William Martin Jones Papers

Other Views:  PDF  |  EADNote: You may browse using the navigation on the left, or use Ctrl-F to search within this finding aid.

Collection Overview
Title: William Martin Jones papers
Creator: Jones, Martin William, 1841-1906
Call Number: D.162
Dates: 1865-1902
Physical Description: 0.37 Cubic feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
William Martin Jones was born in Manlius, New York, on July 24, 1841. His father, Thomas P. Jones, was a native of South Wales, and his mother, Lodoiska Butler, was born at Crown Point, New York. In his early years, Jones and his family moved to Knowlesville, New York, where he spent his childhood. When the Civil War began, Jones' intent to attend Yale College was disrupted by his meeting with Edwin D. Morgan, the war governor of New York, leading to the Jones' placement in a two-year position as Morgan's private secretary while he was United States senator. In 1864, Jones became the private secretary to William H. Seward, then Secretary of State, and to his son, Frederick W. Seward. His efficiency in this position led to his promotion to the position of chief clerk of the Consular Bureau in the State Department. During this time, Jones wrote extensively to United States consuls who were stationed all over the world in order to maintain the security of national affairs. In 1865, Jones was present in Ford's Theatre and sat near President Lincoln shortly before his assassination. After the war ended in 1866, Jones resigned from his position as US chief clerk and was placed by President Johnson as US consul at Clifton, Canada for five years. In 1871, Jones established himself as a lawyer in Rochester, New York, and soon after married Gertrude M. Nicholls (c. 1844-?) of Buffalo, New York, with whom he had three children; Abram, William Martin Jr., and Minnie. Jones was a member of the order of Good Templars and became the Grand Chief Templar of the State of New York in 1879. Jones supported the prohibition party, the implementation of the gold standard, and in 1889 ran for governor of New York. Jones died in Rochester on May 3, 1906.

Scope and Content
The William Martin Jones collection (1865-1902) consists of business correspondence and personal correspondence. The business correspondence mostly relates to consular affairs, written to William Martin Jones between 1865 and 1869. There are two signatures of William Henry Seward, President Lincoln's Secretary of State, included in the collection. One dates from May 13, 1873- June 28, 1875. The second dates from November 29, 1880- August 25, 1883. There are also two bound volumes of correspondence written by Jones. Correspondence in both the files and bound volumes include letters written to and from H. Sargent, George Smith, Sidney Barrett, and Edwin Dennison Morgan. Personal correspondence includes letters addressed to William Martin Jones' wife, Gertrude M. Nicholls of Buffalo, New York, with the exception of three letters written to Jones by family and friends.

Diplomatic and consular service, American
Jones, Martin William, 1841-1906
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The correspondence in the William Martin Jones Papers was purchased at the Gansz Auction, Jones-Reber House, Canandaigua, New York on July 12, 1981. The two bound volumes were made a gift by John Welles Brainard on June 7, 2014.Access
The William Martin Jones papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], William Martin Jones papers, D.162, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055

Content List
Series I: Business correspondence
This series includes letters written to William Martin Jones from various business correspondents. Some of the letters ask Jones for favors, while others give general reports of business pertaining to consular affairs and enclose checks for payment. Some of the letters mention William Henry Seward, one being from an official at the US consul in Rome asking Jones about his "request to Mr. Seward." Other letters ask Jones to relay questions to Seward. The volumes in this series highlight letters written by William Martin Jones that contain promises of aid, drafts of money order loans, and enclosing of documents like a proof of loss to the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Box 1, Folder 1Correspondence, 1865
30 items

George J. Abbott, May 22, 1865
Edwin Denison Morgan, June 5, 1865
Henry [Tommy?], July 20, 1865
[B. Cesnola?], August 11, 1865
Henry [Tommy?], August 12, 1865
[B. Cesnola?], August 13, 1865
[B. Cesnola?], August 18, 1865
William Henry Russell, September 8, 1865
George J. Abbott, September 22, 1865
George J. Abbott, September 26, 1865
Charles A. Page, September 30, 1865
C.H. Powers, October 6, 1865
D.H. Hobart, October 11, 1865
George J. Abbott, October 20, 1865
George T. Morehouse, November 10, 1865
W. Colvin Brown, November 13, 1865
W. Colvin Brown, November 17, 1865
C.H. Powers, November 18, 1865
J.H. Anderson, November 28, 1865
[Clues?] A. Page, November 29, 1865
J.H. Anderson, December 6, 1865
Henry [Tommy?], December 7, 1865
George J. Abbott, December 14, 1865
George J. Abbott, December 15, 1865
William T. Manor, December 30, 1865
Box 1, Folder 2Correspondence, 1866-1868
10 items

