On Saturday, July 10, the Portsmouth Historical Society on the New Hampshire Heritage Museum Trail will host its annual John Paul Jones Birthday Party at the John Paul Jones House. Featuring free admission, the event takes place from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will include house tours, live entertainment , refreshments, and family-friendly activities.
An important ship captain in the American Revolution, Jones is considered the founder of the U.S. Navy, although he was largely overlooked in the 19th century. “It is incredible how our interest in him continues to grow over time,” said Emma Stratton, executive director of the Portsmouth Historical Society.
This interest is captured in a new exhibit at Portsmouth Historical Society, entitled ‘Captain, Celebrity, Cliché: The James C. and Judith R. Bradford Collection of John Paul Jones Memorabilia.’ A collection of some three hundred collectibles of diverse kinds related to Jones (1747–1792), individual objects date from the mid to late twentieth century, reflecting years of collecting such material by the donors.
“Dr. James Bradford is a distinguished naval historian who has edited the papers of Jones and collected various examples of Jones’s popularity in modern culture,” explained Stratton. “We are thrilled to host this exhibit.”
Much of the Bradford Collection will be on view this summer at the John Paul Jones House, where the naval hero purportedly rented a room during his visits to Portsmouth in 1777 and 1781.
Founded in 1917, Portsmouth Historical Society is devoted to championing the history, arts, and culture of the Portsmouth region through acquisitions, preservation, museum exhibitions, programs, and publications. To learn more about the Portsmouth Historical Society, visit portsmouthhistory.org.