A Peek Into History: John Paul Jones

At the beginning of the Revolutionary War the Colonies had no real navy. Each colony sent out its own Privateers to prey on the British merchant ships. Privateers were basically state sanctioned pirates. Since these Privateer Vessels flew the flag of the Colony they were getting paid by the neutral countries out on the seas could not tell our ships from the pirates.
Early in the war, Light Horse Henry Lee noted the talent a young John Paul Jones had as a commander upon the waters and made sure that a ship was placed under Jones’ command. The USS Ranger, an 18 Gun Sloop, under the Command of Captain John Paul Jones was the FIRST American Navy Vessel to fly our American Flag at sea.



John Paul (he added Jones to his name sometime before he arrived in America) was born July 6, 1747 in Scotland. He started his naval career early at the age of 13 and served the British naval powers aboard many a merchant ship. He fled to America after one very rough tour that ended in Jones killing a sailor under his command who had an influential family.

On February 14, 1778 Jones convinced the Admiral of the French Fleet to exchange military salutes at sea with him, thereby receiving the first formal naval recognition of our flag by a foreign power.
On April 24, 1778 Jones struck the northern coast of Ireland baptizing our American Flag in its first victorious battle against the British sloop “Drake”. Just the first of many British ships to face off against Jones.


Captain John Paul Jones was stationed off the coast of France during the Rebellion. His adventures were published in the French and British newspapers so we American could hear of his adventures!

After the Revolutionary War ended, John Paul was left without a command, so he joined the Russian Navy and continued his exploits and ending up as a Rear-Admiral in their Fleet.
Sadly as the wars ended and the conflicts at sea grew smaller and smaller, Naval Positions grew more scarce. He tried to sign up with Sweden, but they did not return the interest in his services…
July 18, 1792, at 45 years of age, the man John Paul Jones died in Paris France. He was buried in the Cemetery of the French Royal family. There he lay basically forgotten… A Man of War, with no wars to fight.

In 1906 Jones was exhumed and relocated to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis Maryland in an extravagant ceremony adorned with all the pomp and circumstance befitting a Hero of the American Revolution!

Three Cheers for Patriot and our First American Naval Hero John Paul Jones!
Hip-Hip, HOORAY! Hip-Hip, HOORAY!
Гип-гип ура! ← (Russian Hip-Hip Hooray!)
History needs you! Help pass along our history, become active in your local Historical and Genealogy Societies.
We of the William Prince Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, right here in Princeton would be happy to help you get involved.
History does not repeat itself, but it most assuredly rhymes!
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Father, retired Firefighter

American History, no such thing as a single cause
American History, no such thing as a single cause

History is a muddy mess! If someone tells you ANY event in history happened due to one thing or issue, RUN! They are an idiot! Example 1:American Revolution. What caused it? Taxes, representation, military over reach, distance, King George? All good answers but there are hundreds more! Example 2: "Civil War" was all about slavery. Lincoln called for the invasion in 1861 yet he created West Virginia in 1863 as a NEW UNION SLAVE STATE. Many more examples are out there...

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