ship,"
So he just took over his family to some friend that
lived in Charleston, and he took out up there to Winnesboro
[South Carolina] and got a job as overseer.

E: And then later they came to Rock Hill,







3







G: Yeah, they came over to Rock Hill,

E: Now, tell me when the Indians would come to your grand-
parents' home to collect their rent. Tell us what rent
they paid,

G: Well, they paid a side of meat--that's one side, you know,-
and a gallon of molasses and a peck of meal. That's all they
paid. But they had a good many Indians over there in the
area, and this woman would collect from several, a good
many families.

E; Do you know the Indian family that collected from your grand-
parents?

G: No, I don't remember. She was a nigger'woman-- mean, and
Indian woman. But she was a full-blooded Indian,

E: Now, as a young boy, your father had a farm down near the
reservation today, and many times you went fishing and boating
with the Indians. Tell us about your experiences.

G: Well, Louis Gordon--that was the Indian's name,-and John
Brown would take me over to Hugh Nesbitt's, But they would,
of course, fish a lot. And they'd fish on the way over
there and back, too. Sometimes they'd catch fish, but
always a cat or something,
You know the river didn't have as many fish in it as
it has now. Not near so many, I dontt think, because the
government stocked this fish. They poured the little old
fish in there, and there's lots more on the river now than
there were earlier,
But they at that time, the Indians, were living on a
reservation, and I think it had some 6 or 700 acres of land.
There were cabins around in the neighborhood, you know.
And Louis Gordon lived down next to my father's place. And
John Brown would come up there lots of times because he was
a brother-in-law. And I remember so well that they would
take me across to the Nesbitt's place over there.

E: Did they make their own canoes?

G: Yeah, they did. They made'em. Old Louis Gordon told me that
they had made this canoe, particularly made this canoe. It
was made out of plank, though; it wasn't a dugout, you know.









4








They used to...they'd dig 'em out till they'd get it in the
lower part, in South America. But this other canoe was not.
It was made out of plank, the one they took me in.

E: Then you crossed on the ferry. Tell us about the ferries that
used to be up and down...

G: Well, the ferry was down in the...John Brown and Early, his
boy, ran this ferry. And they didn't even have a cable above.
They just paddled, just poled it. And they would take me
across over there at the river. Dr. Massey had a place
over there, and he often would take me to go over there to
his place. And I remember so well that I'd go.
I don't know what I was going across there for. I must
have gone to Riverside, because my grandfather--Grandfather
Gettys--came and bought a place down at Riverside. And
he came here in 1790, my Grandfather Gettys did. He and
his wife are buried there in the old Waxhaw cemetery.

E: Now, did these Indians ever tell you stories of their past,
their myths or their legends, or stories of their past?

G: No. I never did ask them. They didn't even know it, and,
frankly, I think that they learned a lot more about the
history of the Indians from the white folks.

E: Now, what kind of clothes would they have on at that time?

G: Well, they just wore plain clothes.

E: Now, you are a farmer. Did you see any of them having good
farms there? Were any of them good farmers?

G: No, they just worked little old patches. And they didn't
do much. I remember that Mr. Hayes tried to hire Henry--
Henry was the older one of this...

E: Canty.

G: Canty. You see he tried to hire him. We had a little old
house burned up on the place when I was a little boy, and
then all the neighbors came and helped put it up. Mr. Hayes
sold the lumber for the house; he sold it to my father. He
tried to hire Henry to help haul it. And Henry said he
wouldn't work. He just didn't do work.






5







Mr. Hayes, Haskell Hayes, married a lot of the Indians,
and his fee was this: he would charge them a dollar for a
marriage, or a dollar and a half for marriage with a prayer,

E; Marriage with a prayer.

G; With a prayer, yeah. He would give'em a prayer. See, he
was the Indian agent at one time, and he got so much for
delivering the money, you know, to the Indians, And he
married a lot of them, and that's what his charge was, it
was fifty cents for the prayer.

E; A prayer. Now, with the little bit of fish and the little
bit of patches of vegetables that they raised, are you sur-
prised that they had enough to eat? Or did they ever have
enough to eat?

G; Well, Mr. Hayes said that they just worried him to death,
They'd come over and sit around all day, wanting extra money,
you know, Well, he'd.let'em have some money, and then he'd
try to take it out next time. Because every month they got
the money from the state, you know, And he said that they
were a shiftless lot, every one of them was,

E: Their women were working making pottery.

G: They started that stuff, Now, Louis's wife did make some
pottery and showed it to me. But a lot of them didn't do
nothing, didn't even make pottery. And they started that,
a lot of it, after the white folks did, A lot of them.

E: Now, tell me about the doctor down on the reservation, Do
you remember Dr. Hill? Tell me about him,

G; Dr. Hill, he was the one that the boys was telling.,,William
was telling you about that got in a fight. And he bit his...
John Brown bit that boy"s.,,somebody bit his ear off. And
the next morning they were in good humor. They decided
that Dr. Hill could do anything. They decided to take that
ear down, the doctor would sew it back on, and it would be
all right.
And the doctor looked at it and smelled it, and he said,
"Uh huh, That's foul," And threw it away, threw it in the
wastebasket. He said, "No, no, It's just too bad, I can....









6








The Indians believed in him implicitly, They thought he
could do everything. And he was a good...he could,..he was
a good doctor. But he didn't doctor anybody but poor folks.

E: He traveled with a horse and buggy down into the reservation,
right?

