Shandy Jones

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Shandy Wesley Jones (born December 20, 1816 in Huntsville) was a member of the Alabama House of Representatives from 1868 to 1870 and the first African-American elected official from Tuscaloosa County.

Jones, the son of a white man and a mixed-race mother, was born into slavery, but emancipated at the age of 3 and raised free in Tuscaloosa. He owned a barber shop that employed both freed blacks and slaves. He married the former Evalina Love of Georgia on December 5, 1837 and brought her to Tuscaloosa, where they had a total of fourteen children.

Before the Civil War, Jones was active in the American Colonization Society which advocated the emigration of free blacks back to Africa, where they founded the nation of Liberia. Though he repeatedly made plans to emigrate, he remained in Tuscaloosa and accumulated real estate, becoming one of the richest African Americans in the state.

He was elected to the state's Reconstruction congress in 1868, one of 26 black members of the House. He avidly supported the Enforcement Acts that sought to provide equal protection and freedoms for black citizens.

For his efforts he won the scorn of Ryland Randolph's Tuskaloosa Independent Monitor and harassment from the Ku Klux Klan. He fled to Moundville before relocating to Mobile, where President Grant appointed him to the customs inspections bureau. He also served as pastor of the Little AME Zion Church there for a 15 year span.


  • Bailey, Richard ( ) Neither Carpetbaggers Nor Scalawags Black Office Holders during the Reconstruction of Alabama, 1867-1878.
  • Pinkard, Ophelia and Barbara Clark (1993) Descendants of Shandy Wesley Jones and Evalina Love Jones: The Story of an African American family of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press
  • Schweninger, Loren (1997) Black property owners in the South, 1790-1915. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0252066340
  • Boyd, Ashley (March 23, 2009) "Tuscaloosa County’s first black elected official honored." Tuscaloosa News