Harper Attends U.s. Consulate In Edinburgh To Secure Future For John Paul Jones Museum

South of Scotland MSP Emma Harper has recently met with Susan Wilson, Principal Officer for the U.S. Consulate General in Edinburgh to discuss the future of the John Paul Jones Museum near Kirkbean.


The John Paul Jones Museum has re-opened for the season. However, it faces an uncertain future due to funding. Members of the John Paul Jones Trust have raised this issue with Emma previously and met to discuss their concerns. Ms Harper was keen to ensure that the Museum can run long term and not on a season by season basis. Therefore, a meeting was arranged at the US Consulate to discuss the future funding of the museum in greater detail.


Emma has liaised Alf Hannay, Chair of the John Paul Jones Trust and Trust Secretary, Rebecca Coggins who is Communities Directorate at Dumfries & Galloway Council as well as David Lockwood, Museums Director for Dumfries and Galloway Council, to learn more about the heritage of John Paul Jones. Emma had informed Mr Hannay and Ms Coggins ahead of the Consulate meeting that she was intending to speak with the Principle Officer of the US consulate to ask for support.


Ms Wilson told me that the founder of the American Navy was really important for US history and keeping this museum open, so that the rich history of the connection between Scots and Americans can be preserved for the next 200 years.


Commenting on the meeting, Ms Harper said:


“Ms Wilson welcomed me to the US Consulate and has agreed to help push the issue of supporting the birthplace of the father of the American Navy, by writing to her various contacts in the USA.
“Ms Wilson described that she would write to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), as well as US Navy and other influential people. Ms Wilson was aware that representatives of DAR had visited the museum previously as has she.
“We also spoke about the potential for internet crowd funding to raise capital for the future of the museum and Ms Wilson also intimated that she would like to visit the museum again this summer.

Further commenting Emma said:

“Jones has a famous quote which he stated while on his ship, HMS Serapis. When asked to surrender by the British captain, he said, “I have not yet begun to fight! So my response to the future of the museum is that I too have not yet begun to fight to save the museum.