March 3rd, 2015 marked the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of the Lowry War. The events surrounding the end of the War remain shrouded in mystery and controversy. On February 15th, 1872, the Gang robbed a general store and the sheriff’s office of supplies and anywhere from $22,000-$28,000. Three days later, Henry Berry was reported dead, but Wishart insisted it was a hoax and continued hunting him. Other members of the Gang were either killed or fled the county. Months prior to being killed by a local storekeeper, Andrew Strong shot and killed Wishart.
The only Gang member who was never accounted for was the legendary Henry Berry Lowry. Theories surrounding his disappearance are numerous. However, no one can say what happened to him for sure, as even his closest family members remained silent regarding the matter. To this day, many people within the Lumbee community retell stories of the Lowry War with Henry Berry as a heroic “Robin Hood” figure. This year, we commemorate one of the most important and turbulent events of North Carolina and United States history.
Nowhere Else on Earth
Nowhere Else on Earth is a fictitious work that highlights the Lowry War from the perspective of Rhoda Lowry, Henry Berry’s wife. Other authors have also focused on the Lowry War and the accomplishments of the Lowry Gang. At times, legend has dominated historical fact.
Courtesy of Joseph Locklear
Henry Berry Lowry has become a recognizable legend in the Lumbee community. Here, his image is depicted on a button. Tribal members also commemorate his accomplishment on T-Shirts, in paintings, and in other formats.
Henry Berry Lowry Commemorative Medal, 1976
North Carolina Collection Gallery
This medal testifies to Henry Berry Lowry’s legacy as a hero to the Lumbee people. The text surrounding Lowry’s portrait reads “Freedom Forever/ Born 1847/ Vanished 1872.” The medal’s reverse depicts Pembroke State University, and was likely used as a fundraiser for the school.
Hoax Page- February 18, 1872
18 H.B. reported killed by Slim all a hoax- I hear from others occasionally. It Turns out that this Doctor Marden is a dect. [detective] is employed by Lowery, this clan & has rendered them good services. HB claims to off Paid them a vast amt of money is supposed that he was the planner in this latest robbery.