On this day in 1747, Revolutionary War naval captain John Paul Jones was born in Arbigland, Scotland
July 6, 2023
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 6 of July, repeating indefinitely
On this day in 1747, Revolutionary War naval captain John Paul Jones was born in Arbigland, Scotland. He is remembered as the “Father of the United States Navy” for his prominent role as captain, as well as for his tenacity and courage in battle. Bringing the Revolution to the enemy’s home waters, Jones led several daring raids on ships off the British coast.
He may be best-known for a quote made in the battle against the Royal Navy frigate, Serapis. Though his own ship, Bonhomme Richard, was burning and sinking, Jones would not surrender, saying, “I have not yet begun to fight.” His words rang true, when, over three hours later, the Serapis surrendered and Jones took command.
Did you know? John Paul Jones was born John Paul Jr. – he added Jones to his name to evade capture after killing the leader of a mutiny in 1773. As a teenager, he worked aboard slave ships, but was repulsed by the business and resigned, vowing to never work in that trade again.
Jones was also an admirer of Benjamin Franklin – the Bonhomme Richard was named for the eponymous character from Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack.
John Paul Jones, Charles Willson Peale, c. 1781-1784