John Paul Jones Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1747 - 1792 *** Full Name: John Paul Jones *** Occupation: Scottish American Sailor *** Date of Birth: John Paul Jones was born on July 6th 1747 *** Place of Birth: John Paul Jones was born on the estate of Arbigland near Kirkbean in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, located on the southwest coast of Scotland *** Family background: His father was John Paul, Sr and he was a gardener at Arbigland and his mother was Jean McDuff. His older brother, William Jones had already married and moved to the America, settling in Virginia *** Early life and childhood: He grew up on the Arbigland estate *** Education: John Paul Jones began his education at home ***
John Paul Jones Fact 1: John Paul Jones was born during the 18th century a time of great innovations in science, medicine and industry.
John Paul Jones Fact 2: At thirteen years of age John Paul Jones began has maritime career on the aboard the Friendship as an apprentice. The ship sailed from Whitehaven out of Cumberland under Captain Benson.
John Paul Jones Fact 3: Over the next several years he traveled aboard many different vessels, merchant and slave ships. On board the King George he became third mate in 1764 and in in 1766 on the Two Friends he made first mate.
John Paul Jones Fact 4: John Paul Jones would however come to detest the slave ships and the cruelty he inevitably witnessed and so he jumped ship in Jamaica and found passage on another vessel back to Scotland.
John Paul Jones Fact 5: Eventually he set sail for Virginia and headed for Fredericksburg, his brother had died leaving no other family and put his affairs in order. It is said around this time he added the Jones to his name become John Paul Jones.
John Paul Jones Fact 6: Shortly thereafter John Paul Jones joined the Continental navy who had begun the conflict with Britain.
John Paul Jones Fact 7: His first posting would be as a 1st Lieutenant on the USS Alfred, a 24 gun frigate in 1775.
John Paul Jones Fact 8: During the maiden voyage of the Alfred he would be honored by raising the Grand Union Flag.
John Paul Jones Fact 9: His next ship was the USS Providence and with this vessel he wreaked considerable damage along the coast of Nova Scotia and also seized sixteen prizes.
John Paul Jones Fact 10: He reached Boston in 1776 and John Paul Jones set sail for France in 1777 under orders to advance the American cause as best he could.
John Paul Jones Fact 11: It was while in France that he made the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin, Arthur Lee and John Adams.
John Paul Jones Fact 12: John Paul Jones was given the command of the Ranger in 1777 but he found his officers lacked the ability to follow orders and instead incited the crew to make judgments of their own, he wrote “Their object,’ they said ‘was gain not honor.’ They were poor: instead of encouraging the morale of the crew, they excited them to disobedience; they persuaded them that they had the right to judge whether a measure that was proposed to them was good bad.”
John Paul Jones Fact 13: His next goal was the capture of the Drake off the coast of Ireland and he managed to attain his goal and bring the Drake back to France.
John Paul Jones Fact 14: In 1779 John Paul Jones took command of the USS Bonhomme Richard and he headed for England’s shores, again there were problems with other ship captains. After a series of battles between American vessels the Richard and Alliance and English vessels Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, eventually after several hours of battle the Serapis surrendered and the Richard sunk, he headed in Serapis for Holland and ally of America.
John Paul Jones Fact 15: Upon his return to France John Paul Jones was awarded the title Chevalier by Louis XVI the King of France.
John Paul Jones Fact 16: When in 1787 the Continental Congress decided John Paul Jones would be awarded a gold medal for his “valor and brilliant services” he would be present to “Chevalier John Paul Jones” .John Paul Jones Fact 17: Louis XVI also decorated him with the “l’Institution de Mérite Militaire” together with a ceremonial sword.
John Paul Jones Fact 18: For the next six years between 1782 and 1788 John Paul Jones served at the pleasure of the Empress Catherine II of Russia but he came into contact with a number of ex-British naval officers who gave him no quarter.
John Paul Jones Fact 19: Finally in 1790 he landed in Paris and decided to stay and see out his retirement there.
John Paul Jones Fact 20: He would however be requested to act as U.S. Consul to negotiate with the Dey of Algiers for the release of American detainees.
John Paul Jones Fact 21: John Paul Jones died on July 18th 1792 in his Paris apartment and his body would be laid to rest at the Saint Louis Cemetery.
Influence & Legacy: Although not American by birth he became known as the ‘Father of the American Navy’. Having deciding upon reaching the Americas that he would throw his lot in with the rebels he would become an American hero of the high seas.
Short Facts about John Paul Jones for Kids
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