JONES, WILLIE. (1741–1801). Patriot leader. North Carolina. Younger brother of Allen Jones, Willie (pronounced "Wylie") Jones was born in Northampton County, North Carolina, on 25 May 1741. He studied at Eton and traveled in Europe before returning, in 1760, to become a prominent South Carolina political figure. First elected to the assembly in 1767, Willie was an aide to Governor William Tryon in the Alamance operations against the Regulators. He rose to the position of leader of the democratic element in his state, dominating the legislature, and serving as president of the state's Committee of Public Safety in 1776. He shaped the North Carolina constitution of 1776. In 1780 he was elected to the Continental Congress and served a year, insisting that the end of the war meant the end of a need for the Congress. Fundamentally opposed to the Constitution, he led the movement against it in his state, and withdrew from public life in 1789 rather than alter his political position. He died in Raleigh, North Carolina, on 18 June 1801.
revised by Michael Bellesiles