Title: Rev. D. F. Lowry
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007176/00001
 Material Information
Title: Rev. D. F. Lowry
Physical Description: Book
Publication Date: 1969
Copyright Date: 1969
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00007176
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text
October 4, 1969 Transcribed: q- 2q5'S
LUM-199A K. Johnson
INTERVIEWEE: Reverend D.F. Lowry
D: This is October 4, 1969. Adolph Dial speaking, Associate Professor of History,
Pembroke State University. I am here at the home, once again, of the Reverend
D.F. Lowry, an old friend of mine, and old Methodist friend. Reverend Lowry
has been in the Methodist Church for many years and is acquainted with the
church movement in this area among the Lumbee Indians more than any other man.
He worked with W.R. Moore in the Methodist Church many years ago, a
pioneer of Methodism among the Lumbee Indians. This time I'm going to turn
the mike over to him and let him speak on the history of the Methodist Church
among the Lumbee Indians in Robeson County. Also he will probably mention the
fact that there are some Methodist churches, Lumbee Methodist churches in
South Carolina, and also something about the work of Moore in the Hamlet area
up in Richmond County, where there are'some Lumbees who with some
of the white members up in that area. Moore, at one time, was pastor of this
church. Alright, Mr. Lowry, suppose you take over?
L: Thank you. Well, I'm now eighty-eight years old and I've had a lot of exper-
ience as far as the churches are concerned. Prior to the Civil War there wasn't
much organizations among any of the races and people kind of went to church
independently. They hired their preachers and hired who they wanted and church
organizations were very thin. But later on the Methodist Church was all through
the states and the Indians and whites would go to the same church in various
places. Now they would hire preachers and some of the congregation was white
and some Indian, and kindly cooperative church going. It wasn't much organi-
zation but finally the Methodist Church was organized and covered all the states.
It was just considered the Methodist Church. But when the states seceeded
from the Union, the southern states, about thirteen--eleven--thirteen-somewhere,
seceeded from the Union, that divided the Methodist Church. When the southern

page 2
L: states that seceeded from the Union, they called themselves Southern Methodists
and they severed from the other Methodists, which the Southern Methodists would
call them Northern Methodists, but they didn't claim to be Northern Methodists.
They said we're au L everywhere. So after the states seceeded from the
Union the Southern Methodists then wasn't particularly interested in taking
the Indians along in the churches, and that left them kindly independent. So
the Indians got together and they said, now, the Methodist Church is moving
back down south and we would like to get connected with them. And so they
organized-what they called a Southern Central Conference. This is Methodist,
now, not what we would call Northern Methodists, they are moving back down
into Southern states. And so the Indians got together and s fid, now, we would
like to connect ourselves with the Methodist Church. The Southern Methodists
doesn't pay much attention to us but we think the other church would, what we
would say the Northern Methodists. So they appointed the two leading preachers
we've had, the two educated preachers: Reverend W.L. Moore, and Reverend H.A.
Lowry were the outstanding preachers among our race of people. And so they
elected Mr. Moore and Mr. Lowry delegates to go up to the annual conference
and get them to take us in to the church. You know, people are peculiar.
They were wondering who will get the credit, Mr. Moore, or Mr. Lowry? And
they lived in different communities. The community of 3 6s got togehiter
and said now, Mr. Moore is pretty smart. If they go up there together I
think he'll get the credit. Suppose we send our delegateLowry a day ahead,
and he might get the credit, you know. That's peculiar among any race of
people. Everybody has the credit of doing things, especially when they think
about doing a great public...starting a great move. And so they decided that
Lowry...they was to go Wednesday morning, get on the train at ___and

