John Paul Jones Chapter

Maryland Society

Sons of the American Revolution

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John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones Commands

The Alfred - 1776

The Ranger - 1777

Bonhomme Richard - 1779

John Paul Jones was a true American. He believed in the American philosophy of trading up.  You can see throughout his naval commands that when he saw a better and larger ship, he traded up.

The Serapis - 1779

Engraving based on the painting Action Between the Serapis and Bonhomme Richard by Richard Paton, published 1780

Photo #: NH 85212-KN (color) Continental Ship Alfred (1775-1778) Painting in oils by W. Nowland Van Powell, depicting Lieutenant John Paul Jones raising the "Grand Union" flag as Alfred was placed in commission at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 3 December 1775. Commanded by Captain Dudley Saltonstall, Alfred was flagship of Commodore Esek Hopkins' Continental Navy flotilla during the remainder of 1775 and the first four months of 1776. Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C. Donation of the Memphis Council, U.S. Navy League, 1776[sic]. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

In the 18th century and most of the 19th, a sloop-of-war in the Royal Navy was a warship with a single gun deck that carried up to eighteen guns. The rating system covered all vessels with 20 guns and above; thus, the term sloop-of-war encompassed all the unrated combat vessels, including the very small gun-brigs and cutters. In technical terms, even the more specialised bomb vessels and fireships were classed as sloops-of-war, and in practice these were employed in the sloop role when not carrying out their specialized functions

Bonhomme Richard, formerly Duc de Duras, was a warship in the Continental Navy. She was originally an East Indiaman, a merchant ship built in France for the French East India Company in 1765, for service between France and the Orient. She was placed at the disposal of John Paul Jones on 4 February 1779, by King Louis XVI of France as a result of a loan to the United States by French shipping magnate, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray.


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