G: Well, you know, he went by the little old one-horse wagon,
in a wagon drawn by a horse. And he had a horse. He
always went in that one-horse wagon. And the Indians be-
lieved in him implicitly. They kind of believed that he
could just come, whenever Dr. Hill came, that would be all
right.

E: Would he spend the night on the reservation sometimes?

G: Oh, yeah, he would. Fess Coleman told me a lot about Dr. Hill.
Said Dr. Hill didn't have no bit of fear of nothing. And',he
would just spend the night, and let you see him at some of the
Indian's houses, right along.

E: But did the white people ever go down to any of the Indian
parties?

G: No. Nobody but Bill Caldwell and Fess Coleman and Dr. Hill
would ever go to the parties, Indian parties.

E: And what did they do at the Indian parties?

G: Well, I don't know. I guess they twisted the peace pipe to-
gether.

E: Did they ever have any fights along at the end of a party?

G: Well, they might have had, but Fess didn't tell me that. Fess
died; Fess married Rosa Boyd and died at forty. He was one
of the oldest old crowd, you know. He must have bit his
brother.

E: Now, how did Dr. Hill get paid for his services with the
Indians?

G: They must have paid...the state must have paid him a little
something because the Indians wouldn't have paid him. The
Indians didn't have.... At that time, they were a shiftless
lot.







7







E: Now, you were telling me that one time.he went out to
collect some.,,

G: Oh. 1901, it rained all year. It just poured down, and we
didn't make anything, The niggers didn't make anything
but rented from us all, or rather they cropped, We owned
a place over there right at Leslie Station, where Ruby
Boyd lives now, you know. That place, forty acres, We had
that little place; we owned that little place,
And I remember that old George Marshall had stayed there
that year, and he didn't make anything at all, hardly, And
he made a deal on eighteen acres of cotton, and he wouldn't
pick that, his folks wouldn't pick it, and so we had to go
pick it. And we had, of course, a plantation down there
along the river,
But I could tell you more about my young days and the
Indians. To show you how they paid no attention to blood,
or anybody that was killed, old Jim Wright was killed there
in the house belonged to us--my father, And my father took
me up there, and I was so little I must have worn dresses,
you know. I think I had on a dress. I think I was three
years old, two or three years old. And he led me by the
hand and took me to that house, and they had moved out, The
niggers had moved out in the night because that other nigger
was killed there. There was the nigger, Jim Wright, lying there
in a pool of blood. And I saw it, I saw him, and my father
took me in there and showed me. Now, we paid no attention
to murders or something like that, you know, in those days,

E: You started to tell me how Dr. Hill collected his...

G: Oh, Dr. Hill went out in the Nation, reservation. Right
on around the road, one of my great-aunts lived there,
Married a Harvey Whiteside, The old Whiteside house was
up there on that road, and just above that was my father's
place. There was 429 acres in all, I think, It was divided
evenly, and my father bought this from old man Dick Sturgis,
the second place.
The Nation was next to it, Now, the reservation was
what we called it the Nation. The doctor went right up--
he was on that road, too. He went up that road in his one-
horse wagon, and he attempted to collect, and he didn't.
He must have tried to collect from the Indians, because
he went on through their Nation, And he came back and his
wife had ran to the porch in front, stopped him, and she
said, "How did you come along?"







8







Well, it rained all year, and nobody had anything, He
said, "I got promise of four...three loads of hay, I got
six rabbits, and I got enough broom straw to keep you sweeping
the balance of your life!"

E: And that was his pay.

G: That was his pay. So he must have collected from the Indians
--tried to collect from the Indians.

E; Do you remember the little black bag that the doctor carried
with him in that wagon?

G: Huh?

E: Do you remember the little black bag, the doctor's bag, that
he carried?

G: Oh, he had what they called saddlebags, Yeah, I remember that.
He had them. Of course, he carried it along with him,

E: Your father told a story about an Indian by the name of Tims.

G; Oh, Alexander Tims, His father would come home on a furlough,
and he would regale him with stories about the regiment,
you know. He was a member of Company H, Twelfth Regiment,
South Carolina Volunteers, And they were made up at Rock
Hill. A lot of those"-you named a lot of the Harrises and
so forth--they were Indians, all of those were Indians.
But there wasn't Alexander Tims, And the way he, the cap-
tain, got that Alexander Tims, he said, "Let me have that
fellow because he's a scout,"
And he would slip over there, and he could hear the
Yankees talking, He could go over there, and nobody would
ever see him. And they would come back with the plans, you
know, and he'd tell the captain. Well, the captain found
that he was good at that, and the Indian told him, says,
"I can steal a horse,"
And he says, "You can't. You're gonna fool around and
get shot, and then I won't have a scout,"
"Oh, I'm not gonna get shot,"
And Alexander Tims, then, went back. He did go on some
dark night, and he was going to get his horse, He said
that he waited till the sentry turned around and walked off,
going back toward the tents. He grabbed a horse, got a'hold









9







of him, and said that somebody ran out of a tent and hollered,
"Look out there! Somebody's taking a horse!"
And he says, "I started out. He shot at me but he
missed me, and I just kept going and kept going." He
came on over around the camp, you know, the Confederate
camp. And they bought his horse, and he was mad about it.
He was mad because he didn't get a saddle!
The captain said, "Oh, you did bring the horse."
He got the horse; so he gave him five dollars. He
didn't think a thing of that five dollars, but he was worrying
and worrying himself because he didn't get the saddle.

