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FTER very long researches, General Porter, believing he had found

the remains of Admiral John Paul Jones, had them conveyed to

the faculty of medicine, where a first examination was made on April 9, 1905. There were present: Colonel Bailly-Blanchard, secretary of the embassy of the United States; M. Weiss, engineer of mines; Doctor Capitan, professor of the School of Anthropology, member of the Commission of Old Paris; Doctor Papillault, the undersigned, assistant director of the laboratory of anthropology at the École des Hautes Études, professor in the School of Anthropology at Paris.

The body was laid out at full length in a leaden coffin. Some hay and straw were packed in all the interstices in such a manner as to render the corpse completely immovable in its coffin, as though it were destined to be subsequently transported a long distance. A special odor led one to suppose that the body was immersed in alcohol. It was wrapped in a sheet torn at the two extremities to reduce it to the size of the body.

Ti subject was of the masculine sex. It was not clothed and bore no insignia, neither arms nor jewelry, which is easily explained if the foregoing hypothesis is admitted that the body, destined to be transported, had been carefully packed so as to render it immovable, but one could not think of dressing it and packing it afterwards with straw. It is probable that arms and clothing were to have been put on him later on.

A fine shirt, neatly made, constituted his sole garment. The back was closely stuck to the winding sheet with matter from the body and perhaps from substances employed in the embalming.

The hair was gathered into a cap of coarse linen. It had been combed with care, in the fashion of the times, from the forehead toward the back, curled in rolls over the ears. At the back it was brought together in one mass, slightly twisted and falling naturally. Its length was remarkable; it attained 75 to 80 centimeters.

The beard was shaven, leaving only a few days' growth.

The body was perfectly preserved. The skin was tanned; all the soft parts were mummified, but were not yet completely dried. tissues presented a certain elasticity on being pressed.

The subject was laid on its back, the head turned to the right. The nose was pressed down in its cartilaginous parts. The hands were folded across the abdomen. The feet were forcibly extended.

After the first examination the removal of the body was proceeded with. After having cut the coffin at its two extremities researches were immediately commenced to identify the subject.


Documents of various kinds placed at our disposal and capable of being utilized:

1. Historical documents upon the probable place of burial which General Porter followed with so much sagacity.

2. Documents concerning the disease of which John Paul Jones died and which my eminent colleague, Doctor Capitan, utilized in his researches with his well-known ability.

3. Documents concerning the physical characteristics of the Admiral and which came from two entirely different sources:

(a) Certain details related in memoirs of the time, which Colonel Bailly-Blanchard was good enough to communicate to me;

(6) Two busts attributed to Houdon. I will review them successively and compare them with the characteristics which could be discerned upon the body.

A. WRITTEN DOCUMENTS 1. Jones was about 45 years


when he died. The features could furnish no information. The beard is strong, and appeared to belong to a man who had passed his youth. The hair, well washed, showed a few white hairs; the subject had thus evidently attained maturity. The state of his incisor teeth confirmed this approximation.

2. Jones was of a dark complexion.

The hair of the subject was dark. The hair on the body was somewhat more red, as the case generally is, but belonged to a dark subject.

3. Stature was 1.70 meters.

It is probable that this is an approximative measure, and it is, besides, known that the stature varies more than a centimeter according to very diverse circumstances in the same day.

The long sickness which carried off Paul Jones undoubtedly caused a settling down and diminished his stature. The bottom of his coffin not being absolutely flat, his stature on this account underwent a further slight diminution.

On the other hand, his stature of 1.70 meters was surely taken standing. Now the corpse was lying, and its length increases in this position an average of 1 to 2 centimeters.

Finally, the feet being forcibly extended, I had to take the distance comprised between the vertex and the inner ankle bone and add 8 centi

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