John Paul Jones House

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John Paul Jones House
Portsmouth, NH - John Paul Jones House.JPG
John Paul Jones House is located in New Hampshire
John Paul Jones House
Location Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Coordinates 43°4′31″N 70°45′39″W / 43.07528°N 70.76083°W / 43.07528; -70.76083Coordinates: 43°4′31″N 70°45′39″W / 43.07528°N 70.76083°W / 43.07528; -70.76083
Built 1758
Architect Capt. Gregory Purcell
Architectural style Georgian
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 72000084
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 28, 1972[1]
Designated NHL November 28, 1972[2]

The John Paul Jones House is a historic house at 43 Middle Street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Now a historic house museum and a National Historic Landmark, it is most significant as the only known structure associated with American Revolutionary War naval hero John Paul Jones, who was resident here in 1781-82 when it was operated as a boarding house.


The 2-1/2 story wood frame house was built in 1758 by the master housewright Hopestill Cheswell, a successful African-American builder in the city.[3] The house was built for Captain Gregory Purcell, who owned it with his wife Sarah until his death in 1776.[4]

After Purcell's death his wife took in boarders, until her own death in 1783.. The American naval hero John Paul Jones rented a room at the widow Purcell's during 1781-1782, while supervising construction of the ship America.[4][5]

The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1972.[2][4]


The house is 2-1/2 stories high, with a gambrel roof, and two chimneys projecting from the interior. A two-story addition to the northeast was added in the early 19th century. The five-bay main facade has a central entry topped by a segmented arch pediment, supported by flanking pilasters. The first floor windows of the main facade are topped by triangular pediments. The interior of the house follows a typical Georgian center-hall plan, with rooms flanking a central hall with stairs. To the left of the hall are a parlor in front, and a counting room or office in the rear, while to the right is a large dining room with what was originally the kitchen behind. Upstairs there are four bedrooms; that of Jones was in the southeast corner. The third floor has five bedrooms.[4]

The downstairs rooms now contain museum exhibits, and the dining room has been decorated to early 19th-century taste. The house has belonged to the Portsmouth Historical Society since 1919, and is open to the public.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b "John Paul Jones House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  3. ^ Mark J. Sammons and Valerie Cunningham, Black Portsmouth: Three Centuries of African-American Heritage, (2004), pp. 32-33, accessed 27 July 2009
  4. ^ a b c d e Charles W. Snell (February 14, 1972). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: John Paul Jones House / Purcell-Jones-Langdon House" (PDF). National Park Service.  and Accompanying 2 photos, exterior, from 1971. PDF (805 KB)
  5. ^ Jones died in Paris in the house at 19 Rue de Tournon in 1792.

External links[edit]