page 3
L: go west, to where they were holding a national conference. The Lowry communi-
ty decided to send their delegate Tuesday, so Mr. Lowry got on the train Tues-
day at and went off a day ahead. The next day Mr. Moore, the
other delegate came to meet the train and asked about Mr. Lowry and they said,
why, he let off yesterday morning. He's already up there. So Mr. Moore
decided that if they were going to be like that that he would withdraw. So
he goes back home, nEd then he goes up and puts the Indian churches into the
Protestants. This was a white association so he put the Indian church as a
Protestant association and he was appointed a kind of superintendent of the
work and so he pastored two or three white churches up around Hamlet and then
Prospect Indian Church here in the county, and H.H. Lowry put the Indians in
the Methodist Church, so they were considered Northern Methodists, and they
went along that way quite a while. Finally the Protestants and
Methodists got together again and they worked together pretty
a while. Now, during the time of the Southern Methodists, there was one place
down, a church called Bethel, considered a white church but they had two aisles
in the church. This church sometimes is called Dogwood, near Rowan. They
had two aisles in the church, and the middle row of pews, that made three row
of pews, the central row of pews, had a slat in the end, all of the way down
on top of the pews from the pulpit back to the back door, and the Indians sat
on one side of the slat and the whites on the other. So the Indians and whites
used to go together like that, the division of the slat nailed down on top of
the pews. But the Indians finally went ahead and built their own churches.
The fact is that the whites moved out and built them an independent church away
from the Indians and turned Bethel Church over to the Methodist Indians,
and so they still hold that...of course, the old church has been moved out to
the school But Ou) CrI, e the fact
.Butln~r ~Y the fc

page 4
L: that they divided these two educated preachers were already good friends--
one was a Protestant and one Methodist, but they remained friendly tjotij/l i
the fact that they didn't delegate together and things didn't
work out just like it did. The later on the churches kept progressing,
building more and more churches and finally the Southern Central Methodist
Conference changed their name to the Blue Ridge Conference, and whenever the
Southern Methodists seceeded from the Union for a little while, the Southern
Methodists wasn't so particular about the Indian work. They were a little
careless about that, but when they failed to take care of the Indians at the
general conference of the what they called the Methodists, they passed a law
that they would move the boundary lines so that they would ico-er these Indian
churches. They changed the boundary line and, their hands on these Indians.
knoorl as
churches here in what is as Robeson County. So we got along alright until
finally the Blue Ridge Conference decided they should have two conferences
and they organized an Atlantic Mission Conference and put a general superin-
tendant over the Atlanti missionn Conference.A That Atlantic Mission Conference
covered the Indian work here in Robeson Coutny. But after a year or two they
sent all the preachers, white, to serve all the Indian churches, and we had
Reverend John Thompson, H.H. Lowry, and four or five Indian preachers and
not all of them got charged. They sent three or four white preachers and they,
the white preachers, covered all the Indian work in the Methodists, and the
Indian preachers got together and decided they would withdraw and organnize
and Indian conference, known as the Lumbee Indian Mission Conference. So
t.ej Mt 4 O),.i-'l C!.jr and Mrs, Reverend Mr. John H. Samson was chairman of
the meeting and H.H. Lowry was secretary, and they organized a church. Then
after, at the close of the meeting, they appointed H.H. Lowry as the superin-
tendent, presbyter. And then they divided the churches. Hopewell Church

page 5 el c.- -
L: divided up and built another church just a mile down Wd. Bethel Church
divided up andThbuilt another church about two miles away known as New Bethel,
and Hopewell, Pleasant Grove, the Hopewell Church was known as Pleasant Grove,
and down where they divided it, Church, they named the other
'I4 waS
church New Bethel. So f Bethel Church and New Bethel. Bethel Church
was the Northern Methodist Church, and New Bethel was in the Lumbee Conference.
So New Hope Church, then, it was in the Lumbee Conference in the new organization
but later on, why, they withdrew from the Lumbee Conference and became inde-
pendent. So thevchurches were divided. Union Chapel Church, where they organ-
ized the Lumbee Conference, it divided and split up, but the majority at the
place where they organized wasn't for the new organization and they came away
oiNo Yl'er
about a mile and built -a-new church. I don't remember the name of it, but
this church was just a mile this side of Union Chapel, and they divided all
around until there was about nine churches in the Lumbee Conference and about
nine in the Blue Ridge Conference. Finally the Atlantic Mission Conference
failed and they went back into the Blue Ridge Conference. When they went back
to the Blue Ridge Conference there was one move made to send a delegate up and
ask for the Blue...pardon me, the Atlantic,...I mean this Indian organization
known as the Lumbee Mission Conference...they were to send a delegate up to
the n _wu_\ Conference and have this Indian work set off as a district.
But the delegate decided that.hey wouldn't go, so they went ahead and organ-
ized an 0>lL\ Conference. The first move was to have an Indian
district set off and that failed so they continued-^...the Indian conference
and it exists today as the Lumbee Conference, and they have an annual conference
i he NaJQMe
and have their district superintendent. For a long time they wouldn't have ae
bishop, it was a presbyter. Now they have .eew bishop, andthey have their own
preachers and district superintendent and annual conference. They don't have

