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Stenotyftd by A. Chandler, 



StnUhem District of New Yorkf 88. 

BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the fourth day ofOctober, A. D. 1830, in the 
fiftjr-fifth year of the Independence of the Uuted States of America, Sherman Con- 
yene, of the said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right 
whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit: ' 

** Life and Correspondence of John Pan! Jones, indnding his Narrative of the Cam- 
paign of the Liman. From Original Letters and Manuscripts in the possession of Miss 
Janette Taylor." 

In conformity to the Act of Congress of the United States, entitled, "An Act for 
the encouragement, of Learning, by securing the coi>ies of Maps, Charts, and Books, 
to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned." 
And also to an Act, entiUed " An Act, supplementaiy to an Act, entitled an Act foi 
the encottrageniefat of lieaniiag, hy securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, 
to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and 
extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engravbg, and etching histori- 
cal and ouer prints." 

Ckrk of the Southern Distriet of New York. 


Paul Jones was an extraordinary man, and was en- 
gaged suddenly, after having been in a comparatively 
humble employment, in a career connected with events 
which occupied the attention of the civilized world. Set- 
ting aside the services rendered by him to the cause of 
American freedom, there would be no need of preface 
or explanation in presenting an account of his life, and 
selections from the most interesting portions of his cor- 
respondence to the public at large ; were it not that 
several works, professing to do so, have already made 
their appearance. 

The first which the Editor of the present work re- 
members to have seen, was a shilling pamphlet, exhibit- 
ed in the windows of the New York retail bookstores, 
in which was a frontispiece, representing Paul Jones as 
large as the frigate he bestrode, shooting a Lieutenant 
Grubb with a horse-pistol, more grand in its dimensions 
than any piece of artillery introduced into the picture. 
This juvenile reminiscence would be hardly worth 
recalling, were it not that, but the other day, in one of 
the Southern papers, the writer actually met with a de- 
tailed account, purporting to be a biographical sketch 
of somebody recently dead, who had served under Paul 
Jones in the Serapis, describing the latter as shooting 
this Lieutenant Grubb, with the same horse-pistol, 
aggrandia;ed in the manner above specified. As no Lieu- 


tenant Grubb ever sailed under the orders of Captain 
John Paul Jones, and as no such person could, in con- 
sequence, have been shot by him, it is evident that an 
unvarnished and full account of the rear admiraPs life 
ought to be circulated, in regions where such fabulous 
and monstrous legends obtain, in this age of light, ad- 
mission into public prints. 

Ten years ago, a large quantity of original papers 
belonging to the legatees of Paul Jones, were sent to 
this country with a view to their being properly con- 
nected and published. They were submitted to the 
Historical Society of New York. The committee who 
examined them, found that they were valuable and inter- 
esting ; but circumstances prevented their publication 
at the time. Mr. Sherburne, register of the United 
States navy, opened a correspondence with the owners 
of these documents, as the Ekiitor of the present work is 
informed, with the view of preparing a life of Jones ; 
but, the negotiation failed. 

Shortly after, some of the Chevalier's manuscripts, 
belonging to his legatees, if they had known how and 
where to reclaim them, were accidentally found by a 
gentleman of New York, in a house in the city. They 
had been left in the custody of its former proprietor. 
From these, with copies of letters and documents on 
file in the department of state, Mr. Sherburne prepared 
a volume which was published in 1825. 

Some singularly capricious demon, wonderfully inge- 
nious in producing puzzling and painful disorder, seems 
to have presided over the arrangement of the materials. 
The appearance of order in some parts of the compila- 
tion only makes the general and particular entangle 
ments more perplexing; and in some places, the 


person who connected the documents, having apparently 
lost himself, goes backwards or leaps forwards, in a style 
of extraordinary embarrassment, occasioning inextrica- 
ble confusion. 

From this chaos, a clever writer in Great Britain con- 
trived to select materials for an interesting duodecimo, 
which was published by Murray in the same year. It 
contains some errors, and but an inconsiderable portion 
. of the Remains, as the modern phrase is, of the Cheva- 
lier Paul Jones. Being not exclusively English in its 
tenor, it appears to have incurred the censure of some 
of the British presses. This work has been spoken of 
in the text as the production of an Englishman. The 
compiler was not well informed at the time. It was 
the production of an American. 

Within a year past a third life of the Chevalier ap- 
peared, which was published in Edinburgh in two duode- 
cimo volumes, and is the best which had been compiled; 
as it contains selections from many original letters, and, 
what is of more consequence, a translation of the rear 
admiral's own narrative of the campaign of the Liman. 
The Editor of that book, which is the basis, so far as 
the order of arrangement is generally concerned, of the 
present, gives in his preface the following account of his 

** By his will, dated at Paris on the day of his death, Paul Jones left 
his property and effects of all kinds to his sisters in Scotland and theif 
children. Immediately on his decease a regular, or rather an official 
inventory was made of his voluminous papers, which were sealed up 
with his other effects, till brought to Scotland -by his eldest sister, Mrs. 
Taylor, a few months after his death. They have ever since remained 
in the custody of his family ; and are now, by inheritance, become the 
property of his niece, Miss Taylor, of Dumfries. They consist of 
several bound folio volumes of letters and documents, which are of$- 


oiallj authenticated, so far as they are ^blic papers ; numerous scrolls 
and copies of letters ; and many private communications, originatiug 
in his widely diffused correspondence in France, Holland, America, 
aiid other quarters. There is, in addition to these, a collection of wri- 
tings of the miscellaneous kind likely to be accumulated by a man of 
active habits, who had for many years mingled both in the political and 
fashionable circles, wherever he chanced to be thrown. 

" The Journal of the Campaign of 1788, against the Turks, forms of 
itself a thick MS. bound volume. This Journal was drawn up by Paul 
Jones for the perusal of the Empress Catharine II. and was intended for 
publication if the Russian government failed to do him justice. He 
felt that it totally failed ; but death anticipated his long contemplated 
purpose. To this Journal, Mr. Eton, in his survey of the Turkish em- 
pire, refers, as having been seen by him. It was, however, only the 
official report, transmitted by Paul Jones to the admiralty of the Black 
Sea, that this gentleman could have seen. This singular narrative, 
which so confidently gives the lie to all the Russian statements of that 
momentous campaign, is written in French. In the following work 
the language of the original is as closely adhered to as is admissible 
even in the most literal translation. Several passages have been 
omitted, and others curtailed, as they refer merely to technical details, 
which might have unduly swelled this work, without adding much to 
its interest. Much of the voluminous official correspondence which 
passed between Paul Jones and the other commanders during the 
campaign is also omitted. These Pieces Justificatives were only in- 
tended to corroborate, or elucidate, the narrative ; they are, save in a 
few instances which are cited, not particularly interesting." 

Besides the documents named in the foregoing ex- 
tracts, the Editor says, he had before him the corres- 
pondence of Jones i^ith his relatives in Scotland, from 
his boyhood to his death. He has made but little use 
of it, as his extracts from it are few. 

The defects of this life are, that it seems to have been 
created with a view of supplying a requisite number of 
pages of given dimensions, and that some of the corres- 
pondence, is, in consequence, arbitrarily omitted. It is 
not strictly true, that the language of the original Jour- 

PAEfe'ACB. 7 

nal of the campaign of the Liman is as closely adhered 
to, as is consistent with literal translation ; and as to 
the passages '' omitted and curtailed,'' the Editor has 
occupied fully as much space in apologizing for their 
non-insertion, as would have been taken up by a literal 
translation of them. He appears not to have under- 
stood them. Among the Pieces JustificaHves spoken 
of, there are several worthy of collation with the text, 
and which throw light upon it, while they support its 
accuracv. But the cardinal defect of this book is, that 
though the author seems honestly to strive to justify his 
hero, (who needed no justification,) whenever it did not 
interfere with his own monarchical and English pre- 
judices, it is written in a decidedly English tone, un- 
congenial to the feelings and intellectual associatiom 
of the people of this country. His remarks of a politi- 
cal character aro often ridiculous in fact, and alwayi 
uaphilosophical in spirit. The Editor of the following 
sheets, cannot but smile when he perceives on looking 
over them, that a hasty remark thrown off by him as to 
the destinies of France, excited by the sneers <£ thiit 
writer, at the tendency of the democratic prin^ple, was 
prophetic, and must have been fulfilled ere it was 
printed, to the great consolation of the spirit of James, 
if mortal '' blazon" may be to ears not '' of flesh and 

Miss Janette Taylor, a niece of Admiral Jones, «r* 
rived in this country some months ago, having th her 
possession original copies of all the documents wibidli 
were before the Editor of the biography above fCOMh 
mented upon, with others which were not. Though a 
considerable portion of them had been anticipated in 
the various publications mentioned, it was evident that 



there was no single work of a proper and satisfactory 
character, from which Americans might gather for 
themselves what is to be known of the private and pub- 
lic life of one, who must for ever be chronicled as among 
the first in courage anci ability, as well as in point of 
time, of the herpes who have made the stars and stripes 
respected upon the ocean; one too, whose chivalric, 
daring, and independent character, calumny has been 
aided in assailing, by seeming mystery and prolific ro- 

From the manuscripts in Miss Taylor's possession, 
the present compilation has been made. Public docu- 
ments have been referred to occasionally, and in two or 
three instances, Sherburne's Collection has been cited, 
where the Editor had not certified copies before him. 
This work has no literary pretensions; and cannot 
legitimately come, as a literary production, under the 
examination of critics. It claims only to be the most 
fiill and authentic of its kind. Many oflSicial letters 
have of necessity been rejected, the substance and even 
the phraseology of which is repeated in others ; and in 
some instances, it is perceived, on looking over the 
sheets, that the latter misfortune has been incurred. 

When it is added, that Miss Taylor is only responsi- 
ble for the authenticity of the correspondence quoted 
from or inserted, and in no wise for the casual observa- 
tions of the compiler, all has been stated that is neces- 
sary in this= pre&ce. It is believed, that the pledge 
given in the notice to those who may have subscribed 
for the book has been redeemed. 

New York, September 23, 1830. 



John Paul, afterwards known as the celebrated Chevalier 
John Paul Jones, was born on the 6th of July, 1747, at Arbig- 
land, in the parish of Kirkbean, and stewartry of Kirkcud- 
bright, in Scotland. The family was originally from the shire 
of Fife ; but it appears that the grandfather of the subject of this 
memoir kept a garden, the produce of which lie sold to the public 
in Leith. His son, on finishing his apprenticeship, entered as a 
gardener into the employment of Mr. Craik, of Arbigland, in 
which he remained until his death in 1767. It is abundantly 
proved that he was a man of uniformly respectable character, 
and intelligence. In his profession he exhibited much skill 
and taste. The English memoir contains the following ac- 
count of his family, w^hich was furnished by his descendants. 

" Shortly after entering into the employment of Mr. Craik, 
John Paul married Jean Macduff, the daughter of a small farmer 
in the neighbouring parish of New-Abbey. The Macduffs 
were a respectable rural race in their own district ; and some of 
them had been small landed proprietors in the parish of Kirk- 
bean, for an immemorial period. Of this marriage there were 
seven children, of whom John, afterwards known as John Paul 
Jones, was the fifth : he may indeed be called the yoimgest, 
as two children born after him died in infancy. The first-born 
of the family, William Paul, went abroad early in life, and 


finally settled and married in tVedericksburgh, in Virginia. He 
appears to have been a man of enterprise and judgment. Be- 
yond his early education and virtuous habits he could have de- 
rived no advantage from his family ; and, in 1772 or 1773, when 
he died, still a young man, he left a considerable fortune. Of 
the daughters, the eldest, Elizabeth, died unmarried ; Janet, 
the second, married Mr. Taylor, a watchmaker in Dumfries ; 
and the third, Mary Ann, was twice married, first to a Mr. 
Young, and afterwards to Mr. Louden. Of the relations o. 
Admiral Jones, several nieces, and a grand-nephew, now in the 
United States, still survive." 

When John Paul, the fifth of this family, afterwards became 
the terror of the seas, the hero of a hundred fearful legends, and 
the subject of admiration and jealousy in the most brilliant 
courts, it was natural enough that so modest a paternity should 
neither satisfy the romance of the imaginative, nor the antipa- 
thy of the envious and intimidated ; and many stories were 
current, some assigning to him Mr. Craik, and others an earl 
of Selkirk, as his father. These weak inventions have long 
since been exploded, though preserved in the pages of fanciful 
noveUsts. In answer to an inquiry of Baron Vander Capellan, 
in 1779, Jones says, " I never had any obligation to Lord Sel- 
kirk, lexcept for his good opinion ; nor does he know me or 
mine, except by character." This is verified by the whole 
tenor of the correspondence which we shall have occasion to 

If ever localities might be inferred to have determined the in- 
tellectual bias of an individual, the birthplace of John Paul, and 
the scenery and associations of its vicinity, may be cited as ad- 
mirably calculated to lay the groundwork for the restless spirit 
of adventure, an inclination for poetry, and an occasional ima- 
ginary longing for solitude, study, and rural retirement, all of 
which, without any real inconsistency, were subsequently deve- 
loped in his character. 

His father lived near the shores of the Solway, in one of the 
most picturesque and beautiful points of the Frith. The 


favourite pastime of his earliest years was to launch his *' fairy 
frigate" on the waters, and issue commands to his supposed 
officers and crew. At this time, the town of Dumfries carried 
on a considerable trade in tobacco with America, the cargoes of 
which were unshipped at the Carse-thorn, near the mouth of the 
river Nith, which was not then navigable by foreign vessels. 
His daily intercourse with seamen here, tended of course to 
strengthen and confirm his nascent passion. It is also observed 
that his regard for America, and his willingness to descend with 
fire and sword, in her cause, upon the shores of his native land, 
which were thought unnatural, may have had their origin in the 
conversations of mariners from the discontented colonies. 

Certain it is that his disposition to begin his career upon the 
ocean was so strong, that his friends deemed it proper to yield 
to it. At the age of twelve, he was bound apprentice to Mr. 
Younger, a respectable merchant in the American trade, resid- 
ing at Whitehaven, on the opposite side of Solway Frith. Vul- 
gar invention, in its distorted picture of his life and actions, 
assumed that he ran away to sea against the ^vill of his rela- 
tions, a rumom* which they always declared to be totally without 
foundation. Neither then, nor at any subsequent period, was 
he wanting in affection for them, and solicitude for their welfare. 
His anxiety for the comforts and respectability of his sisters 
and their families, was warmly and substantially expressed in 
his prosperity, and at his death he bequeathed to them all his 

His education at the parish school of Kirkbean, must of course 
have been limited, but there is no doubt he improved it to the 
best advantage. The general correctness of his style and or- 
thography indicate that he had been well instructed in the rudi- 
ments of grammar. Notwithstanding his strong relish for active 
and dangerous adventure, he devoted its intervals to close ap- 
pUcation to study. While in port, whether abroad or at 
Whitehaven, during the period of his apprenticeship, he applied 
himself to learning the theory of navigation, and to other sub- 
jects of practical use. Many years after, we find him in one of 

16 PA1TL JON£S. 


hifi letters, while modestly admitting that much more accom 
pUshed seamen might be fomid than himself, referring to hours 
of systematic "midnight" study. In the letters written in 
French,. which are in his own hand, the spelling is infinitely 
more accurate than that of many of his illustrious and titled 
correspondents. These circumstances show that his mental 
culture was methodically and well begun : and these habits of 
mind are not such as belong to a reckless adventurer in quest 
of mere private emolument or personal fame. 

He made his first voyage before he was thirteen, in the 
Friendship, of Whitehaven, Captain Benson, bound for the 
Rappahannock. His home, while in port, was the house of an 
elder brother, William, who had married and settled in Virginia. 
His prepossessions in favour of America, and sympathy with 
colonial feelings, were here naturally fostered under circum- 
stances calculated to make them keen and enduring ; indissohi- 
bly connected as they were with his j&rst professional impressions. 
The correctness of his conduct, and his extraordinary intelli- 
gence and aptitude for acquiring knowledge in naval matters, 
caused him to be most favourably regarded by his master. Mr. 
Younger, however, soon found his affairs embarrassed ; and 
was induced, in consequence, to give up Paul's indentures. 
This license to act for himself, woulc' have been, to a boy whose 
purposes in living were not in some measure fixed, and whose 
will was undecided as to the future, a passport to obscurity, if 
not to disgrace. In Paul's case, it was sumpta prudenter. He 
availed himself of it wisely, having confidence in himself. He 
obtained the appointment of third mate of the King George, of 
Whitehaven, a vessel engaged in the slave trade. In 1766, he 
shipped as chief mate, on board the brigantine Two Friends, 
of Kingston, Jamaica, which was engaged in the same traffic. 
It is said by the friends of Paul, that he became disgusted with 
the business of stealing human beings, and left the ship on its 
arrival in the West Indies. Independently of their evidence, 
which is in every respect entitled to credit, the supposition will 
be found to be confirmed by the uniform tenor of his correspon- 

PAUL JOlfES. 17 

dence, whenever he speaks of the principles of action* which he 
asserts to have governed his services and enterprises. And it 
is fair to infer, that the exhibition of these horrors, at which his 
feelings revolted, strengthened his love for that liberty in whose 
cause he afterwards fought ; and for that land which knew how 
to vindicate the cause of Uberty. And- he had the means of 
knowing then and thereafter, why that land suffered under the 
curse introduced by those whose yoke it was about shaking off; 
though it could not shake off the baleful legacy now pointed to 
as its disgrace, by the ignorant and hireling politicians, ot 
maundering and useless philanthropists of the mother land-^ 
that " nursing mother" of convicts and slaves, and " stem rug- 
ged nurse' a of our pilgrim fathers. 

It is stated, at any rate, by those from whom alone any infor- 
mation can be derived, as to Paul's adventures at this period, 
that be returned to Scotland from this second slaving^voyage, as 
a passenger, in the brigantine John, of Kirkcudbright, Captain 
Macadam commander. On this voyage the captain and mate 
both died of fever ; and there being no one on board equally 
capable of navigating the ship, Paul assumed the command, 
and brought her safe into port. For this service he was ap- 
pointed by the owners, Currie, Beck, & Co., master and super- 

It appears that Paul sailed for two voyages, as master, in 
the employment of this firm, and, sometime in the course of 
the year 1780, found it necessary, in order to preserve his 
authority and enforce discipline, to punish a man named Mungo 
Maxwell, borne, on the books as carpenter of the vessel. Mun- 
go, being whipped, (as he no douht deserved to be, according 
to the practical code which still prevails in the English and 
American mercantile marine service,) stated to the authorities 
at Tobago, that his back was sore, and that his feelings were 
hurt ; both of which representations they seem to have believed 

* For which ''he drew his sword ;'^ an expression which he makes use of in all his 
letters, whenever he speaks of his emplo3niient'as a naval comoiander. 





iiii without feeling themselves called upon to heal the one, or 
to sooth the other. But it appears that he subsequently insti- 
tuted a prosecution against Paul in England, which gave the 
latter some trouble, as will be seen by a letter from him to his 
mother and sisters, which we shall presently introduce. 

There would scarcely be any necessity of mentioning this cir- 
cumstance at all, were it not that calumny founded upon it one 
of its grossest charges against him who was afterwards the 
ChevaUer Paul Jones ; that he was accused by vulgar rumour 
of torturing Mungo, by the process of flagellation, in a manner 
which caused his death ; and that his enemies did not disdain to 
rake up this legend, when he had the glory and the misfortune 
of exciting the jealousy of the Russian courtiers. All the au- 
thentic particulars of the transaction which we can obtain now, 
are, that being invested with a legitimate authority, which 
it was more peculiarly necessary for .the preservation of the 
vessel and cargo, on that account, to sustain. Paul punished a 
sailor for rebellion and sullen impudence ; and that the subject 
of discipUne was displeased, as was naturally to be expected. 
The following are the of&cial documents which Paul thought 
proper, or found it expedient to procure, in relation to this trans- 

* Tcfmgo. 

