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(title page) The Croatan Indians of Sampson County, North Carolina. Their Origin and Racial Status. A Plea for Separate Schools
Geo. E. Butler
65 p., ill.
The Seeman Printery
Call number Cp970.03 B98c (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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THE CROATAN NORMAL SCHOOL AT PEMBROKE, N. C.
The first Croatan Indian School established and supported by the State
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STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA--COUNTY OF SAMPSON.
To the Honorable Board of Education of Sampson County, North Carolina:
The undersigned, your petitioners, a part of the Croatan Indians living in the County of Sampson, State aforesaid, having their residence here for more than two hundred years, as citizens and tax payers of the County and State, peacefully sharing all the burdens of our government, and desiring to share in all the benefits incident thereto, respectfully petition your Honorable Board for such recognition and aid in the education of their children as you may see fit to extend to them, the amount appropriated to be used for the sole and exclusive purpose of assisting your petitioners to educate their children and fit them for the duties of citizenship.
Your petitioners would show that there are, according to the bulletin of the thirteenth census of 1910, two hundred and thirteen Indians in Sampson County. And, that there are of legal school age, for whom there now no separate school provisions, over one hundred Indian school children. That these children are not permitted to attend, and have no desire to attend, the white schools, and in no other section of the State are they required to attend the colored schools.
That they are a distinct and separate race of people, and are now endeavoring, as best they can, at their own expense, to build and maintain their own schools, without any appropriation from the county or state, notwithstanding, they cheerfully pay taxes for this purpose, and otherwise share in the burdens and benefits of the government.
That the Croatan Indians of this county are a quiet, peaceful and industrious people, and have been residents of this section long before the advent of the white man, with whom
they have always been friendly, and with whom they have always courted and maintained most cordial relations.
There is a tradition among them that they are a remnant of White's Lost Colony and during the long years that have passed since the disappearance of said colony, they have been struggling to fit themselves and their children for the exalted privileges and duties of American freemen, and to substantiate this historical and traditional claim, hereto append, and make a part of this petition such historical data as they have been able to collect to aid you in arriving at their proper racial status.
Your petitioners further respectfully show that they are the same race and blood and a part of the same people, held by the same ties of racial and social intercourse as the Croatan Indians of Robeson County, many of whom were former residents of Sampson County, and with whom they have married and intermarried. That since the State of North Carolina has been so just and generous as to provide special and separate school advantages for our brothers and kinsmen, in Robeson County, as well as in the counties of Richmond, Scotland, Hoke, Person and Cumberland, we now appeal to you for the same just and generous recognition from the State of North Carolina and from your Honorable Board, in Sampson County, that we may share equal advantages with them as people of the same race and blood, and as loyal citizens of the State.
And your petitioners will ever pray.
H. A. BREWINGTON,
J. H. BREWINGTON,
J. R. JONES,
R. J. JACOBS,
H. S. BREWINGTON,
J. B. SIMMONS,
WM. SIMMONS, SR.
W. J. BLEDSOLE,
ENOCH MANUEL, JR.
M. L. BREWINGTON,
R. H. JACOBS,
J. W. FAIRCLOTH,
WM. SIMMONS, JR.
E. R. BREWINGTON,
W. L. BLEDSOLE,
ENOCH MANUEL, or EMANUEL,
G. B. BREWINGTON,
W. B. BREWINGTON,
C. O. JACOBS,
J. S. STRICKLAND,
K. J. AMMONS,
C. A. BREWINGTON,
C. D. BREWINGTON,
T. J. JACOBS,
J. M. WEST,
R. M. WILLIAMS,
J. A. BREWINGTON,
W. E. GOODMAN,
B. J. FAIRCLOTH,
J. G. SIMMONS,
J. H. BLEDSOLE,
H. J. JONES,
On June 30th, 1914, the United States Senate passed a resolution directing the Secretary of the Interior to cause an investigation to be made of the condition and tribal rights of the Indians of Robeson and adjoining counties of North Carolina, recently declared by the Legislature of North Carolina to be Cherokees, and formerly known as Croatans, and report to Congress what tribal rights, if any, they have with any band or tribe; whether they are entitled to have or receive any lands, or whether there are any moneys due them, their present condition, their educational facilities, and such other facts as would enable Congress to determine whether the government would be warranted in making suitable provision for their support and education.
In conformity with this request the Secretary of the Interior caused an investigation to be made by Special Indian Agent, O. M. McPherson, and his report is dated September 19, 1914, and is quite full, showing a careful investigation on the ground, as well as historical research. This report was committed by the Secretary of Interior, to the President of the Senate, on January 4th, 1915, and is entitled: "Report on Condition and Tribal Rights of the Indians of Robeson and Adjoining Counties of North Carolina." This report contains 252 printed pages, from which we have gathered much information embraced in this historical sketch.
We have also examined a booklet prepared by Hon. Hamilton McMillan, of Fayetteville, N. C., who has made an extensive study and investigation of the Croatans, entitled: "Sir Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony." We have also examined the sketch entitled: "The Lost Colony of Roanoke, Its Fate and Survival," by one of our State's historians, Hon. Stephen B. Weeks. We have also examined Samuel A. Ashe's History
of North Carolina, also Vol. 2 of Hawk's History of North Carolina; also a work entitled: "Handbook of American Indians."
These historical records, the family history and traditions, together with such information as was attainable from the United States' Census of 1910, and the school and tax records of Sampson County, form the basis of the information set out in this sketch.
The Croatan Indians comprise a body of mixed-blood people residing chiefly in Sampson, Robeson, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Scotland, Richmond and Hoke counties, in North Carolina; and in Sumpter, Marlboro, and Dillon counties, South Carolina. They are called Red Bones in South Carolina, but probably belong to the same class of people as those residing in North Carolina. In the Eleventh Census, of 1890, under the title of North Carolina Indians, they are described as "generally white, showing the Indian mostly in actions and habits." It is stated that,
"They are enumerated by the regular census enumerator in part as whites; that they are clannish and hold with considerable pride to the tradition that they are the descendants of the Croatans of the Raleigh period of North Carolina and Virginia."
They are described in the Hand Book of American Indians, as a people evidently of mixed Indian and white blood, found in various sections in the eastern part of North Carolina, but chiefly in Robeson County. It is also stated that for many years they were classed with the free negroes, but steadfastly refused to accept such classification or to attend negro schools or churches, claiming to be the descendants of the early native tribes and white settlers who had intermarried with them.
A bulletin of the Thirteenth Census (Census of 1910), "Indians of North Carolina," shows their number to be as follows:
The Indian Office at Washington had no knowledge of the existence of the Croatan Indians until the latter part of 1888, when that office received a petition sent by fifty-four of these Indians describing themselves as "a part of the Croatan Indians living in Robeson County," and claiming to be "a remnant of White's Lost Colony," and petitioned Congress for aid. On January 11, 1889, the directors of the Ethnological Bureau in response to this petition replied:
"I beg leave to say that Croatan was in 1585 and thereabouts the name of an island and Indian village just north of Cape Hatteras, N. C. White's Colony of 120 men and women was landed on Roanoke Island just to the north in 1587, and in 1590 when White returned to revisit the colony he found no trace of it on Roanoke Island, save the name 'Croatan' carved upon a tree, which, according to a previous understanding, was interpreted to mean that the colonists had left Roanoke Island for Croatan. No actual trace of the missing colonists was ever found, but more than 100 years afterwards Lawson obtained traditional information from the Hatteras Indians which led him to believe that the colonists had been incorporated with the Indians. It was thought that traces of white blood could be discovered among the Indians, some among they having grey eyes. It is probable that the greater number of the colonists were killed; but it was quite in keeping with Indian usages that a greater or less number, especially women and children, should have been made captive and subsequently incorporated into the tribe."
There is a tradition among these Indians that their ancestors were white people, a part of Gov. White's Lost Colony, who amalgamated with the coast Indians and afterwards removed
to the interior, where they now reside. It is a matter of common knowledge that the Indians are a people of "traditions," being entirely destitute of written records. These traditions would be of little value were they not supported by authentic historical data.
Governor White left a colony of 120 men and women from England on Roanoke Island in 1587, and when he returned in 1590, he found no trace of the colony save the word "Croatan" carved upon a tree. According to a secret understanding which White had with the colonists before he returned to England, if they departed from Roanoke Island before his return they were to carve upon the trees or posts of doors "the name of the place where they should be seated." When White and his men returned in 1590 where they had left the colony three years before, they saw upon a tree carved in Roman letters the word "CROATAN" without any cross or sign of distress about the word, for he had the understanding that if any misfortune came to them they should put a cross over the word.
One of the early maps of the Carolina coast, which appears in Lederer's Travels, prepared in 1666, represents Croatoan as an island south of Cape Hatteras. Croatan is made as a part of the mainland directly west of Roanoke Island. Governor White indicates that the colony originally removed to Croatoan, and not Croatan.
The term Croatan, or Croatoan was applied by the English to the friendly tribe of Manteo, whose chief abode was on the island on the coast southward from Roanoke. The name Croatan seems to indicate a locality in the territory claimed by Manteo and his tribe. Manteo was one of two friendly Indians who had been carried to England by Sir Richard Grenville, and returned with Governor White, on the occasion of his first voyage in 1587. By direction of Sir Walter Raleigh, Manteo was baptized and in reward for his services to the English he was designated "Lord of Roanoke."
McMillan in his pamphlet says:
"It is evident from the story of Governor White, that the colonists went southward along the coast to Croatoan Island, now a part of
Carteret County, in North Carolina, and distant about 100 miles in a direct line from Albemarle Sound."
Dr. Hawks, in his history, speaks of this tribe as the "Hatteras Indians." From the first appearance of the English, relations of the most friendly character were known to exist between this tribe and the colony. Manteo was their chief.
The Hatteras Indians are described in the Hand Book of American Indians as follows:
"HATTERAS;--An Algonquian tribe living in 1701 on the sand banks about C. Hatteras, N. C., E. of Pamlico Sound, and frequenting Roanoke Id. Their single village, Sandbanks, had then only about 80 inhabitants. They showed traces of white blood and claimed that some of their ancestors were white. They may have been identical with the Croatan Indians (q. c.), with whom Raleigh's colonists at Roanoke Island are supposed to have taken refuge."
John Lawson was an early English explorer who left a permanent record of his travels among the tribes of the Carolinas. He commenced his journey on December 28th, 1700. Lawson's History of North Carolina is regarded as the standard authority for the period it covers, and he says that there was a band of Indians in the eastern part of North Carolina known as Hatteras Indians, that had lived on Roanoke Island and that these told him that many of their ancestors were white people and could "talk in a book." That many of these Indians had grey eyes that were found among no other Indians, that they were friendly to the English and were ready to do all friendly services.
