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INTERVIEWEE: Mrs. Mary Lowry Jacobs
INTERVIEWER: Adolph Dial
July 26, 1969
D: This is July the 26th, 1969. I am here at the home of Mrs. Mary Lowry
Jacobs. Mrs. Mary Lowry Jacobs is the widow of the late Mr. Knowlee
Jacobs'and also the, let's see now, what, what relation were you to
Henry Barry Lowry?
3: That was my uncle.
D: What was your father's name?
D: And Mr. Patrick was the brother of Henry Barry Lowry?
D: Mr. Patrick was a minister, wasn't he?
J: Yes, sir.
D: Now you want to tell me something about youi father's work? What
did he do?
J: Well, he was a farmer and a carpenter.
D: He was considered one of the Indian leaders back in his day, wasn't he?
J: Yes, sir.
D: How old are you, Mrs., Mrs. Jacobs?
D: Eighty-four. You seem to be in very sound mind. Your mind's good.
J; Yes, sir, pretty good,
P; We're sitting here at Mrs, Jacob's home which is within, oh, fifty
or aeVyety-ftve yar.s of what used to be the old normal school, the
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school that was-established as a.'result of the legislation in 1885
under the late legislator Hamilton McMillan. Will you tell me something
about the old normal school that was across the road here in your field,
J: Well, all I can tell you is that I went to school there before...
,D: Who was your, who was your first teacher at the old normal school?
J: Professor Henderson.
D: Professor Henderson Oxendine. Did you also attend, was W. L. Moore
one of your teachers, too?
J: Yes, sir.
D: I believe W. L. Moore was the first principal of this school, was he
J: Well, of the littleischool?
D: No, of the, what was the normal...
J: The college?
D: ...the college, yes?
J: I don't know who the first principal was.
D: I think he'was the first one there. This college building, it was a
two-story building, was it?
5: Yes, sir, two-story.
D: And what happened to the building? Was it torn down or did it burn or
J: It got burnt down.
D: It was buried down; I' see. And right near this school was another little
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school. What did you call that?
J: They always called it the little school.
D: Oh, they always called it the little school and I believe your packhouse
has some lumber in it from one of these buildings. That was the
little'school, was it?
J; Yes, the little school.
D: I see. Did you attend the college and the little school?
J: Yes, sir, I attended both.
D: And did you go down to the present site of Pembroke State University,
did you attend school there any?
J: No, sir, I was done married then.
D: Uh huh, and you were married then. How far did you go in school, Mrs.
J: Fourth grade.
D: Fourth grade, well, back in those days they didn't have the opportunity
that we have today and certainly education was limited. But you seem
to be a very intelligent lady. Where did you get most of your educa-
tion, on your own?
J: 'Yes, sir, wost at that little school.
D: Yes, sir, and of course reading on your own over the years I suppose.
J: Yes,, sir.
D: Now Mrs. Mrs. Jacobs, you being the daughter of Mr. Patrick Lowry, is
J: That's correct
D; And Mr. Patrick Lowry is the son og Henry Barry Lowry, is that...
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J: No, they were brothers.
D: Excuse me, yes, the brother of Henry Barry Lowry.
D: Yes, Mr. Patrick is the brother'of Henry Barry Lowry. There seems
to be conflicts and opinions on what happened to Henry Barry Lowry.
Would you tell me what you've heard over the years? What did Mr.
Patrick say or anyone else? Will you just go ahead and talk a while
and tell us about that?
J: Well, to tell you the truth don't know much about Henry Barry, only
just what I've heard.
D: Yes, well, that's all we want you to tdll is what you've heard, yes.
J: Yes, I didn't never see him.
D: What do you think, did you ever hear Mt. Patrick say what he thought
happened to him or what was toldeto hiim?
J: No, I don't because I was so young whef riy daddy died, so I don't
remember hearing him talk about him, jdst what Mama Ild tell.
D: What would your mother tell? Did your mother, did your father die
before your mother? n
J: Yes, Mama had been alone for an awful long time. *
D: That's right, so how old were you whent!Mr. Patrick died?
J: Seven years old.
