JOHN PAUL JONES
Scoundrel, Privateer/Pirate, and Father of the US Navy
“I HAVE NOT YET BEGUN TO FIGHT!”
The immortal words of John Paul Jones echo throughout history as American defiance and rebellion as much as John’s actions. After killing a man with his saber for mutiny, John struck out for the Americas and found a new home as one of the US Navy’s newest captains.
As an American fighting the British, John began a several year killing spree that earned him a fearsome name among sailors world wide and the respect of his enemies. In a battle with the British warship Serapis, John uttered his famous phrase that has echoed down through the ages. With his ship sinking he fought till his enemy was critically damaged and surrendered.
Accused of piracy (both for sailing under an unknown flag and taking treasure from a Scottish noble) it is unlikely to be true as he considered himself an honorable man to the point of returning some of the goods stolen by his crew.
John Paul Jones worked as a rear Admiral for the Russian navy for some time before quitting that job and returning to the Americas. Tasked with returning Americans sold into slavery in Algeria, he was found in a room in Paris dead of kidney failure in 1792. He was buried in an unknown grave filled with alcohol and forgotten until 1905 when his preserved body was found and exhumed.
Brought back to the United States, his body was accompanied by many warships and remains in a sarcophagus in Annapolis on display. This is one American you did not want to meet on the high seas in 1777. He was awarded a gold medal by Congress for “Valor and Brilliant Services”.