James Jones Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Jones, James
James Jones papers
Date [inclusive]
0.25 Cubic feet , 5 folders

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

Mining engineer James Jones was the first person to prospect for gold and silver in the Monitor District in Amador and Alpine Counties, California. In the 1860s and 1870s he and his brother Frank organized mining companies to develop and prospect the district. These included the Mount Bullion Mining Company, and the Michigan Tunnel and Mining Company. The brothers were also associated with the Active Silver Mining and Tunnel Company of New York. In 1866 James Jones traveled to England, where he helped organize and promote two other companies: the Scottish Chief Silver Mine Company and the Imperial Silver Quarries Company, in which he was a large stockholder.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of James Jones' correspondence and business papers, primarily dealing with his mining concerns. Several letters from Frank Jones reflect the unstable prospects of mining in the 1860s and 1870s. Some letters enthusiastically report on mine prospects and or assessments, but in two letters he warns his brothers to sell out.

Several documents relate to the Imperial Silver Quarries Company, including a prospectus, the articles of incorporation, and Annual Report to the shareholders (1868), and correspondence relating to the development of the company's mines. Also included are brochures, maps, and ore assessments for various mines in the Monitor District. In addition, the collection contains James Jones' personal bills and receipts, primarily from his years in England.

Finally, the collection contains bills and receipts for the scow schooner "Hirondelle" which James Jones ran as a tow barge in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan in the 1850s.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections February 1965

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  February 2000

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Gift of Kenneth Priestly, 1960-09-22. Transferred by Michigan State University Museum.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Active Silver Mining and Tunnel Company of New York.
  • Hirondelle (Scow schooner).
  • Imperial Silver Quarries Company--1857-1888
  • Michigan Tunnel and Mining Company.
  • Mount Boullion Mining Company--1857-1888
  • Scottish Chief Silver Mine Company. (1857-1888)


  • Commercial correspondence
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Receipts (Acknowledgments)

Geographic Name(s)

  • Alpine County (Calif.)
  • Amador County (Calif.)
  • California
  • England

Personal Name(s)

  • Jones, Frank A.
  • Priestly, Kenneth


  • Mines and mineral resources -- California
  • Mining corporations -- California
  • Shipping -- Illinois
  • Shipping -- Indiana
  • Shipping -- Michigan

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Collection Inventory







 1867-June 1868 


 July 1868-December 1868 


 1869-1888, Undated