John Paul Jones : biography
On June 8, 1788, Jones was awarded the Order of St. Anne, but he left the following month, an embittered man.
In 1789 Jones arrived in Warsaw, Poland, where he befriended another veteran of the American Revolutionary War, Tadeusz Kościuszko. Kościuszko advised him to leave the service of the autocratic Russia, and serve another power, suggesting Sweden. Despite Kościuszko’s backing, the Swedes, while somewhat interested, in the end decided not to recruit Jones.
In popular culture
- The 1824 novel The Pilot by James Fenimore Cooper contains fictionalized accounts of Jones’s maritime activities. Alexandre Dumas’s Captain Paul, a follow-up novel to The Pilot, was published in 1846.
- Jones was portrayed by actor Robert Stack in the 1959 film John Paul Jones, directed by John Farrow.
- Nicholas Nicastro wrote two historical novels about Jones and his times, The Eighteenth Captain (1999) and Between Two Fires (2002), published by McBooks Press.
- The John Paul Jones Junior High School in Philadelphia was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
- The story of Jones’s attack on Whitehaven Harbour features in Dan Chapman’s 2012 novel ‘Looking for Lucy’.Chapman, D. (2012), Looking for Lucy, UK: Concept ISBN 978-1470128609
Later life and death
In May 1790, Jones arrived in Paris, where he remained in retirement for the rest of his life, although he made a number of attempts to re-enter the Russian service. In June 1792, Jones was appointed U.S. Consul to treat with the Dey of Algiers for the release of American captives. Before Jones was able to fulfill his appointment, however, he died of interstitial nephritis and was found lying face-down on his bed in his third-floor Paris apartment, No. 19 Rue de Tournon, on July 18, 1792. at uswarmemorials.org A small procession of servants, friends and loyal soldiers walked his body the four miles (6 km) for burial. He was buried in Paris at the Saint Louis Cemetery, which belonged to the French royal family. Four years later, France’s revolutionary government sold the property and the cemetery was forgotten. The area was later used as a garden, a place to dispose of dead animals and where gamblers bet on animal fights.
Posthumous return to the United States
In 1905, Jones’s remains were identified by U.S. Ambassador to France Gen. Horace Porter, who had searched for six years to track down the body using faulty copies of Jones’s burial record. Thanks to the kind donation of a French admirer, Pierrot Francois Simmoneau, who had donated over 460 francs, Jones’s body was preserved in alcohol and interred in a lead coffin "in the event that should the United States decide to claim his remains, they might more easily be identified." Porter knew what to look for in his search. With the aid of an old map of Paris, Porter’s team, which included anthropologist Louis Capitan, identified the site of the former St. Louis Cemetery for Alien Protestants. Sounding probes were used to search for lead coffins and five coffins were ultimately exhumed. The third, unearthed on April 7, 1905, was later identified by a meticulous post-mortem examination by Doctors Capitan and Georges Papillault as being that of Jones. The autopsy confirmed the original listing of cause of death. The face was later compared to a bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon. Jones’s body was ceremonially removed from interment in a Parisian charnel house and brought to the United States aboard the USS Brooklyn, escorted by three other cruisers. On approaching the American coastline, seven U.S. Navy battleships joined the procession escorting Jones’s body back to America. On April 24, 1906, Jones’s coffin was installed in Bancroft Hall at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, following a ceremony in Dahlgren Hall, presided over by President Theodore Roosevelt who gave a lengthy tributary speech.Roosevelt, Theodore (24 April 1906)- via theodore-roosevelt.com On January 26, 1913, the Captain’s remains were finally re-interred in a magnificent bronze and marble sarcophagus at the Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis. U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association