Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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JONES, Allen, patriot, born in Halifax county, North Carolina, in 1739; died in Northampton county, North Carolina, 10 November, 1798. His father, Robin, was the agent and attorney of Lord Grenville, who was one of the lord proprietors of North Carolina. Allen was educated at Eton, England, and, returning to North Carolina, became known as a patriot and an efficient military leader. He was a delegate to the state conventions that met at New Berne, 25 August, 1775, and at Halifax, 4 April, 1776, was appointed brigadier-general by the legislature in May of the latter year, was a member of the Continental congress that met in Philadelphia in 1779-'80, and from 1784 till 1787 represented Northampton county in the North Carolina senate. The next year he was a member of the Constitutional convention that assembled at Hillsborough, and advocated a strong Federal government in opposition to his brother Willie, who was of the state-rights party.--His brother, Willie, patriot, born in Halifax, North Carolina, in 1731; died near Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1801, was also educated at Eton, became early attached to the patriot cause, was president of the North Carolina committee of safety in 1775, and as such was virtually the governor of the state. He was a member of the first State constitutional convention in 1776, was in the house of commons of North Carolina in 1776-'8, and succeeded his brother Allen as member of the Continental congress in 1780. He was elected to the Contitutional convention of 1787, but declined to serve, was a member of the Constitutional convention that met at Hillsborough in the next year, and was largely instrumental in its rejection of the Federal constitution.--His wife, Mary Montford, was the daughter of Colonel Joseph Montford, of North Carolina, and many anecdotes are related of her wit and beauty. When the British army was on its way to Virginia in 1781, the officers were for several days quartered among the families residing on Roanoke river. Colonel Tarleton, who had been severely cut by the sabre of William Washington, was a resident of Mrs. Jones's family, and when he made to her some slighting remarks about Washington, saying among other things that he was an illiterate fellow, hardly able to write his name, Mrs. Jones replied" "Ah, colonel, you ought to know, for you bear on your person the proof that he at least knows very well how to make his mark." It is said that it was in affectionate admiration of this lady that John Paul Jones, whose real name was John Paul, added Jones to his name, and under it, by the recommendation of Willie Jones, offered his services to congress.
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