Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Jones, J. mss., 1868-1887, consist of letters of John E. Jones, , of Volcano, California, to his sister, Mary Jones, 1837-1903, of Newborough, England. Jones, the eldest son of a Newborough ship owner and sea captain, emigrated to America, probably in the early 1850's. He spent several years on the East Coast, sailing in ships trading between the southern states and the West Indies. Although without money, he resolved to go to California after hearing of the gold discoveries there. He succeeded by working his way on ships and making an arduous overland journey across the Isthmus of Panama. In California, Jones worked as a prospector, miner, and homesteader. His letters to his sister deal with his travels, social and economic conditions in America, the hardships of goldmining, the political situation in the United States and Great Britain, and his own setbacks and disappointments in California. There are also two letters to William Jones, John's brother, from the solicitors in 1885 involved in settling his father's estate.

Collection size: 16 items

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