*' Before the Honourable Lieutenant-Governor, WilUam 
Young, Esq. of the island aforesaid, personally appeared James 
Simpson, Esq. who, being duly sworn upon the Holy Evangelists 
of Almighty God, deposeth and saith. That some time about the 
beginning of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven 
hundred and seventy, a person in the habit of a sailor came to 
this deponent (who was at that time Judge Surrogate of the 
Court of Vice-Admiralty for the island aforesaid) with a com- 
plaint against John Paul, (commander of a brigantine then Ijing 
in Rockley Bay of the said island,) for having beat the then 
complainant, (who belonged to the said John Paul's vessel,) at 
the same time showing this deponent his shoulders, which had 
thereon the marks of several stripes, but none that were either 

PAUL l01f£B. 19 

mortal or dangerous, to the best of this deponent's opinion and 
belief. And this deponent further saith, that he did summon the 
said John Paul before him, who, in his yindication, alleged that 
the said complainant had on all occasions proved yery ill quali- 
fied for, as weU as very negligent in, his duty | and also, that he 
was very lazy and inactive in the execution of his, the said John 
Paul's lawful commands, at the same time declaring his sorrow 
for having corrected the complainant. And this deponent fur- 
ther saith, that having dismissed the complaint as frivolous, the 
complainant, as this deponent believes, returned to his duty. 
And this deponent further saith, that he has since understood 
that the said complainant died afterwards on board of a dif- 
ferent vessel, on her passage to some of the Leeward Islands, 
and that the said John Paul (as this deponent is informed) has 
been accused in Great Britain as the immediate author of the 
said complainant's death, by means of the said stripes herein be* 
fore mentioned, which accusation this deponent, for the sake of 
justice and humanity, in the most solemn manner declares, and 
believes to be, in his judgment, without any just foundation, so 
far as relates to the stripes before mentioned, which this depo- 
nent very particidaify examined. And further this deponent 
saith not. 

'< James Simpson. 
*' Sworn before me, this 30th day of 
June, 1772, WiLliam Young.'* 

^' James Eastment, mariner, and late master of the Barcelona 
packet, maketh oath, and saith. That Mungo Maxwell, carpen- 
ter, formerly on board the John, Captain John Paul, master, 
came in good health on board his, this deponent's^ said vessel, 
then lying in Great Rockley Bay, in the island of Tobago, about 
the middle of the month of June, in the year one thousand seven 
hundred and seventy, in the capacity of a carpenter, aforesaid ; 
that he acted as such in every respect in perfect health for some 
days after he came on board this deponent's said vessel, the 
Barcelona tiackaf. • after which he was tiftken ill of a feveivand 


lowness of spirits, which continued for four or fiye days, when 
be died on board the said vessel, during her passage from To- 
bago to Antigua. And this deponent further saith, that he never 
beard the said Mungo Maxwell complain of having received any 
ill usage from the scud Captain John Paul ; but that he, this 
deponent, verily believes the said Mungo Maxwell's death was 
occasioned by a fever and lowness of spirits, as aforesaid, and 
not by or through any other cause or causes whatsoever. 

'' James Eastment. 
'' Sworn at the Mansion House, London, 

this 30th of January, 1773, before me, 

James Townsend, Mayor." 

'^ These do certify to whom it. may concern, that the bearer, 
Ci^tain John Paul, was two voyages master of a vessel called 
the John, in our employ in the West India trade, during which 
time he approved himself every way qualified both as a. naviga- 

tor and supercargo ; but as our present firm is dissolved, the 
yessel was sold, and of course he is out of our employ, all ac- 
counts between him and the owners being amicably adjusted. 
Certified at Kirkcudbright this Ist of April, 1771. 

" CuRRiE, Beck, &, Co. . 

The following is the letter to bia nether and sisters^ ,^itten 
more than two years after the affair in question, during which 
time he must have made other voyages. 

... . ■ t 

^ <' London, 2Uh September, 1772. 

^*Mt dsab mothsb. and sistebs, 

:, ''I ojoly arrived here last night from the Grenadas. I have 
bad but poor health during the voyage ; and my success in it 
pot having equalled my first, sanguine expectations, has added 
v€iry much to the asperity of my misfortunes, and, I am ; well 
assured, was the cau^e.of my loss of health. I am now, how- 
ever, better, and I trust Providence will soon put me in a way 
to get . bread, and (which is by far my greatest happiness) be 

serviceable to jfnj poor but mucli^Yalaed friends* | ain^aUf) tq 
giye you no account of my future proceedings, ^& tb/ey depend 
upon circmnstances which are not fully determined* 

'^ I have enclpied you a copy of ao affidavit made before 
Qpvernor Young by the Judge of the Court of y^ce^Admralty of 
Tobago, by which you will see with how little rec^M>|i i^y li|e li^ 
been thirsted after, and, which is much dearer to me, my honour, 
by lualiciqusly loading -my fair character with obloquy and vile 
aspersions. I believe there are few who are hard-hearted enough 
to think I have not long since given the world every satis&ction 
in my power, being conscious of ivy innocence before HeaveOf 
who will (tfie day judge even my judges« I staked m^y honouii UfO) 
and fortune for six long months on the verdict of a Bntish juryf 
notwithstanding I was sensible of the general prejudices whi^ 
ran against me ; but, aft^r all, none of lay accusers had the cou- 
rage to Qonfiront me. Yet I am willing to convince the worUd 
if reason and facts will do it, that they have had no foundation 
for their harsh treatment* I mean to send Mr* Crajk a copy 
properly proved, ofi his nice feelings will not perhaps be others 
ways satisfied ; in the mean tixne, if you please, you may show 
him that enclosed. His ungracious conduct to me before |left 
Scotland I have not yet been able to get the better of. Every 
person pf feeling must think meanly of adding to the load of the 
afllicted* It is true I bore it with seeining unconcern, but Hear 
ven can witness for me, that I suffered the, more on that very 
account* But enough of this." * * * 

The precise najture of the ungracipivs conduct of Craik, refer- 
red to in the foregoing letter cannot now be explained with pre- 
cision, but may easily be conjectured* Paul looked up to this 
gentleman as the former patron of his father, and existing pro- 
tector of his mother and sisters, with gratitude and deference, 
and probaUy with a warmth of respectful regard, which was 
chilled by the mortifying coldness of a cautious reception, such 
as it is xefMSfonable to infer he may have met with from Mr* Craik, 
to whpxp his conduct had been misrepresented* He had, no 
dcMiht, takf(a i( for granted that his own simple statements 


would be iofficient to satisfy what he calls the '' nice feelings" of 
diat gentleman ; in which expectation it would seem that he 
was disappointed. It is known that Mr. C. subsequently ex- 
culpated him from all blame in the affair of Mnngo. The fol- 
lowing l^er appears to have been the last vrihich P^ul ever ad- 
dressed to him. 

** St. Oearg€9, Grenada^ 5th Aug. 1770. 


^* Common report here says that my owners are going to fin- 
idi their connexions in the West Indies as fast as possible. How 
&r this is true, I shall not pretend to judge ; but should that 
really prove the case, you know the disadvantages I must of 
course labour under. 

" These, however, would not have been so great had I been 
acquainted with the matter soonw, as in that case I believe I 
oould have made interest with some gentlemen here to have been 
eoncemed with me in a large ship out of London ; and as these 
gentlemen have estates in this and the adjacent islands, I should 
have been able to make two voyages every year, and always had 
a fiill ship out and home, &c. Sec. &c. 

'' However, I by no means repine, as it is a maxim with me 
to do my best, and leave the rest to Providence. I shall- take 
no step whatever without your knowledge and approbation. 

'* I have had several very severe fevers lately, wiiich have re- 
dneed me a good deal, though I am now perfectly recovered. 

'^ I must beg you to supply my mother ^ should she want any 
thing, as I well know your readiness. 

*^ I hope yourself and family enjoy health and happiness. I 
am; inost sincerely. Sir, your*s ahvays, 

"John Paul.*' 

Shortly after this period, Paul commanded the Betsy of Lon- 
don, a vessel engaged in the West India trade. He has been 
accused of being concerned in the smuggling business, which 


was at this time carried on to a great extent by those who lived 
aloDg the shores of the Solway ; a charge which he always 
solemnly denied, and whiqh there is not a particle of evidence 
to support. On the contrary, the rerj first entry of Ucensed 
goods from England, made in the Isle of Man after it was anr 
nexed to the crown, stands in his name in the Custom House 
books at. Douglas, being of the first rum regularly imported 
there. His commercial speculations in the West Indies were 
various and extensive. His letters in rdation to them, written 
at different subsequent periods, may in general be more caor 
veniently introduced in their chronological order. In 1771 he 
saw his relations in Scotland for the last time. In 1773 he went 
to Virginia, to arrange the affairs of his brother William, who 
had died childless and intestate. He left funds at Tobago and 
elsewhere, which the faithlessness qf his agents prevented him 
from realizing jas he had expected. He was soon to be called 
upon to act in the great struggle for Uberty, whose coming events 
were to swallow up in their importance the calculations of pri- 
vate interest. 

There can be no doubt that at thic^.time he ihaugJU he bad 
determined to devote the rest of his life to the peaceftil pursuits 
of agriculture, study, and domestic life ; or as he phrases it, in 
one of his favourite quotations, to '* calm contemplation and po- 
etic ease,." In his letter to the Countess of Selkirk, in which he 
affirms that such was his fixed purpose, he also speaks of having 
been led to *' sacrifice not only his favourite scheme of life, but 
the softer affections of his heart, and his hopes of domestic hap- 
piness." We have no data from which to infer that these 
schemes, affections, and hopes, revolved around any ascertained 
and existing orb, and centre of attraction ; or that Paul felt 
any more distinct longing than that inspired by the general ie- 
win d^fiimeTy proper to his age and imaginative temperamentf 
The latter was vastly different from that given by our modern 
poets and moralists to their corsairs and pirates, and pilots in 
disguise. Paul's letters show throughout that he had a sense 
of moral and religious obligation, tinged with a true chivalric 

24 PA1TL JONB8. 

feeling) sueh as' does not belong to robbers anfl cut-Croats* 
His early education was in Scotland. We find, too, th^ 
T^OfiHKm was his fiivourite poet. It is unnecessary, in addi- 
tion to his own reiterated assertions, to cite the common-places 
of those who hare best studied human nature, and whose 
marks have become proverbs,— or parallel cases in real life,- 
strengthen our belief that it was his intention at this time to 
abandon the sea-service ; to plant and sow, and reap and gather, 
in the due seasons of seed time and harvest ; to take care of an 
interesting family ; and accept the terms of the curse which a 
distinguished profligate once thought so dreadful, of <' being 
married, and settled in the country.'* 

It woidd*, however, be equally unwise to befieve, that this 
dream of " calm contemplation and domestic ease,'' would not, 
under the most fovourable circumstances for the encouragemekit 
of the illusion, soon have proved its relationship to all the waking 
and sleeping family of phantasms. Paul was bom for excite- 
ment and for action ; and his rural and pastoral meditations 
were but the solicited relaxations of the mind, craving them as 
the body does its natural repose. 

It is not unlikely that at this time the details and associations 
of West India trading voyages seemed disgusting to him. It 
would appear indeed, from the ifbllowing passage in a letter al- 
ready referred to, addressed to the Hon. Robert Morris three 
years after this period, that his commercial affairs had become 
temporarily entangled. He says, '' I coQclude that Mr. Hewes 
has acquainted you with a very great misfortune which befell me 
some years ago, and which brought me into North America. I 
am under no concern whatever, that this, or any other past cir- 
cumstance of my life, will sink me in your opinion. Since human 
wisdom cannot secure us from accidents, it is the greatest effort 
of human wisdom to bear them well." It is evident ffom his 
relations to the distinguished person he was writing to, from the 
frankness of his language, and his subsequent arrangement of 
all his obligations, that this ^' great misfortune" must have been 
a disappointment in business, on which no shadow of censure 


could, without iniquity, be cast. This disappointment, or one 
which was connected with it, is probably referred to in the letter 
inserted b^low, addressed to a valued friend, Mr. Stuart Mawey 
of Tobago, just before Jones sailed from Boston, fully commis- 
sioned as an ofScer of the United States.* It must be confessed 

♦ " Boston, 4th May, 1 777. 
" Dear Sir, 

^' After an unprofitable suspense of twenty months, (having subsisted 
on 'fifty pounds only during that time,) when my hopes of relief were 
entirely cut off, and there remained no possibility of my receiving 
wherewithal to subsist upon from my effects in your island, or in Eng- 
land, I at last had recourse to strangers for that aid and comfort which 
was denied me by those friends whom I had intrusted with my all. The 
good offices which are rendered to pennons in their extreme need, ought 
to make deep impressions on grateful minds; in my case I feel the 
truth of that sentiment, and am bound by gratitude, as well as honour, 
to follow the fortunes of my late benefactors. 

** I have lately seen Mr. Sicaton, (late manager on the estates of Arch. 
Stuart, Esq.) who informed me that Mr. Ferguson had quitted Orange 
Valley, on being charged with the unjust appHeation of the property of 
his employers. I have been, and am extremely concerned at this ac- 
count ; I wish to disbelieve it, although it seems too much of a piece 
with the unfair advantage which, to all appearance^ he took of me, when 
he left me in exile for twenty months, a prey to melancholy and want, 
and withheld my property, without writing a word in excuse for his con 
duct. Thus circumstanced, I have taken the libeity of sending you a 
letter of attorney by Captain Cleaveland, who undertakes to deliver it 
himself, as he goes for Tobago via Martinico. You have enclosed a 
copy of a list of debts acknowledged, which I received from Mr. Fer- 
guson when I saw you last at Orange Valley. You have also a list of 
debts contracted with me, together with Ferguson's receipt. And there 
remained a considerable property unsold, besides some best Madeira 
wine which he had shipped for London. By the state of accounts 
which I sent to England on my arrival on this continent, there was a 
balance due to me from the ship Betsy of 909/. 15$. 3fif. sterling ; and in 
my account with Robert Young, Esq., 29th January, 1773, there ap- 
peared a balance in my favour of 281/. 1^. 8^. sterling. These sums 



that the phrase '' a yery great imsfcNrtune, which brought him into 
North America," cannot at this time he verj clearly explained* 
It is enough, that no inferences can be drawn from it prejudi^al 
to his character. A very natural irritation after the treatment 
he had receiyed, will account for the tenor of his expressions in 
the commencement of the letter from Boston ; which an. English 
writer speaks of as being '* affecting, from their mixture of reck- 
lessness and feeling."* 

exceed my drafts and just debts together; so that, if I sun fairly dealt 
with, I ought to receive a considerable remittance from that quarter. 
Tou will please to observe, that there were nine pieces of coarse cam- 
lets shipped at Cork, over and above the quantity expressed in the bUl 
of lading. It seems the shippers, finding their mistake, applied for the 
goods ; and, as I have been informed from Grenada, Mr. Ferguson laid 
hold of this opportunity to propagate a report that all the goods which 
I put into his hands were the property of that house in Cork. If this 
base suggestion hath gained belief, it accounts for all the neglect whjich 
I have experienced. But however my connexions are changed, my 
principles as an honest man of candour and integrity are the same ; 
theVefore, should there not be a sufficiency of my property in England to 
answer my just debts, I declare that it is my first wish to make up such 
deficiency from my property in Tobago ; and were even that also to fall 
short, I am ready and willing to make full and ample remittances from 
hence upon hearing from you the true state of my affairs. As I hope 
my dear mother is still alive, I must inform you that I wish my property 
in Tobago,'or in England, after paying my just debts, to be applied for 
her support. Your own feelings, my dear sir, make it unnecessary for 
me to use arguments to prevail with you on this tender point. Any 
remittances which you may be enabled to make, through the hands of 
my good friend Captain John Plaince, of Cork, will be faithfully put 
into her hands ; she hath several orphan grand-children to provide for. 
I have made no apology for giving you this trouble : My situation will, 
I trust, obtain your free pardon. 

" I am always, with perfect esteem, dear Sir, your very obliged, very 
obedient, and most humble servant, 

** J. Paul Jones. 
" Stuart Mawey, Esquire, Tobago." 

* Life of Jones, from Sherburae's Collections, page SO. London, Murray, 1835. 


His taking pomessioii of his brothei*'gestate,eneoura;ed for the 
time being his imaginary predilection for gtill life ; and he looked 
fiir sufficient remittances from those to whom he had ooniBded the 
management of his afiairs, to enable Mm to realize his vision of 
tranquil seclusion from the bustle of the world* In the latter 
hope, as has been mentioned, he was disappointed ; and from 
this reason, if from no other, retirement must have become in- 
superable to a young man of his temper, at the stirring epoch, 

Wheh tmuntlantic Liberty aroM, 

Not in the sonsbine, and the smile of heaven, 

But wrapped in whirlwinds, and begirt with woes. 

tn every point of view he was then fitted to act the part it fell 
to his lot to perform in the ensuing drama. Nature had made 
hiin a hero ; circumstances had prepared him to command men, 
and give an emphatic direction to the developement of their 
energies ; and these qualifications, united with the integrity of 
his heart and mind, rendered him worthy of co-working with 
the band of brave spirits who came forth with free and uncor- 
rupted souls, and iii the power and majesty of truth, to vindicate 
the rights which they knew how to exercise, as well as to assert. 
Though his education as a seaman had been principally in the 
merchant service, he had sailed frequently in armed vessels ; 
and how sound his opinions were, acquired by observaticm or 
study, on the subject of naval discipline, will appear from his 
letters to the continental authorities ; while his great practical 
skill in all his manoeuvres and engagements is perhaps more 
admirable than his daring and desperate courage. One of his 
English biographers* observes : " It is singular that during the 
first years of the American navy, with the exception of Paul 
Jones, ho man of any talent is to be found directing its opera- 
tions. Had it not been for the exertions of this individual, who 
was unsupported by fortune or connexion, it is very probable 

* Life of Panl Jones, from Sheibnrne's CoUections. London, Monay , 18VS. 


that the American naval power would have gradually diaappear- 
ed." These remarks were unquestionably dictated as much by 
the spirit of national vanity, claiming Jones as a native bom 
British subject, as by a natural partiality of the writer for his 
hero* Jones had brave men for his compeers, as jealous <^ 
honour and of rank as himself, bett^ taught from the advan- 
tages of birth, not unskilled in their profession, and who so<m 
became instructed by ambition and experience. The Ameri- 
can naval force must have been as certainly created to a neces- 
sary extent, as the independence of the colonies, at no distant 
period, was inevitable. But it was among the extraordinary 
circumstances, in which the immediate designs of Providence 
seem developed to the religious mind, that a man of such a tem- 
per, and with such peculiar advantages, was sent to aid America 
on an element in which she was feeble, and her foe, in her fond 
conceit, omnipotent ; a man, who was able, with a force seem- 
ingly contemptible, to strike terror along the coast of the fast- 
anchored isle, notwithstanding her thousands of wooden walls, 
and to give to the American flag in foreign seas, a reputation 
which it has never lost. 

