William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
Amzi and Lizzie Jones Journal and Account Book, 1863-1893
Meg Hixon, July 2012
Amzi and Lizzie Jones journal and account book
Jones, Amzi, 1841-1878 and Jones, Lizzie, 1844-1936
Amzi and Lizzie Jones compiled journal entries and financial records in this approximately 350-page volume between 1863 and 1893. Most concern the daily operation of their farm near Smyrna, Tennessee, between 1873 and 1881.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
Amzi and Lizzie Jones Journal and Account Book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
Amzi Jones was born in Olive Branch, Mississippi, on October 7, 1841, and was raised by his half-brother in Memphis, Tennessee, after being orphaned as an infant. He attended Georgetown College (now Georgetown University) and served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. On July 14, 1869, he married his cousin, Lizzie H. Miller (1844-1936), the daughter of Alfred Miller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to a farm near Smyrna, Tennessee, where they operated a cotton gin and grew several crops. They had one son, Amzi (1877-1915), who became a physician. The elder Amzi Jones died of an illness on November 18, 1878, and Lizzie died in 1936.
Collection Scope and Content Note
Amzi and Lizzie Jones compiled journal entries and financial records in this approximately 350-page volume between 1863 and 1893. They repurposed an unused, pre-printed "Commission Book" (15.5"x10") formerly owned by J. B. Dunn. The Jones' entries concern the daily operation of their farm near Smyrna, Tennessee, between 1873 and 1881.
The first pages (7-15) and final pages (325-350) contain financial records Amzi Jones kept between January 1, 1867, and September 7, 1878, as well as additional records dated between 1870 and 1880. These reflect his expenses and income. The Jones family occasionally earned money by operating a cotton gin.
The bulk of the volume (pp. 16-319) consists of a "Diary of Farm, Field, Household, and Mill," which Amzi and his wife Lizzie wrote between January 1, 1873, and December 5, 1881. The diary is continued on 6 loose pages laid into the volume (November 6, 1881-December 20, 1881). Amzi composed entries from 1873 until his final illness in late 1878, and Lizzie continued to write regularly until 1881. The couple described aspects of their daily lives, such as social activities and visits, farm work, and finances. Occasionally, they mentioned elections or other important political events, such as President James Garfield's assassination.
Two brief original poems written in 1881 are on page 10; a copy of an 1874 land and labor contract is on page 330; and 2 pen sketches of people in profile are on the front cover and on page 339. Scattered notes on the final pages are dated as early as 1863 and as late as 1893. The volume is accompanied by an undated tintype photograph of Amzi Jones and a sewing pattern or template.
- African Americans--Tennessee.
- Agricultural laborers--United States.
- Cotton gins and ginning.
- Family farms--United States.
- Garfield, James A. (James Abram), 1831-1881--Assassination.
- Smyrna (Rutherford County, Tenn.)
- Journals (accounts)
- Templates (shaping tools)
- Tintypes (prints)