page 6
L: a what we call a district conference in the middle of the year. We just have
the quarter conference and the annual conference, and they're building nice
churches over the county, as nice a churches as the other denominations are
building. And our churahes...we're all building nice churches and each one
is trying to have love and cooperation ith each other and try to work together
in harmony. That's the situation at the present.
D: Thank you, Mr. Lowry. Now odayI notice we have two churches down in South
Carolina, Fairview, and Hickory Grove. Will you tell us a little something
about those two churches down there?
L: Those two churches in South Carolina were...they were kind of independent churches,
but they finally joined in with the Northern Methodist Church, and we organized
a...two Methodist churches in South-Carolina and they were connected with our
conference. Now understand me, they were out of the state, but several people
down in Dillon County moved from Robeson, and having been in the Methodist Church
in Robeson County, they wanted to continue- with the Methodist Church. So we
proceeded to build two churches down there and they went along with our Indian
churches in what we considered a white culture.
D: Now, what about the work up around Hamlet, in Richmond County? Moore did quite
a bit of preaching up there. ferm you tell us something about the churches up
in Richmond County, Indian and white churches?
L: The white churches were Protestant while Mr. Moore was connected, but when a
unification came here between the Protestants and the Methodists, then these
white churches around Hamlet kept on 4wi their Protestant work, and this one
Indian church, Yir. Moore brought it into the Methodist Church. When he came
he brought the Indian Church over into our conference. And so it remained in
our conference for several years, but now I understand it is connected with
some kind of Pentecostal Church.

page 7
D: Yes, now, what about the...what about the Baptists? Were the Methodists here
before the Baptists? I believe you told me a story a while ago about how they
started in the area.
L: There used to be only three churches among the...what we would call the Lumbee
cu-tC- OF- L -A
Indians, now that's the proper name. We only had three churches andNthe oldest
church is the New Hope Church. The Baptists, you know, they believe in immer-
sion. So several of the preachers, they went to Hope Church one Sunday, and
they saidw)would like to have a Baptist Church, we'd like to start a Baptist
Church. We believe in Baptism by immersion only, and we've got a lot of
people that really wants to be a Baptist Church. The Baptist preachers made
a talk there in the Methodist Church and said, now, all of you that believe
in baptism y immersion, you get up and follow us out, and half of the congre-
gation got up and walked out, and they went and organized the Harper's Ferryi
I think that was one of the leading, beginners of the Baptist Indian churches
A that came from New Hope Church.
D: What about the other denominations, now? We have the Pentecostal Holiness, and
we have the Gospel l ____, and so forth. Do you know anything about.
those? About the time they came, or when and how, and so forth?
L: Well I remember when the Free Will Baptist started, Reverend Mr. Jimmy
Mailer came down from the Fairville community, Samson County. He organized
Free Will Baptist. We didn't have any Free Will Baptists prior to Mr. Mailer.
He was a great preacher, you know, and he came down and set up the
Conference, and that made then, the Methodist Conference, the
Free Will Baptist Conference, and the Association. The
Baptists organized the Association, so we had the
Association, and the Free Will Baptist Conference, and then
the Methodist Conference, and then they had the LumbeeMission Conference. W
the Methodist Conference, and then they had the LumbeehMission Conference. Well

