Ed Payne to speak on “Free State of Jones” before Kiwanis Club

Bumper sticker
“Free State of Jones” bumper sticker, courtesy of DeBoyd Knight

Newt Knight was an important leader in Jones County’s Civil War insurrection, but he did not create Mississippi’s most famous inner civil war. Ed Payne, one of my favorite Mississippi historians, recognizes this better than most, having researched Jones County records for over four years now.

At 12:00 noon, November 18, Ed will address the Kiwanis Club of Laurel at the Laurel Country Club.  The meeting will begin with a luncheon, followed at 12:30 pm by Ed’s thirty-minute presentation, “Civil War Jones County:  Free State or Just Different?”

Those attending, who will include members of the Jones County Genealogical and Historical Organization as well as the Kiwanis Club, can expect a multi-faceted treatment of Jones County’s economic profile, elaborate kinship networks, and the complicated issue of the county’s divided loyalties during the Civil War.

The audience will be treated to the work of a first-class researcher who favors truth over myths, facts over fantasies. Perhaps Ed should have titled his talk, “Beyond Newt Knight.”

4 replies »

    • Mitchell, that image is of an actual bumper sticker that was given to me by DeBoyd Knight of Jones County back in 1994 when I was conducting research for my book, The Free State of Jones. The bumper sticker was already rather old at the time, and I don’t know when they were first made up, or exactly who designed it.



      • Vikki,

        Thanks so much for the quick response. As an artist from that area, I was just curious to know the origins and if the horn had any significants to the rebellion. You don’t happen to know of any other imagery that might have been used?


      • Mitchell,
        You’re welcome. The horn is quite significant because the wives of Knight band members allegedly blew on them to warn the men when Confederate soldiers were in the area. I can’t think of any other imagery that has been used regularly.



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