“Rhoda Strong Lowry, 1849-1909.” In: North Carolina women: making history. By Margaret Supplee Smith and Emily Herring Wilson. Chapel Hill; London: North Carolina UP, 1999. Pages 154-157; notes on pages 327-328.
This biographical sketch of the wife of Henry Berry Lowry is brief but detailed and well-documented. The authors note that Rhoda had been married for only six years when her husband died or disappeared in 1872. She protected her husband in his path of violence as a way she could redress the wrongs committed by Whites against people of color; thus she, also, has come to be seen as a symbol of struggle against oppression. Rhoda had three children to raise when Henry Berry disappeared. Henry Berry was her cousin. She was sixteen and he was twenty when they married. It is believed that her father was a White man named John Gorman who later changed his name to Strong, and that her mother was an Indian woman named Lowry who died young.
This essay gives details about how Rhoda helped her husband escape from law enforcement officials and bounty hunters. It also discusses her refusal to talk about her husband's activities and whereabouts, even when he disappeared for good after his February 16, 1872, robbery of a general store, leaving the emptied safe in the middle of a Lumberton street.
There are also details on the farming and household skills she probably had and the activities she probably engaged in to make a living and raise her children--in contrast to books and newspapers which portrayed her as a well-dressed beauty.