This Chinese made silver Tankard was presented to James Hemphill Jones by John B. Goodridge in Canton China during Commodore Matthew C. Perry's opening of China and Japan in 1853.
James Hemphill Jones was born in Wilmington, Delaware on May 6, 1821. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps on March 2nd, 1847. Second Lieutenant Jones served in Company B of the Marine Battalion under Captain John G. Reynolds during the Mexican War in 1847 and 1848. Lieutenant Jones was next assigned to the East India Squadron as commander of the Marines aboard the side-wheel, steam frigate USS Powhatan. The Powhatan arrived on station via Cape of Good Hope June 15, 1853. The Powhatan’s arrival in Chinese waters coincided with an important phase of Commodore Matthew C. Perry's negotiations for commercial relations with the Japanese and the opening of two Japanese ports. The Powhatan was Perry's flagship during his November visit to China. The USS Powhatan dispatched an officer of Marines with a complement of Marines with one of her boat howitzers to remain at Canton during her stay at Whamopa to protect American citizens. The officer was a guest at the home of American merchant John B. Goodridge. The Powhatan entered Edo (Tokyo) Bay February 14th 1854 with the rest of the East Indies Squadron. When Commodore Perry wished to make an impression upon the Japanese, he paraded the Powhatan’s Marines commanded by First Lieutenant James Hemphill Jones through the streets of Edo. The Convention of Kanagawa was signed on March 31, 1854. On March 19, 1855 Marines were landed in Canton to protect U.S. citizens from piracy. First Lieutenant James Hemphill Jones and 41 men from the USS Powhatan went ashore and remained there for two days. In July 1855, Chinese pirates in the Hong Kong area captured four British owned merchant ships. In response, on August 4th 1855, armed boats from the East India Squadron’s frigate USS Powhatan, the seamen and Marines commanded by First Lieutenant James Hemphill Jones, and the Royal Navy sloop-of-war HMS Rattler attacked the pirates at Ty-ho Bay. HMS Eaglet towed the boats into position which then proceeded to destroy twenty of thirty-six junks. Seven merchant ships were also rescued. An estimated 500 pirates were killed or wounded and over 1,000 taken prisoner the allied loss was nine killed and twelve wounded. The USS Powhatan then assisted an Anglo and French attack by bombarding the Chinese Taku Forts. Captain James H. Jones commanded Co. B of United States Marines at the July 21st 1861 Battle of Bull Run (First Battle of Manassas) where he was lightly wounded by a spent ball which had killed one of his lieutenants. Captain James H. Jones died, after a brief illness on April 17, 1880.