Citation
Interview with Maroni James George, March 26, 1974

Material Information

Title:
Interview with Maroni James George, March 26, 1974
Creator:
George, Maroni James ( 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/.

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

ORAL HISTORY PROJECT




Interviewee: Maroni George

Interviewer: Frances Wade

March 26, 1974







CAT90A
Interviewer: Frances Wade
Interviewee: Maroni George
Date: March 26, 1974

W: I live on Route #3, Box #304, Rock Hill, South Carolina, and I am
gathering oral history of the Catawba Indians for the University
of Florida. Today is March the twenty-sixth, 1974. I am
visiting in the home of Mr. and Mrs. George. Uncle Maroni is the
oldest living Catawba Indian. Uncle Maroni, What is your full
name?

G: Maroni James George.

W: When were you born?

G: Eighteen and eighty-four.

W: What was the month?

G: Twenty-first of August.

W: Who were your parents?

G: Caleb George and Emily George.

W: What is your address?

G: Thirty-two McClean street.

W: You have lived here how long?

G: Oh, I could not tell you.

W: About two years according to your wife. Uncle Maroni, can you
tell us something about your parents? What do you remember about
your parents? Did they live until you were grown?

G: Oh yes.

W: What did your father do for a living?

G: Well, he cut cord wood and worked in the field. After I came
back home he stayed with me all the time.

W: Where were you at?

G: I was in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

W: Oh, you went to the Carlisle school? Oh! We will talk a little
about that later on. Did your mother work?

G: No, she just made pottery.




1







W: How much Indian would you say that your mother and father had in
them?

G: I do not know.

W: Were they nearly full-blooded indians?

G: No. My mother was a Cobb and I am not sure what my daddy's daddy
was.

W: Well, do you think that they were at least half Indian?

G: No.

W: They were not that much?

G: My mother was not, I know.

W: Well, what brothers and sisters did you have?

G: Davis Eric was my half-brother. Hallie Sarah was my half-sister.
Minnie, Dover, Billy and Nancy, that is all my folks.

W: Are any of your brothers and sisters still alive?

G: No.

W: You are the only one left?

G: Yes.

W: When you were little did your parents ever tell you any old
stories that you could tell us?

G: No.

W: You know, when I was growing up my mom always told us that the
wild Indians would get us and I really thought they would.

G: No, mine never told me that. I was wild myself.

W: When it came to Christmas or Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July,
did you do any kind of celebrating then?

G: Yes, we had different kind of parties, dances, things like that.

W: Could you dance?

G: Could I? I reckon I could!

W: Well, that is real good.






2







G: We were tall wild indians. Some mornings, the whole weekend at
Dr. Hill's place, I believe, they had a dance up there right out
from Davis on that old farm. What is the name of that farm?

W: Lunberger.

G: No. I do not remember the name of the place. It was just a
little old house just out from Davis Eric's little place. Just
below where Curly and them live, we went there to dance one
night. Of course I used to dance all of the time.

W: What kind of dances did you do?

G: Well, we used to reel dance and we never had any Indian dances.

W: You did not do any Indian dances?

G: No.

W: But you did something like the Virginia Reel?

G: Yes.

W: When you were little did you have any work to do around the
house?

G: Plenty of it.

W: What kind of work did you have to do?

G: Well, I tended the cows, mules and different things.

W: You lived on a farm. Then you were more fortunate than some
Indians, you had animals.

G: Yes.

W: Well, do you remember what kind of house you lived in when you
were growing up? Was it a log house? What kind of house was it?

G: I lived in a log house right up in front of where the little
school-house used to be up on the hill. I built a house up there
above the school-house where you walk through in order to cross
the route.

W: I remember where that was.

G: Yes.

W: Do you remember how many rooms it had?

G: I do not remember whether it was three or four.

W: Did you have much furniture in your house?



3







G: No, not too much.

W: Did your parents buy it or did they make it?

G: No, they bought it.

W: I know that you went to church. I remember when you were branch
president. Do you remember in what year you were baptized?

