Jim Smiling a Redbone: an interesting patriarch of unique people in privateer

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Furman, McDonald. “Jim Smiling a Redbone: an interesting patriarch of unique people in privateer.” The State (Columbia, SC) 27 May 1897.


Brief profile of James Edward Smiling, then 77, a Redbone who lived in Privateer Township, Sumter County, South Carolina. He and his wife�maiden name Goins and “considerably mixed with Indian”�have over fifty living descendants. He has worked as a carpenter and Baptist minister and owns over 200 acres in a swampy area. He has been a magistrate and trial judge. In 1868 he was elected to the state legislature. Furman describes the Redbones as “really a distinct people from the 'old time free negroes' proper.” In 1927 several Smiling children who had moved from Sumter asked to attend Hopewell Indian School in Robeson County and were denied admittance. The Robeson County Superior Court upheld the decision, and a committee was formed to establish a school in Robeson County for a fourth race (the Smilings). The Smiling Independent School existed at least until 1957; see The Lumbee Indians: an annotated bibliography, items 69-73 and 93-94.

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James Edward Smiling | Redbones | Smilings