About William Jones, Governor
William Jones (October 8, 1753 – April 22, 1822) was the eighth Governor of Rhode Island from 1811 to 1817. He was a Federalist.
Jones was born in Newport, Rhode Island, into a family of Welsh origin. His grandfather William Jones (1691–1740) was born in Wales and settled in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
Governor Jones was married to Anne Dunn.
Jones participated in the Revolutionary War. He was commissioned as Captain of marines on board the Providence by the end of the war. After the war, he became a Justice of the Peace.
Some records report incorrectly that he died April 22, 1822. Some of his death notices include:
Connecticut Courant, April 16, 1822, p. 3 and Boston Semi-Weekly Advertiser (MA), April 17, 1822: In Providence, Hon. William Jones, aged 67, who was Governor of the State from 1811 to 1817.
Weekly Messenger (MA), April 18, 1822, p. 3: DIED, In Providence, on Tuesday, the 9th inst. the Hon. William Jones, aged 67. The deceased was a patriot of the Revolution, and for six years Governor of the State.
He was buried at Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island.
Jones was elected to the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1807. He was Speaker of the Rhode Island State House of Representatives two terms, in 1809-10 and 1810-11. Jones was a Federalist and won the gubernatorial election against incumbent James Fenner in 1811 by just a few hundred votes. He was re-elected five times, but having been defeated when seeking a seventh term, he retired from the public life. He was the only Federalist ever to serve as Governor in Rhode Island.
Governor William Jones was the uncle of the American naval officer, William Henry Allen.