E: Do you know what ever happened to him after that?

G: No, I don't know what happened to him. I think he came
back alive.

E: Yes, he sure did.

G: I don't think he was killed.

E: Did you know any of the widows who got pensions from the
government, through that?

G: No, I didn't know any of them, but they must have gotten
little pensions.

E: Some of them, I'm sure, did. What older Indians do you remem-
ber? You mentioned Early Brown, and you mentioned...

G: Well, I knew...

E: ...John Brown.

G: ...old Billy George. They called him Billy. Now, I think
he was a full-blooded Indian, but Louis Gordon wasn't. Nor
was John Brown full-blooded, I don't think. Early Brown
wasn't either. I don't think. No, Early, of course, he
wasn't. He was John's son.

E: What about Chief Blue? What do you remember about him?

G: Who?

E: Chief Blue. Chief Sam Blue.







10







G: Well, I knew him, but he's like I told you about. He got
a lot of his information about the Indians from the whites.
Yeah, I remember him--Chief Blue had been living...in the
last ten or fifteen.years that he was living, But I knew
him quite well,

E; Have you ever attended a service in the Mormon church?

G; No, but Itve been there and seen their church. I knew some
of the members of the church--the white members, They
had white members, too, in that church,

E: What do you remember about the first church that was there?
It was a Presbyterian church there. Do you remember the
plank frame house?

G: I heard that Mrs, Dunlap told about that, but I don't remem-
ber anything at all about it, except that she said that the
Indians had a church down there. Mrs, Dunlap was sort of
a contemporary, I reckon, of my grandmother's, And I just
do remember that she said that the Presbyterians had a
church down there,

E; Now, do you remember any of the teachers that were down there?
Mr. Seth Massey taught there, and,..

G: I think Sam Leslie taught there,

E: Then Mr. Sam Leslie taught there. Do you remember any of
the teachers that taught there?

G: No, that was the only one that I remember, Mrs, Dunlap,
I believe, was a teacher down there.

E: Yes, that's right, Well now, what about sports? Did you ever
play ball with any of the Indians?

G: No, I didn't play ball with the Indians,

E; Later on, I think they had a ball team that they,,.

G: Yeah.

E; ...played with, Now, in recent years-'you've told me of the
past-t-what do you think about the conditions on the reservation







11







now? The conditions and the jobs for the Indians?

G; Well, they've got jobs, and the ones that..,, There's one
Indian that's a mighty good friend of mine. I took the
agricultural census, and when I ran across him, he was
about half white.
I said, "Do you have any chickens? I got to take
down anybody that had a hundred chickens."
And he said, "No, he didn't think so. He said, "There's
an old hen scared, and stole her nest, and I think that
she's got a flock of little chickens,"
I said, "Well, we'll walk out there and see." And I'll
bet you there was a hundred chickens out there in the woods,
you know, I said, "All right, are you willing to take a
hundred?"
He said, "Yes."

E: Now, you were taking census. What was the year?

G; That was in 1964. He always knows me now. What's that
nigger's, Indian's name? I can't think of it. He lives
right next to the PEC building, you know, He lives right
over there just a little ways from that,

E: Do you know any of them that went off to school? Do you
know any of them that ever went to Carlisle School?

G: No, Wheelock didn't belong there; he didn't come down,,.

E: He was an Oneida Indian?

G: Yeah, he's a..,, I don't know Indians that went to Carlisle.

E: Theodore Harris, do you remember him?

G: Yeah, I remember him.

E: And Ben Harris, Do you remember Ben?

G; I don't know that I do, I remember old man Billy. I think
he was the older one, I think maybe it's his father,

E: Now, what did Billy Harris look like? He was an old man when
you knew him, wasn't he?

G: Yeah, he was an old man when I knew him, And I'm eighty-two,
so I'm old.







12







E: But he was a small in frame, wasn't he?

G; Yeah, he was a little old fellow,

E: And Louis Gordon. What did he look like?

G; Louis Gordon? He was about half white, He lived right next
to.,,there was one place between us and that Indian Nation.
And I think Mr. Ed Walker owned it: little old place, forty
or fifty acres, thirty probably.

E; If you were going to have some adjectives to describe these
Indians --whether they were honest or trustworthy or dependable
or good friends--how would you describe the Indians as a
whole as you knew them?

G: Well, when I first knew them, they were a shiftless lot.
They were.,,.. They didn't do anything but lie around the
store. And most of the women just walked the roads. I
think that now you know, they must have been in pretty good
shape. When Mr. Hyde and Mr. Pratt..,somebody built them a
monument over there at Fort Mill, you know, and they must
have been pretty good when they pushed them way back. They
must have been pretty good, but when I knew them, they were
not. They were shiftless.

E: Mr. Gettys, talking about the old times, down in the woods
not too far from Neely's Creek Church is this great big mor-
tar where they used to grind their corn.

G: Yeah.

E: You saw that as a young boy, and it's still there. How do
you remember them using that?

G: Well, they ground their corn, They tied the pestle, what
they called a pestle, to a limb of a tree^-it was under a
tree. And they could just pull it down and grind the corn,
and they, I think, wet that corn, They probably boiled it
a little bit. And then they pulled that pestle down and
ground it up. Then they'd let it loose, and it'd go on up in
the tree, you know.

E; Now, there's a spring close by there, Rock Spring close by
that church, isn't it?

