Over 60 Newspaper Titles added to DigitalNC

Headmast for July 16th issue of Rockingham's Pee Dee Bee

This week we have another 61 titles up on DigitalNC, including our first additions from Charleston, Culler, Red Springs, Rutherfordton, and Sanford! Included in this batch, on the front page of the February 28, 1872 issue of Raleigh’s Weekly Sentinel, is an article detailing the final heist of Robeson County folk hero Henry Berry Lowry.

Black and white photo of bearded man that is thought to be Henry Berry Lowry

Portrait thought to be of Henry Berry Lowry. Via the State Archives of North Carolina

Henry Berry Lowry, a Lumbee Native American, was the head of the mostly Native outlaw group known as the Lowry Gang. In addition to typical outlaw activities, the Lowry Gang also helped other Native Americans avoid Confederate work conscription and fought alongside Union soldiers who had escaped Confederate prison camps. While Lowry did often resort to murder to settle personal feuds, he was also considered a sort of Robeson “Robin Hood.” When they committed robberies, they would often share the spoils with the community and would return items such as horses as soon as they were no longer needed. They were known to be “respectful” robbers and would let you off the hook if you could show you didn’t have much.

article detailing the safe heist robbery committed by Lowry and his gang

The Weekly Sentinel, February 28, 1872

In 1869, governor William Holden put a $12,000 bounty on Lowry’s head, which resulted in bloody conflict over the next few years. After successfully evading capture, Lowry planned his final heist in February of 1872. The gang stole a safe from a local carriage manufacturer and were bold enough to take another from the sheriff’s office, walking away with $22,000 (about $520,000 today) and then he disappeared. The bounty was never collected and he was never heard from again. Some locals claim they saw him at a friend’s funeral years later, but we will likely never know what happened to Henry Berry Lowry.

Over the next year, we’ll be adding millions of newspaper images to DigitalNC. These images were originally digitized a number of years ago in a partnership with Newspapers.com. That project focused on scanning microfilmed papers published before 1923 held by the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Special Collections Library. While you can currently search all of those pre-1923 issues on Newspapers.com, over the next year we will also make them available in our newspaper database as well. This will allow you to search that content alongside the 2 million pages already on our site – all completely open access and free to use.

This week’s additions include:





Elizabeth City





North Wilkesboro




Red Springs














If you want to see all of the newspapers we have available on DigitalNC, you can find them here. Thanks to UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries for permission to and support for adding all of this content as well as the content to come. We also thank the North Caroliniana Society for providing funding to support staff working on this project.

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This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features the latest news and highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from organizations across North Carolina.

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