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Full text of "The Swamp outlaws, or, The North Carolina bandits : being a complete history of the modern Rob Roys and Robin Hoods"

l:t::r^ft.t f 11 



Cj EX "I I B R I S t Jifea-g^ 

BRUCE COTTEN 

COLLECTION 

GF 

NORTH CAROLINIANA 



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OKBlRBEftsl 



Note: This book not to be copied 
by instant copier. Photo- 
graphs have been copied and 
the North Carolina Collect- 
ion has negatives for re- 
production purposes. 




^j 







III pn'scnfiiiirtlils Series of iiitonsoly interostiiis? SEA ROMANCES to the Readinj? Coi 
iiiiinilv, file riihlislioi- luis the satisfaction of liiiouiii? that they are 

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a 

LIST OF BOOKS COMPRISING THE 

''RED IWOLiP" 



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described-Titrousrhoul the book the ^iVolf sIiowk his fan^s. 

No. 2. Th@ Black Brothers. 

A Sail iu Si:;iu-Thc Criuisuii Oranarht J— Kousrh ^Veather— The Young^ Pilot Appea. 
— Tlie Queeu of the .nist— Meath on the Altar Steps— Waitiug- for Death on tit 
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Ilarrv's StiaSaKem— Ke.l ^Voif% Resol vc-St.irtlinar Discoveries— The Pirate Shi 
Itlown I'p-Ked AVolf (ondeuined— Horrible Cruelties of the Indians— The Shii 
on Fire. 

Itfo. 4. The M^ffsterious Cavern. 

l::scupL' from the Pirates-A Misfht in the Convent— The Terrible Coufession— Th 
.■^1 jsleraous JCxccutioner. 

IVTo. 5. Jamha^ the Blach Pirate. 

'Ihe l»lot— The Meed of Blond— Tlie I»i;ule Ivingr doom« the Vatikcc I'j-ivateer to Beat! 
-The Brave lieutenant -.^Icctiu^ of Ihe Black Panther and the Albatros 

No. 6. The Black ESagle. 

.\:jrht on the Waters— A Treacherous Trick- The Bandit and his Cliarg-e— The t,on( 
House- Mysterious Affair— The Accident in the Vaults. 



No. 7. Diana^ the Sorceress. 



The Stransre Missive— The Duel b>- Mooniisrht -The Marocn fterl-An Old Salt— Th 
'I'erriblc's Cabin— Strange Scenes at the Wedding- of Estelle The C^aptain of th 
Schooner proves himself to be a Villain. 



No. 8. The Ocean Monarch. 






Clever Trick-Fearful Trap— Charley Precipitated into the Y'awning- Gulf !— Ashlej 
in his Cell -A Strangre Scene— Death of the Black Pirate— Conclusion. 



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PRICE TWENTY -FIVE CENTS EACH. 

Sitiffle copies sent to any address, in the United States, or Canada, postage free, on recet'p* y ;$tail price 
( Ticentif-fue cmts ) Affdras 

R. M. DeWITT, Publisher, 

33 Rose St., betiveen Ouane and Frankfort Sts., New York. 



THE 



SWAMP OUTLAWS: 



OR, 



THE NORTH CAROLINA BANDITS. 



Being a Complete History of 



THE MODERN ROB ROYS AND ROBIN HOODS. 



«♦■ 4» «»■ 



NEW-YORK : 
ROBERT M. DE WITT. PUBLISHER. 

NO. S3 ROSE STREET, 
{Between Duane and Frankfort Ureets) 



INTRODUCTION. 



-^* -♦•^ •»'<^— 



The liomelj'' old ndage tli:it there is noUiin^- " new tinder the sun " is coiiPtantly 
vcrifu'fl bj- actual facts occm iiif;- evciy day. The accouiils handed down by tradition 
of" tiie bold arclMM" Kobin Hood" kee[)hig whole counties on the alert, and disputing 
the li^-lii to kill fat bucks in tlie i\>yal torest with the boldest barons, have scenied al- 
most too daring forbelief, yetliere we have— in this cnligiitened period of the world's 
history — a whole State of the most powerful and most enliglilened nation of" tlie 
earth successfully defied by a band ol less than a dozen Outlaws. Individual 
hunters essay to track and capture Ihoni, and their bones bleach in t!ie forest paths 
for their temerit}', troops — regtUar and irregular — alteuipt tlieir subjugation, and are 
ingloriously repelled b}'^ these dauntles, law-defying Bandits, ' 

Not only are thej' secure in their swauipj-^ retreats. They boldly make raids into 
the neighboring cotuitry, and release prisoners from the constituted authoi-itios. 
They fearlessly enter towns and deliberately carry off the municipal archives and 
county treasiu'es — removing by main force immense Herring safes, whose strength 
bafllcd violence and whose ingeniouslj'^-coustrucled locks no skill could opoji. 

The most fertile brain never conjuied up such deeds of courage, ciuolty and skill- 
ful military strat;\gem as bavc marked tiie career of these undaunted men, in whose' 
veins the blood of tiie Indian antl Negro is sti-angely connningled. indeed, it seems 
jis if the white Frankenstein by his crimes lias raised a fearful monster that will not 
tlown at the bidding ot his affrighted master. 

Strange, unlikely and almost incredible as tbc deeJs may appear ■which crimson 
the sluggish swamp streams of the Old North State, and which are graphically 
narrated in the following pages,tbey may be relied on as perfeclly antlieutic. They 
are collected from the cohunns of the ^ <w York Herald. It seems almost superllu- 
ous, at this late daj', to say anything in praise of the wonderful resources and world- 
reacliing enterprises of this great journal. At a time when the proprietor of the 
Herald is supporting a corps of brave men in the dense tropical forests ot Africa, 
seeking to reach and save Livingstone (a task, by tbe way, that bis own government 
has slirank from); when his coriespondeuts are interviewing Bismarck and compar- 
ing notes with Gladstone — be finds time and means to send an intelligent corres- 
pondent I'igbt into tlie heart of tbe country where the red bowie-knife and death- 
dealing rifles of tbe Swamp Outlaws are carrying dismay and terror into the heart.* 
of men, women and children. Indeed, there ai)pears to bo nothing too small foi its 
microscopic or too large foi- its telescopic vision. A Baxter street light or a Sedan 
conflict alike find in the ubiqitous columns of the New York Herald " a local habi- 
tation and a name." 

(vii.) 






THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



Among- the L.owerys, the Outlaw Ter 

rors of North Carolina— Tiisonrora. 
!Seii(\y,al and Caticasian Blood JliiijJ- 
liii;;' ill Tlicir Veins — Histni\- of tli(!ir 
Caiiipaig'n — A Bloody Nine Years' 
Kc;l:oixI— Sixleeu Murders, — Three 
Ilinidred Robberies, and Not a Man 
Lo-t to riie Band— Ho|)oles,s Condi- 
tion ot All'iiis- The Old Nortii State 
Disniaj'e 1 and Battled — Grajilde Pen 
Pietnre of Henry Berry Lowery. 
tiie Ontlaw Ciiief— Portrails ot 
'• B()>^"" Stroni;-, Steve Lower}', 
Anilrew Stronij and Tom Lowery. 

Shoe IIkel, N. C, Feb. 27, 1872. 
The bandit of North Carolina, Henry 
Berry Lowery, standing in perfect dis- 
dain of the autlioritics of the State, as 
well as of the federal troops, it was 
d(?einod necessary to send a Herald 
correspondent to study the situation. 

TO THE SEAT OF WAR. 

1 left Washington City Thursday night 
and reported myself next day at noon 
in the oHice of Governor Walker of Vir- 
ginia. 

The handsomest man in the South was 

seated at tlu; table, signing bills, in the 

old Confederate Supreme Court room. 

His beautiful, grayish black mustache, 

healthy gray hair, clear skin and smiling 

exfu-ession, every inch a loi-d lieutenant 

in the oMest of our shires, grew soberer 

as he said : — 

.^ ^, " Lowery ? Why a captain of the Vir- 

., ginia militia applied to me yesterday to 

^ pbtain permission for himself and forty 

^ men to hunt that fellow in the swamps 

> of North Carolina. Lowery must be a 

^ good deal of a character." 



As I looked over the files of the Rich- 
mond newspapers, and their intimate 
exchanges of the tobacco, rice and tar 
region, I found the question of the day 
to be— Lowery. He was at once the 
Nat Turner, the Osceola, and the Rob 
Roy MacGregor of the South. With 
iriingled ardor and anxiety, desire and 
trepidation, I pushed on by the Weldon 
road to Wilniingt« ii, the largest town of 
the State, where Lowery had once been 
confined in prison. There was there 
but a single question — Lowery. The 
Wilmington papers called the Robeson 
county people cowards for not cleaning 
him out. The Robeson county paper 
hurled back the insinuation, but hurled 
nothing else at Lowery. The State 
government got its share of the blame, 
and the State Adjutant General replied 
in a card that the militia and volunteers 
had no pluck on the occasion when he 
had tried them. Five men had mas- 
tered a Communwealth. 

THE SCARE ON TIJE ROAD. 

An instance of the deep sense of ap- 
prehension created by these Itandits in 
all southeastern Carolina is affirded by 
a dream which Colonel W. H. Barnard, 
editor of the Wilmington Star, related 
to me. The Colonel's paper is eighty 
miles from the scene of outlawry : 

" I dreamed the other night/' said he, 
"that I was riding up the Rutherford 
Railroad, and came to Moss Neck sta- 
tion, where the outlaws frequently ap- 



[ix.] 



10 



THE SWAMP OUTLAVv'S. 



pear. I thought a yellow fellow, Indian- 
look incr, came to the car door and said, 
* Everybody can pass but Barnard! I 
want him !' This was Henry Berry 
Lowery. Then I dreamed they to(»k me 
into some kind of torture place, and 
poked guns at me and tantalized me." 

The newspapers were, however, 
making political c;ipital out of the Low- 
ery gang, instead of calling upon an 
honorable and united State sentiment to 
suppress the scandal. The democratic 
papers cried, " Black Ku Klux !" and the 
republican papers retorted by asking 
where was the valor of the wnite Ku 
Kliix, who could flog a thousand peace- 
ful men, but dared not meet five outlaws 
ill arms. 

"The democrats," said one Robeson 
county man, in my room, "as soon as 
they upset the republicans in Robeson 
county startf'd to annihilateScufflotown 
and its vote by terror. They have been 
beaten in it. That chap Lowery has 
made them a laughing stock. He ought 
to be killed, but they skulk out of his 
reach." 

CRIME WITHOUT A COMPASS. 

Mayor Martin, of Wilmington, Presi- 
dent of the Rutherford Railway, which 
passes through Scuffle-town and the land 
of the outlaws, relates an incident, piti- 
ful at least to Northern ears, of the 
ignorance of these robbers, and the hope- 
less fight they are making within the 
limits of all that is available to them. 
Adjutant General Gorham, who directed 
the late ignominious campaign against 
the Lowery band — where, by current re- 
ports, the main victories gained were 
over the mulatto women, the soldiery 
driving the husbands forth to insult and 
debauch their wives — said that Henry 
Berry Lowery, when asked to withdraw 
from the State, replied : — 



" Rol)( son comity is tlie only iaiiH I 
know. 1 can iiardiy read, and do m-i 
know where to go if i leave these woods 
and swamps, where 1 was raised. If 1 
can get safe conduct and pardon I will 
go anywhere. I will join the United 
States Army and fight the Indians. But 
these people will not let me leave alive, 
and I do not mean to enter any jail 
again. I will never give up my gun." 

Mayor Martin's solution for the diffi- 
culty is for the United States to declare 
martial law over the whole Congression- 
al district in which Robeson county 
stawds, and make a systematic search 
with regular troops for these outlaws. 
He says that when they first took to 
their excursions they were camparitively 
sober, but of late have taken to drinking, 
and about four weeks ago they all, ex- 
cept their leader, got drunk at Ed. 
Smith's store, Moss Neck, and lay there 
all night! "Whiskey," said Mayor 
Martin, " will reduce them in time; but 
they are very careful whose liquor they 
drink in these days. Henry Berrr 
Lowery left his flask hanging an a fence 
a few weeks ago, and when he returnetl 
to get it he made everybody at the sta- 
tion drink with him." 

TO LUMBERTON. 

Early in the morning, Monday, Feb- 
ruary 26, I took the train for Lumber- 
ton, and from the forward car to the tail 
the freight was Lowery. In the second 
class carriage, escorted by two sheriffs, 
MacMillan and Brown, of Robeson 
county, was Pop Oxendine — the previ- 
ous said to be his literal name — brother 
of Henderson Oxendine, the only one 
of the outlaws who was ever brought to 
trial and han"ed. He was chained to a 
regular army soldier, who had recently 
murdered a negro at Scuffletown, and he 
was a remarkable looking mulatto, with 
a yellowish olive .skin, good features, and 



THE SWAxMP OUTLAWS. 



11 



hfindsnme, fippcnling, uiiroliablc, unin- IThe conductors and enginoers say that 



a 

tpi-pretible pair of black oycs. So j^ood 
looking a mulatto man, with such a 
coiujilcxion, 1 had not seen. Like the 
rest, he had the Tuscarora Indian blood 
in liini, with the duplicity of the mixed 
races \vhere the while blood predomi- 
nates, lie was ironed fast to the seat 
and looked at me with a look inquisitive, 
pitiful, evasive and inijcnunus by turns. 
If I should describe the man by the 
words nearest my idea I should cull him 
n negro-Indian gypsy. 

The passengers were apprehensive 
nnd inquisitive together, wanting to 
know all about Lowery and dreadijig to 
encounter him. The fullest, and often 
very intelligent, explanations were mad(> 
to me, and every facility was tciidered 
to assist me to form accurate C(jnclusions 
as to the characters in the band. 

Cobuiel S. L. Fiemont, General 
Superintendent of the Rutherford Rail- 
way, will permit no passenger carrying 
arms for the purpose of shooting 
Liiwery to ride on his trains, as he fears 
that such permission will endanger the 
Rafety of the railway. Lowery could 
loss a train olT almost any day, but he 
seems to hold a supeistitious respect for 
the United States mails. 

A few months ago a man by the 
name of Marsden announced that he 
meant to travel up and down the road 
as a detect've and kill Lowery on sight. 
To put him to the test Lowery and all 
the band appeared with cocl cd shot- 
puns at Moss Neck station, and stood 
at a respertable, yet fui tive, "present 
arms," while the braggart, fur Buch he 
was, crawled under the car seat. 
I>nvery offered $100 reward to anybody 
who would tell him whether Harden or 
Marsden was on the train, as he meant 



then; is perfect safety on the trains, 
although none know when t-he outlaw 
leader may tiike otRnce against the com- 
pany or its ofiieers. 

LUMBEFwTON IN COURT WEEK. 

The Ruthetford Railway traverses the 
counties of the southern tier of North 
Carolina, passing lew towns of the 
magnitude, I'nt built generally through 
till' pilch pile woods, whoso white bob a, 
sti ipped u f jw fiH't from the ground and 
notched to provoke the flow of the sap 
and to catch it, resemble the intermin- 
able tonjbstones of a woodland burial 
ground. Swamps intersect the woods, 
and the resinous-lookin<i waters of 
manv creeks and canals alternate with 
deserted rice fields, the skeletons of old 
turpentine distilleries, the stubble of 
ragged cotton plantations, some oc- 
casional weatiier-blackcned shanties, and 
now and then a sawmill or a pile of 
newly hewn timber. 

Flat, humid, almost uninhabited, is 
the traveller's (irst impression of the 
country. But there is a speck of light 
and lift; at Abbottsville, the home of ex- 
Uuited States Senator Abbott, who has 
built up the '" Capo Fear Building Com- 
pany," to supply ready made houses to 
the people of his adopted State, and 
whose private residence, of yellow 
frame, is next to the large mill and 
branch railway of the enterprise. 

Alter five hours ride we came to the 
weather-blackened, unpainted town of 
Lumberton, on the flowing Lumber 
River, a branch of the Pedee. 

Lmnberton is the seat of Robesf)n 
county, the stamping ground of 
Lowery's band. With one exception — 
and that disputable as the act of tho 



to follow the fellow up the road but he i band — no murder has been committej 
would not cross the platform himself, j by tho Lowerys beyond the lines of 



12 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



t,hi3 county. It contains, by the census 
of 1870, 3,042 men above the age of 
twenty-one. 

By the census of 1850, the last pre- 
Ceeding census avaikblo at tliis point of 
view, it contained 039 whites iinabU; to 
read, and had at that time 1,171 free 
negroes, or more than oven Iho popu- 
lous county in whicii Wilmington 
stands, and qnintupli; the U-oo ne/^roes 
po]>i)i.ition of the adj.icent comities. 

Si-ulTlctown a few miles distant from 
Lumbcrton was one of the lai-gest free 
noiXn) settlements in the United States 
before the war against slavery, and it 
was Ijesides, an ahuost imnu'inurial tree 
negro settlement. 

This being Court week, ihe town of 
Lumheiton was full of SL-nffl'.'tou ncrs, 
and I saw and talked wiih Sinclair 
L'lWi'ry, elder brother of tho outlaws, 
and .-dso with "Dick" Oxcndino, who 
married the only sister of Henry Berry 
Lowcry, and who kijeps a barroom in 
the Court, H<H]se village. 

Besides, I visited t!ic scene of the 
lat< st exploits of tin; Loworys, the cap- 
ture of the most valuable s:ife in tlie 
town, as well as the countv official 
snfe, which they contemptuously rejected 
o)i 1 he road. 

1 ;i!so visited the jail v, here Hender- 
son Oxendine's gallows stood, and the 
couit room, where a noisy crier made 
proel iinatlon from the oj)en wintlow, 
and llie garrulous Judge Clarke was 
delivi'i'lng a charg(i upon the enormities 
of t!iesc banditti, ci-\ i;ig meantime into 
his pocket hauilkei'chief. 

E. sides, I talked wiih a great number 
of ti • leadinix citizens, w ho to a man, 
wei- • of Scotch descent, and at noon 
nox' 'lay, I'esamiiig the train, I xisited 
Sci !"! town and fslept willi cnurleous 
ent i i iners at L^hije^jHiCi'l, in the heart 
of I ii •• pine forest. 



The incidents of these excursions will 
appear hereafter. 

Let me now address mvself to 

« 

describing the outlaws. 
DESCRIPTION OF TII5] OUTLAWS. 

IIENUY BERRY LOWERY. 

Henry Berry Lowery, the leader of 
the most formidable band of outlaws, 
considering the smallness of its numbers, 
that has been known in this country, is 
of mixed Tuscari ra, mulatto imd white 
blood, twenty-six years of age, five feet 
nine in';hes hi<jrh and weiiihiuir about 150 
po\inds. 

He has straight black haii-, like an 
Indiiii : a dark goatee, and a beard grace- 
ful in shape, but too thin to look very 
black. His face slopes from the cheek 
bones to the tip of his goatee, so as to 
give liim the Southern American con- 
tour of physiognomy ; but it is lighted 
with eyes ot' a different color — eyes of a 
grayish hazel — at times appearing light 
blue, with a drop of brown in them, but 
in agitation dilating, darkening, and, 
although never quite losing the appear- 
ance ot a smile, 3 et inaction it is a smile 
of devilish nature. 

His for. head is good anil his fico and 
expression refined — remarkably so, con- 
sidei-ing his mixci] race, want of educa- 
tion and long career of lawlessness. 

A scar of crescent shape and black 



lor li<'s in tl 



le sum below Ins le 



ft 



ey( 



said to have been made Uy a:i iron pot 
falling Ujiou him when a chiid. 

H;s Voice is sweet an 1 piea^-ant, and 
in his ni ii.n-r there ii ni>ihing self- 
imporiaiit or swairrrerin"-. lie is not 
tilkative. listens qniclly, an<l searches 
out who ■vif is speaking to liim like a 
man iHii, lati; in all boolis save tlu! two 
great hoolis of nature, and huuian nature 
above all. 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



13 







MRS. HENRY LOWERY 



The color of the skin is of a whitish 
yellow sort, with an admixture of cop- 
por — sucii .1 skin as, for the nature of its 
components, is in color indescribable, 
there being no negro blood in it except 
th:it of a f'lr remote generation of mu- 
latto, and the Indian still apparent. 

It is enough to say of this skin that it 
seems to suffer little change by heat or 
cold, exposure or sicknes-;, good honse- 
ing or wild weather. 

The very relatives of white men killed 
by Henry Berry Lowpry admitted to me 
that " Tie is one of the handsomest 
mulattoes you ever saw." 



LOTERY rnYSICALLT. 

To match this face the outlaw'^ body 
is of mixed strength and beautv. 

It is well knit, wiry, straight in the 
shoulders and limbs, without a physie.il 
fliiw in it, and as one said to me who had 
known him well since childhood, ** Ho 
is like a trap ball, elastic all over." 

He has feet which would be notice- 
able anywh.re, pointed and with arch- 
ing instep, so that he can wear a very 
shapely boot, and his extremities, liko 
his features indicate nothing of tho 
negro. A good chest, long bones, supple- 
ness, proportion, make his walk and 
form pleasing to see. 



14 



THE SWAMP OUILAWS. 



parage 



lie is negligent about his dress, but 
his clothes become him and never dis- 
hiin. 

People have told me that he wore fine 
clothes; but, when questioned to the 
point of re-examination, admitted that 
he had nothing on but a woolen blouse 
and trousers and a black wide-brimmed, 
stiff woolen hat 

HIS ARMS. 

To see this trim youth ns he appears 
whenever seen on the highroads or the 
piney forest bypath, or as often at the 
raiUvav stations of Moss Necl<, Eureka, 
Bale's Store, or Red Banks, is to sec 
•youn'» Mars bearing about an arsenal. 

His equipment n)ight appear prepos- 
terous if we do not consider, the pecu- 
liar circumstances of iiis warfare — out- 
lawed by the state of North Carolina, 
without a reliable base of supplies, and 
compelled to carry arms and charges in 
them enough to encounter a large body 
of men or stand a long campaign. 

A belt around his waist accom- 
modates five six-barrelled revolvers — 
long shooters. 

Fiom this belt a shoulder strap passes 
up and supports behind, slinging fashion, 
a Spencer rifle, wliich carries eight car- 
tridges, and it is now generally alleged 
that he has replaced this with a Henry 
rifle, carrying double the former num- 
ber of cartridges, while, successively, 
man after man of the band, by some 
mysterious agency, becomes possessed 
of a Spencer rifle. In addition to these 
forty or forty-eight charges Lowery 
carries a long-bla'ied knife and a large 
flask of whiskey— the latter because he 
fears to bo poisoned by promiscuous 
neighborhood drinking. 

He can run like a deer, swim, stand 



sleep by little snatches which, in a few 
days, would tire out white or negro. 

Although a tippler, he was never 
known to be drunk — a fact not to be 
justly asserted to his confederates. 

Brought suddenly at bay he is 
observed to wear that light, fiendish, en. 
joying smile, which shows a nature at 
Its depths savage, predatory and fond of 
blood. The war he has waged for the 

a region of 



past nine years, within 
twelve or fifteen miles square, against 
county, State, Confederate and United 
States iiulhorities, alternately or unitedly 
is justification for the terror apparent in 
the faces of all the white people within 
those limits. 

Lowery's band gives more concern 
to the Carolinas than did Carleton's 
Legion ninety years ago. 

LOWERY AS A BRIGAND LEADER. 

"What is the meaning of this?" said 
I to " Parson" Sinclair — the fijihtin:; 
parson of Lumberton — "How can this 



fellow, with a handful of boys and illi- 
lerate men, put to flight a society only 
recently used to warfare and full of ac- 
complished soldiers ? Explain it." 

"Lowery," answered Sinclair, "is 
really one o( those remarkable execu- 
tive spirits that arises now and then in 
a raw community, without advantages 
other than nature gave liim. He has 
passions, but no weaknesses, and his 
eye is on every point at once. He has 
impressed that whole negro society with 
Ills power and influence. They fear 
;lnd admire him. He asserts his super- 
iority over all these whites just as well. 
No man who stands face to face with 
him can resist his quiet will, and assur- 
ance and his searching eye. Without 
fear, without hope, defying society, he 
weeks of exposure in the swamps and I is the only man we have any knowledge 
crest, walk day and night, and take j of down here who can play his part 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



15 



Upon my word. I believe if he had I 
lived a^cs ago he would have been a 
Williatu tlie Conqueror. He reniinda 
me of nobody but R )b Roy." 

HIS BLOUD AND INCLIN.VTIONS. 

The thi-ec natures of white, Indian 
and nt'gro arc, however, seen at iiitiM-- 
vals to come f«»rward in tliis outlaw's 
natui- . 

The nr'TO trace is in his love of rude 
music. 

He is a banjo player, and when the 
periodical hunt fov him is done he re- 
pairs to some one of ihc huts in SctifHo- 
town and plays to the dancing of lh(i 
mulatto yirls and his companions by 
the hour, his belt of arms ur.slung and 
thrown at liis foot, the peaceable part of 
the au.VuMioe taiciui; part with mixed 
wonder dc'ig'il and a[>i r. hension. Sev- 
eral times tiiis baiijt> has nearly betrayed 
him to his pursuers. 

Sherilf MacMiilan described himself 
nnd posse once lying oat all night in the 
swamp and limb;^r around Lowery's 
cabin to wait fur him to come forth at 
daylight. 

" And," said he, " that banjo was just 
♦■verlasliiigl V thrumming, and we could 
hear the laughter and Juba-beating 
nearly the whole night long." 

THE MULATIO SARDANaPALUS. 

The licentiousness of Lowery is stifli- 
cient t > 1)0 uoliceable, but while it never 
engages him to the exclusion of vigi- 
lance and activity, it also shows what 
may be traced in some degree to his 
Indian nature — the using of women as 
an auxiliary to war and plunder. 

He has debauched a number of his 
prisoners with the mulatto girls of 
Scuffle town, and the charms of these yel- 
low-tinted syrens broke up the morale 
of the late campaign in force against 



the outlaws, while, as some allege, the 
discovery of the Detective Landers 
plan to capture Lowery was made by a 
girl in Lowery's interest with whom 
Landers spent his time. 

Lowery has said, and laughed over it, 
that he devised at a critical point in a 
truce between the contending parties 
that a bevy of the prettiest and frailest 
beauties in Scuffletown shonM ct)me up 
and be introduced to one of the officers 
hi'di m command. 

After that the Marc Antony in ques. 
tion laid down his sword, and gave 
practical evidence that the hostility of 
races is not so great as the slavery 
statesmen alleged. 

The indifference of the Indian to the 
loan of his squaws finds some parallel 
in Lowery's tactics. 

He himself is the Don Juan of 
Scuffletown ; but he sleeps on his arms* 
and will go into the swamps for weeks 
without repining. Women have been 
employed to give him up; but they 
either repent or he discovers their pur- 
pose by intuitive sagacity. 

THE OUTLAWS WIFE. 

The white society around him gave 
Henry Berry Lowery a lesson in self- 
schooling and sacrifice so far as women 
were concerned. 

After the murders of Barnes nnd 
ILuris — offences which, some think, 
ou^ht to have been included in the 
proclamation of oblivion for offences 
committed by both sides betoie the 
close of the war — Lowery stood up by 
the side of Rhodv Slronir, the most 
Ijcautiful mulatto of Scuflljtown, to bo 
married. 

Aware of the encasement and the oo- 
casion, the Sheriffs possic, w ith cruel de- 
liberation, surrounded the house till the 
ceremony was over, and then rushsd in 



jr. 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



nnil t )ok tlio outlawed husband from 
the side of liis wife. 

[J :• was it'iaovcd to Liimberton jail, 
and tlu'ii scut still fLii-ther away to 
Culiuiibus comity jail; but lie broke 
throuiih ih;! hai-.s, csca[n'd to the woods 
with the irons on his wrists, and made 
his way to his bride. Th.'V have three 
(riiildren, tlie fruit of their stolen and 
rudely iuterrupted interviews. 

A GLIMPSE AT MADAM ^. LOWERY. 

As I rode down on the train from 
Shoe Heel to Liiinborton, on the 28lh 
of F> liruary, the eondiietoi-, Coroiiel 
Morrison, eaiiio to me and saicl : — " if 
you want to -co Henry Berry Lowery's 
wife you can find hei- in the forward 
second-ela-5S car." 

She had tilcen the train at Red Banks 
for liloss Neck — points between which 
the whole baud of outlaws frequently 
ride on the freiiiht trains — and at the 
latter nolable station I saw her descend 
with her baby and walk off down the 
t'(»ad ia the woods and stop there among 
the tall [Vitch pines, as if waiting for 
somebody. The baby — the last heir of 
outlawry — began to cry as she left the 
train, and she said, mother-lashi -n : 
" No, no, no, I wouldn't cry, when 1 had 
bi. en so good all day !" 