page 8
L: then the...later on the Holiness came in. Fire baptized the Holiness.A hey
didn't want to eat meat and they didn't want to smokeAso they divided the
Free Will Baptist Church up, and they had the fire baptized the Holiness.
That went a while and they built their churches, and then it was later on
changed to Pentecostal Holiness. Then they divided up on, I think growing
tobacco. They decided it was wrong to grow tobacco, and so they organized
another Holiness Church known as the Church of God. So now, after the
Church of God got started, then we had among our race of people the Methodist
Church and the Association, and the Free Will Baptist
Conference, and then the Holiness Conference, First Fire
Baptized Holiness, and then Pentecostal and Church of God, and then the Church
of God here in Pembroke withdrew from the Pentecostal Holiness, and they're
all building nice, big churches, kindly cooperating pretty well together.
+ henaa little later on the Seventh Day Adventists came in and they built a
nice church, and now we have the Latter Day Saintsncome in and built about
the nicest church we got in the county, so we've got the Latter Day Saints,
which was formerly known as the Mormon Church and the Seventh Day Adventists,
and we had a meeting here last year, and about all of them took part in this.
I think Seventh Day Adventists and
Latter Day Saints, I'm not sure they took much stock in it but later on we
missed one. The Gospel Hall, they used to be called _____ _rr and
they've got two or three churches in the county. So we've got everything
but the Presbyterians, and we thought maybe the Presbyterians would come by
D: By the way, that's a very important point. How do you account for the fact
that there are no Presbyterians among the Lumbee ndians? There is no Presby-
terain Church.

page 9
L: I tell you, we have to take off our hats to the Presbyterians. They didn't
license a man until he was prepared. You know, they had the same fears
that the medical field has. They say, we don't want a doctor unless he's
been to school and got his degree, and the Presbyterian says we don't want
a preacher unless he's gone through the seminary and gives the Bible a good
study. So we didn't have among'our Indians any preachers who had gone through
the theological seminary, and that kept the Prebyterians out. They were a
little aristocratic, you know. You had to be trained to be Presbyterian,
and we didn't have the trained men.
D: In other words, you figure.p.what you're saying here, the Lumbee Indians sey
that if they had gone into the Presbyterian church, they had no one qualified
to become ministers. This would have left them out. Therefore they preferred
to be with denominations where they could qualify and participate in the
church. And of course, we have no Catholic Church among the Lumbee Indians.
Of course, the reason for this would be quite obvious. Well, wajt do you view
for the future here among the Lumbee churches? Do you see any ecumenical
movement or any unification? Do you think it will ever come, or what is your
prediction in the future?
L: I think that the denominations will loosen up...there's not as much kick against
each other. The Holiness and the Baptists and Methodists are more cooperative
now when we have a meeting. Used to, you know, one would have to do the other
one and have something different, you know, but they're findly getting more
intelligent now. The Holiness, they have their services and are just about
as up to date as anybody else, and when they first came around they would
hold service till after midnight. Now they go along with the Methodista and
the Baptists, and I think they'll be more cooperative and in the future they
will work together, and there will be some consolidation among the churches.

page 10
L: When the Holiness all get together, instead of having two or three kinds of
Holiness, I believe they'll finally get together, and I think the Methodists
will kindly more cooperative. I think the future will hold good and we'll
have less denomination among the Indians.
IN 4te Clurcle f
D: Thank you. What have you observed in recent years^that you have worked with
.-4the Lumbee churches. What observation we4d you maek today of changes
that have taken place in the churches over the years from the standpoint of
th' structure of the buildings, worship power, revival meetings, and so forth?
I (
L: They had more cooperation because at this time the Methodists were selectiete
a preacher from the Indian conference, the Lumbee Conference, to assist in
the revival meetings. And the Baptists have Methodist preachers assisting
in revival meetings. And the Methodists are using Baptist preachers, and
they're working more in harmony with each other. They're learning that we're
all learning Christ, and there's more cooperation now than there's ever been
before. For instance, we had Prospect Church, one little building there about
75 years old, and we decided we ought to have a brick building up there. It
was a good community and outstanding people and just a little church there
with one room, and all the Sunday school classes in one room and the people
decided they wanted to enlarge and build a brick church. And so they decided
they would have a box Ai#f9 and they invited the people to bring boxes
from the Baptist churches and from the Methodist churches, and Free Will...
everybody was invited to bring a box and so at the box supper we raised about
$3300. Then they put on a preaching mission. They asked that tey have a
different preacher every night for about ten days, so we selected a preacher
from every denomination, one or two Baptists and one or two Methodists, and
from the LUmbee Conference we just gotthe preachers--from the different denom-
inations and we started preaching on Saturday night, and the offering was