He says it is probable that White's Colony miscarried for want of timely supplies from England, or through the treachery of the natives, for we may reasonably suppose that the English were forced to cohabit with them and that in process of time, they conformed themselves to the manners of their Indian relations.
John Lawson travelled among the Indians of North Carolina before they had come in contact with any of the white settlers, and found the same tribe of Indians residing on the south side of the Neuse River known as the Coree Tribe. One
of the head men of this tribe was an Indian of the name of Enoe-Will, who travelled several days with Lawson as his guide. Speaking of this Indian Lawson says: "Our guide and land-lord, Enoe-Will, was the best and most agreeable temper that ever I saw within an Indian. Being always ready to serve not out of gain but real affection."
Lawson had with him his Bible, and Enoe-Will, his guide, was accompanied by his son Jack, 14 years old, and Enoe-Will requested Lawson to teach his son "to talk in his book" and "to make paper speak, which was called our way of writing."
From McPherson's Report, commenting on the above, we copy as follows:
"The presence of grey eyes and fair skin among these people in Lawson's time can not be explained on any other hypothesis than that of amalgamation with the white race; and when Lawson wrote (1709) there was a tradition among the Hatteras Indians that their ancestors were white people 'and could talk in a book;' and that 'they valued themselves extremely for their affinity to the English and were ready to do them all friendly offices.' I have already referred to the fact that Enoe-Will, a Coree Indian, who had been raised on the coast and who was probably nearly 70 years of age when he acted as Lawson's guide, knew that the English could 'talk in a book' and as he further expressed it, 'could make paper talk,' indication that he was familiar with the customs of the English.
"Couple this with the fact that the guide had an English name, 'Will,' which he probably assumed at the age of 20 or 21, and the information previously given by him that he lived on Enoe Bay when he was a boy leads quite certainly to the conclusion that the Corees had come in contact with at least some portion of the lost colony. It must be remembered that when Will was a boy there were no English settlements on the east coast of North Carolina other than White's Lost Colony.
"Their religion and idea of faith was more exalted than was common among the savages, and leads to the belief that they had had communication with the more civilized race from the East.
"There is an abiding tradition among these people at the present time that their ancestors were the Lost Colony, amalgamated with some tribe of Indians. This tradition is supported by their looks, their complexion, color of skin, hair and eyes, by their manners, customs and habits, and by the fact that while they are, in part, of undoubted Indian origin, they have no Indian names and no Indian language--not
even a single word--and know nothing of Indian customs and habits.
"Speaking of the language of this people, Mr. McMillan says: 'The language spoken is almost pure Anglo-Saxon,' a fact which we think affords corroborative evidence of their relation to the Lost Colony of White. Mon (Saxon) is used for man, father is pronounced 'fayther,' and a tradition is usually begun as follows: 'Mon, my fayther told me that his fayther told him,' etc. 'Mension' is used for measurement, 'aks' for ask, 'hit' for it, 'hosen' for hose, 'lovend' for loving, 'housen' for houses. They seem to have but two sounds for the letter 'a,' one like a short 'o.' Many of the words in common use among them have long been obsolete in English-speaking countries."
Col. Fred A. Olds, a newspaper correspondent of Raleigh, says of their language:
"The language spoken by the Croatans is a very pure but quaint old Anglo-Saxon, and there are in daily use some 75 words which have come down from the great days of Raleigh and his mighty mistress, Queen Elizabeth. These old Saxon words arrest attention instantly. For man they say 'mon,' pronounce father 'fayther,' use 'mension' for measurement, 'ax' for ask, 'hosen' for hose, 'lovend' for loving, 'wit' for knowledge, 'housen' for houses; and many other words in daily use by them have for years been entirely obsolete in English-speaking countries.
"Just when the colonists and Indians, with whom they amalgamated, removed to the interior is not certainly known, but it is believed to have been as early as 1650. At the coming of the first white settlers to what is now known as Robeson County, there was found located on the banks of the Lumber River a large tribe of Indians, speaking the English language, tilling the soil, owning slaves, and practicing many of the arts of civilized life. And what is of greater significance, a very large number of the names appearing among the Lost Colony are to be found among the Croatan Indians, a fact inexplicable upon any other hypothesis than that the Lost Colony amalgamated with the Indians.
"Those names, common to both, are printed in italics in the McMillan Booklet. Mr. McMillan adds:
" 'The writer has been much interested in investigating the tradition prevalent among the Croatans, and expresses his firm conviction that they are descended from the friendly tribes found on our east coast in 1587, and also descended from the lost colonists of Roanoke, who amalgamated with this tribe.'
"From the foregoing I have no hesitancy in expressing the belief that the Indians which originally settled in Robeson and adjoining
counties in North Carolina were an amalgamation of the Hatteras Indians with Governor White's Lost Colony; the present Indians are their descendants with further amalgamation with the early Scotch and Scotch-Irish settlers, such amalgamation continuing down to the present time, together with a small degree of amalgamation with other races.
"I do find that the Hatteras Indians or the so-called Croatan Indians ever had any treaty relations with the United States, or that they have any tribal rights with any tribe or band of Indians; neither do I find that they have received any lands or that there are any moneys due them."
McPherson says, that in investigating the traditions prevalent among this singular people he found many family names identical with those of the Lost Colony of 1587. He publishes a list of the names of all of the men, women and children of the Roanoke colony, which arrived in Virginia, and remained to inhabit there. We give below a list of the names of this lost colony as follows:
All of the above names in italics are today Indian names in Robeson, Sampson and adjoining counties, and in addition to these we have the following Indian names in Sampson County, to-wit: Jacobs, Goodman, Simmons, Ammons, Brewington, Mainor, Manuel or Emanuel, Jones, Bedsole, Faircloth, Harding and Warrick.
The Croatans were first found over two hundred years ago in Eastern North Carolina, on the banks of the Neuse, Cape Fear, Lumbee, Coharee, and South Rivers in Sampson and adjoining counties where they are living to this day and are found nowhere else.
McPherson, in his report, says that the region inhabited by the Croatans is a low woodland, swampy region, locally known as pocosin land, abounding in whortleberries and black berries, which bring some revenue to the people. Commenting upon this part of McPherson's report Dr. Weeks says:
"This was probably on the upper waters of the Neuse, in what may now be Wayne and Lenoir Counties. It is probable that they were rejoined by those who had not undertaken the expedition towards Virginia, and from this point they could have passed easily into Sampson and Robeson Counties in conformity with their traditions, as related by Mr. McMillan."
Their ancestors, the Cherokees, according to their tradition, had their principal abiding place in the mountains to the west, and had trails or roads leading to various points on the coast. On the principal one of these roads, known as the Lowree Road, they had settlements on the Neuse River, on the waters of Black River, on the Cape Fear, Lumbee, and as far as the Santee in South Carolina. Their principal settlement was in the territory along the Lumbee and covering a large part of the present county of Robeson, and extending through what is now Cumberland County as far as Averysboro on the Cape Fear. They had other trails leading from the mountains eastward, and three of them united with the Lowrie Road or trail where there was a crossing of the Cape Fear, where the present town of Fayetteville is now situated.
A Rev. Mr. Blair, who was a missionary to the settlement on the eastern coast of North Carolina, wrote to Lord Weymouth in 1703, regarding the Indian tribe with which he came in contact, and refers to them as a great nation of Indians and very civilized people. McPherson says that there is reason to believe that the descendants of the colony were living in the country southeast of the Pamlico, at the time that Mr. Blair writes, and that they emigrated westward toward the interior, where a large body of Croatan Indians and descendants of the lost colonists had previously located. It is probable that the civilized Indians mentioned were a portion of the Croatan Indians as there was no other tribe to which the reference could apply.
In 1703, there were no settlements of white men known to exist beyond the region around Pamlico Sound. Subsequent to that date white emigrants penetrated the wilderness, and in 1729 there was a settlement made on Hearts Creek, a tributary of the Cape Fear and near the site of the present town of Fayetteville. Scotchmen arrived in what is now known as Richmond County in North Carolina as early as 1700. French Huguenots penetrated as far north as the southern boundary of North Carolina in the early part of the eighteenth century.
At the coming of the white settlers there was found located on the waters of the Lumbee River a large tribe of Indians speaking English, tilling the soil, owning slaves, and practicing many of the arts of civilized life. They held their lands in common, and land titles only became known on the approach of the white men. The first grant of land to any of this tribe of which there is written evidence, was made by King George II, in 1732, to Henry Berry and James Lowrie, two leading men of the tribe, and was located on Lowrie Swamp, east of the Lumber River in the present county of Robeson. A subsequent grant was made to James Lowrie in 1738. These people were hospitable, and friendly relations were established between them and their white neighbors. These Indians built good roads connecting the distant settlements with their principal seat on the Lumbee, as the Lumber River was
then called. One of the great roads constructed by them can be traced from a point on Lumber River for 20 miles to an old settlement near the mouth of Hearts Creek, now Cross Creek. Another highway still bearing the name of Lowrie Road, and used at this day as a public road, extends from the town of Fayetteville, through Cumberland and Robeson counties, in a southwest direction toward an ancient Croatan settlement on the Pee Dee.
Henry Berry, the grantee previously mentioned, was a lineal descendent of the English Colonist, Henry Berry, who was left on Roanoke Island in 1587. Many of this tribe served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and received pensions within the memory of persons yet living.
From Hamilton McMillan's booklet, "Sir Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony," we quote as follows:
"At an early period after the English colony became incorporated with the tribe, they began to emigrate westward. The first settlement made was probably in what is now Sampson County on several small rivers, tributary to Black River. (These were probably Big Coharie and Little Coharie.) A portion located on the Cape Fear near a place now bearing the name of 'Indian Wells' and at Hearts Creek in Cumberland County, now Fayetteville. It is impossible to ascertain at what date the tribe located in Robeson, but it is probable that they have resided there for 200 years. According to their universal tradition they were located there long before the troubles with the Tuscaroras began in 1711. Some of the tribe fought under 'Bonnul' as they term Col. Barnwell, and we have reliable evidence that they brought home a few Mattamuskeet Indians as prisoners and slaves. The descendants of these Mattamuskeets had their traditions also. The name of Dare was not recognized by them in first investigation but we afterwards discovered that they pronounce the name variously as Darr, Durr, and Dorr. This discovery was made when we related to an old chronicler of the tribe the story of Virginia Dare, the first white child born on American soil. This name Dorr or Durr has disappeared on the Lumber River since the War of 1812. The name Dorr appears on the muster roll of a company composed in part of Indians from Robeson County which served during that war, in the United States Army.