In the beginning of the year 1775, as will appear from one 
of his letters, his inmiediate pecuniary resources, from the 
causes he mentions, had almost entirely failed him, and for the 
two years following, he lived, as he expresses it, '< upon fifty 
pounds." Mere necessity, however, could not have determined 
his election of an occupation, when he accepted a commission 
from the Continental Congress. A man who had begun Ufe 
with nothing but '' health and his good spirits" for his patri- 
mony, who, while a mere boy, had known how to obtain profit- 
able employments of much responsibility, and who was now in 
the incipient prime of mental and bodily vigour, could have 
been at no loss in investing the capital of his abilities, his credit, 
and his '* fifty pounds," in many speculations, which must, to 
ordinary minds at this epoch, have seemed far more promising 
than the cause of the colonists. But his heart was with them, 
and all his sympathies, and even prejudices, were in imison 

PAI7JU jojm.^ 29 

with theirs. Since the age of thirtceor when he first saw k^ as 
he himself declares, America had been the country of his fond 
election. In it, he had laid the scene of his romance of re^ 
tirement ; and he had now no other home save the ocean. His 
interest, so £u^as the strong appetite for renovm, to be won by 
danger, was concerned, was also best served by embarking in 
the revolutionary cause ; for what promotion could he helve ob- 
tained, without money or friends, in the navy of Great Britain ? 
But so far as mere servile and sordid considerations were in 
question, the world of adventure offered to him a wide market, 
in which much safer and -cheaper bargains might be made, 
by one who had acquired^o much skill in the traffic. It was 
principle, and not necessity nor accident, which, in coimexion 
with the love of glory, induced him to embark in the cause of 

This point has been dwelt on more at large, becaiilse the last 
English compiler of his memoirs, with very good intentions, 
speaks of it in an equivocal manner, in his analysis of Paul's 
motives. He also enters into an unnecessary apology for his 
consenting to bear arms against the mother country. The fol- 
lowing remarks, made by him, are, however, worthy of being 
quoted here : 

'' Though in the heat of a struggle, which, from its very nature, 
was, like the feuds of the nearest relatives, singularly rancorous 
and bitter, Jones was branded as a traitor and a felon, and after 
his most brilliant action, his capture of the Serapis, formally 
denounced by the British ambassador at the Hague as a rebel 
and a pirate according to the laws of war,* it must be remem- 
bered that he bore this stigma in common with the best and 
greatest of his contemporaries-— with Franklin and Washing- 
ton ; which last had actually borne arms in the service of the 
king of England. The memory of Paul Jones now needs little 

* Memorial of Sir Joieph Yorke to the Stttea-General, dated the Hague, 8th Octo- 
ber, 1779. 

npdication fgit this imfoi^taxA rtt p> ■ After the pefeu^ h^ enjoyed 
theeite^ni and private firiendahip of EngliBhlkien whb might 
haye forf iyen the most imhittered political hostility, but neVer 
could haye overlooked a taint on personal honour » Of this nuln- 
ber was the Earl of Wemyss, whc after the peace endeavoured 
to promote the views of Jones on various occasions. He him- 
self, howeveri discovers a lurking consciousness of having incur- 
red* if not of meriting, suspicion on this delicate groimd. This 
is chiefly displayed by his eloquent though rather frequent as- 
sertions of purity of motive, superiority to objects of sordid in- 
terest, and disinterested seal for the cause, now of America, 
now of human nature, as was best adapted to the supposed in- 
dinations of his correspondents. In ordinary circumstances, 
much of this might have appeared uncalled for ; but the situa-^ 
tion of Jones was in many respects peculiar both as a native- 
bom Briton» and as a man of obscure origin, jealous— and par- 
donably so-— of his independence and dignity of character. 
Somewhat of the heroic vaunting which marks other parts of 
his correspondence appears incident to the enthusiastic tempe- 
rament of many great naval commanders. How would Nelson's 
tone of confident prediction, and boasts of prowess, have sound-^ 
ed from the lips of an inferior man f In any other than hifM 
self, the customary language of Ihrake would have been reck- 
oned that of an insolent braggarts" 

The English editor is right in referring to the obscurity of 
Paul's origin, and the consequent nature of his early education^ 
as one cause of the quaintness and inartificial *< heroic vaunt- 
ing" of style, which often strikes us in his letters. The exam{de 
he produces of other great men, who occasionally exhibited the 
same bad taste, are illustrious and pertinent. But as to any 
squeamishness which Paul may have felt or expressed, on the 
score of his being born on the soil, as well as under the alle- 
giance of Great Britain, we find no evidence in his correspon- 
dence which is not directly against the suggestion. He fought 
fi)r his adopted country, the land of his friendships and affec- 
tion ; and his fame should not be tarnished without cause, by 

si4)posiiig that any ccuoApiiiictkHis vimtiilgs diaturbed kini in his 
earaer» other than those natural to the best mA hrarest moi 
who hare served in the eautie of human freedom. Writing id 
Baron Vander CftpeUan, some years after the confliel hegtmf 
he says, in a spirit of bitterness, fNroyoked by his being ietigMB^ 
tized as a pirate, rebel, &c. in the British prints : 

^' I was indeed born in Britain ; bat I do not inherit die dege- 
nerate spirit of that fiedlen nation, whiok I at once kment and 
despise. It is far beneath me to reply to their hireling inreo^ 
tires. They are strangera to the inward ajqpvobation thai 
greatly animatea and rewarda the man who draws bis swead 
only in support of the dignity of freedom. America baa been 
thecountiyTmy foudT^n from the age of thirteen, whe« 
I fliTst saw it. I had the honour to hoist with my own handadbe 
flag of. freedom, the first time it was displayed cm the Delaware; 
and I have attended it with veneratkm ever nnce, on the 

At the time when P&ul setded, (or more properly, supposed 
he meant to settle,) in Virginia, it would seem that he a»* 
sumed the additional surname of Jones. Previous to this date^ 
his letters are signed John Paul. We are left to conjecture 
the reason of this arbitrary change. His relations were never 
able to assign one ; there is no illusion to the circumstance in 
the manuscripts which he left, and tradition is silent on the 
subject. It was, however, a caprice by no means singular in a 
sea-faring man. It is mentioned in the biographical sketch 
written for the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia, by Dr. Duncan, of 
Scotland, that the custom of taking the father's Christian name 
as a patronymic, was not prevalent in the immediate vicinity of 
Paul's birthplace. But it was common in Wales, the Isle of 
Man, and other parts, with which he was as familiarly acquaint- 
ed. It does not seem to be, in the language of logicians, 
'* drawing a long inference," to suppose, that in adopting a coun- 
try where he meant to establish his household gods, and be the 
father of his own line, he chose to assume a new name, which 
he had such warrant tor doing, and which should be his own, 



and that t>f his descendants. His retaining that by which he 
had. been always known, proves that he did not ccMisider it to 
have been sullied. It is only because calumny and invention 
have been busy with the topic, that it seems proper to* suggest 
a pbnsible explanation for this change. 

' It ' is not within the province of this narrative to sketch the 
early history ^f the American navy, or its operations during the 
revolutionary war> except where Jcmes was connected with 
them. Of these he is his own historian* With the view of cut« 
ting off the suppUes sent in store ships to Boston, then in po»> 
session of the British, and in a state of blockade,— -of obtaining 
powder and the munitions of war, whidi were not to be had in the 
odonies, — ^cmd of retaliating for depredations committed by Bri- 
tish emissaries along the coast, the General Court of !Uassa- 
chusetts on the 13th November, 1775, passed an act authorizing 
letters of marque and reprisal to be issued agunst ships infest- 
ing the sea-coast of America, and elected courts to try and con- 
demn such as should be captured. General Washington, as 
Commander in Chief, gave commissions to a number of vessels, 
to intercept the supplies intended for Boston. Privateers 
swarmed in the Bay of Boston, and off the neighbouring sea- 
coast. Instances of gallant and ingenious enterprises were nu- 
merous, and the names of those by whom they were conducted 
will be entitled to a place in our national history. On the 13th 
of December, 1775, the Continental Congress adopted a report 
of the Committee appointed to devise ways and means for fit- 
ting out a naval armament ; in which it was recommended that 
thirteen frigates should be got ready for sea; five to be of 
thirty-two guns, five of twenty-eight, and three of twenty-four. 
They also commissioned a small fleet collected in the Dela- 
ware to cruise against the enemy, and passed the following ** 
resolution : 

'' In Congress, 22nd Dec. 1775. 
'' Resolvedt that the following naval officers be appointed : 


Ezek. Hopkins, £s(). Commander in Chief of the fleet. 
Dudley SaltonstaJl, Captain of the Alfred. 
Abrfdiam Whipple, do. Columbus. 

Nicholas Biddle, do. Andrew Doria. 

John B. Hopkins, do. Cabot. 

'* 1st Lieutenants, John Paul Jones, Rhodes Arnold, 
Stansbury, Hersted Hacker, Jonathan Pitcher. 

''2d Lieutenants, Benjamin Seabury, Joseph Olney, Elisha 
Warner, Thomas Weaver, — M'Dougall. 

''3d Lieutenants, John Fanning, Ezekiel Burroughs, Da- 
niel Yaughan. 

"Resolved, that the pay of the Commander in Chief of the 
fleet be one hundred and twenty-five dollars per month.'* 

To this small fleet was added the sloop Providence, the com- 
mand of which Jones declined for the reasons stated in his nar- 
rative, which we shall presently follow. The force consisted of 
the Alfred, Commodore Hopkins, 30 guns and 300 men ; Co- 

• 4 

lumbus, Whipple, 28 guns and 300 men ; Andrew Doria, Bid- 
die, 16 guns and 200 men ; Sebastian Cabot, Hopkins, Jun. 14 
guns and 200 men ; and the Providence, Hazard, 12 guns and 
150 men. The flag of America was hoisted by Jones, as he 
records, being the first time it was displayed, on board of the Al- 
fred, of which he was first-lieutenant. He does not mention the 
date of this transaction, which it would be extremely interesting 
to ascertain ; nor has the present compiler been able to fix it. 
His commission to act as lieutenant bore date on the 7th De- 
cember. The squadron was originally destined to act against 
Lord Dunmore, who was committing acts of outrage and depre- 
dation along the coast of Virginia. T.he navigation of the 
Delaware was, however, interrupted by the ice, and the fleet 
did not leave Cape Henlopen until the 17th of February, 1776. 
The most succinct and clear account of this period of his ser- 
vice is given by Jones in the commencement of a Journal, drawn 
up at the request of the king of France, and read by that un- 
fortunate monarch when he was a prisoner. It is as follows 



** When Congress thought fit to equip a naval, force towards 
the conclusion of the year 1775, ^for Ihe defence of American 
liberty y and for repelling every hostile invasion thereof,^ it was a 
very difficult matter to find men fitly qualified for officers, and 
willing to embark in the ships and vessels that were then put 
into commission* The American navy at first was no more than 
the ships Alfred and Columbus, the brigantines Andrew Doria, 
and.Cabot, and the sloop Providence.* Acommandei: in chief of 
the fleet was appointed ; and the Captains Saltonstall, Whipple, 
Biddle, and Hopkins, were named for the ships and brigantines. 
A captain's commission for the Providence, [bought, or to be 
bought, about the time, from Captain Whipple,] t which Mr. Jo- 
seph Hewes of the Marine Committee offered to his friend Mr 
John Paul Jones, was not accepted, because Mr. Jones had 
never sailed in a sloop, and had then no idea of the deckuration 
of independence that took place the next year. It was his early 
wish to do his best for the cause o( America, which he considered 
Its the cause of human nature. He could have no object of self- 
interest ; and having then no prospect that th^ American navy 
would soon become an established service, that rank was the 
most acceptable to him by which he could be the most useful in 
that moment of public calamity. There were three classes of 
lieutenants appointed, and Mr. Jones was appointed^ the first of 
the first-lieutenants, which placed him next in command to the 
four captains already mentioned. This commission under the 
united colonies is dated the 7th day of December, 1775, as first- 
lieutenant of the Alfred. On board of that ship, before Phila- 
delphia, Mr. Jones hoisted the flcig of America with his own 
hands, the first time it was ever displayed, as the commander in 
chief embarked on board the Alfred. All the commissions for 

* In the MSS. copj before me seyera] corrections occur in Jones' own hand writing 
Some are not material. In the passage above he has overlined " Ezek. I^ppkins, Esq 
was appointed, &c." 

t The words in brackets are erased in the copy above mentioned. 

t ''Commissioned'' as altered bj Jones. 

PAUL JOIf£S. 36 

the Alfred were dated before the commissions for the Columbus, 
&c. All the time this little squadron was fitting and manning, 
Mr. Jones superintended the afiairs of the Alfred ; and as Cap- 
tain Scdtonstall did not appear at Philadelphia, the commander 
in chief told Mr. Jones he shpuld command that ship. A day 
or two before the squadron sailed from Philadelphia, manned 
and fit for sea, Captain Saltonstall appeared*, and took com- 
mand of the Alfred. The object of the first expedition W8U3 
against Lord Dunmore in Virginia. But instead of proceeding 
immediately on that service, the squadron was. hauled to the 
wharfs at Reedy Island, and lay there for six weeks frozen up. 
Here Mr. Jones and the other lieutenants stood the deck, watch 
and watch, night and day, to prevent desertion ; and thfey lost 
no man from the Alfred. On the 17th of February, 1776, the 
squadron sailed*from the Bay of Delaware, having been joined 
the day before by a small sloop and a very small schooner from 
Baltimore. On the 1st of March the squadron anchored at 
Abaco, one of the Bahama Islands, and carried in there two 
sloops belonging to New Providence. Some persons on board 
the sloops, informed, that a quantity of powder and warlike 
stores might be taken in the forts of New Providence. An ex- 
pedition was determined on against that island. It was resolv- 
ed to embark the marines on board the two sloops. They were 
to remain below deck until the sloops had anchored in the har- 
bour close to the forts, and they were then to land and take pos- 
session. There was not a single soldier in the island to oppose 
them ; therefore the plan would have succeeded, and not only 
the public stores might have been secured, but a considerable 
contribution might have been obtained as a ransom for the town 
and island, had not the whole squadron appeared off the harbour 
in the m6rning, instead of remaining out of sight till a^er the 
sloops had entered and the marines secured the forts. On the 
appearance of the squadron the signal of alarm was fired, so 
that it was impossible to think of crossing the bar. The com- 
mander in chief proposed to go roumd the west end of the island. 



and endeavour to march the marines up and get behind the 
town ; but this could never have been effected. The islanders 
would have had time to collect ; there was no fit anchorage for 
the squadron, nor road from that part of the island to the town. 
Mr. Jones finding by the Providence pilots that the squadron 
might anchor under a key three leagues to windward of the har- 
bour, gave this accd^nt to the commander in chief, yrho object- 
ing to the dependence on the pilots, Mr^ Jones undertook to 
carry the Alfred safe in. He took the pilot with him to the 
fore-topmast-head, from whence they could clearly see every 
danger, and the squadron anchored safe. The marines, with 
two vessels to cover their landing, were immediately sent in by 
the east passage. The commander in chief promised to touch 
no private property. The inhabitants abandoned the forts, and 
the governor, finding he must surrender the island, embarked 
all the powder in two vessels, and sent them away in the night. 
This was foreseen,* and might havel)een prevented, by sending 
the two brigantines to lie off the bar. The squadron entered 
the harbour of New Providence, and sailed from thence the 17th 
of March, having embarked the cannon, &c. that was found in 
the fort. In the night of the 9th of April, on the return of the 
squadron from the Providence expedition, the American arms 
by sea were first tried in an action with the Glasgow, a British 
frigate of 24 guns, off Block Island. Both the Alfred and 
Columbus mounted two batteries. The Alfred mounted 30, 
the Columbus 28 guns. The first battery was so near the 
water as to be fit for nothing except in a harbour or a very 
smooth sea. The sea was at the time perfectly smooth. Mr. 
Jones was stationed between decks to command the Alfred's 
first battery, which was well served whenever the guns could be 
brought to bear on the enemy,, as appears by the official letter 
of the commander in chief giving an account of that action. 
Mr. Jones therefore did his duty ; and as he had no direction 
whatever, either of the general disposition of the squadron, or 
the sails and helm of the Alfred, he can stand charged with no 


part of the disgrace of that night.* The squadron steered 
directly for New London, and entered that port two days after 
the action. Here Gknercd Washington lent the squadron 200 
men, as was thought, for sopie enterprise. The squadron, how- 
ever, stole quietly round to Rhode Island, and up the river to ' 
Providence. Here a court-martial was held for the trial of 
Captain Whipple, for not assisting in the action with the Gla«- 
gow.f Another court-martial was held for the trial of Cap- 
tain Hazard, who had been appointed captain of the sloc^ 
Providence at Philadelphia, some time after Mr. Jones had re- 
fused that command. Captain Hazard was broke, and render- 
ed incapable of serving in the navy. The next day, the 10th 
of May, 1776, Mr. Jones was ordered by the commander in chief 
to take command * as captain of the Providence.^ This proves 
that Mr. Jones did his duty on the Providence expedition. As 
the commander in chief had in his hands no blank-commission, 
this appointment was written and signed on the badk of the 
commission that Mr. Jones had received at Philadelphia the 7tb 
of December, 1775. Captain Jones had orders to receive on 
board the Providence the soldiers that had been borrowed from 
General Washington, ai^d to carry them to New York, there 
enlist as many seamen as he could, and then return to New 
London, to take in from the hospital all the seamen that had 
been left there by the squadron, and were recovered, and carry 
them to Providence. Captain Jones soon performed these ser- 
vices; and having hove down the sloop and partly fitted her for 
war at Providence, he received orders from the commander in 
chief, dated Ifthode Idand, June 10th, 1776, to come immedi- 
ately down to take a sloop then in sight, armed for war, belong- 
ing to the enemy's navy. Captain Jones obeyed orders with 
alacrity; but the enemy had disappeared before he reached 

* In the margin, in Jones' hand writing : " It is for the commander in chief and tho 
captains, to answer for the escape of the Glasgow/' 

t He exciised himself hecaose " the firing of the ships engaged had killed the wind." 
Marginal note Ify Janes* 


Newport. On the 13th of June, 1776, Captain Jones received 
orders, dated that day at Newport, Rhode Island, from the com- 
mander in chief, to proceed to Newburyport to take under con- 
voy some vessels bound for Philadelphia ; but first to convoy 
Lieutenant Hacker in the Fly, with a cargo of cannon, into the 
sound for New York, and to convoy some vessels back from 
Stonington to the entrance of Newport. In performing these 
last services, Captain Jones found great difficulty from the 
enemy's frigates, then cruising round Block Island, with which 
he had severed rencontres ; in one of which he saved a brigantine 
that was a stranger, from Hispaniola, closely pursued by the 
Cerberus, and laden with public military stores. That brigaii- 
tine was afterwards purchased by the Continent, and called the 
Hampden. Captain Jones received orders from the commander 
in chief to proceed for Boston instead of Newburyport. At 
Boston he was detained a considerable time by the backward- 
ness of the agent. He arrived with his convoy from Boston, 
safe in the Delaware, the 1st of August, 1776. This service 
was performed while the enemy were ai-riving daily at Sandy 
Hook from Halifax and England, [under the escort and pro- 
tection of Xord Howe,]* and Captain Jones saw several of their 
ships of war [which he had the address to avoid.] Captain 
Jones received a captain's commission [under the United States 
of America,] frcmi the president of Congress the 8th of August.t 

* Interlined by Jones. 

t The Commission of Jones was made out, according to Mr Sherborne, on the same 
day on which the relative rank of the Captains was established by Congress. It was 
as follows: 


^ The Delegates of the United States of New Hampshiref Massachusetts Bay, Rhode 
Jdandf Connectieutf New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania^ Delaware, Maryland, Vtr- 
ginia, NorA Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, Tfl 


" Wb, reposing especial trust and confidence in year patriotism, valonr, conduct, 
and iBdelity, DO, by these Presents, constitute and appoint you to be Captain in the 
navy of the United States of North America, fitted out for the defence of American 


'* It was proposed to Captain Jones by the Marine Committee 
of Congress to go to Connecticut, to command the brigantine 
Hampden ; but he choosing rather to remain in the sloop Pro* 
vidence, had orders to go out on a cruise against the enemy 
" for six weeks, [or] two or three months." He was not limited 
to any particular station or service. He Ic^ft the Delaware the 
21st of August, and arrived at Rhode Islan4 on the 7th of Oo- 


tober, 1776. Captain Jones had only seventy men when he 
sailed from the Delaware, and the Providence mounted only 13 
four-pounders. Near the latitude of Bermudas he had a very 
narrow escape from the enemy's frigate the Solebay, after a 
chase [and an engagement] for six hours within cannon-shot, 
and considerable part of that time within pistol-shot. After* 
wards, near the Isle of Sable, Captain Jones had a running fight 
with the enemy's frigate the Milford ; and the firing between 
them lasted from ten in the morning till after sunset. The day 
after this rencontre, Captain Jones entered the harbour of 
Canso, where he recruited several men, took the tories' flagSf 
destroyed all the fishery, burned the shipping, &c. and sailed 
again the next morning on an expedition against the Island of 
Madame. He made two descents at the principal p<M*ts of that 
island at the same time ; surprised, burned, and destroyed all 

libertj, and for repelling every hostile invasion thereof. Yon are thervfbre earefnny 
and diligently to discharge the duty of Captain, by doing and perfbrmmg all manner of 
things thereunto belonging. And we do strictly charge and reqaire all officers, marines, 
and seamen under yonr command to be obedient to year orders as Captain. And yo« 
are t6 observe and follow such orders and directions from time to time, as you shall re- 
ceive from this or a fatore Congress of the United States, or committee of Congress &r 
that purpose appointed, or commander in chief for the time being of the navy of the 
United States, or any other yonr superior officer, according to the rules and discipline of 
War, the usage of the sea, and the instructions herewith given you, in purauanoe of 
the trust reposed in yon. This Commission to continue in force, until revoked by this 
or a future Congress. 