This womnn is the sister of two of the 
five remaining outlaws and wife of the 
tiiird. 

The wiiites call her satirically, " the 
queen of Scufflctown ;" but she ap- 
peared to be a meek, pretty-eyed rather 
shrinking giil, of a very light color^ 
poorly dressed. 

She wore many brass rings, with 
cheap rep stones in them, on her small 
hands, and a dark green plaid dress of 
nauslin delaine, which just revealed her 
new black morocco " store " sh,>es. A 
yellowish muslin or calico hood, with a 



long cape, covered her head, and there 
was nothing beside that I I'emember ex- 
cept a shawl of bright coloi-s, much 
\\ orn. 

It was sad enoiigh and j)rosaic ein)u<^h 
to see this small w.nian with hci- babv 
in her arms, cairying it along, whde the 
hnsl)and and father, covered with tie 
blood of fifteen murders, roamed the 
woods and swamps like a Seminole. 

Rliody Lowery is said not to be a 
constant wif>, but to follow the current 
example of SLuflletown. Other persons, 
the negroes notably, deny this. 

A more persevering newspaper cor* 
respondent might settle the issue. 

LOWERY AS A TERROR IZER. 

Mr. Hayes, a republican, of Shoo 
Herl, whose knowledge of iho Scuffle- 
town seitlement is very g od and whose 
practical Northern mind is not likely to 
be deceived, told me that Lowery, 
among Irs numerous warnings served 
upon people, stopped one white man on 
the load and said, •' Yv;u are taking ad 
vantage of my circumstances and ab. 
seuce to be familiar with my family. 
Now, you better pack up and get out of 
this county.'' 

The man lost no time in doing as re- 
quested ; for Henry Berry Lowery 
generally -.varns before ho kills. In ihe 
niJitter of honesty in the observance of a 
promise or a treaty the people most 
robbed and outraged by this bandit ac- 
knowledge his Indian scrupulousness. 
" Mr. MacNair," he said to one of his 
white neighbors, -.v-hom he iiad robbed 
twenty times, "i want you to cear up 
and go to Lu'.nberton, where they have 
put my wife in jad for no crime but be- 
cause she is my v\if((; that ain't her 
fault, and they can't make it so. Yon 
people won't let me woik to get mv 
living, and I have got to take it from 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



17 



you ; liiit, God knows, she'd like to see 
rnc niiiicc iny own bread. You go to 
Liiinljcrton and tell the Sheriff and 
Cv<iiiity Coinrnissionors that if they 
diint lei her out of tliut j .il I'll retaliate 
on the white women of Hurnt Swamp 
Township. Some of them shall come to 
the swamp with me if she is kept in the 
jail, because they cau't get me." 

LOWERT AS A TRUCE MAKER. 

Lowery then named a point on the 
road wlu!!-G he would meet JtlaeNair, 
and he nut him instead three miles 
nearer to Liimberton. Tlie feeling ot 
terror in 1 lie. county may be understood 
when, without more delay, Rhody 
Lowery was set free. 

While in the region several persons 
urged me to go out and talk to Lowery 
SlierifT ^racT^rillan and Mr. llrown, the 
son-In-law of the murdered Shei id Kiiifr 
-i— strange as it may appear for county 
ofTiccrs, and T mention it to show the 
suptirstitiou inspired by this brigand — 
offered to ol)t:iia an interview for me 
with the whole gang by sending out 
some member of the Lowerv familv to 
negotiate. ^Fy faith was not equal to 
theirs, and I declined. 

"Do you suppose that fellow would 
give mo n, talk V I said to Calvin Black 
a merchant of Shoo Heel. 

'• Yes, if ho could bo made to under- 
stand lluit your intentions were pacific. 
The large reward now out fop him, 
amoiinting, for himself and party, to 
about forty-five thousand dollars, taken 
dead or alive, makes him apprehensive of 
assiX-s^iinlioti. I*utif ho were to promise 
not to injure you, you could go any- 
where to see him with perfect i(n- 
punity." This was general testimony. 

Rev. Mr. MacDiermid, editor of the 
Robesonian, the county organ, who does 
his duty by niiintimidated denunciation 
of this outlaw, said : — " Henry Berry 



Lowery has sent mc word that I had 
better be cautious now I w rite about 
him, but I believe that I could go to see 
him to-day, for he appreciates his con- 
sequence in the role he has assunu d."' 1 
noticed, however, that nob idy did go to 
sec him, and I followed that hi^h and 
general example. 

PRICE OF LOWERYS HEAD. 

Since Jefferson Davis' fligijt and the 
reward put upon his head there has been 
no American criminal — pi-obably none 
previously in all the history of the coun- 
try for (iffences at common law — who 
has been dignified witli the amount of 
money offered for Lowery's overtaking. 

If it should appear in the Nortli this 
slietrh is too strong, I point to this re- 
ward and to the fict that this outlaw has 
already made a pergonal and bloody 
campaiirn against societv lonirer than the 
whole revolutionary war. 

Osceola, or» Powel (who was an im- 
mediate mixture of Indian and negro 
blood, ; n 1 who fought over a larger 
region), gave out in a much shorter space 
of resistance. 

HIS CHIVALRY. 

Two things arc to bo chronicled in 
this man's favor, and 1 make them on 
the universal testimony of everybody 
in this regioi!. 

ITc has never committed arson or 
rape or offered to insult females. "While 
entering private houses nearly every day 
his worst act is to drive the family into 
some one apartment and bar them there 
while the house is cooly and leisurely 
ransacked. 

A few weeks ago an aged lady, ^Irs. 
MacNeil and her daughter, were shot 
with duck shot by somebody taking the 
name of Lowery's band, doubtless the 
party accused ; but the wounding of the 
woman was not foreseen by the brigands, 



13 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



and tliov fired at old MacNcil, whose i 
fiiinilv of sons and son-in-law had become 
parlkuLiiIy off usivc to them. 

MacN'il told nic the circumstances 
as lollows: — IIo h:id heen repeatedly 
robbed, his son-in-law Taylor killed, his 
sons ordered to leave the country, and 
now aliiiost entirely nlone, he was com- 
pelled to do a good deal of his own 
watching iuul to w:iit upon himself. 

Staiidiiiir by his smokehouse one 
mooiili dil ni:'ht lu; saw two men enter the 
yard ;ind one of them walked straight 
up to the srnolu horse door and began to 
pry it open. Partly concealed in the 
shadow of the fnce, MacNcil cried — 
"Who is Ihatl" 
No ans'ver. 

Ho rope itel tlie interrogation and the 
reply was — 

*' What in the hell is that your busi- 
ness 1' 

The Scotch blood of the old man 
mour.ti d to his f ic(% notwithstanding his 
lonjr ;mi.1 n(»: whollv undeserved mis- 
fortunes, and he went into his dwelling 
fur his gi;ii. ITis wife and his daughter 
besought hini not to venture out, and, 
on his icfi.isal, followed him to the door. 
He called again : — 

** Who's that at mv smokehouse?' 
The answer was : — 
"Lov.ery's band, God damn you." 
And in a nilnutc a charge of buckshot 
pouri d in at the door, putting, as Mac- 
Neil sai<l, sixteen buckshot in a place no 
bigger than his hat from the spot where 
he was expected to have been, and strik- 
infT his Mile in the thiMi, riddling her 
dress, and hitting his daughter in the 
shoulder and breast, so that the shot 
catnc out of her back. Both women 
will iccover, allhough sorely wounded. 
The cause of this long persecution of 
MacNcil I will give in another letter. 

RU^rORS AND INCIDENTS. 
Colonel Wisehart, an old Confederate 



officer and a dauntless man, living near 
Moss Ni'ck, has shot at Lowery several 
times, but always missed him, and jnc«; 
surroimded with a posse the outlaw's 
cabin, but he got off so mysteriously 
that they allege to this day that he had 
an undergnnind passage. 

Lowery is said to whip his w ife some- 
times and to have threatened also to 
shoot her, on the occasions of her re- 
proving his long absences. St)me time 
ajro she came, accordin"if to rnnior, to a 
store at Luinberton and remarked : — 

'• Berry put his gun in my fiec to-day 
and said ho meant to kill me, and I told 
him to fire it off — not to stop for me." 

The negroes charge that these stories 
are without foundation, and Deputy 
Sheriff Brown admitted to me : — 

" Lowery will never leave this country 
alive." 

"Why?" 

" Because he loves his wife and will 
not leave her whereabouts." 

1 give some further rumors for what 
they arc worth : — 

Henry B. Lowery is not a good shot 
except at close quarters — so says B(»ss 
Strong. The Boss remarked at Moss 
Neck one day : — 

" Henry is nothing much with that 
Spencer rifle, nor his shotgun, neither; 
but Steve Lowery can shoot liie tail off 
a coon." 

Some of the ScufHetoAvn negroes say 
differently, and give marvellous in- 
stmees of the accuracy of eye and nerve 
of both Henry Berrv and the in.-joritv 
of the gang. He cei tainly gei eially 
kills when he does shoot. H' re is an 
instance of his coolness. A Mr. McRae 
who lives on the limits uf lloheson 
county removed from the imniediato 
country of the bandits, got <>!! with 
other passengers at Moss Neck a favf 
weeks ago, and said aloud funiliary — 

" Where docs this rascal, Lowery, 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



19 



keep himself? I'd like to see the villaiiu'' 

A wliiiiah nejrro, standing near by, 
unarmed, s:iid, coolly — 

" Well, sir, if you'll step this way I'll 
show liini to you." 

Tiiis was 'J'om Lowery. The a.^toiiish- 
ed pasenger was put in a moment in ihc 
presence of a sombre- looking mu- 
latto fellow wiih straight hair, whoso 
body was giit all round with pistols, 
and who cirricd two jjuns besides. 

" This is Henry Bjrrv Lower v," said 
the other outlaw. 

*' Yt;s," said H(Miry, " and wo always 
ask our fiieiiJs to take a drink with us." 

The. passenger saw the significant, 
bland look on both the half-breed fices, 
and ho said, with all available assur- 
ance : — 

" I'll take the drink if you'll let ine 
pay for it." 

" Oil, yes, we always expect our 
friends to treat us." 

PICTURE OF '• SWARTHY INDIAN 

STEVE." 

The brigand of the Lowery gan<jr, m 
appearance, is Steve, whose carri.ige is 
that of a New York rough, and whose 
thick, black, straight hair, thin, black 
moustache, goatte and very loweiing 
countenance, set with blackish liaz d 
eyes, give him the character his deeds 
bear out of a robber and murderer of 
the Murrel stamp. 

He is the most perfect Indian of the 
party, superadded to the vagabond. 
He is five feet nine inches hi<fh, thick set. 
round shouldered, heavy and of power- 
ful strength, with long arms, a heavy 
moufcii, and that brusque, aggressive, 
impudent manner, which befits the high- 
wayman stopping his man. 

Sieve Lowery required no great 
provocation to take to the swamps and 
prowl around the country by day and 
night. 



He is mentioned third on the list in 
the Governor's proclamation, fi^'uring 
there at $500, or half the price of Henry 
Berry Lowry's head; is the oM',-st of the 
gang, said to be thirty-one. and his im- 
perious temper, ijis.iliable love of rob- 
Ijery and insubordination to h s younger 
brother, the leader, o:iee involved him 
in a quarrel, where he was shot iu tb« 
leg. 

Steve has the woi'st cnunton.ince of 
.any man in the gang. IIis swarthy, 
dirk brown ccjmplexioUj thin visa_:e and 
quick speech make him fe.ired by any 
unlucky enemy who may fall inti> the 
hands of the outlaws. 

W'hen Landei's, the detective, was 
condemned to death and Tom L )wery 
slunk away, unwiHing to see blood, 
Steve Lowery raised his gun aiicl filled 
the unfortunate prisoner witii ;i eharge 
of buckshot. Steve has been Concerned 
in nearly every robbery an.J shooting, 
perhaps cv^ivy one, committed l)y this 
party. 

SKETCH OF BOSS STROXQ. 

The youngest of the gan:: and the 
most t;usted and inseparable companion 
of Henry Berry L >wery is his boy 
brother-in-law, Boss Sti-onj. a^ed no 
more than twenty. The Strongs are 
said to have been derived from a white 
man of that name, who came from 
Western Carolina to Sciifiletown and 
took up with one of the Lowery women. 
In this generation they are legitimate. 
Boss Strong is nearly white ; his dark, 
short cut hair has a reddish tingu and is 
slightly curling; a thick down appears 
on his lip and teinplrs, but otherwise ho 
is beardless; he has that dull, blueish 
eye frequently seen among the SeufBe- 
tonians, and is taciturn. % 

In repose his countenance is mild 
and pleasing; but the demon is always 
near at hand when Henry Berry Lowerjr 



20 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



desires iL to appear, and then the heavy 
bhicU oye-brows of the boy, which 
nearly meet over the bridge of his nose, 
give him a (logged, determined lo<)l<, 
which many a man has seen to his cost. 
Boss Strong is plastic material in the 
hands <if iiis brothei'-in-law, and !ie>'t t<> 
that h'ader is c(inimor.!y regarded as 
the woi-st of the party. 

He is so 'iistinguishcd in all the offers 
of lewards. Being the least capable 
and (>xpei-ieiice 1 of thi' party, he is thei'e- 
forc must d.;ngei-(nis in other hands, and 
it is a revoliiig instance of the extremes 
of i/oixl and ill to see the fidelity of 
Boss Strong- to ITenry Berry Lowery 
up to the eonsiDiunaiion of repeated 
murders willi t!)c coolest militai-y 
obedience. 

His hands are dyed deep in the blood 
of old and \ ouii .;■. Boss Sli'ong is 
about Civi' feet ten, tliiek set, with a full 
face, and lie handles his arms willi slciil 
and has the eoiii-a<»e of a bull pup. 

^^'lle;l Jcjhu Taylor's brains were 
blown oiil Itv Henrv Berrv, Boss I'ushed 
npon the hank and aimed at young 
MacNeil and woinided him witii the 
wad (if a eh:ii-ge, of buckshot intended 
to s!ay him. 

■ The ]U'oj)]e of Tiobeson county and 
the mililarv aullioiities have long au;o 
given up all prospect of seducing either 
of ;!u'.-;e mui'dci-ers to betray each other. 

Boss Sti-oi:g has never been considered 
asuithin that possil)iity. He, like the 
leadiuir outlaw, has tjenerallv killed his 
man at close quarters — seldom at more 
than from four to ten yards. 

ANDREW STRONG DELINEATED. 

Andrew Strong, elder brother of Boss, 
is very nearly the same age with Herwy 
Ber;y Lowery. He is more than six 
feet high, tall and slim, and nearly 
perfectly white ; his thin beard is of a 



reddish tinge, and he has dark, stiaight 

hair. 

This fellow is the Oily Gammon of the 
party, without that higher order of cun- 
ning which with Henry Berry Lowery 
amounts to prescience and strategy ; 
but his eye can wear a look of meek, 
repi'oachful injury, and his tongue is sof^ 
and treacherous. 

He was at one time in Court, and 
when the indictment of his crimes was 
read he looked out of his great, soft eyes 
as if ready to weep at snchuijjust impu- 
tations. Andrew Strong niairied the 
(hiughter of Henry Sampson, auotlicr o^ 
the Indian nuilattoes, and has two chil- 
d:'en. 

II(! is a cowardlv cutthroat, and will 
st(\al a poeketbook on the high I'oad. 

In the way of killing people he is 
sinnlarlv Tierfidions, and the liwuex will 
drop (Voni his touguii almost into the 
wound he iudiets. Loving to see fear 
and jiaiu, a profissor of" d( eiit, plau>iljl(', 
uiieei-tain, tineasy, deadly, this meanest 
of the band \ et has const quenec in it. 

TOM ].0'\VERY, THE JAFL D'RD. 

Tom Lowei-y has a long, straight 
Caucasian nose, a good forehead of more 
ihan avei-ajie heie-ht, sIo|)ing but heavv 
jaws, vei'y scruliby, black beard about 
the chin, coininij out .slunt, stiff and 
sparse, and straight, black liair. 

He would be called cadaverous if h« 
were white, but in his eye there are the 
hazel lights (darting and restless, and 
readily burning up to a large glow) of 
the Indian gypsy. Perhaps the solution 
of the white race, which blended origin 
ally with the Tuscaroras — a subject on 
which ihe learned Judge Leech, of Lum- 
berton, has spent much inquiry — might 
be solved by the gypsy suggestion. 
The Judge mentioned Portuguese (a tru- 
ly jtiratical race since the days of Tols 
nois), Spanish and several other races to 



THE SWAMF OUTLAWS. 



'21 







u 



',.< 



... I •*!: 



i^ 



v':L.y 



22 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



account for the blood wliich others 
aitriUutcd in the Luwer^ s to negro in- 
fusion. Might it h;ivc been " Roin- 
nuiny ?" 'J'iic ]*)nglibh gypsy has been 
in North Ann licu a hundred years, 

Tom Lowery is a thieving sneak, 
enpable of murder, but sickened by 
blood, and the o'uest member of the 
Lowrry gang. 

lie is thiity-live years of age, has a 
broad-siiouldered, active, strong body, 
and is five feet nine inches high. 

The eye of this man is a study — blue- 
ish gray, furtive, and dancing around, 
hut when the observei's eye drops away 
he sends a heathenish shaft of light 
atraight out from the thieving nature of 
the fellow, which seems to seize all the 
situatidii. 

Ho is equally alert in slipping jail and 
evading capture, and some time ago he 
got off from the military, peppered all 
over the back with shot and with his 
shirt full of blood. 

THE RETIRED PSEUDO OR DISABLED 
BANDITS. 

The above five men constitute, at 
present, I he bandits and outlaws ot 
North Carolina. Together they make 
an active and formidable, and also a 
wicked crowd ; and, officered by a man 
of remarkable ability and powers, they 
present an anomalous picture in the 
heart of modern society. 

I append sketches of the other and 
former members of the band, and now 
in the foreground : — 

GEORGE APPLEWHITE 

George Applewhite is a regular ne- 
gro, of a surly, determined look, with 
thick features, woolly hair, large pro- 
tuberances above the eyebrows, big jaws 
and cheek bones and a black eve. 



Mrs. Stowc might have drawn " Drcd * 
from him. 

IL; is supposed cither to be dead, hid. 
den jiwav, wounded, or to have aban. 
doned the country, as lie has not been 
seen or heard of for several months. 

When last heard from ho was faint 
from loss of blood, and had received 
wounds in the breas: from some soldiery. 

He married into the Oxendin^^ fimily, 
and was present at the inurde*- of Sheriff 
King and elsewhere, and is therefore in- 
cluded in the list of outlaws and a re- 
ward put upon his head. 

JOIJN DIAL, THE STATE'S EVIDENCE. 

John Dial, who lies in the jail of Co- 
lumbus county, at Whitesville, as Calvin 
Lowery does in the jail of New Hano- 
ver countv, at Wilir.in<iton, is a lijiht mu- 
latto, with a vagrant, fierce look, aggra- 
vated by a wart or fleshy protuberance 
of some sort on the side of his nose, di- 
rectly beside the left eye, which wart is 
as large as a marble. 

Dial was as bad as any of the jran". 
but not bold, and ho prefers the repose 
of the jail to wading the swamps with 
Henry Lowei-y. 

He pays that George Applewhite shot 
Sheriff King, while the rest of the band 
charge that Dial himself precipitately 
drew his pistol and killed that hale old 
Carolinian. 

SHOEMAKER JOPIN. 

"Shoemaker John," who at one time 
had dealings with Henry Berry Low- 
ery 's party, but has been sent to the 
P. nitentiary, is an oval-fjced negro, 
good for stealing, but with little stomach 
for blood-letting. The Lowerys repu- 
diate liim altogether. 

THE ONE MAN HANGED 



-.- . . ^ , Henderson Oxendine, han<,'ed at Lum 

lie IS a picture of a slave at bay. K«..f ., o..^ »■ ' i- ■ 

r "'*.'' -.1 Oerton some time ago, was a thick-se» 



THE SWAMF OUTLAWS. 



2» 



b'lt trim light mulatt-i, with straight 
hair and a stoical face. He died with- 
out more than a sigh. 

I visited Calvin Oxendine in the Wil- 
mington jail, whence nearly the whole 
band escaped, he refusing or being afraid 
to go. 



CALVIN OXENDINE. 

The Wilmington jail is an oblong 
brick structure, to the front of whicU is 
affixed the jailor's residence of a plaster 
imitation of sandstone crowned with bat- 
tlements. 

The jail is small in size, as big as a 
country meeting-house, and the rear part 
and body of it descends below the street 
level into a sunken lot, which is enclosed 
by a brick wall capped with nails and 
broken glass. 

From the upper tier of jail windows 
to the ground, is about thirty feet, and 
the walls is twelve feet high. A fierce 
dog goes at large in the jail yard. 

Our worthic-ii occupied one of the rear 
corner cells in tne upper tier of this jaii 
for six months, and they took out the 
bricks at the side of the edifice, making 
a small hole, still in outlines distinctly 
visible though ro-enclosed, and let them- 
selves down with their blankets. 

The dog made no alarm, if, as is 
doubtful, he was at liberty that night, 
and the neighboring vacant lots gave 
easy means of escape to our bandit des- 
peradoes. 

Thejiil is, like most county jails in 
the South, a piece of dilapidation with- 
out, and of bad construction within, and 
other holes in the rear attest how other 
prisoners made their riddance. 

One of these holes, at the present 
writing, has not been bricked up. al- 
though some time has elapsed since the 
inmates cut it. 



TUE BANDIT IN JAIL. 

I visited this jail with the courteous 
City Marshal of Wilmington, W. P. 
Canaday, first entering a livery stable 
adjacent, through the open chinks of 
which tools were, probably, handed to 
the prisoners within, the level being 
nearly the same and the walls only 
twenty feet apart. 

The jail, in the interior, was of an in- 
human architecture, the cells beino- en- 
closed by a corridor, which debarred 
tin-m from light and gave only ventil- 
lation by shafts above. 

The grated doors admitted very little 
light through their narrow chinks, and 
murderer or mere peace-breaker shared 
a common fate in them, lying almost in 
darkness. 

A prison without security for the evil 
ought to afiord some compensation for 
the merely erring, suspected or unfor- 
tunate. 

This jail, while clean enough, is a relic 
of the Middle Ages. 

If you take from a man liberty give 
him at least light! One of the iron 
doors was laboriously unlocked by the 
negro jailor, and shaking himself from 
the long vision of darkness, Calvin Ox- 
endine, an indicted murderer of SheriflT 
King, walked out into the corridor. 

Here was a situation for John Calvin 
the Richelieu of the Huguenots ! That 
name, crossing from France to Scotland 
and passing into the family nomencla- 
ture of Gael and Lowlander, had made 
the passage of the ocean with the immi- 
grants into Carolina, and these mixed 
mulattoes and Indians had inherited it 
from their Scotch neighbors and natural 
fathers, until now 1 saw before me the 
reformer and the bandit, the Geuevese 
and the Scuffletonian in Calviu Oxen- 
dine. 

lie came out from his cell in a greasy 



^4 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



shirt and a pair of woolen trousers belt- 
ed at the waist, and with his .searching, 
round, indescribable eye, looked me 
through and through. 

It was a black eye, which got its edu- 
eation from a country place where they 
make an inventory of strangers in the 
glimpse afforded by a flash of lightning 
and rob them before the next flash. 

The speculation in that pair of eyes 
that he did glare withal mocked knowl- 
edge. It was the gypsy's encyclopedia 
of a chicken coop, and I was the chicken 
in view. 

From my side of the case it was the 
worst pair of agates I ever saw — furtive, 
plaintive, touching, repelling. God save 
us from these mixed races, that we can- 
not understand, which civilize them- 
selves on no one line of projection, and 
give no key t > their tortuous character, 
and are to themselves a heathen mys- 
tery ! 

"I came down the road yesterday, 
Oxendine, from your part of the world." 
The big eyes repeated the perform, 
ance. 

" From Robeson county ?" 
" Yes." 

" Well, did you see that party that 
went up on Monday — what about 

them r' 

This with a sort of lethargic earnest- 
ness, like a sleepy nature slowly rolling 
out of bed. 

" You mean Pop Oxendine ?" 

"Yes; my brother." 

" His trial won't come off for several 
days. But tell me, Oxendine, how came 
Henry Berry Lowery to get all you boys 
in his hands? Has he so much greater 
power than you, although younger?" 

The fellow rolled his orbs at mt; 
again, perfectly submissive, but all 
searching— ignorance and cunning and 
prowling and wonder reaching out to 
drink me in and tathom me — and yet, 
withal, a sort of roadside equality. 



His rrtther over-fed face ; his cracked, 
slipshod shoes; his drooping breeches, 



were mean enough; but there was the 
gypsy inquiry nearly nonchalant, in 
his locrk. Sensual his face certainly was 
but a deep fallow of powt-r lay in it, 
generations of the bummer worthy of 
education from the beginning. 

What crimes against human nature 
have been committed by Southern pre- 
judice against everything with a drop of 
the negro in it ! 

This rascal's eye looked like genius 
more than anything I had seen below 
Richmond. 

" Indeed," he said, after finishing up 
the study, coolly. " I can't tell you ; I 
don't know anything about it." 

Respectful and polite he was all the 
time, but in his situation, the answer 
was diplomatic, and the next remark 
showed that it was not made without • 
logical reference to himself. 

'• Sheriff, when is my trial coming off. 
Am I to lie in this dark place two more 
years ?" 

" I would insist upon my trial," said 
the Sheriff. 

" I will. " 1 can't stand it." 
Then, after a minute, giving me, 
another roll of his quiet eyes, he said. 
'* Can you give me a piece of tobacco 
sir?' 

" No ; but 1 can give you the money 
to get it." 

He took it, looked at it, and, pro- 
nouncing my name plainly, with thanks 
although the name had been mentioned 
only once, walked voluntarily back to 
his cell. 

These mulattoes of the families of 
Lowery, Oxendine and Strong have 
been locked away in the fastnesses of a 
hard Scotch population and their develop- 
ment cramped. 

What might have been the discoverer 
has become the buccaneer ; the poet had 
become the outlaw. 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



25 



BLOOD TRAIL. 

Hovr liOwery Avenged the Murders of 
a Father and a Brother— Cain's 
Bniud the Test of Admission to tlie 
Gang— A AVur of Races— The Out- 
laws iu the Swamps- The Judge on 
the Beucli— The Ku Idux on Their 
Ni«-litly Raids— Lowery Breaics 
PrTson Twice— Slieritt" King, Nor- 
nient. Carlisle. Steve Davis and Joe 
Thompson's Slave Murdered by the 
Band— Killing the Outlaw's Rela- 
tives When They Cannot Catch the 
Gang— The Ku Klnx Under Taylor 
Slay°"MaUe" Sanderson, Henry Rev- 
els and Ben Botha, the Praying 
Preacher— A Promise That Was 
Kept— "I will kill John Tavlor— 
There's No Law for Us ]\[ulattoes.'' 
Aunt Phoebe's Story— Tlie Hanging 
of Henderson Oxendine — Outlaw 
Zach Mc Laughlin Shot by an Im- 
pressed Outlaw— The Black Neme- 
6is. 

LcMBARTON, N. C, Feb. 27, 1872. 

In two previous letters I have describ- 
ed the persons of the Lowreys and some 
of their associates, and given the origin 
of the local feud which has run into an 
extended career of outlawry and crimes. 
This letter will recapitulate the leading 
crimes on both sides, as derived trom 
the best information. 

THE TWO ARRESTS AND JAIL- 
BREAKINGS OF LOWERY. 

Although Henry Berry Lowery swore 
an oath of revenge for the murder of his 
father and brother in 1R65 he was not 
yet entirely given up to outlawry, and 
the republican politicians and advisers 
of the people of Scuffletown felt some 
sympathy for him and sought to save 
him. These looked upon the murders 
of Harris and Barnes as partly justified. 



in the former case by the monstrous 
character of the man, in the latter by 
motives of self defence and the collisions 
of the races in the war. 

The old slaveholding element of the 
county, however, unaware of the scourge 
or humanity they were creating and the 
talent as an outlaw leader he was Ho de- 
velop, resolved to have and to hang him 
at all hazards. 