Several chroniclers, or old persons who keep the traditions of the tribe, have informed us that there are families bearing the name of Dorr or Durr, to be found in the Western North Carolina who are claimed by the tribe as descended from the English Colonists of Roanoke.
These chroniclers affirm that the Dares, Coopers, Harvies, and others retained their purity of blood and were generally the pioneers in emigration. Many names are corrupted, so that it is difficult to trace their history. The name of Goins was originally O'Guin, as appears from ancient court records. The name of Lumber, as applied to the river was originally Lumbee or Lombee. The name of Manteo is not familiar to them. While they have a tradition of their leader or chief who went to England, yet they have preserved no name for him. The nearest approach to the name Manteo, is Maino or Mainor. An old woman, whom we interviewed, spoke of their great man as Wonoke. This name may be a corruption of Roanoke, for we must remember Manteo was made Lord of Roanoke."
Dr. Stephen B. Weeks, in his article entitled, "The Lost Colony of Roanoke, Its Fate and Survival," we quote as follows:
"The other end of the chain is to be found in a tribe of Indians now living in Robeson County and the adjacent sections of North Carolina, and recognized officially by the State in 1885 as Croatan Indians. These Indians are believed to be the lineal descendants of the Colonists left by John White on Roanoke Island in 1587. The migrations of the Croatan tribe from former homes farther to the east can be traced to their present home from former settlements on Black River in Sampson County. The time of their removal is uncertain; but all traditions point to a time anterior to the Tuscarora War in 1711, and it is probable that they were fixed in their present homes as early as 1650. During the eighteenth century they occupied the country as far west as the Pee Dee, but their principal seats were on Lumber River, in Robeson County, and extended along it for twenty miles.
"The Croatans fought under Colonel Barnwell against the Tuscaroras in 1711, and the tribe of today speak with pride of the stand taken by their ancestors under "Bonnul" for the cause of the whites. In this war they took some of the Mattamuskeet Indians prisoners and made them slaves. Many of the Croatans were in the Continental Army; in the War of 1812 a company was mustered into the Army of the United States and members of the tribe received pensions for these services within the memory of the present generation; they also fought in the armies of the Confederate States. Politically they have had little chance for development. From 1783 to 1835 they had the right to vote, performed military duties, encouraged schools, and built churches; but by the Constitutional Convention of 1835 the franchise was denied to all 'free persons of color,' and to effect a political purpose it was contended by both parties that the Croatans came under
this category. The convention of 1868 removed this ban; but as they had long been classed as mulattoes they were obliged to patronize the negro schools. This they refused to do as a rule, preferring that their children should grow up in ignorance, for they hold the negro in utmost contempt and no great insult can be given a Croatan than to call him 'a nigger.'
"Finally, in 1885, through the efforts of Mr. Hamilton McMillan, who lived near them and knows their history, justice long delayed was granted them by the General Assembly of North Carolina. They were officially recognized as Croatan Indians; separate schools were provided for them and intermarriage with negroes was forbidden. Since this action on the part of the State they have become better citizens.
"They are almost universally landowners, occupying about sixty thousand acres in Robeson County. They are industrious and frugal, and anxious to improve their condition. No two families occupy the same house, but each has its own establishment.
"They are found of all colors from black to white, and in some cases can not be distinguished from white people. They have the prominent cheek bones, the steel-grey eyes, the straight black hair of the Indian. Those showing the Indian features most prominently have no beards. Their women are frequently beautiful; their movements are graceful, their dresses becoming, their figures superb.
"Mr. John S. Leary,*
* The late Mr. John S. Leary wrote Dr. Weeks from Fayetteville, N. C., under date of July 22, 1891: "I do not know as to whether any considerable number of the 'Croatans' emigrated from the State at any time in a body. Quite a number who were connected with the Croatans in Robeson County left the State at different times. Senator Hiram R. Revels, his brother, Willis B. & Absalom, and two sistrs, some of the Oxendines, Leary's and Dials; I do not know the exact number. My father's mother was a Revel. born in Robeson County, was 2nd cousin to Hiram. She married an Irishman named O'Leary. Father was born in Sampson County, on the Big Coharie, his parents having moved to that countyy. In 1806 they came to Fayetteville, where father lived until he died in 1880. Father came from the 'Croatan' stock. My mother was born in France, and was brought to this country by her parents in 1812. Father and mother were married in 1825. In 1857 my father sent my brother, Lewis Sheridan Leary, to Oberlin, Ohio. While there he formed an acquaintance with John Brown and went with him to Harper's Ferry n October, 1859. He was killed on the 17th day of October, 1859. while guarding what is now known as 'John Brown's Fort.' I saw this fort for the first time n 1880. It is a small brick house. I have a grand uncle, my father's mother's brother, living now in the Croatan settlement in Robeson County, 108 years old. As soon as I can make it convenient to see him I will have a talk with him and put on paper whatever information I can get from him and give you the benefit of it."
a prominent politician of Raleigh, and professor of law in Shaw University, was a member of the tribe, and one of their number has reached the Senate of the United States, for Hon. Hiram R. Revels, who was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1822, and who was a senator from Mississippi in 1870-71, is not a negro, but a Croatan Indian.
* The late Mr. John S. Leary wrote Dr. Weeks from Fayetteville, N. C., under date of July 22, 1891:
"I do not know as to whether any considerable number of the 'Croatans' emigrated from the State at any time in a body. Quite a number who were connected with the Croatans in Robeson County left the State at different times. Senator Hiram R. Revels, his brother, Willis B. & Absalom, and two sistrs, some of the Oxendines, Leary's and Dials; I do not know the exact number. My father's mother was a Revel. born in Robeson County, was 2nd cousin to Hiram. She married an Irishman named O'Leary. Father was born in Sampson County, on the Big Coharie, his parents having moved to that countyy. In 1806 they came to Fayetteville, where father lived until he died in 1880. Father came from the 'Croatan' stock. My mother was born in France, and was brought to this country by her parents in 1812. Father and mother were married in 1825. In 1857 my father sent my brother, Lewis Sheridan Leary, to Oberlin, Ohio. While there he formed an acquaintance with John Brown and went with him to Harper's Ferry n October, 1859. He was killed on the 17th day of October, 1859. while guarding what is now known as 'John Brown's Fort.' I saw this fort for the first time n 1880. It is a small brick house. I have a grand uncle, my father's mother's brother, living now in the Croatan settlement in Robeson County, 108 years old. As soon as I can make it convenient to see him I will have a talk with him and put on paper whatever information I can get from him and give you the benefit of it."
"John Lawson met some of the Croatan Indians about 1709 and was told that their ancestors were white men. White settlers came into
the middle section of North Carolina as early as 1715 and found the ancestors of the present tribe of Croatan Indians tilling the soil, holding slaves, and speaking English. The Croatans of today claim descent from the lost colony. Their habits, disposition, and mental characteristics show traces both of Indian and European ancestry. Their language is the English of three hundred years ago, and their names are in many cases the same as those borne by original colonists. No other theory of their origin has been advanced, and it is confidently believed that the one here proposed is logically and historically the best, supported as it is both by external and internal evidence. If this theory is rejected, then the critics must explain some other way the origin of a people which, after the lapse of three hundred years, show the characteristics, speak the language, and possess the family names of the second English colony planted in the Western world."
Hamilton McMillan in his pamphlet says:
"As previously intimated, the traditions of the Indians now living in Robeson are sufficiently clear to prove that at an early period they located south of Pamlico sound on the mainland. Tradition in regard to their ancient dwelling places on the tributaries of Black River in the present county of Sampson are more definite. The fact that French, English, Irish, and perhaps German names are found among them is accounted for by the tradition that marriages frequently occurred between them and the early immigrants. The name Chavis which is common among this people, is probably a corruption of the French name Cheves. Goins was O'Guin, as court records prove. Leary was O'Leary. Blauc or Blaux is French. Braboy is of recent origin and was originally 'Brave Boy' and dates back to the war with the Tuscaroras in 1711 and was conferred on an Indian by the commander of the English for some meritorious act.
"From the earliest settlement of the country along the Lumber River these Indians have been an English-speaking people. Their language has many peculiarities and reminds one of the English spoken in the days of Chaucer. The number of old English works in common use among them which have long been obsolete in English-speaking countries is corroborative of the truth of their traditions that they are the descendants of the lost Englishmen of Roanoke.
"In traveling on foot they march in 'Indian File' and exhibit a fondness for bright red colors. They unconsciously betray many other traits characteristic of Indians. The custom of raising patches of tobacco for their own use has been handed down from time immemorial.
"In building they exhibit no little architectural skill. In road making they excel. Some of the best roads in North Carolina can be found
within their territory. They are universally hospitable and polite to strangers. They are proud of their race and boast of their English ancestry. Like their ancestors, they are friendly to white men.
" 'They never forget a kindness, an injury, nor a debt,' said an old citizen. 'They may not pay you when a debt is due, but they seldom forget an obligation and are sure to pay you after a time.' "
In discussing the character and disposition of this people we quote again from Dr. Weeks' booklet as follows:
"These Indians are hospitable to strangers and are ever ready to do a favor for the white people. They show a fondness for gay colors, march in Indian file, live retired from highways, never forget a kindness, an injury, nor a debt. They are the best of friends and the most dangerous of enemies. They are reticent until their confidence is gained, and when aroused are perfect devils, exhibiting all the hatred, malice, cunning, and endurance of their Indian ancestors. At the same time they are remarkably clean in their habits, a characteristic not found in the pure-blooded Indian. Physicians who practice among them say they never hesitate to sleep or eat in the house of a Croatan."
In chapter 3, of McMillan's Booklet, commenting upon the political and educational qualities of these people, we quote as follows:
"From the close of the Revolution to the year 1835 they exercised the elective franchise equally with white men, performed militia duties, encouraged schools and built churches, owned slaves and lived in comfortable circumstances. By an ordinance of the North Carolina State Convention of 1835, the elective franchise was denied to all 'free persons of color' and afterwards they were debarred from voting till the year of 1868, when a new constitution was adopted. After the adoption of the new State Constitution, they were allowed the benefit of public schools, but having been classed for a long period as 'free persons of color,' they were compelled to patronize schools provided for the negro race. Owing to a bitter prejudice against negroes, but few availed themselves of the privilege, the greater part preferring that their children should grow up in ignorance, rather than they should be forced to association with a race which they hold in utter contempt. Separate schools have since been provided for their race by the Legislature of North Carolina, which by special act, recognized them as Croatan Indians.