G: Yeah,








13







E: That's the only one that I know of, Have you ever seen
another one anywhere over the Nation, a big one like that?

G: No, I haven't, I remember now that there was a deer lick
down on our place, you know, where the Indians and others
would shoot deer, I figured that everybody had a deer
lick, but there's only two or three in South Carolina,
I understand. And there was a place about as wide, as big,
as this room or bigger that the deers had come and pawed up
the dirt, you know.-up in a regular mound. It was just
a complete circle,
And my grandmother said that Mr. Joshua Sturgis, way
back yonder, would come down there and hunt, and he would
stay at their house. And that was in the 1820s or
'30s. And she said that he had killed three deer right
there at that deer lick.

E: Now that deer lick was used by the Indians, too?

G; Oh, yeah. The Indians would come there and shoot deer,

E: And did you ever pick up any arrowheads or tomahawks or
anything like that?

G: I have. I have picked up a whole lot of them. And I gave
them all, just like I told you, to Dr. Simpson, Dr, Simpson
got so enthusiastic, talked to me--you know, he worked on
my mouth--and he was telling me about all his arrowheads
that he had.
And I said, "I've got a whole lot of them. I'11 give'em
to you." I understand that he finally gave'em to the..,
Bill has them, but I thought he had given them to the library.

E: They're anxious sometime to have a museum, They don't have
it yet, but they're anxious to have a museum.

G: Well, Bill Simpson hag them at his house now, so I understand,
And I told you about that rock that they said came as a
meteor, Everybody, all the niggers, though, called it a
thunderbolt, And I had that, too, but I gave it all to
Dr. Simpson.

E: Whereabouts on the reservation would you find most of these
arrowheads? Any certain places you would find them?

G: Yeah. You'd find them where they had made'em here, lots of









14







times and then all around the old plantations, everywhere,
There were.,,we found a lot of them around home, because
that was part of the Indian Nation, Indian Reservation,
you know, then. The Indians hunted all about in there.

E: Now, did you ever go hunting with them?

G: No, I never did.

E: Some of them were very good hunters, I believe.

G: Yeah, I understand they was. I fished with them, but I
never did go hunting with them.

E: Did you know the Indians who helped to build, do any car-
pentry work? Who were the good carpenters among the
Nation?

G: Well, when I was growing ;up, they didn't do nothing. But
I understand that some of them now are carpenters.

E: John Idle Sanders was a carpenter. His father was a carpen-
ter. They lived not far from Leslie and did some there.

G: Yeah. The government again took that Indians, and they bought
them a plantation, bought them a great bigh farm. That's the
old Childs place, and they give it to the Indians. And
the Indians then sold it. I think they sold it. Maybe
they divided it up. And anyway, they're scattered all
about over the country now.

E: Do you remember Richard Harris?

G: Richard Harris? I don't know that he is in there. I don't
remember him, Richard.

E: He was in the World War. I don't know whether you remembered.
He was, wasn't he, that went to France?

G: Yeah, I think it was in the Second World War.

E: Yes.

G: The only thing I remember is the First World War.

E: Mr. Gettys, what Indian agents do you remember?






15







G: Well, I don't remember any but Jake Hayes, D. T. Leslie, and,..

E; Mr. Flowers, you.remember him?

G: Who?

E: Flowers,

G: Yeah, Flowers, and Boyd...Mr. Tom Boyd-rCousin.Tom Boyd. I
remember these four. But I remember mostly Mr. Hayes, because
he did it, had it, several years, And he ran a store, And
he was Mr. Billy Hayes's son, but he is first cousin to Mr.
Nace Williamson, the old owner, you know.

E: Well, now, running a store and then giving them their money,
he would come in contact with the Indians.

G: Yeah. He said that they hang around his store all the time,





Full Text

PAGE 1

SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA In cooperation with the Catabaw Nation INTERVIEWEE: Robert A. Gettys INTERVIEWER: Emma Echols DATE: October 15, 1973

PAGE 2

E: I am visiting in the home of Mr. Bob Williams"'~ob Gettys, excuse me. Mr. Gettys 1 give us your full name. G; Robert Alexander Gettys. E: And your address. G: 1817 Ebenezer Road, E: And do you mind telling us how old you are? G: I'm eighty..,..two. E: Eighty.,...two, Well 1 you have lots of things to tell us. Now, Mr. Getty's grandparents came from Ireland, and he remembers some of the things that his grandmother told him about the Indians. When your grandmother came to this part of the country from Ireland, tell us where the Indians were living, and what you remember, G: The Indians lived in the Nation, but they lived all around. But they lived mostly down in the Indian reservation. I don't know where they lived. . They were supposed to live all about in this section, I reckon. I just donlt know; I never did think to ask her. Because she told me that they had sixteen square miles, and that's what they claimed .. I think that South Carolina traded with 1 em, traded them out of that and put'em on the reservation, and gave them so much a year, you know, money a year. E: Now, what date was the date you};" grandmother came here? G: 1823 . E: 1823. G: And she was four years old when she came here 1 and she knew a lot about it. She remembered everything, She could talk gossip all the time, and my motherwouldn~t even pay any attention to her. She ' d say, "um.,...hmnnn, hnnn, ununm.-hnnmn," and Grandma knew all the gossip in the country.

