Looking back while walking forward: Maynor v. Morton.

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Hunt, Cynthia L. “Looking back while walking forward (column): Maynor v. Morton.” Carolina Indian Voice 13 April 2000: 7.


This first in a series of articles on the highly significant court case, Maynor v. Morton (510 F.2d 1254, 4 April 1975--see The Lumbee Indians: an annotated bibliography, item 1372) was occasioned by the fact that the 25th anniversary of the case occurred in April, 2000. This article gives historical background data for the case. Information is drawn from the Lumbee petition (The Lumbee Indians: an annotated bibliography, item 57). It explains the Indian Reorganization Act (or Wheeler-Howard Act), passed on June 8, 1934, and Joseph Brooks's organizing efforts to gain recognition and benefits for the Lumbee (who at that time were seeking Congressional recognition as Cheraw or as Siouan Indians) under this act. To obtain benefits under the act, the tribe had to compile a list of its members who were one-half or more Indian blood. The government sent Dr. Carl C. Seltzer, an anthropologist, to Robeson County in June 1936 and June 1937. Using anthropometry, he determined in his 1936 visit that three of 108 applicants met the blood quantum criterion. From his 1937 visit, 19 of 101 applicants were qualified to receive assistance. These qualified individuals came to be known as the “Original Twenty-Two.”

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