Revisiting Mississippi’s “Free State of Jones”: A Photo Essay

Some highlights from last month’s week in Mississippi, which began with my deliverance of the first-of-the-year University Forum address at Southern Miss. There are way too many photos of me below, but I’m feeling self-indulgent—hey, it was a wonderful visit!

USM forum ad

usm-forum-vikki-audience

Photo courtesy of Ed Friedlander

My presentation was followed with signing books and meeting people—the relaxing part of the evening!

Meeting people and signing books, USM Forum, 9-13-16

Meeting people and signing books, USM Forum, 9-13-16

 

usm-forum-ed-friedlander-vikki

With Prof. Ed Friedlander, USM forum booksigning, 9-13-16

 

With Prof. Douglas Bristol at USM Forum booksigning, 9-13-16

With Prof. Douglas Bristol, USM Forum booksigning, 9-13-16

 

With Timothy D. Brownlee, USM Forum Booksigning, 9-13-16

With Timothy D. Brownlee, USM Forum Booksigning, 9-13-16

 

A lovely lady from the Valentine-Coats family line, USM Forum booksigning, , 9-13-16

With a lovely lady from the Valentine-Coats family line, USM Forum booksigning, 9-13-16

 

Next day: On to Ellisville, heart of the Free State of Jones, to discuss the process of research and writing with students from the Honors Program at Jones County Junior College.

Meet and greet with students following Jones County Junior college presentation

Meeting with students following Jones County Junior College presentation. With Samantha Dean and Caleb Habersham. Ellisville, 9-14-16.

 

End of Evening: JCJC Prez. Jesse Smith, Gregg Andrews, Vikki Bynum, Honorable Charles and Mrs, Pickering, Honors Director Julie Atwood, Ellisville, MS, 9-14-16

The end of an exhilarating evening: JCJC Prez. Jesse Smith, Gregg Andrews, Vikki Bynum, Honorable Charles W. Pickering, Mrs. Charles (Margaret Ann) Pickering, and Honors Director Julie Atwood. Ellisville, MS, 9-14-16.

Before leaving Jones County, Gregg and I were treated to an afternoon of reminiscing, sharing old and new stories about the Free State of Jones, and enjoying fabulous food with friends and descendants of Newt and Rachel Knight at the home of Eugene and Florence Blaylock.

L to R: Flo Wyatt, Gregg Andrews, Kyle Baughman, Dessa Knight, Jeannette Smith, Emma Strong. Soso, MS, 9-15-16

L to R: Flo Wyatt, Gregg Andrews, Kyle Baughman, Dessa Knight(?), Jeannette Smith, Emma Strong. Soso, MS, 9-15-16

 

Emma Strong, displaying the horn her family's tradition holds was owned by Newt Knight during the Civil War. Soso, MS, 9-15-16.

Emma Strong, displaying the horn her family’s tradition holds was owned by Newt Knight during the Civil War. Soso, MS, 9-15-16.

 

Florence Blaylock, Vikki Bynum, Olga Nelson, Dorothy Marsh. Soso, MS, 9-15-16

Florence Blaylock, Vikki Bynum, Olga Nelson, Dorothy Marsh. Soso, MS, 9-15-16

Indicative of my own roots in the Free State of Jones, Gregg and I ended our Mississippi trip with a visit to the home of my first cousin, Royce Breazeale.

Royce Breazeale, Vikki Bynum, Margie .Breazeale, Lesia Breazeale Jones. Ellisville, MS, 9-16-16

Royce Breazeale, Vikki Bynum, Margie Breazeale, Lesia Breazeale Jones. Ellisville, MS, 9-16-16

Categories: Uncategorized

7 replies »

  1. Come to the Dedication Ceremony for the Texas Historic Commission’s Historic Cemetery Marker at Bluewater Cemetery, near Livingston, Texas. The Bluewater Community and the Knight Community were adjacent to each other in southern Polk County, Texas in the early 20th century. Thomas Jefferson Collins’ marker is the oldest known headstone at Bluewater.

    • Thank you for the invitation! I have never been to the Bluewater cemetery, but I know it is important to many of the Knight Company men and to Jones County, MS. Hope to visit it before too long.

      I have visited Hardin County to conduct research on Warren J. Collins, whose brother, Jasper, of course, was Newt Knight’s 1st. Sgt. My work on Warren has been published in The Long Shadow of the Civil War, and in Jesus de la Tejas’s anthology, Lone Star Unionism, Dissent, and Resistance.

      I know there is much more to learn about the Texas side of the story! Please browse this blog and share stories where you feel they’re appropriate.

      Vikki

  2. Hey Vikki!

    We’ve really been enjoying the content on this blog. We’d actually love to talk to you about doing an interview for our website, RedneckRevolt.org about Southern resistance to the confederacy, as well as white race treason post-civil war. Would you be interested? I searched this site for an email address for you, but couldn’t find one, so sorry to leave this as a comment.

    Thanks so much!

    • redneckrevolt,

      Sorry I’m late answering this; I was out of town for two days. I’ll send you a private email ASAP.

      Thanks,
      Vikki Bynum

    • Thank you for asking, Paul. At this time, I have no speaking engagements in Texas. I will speak in Tennessee later this month, in Arizona in March, In Virginia in April, and in Arkansas in September. The details of each speaking engagement will be announced within one to two weeks of when it occurs.

      I appreciate your interest.

      Vikki

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