G: No, I regret that I do not.

W: Do you remember who baptized you?

G: No, I cannot.

W: Well, do you remember anything about the first church that was
down there? Was it a building or a brush arbor?

G: It was a brush arbor.

W: Where was that?

G: Well, one of them was right there where the old church used to be
and the other one was down by the cemetery.

W: Well, Uncle Maroni, can you tell me how that brush arbor was
made?

G: Well, it was just the poles in the ground, with rope and sticks.
You just lay pieces across and cover it with grass and stuff like
that.

W: Then what did you sit on?

G: Slabs made from old cross-ties.

W: Did you go to school?

G: I went one time down on the Indian nation.

W: Do you remember where the school was at?

G: It is right above the church there on the same road coming up to
our land.

W: How many rooms did the school have?

G: Only one.

W: Do you remember who your teacher was?

G: Mrs. Dunlap.

W: Do you remember any other teachers?



4







G: Well, Ben Harris, he taught in a little log or plank house down
by old Sam Boozly's place.

W: I know where you are talking about.

G: Ben taught there.

W: Do you remember any school teachers named DeVores?

G: No, I do not.

W: Why did you not go to school any longer than you did.

G: Well, I left here and went to the Carlisle Pennsylvania school.

W: Oh, you left and went to Carlisle. How old were you when you
went to Carlisle?

G: I do not remember exactly how old I was. I was twenty-four when
I came back up here.

W: How long did you stay there?

G: Five years.

W: You stayed five years. While you were there do you remember any
of your teachers?

G: No, I do not.

W: Do you remember how you got to Carlisle?

G: Well, there were two girls, Lottie Harris and Rosie. They were
Cherokee and stayed there until they finished up. They went to
Qualla. When they came home, they asked me to go.

W: Who is Lottie Harris? Who is she kin to?

G: She was kin to that gal that lives up there, Andrew's wife.

W: Doris Blue?

G: Yes.

W: Was she full-blooded indian?

G: Yes.

W: I have heard the name Lottie Harris before and that is why I was
asking. Do you remember some of the things that you did while
you were in Carlisle?

G: Well, I took up carpenter work.

W: Did you enjoy that?


5







G: Yes.

W: Did you enjoy living in Carlisle?

G: I liked it! I was there until I could finish the carpentering.
I went in the dairy business when I finished there.

W: That is still at Carlisle?

G: I was still in Carlisle. That is the Carlisle School of Dairying
where I worked. Of course I worked out in the country at
different dairies.

W: Do you remember, did you live with families up there too?

G: Yes, out in the country on farms.

W: Do you remember any of the families that you lived with?

G: Well, one of the families was the Martindales. Let us see, there
was a fellow over there in town, I cannot get his name.

W: Well, how did the people treat you ?

G: Treated me fine.

W: When you first left Catawba and went to Carlisle how did things
change for you ?

G: Well, I do not suppose there is much change.

W: Did you take part in any sports or anything at school?

G: Yes, anything that came up I would take part in it; football,
baseball.

W: I was going to ask if you played football.

G: That is right.

W: Did you ever go on the sleigh?

G: On the what?

W: On the snow, did you ever go skiing or ride the sleigh?

G: No, I never did go skating. I used to sleigh ride a lot, when I
was out in the country and with lots of people.

W: Did you have girlfriends while you were there?

G: Plenty of them.

W: I did not want your wife to hear that one.



6







G: The girls would have fusses over me.

W: You must have been a dashing Indian. Do you remember Jim Thorpe?

G: Yes.

W: What do you remember about him that you could tell me?

G: Nothing in particular that I know of, other than he was a good
ball player.

W: When you came back from school how long after that did you get
married?

G: Oh, I could not tell you.

W: Maybe I better ask you something else and let you be thinking
about it. When you were young, I realize you cannot get around
now and do all of the things that you once did. But when you
were young, did you hunt or fish?

G: Oh, yes.

W: Could you use a bow and arrow?