"After the year 1835 these Indians, who murmured greatly at the injustice done them in being classed as 'mulattoes' or 'free persons of
color' became suspicious of white men, and at first we found difficulty in eliciting any facts relating to their past history."
From McPherson's report to the government, discussing their educational facilities, we quote as follows:
"Prior to 1835 the male Croatans exercised the right of franchise in North Carolina, and it seemed to be the current tradition that at least a few of the children attended the white schools, wherever schools for the whites had been established in Indian settlements; but for the most part they were compelled to attend 'subscription' schools organized and conducted by themselves. By clause 3, section 3, of the amendment to the constitution of 1835, the Croatans lost the right of franchise, and from that date until the adoption of the constitution of 1868 they were regarded and treated as 'free persons of color' which practically meant free negroes, and during this period they were not permitted to attend the schools for whites; there were practically no educational facilities open to the Indians at this time. There were doubtless some subscription schools, but they must have been of the poorest sort.
"Between 1868 and 1885 efforts were made to compel the Indians to attend the negro schools, but they persistently refused to do this, preferring to grow up in ignorance rather than to attend the colored schools. It would be more accurate to say that parents would not permit their children to attend the negro schools, preferring rather that they should grow up in ignorance. The children raised to manhood and womanhood are the most densely ignorant of any of these people.
"Prior to the adoption of certain amenadments to the constitution on the second Monday of November, 1835, the Croatan Indians voted and otherwise enjoyed all the rights and privileges of the elective franchise for State officials; but clause 3, section 3, of the amendments adopted on said date provided that no free negro, free mulattoe, or free person of mixed blood, descended from negro ancestors to the fourth generation inclusive (though one ancestor of each generation may have been a white person) shall vote for members of the senate or house of commons. Under this clause they were subsequently denied the right of franchise."
Section 7, Chapter 68, of the Acts of the General Assembly of 1854, provides that all marriages since the 8th day of January, 1839, and all marriages in the future between a white person and a free negro or free person of color, to the third generation, shall be void. It was held that the term "or free person of color" applied to the Croatans, but notwithstanding
this prohibition, I understand that occasionally marriages between the Indians and white persons occurred. I was unable to ascertain whether or not any such marriages had been declared void.
An amendment to the constitution of North Carolina in 1857 provides that every free white man of the age of 21 years, being a native or naturalized citizen of the United States and who has been an inhabitant of the State for 12 months immediately preceding the day of any election, and shall have paid public taxes, shall be entitled to vote for a member of senate for the district in which he resides.
Section 1 of Article VI of the Constitution of 1868 provides that every male person born in the United States, and every male person who has been naturalized, 21 years of age, and possessing the qualifications set out in said article, shall be entitled to vote at any election by the people in the State, except as therein otherwise provided. After the adoption of the Constitution of 1868 the right of franchise was restored to the Croatans.
In the case of State v. Manuel (20 N. C. 144), Justice Gaston held: "Upon the revolution no other change took place in the laws of North Carolina than was consequent upon the transition from a colony dependent upon a European King to a free and Sovereign State. Slaves manumitted here became freemen, and therefore if born within North Carolina are citizens of North Carolina, and all free persons born within the State are born citizens of the State."
Under this decision, which was subsequent to the Constitution of 1835, which deprived free negroes and free mulattoes of the right to vote, "free persons of color" (the Croatan Indians) were not included and it seems that they should not have been denied the right of suffrage.
Section 1 of Chapter 51, Laws of 1885, provides that the Indians of Robeson County and their descendants shall hereafter "be designated and known as the Croatan Indians." It should be noted that the act does not declare that they are
Croatan Indians, but merely designates or names them Croatans, by which name they shall thereafter be known.
Section 2 of the act provides that said Indians and their descendants shall have separate schools for their children, school committees for their own race and color, and shall be allowed to select teachers of their own choice, subject to the same rules and regulations that are applicable, under the general school law. The remaining sections of the act provide for putting the schools into operation under the general laws applicable to free schools within the State. Prior to this enactment the Indians had no separate schools for the education of their children. Efforts had been made to compel them to attend the schools established for the negro population, but they steadfastly resisted such efforts and absolutely declined to attend the colored schools.
It seems to be borne out by historical research that these Indians fought in the Continental ranks during the Revolutionary War. Hon. A. W. McLean, of Lumberton, N. C., has prepared an exhaustive article on the history of these Indians, which he furnished to the government and is included in McPherson's report, and from which we copy as follows:
"After the war, feeling against the local Tories ran so high that they were discriminated against and severe tests of loyalty were applied. There seems to have been no feeling against these Indians, for although not white they were allowed to vote. They voted until 1835, when the constitution was changed by the insertion of the word 'white.'
"Had they been of the Tory element they would not have been allowed the right of suffrage, because the feeling against the Tories was very bitter, especially in that region where they lived.
"During the War of 1812 they were enrolled in the militia.
"Up to 1835 these Indians were entitled to vote, and some of them owned slaves. A number of them appear as heads of families in the United States census of 1790.
"After 1835 they were allowed to vote under the reconstruction acts, and under the constitution adopted in 1868, and were entitled to attend the negro schools, but not the schools for the whites. But they refused absolutely to attend the negro schools, and thus were debarred from school privileges.
"Attention was drawn to their peculiar social status, and as they
were undoubtedly of Indian extraction, Hon. Hamilton McMillan, who inquired into their history, reached the conclusion that they were descended from the Indians on Croatan Sound and derived their white blood from the Lost Colony of 1587. This idea was based on their partly civilized condition when first observed by the early settlers of that region about 1730. Under that impression the Legislature of 1885 provided separate common schools for them under the name of the 'Croatan Indians.'
"But whatever the origin of the Indians of this community was, it is certain that from the first settlement they have been separated from the other inhabitants of that region, and are of Indian descent, with Indian characteristics, with complexion, features, and hair of the Indian race, and are now borne on the census rolls as Indians."
It appears from the North Carolina State records that the following Indians received a pension from the government for services in the Revolutionary War: John Brooks, James Brooks, Berry Hunt, Thomas Jacobs, Michael Revells, Richard Bell, Samuel Bell, Primus Jacobs, Thomas Cummings, and John Hammond. These pensions were granted under the Federal Statutes of 1818 and 1832.
February 10, 1885, the General Assembly of North Carolina provided by law for separate schools for the Croatan Indians of North Carolina. This act contained the following:
"Whereas, the Indians now living in Robeson County claim to be descendants of a friendly tribe who once resided in eastern North Carolina, on the Roanoke River, known as the Croatan Indians, therefore the General Assembly of North Carolina do enact:
"Sec. 1. That the said Indians and their descendants shall hereafter be designated and known as the 'Croatan Indians.'
The provisions for separate schools follow in the act.
March 7, 1887, the General Assembly of North Carolina established the Croatan Normal School in Robeson County for the Croatan Indians, and February 2, 1889, the same body enacted that all children of the negro race to the fourth generation should be excluded from the Croatan separate Indian schools. The Croatan Normal School is at Pembroke.
Section 1, Chapter 254, of the Laws of 1887, amends section 1810 of the Code of North Carolina by adding thereto the words:
"That all marriages between an Indian and a negro, or between an Indian and a person of negro descent to the third generation, inclusive, shall be utterly void; provided that this act shall apply only to the Croatan Indians."
Section 1, Chapter 488, of the Laws of 1889, provides that the Croatan Indians of Richmond County and their descendants shall be entitled to the same school privileges and benefits as are the Croatan Indians of Robeson County.
Section 1, Chapter 60, of the Laws of 1889, amends Section 2 of the Laws of 1885 by adding after the word "Law" in the last line of said section the words: "And there shall be excluded from such separate schools for the said Croatan Indians all children of the negro race to the fourth generation."
Chapter 215 of the Laws of 1911, provide that the Board of Directors of the Insane at Raleigh be authorized to provide and set apart at the said hospital, suitable apartments and wards for the accommodation of any of these Indians now located in Robeson County.
The "Grandfather Clause" of the Constitution of North Carolina, which denies the right of franchise to those who are not able to read and write any section of the constitution in the English language has been held not to apply to these Indians for the reason that they or their ancestors prior to 1867, were entitled to vote under the laws of the State. Consequently, the Indians of Robeson County, Richmond, Cumberland, Sampson and other adjoining counties, are entitled to vote and have been voting under the laws of the State and amended constitution, a right which has been denied the negroes.
The Croatan Indians, a majority of whom live in Robeson County, have had special recognition in Robeson County by the State Legislature since 1885. They were first recognized
as Croatan Indians. They were afterwards designated in legislative enactments as Indians of Robeson County. A recent legislative enactment referred to them as Cherokee Indians of Robeson County; but however, they may be designated by the legislative enactment, they are the same people known as Croatan Indians. Since 1885 the State of North Carolina has wisely provided separate school facilities for this race of people, separate and apart from the white race and colored race, and they have received their pro rata proportion of the school funds, together with the white race and colored race.
The State has provided an appropriation of $2,500.00 for the support of a Normal School for teachers for these Indians, and Chapter 191 of the Public Laws of 1913 provides for an additional appropriation of $500.00 for this Normal School.
Sections 4168-9-70-71 of the School Law of North Carolina, as appears in the Revisal of 1905, under the chapter entitled "Croatan Indians," are as follows:
"Sec. 4168. "The persons residing in Robeson and Richmond counties supposed to be descendants of a friendly tribe once residing in the eastern portion of this State known as the Croatan Indians, and their descendants, shall be known and designated as the Croatan Indians and they shall have separate schools for their children, school committees of their own race and color, and shall be allowed to select teachers of their own choice, subject to the same rules and regulations as are applicable to all teachers in the general school law, and there shall be excluded from such separate schools for the Croatan Indians all children of the negro race to the fourth generation.
"Sec. 4169. It shall be the duty of the County Board of Education to see that the next preceding section is carried into effect, and shall for that purpose have the census taken of all the children of such Indians and their descendants between the ages of six and twenty-one, and proceed to establish suitable school districts as shall be necessary for their convenience and take all such other and further steps as may be necessary for the purpose of carrying such section into effect. And where any children, descendants of such Indians, shall reside in any district in such counties of Robeson and Richmond in which there are no separate schools provided for their race they shall have the right to attend any of the public schools in the county provided for their race, and their share of the public school fund shall be appropriated to their education upon the certificate of the school committee in the district
in which they reside, stating that they are entitled to attend such public schools.
