Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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JONES, Alexander, author, born in North Carolina about 1802; died in New York city, 25 August, 1863. He was graduated in medicine in Philadelphia, and began practice in Mississippi, where he became interested in the culture of cotton, and made several improvements in the cotton gin, which were subsequently adopted throughout the south. In 1840 the East India company offered Dr. Jones $5,000 a year and his expenses to go to India and develop the production of cotton in that country, and, although he declined the offer for patriotic reasons after reaching London, he gave evidence before a British parliamentary committee on the cultivation of cotton in the United States. On his return from England he became a resident of New York city, where he was a correspondent of several English and American newspapers, and wrote for the "Journal of Commerce" over the signature of "Sandy Hook." In 1850 he became the agent of the Associated press, and invented a comprehensive system of ciphers, which was the first used by the association. Soon afterward he became commercial reporter of the "New York Herald," which place he retained till his death. Besides the inventions already mentioned, Dr. Jones devised a street-sweeping machine. He took great interest in the history and progress of the Welsh people, from whom he was descended, and was an active member of St. David's society. He is the author of "Cuba in 1851" (New York, 1851); "Historical Sketch of the Electric Telegraph" (1852); and "The Cymri of Seventy-Six, or the Welshmen of the American Revolution and their Descendants" (1855).
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