Toward the close of 1779, the whole civilized world was startled by, what was then and has since remained, the most marvellous naval battle on record, the fight between the Bonhomme-Richard and the Serapis, when the infant navy of the United States won the circlet she has never ceased to wear. The following spring the victor, John Paul Jones, visited Paris, where he was acclaimed the hero and honors were showered upon him, the greatest of which were, as he has himself recorded.2
"Honours—by Louis XVI
The Order of Military Merit and a gold Sword. June 28, 1780."
This sword presented by the King of France to Paul Jones, was exhibited at the meeting of this society, held on the 6th of April, 1905, and in the published proceedings of the society for the years 1904, 1905,and 1906, just issued, the reappears at page 41, an illustration of the sword, accompanied by a note, which repeats the glaring errors, regarding the inheritance of the sword, that have been repeated so often, as at last to have be- come, in the minds of many, the true history. The note says: