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Paul Weiss Papers, 1905-1937 (bulk 1905-1907): Finding Aid

Published in November 2009

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
    https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/index.php
  • Call number: MS 385
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Paul Weiss Papers
  • Dates: 1905-1937
  • Bulk Dates: 1905-1907
  • Size: 61 items (2 manuscript boxes, 1 flat box, 1 flat file)
  • Creator: Weiss, Paul, 1867-1945
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Paul Weiss was the engineer of mines, inspector of quarries for the department of the Seine in 1905 and supervised the excavations at the former cemetery for foreign Protestants in Paris where the remains of John Paul Jones were found.

Biography of Paul Weiss

Paul Louis Weiss, a Commander of the Legion of Honor, was born in Strasbourg, France on February 5, 1867. He graduated from the École Polytechnique and the École des Mines de Paris (School of Mining). He was a member of the Corps of Mines. In 1905, as the Engineer of Mines, Inspector of Quarries for the Department of the Seine, he played an instrumental role in the recovery of the remains of John Paul Jones. He was the Inspector General of Mines for France from 1911 to 1916.

After World War I, Weiss left the ministry to become director of the Compagnie Industrielle des Travaux et Entreprises Électriques. He was the consulting engineer to the Compagnie des Mines de Vicoigne, Noeux et Drocourt from 1919 to 1930 and then president of the Compagnie Française des Essences Synthétiques, which built a factory to convert coal into gasoline. He died in Paris on December 25, 1945.

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Description of Contents

The collection consists mostly of material related to the recovery of John Paul Jones' body in 1905. Weiss oversaw the excavations at the former cemetery for foreign Protestants in Paris where research indicated Jones' remains were interred. Included in the collection are calling cards with brief notes to Weiss from General Horace Porter, American Ambassador to France. It was Porter who, in 1899, began the quest to find Jones' body and bring it back to the United States.

Items of interest include Weiss' plan of the site of the Saint Louis cemetery; three photographs of the body taken on April 11, 1905, two days after the autopsy; two invitations to the memorial service in Paris; the published proceedings of the Commission du Vieux Paris regarding the discovery and identification of the remains; and a program from the commemoration exercises for Jones held at the Naval Academy on April 24, 1906.

The collection also contains a set of photo post cards of the ceremonies in Paris to mark the transfer of Jones' body to the United States. There is an American and a European edition of the Century Magazine from October 1905, containing General Porter's article entitled "The Recovery of the Body of John Paul Jones." A set of thirteen photographs, some of which accompanied General Porter's article, record the excavation site and the activities there. From a French publication is an offprint of an article on the Protestant cemetery and the discovery of John Paul Jones' remains. There is also a copy of John Paul Jones Commemoration at Annapolis April 24, 1906 (Washington: GPO, 1907); General Porter's calling card is pinned to the front free endpaper of this volume.

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Arrangement

The Paul Weiss Papers are arranged by document type.

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Access and Use

Access

Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Paul Weiss Papers are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of Madame Jacques Bursaux in October 1974.

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Related Materials

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

The Weiss Papers have been digitized in their entirety. In addition to following the links in the Container List below, the materials can be accessed through the Nimitz Library Digital Collections at http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15241coll9

Related Archival Material

Additional materials pertaining to the search and recovery of John Paul Jones' remains can be found in the Horace Porter Papers (http://lccn.loc.gov/mm79036608)at the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Paul Weiss Papers, MS 385

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jennifer A. Bryan in November 2009. Finding aid written by Jennifer A. Bryan in November 2009.

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Subject Headings

These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Name and Subject Terms

  • Jones, John Paul, 1747-1792
  • Weiss, Paul, 1867-1945

Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Correspondence and Ephemera, 1905-1906, 1937

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/43

Box 1 Folder 2

Photo Post Cards, 1905

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/0

Box 2 Folder 1

Century Magazine, American edition, 1905 October

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/96

Box 2 Folder 2

Century Magazine, European edition, 1905 October

Box 2 Folder 3

Proceedings of the Commission du Vieux Paris, 1906

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/11

Box 2 Folder 4

John Paul Jones Commemoration at Annapolis April 24, 1906 (Washington: GPO, 1907), 1907

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/9

Box 3[OS] Folder 1

Photograph - Head of John Paul Jones, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/103

Box 3[OS] Folder 2

Photograph - Body of John Paul Jones [Upper Torso], undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/104

Box 3[OS] Folder 3

Photograph - Body of John Paul Jones, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/105

Box 3[OS] Folder 4

Photograph - Scene of the Search for the Body of John Paul Jones in the Rue Grange-Aux-Belles (1 of 3), undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/100

Box 3[OS] Folder 5

Photograph - Scene of the Search for the Body of John Paul Jones in the Rue Grange-Aux-Belles (2 of 3), undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/101

Box 3[OS] Folder 6

Photograph - Scene of the Search for the Body of John Paul Jones in the Rue Grange-Aux-Belles (3 of 3), undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/102

Box 3[OS] Folder 7

Photograph - View of the Yard over the buried St. Louis Cemetery (1 of 5), undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/106

Box 3[OS] Folder 8

Photograph - View of the Yard over the buried St. Louis Cemetery (2 of 5), undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/107

Box 3[OS] Folder 9

Photograph - View of the Yard over the buried St. Louis Cemetery (3 of 5), undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/108

Box 3[OS] Folder 10

Photograph - View of the Yard over the buried St. Louis Cemetery (4 of 5), undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/109

Box 3[OS] Folder 11

Photograph - View of the Yard over the buried St. Louis Cemetery (5 of 5), undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/110

Box 3[OS] Folder 12

Photograph - The First Shaft, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/111

Box 3[OS] Folder 13

Photograph - Refilling the Galleries and Restoring Property, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/112

Box 3[OS] Folder 14

Photograph - Excavated Area, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/113

Box 3[OS] Folder 15

Photograph - The Workman Holds the Point of his Pick Over the Spot Where he had Struck the Lead Coffin, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/99

Box 3[OS] Folder 16

Photograph - Lead Coffin Containing the Body of John Paul Jones, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/114

Box MSOS Folder 1

Plan of site of Saint Louis Cemetery, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm15241.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15241coll9/id/98

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