Coming to terms: Ngai Tahu, Robeson County Indians and the Garden Band of Ojibwa, 1840-1940. Three studies of colonialism in action.

Record Number: 
MONT001
Citation: 

Montgomerie, Deborah. “Coming to terms: Ngai Tahu, Robeson County Indians and the Garden Band of Ojibwa, 1840-1940. Three studies of colonialism in action.” Diss. Duke U, 1993.

Annotation: 

See especially Chapter 6, “The politics of Freedom: Indians in Robeson County 1830-75,” pp. 284-334; and Chapter 7, “The Politics of Recognition: Robeson County 1875-1935,” pp. 335-371. The three groups Montgomerie has chosen “have in common as sense of historical grievance that bound then together over time” (p. 388). For each group, colonialism altered some systems, such as education, production, land ownership, and political participation. Their sense of group distinctiveness and right to ethnic self definition were not affected. 

Montgomerie, using a wide range of documentation (including some archival sources not mentioned by other writers) provides clear, detailed discussions of the Lumbee from colonial times through the 1940s. Her discussions are particularly strong on 19th century state and local laws, which stripped rights from the Lumbee; their struggles to resist classification as black; the Henry Berry Lowery period; efforts for external recognition as Indian; alliances with the Democratic Party; changes in outsiders' views of the tribe after the Lowry period; and social stratification in Robeson County and among the Lumbees in the first half of the 20th century.

Appendix Two, “Identification of Indian Families in Robeson County,” pp. 399-402, explains that due to the nature of census and school records, the most accurate way to identify Lumbee people in historical records is by surname. Montgomerie has substantiated her argument by looking at unique names in a 1900 Robeson County directory which identifies taxpayers by race. She lists names used by Indians only and their frequency of recurrence in the directory, as well as names used by both Indians and whites and names used by all three races.

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