The papers of Joseph Jones (1749-1824) span the period 1681 to 1895, with the majority of papers dating from 1794 to 1842. The collection is divided into six series: Correspondence, 1781-1895 and undated; Legal Papers, 1681-1888 and undated; Financial Papers, 1772-1875 and undated; Customs Collector Papers, 1796-1836 and undated; Military Papers, 1788-1864 and undated; and Miscellany, 1801-1854 and undated. Within each series the material is arranged chronologically. The Correspondence and Customs Collector Papers comprise the bulk of the collection.
Primarily emphasized in the collection are Jones' land holdings in Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Ohio, some awarded on account of his military service during the Revolution; his service as Brigadier-General in the 15th Brigade of the Virginia Militia during the Whiskey Rebellion; his work as customs collector at the port of Petersburg; and a variety of legal and financial papers.
The collection covers three generations of the Jones Family. After Jones' death in 1824, papers chiefly relate to his children and other relatives. Among those represented are Jones' sons: Joseph Jr., who managed some of his father's farming interests; R. Benson, who worked for various merchants in New York in the 1840's; Thomas, who was sheriff in Chesterfield County, Va. in 1838; and Thomas' wife, Mary Newton Jones, and her brother Virginia Congressman Willoughby Newton, plus other related families. There is extensive correspondence between Mrs. Mary M. Jones and others (chiefly in the 1840's) indicating that she owned both real estate and slaves. Some of this property was located in Westmoreland County, Va.
Other subjects include reaction to the passage by Congress of Jay's treaty, documents relating to slave holdings, social conditions of women in the 19th century, and the service of Jones' grandson, Captain Thomas Jones, in the 40th Virginia Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.
For further information about Jones, see the Department's William Bragg Papers. Bragg became Jones' business partner about 1770 in Petersburg, Va.