page 11
L: $250.00; Sunday at 11 o'clock t went up and Sunday night it went up, Monday
night it went up, and on through the week, and I think the last Sunday, the
last Sunday night it was a Baptist minister, and the offering on the last
Sunday night was...I don't know, it was up close to $1500.00 or more. In fact
the ten day preaching mission netted more thetl$5000.00. Each preacher of the
various denominations took his own offering, and every time the offering went
AIA-t W -bt thek 4be
higher and higher. The Baptists dd-im-o-er-andn-thente Methodists weoW go
ahead, and thesathe Methodists i -re Baptists we ahead and on
through the line and it just kept increasing and we raised more than $5000.00
and now they've got a mlaCrt up there, a church and an educational
building, I suppose it would run up towards $175,000.
D: How many Methodist churches do we have today in the North Carolina Conference?
Lets' see if I can name them: there4AProspect Methodist Church, First Methodist
Church in Pembroke, Philadelphists Methodist Church in Red Springs, and the
Plains Methodist Church located between Union Chapel and Pembroke, and Branch
yes taBra,:J If OC
Street Methodist Churchtin Lumberton, and what's another one? Highlands Chapel
Methodist Church at or Lumber Bridge? Lumber Bridge. And
As Pole Methol.ist Church, would that be Rolling Rock? Center,
located at Center School. Have I mentioned them all? Oh yes,
Pleasant Grove in the Hopewell Community, and this includes all of them that
we've mentioned in Robeson County, right? Yes. We've mentioned all of them
in Robeson County. Now in South Carolina you have Fairview. And where is
Fairview located inSouth Carolina?
D: Across Baker's Mill. That's not too far from McCall, right?
D: Hickory Grove.

page 12
D: And don't we have oneup at, in Samson County, one Methodist Church, one Indian
Methodist Church in Samson, and that's the only one, isn't it? What is the
name of that church? I believe an Indian from...
L: I believe.
D: Yes, yes, I... Methodist Church in Samson County. Rever-
end Wright out there, he's the pastor there. He's an Indian from where?
L: Florida.
D: Yes, he came to Robeson County from Florida. I believe that takes care of all
the Lumbee Methodist Churches. We don't have any in Columbus County and around.
L: The Indians down there, they belong to,Amost of thems.--ehr Baptists, and by the
way, they've got one Presbyterian Church in Columbus County among the Indians.
had Canye
Professor Spaldinghorganized. Fact is, he built a church, I understand, known
as Professor Spalding's Church. Now, that's the Presbyterian Church, and most
churches in Columbus are Baptists, the Baptists down among the Indians. The
Association has some churches down there but the Metho-
dists didn't happen to get into them.
D: I see. I didn't know they had a Presbyterian Church down among the Lumbees in
Columbus County. Reverend Lowry, over the years we've had quite a bit of
division in the area, splitting churches and denominations, and other denomina-
tions splitting off from that denomination. A good example, that New Prospect
left old Prospect, and Island Grove left New Prospect. New Prospect became a
member of the Lumbte River Holiness Methodist Church, .Rd Island Grove split
from New Prospect and became a member of the Baptist Church. Now the question
comes up, how do you account for all this division over the years? Do you feel
that the leadership, or the lack of leadership and employment and so forth have
something to do with these splits into various denominations?

page 13
L: Well I know more about the Methokists than the other denominations. While we
were going along nicely in the white conference with a whiteAsuperintendent, of
course we would meet at the annual conference and there was no 'difference made
in the Indian churches and the white churches until when the Indians would get
work to do, all of a sudden the fact some of the pastors would be white and
some would be Indians, they were working together along, during that period
okay. Cooperation was among the people and there wasn't much distinction, but
later on sometimes one white minister would say how do you feel here among these
Indians? And he would say, well, I feel just like I'm one of them. And one
like that, you know, he had more influence among the Indians. The thing that
caused the split aeng the Methodists here and caused the Indian conference was
the fact that the white superintendent sent all white preachers one year and
set all the leading Indian preachers aside and didn't give them any charge what-
and turned
ever, all the work over to the white ministers, and that caused the split
in the Methodist church. But the Baptists, I don't know too much about them,
but I know one thing--the Association, for thirty years, didn't
seem to progress. Finally a move came up that they would connect themselves
to the white association, to the State Baptist Convention. They had never been
in The State Baptist Convention. They were Indians, just a Indian
Association. And so the move goolp among them that they wasn't progressing
like they should and they should connect t the State Baptist Co-vention.
And so they took -in -it-. first, kindly on probation, and they didn't have them
vote and so on and that w aes a while and finally they took them in to full
membership in the State Baptist Association, and then the Associ-
ation got to improving in leaps and bounds mntil now they have forty-some
churches in the Lumbee Indian race. As soon as they connected with the State
Baptist Convention and cooperated with the white convention, they increased.

