Charles Colcock Jones
Charles Colcock Jones, Sr. (December 20, 1804 – March 16, 1863) was a Presbyterian clergyman, educator, missionary, and planter of Liberty County, Georgia.
The son of a merchant and planter with deep roots in coastal Georgia, Charles Colcock Jones, Sr. was born at Liberty Hall, his father's plantation in Liberty County. He made a profession of faith when he was seventeen and was then prepared for the Presbyterian ministry at Phillips Academy (1825–27), Andover Theological Seminary (1827–29), and Princeton Theological Seminary (1829–30). In 1846, Jones received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
While in the North, Jones agonized over the morality of owning slaves, but he returned to Liberty County to become a planter, a missionary to slaves, and a somewhat reluctant defender of the institution of slavery. In 1830, he married his first cousin, Mary Jones; they had four children, three of whom survived to maturity.
Jones served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Savannah, Georgia (1831–32), professor of church history and polity at Columbia Theological Seminary, Columbia, South Carolina, (1835–38), returned to missionary work in 1839, and was again professor at Columbia Seminary (1847–50). He then moved to Philadelphia and served as corresponding secretary of the Board of Domestic Missions of the Presbyterian Church until 1853, when his health failed and he returned again to Liberty County. Jones spent the remainder of his life supervising his three plantations, Arcadia, Montevideo, and Maybank, while continuing his evangelization of slaves. Besides many tracts and papers, Jones published The Religious Instruction of the Negroes in the United States (1842) and a History of the Church of God (1867). His Catechism of Scripture Doctrine and Practice (1837) was translated into Armenian and Chinese.
Two of Jones's children became notable in their own right: Charles Colcock Jones, Jr. (1831–1893), a Georgia lawyer, historian, and amateur archaeologist; and Joseph Jones (1833–1896), a Louisiana physician and medical school professor.
In 1972, literary critic Robert Manson Myers published a huge collection of Jones family letters in The Children of Pride, a work of more than 1,800 pages, the book won a National Book Award (1973). In 2005, historian Erskine Clarke published Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic based on an even larger collection of Jones family correspondence, it won a Bancroft Prize (2006).
- Erskine Clarke, Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005)
- Robert Manson Myers, The Children of Pride: A True Story of Georgia and the Civil War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972), 1567.