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Alfred Townsend, Lowery as A Brigand Leader, The Swamp Outlaws, 1872


Alfred Townsend, Lowery as A Brigand Leader, The Swamp Outlaws, 1872


In this chapter from the novel “The Swamp Outlaw”, we are shown the mindset of two of the people who lived in Robeson County during the time of Henry Berry’s activities. In the first account, the witness discusses a fear of being hunted by the outlaw in his own dream, while the other discusses how democratic papers accuse the outlaw as being the “colored” answer to the Ku Klux Klan. However, what is also important to note is the retort given to this claim, and the opinion of the outlaw by the democrats who are upset that they could not stop the outlaw outright.


George Alfred Townsend


Townshed, Alfred, The Swamp Outlaw, (New York, Robert M. DeWitt; 1872) pg. 14-15






Robeson County, NC

Original Format



"What is the meaning of this?" said I to "Parson" Sinclair—the fighting parson of Lumberton—"How can this fellow, with a handful of boys and illiterate men, put to flight a society only recently used to warfare and full of accomplished
soldiers ? Explain it."

"Lowery," answered Sinclair, "is really one those remarkable executive spirits that arises now and then in a raw community, without advantages other than nature gave him. He has passions, but no weaknesses, and his eye is on every point at once. He has impressed that whole negro society with his power and influence. They fear and admire him. He asserts his superiority over all these whites just as well. No man who stands face to face with him can resist his quiet will, and assurance and his searching eye. Without fear, without hope, defying society, he is the only man we have any knowledge of down here who can play his part Upon my word. I believe if he had I lived ages ago he would have been a William the Conqueror. He reminds me of nobody but Rob Roy."


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George Alfred Townsend, Alfred Townsend, Lowery as A Brigand Leader, The Swamp Outlaws, 1872, Civil War Era NC, accessed July 14, 2024,