Friday, June 24, 2016

News---The Free State of Jones Film: How Much Of That Is True?

 News---The Free State of Jones Film: How Much Of That Is True?  15 Questions Answered

Free State of Jones is a  inspired by the life of  Newton Knight and the anti-Confederacy rebellion in Jones County, Mississippi. Victoria E. Bynum's The Free State of Jones [2001] served as the basis of the film and the historian served as a script consultant.

1.  Why did Newton Knight initially join the Confederate Army?When the state of Mississippi seceded from the Union in January 1861, many Mississippians were opposed to the decision. Mississippi's Declaration of Secession did not reflect the views of many of the small family-owned farms and cattle herders living in Jones County. It was a decision that primarily reflected the planters' interests. When the American Civil War began in April 1861, anyone who opposed the state's new Confederate government was deemed a traitor and a coward. Immediate death was often the penalty for those who refused to join the Confederate Army. The Free State of Jones true story reveals that Newton Knight enlisted in the army in the early fall of 1861. The Free State of Jones book author Victoria E. Bynum believes that Knight did not necessarily enlist out of fear of conscription but rather because he just wanted to be a soldier. -Mississippi History Now

14 More Questions Answered at Text Source: History Versus Hollywood

Also, Smithsonian Magazine [March 2016] has a superb article on a recent visit to Jones County, the current residents' understanding of Newton Knight and the successful rebellion.  His descendants and those who believe that he is not a hero are interviewed.

Smithsonian Magazine: The True Story of the Free State of Jones

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