D: Seven years old, I see, So he's a veryrfine looking gentlemen. That
picture you have there in the bedroom, he seems to be a fine looking
fellow. Well, perhaps then I should a6k what did, what were some of
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the stories that your mother told? By the way what was your mother's
D: Mary, and who was she before she married Mr. Patrick?
D: Mary Callahan, I see. She was a white lady I suppose.
J: Supposed to be.
D: I see, now what did she think, what stories did she tell? Certainly
she heard Mr. Patrick tell tome things. What did she seem to think
J: Well, I, I don't know, only she said they come along by home there
with him carrying him off to bury him and that Patrick said he won't
see the last of him until he told them, no, to drive on.
An'A rw \
D:A-4r, of course they didn't open him up, they didn't open the box up
J: No, they didn't open him up.. He didn't, said he didn't want to see him.
D: As a matter of fact they were really not sure that anyone was in this
D: This could have been a fake. Some seemroto think that this was a fake-
in order to have people thinking he was Idead so they would stop looking
for him and maybe he went on away.
J: Yes, that was about like it I guess.-
D: Some seem to think that he was killed while cleaning his gun. so you
recall ever, hearing this story? '
J: Yes, I heated that, too. Said he 'as, the outlaws was a counting the
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money out on the swamp somewhere or another and he walked around,
he was a watching and walked around the corner of the house,and
the gun struck the corner of the house and went off and killed him,
but we don't know whether that was so or not.
D: Well, there's one thing we know. Whether he left here or, or whether
he died as a result of the, an accident from his own gun, we do know
that the reward that the government had for his body was never collected.
So it does seem to be quite a mystery even until this day, doesn't it?
J; Yes, it's, well, there was a fellow told me that he was shipped away
from here and a few, years back he sent word into the courthouse to
see if he could come back home and spend his last days in his old
lady's home and they told him, no, if he did he'd be killed, and
if he ever got killed I don't know.
D: It appears that after he was never seen again in this area after
1872, that he never did return and if anyone knew where he was they
never did give away the secret. 'Back in that day the Indians could
keep secrets for a long, long time, couldn't they?
J: I guess they could keep them.
D: They must have because they certainly kept this one, kept it real
J: Yes. 1
D: I find in my interviewing that people in the area seem to have a great
deal of respect for Henry Barry Lowry. He was what you would call
somewhat a gentleman when at came to respect for the ladies and so
forth. Would you want to say something on this?
J: Well, I don't know nothing.
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D: Did you ever hear that he was a respectable fellow, that he treated
women nice and all?
J: Yes, I, I heard that they locked him up one time in m4intaef and
locked up his, no, locked up his wife.
D: Yes, his wife,
D: His wife, Rhoda.
J: ...he sent them word if they didn't go and turn her out that he had
never had bothered the womenfolks, but if they didn't turn his wife
out they'd get their womenfolks and do something with them. I don't
know'what they was going to do.
D: Yes, I believe someone said that he'said he would destroy Lumberton
in blood and ashes and they said the womenfolks of Lumberton became
very much concerned aak about this and they had them to turn him loose.
J: Yes, that's right,'what I heard. Let me tell you another thing.
D: Yes, go right ahead.
J: Mamashad a history of his whole life. There's a book about that
. t 1i .. ha ibroaC A rthat'-hi'K and she tore it up
and stuck it up in the old kitchen. After my daddy died.there was *
one place Where where he was in the river behind the
boat with his head stuck up shooting at people. They lived, they
/ erJrj zorry cade 3h\ dcL
lived right back up here ..ie ."- .
D: What spot was that? Across the river? 1
*nnr c no cv
J: No, right up here where my sister, M41(atpe livei
D: Oh, yes, right where Mr..,.
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U: ..____ .. .................
D: Yes, the Sanderson place there,
J: Yes, I, I...
D: Uh huh, I see.
J: ...I can show you right where they lived, her and u Jn r ... when
they was married.
D: That was after they were married and of course they lived across the
river before that time,
J: Yes, they lived across there, I think they was born and raised across
the river A on the Lowry settlement.
D: Yes, I see. Do you have any brothers and sisters living today; Mrs.
J: No, only one half-sister.
D: What is her name? \
J: Janie Hatcher.