They found that he was to be married 
to Rhody Strong, the most beautiful girl 
in Scuffletown, and, surrounding the 
house on the night of the ceremony , they 
took him from the side of his bride — 
one A. J. MoNair accomplishing his 
capture. The jail at Lumberton was 
then in ashes, and the county without a 
safe receptacle for 

THE YOUNG MURDERER AND BRIDE- 
GROOM, 

then only twenty years of age. He was 
therefore conveyed in irons to the jail at 
Whitesville, Columbus county, twenty- 
nine miles from Lumberton. Here the 
desperate young husband filed his way 
out of the grated iron window bars, es- 
caped to the woods, and made his waj 
back to his wife. This was in 186(^. 

In the interrupted enjoyment of fami- 
ly happiness Henry Berry Lowery ex- 
pressed a desire to quit the swamps and 
return to his carpenter's trade and peace- 
ful society. His republican friends la- 
bored again in his behalf, and they re- 
solved to plead the proclamation of ob- 
livion for ofTences committed during the 
war, issued by the federal department 
commanders throughout the South. Dr. 



26 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



Thomas, Ffeed men's Bureau Agent at 
Soulfletown, arranged with the Sheriff, 
B. A. Howell, that if Lowery truely 
gave himself up, he should be well fed, 
not be put in irons, and protected from 
the mob. United States troops at that 
time were quartered throughout North 
Carolina and the rebel element was dis- 
Coui'aged. 

The Sheriff and Dr. Thomas called 
for Lowery at his own cabin, near 
Asbury church, and brought him into 
Lumberton in a buggy. A new jail haiJ 
meantime (18G8) been erected in the 
outskirts of the town, constructed en- 
tirely of hewed timber. Lowery was 
for a time tractable, quiet and confiding 
in his advisers. The 

SULLEN HOSTILITY OF THE TOWNS- 
PEOPLE— 

natural enough, no doubt, taward the 
murderer of two citizens — soon began 
to develop, and complaints were made 
that Lowery had three meals a day, and 
not, two, like the other prisoners. He 
was fed fi'om the outside by a shoemaker 
who also acted as jailer, and this good 
treatment, added to reports of his proud 
and nnintimidated bearing, led to a 
public cry that he ought to be ironed 
and put on hard fare. It is charged also 
— and the story was told to me by three 
different persons living widely apart — 
that some of the towns-people, hearing 
of the line of defence to be assumed for 
fco prisoner, had resolved to drag him 
tromjail and drown him in the river at 
the foot of the jail-yard hill. 

At any rate Lowery grew suspicious 
and uneasy, and perhaps chafed at con. 
finement. One evening, as the jniler 
appeared with his food, he presented r. 
knife and a cocked repeater, and said : — 

" Look here, I'm tired of this. Open 
that door and stand aside. If you leave 
the place for fifteen minutes you will be 

shot as you cQine out!" 



He then walked out of the jail, turned 
down the river bank, avoiding the town 
stopped at a house and helped himself 
to (^omo crackers, and, crossing the 
bridge, was never again seen in Lumber- 
ton. 

THE BAD CHARVCTER COMING OUT. 

From that day to this he has led the 
precarious life of a hunted man and rob- 
ber, killing sometimes for plunder, 
sometimes for revenge, sometimes {"or 
defence. He has refused to trust any 
person except those who by bloodshed 
put themscdves out of the pale of society 
like himself, and he has collected a pack 
of murderers whom he absolutely com- 
mands, and who have finally diminished 
to five, the rest being sent off as un- 
worthy, useless or uncongenial 

" My band is big enough," he said 
last week. " They are all true men and 
1 could not be as safe with more. We 
mean to live as lon<f as we can, to kill 
anybody who hunts us, from the Sheriff 
down, and at last, if we must die, to die 
game." 

To another person he said. " We 
are not allowed; to get our living peace- 
ably and we must take it from others. 
We don't kill anybody but the Ku 
Klux." 

A steady moral aeciine and grow^mg 
atrocity has been remarked of Henry 
Berry Lowery, but he has committed no 
outrages on women and no arsons. His 
confidence and sense of lonely and des- 
perate independence have become more 
marked. A cool, murderous humor has 
gained upon him, and he is a trifle fond 
of his distinction. Frequent exhibitions 
of magnanimity distinguish his bloody 
course and he has learned to arrogate 
to himself a protectorate over the inter- 
ests of the mulatoes, which they return 
by a sort of hero-worship. There is not, 
probably, a negr6 in Scuffletown w'hci 
would betray him, and his prowess is a 



THE SWA]\rP OUTLAWS. 



27 



housfthold word in every black family I OXLY A TOOTH AT EACTT SIDE, 
ill sea-board Carolina. Ilis consistent I 



una 

UNFLINCHING METHOD OP WARFARE 

has gained him awe amon^ the wjiitos, 
amounting nearly to respect, and by n 
certain integrity in n'ord and perform- 
ance he has come to deal with all the 
community as an absolute and yet not 
wilful dictator. Like the rattlesnake of 
the swamps, he sends warning before he 
kills, and only in robbery is remorseless 
and sudden. 



" My massta — his name's MacQueen 
(or MacQuadc) — knocked 'em all out 
wid an link stick. God knows I worked 
for him wid all my might ; but, you see, 
ho wasakeepin'black women and his wife 
gwine to leave him, he wanted me to say 
she had black men, and IM a died first ! 
ITe whipped me and beat me, and at last 
ho struck mo wid a stick over de monf, 
and, Massta, I jess put np my hand up 
to catch de blood and all de teef dropp 
ed in de palm of my hand. Oh, dis 



The family is divided in verdict uj>on wis a hard country, and Henry Bej-ry 



his conduct. P.itricl<, Sinclair aii.l 
Purdy, who are^fe'hodists, sp(>ak pretty 
much in these terms ((pioted from Pat- 
rick Lowery, who is a preacher) : — 

" My brother Harry had provocation 
— the same all of us had— wdien thev 
killed my old father. But he has got to 
be a ba-1 man, and I pray the Lord to 
remove liiin from this world, if he only 
repent first." 

AN ANTE-BELLUM EPISODE. 

A good deal of the above is probably 
deceitful. The current opinion of 
Scuffletown is as follows, in the lanifunrje 
of an aged colored woman at Shoe Heel. 

" Massa," she said, '• Hi-nry Berry 
Lowery aint gwying to kill nobody but 
them that wants to kill him. He's just 
a paying these white people back for 
killing his old father, brothers and cous- 
ins. His old mother f knew right well, 
aud she says, " ^ly boys aint doing 
right, but I can't help it; I can only jiss 
pi-ay for 'em. They wan't a brought up 
to do all this misery and lead this yer 
kind of life." " Massta," resumed 
Aunt Phoebe, •' this used to be a dretnl 
hard country for poorniggers. Do you 
see my teeth np yer, Massta?" 

The old woman drew her lip back with 
her finger and showed the empty gum, 
with 



Lowcry's joss a payin' 'em ba(;k. He's 
only a payin' 'om back ! Ii's better 
days for dc brack people now. IVfassta, 
he's jess de king o' dis countrv." 

This is a perfectly literal version of a 
Christian old woman's talk. Bandit and 
robber as he is, and bloodstained with 
many murders, this Lowery's crimes 
scarcely take relief from the blotched 
background of an intolerant social con- 
dition, where the image of God was out- 
raged by slavery throug-h two hundred 
years of bleeding, suffering and submit- 
ting. The black Nemesis is up, playing 
the Ku Klux for himself, and for many 
a coming generation the housewives of 
North Carolina will fri<ihten the chil- 
dren with tales of Lowei-y's band. Still, 
the fellow is a cold-blooded, malignant, 
murderous being, without defenders 
even among republicans. 

MURDER OF SHERIFF REUBEN KINO. 

The first great crime succeeding the 
killing of Brant Harris was committed 
in the motive of house robbery upon a 
highly esteemed old citizen of advanced 
years, the Sheriff of Robeson county. 
Reuben King. This happened on the 
night of January 23, 18G9. 

Henry Berry Lowery has since said 
that he had no inteutiuu of accuin^iish- 



as 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



inu- the death of this gentleman, but that, 
being poor, and aware that King had a 
quantity of money in his possession, 
the" boys" wanted to rob him, and had 
no notion of putting him out of the 
world. 

After being shot Kinij lingered till 
the 13t.h of March, and his antemortem 
statements, added to the confession of 
Henderson Oxendine, one of the rob- 
bers, give us a complete history of the 
tragedy. Lovvery alleges that he 
whipped George Applewhite, the negro 
who fired the fotal shot ; but this may 
be meie cunning, and, besides, the ban- 
dits have charged the crime upon John 
Dial, the State's witness. 

The ruffians, hearing t':at King w.is 
possessed of considerable money, came 
down from Seufflctcwn and hid in a 
thicket near his house, which w:is two 
miles south of Lumberton. There they 
built a fire to warm themselves, and, be- 
ing only partly armed, they out blud- 
geons from tiie swamp and trimmed 
them. 

Dial remarked, " The old Sheriff may 
resist us !" 

" if he does," exclaimed Boss Strong, 
'* we'll kill him !" 

Tlxey blackened their faces to disguise 
their identity and race more securely, 
and then, to the number of eight or nine 
moved, with the stealth of Indians, up 
to the dwelling of the hale old gentle 
man. 

Sheriff King w;is reading the report 
of a recent Baptist Convention beside 
his fireplace. In another part of the 
room — the parlor — Edward Ward, one 
of his neighbors, who had come to pass 
the night, was reading a book. Sud- 
denly the door was pushed open and 

A ROW OF BLACKENED, HIDEOUS 
FACES 

appeared over the threshold, while a 



gun barrel was pointed at King, and an 
imperative voice said : — 

" Surrender !" 

The man Ward sat as if paralyzed. 
The Sheriff. I'oused at the summons from 
his book, scarcely understood the situa- 
tion. By a fatal, instinctive movement 
he leaped up and seized the menacing 
firearm, and bent it down toward the 
flour. Henry Berry Lowery, the hold- 
er of it, struggled at the butt and bent 
it up again, and in the wrestle the piec« 
was discharged into the parlor floor, 
burning and scarring the boards tliere. 
By this time the cl-oseness of the en- 
counter and the SherifTs stiff and pow- 
erful hold upon the gun had brought his 
body around so that his back was toward 
the open door. At this instant a pistol, 
at close quarters, was fired into the old 
man's head from behind, and he fell to 
the flour in agony. The robbers im- 
mediately, and without show of resis- 
tance, fired at Edward Ward and felled 
him with a wound which lasted for 
months. 

The females of the family, rushed in 
and stood horrified spectators of the 
miserv of the two men. The blackened 
and excited faces of the robbers struck 
them with additional terror. 

"Water!" gasped the bleeding 
Sheriff; " I am burning up ! For God's 
sake give nn' 80me water !" 

"God damn you!" cried one of the 
villains, " what did you fight for? 

"YOU SHAN'T HAVE WATER." 

It was a scene of indescribable bl odi- 
ness — the screaming women, menaeed 
by the resolute robbers; the groaning 
victims, the disguised faces of the fiends 
and their lust for plunder paramount. 
No wonder that Henry Berry Lowery, 
ashamed of the remembrance, threatens 
to shoot any man who says he took part 
in the performance. 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



29 




THE HOME- GUARD DEMORALIZED 



After a little time one of the women 
was allowed to go and get water, while 
the rest were locked up under guard. 
Then the robbers ransacked the house; 
opened trunk after trunk and took some 
of them out in the yard to investigate 
their contents. They finally made their 
escape laden with plunder, and it was 
not until John Dial pointed out the 
place wiiere they had cut clubs in the 
swamp and built the fire that the whole 
matter was exposed. Dial has now been 
in jail at Whitesville two years. Two 
of '.he persons concerned in this murder 
have been condemned and escaped, two 
are in jail and one was hanged. 



THE ONLY BANDIT HANGED. 
Henderson Oxendine was finally 
arrested at the house of his brother-in- 
law, George Applewhite, the negro, 
while waiting for Mrs. Applewhite to be 
confined. The authorities, aware of the 
condition of the culprit's sister, stayed 
around the house all night and got in at 
daylight, supposing Applewhite to be 
there. They at once arrested Hender- 
son Oxendine and Pop Oxendine. The 
pfrsons named as present at the murder 
of Sheriff Kinjr, in 18G9, were John 
Dial, Stephen Lowery, George Apple- 
wliite, Henderson Oxendinp, and Calviu 
Oxendine. These at least were in the 



30 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



custody of the officers at one tirnp, while 
Henry Berry Lo\v(;ry, Boss Strong and 
others also present, were at large, 

Steve Lowery and George Applewhite 
were condemned to be hanged, when, 
prematurely, the majority of the pris- 
oners, among them the condemned, dug 
their way out of the prison. 

When Henderson Oxendine was 
hanged there were about thirty-five per- 
sons present in the small jail yard, bu^ 
the tree tops overlooking the enclosure 
were filled with whites and negroes. 

The gallows was of the rudest con- 
traction, built against the high picket 

fence of the jail, with a trap, which was 

held up by a rope passing over the short 

beam secured, behind the Upright joist 

by a wooden clamp, so that it could be 

severed by the blow of a hatchet. 

Oxendine's mother came to the jail the 

morning of the execution and condoled 

with her boy. 

He was a thin-jawed, columnar-necked 
wild, whitish mulatto, with ears set back 
like a keen dog's, a good forehead, pierc- 
ing, almost staring round eyes, with 
dark, barbaric lights in them, a nose 
eminent for its alert nostril, and a long- 
ish, near bottomed chin, set with thin, 
dirtyish beard, and a mouth of African 
suggestion. 

Pride and stoicism were in his expres- 
sion, and negro-like, he sung a couple of 
hymns on the gallows out of the Baptist 
collection. 

His executioner was a Northern rough 
named Harden, or Marsden, a waif 
from somewhere, who resembled a 
sailor's boarding house runner, and was 
of lower estate than the Lowerys. 

This is one of the beings who has 
rung himself in on the people of 
Robeson county, ostensibly as a detec- 
tive. He pinioned Oxendine and then 
severed the supporting rope with the 
hatchet. 



No attempt at rescue wag made. 
THE MURDER OF OWEN C. NORMENT. 

The first murder committed in cold 
blood for revenge was upon the person 
of Owen C. Norment, who lived four 
miles from the hut of Plenry Berry 
Lowery and eight miles from Red 
Banks station. His house was also 
three miles from Alfordsville, on the 
road to Lumberton, and not far from 
the dwelling of a white desperado called 
Zach McLaughlin. Aaron Swamp, a 
feeder of Back Swamp, was near Nor- 
ment's house. Triis murder was com- 
mitted by Zach McLaughlin, by order 
of Henry Berry Lowery, who, with hi.s 
command, was posted near. It was the 
first white man killed by the gang since 
18G4, a lapse of more than five years. 

Norment was an overbearing ex- 
slaveholder, who had shot a man dead 
at Charlotte, N, C, for calling him a 
liar, and had been tried for it and ac- 
quitted. 

He had very black hair, whiskers and 
eyes, and weighed about one hundred 
and sixty-five pounds. 

His ofllence was I'aising the people 
against the L)werys, charging robberies 
to them and threatening them. 

Hearing loud noises, as of the stir- 
ring up of domestic animals, the rat- 
tling (if wagon chains, &c., outside of 
his house. 

Norment walked out in the dusk of a 
Saturday evening and asked who was 
present. Hearing somebody moving in 
the dusk, he called for his wife to give 
him his gun. 

Almost immediatelv a gun was fired 
only ten feet from Norment and he was 
shattered in the lower members and 
elsewhere with shot and ball. 

He fell instantly, and being removed 
to the house, a servant was despatched 
for a physician. 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



31 



Dr. Dick obeyed the summons, and 
being driven in a mule buggy by one 
Bridgers, they were greeted, one mile 
from Norment's honse, with a discharge 
of firearms, which killed the mule and 
forced the driver and the doctor to take 
to the woods. 

The same night Archie Graham, a 
neighlior, was shot and dangerously 
wounded, and also Ben MacMillan, an- 
other obnoxious personage. 

Tho house of a Mr. Jackson, on the 
Elizabeth road, was sIm) fired into and 
his dog killed. 

The robbers held carnival that night 
and resumed the reign of terror. 

Norment's leg was amputated, but 
the doctor was nervous, as the wounds 
were fata!, for he died on Monday 
morning, thirty-six hours after being 
shot, leaving a wife and three children. 

THE MURDER OF JOE THOMPSONS 

SLAVE. 

The Lowervs had once been slave- 
holders, and Henry Berry always refers 
to the full blacks as " niggers." 

A good while prior to the time of the 
killing of O. C. Norment the Lowery 
gang shot dead a negro belonging to 
one Joe Thompson, who lived at 
Ashpole Swamp, sixteen miles from 
Lumberton, and was a neighbor of 
Henry Berry Lowery. 

Tlie band had robbed Thompson's 
house of bedclothing, <kc., and, thinking 
of some story relative to their doings 
which the negro had told, they shot him 
dead at his own shanty. 

Then they ordered Thompson's driver 
to gear up the family carriage and drive 
them home, which he did, and they left 
the vehicle not far from Henry Berry 
Lowery's house. 

This must have been about at the 
close of the war, for tho driver narrates 
that three United States deserters or 



escaped prisoners were then with the 
mulatto robbers. 

THE FATE OF ZACII M'LAUGHLIN. . 

Tliis Zach McLaughlin, who is alleged 
to have inflicted the mortal wound upon 
Mr, Norment, met with a fate justly 
deserved. 

He was a native of Scotland, and one 
of a low, sensual, heathenish type of 
white men who consorted with mulattoes 
and spent his low energies in seducing 
mulatto girls and women. 

Having laid out in the swamps with 
the Strongs, Lowerys and Applewhite, 
lie picked up an almost equally renegade 
white by the name of Biggs, when, one 
evrninc, the twain met at a mulatto 
shanty upon an identical object — nam.ely 
a mulatto syren. 

As they quitted the place to go home 
McLaughlin, who was drinking deeply 
of villanous liquor, said to Biggs, with 
an oath : — 

" I'll kill you right here unless yo\i 
join with me and rob the rmokehouses 
and shanties of some of tluse fi-eedmen. 
We want you with our crowd, and 
you've got to come or die." 

Biggs says in his statement that ho 
went, out of the feiir t)f death, and 
helped in the robberies of that night, 
but privately made up his mind to 
escape from McLaughlin or to kill hini 

McLaughlin finally grew very drunk, 
and insisted upon building a fire at a 
place in the sw:inip and resting there. 

These twu men were now quite sep- 
arated trom other compani<tnship, and 
when the fire was lighted, McLaughlin, 
who possessed a monopoly of the arms, 
compelled Biggs to sleep between him- 
self and the burning brands, while he, 
meantime, bent akimbo over the burn- 
ing blaze and dozed. 

Biggs began to test the sleeping out- 



33 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



oast by roUiiifj and moving, and finally 
by jostling McLiughlin. 

Reniemberini; his description of his 
pistols, and in particular one pistol, 
which was described as 

NEVER MISSING FIRE. 
Biggs manage i to pull it from the sheath 
in McLaughlin's belt. With this he 
shot the white outlaw through and 
through and then slipeed away into the 
swamp to see if he moved. 

The drunken beast being perfectly 
dead, Bij^gs made his way to Lumber- 
ton and related the story. Seaith was 
made, and cfi the spot of ground indi- 
cated, beside the extinguished fire, the 
bloody carcass of McLaughlin was dis- 
eovered. 

Just previous, to. this affiiir — Novem- 
ber 9, 18T1 — ^McLaughlin and Tom 
Lowery had escaped from Lumberton 
jail by availing tiiemselves of a loose 
iron bar and wrenching the grates off 
the jail windows. 

Biggs received 8400 for his two shots 
into McLaughlin's body. 

He has figured in a subordinate 
degree since that time as a volunteer to 
capture the outlaw chief. 

McLaughlin was altogether a meaner 
specimen of mankind than the Strongs 
and Lowerys. 

THE MURDER OF STEVE DAVIS. 

On the 3d of October, 1870, the 
Lowery band of outlaws appeared at the 
house of Angus Leach, near Floral 
College (female), and pnjceeded to seize 
a large quantity of native brandy, dis- 
tilled there for the fruit-jrrowins neigh- 
bors — some say brandy designed to 
to evade the revenue Laws. 

Lowery's band was alert and fond of 
strong drink, and they seized all the 
available vessels at hand — kegs, pitch- 
ers, pots and measures — to transport the 
liquor. 



Unwilling to despoil without inflict- 
ing pain, they struck old Angus Leach 
over the hip with ;i gun stock, disabling 
him, and a negro man, .showing some 
solicitude for the fluid property, they 
tied up, whipped him with a wagon 
trace and slit his ears with a penknife. 

Thi liquor which they did not remove 
they destroyed bef)re the United States 
revenue officer could find it. 

Next night the persons who had placed 
their fruit, &c., for distillation at this 
place, started in pursuit of the fugitives. 

They found the whole p.irty, very 
drunk, at George Applewhiti-'s, between 
Red Banks and PI timer's station. 

Applewhite was an alert, thick-lipped 
deep-browed, woolly headed African, 
with a steadflist, brutal expression. 

Firing into the house the outlaws 
rushed out, well armed and spoiling fo"- 
a fight. The neighbors wounded nearly 
every man of the party. 

Boss Strong was shot in the forehead 
Henderson Oxendine in the arm and 
George Applewhite in the thigh. 

Steve O. Davis, of Moore county, a 
fine young man and brave as youth dare 
be, rushed ahead of the party and forced 
the fighting in the swampy edge of the 
field where the outlaws were. 

Henry Berry Lowery took deliberate 
sight upon him and shot hiwi through 
the back of the head. He fell dead. 

THE MURDER OF CARLISLE. 

I possesss no data upon the murder 
of a Mr. Carlisle, who appears to have 
been killed in the early part of the 
open and announced warfare, except the 
record that some of the bobtail followers 

of Lowery's band were accused of the 
crime. 

One " Shoemaker John," not proven 
guilty of the murder of Mr. Carlisle, 
received a sentence of ten years in tha 
State Penitentiary March 1, 1871, foF 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



33 



burglary. He appeared to be glad of 
the opportunity to go safely to jail and 
to escape, on the one hand, the mob, and 
on the other the Lowery gang. 

"DAL BAKER." 

In the fall of 18G0 Daniel or " Dal" 
Baker was shot in the leg while near 
Scuflletown, and his leg hud to be 
amputated. 

Several other shootings occurred 
about this time, and the war being now 
•well understood, the citizens, volunteers, 
militi;i and two companies of United 
States troops started in to make a set 
campaign against the outlaws. 

Here some atrocities were committed 
properly belonging to this narrative. 

Amonii the ci imes of the Lowerv 
band must be placed in legitimate con- 
text some of trie more precipitate crimes 
committed ngainst the mulatoes of 
Scuflletown by their white neighbors. 

Eight negroes have been killed by the 
whites episodically in the hunts for the 
Lowerys. 

THE MURDER OF BEN BETITA. 

Bon Botha was a full-blooded negro 
and a violent radical republican among 
his color, and he was used bv the re- 
publican politicians to disseminate their 
doctrines and keep the color in Scuflle- 
town united in vote and sentiment. 

He was what is called a praying 
politician, apt to be frenzied and loud in 
prayer and to exhort wildly, and he has 
cunning enough to ring politics and the 
wrongs of the colored people into his 
prayers, so that he might have been said 
to pray the whole ticket. 

Last winter the democrats having full 
possession of the county, and the Ku 
Klux cfi'iK barefaced and undisjiuisedlv 
through Samson, Richmond and the 
adjoining counties, it was resolved to 
Taake an example of this praying negro. 



The Coroner of the county, KoUer* 
Chaafin, got a party ostensibly to limit, 
for Lowery, he being tho pretext for ;ill 
Ku Klux operations in Robeson, and it 
is alleged that some members of the 
party came out of Battery A. United 
States artillery, then posted in an<l about 
Scuffletown. 

THE ROBESON COUNl'Y KU KLUX 

seldom wore disguises, the Lowery jire- 
text covering all their operations. 

With eighteen voung men thev start- 
ed towai-ds Ben Betha's and the propo- 
sition w:is then sprung to take liiiu out 
and kill him that night. 

Alarmed at this, Chaafin, the !Mac- 
Queens, and somo of the more prudi'Ut 
turned back, afraid of Judge Russell's 
bench warrants. Malcolm MaoNeil now 
took command, and, at the head of tun 
men, marched up to Ben Botha's door 
between twelve and one o'clock, and 
rapping there, said to the negro as he 
appear! d : — 

" Cotne out here? We want you." 
T.;e darky seemed aware by their reso. 
lute faces that his hour, long threatened, 
had come, and he turned I'bout and said 
to his w ife — " Ole woman, 1 specs they's 
gwine to l<in me. Mobbe I'll never 
come back no mo'." 

*• Go and jjet vourhat!" was the nex; 
order, and then the negro was lifted out 
of the shanty, and for one quarter of a 
mill' there was no sign of his well known 
foot tracks. 

The fact was that he had been lifted 
on a horse and ridden off a quarter of a 
mile, so as to hide his traces. The 
tracks reappeared after a certain distance 
and the negro was never more heard of 
after that night, but was found dead, 
shot through and through. 

Judge Russell called npon the Gnind 
Jury to indict every man of this party ; 
but the Grand Jury, with that prove - 



34 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



bial Southern justice manifested towards 
the negro, 

IGNORED THE BILL, 



and then the Judge, witli almost extra 
Judicial severity, put his written protest 
on the records of the Court, and 
denounced the action of the Grand Jury 
as outrageous. 

He then issued his bench warrant, and 
outlawed every man concerned in the 
killing of Betha, and they all ran out of 
the county. 

Malcolm AlacNiel went to Baltimore* 
where he is a clerk in a store, and his 
brother has fled lo I\Iississippi. This 
happened only a few months ago. 

The negio waiter in the hotel at Lum- 
berton said to me in the presence of 
several white men of the town : — 

"They say they go up to Scultietown 
tohuntLovvery ; but I never knew them 
to go there without killing some inno- 
cent person." 

THE MURDER OF HENRY REVELS. 

The mui'der of Henry Revels, a mu- 
latto boy, is nnother case in point. One 
night Dr. Smith, north of Scuffletown, 
came into that settlement and said he had 
been shot at on the road by somebody. 

Dr. Smith was a brother of Colonel 
Smith, the democratic Treasurer of the 
county, and also a merchant at Shoe 
Heel. 

Putting their heads together the Shoe 
Heelers concluded that the fellow was 
Henry Revels, a likely mulatto, who 
had become a leading republican and 
was somewhat saucy around that region. 

He had been brought up by Hugh 
Johnson and made a body servant, so 
that he had a better appearance and 
more intelligence than the ordinary run 
of Scuffletowners. 

Fifteen or sixteen men on horseback 



Heel and rode six miles off, to Johnson's 
place, and took young Revels by force 
out of the house, telling him not to open 
his mouth. 

They carried him to the vicinity of 
Floral College, wliere resided the Rev. 
Mr. Coble, chaplain on the occasion of 
the killing of old Allen F.owery. 

There Revels was shot dead and his 
carcass thrown behind a woodpile. The 
negroes found the carc.iss and called up 
the reverend divine to i.lentify it. 

Coble, by this time not anxious to fall 
into the hands of Judge Russell, had the 
Coroner cited, but before a jury could 
be summoned some person concerned in 
the murder took the body and hid it in 
a mudhole, where the negroes again 
discovered it and the inquest was held. 

Warrants were issued for these Ku 
Klux, and put in the hands of Juhn Mac 
Niell, of Smith township, the constable 
there, but he failed to do his duty and 
all the parties ran away. 

THE OXENDINES SHOT AND WHIPPED. 

This MacNeil, although a constable 
and head of the militia in his township, 
was personally concerned in the outrage 
on the Oxendines. 

Hearing that Tom Lowery, one of 
the outlaws, was dead, and wishing to 
prove it and discover the body, perhaps 
for the purpose of getting the reward, it 
was resolved to pay the Oxendines a 
visit. 

They went to the h'Mise of Jesse 
Oxendine, son of John, who was work- 
ing quietly at turpentine-making, and 
MacNiell said : — 

" Where is Tom Lowery buried ?" 

John Oxendine replied that he did 
not know, and was not aware that he 
was dead. 

The constable's posse then put a strap 
around the neck of Oxendine. and, pass- 



and in buggies started out from Shoe ing it over the limb of a tree, hun<rhim 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



35 



up but the man's weight broke the limb. 

They hung him to a second limb, but 
the sapling- bent toward the ground. 

Thoii they put the strap around his 
nock so that the ends hung over, and 
two men pullrd it each way until the 
nejrro irrew black in the face. 