PAGE 3

2 E: Now, the Indians would come and collect the . rent from your grandmother? G; They would come and collect rent from her and from her father. And they lived at that time right at the old Simpson place. You know where the Simpson place is? Right . behind where we used to live. That was the old Boyd homestead. Grandpa Boyd, I'll tell you a little about Grandpa Boyd. Grandpa Boyd was quite well.,..,to..--do in Ireland~ but he was smothering. And his wife was, oh, she was smart as she could be. She was a doctor. She could go everywhere and see the patients, you know. But anyway, they all got their , he ran a store, not a big store, and they all sold whiskey at the stores, you know ....... everybody. But they would get one barrel from the English govern ... ment, and then they 1 d smuggle the whiskey in from Holland. And so Grandpa got three barrels in one night. They came off from somebody from Holland came and rolled them up on the beach there, and so Grandpa got three barrels, And Grandma says to him, ''Now, Thomas, you 1 d better bury them in the garden tonight.'' "Oh, no. Nobody's down on Tom Boyd, 1 ' And the next morning, the gaugers were there ... .,..that is, the government men, you know , Somebody had told on him, And they just sold him out and give him a ticket to Charleston for his family. And that's all. E: So that's how they happened to come to Charleston? G: That's how they came to America. Because they were sold out for selling whiskey.,.. .... I mean, for smuggling whiskey. And they just sold him out and gave him a ticket for his whole family to Charleston, And when he got to Charleston, Grandma says, HAll right, Thomas, I've been to see the captain.'' They came over in the Caledonia, "And the captain says he'-11 give you a dollar a day to dig . salt out of the ship.'' You know, they had ballasts of salt, And Grandpa says, ''Nol sir• That captain won ' t go back to Ireland and say that he saw Tom Boyd digging salt out of his ship•'' So he just took over h;i:.s family to some friend that l;i,ved in Charleston, and he took . out up there to Winnesboro [South Carolina] and got a job as overseer. E: And then later they came to Rock Hill.

PAGE 4

G; Yeah~ they came over to . . Rock Hill, E: Now, tell me when the Indians would come to your grand parentsl home to collect their rent. Tell us what rent they paid, 3 G; Well? they paid a side of meat ... .-.that's one side? you know-,-.,_ and a gallon of molasses and a peck of meal. That ' s all they paid. But they had a good many Indians over there in the area, and this woman would collect from several, a good many families, Et Do you know the Indian family that collected from your grand...-. parents? G: No, I don 1 t remember~ She was a nigger .... woman ... ""-r mean, and Indian woman. But she was a full-blooded Indian. E: Now, as a young boy, your father had a f:arm down near the reservation today? and many times you went fishing and boating with the Indians. Tell us about your experiences. G: Well, Louis Gordon ......... that was the Indian's name..-~nd John Brown would take me over to Hugh Nesbitt 1 s, But they would, of course, fish a lot. And theyld fish on the way over there and back, too. Sometimes they'd catch fish, but always a cat or something. You know the river didn't have as many fish in it as it has now, Not near so many? I donlt think, because the government stocked this fish. They poured the little old fish in there, and there's lots more on the river now than there were earlier. But they at that time, the Indians, were living on a reservation? and l think it had some 6 or 700 acres of land. There were cabins around ;Ln the neighborhood, you know, And Louis Gordon lived down next to my father's place. And John Brown would come up there lots of times because he was a brother .... in,;-law .. And I remember so well that they would take me across to the Nesbitt's place over there. E: D;Ld they make their own canoes? G: Yeah, they did~ They made 1 em. Old Louis Gordon told me that they had made this canoe, particularly made this canoe, It was made out of plank, though; it wasn't a dugout 1 you know.

PAGE 5

4 They used to they 1 d dig 'em out till they'd get it in the lower part, in South America. But this other canoe was not. It was made out of plank, the one they took me in. E: Then you crossed on the ferry. Tell us about the ferries that used to be up and down G: Well, the ferry was down in the John Brown and Early, his boy, ran this ferry. And they didn't even have a cable above. They j,ust paddled, just poled it. And they would take me across over there at the river. Dr. Massey had a place over there, and he often would take me to go over there to his place. And I remember so well that I'd go, I don't know what I was going across there for. I must have gone to Riverside, because my grandfather--Grandfather Gettys--came and bought a place down at Riverside. And he came here in 1790, my Grandfather Gettys did. He and his wife are buried there in the old Waxhaw cemetery. E: Now, did these Indians ever tell you stories of their past, their myths:or their legends, or stories of their past? G: No. I never did ask them. They didn't even know it, and, frankly, I think that they learned a lot more about the history of the Indians from the white folks. E: Now, what kind of clothes would they have on at that time? G: Well, they just wore plain clothes. E: Now, you are a farmer. Did you see any of them having good farms there? Were any of them good farmers? G: No, they just worked little old patches. And they didn't do much. I remember that Mr. Hayes tried to hire HenryHenry was the older one of this .•. E: Canty. G: Canty. You see he tried to hire him. We had a little old house burned up on the place when I was a little boy, and then all the neighbors came and helped put it up. Mr. Hayes sold the lumber for the house; he sold it to my father. He tried to hire Henry to help haul it. And Henry said he wouldn't work. He just didn't do work.