D: Oh, yes, Miss Jane Hatcher, she's stilt living,
J: Uh huh. :
D: Oh, yes. Now how old is Miss Hatcher? !
J: I reckon Jane's about eighty-nine. *
D: Oh, she's a little older than you.
J: Uh huh.
D: She's still in sound mind I imagine.
J: No, I don't believe she is.
D: Uh huh. When did you see your half-sister? Oh, it's been a while, eh?
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J: No, I believe, no, it's been about, about two weeks.
D: Well, what are some of the interesting stories that you remember
in your childhood days and things that you probably never will for-
get that you think about a lot today?
J: Well, I remember picking cotton with my daddy, Nenr arrS brother.
D: Oh, yes, Mr. Patrick.
J: Yes, Patrick Lowry.
D: Uh huh, well, now you were dnly seven when he died, do you, can you
just barely remember picking that cotton?
J: I can remember picking that cotton with him as good as I can remember,
better than I can remember some things today.
D: Yes, well,' that was, that was certainly a long, long time ago.
J: A long time. 1
D: Picking cotton was a hard job. r used to do some of it myself. Of'
course today the machines are taking care of it.
J: Yes, and I can'remember when he got to where he couldn't get out in
the field 'and pick he'd have us to pull off the knotty bowls and
fetch them to the porch, pour them dowr and he'd sit there and pick
out them knotty bowls.
D: I see. Now after Mr. Patrick died you, did you continue working on
the farm? r
J: I worked oh the farm all my days till I got disabled to work.
D; When did you first move to this location where this house is located?
J: Let me see now if P can remember that. I was just trying 4 Stud i .
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I'm nearabout forgot exactly,
D: I see, now but you, did you move here right after you were married?
J: Yes, sir. Married on Saturday night and moved here that next day.
D: Was this farm your husband's people's farm?
J: It was -my husband's farm when I moved here.
D; I see, did he inherit it?
J: Yes, the old man Bill Jacobs was his grandfather and he got in debt
and Knowlie paid up the debt and got the place, him and Jim Jacobs.
Jim Jacobs got thirteen acres over there. Knowlie got the balance
D: I'see. Did you ever attend any of the quilting parties that they
used to have years ago, or the corn shucking and so forth?
J: I can remember the corn shucking. :
D: They were, someone'said they would hide a five gallon jug of whiskey
in the middle of the corn-and when they shucked up the pile of corn
then all of them would have a drink.. Was that the way they would do
J: We had 4ew-a new, a new ground clearing, my half-brother had over at
their home on my daddy's place, and he had a jug of whiskey and he
had them to cut down the logs and roll them together and burn them.
D: Log rolling.
J: Yes, and then he'd give them the whiskey and supper. I can remember
one of Knowlie's brothers, Rob Jacobss he got drunk and about the only
cussing I !ever heard I heard him 'cuss that night. They had to lock
him, shut him up in the room....'
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D: Well, why...
J: ...to keep, keep Brown from killing him for cussing Brown. I
never heard Brother Brown cuss.
D: Why was it back in that day that it seemed that drinking was more
acceptable then than it was today? Didn't most of the people, or
did they, did most of them drink a little bit back when you were
_s % %s.*- 1 _9
J: Yes, thereAwas ieaoy drink. 2 around re:k _, -^ tu there was a
barroom right over there across the road, Jenny Thompson.
D: Oh, yes, they used to have public barrooms back when..
J: Uh huh, og, tloui' order a whisky.
D: When was this? When was the latest barroom that you know about in
J: Well, it was after I was married. No, I remember that now, before
I was married.
D: When did you marry?
J: The seventeenth of December, 19-, Lord,: I've, I've forgotten__
D: How,;how old were you when you married?
D: Probably eighteen.
J: ...nine, nineteen, I reckon.
D: Nineteen I see. -So they have those public barrooms people would do
quite a bit of drinking then, wouldn't they?
D: Yes, it seemed that it was qore acceptable among the Lumbees then than
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it is today.
J: I think my daddy kept a little whisky for medicine as long as he lived.
D: Oh, yes, most of them did I'm sure, and of course it's true that
that medicine would make you feel good.
