The Navy Department Library
John Paul Jones
6 July 1747- 18 July 1792
"Did Jones Actually Say, 'I have not yet begun to fight'?"
"John Paul Jones" by Dennis M. Conrad
"John Paul Jones" by James Fenimore Cooper
Niles' Weekly Register Articles
Related Documents in the Navy Department Library
Father of the U.S. Navy
As an officer of the Continental Navy of the American Revolution, John Paul Jones helped establish the traditions of courage and professionalism that the Sailors of the United States Navy today proudly maintain. John Paul was born in a humble gardener's cottage in Kirkbean, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, went to sea as a youth, and was a merchant shipmaster by the age of twenty-one. Having taken up residence in Virginia, he volunteered early in the War of Independence to serve in his adopted country's infant navy and raised with his own hands the Continental ensign on board the flagship of the Navy's first fleet. He took the war to the enemy's homeland with daring raids along the British coast and the famous victory of the Bonhomme Richard over HMS Serapis. After the Bonhomme Richard began taking on water and fires broke out on board, the British commander asked Jones if he had struck his flag. Jones replied, "I have not yet begun to fight!" In the end, it was the British commander who surrendered. Jones is remembered for his indomitable will, his unwillingness to consider surrender when the slightest hope of victory still burned. Throughout his naval career Jones promoted professional standards and training. Sailors of the United States Navy can do no better than to emulate the spirit behind John Paul Jones's stirring declaration: "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way."
Abbott, John S.C. John Paul Jones. New York: University Society, 1905.
____. Life and Adventures of Rear Admiral John Paul Jones, Commonly Called Paul Jones. New York: Dodd & Mead, 1874.
American National Biography. vol. 12. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. [see "Jones, John Paul," pp. 219-220].
Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American Biography. vol. 3. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887. [see "Jones, John Paul," pp. 467-469.].
Bolander, Louis H. "The Log of the Ranger." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 396 (Feb 1936): 201-211.
____. "Two Notes on J.P. Jones." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 305 (July 1928): 546-549.
Boudriot, Jean. John Paul Jones and the Bonhomme Richard: A Reconstruction of the Ship and an Account of the Battle with H.M.S. Serapis. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1987.
Bradford, James C., ed. Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the Papers of John Paul Jones, 1747-1792. Alexandria, VA: Chadwyck-Healey, 1986. [For an excellent chronology of Jones' life see pp. 23-33].
____. The Papers of John Paul Jones microform. Alexandria, VA: Chadwyck-Healey, 1986. [10 reels].
____. The Reincarnation of John Paul Jones: The Navy Discovers Its Professional Roots. Washington, DC: Naval Historical Foundation, 1986.
Brady, Cyrus Townsend. John Paul Jones. New York: Frank A. Munsey Co., 1905.
Brown, Charles Walter. John Paul Jones of Naval Fame, A Character of the Revolution. Chicago: M.A. Donohue & Co., 1902.
Bryant Jr., S.W. "The Captain and the Convoy." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 881 (July 1976): 69-70.
Buell, Augustus C. Paul Jones: Founder of the American Navy: A History. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1900. [considered an unreliable resource].
Burden, John Troy. Paul Jones: The Naval Hero of 76, The Fearless Fighter and Commander of the American Revolution. New York: Hurst & Co., [no date].
Callo, Joseph. John Paul Jones: America's Fist Sea Warrior. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2006.
Clark, William Bell, William James Morgan, and Michael J. Crawford eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 10 vols. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1964-.
Conrad, Dennis M., E. Gordon Bowen-Hassell, and Mark L. Hayes. Sea Raiders of the American Revolution: The Continental Navy in European Waters. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2003. [see pp.42-51, 54-69].
Cooper, James Fenimore. Lives of Distinguished American Naval Officers. Philadelphia, Pa.: Carey and Hart, 1946. [see vol.2, pp. 5-112].
De Koven, Anna Farwell. The Life and Letters of John Paul Jones. New York: Scribner's Sons, 1913.
Ellsberg, Edward. Captain Paul. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1941.
Fanning, Nathaniel. Narrative of the Adventures of an American Navy Officer, Who Served During Part of the American Revolution Under the Command of Com. John Paul Jones, esq. New York: Printed for N. Fanning, 1806.
Fox, Joseph L. Captain John Paul Jones: Forgotten Naval Hero. Chicago: Adams Press, 1987.
Frost, Holloway H. "Our Heritage from Paul Jones." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 188 (Oct 1918): 2275-2296.
Gawalt, G. W. ed. and trans. Memoir of the American Revolution Presented to King Louis XVI of France. Washington, DC: American Revolution Bicentennial Office, Library of Congress, 1979.
Gilkerson, William. The Ships of John Paul Jones. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1987.
Golder, F.A. John Paul Jones in Russia. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1927.
Goodheart, Adam. "Points of Interest: Home is the Sailor." Smithsonian 37, no.1 (April 2006): 32, 34, 38, 42, 45-46. [this article explores the issue of whether the body in John Paul Jones' tomb is really his body.].
Hart, Charles Henry. "The Sword Presented by Louis XVI to John Paul Jones." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 122 (June 1907): 712-715.
History of Paul Jones, the Pirate. Glasgow: for the booksellers, circa 1820.
Johnson, G.A. "John Paul Jones: Strategist and Technician." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 305 (July 1928): 539-545.
