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The Lumbee IndiansAn American Struggle$
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Malinda Maynor Lowery

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469646374

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469646374.001.0001

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In Defiance of All Laws

In Defiance of All Laws

Removal and Insurrection

(p.62) Chapter Three In Defiance of All Laws
The Lumbee Indians

Malinda Maynor Lowery

University of North Carolina Press

As the new U.S. nation emerged, its government began restricting the rights of free people of color to ensure white supremacy and protect slavery. The North Carolina government took away Indians’ and free blacks’ rights to vote, and their political, legal, and economic power. Since Lumbees owned their land individually, the government couldn’t seize their lands directly. But Lumbees experienced other insidious methods of land loss. Lumbees did not all choose the same side during the Civil War. Some opposed the Confederacy to regain freedoms they had lost, while others focused on a strategy that would allow them to maintain the freedoms they had. During the Civil War, a group of Indian men from the Lowry and Oxendine families, along with some outsiders, camped out in swamps to avoid conscription into the Confederate army. After the war, as racial violence flared in the community, the group, eventually headed by Henry Berry Lowry, began to fight against white supremacy via raids and revenge killings. The Lowry Gang was hailed as folk heroes by some and dangerous outlaws by others. The Lowry War, as the conflict became known, showed Lumbees’ willingness to fight against a racial hierarchy.

Keywords:   Civil War, The Lowry Gang, The Lowry War, Henry Berry Lowry, Racial violence, Drowning Creek, Confederacy, Republicans, Land loss

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