William Jones (statesman)

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William Jones
4th United States Secretary of the Navy
In office
January 19, 1813 – December 1, 1814
Preceded by Paul Hamilton
Succeeded by Benjamin Crowninshield
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1801 – March 3, 1803
Preceded by Robert Waln
Succeeded by District divided in seats
Personal details
Born 1760
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died (1831-09-06)September 6, 1831
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Democratic-Republican
Profession Politician, Merchant
Military service
Service/branch Continental Army
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War

William Jones (1760 – September 6, 1831) was an American politician.

Jones was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Apprenticed in a shipyard, during the American Revolutionary War, he saw combat in the battles of Trenton and Princeton and later served at sea. In the decades that followed the war, he was a successful merchant in Charleston, South Carolina, and in Philadelphia, he was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives in 1800 and was offered the office of Secretary of the Navy in 1801, but declined and remained in Congress to the end of his term in 1803.

With the War of 1812 raging, Jones became Secretary of the Navy in January 1813, his policies contributed greatly to American success on the Great Lakes and to a strategy of coastal defense and commerce raiding on the high seas. In late 1814, near the end of his term, he made recommendations on the reorganization of the Navy Department, these led to the establishment of the Board of Commissioners system which operated from 1815 until 1842.

During much of 1813 and into 1814, Jones also served as acting Secretary of the Treasury and in 1816 was appointed President of the Second Bank of the United States. He returned to commercial pursuits in 1819. Jones died in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The destroyer USS William Jones (DD-308) was named in his honor.


External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert Waln
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Joseph Clay, Michael Leib, and Jacob Richards
Government offices
Preceded by
Paul Hamilton
United States Secretary of the Navy
Succeeded by
Benjamin Williams Crowninshield
Business positions
Preceded by
bank established
President of the Second Bank of the United States
Succeeded by
Langdon Cheves