1894: "Special Field Agent" Jones

1894 Expedition

In 1894, Jones was employed by Frederick Coville and the United States Department of Agriculture to explore and botanize a large territory including parts of Utah, Colorado, and Nevada. In his letter of approval to Jones, Coville wrote, "This area which you propose to cover affords opportunity for one of the finest pieces of work ever done on local western botany, a fact which you doubtless appreciate, and I want you to show the eastern botanists that you can handle it." (Coville to Jones, February 21, 1894)

While Jones spent the majority of his time in Utah with brief forays into Nevada and Colorado, he explored a vast territory over the six-month expedition and collected thousands of specimens, including many type specimens.

The map at left approximates his general itinerary of at least 2,000 miles, beginning in Juab and terminating in Pine Valley. He traveled primarily by horse-drawn wagon between camps, making additional excursions on foot to botanize in less accessible areas. Jones botanized daily (excluding Sundays) and covered a huge portion of central and southern Utah, shipping ten thousand specimens to Washington by mid-June.

However, acrimony mounted between Coville and Jones as he complained that he was not receiving sufficient supplies to keep up with the number of specimens collected. Jones completed the expedition on very bad terms with Coville, writing him in an 1895 letter, "From July first 1894 till now you have put every possible obstacle in my way so as to make it expensive and impossible to complete my work. The first thing was the failure to send supplies of both white paper and drying papers till I was compelled to buy 5000 sheets of white paper and some 300 dryers which expenditures you have never repaid." (Jones to Coville, August 23, 1895)

Jones collected at many more localities that are not shown here, and it should be noted that this map is not comprehensive. Instead, it offers a general representation of his overall expedition and pairs many localities with the digital archive of the type specimen collected there (indicated by a pink point).

At right, the first page of the
species list from Jones' 1894
expedition for the USDA