IntroductionThe famous words "I have not yet begun to fight!" uttered by John Paul Jones during the naval Battle of Flamborough Head in 1779, inspired many of the American colonist who were struggling for their independence during the American Revolution. In fact these words spoken by the great American Revolutionary War Hero John Paul Jones is one of the most famous quotes of the war. He was the colonist greatest naval commander during Americas War for Independence and is called the "Father of the United States Navy". On this page are lists of interesting facts about John Paul Jones. This short biography includes information on why he is famous, how he became involved in the American Revolution, and when he died. This information is written for both kids and adults.
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John Paul Jones Early Years Facts
- John Paul Jones was born in Scotland, in a parish called Kirkbean on July 8, 1747. He was given the name John Paul; he would later change his name to John Paul Jones.
- He was the fifth child out of a total of seven children.
- While just a kid at the age of thirteen he started his naval career as an apprentice aboard the British ship Friendship.
- During his early naval career he served on British merchant ships throughout the Atlantic.
- After serving on a couple of ships that were involved in the slave-trade, he saw the inhumanity in this practice and did not want to participate in this type of trade.
- What was becoming an excellent merchant naval career with the British came to an end in 1773. In a dispute over pay he killed one of his sailors. He claimed it was self-defense. Believing that he would not get a fair trial he fled to Fredericksburg Virginia and changed his name to John Paul Jones.
John Paul Jones Becomes an American Revolutionary War Hero
- While living in America he became sympathetic to the colonist desire for independence from Great Brittan. Being from Scotland he had witnessed how unfair the British could be to parts of their empire.
- In 1775 when the American Revolutionary War began he volunteered for the Continental Navy.
- The Americans desperately needed experienced naval commanders and John Paul Jones quickly rose through the ranks to command his own ship and was promoted to the rank of captain in the new American fleet.
- Jones was a very successful naval military commander and had several victories over the superior British Navy.
- In 1778 Jones actually led an attack on England. He attacked the costal town of Whitehaven. Although there was not much damage inflicted on the British the attack did alarm them and made them nervous that other attacks may be attempted. The attack compelled the British to allocate resources for defense that could have gone to the war effort in America.
- In 1779 while in command of the Bonhomme Richard he achieved his most famous victory. His ship was badly damaged and when asked if he wished to surrender he shouted out "I have not yet begun to fight". He then proceeded to ram the British ship Serapis and tie the two ships together. After brutal fighting the British surrendered. John Paul Jones ship was hopelessly damaged so he took over the enemy ship.
John Paul Jones Later Years Facts
- After the Revolutionary War John Paul Jones was recruited to serve in the Imperial Russian Navy as Rear-Admiral.
- The 45-year old John Paul Jones died in Paris in 1792.
- Over 100 years after his death his body was brought to the United States where he was finally given the honor he deserved and was posthumously awarded the gold metal by the US Congress.
- His final resting place is at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland.