Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Goins v. The Indian Normal School in Robeson County, North Carolina

Material Compiled by MHS President Jack Goins

In 1885, Hamilton McMillan sponsored legislation to establish a normal school in Robinson County, North Carolina to train Lumbee Indians to teach other because they were not allowed to attend the white schools.

McMillan seemed obsessed with the theory they were descendants of John Whites Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. He admitted under oath, that he gave them the name Croatan,and also claimed they called themselves Melungeons. According to the following court case, these same people whom he said called themselves Melungeons, testified under oath they were Indians.

W.B. Goins, vs. Board of Trustees Indian Normal School. Filed October 12, 1915 in the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

“Old man William Goins and his sons W.W. Goins and W.D. Goins all in Depositions testified they called themselves Indians. William Goins testified his grandfather name was Fred Goins. I don’t know where he came from especially my great grandfather.”

Gaston Locklear testified for the defense. "I am a member of the board of trustees of the Cherokee Indian Normal School of Pembroke. I was not a member when some of these people were first permitted to attend the school. After this question arose I made an investigation about the time we were getting ready to exclude them or to pass on the question. I went to Sumpter County, South Carolina in the eastern part of Sumpter County. I went for the purpose of asserting what the general reputation was as to these people and to find out whether they were entitled to go to our school and saw a right smart of people. I have seen William Goins, the father of these plaintiffs. From my knowledge of the Indian people here and from my observation of him (William) he is not an Indian."

Q-Being appointed by member of the board state what you did for the purpose of ascertaining what the general reputation was down there?

A- I went to find out if they were entitled to go to our schools.

Q-From this investigation you made what do you say is the general reputation as to whether or not they are people of Negro Blood.

A-Their general reputation is they are colored people.

Q-Have you seen William Goins father of the Plaintiffs?

A-I have, and who they said was their father.

Q-From your general knowledge of the Indian people here and from your observation of him, state whether or not in your opinion he is a man of Negro blood.

A-He is of Negro blood.

Source: Supreme Court of North Carolina, Archives Raliegh, North Carolina.

1 comment:

  1. Dennis,

    I must take exception to your posting concerning the case of Goins v. The Indian Normal School in Robeson County North Carolina.

    When citing a court case one should always make note to the courts finding, and in the case of Goins v. The Indain Normal School two courts found the Goins brothers to be of Indian blood. The Goins brothers Willie and Walter won their case at the State Court level and again at the North Carolina State Supreme Court following the the Indian Normal Schools appeal. The both courts found the Goins brothers to have satisfied their petition and the Supreme Court judge ruled that the Goins brothers children be admitted to the Indian Normal School at Pembroke.

    Willie's nephew and Walter's son, my grandfather Alonzo Walton Goins attended the Indian Normal School at Pembroke and graduated. His name is listed on UNC Pembroke "Heritage Walk".

    If you need any more information concerning this particular case or this particular family please let me know.


    Alonzo Walton Goins III