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Captain Jesse Wilkinson

Cedar Grove Cemetery
2nd Alley West, Lot 18
(1790 – 1861)

Jesse Wilkinson was a naval officer who was born in Virginia in 1790. He entered the navy as a midshipman on July 4, 1805, and was commissioned as a lieutenant on April 10, 1810. During the war of 1812 he commanded the schooner Hornet, which was used as a dispatch vessel on the Potomac River from 1813 to 1815. He served at the Norfolk navy yard from 1816 to 1818 and again from 1820 to 1821.  During the time between his tenures as naval yard commander, Captain Wilkinson commanded the Hornet and was on coast survey duty. He was promoted to master-commandant on April 18, 1818 and commanded the brig "Spark," of Commander David Porter's flotilla, for the suppression of piracy in the West Indies from 1822 to 1823.  Captain Wilkinson served at the Norfolk navy yard from 1824 to 1825 and at Boston in 1826. He was the captain of the John Adams in the West Indies again “to protect the commerce of the United States and to punish the crime of piracy” from 1827 to 1828.  Although Wilkinson was fined “upwards of $13,000” in damages as a result of the United States v. Ninfa Catalana, he was promoted to captain on March 11, 1829.*  He again served as navy yard commander at Norfolk from 1829 to 1833. He commanded the frigate United States, of the Mediterranean squadron from 1835 to 1840 and the West India squadron aboard the flagship Macedonian, from 1840 to 1842.  Captain Wikinson once again served as commandant of the Norfolk navy yard from 1843 to 1847. From 1848 to 1849 he joined the West India squadron as captain of the flagship Raritan. After this he served on boards and courts martial until his death.  He died in Norfolk, VA on May 23, 1861. **  Captain Jesse Wilkinson was married to Fannie Coleman and their oldest son, John, born in Norfolk in 1821, was the captain of the famous blockade runner Whisper during the Civil War and also had a notable navy career.***

***History of the Confederate States Navy from Its Organization to the Surrender of Its Last        Vessel by J. Thomas Scharf, A.M., LL.D., 1894.

Biographical information provided by Norfolk Bureau of Cemeteries.

Visitor Information

Visitor Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Office hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Free parking inside cemetery.

Admission Cost: Free

Address: 238 E. Princess Anne Road, Norfolk, VA 23510

Official web site for more information: www.norfolk.gov/cemeteries

Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation Web Site: www.norfolksocietyforcemeteryconservation.org