" Dated at Philadelphia, October 10th, 1776. 
« By order of the Congress, 

** JoHv Hancock, Fntidmi, 
** Attest, Crarlcs Thompsoit, Seenimr^^ 


their sbippingf and the fishery, though the place abounded with 
men, and they had arms. All this, from the Delaware to Rhode 
Island, was performed in six weeks and five days ; in which time 
Captain Jones inade sixteen prizes, besides a great number of 
small vessels and fishery which he destroyed. The commander in 
chief of the navy was at Rhode Island, who, in consequence of the 
information given him by Captain Jones, adopted an expedition 
against the coal fleet of Cape Breton and the fishery, as well as 
to reUeve a number of Americans from the, coal mines, where 
they were compelled to labour by the enemy. The Alfred had 
remained idle ever since the Providence expedition, and was 
without men. It was proposed to employ that ship, the brigan- 
tine Hampden, and sloop Providence, on this expedition, under 
the command of Captain Jones, who had orders given hiip for 
that purpose on the 22d October, 1776, and then removed from 
the sloop Providence to command the ship Alfred. Finding he 
could not enlist a sufficient number of men for the three sail be- 
fore the season would be lost, Captain Jones determined to leave 
the sloop Providence behind; but Captain Hacker ran the 
Hampden upon a ledge of rocks on the 27th, and knocked ofl* 
her keel, which obliged Captain Jones to remove him into the 
sloop Providence. The Alfred and Providence sailed together 
on this expedition the 2d of November, 1776,. Captain Jones 
having only 140 men on his muster-roll for the Alfred, though 
that ship had 235 men when she left the Delaware. Captain 
Jones* anchored for the night at Tarpawling Cove, near Nan- 
tucket. Finding there a privateer schooner belonging to Rhode 
Island inward-bound, he sent his boat to search for deserters 
from the navy. His ofiSicers found four deserters carefully con- 
cealed on board. They were taken on board the Alfred, with 
a few other seamen, agreeably to orders from the commander m 

* [Paned between the enemies' frigates at Block Island and the shore, and anchor- 
ed for the night at Tarpawling Cove, near Nantucket, because daylight was neceAsary 
to pass through the shoals.] Corrected by Jaim, 

P4UL JON£S. 41 


chief. The concerned in the privateer brought an action against 
Captain Jones for 10,000/. damages, and the commander in 
chief bad the politeness not to support him. Captain Jones 
proceeded on his expedition. Off Louisbourg he took a brig 
with a rich cargo of dry goods, a snow with a cargo of fish, and 
a large ship called the Mellish, bound for Canada, armed for 
war, and. laden with soldiers' clothing. The day after taking 
these prizes, (the 18th November,) the snow fell, and the wind 
blew fresh off Cape Breton. To prevent separation, and not 
from the violence of the weather. Captain Jones made the signal 
to lay to, which was obeyed ; but as soon as the night began, 
Captain Hacker bore away. He made shift to arrive at Rhode 
Island a day or two before the place was taken by the enemy. 
Captain Jones ordered his prizes, the brigantine and the snow, 
to steer for American ports; but determined not to lose sight of 
the Mellish, unless in case of necessity. Captain Jones, after 
that little gale and some contrary winds, fell in with Canso, and 
sent his boats in to destroy a fine transport that lay aground in 
the entrance, laden with Irish provision. The party burnt also 
the oil-warehouse, and destroyed the materials for the whale 
and cod fishery. 

'* Off Louisbourg, on the 24th November, he took three fine 
ships out of the coal-fleet, then bound for New York, under the 
convoy of the frigate Flora, that would have been in sight had 
the fog been dispersed. Two days after this, Captain Jones 
took a strong letter-of-marque ship with a rich cargo, from 
Liverpool. He had now a hundred and fifty prisoners on 
board the Alfred, and a great part of his water and provision 
was consumed. He found by his prisoners that the harbour at 
the coal-mines was frozen up, and necessity obliged him to seek 
a hospitable port with the five prize-ships under his convoy. 
No separation took place till the 7th of December, on the edge 
of St. George's Bank, where Captain Jones again fell in with 
the Milford frigate. Captain Jones [drew the whole attention 
of the enemy towards the Alfred, and thereby] had the address 
[by running the greatest risk himself,] to save all his prizes ex- 


42 r AITL JONEii. 

eepC one, (the leCterof^narqne from Liyerpod,) and that one 
would not hare been taken, had not the prize-master, who was 
three leagues to windward, foolishlj run down under the Mil- 
ford's lee. The Hellish arrired safe with the clothing at Dart- 
mouth, in consequence of orders fit>m Captain Jones, to pass 
within Nantucket shoals; and CqiCain Jones, after meeting 
with much tempestuous weather arrived at Boston the 15th 
December, 1776, having only two days' water and provision 
left. The news of the sujq>ly of clothing reached General 
Washington's army just before he re-crossed the Delaware, and 
took the enemy's garrison at Trenton. By a letter frx>m the 
commander in chief of the Navy, dated on board the Warren, 
at Providence, January the 14th, 1777, Captain Jones was su- 
perseded in the command of the Alfred, in favour of Captain 
Hinman, who said he brought a commission from Congress to 
supersede that of Captain Jones. On the 21st of January, 1777, 
this drew from Captain Jones a letter to the Marine Committee 
of Congress, stating his hopes that Congress would not so far 
overlook his early and faithftd services as to supersede him by 
any man who was at first his junior officer, far less by any man 
who declined to serve in the Alfred, &c. at the beginning. 
Ci^tain Jones paid off the crews of the Alfred and Providence, 
for which he has never been reimbursed.* On the I8th Feb- 
ruary, Captain Jones received an appointment by order of Con- 
gress from the Hon. Robert Morris, Esq. Vice President of the 
Marine Committee, dated Philadelphia, February the 5th, 1777, 
to command private expeditions against Pensacola and other 
places, with the Alfred, Columbus, Cabot, Hampden, and sloop 
Providence. Many important schemes were pointed out ;t but 
Captain Jones was left at free liberty to adopt whatever he 
thought best. This appointment fell to nothing ; for the com- 

* '* Wai not reimbnrwd until the end of the war, and then wii 
CameUd fty Jonei. 

t " Some of which Captain Jones had raggested to Ifr. 
Mr. Morria ha^ jndicioasly imagined himielf lb. 


mander in chief would not assist Captain Jones, but affected to 
disbelieve his appointment. Captain Jones made a journey by 
land from Boston to Philadelphia, in order to explain matters 
to Congress in person-" 

There are two other documents written by Jones, recapitu- 
lating in a much more summary manner, the events of the 
cruises in which he was engaged during the time passed over in 
the foregoing extract. One of these is a letter or memorial, 
addressed to the President of Congress, written from the Texel, 
December 7th, 1779, which he elsewhere styles ** a refreshing 
memorial ;" the other, a letter addressed to Mr. Morris, Minis- 
ter of the Marine, &c. dated Philadelphia, October 13th, 1783.* 
The narrative drawn up for the king of France, is by far the 
most precise ; on which account it has been introduced. It will 
be necessary, however, to revert to some of its details, for the 
purposes of illustratmg the circumstances it records, and ex- 
plaining the subsequent passages in the history of Jones. 

The aiSair at New Providence is described in the journal with 
more accuracy than in any other account extant, which the 
compiler has seen. The governor had privately sent off from 
Nassau one hundred and fifty barrels of powder from Fort 
Nassau. A quantity of cannons, brass mortars, shot* and shells, 
were taken away ; and the governor and two more gentlemen 
were carried off as prisoners. 

The partial engagement with the Glasgpw is briefly alluded 
to. Jones felt that no glory was gained by it, and such was the, 
perhaps, unreasonable opinion of the American public, at the 
time. Commodore Hopkins alleged in his justification, that if 
he had pursued the escaping frigate, it might have brought him 
into an engagement with the whole of Wallace's fleet, then 
committing great depredation on the coast of Rhode Island.f 

* A letter is publiahed in Mr. Sherburne's Collections, dated Philadelphia, Sept. 
32d, 1782, containing portions of the very long letter found in Jones' letter books, dated 
as in the text. 

t Clarke's Naval History of the United States, page 17. 


cept one, (the letter-of-marque from Liverpool,) and that one 
would not have been taken, had not the prize-master, who was 
three leagues to windward, foolishly run down under the Mil- 
ford's lee. The Mellish arrived safe with the clothing at Dart- 
mouth, in consequence of orders from Captain Jones, to pass 
within Nantucket shoals; and Captain Jones, after meeting 
with much tempestuous weather arrived at Boston the 15th 
December, 1776, having only two days' water and provision 
left. The news of the supply of clothing reached General 
Washington's army just before he re-crossed the Delaware, and 
took the enemy's garrison at Trenton. By a letter from the 
commander in chief of the Navy, dated on board the Warren, 
at Providence, January the 14th, 1777, Captain Jones was su- 
perseded in the command of the Alfred, in favour of Captain 
Hinman, who said he brought a commission from Congress to 
supersede that of Captain Jones. On the 21st of January, 1777, 
this drew from Captain Jones a letter to the Marine Committee 
of Congress, stating his hopes that Congress would not so far 
overlook his early and fSEtithful services as to supersede him by 
any man who was at first his junior officer, far less by any man 
who declined to serve in the Alfred, &c. at the beginning. 
Ci^tain Jones paid off the crews of the Alfred and Providence, 
for which he has never been reimbursed.* On the 18th Feb- 
ruary, Captain Jones received an appointment by order of Con- 
gress from the Hon. Robert Morris, Esq. Vice President of the 
Marine Committee, dated Philadelphia, February the 5th, 1777, 
to command private expeditions against Pensacola and other 
places, with the Alfred, Columbus, Cabot, Hampden, and sloop 
Providence. Many important schemes were pointed out ;t but 
Captain Jones was left at free liberty to adopt whatever he 
thought best. This appointment fell to nothing ; for the com- 

* '* Wai not reimbuned until the end of the war, and then without any interest '' 
CarreeUd fty Jonei, 

t " Some of which Captain Jones had raggested to Mr. Morris; and others that 
Mr. Morris had judiciously imagined himself/' lb. 


mander in chief would not assist Captain Jones, but affected to 
disbelieve his appointment. Captain Jones made a journey by 
land from Boston to Philadelphia, in order to explain matters 
to Congress in person." 

There are two other documents written by Jones, recapitu- 
lating in a much more summary manner, the events of the 
cruises in which he was engaged during the time passed over in 
the foregoing extract. One of these is a letter or memorial, 
addressed to the President of Congress, written from the Texel, 
Deceniber 7th, 1779, which he elsewhere styles " a refreshing 
memorial ;" the other, a letter addressed to Mr. Morris, Minis- 
ter of the Marine, &c. dated Philadelphia, October 13th, 1783.* 
The narrative drawn up for the king of France, is by far the 
most precise ; on which account it has been introduced. It will 
be necessary, however, to revert to some of its details, for the 
purposes of illustrating the circumstances it records, and ex- 
plaining the subsequent passages in the history of Jones. 

The aiSair at New Providence is described in the journal with 
more accuracy than in any other account extant, which the 
compiler has seen* The governor had privately sent off from 
Nassau one hundred and fifty barrels of powder from Fort 
Nassau. A quantity of cannons, brass mortars, shot* and shellsy 
were taken away ; and the governor and two more gentlemen 
were carried off as prisoners. 

The partial engagement with the Glasgow is briefly alluded 
to. Jones felt that no glory was gained by it, and such was the, 
perhaps, unreasonable opinion of the American public, at the 
time. Commodore Hopkins alleged in his justification, that if 
he had pursued the escaping frigate, it might have brought him 
into an engagement with the whole of Wallace's fleet, then 
committing great depredation on the coast of Rhode Island.t 

* A letter is publiahed in Mr. Sherburne's Collectioiis, dated Philadelphia, Sept. 
32d, 1782, containing portions of the very long letter found in Jones' letter books, dated 
as in the text. 

t darkens Naval History of the United States, page 17. 


cepC one, (the letter-of-marque from Liverpool,) and that one 
would not have been taken, had not the prize-master, who was 
three leases to windward, foolishly nm down under the Mil- 
ford's lee. The Mellish arrived safe with the clothing at Dart- 
mouth, in consequence of orders from Captain Jones, to pass 
within Nantucket shoals; and Captain Jones, after meeting 
with much tempestuous weather arrived at Boston the 15th 
December, 1776, having only two days' water and provision 
left. The news of the supply of clothing reached General 
Washington's army just before he re-crossed the Delaware, and 
took the enemy's garrison at Trenton. By a letter from the 


commander in chief of the Navy, dated on board the Warren, 
at Providence, January the 14th, 1777, Captain Jones was su- 
perseded in the command of the Alfred, in favour of Captain 
Hiiiman, who said he brought a commission from Congress to 
supersede that of Captain Jones. On the 21st of January, 1777, 
this drew from Captain Jones a letter to the Marine Committee 
of Congress, stating his hopes that Congress would not so far 
overlook his early and fSEtithftil services as to supersede him by 
any man who was at first his junior officer, far less by any man 
who declined to serve in the Alfred, &c. at the beginning. 
Ci^tain Jones paid off the crews of the Alfred and Providence, 
for which he has never been reimbursed.* On the 18th Feb- 
ruary, Captain Jones received an appointment by order of Con* 
gross from the Hon. Robert Morris, Esq. Vice President of the 
Marine Committee, dated Philadelphia, February the 5th, 1777, 
to command private expeditions against Pensacola and other 
places, with the Alfred, Columbus, Cabot, Hampden, and sloop 
Providence. Many important schemes were pointed out ;t but 
Captain Jones was left at free liberty to adopt whatever he 
thought best. This appointment fell to nothing ; for the com- 

* " Wai not reimbuned until the end of the war, and then without any intereflf 
CarreeUd fty Jonei. 

t " Some of which Captain Jones had raggested to Ifr. Morris; and others that 
Mr. Morris had judiciously imagined himself/' lb. 


mander in chief would not assist Captain Jones, but affected to 
disbelieve his appointment. Captain Jones made a journey by 
land from Boston to Philadelphia, in order to explain matters 
to Congress in person." 

There are two other documents written by Jones, recapitu- 
lating in a much more summary manner, the events of the 
cruises in which he was engaged during the time passed over in 
the foregoing extract. One of these is a letter or memorial, 
addressed to the President of Congress, written from the Texel, 
December 7th, 1779, which he elsewhere styles " a refreshing 
memorial ;" the other, a letter addressed to Mr. Morris, Minis- 
ter of the Marine, &c. dated Philadelphia, October 13th, 1783.* 
The narrative drawn up for the king of France, is by far the 
most precise ; on which account it has been introduced. It will 
be necessary, however, to revert to some of its details, for the 
purposes of illustrating the circumstances it records, and ex- 
plaining the subsequent passages in the history of Jones. 

The aiSair at New Providence is described in the journal with 
more accuracy than in any other account extant, which the 
compiler has seen. The governor had privately sent off from 
Nassau <me hundred and fifty .barrels of powder from Fort 
Nassau. A quantity of cannons, brass mortars, shot* and shellsy 
were taken away ; and the governor and two more gentlemen 
were carried off as prisoners. 

The particd engagement with the Glasgpw is briefly alluded 
to. Jones felt that no glory was gained by it, and such was the, 
perhaps, unreasonable opinion of the American public, at the 
time. Commodore Hopkins alleged in his justification, that if 
he had pursued the escaping frigate, it might have brought him 
into an engagement with the whole of Wallace's fleet, then 
committing great depredation on the coast of Rhode Island.f 

* A letter is publiahed in Mr. Sherburne's Collections, dated Philadelphia, Sept. 
32d, 1782, containing portions of the very long letter found in Jones' letter books, dated 
as in the text. 

t Clarke's Navtd History of the United States, page 17. 


cept one, (the letter-of-marque from Liverpool,) and that one 
would not have been taken, had not the prize-master, who was 
three leases to windward, foolishly run down under the Mil- 
ford's lee. The Mellish arrived safe with the clothing at Dart- 
mouth, in consequence of orders from Captain Jones, to pass 
within Nantucket shoals; and Captain Jones, alEter meeting 
with much tempestuous weather arrived at Boston the 15th 
December, 1776, having only two days' water and provision 
left. The news of the supply of clothing reached General 
Washington's army just before he re-crossed the Delaware, and 
took the enemy's garrison at Trenton. By a letter from the 


commander in chief of the Navy, dated on board the Warren, 
at Providence, January the 14th, 1777, Captain Jones was su- 
perseded in the command of the Alfred, in favour of Captain 
Hinman, who said he brought a commission from Congress to 
supersede that of Captain Jones. On the 21st of January, 1777, 
this drew from Captain Jones a letter to the Marine Committee 
of Congress, stating his hopes that Congress would not so far 
overlook his early and faithful services as to supersede him by 
any man who was at first his junior officer, far less by any man 
who declined to serve in the Alfred, &c. at the beginning. 
Ci^tain Jones paid off the crews of the Alfred and Providence, 
for which he has never been reimbursed.* On the 18th Feb- 
ruary, Captain Jones received an appointment by order of Con- 
gress from the Hon. Robert Morris, Esq. Vice President of the 
Marine Committee, dated Philadelphia, Febru&ry the 5th, 1777, 
to command private expeditions against Pensacola and other 
places, with the Alfred, Columbus, Cabot, Hampden, and sloop 
Providence. Many important schemes were pointed out ;t but 
Captain Jones was left at free liberty to adopt whatever he 
thought best. This appointment fell to nothing ; for the com- 

* " Wai not reimbarwd until the end of the war, and then without any interest" 
Cometed fty Jonei. 

t "Some of which Captain Jones had suggested to Mr. Morris; and others that 
Mr. Morris ha^ judicionslj imagined himself lb. 


mander in chief would not assist Captain Jones, but affected to 
disbelieve his appointment. Captain Jones made a journey by 
land from Boston to Philadelphia, in order to explain matters 
to Congress in person-" 

There are two other documents written by Jones, recapitu- 
lating in a much more summary manner, the events of the 
cruises in which he was engaged during the time passed over in 
the foregoing extract. One of these is a letter or memorial, 
addressed to the President of Congress, written from the Texel, 
December 7th, 1779, which he elsewhere styles " a refreshing 
memorial ;" the other, a letter addressed to Mr. Morris, Minis- 
ter of the Marine, Slc. dated Philadelphia, October 13th, 1783.* 
The narrative drawn up for the king of France, is by far the 
most precise ; on which account it has been introduced. It will 
be necessary, however, to revert to some of its details, for the 
purposes of illustrating the circumstances it records, and ex- 
plaining the subsequent passages in the history of Jones. 