"Sec. 4170. The Treasurer of the County School Fund and other proper authorities whose duties it is to collect, keep and apportion the school fund, shall procure from the County Board of Education the number of children in the county between the ages of six and twenty-one, belonging to such Indian race, and shall set apart and keep separate their pro rata share of the school funds, which shall be paid out upon the same rules in every respect as are provided in the general school law and in the next preceding section.
"Sec. 4171. The general public school law shall be applicable in all respects to such separate schools for the Croatan Indians, except where such general law is repugnant to these special provisions relating to such schools; and these special provisions for separate schools for Croatan Indians shall apply only to the counties of Robeson and Richmond."
Section 4086 of the School Law as appears in the Revisal under the chapter entitled, "Public Schools," among other things provides for the descendants of the Croatan Indians now living in Richmond and Robeson counties that they shall have separate schools for their children, as hereinafter provided in this chapter.
Chapter 22 of the Public Local Laws of 1913, amends the school law, sections 4168 to 4171, by adding "the Indians of Person County;" giving them the same separate schools as the Indians of Robeson and Richmond counties.
Chapter 499 of the Public Laws of 1907 provides separate schools for the Croatan Indians in the county of Cumberland, where the census shows as many as 35 children of school age.
Chapter 720 of the Public Laws of 1909 provides for separate schools for the white, the colored and the Indians in Scotland County. And further provides that any child of negro blood shall not attend the Indian schools for the Croatans in Scotland County.
The Revisal of 1905, Section 2083, among other things, provides that the marriages between the Croatan Indians and the negro, or between a Croatan Indian and a person of negro descent, to the third generation, shall be void.
Chapter 263 of the Public Local Laws of 1911 established separate schools for the Croatan Indians of Sampson County, simply by adding the word Sampson after the word Richmond and Robeson, in the school laws as is set out in the Revisal (Sec. 4168 to 4171).
Chapter 100 of the Public Local Laws of 1913 repealed chapter 263 of the Public Local Laws of 1911, thereby repealing the provision for separate school facilities for the Croatan Indians of Sampson County.
After the passage of the acts of 1911, giving the Croatan Indians of Sampson County separate schools, the County Board of Education put into operation the provisions of that act and during the years of 1911 and 1912 the Indians of Sampson County were provided a separate school from the other races, and were given their proper proportion of the school funds.
The Indians built, chiefly at their own expense, a suitable and commodious school house in Herrings Township, Sampson County, in the center of the Indian settlement, and employed a teacher of their own race, and had a separate church and pastor from the other races where they held then and continue to hold separate religious services for these Indians.
This was the first recognition which these Indians had received by the county and State, providing separate school facilities for their children, and perhaps would have been continued without any repeal of the act, except for the fact that the children of one of these Indians, who had married a mulatto woman, were sent to this school and were by the teacher and trustees excluded on the ground that these children contained negro blood to the prohibitive degree.
An examination of the school law for the counties of Richmond, Robeson, Scotland and Person shows that this family of mixed blood children would be excluded from attending the Indian schools in these counties, and the act creating the
Indian school for Sampson County places Sampson County under the same law governing the Indian schools of Robeson and Richmond counties.
Therefore these particular families of children of mixed blood would properly be excluded from the Indian schools of Sampson County. But the fact that they were excluded created confusion and friction in this Indian school, annoyance to the County Board of Education, and was the chief cause which led to its repeal by the legislature of 1913.
After the passage of the Act of 1911 recognizing the Indians of Sampson County, and giving them the same recognition in Sampson County as the Indians in Robeson and adjoining counties, the property and polls of the Indians of Sampson County were listed and abstracted on the tax books, separate from the white and colored. The tax abstracts and the tax books of Sampson County for the year of 1911 and 1912 show the following tax payers in Sampson County in the respective townships set out below, to-wit:
A few of the above names were forced off of the tax list of 1912 by these Indians as they were known to contain negro blood and not entitled to be classed as Indians.
It will be seen from the above list that there are sixty-two Indian tax payers listed in Sampson County, for the years named. Wherever these Indians are found in the County it will be noted that they are living in groups and in certain sections of the county. There are other Indians in small numbers scattered here and there in other townships in the county, whose names do not appear on the tax list separate from other races, but they are not strong enough in numbers in these localities to assert their racial status because they realize that it militated against them in social and other ways to do so, and therefore in localities where there are few of them they do not desire to alienate the other races in attempting to assert their rights as people of Indian descent.
The above list of Indians will be readily recognized from their general appearance, their intelligence, the color of their eyes, their skin, their straight black hair, their facial features, their erect carriage, their clannishness, their general habits and demeanor, that they are neither white people nor negroes. They do not resemble the negroes or mulattoes, in that their
hair is perfectly straight. They have high cheek bones, they do not have flat noses, or thick lips. Many of them have grey eyes, and often have rose tints on their cheeks. They are usually tall and erect, they are cleanly in their habits and mode of living. They are usually land owners, and more thrifty and industrious. They live and congregate in certain localities, and are clannish, and in numerous ways show the Indian traits.
These people were never slaves and from the memory of the oldest white inhabitants have always been freemen. There is no record that they ever purchased their freedom from former white men. They were never born nor sold into slavery; they were found living in this country as free and separate people as long ago as we have any record of them. In a few instances there has been some mixture of white and negro blood in them. The whites and the negroes have not been so careful in guarding against the amalgamation of those two races as have these Indians, to preserve intact and prevent their Indian blood from mixture with the other two races. In a few instances these Indians have intermarried with mulattoes, but such intermarriages have been discouraged among them, and in most cases, the parties to such marriages have been ostracised socially from the churches and schools of these Indians.
Since 1868, the white people in Sampson County, as a rule, have classed these Indians with the negroes and refused to recognize them except as negroes. They have consequently been forced, in a measure, with the negro race, but they have steadfastly refused to be classed with the negroes. They have refused to attend the churches and the schools of the negroes or to co-mingle with them on terms of social equality. It is marvellous that they have been able to maintain their racial status so well under the adverse social and political status which has been forced upon them by the white people. It shows that they have an ambition to improve their condition
and to build themselves upward, morally, socially, and educationally, rather than to be pulled down to a level with the inferior race, with whom they would be socially classed. It is nothing but common justice to these people that the white race, which has done so much and is now endeavoring to do still more, for the education and material progress and welfare of all the people of the State, of every race, that the efforts of these Indians to build up and maintain their superior social and intellectual status from the negro race, should be encouraged in every proper way, as they have been encouraged and recognized in several other counties of the State, in which they are less numerous. It will make them better citizens and at no substantial extra cost to the white and colored race, for them to have their separate schools and churches. They will feel that they have not been discriminated against and that they have been treated with the same fairness and consideration that their people of the same race and blood are given in adjoining counties.
Under the law of the State they are not permitted to marry with the white race, and they are not permitted to intermarry with the colored race, and by the general law of the State such marriages are declared absolutely void. They are not required or permitted to be confined, when insane, to the colored insane asylum, but separate apartments are provided in the white insane asylum at Raleigh. In every county in the State except Sampson, they are recognized and provided for as a separate and distinct race and people from the whites and negroes. The National Government has been more generous towards the Indians than any other race of people. They have been recognized and treated as the wards of the government, but until recent years the National Government did not know of the existence of these people in this section of the State, and have made no provision for them. The Legislature of this state has made generous provision for their segregation, and education in other counties of the state, and would willingly do so for
Sampson County if requested to do so by the people of this county.
The State of North Carolina has provided not only free public schools for the white race, and maintain the State University and A. & M. College at Raleigh, but a normal school for girls at Greensboro and a normal at Greenville, and besides numerous other schools for the whites which receive State aid. The colored children are provided free public schools and besides there is provided for their higher education an A. & M. College at Greensboro, and a Normal School at Elizabeth City and Fayetteville, a negro University at Raleigh, and other State institutions at public expense.
It will be seen from the above what ample provisions are made for academic and collegiate education for the white and colored by the tax payers of the State. Then is it not simple justice to these Indians, who are likewise citizens and tax payers of the State, paying their taxes on property and polls, and also special school tax in local tax districts, and performing road duties and other public service, living quietly and peaceably as law abiding citizens of this State, that they should have at least their pro rata part of the school tax in order that they might train and educate their own children separate from the negroes, with whom they refuse to associate and with whom they are forbidden by law to marry. They have their own school histories which are not taught in the public schools of the white or colored, and are only taught in the Indian schools.
The history of the Indians of North Carolina from the first advent of the white men on our coast is not an inglorious record, but one which in many respects is calculated to make the Indians of today proud of their race and people.
In John Lawson's History of North Carolina, dated 1718, he discusses the Indians he found in North Carolina with
whom he lived and travelled. We quote the following from his book:
"We have no disciplined men in Europe, but what have at one time or other, been branded with mutining, and murmuring against their chiefs. These savages are never found guilty of that great crime in a soldier. I challenge all mankind to tell me one instance of it; besides they never prove Traitors to their native country, but rather chuse death than partake and side with the enemy.
"They naturally possess the righteous man's gift; they are patient under all afflictions, and have a great many other natural virtues, which I have slightly touched throughout the account of these savages.
"They are really better to us than we are to them; they always give us victuals at their quarters, and take care we are armed against hunger and thirst; we do not so by them, (generally speaking) but let them walk by our doorway hungry, and do not often relieve them. We look upon them with scorn and disdain and think them little better than beasts in Humane shape, though if well examined, we shall find that, for all our religion and education, we possess more moral deformities and evils than these savages do, or are acquainted withal."
Special Indian Agent O. M. McPherson, in his report to the government on the Croatan Indians, made in 1914, speaks of the character and needs of these Croatan Indians as follows:
"In addition to the common or district schools and the normal schools for both white and colored children, the State of North Carolina has provided the youth of both these races with institutions of learning imparting instruction in agriculture and mechanic trades, and to some extent in domestic science; but there are no such schools of higher instruction open to these Indians. As I understand the matter they are prohibited by law from attending these higher institutions established for the education of white and colored youth. It is conjectured that the very limited number of these Indians, compared with the white and colored population, accounts for this discrimination.
"I might say here that in my judgment, the children of these Indians, as a rule, are exceedingly bright, quick to learn from books, as well as from example, and are very eager to obtain further educational advantages than are now open to them. If the reverse were true, there would be little encouragement to furnish them with higher institutions of learning when they were incapable of taking advantage of their present educational facilities or indifferent about obtaining a higher education; but I believe the more ambitious of their youth to be eager to attend higher institutions of learning than those now provided.
