Thomas ap Catesby Jones
(1790‚Äď1858) was a U.S. Navy officer
during the War of 1812
and the Mexican-American War
born in Westmoreland County, Virginia.
(Note: "ap" is a Welsh indication for "son of". Thomas ap Catesby
Jones is Thomas, son of Catesby Jones.)
War of 1812
Catesby Jones began his naval career during the War of 1812,
receiving honors for bravery at the Battle of Lake Borgne, Louisiana, delaying the British before the Battle of New
he signed a treaty with King Kamehameha III of the Sandwich Islands.
Jones was the origional commander of the
, but he resigned before it could be
launched in 1838. Commodore
commanded the United States Pacific
from 1841 to 1844 and again from 1848 to 1850.
mistakenly thinking that war had begun between the United States
and Mexico, he seized
Monterey, California for one day before returning control.
1843, Jones returned a young deserter, Herman Melville
, from the Sandwich Islands
to the United States. Later, Melville modeled "Commodore J" in
and the commodore in
after Jones. As
Jones had a ship severely damaged in an attack by a whale in 1827,
may have been partially inspired by stories told
Jones arrived in Mazatl√°n just at the
end of the Mexican-American
War, maintaining order until he could transport those who had
aided the United States in that war to Monterey.
For the next two years, during the chaotic Gold Rush
days, Jones provided a U.S.
presence in the San
Francisco area while
the United States debated what to do with the newly acquired
In 1850, in a politically-charged court-martial
was published, Jones was found guilty on
three counts mostly related to "oppression" of junior officers and
relieved of command for two and a half years. In 1853, President
reinstated him and
in 1858, the United States
restored his pay.
- Gene A. Smith, Thomas ap Catesby Jones, Commodore of
Manifest Destiny (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2000)