Jones Collection

Cover Image:
Jones Collection
Bond owed to the Bark Monmouth by John Minton - Image Source

Collection Facts


Historical Context

In 1836 brothers, John Hewlett Jones and Walter Restored Jones, along with 32 other local investors founded the Cold Spring Whaling Company. During its operation, the Cold Spring Whaling Company financed 44 voyages on 9 ships. John H. Jones was the principal agent for the company until it was disbanded in 1852. He coordinated the voyages by hiring whalers and outfitting the ships from his General Store in Cold Spring. Walter R. Jones recruited investors and located ships for the fleet using his connections as the president of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company. Amos and Samuel Willets, of the ship chandler shop A & S Willets, obtained stores and gear for the voyages and sold whale oil and bone on behalf of the Cold Spring Whaling Company.

The Bark Monmouth was the first vessel sailed by the Cold Spring Whaling Company. She was bought in Boston in 1836 by John H Jones and a number of his associates and was outfitted as a whaler. The voyage was profitable however, when the Monmouth returned to New York in 1839, the Customs Collector took issue with her documents and claimed that her cargo was subject to the same duties as foreign goods. Despite public outcry and several delays, the Cold Spring Whaling Company reluctantly paid the additional duties and the Monmouth went on to sail twelve more voyages from Cold Spring.

The Ship Huntsville was built in 1831 and was one of a new generation of flat-bottomed coastal packets which allowed the ship to travel faster with a larger cargo. The Huntsville was bought by Cold Spring in 1844 and sailed on 4 voyages before being sold again in 1858. The Huntsville then returned to the merchant trade and was still sailing in San Francisco in 1870, 39 years after her launch.

The Ship Nathaniel P. Tallmadge was the only purpose-built whaleship in the Cold Spring Whaling Company’s fleet. She was named for United States Senator from New York, Nathaniel Pendleton Tallmadge. She sailed on two whaling voyages in 1836 and 1840 for the Duchess Whaling Company before being sold to Cold Spring in 1843.
Although the Cold Spring Post Office added “Harbor” to the town’s name in 1826 to avoid confusion with the upstate New York town of Cold Spring, the residents of Cold Spring Harbor referred to the town as “Cold Spring” for the majority of the nineteenth century.

The Jones collection was assembled by descendants of the Jones family and donated to the Whaling Museum in two gifts in 1959 and 1971.

Scope of Collection

The Jones collection is made up of financial records for the Cold Spring Whaling Company between 1836-1852. The majority of the records relate to the voyages of the Cold Spring Whaling Company’s nine vessels: Monmouth, Tuscarora, Nathaniel P. Tallmadge, Richmond, Alice, Huntsville, Splendid, Sheffield, and Edgar.