Calvin Jones papers, 1783-1929, 2000.

Creator: Jones, Calvin, 1775-1846.
Collection number: 921
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Abstract: Calvin Jones, who moved to Smithfield, N.C., in 1795, was a physician; officer in the North Carolina militia; editor of the “Star,” a Raleigh, N.C., newspaper; and owner of a plantation near Bolivar, Hardeman County, Tenn., to which he moved his family in 1832. His son, Montezuma Jones, ran the plantation upon his father’s death. His grandson, James W. Jones, was an attorney and member of the Tennessee legislature. The collection includes correspondence, financial and legal papers, writings, pictures, and other materials of Calvin Jones and other Jones family members. Correspondence includes letters relating to land sales, medicine, and military business around the War of 1812. The establishment of the University of North Carolina is discussed in 1801 letters. Correspondents include N.C. governor Benjamin Williams; Joseph Caldwell, president of UNC; Davy Crockett; Benjamin Rush; and James Madison. There is also a one-page address, 1798, by John Adams; Jones’s travel diaries from trips to Washington, D.C., 1815; the old southwest, 1818; and Europe, 1844; and a farm journal in which he described agricultural experiments. Papers, 1847-1879, chiefly relate to Montezuma Jones and include financial documents about the Tennessee cotton trade, particularly land sales and dealings with cotton factors. Also included are letters, 1841-1843, from Montezuma Jones, as a student at UNC; a diary, 1869-1871, of teenager Frances Irene Jones; letters and political papers of Calvin Jones’s daughter, Octavia Rowena Jones, and her husband, politician Edwin Polk; and correspondence and other items of Calvin Jones’s wife, Temperance B. Jones. After 1880, there are scattered family letters and some business and professional letters to James W. Jones. Several items document slavery in Tennessee, including a few relating to runaway slaves. There is little Civil War material.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Folders 3, 19, and 22, contain letters discussing runaway slaves (1805, 1844, 1850). Folder 12 contains a 28 December 1830 letter discussing a rumored slave insurrection; Folder 33 contains a document related to the hiring of freedmen in Georgia and Tenn. (1867).

Folders 21 and 22 include receipts for the sale of slaves between 1847-1850 and Folder 84 contains  newspaper clippings containing advertisements for slave sales and runaways (1819).

Undated correspondence in Folder 47 contain a letter to Montezuma Jones about a child (possibly who was enslaved) for a disease of the jaw.

Folder 60 also contains a farm journal, which includes a list of enslaved individuals on E. Polk’s farm,

Folder 73 contains a ledge of “Negro accounts and payments” from 1851-1866, including what are probably slave accounts, accounts of various Jones and Polk family members, and a table for lost time.