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Sharon Jernigan's Home Page


Welcome to my page. The page will be mostly about something I find very interesting, the Lumbee Indians. My husband just found out a few years ago that he was 1/4 Lumbee, so we began to look into the history of the Lumbee and I found it to be spellbinding.

The Lumbee Indians are native to an area of North Carolina around the Lumber River which is near Pembroke. They are the largest Indian tribe east of the Mississippi. In 1990 there were 48,444 Indians in the United States that claimed the Lumbee as their tribe.

The present day Lumbee tribe are said to be decended from an Indian community composed mainly of Cheraw Indians and Siouan speaking people who were known to have inhabited Robeson County since European settlers arrived in the 1700's. There are several ideas about the Lumbee's origin but the one most Lumbee Indians feel to be accurate is that they are decendants of Sir Walter Raleigh's "Lost Colony of Roanoke" and the Hatteras Indians of coastal North Carolina. The fact that 41 of 95 of the surnames of the Lost Colonists turned up as surnames of Lumbee Indians in Robeson County gives this idea credence. Lumbee lore tells of the tribe moving inland from the coast to Sampson County and then migrating southwest into Robeson County in 1650.

History says that Scothmen arriving in what is now Robeson County in 1730 found an Indian settlement on the Lumber River. They were living in houses, speaking English, tilling the soil in a rude manner and practicing, to a degree some of the arts used by civilized Europeans.

Although recognized by the Federal Government as Indians they are excluded from most benefits that other Indians tribes have. They do receive a little assistance, due to their state recognition, from the Department of Labor, Office of Indian Affairs, and the Administration for Native American. The Lumbee's have been fighting to gain federal recognition since the 1950's, to no avail. It seems to me that the fact that they were craftier than the other Indian tribes, they were able to elude the whites when they took the tribes to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears by hiding in the swamps, worked against them when it came to getting federal recognition. If they had let the white man control them and run them off their land, I believe they would have been recognized.

The Lumbee are a proud people and to this day are somewhat discriminated against. We made a couple of trips to North Carolina to check them out and found them to be very warm and hospitable. They took us in like family members even though the families had been lost to each other for many years. The Lumbee are highly intelligent people and their area near Pembroke is one of the cleanest and neatest places I believe I have ever seen.

My Poetry Page
My Cowboy Page (Memories of My Dad)

This page was last updated January 10, 1999.

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My Favorite Links

Angelfire - Easiest Free Home Pages
Dean's Home Page
Lumbee Surnames, etc.
Brandon's Page
This Week In North American Indian History