You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!

John Paul Jones - Summary

This is undergrad research I have done - but this is just the summary of his life!

The man who called himself John Paul Jones never expected to be the father of the American Navy, but his bold and daring missions earned him that title. He was a man determined to be more than who he was and he allowed for nothing to stand between him and his goals.
Born in poverty in Arbigland, Scotland on July 6th, 1747 John was the son of John Paul Senior, a gardener, and Jean Paul, housekeeper. John Paul always dreamed of commanding ships as he spent most of his childhood on the River Nith reenacting battles between Great Britain and France. John used his time at home to read books; intending on his education to make him into a man that sailors and the sea captains around the world would have respect for. His brother moved to Virginia and opened a tailor’s shop. He wrote to John to come join him. John was unable to see how a shopkeeper or a gardener could leave a mark on the world and still believed that his calling was meant for the high seas.
His father had helped John find an apprenticeship job with John Younger. In 1761, John was working for Younger’s Shipping Company for seven years and was a ship’s boy aboard the 179-ton brig Friendship that had gone on voyages to the Atlantic Ocean to go to the West Indies. After stopping in the Barbados, they set sail to Virginia. John Paul was excited to see his brother. He visited William and saw that his shop was doing very well. John read some of his brother’s letters that protested the unfair taxes and the government’s refusal to listen to the colonial problems. He also so people angry in the streets. John saw how beautiful Virginia was and decided that one day he plans on settling there. Through William, John had met some new friends such as George Washington’s sister and brother-in-law.
For three years, the Friendship would be sailing between England, the colonies, and Barbados. After that, he sailed on the King George as a third mate but he hated his work. He was paid well to transport Africans sold as slaves. After two years of that, he signed with Two Friends where he was a chief mate. His ship sailed from Kingston Jamaica to West Africa. His ship would carry rum and supplies but it would be returning with imprisoned Africans. While the pay was excellent, John could not make another voyage due to his disgust on how the Africans were bad mistreated.
While in Kingston, John met a fellow Scotsman named Samuel McAdam. McAdam offered John a voyage home in exchange of John’s help on his ship. John was thought it was fate as the 60-ton brig was coincidentally named the John. He was twenty-one and not even an officer yet, but he had taken command when both McAdam and his first mate grew sick with fever and died. During the two years of John sailing the John between America, the West Indies, and England, a new ship’s carpenter was hired. Mungo Maxwell was doing his job with poor quality. After docking in Tobago, Maxwell went to court to complain of how John Paul mistreated him. The judge dismissed the charges due to the wounds not being fatal.
Maxwell left on another ship and died from a fever. His father heard of this and insisted that the flogging was the reason why his sign died. When the John landed in Kirkcudbright, Scotland, John was arrested for murder by a local sheriff. The sheriff forced Jones on a march to the local jail where people gawked at him. Of course John insisted that Mungo had not died from the flogging. He told the court that he could get the proof he needed if he was allowed to return to the West Indies. The judge had agreed to these terms.
The men of the Kirkcudbright Masonic Lodge invited John to the Ancient Society of Free and Accepted Masons in 1770; this was something that he would use as social armor, and used the lodges as refuges and stepladders. John returned from the West Indies in 1772 with sworn statement from the judge in Tobago that explained Maxwell’s case and that John Paul was clear of charge. John also had managed to get a statement from the captain of the ship that Mungo died on . The captain stated that Mungo was healthy before he left Tobago and that Mungo had caught a fever during the voyage and died at sea from that. The judge from Kirkcudbright weighed these evidences and cleared John Paul of all charges.
Able to continue on now, John bought part ownership of the Betsy in 1772. This ship carried cargo around England, Ireland, and the West Indies. By 1773, John Paul made a small fortune and had a good record that impressed the men that he wanted to earn esteem from. He started dressing more like a naval officer rather than a merchant ship’s master. He even wore a sword to fit the appearance.
In 1773, the Betsy had needed to be repaired in Tobago after a long voyage. It would be a six-month delay for the framework was badly damaged. John was getting sick with a fever and most of his new crew was mainly locals from Tobago. One of these crewmembers was a constant thorn as he constantly was stealing liquor, getting intoxicated, and disobeyed. This crewmember would be the ringleader mutineer who got the crewmen to demand to be paid in full despite their contract saying they would be paid after the cargo was sold. In self-defense, John had to kill this “brute” with his sword.
