unc logo

Collection Number: 04624

Collection Title: Wishart Family Papers, circa 1830-1999

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 110 items)
Abstract Wishart family members include Francis Marion Wishart (1837-1872) of Shoe Heel (now Maxton), near Lumberton in Robeson County, N.C., who served in the Confederage army during the Civil War and organized the fight against the Lowry gang, a group of Croatan (Lumbee) Indians that terrorized Robeson County around 1871; and William Clifton Wishart (b. 1871), who served for many years as a vice president of the New York Central Railroad. The collection contains materials relating to Francis Marion Wishart's Civil War and Lowry gang activities and to Wishart family history. Civil War materials include Francis Marion Wishart's diary, circa 100 pages, containing brief entries, 1861-1862, chiefly reporting troop movements, camp life, and other aspects of Wishart's service. Lowry gang materials include correspondence, chiefly from July and August 1871, between Wishart and his recruits in the war against the Lowry gang; notes and writings relating to the Lowry gang; clippings; and pictures, including a tintype showing three men with shotguns and a dead Lowry gang member, circa 1871. Family history materials include correspondence, 1906-1963, chiefly of William Clifton Wishart and Annabel Wishart Lane, who were involved in gathering information on family history; notes and writings on the Wishart and related families; and pictures of family members. The Addition of January 2012 includes additional materials related to the Lowry gang, including photocopies of Francis Marion Wishart's journal, circa 1867-1872, documenting his pursuit of the Lowry gang; an unattributed account of the Lowry gang's activities circa 1864 to 1871; and other related research materials.
Creator Wishart family.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Wishart Family Papers #4624, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Frank H. Wishart of Bonita Springs, Fla., in June 1992 (Acc. 92104). Addition of January 2012 received from William McKee Evans of Pomona, Calif., in December 2012 (Acc. 101528).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Wishart family members include Francis Marion Wishart (1837-1872) of Shoe Heel (now Maxton), near Lumberton in Robeson County, N.C., who married Lydia Maria Pittman (1845-1899) in 1866. Wishart, known as Frank, had served in the Confederate army during the Civil War and came home to a Robeson County terrorized by a gang of Croatan Indians, led by Henry Berry Lowry, who, at 16, had witnessed the brutal execution of his father and brother, who had been falsely accused of theft. Wishart, known as a valiant fighter in the recent war, was persuaded to take up the fight against the Lowry gang after the county was terrorized to the point of deciding to employ military tactics to search for and destroy the gang. Wishart drafted a large number of men to serve as foot soldiers in the fight, but was himself the victim of an ambush that ended his life on 2 May 1872.

Before his death, Frank Wishart instructed his pregnant wife and two small children to take refuge from gang members' retaliation with relatives in Whiteville, Columbus County, N.C. There, William Clifton Wishart was born in 1871. He married Ann Armfield (b. 1874) in 1896 and fathered four children. William Clifton Wishart achieved prominence in the field of railroad accounting, serving for many years as a vice president of the New York Central Railroad.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Materials relating to Francis Marion Wishart's Civil War and Lowry gang activities and to Wishart family history. Civil War materials include Francis Marion Wishart's diary, circa 100 pages, containing brief entries, 1861-1862, chiefly reporting troop movements, camp life, and other aspects of Wishart's service. Lowry gang materials include correspondence, chiefly from July and August 1871, between Wishart and his recruits in the war against the Lowry gang; notes and writings relating to the Lowry gang; clippings; and pictures, including a tintype showing three men with shotguns and a dead Lowry gang member, circa 1871. Family history materials include correspondence, 1906-1963, chiefly of William Clifton Wishart and Annabel Wishart Lane, who were involved in gathering information on family history; notes and writings on the Wishart and related families; and pictures of family members. The Addition of January 2012 includes additional materials related to the Lowry gang, including photocopies of Francis Marion Wishart's journal, circa 1867-1872, documenting his pursuit of the Lowry gang; an unattributed account of the Lowry gang's activities circa 1864 to 1871; and other related research materials.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Francis Marion Wishart Materials, 1861-1953.

