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Charles Colcock Jones Sr.
History of Liberty
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Charles Colcock Jones Sr. was born Dec. 20, 1804, and died March 16, 1863. He was a Presbyterian clergyman, as well as a farmer, educator and messenger of God's word in Liberty County.
Jones was the son of a businessman, merchant and planter, Charles Colcock Jones Sr,. who had profound ancestry in coastal Georgia. Charles Jones Sr. was born at Liberty Hall, his father's plantation in Liberty County. He began a career of faith when he was only 17 years old, which prepared Jones for the Presbyterian ministry at Phillips Academy in the early 1800s. He also attended the Andover Theological Seminary two years later and continued his education at the Princeton Theological Seminary until 1830. In 1846, Jones received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pa.
While in the north, Jones became brokenhearted over the morality of others owning other human beings as slaves. With this dilemma in mind, he returned to Liberty County to become a planter. During this plantation endeavor, he became a missionary to slaves. In 1830, Jones married his first cousin, Mary Jones; they had four children, of which only three survived to maturity.
     The Jones family was unique because of patriarch Charles Colcock Jones Sr.'s reputation as a benevolent slaveholder and his mission to provide slaves an oral, religious education. But in other ways, the Joneses were very much like their Liberty County neighbors after the war. They lost the source of their wealth, experimented with different labor-management practices, struggled to re-establish their plantations and reap a modest profit, argued with unscrupulous white overseers, and attempted to find "suitable" buyers for their Lowcountry properties. And they, like many of their wealthy neighbors, left the area after several years of suffering poor returns from their plantations.
Jones served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Savannah from 1831 to 1832, and later became a professor of church history at Columbia Theological Seminary in Columbia, S.C., from 1835 to 1838. In 1839, he returned to his passion of doing missionary work, and again became a professor at Columbia Seminary from 1847 to 1850. Charles Colcock Jones Sr. then moved to Philadelphia and served as corresponding secretary of the Board of Domestic Missions of the Presbyterian Church until 1853, when his health failed and he returned to Liberty County. Jones spent the remainder of his life supervising his three plantations, while continuing to evangelize slaves. Aside from many tracts and papers, Charles Colcock Jones Sr. wrote and published "The Religious Instruction of the Negroes in the United States" and "A History of the Church of God." Trying to spread the word, Jones agreed to have his writing, "Catechism of Scripture Doctrine and Practice" translated into Armenian and Chinese.
In 1972, literary critic Robert Manson Myers published a collection of the Jones family letters in "The Children of Pride," a work of more than 1,800 pages, and the book won a 1973 National Book Award. In 2005, historian Erskine Clarke published "Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic" based on an even larger collection of Jones family correspondence.

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