Newton Knight was a Confederate deserter who lead other deserters, women and former African American slaves, who professed loyalty to the Union, in a successful revolt against the Confederate authorities in Jones County, Mississippi. After the revolt ended, the United States flag was raised over the county courthouse in, “The Free State of Jones”.
During the revolt, Newton Jones had Rachel, one of his grandfather’s former slaves, join him. Newton and Rachel ended up having five children together on the 160 acre property that Newton owned.
During reconstruction, Newton Knight became a commissioner whom gave goods out to individuals of need, which included working with federal troops to free slaves from farmers who would not acknowledge the nationwide illegality of the institution of slavery after the war.