PAGE 6

5 Mr. Hayes, Haskell Hayes, married a lot of the T,ndians, and h:i,s fee was this: he would charge them a dollar for a marriage, or a dollar and a half for marriage with a prayer. E: Marriage with a prayer. G; With a prayer, yeah. He would give'em a prayer. See, he was the Indian agent at one time, and he got so much for delivering the money~ you know, to the Indians, And he married a lot of them~ and that's what h;ts charge was, it was fifty cents for the prayer. E~ A prayer. Now 1 with the little bit of fish and the little bit of patches of vegetables that they raised, a-i::-e you sur prised that they had enough to eat? Or did they eveJ:: have enough to eat? G: Well, Mr. Hayes s . aid that they just worri,ed him to death. They 1 d come over and sit around all day, wanting extra money, you know. Well? he 1 d let'em have sotlle money? and then he'd t-ry to take it out next time. Because evet""y month they got the money from the statei you know. And he said that they were a shiftless lotl every one of them was, E: Their women were working making pottery. G: They started that stuff, Now, Louis's w;i.fe did make some pottery and showed it to me. But a lot of them d;tdn"t do nothing, didn't even make pottery. And they started that, a lot of it, after the wh:lte folks did ~ A lot of them. E: Now, tell me about the doctor down on the reservation. Do you remember Dr. H:Ul? Tell me about hi,m, G; Dr. Hill, he was the Qne that the boys was telling,,,William was telling you about that got i,n a ff.ght. And he bit his John Brown bi,t that boy'-s.,.somebody bit his eal:' off. And the next morning they were in good humor. They decided that Dr. Hill could do anything. They decided to take that ear down, the doctor would sew it back on, and it would be all right, And the doctor looked at it and smelled it, and he said, "Uh huh. That's foul. 1 ' And threw it away, threw it in the wastebasket• He said, 11 No, no, It" s just too bad• I can ''

PAGE 7

6 The Indians believed in him implicit}y:. They thought he could do everything. And he was a good he could, he was a good doctor. But he didn't doctor anybody but poor folks. E: He traveled with a horse and buggy down into the reservation, right? G: Well, you know, he went by the little old one-horse wagon, in a wagon drawn by a horse. And he had a horse. He always went in that one-horse wagon. And the Indians be lieved in him implicitly. They kind of believed that he could just come, whenever Dr. Hill came, that would be all right. E: Would he spend the night on the reservation sometimes? G: Oh, yeah, he would. Fess Coleman told me a lot about Dr. Hill. Said Dr. Hill didn't have no bit of fear of nothing. And:,he would just spend the night, and let you see him at some of the Indian's houses, right along. E: But did the white people ever go down to any of the Indian parties? G: No. Nobody but Bill Caldwell and Fess Coleman and Dr. Hill would ever go to the parties, Indian parties. E: And what did they do at the Indian parties? G: Well, I don't know. I guess they twisted the peace pipe to gether. E: Did they ever have any fights along at the end of a party? G: Well, they might have had, but Fess didn't tell me that. Fess died; Fess married Rosa Boyd and died at forty. He was one of the oldest old crowd, you know. He must have bit his brother. E: Now, how did Dr. Hill get paid for his services with the Indians? G: They must have paid the state must have paid him a little something because the Indians wouldn't have paid him, The Indians didn't have At that time, they were a shiftless lot.

PAGE 8

E: Now, you were tell:i:ng me that one time he went out to collect some .,_, 7 G: Oh. 1901 1 it rainedall year. It just poured down, and . we didn ' t make anything, The niggers didn it make anything but rented from us all, or rather they cropped~ We owned a place over there right at Leslie Station, where Ruby Boyd lives now, you know. That place, forty acres, We had that little place; we owned that little place, And l remember that old George Marshall had stayed there that year, and he didn t make anything at all, hardly, And he made a deal on eighteen acres of cotton, and he wouldn t t pick that, his folks wouldn't pick it, and so we had to go pick it. And we had~ of course? a plantati,on down there along the river, But I could tell you more about my young days and the Indians. To show you how they paid no attention to blood, or anybody that was killed, old Jim Wright was killed there in the house belonged to us.,,.. .... my father, . And my father took me up there, and I was so little I must have worn dresses, you know. I think I had on a dress. l think I: was three years old~ two or three years old. And he led me by the hand and took me to that house, and they had moved out, The niggers had moved out in the night because that other nigger was killed there. There was the nigger, Jim Wright, lying there in a pool of blood, . And I saw it, I saw him, and my father took me in there and showed me, Now, we paid no attention to murders or something like that, you know, in those days, E: You started to tell me how Dr. Hill collected his G: Oh, Dr. Hill went out in the Nation, reservation. Right on around the road, one of my great~aunts lived there, Married a Harvey Whiteside, The old Whiteside house was up there on that road, and just above that was my father 's place, There was 429 acres in all, I think. It was divided evenly, and my father bought this from old man Dick Sturgis, the second place. The Nation was next to it, Now, the reservation was what we called it the Nation. The doctor went right up... he was on that road, too, He went up that road in his one~ horse wagon~ and he attempted to collect, and he didn't. He must have tried to collect from the lndiansi . because he went on through their Nation~ And he came back and his wife had ran to the porch in front, stopped him, and she said, "How did you come along?"

