About James C. Jones, Gov, US Senator
Married, 1829. State Representative, 1839-41. Governor, 1841-45. President of Memphis and Charleston Railroad Company, 1850. US Senator, 1851-57.
James Chamberlain Jones (April 20, 1809 – October 29, 1859) was an American politician who served as the Governor of Tennessee from 1841 to 1845, and as a United States Senator from Tennessee from 1851 to 1857. A Whig, Jones twice defeated rising politician James K. Polk for the governorship (in 1841 and 1843). He was the first native-born Tennessean to be elected governor.
A thin man whose nickname was "Lean Jimmy" (he stood 6'2" but weighed only 125 pounds), Jones was born in Davidson County, Tennessee, the son of Peter and Catherine Chappell Jones. His parents died when he was still young, and he was raised by an uncle in Wilson County. He occasionally attended public schools. After marrying Sarah Munford in 1829, he purchased a farm near Lebanon, Tennessee
James Chamberlain Jones (April 20, 1809 – October 29, 1859) was the Governor of Tennessee from 1841 to 1845, and a United States Senator from that state from 1851 to 1857. While governor he was a Whig and was initially elected to the Senate as a Whig; however while in that body he switched parties, leaving the moribund Whigs for the Democrats.
A thin man whose nickname was "Lean Jimmy" (he stood 6' 2" but weighed only 130 pounds), Jones was born in Davidson County, Tennessee and was the first native-born Tennessean to be elected governor. He had been educated as a lawyer, but was farming in Wilson County when elected to the state legislature in 1839. He opposed incumbent Governor James K. Polk for reelection in 1841, defeating the future President. He was said to have been the first Tennessee politician to master the art of "stump" speaking (which often at the time literally consisted of delivering a speech from atop a freshly cut tree stump). When Polk opposed him for a second term in 1843, Jones defeated him again.
While he was governor, Nashville, which had been serving as the temporary capital of the state for years (as had several other places before it) was officially selected as the capital city of Tennessee on a permanent basis. Prominent architect William Strickland, a student of Benjamin Latrobe, was selected to design a Capitol building, and the cornerstone for it was actually laid while Jones was still governor. However, Jones did not seek a third term, choosing instead to accept an offer to become president of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. He was an elector for Zachary Taylor in the U.S. presidential election of 1848. He later served one term in the United States Senate, from 1851 to 1857. After this, he retired to his farm near Memphis, where he died. He was interred in Elmwood Cemetery.
James C. Jones, Gov, US Senator's Timeline
April 20, 1809
Davidson County, TN
Tennessee, United States
October 19, 1859
Memphis Shelby County Tennessee
: Elmwood Cemetery Memphis Shelby County Tennessee