The justice of peace in Tobago told John that he was free until the court date. His friends told John that he should change his name. John reluctantly listened to his friends; he knew he had not murdered the mutineer, but had to kill him in self-defense. He took what he could and was unable to recover his money and belongings. John Paul never did go to his trial in Tobago.
Moving about by being incognito, John Paul was alone with little options. He moved around the seas for a period as a freebooting buccaneer. Around the time of John Paul fleeing Tobago, Thomas Chase reported that an unmarked, black-painted ship anchored on the shore of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts where a captain announced himself to be “Paul Jones” and had a crew of Spanish and Portuguese desperadoes.
John Paul Jones appeared in Virginia in 1774 to find out that William Paul had died. Jones was twenty-six, in a new country, with a new name and no reputation, and very little money and his determination. In Virginia, the people were still angry about the unfair taxes and laws, but this time, the American colonies had moved closer to war with Great Britain. John Paul Jones now had to prove himself.
John agreed that the colonies should stand up for their rights and need to declare their independence. Instantly, Jones had begun studying naval warfare and figured this was his chance to prove himself. Freemasons introduced Jones to other supporters of liberation; some of these were Joseph Hewes, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson. Rivalry between Henry and Jones began when both of them had courted the same girl, Dorothea Dandridge, who turned down Jones’ proposal as she saw that Patrick Henry would make a better husband.
Refusing to be broken hearted, Jones distracted himself with the fight for liberation. In 1775, getting control of the seas was important. Congress refitted merchant ships into warships and was actively seeking captains. Hewes recommended Jones. On December 7, 1775, Jones became a first lieutenant in the Continental navy and was to command the Alfred until Captain Dudley Saltonstall arrived. He realized that the British won their battles by rapid fire. Jones trained and drilled his men to move like the British and able to keep up with the rapid fire.
In April 1776, Commodore Eset Hopkins led the naval fleet into the Bahamas to get supplies from the British. The British responded by sending the H.M.S. Glasgow over. Arriving in Philadelphia, Jones sought out Hopkins because he felt that Saltonstall should not have retreated. Hopkins was pleased and impressed with Jones and made him temporary captain of a sloop called the Providence.
Jones was not pleased when he was made captain on August 6, 1776 because he still did not have the esteem as the other captains did have. He was a self-made man with an invented name, but he still wanted to prove his worth to the navy. The Providence made her first solo cruise and Jones captured the Britannia. Jones spent the later half of August sailing the Providence through the Atlantic Ocean attacking British warships.
His tactics were unusual and unconventional. His sloop was outgunned and out-manned; yet managed to outrun the HMS Solebay in Bermuda. In September, Jones captured more ships, including the Sea Nymph. Jones then asked Congress to make him equal to the other captains, but Congress rejected his request. He then set sail and ported in Nova Scotia to antagonize the British. While there, a British frigate chased the Providence. Jones darted in and out of range from the frigate, daring the frigate to open fire. The frigate fired all the cannons, but Jones was out of range. He fired a single musket shot to mock the captain. He then went on to capture the Kingston Packet, the Alexander, the Success, and the Portland and returned to America with his trophies.
Returning to Congress, Jones shared his ideas. He suggested an official training program so that all officers would use the same orders and all the crews could react the same way. Jones also wanted dress uniforms for the officers to increase pride and to mimic the British naval uniforms so that the colonial ships could get closer to the British ships and then attack. Jones toyed with the idea of using grappling irons to lock ships, forcing the larger British warships to have no space to fire cannons. Captain Jones also noted that the British relied heavily on cannon firepower and did not use pistols or muskets. Jones wanted to put men in the rigging with muskets to fire on the British top decks and also to throw grenades to silence upper guns and cause fires. Congress barely approved any of his ideas. Jones was reassigned to the Alfred, but as the captain.
Jones was allowed to raid the Atlantic as he saw wanted, and he did try out his new ideas. He chased ships around the ocean and then captured the Active. Captain Jones crippled and defeated a 350-ton armed transport called the HMS Mellish and then captured three colliers, and a ten-gun merchant ship, the John. He formed a small fleet with his trophies and then engaged into battle when he saw the HMS Milford when was heading to Boston. He signaled the Milford as if he was a British ship and hoped to avoid combat. Dawn revealed Jones to be American and the Milford attacked. During the combat, Jones lost a collier and let the British take back the John, but he managed to outrun the Milford. The Mellish was his trophy as it carried supplies and winter uniforms that would be sent to General George Washington’s men just in time for the Battle of Trenton.