PAGE 9

8 Well 1 it rained all year, and nobody had anything, He said? ''I got promise of four three loads of hay . I got six rahbitsI and I got enough broom straw to . keep you sweeping the balance of your life!" E; And that was his pay. G: That was his pay. So he must have collected from the Indians .... . .,.tried to collect from the Indians. E; Do you remember the little black bag that the doctor carried with him in that wagon? G: Huh? E: Do you remember the l:ittle black bag~ the doctor'-s bag, that he carried? G: Oh, he had what they called saddlebags~ Yeah~ l remember that. He had them. Of course, he carried it along w.i,th him, E: Your father told a story about an Indian by the name of Tims. G: Oh, Alexander Tims, His father would come home on a furlough, and he would regale him with stories about the regiment, you know. He was a member of Company H, Twelfth Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, And they were made up at Rock Hill. A lot of those,,.. ... you named a lot of the Harrises and so forth. ... they were Indians, all of those were Indians~ But there wasn't Alexander Tims. And the way he, the cap .... tain, got that Alexander Tims, he said, "Let me have that fellow because he's a scout,'' And he would slip over there, and he could hear the Yankees talking. He could go over there! and nobody would ever see him. And they would come back with the plans, you know? and he 1 d tell the captain. Well, the captain found that he was good at that, and the Indian told him? says, "I can steal a horse." And he says, "You can't. You're gonna fool around and get shot 1 and then r won"t have a scout," 11 Oh, I'm not gonna get shot,,, And Alexander Tims, then, went back, He did go on some dark night, and he was going to get his horse, He said that he waited till the sentry turned around and walked off, goingback toward the tents , He grabbed a horse? got a'hold

PAGE 10

E: G: E: G: 9 of him, and said that somebody ran out of a tent and hollered, "Look out there! Somebody's taking a horse!" And he says, "I started out. He shot at me but he missed me, and I just kept going and kept going.'' He came on over around the camp, you know, the Confederate camp. And they bought his horse, and he was mad about it. He was mad because he didn't get a saddle! The captain said, "Oh, you did bring the horse." He got the horse; so he gave him five dollars. He didn't think a thing of that five dollars, but he was worrying and worrying himself because he didn 1 . t get the saddle. Do you know what ever happened to him after that? No, I don't know what happened to him. I think he came back alive. Yes, he sure did. I don't think he was killed. E: Did you know any of the widows who got pensions from the government, through that? G: No, I didn't know any of them, but they must have gotten little pensions. E: Some of them, I'm sure, did. What older Indians do you remem ber? You mentioned Early Brown, and you mentioned G: Well, I knew E: John Brown. G: old Billy George. They called him Billy. Now, I think he was a full-blooded Indian, but Louis Gordon wasn't. Nor was John Brown full-blooded, I don't think. Early Brown wasn't either. I don't think. No, Early, of course, he wasn't. He was John's son. E: What about Chief Blue? What do you remember about him? . G: Who? E: Chief Blue. Chief Sam Blue. " ,,

PAGE 11

10 G; Well! I knew him, but he's like I told you about, He got a lot of his ini;opnat:i:.on about the J;ndia.ns from the wh;i.tes. Yeah,, I remember him--Chief Blue had been living in the last ten or fifteen.years that he was living, But I knew him quite well. E; Have you ever attended a service in the Mormon church? G; No, but I've been there and seen their ch.ui:ch. I knew some of the members of the church..... the white members, . They had white members, too, in that church. E: What do you remember about the first church that was there? It was a Presbyterian church there. Do you remember the plank frame house? G: I heard that Mrs. Dunlap told about that~ but I don't remem,,. ber anything at all about it, except that she said that the Indians had a church down there. Mrs, Dunlap was sort of a contemporary, I reckon, of my grandmother's. And I just do remember that she said that the Presbyterians had a church down there. E: Now, do you remember any of the teachers . that were down there? Mr. Seth Massey taught there, and, .• G; I think Sam Leslie taught there, E: Then Mr. Sam Leslie taught there; Do you remember any of the teachers that taught there? G: No, that was the only one that I remember, Mrs. Dunlap, I believe, was a teacher down there. E: Y:es, that's right, Well now, what about sports? Did you ever play ball with any . of the Indians? G: E; G . E; No 1 I d;ldnlt play hall wtth the Indians. Later on, I th;i,nk they had a ball team that they.,. Yeah. . played with. Now, in recent years,:,.~you've told me of the past':"'C"What do you th;i.nk about the conditions on the reservation

PAGE 12

11 now? The conditions and the jobs for the Indians? G; Well~ they've got jobs, and the ones that, , There's one Indian that"s a mighty good friend of mine. I took the agricultural census; and when I ran across him 1 he was about half white, I said, "Do you have any chickens? r got to take down anybody that had a hundred chickens. 1 ' And he said, "No, he didn 1 t think so. He said: "There's an old hen scared, and stole her nest, and I think that she's got a flock of little chickens," I said, "Well, we 1 11 walk out there and see, 11 And I 1 11 bet you there was a hundred chickens out there in the woods, you know. I said, HAll right, are you wi.lling to take a hundred?" He said, "Yes.'' E: Now, you were taking census. What was the yea:r? That was in 1964. He always knows me now, nigger 1 s, Indian's name? I can't think of right next to the PEC building, you know. over there just a little ways from that. What's that it, He lives He lives right E: Do you know any of them that went off to school? Do you know any of them that ever went to Carlisle School? G: No, Wheelock didn't belong there; he didn't come down E: He was an Oneida Indian? G: Yeah~ he's a.,,. I don lt know Indians that went to Carlisle. E: Theodore Harris, do you remembe:r him? G: Yeah~ I remember him. E: And Ben Harris, Do you remember Ben? G; I: don ''t know that I do, I remember old man Billy. I think he was the older one, I: think maybe itts his father, E: Now; what did Billy Harris look like? He was an old man when you knew him,, wasn It he? G; Yeah, he was an old man when I knew him. And I'm eighty-two, so I'm old,

