1858: Anson Jones commits suicide. He was born in 1798 in Massachusetts and nothing is known of his childhood. In 1820, he was licensed by the Oneida, New York Medical Society and began to practice medicine in 1822 in New York. He was unsuccessful, moved to Philadelphia, was unsuccessful, was arrested there by a creditor, moved to Venezuela, was unsuccessful, returned to Philadelphia, and earned an MD degree. He went to New Orleans and abandoned medicine and went into a mercantile business. He was unsuccessful at that, too. He managed to survive two plagues that swept the city but with business failing yet again, he moved west and settled in Brazoria, Texas in 1833. There, his medical practice flourished. By 1835, he began to speak out about tensions between Texas and Mexico. He attended the Consultation held in Columbia. Texas patriots discussed independence.
During the Texas Revolution, Jones was a judge advocate and surgeon for the Texas Army. He refused any rank above private. After the war, he returned to Brazoria and his medical practice only to find James Collinsworth, another Texas patriot, had set up a law practice in Jones’s office. Jones called for a duel that never took place, but the animosity between the two men remained. Collinsworth went on to starting the Texas Railroad, Navigation, and Banking Company – something Jones was stridently opposed to. Jones was elected to the Second Texas Congress on that basis. While serving there, his most significant act was to call for the withdrawal of the petition to annex to the US. He also drew up legislation to regulate medical practice in the new country and to endow a university.
After his term, he expected to return to Brazoria and medicine, but President Sam Houston appointed him Minister to the United States where he was to formally withdraw the annexation proposal. He was eventually recalled to Texas and served in the Senate where he criticized Mirabeau Lemar’s presidency. When Houston was re-elected, he made Jones Secretary of State and during his time in this position, with changing political landscape, he was to broker Texas’s annexation to the United States and for this effort he is known as the Architect of Annexation. He went on to serve as the fourth and last President of Texas and complete the annexation process.
After Texas became a part of the US, they needed to send two people to the US Senate and Jones hoped to be one of these two people Sam Houston was selected as was Thomas Jefferson Rusk. Jones was crushed. In 1857, Rusk committed suicide and Jones was sure he would be the replacement chosen. However, when the Senate voted on who to send to Washington, D.C., Jones received no votes. In January 1858, Jones checked into the old Capitol Hotel, the former seat of the government for the Republic of Texas. He stayed there for four days. And then, on this date, in his room after dinner, he shot himself. He was 59 years old.
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. – Plato
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies. – Groucho Marx
Politics is the art of controlling your environment. – Hunter S. Thompson
It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first. – Ronald Reagan