Jones, Thomas ap Catesby

Jones, Thomas ap Catesby,

1789–1858, American naval officer, b. Westmoreland co., Va. He joined the navy in 1805 and helped suppress piracy and the slave trade in the Gulf of Mexico (1808–12). In the War of 1812 he made a desperate and unsuccessful effort to halt the fleet carrying the British army to New Orleans from crossing Lake Borgne (1814). In 1826 he made a visit to Hawaii that increased U.S. prestige in those islands. In 1842, acting upon a rumor that the United States and Mexico were at war, he captured Monterey, Calif. For this action he was removed from command but not otherwise censured. He served as Herman MelvilleMelville, Herman,
1819–91, American author, b. New York City, considered one of the great American writers and a major figure in world literature. Early Life and Works
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's model for "Commodore J" in his novel White Jacket.
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Jones, Thomas Ap Catesby

(1790–1858) naval officer; born in Westmoreland County, Va. His naval career (1805–50) included service in the War of 1812 and the drawing up of a treaty with King Kamehameha III of the Sandwich (now Hawaiian) islands in 1826. He was temporarily relieved of his command after he seized Monterey, Calif., in 1842 before formal hostilities had begun between the U.S.A. and Mexico. He served in the Mexican War, but was court-martialed in 1850 for the misuse of funds.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.