William Jones (statesman)

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William Jones
William-Jones.jpg
4th United States Secretary of the Navy
In office
January 19, 1813 – December 1, 1814
Preceded by Paul Hamilton
Succeeded by Benjamin Crowninshield
Personal details
Born 1760
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died September 6, 1831(1831-09-06)
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Democratic-Republican
Profession Politician, Merchant
Military service
Service/branch Continental Army
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War

William Jones (1760 – September 6, 1831) was an American politician.

Jones was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Apprenticed in a shipyard, during the American War of Independence he saw combat in the battles of Trenton and Princeton and later served at sea. In the decades that followed the war, he was a successful merchant in Charleston, South Carolina, and in Philadelphia. He was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives in 1800 and was offered the office of Secretary of the Navy in 1801, but declined and remained in Congress to the end of his term in 1803.

With the War of 1812 raging, Jones became Secretary of the Navy in January 1813. His policies contributed greatly to American success on the Great Lakes and to a strategy of coastal defense and commerce raiding on the high seas. In late 1814, near the end of his term, he made recommendations on the reorganization of the Navy Department. These led to the establishment of the Board of Commissioners system which operated from 1815 until 1842.

During much of 1813 and into 1814, Jones also served as acting Secretary of the Treasury and in 1816 was appointed President of the Second Bank of the United States. He returned to commercial pursuits in 1819. Jones died in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The destroyer USS William Jones (DD-308) was named in his honor.

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United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert Waln
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 1st congressional district

1801 - 1803
Succeeded by
Joseph Clay, Michael Leib, and Jacob Richards
Government offices
Preceded by
Paul Hamilton
United States Secretary of the Navy
1813 – 1814
Succeeded by
Benjamin Williams Crowninshield