About 35 items.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. Civil War Materials, 1861-1865.

About 10 items.

Diary, circa 100 pages, of Francis Marion Wishart, containing brief entries, 1861-1862, chiefly reporting on troop movements, camp life, and other aspects of Wishart's service; Wishart's copy of the 1861 "Manual of Infantry and Rifle Tactics"; and three letters, 1861-1865, and a few other items chiefly relating to camp life.

Folder 1

"Manual of Infantry and Rifle Tactics," 1861 #04624, Subseries: "1.1. Civil War Materials, 1861-1865." Folder 1

Folder 2

Papers #04624, Subseries: "1.1. Civil War Materials, 1861-1865." Folder 2

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. Lowry Gang Materials, 1871-1953 and undated.

About 25 items.

Correspondence, chiefly from July and August 1871, between Francis Marion Wishart and his recruits in the war against the Lowry gang and from Wishart to his wife Lydia, informing her of his activities; notes and writings relating to the Lowry gang, including three small notebooks containing Wishart's jottings on the campaign and William Clifton Wishart's 1952 story of his father's fight; clippings, 1782-1953 and undated, recounting the story; and pictures relating to the gang.

Folder 3

Correspondence #04624, Subseries: "1.2. Lowry Gang Materials, 1871-1953 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

Notes and writings #04624, Subseries: "1.2. Lowry Gang Materials, 1871-1953 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

Notes and writings #04624, Subseries: "1.2. Lowry Gang Materials, 1871-1953 and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6

Clippings #04624, Subseries: "1.2. Lowry Gang Materials, 1871-1953 and undated." Folder 6

Special Format Image SF-P-4624/1

Tintype showing three men (tentatively identified by the donor as Wishart family members) with shotguns and a dead Lowry gang member, circa 1871. Photographic copy filed with the tintype. #04624, Subseries: "1.2. Lowry Gang Materials, 1871-1953 and undated." SF-P-4624/1

Image P-4624/1

Photograph of Francis Marion Wishart, circa 1871. Negative available. #04624, Subseries: "1.2. Lowry Gang Materials, 1871-1953 and undated." P-4624/1

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Family History Materials, 1906-1963 and undated.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of January 2012, circa 1830-1999

12 items.
Folder 9

Francis Marion Wishart diary, 1867-1872 #04624, Series: "Addition of January 2012, circa 1830-1999" Folder 9

Photocopied journal of Francis Marion Wishart with entires 1867-1872. There are frequent entries from July 1871 to March 1872, recording Wishart's pursuit of the Lowry gang in Robeson County, N.C. Many of the original handwritten journal entries are accompanied by typeset edited versions created by Wishart's son William Clifton Wishart. The edited versions differ from the handwritten journal entries, withholding names that in the original remain intact.

Folder 10

"Anonymous Manuscript," circa 1870s #04624, Series: "Addition of January 2012, circa 1830-1999" Folder 10

A detailed description of the activities of the Lowry gang, circa 1864-1871. Notable events include the murder of James P. Barnes and James Brantley Harris and Henry Berry Lowry's escape from prison. The final pages of the work list members of the Lowry gang and some of the crimes of which they were accused. The account does not appear to reference the 1872 murder of Francis Marion Wishart by the Lowry gang. The author of the work is unknown, though several possible candidates have been identified by the donor: J. Luther McLean, B. Frank McLean, and Hamilton McMillan. McMillan represented Robeson County in the North Carolina General Assembly from 1885 to 1887.

Folder 11

William McKee Evans research materials, circa 1830-1850, 1986-1999 #04624, Series: "Addition of January 2012, circa 1830-1999" Folder 11

Research materials collected by the donor while researching his 1971 book, To Die Game: the Story of the Lowry Band, Indian Guerillas of Reconstruction. Included are photocopies of tax documents and court records from Robeson County, N.C., and newspaper clippings from the 1830s and 1850s that mention the Lowry family. Also included are clippings and other items, 1986-1999, that are related to the renovation of the Henry Berry Lowry House.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, July 1992

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, January 2010

Updated by: Martin Gengenbach, January 2012

Back to Top