Before trading under his own name, Jonathan Means Wilson was associated with a few other slave traders. During the early 1840s, he worked as an agent for Hope Slatter, then switched to Joseph Donovan in the later 1840s. By 1849, he started his own business on Camden Street a few doors from Light Street. Initially, he was associated here with G.H. Duke, a partnership that lasted until 1856. His new partner was his son-in-law, Moses Hindes. The operation closed at the outbreak of the Civil War.