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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Absalom Jones, Founding Father

Absalom Jones, Founding Father by Laila H.

Absalom Jones was truly an extraordinary man for his time. Although he was born into slavery, he did not allow his "slave status" to prevent him from accomplishing truly remarkable things as an adult. In addition, he did not allow his position to define who he was or what he could become in life.

Absalom Jones was an African-American born on November 6, 1746 in Sussex, Delaware. When he was sixteen years old, he was sold to a storeowner in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by the name of Mr. Wynkoop. Fortunately, for Jones, he was blessed to be around a store clerk who taught him how to write. This was the start of unlimited possibilities for Jones.

On January 4, 1770 at the age of twenty-three, Jones married another slave by the  name of Mary King. He was always determined to change his enslaved status. By 1778, he purchased his wife's freedom so that their children would be free and not be labelled with the " slave status." By 1785, he was triumphant in purchasing his own freedom. With a new status of "freed slave," his future possibilities began to grow.

Absalom Jones became a minister for black members in the interracial church known as St. George's Methodist Church. In 1787, Jones, along with Richard Allen, founded the Free African Society which was to help newly freed slaves in Philadelphia.  At the  beginning of 1791, Jones started holding religious services at Free African Society which became the start of a new church. Wanting to establish a black church independent of white control, Jones in 1792 founded the African Church. On July 17, 1794, this church became the first African Episcopal Church. This became an opportunity for Jones to speak out about anti-slavery during his sermons. Jones was ordained as a deacon in 1795 and as a priest in 1804. He was the first African American priest in the Episcopal Church. He became a bishop in 1816. Jones used his new position to allow him to fight for anti-slavery laws at the time of the Revolutionary War.
Throughout his life, Absalom Jones demonstrated determination. He always took advantage of his opportunities to create change and to do what was right. He never allowed his born slave status define him. Even though he did not really have a military role in the war or an actual role, Jones was truly an extraordinary man who can be viewed as a hero to me for his magnificent accomplishments.    

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