The aiSair at New Providence is described in the journal with 
more accuracy than in any other account extant, which the 
compiler has seen. The governor had privately sent off from 
Nassau one hundred and fifty .barrels of powder from Fort 
Nassau. A quantity of cannons, brass mortars, shot* and shellsy 
were taken away ; and the governor and two more gentlemen 
were carried off as prisoners. 

The partial engagement with the Glasgow is briefly alluded 
to. Jones felt that no glory was gained by it, and such was the, 
perhaps, unreasonable opinion of the American public, at the 
time. Commodore Hopkins alleged in his justification, that if 
he had pursued the escaping frigate, it might have brought him 
into an engagement with the whole of Wallace's fleet, then 
committing great depredation on the coast of Rhode Island.t 

* A letter is published in Mr. Sherburne's Collections, dated Philadelphia, Sept. 
22d, 1782, containing portions of the very long letter found in Jones' letter books, dated 
as in the text. 

t Clarke's Naval History of the United States, page 17. 


cept one, (the letter-of-marque from Liverpool,) and that one 
would not hare been taken, had not the prize-master, who was 
three leagues to windward, foolishly run down under the Mil- 
ford's lee. The Mellish arrired safe with the clothing at Dart- 
mouth, in consequence of orders from Captain Jones, to pass 
withm Nantucket shoab; and Captain Jones, after meeting 
with much tempestuous weather arrived at Boston the 15th 
December, 1776, having only two days' w^ater and provision 
left. The news of the supply of clothing reached General 
Washington's army just before he re-crossed the Delaware, and 
took the enemy's garrison at Trenton. By a letter from the 


commander in chief of the Navy, dated on board the Warren, 
at Providence, January the 14th, 1777, Captain Jones was su- 
perseded in the command of the Alfred, in favour of Captain 
Hinman, who said he brought a commission from Congress to 
supersede that of Captain Jones. On the 21st of January, 1777, 
this drew from Captain Jones a letter to the Marine Committee 
of Congress, stating his hopes that Congress would not so far 
overlook his early and faithfiil services as to supersede him by 
any man who was at first his junior officer, far less by any man 
who declined to serve in the Alfred, &c. at the beginning. 
Captain Jones paid off the crews of the Alfred and Providence, 
for which he has never been reimbursed.* On the 18th Feb- 
ruary, Captain Jones received an appointment by order of Con- 
gress from the Hon. Robert Morris, Esq. Vice President of the 
Marine Committee, dated Philadelphia, February the 5th, 1777, 
to command private expeditions against Pensacola and other 
places, with the Alfred, Coltimbus, Cabot, Hampden, and sloop 
Providence. Many important schemes were pointed out ;t but 
Captain Jones was left at free liberty to adopt whatever he 
thought best. This appointment fell to nothing ; for the com- 

* ** Was not reimbnned until the end of the war, and then without any interest/' 
CarreeUd bff JonieM. 

t " Some of which Captain Jones had suggested to Mr. Morris; and others that 
Mr. Morris had judicionslj imagined himself." lb. 


mander in chief would not assist Captain Jones, but affected to 
disbelieve his appointment. Captain Jones made a journey by 
land from Boston to Philadelphia, in order to explain matters 
to Congress in person." 

There are two other documents written by Jones, recapitu- 
lating in a much more summary manner, the events of the 
cruises in which he was engaged during the time passed over in 
the foregoing extract. One of these is a letter or memorial, 
addressed to the President of Congress, written from the Texel, 
December 7th, 1779, which he elsewhere styles " a refreshing 
memorial ;" the other, a letter addressed to Mr. Morris, Minis- 
ter of the Marine, &c. dated Philadelphia, October 13th, 1783.* 
The narrative drawn up for the king of France, is by far the 
most precise ; on which account it has been introduced. It will 
be necessary, however, to revert to some of its details, for the 
purposes of illustrating the circumstances it records, and ex- 
plaining the subsequent passages in the history of Jones. 

The aiSair at New Providence is described in the journal with 
more accuracy than in any other account extant, which the 
compiler has seen. The governor had privately sent off from 
Nassau one hundred and fifty barrels of powder from Fort 
Nassau. A quantity of cannons, brass mortars, shot* and shellsy 
were taken away ; and the governor and two more gentlemen 
were carried off as prisoners. 

The partial engagement with the Glasgow is briefly alluded 
to. Jones felt that no glory was gained by it, and such was the, 
perhaps, unreasonable opinion of the American pubUc, at the 
time. Commodore Hopkins alleged in his justification, that if 
he had pursued the escaping frigate, it might have brought him 
into an engagement with the whole of Wallace's fleet, then 
committing great depredation on the coast of Rhode Island.t 

* A letter is pvbtished in Mr. Sherburne's Collections, dated Philadelphia, Sept. 
22d, 1782, containing portions of the very long letter fbnnd in Jones' letter books, dated 
as in the text. 

t Clarke's Naval History of the United States, page 17. 


As Jones observes^ in his marginal manuscript note, it was the 
business. of the commander and captains to answer for the 
escape of the frigate ; yet a sensibility, not unallied, perhaps, to 
a premature and morbid apprehension that censure would light 
upon himself, caused him always to speak of this affair as if his 
personal conduct stood in need of exculpation. Such is the 
temperament of those m4io feel that they are '' born to achieve 
greatness ;" the exhibition of which, until their vision is realized, 
is laid to the score of personal vanity. In the letter to the Pre- 
sident of Congress, last referred to, Jones says : ^' I continued 
in that ship, (the Alfred,) and had my share of the dishonour 
which attended the first essay of American arms by sea, with 
the Glasgow. Permit me however to observe, that as I was 
stationed to command the lower battery of the Alfred, I had no 
share in the government of the sails or helm ; and as the artil- 
lery under my direction was well served, whenever it could be 
brought to bear, I hope Congress will not find that the disgrace 
of that night was owing to me." Writing to Mr. Hewes, shortly 
after the transaction, he says : '' My station confined me to the 
Alfred's lower gun-deck, where I commanded during the action ; 
yet, though the commander's letter, miiich has been published, 
says, * all the officers in the Alfred behaved well,' still the public 
blames me among others for not taking the enemy. But a little 
consideration will place the matter in a true light ; for no offi- 
cer, under a superior, ^o does not stand charged, by that 
superior, for cowardice or misconduct, can be blamed on any 
occasion whatever." 

It is to be observed, that while thus disavowing any responsi- 
bility, as a subaltern, Jones by no means imputes blame to Com- 
modore Hopkins. He says, in his letter to Mr. Hewes ; ^' I 
have the pleasure of assuring you that the commander in chief 
is respected throughout the fleet ; and I verily believe that the 
officers and men, in general, would go any length to execute his 
orders." In the same letter be refers to the minutes of the 
action with the Glasgow, as entered by himself on the Alfred's 

log4MK^ which are copied, m foUows, in Mr* £UM^'biiriie>i Col- 

*< At 2 A. M. cleared ship for action. At half past tm^ the 
Cabot being between us and ihe ettemj", b^an to engi^, and 
soon after we did the same. At the third glass, the enemy bore 
away, and by crowding sail at length got a considerable way 
arhead, made signals for the rest of the English ileet at Rhode 
Island to come to her assistance, and steered directly for the 
harbour. The Commodore then thought it imprudent to risk 
our prizes, &c. by pursuing farther ; therefore, to prevent our 
being decoyed into their hands, at half past 6 made the signal to 
leave off chase and haul by the wind to join our prizes* The 
Cabot was disabled at the second broadside ; the captain beii^^ 
dangerously wounded, the master and sevciral men killed* The 
enemy's whole fire was then directed at us, and an unlucky shot 
having carried away our wheel-block and ropes, the ship 
broached to, and gave the enemy an opportunity of raking us 
with several broadsides before we were again in condition to 
steer the ship and return the fire. In the action we received 
several shot under water, which made the ship very leaky ; we 
had besides, the mainmast shot through, and the upper works 
and the rigging very considerably damaged ; yet it is surprising 
that we only lost the 2d lieutenant of marines and four men, one 
of whom, (Martin GilUngwater,) was a midshipman, prisoner, 
who was in the cockpit, and had been taken in the bomb brig 
Bolton yesterday ; we had no more than three men dangerously 
and four slightly wounded."* 

* In the 87th number of the ** Constitutional Graasette," published in 
New York, May 29th, 1776, is a statement of Captain David Hawley, 
who had arrived at Hartford, from Halifax, whence he had escaped, 
having been a prisoner on board the Glasgow during the skirmish in 
question. He says that, ** on the — th of April, the Glasgow sailed 
from Newport ; m the morning of the 6th discovered sundry sail, and 
stood for them ; came up and hailed the brig, who answered that they 

46 PAUL JOKEff. 

The lEidventiire With the Glasgow cannot, from the evidence 
now left, be considered as discreditable to the infant navy of 
America. The promotion of Jones, by the commander in chief 
of the navy, to be acting commandant of the Providence, proves, 
as he states himself, that the officer under whose command he 
had immediately served approved of his conduct. While con- 
veying military stores and troops between Newport and New 
York, he appears from his journal to have had several ren- 
oontres with the Cerberus frigate and with others. Mr. Clarke, 

>ffere from Plymouth ; then-the brig hailed the Glasgow, and was told 
who they were. Upon signals being made and not answered^ as it was 
still dark, the Glasgow received a heavy broadside from the brig, killed 
one man, and slightly wounded another. Then the Alfred came up, 
and closely engaged her for near three glasses, while the black brig at- 
tacked the Glasgow on her lee bow. It was observed by the motion of 
the Alfred, that she had received some unlucky shot. The sloop of 
twelve guns fired upon her stern without any great effect The most 
of her shot went about six feet above the deck ; whereas, if they had 
been properly levelled, they must soon have cleared it of men. The 
Glasgow got at a distance, when she fired smartly ; and the engage- 
ment lasted about six glasses, when they both seemed wiUing to quit. 
The Glasgow was considerably damaged in her hull ; had ten shot 
^irougfa her maimnast, fifty-two through her mizen staysail, one hun- 
dred and ten through her mainsail, and eighty-eight through her fore- 
sail ; had her spars carried away, and her rigging cut to pieces. On 
the 6th -they got into Rhode Island ; early in the morning of the 7th, 
were fired upon from the shore, cut her cables, and run up to Hope 
Island, where the hospital ship followed them. The wind shifting to 
the northward, they went out and joined Commodore Wallace, and 
after two jays sailed for Halifeue, where Captain Hawley tarried a fort- 
night, and on the 7th of April, made his escape with eight others, in a 
small boat, and came to Old York.'' 

The seventy-fifth number of the same newspaper, of April 17th, 
1776, contains the following account under date of Newport, April 8th, 
which throws li|^t upon the result of the affair with the Glasgow, and 
from its quaintness may not be uninteresfeingk 

PAITL JomsB. 47 

m his Naval History speaks of two *^ engageraenls*' with the 
former yesseL Jones does not aj^iear to hare deemed them 
worthy of commemoration in his narratire and letter books. 
In his '^ refreshing memoriaP' to the President of Congress, 
written from the Texel, he says, when speaking of this period 
of his service ; *^ The first service I performed in the Providence 
was to transport a number of soldiers firom Providence to New 
York, which General Washington had lent us at New London 
to inspire us with courage to venture round to Rhode Island. 

** Last Friday the ministerial fleet went a little without the moolii of 
our harbour, and in the evening they all returned and anchored be- 
tween Gould island and Coddington's Point, except the Glasgow, of 
twenty-four guns, and a small tender, which kept out all night. As 
soon as it was light, the next morning, a party of the troops stationed 
on the island got down two of their 18 pounders upon the point, and 
played so well upon these worse than Algeiine rovers, that they hulled 
the Rose two or thre^- times, the Nautilus once or twice, and sent a shot 
dtfough and through obe of the armed tenders, upon which Captain 
Wallace, of the Rose, sent off a boat to cut away the buoy of his 
anchor, then slipped his cable, and made off as fast as possible; and 
the rest of his fleet followed in the utmost hurry and confusion, having 
fired about fifteen cannon upon our people without the least effect, 
though they stood in considerable numbers, as open as they could well 
be, without the least breast-work or other shelter. 

*' For several hours before, and during the above engagement, a vast 
number of cannon were heard from the S. £. and about sunrise eig^ 
or ten sail of ships, brigs, &c. were seen a htde to the eastward of 
Block island, and indeed the flashes of the cannon were seen by some 
people about daybreak. These things caused much speculation, but 
in a few hours the mystery was somewhat cleared up, for away came 
the poor Glasgow, under all the sail she could set, yelping from the 
mouths of her cannon like a broken legged dog, as a signal of her being 
sadly wounded. And though she settled away, and handed most of 
her sails just before she came into the harbour, it was plainly perceived 
l^ the holes in those she had standing, and by the hanging of her 
yards, that she had been treated in a very rough manner. The other 


Tke CoBHAodore employed me aftecwards fyt some time to es- 
Qoilt resaels £rom Rhode Jahud into tbe Sound, &e. while the 
Carberw and other resedb cruised round Block Island. At 
last I received ordera to proceed to Boston, to take under con- 
toy aune vessels laden with coal for Philadelphia. I perform- 
ed that, service about the time when Lord Howe arrived at 
Sandy Hook. It- was proposed to send me from Philadelphia 
bjr loodi ta take command of the Hampden in Cimnecticut,, but 
I raither poeferred to csontinne^ in the Providence, the Hampden 
being a far inferior vessel to the description that had been given 
of her to Congress.'* 

' H^ was conunissioned to sail fix>m the Delawareon a cruise, 
^^ with ununited orders^'' as he expresses it in his memorial ; 

tessels seen off stood up the westem sound, and by veiy authentic in- 
tslUgence reoeiyed on Sfifxucdaj evening, we are fully convinced they 
frere. twelve sail of the Cwtinental navy, veiy deeply laden with can- 
non, mortars, cannon-shot, bombs, and other warlike stores from the 
West ladies, so that it is probable their precioas cargoes were the sole 
cause of Mrs. Glasgow's making her escape. Her tender was taken, 
as also the bomb brig, and a schooner which had been out near a 
week in search of prey. 

^*Ab soon as the Glasgow got in, the Rose, Captain Wallace, the 
Nautilus, Captain CoUins, the Swan, Captain Ascough, with several 
tenders, and pirated pri2ses, stood out to sea, leaving the Glasgow, a 
hurge snow» and two small sloops at anchor, about three quarters of a 
mile from Brenton's point The ensuing night, a party of troops car- 
ried one eighteen pounder, one nine, one six, and two four pounders, on 
said point, and early yesterday morning saluted the Glasgow with such 
warmth that she shpped her cable and pushed up the river without 
firing a gun, under all the sail she could make, and the others followed 
with great precipitation. By the terrible cracking on board the Glas- 
gow, the noise and confusion among her men, it is thought the cannon 
did good execution. The wind shiftiog to the northward about noon, 
those vessels ran down the back of Conanicut and stood out to sea, 
siqiposed to have gone in quest of Captain Wallace, to make a woful 
complaint of the incivility of the Yankees.'' 


and this was certainly the sort of trust which he best loved to 
execute. Some extracts from his letters to the marine com- 
mittee of Congress, relative to his adventures in this cruise of 
'^ six weeks and five days," so briefly mentioned in his journal, 
will probably be acceptable to the reader. 

*^ Providence J at sea^ in N. Lat. 37® 40', 
iS. W. Longitude, 54*=*, Sept. 4*, 1776. 
" Gentlemen, 

^' I had the honour of writing to you the 27th August, per the 
brig€Ufitine Brittannia, which I sent under the care of Lieutenant 
Wm. Grinnell. Since that, I have been to the southward, near 
the parallel of Bermuda, and brought to four sail of French, 
Spanish, and Danish ships, homeward bound, but without gain- 
ing any useful information. On the first current, I fell in with 
a fleet of five sail, one of them being very large, it was the ge- 
neral opinion here, that she was either an old Indiaman, out- 
ward bound, with stores, or a Jamaica three-decker, bound 
homewards. We found her to be an English frigate, mounting 
twenty guns upon one deck. She sailed fast, and pursued us by 
the wind, till, after four hours chase, the sea running very cross, 
she got within musket shot of our lee-quarter. As they had 
continued firing at 'us from the first, without showing colours, 
I now ordered ours to be hoisted, and began to fire at them. 
Upon this, they also hoisted American colors, and fired guns to 
leeward. But the bait would not take, for, having every thing 
prepared, I bore away before the wind, and set all our light sail 
at once ; so that, before her sails could be trimmed, and steer- 
ing sails set, I was almost out of reach of grape, and soon after 
out of reach of cannon shot. Our * hair-breadth escape,' and 
the saucy manner of making it, must have mortified him not a 
little. Had he foreseen this motion, and been prepared to 
counteract it, he might have fired several broadsides of double- 
hcEided and grape shot, which would have done us very material 
damage. But he was a bad marksman ; and, though within 
pistol shot, did not touch the Providenoe with one of the many 



shots he fired.* I met with no other adventure till last night, 
when I took the Bermuda built brigantine Sea Njmph, &c.'* 

He concludes this letter by observing that he did not expect 
much success in his cruise, as it was too late for the season ; a 
remark which he repeats in his next letter, dated three days 
after, when sending in the brigantine Favourite laden with 
sugar, from Antigua, for Liverpool, which he had captured on 
the evemng of September 6th, being his third prize. 

The following characteristic letter, giving an account of the 
manner in which he ridiculed the Milford frigate, (as he ex- 
presses it in a subjoined precis of his cruise,) and took or de- 
stroyed the shipping in Canso Harbour, seems worthy of being 
inserted entire. 

" Providence off the Isle of Sable, SOth Sept 1776. 
"Gentlemen, • • • 

" From that time [of despatching the Favourite,] I cruised 
without seeing any vessel. I then spoke the Columbus' prize, 
the ship Royal Exchange, bound for Boston. By this time, my 
water and wood began to run short, which induced me to run to 
the northward, for some port of Nova Scotia or Cape Breton. 
I had, besides, a prospect of destroying the English shipping in 
these parts. The 16th, and 17th, I had a very heavy gale from 
the N. W. which obliged me to dismount all my guns, and stick 
every thing I could into the hold. The 19th, I made the Isle 
of Sable, and on the 20th, being between it and thamain, I met 
Ivith an English frigate, with a merchant ship under her con- 
voy. I had hove to, to give my people an opportunity of ta- 
king fish, when the frigate came in sight directly to windward, 
and was so good natured as to save me the trouble of chasing 
him, by bearing down, the instant he discovered us. When he 
came within cannon shot, I made sail to try his speed. Quar- 

* This if Johm' own aoconnt of what is called in the Naval Chronicle his ** action of 
nz hoars'? with the frigate Solebay, of 28 guns, from which he saved himself by a 
" desperate'* manoravre. ** SkiliVil" seems to be a more appropriate term. 


tering and finding that I had the advantage, I shortened sail to 
give him a wild goos^ chase, and tempt him to throw away pow- 
der and shot. Accordinglji a curious mock engagement ¥ras 
maintained between us, for eight hours ; until night, with her 
sable* curtains, put an end to this famous exploit of English 

^' He excited my contempt so much, by his continued firing, 
at more than twice the proper distance, that when he rounded 
to, to give his broadside, I ordered my marine officer to return 
the salute wUh only a single musket We saw him, next morn- 
ing, standing to the westward ; and it is not unlikely, that he 
hath told his friends at Halifax, what a trimming he gave to a 
* rebel privateer,' which he found infesting the coast. 

