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January/February 2014

The 15th Continental Congress in 1906 received a special invitation from Secretary of the Navy Charles Bonaparte, former United States Ambassador to France General Horace Porter and Maryland Governor Edwin Warfield. President General Emily R. McLean announced with great pleasure that an invitation was extended to every member attending Continental Congress to be present at the ceremonies related to the final interment of John Paul Jones at Annapolis, Md. The American naval hero was to be placed in “his rightful tomb,” after Ambassador Porter located and identified his remains, which had been buried in Paris in an unmarked coffin. Jones’ remains traveled to the United States aboard the cruiser Brooklyn, “draped in colors lovingly presented by the Daughters of the American Revolution, through their honored chief, Mrs. Donald McLean,” according to the August 1905 issue of American Monthly Magazine.

Mrs. McLean remarked, “This invitation I consider a great honor to this Congress, not only because we should all wish to be present at such an historic occasion, but because it is an unusual courtesy shown to us …”

Every member of Congress who wished to attend was given a card entitling her to a seat. Mrs. McLean also asked the official reader to inform the Congress regarding the arrangements for travelling to Annapolis.

The Maryland Line Chapter, Baltimore, Md., chartered a steamer to go to the ceremonies, held April 24, 1906. The steamer waited for the special train made available to transport the ladies from Washington, D.C. Round-trip tickets were $2 each, a fare that included “a substantial luncheon.” This train left on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and arrived at Camden Station in Baltimore. Daughters walked the block from the train to the steamer. They were informed that the train they would be riding on would immediately follow the special train carrying President Theodore Roosevelt and his party. The Daughters’ steamer was granted permission to land at the Naval Academy Wharf in Annapolis. After the festivities, members returned to Washington, D.C., arriving about 7:30 p.m.