Thomas “Tom” Knight was born a slave in Virginia, ca. 1822 – 1848 [1, 2]. By 1870, five years after the end of the Civil War, he was living in North Carolina with a growing family . Tom Knight is my great-great-great-grandfather. Our family history and several records suggest that like many enslaved African-American men, women, and children, he had been forced to leave his birthplace.
Lewis Hill and his wife Cate lived as enslaved African-Americans with the Knight family of Covington County, Mississippi. Through historical records linked to John “Jackie” Knight’s farm and the Soso, MS community, we can see that they were a couple who had spent much of their lives together. Lewis was born in Mississippi ca. 1805. Cate may have been born in 1801. Her birthplace is unknown.
John “Jackie” Knight (born in 1773, North Carolina) was the patriarch of the Knight family that had migrated to Soso, Mississippi in about 1820. He was the grandfather of Newton Knight, who would later lead an infamous rebellion against the Confederate cause. Jackie’s family lived on the Leaf River near the boundary between Jones and Covington Counties. According to historical accounts, Jackie Knight had frequented the slave and agricultural trading posts in Mobile, Alabama, and Augusta, Mississippi.