PAGE 13

E: But he was a small in frame, wasn't he? G; Yeah, he was a l;ittle old fellow, E: And Louis Gordon. What did he look like? 12 G; Louis Gordon? He was about half white, He lived right next to,.,there was one place between us and that Jndian Nation. And I think Mr. Ed Walker owned it: little old place, forty or fifty acres, thirtyprobably. E; If you were going to have some adjectives to describe these Indians --.:-whether they were honest or trustworthy or dependable or good friends.,..,,..howwould you describe theindians as a whole as you knew them? G: Well, when I first knew them, they were a shiftles$ lot. They were They didn't do anything but lie around the store. And most of the women just walked the roads. I think that now you know, they must have been in pretty good shape. When Mr, Hyde and Mr. Pratt •. ,somebody built them a monument over there at Fort Mill, you know, and they must have been pretty good when they pushed them way back, They must have been pretty good, but when I . knew them, they were not. They were shiftless. E: Mr. Gettys, talking about the old times, down in the woods not too far from Neely's Creek Church is this great big mor .... tar where they used to grind their corn, G: Yeah. E: You saw that as a young boy, and it 1 s still there. How do you remember them using that? G: Well~ they ground the~r corn, They tied the pestle, what they called a pestle, to a limb of a tree .... ,:. it was under a tree~ And they could just pull it down and grind the corn, and they, r think, wet that corn. They probably boiled it a li . ttle b:tt. And then they pulled that pestle down and ground it up, Then theyld let it looi:;e, and it1d go on up in the . tree, you know, E. Now, there ' s a spring close by there, Rock Spring close by that church, isn't it? G~ Yeah.

PAGE 14

13 E: That ' s the only one tha,t I know of, Have yQu ever seen another one anywhere over the Nation, a big one like that? G; No, I haven ' ' t. I remember now that there was a deer lick down on our place, you know, where the Indians and others would shoot deer. I figured that everybody had a deer lick, but there s only two or three in South Carolina, I understand. And there was a place about as wide, as big, as this room or bigger that the deers had come and pawed up the dirt, you know..,.. ... up in a regular mound, It was just a complete circle. And my grandmother said that Mr. Joshua Sturgis, way back yonder, would come down there and hunti and he would stay at their house. And that was in the 1820s or '30s. And she sa:td that he had killed three deer right there at that deer lick. E; Now that deer lick was used by the Indians~ too? G; Oh, yeah, The Indians would come there and shoot deer, E; And did you ever pick up any arrowheads or tomahawks or anything like that? G: I have~ I have picked up a whole lot of them, And I gave them all, just like I told you, to Dr. Simpson, Dr, Simpson got so enthusiastic, talked to me.-...,you know, he worked on my mouth.,. .... and he was telling me about all his arrowheads that he had. , And I said, . "I've got a whole lot of them, I'll g:i,ve' em to you," !understand that he finally gave'-em to the, Bill has them, but I thought he had given them to the library. E; They Ire anxious somet:bne to have a museum. They don It have ;it yet, but they're anxious to have a museum. G; W~ll 1 B;i.11 S:Lmpson has them at his house ; now? so I understand, And I told you about that rock that they said came as a meteor, Everybody, all the niggers 1 ! though, called it a thundel:bolt, And I; had thati _ too,. but I gave it all to Dr~ Si.mpson, E: Whereabouts on the reservation would ' you find most of these arrowheads? Any certain places you would find them? G: Yeah. Yout-d find them where they had made 1 em here 1 lots of

PAGE 15

14 times and then all around the old plantations, everywhere. There were we found a lot of them around home, because that was part of the Indian Nation, Indian Reservation, you know, then. The Indians hunted all abouts in there. E: Now, did you ever go hunting with them? G: No, I never did. E: Some of them were very good hunters, I believe. G: Yeah, I understand they was. I fished with them, but I never did go hunting with them. E: Did you know the Indians who helped to build, do any car pentry work? Who were the good carpenters among the Nation? G: Well, when I was growing :•; up, they didn't do nothing. But I understand that some of them now are carpenters. E: John Idle Sanders was a carpenter. His father was a carpen ter. They lived not far from Leslie and did some there. G: Yeah. The government again took that Indians, and they bought them a plantation, bought them a great bigh farm. That's the old Childs place, and they give it to the Indians. And the Indians then sold it. I think they sold it. Maybe they divided it up. And anyway, they're scattered all about over the country now. E: Do you remember Richard Harris? G: Richard Harris? I don't know that he is in there. I don't remember him, Richard. E: He was in the World War. I don't know whether you remembered. He was, wasn't he, that went to France? G: Yeah, I think it was in the Second World War. E: Yes. G: The , only thing I remember is the First World War. E: Mr. Gettys, what Indian agents do you remember?

PAGE 16

15 G: Well 1 :t don't . remember any but Jake Hayes 1 . D~ T. Leslie? and~ E; Mr. Flowers, you remember him? G; Who? E: Flowers. G: Yeah, Flowers 1 and Boyd Mr. Tom Boyd.,.,.. , cousin . Tom Boyd. I remember these four. But I remember mostly Mr! Hayes? because he did it, had iti several years. And he ran a store, And he was Mr. Billy Hayes's son, but he is first cousin to Mr. Nace Williamson, the . old owner, you know. E: Well, now, running a store and then g1v1.ng them their money, he would come in contact with the Indians. G: Yeah. He said that they hang around his store all the time,