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Apothecary scales, Dr. Anson Jones
Title: Apothecary scales, Dr. Anson Jones
Description: Scales with seven weights, housed in custom velvet-lined wooden box. Includes two small, brass square weights marked 1 and 2 scruple (?) respectively and five flat metal square pieces, marked 1996.18.5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Description: Historical Note: These scales belonged to Dr. Anson Jones as per accession information. Anson Jones, doctor, congressman, and the last president of the Republic of Texas, was born at Seekonkville, Great Barrington, Massachusetts, on January 20, 1798. He moved to Texas in October 1833 and soon had a medical practice at Brazoria. As tension between Texas and Mexico mounted, he counseled forbearance and peace until the summer of 1835, when he joined in signing a petition for the calling of the Consultation, which he visited. At a mass meeting at Columbia in December 1835, he presented resolutions for calling a convention to declare independence but declined to be nominated as a delegate. When war came he enlisted. After brief service as apothecary general of the Texas army, Jones returned to Brazoria, evicted James Collinsworth from his office with a challenge to a duel, and resumed practice. Jones was elected a representative to the Second Congress. As chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, he advocated a withdrawal of the Texas proposal for annexation to the United States. At the end of his congressional term, President Sam Houston appointed him minister to the United States in June 1838 and authorized him to withdraw the annexation proposal. Jones's purpose as minister was to stimulate recognition from and trade relations with Europe in order to make the United States desire annexation or to make Texas strong enough to remain independent. This gave him the title of Architect of Annexation. He was recalled by President Mirabeau B. Lamar in May 1839. On May 17, 1840, Jones married Mrs. McCrory at Austin and in the spring of 1841 returned to practice in Brazoria. He declined candidacy for the vice presidency in the election of 1841, in which Houston again became president. Houston appointed Jones his secretary of state, and from December 13, 1841, until February 19, 1846, Jones managed the foreign relations of Texas through a series of crises. Jones was elected president of Texas in September 1844 and took office on December 9. After James K. Polk's election as president of the United States on a platform of reannexation of Texas and President John Tyler's proposal of annexation by joint resolution, Jones maintained silence on the matter. But the Texas Congress declared for joining the Union. Before Jones received official notice of the joint resolution, the charges of England and France induced him to delay action for ninety days. He promised to obtain from Mexico recognition of Texas independence and delayed calling the Texas Congress or a convention. Meanwhile, public sentiment for annexation and resentment against Jones mounted. On June 4, 1845, Jones presented to the people of Texas the alternative of peace and independence or annexation. The Texas Congress rejected the treaty with Mexico, approved the joint resolution of annexation, and adopted resolutions censuring Jones. The Convention of 1845 considered removing Jones from office. He subsequently retained his title, though his duties were merely ministerial. On February 19, 1846, at the ceremony setting up the government of Texas as a state in the Union, Jones declared, The Republic of Texas is no more. Then he retired to Barrington, his plantation near Washington-on-the-Brazos. He died in Houston on January 9, 1858, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery at Houston.
Citation information: ATF0403, Artifacts collection. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
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