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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesIowa / Michigan / Wisconsin

George Wallace JONES

(1804-1896)
Senate Years of Service:
1848-1859
Party:
Democrat

JONES, George Wallace, (brother-in-law of John Scott of Missouri), a Delegate from the Territory of Michigan and the Territory of Wisconsin and a Senator from Iowa; born in Vincennes, Ind., April 12, 1804; graduated from the Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky., in 1825; studied law; admitted to the bar; moved to Michigan Territory and located in Sinsinawa Mound, where he was a miner and storekeeper; served in the Black Hawk War; judge of the county court; elected as a Delegate from Michigan Territory to the Twenty-fourth Congress and served from March 4, 1835, until the Territory of Wisconsin was formed from a portion of Michigan Territory; his residence being in the new Territory, he was elected and qualified as a Delegate from the Territory of Wisconsin, serving until March 3, 1837; presented credentials as a Delegate-elect from the Territory of Wisconsin to the Twenty-fifth Congress and served from March 4, 1837, to January 14, 1839, when he was succeeded by James D. Doty, who contested his election; appointed surveyor of public lands for the Territories of Wisconsin and Iowa 1840-1848, when he resigned; elected in 1848 as a Democrat to the United States Senate as one of the first Senators from the State of Iowa; reelected in 1852 and served from December 7, 1848, to March 3, 1859; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1858; chairman, Committee on Engrossed Bills (Thirty-first and Thirty-second Congresses), Committee on Pensions (Thirty-first through Thirty-fifth Congresses), Committee on Enrolled Bills (Thirty-second through Thirty-fifth Congresses); appointed Minister Resident of the United States to New Granada 1859-1861; on his return to the United States was arrested in New York City by order of Secretary of State William Seward on the charge of disloyalty, based on correspondence with his friend Jefferson Davis; was imprisoned for sixty-four days, when he was released by order of President Abraham Lincoln; retired from public life; returned to Dubuque, Iowa, and died there July 22, 1896; interment in Mount Olivet Cemetery at Key West, Dubuque, Iowa.

Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; Parish, John. George Wallace Jones. Iowa City: State Historical Society, 1912; Thayer, Shelly A. “The Delegate and the Duel: The Early Political Career of George Wallace Jones.” Palimpsest 65 (September/October 1984): 178-88.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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