Congress was impressed again with Jones and issued him the sloop Ranger; John Hancock and Robert Morris agreed that Jones was better than many of the other captains. Jones spent his own money to refit the Ranger. On November 1, 1777, Jones was sent to France to carry information to Benjamin Franklin about General Burgoyne surrendering in Saratoga, New York in October. This news would help convince King Louis XVI to support the colonies. During that winter, Jones sailed the Ranger along the French coast and encountered a French squadron. Jones thought it was time to test and see his esteem so he fired shots into the air, expecting to get thirteen shots back. The French admiral knew he outranked the captain and agreed by sending only a nine-gun salute. Jones felt he deserved more but it was the first time the American flag was saluted at sea. Furthermore, Congress adopted the “Stars and Stripes” flag on the same day that Jones was given command of the Ranger in June 1777.
While in Europe, Jones made new plans of attack to cripple the British navy. British ships were in the American coast attacking towns and burning homes. No navy dared attacked the British seaports since 1667. Jones figured it was risky, but it would force the British warships to return and defend their own seacoast. On April 10, 1778, Jones sailed the Ranger into Whitehaven, England. His goals were to set fire to the ships in the ports and disable the harbor guns. One of his crew decided to sabotage the mission and warned the people by shouting what was going to happen.
Jones quickly tried to salvage what he could of his mission and burned a ship. His raid failed to do as much damage as he wanted, but it still sent a message home to the British that an American ship could cross the Atlantic, attack a port, enter the town, and then leave without getting caught. Jones figured he could have the British not knowing where an American attack could happen next, that their fleet would be thinned out to protect all possible targets. He set sail in the Ranger to Saint Mary’s Isle and planned to kidnap the Earl of Selkirk to hold him for ransom, but the Earl was not there.
His original intent was written to the Countess of Selkirk; This hard case was mine, when, on the 23rd of April last, I landed on St Mary’s Isle. Knowing Lord Selkirk’s interest with the king and esteeming, as I do, his private character, I wished to make him the happy instrument of alleviating the horrors of hopeless captivity, when the brave are overpowered and made prisoners of war. It was, perhaps, fortunate for you, Madam, that he was from home; for it was my intention to have him taken on board the Ranger, and to have detained him, until, through his means, a general and fair exchange of prisoners, as well in Europe as in America, had been effected.
After the raids, Jones crippled the HMS Drake by closing on the ship. After getting into pistol range, Jones ordered for his gunners to take out the masts and sails. The Drake surrendered when the captain and the lieutenant died. Jones saw this as a victory for the British navy had to scatter its forces and the French saw the prizes and news that Great Britain no longer ruled the seas. Congress ordered the Ranger to return, but Jones did not go back.
Despite his letters to Congress and his pleading, Jones was unable to get the fleet he felt he deserved. Benjamin Franklin convinced the French king to give Jones a small fleet. To honor Franklin, Jones renamed a vessel based on Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack writings. Jones shortened the name of his new ship to the Bonhomme Richard. Jones spent more of his own money to outfit the ship and bought the best cannons he can afford, some new and some old. He also bought a huge supply of muskets to outgun the British warships.
In June of 1779, Jones lead his fleet of the Bonhomme Richard, the Alliance, the Pauls, the Vengeance, the Cerf, the Monsieur, and the Granville. It was not the fleet he wished for but nonetheless he drilled them with gun training, rapid fire, grappling, fighting, and rigging. The French ships sailed under French captains and did not respect Jones and ignored orders. Captain Landais, of the Alliance bumped into the Bonhomme Richard and claimed it was Jones’ fault.
In September of 1779, Jones led the Bonhomme Richard, the Alliance, the Pauls, and the Vengeance on a raid in Leith, Scotland. Winds prevented the raid. During this time, Jones captured a ship and learned of a convoy of 41 British ships sailing on the northeast coast of England. Jones figured that the feat and the captured naval supplies would surely prove his worth. He hid his ships around Flamborough Head and waited for the sloop The Countess of Scarborough and the fifty-gun frigate HMS Serapis to move with the convoy. Jones entered in his accounts about this. He wrote:
Information from prisoners had confirmed that the fleet was escorted by the Serapis, a new vessel that could mount 56 guns but then mounted only 44 in two batteries, one composed of 18-pounders, and by the Countess of Scar Borough, a new frigate mounting 22 guns.
