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Mary Cameron Jones


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At a Glance

Mary Cameron Jones and her elder sister Eliza Adam Jones  both were Burwell students and were the daughters of Dr. Pride Jones and his first wife, Mary E. Cameron [1].


Mary Cameron Jones of Hillsborough, NC was the daughter of Dr. Pride Jones and his first wife, Mary E. Cameron. The couple had four children: the eldest was Eliza Adam Jones , a musician and Burwell student. Mary Cameron Jones, her sister, was their third child.

On May 15, 1850, Dr. Pride Jones married his second wife, Martha Ann Cain, and the Estate of Sans Souci in Hillsborough, NC the eastern side of Hillsborough became their home.

Mary Cameron Jones entered the Burwell School when she was ten or eleven years of age. According to Mrs. Burwell's (Anna Robertson Burwell ) letter to her daughter Frances Armistead Burwell  on January 19, 1856,  "Mary Jones"  had departed the preceding session to go to St. Mary's School in Raleigh, NC, but in 1856 Mary's grandmother, Rebecca Edward Long, brought her back to the Burwell School on a bitter winter's day:

...about twelve o'clock Mrs. Jones was announced...I love her so much & 'twas such a day for her to come out so...I came in & welcomed her truly. She came to bring Mary Jones back to school. She has learned nothing not even music at St. Mary's.

But all did not work out smoothly. Mrs. Burwell (Anna Robertson Burwell ) wrote her daughter, Frances Armistead Burwell  in distress on February 8, 1856:

We have had, I suspect, a final difficulty with the Jones children. I wrote you that Mary Jones had come back to school. Martha Ann Cain requested that she should join the class she left a session ago. I told her I was afraid the studies would be too hard for Mary, as the class had progressed steadily, while, according to her own account, Mary had been at St. Mary's learning nothing but idle habits. Well! She joined the class & sure enough could not recite a single lesson...

Dr. Pride Jones withdrew his daughter from the Burwell School. The particular lesson that proved too hard for Mary Cameron Jones was an assignment in Smith's First Lessons in Astronomy. Mrs. Burwell (Anna Robertson Burwell ) added,  "I got a very affectionate note from Martha Ann Cain. She Seems very troubled about it."  This is the only occurrence of the kind, in the commission's records of the Burwell School. Mrs. Burwell's diplomacy typically smoothed over run-of-the-mill upsets.

Mary Cameron Jones lived to be eighty-one years old. She never married and is buried in St. Matthew's Churchyard in Hillsborough, NC [1].

Biographical Data

Important Dates

Mary Cameron Jones was born on July 10, 1843. She died on February 1, 1924, and was buried in St. Matthew's Churchyard in Hillsborough, NC.

Places of Residence

Schools Attended



  1. Mary Claire Engstrom. The Book of Burwell Students: Lives of Educated Women in the Antebellum South. (Hillsborough: Hillsborough Historic Commission, 2007).