G: Oh, yes.

W: Were you good with the slingshot?

G: Pretty good.

W: I know a lot of the younger people were good with the slingshot
and not so good with the bow and arrows because they could not
afford to buy them. They were good with the slingshot, though.

G: I made my own slingshot.




















7





Full Text

PAGE 1

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA ORAL HISTORY PROJECT Interviewee: Maroni George Interviewer: Frances Wade March 26, 1974

PAGE 2

CAT90A Interviewer: Frances Wade Interviewee: Maroni George Date: March 26, 1974 W: I live on Route #3, Box #304, Rock Hill, South Carolina, and I am gathering oral history of the Catawba Indians for the University of Florida. Today is March the twenty-sixth, 1974. I am visiting in the home of Mr. and Mrs. George. Uncle Maroni is the oldest living Catawba Indian. Uncle Maroni, What is your full name? G: Maroni James George. W: When were you born? G: Eighteen and eighty-four. W: What was the month? G: Twenty-first of August. W: Who were your parents? G: Caleb George and Emily George. W: What is your address? G: Thirty-two Mcclean street. W: You have lived here how long? G: Oh, I could not tell you. W: About two years according to your wife. Uncle Maroni, can you tell us something about your parents? What do you remember about your parents? Did they live until you were grown? G: Oh yes. W: What did your father do for a living? G: Well, he cut cord wood and worked in the field. After I came back home he stayed with me all the time. W: Where were you at? G: I was in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. W: Oh, you went to the Carlisle school? Oh! We will talk a little about that later on. Did your mother work? G: No, she just made pottery. 1

PAGE 3

W: G: W: G: W: G: W: G: W: G: W: G: W: G: W: G: W: G: W: How much Indian would you say that your mother and father had in them? I do not know. Were they nearly full-blooded indians? No. My mother was a Cobb and I am not sure what my daddyts daddy was. Well, do you think that they were at least half Indian? No. They were not that much? My mother was not, I know. Well, what brothers and sisters did you have? Davis Eric was my half-brother. Hallie Sarah was my half-sister. Minnie, Dover, Billy and Nancy, that is all my folks. Are any of your brothers and sisters still alive? No. You are the only one left? Yes. When you were little did your parents ever tell you any old stories that you could tell us? No. You know, when I was growing up my mom always told us that the wild Indians would get us and I really thought they would. No, mine never told me that. I was wild myself. When it came to Christmas or Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July, did you do any kind of celebrating then? G: Yes, we had different kind of parties, dances, things like that. W: Could you dance? G: Could I? I reckon I could! W: Well, that is real good. 2

PAGE 4

G: We were tall wild indians. Some mornings, the whole weekend at Dr. Hill's place, I believe, they had a dance up there right out from Davis on that old farm. What is the name of that farm? W: Lunberger. G: No. I do not remember the name of the place. It was just a little old house just out from Davis Eric's little place. Just below where Curly and them live, we went there to dance one night. Of course I used to dance all of the time. W: What kind of dances did you do? G: Well, we used to reel dance and we never had any Indian dances. W: You did not do any Indian dances? G: No. W: But you did something like the Virginia Reel? G: Yes. W: When you were little did you have any work to do around the house? G: Plenty of it. W: What kind of work did you have to do? G: Well, I tended the cows, mules and different things. W: You lived on a farm. Then you were more fortunate than some Indians, you had animals. G: Yes. W: Well, do you remember what kind of house you lived in when you were growing up? Was it a log house? What kind of house was it? G: I lived in a log house right up in front of where the little school-house used to be up on the hill. I built a house up there above the school-house where you walk through in order to cross the route. W: I remember where that was. G: Yes. W: Do you remember how many rooms it had? G: I do not remember whether it was three or four. W: Did you have much furniture in your house? 3

