He later studied law, was admitted to the bar in Georgia in 1841 and commenced practice at Easton, Pennsylvania.
He was district attorney for Berkshire County, Pennsylvania, from 1847 to 1849. He was a delegate to the Democratic State conventions in 1848, 1849, and 1855, and served as president in 1855. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1848 and 1856 and served as vice president in 1848.
Jones was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-second Congress.
He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1852. He was elected to the Thirty-third Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Henry A. Muhlenberg.
He was reelected to the Thirty-fourth and Thirty-fifth Congresses. He served as chairman of the United States House Committee on Ways and Means during the Thirty-fifth Congress.
He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1858, and resigned October 30, 1858.
On November 1, 1858 he was appointed Minister Resident to the Austrian Empire by President James Buchanan, and served from December 15, 1858 to November 14, 1861. After his service he resumed the practice of law, and died in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1878. Interment in the Charles Evans Cemetery.
Member United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, 33d-35th congresses, 1851-1853, February 4, 1854-October 30, 1858, chairman ways and means committee, 1857-1858.
Married Anna Rodman, June 23, 1832, 9 children.