page 14
L: And so we can't get anywhere, not...the white people in Robeson County, they
o+k'cr of
would withdraw from all the whites in eve= counties rw the state, they
wouldn't get along too well, so we can't get along unless we have cooperation.
The people should all work together, and not try to be like the man who prayed,
"Oh Lord have mercy upon me and my wife, my son John and his wife) tius J; ,CjI
no more." People should look from the standpoint that the world is their
mission. John Wilson said, The world is my parish',' and so long as we think
Qurve, rI NC\
that we should e-we ourselves in one little res, whether Baptist or what
have you, we don't do well. But if we connect, realizing that the whole
world is our parish, webamount to something worthwhile.
D: I suppose we have today, let's see, forty-some Baptistchurches, about nine or
ten Methodist, about the same number Lumbee River Holiness, and we must have
close to seventy-five, maybe eighty churches among the Lumbee Indians here in
the county. How do you account for the fact that the Baptists grew in member-
ship faster than the Methodists, and yet the Methodists were active arong the
Lumbe+ndians before the Baptists, but yet the Baptists seem to lead the Metho-
dists in membership. How do you account for this?
L: The Methodists were more careful about licensing preachers. They were sort of
imitating the Presbyterians. They wanted trained ministers and they didn't
organize as many preachers as the Baptists. The Baptists went ahead,they would
license a man even if he couldn't read. They wasn't particular if a man came
up and wanted a license, they licensed him, and the g ud license preachers
without preparation, but the Methodists was more particular about getting trained
men. I think that's the reason why the Baptists beat the Methodists in ?uilir g
churches and so on.
D: I noticed quite a few of the Lowrys became ministers. How do you account for

page 15
L: Well they were...went to school and they were more particular about going to
school. They wanted to prepare themselves, you know, for the ministry. They
lookiVt UV eaocAliOoolly/
' d tio,-th c r, you know.
D: Thank you Mr. Lowry, now let's change thoughts here from the church for just a
minute. What do you think happeneA to Henry Berry Lowry?
L: Well, my...what I think might not be true, but I think he left here.
, I know there's a Mr. Marcus Dial, I believe, in the Prospect
community. He told me that one Sunday morning he was walking Uaj the road
above and Henry Berry was standing over there in the woods and
he said, "Come over here, Mr. Dial." He said, these soldiers that is down
'is on the train
here working rr leaving tomorrow4 and the general told me if I wanted to go
with them, I could go with them. Everybody knowing me by a spot on my face,
but he told me he would bandage my face up and bandage several of the soldier's
faces up and pretend they had bad cold, they had the cold, and they were
doc ring our colds. He would fix me up and put the same kind of uniform on
me as he did the cther soldiers and we would go off and no one would know about
it. And Mr. Dial told me, Ve said Henry, that's thee: thing I'd do. If I was
you I'd let them put that bandage around my face and put a uniform on, and I'd
go right on with those men, and that's the last I ever heard of Henry Berry
Lowry. Now my thinking is that he left here alive. Of course, now, I used
to preach over in South Carolina down near Clio, and then I pastored a church
up near Baker's Mill above Rowan, and I'd go down in the morning and preach at
11 o'clock at Clio and come back up to the other church in the afternoon. And
tA[h borr4 aN retfC c
I stopped for dinner down there, Mr. Locklear's in that community,
and he said one of the outstanding white men farmers of the country went to
New York one day and he was gone about a week. When he came back he came over
to my house and said, Locklear, I've got something.here, a picture I want to