As the convoy appeared on September 23, Jones went in for the attack. The convoy instantly drew back when the four ships were appearing from the cliffs. The Serapis had to protect the convoy. When Jones raised his signals in the evening, the French ships decided to not attack, deserting the Bonhomme Richard to be alone. Jones would not back down. As the sunset, Jones had his crew move into positions. They moved guns and weapons to the rigging. In the dark, before the moon was out, Captain Pearson of the Serapis hailed the ship. Jones claimed his ship to be the Princess Royal but Pearson asked where they were from.
Jones realized this was as far as his facade would go and raised the American flag. Both ships fired instantly at each other. He lost his best officers when firing the older cannons, which exploded due to stress. The Serapis and the Scarborough were tearing destroying his ship. He decided it was time to use the grappling irons and locked up with the Serapis. The Scarborough ceased to fire, as it could not risk hitting the Serapis. Jones had his men and deck guns aiming at the masts of the Serapis and had the riggers throw grenades and fire muskets at the British’s upper deck.
The French ships reappeared and took on the Scarborough, but Captain Landais decided to open fire on the Richard also. The officers were panicking, as the damage below decks was significant. John Paul Jones was manning three cannons by himself while Henry Gardner, thought he was the highest-ranking officer alive. He ran to lower the flags while shouting “Quarter.” Jones ordered for his men to have Gardner shot instantly. He was firing his own pistols at the mass of the Serapis and proceeded to throw one at Gardner’s head. Pearson heard the ship begging for quarter and demanded if the Richard was surrendering.
It was obvious to Jones that his ship was sinking and that his allies had betrayed him. Earliest accounts claim that the stubborn Captain Jones answered back with, “I have not yet thought of that, but I am determined to make you ask for quarter,” while Lieutenant Richard Dale recalled Jones saying, “I have not yet begun to fight.” The Serapis’s deck guns were destroyed and a well-aimed grenade landed on some gunpowder bags. Flames and smoke covered the decks of the Serapis and Pearson knew that his ship was able to do no more.
Pearson surrendered honorably knowing that the convoy he was protecting escaped. Jones accepted the surrender graciously and invited Pearson into his cabin for a glass of wine. It was in the cabin that the British captain realized that Jones’ ship had been sinking all that time. Jones transferred his men and prisoners to the Serapis and returned as a hero to France and America.
John Paul Jones’ victories against the British in the sea turned the tides. His raids on ports and scattering of the British warships made by Jones made it obvious the British could be beaten. For his efforts, King Louis honored John with the Order of Military Merit. Jones returned to America in 1781. Congress thanked him for his boldness by giving him the America, a ship finally worthy of Jones, but the British surrendered before he could even take command. Jones urged Congress to create a real navy and to open naval training schools for officers. Congress was too busy forming the United States government and made Jones a commodore.
Jones was constantly trying out his theories and putting himself on the line. Russia invited him to lead a fleet and Jones eagerly took the chance. He trained Russian sailors as soon as he arrived. He left Russia in 1790 as Rear Admiral and headed to France and was still hoping to be called back to serve the United States. He wrote to America from Paris and asked for any government appointment at all and was hoping to then try and get his naval training school going. In 1792, he was appointed commissioner to Algiers but the news was traveling over sea. Meanwhile, Jones was complaining of not feeling well and on the evening of July 18,1792, he was alone in his Paris apartment. He apparently collapsed face down on his bed and died that night.
While his ways were unconventional for his time, the American Navy practices John Paul Jones’ methods today. He truly was bold and daring for his time. His resting place is under eternal watch by the Navy.
Thanks for sharing. There will always be those that say that one man cannot change the world, or who say that one man is never one man but has helpers.

Without a man like this, his vision and his determination, history would not be the same.

It would seem that what he achieved at sea went a long way to helping America gain independence. By thinning the British navy, he limited their ability to control the seas and the American coast.
This is really a great read. I would definitely suggest that anyone who has an interest in history (I would hope you all do, seeing as your in the "History" forum) should read this report. Sure it has a few mess-ups here and there, but the story itself is great.

Amazing how one man can do so much in one life. He would be a great role model for sailors of his time.

Good work. And thanks for sharing this with us.

God bless,
Related topics
Federal 'Hate Crimes' Bill Threatens Religious Freedoms
Top 10 WORST rock bands
Led Zeppelin+the old stuff
Whos the GREATEST guitarist?
What's great about your country?
Should I get a snake?
Who is your favourite historian person and why?
The Emperor of the United States
Who is the best/ your favorite bassist?
Slayer and Manson
I'm In a Rock and Roll Band: Live
why religion is necessary? what do u think?
Movie that you never forget .
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Lifestyle and News -> History

© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.