Nearly at the same time they shot 
another of the Oxendines, at his own 
gate-post through both hands. 

Bench warren ts were issued, but they 
could not have them served by the 
Sheriff or the United States officers, and 
the fifteen or twenty men cuncerued in 
the outrage went out of the county for 
a while until the thing blew over. 

In this brutal way the hunt for Henry 
Berry L )wery goes on, and the people 
who cannot catch him revenge them 
selves upon his neighbors. 

THE MURDER UF ' MAKE ' SANDERSON. 

The mu filer of Make Sanderson — 
Make meaning Malclom — would have 
been fully investigated had it not been 
for the fact that Tom Rus^sell, a brother 
of the republican Judge .Russell, was 
one of the party who murdered him and 
the Judge let the subject drop ou that 
account. 

Make Sanderson was a mulatto of 
such li<:ht skin that before the war he 
enjoyed the general privilege of whites. 
He married a sister of Henderson 
Oxendine, who was afterwards hanged 
at Lumberton. Sanderson's wife being 
also the daughter of John Oxendine, 
who was a half brother of old Allen 
Lowery, father of the Lowery gang. 

There appears to have been nothing 
charged against Make Sanderson except 
his relationship by marriage to the 
Lowery family. 

Tt is generally asserted that he was a 
harmlesss man, " bossed" by his wife. 
On one of tho periodical futile raids for 
Henry Lowery the militia, or the volun- 



teers, among whom was Murdoch Mac- 
lain Ji>[u\ TdyU)r, the Pursells, 'i'oni 
Russell and others, arnsled Make 
Sanderson and Andrew Strong, and, 
tying their wrists together so tightly 
that the blood came, marched them to 
the house of Mr. liiinan, a republican 
and lather of the boy afterwards 

KILLED DY THE LOWERVS. 

At Inman's they gi)t a plough line, 
and, tvins; the two more securelv, then 
marched the pair to John Taylor's who 
lived about two miles from !Moss Neek. 

As Jt)hn Tavlor had gone over to the 
house of his father-in-law, William C. 
MacNiell, the march was continued to 
that point, and here, in the dusk, the 
party stopped in MacNiell's lane, send- 
ing messancs to and fro until dark. 

The object of this was to keep the 
crime within the circle and not put the 
MacNiells in danger of Henry Berry 
Lowery's vengeance.* 

While the negroes were led together 
Andrew Stroiis, certain that lie was 
going to be shot, gave his penknife to 
Ben Strickland, another negro, and told 
him to give it to his wife, because it was 
all that he had in the world, and he 
should never see her again. 

This latter point came out as circum- 
stantial evidence,because afterwufdsJohn 
Taylor attempted to deny that he ever 
had Andrew Strong in custody when he 
was brought before the Court for the 
murder of Make Sanderson. 

At dirk both negroes were brought 
up to William C. MacNiellJ<s yard, and 
all the party of capturers took food on 
the piazza, and while there John Taylor, 
a black-eyed, black-haired, bearded, reso- 
lute man and the most determined 
hunter that ever started against the 
Lowerys, walked out of the bouse upon 
the piazza. 

Both the negroes fell on their kuees 



36 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



and held up their hands, bound as they 
were, and cried : — 

"O, Mr. Tayloi-, save my life! Save 
my life !" 

A KU KLUX NERO. 

Taylor drew baci< with liis foot half 
raised, as if about to kick tliem, and he 
said, bitterly : — 

" If all the mulatto blood in the coun- 
try was in you two, and with one kick 
I could kick it out, 1 would send you ail 
to hell together with my foot." 

The nejiroes were then taken across 
MacNeill's dam, where John Taylor, 
within a few weeks, was to fall dead 
with the roof of his head shot off, and 
marched to the woods north of ISIoss 
Neck station, about one mile, until the 
party reached a sort of wild dell in the 
lonely country. 

John Taylor did not accompany the 
party, but the two MacNeills did, and 
also Murdoch MacLain, Tom Russell, 
some of the Pursells and John Pater- 
son, of Richmond county. 

Andrew Strong, who afterwards re- 
lated these incidents to his lawyer, says 
that himself and Make Sanderson were 
now made to stand up together, asked 
if iney had anything to say, because 
they had now got to die, and with this 
their hats were pulled down over their 
eyes witn an ostentation of pity. Mur- 
doch MacLain, who appeared to be the 
captain, then cried out : — 

" The shooting party will be Nos. 1, 
2, and 3. Step out !" " 

Andrew Strong asserts that No. 2 was 
" Sandy'' MacNeil, brother-in-law of 
John Taylor. 

Make Sanderson, who appeared per- 
fectly resigned, asked if they would 
give him time to pray. 

After a little conterence the answer 
was : — " Yes, you may pray." 

Strong says that Make Sanderson 



then fell on his knees and made the 
most wonderful prayer that he ever 
heard in his life, the woods ringing with 
his loud, frenzied utterances as he spoke? 
of his wife and children, and finally,- 
negro fashion, he became so earnest 
that one of the fellows, who had a towel 
wrapped around his head — so had the 
majoiity — stepped- up and hit Sander- 
son with the butt of a pistol, saying. 

"Shut up, you damned nigger! You 
shan't make any such noise as this if you 
are going to be shot !" 

AFTER THE PRAYER, 

there was some little delay among the 
assassins. 

Some ot them were evidently sff^winw 
frightened between the prospects of 
vengeance from Sanderson's connections 
and Judge Russell's Court. 

This interval Andrew Stronjr im- 
proved to loosen, little by little, the rope 
which tied his wrists to Sanderson's and 
suddenly getting his hand out he rushed 
into the woods and ran like a deer. 

Thev riddled the woods with buck- 
shot and ball, but never saw him again 
until he appeared against John Taylor 
and others in the Court at Lumberton. 

The remaining negro, who exhibited 
no desire to run, being a weak fellow 
without much stamina, was taken back 
to the mill dam by MacNiell's house,for 
the party had lost spirits and feared that 
the other negro would inform upon 
them. 

Here, it is said, they consulted with 
John Taylor, who said that indecision 
w(juld do no good, and that now the 
negro had better be' killed, since his 
companion would spread the tidings. 

For two days Make Sanderson was 
not seen. John Tavlor and all the band 
denied having encountered him at all. 

A negro found him below the mill 
tail, in the swamp place behind the mill, 



THE SWAMF OUTLAWS. 



87 



\\ MYW'f'X 







A SPY CAUGHT BY T!HE LOWERY B AIM BITS- 



shot in the abdomen with a great 

quantity of buckshot, and then again 

shot in the back of the neck, in such 

close quaitcrs that his hair was burned 

as by the flanh of a pistol. 

The man looked as if he had first 

been shot and then endeavored to grope 

his way up out of the water, for the 

p.'ilms of his hands and fingers were 
torn. 

The body was deposited in IMacNiell's 
mill and then hastily buried, but the 
Magistrate of Lurnberton, Parson Sin- 
clair, had it disinterred and the inquest 
held. 

The verdict was, "Shot by parties 
unknown to the jury." 



Magistrate Sinclair issued warrants 
for the leaders in this affair, and sent 
thorn to prison without bail ; but Judge 
Russell, notwithstanding the high nature 
of his offence, released John Taylor on 
a bond of $500, supposedly because Tom 
Russell was in the transaction. 

When Henry Berry Lowery heard 
that John Taylor was out on $500 bail, 
and that this was considered security 
(Miough for the murder of his relative, 
he said — 

" WELL, I WILL KILL JOHN TAYLOR " 

there is now no law for us mulattoes." 

Three weeks afterwards, as John Tay. 

lor crossed tflio mill dam, coming down 



38 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



from ihe house of his f ither-iii-hiw to 
the station, the gang of outlaws rose from 
the swamp within thirty yards of the 
place where Sanderson had been killed' 
and Henry Berry Lowery shot the skull 
and brains ont of Taylor and then rob- 
bed him of his pockctbook 

Tkus perished a man brave, zealous, 
active and a good citizen to all but 



negr es, whom, with the old-fashioned 
contempt for slaveholders, he regarded, 
in the language of Judge Taney, as 
" without rights that white men were 
bound to respect." 

Here my letter exceeds bounds, and 
I will try to finish up the bloody reca- 
pitulation in one more article. 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



39 



TIIR MrLVTTO CAPITAL, 



Origin of the Free Negro Settlement. 
Fir-t AppearaiK'e ut the Lowery 
Ilalr-Kreods Tlie Old Tiisoarora 
Blood. Life and FiM'liii<? in Sciitnc- 
towii. Caiiso of the Vciulelta. Low- 
ery's Cousins Slain by Brant Harris. 
Tlie Mnrdcr of Barnes and Harris. 
Old .Mien Lowery and Bill Lowery 
Shot by tlie Hume Guard. The Vow 
of Keveu.i;^e. Abortive Eftbrts to 
Iklake I'eace. The Lowerys Exempt- 
ed From the Act of Oblivion. 



LuMBERTON, N. C, Feb. 2G, 187-2. 

Here is the place wHere the Lowery 
gansr has been in jail, whence futile pro- 
cesses are issued for them, and where 
any of the members ever caught will be 
hanired or burned. 

Id is a ti)wn almost wholly built of un- 
painted planks or logs, which have be- 
come nearly black with weather stains. 
The streets arc sandy and without pave- 
ments of cither brick or wood. 

About nine hundred people reside in 
the place, and nearly every white man 
in it and in the surrounding country is 
Scotch." 

The country was settled by Scotch 
Highlanders before the Revolution, and 
afterwards by a promiscuous emigration 
from the west coast of Scotland. 

About thirty miles distant, at Fay- 
ctteville, lived Donald and Flora Mac- 
Donald, the latter the savior of Prince 
Charles, the Pretender, the former the 
defeated champion of the royal standard 
at the beginning 0/ our war of independ 
ence. 
_ These Scotch slaveholders were hard 



taslt masters, and they look with pinch- 
ed and awry faces upon the negro voting 
beside them. 

The county government is democratic, 
and so perfectly impotent to catch or 
kill five outlaws that at present it is 
mailing no exertions whatever. 

fiideed, the opinion prevails that the 
SherifTs office has concluded a truce 
up^n what are called honorable terms 
with Henry Berry Lowery. 

If it can be said that these bandits 
are republicans it must also be charged 
that the county government is demo- 
cratic, and the honors are easy between 
pillage and impotence. 

COURT SCENES AT LUMBERTON. 

The Court House is built of brick, 
with a frame pediment above the eaves 
in the gable end, and the court room in 
the second story is covered Milii saw- 
dust to keep the peace while Judge 
Clarke, one of the District Judges, goes 
through the comedy of justice. 

" Make proclamation !" cries he, or 
his clerk, to the Sheriff, who stands at 
an open window opposite the bench, and 
who roars down in a stentorian way to 
the people assembled in the public aiTa : 
"Neil Mc Neil ! Campbell McGrcngor! 
McLcod Duncan ! come into court, as 
you are this day commanded, or your 
security will be forfeited to the State!" 

This kind of noise,*^with variations of 
" Oh, yes ! Oh, yes !" goes on pretty 
much all day, while witnesses, jurors 
and attached people are being summon- 
ed. 



40 



TPIE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



The court room is very crude, large 
and bare, and the Judge looks amazing- 
ly hi<;h up behind the long gallery where 
they expose him. 

He is a queer, affiible old Judge, who 
has fought in the Mexican war, in the 
Confederate arntiy, and commanded one 
of Holden's regiments (Kirk leading the 
other) against the Ku Klux. 

He is at present what is called a 
" scalawag," and says, among m.my 
other things of no consequence, that if 
he ever sees Lowery he will kill him. 
The opportunities appear good for this 
sort of intention. 

Down before the Court House, where 
the people of the county are congre- 
gated, there is an old pole well in the 
public square, where white and negro 
fill their gourds at the dripping backet. 
Around the corner stands the old 
3ray — curious vehicle for such a village 
— on which the Lowery band hauled off 
a safe from the rear of a Lurnberton 
store, deliberately backing the dray up 
throuirh an alley between two houses 
and leisurely setting the valuable casket 
thereon, stopping at the Court House, 
with a contempt of superstition, to haul 
off the county safe. 

To do all this required the opening of 

a man's stable, stealing his horse and 

the robbing of a blacksmith's shop of 

tools to break open the safes, as well as 

the impressment of an additional pair of 

wagon wheels to convey the larger safe 

to the woods. The horse could not pull 

the whole load, and the county safe was 

dropped off within town limits. The 

valiant volunteers and posse of the 

Sheriff marched out of town two or 

three miles and found the private safe 

rl93,d of about twenty-seven thousand 

dollars. 

This was money which had been 

placed in the hands of the safe-owner 

\ for private keeping. Strange as It may 



seem, this robbery caused a feeling of 
relief in many minds. 

With so great a quantity of money it 
was hoped that Lowery 's band might 
have quitted the country, and such rid- 
dance would have been cheaply pur- 
chased at the figure named. 

LIFE AT THE BELEAGUERED TOWN. 

The tavern at Lumberton is without 
a sign-post, and is a weather-stained 
frame house, with small bedrooms, no 
carpets, no bar and a fair country table. 
1 found no milk to drink with coffee 
anywhere in the region, but plenty of 
esiis and chickens. 

The jail — not on the same site where 
Henry Berry Lowery was once confined, 
and whence several of the outlaws ef- 
fected their escape — is truly a singular 
edifice. 

It is built in a grove of oaks and pines 
in the environs of the town, and con, 
structed wholly of hewn timber, enclosed 
bv a high paling picket fence, outside 
of which picket is a log guard house for 
small offenders. 

I stepped inside the jail yard, nobody 
objecting, to make a sketch of the gal- 
lows where Henderson Oxendine recent- 
ly met his fate stoically, no rescue at- 
tempted, only the singing of a couple of 
volnntary hymns himself, negro fashion. 
The cord supporting the drop was not 
severed by the Sheriff, but a desperado 
from Ohio voluntarily assumed the 
office. 

While I sat within the sloping jail 
yard I heard a banjo " tumming" in the 
jail, and ttie negroes confined there were 
comparing with Pop Oxendine and the 
newly arrived offenders for Wilmington 
the relative quality of meals vouchsafed 
at the two prisons. 

The Lumber River, which flows into 
the Little Pedee, of South Carolina, and 
reaches the aea near Georgetown, is at 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



41 



this time of the year little wider than a j 
cit)- street, and of running water, but 
barely forilablc and capable of carrying 
lo'fs :ind rafts of lumber down the six 
score miles of its cour.se. 

Ileariiig horrible imprecations made 
on the other side of the river, accom- 
panied by cries of " Give me my knife ! 
Yes, I'll cut his heart out ! I say gi'e 
me my knife ! My blood's been insult- 
ed. A man ot hoiio' can't live after he's 
been kicked out o' that court room !" 
<fec., <fcc., 

I was relieved to find that it was 
merely a negro lad, rejoicing in his rights 
as a freem-in, who wanted to escape, 
Lowery-fashion, from his mother and 
brother, and vent his whiskey courage 
upon somebody. 

There are many negroes, as 1 found, 
whose freedom takes the form of boast- 
ing and cursing. 

I failed to perceive in the attorneys 
and merchants of Lumberton any 
particular cnideness or inferiority. 

Judge L.'ech and several others were 
representative men of good sense, but 
of strong, unmanageable political and 
social prejudices, and they have suc- 
ceeded in segregating and solidifying 
the negro vote, so that the two faces 
may about be said to make the two 
political parties. 

Here, in the large and motley crowd 
assembled to attend Court, were to be 
seen the rival elements of this pro- 
vicial population. 

The whiles generally wore butternut, 
copperas-colored or gray home-spun 
stuff and large-rimmed, flat, stiff felt 
hats. 

Many of them were very ignorant 
and could not read, and looked upon the 
Court as the very judgment seat of 
Caesar. 

"Yon just stand up and when your 
name is called you say 'guilty' and pay 



your money," I heard a lawyer say to a 
boor. The boor looked as if it required 
vast heroism to say even as much 

THE SCUFFLETOWNERS AT COURT. 

Here, also, were the Scuffletown mu- 
lattoes — that curious race — imposed up- 
on for many generations by master and 
slave, their husbands cuckolded their 
women debased and intimidated, their 
freedom! not worthy of the name. 

Had Robeson county exerted decent 
endeavors to protect these immemorial 
free people, when slavery was the law 
and the' horrible radical had not yet 
subverted " the constitution " which few 
of tlie folks who weep for it ever read, 
or, reading, respected — this ( xisLing 
outlawry would have been precluded. 

Scuffletown, over whose name and 
etymology there seems to be debate, 
possibly got its name from the long 
scuffle of the whites and the slaves to 
reduce it to peonage and make freedom 
under the condition of color, contempti- 
ble among the mulattoes. 

Nobody in the whole region could 
account for this free negro settlement — • 
one of two large aggregations of yellow 
men which has existed in North Carolina 
since the organization of society. 

There were many theories, but no 
reasons at hand fur them. 

1 conceive that these negroes might 
have been the slaves of tories driven 
from the State at the close of the Revo- 
lution, or of the emancipated slaves of 
the Quakers, and that they increased 
and multiplied by accessions from run- 
aways, by the birth rate of force ex- 
erted on them and by the necessity of 
union or the sympathy of all neighbor- 
ing free negroes with a homogeneous 
settlement. 

The comely mulatto women, the 
strange mulatto men, both sexes decent- 
ly clad, were plentiful in town — some 



42 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS 



arriving on mule back, some in short, 
bometnade carts, many on foot. 

There was a good deal of drink ins^- 
among the men and of covert courtship 
and ogling among the girls. Virtue 
was evidently not uniformly high in 
Scuffletown. 

SCUFFLETOWN TOPOGRAPHICALLY. 

The Rutherford and Wilmington 
Railroad runs westward from Lumber- 
ton River. 

Eight miles northwestward it strikes 
the station of Moss Neck. Seven miles 
from Moss Neck it strikes the station 
of Red Banks. 

These two stations bound Scuffletown, 
which spreads besides three or four 
miles on both sides of the track, and is 
surrounded on three sides with swamps, 
which send branches of swamp up 
through it, and in wet weather each of 
these swamps are receivers of supplies 
" bays," bottoms, or pools, which per- 
meate the mulatto fortress. 

In fact, it is a part of the "great 
swamp district of North and South 
Carolina, below the terrace of hills, and 
yet is nothing particularly frightful, 
even to a stranger, and quite unlike our 
notion of the swamps of Florida and 
Louisiana. 

These swamps enclose the rivers and 
their arteries laterally for a few yards, 
and often, or generally, as the stream 
winds, there is swamps on one side and 
low clay sandbluffs opposite. It is a 
mean country for troops to trespass 
upon, but not an impregnable country. 
I believe that I am safe in saying that 
no Northern society would plead this 
region as excuse for not following up 
and annihilating such a crowd as Low- 
ery's band. 

THE LAND OF LOWERY. 

Taking the railroad as the axis of 



reference, and looking away from Lum- 
berton northwestward, we see Rafl 
Swamp leave the river first, and after 
six or seven miles incursion northward, 
send on, parallel with the railroad on 
the right. Burnt Swamp, Panther 
Swamp, and Richland Swamp, exten- 
sions of each other. On this side of the 
track Lowery's band have never com- 
mitted a murder, unless thev killed the 
McLeods. 

Two or three miles above Raft Swamp 
— the river bending to the riiiht of the 
track — the Lumber River, itself swamp 
girt, sends off at opposite sides Bear 
Swamp (for Jack's Branch), which en. 
closes Moss Neck and Bule's stations, 
and Back Swamp, which lies about 
paralled with the Lumber for twenty 
miles, and projects to the southward 
Ashpole Swamp and Aaron Swamp. 

Here, then, are four series of swamps, 
counting the swampy Lumber River, 
The swamps are only a mile ov two 
apart and their feeders diminish the 
distance. On Back Swamp the Lowery 
band keeps its ambush and secret camps. 
The Lumber River is his line of de- 
fence from the railway. The swamps 
around Moss Neck are the scenes of its 
boldest assassinations. The house of 
Henry Berry Lowery, the leader, is 
bi'yond Back Swamp, five miles from 
Moss Neck station, and covered in the 
rear by Ashpole and Aaron Swamps, 
and all Scuffletown is his political ally 
and " boozing ken," 

The operations directed against him 
start from Lumberton on the east and 
Shoe Heel on the west, twenty-one miles 
apart, and each twelve miles from his 
fastness. Further in his rear, on the 
South Carolina side, the Little P^dee 
as well, send up parallels of swamp. 
Florence, a great prison pen for federal 
troops in the war is fifty miles behind 
him. 



THE SVVA^rr OUTLAWS. 



48 



A3 old Aunt Phoebe said to me at 
Shoe Heel. 

" Boss, Henry Berry Lovvery is de 
king o' tlie country " 

SCUFFLETOWN AS A DEFENSIVE 
TRACT. 

The free negroes settled upon the 
SoulTletown tract because the poverty of 
the soil and the half inundated condition 
of the reiiion brought it within their 
means and debarred it from the capacity 
of white men. 

In wot weather, after rains, when 
the Lumber River and its tributaries 
rise, this region is almost flooded, 
and then the only means of iuter-commu- 
iiication are small paths, known only to 
the inhabitants, which connect the island- 
like patches and afford a labyrinthian, 
mazes for escape to any who keep the 
clues. 

The Lumber River has bridges at but 
one or two ])oints, and, being swift and 
deep, must be crossed by scows or 
rafts. 

Jn summer a luxuriant undergrowth 
covers all the swamps and low places, 
and even the prairie pine land, so that 
one cainiot see his own length, while in 
winter the streams are full of water and 
the Swamps more extensive. 

The gall berry tree, sweet gums, post 
oak, hickory, cypress and all the pine 
varieties, grow in the swamps and on 
their margins, and the bamboo vine, 
stretching out eccentrically and profli- 
gately, makes a nearly impenetrable 
abatis. 

The serpents are numerous and often 
dangerous, including every variety of 
the moccasin, the rattlesnake and the 
largest specimens of water and black 
snakes known in temperate regions. 

Lizards live in the decaying logs, and 
snapping turtles appear in the pools, 
creeks and bays. 



The woods are plentifully supplied 
with wild cats, which kill pigs and lambs; 
and the silence of the niglit in the rep- 
tilian region is broken by the great ill- 
omened owl, which utters no mere " tu- 
whil," but appals the silence with his 
long fo: eboding note, like the ver\« 
demon of the woods mourning for prey. 

A TOUR OF SCUFFLETOWN. 

The stranger who expects to see in 
Seulfletown any approach to a munici- 
pal settlement will be disappointed. 

It is the name of a tract of several 
miles, covered at wide intervals with 
hills and log cabins of the rudest and 
simplest construction, sometime a half 
dozen of these huts being proxinjate. 

Two or three places to sell a low 
character of spirits exist where the 
dwellings are densest. The people have 
few or no horses, but often keep a kind 
of stunted ox to haul their short, ricketty 
carts, and a man with such a bovine 
hubin and a pair of old wheels is esteem- 
ed rich; yet, living upon such land and 
for so many years, the mulatoes of 
Scuflletown would have esteemed them- 
selves well to do had they enjoyed any 
security from their white neighbors. 
Tiiey had little more equity before a 
jury than negroes, and it was no great 
ofl^ence to violate their asylums and 
court their wives and daughters. 

The whole Lowery war afterward 
began with Brant Harris' keeping in a 
sort of servile concubinage some girls 
courted by the Lowery s. 

To visit a Scuflletosvn shanty, repre- 
sentative of the whole, is to pass by a 
cow lane or foot track up through a 
thicket and suddenly come upon a half- 
cleared fifld of old pine and post oak, 
enclosed by a worm fence without a 
gate. 

A little old lever-well of the crudest 



44 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



mechanism — seldom of the dignity and 
proportions of a pole well— stands in 
this lot, the male proprietor of which is 
sitang on the worm fence, and he replies 
to youp neighborly salutation without 
changing his position. ^ 

Advancing, to the cabm it is found 
built of hewn logs, morticed at the ends 
the chinks stopped with mud, the 
chimney built against one gable on the 
outside, of logs and clay, with sticks and 
clay fibove, where it narrows to the 
smoko hole. 

There is beside the large chimney 
place, a half barrel, sawed off, to make 
lye from the wood ashes, and the other 
half of the barrel is seen to serve the 
uses of a washtub. 

A mongrel dog is always a feature of 
1 10 establishment. The two or three 
acres of the lot are generally ploughed 
and planted in potatoes or maize, both 
of which come up sickly. 

The yellow woman commonly has a 
baby at the breast, and from half a 
dozen to a dozen playing outside on the 
edges of the swamp. 

The bed is m.ade on the floor ; there 
are two or three stools ; only one apart- 
ment comprising the whole establish- 
ment. 

LOWERT'S CABIN. 

Just such a place as the above is the 
house of Henry Berry Lovvery, the out- 
law chief, except that, being a carpenter 
he has nailed weather strips over the 
iufcersiices between the logs and made 
himself a sort of bedstead and some 
chairs. 

His cabin has two doors, opposite 
each other, in the sides, and it has been 
so many times shot through and through 
with rifle balls that his wife can now 
stand fire as well as her husband. 

The Scuffletowners go out to work as 



ditchers for the neighboring farmers, 
who pay them the magnanimous wages 
of $G a month. 

As many of them arrf intemperate a 
neijjhborin": trader with a barrel of 
molasses and a barrel of rum speedily 
gets the $6 from the whole party. 

The above picture while true of the 
majority of the ScufRetowners. is not 
justly descriptive of all. 

The Oxendines are all w.ell to ao, or 
were before this bloody fend began, and 
the Lowerys were industrious carpen- 
ters, whose handiwork is seen at Lum- 
berton, Shoe Heel and all round that 
region 

Great crimes in Scuffletown were rare 
before the war. 

Petty stealing and pilfering of chick- 
ens and an occasional pig were not un- 
known. 

The whites hated the settlement 
because it was a bad example to the 
negroes. But most of the people were 
Baptists or Methodists, and nearly all 
owned their homesteads. 

RISE OF SCUFFLETOWN. 

By the census of 1860 Robeson county 
contained 8,459 whites, only three free 
blacks, all males, and the extraordinary 
number of 1, 459 free mulattoes. 
There were only 113 foreigners. 

But one county — Halifox — contained 
so many free mulattoes, and that was the 
county whence the grandfather of the 
present outlaws of Robeson emigrated. 

In 1860 there were 2,165 mulattoes 
and 287 free blacks in Halifax. Wake 
county had next below Robeson 1,196 
mulattoes, and after Hertford county, 
with 1,020. There were no counties in 
all the State with more than a few hun- 
dred ; the average was not above fifty 
to each county. 

At the same time Robeson county had 
126 slave mulattoes and 5,329 slave 



THE SWAMF OUTLAWS. 



4o 




ADVANCE OF THE TROOPS INTO THE SWAMPS. 



blacks. Altogether the county contain- 
ed 15,489 souls, the free population 
making alincst two-thirds. 

It stood considerably above the aver- 
age counties of the State in slaves aiid 
population, and out of the full-blooded 
Indians (1.158 in number) ascribed to 
North Carolina, none were set down 
either to Robeson or Halifax county. 

The antiquity of these free negro set- 
tlements might be inferred from the 
fact that by the census of 1850 only two 
slaves were manumitted that year. In 
1860 there were manumitted 258, or 
one out of every 1,283. 

In the latter year there were 5,202 



fugitives from North Carolina to 17,501 
from South Carolina. 

Where did the South Carolina fugi- 
tives hide 'J 

Perhaps no inconsiderable portion of 
ihein sought the swamp counties on the 
southern tier of Norih Car(jlina, and 
begged the cliai-ity of this lai-ge fi ce ne- 
cro settlement. 

THE INDIAN RACE OF THE LOWERYS. 

The question ensues, whence came the 
Indian blood of the Lowervs ? who are 
by general assertion and belief partly of 
Indian origin. 

Why should they and their blood 
>relative3 show Indian traces while Scuffle- 



46 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



town at large is mainly plain, unioinau- 
tic mulatto 1 

ThoJ-e wei-f two sets of aboriginese in 
Nortn Carolina — the Cherokees of the 
west, mountainous Cirolina, who re- 
moved at a comparatively i-ocent period 
to the Indian Territory and of whom 
several remnants remain in the extreme 
western corner or pocket of the State, 
numbering 1,0G2 in Jackson county 
alone. 

Jud^e Leech, of Lumberton, says th.it 
he saw a Cherokee once who resembled 
Patrick Lnwery so closely that he called 
out, " Is that Patrick ?" 