____. "Man of Many Disappointments." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 305 (July 1928): 629-631.
Johnson, Gerald White. The First Captain: The Story of John Paul Jones. New York: Coward-McCann, 1947.
Jones, John Paul. Life and Battles of John Paul Jones: The Greatest Naval Hero of Modern Times. Boston: Parsons, 1855.
____. Life and Correspondence of John Paul Jones, Including His Narrative of the Campaign in Liman. New York: D. Fanshaw, 1830.
"Journal of Paul Jones." Niles' Weekly Register 815 (28 Apr 1827): 151.
Labaree, Leonard W. and Whitfield J. Bell, eds. The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. vols. 24-28. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959-.
Lind, L. J. "Admiral John Paul Jones and the Ships that Honored Him: 'I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight.'" The Naval Historical Review, 1971. Garden Island, New South Wales: Naval Historical Society of Australia, 1971. [See pp. 51, 53, 55-56].
Lorenz, Lincoln. "The Bicentennial of John Paul Jones." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 533 (July 1947): 767-777.
____. John Paul Jones, Fighter for Freedom and Glory. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1943.
Lutz, Norma Jean. John Paul Jones. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1999.
Mackenzie, Alexander Slidell. The Life of John Paul Jones. Boston: Hilliard, Gray, & Co., 1841.
Malloy, William E. "Suitable Tomb for John Paul Jones." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 208 (June 1920): 899-902.
Marion, Henri. John Paul Jones' Last Cruise and Final Resting Place the United States Naval Academy. Washington, DC: G.E. Howard, 1906.
Morison, Samuel Eliot. John Paul Jones: A Sailor's Biography. Boston: Little, Brown, 1959.
Munro, Donald John. Commodore John Paul Jones, U.S. Navy: A Biography of Our First Great Naval Hero. New York: William-Frederick Press, 1954.
National Cyclopedia of American Biography. Vol. 2. Clifton, NJ: J.T. White, 1892. [see pp. 15-16].
"New Light Upon the Career of John Paul Jones." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 122 (June 1907): 683-709. [presents a collection of letters from Jones' neice Janette Taylor].
Otis, James. The Life of John Paul Jones: Written from Original Letters and Manuscripts in Possession of His Relatives and From the Collection Prepared by John Henry Sherburne; Together with Chevalier Jones' Own Account of the Campaign of the Liman. New York: A.L. Burt, 1900.
The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1959-1978. [see vols. 24-28].
"Paul Jones." Niles' Weekly Register 460 (1 July 1820): 320-321.
"Paul Jones." Niles' Weekly Register 673 (7 Aug 1824): 369.
"Paul Jones." The Weekly Register 40 (6 June 1811): 230-231; 41 (13 June 1812): 249-251; 45 (27 June 1812): 277-278; 44 (4 July 1812): 296-298; 45 (11 July 1812): 317-318; 40 (13 July 1812): 330-331.
Paullin, Charles Oscar. "A Report of John Paul, Master of the Ship John." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 162 (Mar-Apr 1916): 523-524.
____. "When was Our Navy Founded: A Criticism of A.C. Buell's 'Paul Jones, Founder of the American Navy'." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 133 (Mar 1910): 255.
Preedy, George R. Life of Rear Admiral John Paul Jones: Chevalier of the Military Order of Merit and of the Russian Order of the Empress Anne, 1747-1792. London: H. Jenkins, 1940.
Russell, Phillips. John Paul Jones: Man of Action. New York: Brentano's, 1927.
Sawtelle, Joseph G., ed. John Paul Jones and the Ranger: Portsmouth, New Hampshire, July 12-November 1, 1777, and the Log of the Ranger, November 1, 1777-May 18, 1778. Portsmouth, NH: Peter E. Randall, 1994. [transcriptions of letters and ship logs].
Schaeper, Thomas J. John Paul Jones and the Battle Off Flamborough Head: A Reconsideration. New York: P. Lang, 1989.
Sherburne, John Henry. The Life and Character of John Paul Jones, a Captain in the United States Navy, During the Revolutionary War. New York: Adriance, Sherman, & Co., 1851.
____. The Life and Character of the Chevalier John Paul Jones, a Captain in the United States Navy, During the Revolutionary War. New York: Wilder & Campbell, 1825.
Stevenson, Cornelius. "Description of John Paul Jones' Sword." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 122 (June 1907): 711-715.
Stewart, Charles West. John Paul Jones Commemoration at Annapolis, April 24, 1906. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1907.
Thomas, Evan. John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.
Thompson, Valentine. Knight of the Seas: The Adventurous Life of John Paul Jones. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1939.
Tooker, Dorothy. "The Strange Search for John Paul Jones." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 629 (July 1955): 808-811.
Tooker, Lewis Frank. John Paul Jones. New York: Macmillan, 1925.
Vroom, G.B. "Place of Naval Officers in International Affairs." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 219 (May 1921): 685-700.
Walsh, John E. Night on Fire: The First Complete Account of John Paul Jones' Greatest Battle. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978.
Related Documents in the Navy Department Library
Calling cards of various members of Russian Court, European ministries, and partisans. Includes an invitation to Jones to dinner in 1790.
Fragment of ledger for "Account current with the Chevalier Paul Jones" (entries for 1 November 1777 and 3 February 1778).