William Jones (statesman)

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William Jones
President of the Second Bank of the United States
In office
January 7, 1817 – January 25, 1819
PresidentJames Madison
James Monroe
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byJames Fisher (Acting)
United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
May 9, 1813 – February 8, 1814
PresidentJames Madison
Preceded byAlbert Gallatin
Succeeded byGeorge W. Campbell
4th United States Secretary of the Navy
In office
January 19, 1813 – December 1, 1814
PresidentJames Madison
Preceded byPaul Hamilton
Succeeded byBenjamin Crowninshield
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1801 – March 3, 1803
Preceded byRobert Waln
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born1760 (1760)
Philadelphia, Province of Pennsylvania, British America
DiedSeptember 6, 1831(1831-09-06) (aged 70–71)
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service Continental Army
Battles/warsAmerican Revolutionary War

William Jones (1760 – September 6, 1831) was an American politician.

Early career[edit]

Jones was born in Philadelphia in the Province of Pennsylvania. Apprenticed in a shipyard, during the American Revolutionary War, he saw combat in the battles of Trenton and Princeton and later served at sea. In the decades that followed the war, he was a successful merchant in Charleston, South Carolina, and in Philadelphia. He was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives in 1800 and was offered the office of Secretary of the Navy in 1801, but declined and remained in Congress to the end of his term in 1803. In 1805, he was elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society.[1]

Secretary of the Navy[edit]

With the War of 1812 raging, Jones became Secretary of the Navy in January 1813. His policies contributed greatly to American success on the Great Lakes and to a strategy of coastal defense and commerce raiding on the high seas. In late 1814, near the end of his term, he made recommendations on the reorganization of the Navy Department. These led to the establishment of the Board of Commissioners system which operated from 1815 until 1842.

Bank president[edit]

From May 1813 to February 1814, Jones also served as acting Secretary of the Treasury and in 1816 was appointed President of the Second Bank of the United States.[2][3] He returned to commercial pursuits in 1819. Jones died in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.[4]


The destroyer USS William Jones (DD-308) was named in his honor.


  1. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  2. ^ To James Madison from William Jones, 14 January 1813
  3. ^ "Jones, William: (1760-1831). Secretary of the Navy, 1813-1814". Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  4. ^ "Jones, William: (1760-1831). Secretary of the Navy, 1813-1814". Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved April 5, 2021.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Government offices
Preceded by United States Secretary of the Navy
Succeeded by
Business positions
Preceded by
bank established
President of the Second Bank of the United States
Succeeded by
James Fisher