Besides the Cherokees there was the 
Atlantic coast confederacy, led by the 
Tuscaroras and abetted at the great mas- 
sacre of 1711 by the Hatteras Indians, 
the Pamilicos and the Cothechneys. 

These Indians, after adetermin-ed resis- 
tance to the whites, which resulted in 
scaring the Bai-on de Gi-aflT, the Swiss 
founder of Newbern, out of the New 
World, accepted a reservation of lands 
in Halifax and Bertie counties, near ihe 
Roanoke R.ver. 

Tiiey eiiiii^iaied to New York and 
joined the Five Nati(.ns a few years af- 
terward, being thought worthy in prow- 
ess to be admitted to that proud con- 
federacy, but they held the fee simple 
of their lands in North Carolina until 
after the year 1840. 

Some persons of the tribe must have 
remained behind to look after thftse 
lands, and among these, as will be seen 
hereafter, was the grandfather of the 

Lowerys. 

The pride of character of the Tusc;:- 
roras was such that the Cheroke. s, 
Creeks, and other tribes joined the 
whites to subjugate them, and Parkmai: 
says that the Tuscaroras were of the 
same generic stock with the Iroquois 
• and conducted th-^ southern campaigns 
of those Five Nations. 



Ilildreth says that they w?re reputed 
to be remnants of two Virginia tribes, 
the Manakins and iSIanaho* s, iiereditaiy 
enemies of Captain John Smith's Pow- 
hatan. 

They burned the Surveyor General, 
who had trespassed on their lands, at 
the stake, and were in turn partly sub- 
jected to slavery by the militia <;f South 
Cai'olina. Eiiiht hundred of them vvere 
sold by their Indian enemies to the whites 
oi' ihe Carolinas at on3 time, and in 17 iS 
most of those at liberty retired through 
the unsettled portions of Virginia and 
Pennsylvania to Lake Oneida, New 
York. 

This criminal code, enforced against 
Allan Lowery, the father of Henry- 
Berry Lovvery, the outlaw, has had the 
result of making Robeson county the 
seat of a fierce wai'fare for revenge. 

Persons curious about the severity of 
this code may see a digest of it in Hild- 
reth, Colonial, series, vol. II., pp. 271 — 
275. 

The Tuscaroras, in their prime, had 
1,200 warriors in North Carolina. 

In l807 they bought a tract from the 
Holland Land Company with the pro- 
ceeds of their North Carolina lands, 
and it was about at this period that th'-* 
ancestor of the Lowerys removed from 
Halifax county t > Robeson county. 

THE LOWERYS SETTLE IN ROBESON. 

The following statement of the origin 
of the family is derived from the note- 
books of Colonel F. M, Wishart, which 
were entrusted to me to look at by 
Captain F. H. M. Kenney, of Shoe 
Heel :— 

James Lowery, the grandfather of H. 
B. Lowery, came from Halifax, N. C, 
and settled at what is called Harper's 
Ferry (in the centre of Scuffletown, 
two miles from Ruhr's store), bnilt a 
bri(J^e across Drowning Ci'eek, and 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



47 



kept it as a toll bridge; also kept a j spirits recoiled from -.vorking on the 



public house for the accomodation of 
travellers. 

He was wealthy and fairlv "esoected 
by all, and owned slaves. 

lie married a Moman by tne name of 

, and had three sons, George 

Travis Lowery, Allen Lowerv and Tho- 
mas Lowery. 

Allen Lowery, the father of the band 
leader, married a woman by the name 
of Mary Combes and settled on the 
south side of Back Swamp, in a desert- 
looking wilderness, and was the father 
of Patrick, Purdio, Andiew, Sinclair, 
William, Thomas, Stephen, Calvin, 
. Henry Berry and Mary. 

Old Allen Lowery was a good, peacea- 
ble citizen, and well liked. 

He was a great hunter in his vounfi 
days. With his neighbors — Barnes, Mc- 
Nuir, Moore and others — he was willinir 
to share his last cent. All his boys 
were mechanics with him, and the fini- 
ily got on smoothly and industriously 
until the summer of 1864, when three 
'' Yankee " prisoners escaped amon" 
many from the pen at Florence, S. C. 

They made their way to the house of 
Allen Lowery aud were comparatively 
safe, as nearly all the white people were 
in the Confederate arrny and the State 
laws would not allow the niulattoes to 
enlist in the ranks. 

The Scufflt'tosvners'Were mustered in 
only as cooks, <kc., or conscripted to 
woik on the brestworks about Wilm- 
ington. / 

There is a story current that the Low- 
erys in tne Revolutionary War were 
torv bush whackers, but it is also allc"-- 
ed that one of the family received a 
United States pension up to the day he 
died. Some of the boys were willing 
to enter the Confederate army ; as their 
father had kept slaves, but their proud 



fortifications among the netrroes. 

As the war progressed and ihe Low. 
erys got to understand it ihey Sympa- 
thized with the North, and entertained 
at their cabins its escaped soldiery iroin 
Florence. 

A DEMOCRAT'S ADMISSION. 

Mr. Bruce Butler, an larn' st democrat 
and a prominent lawyer in Wilmington, 
said, in reply to an interrogatory : — 

" [ don't think politics has anything to 
do with this outbreak. It began in the 
war, when our impressing officers made 
a requisition upon the free negro settle- 
ment and pulled away these outlaws or 
their relatives to work on our fortifica- 
tions. They complained of the fooil 
the treatment, the woi-k, and so forth, 
and, I believe, the chief outlaw himself 
ran away. Then there was hunting 
made for him and he got to lying out in 
the woods and swamps; next to stealing, 
next robbery. Murder and outlawry 
followed in time — bad begun grew worse 
— that's mv understandiufr of it. " 

OLD ALLEN LOWERY 

One evening at Lumberton I sat in 
the office of Judge Leech, half a dozen 
gentleman present, and they described 
old Allen Lowery. The disposition 
generally manifested by the white peo- 
ple of Robeson county is to put little 
stress upon the murder of this old man, 
but to ascribe the crimes of Henry Berry 
Lowery's band to lighter cause and to 
separate the motive of revenge altogether 
from his offences. 

"The L 'werys," said one of the per- 
sons present, "were always savage and 
predatory. By conducting a sort of 
swamp or guerilla war during the Revfv 
lution thev accumulated considerable 
property, and at the close of that war 



48 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



were landholders, slaveholders and 
people of the soil. Then they grew dis- 
sipated duiing the time of peace, and 
their land was levied upon to pay debts- 
Being Indians, with an idea that their 
ancestors held all this land in fee 
simple, they could not understand how 
it could be taken from them, and for 
years they looked upon society as hav- 
ing robbed them of their patrimony." 

"Yes," said one present, "Allen 
Lowery brought me a case against a 
man who wished to sell a piece of pro- 
perty he had forniely owned, and he 
couldn't be made to understand that the 
man had a good title for it. When 
they were holding the examination, just 
before they shot him in 18G5 the old 
man pleaded in exleniiation of the plun- 
der found in his house that he had never 
been given fair play but had been cheat- 
ed out of his land. He said that his 
grandfather had been cut across the hand 
in the Revolution, fijjhting for the State, 
and that the State had cheated all his 
family. He had the Indian sentiment 
deep in him, of having suffered wrong 
and imparted it to all his sons. Here 
is Sink (Sinclair) Lowery with the 
.same kind of notions to this day. He 
said a little while ago, ' We used to 
own all the country round here, but it 
was taken from us somehow.' " 

" He was a good carpenter," said 
another, " and brought all his boys up in 
industriously. He built this office in 
which we sit. He had a peculiar kind 
of eyes ; they would prowl around your 
face until you got off your guard and 
Mien he would give you a piercing look 
through and through. He had a heap 
of mixed white and Indian pride, but 1 
believe he was whipped at the whipping 
post once for pilfering, but that was so 
far back in his youth that nobody re- 
membered it except by tradition. His 
sou, Sinclair, married a white woinac. 



jThe Lowerys and Oxendlnes were gen- 
erally accounted the highest families in 
Scutrletown." 

" Well," chimed in another voice, " he 
was considerable of a heathen and never 
went much to church except very late in 
life, when he became a Methodist class- 
leader. Old Allen married a girl early 
in life and had one child, but being in- 
different or disappoinied about her, he 
wandered off two years to South Caro- 
lina, and when he returned, without di- 
vorce or notice of any sort, he married 
a different woman. 

"Taking example from him the first 
wife also married a new man. By the 
second wife old Allen Lowery had all 
these children. Nobody ever had any 
complaint to make of him or his boys 
until the murder of Barnes, eight years 



ago. 



THE FIRST MURDER. 
Henry Berry Lowery grew up with 
his fjither, a carpenter and a liunter. 

He was noticed to be a boy of good 
appearance, quiet address, pleasing and 
modest enough, but also to cherish deep 
resentments and to readily take affront. 
His eyes had iiidden in them, a-nd prompt 
to come forth on provocation, the hazel 
Indian lights, and when he was ordered 
to the sand pits, below Wilmington, to 
do laborer's duty, at the age of seven- 
teen, he ran away, and returned to 
ScufHetown, where he was repeatedly 
hunted, and by none more than by John 
A. Barnes, his flither's next neighbor, 
and by J. A. Brant Harris, a white man 
of bad character, who domineered over 
Scnffletown. 

He remained for many months be 
tween the swamps and the shanties_ and 
was joined by Steve Lowery and other 
relatives and acquaintances. 

Unable to work for a living under 
these conditions, the party had to forage 
upon the whites. 



THE swa:\ip outlaws. 



49 



Thus, inssensibly, formed vagabond 
and desperate habits, in whicli, there is 
reason to believe, they found apt tutors 
in some escaped Union prisoners wi'o 
had made their way from Florence, S. 
C, by the light of the North Star, 
straight into Sciifiletown, and who, to 
avoid capture, hiJ in Baelc and Lumber 
Swamps with the young Lowerys, 
Strongs and Oxendiiies. 

Bloody example, the self-reliance of 
an outcast and distaste for peaceful 
pursuits soon overcame Henry Berry 
Lowery, and he grew to hate the slave- 
holders and to identify himself ideally 
with the wrongs of all the mulatto 
settlement. 

BRANT HARRIS. 

This fellow was a bluff, swaggering, 
cursing, redfiiced bully, entrusted by 
the rebel county authorities with keep- 
ing the peace in ScufflL'town anl hunt- 
ing up deserters and conscripts, and he 
meantime gained a penny by "farming 
a turpentine orchard," selling rum, &c. 

He looked like a slave dealer, and 
was the terror of the poor wretches of 
Scuffl' town, whom he used to flog, un- 
roof and insult at will. 

Being a libidinous wretch he took 
possession of some of the lightest dams- 
els in the settlement, and one of these 
was courted honorably by a cousin of 
young Henry Berry Lowery. 

Seeing the white man so much at the 
hut of his girl one of the young Lowerys 
threatened among his people to kill 
Brant Harris if he did not let her alone. 

Tliis being reported to Harris he was 
seized either with apprehension or rage, 
knowin.:-, perhaps, the Indian Qualities 
of the Lowery lads. 

He therefore put himself in ambush 
to kill the lad who threatened him, but 
by mistake shot the wrong Lowery, the 
brother of the boy he hunted. 



This mistake made Brant Harris 
aware that his present peril was greater 
than before, for he had now nfised the 
savajie ire of all the Lowervs and their 
Indian kin. 

He therefore seized both the broth- 
ers of liis victim as persons who owed 
military service on the fortifications ot 
Wilmington, and was deputed to march 
them from Scuffletown to Lnmberton. 

On the way this monster deliberately 
murdered both boys, and one of the 
three, at least, was found wi.th his skull 
beaten in by a bludgeon. 

A fourth brother made his escape to 
the Lowerys and joined Henry Berry 
Lowery, who vowed to kill Brant Har- 
ris at sight. 

The foregoing is thus ingeniously 
paraphrased by Colonel Wishart in his 
book said to be designed for publica- 
tion, part of which, in manuscript, I had 
the privilege of examining: 

" A man by the name of Brant Har- 
ris, who had been a sutler and turpen- 
tine merchant at Red Banks, had a dis- 
pute with the Lowerys (charged to be 
about stolen chickens) and he finally 
killed three cousins of Henry Berry 
Lowery named Jarman, George and 
Bill." ' 

Now, there is no record that the 
Lowerys in question were not as re 
spectable as Brant Harris, and it was 
several years before Henry Berry Low- 
ery's victims amounted to three. 

Brant Harris weighed 230 pounds. 

His character may be inferred from 
the fiict that some of the females of his 
surviving family have given birth to 
mulatto children. 

THE MURDER OF BARNES. 

Before the fugatives in the woods 
and kinsmen of the Lowerys had dealt 
out retribution to Brant Harris the 
family of Allen Lowery had become 



50 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS 



embrfiilcd with thpir nearest neighbor, 
a bacliclor named John A. Barnes. 
This Barnes was a fine hunter and 
could track the fugitives with his prac- 
tised eye through the swamps, so that 
he was an obstacle to them as well 
as an enemy. 

The following is Captain Wishart's 
version of this assassination, the first 
in point of time committed by Low- 
ery's band : — 

After the escaped prisoners from 
Florence reached the Suffletown district 
they made the acquaintance and sought 
the hospitality of Allen Lowery's fam- 
ily. 

Henry Berry, Stephen and William 
Lowery, wishing to give their new 
friends good table fare, went to the 
neighboring farm of Mr. Barnes, their 
oldest acquaintance, and stole two of 
his best hogs, two miles distant, caried 
them home and salted them nicely 
away for long consumption. 

Barnes followed the cart track to 
Allen Lowery's house, saw the remains 
of the butchering and cleaning, and, 
getting out an officer and a search 
warrant, swore to his mark on the 
ears of the hogs, as found on the re- 
jected heads among the offar. 

The three young Lowery's — Henry, 
Steve and Bill — were nowhere to be 
found. 

Barnes requested old man Lowery 
and all his boys henceforth to keep on 
his land or he should help to forward 
them to the batteries to work involun- 
tarily. 

' Here the struggle commenced and 
threats passed and repassed. 

Oil the 12th dav of December, 1S64 , 

•> 7 7 

while James P. Barnes was going to 
Clay Valley Post Office, a distance of 
one mile (the Post Office at the store of 
Cantaiu W. P. Mores), he was waylaid 



half way by IL B. Lowery, Bill Lowery 
and (as supposed or charged) by the 
Yankees and shot. 

He fell with twenty buckshot in his 
breast and side, and then Henry Berry 
Lowery deliberately walked up to him 
with a shotgun, and although Barnes 
cried, " Don*t shoot me aixain — I am a 
dying man," the young mulatto Indian, 
then not more than sixteen or seventeen 
years of age, replied : 

" You are the man who swore to shoot 
me," and fired another load into liis face, 
shooting off part of the cheek. 

The whole party then crept into the 
swamp and disappeared. 

Some of the neitrhbors, hearing the 
shooting and hallooing, hunied up r.iid 
heard the dying statement of Barnes that 
Henry Berry Lowery was his murderer. 

THE FIRST BURGLARY. 

Soon afterward these young men went 
to the house of W^idow MacNair, for 
the purpose of robbing a confederate 
colonel. 

The sick soldier there lent his pistol 
to the widow, who wounded one of the 
robbers, and they carried him off to 
Colonel Drake's, some distance away, 
and ordered Widow Nash, the only per- 
son in the house, to attend to him till 
well, on pain of death. The man re- 
covered in perfect secrecy. 

THE SECOND VICTIM. 

It now became Brant Harris' turn. 

The young Tuscarora who had taken 
the first life without a shudder— and 
that the life of a man 'generally reputed 
to be a good neighbor and useful man — 
built himself a " blind," or curtain of 
brush and old logs ; and as Brant Har- 
ris rode by m his buggy, near Bute's 
store, in the early part of 1865, he was 
riddled with buckshot, 



THE SWAMP OUTLA\YS. 



51 



His horse ran away, and carried him 
a considerable distance. 

Few people sympathized with Har- 
ris, although all were now aware of the 
existence of a savage band of outlaws in 
the swamps, who resisted and baffled all 
means to bring them in. 

Before any efficient means could be 
adopted to arrest young Lowery and 
his brothers and associates in the in- 
tricacies of Back Swamp the army of 
General Sherman, making the grand 
march, swept on by Cheraw and Rock- 
ingham to Fayetteville, and the fora- 
gers or " bummers," who strayed out 
on the flanks, pounced upon Robeson 
county. 

ALLEN LOWERY'S OFFENCE. 

At Scufiletowii they found in tlie 
Lowery's guides, informants and enter- 
tainers, who posted them as to the sta- 
tus of the leading rebels of the county, 
the wealthiest homesteads and such 
other matters as a rapacious soldiery 
would wi.sh to know. 

Some of tlie Lowery boys went out 
with these troops and brought home 
part of the spoils. 

At this period an execution had been 
levied on old Allen Lowery, and his 
son Bill, at law, proprietor of the house 
and ground where the old man and his 
wife resided. Bill had probably had 
association with that part of the family 
whicn had fled to the swamps, but there 
13 poor testimony that old Allen h:id 
ever committed any robberies. His 
son William, the new master of the 
place, governed the old man, who was 
now sixty-fi\e years of age. 

DEATH OF THE OUTLAW'S FATHER. 

When Sherman's army had passed 
on to Fayetteville and Raleigh the ma- 
lignant rage of the people of Robeson 



county turned upon this old citizen and 
the helpless part of his family. 

They little knew what a young de- 
mon they were to arouse for seven en- 
suing years in the wild boy who resided 
in the swamps, and whose motto was to 
be " Blood for blood ! " 

They resolved that the Lowery's 
were then committed adherents of the 
Yankees, that the blood of Barnes and 
Harris was unaccounted for, and that it 
was necessary to muke an example of 
somebody iu Scufflctown to teach them 
that the end of slavery was not yet the 
colored man's triumph. 

Blind, inconsiderate, brutal ill-will 
and cruelty were at the bottom of this 
movement. 

It started between Floral College and 
what is now called Shoe Heel. 

A member of the gang was a Presby- 
terian preacher named Coble, or Cobill, 
an old apostle, exhorter and Phi/risee of 
slavery, and one of the leaders in it 
was Murdoch Mac Lain, who, six years 
afterward, tumbled out of his buggy, 
shot through and through by Henry 
Berry Lowery. 

These, among twenty others, marched 
j upon old Allen Lowery's cabin, and 
dragged out the old man and his wife, 
and two of the sons, found on the prem- 
ises, Sinclair and Bill. 

Searching the cabin they fouiid sev- 
eral articles said to have been filched 

I 

! from the white neiirhbors. This vrtis 

justification enough. 

They carried the old people off to a 
; safe nook and there went through the 

farce of examining them. 
1 The devil's own prirst— Coble or C<v 
' bill — got a prayer ready to make at the 
' execution, and to make his holy rob 

hypocritieally consistent, he pleaded for 

the life of Sinclair Lowery. 
' The negroes say these white Ku KluJt 



52 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



made the condemned people of the fam 
ily dig their own graves. 

They stood the old man, at sixty-five 
years of age, up beside his son, both of 
them enduring the ordeal with Indian 
stoicism, and, by the light of blazing 
torches, as one account relates, shot them 
to deatii with duck shot and ball. 

Coble or Cobill got off his prayer and 
perhaps his gun. Before they shot the 
father and son they endeavored, with 
blanced fear of the vengeance of the 
North, to mai<e the poor old wife of AI- 
len Lowery confess to some justification 
for their act by pointing their pieces at 
her and firing volleys over her head un- 
til she was nearly paralyzed with fear. 

From a thicket near at hand Henry 
Berry, the son of Allen Lowery, saw the 
volley fired which laid his brother and 
father bleeding on the ground. 

There he swore eternal vengeance 
ao-ainst the perpetrators of the act. 

Fourteen citizens have paid part of 
that penalty in the succeeding seven 
years. 

He has been the greatest scourge the 
South ever knew from one of the inferior 
race, and has developed a cunning, blood- 
thirstiness, activity and courage unmatch- 



ed in the history of his race. Some 
have compared him with Nat Turner. 

HENRY BERRY LOWERY AND NAT 

TURNER. 

The insurrection of Nat Turner tO()k 
place in Southampton county, Virginia, 
August, 1831, just over the line from 
Halifax county. North Carolina, where 
the grandfather of the Lowerys lived. 

In Southampton county, as in Halifax, 
abode Indians, a few of whom still re- 
main — the Nottowavs. 

Nat Turner was the senior of Henry 
Berry Lowery, and was thirty-one years 
of age and a slave. 

He was a praying ignoramous and 
believed himself inspired to kill off the 
whites, which he commenced, with four 
disciples, by killing fifty-five men, women 
and children, 

Tiie insurrection lasted only two days 
and after hiding several weeks the leader 
was caught and hanged. 

Henry Berry Lowery has never been 
caught and held. He is a bloodthirstv 
remoseless, able bandit leader. 

In my next letter I shall take up the 
catalogue of his crimes. 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



53 




THE BANDIT IN JAIL. 



KOllTII CAROmV OSCEOLA, 

Further Murders by the Liowery Out- 
laws. A Coiiipiirison. Alive or 
Dead. ni.e:li Rewards for tlie Cap- 
ture or Killing of the Bandit?. Tiiril- 
ling Stories of the Swamp War. 
Cold-hlooded Assassinations. Sudden 
Murders, Cool Robberies, Ruthless 
Retaliation and Footpad Generosity. 
The Feud with the M'Neills. The 
Fight. Lowery's Wonderful Escape 
and Deadly Stratagem. Fearful 
Death of Sanders, tlieSpy. Tortured 
lor Three Days, Bruised, Bled, Poi- 
soned, and Finally Shot. Romance 
Outdone by Facts. How the Suc- 
cess ot the Gang Demoralizes Young 
ScutHetown. The State Powerless. 



Wilmington, N. C. March 2, 1872. 
Since my return and rest in this city 



1 have seen the report of the Ku Klux 
Committee, which is, in general, con- 
firmatory of the information I have sent 
you from personal investigation, analy- 
sis and belief. 

The astounding feature of the Lowery 
band is that they have so long baffled 
detection and paralyzed the public spirit 
and citizen resistance of Carolina. Liv- 
ing upon the border of the North State, 
they have passed, in their excesses, the 
boundary line, and some of the murders 
have been done almost within hearing of 
South Carolina. 

Yet, when the State proposed a vig- 
orous campaign against them, and the 



54 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



militia and volunteers were companies 
of regular United States troops were 
finally withdrawn because an equal num- 
ber of citizens would not operate with 
them-. Adjutant General Gorham stig- 
matized th(j militia in a newspaper let- 
ter, and suid that the regulars, men and 
iillioers, obeyed orders and showed cool 
professional pluck. 

This campaign was made at the worst 
season of the year, the heat and miasma 
rising and the vvoods and swamps cov- 
ered with thick, concealing vegetation. 

Twenty-eight volunteers enlisted for 
this ignominious campaign under Cap- 
ttiin Wishart, " the flower of the coun- 
try," most of them grown to active 
years since the close of the rebellion. 

They were spruce young fellows, fond 
of a drink and a spree, and I am enab- 
led to present some picture of them 
from Captain Wishart's diary. 

A GLIMPSE OF THE SWAMP WAR. 
Thus run f >ur of Wishart's excerpts: — 

Saturday, August 5. — Militia ordered 
to Lumberton ; a pretty sight ! Ne- 
groes, mulattoes, whites — all drunk, 
without arms, ammunition or anything, 
only money enough to get whiskey. 

Later, in August. — Two of my men 
drunk ; one lost his boots, one his pistol 
* * and the pilot was drunk * * The 
red bugs and yellow flies would kill an 
elephaiit * *. 

Saturday, October 29, 187L — Henry 
Berry, Steve, Andrew and Boss were 
at Bear Swamp Academy to-day at pub- 
lic speaking on educational purposes. 
All had two double-barrelled shotguns 
apiece. They captured old J. P. Sin- 
clair, who outlawed them. 

Later in the Hunt, — Andrew Strong 
was seen Saturday, October — , at — , 
Complained of being nearly worn out. 



THE LOWERYS AND THE FLORIDA 
SEMINOLES. 

; As there is a cry for United Statea 
interference in the Lowery war, it may 
be timely to advert to a war held in a 

I similar country in the era of Jackson 

' and Van Buren. 

THE SEMINOLES 

were originally Creeks from Georgia. 

They numbered in Florida, 1594 
men, and of all sexes and ages 3899, 
exclusive of 150 negro men, escaped 
slaves. 

To subdue these Seminoles took a 
campaign of five years and cost $19, 
500,000, besides the pay of the regular 
army and losses sustained by settlers 
from Indian ravages. 

Above twenty thousand volunteers 
were called out. 

Osceola, the Seminole brave most dis- 
tinguished, was thirty-two years of age 
when- the war broke out; Nat Turner 
was thirty-one; Henry Berry Lowery 
was eighteen. 

O-ceola was half white, and his Enir- 
lish name was Powell, the same with 
the Florida assassin tif Secretary 
Seward, who was I'emarked to resemble 
an Indian when he was hanged as Wash- 
ing to, in 1865. 

The Seminoles brought into the field 
1,060 Indians and 250 arms-beai'in<r 
negroes. 

Persons familiar with the Florida war 
trace resemblances between Henry 
Berry Lowery and the Seminole chief 
called Coacooche, or Wild Cat. 

Both young men, they made war a 
predatory pastime, grew merry with ex- 
citement, were cruelly active, and they 
both ridiculed and laughed at the 
soldiery floundering in the mud and 
water to overtaken them. 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



55 



ATTITUDE OF THE CAROLINA NEGROES 
TOWARD THE OUTLAWS. 

In passive allies the Lowerys are 
nearly as well befriended as the Semi- 
noles, for all ScufHetown wishes them at 
least no ill. 

When the troops pursued the scoun- 
drels they could hear a peculiar baric 
like that of a cur precede them, and die 
away in the distance, the mulatto's war- 
ning note passed from shanty to shanty 
to put Lowery on the qui vive. 

If soldiery or armed men are on the 
railway train a movi ment among the 
negro train hands will be observed as 
the locomotive approaches the stations 
of Scuffletown. 

What happens in Wilmington to- 
night will be in the knowledge of the 
outlaws within fifteen hours. 

It is this prescient, omniscient, unac- 
eountable apprehension and intelligence 
of the Lowery which has stricken the 
community infested with a dumb terror. 

The negroes generally in the State 
show adherence to these colored mur- 
derers. 

The Legislature passed a bill, ratified 
by the Governor February 8, 1872, 
offering a reward of $10,000 for Henry 
Berry Lowery, and $5,000 for each of 
the following men : — Stephen Lowery, 
Boss Strong, Andrew Strong, George 
Applewhite and Thomas Lowery. 

It was proclaimed as follows : — 
Now, therefore, I, Tod R. Caldwell, 
Governor of the State of North Caro- 
lina, by virtue of the authority in me 
vested by said act above recited, do 
issue this my proclamation offering the 
following rewards in addition to those 
heretofore offered to be paid in currencv 
to the party or parties who shall ap- 
prehend and deliver, dead or alive, any 
of the outlaws hereinafter named to the 
Sheriff of Robeson county. 



This reward, in addition to a small 
reward offered previously by the State 
and another by the county, brings the 
price of the band up to about seventy- 
Hve thousand dollars. The attitude of 

THE BLACK LEGISLATORS 

was ominious. When the question 
came up of offering an enlarged reward 
for these outlaws several republicans, 
chiefly black members, voted against it. 
It finally passed by 7-4 to l8. Caw- 
thorn, colored, and Fletcher, colored, 
made speeches advocating it. 

Mills proposed to increase the reward 
even more, which Mabson, colored op- 
posed. 

Page, colored, offered an amendment 
to the effect that the reward was to 
be considered open for thirty days, and 
meantime the outlaws be permitted to 
leave the State. This was rejected. 
The yeas and nays were called. 
The following persons, among others, 
about half of whom were colored, voted 
against offering the rewards : — Bryan, 
Burns, Carson, Hargrove, Ileeton, 
Johnston, Marler, Page, Smith, Reaves 
and York. 

This excerpt shows that Lowery 's 
popularity is not confined to the negroes 
of Robeson county, but is considerable 
throughout the State, 

He interrupted an educational meet- 
ing some time ago with his whole armed 
band, and demanded the proceedings of 
the Legislature to be read. 

The State Adjutant General, Gorham, 
stigmatized the Scuffletonians in his 
report as deceitful and in collusion with 
the Lowerys. 

AFRICAN CHARMS FOR THE BAND. 



The superstition of this ganef of out- 
laws has been suggested as a mode of 
aflriphting them. 

