The National Mall in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
John Paul Jones Memorial
National Mall & Memorial Parks, Washington, D.C.
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
"Every officer in our navy should know by heart the deeds of John Paul Jones,"
President Theodore Roosevelt.
The American Revolution
A bold captain—fearless even when facing the superior British Royal Navy—John Paul Jones ensured his place in American memory.
John Paul Jones
Jones, a recent Scottish immigrant, readily accepted an appointment in the new Continental Navy following the start of the American Revolution. He captained several ships during the war and became a celebrated hero. Jones' voyage to fame became a familiar story to immigrants who succeeded through personal achievement instead of inherited right of birth.
In 1779 while captaining the Bonhomme Richard, Jones captured the H.M.S. Serapis during a spectacular and bloody engagement fought within view of the British shore. Dubbed "the pirate, Paul Jones," Jones's exploits reminded British citizens they were not immune from the effects of war. Perhaps Jones' greatest contribution toward American independence was that he became a hero
On April 17, 1912, President William Howard Taft dedicated this memorial. Jones is depicted standing defiantly upon the deck of the Bonhomme Richard during battle and is surrounded by nautical symbols and fountains. Jones' memorial honors someone who exemplified bravery, heroism, and devotion to duty in the face of overwhelming odds.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker memorial is listed in these topic lists: Patriots & Patriotism • War, US Revolutionary • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 38° 53.31′ N, 77° 2.354′ W. Marker is in The National Mall in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is at the intersection of 17th Street Southwest and Independence Avenue Southwest, on the right when traveling north on 17th Street Southwest. Marker is accessible to pedestrians from the sidewalk at the intersection, on the northeast corner, off the transition lane from Independence Avenue to 17th Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20006, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named John Paul Jones Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Washington Monument (within World War II Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Monumental Legacy (about 700 feet away); Keeping the Cherry Trees Healthy (about 800 feet away); Lighting the Way (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Symbol of International Friendship (approx. 0.2 miles away); The 1912 Cherry Tree Plantings (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in The National Mall.
More about this memorial. The marker's background painting is a depiction of "Action Between the Serapis and Bonhomme Richard" by Richard Paton, published 1780.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 8, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,505 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 8, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 1, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.