Maynor vs. Morton, Part II.

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Hunt, Cynthia L. “Maynor vs. Morton, Part II.” (Looking back while walking forward.) Carolina Indian Voice Thursday, 20 April 2000: 10.


After Dr. Carl Seltzer's “blood study” determined that only 22 Indians qualified as 1/2 or more Indian blood, Robeson County Indians tried to see that these individuals were certified by the Secretary of the Interior. There was correspondence between John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and Siouan tribal members S. M. Belle, James F. Chavis, and Joseph Brooks. On December 12, 1938, William Zimmerman (Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs) wrote Joseph Brooks informing him that they were certified but were not entitled to any rights and status as members of an Indian tribe, since the government was not holding any land in trust for the Siouans (see The Lumbee Indians: an annotated bibliography (1994), item 610).

No further action was taken to obtain rights and privileges through this certification until 1971, when the Eastern Carolina Indian Organization began investigating the matter. A November 29, 1971 letter from the BIA to Carnell Locklear stated that the BIA was not aware that the Secretary of the Interior had accepted any of the applications from Robeson Indians in 1936 and 1937, and that files related to this had been lost. In December 1971, the Eastern Carolina Indian organization filed a petition to organize the survivors and descendants of the Original 22 under the IRA. No record exists of a response to the petition. When a tribal member attempted, in 1972, to participate as Indian in a federal program, the BIA replied that the 1956 Lumbee Act both recognized and terminated the Lumbee as well as the Original 22. This response impelled the Eastern Carolina Indian Organization to contact the Native American Rights Fund for assistance in gaining benefits for the Original 22. 

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