Following the Civil War, JD McKnight helped in the reconstruction of Saint Denis, an act that resulted in a statue being made and erected of him in one of the city squares. This act did not go without criticism, as some saw McKnight as a carpetbagger and opportunist due to him taking advantage of the catastrophe and economic crisis.
Either at this point or prior, McKnight was recognized for his work by having a cigarette card commemorating him.
During the Panic of 1893, McKnight and others sold 3.5 million ounces of gold to the U.S. Treasury.
By 1907, his company would come to own a majority of the enterprises previously run by Leviticus Cornwall, including sugar plantations located in the Caribbean, such as those on the island of Guarma.
Businesses owned partially or entirely by McKnight
- McKnight & Co.
- McKnight Freight and Railyard
- McKnight Freight and Commodities
- McKnight is heavily based on J. P. Morgan, a prominent 19th-century financier, and banker. Similarly, his real-world counterpart also sold approximately 3.5 million ounces of gold to the U.S. Treasury during the Panic of 1893.