When Henderson Oxendine was 



5C 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



handed there were found in his coat 
pockets ;i piece of human bone, appar- 
ently taken from tlie human hand, 
and a quantity of mixed herbs. 

Beinnr interroirated as to whether , 
their many bloody deeds had not given I 
the surviving bandits visions of ghosts i 
and fears of being haunted by their 
dead, the wife of one of them con- 
fessed that, alttiough never hesitating 
in determination, both Henry Berry 
and Tom Lowery and Andrew Strong 
were often blue and mentally uneasy. I 

At this the county newspaper ofj 
Robeson — a very complete and spright- 
ly local paper, edited by a clergyman 
named McDiermid — printed a local i 
about the discovery of spiritual artil- 
lery, baneful drugs, witchcraft, «&c., in- 
tended to be read by the Loweiys, and 
to fill them with apprehension. 

These outlaws take the nev/spapers 
daily, and some time ago, in hunting 
over the deserted shanty of Lowery, a 
copy of the Robesonian was found, with 
the endorsement torn from the wrapper, 
and then carrried to the publishing of- 
fice and the address was there identified. 

The person implicated confessed that 
Henry Berry Lowery gave him the 
money and ordered him to subscribe 
vicariously 

WHERE DO THEY GET ARMS ? 

The Lowerys probably procure their 
improved arms — the breechloaders 
especially — through some of tlie more 
avaricious country merchants, and are 
made to pay heavy rates with the 
money they have got by robbery. 

They have depleted the whole region 
round Scuffletown of guns and pistols. 

In one case a white family slept on 
tlieir arms and walked with them con- 
tinually; but one Sunday, releasing 
vigilance, left their guns for a few j 



moments on the piazza, when the Low- 
ery band, lying in watch, rushed up 
between them and their arras and 
drove the men to the woods. 

INCIDENTS OF OUTLAWRY. 

April 29, 1871. Henry B. Lowery 
and Buss Strons went to a house in 
Richmond county and took two mules 
and a wagon out of a citizen's barn, 
filled the wagon with corn and drove in 
style to Seufllotown, where the corn 
was equally distributed. 

Having no use for horses and vehi- 
cles they returned the team the same 
day to the owner. 

May 3, 1871, Henry B. and Steve 
Lowery and Boss and Andrew Strong 
went on a robbing excursion to the 
house of Mr. Parnell, near Sciiffletown. 

The males of the family fled to the 
woods, the females were bolted away 
in a retired apartment, and the house 
despoiled. 

The bandits waited all night tor the 
males to come home, and threatened to 
kill them if they inopportunely arrived. 

One day in October, 1871, a Mr. 
McNeill was out in the woods hunting 
coons with a fine dog which belonged 
to him. 

As the darkness came on he heard 
what seemed to be human footsteps 
around the tree he was watching. 

Filled with the superstition of Low- 
ery's band he made haste to get home. 

Next morning, sure enough, as he sat 
at Monbeck station, Henry Berrv Low 
ery appeared, armed like a pirate, 
double-barrelled shot gun, Spencer car- 
bine and five revolvers in his belt, but 
cool as a cucumber. 

He had a dead coon over his shoul- 
der. 

" Mr. McNeill," he said, " as your 
dog treed this coon, I thought it no 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



57 



more than right to bring it to you. I 
wish vou would lend me that donj to 
cocn a little on my own account " 

" No," said McNeill, " 1 can't .spare 
that dog, but 1 have got another one at 
home which I might lend you." 

" Oh," cried Lowery, *' never mind. 
I cuess I can cot along without it." 
And he walked off as demurely as any 
honest neighbor. To show this outlaws 
fearlessness, it may be instanced that 
when he went to the house of one 
McKinsley, near Red Bank, he pulled 
off his whole belt of arms and then 
threw them down on the piazza while he 
ordered the family to prepare him a 
meal in a remote apartment and par- 
cook of it there. 

The leading white families remaining 
in Souffletown are the McNeills, Ed. 
Smith, Alex. Mclntyre, Nick and Wil- 
liam Kelly, John McNair, and the Ty- 
tiers. 

The ablest leader against Lowery 
has been J. Nicholas Maclain, who has 
been obliged, nevertheless, to leave the 
county and go to Georgia. He is a 
lighl-complexioned man, sallow, wiry, 
and beardless. 

EDITORIAL COURAGE. 

Mr. James, local editor of the Wilm- 
ington Journal, received a letter from a 
brother editor at Lumberton after the 
safe robbery in February, IS? 2, to this 
effect :— 

All the able-bodied men in town have 
gone west in pursuit of the outlaw. It 
is needless to say that I start east by the 
first train. 

One Oxendine, commonly called Dick, 
keeps a bar at Luinb('rtf>n, unable 1o 
have any repose at Scuffletown. 

His father was the " best-to-do" negro 
In that settlement, and was for a time 
County Commissioner, with a salary of 
$3 a day. 



The Lowerys have not always been a 
peaceful family, even prior to the war 
and it is related that John Quince Low- 
ery killed a relative about 1858, and was 
branded for it in the hand nl Lumber- 
ton. 

Several of these outlaws have been 
acquitted before the Courts. 

Applewhite was condemned, but broke 
jail, as did Steve Lowery. 

Tom Lowery was in Lumberton jail 
when Henderson Oxendine was hanged 
in the jail yard. 

Applewhite had been a slave at Golds, 
boro, and, although a blick man, he 
married a nearly white Oxendine giil. 

Andrew Strong married Henry Berry 
Lowery 's sister, if I am correctly in 
formed. Tom Lowery married a girl 
of Scuffletown named Wilkins, and Steve 
Lowery married an Oxendine. 

THE DEATH OF APPLEWHITE. 

It appears to be well established that 
Applewhite is either dead or laid up 
from serious wounds received in a com 
bat with the militia, near Red Bank, 
in October, 1870. 

He was fired upon and pursued, and 
the bloody tracks in the leaves and 
bushes showed where he had stopped to 
rest and supper. 

His little daughter told the Sherifl 
and posse that he had been hit in the 
mouth, neck and breast and could not 
articulate, and that he repeatedly f tinted^ 

His mulatto wife dressed iiis wounds 
with spirits of turpentine, and the mis- 
erable man had then to return to the 
swamp. 

Soon after this he was surrounded in 
Lowery's cabin, and had to escape as 
best he might by the aid of the band, io 
the darkness before the dawn. 

" IN THE SWAMPS 
these outlaws live on little island-like 



58 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



patches, burrowing under brush, and 
at one place it was found that they had 
constructed a commodious cabin. 

They seldom move at night except 
to do robberies, and take advantage 
of the darkness to slip into the huts 
of their relatives and befrienders. 

LOWERY'ri CABIN. 

The homo of Lowery is now deserted, 
and its log walls and doors show the 
marks of bullets, shot and balls fired 
from the woods and swamps. 

There are two doors on the sides, 
opposite each other, and a trap was 
at one time concealed in the floor, the 
hinges hidden or mortised beneath. 

This trap afforded admission to a 
sort of mine or covered way, which 
ran under the surface about sixty 
yards to the swamp. 

This passage way was filled up sev- 
eral months ago, and the house is no 
longer tenable by the bandits. Here 
Lowery was surrounded in May, 1871, 
by Sheriff MacMillan, George Wisehart 
and a posse of nine in all, but, after 
some exchange of shots, Lowery pulled 
out a small false closet or buttery by 
the chimney, acting as a concealed door, 
and he crept off with his entire party, 

THE FIGHT AT WIREGRASS LANDING. 

A few months later than this, in the 
autumn season, he performed an escape 
of almost incredible audacity. 

There were twenty-three soldiers at 
a spot called Wiregrass Landing, and as 
they looked up the narrow channel of 
the Lumber River they saw Henry 
Berry Lowery paddling a small, flat- 
bottomed scow, his belt of arms un- 
buckled and thrown in the bottom of 
the boat. 

Instantly the whole party opened 
fire, when Lowery, with the agility of a 



terrapin, threw himself into the water 
on the remote side of the scow, tilted it 
up like a floating parapet, and reaching 
inside successfully for his weapons, 
aimed and fired as ci>olly as if he were 
at the head of his band on solid ground. 
In this position he actually wounded 
two of the men and put the whole posse 
to flight. Sheriff AlacMillan vouches 
for the literal truth of this statement. 

A GENERAL JAIL DELIVERY. 

Some of the jail breakings of this 
party have been remarkable. 

May 10, 1871, Henry Berry and four 
other men suddenly appeared in Lum- 
berton jail, where Tom Lowery and 
Pop Oxendine were heavily ironed. 

The rescuers bored with augers around 
the staples of three doors, and also 
bored around the irons fastened in the 
floor, when all the party went forth 
nonchalantly. 

MURDER OF GILES INMAN. 

Mr. Inman was needlessly killed 
while bringing up reinforcements to 
Sheriff, MacMillan. 

Inman Avas a youth of eighteen or 
twenty, and a resolute spirit to cleanse 
the county of its marauders. 

The Sheriff of the county had sur- 
rounded Henry Berry Lowery's house 
and had shown the white feather, with a 
large part of his posse ; and therefore, 
there was a steady cry for the reserves. 
As in the ballad of Horatio, 

Those behind cried, " Forward !" 
And those in front cried, " Back." 

Lowery, meantime, had secretly and 
like a snake slipped out of his cabin, 
and he panted for blood. Throwing 
himself down in the bushes near the 
path, only 500 yards from his house 
where the white hunters lay in force, he 
ordered his band to pick off the advanc- 
ing party seriatim. 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. ^^ 

His own carbine brought down Giles MURDER OF HECTOR AMD A. T. MAC 

NEILL AND WILLIAM BROWN. 



Inmaa instantly. 

At the same instant Roderick Thomp- 
son, another volunteer, was mortally 
wounded by Boss Strong, and Frank 
MacCoy was badly wounded. 

Inman's family is said to have been 
republican in politics. 

MURDER uF MURDOCH AND HUGH 
MACI<AIN. 

The murder of the two brothers, Mur- 
doch and Hugh MacLain, was achieved 
while they rode together along the pub- 
lic road in an open buggy, and accom- 
plished after long and cool deliberation. 
They had several times approached 
the dwelling of these young men, and 
rattled chains and stirred up the domes- 
tic fowls and animals, but Murdoch was 
too prudent to come out. 

He was a superb specimen of the self- 
reliant, impulsive, military Southerner, 
never capable of acknowledged merit in 
a negro accompanied with humility, and 
at the murder of Allen Lovvery by the 
neighborhood he was second in com- 
mand. 

As he was riding along Henrv Berrv 
Lowery from a "■ blind" at the roadside 
and at close quarters snapped his gun. 

Murdoch instantly reached for his 
arms, which he carried with him perpet- 
ually, but before he could bring it to his 
shoulder he was riddled with buckshot, 
and the horse started off at a gallop 
with both brothers mortally wounded. 

This murder has been the latest com- 
mitted by the Lowery band, and its 
purpose was solely revenge. 

In killing MacLain Henry Berry Low- 
ery shed the blood of one of the highest 
youthful spirits in that region, but one 
unfortunately, whose record against the 
colored race was long and hard and 
dark. 



The murders of Hector MacNeill, A. 
MacMillan and William Brown happen, 
ed in the summer of 1870, within sight 
of a large camp of troops and directly 
upon the railroad track near Bure's sta- 
tion. 

It had been deemed sagacious to make 
prisoner the wife of Henry Berry Low. 
ery and to deposit her and her children 
in Lumberton Jail as an accomplice of 
the outlaw chief. 

Filled with rage at this act Lowery 
and his gang made their way rapidly 
across the swampy country and, throw- 
ing themselves down behind some decay- 
ed railway tier, waited like panthers for 
the soldiery u> appear. 

They came leading the mulatto wo 
man and her children, jocular and un- 
suspecting. 

Suddenly there was a series of re- 
ports of firearms, and the three persons 
named were down on the track moaning 
in the anguish of mortal wounds. 

The woman and children were left 
standing on the track and the rest of 
the escort party ran away more or less 
injured with buckshot. 

Berry Barnes was shot in the head 
and Alecl; Brown in the ankle. The 
troops fired the camp, riddled the woods 
with ball, but the creatures of the 
swamp were nowhere to be seen, and 
the woods resumed their melancholy 
and silence. 

The three victims belonged to the 
best families of whites in that region, 
and their summary fate filled the whole 
country side with the pall of woe and 
terror. 

Society seemed to have become dis- 
rupted, the law without avail, and ven- 
geance without call or reach of God or 
man 

1 talked on this matter with two of 



60 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



the intimate white neighbors of the 
Lowerys — viz., MacNeill, and McLeod. 
MacNeill is a little, thiclv-set, aged old 
man, with hard, twinkling eyes and 
homespun clothes. 

" I think I ouj^lit to liave some svm- 
pathj," he said, "I have been robbed 
time and again, my wife and daughter 
shot at my J;hreshold^ my son-in-law, 
Taylor Willard, and his family, returned 
upon my hands for support, and my 
sons banished from their country on 
penalty of death." 

■ "They have robbed me," said McLeod, 
"of above three thousand dollars, com- 
pel me to give tkem food and set it out 
on my table for them, and when my 
wife said the other day to Henry Berry 
Lowery that he had impoverished us, 
he answered cooly : — 

" Well, I always know where to come 
•when I want anything." 

" They took my watch," resumed 
McLeod, " and stopped me the other 
day, and seized my pocket-book. Low- 
ery looked over its contents and said, 
' Sixteen dollars, is that your whole 
pile ? Well, I won't take that.' " 

" 1 have no desire to see any ven- 
geance done to them," concluded 
McLeod, " if they only leave the coun- 
try and never return. I say let them 
go, for really this band looks like as if 
it never would be caught and never 
give us ftny ptace." 

THE MURDER OP DANIEL AND MAC- 
NEILL M'LKOD. 

In Moorfi county, a night's ride from 
Scuifletown, a party of disguised men 
killed Daniel and MacNeill McLeod 
ai>d stabbed two women and a boy. 

The motive was apparently robbery, 
as the victims were supposed to have 
been in receipt of a large sum of money, 
and, as a horse and buggy had been 
stolen the previous night near Shoe 



Heel, the act was supposed to have 
been committed by Lowery's band. 

The perpetrators of the act were 
never discovered, but a negro nei''hV)or 
oi the McLeods was shot dead by the 
citizens on suspicion of having been a 
spy of the Lowerys. It is not that clear 
this band in chargeable with the crime. 

The story of John Tayh^r's death was 
partly recited in a previous letter, but 
as a crime, and not merely as a codicil 
to the death of "Make" Sanderson, it 
deserves repetition. 

THE MURDER OF JOHN TAYLOR. 

January 14, 1871, Henry Berry 
Lowery murdered John Taylor, the 
most determined and uncompromising 
of his pursuers, at Moss Ni-ck, on the 
mill dam, within two hundred yards of 
soldiers on guard at the railway station. 

The outlaws had previously robbed 
Taylor, threatened him, and sent him 
word that he should be killed on si^ht. 
Taylor had spent the previous night 
with his father-in-law, William C. Mc- 
Neill, who lived a short way from the 
depot. 

Saturday morning, at eight o'clock, 
he started with Malcolm D. MacNeill 
toward the depot to meet the train. 
Henry Berry Lowery and two others 
suddenly rose up from the swamp be- 
side the dam, and Henry Berry fired a 
shot gun three feet fr> m Taylor's head, 
sending the whole charge through his 
head and temples, blowing off part of 
the skull, and fragments of the brain fell 
into the mill dam and floated down 
against the bank with the current. 

Steve Lowery almost instantly fired 
at Malcolm MacNeill. 

Henry Berry Lowery ran out of the 
swamp, seized the quivering body of 
Taylor by the legs and robbed it of $50 
currency. 

The troops at the depot rushed down 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



6* 



\f<Cb^ 




THE OUTLAW SHOT IN HIS CABIN. 



to the spot where the outlaws disap- 
peared into the swamp and fired, and 
the same evening the Luinberton militia 
took to the swamps, twenty-five in 
number, and stayed out all night. 

Not finding anything the people began 
to adviicate bloodhounds as the only 
way of tracking up the desperadoes. 

THE MURDER OF JOHN SANDERS. 

No crime known to modern society 
presents such dark, mediaeval features 
as the killinij of Sanders, a detective 
polico officer from Boston and a native 
of Nova Scotia. 



It was the concluding portion of a 
career of wild adventure, and to this 
day the people of Robeson county turn 
pale at the bloody reminiscence. 

Sanders was one of several man who 
have sought to obtain the large reward 
offered for these outlaws, dead or 
alive, in a sum in gross equal to a 
handsome little fortune, and he was 
accredited by the Sheriff of New Han- 
over county to three or four white re- 
publicans of Scuflletown. 

Sanders appears to have been desti- 
tute of honor ; but his scheme of cap- 
turing these men was a shrewd one. 



62 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



Aware that they were anxious to 
leave the swainps and get safely out of 
the United States to Mexico, or, at 
least, to the frontier country, he pro- 
posed to show them the way, assume to 
be their protector and friend, and ulti- 
mately to give them up on the road by 
arranging, beforehand, to have them 
intersected at some point in South 
Carolina or Georgia. 

At the time Henry Berry Lowery 
fathomed this design and slew Sanders 
for his treachery a wagon had been 
prepared and packed, and the outlaws 
had fully agreed to slip off, escorting 
their movables and families under cover 
of the woods and broken country. 

To bind them to his confidence by 
extraordinary means Sanders prosti- 
tuted the rites of Masonry and 

ORaANIZED MASONIC LODGES 

in the Scuffletown region while teach- 
ing a small negro school in that 
vicinity. 

He spent eighteen months of per- 
severing cunning to win the sceptical 
hearts of the bandits, but became him- 
self corrupted by their females, and 
reckless of speech and association. 
Being suspected and looked upon with 
an evil eye for living among the mu- 
lattos and teaching them, Sanders also 
joined the Ku Klux to appease the 
white population, and, it is rumored, 
was concerned in several night enter- 
prises, whippings and vigils. 

Here we have the perfection of 
Goblin reality — a man sworn into 
Masonry and, also, the Invisible Em- 
pire, for the purpose of bringing a 
band of outlaws to justice. . 

Sanders was a stoop - shouldered, 
thin-visaged, hook-nosed man, with a 
broad, sharp forehead ; he had keeness 



if apprehension and undoubted bold- 
ness. 

He died as he had lived, in mystery, 
and out of the sight or reach of pity- 
ing man, and there is reason to be- 
lieve that his fate was to be attributed 
to the want of caution of some of the 
county authorities who had learned his 
purposes. 

SANDERS' CAPTURE BY THE 
LOWERYS.: 

In the middle of December, l870, 
Sanders established a camp in a " bay" 
near Moss Neck, close by the house 
of William C. MacNeill. 

Sanders was a loose talker, and had 
informed many persons of his object 
and MacNiell's sons visited him in his 
secret camp and gave him advice and 
information. 

According to the statement of one of 
the MacNeill boys, made before he was 
warned out of the country, there was a 
x-endezvous of several of the neighbors 
called at Sanders' camp on Sunday, 
November 20, 1870. Some of the 
young men got to the camp at four o'- 
clock in the afternoon, but MacNeill did 
not arrive until seven o'clock. 

As he walked down toward the "bay" 
the young men slipped up to him and, 
with ghastly faces, whispered that they 
were all surrounded and that to move 
would be certain death, covered, as they 
all were, by the shot guns and pistols of 
their besiegers. 

The impetuous MacNeill reached his 
hand toward his pistol, when four men 
rose up in the bushes close beside him — 
namely, Henry Berry Lowery, Stephen 
Lowery, George Applewhite and Boss 
Strong. 

Henry Berry Lowery advanced, with 
a cool, fiendish look, and took MacNeill's 
repeater from its case, and told him to 
make himself at home that night, for he 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



63 



would be detained. MacNeill, disarmed, 
joined the other prisoners around th^. 
outlaw's camp fire. 

After dusk Henry Berry Lowery led 
MacNeill off from the camp into the 
swamp and said : — 

" God damn your soul, I want you to 
tell me where Sanders is. He is expect- 
ed here. If you don't tell uie where he 
is and why he don't come I will kill you 
dead. I intend to kill you anyhow when 
I get Sanders. You had better own 
right up !" 

Not obtaininf; anvthin<f from Mac* 
Neill, the outlaw walked him back to 
the fire, and, after a little time, Steve 
Lowery took MacNeill out for a like 
purpose. Steve Lowery told MacNeill 
that if he did not make a clean breast of 
his knowledge of Sanders Henry Berry 
Lowory would make the whole gang rid- 
dle him. 

Steve showea a.iIacNeill a pack of 
cards which he had purchased at the 
Scotch fair, a few miles from Shoe Heel, 
and remarked, " We boys go anywhere, 
and 

THE WHOLE COUNTRY BELONGS TO 
US." 

Young MacNeill testifies that all that 
night messengers were sent out to confer 
with invisible persons, whose voices were 
heard on the road side. These posted 
sentinels and the outlaw leaders in camp 
kept up communication all night long and 
toward daylight the bandits grew very 
impatient and threatened their prisoners 
many times. 

At early dawn Steve Lowery being 
out on guard, the detained prisoners 
heard the cry " Halt ! " and heard sev- 
eral other voices belonging to persons 
not seen in the camp. Almost immedi- 
ately the voice of Sanders, the detective. 
Was heard, saying, " I surrender." 

Henry Berry Lowery, George Apple- I 



white, and Henderson Oxendine now 
r. n out and the conmiand was heard to 
take the prisoner on to the Back Swamp. 

In a few moments Henry Berry 
Lowery and his brother Stephen 
returned, saying, " We have got the 
buck we wanted." 

Henry Berry Li»wery then turned to 
Malcolm MacNeill and said, " God 
damn you, I have a great mind to kill 
you right here. I ought to have killed 
you before. 

" You have been hunting me for years. 
You are young, stout, and healthy, 
however, and I don't want to take 'your 
blood. I hate U> interfere with you and 
your people ; but you have already 
done so much to have me hanged or 
shot that it would be right if I should 
kill you right here. 1 will let you go 
this time, however ; but you make 
yourself scarce in this country. Your 
folks may keep that siiebang at Moss 
Neck; but you won't know when your 
time has come. Get out of this country 
mighty quick. Your father may stay 
here if he wants to, but 

TELL HIM TO WALK A CHALK LINE." 

Young MacNeill then retired, covered 
with the rifle of his unappeasable foe, 
and he lost no time in obeying commandy 
and quitting the counti-y. Sanders, 
wiiose voice he recognized, was never 
seen again by mortal eyes except by 
the outlaws. 

Nearly a month after the arrest of 
Sanders, and on the testimony of the 
people detained at his camp by the 
Lowerys, three persons were arrested 
as accomplices in the murder and charged 
with being guardians of the road and 
entrappers of the unfortunate Sanders. 

These were Dick Oxendine, who now 
keeps a barroom at Lumberton, John 
Sampson and Robert Ransom. 



64 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



The end of the unfortunate Sunders 
was related by Henderson Oxendine, 
one of the outlaws, prior to his execu- 
tion, and is fully confirmed by Henry 
Dcrry Lowery himself, who said : — 
•'The efficiency and morale of my 
comnumd compelled me to lull San- 
ders. We all pitied him, but if 1 
hadn't killed him I would have had no 
ri^ht to liill John Taylor or any of the 
rest." 

They marched Sanders to a secret 
camp on a small island in Back Swamp, 
near the residence of the late Zach T. 
Chandler, and proceeded forthwith, 
with devilish malignity, to torture him, 
by firing volleys over his head, bruising 
him with gunstocks and clubs, and 
finally by administering doses of arsenic 
to him and 

OPENIXCJ HIS VEIIS'S WITH A KNIFE, 

For three days, or until Thursday, 
these horrible wretches surrounded their 
white victim, their dull blue eyes calmly 
enjoying his agonies, and he reminded 
every hour that escape or mercy were 
hopeless. 

Human or savage nature, happily, 
seldom presents a picture so atrocious 
as one decoyed and disappointed man 
guarded in the wild swamps of Caro- 
lina, but almost within sound of Chrsi- 
tian firesides, looking into inevitable 
and violent death after days of pain. 

The victim's fortitude and philosophy 
earned the respect of his murderers, 
and before carrying his sentence into 
execution they permitted him to write a 
fiirewell letter to his injured wife and 
family, which they posted by mail with 
a sort of grim and military observance 
of justice. 

The object of keeping Sanders alive 
for the better part of a week has not 
been explained — whether due to divided 



councils, love of persecuting him while 
still alive, or the desire to wrest infor- 
mation from him. 

He had reason to lament that he ever 
left his residence and associations in 
enlightened New England, to die thus 
miserably in the swamps of the Pedee 
region, among the human moccasins 
that infested it. 

On Thursday night the outlaws told 
Sanders that his time had come, and 
they blindfolded his eyes and tied him 
to a tree. 

He made a few words of a prayer 
and gave a signal, and at once Steve 
Lowery, the darkest Indian of the 
group, 

EMPTIED BOTH BARRELS OF HIS 
SHOT GUN 
into the helpless wretch. 

After the hanging of Oxendine, a 
party of twenty-five soldiers and citi- 
zens, led by Mayor Thomas and Lieuten- 
ants Home and Simpson, followed the 
directions given by Oxendine, and, 
without difficulty found the camp w here 
Sanders hud been confined. It was in 
the densest part of the swamps, and 
scattered around were the spade used 
for digging the grave and some cooking 
utensils. 

They proceeded to search for the re- 
mains, and found them decently wrapped 
in a blanket, and deposited face up, 
with the hands folded in a dignified 
manner, and the daugerreotype of 

THE MURDERED MAN'S WIFE 

reverently placed upon his breast. 
These cool particularities and delibera- 
tion make the tragedy even more hein- 
ous by the awe which they inspire. 

It is murder with the appearance of 
sovereignty and martial right. 

The occurence will frighten the rising 
generation of Carolnia for the century 
to come. 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



65 



THE ANARCHY OAUSED BY THE 
LOWERYS. 

One looks in vain for any other cause 
of this fateful and scandalous slate of 
affairs in an old and sedate part of 
North Carolina than the anomalous fact 
of a large free negro settlement in a 
period of slavery, and the shiftless, 
predatory and insolent' dominion of a 
few families in it of corrupted and 
savage blood, wliich could be tamed 
with difficulty and never quite sub- 
jugated. 

Freedom fell wiih almost tropical 
heat and spontaneity upon this settle- 
ment and warmed to active life the 
Lowery vipers, who proudly essayed to 
compete in military qualities with the 
late slaveholders and Confederate sol- 
diery. 

Party politics has only availed to 

intensify, prolong and dignify this 

strife, while meantime murders reach 

thi' score and the robberies are innume- 
rable. 

Enougn can be said on the side of 
the Lowerys to give them a trifle of an 
apology, but the condition of things is 
now such that all classes of the popula- 
tion are interested in the death and 
overthrow of th^se scoundrels, who are 
worse than Ku Klux — they are Apaches. 

They are turning the heads of the 
colored people and prompting negro 
imitators, and 

THE VERY CHILDREN OF SCUFFLE- 
TOWN 
are growing up barbarians with the lust 
for plunder and rapine. 

There is little to choose between the 
politicians of the rival parties. 

The undoubted existence of Ku 
Kluxism — now perished utterly and 
without mourners or apologists — has 
made the republicans take the part of 
the Lowery gang as a necessary reac- 
tion and return of resistance. 



But the Lowery feud began in 1803, 
before the Confeder.icy was suppressed, 
and proceeded entirely from causes in- 
separable from the war. 

The leader of the gang, and, indeed, 
all associated with it, have shown a 
ferocity, a premeditation and an insol- 
ence frightful to understand and destruc- 
tive of all example and order, 

Tne State and county authorities have 
dene their best and accomplished noth- 



mg. 



The desperation and confidence of 
the outlaws is greater than ever. They 
fear nothing and terrify all. 

Can Congress or the President permit 
the colored people of the South to be 
longer debauched by this spectacle of a 
few men of color defying a State ? 



OMINOUS INTELLIGENCE. 

Wilmington, N, C, March 23, 1272. 

The latest intelligence from the 
Herald correspondent in the hands of 
the Robeson county outlaws renders 
even more grave the question of his 
probable fate. It was his intention to 
accompany the outlaws to their several 
hiding places, they agreeing to carry 
him to their haunts in the swamp blind- 
folded, and it was his intention to leave 
them on Monday next if possible. To- 
day Rhody Lowery, the wife of Henry 
Berry Lowery, appeared at the depot at 
Moss Neck and made a statement to the 
special messenger of the Herald as to 
the recent movements of the correspond- 
ent. 

