JOHN PAUL JONES Biography - Musicians


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Name: John Paul Jones                                                               
Nickname: "Father of the American Navy"                                             
Born: 6 July 1747 Kirkcudbright, Scotland                                           
Died: 18 July 1792 Paris, France                                                     
John Paul Jones (July 6, 1747 - July 18, 1792) was America's first                   
well-known naval hero in the American Revolutionary War.                             
John Paul Jones was born 'John Paul' in 1747, on the estate of Arbigland in the     
Stewartry of Kirkcudbright on the southern coast of Scotland. John Paul's father     
was a gardener at Arbigland, and his mother was a member of Clan MacDuff.           
John Paul adopted the alias 'John Jones' when he fled to his brother's home in       
Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1773 to avoid the hangman's noose in Tobago after an     
incident when he was accused of murdering a sailor under his command, whom he       
claimed had been involved in a mutiny. He began using the name 'John Paul Jones',   
at the suggestion of his brother.                                                   
Although his naval career never saw him above the rank of Captain in the             
Continental Navy after his victory over the Serapis with the frigate Bonhomme       
Richard, John Paul Jones remains the first genuine American Naval hero, as well     
as a highly regarded battle commander. His later service in the Russian Navy as     
an admiral showed the mark of genius that enabled him to defeat the Serapis.         
Jones simply was not as good a politician as he was a naval commander, in an era     
where politics determined promotion, both in America and abroad. Although he was     
originally buried in Paris, after spending his last years abroad, he was             
ultimately reinterred at the United States Naval Academy, a fitting homecoming       
for the "Father of the American Navy".                                               
During his engagement with Serapis, Jones uttered, according to the later           
recollection of his First Lieutenant, the legendary reply to a quip about           
surrender from the British captain: "I have not yet begun to fight!"