Lt. Col. Cadwallader Jones

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Cadwallader Jones

Birthdate: (47)
Birthplace: York, Virginia
Death: circa 1699 (39-55)
Stafford, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Jones and Frances Williams
Husband of Catherine Sarah Debnam and Katherine Dedman Alias Sarah Grymes
Father of Frances Ann Slaughter
Half brother of Col. Robert Townshend and Capt. Peter Jones

Occupation: Indian trader, explorer, Governor of the Bahama Islands
Managed by: Kevin Lawrence Hanit
Last Updated:

About Lt. Col. Cadwallader Jones

Lt. Col. Cadwallader Jones was born about 1652 in Essex County, Virginia and died 1699 in Stafford County, Virginia. He was an Indian trader, an explorer of the western regions of VA and Governor of Bahama Island (1690-1694).

  • parents: son of Richard Jones and Frances (Baldwin) Townsend.


  1. the second husband of Katherine (Debnam) Taliaferro by 6 Jan 1672/1673.


  1. Frances Ann Jones, born 1685; died in VA; married Colonel Robert Slaughter in 1701.

"26 March 1681/2. . . we are endeavouring by all the best ways and means we can to preserve the inhabitants of this Government from the outrages and violences of the northern Indians. I now take the liberty to send you herewith a letter I received very lately from Col. Cadwallader Jones, who commands the Fort on Rappahannock river in VA (from proceedings of the Council of MD, 1676-1681", vol. 5, pp.351-352) and he was Sheriff of Rappahannock County, VA.

Cadwallader fled to England in 1689 because he was bankrupt. While in London, Cadwallder was commissioned Govenor of Bahama Island taking office in 1690 and holding it amid controversary until 1694.

Cadwallsder took full advantage of his high position as governor and had dealings with the pirates (one of whom was reported to be his step-son, Richard Taliaferro, Sr.)and generally ran a colorful administration.

Cadwallader was back in VA by 1698 when he recieved a land patent in Fairfax Co.

Brief Biography

In November, 1673, Cadwallader Jones, who must then have been just twenty-one years of age, patented 1443 acres in the freshes of the Rappahannock, on the south side of the river below the falls, and here he posted himself during the anxious period of Indian depredations on the Virginia border immediately following the Susquehannock war. The Rappahannock settlements were peculiarly exposed and Cadwallader Jones seems to have come to the front as a dauntless fighting man. In June, 1680,* when the Council was considering the book of country claims sent up by the Burgesses, they found therein an item of a petition for relief by “Lt. Col. Cad. Jones,” and annotated it as follows: “The Sufferings of the Petitioner are most apparent and his resoluteness to abide his plantation ag’t all attempts and conspiracies of our Indian enemies for many years hath (as may well be supposed) maintained us in the seatment of the upper parts of Rappahannock for many miles.” This evidence is persuasive that it was Cadwallader Jones who, in 1678, lead the party of Virginia rangers into the Rappahannock backwoods, “as far from the English plantations as Cahuaga is from Albany,” and had that clash with a roving band of Senecas which resulted in acrimonious diplomatic exchanges, and the agreement by Virginia in 1684 to keep out of the piedmont highlands.” Jones’ interests were not, however, confined to the Rappahannock. He apparently inherited from his mother a part of her Stafford plantation on Chotank creek.


Who was the worst proprietary governor of the Bahamas? Read more:

"In July of 1688 Bridges was confirmed Governor of New Providence but shortly thereafter he was succeeded by Cadwallader Jones who arrived in the colony in June 1690. It is reported in history that he sold gunpowder to known pirates and failed to prosecute the theft of guns. It is said that he and his agent reigned in terror the citizens and imprisoned them without trials, practiced censorship and oppressed traders. He forced the General Assembly to adopt his previous proclamations by having his son point the guns of his ship on the Council Chamber from the harbour during the session. There was then rebellion and imprisonment of Jones followed by the leader of that faction being arrested and tried by a Grand Jury who convicted him. The jury was said to contain six pirates, two drunks and one man accused of unnatural vice. Much of this is taken from personal accounts by either side in writing but if there is a portion of truth it makes one aware of the climate the pirates created. (link 3)

Family Notes


  • According to a patent to Thomas Boswell of April 1682 in Gloucester County, Cadwallader Jones was an heir to the estate of Richard Jones. Cadwallader held a patent for 1,443 acres south of the Rappahannock River in Rappahannock County in November 1673. He and David Jones together got a patent to 14,114 acres in Stafford County in December 1677. This massive grant was in consideration of having transported 282 persons to the Colony. Among their headrights were Cadwallader Jones, twice, David Jones, John Jones, and William Jones. A large portion of their headright list was alphabetized, a very unusual characteristic. Cadwallader was a justice of Rappahannock County and later appeared in Essex County that they carved from it. He was undoubtedly connected to Chadwallader Jones, age 22, who appeared in the muster of 1624/25. He was listed as having arrived on the Marmaduke in 1623 as a servant to Richard Pierce.
  • There is no other evidence for this David Jones. He may have been a younger brother of Cadwallader In that relationship there is however a more interesting tradition in the family of Jones of Petersburg that Cadwallader was a brother of that contemporary Peter Jones who married a daughter of Col Abraham Wood of Fort Henry, and whose son, another Peter, gave his name to Petersburg. If there was any evidence for this tradition it would forge a link between Cadwallader Jones and Wood, the able indian trader and promoter of western exploration which would explain at once Jones interest in the indian trade and in the country west of the Blue Ridge. (Harrison)
  • "But all this ties in with other Virginia evidence, for in the records of old Rappahannock County in 1681 (Va Mag ii 31) there is a deed by Cadwallader Jones, son and heir of Richard Jones late of London merchant deceased, to Sir Robert Jeffreys releasing all claims to the manor of Ley." (Harrison)
  • Descendant Henry G. Taliaferro has made a convincing case that by 6 January 1672/3, Katherine (Debnam) Taliaferro had married as her (2) husband, Colonel Cadwallader Jones, c.1652-post 1699, son of Richard Jones and his wife Frances (Baldwin) Townsend, she being of Chotank Creek in Upper Sittingbourne Parish, Old Rappahannock/King George/Stafford County, and the widow of Richard Townsend, a member of the Royal Governor’s Council. Colonel Cadwallader Jones was an Indian trader, an explorer into the western regions of Virginia, a sheriff of Old Rappahannock County, and in 1689, while in London, was commissioned Governor of the Bahaman Islands, taking office in 1690 and holding it, amid some controversy, until 1694, after which he returned to Virginia. His whereabouts after 1699 remain unknown. (See Henry G. Taliaferro under Sources.) (link 2)


  1. WESTERN EXPLORATIONS IN VIRGINIA BETWEEN LEDERER AND SPOTSWOOD (A Chapter From "landmarks Of Old Prince William") By Fairfax Harrison, The Virginia magazine of history and biography, Volume 30, By Virginia Historical Society Page 324


  4. Pirates in the Bahamas
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Lt. Col. Cadwallader Jones's Timeline

York, Virginia
Age 33
Essex County, Virginia
Age 47
Stafford, Virginia