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Thomas ap Catesby Jones

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 Melville's model for "Commodore J" in his novel White Jacket.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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