J.M. Blake, January 1, 1866
C.M. Loomis, June 4, 1868
Joseph H. Beackford, July 21, 1868
[A.E.?] Kimball, September 16, 1868
Sidney Barnett, September 19, 1868
Box 1, Folder 3Correspondence, 1869
35 items

D.F. Merritt, January 2, 1869
Nathan Sargent, Treasury Department, January 5, 1869
J.M. Blake, January 11, 1869
J.M. Blake, January 15, 1869
Sidney Barnett, January 25, 1869
James Cameron, January 25, 1869
This letter was written on Office of Grand Worthy Secretary of Grand Lodge of New York letterhead.
George Smith, February 5, 1869
J.M. Blake, February 6, 1869
Mark H. Irish, February 8, 1869
Harold Leigh, February 13, 1869
J.M. Blake, February 17, 1869
William Miller, February 20, 1869
This typescript was printed on New England Society of Toronto letterhead.
This letter is attached to one of February 26, 1869 by S. Goldsmith
Isaac M. Schurmuhorn, March 1, 1869
H.W. Barnes, March 6, 1869
This typescript was printed on New England Society of Toronto letterhead.
Frank [Douohae?], March 10, 1869
S. Rosenblatt, March 11, 1869
Alderman Ives, March 12, 1869
C.G. Mills, March 15, 1869
Alderman Ives, March 17, 1869
S. Goldsmith, March 19, 1869
S. Goldsmith, April 2, 1869
J.M. Teggard, April 7, 1869
Volume 1Correspondence, May 13, 1873-June 28, 1875
Nathan Sargent
8 items

George Smith
3 items

H.W. Barnes
3 items

Sidney Barnett
2 items

Volume 2Correspondence, November 29, 1880-August 25, 1883
S. Rosenblatt
1 item

Box 1, Folder 4Correspondence, undated
5 items

Edwin L. Cushman, June 2, no year
Edwin Dennison Morgan
Box 1, Folder 5William Henry Seward signatures
Two possible dates for the signatures may be one from May 13, 1873- June 28, 1875. The second may be dated from November 29, 1880- August 25, 1883.
2 items

Series II: Personal correspondence
Each of the letters in this series are addressed to William Martin Jones' wife, Gertrude M. Nicholls of Buffalo, New York, with the exception of three letters written to William Martin Jones by a cousin reporting a family death, another by Thomas P. Smith who wishes Jones and his family a happy new year, and the final by secretary Hannah J. Reynolds inviting the Jones family to a Draper Lodge (masonic) event. In the letters to Gertrude, he reports his daily work and business affairs, mainly located in New York City, Boston, and Washington D.C. He also reports visiting "the Lodge" which points to his work for the Order of the Good Templars, of which he was head of the New York State branch. In a letter written to his wife on October 29, 1899, Jones reports assisting a young woman, Egeria, whose husband was abusive toward her and subsequent legal matters were to be taken to help her. In a letter written on April 26, 1902, Jones writes that he is getting money for a farm mortgage from the N.Y. Central R.R Loan association, an organization "to aid R.R. men in getting funds to buy homes." In another letter dated October 30, 1902, Jones writes about his meetings with Fred Seward and Mr. Reynolds. He also refers to the "great Secretary" (Seward) who "went to see the ice bergs he bought of Russia on the close of the civil war." The letters provide insight into Jones' work duties, family, and extensive travels in his later years of life between 1887 to 1902.

Subseries I: Correspondence, Gertrude Jones, 1871-1902
Box 1, Folder 6Correspondence, 1871-1892
Box 1, Folder 7Correspondence, 1895-1897
Box 1, Folder 8Correspondence, 1898-1899
Box 1, Folder 9Correspondence, 1900-1902
Subseries II: Correspondence, family and friends, 1899-undated
Box 1, Folder 10Thomas P. Smith, January 3, 1899
Box 1, Folder 10C.L. Hazen, January 15, 1899
Box 1, Folder 10Hannah J. Reynolds, undated

Other Views:  PDF  |  EAD