Robert Lowry: Thirty-second Governor of Mississippi: 1882-1890
Robert Lowry occupied the office of governor for eight years and was Mississippi’s first governor to remain in office for two consecutive four-year terms. He was first elected in 1881 and re-elected in 1885.
Lowry was born in the Chesterfield District of South Carolina on March
10, 1829. In the 1840s, his family moved to Raleigh, in Smith County.
After reading law and being admitted to the state bar in 1859, he established
a law practice at Brandon. When the Civil War began, he enlisted as a
private and rose to the rank of brigadier general. After the war he resumed
his practice of law in Brandon and was elected as a Democrat to the Mississippi
Legislature in 1865.
It was also during Governor Lowry’s first administration that the
Mississippi State College for Women was established. Originally called
the Industrial Institute and College, it was the first state-supported
college for women founded in the United States.
After Governor Lowry left office, he moved his permanent residence to
Jackson where he spent much of his time writing a lengthy volume of Mississippi
history in collaboration with William H. McCardle, the former editor of
the Vicksburg Times. In addition to that large volume, titled
A History of Mississippi, they also published a textbook in 1891
for use in the state’s public school system.
David Sansing, Ph.D., is history professor emeritus, University of Mississippi.
Posted December 2003
Mississippi Official and Statistical Register (1912), 78.
Rowland, Dunbar. Mississippi Comprising Sketches in Cyclopedic Form II. 139-143.
Sansing, David and Carroll Waller, Mississippi Governor’s Mansion (Jackson, 1977), 81.
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