MRS RIIODY BRINGS STRANGE NEWS. 

Rhody states that upon the return of 
the Herald correspondent fr(jm Moss 
Neck yesterday, after his delivery of 
his package of correspondence for the 
Herald bureau hero, he was seated in 
her cabin when Andrew Strong and 



6C 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



Steve Lowery suddenly entered and I 
peremptorily ordered him to I 

" COME AND GO WITH US. " 

Rhody states the Hearald corres- 
pondent, manifesting great trepidation, 
immediateiy obeyed their order, and 
was last seen by her moving in com- 
pany with the outlaws, whose manner 
toward him was sullen and menacing, 
in the direction of the swamp. Rhody 
has seen nothing of the Herald corres- 
pondent since his departure from her 
cabin, and s;ie professes entire igorance 
of the disposition made of him by the 
outlaws. 

AN OMINOUS HINT. 

In connection with this 1 make an ex- 
tract from a letter from your correspond- 
ent on yesterday. He says : — " In a 
conversation with Andrew Strong and 
Steve Lowery of yesterday I asked if 
I could see ' Boss,' who they say is not 
dead, though I know he is, and Steve, 
with a laugh, said to Andrew, ' Yes, he 
shall see Boss before he goes away,' 
which remark was accompanied by a 
villanous chuckle. I am on parole now. 
They made me put my hand on my 
heart and swear I would not try to run 
away, and then I gave them full per- 
mission to kill me if I did, and not ac- 
cuse them at the Day of Judgment. 
They treat me well, except that they 
compel me to drink their infernal 
whiskey. " 

Rhody Lowery's statement concern- 
ing the Herald correspondent, taken in 
connection with the ominous utterances 
of Steve Lowery, has created a feeling 
of profound apprehension here regard- 
ing his fate. 



THRILLING FACTS. 



The Herald Correspondent Among the 
Lowery Bandits. A Week in the 
Hands of the Lowerys. Tlie Father 
of the Oxendines. The Motiier ol J 
the Lowerys. Her Bitter bcory by 
the Grave of tlie Murdered. Khody 
Lowerj'^, the Queen of Scullletown. 
Face to Face With tiie Terrors. 
Their Appearance and Equipment. 
A Night ia Khody Lowery's Cabin. 
Lite of the Hunted men. 

Terrible Tales From Terrible 
Tongues. A Blindfold Journey to 
Their Hiding Places— The Island 
Armory. Released from Bondage. 
Excitement in Wilmino-ton. 



Wilmington, N. C, March 25, 1872- 

ARRIVAL OF THE CORRESPONDENT. 

To the amazement, and yet to the 
great satisfaction, of^the public here the 
Heeald correspondent who has been 
for nearly ten days past in the swamps 
of the Carolina outlaws returned to 
Wilmington this afternoon by the Char- 
lotte road, which traverses the Scuffle- 
town district. Up to the time of his 
arrival in Wilmington little or no hope 
was indulged of his safety, in view of 
the threats against him which have re- 
cently been made by the outlaws. His 
safe arrival in Wilmington this after- 
noon 

CREATED AN INTENSE EXCITEMENT, 

and despite the fearfully stormy weather 
the Herald correspondent was the ob- 
ject of curiosity and the Herald was 
the theme of discussion and praise. The 
universal sentiment in Wilmington is 
that the Herald correspondent is the 
hero of a wonderful feat of daring, and 
there is universal rejoicing that he has 
finally escaped the great perils which 
have for more than a week past envir- 
oned him. Details given by your cor- 
respondent regarding his adventures 
among the outlaws confirm the accounts 
given in the Herald despatches of the 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



67 



PERIL AND DIFFICULTIES 

which he has undergone. He left for 
New York this afternoon, and will give 
to the Herald the fullest possible de- 
tails of his thrilling adventures. On 
Friday last your correspondent was 
taken by the outlaws farther into the 
swamp, and 

CONDUCTED BY Til EM BLINDFOLDED 

from Rhody Lowery's cabin to several 
of their most secret hiding places. At 
the moment of leaving lihody's cabin 
the Hkrald correspondent experienced 
the greatest sense of personal danger 
suffered by him during his career with 
the outlaws. Tom Lowery had especi- 
ally urged the killing of the •» 

"DAMNED YANKEE," 

and as the other outlaws conducted him 
away from Rhody's cabin, with the re. 
mark to Rhody that he would never see 
daylight again, your correspondent had 
little hope but that Tom Lowery's 
savage threat would be executed. Con- 
ducted by outlaws through the swamp 
blindfolded, except when his captors 
chose to remove the bandage, he trav- 
ersed the swamp, in some places wad- 
ing almost 

WAIST DEEP IN WATER. 

and again reaching solid gronnd, thus 
gaining one of the hiding places of the 
outlaws, which he inferred to be situa- 
ted upon an island. The blindfold was 
removed, and he found hitnself an in- 
mate ot a low, pitched cabin, in which 
a moderately tall man could not pos- 
sibly stand erect. In this cabin were 
from 

THIRTY TO FORTY SHOT GL'NS 

but no smaller arms. The outlaws 
would not permit him to look out of 
the window and make any observations 



of the surroundings. He was told that 
he was already the possessor of more of 
their secrets 

THAN ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING 

outside of their gang, and more than 
they intended anybody else should ever 
have access to again. While in the 
swamps your correspondent was repeat- 
edly informed by th<; outlaws of their 
suspicions that he would attempt to 
chloroform them, and that he was a 
government spy sent to repeat the role 
in which the Detective Sanders had 
been caught by them. 

A DEMOCRATIC DEMON. 

He was also told by Steve Lowery 
that a prominent democrat of Robeson 
county had given them information that 
he was a federal spy and that he would 
undoubtedly do them great harm before 
he left them. 

" Still, " said Steve, " we believe that 
you are honest, and we will trust you ; 
but 

DONT UNDERTAKE TO COME HERE 
AGAIN 

because you know too many of our 
secrets. " Steve then added, " We 
have trusted three other men besides 
you and they all betrayed us, but still 
we will trust you and let you 

GIVE THE HERALD ALL THE INFOR- 
MATION 

you can about us. " After leaving the 
swamps the outlaws carried your corres- 
pondent on Sunday back to Rhody's 
cabin, and this morning accompanied 
him to Moss Neck, 

WAVING A FRIENDLY ADIEU TO HIM 

as the train left. As a mark of their 
confidence in the honesty of his inten- 
tions toward themselves, the outlaws 
gave the Herald correspondent 



68 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



A DOUBLE-BARRELLED SHOT GUN, 

formerly belonging to Henry Berry 
Lowery, the deceased outlaw chief, and 
Sieve Lowery presented him wi'h three 
silver pieces, to be given, one to his 
wife, another to his baby, and the third 
to be kept by himself as a souvenir of 
his trip among the Carolina outlaws. 
Your correspondent is warm in his ac- 
knowledgment of Rhody's seryjces to 
himself in aidijig him to retain the con- 
fidence of the outlaws, and 

PRAISES HER COURAGE 
and intelligence. Rhody carried him 
to many points of interest, among 
others to the grave of the unfortunate 
Sanders, a spot which the outlaws 
seemed to dread visiting witharem ika- 
ble superstitious apprehension. Upon 
one occasion thts Herald correspondent 
was within half a mile of the grave of 
Sanders and begjied the outlaws to 

DO 

CONDUCT HIM 10 THE GRAVE, 
but they refused, as they also did to 
visit the graves of other victims of their 
vengeance. 

The satisfiiction of the community of 
Wilmington at the safe arrival in their 
midst of the daring Herald correspond- 
ent is heightened by his confirmation of 
the previous tidings from him of the 
deaths of Henry Berry Lowery and of 
Boss Strong, the second in cleverness 
and courage of the gang of outlaws. 
During the abs' nee of your correspond- 
(Mit in the swamps the excitement in 
Wilmington was at fever heat and found 
some curious forms of expression. 

FIRST LETTER FROM OUR CAP- 
TURED CORRESPONDENT. 

) SCUFFLETOWN, RoBHSON CoUNTY, » 

'. N. C, MARcn 1, 1872 f 

That the thrilling pictures given in 
the Herald of the outlaws of the Robe- 



son county swamps, in North Carolina, 
with the history of their deeds of daring 
murder and rapine, had awakened a 
deep sensation over the United States, 
was everywhere evident. It seemed 
incredible that a band of five men 
should persistently defy a community 
such as the Old North State. The 
criminal supineness of the State authori- 
ties, the inactivity of the federal govern, 
ment and the terrorized condition of the 
inhabitants of the district all expressed 
an anumalous condition of affairs which 

CALLED FOR THE FULLEST INVES- 
TIGATION. 

The account given by another corres- 
pondent had exhausted all the infor- 
mation surrounding the gang, had given 
graphic sketches of the now famous 
mulatto settlement, with its ominous 
name of Scuffletown, had detailed the 
outrages by the gang, and traced back 
their history to the days of the rebel 
fortifications at Wilmington, when 
Henry Berry Lowery first took to the 
swamps, to avoid impressment to work 
with the slaves of the Southern plant- 
ers. Escaped federal prisoners, too, 
from the Confederate prison at Florence, 
S. C, were seen flitting across the 
swamps and 

HIDING FURTIVELY AMONG THE 
SH.\NT1ES . 

of the free negro settlement of Scufile- 
town to take their places awhile with 
Hinry Berry Lowery and his fellows 
in the swamps. By and by came the 
sweep of Sherman's army to the sea, 
and it was related how the " bummers" 
found guides and supporters among the 
free mulattoes of Scuffletowu. 

It came out, to.i, in a ghastly way, 
that the rebel whites of the district, 
wishing to wreak their vengeance on 
the colored people, came in the night to 



THE SWAMF OUTLAWS. 



69 



t)ld Allen Lowery's cabin, and, dragging 
forth himself and his son William, mer- 
cilessly 

SHOT THEM, FATHER AND BOY, 

with the one volley, and then went their 
way, pntting two of iheir supposed ene- 
mies out of the way only to create a 
pack of avenging devils in the persons 
of the old man's sons and their outlawed 
friends. 

The war closed, and, rightly or 
wrongly, the white people of Robeson 
county true to their murder of the fa- 
ther, exempted the Lowerys from the 
act of oblivion. How truly has it been 
said that " we can never forgive those 
we have injured ! " 

The end of the strife between North 
and South brought no peace to Scuffle- 
town The " angels " were in the 
swamps robbing by day murdering by 
ni<'ht ; the rebels had become Kii Klux, 
and from fighting manfully in the sun- 
light were trooping in 

THEIR MURDEROUS MASQUERADE, 

under the pines and cypresses at night 
and dra^jrin" a negro here and there 
from his shanty, let him sing his wild, 
hurried prayers for a minute or two, 
and then stopping it all with buckshot, 
but carefully skirting the outlaws 
themselves, some day to fall, like John 
Taylor, under a " bead " drawn by 
Henry Berry or one of his broth<u- 
outlaws. 

This was not civilization. The irre- 
sponsible lex talionis of the hater and 
hated, the state of things that created 
in the land of Muscovy between serf 
and feudal master the phrase that de- 
scribed the murder of the latter by the 
former as " the wild justice of revenge," 
existed in the land of the Lowerys with 
more degrading surroundings than ever 
before or in any otner country. 



That social, restraining force called 
government had failed to put an end 
to it, and there seemed, previous to the 
Hkhalu's expose, to be a sort of laissez 
oiler agreed on in tacit apathy by all 
piirties. 

But even yet the outlaws themselves 
had not spoken. 

THE OUTLAWS STOHY FOR HIMSELF 

was unuttered, except through his sen- 
tence of death by word of mouth, fob 
lowed pretty surely by execution 
through the barrel (jf a rifle. 

In perhaps any other state of things 
no more would be needed previous to 
setting about his censure. As things 
stood it seemed that there must be 
something needing fuller detail — some 
thing of moment in their position which 
neither the shivering sympathizers of 
their own race nor the vauntinji but 
trembling white foes thereof would or 
could impart. This was to be got from 
the outlaw's lips along. 

It did not require much deep reason- 
ing to arrive at this conclusion. It 
forced itself naturally forward, and the 
journal whieh had enterprise enough to 
gather the first part of the story could 
surely learn the second. 

Without, then, any feeling of rashness 
or bravado th;it I am aware of, but 
simply in the exercise of a grave duty, 
to shrink from which would be abhor- 
rent to my nature, 

I LEFT FOR THE WOODS AND SWAMPS 

of Robeson. 

My preparations were simple as my 
mission was direct, and relying on my 
ability to make the honorable nature of 
my purpose apparent even to the des- 
perate men it was my deliberate pur- 
pose to meet face to face. 

Passinir over the incidents which f'n 
not properly belong to my narrative, 1 



70 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



may say that on my arrival in Wil- 
mington 1 found the Lowerys and the 
Herald expose to be the only topics of 
interest in that quiet Carolina town, and 
the tone of the well-dressed, lounging 
chivalry about the hotels was not at all 
encouraging. 

I told the object of my visit to several, 
and the universal verdict was 

" A DANGEROUS GAME, STRANGER, 

rather you than me." They recalled to 
me with all the discouraging emphasis 
which a slow ejaculation of alternate 
■words and tobacco-spittle can command 
the fearful fate of Saunders, the detec- 
tive, and generally finished by saying : — 

" AN' HE WAS SMARTEHRN YOU LOOK, 

STRANGER." 

This continual replication of warning 
did not tend to cheer me. 

It recalled in a painful way 1 had 
never before imagined the poem of 
Excelsior with its dismal forebodings 
of a fatal ending to my venture, but I 
dashed these all away. The thought 
that Longfellow's aimless young mad- 
man who died in the snow, had nothing 
in common with a man endeavoring in 
his own humble way to serve the civili- 
zation which lay so sadly wrecked out 
in the swamp region beyond. 

If the scare had reached Wilmington, 
I reasoned, I shall not then have much 
difficulty in getting the whites of Robe- 
son county to assist me in ridding them 
of the objects of their terror through, 
perhaps, 

A MORE MERCIFUL "WAY 

n 
than killing them off like dogs. But in 

this I was destined to be mistaken 

Excepting Captain Morrison ; the 
"king of conductors " on the Wilming- 
ton, Charlotte and Rutherford Railroad. 



and Ed Hayes, of Shoe Heei, no one 
encouraged me to proceed. 

From the ticket agent, from whom I 
bought a ticket for Moss Neck, at Wil- 
mington, with his horrified ejaculation — 

"My God! stranger, you are not 
going to stop there !" 

To the merchants of Shoe Heel, who 
assured me death would be the sure fate 
of any stranger who would venture into 
Scuffletown, I heard but the one opinion, 
that the Lowerys were devils and would 
welcome an opportunity to kill a white 
man. 

Before leaving Wilmington I pre- 
pared 

A LETTER, DIRECTED TO H. B. 
LOWERY. 

stating that I desired to interview him 
for the Heiiald and offered to give 
myself into his hands if we would grant 
me the interview. 

It was my intention to stop at Moss 
Neck and attempt to find a messenger 
who would deliver my letter, but oh 
the train Captain Morrison advised me 
to go on to Shoe Heel where I would 
find better accomodations than at Moss 
Neck, and from where I could certainly 
send a messenger to the outlaws. 

I took his advice, but was unable to 
find any one in or about Slioe Heel 
who would deliver or who knew any 
one who would present my petition to 
the " King " of Robeson county. 

The reported killing of Boss Strong, 
it was supposed, had 

SO ENRAGED THE OUTLAWS 

that the time was particularly inauspi- 
cious for my visit. 

I met here James McQueen, or Don- 
ahoe, of Richmond county, N. C, who 
asserted he had killed the notorious 
Boss. 

He is a tall, awkward, shambling. 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



71 



dark coniplexioneJ man, of Scoitish I once unfDlded the object of my calling* 
decent, twenty-five years of age; he has iuid asked if I could be permitted to 



very small eyes, which he has a trick 
of dropping the instant he is looked at. 

The next morning, March 14, I left 
Shoe Heel and came to Eureka, or 
Buie's Store, half way between Moss 
Neck and Red Bank. 

At. the store, close to the railroad, 
the colored clerk, of whom 1 enquired 
the road to Patrick Lowery's, left the 
store to point it tmt to me. 

To him I stated the object of my vis- 
it, and asked him to inform any of the 
outlaws he mii^ht see what I was after. 

THE FATHER UF TWO MURDERERS. 

Soon after leaving the store I met an 
old negro who asked me if I was louk- 
inj; for anvbodv, when I told him I 
wanted to go to Pat Lowery's. lie 
told me I was in the right road, and 
added : — 

'• Fs skeered of strangers most to deff, 
but you hain't got no gun. " 

Tiiis was Jack O.xendine, the father 
of Henderson, who was hung in Lum- 
berton in 1870, and Calvin, who is now 
in the Wilmington jail, charged with 
being implicated in t e King murder. 

At the conclusion of his introduction 
he said : — 

" ' Fore God, dis is powerful bad 
country to live in ; ebery now and den 
de Ku Kluck come iu yer, and with 
their shootin' an' uhippin' an' hangin', 
an' de men out by deyselves totin' dere 
guns, I's scart to defT. *' 

A short half mile from the station 
brought me to 

THE HOME OF PAT LOWERY, 

the oldest brother of Henry Berry, and 
a preacher. When 1 got there he was 
working in his carpenter shop, near his 
house — for he is not above honest lab(»r 
notwithstanding his profession. I at 



stay with him a few days while I u«Mld 
make efforts to meet the outlaws. He 
was perfectly willing I should make his 
house my home while here, but thought 
my chance of seeing Henry was very 
slim. 

It had been reported for the past four 
weeks that he was dead, and many be- 
lieved it, even some of his Jiiends, while 
the majority thought the story had bee*i 
originated by his wife and brothere to 
cover his escnpe from the county. 

Patrick told me S:eve and Tom Low- 
erv 

HAD PASSED HIS HOUSE A FEW 
DAYS BEFORE, 

but it might be a lot g time before they 
would be in their immediate neighbor- 
hood again. 

After a long conversation between 
him and James (Jxendine, a well-to-do 
mulatto fiirmer living near by, it was 
decided that my best plan would be to 
go over to the home of old Mrs. Low- 
ery, the mother of Patrick and Henry. 

They both assured me it would be 
perfectly safe, for the outlaws never in- 
terfered with any but those who trou- 
bled them. 

For a consideration Patrick consent- 
ed to give me his horse on which to • 
ride over, and his son Allen, a bright 
boy of sixteen, to guide me. After a 
dinner of 

CORN BREAD, BACON AND COFFEE. 

we started on our journey, and I must 
confess to a slight sinking of the heart 
as I lost sight of the railroad and plung- 
ed into the swamps, the lurking places 
of the Lowery outlaws. 

IN THE OUTLAWS LAND. 

I had ridden about a mile, when the- 
discomfort produced by my horse'* 



72 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



miserable gait, and the barigiii<r of my 
valise against my legs, became too 
great, and I proposed to my guide that 
he should ride awhile. 

But the change was not for the better, 
and it had scarcely been made when we 
came to one of the low places in the 
road that are so common here, called 
" branches," and which are feeders to 
the swamps 

Alons one side of these branches are 
laid, or erected on stumps, logs for the 
convenience of pedestrians. 

They are generally unhewn, all very 
narrow, many of them decayed, and very 
few that stand firm under any move- 
ment. At the first of these I came to, 
after dismounting, 

I LOST MY BALANCE, 

and got into the water knee deep. I 
remounted the horse, then, and, except- 
ing the gait and banging aforesaid and 
crushing of my legs against the trees, 
first on one side and then on the other, 
as I followed Allen in the narrow foot- 
path through which he led me, I suffered 
no great inconvenience. 

About two and a half miles from 
Patsedo we came to the " Back Swamp," 
where for about three hundred and fifty 
yards the black water crosses the road 
flowing sluggishly through the brush, 
and cypress trees. 

Along the foot logs here Allen ran, 
with the confidence inspired by long 
practice. 

ANDREW STRONG'S CABIN. 

About a mile from the Back Swamp 
we passed the cabin of Andrew Stiong, 
one of the outlaws, where his younger 
brother, Boss, was shot the Friday be- 
fore. 

We passed close to the house, and a 
couple of women came to the door, and 



[ stood there as long as the house was in 
sight. 

As I have since learned, there was 
another pair of eyes Avatching us from 
a thicicet near the house. Andrew 
Strong himself, with 

HIS GUN READY FOR A SHOT, 

in his hand, studied me as 1 passed. 
Another long stretch of water, mud, 
and sand, and wc came to Henry Berry 
Lowery's house, now in the occupancy 
of his wife, Rhody. A quarter of a 
mile further and we reached our desti- 
nation, the home of 

OLD MRS. ALLEN LOWERY. 

Here we were greeted by the loud 
and decidedly savage barking of three 
large dogs. Two or tliree very light 
mulatto girls drove them away, and 
opened the gate for me ; as I passed in 
I was put in the presence of the old 
woman, who gave me a very hospitable 
reception, and assured me I was wel- 
come to st:iy as long as 1 pleased, if I 
could put up with their rough fare. 

Mrs. Lovvery has the largest house 
in this section of country ; it is weather- 
boarded, has four good sized rooms, 
and a kitchen attached, aud a wide 
porch in front. It is on a plantation 
containing about seventy-five acres, and 
has numerous out-buildings connected 
with it. There has been no division of 
the estate or property since old Allen 
Lowery was killed, the children 

GIVING ALL THE PROFITS TO TPIEIR 
MOTHER. 

One son, Sinclair, living near, super- 
intends the farm, and assists her when 
necessary. This little plantation pro- 
duced last year eight bales of cotton 
and four hundred bushels of corn. 

Soon after my arrival I met Sinclair, 
who is a dark mulatto, with a good 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



73 




BOSS STRONG 

countenance. He told me he did not 
know whether Henry Berry was alive 
or dead ; that no one had seen him for 
four or five weeks. ^Irs. Lowery said 
the same. Sinclair addfd : — 

" I will be glad it he is dead, for he 
is a very bad man, and has done a heap 
of harm." 

He further told me he had not been 
on friendly terms with Henry since the 
marriacre of the latter to Rhody Strong ; 
the marriage it had been announced 
would be solemnized at his mother's 
nouse, and Sinclair, fearing that an 
attack would be made on the house by 
the oflic^rs in pursuit of Henry, objected 
to the ceremony being performed theie. 
When Henry was arrested he accused 
Siaclair of having informed on him, and 



ON- GUARD. 

they had never been on good terms 
afterwards. Steve and Tom 

TOOK PART WITH HENRY 

in his qnarrol ; so that Sinclair could 
give me no information of the outlaws. 

I would here remark that this band 
are known in thoii- neighborhood by the 
name "outlaws;" their friends call 
them and they style themselves out- 
laws. 

W^hen I returned to the house after 
the conversation with Sinclair, who was 
working in a fioiJ. 1 was presented to 
Iihody, the wife of Henry Berry Low- 
ery. 

THE "QUEEI^ OF SCUFFLETOWN." 
This young woman is remarkably 



74 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



prettv ; her face oval, of a very light 
color; large, dark, mournful-looking 
eyes, with long lashes ; well shaped 
moul'i ; with, small, even teeth, well 
rounded Qhin ; nose slightly retrousee, 
with profusion of straight jet black hair, 
combine to make her a very pleasant 
object to gaze at. She has small hands 
and feet, and on the latter she wears 
No. 2, and still cramps her feet less than 
the majority of white women. She is 
of medium height, with a very well 
developed figure, and is lietween twenty- 
one and twenty-two years old. When 
I add that she has a low sweet voice, 
and a great many little graceful motions 
of her head and body, it will be seen 
that she is a raj'a avis in ScufRetown. 
To the above description I regret that 1 
am compelled to add that this queen 
cannot write, that 

SHE SMOKES A PIPE AND RUBS 
SNUFF. 

When Rhody learned the object of 
my visit she said she would undertake 
to have my message conveyed to the 
outlaws, and she had no doubt they 



would ffrant me an interview. Hen 



fy 



Berry, she said, was away, and she 
could not tell wlien he v/ould return. 
I walked home with her, r.nd examined 
carefully the home of the notorious out- 
law leaden. 

THE OUTLAW'S NEST. 

The cabin of this man is built pre- 
cisely as are all those of the poorer 
mulattoes — one story high, logs from 
three to eight inches apart, the intersti- 
ces not filled in as in log houses at the 
North, but covered by boards on either 
the inside or outside, never both. This 
house had the- boards on the outside. 
There are two doors, opposite each 
other, secured by modern bolts and 
buttons, and on the third side is the 



capacious hearth or fireplace, with chim- 
ney built of logs, lined and floored with 
clay. On the side opposite the fireplace 
stands the bed, and above and beside it 
are stretched several poles, upon which 
hang the clothes of the family. 

There are no windows, nor any open- 
ings for light but the doors and chimney. 
Indeed, of some twenty houses of mu- 
lattoes I visited, 1 found but two, those 
ofJNIrs. Allen Lowery and Pat'^ick Low- 
ery, in which there were windows. 

The house of H. 13. Lowery is within 
a small enclosure, which is surrounded 
by a large one, and is on his father 
Allen's estate. The furniture of this 
house consists of 

A BED, A TABLE, TFIREE CHAIRS, 

and three stools. Over the fireplace 
are pasted a numb<n" of pictures cut 
from the illustrated papers, while a 
colored print, labelled "The Two Beau- 
ties," hangs over the table. Rhody had 
left her "help" — a light mulatto, who 
had been engaged by Andrew Strong 
to stay with her for six weeks for a pair 
of shoes and a calico dress — in charge of 

HER CHILDREN— 

Sally Ann, aged five ; Henry Delany, 
aged three, and Neelvann, aijed one 
year and two months. They are all of 
a very bright coloi-, strong, active, and 
healthy, the boy being particularly 
bright. He is said to bear a strong 
resemblance to his father. 

1 spent an hour or more with Rhody, 
She told me, further, if I would come 
back the next morninfj she mi";ht have 
some information for me, and that in 
the meantime I might rest assured I 
would be in no danger from the out- 
laws or their friends. 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



75 



BY THE Or-D MAN'S GRAVE— OLD 
MllS. LOWEllYS STORV- 

The iTxt moniint; ( March 15) old 
Mrs. Lowery took nut to a small unen- 
closed grave in a field near her house, 
where, marked by four rails lying on 
the ground, was iho grave of her husband 
and son William. The old woman's 
voice was broken, and the tears rolled 
down her withered face even now as she 
told mo how they met their death. 

There had been no trouble between 
them and any of their white neighbors, 
except that some of their sons had flod 
from the officers who wanted to take 
them to wt)rk in the rebel fortifications 
at Wilmington. 

In 18G1 a party of whites, com- 
manded by James Barnes, came to the 
house and took the old man and Wil- 
liam away, at the same time, 

THEY ASKED FOR SPADES, 

and took some along with them ; some 
of them r.turned directly and ca;-ried 
ol 1 Mrs. Lowery and her two daugh- 
ters to the house of a white man, Rob- 
ert McKensie, where they wee locked 
up in a smoke bouse. 

Mckensie then went away saying he 
was going up to see how the Loweiy 
men were faring. 

When they returned home, in a 
thicket not far from the house, they 
found a new-made, shallow grave, in 
which were the bodies of Allen and 
William Lowery, lying one above the 
other, riddled with musket balls. 

The next day they came back and 
took me out into the woods and said 
they were going to kill me if I didn't 
tell them where the Yankee prisoners 
were hid. I didn't know and I told 
them so, but they wouldn't believe me. 
They blindfolded me and tied me to a 
tree, and said they were going to shoot 



me. I heard them firing, and then I 
fainted. When 1 fainted they untied 
me and sent the girls to bring me too. 

This was old Mrs. Lowery's story, 
and all the mulattocs whom I met and 
questioned about it, told me about the 
same thing. 

From the grave of the Lowery's I 
went straight to Rhody's house. As 1 
entered the gate of the outer enclosure 
I noticed a man standing in the doorway 
who stepped back within the house. As 
I reached the inner gate he again came 
to the door and 

I CONFESS TO SOilE NERVOUSNESS 

as I saw his equipments. But it was 
no time to stop now, and in a moment 
1 was in Henry Berry Lowery's house, 
in the presence of Steve Lowery and 
Andrew Strong, two of the famous 
swamp outlaws. With as composed aa 
air as the nature of the case would pe^ 
mit I stepped forward. 