PAGE 5

G: No, not too much. W: Did your parents buy it or did they make it? G: No, they bought it. W: I know that you went to church. I remember when you were branch president. Do you remember in what year you were baptized? G: No, I regret that I do not. W: Do you remember who baptized you? G: No, I cannot. W: Well, do you remember anything about the first church that was down there? Was it a building or a brush arbor? G: It was a brush arbor. W: Where was that? G: Well, one of them was right there where the old church used to be and the other one was down by the cemetery. W: Well, Uncle Maroni, can you tell me how that brush arbor was made? G: Well, it was just the poles in the ground, with rope and sticks. You just lay pieces across and cover it with grass and stuff like that. W: Then what did you sit on? G: Slabs made from old cross-ties. W: Did you go to school? G: I went one time down on the Indian nation. W: Do you remember where the school was at? G: It is right above the church there on the same road coming up to our land. W: How many rooms did the school have? G: Only one. W: Do you remember who your teacher was? G: Mrs. Dunlap. W: Do you remember any other teachers? 4

PAGE 6

G: Well, Ben Harris, he taught in a little log or plank house down by old Sam Boozly's place. W: I know where you are talking about. G: Ben taught there. W: Do you remember any school teachers named DeVores? G: No, I do not. W: Why did you not go to school any longer than you did. G: Well, I left here and went to the Carlisle Pennsylvania school. W: Oh, you left and went to Carlisle. How old were you when you went to Carlisle? G: I do not remember exactly how old I was. I was twenty-four when I came back up here. W: How long did you stay there? G: Five years. W: You stayed five years. While you were there do you remember any of your teachers? G: No, I do not. W: Do you remember how you got to Carlisle? G: Well, there were two girls, Lottie Harris and Rosie. They were Cherokee and stayed there until they finished up. They went to Qualla. When they came home, they asked me to go. W: Who is Lottie Harris? Who is she kin to? G: She was kin to that gal that lives up there, Andrew's wife. W: Doris Blue? G: Yes. W: Was she full-blooded indian? G: Yes. W: I have heard the name Lottie Harris before and that is why I was asking. Do you remember some of the things that you did while you were in Carlisle? G: Well, I took up carpenter work. W: Did you enjoy that? 5

PAGE 7

G: Yes. W: Did you enjoy living in Carlisle? G: I liked it! I was there until I could finish the carpentering. I went in the dairy business when I finished there. W: That is still at Carlisle? G: I was still in Carlisle. That is the Carlisle School of Dairying where I worked. Of course I worked out in the country at different dairies. W: Do you remember, did you live with families up there too? G: Yes, out in the country on farms. W: Do you remember any of the families that you lived with? G: Well, one of the families was the Martindales. Let us see, there was a fellow over there in town, I cannot get his name. W: Well, how did the people treat you? G: Treated me fine. W: When you first left Catawba and went to Carlisle how did things change for you? G: Well, I do not suppose there is much change. W: Did you take part in any sports or anything at school? G: Yes, anything that came up I would take part in it; football, baseball. W: I was going to ask if you played football. G: That is right. W: Did you ever go on the sleigh? G: On the what? W: on the snow, did you ever go skiing or ride the sleigh? G: No, I never did go skating. I used to sleigh ride a lot, when I was out in the country and with lots of people. W: Did you have girlfriends while you were there? G: Plenty of them. W: I did not want your wife to hear that one. 6

PAGE 8

G: The girls would have fusses over me. W: You must have been a dashing Indian. Do you remember Jim Thorpe? G: Yes. W: What do you remember about him that you could tell me? G: Nothing in particular that I know of, other than he was a good ball player. W: When you came back from school how long after that did you get married? G: Oh, I could not tell you. W: Maybe I better ask you something else and let you be thinking about it. When you were young, I realize you cannot get around now and do all of the things that you once did. But when you were young, did you hunt or fish? G: Oh, yes. W: Could you use a bow and arrow? G: Oh, yes. W: Were you good with the slingshot? G: Pretty good. W: I know a lot of the younger people were good with the slingshot and not so good with the bow and arrows because they could not afford to buy them. They were good with the slingshot, though. G: I made my own slingshot. 7