The admiral died on the afternoon of 18 July 1792, anticipating one last commission to challenge his legendary skills as seaman and warrior. Less than two weeks after his 45th birthday, John Paul Jones was found in his Paris apartment lying facedown on the bed, his feet on the floor. Although not a religious man, the position of the body led to speculation that he was attempting to kneel as he took his last breath.
Given his Scottish Calvinist upbringing and the unwillingness of American officials to take responsibility, he was buried in a Protestant cemetery on the outskirts of the French capital. It would be 113 years before Jones would return to America and receive the honors and recognition he so craved during the last years of his life. The effort to find and return his remains is a story of dedication and unrelenting persistence by the American ambassador to France, Horace Porter.