A Joyless Boyhood
Born in 1798, Anson Jones was the thirteenth and next to last of the children of Solomon and Sarah Jones, tenant farmers in western Massachusetts. The area was rich in natural beauty and in political turmoil. Before Jones's birth, it was the center of Shay's Rebellion, an uprising against the fledgling United States government.
It is not known whether any of Jones's family were rebels. In later life, Anson Jones would remember a childhood marked by poverty and instability. The family moved ten times before he reached the age of 18, trying to better its situation with little success.
Anson was a frail boy who spent most of his time helping his father with a small tanning business and reading and studying when he could find the time. Life was hard, and Jones came of age as an awkward, serious, and timid young man.