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Friday, February 20, 2015

The Free State of Jones

Did anyone see Matthew McConaughey in Jackson last week?  McConaughey is here filming for the movie The Free State of Jones.  Based on true events, The Free State of Jones film follows Mississippian Newton Knight as he rebels against the Confederacy in Jones County,Mississippi
Knight was a farmer, soldier, and Southern Unionist.  He is best known for his role in forming the Free State of Jones, which consisted of a band of Confederate Army deserters who turned against the Confederacy in the surrounding area of Jones County, Mississippi. Knight’s desertion remains controversial to this day. Some believe that he was a noble man that refused to fight for something that he did not believe in.  Others believe that he was a deserter and an outlaw. To learn more about Newton Knight and the Free State of Jones stop by the library and check out these books!
The Echo of the Black Horn: An Authentic Tale of “The Governor” of “The Free State of Jones”
by Ethel Knight Published by Newton Knight’s grandniece, Ethel Knight, in 1951, this book is a denunciation of Knight and his followers.  Ethel portrays Knight as a manipulator, traitor, and an ignorant murderer.  

The State of Jones
by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer
The State of Jones claims to tell the true story of the real South. This is an investigative account of Newton Knight’s life on and off the battlefield.

A Mini-Confederacy: The Free State of Jones A Source Book
edited by Mary H. Kitchens and Theresa Blackledge
This source book contains both scholarly writing and fictive legend of the activities of Newton Knight and Jones County, Mississippi.  Both sides of the controversy are represented and it is up to the reader to decide whether Newton Knight led the Free State of Jones for a noble cause or if he was a manipulative outlaw.


Legend of the Free State of Jones
by Rudy H. Leverett
This book provides evidence proving that much of Jones County was in fact loyal to the Confederacy. This brings up questions about the accuracy of local history accounts about the Free State of Jones and Newton Knight. 

Tap Roots
by James Street
This fictional book is loosely based on the rebellion of Jones County.A film version was released in 1948.

The Free State of Jones starring Matthew McConaughey is set to be released in 2016.

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