Calvin Jones (physician)

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Calvin Jones
Calvin Jones Freemason.jpg
Mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina
In office
Preceded byWilliam Hill
Succeeded byJohn Marshall
Eleventh Grand Master of Masons of North Carolina
In office
Preceded byJohn Louis Taylor
Succeeded byJohn Adams Cameron
Personal details
BornApril 2, 1775
Great Barrington, Province of Massachusetts Bay
DiedSeptember 20, 1846
Bolivar, Tennessee

Calvin Jones (2 April 1775 – 20 September 1846) was a North Carolina physician and was among the group of founders of the North Carolina Medical Society.[2] He served from 1802 to 1832 as a trustee of the University of North Carolina.[2] Jones was also elected to the North Carolina House of Commons (from Johnston County in 1799 and 1802, and from Wake County in 1807)[3] and as the Mayor (then called Intendant of Police) of Raleigh, North Carolina[2] (1807–1809).[4] In 1817 and 1819 he was Grand Master of Masons in North Carolina.[2]

Jones served as adjutant general of the state militia during the period of the War of 1812[2] and claimed to know Andrew Jackson and Jackson's wife "very well personally" in a letter he wrote to a cousin in 1828.[5]

Early career[edit]

Calvin Jones was born on 2 April 1775 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, to Ebenezer and Susannah (Blackmore) Jones. His father was a soldier in the American Revolution. He received his medical license in 1792, and then moved to Smithfield, North Carolina in 1795.[6]

Jones was elected to the North Carolina House of Commons twice from Johnston County, once in 1799 and again in 1802. He was the first physician in North Carolina to practice the inoculation of smallpox. He helped found the North Carolina Medical Society in 1799.

He was a trustee of the University of North Carolina for thirty years between 1802 and 1832.[2]

In 1803, Jones moved from Smithfield to Raleigh.[6] He served in the House of Commons for Wake County in 1807[3], and was elected Intendant of Police of Raleigh the same year.[2]

In 1808, Jones became an editor with the Raleigh Star, an early local newspaper. He sold his shares to his partner, Thomas Henderson, in 1815.[6]

Military service[edit]

In 1798, Jones served in the Johnston County regiment of the North Carolina militia. His regiment received a signed letter from President John Adams in 1798, thanking them for their preparedness to serve during the Quasi-War.

After the Chesapeake–Leopard affair in 1807, President Thomas Jefferson called for 7,003 troops from North Carolina. Jones, now a captain, organized the Wake Troop of Cavalry. After the troops were deemed unnecessary, Jones continued to train them. His efforts were recognized when he was appointed adjutant general of North Carolina in 1808.[6]

After the War of 1812 broke out, Jones resigned from his position to become Major General of the Seventh North Carolina District of Militia. The British landed at Ocracoke and Portsmouth with a 74-gun man-of-war, six frigates, two privateers, two schooners, and up to 70 smaller vessels in 1813. He and his troops showed enough force to send the British off after five days of raids.[7]

Later life[edit]

In 1820, Jones relocated out of Raleigh to what is now Wake Forest, to a 615-acre (2.49 km2) plantation which later gave its name to the surrounding town. He was postmaster of the small village that soon surrounded his land. The property was purchased by the North Carolina Baptist Convention in 1832[2] and became the first home of Wake Forest College.[8] Wake Forest was part of an envisioned network of plantations across the South, including his second farm in Bolivar, Tennessee, named "Pontine", supposedly for the Pontine Marshes near Rome, or perhaps, for the pons network of the brain, representing his idea of network of plantations. After the sale of Wake Forest, Jones moved to Bolivar, where he died in 1846.

Family and legacy[edit]

Jones was first engaged to Ruina J. Williams, daughter of Major William Williams of Franklin County. Ten years after she died in 1809, Jones married her sister, Temperance Boddie Jones, widow of THomas Jones of Warrenton. Their children were:[6]

  • Montezuma Jones (1819 – 1922), married Elizabeth Wood.
  • Octavia Rowena Jones (1826 – 1917), married Edwin Polk.
  • Paul Tudor Jones (1828 – 1904), married first Jane M. Wood and second Elizabeth Kirkman.

Of the known portraits of Jones, one is held at the Historical House and the other is in Dallas with his descendants.

The main dwelling on his Wake Forest plantation, built circa 1820, is now a museum for the Wake Forest College Birthplace Society.[9] The museum is known as Calvin Jones House, and features exhibits about the history of Wake Forest College and the town of Wake Forest, including the Wake Forest College Sports Hall of Fame. The Society also maintains historic archives about the college and town that are available to researchers by appointment.

A highway in the Wake Forest area, the N.C. 98 Bypass, was renamed in his honor in 2010.[10][11]


  1. ^ "Officers of the Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of North Carolina, the first 100 years". Raleigh, North Carolina, USA: Grand Lodge of North Carolina. Archived from the original on December 15, 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Powell, William S., ed. (1988). Dictionary of North Carolina Biography. 3. University of North Carolina Press. ASIN B000O7UO8W.
  3. ^ a b NC Manual of 1913
  4. ^ "Introducing Calvin Jones, overachiever." Wake Forest Gazette. 29 Jan. 2010 Archived 2010-02-03 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Birthplace buys early Jones letter". Wake Forest Gazette. Carol Pelosi. 5 (41). 2007-10-27. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-08.
  6. ^ a b c d e Haywood, Marshall De Lancey (1919). Calvin Jones, physician, soldier and freemason, 1775-1846. The Library of Congress. [Oxford, N.C.] Press of Oxford orphanage.
  7. ^ "Calvin Jones and the War of 1812 – A Reenactment". Wake Forest Historical Museum. 2014-03-12. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  8. ^ "History". Town of Wake Forest, North Carolina. Archived from the original on 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2008-01-08.
  9. ^ "Calvin Jones Historical House". Wake Forest College Birthplace Society. Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2008-01-08.
  10. ^ Wake Forest Gazette: A collection of town news Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Wake Forest Gazette: Dr. Calvin Jones gave Wake Forest its name Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]