"While these Indians are essentially an agricultural people, I believe them to be as capable of learning the mechanical trades as the average youth."
Hon A. S. McLean, of Lumberton, N. C., in his historical sketch of these Indians, and in discussing their educational advantages, says:
"Under the laws of North Carolina, which provide for the absolute separation of the races, they are not entitled to attend the University for men, the state normal and industrial college for women or the agricultural and mechanical college for either the white or negro races. They are therefore entirely without the facilities for industrial or higher academic education."
After the Legislature of 1911 provided for separate schools for the Indians of Sampson County, the County Board of Education established an Indian school in Herrings Township. They were given their pro rata of the appropriation from the school fund. It will be seen above, in the list of tax payers in Herrings Township, that there were twenty-seven Indian tax payers in Herrings Township. The census of the Indian school children for 1912, according to the record in the office of the County Superintendent of Sampson County, shows 27 male and 20 female Indian children in that Indian school district. And the records further show that every one of these male and female Indian children were enrolled as pupils in that school. This is a very remarkable record, it could not be better, and is probably not equalled by any other school district in the county. It shows how keenly these Indians appreciate this recognition on the part of the county and State school officials.
For the year 1912 this school had an Indian teacher for twenty-five dollars per month and received eighty days, or four months school, at a total cost of one hundred dollars. The year 1912 is the only year that these Indians received any separate school funds for their Indian school as the act was repealed in 1913. Before 1912 and since 1912 they have been attempting to support their schools from their own private
donations. By reference to the tax abstracts showing the Indian property and poll for the support of this school, we find from the official records of Sampson County that the Indian property, real and personal for the year 1911 was $15,812.00. That there were 43 polls at $1.50 per poll, which goes to the school fund, amounting to $64.50, and the school taxes at 20 cents on each $100.00 valuation amounted to $31.62, making a total of $96.12. They received from donations $5.50, making a total of $101.62. This shows that this Indian school was entirely supported by the taxes on the polls and property of the Indians of Sampson County, and was no burden upon the other races. In addition to this fund we should consider their pro rata part of the fines and forfeitures and the funds received from the State.
It will be readily seen that if they had received their full pro rata part of the school fund from all these sources they would have received a sufficient fund to have given them all a four months and prehaps a six months school, without any burden upon the other tax payers of the county.
We give below a table showing the number of Indian polls and valuation of property listed for taxation by the Indians for the year 1912, in the counties of Robeson, Scotland, Hoke, Richmond, Person and Sampson, taken from the Report of the State Tax Commission for 1912:
|Person County||14||$ 2,890|
The county of Sampson contains a larger number of Indians, and they list for taxation more property than in any other county, except Robeson, yet all these counties have provided separate school facilities for them, except Sampson.
The State of North Carolina has provided separate public schools for the Croatans of Robeson County, yet have failed to provide separate school advantages for the Croatans of Sampson County who are of the same race and blood. The Croatans of Robeson and Sampson counties have intermarried for several generations, and if their children in Robeson County are Croatans and are entitled to separate recognition by the State, there is no reason why their children in Sampson County should not receive the same recognition. The following is a partial list of the Croatan Indians of Sampson and Robeson counties who have intermarried:
Simon Brewington of Sampson, married Sallie Harding of Robeson.
Lee Brewington of Sampson, married Ellen Locklear of Robeson.
Lattie Brewington of Sampson, married Ora Cannady of Robeson.
C. D. Brewington of Sampson, married Bessie Chavis of Robeson.
Margaret Brewington of Sampson, married R. F. Locklear, of Robeson.
Martha Brewington of Sampson, married F. V. Manuel of Robeson.
Mary Manuel of Sampson, married A. S. Locklear of Robeson.
May Lee Manuel of Sampson, married Hassie Jones of Robeson.
James Maynor of Sampson, married Flora Sampson of Robeson.
Willie Maynor of Sampson, married Susan Lowery of Robeson.
Frank Maynor of Sampson, married Mary Locklear of Robeson.
Arthur Maynor of Sampson, married Penny Oxendine of Robeson.
Lista Maynor of Sampson, married John Cummings of Robeson.
Dempsey Maynor of Sampson, married Montgomery Lowery of Robeson.
Wiley Maynor of Sampson, married Susan Strickland, of Robeson.
Nathan Brewington of Sampson, married Sally Chavis of Robeson.
James R. Thomas of Sampson, married Ira Chavis of Robeson.
Alfred Thomas of Sampson, married Alice Bell of Robeson.
Luther Maynor of Sampson, married Novella Wilkins of Robeson.
Stephen Thomas of Sampson, married Beady Jones of Robeson.
Simon Brewington of Sampson, married Reba Jacobs of Robeson.
There are several families of Manuels and Jacobs now living in Robeson County, who came from Sampson County many years ago. Simon Brewington has been living in Robeson County for thirty-five years. All of his children attend the
Indian schools. He is a brother of H. A. Brewington, of Sampson County. Betsy Jacobs, a daughter of Jesse Jacobs, married Robert Maynor, of Robeson, and their children attend the Croatan schools. Robert Maynor's mother was a sister of Basha Brewington, wife of Raeford Brewington, of Sampson County.
It will be seen from the above that the Croatans of Sampson and Robeson counties have intermarried for several generations. Their children in Robeson County are recognized as Croatans and given separate school advantages, but these people of the same blood who reside in Sampson County, are now receiving no part of the public school funds although they cheerfully pay their school taxes for that purpose.
HERRINGS TOWNSHIP, SAMPSON COUNTY, N. C.
The community of Croatans residing in Herrings Township, on the waters of Coharie and its tributaries, petitioned to the County Board of Education, in 1910, to provide a separate school for their children in Herrings and Honeycutts townships. The School Board recommended to the Legislature of 1911 separate school facilities for these people, and accordingly an act was passed giving them the same separate school advantages as the Croatans of Robeson County.
A school site was purchased and a school-house was promptly erected, the Croatans paying half and the county the other half of the cost of the building and site. Boyd Carter, a Croatan Indian of Robeson County, taught the first school, the county paid $25.00 per month on his salary and the patrons of the school the balance.
The Legislature of 1913 repealed this act and since then this school has been run as a private school by the Croatans of that community, with C. D. Brewington as their teacher. The above cut is a picture of the school house and of the school children attending this school.
Prior to 1835 these people claim to have attended the schools of the whites. In 1859 they built a school for themselves, which was taught by Alvin Manuel, a Croatan. After the War they were given a public school in this community, but the effort to force the attendance of children of negro blood in this school brought on friction and finally resulted in the withdrawal of county support and disrupted the school.
These children will not attend the negro schools, and without separate recognition by the County Board of Education will be deprived entirely of public school advantages. This school has been closed by order of the County Board of Education, because of friction on account of children of negro blood attempting to attend the school. These Croatan children now have no public school nor private school. This school should
NEW BETHEL INDIAN SCHOOL
Herrings Township, Sampson Co., N. C.
be opened and conducted on the same plan as the Croatan schools of Robeson, Richmond, Hoke and other counties, and then all friction will cease, and harmony be secured.
SHILOH INDIAN SUNDAY SCHOOL
Dismal Township, Sampson County
JONAH MANUEL AND FAMILY
Dismal Township, Sampson County
These children attend Shiloh Indian School
DISMAL TOWNSHIP, SAMPSON COUNTY, N. C.
On July 18, 1910, the Croatan Indians in Dismal Township, residing near South River, organized "The Shiloh Indian School Clan," with Enoch Manuel, Sr., chairman, J. H. Manuel, general manager, and W. J. Bedsole, treasurer. The purpose of this clan was to look after the school of their children, and to raise funds for that purpose.
Their first school was begun on August 2nd, 1910, with Miss Mattie B. Cummings, a Croatan of Robeson County, as their first teacher. She did excellent work. She agreed to teach at $10.00 per month for two months and including her board cost the Clan only $15.00 per month. On September 23d, 1910, this school held its first commencement. It was a big day for these people. Mr. A. S. Locklear, of Robeson County, a prominent Croatan and educator, made the address, and other prominent Croatans of Robeson attended and took part in the exercises.
Prior to 1911 these Croatan Indians in Dismal Township ran a subscription school at a cost of from two to three dollars per month for each child. Since 1911 these people in order to have a separate school for their children have run a "Company Farm" planted in cotton, and all the patrons of the school work the farm, and the net profits are turned over to the treasurer of the School Clan to run the Indian school. The number of children in attendance ranged from fifteen to twenty. This small number made the support of the school expensive for each child, but they have not complained and have never asked the County Board of Education for help but once, then their request was refused and they did not apply again. They pay their school taxes each year and often special taxes for schools, but never have gotten back for their school any part of these taxes. There are about fifty Croatan Indians in all living in this community, and are in great need of educational help and encouragement. They have never attended the
colored schools, and rather than surrender their racial status they will continue to support the public schools by taxation and support their own schools by private subscription, and by a community farm. Enoch Manuel taught this school for several years, and now the principal of the school is L. V. Manuel. These people are highly respected by the white people among whom they live and they show no trace of negro blood. Their Indian blood is vouched for by the Indians of Robeson County, who have intermarried with them, and teach in their schools and preach in their churches.
We have procured from the homes of these Indian families a few photographs, showing the type of these Croatan Indians today living in Sampson County. It will be readily seen that they are neither white people, negroes or mulattoes. They all have straight black hair, the Indian nose and lips, their skin a light brown hue, mostly high cheek bones, erect in their carriage, steel gray eyes and an intelligent countenance. Where the white blood predominates many of them have beards.
They are the true type of the Croatan Indian and have always resided and lived in this section and known as "free persons of color." There are a few of these people that have intermarried with mulattoes, but all those of negro blood have been excluded from this sketch and no demands or claims are made in their behalf, as under the law they are properly classed with the negroes.
We append to this booklet a brief sketch of a few of the most prominent Indian families prepared a few years ago by Enoch Manuel or Emanuel, a typical Croatan Indian, now over seventy years old, a farmer in Dismal Township, Sampson County, also the builder and teacher of the private Indian school known as "Shiloh" in that township. His photograph and that of his Indian wife appears in this booklet. He was aided in preparing this sketch by C. D. Brewington, the teacher of the Indian school in Herrings Township, and who was educated at the Croatan Normal School in Robeson County. His picture also appears in this sketch.
BY ENOCH EMANUEL AND C. D. BREWINGTON
The mixed race of people living in Sampson County are sure that the statements given to us by our ancestors concerning our origin are true. We have only asked for Indian prestige, while we know in our veins also flows the blood of our white ancestors.
