JONES, SAM P. (SAM PORTER), 1847-1906.
Sam P. Jones papers, 1859-1961

Emory University

Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Jones, Sam P. (Sam Porter), 1847-1906.
Title: Sam P. Jones papers, 1859-1961
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 312
Extent:2 linear ft. (4 boxes) and 2 oversized bound volumes (OBV)
Abstract:Papers of Methodist evangelist, Samuel Porter Jones including correspondence, diaries, appointment books, lecture notes and texts, newspaper clippings and miscellany relative to Jones' life and career.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Related Materials in Other Repositories

Sam P. Jones papers, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries; Sam P. Jones papers, Atlanta History Center; two-volume Bible originally owned by Sam P. Jones, Pitts Theology Library, Emory University; Sam P. Jones manuscripts and letters, Rose Lawn Museum, Cartersville, Georgia.


Gift, 1957.


[after identification of item(s)], Sam P. Jones papers, Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by SG, July 1970.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Samuel Porter Jones (October 16, 1817-October 15, 1906), Methodist evangelist, was born in Oak Bowery, Chambers County, Alabama, the son of John J. Jones, a lawyer, and his wife Nancy (Porter) Jones. His mother died when Sam was nine. After this, he, his brother, and his sister, went to live with his father's parents, Samuel G. and Elizabeth Ann (Edwards) Jones, in Cartersville, Bartow County, Georgia, where Grandfather Jones was a local Methodist preacher. In 1859, John Jones married Jennie Skinner and settled permanently in Cartersville. Sam attended local schools until a physical breakdown terminated his plans for college. He turned to the study of law and was admitted to the Bar in November 1868.

On November 2I, 1868, Sam married Laura McElwain of Henry County, Kentucky whom he had met while in Kentucky during the Civil War. The young couple moved to Dallas, Texas, thence to Alabama and, by 1871, had returned to Cartersville. Sam abandoned his law practice and worked as a laborer. In the late 1860's, Sam was apparently inclined to excessive drinking. However, in August 1872, he promised his dying father that he would cease the practice and a week later converted to Methodism in his grandfather's church. Almost immediately he began preaching. Accepted into the North Georgia Conference in Atlanta on November 27, 1872, he served the Van Wert Circuit, the De Soto Circuit in Floyd County, the Newberne Circuit in Newton County, and the Monticello Circuit in Jasper County. Increasingly during these years he assisted other preachers in revival work.

In 1880, Sam Jones was appointed agent for the Conference's Orphanage, a position he held for thirteen years. This gave him greater freedom for evangelistic work and he proved to be an unusually successful fund raiser for the institution. He began holding meetings outside of the state and by the mid 1880's was a national figure. In 1893 he severed his connection with the North Georgia Conference to devote all of his time to evangelistic work, although after about 1900 he confined his efforts to the South. In addition to preaching and lecturing, Sam Jones published several volumes of sermons and for many years wrote a weekly column for the Atlanta Journal. He died near Little Rock, Arkansas while on the way home from a meeting in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Sam Jones and his wife had six children: Beulah (1869-1871), Annie (born 1873), Sam Paul (1875), Robert W. (1876), Laura (1881), and Julia Baxter (1885). Julia married Walt Holcomb.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Sam Jones from 1859-1861. The papers include letters, diaries, appointment books, lecture notes and texts, newspaper clippings and miscellany relative to Jones' life and career. There are approximately 117 letters and postcards written by Jones to his wife and children, especially Laura (Mrs. B. C. Sloan) and Julia Baxter. In the letters to his wife, of which seven were written during the last months before their marriage in 1868, 62 between 1881 and 1885, and six at various other times, he tells of the progress of the revivals and meetings, of his religious sentiments, refers to domestic affairs, and reveals a warm and tender affection. On January 18, 1884 he wrote of visiting a Negro College in Memphis. The brief letters to his children, written 1901-1906, are expressive of his feeling and hopes for them. The other 25 letters from various people to Jones or other members of the family refer to Jones' evangelical activities and domestic activities. The small pocket diaries and appointment books tell of his activities during 1884, 1895, 1898, 1902, 1905 and 1906. There is a folder of sermon notes and texts of seven of his lectures. Seven scrapbooks and fourteen folders contain clippings of his columns and press notices about his meetings and other activities.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type.

Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 Correspondence: 1859-1870
1 2 Correspondence: 1881-1883
1 3 Correspondence: 1884
1 4 Correspondence: 1885-1893
1 5 Correspondence: 1895-1905
1 6 Correspondence: 1906, January-July
1 7 Correspondence: 1906. August-December
1 8 Correspondence: 1907-1951
1 9 Correspondence: n.d.
1 10 Sermon and lecture notes
1 11 Sermon and lecture texts: "Character and characters"
1 12 Sermon and lecture texts: "Get there and stay there"
1 13 Sermon and lecture texts: "Manhood and money"
1 14 Sermon and lecture texts: "To the pot politicians and pap suckers of Georgia"
1 15 Sermon and lecture texts: "Why should a church member belong to the W.C.T.U.
1 16 Sermon and lecture texts: "The world as it is and the world as it ought to be"
1 17 Sermon and lecture texts: unidentified
1 18 Miscellany: Telegrams, cards, and clippings relative to Silver Wedding Anniversary, November 24, 1893
1 19 Miscellany: Miscellaneous material relative to meetings and travel
1 20 Miscellany: general
1 21 Miscellany: Miscellaneous memorials, clippings, etc.
2 1 Clippings: 1885-1897
2 2 Clippings: 1898
2 3 Clippings: 1899-1902
2 4 Clippings: 1903
2 5 Clippings: 1904
2 6 Clippings: 1905
2 7 Clippings: 1906, January-September
2 8 Clippings: 1906, October-December
2 9 Clippings: 1907-1941
2 10 Clippings: 1947-1961
2 11 Clippings: Undated (by Jones, I)
2 12 Clippings: Undated (by Jones, II)
2 13 Clippings: Undated (about Jones)
2 14 Clippings: fragments
2 15 Newspapers: October 16-17, 1906
2 16 Newspapers: October 18-20, 1906
3 1 Scrapbook of clippings: "Get there and stay there"
3 2 Scrapbook of clippings: "Character and characters" and "Sasiety"
3 3 Scrapbook of clippings: "Shams and the genuine" and "The world as it is and the world as it ought to be"
3 4 Scrapbook of clippings: "Philosophy facts and fun" and "Home"
3 5 Scrapbook of clippings: "Manhood and money" and "Battle of life"
OBV1 Scrapbook of news clippings about Jones [includes TNS to Jones from W.J. Bok]
OBV2 Scrapbook of clippings of Jones's columns
3 6 Photographs
3 7 Photograph album: "A happy day with Sam Jones, June 2, 1906"
3 8 Contact prints of negatives
4 1 Appointment books: 1884
4 2 Appointment books: 1895
4 3 Appointment books: 1898
4 4 Appointment books: 1902
4 5 Appointment books: 1905
4 6 Appointment books: 1906
4 7 Bible: "Rev. Sam P. Jones"
4 8 Memorabilia: 2 bow ties