• John Paul Jones was born in Scotland in 1747. His career as a sailor began when he was 13 and apprenticed to a ship owner. At 21, Jones took control of the ship he was on after the captain and first mate died. He continued to be a successful ship captain until 1773, when he killed one of his men during a mutiny. He then fled to America and, in 1775, volunteered to serve in the Navy during the Revolutionary War.


    Jones became the commander of the Providence, a boat with 21 guns, in 1776. With the Providence, he captured 16 British ships.

    Attack on Whitehaven

    Later, as captain of the Ranger, Jones decided to attack Whitehaven, a town on the English coast. He had planned to capture someone to use as leverage in freeing American prisoners.

    Showed Navy's Strengrh

    Although Jones was not successful in the attack on Whitehaven, the fact that his ship was able to reach England was enough to show Britain that the American Navy was a powerful force.

    Bonhomme Richard

    In 1779, Jones was in command of a fleet that included five ships. The fleet's lead ship was the Bonhomme Richard, which had 40 guns.

    Attack of September 23

    Jones gained worldwide fame for the defeat of two British ships, the Serapis and the Countess of Scarborough on September 23, 1779.


    National Park Service: John Paul Jones (1747-1792)

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