3: I guess it would. Did you ever, did you ever drink any?
D: No, I don't fool with it. Back when you were a Child what was the
diet like? What did you all eat mostly back in those days?
J: What we growed on the farm.
D: Cornmeal and pork.
J: We had, we growed wheat, had a lot of flour made, and rice, we growed
D: Oh, did you grow rice?
J: Sure, I wished you could see, I don't know if Ae old ------
overAat Simon Locklear's now, that I beat ice -in. We beat rice vy
Saturday to have rice for Sunday dinner. yes, I hod rice and Mama,
she cooked syrup. ''
D; I see.
3: Mama had a cane mill'and Lord,-Isstopped at the cane mill many a day
and fil4,it with cane, and then she'd cook, take that juice and cook *
syrup out of itfor ten cent a gallon. People would fetch their cane
in there, you know, for her to cook syrup.
J: That's the way she mostly made h.ir money after Pap died.
D: People do:much hunting back in those days?
J: I went rabbit hunting many a times.
D: And'you'd carry a gun or what did you carry?
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J: Just let the dogs run t. right up a hollow tree and take a briar
and twist him down.
D: Oh, put a briar in there and twist it around and pull him down.
3: Twist it in there and pull him down and carry him home, let Mama
clean him and cook it.
*D: You used to do that?
D: Of course sometime you'd catch them before they go mn'a hollow I guess.
J: No, we couldn't catch them until they'd go up a hollow. There was
plenty of hollow trees back then, you know..
D: And they'd always go in a hollow.
J: They'd go up a hollow,
D: That's interesting. r
J: We didn't use a gun.
D: You do much fishing in your young days'?
J: Fishing?. Well, Lord of mercy, I'd rather fish than eat when I was
hungry. You go out there sometimes to this rail-
road ditcht and catch you a mess of fsTi directly. Plenty of fish in
the'ditches. Did you know what's d;n Wi+-ha?
D: What's, that?
J: People putting poison in the fields and washing in _
D: Yes, I think this is doing away With lots of our wildlife.
J: It's doing, it's doing away with the fish in the river.
D: I believe :it, I believe it, Mrs.' Jacobs, Well, what's some other things
you remember during your young days?
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J: Oh Lord, I can't remember everything. I'm too, too old to remember
D: What was life like during your, well, when you and Mr. Jacobs were
courting before you married, what would you do for entertainment?
J: Worked .on the farm.
.D: And when he come to see you would you take a trip, would you go
anywhere' or would you stick around the house? i
J: No, Mama wouldn't let me go with him nowhere. See, there weren't
no cars back-then.
J: And she didn't want me to have him.
D: Well, you just mostly sat around the house and...
D: ...talked and so forth and that was the biggest thing that you did.
D: Was Pembroke, what was Pembroke like during your early days?
J: Well, I can remember about two stOres, I reckon, in Pembroke back
when I wascyoung and I can remember Lumberton. It was a, just a small
D: Some of the people used to walk tt Fayetteville before your time.
Did you evdr hear of those stories, walking to Fayetteville for groceries?
J: Yes, thelold man, Bill Jacob's wife, last wife, said they OsMed -:te*
bunch up add walked to Fayetteville to get some bread.
D: I see, well, it certainly must have been tough times. Well, do you
Kno4omet#ng else you'd like today? T
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J: Well, I was___
D: Now Pftk. X \is older than Pembroke, isn't it? The present building
at __ has it been there as long as you can remember?
J: It was there when I was a small girl. I used to pick huckleberries
and carry them down and sell them for five cent a quart.
D: I' see. Well, 'the tape's about up and thanks a lot, Mrs. Jacobs. Thanks
for the interview and thanks for your cooperation. So I suppose we'll
be signing off here and I've enjoyed the conversation and appreciate
your cooperation and interested in what you had to say and I hope that
you have' many, many more years left ahead. This is Adolph Dial, July
the twenty-stixth, 1969, signing off on this tape.
j Z -ftcing- Zvef beaA I-re Q> e eno -----nL-- --- '
r 4 ?
*-' .... l dead and gone.
D: Let's see, one other word, what'did you say?
3: I said I hope I won't have many more years r
' i ii,