page 16 I
L: show you. I bet you w;aLt know who it is. And he showed the picture, and
this Mr. Locklear, this was when I was a young minister, and this was an old
man I was talking to. He said, I know who that is, that's Henry Berry Lowry,
sure as the world, that's Henry Berry Lowry, the man says, that's exactly who
it is. He says while I was in New York I went down the wholesale street, and
I walked by a man sitting out in the sunshine and I looked at him, and I went
on down the street, and I said to myself, I've seen that man before. And I
walked back up tLe street by him and I looked at him again, and I said to my-
self that's Henry Berry Lowry, because he used to stay around in our community
two weeks at a time, and he'd come to my homeland we'd feed him and his troop.
That was when the outlaws was out, and I'd eA-him fsO weeks at a time. I
walked back down and he looked at me and I looked at him and we both smiled.
I said, I believe I know you, and he said, I know you too. So he called my
name and I called him his name. I says, you're Henry Berry Lowry...yeah...and
he took me to his house, he had a nice home, and _,and
we had a big conversation and he gave me this picture. I decided that you
remembered him too because he used to come in with his rifZe...you told me
about his rifle...I just wanted to know if you remembered about Henry Berry
Lowry. I said, Mr. Locklear, what did you do with that picture? I let my
daughter have it, she wanted it. I-e4-id where is your daughter? She lives
in Florida somewhere. I said, I'll give you $25 if you'll get me that picture.
He says, well, I don't know, I haven't seen her in several years. If I ever
=mr across Ikr and she's got the picture,, I'll pick it up for you. I haven't
-fel Ant ihew cAle Jai o.,,ii- tHc Ml ad rhe
heard any more t the picture. The -- WtiL It go l Llern~ 7
~}-{\ S'/rC belle CV.A Z God; L Ok(;\/iM, #si (Aa~ t
ano-th.ers ntUy; 4 T-I-JssCi h 3 -4aa, my mother's sister's son came from
X bi, we t (Mia rou-c
Georgia here ontbusiness and wentAaround the mill bo-ie one day. He says, you
know, weIadnnhGA A
know, when I was down on the Gulf I was walking up and down the Gulf and I

page 17
L: passed by a man sitting out there and I looked at him and I said that's Henry
Berry Lowry, sure as the world. And I walked on down the street and went on
back by aneclooked at him again and I stopped, and I said, I believe I know
you. Yes, I know you too. And he called my name and I called his name, and
we had a conversation, we shook hands, and he took me to his home for dinner.
Well he...down on the Gulf, now, he had a lot of boats and people rented boats.
They'd give him a dollar and he would drive his boat out on the Gulf and back
and just had his boat place there, tenting boats, and I stayed down there for,
two or three weeks and talked to Henry Berry and he told me all about his work
in Robeson County, the different things he had done and I knew all about it,
and I spent a long time with him down there. He told me that in the summer
he worked down here...during the summer he went north...he was shunning the
cold weather. In the summer he went north and in the winter he came south.
So he had -this job here and...to run... 3 he wintertime...it's warm
down there in the wintertime, so I work down here in the wintertime while
it's warm down south and then when it's real cold up north I'm down here, and
then when it's cold down here...oh oh...it's vice versa. I'm shunning the
cold weather. I'm here in the wintertime while it would stay warm, and in
the summertime I'm in New York. He said New York and Florida on the Gulf
are my headquarters. And so so far as I know Henry terry was still going.
D: Did you ever hear the story of him attending Mr. Thinkler Lowry's funeral?
And who was Mr. Thinkler Lowry?
L: Thinkler Lowry was his brother, and my brother Ab said,
D: What kin are you to Henry BerrY?
L: Henry Berry is my uncle. So my brother Abrer...my father's name is Calvin,
he was Henry Berry's brother, and when Uncle Thinkler died, my brother Ab said
that he saw a strange man and another man come here in a buggy, and he took it

