JONES, George Wallace

JONES, George Wallace
Library of Congress
1804–1896

Biography

JONES, George Wallace, (brother–in–law of John Scott of Missouri), a Delegate from the Territory of Michigan and the Territory of Wisconsin and a Senator from Iowa; born in Vincennes, Ind., April 12, 1804; graduated from the Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky., in 1825; studied law; admitted to the bar; moved to Michigan Territory and located in Sinsinawa Mound, where he was a miner and storekeeper; served in the Black Hawk War; judge of the county court; elected as a Delegate from Michigan Territory to the Twenty-fourth Congress and served from March 4, 1835, until the Territory of Wisconsin was formed from a portion of Michigan Territory; his residence being in the new Territory, he was elected and qualified as a Delegate from the Territory of Wisconsin, serving until March 3, 1837; presented credentials as a Delegate-elect from the Territory of Wisconsin to the Twenty-fifth Congress and served from March 4, 1837, to January 14, 1839, when he was succeeded by James D. Doty, who contested his election; appointed surveyor of public lands for the Territories of Wisconsin and Iowa 1840-1848, when he resigned; elected in 1848 as a Democrat to the United States Senate as one of the first Senators from the State of Iowa; reelected in 1852 and served from December 7, 1848, to March 3, 1859; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1858; chairman, Committee on Engrossed Bills (Thirty-first and Thirty-second Congresses), Committee on Pensions (Thirty-first through Thirty-fifth Congresses), Committee on Enrolled Bills (Thirty-second through Thirty-fifth Congresses); appointed Minister Resident of the United States to New Granada 1859-1861; on his return to the United States was arrested in New York City by order of Secretary of State William Seward on the charge of disloyalty, based on correspondence with his friend Jefferson Davis; was imprisoned for sixty-four days, when he was released by order of President Abraham Lincoln; retired from public life; returned to Dubuque, Iowa, and died there July 22, 1896; interment in Mount Olivet Cemetery at Key West, Dubuque, Iowa.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Milwaukee Public Library

Milwaukee, WI
Papers: In Charles Lanman collection, 1858-1865.

Nebraska State Historical Society

Lincoln, NB
Papers: Correspondence in Thomas B. Cuming papers, 1822-1913.

Pierpont Morgan Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1859. 1 item.

State Historical Society of Iowa

Des Moines, IA
Papers: 1810-1890 (bulk 1833-1838). 15 volumes. Personal, business, and official correspondence describing business climate, territorial and state governments, and general living conditions, land sales, fur trading, and relations between Indians and settlers and with the federal government; appointment as surveyor; and diplomas. Volumes 1-5 available on microfilm. Finding aid.

State Historical Society of Iowa

Iowa City, IA
Papers: Miscellaneous items in various collections.

State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Archives Division

Madison, WI
Papers: 1 microfilm reel of personal, business, and official correspondence (1810-1848) describing business climate, territorial and state governments, and general living conditions, land sales, fur trading, and relations between Indians and settlers and with the federal government. Originals in Volumes 1-5 of George Wallace Jones collection at State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines.

University of Iowa Libraries
Special Collections Department

Iowa City, IA
Papers: Miscellaneous items in various collections including 1 letter (April 26, 1854) to W. C. Dawson and R. Toombs; 1 letter (April 14, 1853) to James Campbell; and correspondence in Josiah Hinman Bonney papers, 1848-1849.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library

Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: In Alpheus Felch papers, 1817-1898.

University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library

Rochester, NY
Papers: 9 letters by and 13 to Jones (1855-1878) in various collections. Finding aid.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Hoffmann, Mathias Martin. The Catholic Sponsors of Iowa. Iowa Catholic Historical Society Collections, no. 1. Dubuque: Iowa Catholic Historical Society, 1929.

Parish, John Carl. George Wallace Jones. Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1912.

Thayer, Shelly A. "The Delegate and the Duel: The Early Political Career of George Wallace Jones." Palimpsest 65 (September/October 1984): 178-88.

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