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
John Paul Jones House is located in the United States
John Paul Jones House
LocationPortsmouth, New Hampshire
Coordinates43°04′31″N 70°45′37″W / 43.075198°N 70.760334°W / 43.075198; -70.760334Coordinates: 43°04′31″N 70°45′37″W / 43.075198°N 70.760334°W / 43.075198; -70.760334
ArchitectCapt. Gregory Purcell
Architectural styleGeorgian
NRHP reference No.72000084
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 28, 1972[1]
Designated NHLNovember 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 surviving structure in the United States 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+12-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+12 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. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "John Paul Jones House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. 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. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help) and Accompanying 2 photos, exterior, from 1971. (805 KB)
  5. ^ Jones died in Paris in the house at 19 Rue de Tournon in 1792.

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