Pure white and Indian.

by Lisa Y. Henderson


Enoch Manuel and wife live in Dismal Township, Sampson County. He is now 70 years old. His father was Michael Manuel and lived on South River and died in 1858. Michael’s father was Nicholas Manuel, a soldier in the Revolutionary War, in John Toomer’s Army. His father was Ephraim Manuel. The records of Sampson County show, book 5, page 222, that in the reign of George III Benjamin Williams conveyed to Ephraim Manuel 400 acres of land, lying on the east side of Great Coharie, charging annual quit rents to His Majesty. We find another deed from Solomon Hardin to Levi Manuel, dated October 10, 1778, for 125 acres on March Branch and Miry Bottom Branch in Sampson County, consideration 50 English pounds. There are numerous other old deeds to the Manuel family on record in Sampson County. The father of Ephraim Manuel was Nickey Manuel and came from Roanoke River and claimed to be half white and half Indian. There is no trace of negro blood known to exist in the Manuel family as far back as they have any record.

Enoch Manuel says that his ancestor, Nickey Manuel, raised Matthew Leary, father of Sheridan Leary, who was killed in John Brown’s insurrection at Harper’s Ferry. Sheridan Leary was a brother of John S. Leary, a lawyer of Charlotte, formerly of Fayetteville, N. C.  …  Sarah, wife of Enoch Manuel, whose picture appears above, was a daughter of Amos Hardin, a wheelright [sic] in Honeycutts Township, and was recognized as a Croatan Indian. This couple have seven children and numerous grandchildren. They have not intermarried with the negro race, and their children attend Shiloh Indian School in Dismal Township, of which school Enoch Manuel was the founder.

[“]My mother’s mother was one Lanie Jackson, a white woman. Therefore as you can plainly see, my father and mother were pure white and Indian. My wife was the daughter of Amos Harding and Cassie Lockamy, a white woman, of Irish descent.

We had in our home several sons and daughters. Jonah Emanuel, who married Luberta Bledsole, daughter of W. J. Bledsole. W.J. Bledsole was the son of Mary Bledsole, a white woman, his father unknown. He is evidently a white man, with some trace of Indian blood. Enoch Emanuel, Jr., also married a daughter of the above W. J. Bledsole. Macy Lee Emanuel married Hassie J. Jones of Robeson County, a person of white and Indian descent. All of the above are descendants of the late Nicholas Emanuel and Jonathan Harding.

Many of the members of the Emanuel family have moved to other sections. They are now living in as many as seven different States of the Union. Some have spelled our name Manuel; others Emanuel. I have followed the latter form for our name in this pamphlet. [“]

From George E. Butler, “The Croatan Indians of Sampson County, North Carolina. Their Origin and Racial Status. A Plea for Separate Schools,” (1916).