A point lost to many historians. There was a black man by the name of "Free Lewis" who lived in Simpson County, Mississippi area as early as the 1820s. Had always been free, and is said to have been protected by a Spanish Treaty from American slave and negro laws. Free Lewis worked and lived amongest the other whites in the area, and participated in the growth of the Simpson County as one of its early pioneers. Every once in a while an outsider would come into Simpson County, and find Free Lewis living free as a bird, apprehand him, and bring him into the sheriff as a run-away for a reward. The sheriff would have to give the disappointing news to unknowning slave catcher that Free Lewis was just that,... free.