Redbone News Articles


McDonald Furman Papers

Unversity of North Carolina

Transcribed by Stacy R. Webb

Fight Between Cattlemen and a Gang of Thieves and Roughs.

St Louis, August 4-A dispatch from Orange, Texas Says:  Belder Sanders, who has just returned from Lake Charles, La. confirms the report of a riot at Lockmore & Co’s  ranch.  The last account he heard was from a wounded man, who left the scene at 4 o’clock yesterday, who stated that fourteen men were killed and two missing.  It was a free-for-all fight between the “Redbones” and the whites.  Sanders stated that many different reports were circulated and nothing more authentic could be learned.  Officers and physicians have gone to the scene.  

    Another account of the riot coming from West Lake, Louisiana, is to the effect that the emeute was caused by the breaking out of of an old feud between a band of robbers known as the Ashworth gang and the cattlemen of that section.  The former it is said, had been committing depredations upon the community, and they had killed a number of cattle.  They had been notified by the ranchmen to desist and leave the county, but the gang continued their proceedings, and at last they were caught and the fight began.  The “Redbones” are the leaders of the cattlemen.  A man named Webster led the gang of toughs and killed three men.

    A late report increases the number of wounded to sixteen.  A special from Orange, Texas gives a partial list of the killed and wounded as follows:  Killed-Dyson, Marion Markley, Lee Perkins and Owen Ashworth, all of the Redbone Gang, and Jesse Ward, one of the cattlemen.  The wounded are: Willette Dupre and Lecomb.  The latest reports are to the effect that everything is quiet.  The coroner has gone to the scene and investigation is now going on.

    Still Another Account of the Much Reported Bloody Affair in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.

    Houston, Tex. August 5- Further details of the battle on Lockmoor & Co’s tramway on Sunday says that a party of Redbones, a mongrel crew of mixed whites, Indians and negroes, about twenty five in number, went to the stores and announced that they would drive away Hooker Morris, the manager of the log camp, in revenge for an insult offered to two of the party.  They were well armed and lead by Jessie Dyson, a well known and desperate charachter.  The white men, who had gathered about the same strength, were lead by Jesse Ward.  In the battle which ensued Ward killed Jesse Dyson, and was at once killed from behind, when the fight became general.

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List of killed:  Jesse Ward, white, T.S. Swap, white, Jesse Dyson, L.E. Perkins, Andrew Chariz, Owen Ashworth and Marion Markel.

Wounded:  Dupre, Larcombo, keeper of the store and saloon, and his son was shot in the leg.  Larcomb’s wife ran into the woods with her children and escaped injury.

    The complete list of wounded cannot be obtained, but about twenty are known to have been hurt.  Sunday afternoon thirty Redbones came to camp after the bodies of the dead and dispersed the officers who were at the scene, and who, under threats, are organizing a strong force to storm the strongholds of the desperadoes. More trouble is feared.  The above is the report of the morning fight.Rapides article-JP

    In the afternoon  it was reported at a store down the road that the Redbones were massacreing the women and children and every one that came across the camp.  Hearing this reinforcements went up from along the line of  Calcasieu, Vernon and Shreveport road.  In going up Mr T.T. Swan, an old and respected citizen of Calcasieu, was murdered from ambush.  Excitement is running high, and more trouble maybe expected at any time.  The log camps are situated about sixteen miles from Lockmoor & Co’s mills, and about five hundred men are employed.

 Ramsey Sumter Co., SC 

 Oct. 17th 1891

 Clerk of the Court

    Dear Sir:  During the past summer an account of a “Redbone” riot in your parish was published in the newpaper in South Carolina we have a rather peculiar people called “Redbones”-a people in which I am interested.  I would like to know what kind of people are the “Redbone” of your State.  Any information about them which you send me will be appreciated.

    I wrote to the Sheriff of your parish about the Redbones, but my letter has never been answered.

    I hope that you will excuse a stranger troubling you.  I write because I really desire to hear from you.

Sincerely yours

McDonald Furman

    The Redbones are a mixture of blacks, whites and Indians with the laziness of the negro, and the savage vindictiveness of the Indian

Thad Hays, Clerk

    The Name of Goins

Ramsey, Privateer Township,

 April 29,1897

    A Family Name Found about in the United States and Borne by Mixed Race People.  To the editor of the News and Courier: among that isolated and mixed breed people of Privateer Township who are classed as colored but who should properly be known as “Redbones” is found the name Goins.  The founder of this family, so I have been told, was a “yellow man” whose wife was a mixed breed Indian.  Vicey goins, the daughter-in-law of this couple lived to a great age, and died in 1887.  Her son, Wade Goins is one of the people among the Privateer Redbones, and his features are copper-colored skin show the presence of Indian blood in his veins.  Another descendant of the Goins couple is Tom Gibbes, pastor of the little church in Southeastern Privateer, which is attended by the Redbone people, and and which, I might remark, is a member of the Colored Wateree Baptist Association. lower division. I think Gibbes, shows his Indian blood.  He and “Uncle Wade” are both honest, and worthy men.  While it would greatly puzzle an ethnologist to determine what per cent of white, negro and Indian blood flows through in their veins I think they are at least a sixth part Indian, if not more.

    It is interesting to see over what a large area the name Goins is found.  This name is (or was) found among that peculiar people, the Croatans of North Carolins, which unique race is believed by historical investigators to be the descendants of Sir Walter Raleigh’s famous “lost colony.”  Henry Berry Lowrie, so celebrated in the post bellum annals of North Carolina as a bold and daring outlaw, was of the Croatan race.  It is evident the the “old issues” or, properly speaking, “Redbones” who are found in South Carolina, are in part a branch of the Croatans.

“Redbones” are found in Louisiana.  In the spring of 1893 I wrote to one of the parish officials inquiring about them, and I received an interesting letter in reply.  Among the Redbone family names mentioned it was that of Goins.

    In a short magazine article last summer Mr James Mooney, one of the leading ethnological writers in the United States, gave an account of two Goins brothers he formerly knew in Indiana, “who, although associating by necessity with negroes, always insisted that they were not of that race or of slave ancestry.  They had the physical appearance of half-blood Indians.” There are Goins in Georgia, who are a branch of the Privateer Stock.

           McDonald Furman