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This Day In U.S. History November 2, 1777 – John Paul Jones sets sail to take the American Revolution to Britain

 

Captain John Paul Jones hailing HMS Serapis during the action from the deck of the frigate Bonhomme Richard, 23 September 1779. Artwork by Paul Moran.

Captain John Paul Jones hailing HMS Serapis during the action from the deck of the frigate Bonhomme Richard, 23 September 1779. Artwork by Paul Moran.

 

On This Day In U.S. History, November 2, 1777 – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Revolutionary War: The USS Ranger, under the command of John Paul Jones, leaves Portsmouth, New Hampshire for France.

Source “The American Revolution Day By Day – Lighting Freedom’s Flame”

 

 

Surrender, HELL, I have not yet begun to fight!”

–John Paul Jones during battle to the British captain of the HMS Serapis

 

 

John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones

 

John Paul was born at Arbigland, Kirkbean, Kirkcudbright, Scotland, 6 July 1747. Apprenticed to a merchant at age 13, he went to sea in the brig Friendship to learn the art of seamanship. At 21, he received his first command, the brig John.

After several successful years as a merchant skipper in the West Indies trade, John Paul emigrated to the British colonies in North America and there added “Jones” to his name. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Jones was in Virginia. He cast his lot with the rebels, and on 7 December 1775, he was commissioned first lieutenant in the Continental Navy, serving aboard Esek Hopkins’ flagship Alfred.

As First Lieutenant in Alfred, he was the first to hoist the Grand Union flag on a Continental warship. On 1 November 1777, he commanded the Ranger, sailing for France. Sailing into Quiberon Bay, France, 14 February 1778, Jones and Admiral La Motte Piquet changed gun salutes — the first time that the Stars and Stripes, the flag of the new nation, was officially recognized by a foreign government.

Early in 1779, the French King gave Jones an ancient East Indiaman Duc de Duras, which Jones refitted, repaired, and renamed Bon Homme Richard as a compliment to his patron Benjamin Franklin. Commanding four other ships and two French privateers, he sailed 14 August 1779 to raid English shipping.

 

September 23, 1779 the 50-gun HMS Serapis engaged the Bonhomme Richard in the North Sea off Flamborough Head, England.  Skippered by Captain John Paul Jones of the Continental Navy, the Bonhomme Richard was devastated inPortrait Captain John Paul Jonesthe initial broadside between the two ships, losing much of her firepower and many of her gunners.  Captain Richard Pearson, commander of the Serapis, called out to Jones, asking if he surrendered.  Jones’ famous reply: ” I have not yet begun to fight!”

September 23, 1779 the 50-gun HMS Serapis engaged the Bonhomme Richard in the North Sea off Flamborough Head, England. Skippered by Captain John Paul Jones of the Continental Navy, the Bonhomme Richard was devastated inPortrait Captain John Paul Jonesthe initial broadside between the two ships, losing much of her firepower and many of her gunners. Captain Richard Pearson, commander of the Serapis, called out to Jones, asking if he surrendered. Jones’ famous reply: ”
I have not yet begun to fight!”

 

On 23 September 1779, his ship engaged the HMS Serapis in the North Sea off Famborough Head, England. Richard was blasted in the initial broadside the two ships exchanged, losing much of her firepower and many of her gunners. Captain Richard Pearson, commanding Serapis, called out to Jones, asking if he surrendered. Jones’ reply: “I have not yet begun to fight!”

It was a bloody battle with the two ship literally locked in combat. Sharpshooting Marines and seamen in Richard’s tops raked Serapis with gunfire, clearing the weather decks. Jones and his crew tenaciously fought on , even though their ship was sinking beneath them. Finally, Capt. Pearson tore down his colors and Serapis surrendered.

Bon Homme Richard sunk the next day and Jones was forced to transfer to Serapis.

After the American Revolution, Jones served as a Rear Admiral in the service of Empress Catherine of Russia, but returned to Paris in 1790. He died in Paris at the age of 45 on 18 July 1792. He was buried in St. Louis Cemetery, which belonged to the French royal family. Four years later, France’s revolutionary government sold the property and the cemetery was forgotten.

In 1845, Col. John H. Sherburne began a campaign to return Jones’ remains to the United States. He wrote Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft and requested the body be brought home aboard a ship of the Mediterrean Squadron. Six years later, preliminary arrangements were made, but the plans fell through when several of Jones’ Scottish relatives objected. Had they not, another problem would have arisen. Jones was in an unmarked grave and no one knew exactly where that was.

American Ambassador Horace Porter began a systematic search for it in 1899. The burial place and Jones’ body was discovered in April 1905. President Theodore Roosevelt sent four cruisers to bring it back to the U.S., and these ships were escorted up the Chesapeake Bay by seven battleships.

 

john paul jones bust

 

On 26 January 1913, the remains of John Paul Jones were laid to rest in the crypt of the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Md. Today, a Marine honor guard stands duty whenever the crypt is open to the public. Public visiting hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

Source: John Paul Jones – A founder of the U.S. Navy

 

Hidden below the Naval Academy Chapel is the final resting place for John Paul Jones (July 6, 1747 – July 18, 1792)

Hidden below the Naval Academy Chapel is the final resting place for John Paul Jones (July 6, 1747 – July 18, 1792)

 
 

Timeline of the American Revolution – From the French-Indian War 1754-1763 to the Signing of The U.S. Constitution 1788.

 

America remember and honor your history – it will give direction, purpose and security to your future.


 
 
 
 
 

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