Men Of The Revolution — 6. Thomas Jones


In March, 1781, the judge and his wife, accompanied by Miss Floyd and two servants, sailed for England. His health had deteriorated in prison, and he thought the treatments at Bath might help his rheumatism. He would return, he told friends, as soon as possible. But the end of the war, which he thought would bring peace, brought him no such thing. New York had passed an Act of Attainder, whereby a list of persons charged with “adhering to the enemies of the State” would forfeit not only their property but their lives if they were caught. Thomas Jones was one of those named, and he prudently remained an exile in England until his death in 1792. Before he died, the government to which he had been loyal awarded him £5,447 in compensation, but the sum bore no relationship to the value of what he had lost—two large houses, a huge estate on Long Island, land in New York City and in Westchester, Ulster, Orange, and Tryon counties.

From the judge’s standpoint, the accounting could scarcely be reckoned in pounds, shillings, and pence. He had lost what he valued above all else—his country.

—Richard M. Ketchum