“Dr. Buzzard” (1885 – 1947) and Rootwork

Suggested resources; Latest update July 29, 2011



The purpose of the Beaufort District Collection is to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history of our area. Here are some suggestions to help you learn more about Dr. Buzzard, (aka Stepheney Robinson, Stepany Robinson, Stephney Robinson), a root doctor from St. Helena Island, SC. Latest update: July 26, 2011.

“Dr. Buzzard” (1885 – 1947) and Rootwork: A Bibliography
also known as Stephney Robinson, Stepany Robinson, Stepheney Robinson)

Prepared by the Beaufort District Collection of the Beaufort County Library a division of Beaufort County Government, Beaufort, South Carolina.  LEGEND to abbreviations are at the end.  Note: Lifespan of Dr. Buzzard is based on information given on his S.C. Death Certificate.

Web based resources:

“Blue Root Real Estate” by Roger Pinckney http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/224/.

“Searching for Minerva,” by Rob Oldham, The South Magazine, October/November 2008 posted at http://roboldham.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/searching-for-minerva/

Come to the Beaufort District Collection to see these items: 

  • Dr. Buzzard [BDC Vertical File]
  • Root Doctors [BDC Vertical File]
  • McTeer, James Edwin, Jr., (1903-1979) [BDC Vertical File]
  • Gullahs–Folklore [BDC Vertical File]
  • Gullahs–Medicine [BDC Vertical File]
  • The McTeer family donated three scrapbooks that Sheriff McTeer compiled of newspaper and magazine articles about himself and rootwork to the Beaufort District Collection.  Ask to see the preservation photocopies of the scrapbooks in the BDC.  [ Please note: The amount of information on voodoo is not extensive.  The BDC does not have any of his rootwork artifacts in our holdings].
  • SC 299.6 AND  Conjure in African American Society [Microfiche] by Jeffrey E. Anderson. (BDC only)
  • SC 299.6 BEL Pattern, structure, and logic in Afro-American hoodoo performance [Microfiche] by  Michael Edward Bell. (BDC only)
  • SC 305.8961 TRO An Afrocentric analysis of the transition and transformation of African medicine (root medicine) as spiritual practice among Gullah people of Lowcountry South Carolina [Microfiche] by Wendy Carmen Trott.  (BDC only).
  • SC 398 MIT  Hoodoo medicine: Gullah Herbal Remedies by Faith Mitchell.  (BDC only).
  • SC 615.88 HEY Rootwork [Microfiche] : psychosocial aspects of malign magical and illness beliefs in a South Carolina Sea Islands community by Kathryn Wilson Heyer. 3 microfiche (BDC only)


Check out these materials from the Beaufort County Library: 

B MCTEER Fifty years as a Low Country witch doctor by James Edwin McTeer, Jr. (BDC, BEA, BLU, HHI)     

B MCTEER High Sheriff of the Low Country by James Edwin McTeer, Jr.  (BDC, BEA, BLU, HHI, LOB)  

B MCTEER High Sheriff, Lowcountry Witch Doctor [VHS] (BEA, BDC, BLU, HHI, STH)

299.675 ZEP Lowcountry Voodoo: Beginner’s Guide to Tales, Spells, and Boo Hags by Terrance Zepke (BDC, BEA, BLU, HHI, LOB)

398 PIN Blue roots: African-American folk magic of the Gullah people by Roger Pinckney (BDC, BEA, BLU, HHI, LOB)

615.8896 MIT African American Folk Healing by Stephanie Y. Mitchem.  (BEA) 

975.8 BAI God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man by Cornelia Walker Bailey with Christena Bledsoe, 2000 (BEA, HHI)  
 These resources are available through the Beaufort District Collection of the Beaufort County Library.  Please visit your local Beaufort County Library branch or the Beaufort District Collection to view or borrow these materials.  Please note that materials available only through the Beaufort District Collection (BDC) are not available for checkout.  

LEGEND : Materials may be found at the following Beaufort County Library locations:

Beaufort District Collection (BDC) 
Beaufort Branch Library (BEA) 
Bluffton Branch Library (BLU) 
Hilton Head Island Branch Library (HHI) 
Lobeco Branch Library (LOB) 
St. Helena Branch Library (STH)                  


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