" I believe these are the men " (I am 
not sure but that I said gentlemen) "I 
wanted to see," and extended my hand 
to the one nearest me, who grasped it 
cordially as Rhody mentioned his name, 
Andrew Strong, and mine, and then 
repeated the ceremony with Steve. 
Both of them offered me chairs ; but I 
accepted that from which Andrew had 
just arisen, it being nearer the fire, and 
immediately 

EXPLAINED MY PURPOSE 

in seeking them. I told them the great 
paper of America had giv. n some at- 
tention to them, and had published their 
histories as furnished by the white 
people of Robeson county ; but that the 
people of the United States might have 
a clear and just conception of afliiira 
here I had been sent down to see them, 
h'ar their stories and the circumstances 
that had made them outlaws and se« 



76 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



Qow they lived. I told thein. further' As the shooting of Boss was the chief 

topic I had heard discussed after lea\ing 
Wilmington, I told them I had seen 
James ]\lcQueen or Donahoc, at Shoe 
Heel, and had taken down his version 



that 
[ 



HAD NO WEAPON BUT A SMALL 
REVOLVER. 



which they could have while I was with 
them, but which they would oblige me 
by returning when 1 left thom. 

They replied that Rhody had told 
them the nature of my business, that 
they were glad of an opportunity of giv- 
ing their story to the country, for the 
" papers were telling so many d — d lies 
about them," that I would be perfectly 
safe with them, and that I might keep 
my pistol. 

THE MEN I MET. 

Steve Lowery is five feet ten inches 
high, thick set, with long arms and legs, 
and is very strong ; he has a very dark 
yellow complexion, hazel eyes, bright 
and restless, black straight hair and thin 
mustache and goatee. He was armed 
with a Spencer rifle, two double-barrell- 
ed shot suns, one of the latter and the 
rifle beinsz slung from his shoulders, and 
three six-barrelled revolvers in his belt, 
while two United States cartridge boxes 
hung from his shoulders. 

Andrew Strong is nearly white, about 
six feet high, with rather mild eyes and 
reddish beard and hair, tlie latter cut 
short. He carried a heavy rifle and the 
same number of shot-guns, revolvers 
and cartridge boxes as Steve Lowery, be- 
sides a heavy canvas haversack. His 
impedimenta ("turn," he calls it) weighs 
not less than a hundred pounds. He 

ADJUSTED ALL HIS EQUIPMENTS 
ON ME, 

and I C0!ild barely stagger across the 
floor with them. After a few general 
remarks, Andrew told me they would 
tell me all I wanted to know if I would 
question them. 



of the affair, and would : ow like to 
know if it was correct. 1 road to them 
McQueen's story as follows: — 

DONAIIOE'S STORY OF KILLING EOSS 
STRONG. 

" Last Thursday night (May 7), 1 
reached the house of Andrew Strong, 
on the edge of Soufllctown, about ten 
miles from here, at twelve o'clock', I 
fixed a good blind about 150 vards from 
the house, and lying down, I watched the 
rest of the nitfht and all the next dav, 
eating some provisions I had bi-ought 
along. About half-past seven P. M. 
Friday, Andrew came out of the wools, 
and after stopping and looking around 
him in all directions he went into the 
house, and directly come out and gave 
a low call, when Boss came out of the 
woods to the house; they were each 
armed with two rifles and two or three 
revolvers. A little after eight o'clock, 
when I thought they woul 1 be at sup- 
per, I slipped up to the house and look- 
ed in through the cat hole in the door, 
as I supposed they were eating their 
supper by the light on the hearth. Be- 
side Andrew's wife, Flora and a Miss 
Cummings were there. I kept watching 
there until Boss laid down on the floor 
with his feet to the fire and his head to- 
wards me and commenced 

PLAYING ON A MOUTH ORGAN. 

Then I saw my cnance, and I pushed 
the muzzle of my rifle (a Henry) through 
the cat nole unt I it was not over tnree 
feet from his head, took a stead v aim 
by the light of the fire and shot. When 
I fired the women screamed and said: — 



THE JSWAiMP OUTLAWS. 



77 




LIKENESS OF SANDERS THE SPY. 



"HES SHOT," "NO HE ISN'T," "YES 
HE IS," 

and I looked in as quick as I could get 
my gun out of the way. Boss' arms 
and legs had fallen straii^ht from his 
body, and there was a little movement 
of the shoulders as if he was trying to 
get up. Andrew Strong was then stand- 



ing 



IN THE SHADOW IN THE CORNER 

and he stayed there until I left. He 
said to his wife, '' Honey, you go out 



and see what it is," and opened the 
door opposite the one 1 was at and 
pushed her out, but did not come around 
to the side I was ; but went in directly 
and said there was nobody about. He 
sent her out again, telling her to look 
in the corners and jams ; but before she 
had got well out, he said, " Come back, 
Il'ney, he was blowing on that thing 
and it busted and blnwed his head off," 
and directly after he said, " My God ! 
he's shot in the head ; it must have 
come from the cat hole," and sent his 



w 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



wife out again, and I slipped off. Wlien 
1 returned the cat hole was shut up and 
the house was all dark. Then I come 
bacl^ to Shoe Heel." 

THE OUTLAWS HOLD A COUNCIL. 

Before they left they went out of the 
house and held an animated conversa- 
tion of perhaps hulf an hour's duration 
in the garden, after which Steve address- 
ed nne : — 

" We've trusted three men before 
and ebery one of dem betrayed us, an' 
we swo' we'd neber trust no stranger 
agin, but you look hmiest, an your story 
'pears to be all right, an' we is gwine 
to trust you some. Now you's got a- 
bout Donahoe's shootiii B ss, we are 
gwine to keep you heah till you can 

PUT IN DE PAPER HOW WE KILLED 
DONAHOE. 

We won't hurt you, an' you kin travel 
about whar you bab a mind to in dis 
place, but you must swear an oath dat 
you won't ti-y to go away without us 
lettiu' you". 

I was somewhat dismayed at this 
speech, but expressed myself satisfied 
with the arrangement. I saw I would 
have an opportunity of seeing wild life 
not often enjoyed by Northern men, 
;and felt that 1 was in no great danger if 
J acted honestly towards my captors. 

PART TO MEET A^AIN. 

The outlaws then slung on their 
. "equipments, and after promising to 
meet me at the *' New Bridge,'' three 
miles distant, the next morning, strode 
into the heavy pine forest, and I went 
back into the cabin, where Rhodv 
taught me how to rub snuff. 

ScuFFELTOWN, March 22 1872. 

THE DEATH OF HENRY BERRY LOW- 
ERY. 

As this letter cannot be read by the 



people of this settlement before I have 
left it, the most important piece of in. 
formation I have to conimunicate shall 
be given first. Henry Beny Lowerv, 
the notable chief of tne notorious swamp 
outlaws is actually dead. This is denied 
bv all of his comrades, and his relatives 
profess to be ignorant of his fate. But 
from evidence the most reliable, when 
connected with a well-connected chain 
of circumstances, I am enabled to give 
you a correct account of 

T.iE DEATH OF THIS ROBBER CHIEF. 

Between February 13 and 16, in 
company with his Jidus Achates, Boss 
Strong, Henry Berry Lowery was 
ranging the country in the neighborhood 
of Moss Neck in search of some persons 
whom he had been informed were hunt- 
ing him, while Steve and Tom Lowery 
and Andrew Strong were stationed at a 
rendezvous on Lumber River, near the 
" new bridge." Abotit one and three- 
quarter miles from Moss Nock station, 
within short gunshot of the road leading 
from Inman's Bridge to McNeill's mill, 
they discovered in the bushes a newly 
made " blind " (a place of concealment 
or ambush made by intertwining the 
branching of the thickly grown bushes.) 

it was not then occupied, and Henry 
Berry, believing it had been recently 
made by one of his pursuers, who would 
shortly return to it, ensconced himself 
in it, while Boss made a blind for him- 
self a short distance off covering tiie 
road. But a few minutes after they had 
placed themselves in their lespective 
positions the report of a gun was heard 
from Henry's hiding place, and when 
Boss, who waited to hear a vvord from 
his chief or an answering shot from an 
enemy, cautiously approached the spot, 
Henry Berry Lowery lay oii his back, 
with one barrel of his shotijun discharc- 
ed and his nose, forehead and the 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



79 



WHOLE FRONT OK HIS HEAD BLOWN I horseback for the New Bridge. On the 

I . , . ,, 1-^ . 1 , T-v 5) 



OFF. 



way 1 passed the " Devil's Den,'' ;i 

desolate wild spot in the Back Swamp, 

where is said to be one of the hiding 

wiper showed he had been trying to pj^.^es of the bandits. 



The broken ramrod and the missing 



draw a load from his gun. Boss drew 
the body into a thicket, and notified his 
companions, who straightway buried 
him where, in all human probability, 
the eve of man will see liim never. 

Thus perished this remarkable man, | 
and his death marks the dissolution of | 
this most formidable body of despera- j 
does.' The large sum of money he was 
said to be in posessioii of is also lost to 
the country, for no member of the band, 
not even Boss nor his wife, knew the 
whereabouts of his treasure cliest. The 
remainiu'^^ outlaws have made diligent 
search, but as yet have had their labor 
. for their pains. Henry Berry was said 
to have had a good deal of money, 
b*ides his share of the proceeds of the 
Lumberton Bank, from which some 
thirty thousand dollars were taken. It 
appears to have been his habit of appro- 
priating to his own use 

THE LION'S SHARE OF ALL MONEY 

taken, giving the subjects the other 

booty. 

But to resume the story of my life 
among tt.e outlaws. A little after dark 
on th^ evening of the day 1 met Andrew 
Strong and Steve L iwery I returned to 
Henry Berry's house, in pursuance of 
his wife's invitation, to spend the night 

there. 

After supper Rhody said 

I SHOULD SLEEP IN THE BED. 

while she would make a coi^ch tor her- 
self, help and family on the floor. 

The next morning, after a breakfast 
on the same chicken we had tried the 



Our destination was Moss Neck, 
where 1 wanted toniail some letters 
and send some private despatches to the 
telegraph office at Wilmingtcm, and they 
wanted to 

SEND THEIR MESSAGE TO THE 
HERALD. 

We heard the train east coming when 
we were about a mile from the station, 
and ran the whr)le distance from there. 
They would iM)t go up to tbe train, nor 
would they let me go until i promised 
them solemnly, with my hand on my 
heart, that I would not go off in it, and 
would hand their despatch, as well as 
my own, to the conductor. 

From Moss Neck, with a young man 
who had been taken piisoner by the 
outlaws, when they captured the detec- 
tive Saunders, but who now appeared 
to be on very good terms witn them, 
we went down the railroad about a mile 
and then half a mile south into a " bay," 
where Saunder's '-camp" had been lo- 
cated. 

From tills desolate spot we returned 
to Moss Neck, where 

1 MET THOMAS LOWERY. 

another of the outluws, and upon whose 
head is set a price of $5,000. Tom 
Lowery is five feet ten inches high, 
strongly built, with a lighter complex- 
ion than Steve, but darker than Henry 
Berry. He has rather regular features, 
a high forehead and the brightest eyes of 
the three outlaws T met. He has a 
short, black beard, and straight, black 
hair, and is more refined in his appear- 



°" , '""l f with a guide furnished bv ancc than Steve or Andrew Strong, 

thff^riends of the outlaws, I started on' He was armed precisely as they, with 



80 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



a rifle and two shotguns and a bolt full 
of I e vol vers. He said he liad heard of 
my j)resence in tlie neighborhood and 
was glad to see me. 

It being now about one o'clock we 
were all natuiall} hungry, so Steve 
bought a couple dozen of eggs fi'oin a 
woman near by, who boiled thein for 
him, and we went into the store at 
Moss Neck to eat them, which work we 
accomplished by cutting them in iialvts 
with our knivfs, sprinkling coarse salt 
on them and gulping down each hall 
from its shell. I ate four, the remain- 
der being devoured by the three out- 
laws. In addition to the eggs we had 
some 

GINGER CAKE, CHEESE AND 
WRETCiJED WHISKEY. 

After dinner I was taken to McNeill's 
mill, near Moss Neck, the place where 
that Make (Malcolm) Sanderson was 
killed, and where, within a few yards of 
the formei', one of his murderers, John 
Taylor, was subsequently punished. 
The place was pointed out to me, and 
the story of their respective deaths told 
by Andrew Strong. 

WHERE MAKE SANDERSON AND 
JOHN TAYLOR WERE KILLED. 

In September, 1S70, Andrew, who 
up to that time had been charged with 
no offence, and was then working at his 
home, was called up from his bed at 
about eleven in the night by a party of 
over twenty men, who said they wanted 
him to go along with them a little 
ways. When he had dressed and gone 
out to the party he found they had 
another man (Make Sanderson) with 
them. After they had gone about a 
mile one of the party, McNeill, turned 
to Andrew and said, " You'll never see 
morning again," and upon his prisoner 
asking why and what he had done was 



! answered that he was a d — d nigger 
and a spy for the Lowerys and so was 
S;iiiderson, and they had determined to 
kill them all. 

On the road to Moss Neck they were 
shot by John Taylor, to whom the pris- 
oners made a scrong and passionate ap- 
peal f)r mercy, t » which he replied, 
" If all the mulatto blood in the country 
was in you two and a movement of my 
foot would send you to hell I would 
make it." Soon after the prisoners were 
tied together and led to a secluded spot 
about a mile from Moss Neck, where 
they were to die. Sanderson asked for 
lime to pray, which, after some consul- 
tation, was given him. In the midst of 
his supplications for pardon hi- was in- 
terrupted by a blow from a pistol and 
told to hurry up and not to pray so 
loud, as 

GOD WOULD HEAR HIM ANYHOW. 

"When he had finished they were taken 
to a proper distance from their captors 
to be shot at, when Andrew, who had 
been working at his bonds ever since 
they were put on him, broke them sud- 
denly and rushed for the woods, fol- 
lowed by the shots of his enemies. 

Make Sanderson's hody was found 
the next morning near McNeill's mill- 
pond riddled with bullets. It was said 
he was standing on a plank over the 
race, and at the first fire fell into the 
water still alive, and crawling out on 
the land below was shot on the ground 
where his mangled body vras found. 

For this murder John Taylor was 
arrested, but held to bail in the sum of 
$500. When H. B. Lowery heard this 
he remarked : 

" We mulattoes must carry out our 
own laws: I will kill John Taylor," 
and on the morning of January 14, 
1871, with a company of soldiers with- 
in 200 yards of him, he and Boss Strong 



THE SWAiMP OUTLAWS. 



fil 



rose from the road, a hundred yards 
from where Sanderson hud been killed 
the fall befi)re, and at a distance of less 
then ten yards shot the top of his head 
off. 

AN' OUTLAW CONCERT. 

After Andrew had toM nie this his- 
tory and had shown me where Sander- 
son and Ta\ lor were killed, and where 
Henry and Buss were ambushed, we re- 
turned to the store, where for n couple 
of hours in a back room Steve and 
Andr 'W " picked " the banjo, played on 
the violin and saiijj negro melodies to 
an appreciative and enthusiastic audi- 
ence. Steve sings very well, and the 
peculiar airs with which he was accom- 
panied on the banjo were novel and ex- 
ceedingly pleasarit. 

A LODGING PAID FOR. 

When we fiitally left Moss Neck it 
was for the purpose of finding a place 
for me to spend the night. About three 
miles up the railroad we came to the 
residence of Tom Chavis to well-to-do 
mulatto, where Steve engaired lodnrinnr 
for me, telling them to give me a good 
supper and allow me to retire to bed 
immediately after, for I was " clean done 
worried out, " and he would pay the 
"bill ; and, fixing a point to meet me the 
next day, the outlaws strode away to 
ward the swamps. 

THE PRESS ON THE OUTLAWS 
AND HERALD ENTERPRISE. 

Our rural friends the Southern edi- 
tors, are at it again. Past all thsir 
comprehension seems the fact that a 
New York journal could have a corres- 
pondent in Africa and one amonjr the 
Carolina out'aws of the same time. 
Here, for instance, is an enlightpned 
little rag from Mississippi, the Pilot. 



Hear what it flutters. ^ord help r 
country with such pilots, although ihey 
do boast of being " official journal of 
the United States." 

THROUGH THICK AND THIN. 

(F m the Duily Mississippi Pilot, Miircli 22). 
One of the New York Herald cor- 
respondents was r< cently killed while 
searching for Dr. Livincfslcjne, in the 
interior of Africa, and now another has 
fallen into the hands of the Swamp An- 
gels, led by the bandit, Stephen Low- 
ery, in North Carolina. The Lowerys 
say they will not kill him; only inter- 
view him until they prove whether he 
is an impostor or not. Can't the 
Herald spread this on a little thicker? 
It seems to us remarkably " thin." 

THE HATE OF COLOR. 

When the bull-fighters of Seville wish 
to enrage the plunging toro they flash a 
piece of red cloth before his eyes, and 
straightway he becomes mad. When 
you wish to enrage a grand old unpro- 
gressive, hardshell democrat of the 
Soutiiern stripe show him som.ething 
black, and the rabies will follow direct- 
ly after. The following is the painful 
result of a Newark man finding out that 
the Lowerys were colored ! 

IF THEY WERE ONLY WHE 

(Fn.in the Newark (N. J.,) Daily Journal, 
March 25 ) 

The Swamp Angels are not yet ex- 
tinguished, and it is even a matter of 
doubt to the present time whether the 
leader is dead or has run away or will 
yet turn up in some fresh raid upon 
society. Would it not be well for 
Grant to extend a " protectorate" over 
Robeson county? The Herald re- 
1 porter has not vet been heard from, 
I and when a whiteman, in the legitimat* 



82 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



pursuit of an honorable busines, cannot 
pass safely through our own country, 
we think it wouKl be bi-^tter to postpone 
a protectorate over Mexico until we 
have regulated matters somewhat bet- 
ter at home. Had Henry Berrv Low- 
ery, and his gmg been white men 
would they have been permitted to ex- 
ist? We pause for a reply. 

Here now is a southern man, who at- 
tends to his business of news collecting. 
We lilve this. He reports that the 
Hkrald correspondent was in danger, 
and we are thankful to liim : — 

BRAVE RHODY LOWERY. 

(From the Wiliiiin;^t()n (N. C.) Journal, Marcli 
24.) 

The wife of Henry Berry Low ery, 
the outlaw chief, was at Moss Neck de- 
pot yesterday as the train passed that 
point, whither she came for the purpose 
of delivering a despatch from Hender- 
son, to be sent north from this city. 
She states that the correspondent was 
at Lowery's cabin, near Moss Neck, on 
Friilay evening, about six o'clock, when 
Tom Lowery, Stephen Lowery, and 
Andrew Strong entered it and roughly 
told him to get up and go with tiiem. 
He told them that he was ready ; but 
first asked permission to send off a de- 
spatch to his paper, which was accorded 
him, when he wrote the despatch and 
gave it to the Lowery female, who, as 
we have seen, fulfilled her promise to 
deliver it lo the conductor of the tr.iin. 
Henderson then accompanied the out- 
laws, bound for the recesses of Scuffle- 
town swamp. 

It was reported here yesteruay, the 
report coming from Siioe Heel, that 
Henderson had been killed by the out- 
laws, but the report is generally dis- 
credited. 



WHO IS TO BLAME? 

Here is another solution of the ques«- 
tion. The Edgefield Advertiser said it 
was Grant ; llie Raleigh Era said it 
w;is the Ku Klux ; the Wilmington 
Star now says it is Governor Caldwell. 
Wonderful ! It admits that he sent 
down his Adjutant General, but forgets 
to mention that the cowardice of the 
population of Robeson county made his 
efforts ineffectual. They can only tell 
half truths down there. 

(From the Wilmington Star, M;ircli 24.) 

CALDWELL AND LOWERY 

That Henry Berry Lowery and his 
little band of robbers and cutthroats 
should, for so long a time, set law and 
civilization at defiance — should pillage, 
outrage and murder with un paralleled 
impunity — affords food for reflection 
upon the sort of government we have, 
and more especially gives ample oppor 
tunity to know the men who })retend to 
administer that government in the in- 
terest of justice, of law, of humanity. 

It is a melancholv thoujiht that is 
forced upon the intelligent North Caro- 
linian, that the government of his native 
State is inadequate to protect him from 
the ravages of the highway robber and 
the bullet of the midnight assassin. 

Low, indeed, is the condition of that 
people Avho are in daily jeipardy of life 
and property. Terrible is the state of 
that society that must thus live in con- 
stant peril. 

We charge it upon Governer Cald- 
well — and his conduct sustains the 
charge — that he has been lax, lukewarm 
and careless in this matter of putting 
down the Lowerys. 

We charge it upon him, that while 
innocent blood of good men appeared to 
him from the swamps and plains of 
Robeson and invoked high heaven for 



THE SWAMP OJTLAWS. 



83 



vengeance he lifced scarce a little fingii 
to arrest the dangerous course of the 
assassins, was diiml) to piteous entreaty, 
heeded not the cries of consternation 
tliat went up to Iliin from a suffering, 
outraged, imperilled people. 

We charge these things home upon 
the Governor of North Carolina, and 
the people know that the facts sustain 
the charge. 

He was appealed to for a long while 
in vain. 

He was appealed to persistently, and 
after taking much time he sent his Ad- 
jutant General to the scene on the out- 
rages. 

The result was a failure. 
When he should have renewed ajiain 
and again his i-'xertions to captui-e or 
kill the outlaws he refused altogether to 
act. 

But to-day, in North Carolina, not a 
hundred miles from Wilmington, we 
have a band of men, not a half ilozen in 
number, who are open and notorious, 
desperadoes, killing whom they list 
without the ft'ar of punishment before: 
their eyes, going at the dead hour of 
the night into towns,capturing iron safes 
and robbing them of their contents — a 
mere handful of men, riding roughshod 
over county. State and federal authori- 
ties, with a iionchalance and bravad) 
that would do credit to the daring and 
subtle Bedouin of the desert. I 

Here, in the Litter part of the nine- 
teenth century, in a land that boasts of the 
excellency of its laws and the security 
afforded by its government, what do we 
see? 

Alas ! it would be well to be blind, 
if blindness brought contentment. But 
free citizens, with souls in their bodies, 
cannot shut their eyes to the attrocious 
violations of law, peace and order in 
Robeson county. i 



^len, with the common feelings of 
humanity — individuals ujion whom one 
ray of the sun of civilization has shone 
— must experience pity, shame, and in- 
dignation at the spectacle of a petty 
gang (;f mulattoes committing act after 
act of the most fiendisii outra<:e of law 
deed after deed of the most abandoned 
savagery, perilling the iii.iustrial inter- 
ests of a whole section, filling the pub- 
lic mind with ap{>rehension and terror, 
and doing these diabolical crimes with 
almost the certainty of non-interference, 
if not protection, by a radical adminis- 
tration. 

Upon the head of Tod R. Caldwell 
rests the responsibility, the terrible re- 
S[)onsibility of the deeds ol" these mur- 
derous villains. Let him, and iiim 
alone, bear the blame and reap the deep 
curses of a>: outraged, afflicted people ! 
It will not do for his partisans to say 
that he could not suppress these pitiful 
outlaws. He did not try to put them 
down. He would have shown his 
humanity and his efficiency as a Govern- 
or had this band been composed of 
white men and his party had ciiosen to 
dub them Kii Klux. Oh, yes! What 
calling out of militia a la Holden j 
What making of requisitions upon 
Grant ! What an upstir of loyalty ! 
What an outburst of patriotic zeal 
would there have been had Lowi rv 
been a Ku Klux ! Pity ! nitv ! So 
much party capital is lost! Long ago 
would the little band have gone to the 
criminal's bourne, and the very name 
of Lowery have been a stench in loyal 
Northern nostrils, and a new hate of the 
South been added to the catalogue now 
long as the list of ships in Homer. 

Again we pile up the counts in our 
bill of indictment. We charge it upon 
Governor Caldwell that he can meddle 
in law-making, can make himself Legia- 



84 



THE SWAMP OUTLAWS. 



lature and Supreme Court, can starve 
Penitentiary convicts and drive inmates 
of the Asylums from the place of medi- 
cal aid b:icli to their homes. W^e charge 
it upon Governor Caldwell that he is 
foiivard and meddlesome and obstinate 
and cruel where these virtuous and 
praiseworthy quualities of his head 
and heart can be bestowed upon con- 
servative enemies. We charge it upon 
Governor Caldwell that he so despises 
our party that he cannot in his official 
conduct do members of that party any 
justice. 

Governor Caldwell that he does not 
make a hearty and an earnest effort to 
stop the reign of lawlessness, rapine and 
murder around Scuffletown and Moss 
Neck. We charge it upon Governor 



Caldwell that he is callous and brutally 
indifferent to the higiier instincts of 
humanity, that he is active only in 
belief of party, zealous only when party 
exigency requires zeal ; that he would 
long since have stopped the Robeson 
outrages if the Outlaws had been con- 
servative whites instead of radical blacks. 
These charges are pi-efuni'd b}' the 
whole body of intelligeur, lau-abid'ng 
people of the State whom he disgraces 
and outrages. If he quails not before 
them, if their indignant voices move not 
his rough, fretful, splciu-tic and sav- 
•diie nature, then is he sunk and sod- 
den in the lowest pit of degradation, 
and there is no hope for him, then is he 
forever damned in the estimation of all 
good and peaceable citizens. 



THE END. 



nSToTE.— Manv of tlie foregoing articles are introaucecl merely to explain how such 
a state of tliiiio-s"'coukl pos^bly exist in a civilized country. Tlie fierce hate of politic 
cariactionists°entirely blindin;^ them to tiie disgrace and injury inflicted upon rheir 
common country by the toleration of .^Yrong deeds whether perpetrated by one i^ ass 
Cr another.l 



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ABSTEACT OF OONTEJSTTS : 



Preface, 

What is Public Business ? 

Rules of Order 

Slotions — how made. 

Chiirman— his requisites ; necessity 
of his impartiality ; dignity re- 
quisite: 

The Meeting — order necessary. 

Points of tJider. 

Debate, its rules and usages. 

Speakers — their rights and duties. 

Arrranffing for a Meetin.:. 

The " Call," lorms and advertising. 

A New Club — call to form. 

Alma Mater — call for a meeting', to 
organize. 

Boys in Blue — call to organize a 
Social Society. 

Committee of Arrangements, how 
arranged. 

Caucus and caucusing, explanation 
of terms. 

Conventions — how composed. 

Town Meetings — how called. 

Ward Meetings. 

Committees. 

Itesolutions and "Motions — now pre- 
sented ; form of. 

Amendments — lorra of ; Examp e; 
(if. 

Rules as to striking out and insert- 
ing words. 

Divisions— explanation of the term ; 
examples of. 

Yeas and Nays— rules, how fixed ; 
how taken ; calling the ; when a 
vote may be changed. 

A Ciuorum — what constitutes; usag- 
es in American Legislatures ; 
linglish House of Commons. 

Speaking — general observations on. 

Points of Order and Appeals — mode 
of making; form of making. 

Debate— when a speaker may speak 
twice ; when a Chairman may 
speak ; every member has a right 
to speak once ; courtesies of. 

Questions- rules in relation to. 

Privileged Questions — how they af- 



fect the regular business ; classifi- 
cation of motions. 

Committee of the Whole— objects 
of organization of. 

Call of the House— rule? relating to ; 
duties of sergeant at arms ; closing 
the doors. 

Adjournment— motion to adjourn ; 
when debatable. 

By-Laws ot Citizens Central Com- 
mitte: PLemarks on ditto ; Sus- 
pending Order ot business; Put- 
ting Motions in Writing ; Movtd 
by two Members ; Stated by the 
Chair ; After the Previous Ques- 
tion; without Debate or Explana- 
tion ; Member on the floor ; Re- 
consideration ; Five Minutes rule ; 
Point of Order and Appeal ; Prev- 
ious Questiim ; Chairman not to 
speak ; Reports of Committees ; 
Preliminary Debate ; Retiring 
committees; Order and Harmony ; 
Suspen.sion of Rules, 

Forms and Formulas — On making 
Quotations ; on the duties of Citi- 
zens in a Republic ; Remarks on 
Government; Memorial to Con- 
gress on Neutral Rights. 

Farmer's Club — Formation of; Con- 
stitution ot. 

Insurance Club — By-Laws of. 

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Form of Legislative Bill. 

British Parliament — Law and prac- 
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Congress of United States — Forma- 
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Business Rules of TJ. S Senate— Of 
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Busiu' ss Rules of IT. S. House of 
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Rules of the Senate of New York 
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Rules and Order of the New York 
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Joint Rules of the Senate and As- 
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Constitution of the United Sta, 3s. 
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