Matthew T. Newsom (Claiborne County)

State House: 1870-1871

Born: c. 1816 in North Carolina

Appointed to serve as justice of the peace in 1869. Listed on the 1870 census in Claiborne County, occupation “Miss State Legislature,” with wife and daughter, both named Rozetta. An R. Newsom, a woman of Rozetta’s age, appears alone on the 1880 census.

“A native of North Carolina, Newsom attended the Mississippi black convention of 1865 and the first Republican state convention in 1867, where he proposed that the party commit itself to land confiscation. He represented Claiborne County in the constitutional convention of 1868 and in the state House of Representatives, 1870-71, and he also served as a district judge.”
(Eric Foner, Freedom’s Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders during Reconstruction, 1993)