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Sampson, Oscar R.

by William S. Powell, 1994

17 Jan. 1866–9 Jan. 1928

Oscar R. Sampson, minister and educator, was born in the Deep Branch community of Robeson County, the son of Image of Oscar R. Sampson, from the Cherokee Indian Normal School: Bulletin and outline course of study, [p.2], published 1900 by University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Presented on University of North Carolina at Pembroke.William, a farmer and Baptist minister, and Mary Dial Sampson, both identified as mulattoes in the 1860 and 1870 census returns. The 1928 death certificate of Oscar Sampson, however, records his race as Indian. In 1889 he was among the earliest graduates of the Indian Normal School at Pembroke. He began teaching school in 1890 and in time became principal of the Pembroke graded school. Sampson also owned a farm and a large tract of land within the bounds of the town of Pembroke. Named to the board of trustees of Pembroke Normal School in 1896, he served until his death thirty-two years later.

Sampson was long in fellowship with the Plymouth Brethren and preached twice a month for many years. A strong supporter of the Pembroke Normal School, he was a leader among the local people who contributed to and planned its growth and expansion into Pembroke State University. The administration building, in which an oil portrait of him hangs, was named for Sampson.

In 1893 he married Susie J. Oxendine, and they became the parents of fifteen children, ten of whom survived to adulthood: Mary E., Ruth, Charity, Nettie B., James Albert, Katie Lee, John Paul, Lucy, Joseph, and Martha. He was buried in the Harpers Ferry cemetery, Robeson County.


Death certificate (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

North Carolina Biography, vol. 3 (1928).

Paths Toward Freedom (1976).

Raleigh News and Observer, 17 Feb. 1957.

Additional Resources:

Cherokee Indian Normal School (Pembroke, N.C.). 1900. Bulletin and outlined course of study. Raleigh: Edwards & Broughton. (accessed July 10, 2014).

Sams, E. E. 1917. Report of Superintendent of State Colored Normal Schools and Chereokee INdian Normal School of Robeson County for the years 1914-1915 and 1915-1916. Raleigh, N.C.: State Board of Education. (accessed July 10, 2014).

Image Credits:

Cherokee Indian Normal School (Pembroke, N.C.). 1900. Bulletin and outlined course of study. Raleigh: Edwards & Broughton. (accessed July 10, 2014).



William Sampson's name came up in my AncestryDNA account as a possible family member. I would like to learn more. I did a Google search of his name and Alford Johnson, my great a grandfather, and I was led to this page.

My grandparents on my father's side were born in North Carolina--grandfather Powell, grandmother Johnson.

I would appreciate any additional information that you are able to provide.

Debra Powell-Wright

Hello! My twin sister and I were adopted at age 2 weeks, but I have been finding out about my biological family. This man, William Sampson, was my great-great uncle. I am just finding out all of this information, from one of my biological uncle's wives. She is being very helpful to me. Who knows, we may be distantly (or closely!) related! I am 57 years old and live in North Carolina, and have lived here for my entire life. Message me if you are interested in talking more. Maybe we can find out some things together. I used the test Heritage DNA.

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