The Sword of [John] Paul Jones: Now in Navy Department Library After Changing Hands Many Times

Washington, Dec. 27 [1906].- The sword of John Paul Jones now rests in the library of the Navy Department, where it has been placed by Commander Reginald Nicholson. It is believed that the weapon originally was given to Jones by the North Carolina family of that name at the time he changed his own name in compliment to them.

The sword was given by Jones to Theodosia Burr, daughter of Aaron Burr. Theodosia Burr, after marrying Joseph Alston, a young planter of South Carolina, who afterward became Governor of the State, presented the sword to Judge Matthew Davis of Charleston, who gave it to Rev. Dr. Ducachet of Philadelphia. He gave it to Commodore Summerville Nicholson, and the Commodore gave it to its present owner, Commander Nicholson.

The sword is thirty inches long, beautiful in design, very strong, highly tempered and still very mild. The hilt is of brass, with the part known technically as the basket broken away. The tang is wide and strong, and the grip piece of the handle is of wood covered with twisted copper wire.


Source: “The Sword of [John] Paul Jones: Now in Navy Department Library After Changing Hands Many Times.” New York Times (28 December 1906): page 4.

Note: The John Paul Jones sword mentioned above is now in the collection of the United States Naval Academy Museum, and is on display in the John Paul Jones Crypt in the United States Naval Academy Chapel.