Matthew Knox was the first of his family to cross the mountains and enter Mississippi. The covered wagon he drove pulled a milk cow while two sows and a collie dog trailed along, and his wife sat in the back. Under the tarpaulin, among the farm implements, resting neatly next to a jug of clear whiskey medicine, was a small bible his grandfather, Jeremiah Knox, had given him in 1862 when he went off to fight in the Confederate War. Together Matthew and this bible had survived the war and would stay together throughout the tense aftermath.
This song tells the history of how Matthew’s Scots-Irish family came to America from Ulster, carrying with them the generations of Knox forebears as documented in the family bible.
NATHANIEL KNOX WAS AN ULSTER MAN (F.D. Leone, Jr.) Nathaniel Knox was an Ulster man A staunch Presbyterian Sold his labor for a six week voyage With a wife and two small boys Traced his line to 1621 To his great-great-grandad Tristan They came to Ulster from County Galloway Nathaniel Knox sailed away It was a small thing that he took A list of names in a holy book Every Knox that’ll come along Will write more names of his own Nathaniel Knox went to Carolina Took his grandson Jeremiah Who was the first Knox American-born In seventeen seventy-four It was a small thing that he took A list of names in a holy book Every Knox that’ll come along Will write more names of his own It ain’t rained for six weeks now Jeremiah watched his fields turn brown One minute he’s cooking molasses from sugar cane Then everything he’s built goes up flames Matthew Knox was Jeremiah’s grandson He left Carolina for Meridian Mississippi soil is rich and dark Matthew Knox has an Ulster heart It was a small thing that he took A list of names in a holy book Every Knox that’ll come along Will write more names of his own © 2020 Frank David Leone, Jr./Highway 80 Music (ASCAP). The songs and stories on the Highway 80 Stories website are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.