My Contribution: I forcibly resisted the Fugitive Slave Act and actively partnered with others in Harrisburg to secure freedoms for escaping enslaved people. I made Harrisburg my home and used my knowledge of Wilkes-Barre, my hometown, to benefit those I assist- ed as I moved escapees northward.
My Legacy: Hardworking and determined, I dedicated my life to the improvement of conditions for people of my race. Brought together through shared causes, the activism network that I participated in had a long reaching impact on many.
About Me: “‘Pap Jones’ was a large, well-built man. For many years, Mr. Jones was one of the most efficient men connected with the ‘Underground Railroad’ in this locality. He had acquired a thorough knowledge of the routes leading northward and was always prepared to furnish competent guides. His large covered wagon drawn by two horses and driven by himself in the capacity of rag merchant was frequently to be met with on the roads leading towards Wilkes-Barre or Pottsville.” — Harrisburg Telegraph, January 29, 1887.
Full Name: William M. Jones. Nickname: “Pap” • Birth Date: 1791 (Harrisburg Telegraph, August 3, 1881) or 1793 • Death Date: August 1, 1881 • Place of Birth: Kingston, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania • Sex: Male • Race: Black (1870 Federal Census) • Places of Residence: Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. Harrisburg: 422 South Street, 432 South Street. • Connection to the Old Eighth Ward: Resident. Dedicated church member of Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church. Partnered with others in the neighborhood to create a network of allies and secure safe passage on the Underground Railroad. • Family Members: Wife: Mary Jones. Children: Mary Jones, Henry Jones, David Jones, Margaret Jones, Charles Jones, Juliann Jones, Mrs. William Steward. • Education: Trained as a druggist with Mr. Calendar and Dr. D.W. Gross (Harrisburg Telegraph, August 3, 1881). • Occupations: Pharmacist. Medical Doctor. Laborer/ molder in a foundry. Preacher and organizer. • Church Membership: Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church. • Activism: Wesley Union A.M.E. Church (deacon); social activist and organizer of benevolent societies for the African American community; found- ed Black cemetery (Harrisburg Daily Independent, March 31, 1883). • Connections: Fellow activists and transporters in the Underground Railroad: Harriet McClintock Marshall, Joseph Cassey Bustill, Jane Chester, and Mary Bennett.