page 18
L: for granted that one of them was Henry Perry, but he wouldn't make himself known.
But on the way back that evening he stopped here, side of the road with me, and
I talked to Henry Berry. He didn't make himself known down at the funeral, but
he remembered me. When I was a little boy, Henry and myself, my father had
bees, and Henry Berry would come out to our house on Sunday and help us hive bees,
wol 0H't
and I knew my unclefhen I saw him but I d-th-t say anything. But I'm confident
that he was at his brother Thinkler's funeral. The last thing I heard about
Henry Berry was when my brother Abner, who, when he was a little boy his uncle
helped hive bees, and he made himself known to him. That's the last I ever heard
of him.
D: There was a lot of talk about him being dead and making the coffin and all. Do
you think this could have been a fake?
L: I'm sure about that, because when I taught school out at Chapel,
said that he shot himself Cl> & t+-e C crb he had a muzzle-loading gun, and
he put the cap on too early before he put the load in. He put the cap on aia
then the powder and then he shot, and the gun fired and
brett: hi 1\
killed. They came down and hid him in the swamp and e-out that sight and
asked me did I want to look at him. I told them no, I didn't want to see him
and they said they was going to take him over to the back swamp and bury him.'
They went on and they said they passed by Uncle Patrick's up there above
Harper's Ferry went in and told him they had tai e,,J Ou1 Sheae
the back swamp to bury him. Do you want to see him? His brother
Patrick said, no, I don't want to see him, because Patrick knew 1 wos _,
humbluy and they went on with him and buried him, Aunt Francis told
me, and then later on I told Arlo Lowry my story, and that was Aunt Francis' son.
He said, she's got that wrong. I was in the yard one morning and I saw the out-
laws coming, and Henry Berry was walking way behind and he come inside the yard

page 19
L: and I saw him take a string and tie around the trigger of his gun and put his
shoe toe in a loop on the string and put the gun on his chin and kicked his
foot and shot himself right there in front of the house door. So his mother
told me he shot himself iN +re CtI and her son Arlo Lowry told me
he kicked it off there in the yard in front of the house door. There probably
isn't nothing to any of it--it was all humbug.
D: I suppose the mystery of the whole thing and the good stories, the fact that
no one seemed to be absolutely sure what happened to him, and if anyone, or
those who did know, they kept it a good, good secret, and no one collected the
$10,000 that the government had for his body, dead or alive. So I suppose if
we knew for sure hat happened to this man, perhaps it wouldn't be quite such a
fascinating story today. Don't you think so?
L: Well, it's impossible to know just what happened to him because there's been no
proof about it. There's been so many different stories. You know, Mr.
, when I was telling the school up there at at the
old college, called Powhatan College back then. Mr.
lived at the railroad and he told me that they buried Henry Berry nrt there in
V Branch, a little branch that passed his house. They got out in the middle of
that branch and buried him and moved on and put oak leaves
and straw right around the branch and made it so it wasn't visible, and he was
buried right there close to his house in V Branch.
D: Well I suppose we could get a hundred different stories on this man as to how
he left. Of course, we feel that someone knew what happened to him, but at
least they didn't tell. So that remains a mystery and of course, perhaps no
one is living today who was living back at this time because his reign was from
1864 to 1874, where really we didn't hear any more of Henry Berry himself after

page 20
D: 1872, and of course, the gang was finished after 1874. So it was quite an
interesting decade...
D: ...of history and so forth. By the way,do you Eel that he might have been
L: He must have been, because a white man had his rifle made...he did all his
work with. White people would give him pistols and ammunition. ite people
work with. White people would give him pistols and ammunition.A White people
was his friends. They would catch him in the woods where they could have
killed him, and they'd say Henry, you're doing just what I'd have done. If
they treated my parents like they did yours and my people like they did yours,
I'd do just what you're doing, and it's a fascinating story, but the secret,
one of the main secrets is that he had too many white friends that was backing
him up. If the white friends hadn't backed him up, why, they would have...K.e
would have been captured. He was backed by the white friends. They let him
get by in many places whif they could have had him, so he had good backing
among the white people.
D: Yes, it appears that many white people aided Henry, oftentimes giving him food
and ammunition, and so forth. As you say, they could have killed him but they
didn't. Well, thank you, Mr. Lowry. This is the third hour we've concluded
with you, and we now have three hours of tape on you, we appreciate all this
information and we might make a fourth one some time. This is Adolph Dial
signing off, October 4, 1969.

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs