Anson Jones
Overview
 
Anson Jones was a doctor
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

, businessman, congressman, the fourth and last President of the Republic of Texas
Republic of Texas
The Republic of Texas was an independent nation in North America, bordering the United States and Mexico, that existed from 1836 to 1846.Formed as a break-away republic from Mexico by the Texas Revolution, the state claimed borders that encompassed an area that included all of the present U.S...

, sometimes called the "Architect of Annexation."
Jones was born on January 20, 1798, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Great Barrington is a town in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 7,104 at the 2010 census. Both a summer resort and home to Ski Butternut, Great Barrington includes the villages of Van...

. In 1820, Jones was licensed as a doctor by the Oneida, New York
Oneida, New York
Oneida is a city in Madison County located west of Oneida Castle and east of Canastota, New York, United States. The population was 10,987 at the 2000 census. The city, like both Oneida County and the nearby silver and china maker, takes its name from the Oneida tribe...

, Medical Society, and began medical practice in 1826. However, his practice didn't prosper, and he moved several more times before finally being arrested in Philadelphia by a creditor.
Encyclopedia
Anson Jones was a doctor
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

, businessman, congressman, the fourth and last President of the Republic of Texas
Republic of Texas
The Republic of Texas was an independent nation in North America, bordering the United States and Mexico, that existed from 1836 to 1846.Formed as a break-away republic from Mexico by the Texas Revolution, the state claimed borders that encompassed an area that included all of the present U.S...

, sometimes called the "Architect of Annexation."

Early life

Jones was born on January 20, 1798, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Great Barrington is a town in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 7,104 at the 2010 census. Both a summer resort and home to Ski Butternut, Great Barrington includes the villages of Van...

. In 1820, Jones was licensed as a doctor by the Oneida, New York
Oneida, New York
Oneida is a city in Madison County located west of Oneida Castle and east of Canastota, New York, United States. The population was 10,987 at the 2000 census. The city, like both Oneida County and the nearby silver and china maker, takes its name from the Oneida tribe...

, Medical Society, and began medical practice in 1826. However, his practice didn't prosper, and he moved several more times before finally being arrested in Philadelphia by a creditor. He stayed in Philadelphia for a few more years, teaching and practicing medicine, until in 1824 he decided to go to Venezuela.

Later, Jones returned to Philadelphia, earned an M.D.
Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine is a doctoral degree for physicians. The degree is granted by medical schools...

, and reopened his practice. Still, Jones never had much success as a doctor, and in 1832 he renounced medicine and headed for New Orleans, where he entered the mercantile trade. Once again, though, Jones's dreams were thwarted. Though he safely weathered two plagues, his business efforts never met with any success and within a year he had no money.

He was a member and Past Master of the Masonic Harmony Lodge #52 of Philadelphia.

Life in Texas

In 1833 Jones headed west to Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, settling eventually in Brazoria
Brazoria, Texas
Brazoria is a city of Brazoria County in the U.S. state of Texas within the metropolitan area. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the city population was 2,787.Brazoria was originally founded as a port for Stephen F...

. Here, at last, he met with success, establishing a medical practice that prospered quickly. But if Jones was looking for a quiet life in Texas, he would not find it. In 1835 he began to speak out about the growing tensions between Texas and Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, and that year he attended The Consultation, a meeting held at Columbia, by Texas patriots to discuss the fight with Mexico (the meeting's leadership didn't want to call the meeting a "convention," for fear the Mexican government would view it as an independence forum, though this surely is what it was). Jones himself presented a resolution at the Consultation calling for a convention to be held to declare independence, but he himself refused to be nominated to the convention.

During the Texas Revolution
Texas Revolution
The Texas Revolution or Texas War of Independence was an armed conflict between Mexico and settlers in the Texas portion of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. The war lasted from October 2, 1835 to April 21, 1836...

, Jones served as a judge advocate and surgeon to the Texas army, though he insisted on holding the rank of private throughout the conflict. After the war, Jones returned to Brazoria and resumed his medical practice.

Upon his return to Brazoria, Jones found that James Collinsworth, a fellow Texas patriot and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence from Brazoria, had set up a law practice in Jones's office. Jones evicted Collinsworth and challenged him to a duel (though the duel never occurred).

On March 1, 1835, Jones met with four other Masons at Brazoria and petitioned the Grand Master of Louisiana for a dispensation and a charter to form the first Masonic lodge in Texas. In December, when the lodge was set to labor, Jones was elected its first Master. The charter for Holland Lodge No. 36 arrived in April 1836, and Jones carried it in his saddlebags during the-Battle of San Jacinto. At the formation of the Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas in December 1837, he was elected its first Grand Master. He also became Grand Master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Pennsylvania.

Move to politics

Jones and Collinsworth would spar again. Collinsworth was instrumental in starting the Texas Railroad, Navigation, and Banking Company, to which Jones was vehemently opposed. Jones was elected to the Second Texas Congress as an opponent of the Company; however, his most significant act in Congress was to call for the withdrawal of the Texas proposal for annexation by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. He also helped draw up legislation to regulate medical practice, and called for the establishment of an endowment for a university.

Jones expected to return to his practice at Brazoria after his term in Congress, but Texas President Sam Houston
Sam Houston
Samuel Houston, known as Sam Houston , was a 19th-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He was born in Timber Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of...

 instead appointed him Minister to the United States, where Jones was to formally withdraw the annexation proposal.

During this time, while many Texans hoped to encourage eventual annexation by the United States, there were some who supported waiting for annexation or even remaining independent. The United States, in the late 1830s, was hestitant to annex Texas for fear of provoking a war with Mexico. Jones and others felt it was important that Texas gain recognition from European states and begin to set up trade relations with them, to make annexation of Texas more attractive to the United States or, failing that, to give Texas the strength to remain independent.

Jones was recalled to Texas by new president Mirabeau Lamar in 1839. Back at home, he found himself elected to a partial term in the Senate, where he quickly became a critic of Lamar's administration. He retired from the Senate in 1841, declining the opportunity to serve as Vice President in favor of returning to his medical practice. However, late in 1841 he was named Texas Secretary of State by president Sam Houston, who had been recently been elected president again by opponents of Lamar.

Jones served as Secretary of State until 1844. During his term, the main goal of Texas foreign policy was to get either an offer of annexation from the United States, or a recognition of Texas independence from Mexico, or, preferably, both at the same time.

President

In September 1844, Jones was elected president of the Republic of Texas, despite running a virtually silent campaign. That November, James K. Polk
James K. Polk
James Knox Polk was the 11th President of the United States . Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He later lived in and represented Tennessee. A Democrat, Polk served as the 17th Speaker of the House of Representatives and the 12th Governor of Tennessee...

 was elected President of the United States on a promise of Texas annexation. However, Jones held his silence on the subject, preferring to wait for the ideal outcome of simultaneous annexation and independence offers. This proved unpopular. Late in 1844, the Texas Congress declared for joining the United States, and popular sentiment in the republic for annexation grew. As the months went on with no word from Jones, his citizens burned him in effigy and threatened to overthrow his government. Through this Jones continued to wait.

Finally, in June 1845, Jones's emissary to Mexico returned with a treaty recognizing the republic's independence. At last he put the question before the people — accept the offer of annexation from the United States, or sign the independence treaty from Mexico and remain an independent state. The Congress and the people went for annexation.

Preparations began for annexation, and Jones's role as president was greatly diminished. On February 19, 1846, a formal ceremony was held in Austin
Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

 to bring Texas into the United States. Jones delivered a speech that he concluded by declaring, "The final act in this great drama is now performed. The Republic of Texas is no more." In his final official act as president, Jones lowered the Texas flag from its pole; Sam Houston, with tears in his eyes, stepped from the crowd to gather the flag in his arms. Upon Texas statehood, Jones retired to Brazoria.

Political

Jones hoped that the new Texas state legislature would send him to the United States Senate. He was not chosen, and as time went on he became increasingly bitter about this slight. Although Jones prospered as a planter and eventually amassed an enormous estate, he was never able to get past the fact that Sam Houston
Sam Houston
Samuel Houston, known as Sam Houston , was a 19th-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He was born in Timber Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of...

 was chosen over him to represent Texas in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....



In 1857, Jones became convinced that the legislature would finally send him to the Senate, but he received no votes. For four days he had lodged at Houston's old Capitol Hotel
Post Rice Lofts
The Post Rice Lofts, formerly the Rice Hotel, is a historic building at 909 Texas Avenue in Downtown Houston, Texas, United States. It was constructed in 1912 on the site of the former Capitol building of the Republic of Texas, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places...

, the former seat of government of the Republic of Texas, when he fatally shot himself in his room after dinner on January 9, 1858. He was 59 years old.

Legacy

Jones County
Jones County, Texas
As of the census of 2000, there were 20,785 people, 6,140 households, and 4,525 families residing in the county. The population density was 22 people per square mile . There were 7,236 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile...

, and its county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

, Anson
Anson, Texas
Anson is a city in and the county seat of Jones County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,556 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Abilene, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area...

, were both named for Anson Jones. Anson Jones Elementary School in Bryan, Texas
Bryan, Texas
Bryan is a city in Brazos County, Texas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 76,201. It is the county seat of Brazos County and is located in the heart of the Brazos Valley . It shares its border with the city of College Station, which lies to its south...

, is named for him. His plantation home, known as Barrington, is preserved at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Park.

Further reading

Jones Anson (n.d.) Retrieved September 17, 2009 from http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/JJ/fjo42.html

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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