We have always been told by our fathers and mothers that we were mixed with the lost colony of the Roanoke. We therefore are a mixture of Governor White's colony and the original Indians.
I have been requested to write a short history of our race. I am seventy years old, and have spent my life among my people. I have taught the schools in the Indian community for the past thirty-five or forty years. Though we were not known in the public mind as Indians, yet I knew all the while that we were pure white and Indian descent.
Nicholas Emanuel, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and fought side by side with the white soldiers, was my grandfather. He was the son of one Ephraim Emanuel, the son of the first Nicholas Emanuel, who was said to be the descendant of white and Indian. It was told me that they married Portuguese women. One of the women was named Mahalie. The other I do not know. My grandfather, Nicholas Emanuel, married Millie Hale, a pure white woman, of Scotch-Irish descent. Their oldest son was Shadrack Emanuel, who was born during the beginning of the Revolutionary War. All the other children were born soon after the war. Among them was my own father, Michael Emanuel. He married Pharby Harding, who was the daughter of Jonathan Harding, white and Indian.
ENOCH MANUEL AND WIFE, SARAH E. MANUEL, DAUGHTER OF
AMOS HARDING--Dismal Township, Sampson County
Enoch Manuel and wife live in Dismal Township, Sampson County. He is now 70 years old. His father was Michael Manuel and lived on South River and died in 1858. Michael's father was Nicholas Manuel, a soldier in the Revolutionary War, in John Toomer's Army. His father was Ephraem Manuel. The records of Sampson County show, book 5, page 222, that in the reign of George III Benjamin Williams conveyed to Ephraim Manuel 400 acres of land, lying on the east side of Great Coharie, charging annual quit rents to His Majesty. We find another deed from Solomon Hardin to Levi Manuel, dated October 10, 1778, for 125 acres on March Branch and Miry Bottom Branch in Sampson County, consideration 50 English pounds. There are numerous other old deeds to the Manuel family on record in Sampson County. The father of Ephraim Manuel was Nickey Manuel and came from Roanoke River and claimed to be half white and half Indian. There is no trace of negro blood known to exist in the Manuel family as far back as they have any record.
Enoch Manuel says that his ancestor, Nickey Manuel, raised Matthew Leary, father of Sheridan Leary, who was killed in John Brown's insurrection at Harper's Ferry. Sheridan Leary was a brother of John S. Leary, a lawyer of Charlotte, formerly of Fayetteville, N. C. (See foot note, McPherson's Report, last page.) Sarah, wife of Enoch Manuel, whose picture appears above, was a daughter of Amos Hardin, a wheelright in Honeycutts Township, and was recognized as a Croatan Indian. This couple have seven children and numerous grandchildren. They have not intermarried with the negro race, and their children attend Shiloh Indian School in Dismal Township, of which school Enoch Manuel was the founder.
My mother's mother was one Lanie Jackson, a white woman. Therefore as you can plainly see, my father and mother were pure white and Indian. My wife was the daughter of Amos Harding and Cassie Lockamy, a white woman, of Irish descent.
We had in our home several sons and daughters. Jonah Emanuel, who married Luberta Bledsole, daughter of W. J. Bledsole. W. J. Bledsole was the son of Mary Bledsole, a white woman, his father unknown. He is evidently a white man, with some trace of Indian blood. Enoch Emanuel, Jr., also married a daughter of the above W. J. Bledsole. Macy Lee Emanuel married Hassie J. Jones of Robeson County, a person of white and Indian descent. All of the above are descendants of the late Nicholas Emanuel and Jonathan Harding.
Many of the members of the Emanuel family have moved to other sections. They are now living in as many as seven different States of the Union. Some have spelled our name Manuel; others Emanuel. I have followed the latter form for our name in this pamphlet.
William J. Bledsole, one of the most prominent Indians of Sampson County, was evidently a white man with only a small degree of Indian blood. His wife was Nancy Emanuel, the
WILLIAM J. BLEDSOLE AND WIFE, NANCY ANN BLEDSOLE, SISTER
OF ENOCH MANUEL--Dismal Township, Sampson County
This couple reside in Dismal Township, Sampson County. The father of William was a Croatan and his mother was Mary Bledsole, a white woman. Nancy, his wife, was Nancy Manuel, a sister of Enoch Manuel, and youngest daughter of Michael Manuel. The Manuels were large land owners in Sampson County prior and since the Revolutionary War. There is no record in their family history or family tradition for over 150 years showing any mixture of negro blood. This couple have seven children: Docia, wife of Enoch Manuel. Jr.; Rutha, wife of. Ollin Brewington; Molsy, wife of Matthew Burnette; Isabella, wife of Erias Brewington; Lou Berta, wife of Jonah Manuel; W. L. Bledsole, who married Amandy Warrick; James Henry Bldesole, who married Hannah Warrick. Amandy and Hannah were daughters of William J. Warrick and wife, Betsie Manuel Warrick, prominent Croatans of Robeson County. The Bledsole family are good specimens of white and Indian blood.
youngest daughter of Michael Emanuel. His oldest son, Luther Bledsole, married Amandy Warrick, a woman of white and Indian blood. Her father was William J. Warrick, and her mother Betsie Emanuel. James Henry Bledsole, his youngest son, married Hannah Warrick, the daughter of the above named William J. Warrick.
The Bledsole families are fine specimens of pure white and Indian, seemingly white predominating their features. I have traced our people back for seven generations, including the boys and girls of school age at present, and find only white and Indian ancestors.
William A. Maynor, who was born in Sampson County, is a descendant of Stephen Maynor, who was a soldier of the Revolutionary War, as the records in Washington, D. C., now show. He was also a descendant on mother's side of the late Nicholas Emanuel. He has satisfactorily proven before the courts of North Carolina and Cumberland County that his wife was at least two-thirds Indian. He has a certificate properly signed by the officials of Cumberland County, certifying these facts.
The Maynors are said to be descendants of Manteo, the friendly Indian chief of historical times. (See McMillan's History of the Indians of Robeson County.)
The Brewington family is now the largest of any Indian family in Sampson County, most of which are the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even the great-great-grandchildren of the late Raford Brewington, father of Hardy A. Brewington. He had several other sons and daughters. Brewington is a pure English word, which means a brewer of drinks, and we would also add, one that likes such drinks
LUTHER BLEDSOLE AND CHILDREN AND HENRY BLEDSOLE AND
Dismal Township, Sampson Co., N. C.
Hannah Bledsole was Hannah Warrick of Robeson County. She has three brothers
now living in Robeson County who have large families of children,
all attending the Indian Schools
Bill Brewington was the grandfather of the late Raford Brewington, just mentioned above.
Bill Brewington's wife was a Cherokee Indian, by the name of Jane Brewington, who lived a good many years after her husband's death. They had a daughter, Hannah Brewington, who if now living would be upwards of one hundred and forty years old. Hannah Brewington is well remembered by few of the oldest people of the county, namely John Emanuel, Jonathan Goodman, James Strickland, and others. They describe her as being a true specimen of the original Cherokee, she being of a copper-reddish hue, with prominent cheek-bones, straight black hair and black eyes. She bought land in the year of 1807, as the records in Clinton, N. C., now show, though before that time she and her people lived on the banks of Coharee, without any need of buying, as the land was held in common by the Indians of those days.
The above Hannah Brewington was the mother of Raford Brewington, who has already been mentioned in this section. She helped a poor illiterate bound white boy, who was, as we have been told, a son of a soldier who was killed during the Revolutionary War, while bearing arms for the independence of America. Soon after the death of his father his mother also died, leaving the child to provide for himself. His name was Simon, and as he was placed under the control of a man that owned a good many servants and slaves, he was given the title that has ever been known as his name, "White Simon." Hannah Brewington proved to be a friend to this poor orphan boy, and in time, by early Indian custom, she and he were married. Soon after the marriage of this couple, Raford, a son, was born in their home. Simon having no real surname, adopted the name of his wife. Soon after the birth of the above Raford Brewington, his father left the State and went north. He has never returned, but was heard from a few times indirectly. Thus you see the beginning of the Brewington family of Sampson County.
One other son and daughter were born to Hannah Brewinto, namely, Nathan Brewington and Nancy Brewington.
HARDY A. BREWINGTON
The Brewington family is the largest family of Croatans living in Sampson County. Hardy is the son of Raiford Brewington, and the grandson of Hannah Brewington, who lived in Sampson County from 1775 to 1850. The records in the office of Register of Deeds in Sampson County show that she purchased lands in the county in 1807 on Coharee. She is well remembered by Jonathan Goodman, James Strickland and other old men now living. They describe her as being a copper-reddish hue, high cheek bones, straight black hair and a good specimen of the Cherokee Indian. She married "White Simon," so called because he had no surname, and was half Indian and half white. After the marriage he took her name and was known as Simon Brewington. Raiford Brewington was their son and married Bashaby Manuel. They owned nearly a thousand acres of land on Coharie prior to the Civil War. Hardy A. Brewington, their son, married Francis Harding, daughter of Amos Harding. They have several sons and daughters. One son, Rev. M. L. Brewington, is a minister and affiliated with the Eastern Carolina Association, which is composed principally of the Indians of Robeson County. Another son, J. Arthur Brewington, married Polly Ann Jacobs, daughter of Jno. R. Jacobs and grandson of Jesse Jacobs.
The Brewington family for seven generations with one or two exceptions, have not intermarried with persons of negro blood, and have retained their racial status to a remarkable degree.
Nathan Brewington became a great dancer, using the greatest skill and grace in rendering the famous Indian dances of a hundred years ago. He was so perfect in his performance that he became almost world-famed for dancing and fiddling. He took one trip to Europe, and it was said that he played before the King of England. Finally he returned home and married one Miss Chavis, of Robeson County.
One of the curses most destructive to our people was the love for strong drink--whiskey, wine, cider, beer and brandy are drinks that they once made, and drank freely and to excess. Much of the property owned by these early settlers was lost by the traffic in alcoholic drinks. We see that the early habits of these people have been much to the detriment of younger generations, yet we point to our ancestors with love and admiration. May their name ever linger in our hearts and minds. Our ancestors are after all not so different from other people of those days. We are told that the old "Scot" would sell his horse and pawn his coat for a jug of liquor, and the now cultured and refined English also participated in these most destructive habits.
