Sargeant Prentiss Nutt (who later changed his name to the old spelling, "Knut") was a
Mississippi lawyer who was involved in Democratic politics. Knut was born approximately
1854, one of the eleven children of Dr. Haller Nutt and Julia Nutt; Dr. Nutt was a wealthy
cotton planter at Natchez, Mississippi. In 1860, Dr. Nutt began the construction of his
mansion, Longwood, designed by the architect Samuel Sloan. A Union sympathizer, Dr. Nutt
suffered tremendous losses during the Civil War. After his death in 1864, his widow filed a
lawsuit against the Federal government in an attempt to recover some of the damages.
Sargeant Prentiss Knut attended the University of Virginia, and was admitted to the bar at
Natchez in 1878. He then practiced law in Washington, D.C., pursuing the settlement of the
war claims of his own family and the claims of many other Southerners. In 1896, he married
Lily Barret who died in 1898, a few days after giving birth to their daughter Lily Knut
Brown. At her death, Lily Barret Knut willed her large estate to her daughter Lily Knut
Brown; this will later became the subject of much litigation in which father and daughter
opposed each other. Sargeant Prentiss Knut was also involved in Democratic politics and was
the treasurer of the Mississippi Democratic Association in Washington, D.C; he died there in
1939 and was buried at Longwood.
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