John W. Jones


John W. Jones was born in 1817 on a plantation in Virginia. At the age of 27 he and four others fled their plantation and made a hazard filled 300-mile journey to Elmira. Jones settled in the area where he learned to read and write, and by 1851 he was an active agent on the Underground Railroad helping over 800 slaves escape to Canada. In 1864, Jones was caretaker of Woodlawn Cemetery when he was contracted to bury the confederate dead from Elmira Prison.

‘Uniquely New York’ NYSCALogo_Shane_Lis made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Chemung Valley History Museum

Photos Courtesy of:
Chemung County Historical Society
Library of Congress