Born 22 November 1791 in Amelia County, Virginia, he graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1813. He practiced law in Chesterfield County, Virginia before being appointed Prosecuting Attorney for Virginia's 5th Judicial Circuit in 1818. He was a delegate to the state constitutional convention 1829 - 1830.
Jones was elected as a Democratic Congressman from Virginia and served from 1835 to 1845. He was the Speaker of the House between 1843 and 1845. He then returned to his native Virginia to serve as Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1847.
Jones was elected to a second state House term in November, but did not attend the session due to illness. He resigned his seat on December 17, and was succeeded by his son, Alexander. Jones died 29 January 1848 at his "Dellwood" plantation northwest of Petersburg, Virginia, and is buried there.