^* That night I was ofiT Canso harbour, and sent my boat in to 
gain information. On the morning of the 22d, I anchored in 
the harbour, and, before night, got ofiT a sufficiency of wood and 
water. Here I recruited several men, and finding three Eng- 
lish schooners in the harbour, we that night burned one, sunk an- 
other, and, in the morning, carried off the third, which we had 
loaded with what fish was found in the other two. 

** At Canso, I received information of nine sail of ships, brigs, 
and schooners, in the harbour of Narrow Shock and Peter de 
6reat,t at a small distance from each other, in the Island of 
Madame, on the east side of the bay of Canso. These I deter- 
mined to take or destroy; and, to do it efiTectually, having 
brought a shallop for the purpose from Canso, I despatched her 
with twenty-five armed men to Narrow Shock, while my boat 
went, well manned and armed, to Peter de Greats and I kept 
off and on with the sloop, to keep them in awe at both places. 
The expedition succeeded to my wish. So effectual was this 
surprise, and so general the panic, that numbers yielded to a 
handful, without opposition, and never was a bloodless victory 
more complete. As the shipping that were unloaded were all un- 

* He datei off the Jsle of Sable. 


t The orthography of the meiuieeript is fbllowed. 


rigged, I had recourse to an expedient for despatch. I promised 
to leave the late proprietors vessels sufficient to carry them 
home to the Island of Jersey^ on condition that they immediately 
fitted out and rigged such of the rest as might be required. This 
condition was readily complied with; and they assisted my 
people with unremitting application, till the business was com- 
pleted. But the evening of the 25th brought with it a violent 
gale of wind, with rain, which obliged me to anchor in the en- 
trance of Narrow Shock ; where I rode it out, with both anchors 
and whole cables a-head. Two of our prizes, the ship Alex- 
ander and Sea Flower, had come out before the gale began. 
The ship anchored under a point, and rode it out ; but the 
schooner, after anchoring, drove, and ran ashore. She was a 
valuable prize ; but, as I could not get her off, I ntext day or- 
dered her to be set on fire. The schooner Ebenezer, taken at 
Canso, was driven on a reef of sunken rocks, and there totally 
lost ; the people havLi^ig with difficulty saved themselves on a 
raft. Towards noon on the 26th, the gale began to abate. The 
ship Adventure being unrigged, and almost empty, I ordered 
her to be burnt. I put to sea in the afternoon with the brigan- 
tine Kingston Packet, and being joined by the Alexander, went 
off Peter de Great. I had sent an officer round in a shallop to 
order the vessels in that harbour to meet mc in the offing, and 
he now joined me in the brigantine Success, and informed me 
that Mr. Grallagher, (the officer who had commanded the party 
in that harbour,) had left it at the beginning of the gale in the 
brigantiile Defence, and taken with him my boat and all the 
people. I am unwilling to believe that this was done with an 
evil intention. I rather think he concluded the boat and people 
necessary to assist the vessel getting out, the navigation being 
difficult, and the wind at that time unfavourable ; and when the 
gale began, I know it was impossible for them to return. 

^^ Thus weakened, I could attempt nothing more. With one of 
our brigs and the sloop, I could have scoured the coast and se- 
cured the destruction of a large boat fleet that wfts loading near 
Louisbourg, with the savage only to protect them. 


*^ The fishery at Canso and Madame is effectually destroyed. 
Out of twelve sail which I took there, I only left two small 
schooners and one small brig, to convey a number of unfortu- 
nate men, not short of three hundred, across the Western 
Ocean. Had I gone further, I should have stood chargeable 
with inhumanity. 

'^ In my ticklish situation it would have been madness to lose 
a moment. I therefore hastened to the southward, to convey 
my prizes out of harm's way, the Damono brig having been 
within fifteen leagues of the scene of action during the whole 

^' On the 27th, I saw two sail, which we took for Quebec 
transports. Unable to resist the temptation, having appointed 
a three days' rendezvous on the S. W. part of the Isle of Sable, 
I gave chase, but could not come up before they had got into 
Louisbourg, a place where I had reason to expect a far superior 
force ; and therefore returned, and this day I joined my prizes 
at the rendezvous. 

^' If my poor endeavours should meet with your approbation, 
I shall be greatly rewcCrded in the pleasing reflection of having 
endeavoured to do my Auty. I have had so much stormy wea- 
ther, and been obliged, on divers occasions, to carry so much 
sail, that the sloop is in no condition to continue long out of 
port. I am, besides, very weak handed ; and the men I have 
are scarce able to stand the deck, for want of clothing, the wea- 
ther here being very cold. These reasons induce me to bend 
my thoughts towards the continent. I do not expect to meet 
with much, if any success, on my return. But if fortune should 
insist on sending a transport or so in my way, weak as I am, I 
will endeavour to pilot him safe. It is but justice to add, that 
my ofiicers and men behaved incomp£trably well on the oc- 

^^ I have the honour to be, Slc. Slc. 

" John P. Jones. 
** The Honourable the Marine Committee, 




The fidlowing is the hat of prizets, taken, burnt, and gunk by 
Jones this cruise. 



West Indies, 



Brigantine Britannia, 
Sea Nymph, 
Ship Alexander, 

Brigantine Success, „ 

„ Kingston Packet, Jamaica, 

„ Defiance, Jersey, 

Sloop Portland, Whaler, 

Ship Adventure, Jersey, 

Brigantine Friendship, 
Schooner John, 

„ Betsy, 

„ Betsy, 

„ Sea Flower, 

„ Ebenezer, 

„ Hope, Jersey 




. manned and 
sent in. 


One of the objects of the expedition to Cape Breton, that of 
rescuing the hundred American prisoners confined in the cool 
pits, was not effected ; and other projects were abandoned, from 
the lateness of the season, and the difficulty of procuring men. 
Jones indeed met with more success th&he had anticipated, as 
will be seen from the following extract of his letter to Mr. 
Morris, dated October 17th. 

** I have been successfully employed in refitting and getting 
the Providence in readiness, but am under the greatest appre- 
hension that the expedition will fall to nothing, as the Alfred is 
greatly short of men. I found her with only about thirty men, 
and we have with much ado enlisted thirty more ; but it seems 
the privateers entice them away as fast as they receive their 
month's pay. It is to the last degree distressing to contemplate 
the state and establishment of our navy. The common class of 
mankind are actuated by no nobler principle than that of se^in- 
terest ; this, and this alone determines all adventurers in priva- 
teers ; the owners, as well as those whom they employ. And 
while this is the case, unless the private emolum^it of individuals 
in our navy is made superior to that in pritate^rs; it never can 

become respectable; it aever will become formidable* And 
without a respectable navy — alas! America! In the jHresent 
critical situation of ajffisurs, human wisdom can sqggest'no more 
than one iiifallible expedient: enlist the seamen during plea- 
sure, and give them all the prizes. What is the paltry emolu- 
rK ment of two thirds of prizes to the finances of this vast continent i* 
If so poor a resource is essential to its independency, in sober 
sadness we are involved in a woful prediccunent, and our ruin is 
fast approaphing. The situation of America is new in the an- 
nals of mankind ; her affairs cry haste, and speed must answer 
them. Trifles, therefore, ought to be wholly disregarded, as 
being in the old vulgar proverb '^ penny wise, and pound fool- 
ish." If our enemies with the best estabUshed and most formi- 
dable navy in the universe, have found it expedient to assign all 
prizes to the captors, how jnuch more is such poUcy essential to 
our infant fleet f But I need use no arguments to convince you 
of the necessity of makkig the emoluments of our navy equal, if 
not superior, to theirs. We have had proof that a navy may be 
officered almost on any terms, but we are not so sure that these 
officers are equal to their commissions ; nor will the Congress 
ever obtain such certainty, until they, in their wisdom, see pro- 
per to appoint a board of admiralty, competent to determine im- 
partially the respective merits and abilities of their officers, and 
to superintend, regulate, and pcnnt out, all the motions and op-^ 
orations of the navy." 

In the same lett^ he says, <^ Grovernor Hopkins tells me, that 
he apprehends I am appointed to the Andrew Doria; she is a 
good cruiser, and would, in my judgment, answer much better, 
were she mounted with 12 six-pounders, than as she is at pre- 
sent, with 14 fours. An expedition of importance may be effect- 
ed this winter, on the coast of Africa, with part of the original 

* By a reMilntioii of Oongreagy of NoYomber 95th, 1775, two thirdi of the valae of 
aU captuM, made by pabKc ifaipfl of war, were reeenred to tha oee of the XTnited 

66 PAIfL ' JONlfiS; 

Aeeit. Either tbe AUred or Ooluinbus, with the Andrew Doria 
and Providence, would, I am persuaded, carry all before them; 
and give a blow to the English African trade which would not 
soon be recovered, by not leaving them a mast standing on that 
coast. This expedition would be attended with no great ex- ^* 
pense ; besides, the ship and vessels mentioned are unfit for ser- ^| 
vice on a winter coast, which is not the case with the new 
frigates. The small squadron for this service ought to saO 
early, that the prizes may reach our ports in Bfarch or ApriL 
If 1 do not succeed in manning the Alfred, so as to proceed to ■ 
the eastward, in the course of this week, the season will be lost ; 
the coal fleet will be gone to Halifax, the fishermen to Europe.^' 

This (Cruise, however, of Jones, from Rhode Island, was at- 
tended with many useful and some brilliant results. The cap- 
ture, in particular, of the clothing in the Mellish^ while it fur- 
nished a seasonable supply to the American army, waa a serious 
privati<m to that of the enemy. In his letter to the Marine 
Committee dated November 12th, Jones «ay8 : ^' This prize is, 
I believe, the most valuable that has been taken by the Ameri- 
can arms. She made some defence, but it was trifling. The 
loss will distress the enemy more than can be easily imagined, 
as the clothing on board of her is the last intended to be sent out 
for Canada this season, and all that has preceded it is already 
taken. The situation of Burgoyne's army must soon become 
insupportable. I shall not lose sight of a prize of such impor- 
tance, but will sink her, rather than sufiTer her tp fall again into 
their hands." 

His account of his second meeting with the Milford, given in 
the memorial from the Texel, is as follows : ^* On the edge of 
St. Greorge's Bank, I again met with the Milford. The wind 
was at Nv W. the «nemy to windward, and we on our starboard 
tack. He could not come up before night ; and, in the mean 
time, I placed the Alfred and the letter of marque from Liver-, 
pool, between the other prizes and the enemy. . I ordered them 
to crowd sail, qj^ %h^ aame tii,ck, jiU flight, without paying regard 
to my light or signals. At midnight, the Alfred and the 

■PAU£ JOlfES. 'Sn 

litter of marque tackedy and I afterwards carried 4 top light tUl 

: -^ . V This, led the Milford entirely out of the way of the prizes, 
and particularly the clothing ship MelUsh ; for they were all out 
4f s^htin the morning. I had now to get out of the difficulty 
IB the best way I could. In the morning we again tacked ;. . and 
is the Milford did not make much appearance, I was unwiUiag 
to quit her, without a certainty of her superior force. ShO: wais 
out of shot, on the lee quarter ; and as I could only see h&how, 
I ordered the letter of marque, Lieutenant Saunders, that held 
a much better wind than the Alfred, to drop slowly astern, until 
he could discover by a view of the enemy's side, whether she was 
of superior or inferior force, and to make a signal accordingly. 
On seeing Mr. Saunders drop astern, the Milford wore suddenly, 
and crowded sail towards the N. £• This raised in me suich 
doubts as determined me to wear also, and give chase. Mr. 
Saunders steered by the wind, while the Milford went lasking, 
and the Alfred followed her with a pressed sail, so that Mr. 
Saunders was soon almost hull down to windward. At last 
the Milford tacked again ; but I did not tack the Alfred, till I 
had the enemy's side fairly open, and could plainly see her force. 
t then tacked, about ten o'clock. The Alfred being too light to 
be steered by the wind, I bore away two points, while the Milford 
steered close by the wind, to gain the Alfred's wake ; and by 
that means he dropped astern, notwithstanding his superior 
sailing. The weather too, which became exceedingly squally, 
enabled me to outdo the Milford, by carrying more sail. I 
began to be under no apprehension from the enemy's superi- 
ority, for there was every appearance of a severe gale, which 
really took place in the night. To my great surprise, however, 
Mr. Saunders, towards 4 o'clock, bore down on the Milford, 
made the signal of her inferior force, ran under her lee, and was 

The delay experienced by Captain Jones at Boiston, where he 
arrived with his prize, in getting rid of his prisoners and being 
delivered, as he phrases it, from the '* honourable office of a jail 



keeper/'— thd inaetmn in which he was obliged to remain: fer 
want of a command, — ^the neglect of Commodore Hopkins* firom 
unwillingness or inability, to render him any assistance,— ^Imd 
his being superseded in the command of the Alfred by the ot^ 
ders (^that officer, were circumstances of an irritating character, 
which drew from him many letters of indignant remonstrance. 
Writing to the Commodore on the 28th February, he says : ^*It 
is only necessary for me to inform you, tu I havd already dcm^ 
that appointed by a letter from th^ Honourable the Vice 
President of the Marine Board, dated the dth ^current, to take 
command of the Alfred, Columbus, Cabot, Hampden, and sloop 
Providence, and to call on you for every possible assistance 
within your power, to enable me to proceed forthwith on a pri- 
, vate enterprise, of the greiitest importance to America. The 
letter has the sanction and full authority of Congress. It is 
written in their name. Therefore, Sir, I repeat my application, 
and demand your hearty and immediate concurrence with me 
in the outfit. It is in vain for you to affect to disbelieve my 

** I should have appeared pecsbnally at* Providence, had you 
justified my conduct in obeying your express orders, instead of 
leaving me, as you have done, in the lurch.* I could then have 
convinced you of its being your indispensable duty to give me 
every possible assistance. When I placed a confidence in you, 
I did not think you capable of prevarication. I then, when you 
needed friendSf gave you the most convincing proof of my sin- 
cerity. This you must remember. I have asked Captain Sal- 
tonstall, how he could in the beginning suspect me, as you have 
told me, of being unfriendly to America. He seemed astonished 
at the question ; and told me it was yourself who promoted it. 
However, waving every thing of a private nature, the best way 

* This refers to the action commenced against Jones for damages, by the men taken 
from the Rhode Island privateer. Commodore Hopkins left him to defend the soit 
himself, saying that hit orders had not been given m writing. See Appendix, No. I. 

is to co-operate cheerfully together^ that the public service may 
be forwarded, and tjbat scorn may yet fprbear to podnt her fin- 
ger at a fleet under your command. I am earnest in desiring 
to do every thing with good nature. Therefore to remove your 
doubts, if you have any, I si^nd this by express, to inform you 
that I will meet you at Pawtucket, or at any other place, on as 
eatly a day as you please to appoint, and will there produce 
credentials to your satisfaction. In the mean time, it is your 
duty to prevent the departure of the Cabot, or any other vessel 
of the squadron. I am astonished to hear that you have ordered 
, the Hampden out, without desiring an explanation, after you 
received my last letters. My appointment was unsolicited and 
unexpected, and it must be owing tq the hurry of business that 
you have received no similar orders. I am, honoured Sir, your 
very obliged, most humble servant, 

"J. P Jones. 

•* P. S. I have sent by the bearer the coat which you desired, 
likewise one for Mr. Brown. If I can render you any service 
here, in procuring other articles, acquaint me with the particu- 
larS) and my best endeavours shall not be wanting." 

The mixture of conciliatory overtures with the peremptory 
language of this epistle, shows that personal pique was temper- 
ed with a predominating desire to serve the cause of the country 
at all sacrifices. It may be remarked, in passing, that Commo- 
dore Hopkins had been ordered to be censured by the sentence 
of a Court Martial ; and that when the rank and station of the 
commanders of the navy was determined by Congress, his name 
was omitted. 

In relation to the manner in which Jones was superseded, as 
he conceived himself to have been, by junior officers, he has given 
a full account in his letter addressed to Mr. Morris from Phila- 
delphia in 1783, the whole of which document we have thought 
it necessary to publish in the appendix to this part.* It was an 

* 8ea Appendix to Part Fint, No U. 


arrangement of which he n^yer ceased to complain, and as the 
facts stated by him are micontradicted, it seems that he had^ood 
reasons for so doing. Three grades of lieutenants were estab- 
lished by the act of Congress of December 22d, 1775. Jones 
was at the head of the first. At this time it is true that Con* 
gress had not granted general letters of reprisal, nor had the 
allegiance of the colonies to the British crown been renounced. 
After the declaration of Independence, the organization of the 
navy could only properly take place, and the rank of its officers 
be settled, as Congress in its wisdom should determine. Still a 
. regard was due to meritorious services, and to former prece- 
dence, where the imperfect right was supported by them. The 
appointment of Jones to command the Providence as Captain, 
by the commander in chief of the fleet. Commodore Hopkins^ 
though it cannot be considered as establishing his rank, was en- 
titled to respect. On the 8th of August, 1776, he received an 
appointment as Captain, under the United States^ from President 
Hancock. Congress had passed a resolution on the 17th April 
preceding, that ^^ the nomination or appointment of captains or 
commanders should not establish rank, which should be settled 
before- commissions were granted;" and it was not until the 
10th of October following, that by another resolution they set- 
tled the delicate and embarrassing question.^ But Jones con- 


* Rank of Captftms in the Navy^ established by Congress^ Oct, I Of A, 

1776, viz. 

Cbmnianden. Vessels. Gans. 

No. 1 James Nicholson - - - - Virginia, - - 28 

2 John Manly ----- H^incock, - •■ 32 

3 Hector M'Neil ----- Boston, - - 24 

4 Dudley Saltonstali - -— Trumbull, - 28 
6 Nicholas Biddle - - - - Randolph, - 32 

6 Thomas Thompson - - - Raleigh, - - 32 

7 John Barry - - - - - Effingham, - 28 

8 Thomas Read Washington, - 32 

9 Thomas Grihnell - - - - Congress, - - 28 



oeivedy as it was natural he should, that the date of his appoint- 
ment ought not to have been wholly overlooked, and fairly en- 
titled him to priority over those who were commissioned a« Cajh 
taim^ for the first timet on the 10th October. In what terms that 
appointment was couched cannot be ascertained, as it appears 
it was mislaid by President Hancock, who had requested Jones 
ta leave it with him for a day or two. In the eloquent ai^u- 
ment made for himself by the latter, in the remonstrance in 
the appendix to whidi we refer, he evidently confounds occa- 
diopally the terms, appaitdment and commission. While, there- 
fore the government must be exempted from the censure of 
having violated any actual rights which Captain Jones had, it is a 
matter of regret, that in executing the diffit^ult task of assign- 
iiig rank, his fair chUms should not h^ve been admitted. It em- 
bittered many moments of his existence, when he was strug- 
gling with other difficulties, which neither courage nor ambition 
could overcome, and felt peculiarly " how near to the heart," 
as he expresses it, ** of every miUtary officer, is rank, which opens 
the door to glory." 

