Summary

The Scottish-born John Paul Jones was one of America's first naval heroes. He fought in the Revolutionary War and famously uttered the lines ""I have not yet begun to fight!" during a battle with the HMS Serapis.

Conflict Period:
Revolutionary War 1
Branch:
Navy 1
Rank:
Captain 2
Birth:
06 Jul 1747 3
Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland 3
Death:
18 Jul 1792 4
Paris, France 5
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
John Paul Jones 1
Also known as:
John Paul 1
Birth:
06 Jul 1747 2
Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland 2
Male 2
Death:
18 Jul 1792 3
Paris, France 3
Cause: interstitial nephritis 3
Physical Description:
Height: 5'6" 4
Eye Color: Hazel 4
Hair Color: Light brown 4
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Birth:
Mother: Jean Duff 2
Father: John Paul 2
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Revolutionary War 1

Branch:
Navy 1
Rank:
Captain 2
Battles:
Battle of Nassau, Battle of Block Island, Action of 24 April 1778, Battle of Flamborough Head 2

Other Service 2

Branch:
Navy 2
Rank:
Captain 2
Service Start Date:
1775 2
Service End Date:
1788 2
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Employment:
Employer: Russian Navy 1
Place: St. Petersburg, Russia 1
Start Date: 1788 1
Rank: Rear admiral 2
Employment:
Employer: Continental Navy 2
Start Date: 1775 2
End Date: 1788 1
Battle of Block Island:
06 Apr 1776 2
Battle of Block Island:
Block Island, Rhode Island 2
Battle of Flamborough Head:
23 Sep 1779 2
Battle of Flamborough Head:
North Sea 2
Battle of Nassau:
Nassau, Bahamas 2
Battle of Nassau:
31 Dec 1969 2
North Channel Naval Duel:
24 Apr 1778 2
North Channel Naval Duel:
Irish Sea 2
Appointed 1st Lieutenant in Continental Navy:
07 Dec 1775 5
Apprenticed and first goes to sea:
1759 5
Moves to United States:
1773 5

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Stories

Battle of Flamborough Head

"Jones’s ship, the Bonhomme Richard, and two other ships had been sailing in the North Sea, looking for British ships to raid, when they came upon a large merchant convoy protected by two British ships. While the convoy escaped, the British ships began to fight, and one of them, the Serapis, ended up fighting one-on-one with the Bonhomme Richard.

The two ships began firing broadsides at each other, but on the second round, two of Jones’s heaviest guns exploded, killing their gun crews and decreasing the ship’s firepower. After fighting a losing battle for a while, Jones tried to grapple the Serapis but failed, so the Serapis tried to rake the Bonhomme Richard but ended up getting its rigging tangled with the other ship’s bowsprit. When the captain of the Serapis called over to ask Jones if he was ready to surrender, Jones replied, “I have not yet begun to fight!”

After the ships got untangled, Bonhomme Richard tried to rake the Serapis, but the two ships only got tangled again, and soon they were stuck floating side by side. The Serapis began firing right into the Bonhomme Richard’s hull, and it looked like the battle would soon be over for Jones.

But with the two ships in such close quarters, Jones ordered his men in the rigging to begin shooting the sailors on the Serapis’s deck. According to the most common version of the story, one of Jones’s men managed to drop a grenade down a hatch to the lower deck of the Serapis, causing some improperly stored powder to explode and putting most of the lower gun deck out of commission. Realizing that his ship couldn’t escape (due to a heavily damaged mainmast), let alone fight any more, the captain of the Serapis surrendered."

(source: http://spotlights.fold3.com/2013/06/24/the-battle-of-flamborough-head/)

Jones' Death

Paris, France

After serving in the US Navy during the American Revolution, John Paul Jones served as a rear admiral for the Russians for a while before retiring to Paris. He died there on 18 July 1792 of interstitial nephritis (a kind of inflammation of the kidneys) at age 45. A Frenchman, Pierrot Francois Simmoneau, paid to have Jones’s body preserved in alcohol in case the Americans wanted his remains. Jones was buried in a Paris cemetery and remained there for more than 100 years. In 1905, US Ambassador to France Horace Porter located Jones’s body, and after the identity was confirmed, the body was brought to the United States and placed in Bancroft Hall at the US Naval Academy. Then in 1913, his remains were moved again to their current resting place in the Naval Academy’s chapel.    

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