Language: English
Macro-Culture: Eastern Woodlands
Speakers None
       The Lumbee were a sedentary hunter/ farmer confederacy which formally came into being sometime after the Removal Act of 1830. They were apparently originally of White blood, possibly descendants of the Raleigh "Lost Colony", and intermarried with several area tribes.
       Most of the original native component probably included Cheraw, Cherokee, Hatteras, Tuscarora, and Pamilco. Other small Siouan, and possibly Powhatan, speaking tribes may have later contributed to the population. Catawban speaking peoples comprise the largest native component of the confederacy.    The Lumbee confederacy has been declined federal recognition.
Aboriginal Locations: Subdivisions (Villages)
Confederacy formed in post-Columbian times
Present Locations
NC   Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, Lumberton (Lumbee "bands" exist in many parts of the US)
Year History
1586 Roanoke colony founded in Virginia
1587 Second Roanoke colony founded (John White Colony), friendly Hatteras tribe nearby
1590 Roanoke found abandoned, "CROATOAN" scratched on gatepost
1660 Rev. Morgan Jones encountered English speaking Indians in present Lumbee territory
1670 German Lederer witnessed colony of bearded men in area of Lumbee
1703 Cheraws are documented as living on the Pee Dee River in South Carolina
1709 Lawson given two chickens by Indians in Lumbee area
1730 Scottish immigrants met English Indians near the Lumbee R. living in simple European style houses
1754 Fifty Indian families are living on Drowning Creek without official deeds to the land, surveyor shot in Bladen Creek, NC
1776 Lumbees, including John Brooks, served in Revolutionary War
1812 Several Lumbees, including Thomas "Big Tom" Locklear and Silas Strickland, muster during War of 1812
1861 Lumbees serve in Civil War
1865 Henry Berry Lowrie war in Robeson County to fight oppression of the Lumbee people until his disappearance in 1872
1885 The North Carolina General Assembly recognizes the Indians of Robeson County as Croatan and established a separate school system for Indians
1888 Hamilton MacMillan published a pamphlet theorizing that Lumbee (Croatoan) contained descendants of Raliegh "Lost Colony"
1891 Stephen Weeks published similar opinion
1934 Swanton believed that Lumbee were descended from Cheraw based on a few words remembered by elders
1952 Tribe voted to adopt the name Lumbee
1956 Lumbee Indians conditionally recognized
1958 Lumbee used force to rout the Ku Klux Klan in a confrontation near Maxton, NC
1980 Tribe applied for federal recognition
1989 Federal recognition denied (determined ineligible to petition)
Year Total NC  Pop. Source
1700 0 NAHDB calculation
1800 250 NAHDB calculation
1900 1,000 NAHDB calculation 
1956 4,000   Congressional Record
1992 40,000   Tribal enrollment
2000 45,000 NAHDB calculation 
2005 50,000   Wikipedia
Cheraw Sites:
Cheraw Indian Tribe History
Locklear, Heather
Lumbee Authors
Lumbee Indian Fact Sheet
Lumbee Indians
Lumbee Indian Surname Project
Lumbee:   In Touch with the Earth
Lumbee Language
Lumbee Language
Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
On the Swamp
Real Indian
Who Are the Lumbee?

Last updated 11/26/08  Copyright 2005 by Four Directions Press