10 Charles Alexander - - 

11 Lambert Wickes * - - 

12 Abraham Whipple - - 
18 John B. Hc^kins - - 

14 John Hodge - - - - 

15 WilUam Hallock - - - 

16 Hoysted Hacker - - - 

17 Isaiah Robinson - - - 

18 John Paul Jones - - - 

19 James Josiah - - - - 

20 Elisha Hinman - - - 

21 Joseph Olney - - - - 

22 James Robinson - - - 

23 John Young - - - - 

24 Elisha Warner - - - 
Lieut. John Baldwin - 
Lieut. Thomas Alberton 

Delaware^ - - 


Reprisal, - - 


Providence, - 


\V'arren, - - 


Montgomery, - 


Lexington, - - 


Hampden, - - 


Andrew Doria, 


Providence, - 


Alfred, - - 

- 28 

Cabot, - - 

- 16 

Sachem, - - 

- 10 


- 10 

Ply, - - - 

-' — 

Wasp, - « - 

- 8 

Musquito, - - 

- 4 

63 PAVii JON£& 

On this aubject he thus wrote to the Mwine Board at Phila- 
delphia, ^' { am BOW to iiiform<you, that by a letter frcHU Commo- 
dore Hofdiuis, dated on board the Warren, January 14th, 1777^ 
which came to my hiands a day or two a^o, I am superseded in 
the command of the Alfred, in favour of Captain Hinman, and 
ordered back to the sloop in Providence River* Whether this 
order dSith or doth not supersede also your orders to me of the 
10th ult. you can best determine ; however, as I undertook the 
late expedition at his (Commodore Hopkins') request, from a 
principle of humanity, I mean not now to make a difficulty about 
trifles, especially when the good of the service is to be consulted. 
As I am unconscious of any negleict of duty, or misco;nduct, 
since my appointment at the first as eldest lieutenant of the 
navy, I cannot suppose that you can have intended to ^t me 
aside, in favour of any man who did not at that time bear a cap- 
tain's commission, unless indeed that man, by exerting his su- 
perior abilities, hath rendered or can render more important 
services to America. Those who stepped forth at the first, in 
ships altogeth)er unfit for war, were generally considered as fran- 
tic rather than as wise men ; for it must be remembered, that 
almost every thing then made against thc^m. And although the 
success in the affair with the Glasgow was not equal to what it 
might have been, yet .the blame ought not to be general. The 
principal or principals In command alone are culpable ; and the 
other officers, while they stand unimpeached, have their full 
merit. There were, it is true, divers persons, from misrepre- 
sentation, put into commission at the beginning, without fit 
qualification, and perhaps the number may have been increased 
by later appointments; but it follows not that the gentleman or 
man of merit should be neglected or overlooked on their ac- 
count. None other than a gentleman, as well as a seaman both 
in theory and practice, is qualified to support the character of a 
commission officer in the navy ; nor is any man fit to command 
a ship of war who is. not also capable of Communicating his 
ideas on paper, in language that becomes his rank* If this be 

adnuttody the fore^ing operatioiui will be BUfficientLj cleilf f*but 
if further proof is required, it can eoaiy be produced. 
. ^' When I entered into the service, I was not actuated. by 
motives of self-interest. I stepped forth as a free dtiaenof the 
world, in defence, of the violated rights of mankind, aiid not i« 
search of riches, whareof, I thank God, I inl^rit a .sufficiency ;^ 
but I'should prove my degeneracy were I |iot in the highest de- 
gree tenacious of jnj rank and seniority. As agentlemaa^ I 
can yidd this point up only to persons of saperior abilities and 
superior merit ; and- under such persMis it viTOuld be my highest 
ambition to learn. As this is the first time of :my having ex- 
pressed the least anxiety on my own account, I.must entreat your 
patience until I account to you for the reason which hath given 
me this freedom of sentiment. It seems that Captain Hinman's 
jcommission is No. 1, and that, in consequence, he who was aft 
first my junior ofiicer by eight, hath exfressed kimsdf: as mg 
senior officer in a manner which doth himself no honour, and 
which doth me signal injury. There are also in the navy, peiv 
sons who have hot shown me &ir play after the service I have 
rendered them. I have even been blamed for the civiHties which 
I have shown to my prisonets ; at the request of one of whoin 
I herein enclose an appeal, which I must beg leave to lay before 
Congress. Could you see the appellant's accomplished lady, 
and the innocents their chUdren, arguments in their behalf would 
be unnecessary. As the base-minded only are capable of ^incon^ will not blame my free soul, which can never 
stoop where I cannot also esteem. Could I, which I never can, 
bear to be superseded, I should indeed deserve your contempt 
and total neglect. I am therefore to entreat you to employ me 
in the most enterprising and active service^ — accoantable to 
your Honourable Board only, for my conduct, and connected as 
much as possible with gentlemen and men of good sense." 

II !■ «( ■ 

^ His jtaloiui lUMaiineis lest ha shopld be considered a s)t<liAtor/or in any shajpe 
a mercenary soldier^ led him to nse strong teruM, not always well weighed i& IIm 
moment of indignation. The riches he inherited were the gifts of nature. 

See Appendix No. III. 


' <<.Mj conduct hitherto/^ he says, in the memorial addrettied 
to Congress A*om the Texel, '* was so muth approved of by 
Congress, that on the .5th February, 1777, 1 was appointed, 
with unlimited orders, to command a little squadron of the 'Al- 
fred, Columbus, Cabot, Hampden, and sIo<^ Proyid^nce. V&- 
tious important services were pointed out,J)ut I was left at &ee 
liberty, to make my election. That service, however, did not 
take place ; for the Commodore, who had three of the squadron 
Uocked in at Providence, affected to didielieve my af^K^intment, 
and would not at last give me the.necessary assistance* Find- 
ing that he trifled with my applications as well as the orders of 
Congress, I undertook a jomrney from Boston to Philadelphia, 
in order to. explain matters to Congress in person. I took 
this step also because Captfdn Hinman' had succeeded, me 
in the command of the Alfred, and, of course, the service could 
not suffer through my absence. I arrived at Philadelphia in 
(the beginniiig of A][hi1. But what was my surprise to find that, 
by a new line of navy rank, which had taken place on the 10th 
day of October,: 1779, all the officers that had stepped forth at 
the beginning were superseded ! I was myself superseded by 
thirteen men, not cme of whom did (and perhaps some of them 
durst not) take the sea against^the British flag at the -first; for 
several of them who were then applied to revised to venture,'-- 
and none of them have since beea very happy in proving their 
superior abilities. Among these thirteen there are individuals 
who can neither pretend to parts nor education, and with whom, 
as a private gentleman, I would disdain to associate. 

''I leave your Excellency and the Congress to judge how 
this muBt affect a man of honour and sensibility. 

"I was told by President Hancock, that what gave me so 
mmdi pain had been the effect only of a multiplicity of business. 
He acknowledged the injustice of that regulation, said it should 
make but a nominal, and temporary difference, and that in the 
mean time I mighl assure myself, that no navy offico* stood 
lugher in the opinion of Congress than ihyself." 

la connezioii. with thaifocegoing l^ers, it is not out of place 
to introduce tbq.foUoiting, to Mr. Morris. 

''As the regttkytioi^'.of the navy are of the utmost conse- 
quence» you will not. think it presumption^ if, with the utmost 
diffidence, I venturQ to communicate to you such hints as, in 
my judgment, will promote its honour and good government* 
I could heartily vnsh that every commission officer was to be 
previously examined; -for, to my x^rtain knowledge, there are 
persons who have already crept into commission without abili- 
ties or fit qualification : I am myself far from desiring to be ex- 
cused. From experience in ours, as well as from my former 
intimacy with many officers of note in the British navy, I am 
convinced that the parity of rank between sea and land or ma- 
rine officers, is of more consequence to the harmony of the ser- 
vice than has generally been imagined. In the British estab- 
lishment, an admital ranks with a general, a vice admiral vidth 
a Ueutenant general, a rear admiral with a major general, a eom<» 
modore with a brigadier general, a captain with a colonel, a 
master and commander with a lieutenant colonel, a Jieutenant 
commanding with a major, and a lieutenant in the navy ranks 
with a captain of horse, foot, or marines. I propose not our ene- 
mies as an example for our general imitation, yet, as their navy 
is the best regulated of any in the world, we must in some degree 
imitate them, and aim at such farther improvement as may one 
day make ours vie with, and exceed theirs. Were this regula- 
tion to take place in our navy, it would prevent numberless dis- 
putes and duellings, which otherwise witi be unavoidable."* 

* Congress on the 15th November, 1776, adopted *the following 


That the rank of the naval officers be to the rank of officers in the 

land service, as follows : 

Admiral, ---- asa ----- General, 
Vice Admiral, -- •* ...-- Lieut. General, 
Rear Admiral, -- ** ..--- Major General, 



Jones repaired from Boston to PhUadelphia, i»the beginning 
of April, 1777. His suggestion^ «6 to the propch: government 
of the navy, and his projects of annoying tkei^Qemy, were lis^ 
tened to with respectful attention. Whatever cause he ocm- 
ceived himself to have for complaining of the nominal rank b»^ 
signed to him, the command which it was first resolved to give 
him, and that with which he was in the issue entrusted, were 
calculated to satisfy his sense of what was due to his deserts, 
and he expresses himself as being highly gratified. In his 
Journal, written for the king of France, he says : ** The Presi- 
dent assured Captain Jones that this matter of rank should be 
arranged at a future day, to his satisfaction, and in the mean 
time he should have a separate command, &c. Three ships 
were ordered to be fitted out in the eastern states, and Captain 
Jones was, by a resolve of Congress, directed to take his choice 
of them, * until better proomon could, he made for him.^* Cap- 
« tain Jones spared no pains to execute this last scheme ; but he* 
fore it was well begun, he received an appointment from the 
marine and secret committee, to proceed to France in the French 

Commodore, --- asa--*-- Brig. General, 
Captain of a ship of 40 guns and upwards, Colonel, 

Do. - • - 20 to 40 guns, - as a Lieut. Colonel, 
Do. of a ship of 10 to 20 guns, * " Major, 

Lieutenant in the navy, .... ** Captain. 

♦ " In Congress, March 15, 1777. 

" Resolved, That Daniel Waters, and Samuel Tucker, be appointed 
Captains in the Navy of the United States, and that they have the com- 
mand of two of the three ships ordered to be purchased. And that the 
command of the other ship be given to Captain John Paul Jones, until 
better provision can be made for him." 

The resolutions of the Marine Committee, authorizing Jones to make 
his election of the three ships, as soon as the purchase should be made, 
and to fit out the one he might select for sea, are to the effect stated in 
his journal. 


riiip Amphitnte from New Hampshiret with a letter to the Ame- 
rican Commissioners at Paris, containing orders to invest him 
immediately with the command of ' a fine ship,' (the Indian, 
bjuik for America at Amsterdam,) * as a reward for his zeal, 
and the important services he had performed, in vessels of little 
force*' His departure in the Amphitrite did not succeed^ be<> 
cause the terms offered the French commander werQ not accept* 
ed*" Speaking of this resolution of Congress, he says else- 
where, ^^ This was generous indeed ; and I shall feel the whole, 
force of the obligation, to t&e last moment of my life*"* 

In the memorandums and documents, in the cominler's pos^ 
session, there is no further explanation of the causes whidi 
prevented Jones front embarking in the Amphitrite. By a let- 
ter from him, to an agent, directing the enlistment oi seamen, 
dated May 23d, it appears that he k>st no time in acting upon 
the appointment by the Marine Committee. The fi^owing are 
the official letters and instructions, with which he was ' fur- 

" Philadelphia, 9ih May, 1777. 


'^ This letter is intended to be delivered to you by John Paul 
Jones, Esq. an active and brave commander in our navy, who 
has already performed signal services in vessels of little force ; 
and in reward for his seal we have directed him to go on board 
the Amphitrite, a French ship of twenty guns, that brought in 
a valuable cargo of stores from Mons. Hostalez and Co. and 
with her to repair to France. He takes with him his commis- 
sion, some officers and men, so that we hope he will, under that 
sanction, make some good prizes with the Amphitrite ; but our 
design of sending him is, (with the ap^nrobation. of Congress,) 
that you may purchase one of those fine firigates that Mr. Deane 
writes us you can get, and invest him with the command tihiere- 
of as soon as possible. We hope you may not delay this business 
one moment, but purchase, in such port or place in Europe as it 
can be done with most convenience and despatch, a . fine ftust- 


sailing frigate or larger ship* I>irect Captain Jon6» where, he 
must repair to, and he will take with him his officers and men 
towards manning her* You will assign him some good house or 
agent to supply him with every; thing necessary to get the ship 
speedily and well equipped and manned — somebody that will 
bestir themselres vigorously in the business,, and never quit it 
until it is accomplished. 

*^ If you have any plan or service to be performed in Europe 
by such a ship, that you think will be more for the interest and 
honour o£ the States than sending her out directly, Captaiii 
Jones is instructed to obey your orders ; and, to save repetition, 
let him lay before you the instructions we have given him, and 
filrnish you with a copy thereof. You o«n then judge what 
will be necessary for you to direct him in, and whatever you do 
will be approved, as it will undoubtedly tend to promote the 
{MibUc sefFvice of this country. 

^* You see by this step how much dependence Congress place 
in your advices ; and you must makJB it a point not to disap- 
point Captain Jones' wishes and expectation^ on this occasion. 

"Weare, &c. 
(Signed) ^ Robert M oreis. 

" Richard Henry Li^e. 
" Wm. Whipple. 
** Phil. Livingston. 
** The Honourable Benjamin FrankUn, Silas Decme, 

and Arthur Lee, Esquires, Commissicmers," &c. 

In Marine Committee. 

«' Philadelphia, May 9^A, 1777. 
" John Paul Jones, Esq. 

^* Sir — Congress have thought proper to authorize the Se- 
cret Committee to employ you on a voyage in the Amphitrite, 
from Portsmeuth to Carolina and France, where it is expected 
you wilt be provided with a fine frigate ; and a& your present 
coihinission is for the command of a particular ship, we now 
send you a new one, whereby you are appointed a captain in 

our navy, and of oourse may oommaiid any ship in tluBatirTioa 
to whieh you are particularly ordered. You are to obey tlw 
orders of the Secret Committee^ and we are, Sir, && 

(Signed) *< John HANoooit. 

" RoB« MoRRia. , ^ 

" Wm. Whipple." 

' 'i 



" Philadelphia, September fHhy ITH. 
" Sir, r 

*^ As soon as these instructions get to hand, you are to make 
immediate application to the -proper persons to get your yessel 
yictnalled and fitted for sea with all expedition. When this is 
done, you are to proceed on a voyage to some convenient port 
in France ; on your arrival there, apply to tho' agent, if any, ui 
or near said port, for such supplies as you may stand in need of* 
You are at the same time to give immediate notice, by letter^ 
to the Honourable Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur 
Lee, Esquires, or any of them at Paris, of your arrival; request-* 
ing their instructions as to yopr further destination ; which iiH 
structions you are to obey as far as it shall be in your power. 

" You are to take particular notice, that whilst on the coast 
of France, or in a French port, you are, as much, as you con- 
veniently can, to keep your guns covered and concealed, and to 
make as httle warlike appearance as possible. Wishing you," 
&c. &c. 

Jones had recommended, in a letter to a member in Congress^ 
that the Mellish should be converted into a ship of war ; and 
the secret committee had passed a resolution to that efiect; but 
the intention was abandoned in consequence of letters from him. 
On, the 14th June, Congress resolved, <^that the flag of the 
United States should be thirteen stripes, alternate red and 
white : that the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, 
representing a new constellation." By another resolution, 
passed the same day, Jones was appointed to command the 
ship Ranger ; on board of which he hoisted the national flag 


for the fint tame it was displayed on board of a maaof ,wiir, as 
he bad -formerly boisted the -colonial one, in the Delaware.* 
He began to fit out this vessel in July ; but was not ready, for 
sea before the 15th November following. She was scarcely 
half rigged when he took charge of her, and much difficulty 
was experienced in arming and equipping her. He wrote as 
follows to the Marine Committee on the 29th October. — <* With 
all my industry If, could not get the single suit of sails comple- 
ted) until the 20th current. Since that time the winds and 
weather hare laid me under the necessity of continuing in port. 
At this time it blows a very heavy gale from the N. £. The 
ship with difficulty rides it out, with yards and top mast struck, 
and whole cables ahead. When it clears up, I expect the wind 
from the N. W. and shall not fail to embrace it, although I have 
not now a spare sail, nor materials to make one. Some of those 
J have are made of Hemngs^ (a coarse thin stuff.) I never be- 
fore had so dis€igreeable a service to perform, as that which I 
have now accomplished, and of which another will claim the 
credit as well as the profit* However, in doing my utmost, I 
am sensible that I have done no more than my duty. I have 
now to acknowledge the honour of having received your orders 
of the 6th ultimo ; and that I have before me the pleasing pros- 
pect of being the welcome messenger at Paris of the joyful and 
important news of Burgoyne's surrender. I have received de-r 
spatches from the Council of Massachusetts, for the com- 
missioners, by express. I shal), therefore, not go out of my 
course, unless I see a fair opportunity of distressing the enemy, 
and of rendering services to America." 

Twenty-six guns were provided for the Ranger ; but Jones 
wrote that he purposed to carry no more than 18 six pounders, 
as he thought the ship incapable of carrying a greater number 
so as to be serviceable. He complained that they were all three 
diameters of the bore too short. He found no difficulty in pre- 

set Appendix, No. IV. 


cmiiig men, but he was badly proTided with stores, havitig only 
thirty gallons of rum for hii^ whole crew. With this indifferent 
armament he sailed from Portsmouth on the first of November, 
and arrived at Nantes on the 2d December following. He found 
the Ranger very crank, owing to the improper quality of her 
ballast ; which induced him on his arrival to shorten her lower 
masts, and ballast with lead. The following particulars of his 
cruise are given in his letter from Nantes to the Marine Com- 
mittee. — ^^ After passing the Western Islands, I fell in with and 
brought to, a number of ships, but met with no English proper- 
ty, till within eighty leagues of Ushant. I then fell in with a 
fleet of ten sail with a strong convoy, bound up the channel ; 
bat notwithstanding my endeavours, I was unable to detach any 
of them from the convoy. I took two biigantines from Malaga 
with fruit for London. One of the prizes has arrived here. 
The other, I am now told, is in Quiberon Bay. I arrived here 
<m the 2d current, without having met with any misfortune on 
the passage, though I met with some very severe weather. Be- 
sides the fleet already mentioned, I fell in with several ships in 
the night; so that I have had agreeable proofs of. the active 
spirit both of my officers and men. Though they have not for- 
merly been conversant in the management of ships of war, yet 
I am persuaded they will behave well, should I have an oppor- 
tunity of bringing them to action, &c." He does not mention 
in this letter the particulars of his meeting with the Invincible; 
a ship of seventy-four guns, which was giving convoy to a few 
ships from Gibraltar. He speaks of the affair in his narrative 
for the king of France, as a '* near rencounter ;" and in his let- 
ter from the Texel, he says, << I could not help chasing the In- 
vincible, by the way." 

Determining to attend to the necessary alterations and equip- 
ment of the Ranger in person, his first act on arriving at Nantes 
was to write on the 5th December to the commissioners of Con- 
gress at Paris, — ^Dr. Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee. 
The following is an extract from the letter : 

" I yesterday, enclosed you copies of two letters which I wrote 

you preyiofis to my departure from Portsmouth, together with 
a {Jan which I drew up at Philadelphia, on the regulation and 
equifMOdeot of our infant naTy. It ia my first and favourite wish 
to be employed in active and enterprising services, when there 
is a prospect of rendering acceptable services to America* The 
singular honour which Congress have done me by their generous 
acknowledgment of my past services, hath inspired me with 
sentiments of gratitude which I shall carry with me to my grave ; 
and if a life of services devoted to America can be made instru- 
mental in securing its independence, I shall regard the continu- 
ance of such approbation as an honour far superior to what 
kings even could bestow." 

'* I am ready to lay before you any orders, which I have re- 
ceived from Congress. At present I take the Uberty of enclo- 
sing for your inspection a veiy honourable and unexpected 
appointment, &c«" *' I have always, since we have had 
ships of war, been persuaded that small squadrons could be em- 
ployed to far better advantage on private expeditions,- and 
would distress the enemy infinitely more than the same force 
could do, by cruising either jointly or separately. Were strict 
secrecy observed on our part, the enemy have many important 
places in such a defenceless situation, that4hey might be effect- 
ually surprised and attacked, with no very considerable force. 
We cannot yet fight their navy ; as their numbers and force are 
so far superior to ours. Therefore it seems to be our most 
natural province to surprise their defenceless places ; and there- 
by divert their attention, and draw it off from our coasts. . But 
you see that my honourable correspondent is, and I know that 
many others are, of the s€mie opinion." 

