Admiral John Paul Jones
Human Mummy
John Paul Jones by Charles Wilson Peale, c1781.jpg
Biographical Information
Name(s) Admiral John Paul Jones
Age 45
Sex Male
Status middle
Culture Western
Date(s) 1747-1792
Site Remains found in the Saint Louis Cemetary
Current Location
Location U.S Navel Academy
Catalog #

Admiral John Paul Jones fought valiantly during the American Revolution. He died in Paris at the age of 45. A friend arranged for his funeral and provided for a lead coffin. Jones was buried in St. Louis Cemetery, the property of the French royal family. Four years later France's revolutionary government sold the property and the cemetery was forgotten.Over a century later, a search began to find the body for the purpose of returning his remains to the United States. The American Ambassador to France, General Horace Porter, personally led the research to relocate the forgotten cemetery, provided the funds to excavate the casket and coordinated the efforts to repatriate the mortal remains of the American naval hero.


The corpse was placed in a solid lead coffin; then the carefully packed with hay and straw, then everything was immersed in alcohol or an alcoholic mixture and the lid soldered, the corpse had been covered with tin foil,carefully applied, where it was found by the doctors in 1905.


The body was preserved enough to lend itself to autopsy in 1905 when recovered.


The viscera were much contracted, but very well preserved. The heart was absolutely normal and still flexible. The gall bladder was healthy, the spleen appeared enlarged, the lungs showed lesions which correspond to suspected broncho-pneumonia.


He had apparently died from nephritis, a kidney ailment, which was complicated by pneumonia.


The return of a Revolutionary mummy. (2017). Strange Remains. Retrieved 18 March 2017, from

Aufderheide, A. C. (2003). The scientific study of mummies. Cambridge University Press.

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