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John Paul Jones

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• American Revolution
Revolutionary War


Definition: American naval hero famous for captaining the Bonhomme Richard and uttering the phrase, "I have not yet begun to fight." He was born in Scotland and later moved to Virginia. He began fighting British ships in 1775, winning some flashy victories. In 1777, he sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to France in order to refit his ship. From there, he sailed north to Britain and fought several battles there. One of these battles was against the Serapis and was the occasion on which Jones said his famous words. In fact, Jones was fighting against two faster ships at the time (the other one being the Countess of Scarborough). The Bonhomme Richard had 42 guns; the two British ships combined had 72 guns. Yet Jones outwitted the two captains and claimed victory. In 1781, he was given command of a new ship, but it never sailed.

Related Resources:
The American Revolutionary War
This fun, illustrated article tells you all you need to know about this famous war, from an easy-to-understand point of view.

lsewhere on the Web:
More on John Paul Jones
Read newspaper accounts of the time.

The Bonhomme Richard
Find out more about the famous ship.

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