This brings us down to our own time's recollection. We remember the late Raford Brewington well. If we had the skill we could paint the true likeness of him as a loved and honored ancestor. He died at the ripe age of eighty-four years, when the writer was only a boy. Raford Brewington accumulated quite a lot of real estate and personal property while in the vigor and strength of his early manhood. He owned nearly a thousand acres of land between the two Coharies. He had gained all this wealth prior to the Civil War, and when the Union Army passed through, in 1865, they took from him two or three thousand dollars worth of provisions
Boys--Top Row, Left to Right: M. L. Brewington, son of H. A. Brewington; Henry Brewington, son of J. Arthur Brewington; J. H. Brewington, son of H. A. Brewington; Robert Jones, grandson of H. A. Brewington; June Ammons, son of Ella Ammons.
Girls--Bottom Row, Left to Right: Ollie Brewington, daughter of M. L. Brewington; Bessie Jones, daughter of Jno. R. Jones: Essie Goodman, daughter of W. E. Goodman; Bessie Brewington, daughter of W. B. Brewington.
All of Herrings Township, Sampson Countyand cattle. The claim for damages for this depredation has been settled by the Federal Government. He was styled as one of the leading citizens of his community in his day, and the home that he secured for himself and family speaks for
him intelligence and industry. His land, though bought by him eighty years ago, still remains as property of the family. It is located on the east side of Beaver Dam Swamp. (This swamp was so called by our ancestors because of the dams found in it that were built by the beavers.)
J. Arthur Brewington is the grandson of above Raford Brewington, a son of the above mentioned Hardy Brewington, and is now living in the old homestead of the Brewingtons. He married the daughter of John R. Jacobs and Polly Ann Jacobs. John R. Jacobs was the son of Jesse Jacobs, and Polly Jacobs was the daughter of the late Raford Brewington.
Hardy A. Brewington married the daughter of Amos Harding and Cassie Lockamy Harding, the latter having already been referred to as to her descent. Nearly all of Hardy Brewington's sons and daughters have married persons of their own race and color, the majority of them now living in or near the old Brewington homestead in Herrings Township on Coharie. His sons and daughters and their children are among the leading Indians of Sampson County. Rev. M. L. Brewington, being a minister in the Baptist Church, affiliated with the Eastern Carolina Association, an association being composed principally of the Indians of Robeson County.
Judging from features and general characteristics, and from the information given us by our ancestors, with the information we have gained from our Indian and white friends, we believe that this particular family is undoubtedly of pure Indian and white blood, white predominating in some and Indian in other members of the family.
We have traced the genealogy of the Brewington family from "Bill" Brewington to the present generation, as follows:
"Bill" Brewington and Jane Brewington were the parents of Hannah Brewington.
Hannah Brewington and "White Simon" were the parents of Raford Brewington.
Raford Brewington and Basha Emanuel were the parents of Hardy Brewington.
Hardy Brewington and Frances Harding were the parents of nearly all of the present families of Brewingtons, which have numerous children of school age.
Left to Right: Lee Locklear. Steve Lowrey, French Locklear
French Locklear married the daughter of J. Arthur Brewington, of Sampson County
LEVANDER MANUEL, SON OF ENOCH MANUEL
Dismal Township, Sampson County
Educated at Pembroke Indian Normal
School. Last Teacher of Shiloh Indian
School, Dismal Township,
JUNE BREWINGTON, SON OF J. ARTHUR BREWINGTON, GRANDSON OF HARDY BREWINGTON
Herrings Township, Sampson County
C. D. BREWINGTON
C. D. Brewington, grandson of Raiford Brewington, Herrings Township, Sampson County. He was educated at the Pembroke Normal Indian School and taught in the public schools of Robeson County; also taught at New Bethel Indian School in Herrings Township, Sampson County. He is a teacher and minister, and preaches in the Croatan churches of Sampson and Robeson counties. He married Bessie Chavis of Robeson County, a Croatan.
John R. Jones is the son of Martha Jones, and his father was a white man. Martha Jones' mother was one Polly Jones, a pure white woman, and her father was an Indian. She was one-half white, one-half Indian. John R. Jones, therefore, was three-fourths white, one-fourth Indian. He married Macy A. Brewington, the daughter of Hardy Brewington. They have a large family of boys and girls in their
The subject of this sketch is now 76 years old and resides in Honeycutts Township, Sampson County. His wife, now dead, was Dorcas Maynor. Their children and grandchildren attend the Indian school in Herrings Township. Jonathan Goodman's father was Timothy Goodman and his mother was Nancy Maynor. The records in the Register of Deeds' office of Sampson County show that Timothy Goodman was a large land owner before the Civil War, and after his death his widow, Nancy Goodman, was assigned dower in this land in Sampson County, according to these records. She was a typical Croatan Indian and showed no traces of negro blood. Jonathan's grandmother was Nancy Revell, and the Revell family are now prominent Croatans in Robeson County.
Timothy Goodman is the founder of this particular family in Sampson County. He is said to have represented in features and general appearance the Indian race, he having straight black hair, and his complexion being of reddish hue. His mother was one Sallie Hobbs. His father unknown. He married Nancy Maynor, a woman who was an excellent specimen of the Cherokee Indian race. Jonathan Goodman is the son of the above Timothy Goodman, and we are sure, judging from his general appearance, that he is at least three-fourths Indian, with only one-fourth white. His first wife was one Dorcas Maynor, Indian, daughter of Morris Maynor. Many sons and daughters were born to this couple, after which the first wife died, and he married his present wife, Lucy Faircloth, who was the daughter of a white woman by the name of Mary Faircloth. Her father being unknown to the writer. Mary E. Brewington is the daughter of Lucy Goodman, her father being an Indian. Mary E. Brewington married James Brewington, a son of Raford Brewington. They also have several sons and daughters.
William Simmons, the father of most all of the Simmons of Sampson County, was born in the eastern part of Sampson County, near Faison, N. C. In early life he married one Penny Winn, of Wayne County, N. C. William Simmons is now dead, but he has often told the writer that he was of pure white and Indian descent, and judging from his features and general characteristics, we are quite sure that his statements were true, he having long black hair, and prominent cheek bones, and his color corresponding very strikingly with the real Indian. His wife is living, and resides near Clinton, N. C. James Simmons, one of the sons of William and Penny Simmons, is a very prominent farmer, and has accumulated quite a lot of real estate; also his other brothers have shown a good share of industry, which has resulted in a similar accumulation. Percy Simmons married the daughter of Hardy A. Brewington.
The subject of this sketch lived in South Clinton Township, Sampson County, but died a few years ago. His wife, still living, was Penny Winn who lived near Neuse River in Wayne County. William's mother was Winnie Medline, who married Jim Simmons in Fayetteville, and she made an affidavit in 1902, in order that her son William could vote under the grandfather clause, that her mother was a white woman and that her father was an Indian. She further states in her affidavit that there was not a drop of negro blood in her veins or those of her children. Her son, William Simmons, had dark brown eyes, straight hair and high cheek bones and light brown skin. He claimed that his grandfather and grandmother, on his father's side, were Indians and came from Roanoke River, and never affiliated with the negroes. William Simmons has eighteen grandchildren whose parents have not intermarried with the negro race, and these children are without school advantages except by private subscriptions.
BETSY J. SIMMONS
The subject of this sketch was formerly Betsy J. Thornton. She married Green Simmons in 1843 in Clinton. She is the mother of William Simmons and has numerous grandchildren residing in Sampson County who claim to be free from all negro blood. Betsy had grey eyes, straight hair, high cheek bones, and in general appearance was half Indian and half white.
The Jacobs family formerly lived in Sampson County, but now live principally in Wayne, Robeson, and other counties, leaving only one or two persons of that family among the Indians, but several of the female members of this family have married into the Brewington family, namely, the wife of J. Arthur Brewington, the wife of M. L. Brewington, who were the daughters of John R. Brewington; the wife of J. H. Brewington was the wife of G. B. Brewington, who were the daughters of Enos Jacobs, who is now living in Coharee, in Herrings Township. He is regarded as being a man of Indian and white descent, and his wife, who was the daughter of the late Timothy Goodman and Nancy Maynor Goodman, is almost pure Indian. She has only a very small degree of white blood. This family are fine specimens of the Indian race.
The people now living in Sampson, Robeson and adjoining counties of this State and many other State of the Union are undoubtedly the Indian race mixed with the whites. Among the most prominent families of Sampson County are the Emanuels, Brewingtons, Jacobs, Bledsoles, Jones, Maynors, Stricklands, Simmons, Goodmans, Faircloths and Ammons.
The features of these people betray the fact that white and Indian blood alone course through their veins. The educational status of these people is very low, owing to their having been deprived of schools within reach of their own race and color. Only a few have obtained a fair education, owing to the above conditions.
The above statements can be verified by John Emanuel, who is now seventy-four years old; by J. S. Strickland, who is now seventy-six years old; by Jonathan Goodman, who is
The subject of this sketch lived on Rowan Swamp and Marsh Branch in Sampson County at the time of the Revolutionary War. In 1764, a grant from King George III was issued to him for 200 acres of land on Rowan Swamp. See Register's Office, Sampson County, book 1, page 474. Later, in 1791, Cornelius Sikes conveyed to him 36 acres of the south side of Six Runs in Sampson County, see book 9, page 132. Abram Jacobs was a Croatan Indian, and was the grandfather of Jesse Jacobs. In 1843 Reuben Reynolds conveyed 78 acres of land to Jesse Jacobs lying on the west side of Great Coharie. There are numerous other deeds on the records of Sampson County to Jesse Jacobs. His son, Jno. R. Jacobs, married a sister of H. A. Brewington. J. Arthur Brewington married Rosia Lee Jacobs, a sister of Jno. R. Jacobs. There is no trace of negro blood in this branch of the Jacobs family since 1764, as far back as they have any history. Their children and grandchildren are recognized as Croatans and attend the Indian schools.
ENOCH MANUEL, JR., AND FAMILY
Dismal Township, Sampson County
HENRY BLEDSOLE AND WIFE, HANNAH, FORMERLY HANNAH
WARRICK, OF ROBESON COUNTY
They now reside in Dismal Township, Sampson County. They are both fair
tyes of Croatan Indians. Henry is the son of William J. Bledsole and
wife whose pictures appear elsewhere in this booklet
NOTE.--In the above sketch of the Jacobs family, there appears the name of Enos Jacobs, who is now over seventy years old and lives on Coharee and is a typical Croatan Indian. It will be noted that the name "William," "Bill," and "Will" are familiar names in the Simmons and Brewington families. The occurrence of these two names. "Enos" and "Will," in these Indian families is a strong suggestion that the origin of the names came from "Enos-Will," the friendly and intelligent Indian of the Coree tribe found by John Lawson in 1702 living on the Neuse River, not many miles from the present habitation of these Indians now on Coharee in Sampson County.