The course here recommended by Jones was the only one 
which eventually was found feasible. Henvas soon summoned 
to Paris by the Commissioners, to consult with them upon the 
measures to be adopted for annoying the enemy. France was 
not yet in open hostility with England, nor had the commisr 
sioners been recognised as plenipotentiaries. Jones was direct- 
ed to keep his guns as much concealed as possible while on the 

PAUL JON£B. '93 

French coai^. He was destined to meet with a serious disap- 
point ment, in being obliged to assent to the transfer of the Indian, 
the '' fine ship" of which he had expected to receive the com- 
mand, and which was building at Amsterdam, to the French 
Government. Considering the irritability of his character, we 
do not find that he bore this miscarriage very ungraciously. 
Congress certainly had intended that he should take command 
of this vessel, or of one of equal force ; and he made their reso- 
hition a ground for claiming the rank which such a command 
would have given him. But he submitted to parting with the 
Indian with tolerable gpoi humour, as the extracts from his let- 
ters will show. This is mentioned, because he has been charged 
with writing to Congress "in no very modest terms." In his 
first despatch from Nantes to the marine committee, he says : 
" I understand, though I have yet received no letter, that the 
commissioners had provided for me one of the finest frigates 
that ever was built ; calculated for thirty guns on one deck ; 
and capable of carrying thirty-six pounders ; but were under 
the necessity of giving her up, on account of some difiiculties 
which they met with at court. Perhaps the news of our late 
successes may now put that court in a better humour. But my 
unfeigned thanks are equally due for the intention as for the 
aet.^' Writing again to the same committee, on the 22d De- 
cember) the day after he had received a request from the com- 
tmssioners to attend them at Paris, he declared his intention to 
proceed to sea with the Ranger, without loss of time, should 
there be any delay in obtaining additional force. In his narra- 
tive for the king of France, corrected by himself, in speaking of 
the " assignment ' of the property of that famous frigate, the 
Indian,*' he has interlined, '^ with the consent of Captain 

Writing to the Marine Committee subsequently, on the sub- 
ject, he said : ^^ Deeply sensible of the honour which Congress 
has conferred upon me, communicated in the orders of the Secret 
Committee to the commissioners, I can bear the disappoint- 
ment with philosophy. Yet I confess I was rather hurt, when 



ai Pariif I understood that the new frigate at AiQflterdam had 
never been intended for me, before my a];q;)earance9 but for the 

After conferring with the commissioners on the variotts 
schemes he had to suggest, he returned to Nantes to complete 
the Ranger's equipments, and on the 16th of January 1788, he 
received from them their instructions jES to his conduct on the 
cruise he proposed msiking. They were as follows, giving him 
almost unlimited discretion ; which he was perfectly wilUng to 
assume, though it seems from one of his despatches that he did 
not understand the commissioners as. Hjfpiromising even to justify 
him, should he fail in any bold attempt." 

^ * 
" Paris, January l&A, 1788. 
" Captain Jones, 

'< Sir— As it is not in our power to procure you such a ship 


as you expected) we advise' you, after equipping the Ranger in 
the best manner for the cruise you propose, that you proceed 
with her in the manner you shaU judge best for distressing the 
enemies of the United States, by sea or otherwise, consistent 
with the laws of war, and the terms of your commission." 
[Directions here follow for sending prizes taken on the coast of 
France cmd Spain, into Bilboa or Coronge, unless the danger 
was too great, in which case they were to be sent to L'Orient 
or Bordeaux.] ** If you make an attempt on the coast of Great 
Britain we advise you not to return immediately into tJie.porls 
of France, unless forced by stress of weather, or the pursuit of 
the eilemy ; and in such case you can make the proper repre- 
sentation to the officers of the port, and acquaint us with your 
situation. We rely on your ability, as well as your zea> to fierve 
the United States, and therefore do not give you particular in 
structions as to your operations. We must caution you against 
giving any cause of complaint to the subjects ^ France or Spain, 
or of other neutral powers ; and recommend it to you to show 
them every proper mark of respect, and real civility, which may 
be . in your power." 


,iHX'' Arthux Lee did not fq)pFove of a part o£ these instruo- 
tioilf^ directing the sale of the prists to be intrusted to other 
lumds than those of the commercial agents* He expressed his 
WWi' of confidence in Mr. Grourlade, one of the persons men* 
tiflned» at L' Orient, and did not sign the letter. Messrs. Frank- 
lin and Deane knew of nothing done by Gourlade, to impair 
their confidence in him. Agreeably to the suggestion of Jones, 
they addressed an intimation to the crew of the Ranger, promis- 
ingt '^ in case of their good and gallant behaviour, to recommend 
them to Congress for a generous gratification, proportioned to 
their merits." 

On the 10th of February, Jones says in his Journal to the 
king of France, ^' on receiving agreeable news of aflhirs in 
America, and the position of Lord Howe's fleet, he wrote a let- 
ter to Mr. Deane, one of the commissioners of Congress at 
Paris, containing the plan that was adopted for Count D'Es- 
taiog's expedition ; wluch would have ended the war, had it 
been immediately pursued." He has been censured for assum- 
ing to himself the original merit of devising this important 
measure. It is certain, that he repeatedly makes the assertion 
that he furnished the outline of the project.* In a letter to M. 
De Sartine, the French minister of marine, written subsequent- 
ly, he says*; ^ 

^^ Had Count D'Estaing arrived in the Delaware a few days 
sooner, he might have made a most glorious and easy conquest. 
Many successful projects may be adopted from the hints which 
I had the honour to draw up ; and if I can still furnish more, or 
execute any of these already furnished, so as to distress and 
hun^ble the common enemy, it will afford me the truest plea- 
sure.'^ It may naturally be inferred, that the operations of Count 
D'Estaing's fleet was a subject discussed in the consultations held 
by Jones with the commissioners, on his first brief visit to Paris, 
though he does not intimate that any such conversation took place. 
It CBinnot be doubted, that he was peculiarly qualified to give 

•■ * ]3ee Appendix, No. V. 


important advice, from his accurate acquaintance with the locali- 
ties of the Delaware, and the navigation of the waters in the vi- 
cinity of the scene selected for the, intended operation. It will 
also not be doubted, that his advice would naturally be of a da- 
ring character 9 recommending bold measures as best calculated 
to lead to great results. There can be no reason for impeach- 
ing his veracity, when he affirms that he forwarded hm plan to 
Mr. Deane at the time mentioned ; nor does it appear that he 
exclusively arrogated the praise due to the wisdom with which 
the scheme was conceived. He put in a claim for his fair share 
of the honour ; and there is no evidence against his title to it. 
No copy of the letter he speaks of is preserved among the pa- 
pers and volumes which the compiler has in his possession. As 
secrecy wcw essential in effecting the proposed object, no men- 
tion is of course made of it in his general correspondence at the 
time. It failed, as is well known, from the delay which occur- 
red, and which enabled Lord Howe to place his fleet and trans- 
ports in safety. 

From Nantes, Jones proceeded in the Ranger for Quiberon 
Bay, whither " he convoyed some American vessels, that desired 
to sail out under the protection of the French squadron in that 
road, commanded by Monsieur La Motte Picquet. From that 
brave officer. Captain Jones claimed and obtained the first sa- 
lute the flag of America ever received. Some days afterwards, 
he claimed and obtained the same honour from Count D'Orvil- 
liers, commander in chief of the fleet at Brest. Both these 
salutes preceded the publication of the treaty of alliance."* 

This first salute was not obtained, however, without some di- 

plomacy and negotiation, in which Jones showed both firmness 

and address. The following letters were written by him on the 


'* Fehrmry lUh, 1778. 

" Dear Sir, 

'I am extremely sorfy to give you fr-esh trouble, but I think 
thf; AdmiraFs answer of yesterday requires an explanation. 

* . Narrative fot the king of France. 

FAVh JONES. ^^JU 77 

The haughty English return gun for gun to forq^h officers of 
equal rank, and two less only to captains by flag-offiicers. It is 
true, my command at present is not important, yet, as the senior 
Americcm officer at present in Europe, it is my duty to claim an 
equal return of r^pect to the flag of the United States that would 
be shown to any other flag whatever. 

'' ^jtherefore take the liberty of enclosing an appointment, 
periMips as respectable as any which the French Admiral can 
produce ; besides which, I have others in my possession. 

^^ If, however, he persists in refusing to return an -equal sa- 
lute, I- will accept of two guns less, as I have not the rank of 

*' It is my opinion, that he would return four less to a priva- 
teer or a merchant ship ; therefore, as I have been honoured 
oftener than once with a chief command of ships of war, I caur 
not, in honour, accept of the same terms of respect. 

"You will singularly oblige me by waiting upon the Admi- 
ral ; and I ardently hope you will succee4 in the application, 
else I shall be under a necessity of departing without coming 
into the bay. I iiave the honour to be, &c. &c. 
" To William Carmichael, Esq. 

"N. B. — 'Though thirteen guns is your greatest salute in 
America^ yet if the French Admiral should prefer a greater 
number, he haa his choice, an conditions.'*'* 


Writing to Mr. Jonathan Williams on the following day, he says, 
" I propose to salute the Admiral in open day ; that no evasion 
may afterwards be made." He wrote as follows to the Marine 
Committee, on the 22d February. " I am happy in having it 
in my power to congratulate you on my having seen the' Amer- . 
ican flag, for the first^time, recognised, in the fullest and com- 
pletest manner by the flag of. France. I was ofl^ their bay the 
13th, and sent my boat in the next day, to know if the Admiral 
would return my salute. He answered that he would return to 
me, as the senior American oontini^tal officer in Europe, the 
same salute which he was authorized by his court to return to 

78 ^ FAVI4 JOUKS. 

an Admirajpir ^Holland, or of any other R^public^ which was 
four guns l^ss than the salute given. I hesitated at this ; jfor I 
had demanded gun for gun. Therefore, I anchored in the en- 
trance of the bay, at a distance from the French fleet ; but after 
a very particular inquiry on the 14th, finding that he had really 
told the truth, I was induced to accept of bis offer, the more so, 
as it was in fact an acknowledgment of American Indepenmnce. 
The wind being contrary, and^ blowing hard, it was after sunset 
before the Ranger got near enough to salute La Motte Picquet 
with thirteen guns ; which he returned with nine. However, 
to put the matter beyond a doubt, 1 did not suffer the Indepen- 
dence to salute till next morning, when I sent the Admiral word 
that I should sail through his fleet in the brig, and would salute 
him in open day. He was exceedingly pleased, and returned 
the compliment also with nine guns." 

*' I have in contemplation several enterprises of some impor- 
tance. * * * When an enemy thinks a design against him im- 
probaUe, he can always be surprised and attacked with advan- 
tage. It is true, I must run great risk ; but no gallant action 
was ever performed without danger. Therefore, though I can- 
not ensure success, I will endeavour to deserve it." 

Writing on the san^e date to the secret committee, thanking 
them for the flattering terms in which he had been recommend- 
ed to the commissioners, and his services been spoken of, he en- 
closed an ode of a patriotic character, which had been written 
in France, begging that it might be laid before Congress, and 
intimating a hope that the author woul<l be considered worthy 
of the attention of that body. What notioe that grave assembly 
took of the metrical effusion and its^ composer, does not appear. 

He says that at this time '< Count D'Orvilliers, through 
whom he communicated his idea for an expedition to America 
to M. De Sartine, offered, on account ef the smallness of his 
frigate, to procure for him a commission of Captain, in the 
Royal Navy of Frapce, which be refused." 

He sailed from Brest onihe 10th Aprils on his first meoiora-^ 
ble cruise. The cominiiisioaers had no exact idM of his intea- 



tioiis* He *^ «t first had thoughts of striking a Mow. on the 
scAith side of England ; but being detained for some time by 
contrary and stormj winds at Brest, he abandoned that 
scheme.'' The most ample and interesting account of this 
cruise in given in bis letter to the American Commi«,iene«, 
written on the 27tl|'May9 from Brest. It is said to be confirm- 
ed, in all its details, by log-books in the possession of individuals 
in Scotland; It has been very frequently published, but its in- 
serti<m entire is essential here. 

" I have now to fulfU the piromise made in my last, by giving 
you an account of iig| late expedition. 

'* I sailed from Brest the 10th of April ; my j^an was exten- 
sive, I therefore did not at the beginning wish to encumber my- 
self with prisoners. On the .14th I took a brigantine between 
l^cilly and Cape Clear, bound for Ostend^ with a caigo of flax- 
seed for Ireland, sunk her, and proceeded into St. George's 

" On the 17th I took the ship Lord Chatham, bound from 
London to Dublin, with a cargo consisting of perter, and a 
varie^ of mm'chandise, and ahnost within sight of her poit ; 
this ship I manned -and ordered for Brest. 

** Towards the evening of the day following, the weather had 
a promising appearance, and, the wind being favourable^ I 
stood over front the Isle of Man with an intention to "make a 
descent at Yl^itehaven ; at ten I was oft* the iiarbour with a 
party of vdunte^-s, and had every thing in readiness to land ; 
but before eleven the wind greatly increased and shiftied, so as 
io blow directly upon the shore ; the sea increased of course, 
and it became impossible to effect a landing. This obliged me 
to carry all possible sail so a^ lo clear the latnd, and to awak a 
more favourable opportunity. 

'^ On the 18th, in Glentinebay, on the south coast of Soo^ 
land, I met with a revenue wherry ; it being the common prae- 
tice of these vessels to Aboard merchant ships, the Ranger then 
having no external apjpearanee of war, it was expected that this 

80 PAui. jomra. 

rover would have come alongside ; • I was, however, mistaken, 
for though the men were at their quarters, yet this vessel 9ut* 
saileil the Ranger, and got clear in spite of a severe cannonade. 

^^ The next morning, off the Mull of Gralloway, I found my- 
self so near a Scotch coasting schooner, loaded with barley, that 
I could not avoid sinking her. Understanding that there were 
ten or twelve sail of merchant ships, besides a Tender brigan-^ 
tine, with a number of impressed men on board, at anchor in 
Lochryan, in Scotland, I thought this an enterprise worthy my 
attention ; but the wind, which at the first would have served 
equally well to have sailed in or out of the Loch, shifted in a 
hard squall, so as to blow almost directly ^ with an appearance 
of bad weather. | was therefore obliged to abandon my project. 

" Seeing a cutter off the lee-bow ^tearing for the Clyde, I 
gave chase, in hopes of cutting her off; but finding my endea- 
yours inefiectual, I pursued no farther than the Rock of Ailsiv* 
In the evening I fell in with a sloop froni Dublin, which I sunk, 
to prevent intelligence. 

''The next day, the 21st, being near Carrickfergus, a fish 
ing-boat came off, which I detained. I saw a ship at anchor in 
the road, which I was informed by the fishermen was the British 
ship of war Drake, of twenty guns. I determined to attack 
her in the nigfit ; my plan was to overlay her cable, and to fall 
upon her bow, so as to have all her decks open and exposed to 
our musquetry, &c. 9 at the same time, it was my intention to 
liave secured the enemy by grapplings, so that, had they cut 
their cables, ibej would not thereby have attained an advan- 
tage* The 'wind was high, and imfortunately the anchor was 
not let go so soon as the order was given, so that the.Raiiger 
vnis brought, to upon the enemy's quarter at the distance of half a 
cable's len^;th« We had made no«warIike,appearance^ of course 
had given no alarm ; this determined me to cut immediately, 
which might appear as if the. cable* had parted, and at the same 
time enable me, after making a tack out of the Loch, to return 
with the same prospect of advantage which I had at the first. I 
was, however, prevented from returning, as I vrith difficulty 


weathered the lighthouse on the lee-side of the Loch, and as 
the gale increased. The weather now became so rery stormy 
and severe, and the sea ran so high, that I was obliged to take 
shelter under the south shore of Scotland. 

^^ The 22d introduced fair weather, though the three king- 
doms were, as far as the eye could reach, covered with snow* 
I now resolved once more to attempt Whitehaven ; but the 
wind became very light, so that the ship would not in proper 
time approach so near as I had intended. At midnight I left 
the ship with two boats and thirty-one volunteers ; when we 
reached the outer pier, the day began to dawn; I would not, 
however, abandon my enterprise, but despatched one boat under 
the direction of Mr. Hill and Lieutenant WalUngsford, with the 
necessary combustibles to set fire to the shipping on the north 
side of the harbour, while I went with the other party to attempt 
the south side. I was successful in scaling the walls and 
spiking up all the cannon on the first fort ; finding the sentinels 
shut up in the ^uard-house, they were secured without being 
hurt. Having fixed sentinels, I now took with me one man 
<mly, (Mr.*6reen,) and spiked up all the canncm on the southern 
fort, distant from the other a quarter of a mile. 

'< On my return from this business, I naturally expected to 
see the fire of the ships on the north side, as well as to find my 
own party with every thing in readiness to set fire to the ship- 
ping on the south ; instecul of this, I found the boat under the 
direction of Mr. Hill and Mr. Wallingsford returned, and the 
party in some confusion, their light having burnt out at the in- 
stant when it became necessary.* 

* Jones did not soon surmount the disappointment occasioned by this 
misunderstanding oti the part of his officers. In a memoricd to Con- 
gress, he says, " My first object was to secure an exchange of prisoners 
in Europe, and my second to put an end, by one good fire in England 
of shipping, to all the burnings in America. I succeeded in the first, 
even hf means feu: more glorious than my most flattering ideas had ex- 



'^ By the strangest fatality, my own party were in tlie. same 
situation, the candles being all burnt oitf . The day too dime 
on apace, yet I would by no means retreat while any hopes of 
success remained. Having again placed sentinels, a light was 
<>btained at a house disjoined from the town, and a fire was 
kindled in the steerage of a large ship, which was surrounded 
by at least a hundred and fifty others, chiefly from two to £6ur 
hundred tons burthen, and Jying side by side, aground, unsur- 
rounded by the water. 

'^ There were, besides, from seventy to a hundred large 
ships in the north arm of the harbour, aground, clear of the 
water, and divided from the rest cmly by a stone pier of a ship's 
height. I should have kindled fires in other places if the time 
had permitted ; as it did not, oiur care was to prevent the one 
kindled from being easily extinguished. , After some search, a 
barrel of tar was found, and poured into the flames, which now 
ascended from all the hatchways. > The inhabitants began to 
appear in thousands, and individuals ran hastily towards us. I 
stood between them and the ship on fire, with a pistol in my 
hand, and ordered them to retire, which they did with precipita- 
tion. The flames had already caught the rigging, and began 
to ascend the main-mast ; the sun was a full hour's march above 
the horizon, and as sleep no longer ruled the world, it was time 
to retire. We re-embarked without oj^sition, having released 
a number of prisoners, as our boats could not carry them. Af- 
ter all my people had embarked, t stood upon the pier for a 

pected when I left France. In the second, I endeavoured to deserve 
success ; but a wise officer of mine observed, that ' it was a' rash thing, 
and that nothing could be got by burning poor people's property.' I 
must, however, do him the justice to mention his acknowledgment, that 
he had no turn for enterprise ; and I must also do equal justice to my 
former officers in the Providence and the Alfk'ed, by declaring, that had 
they been with me in the Ranger, two hundred and fifty, or three bun- 
dred sail of large ships at Whitehaven would have been laid in ashes." 

rAVh VOICES. 83 

oonsidorable space, yet no person advanced i I saw all the 
eminences round the town covered with the amazed inhabitants. 

'^ Wbeii we' had rowed to a considerable distance from the 
shore, the English began to rmi in vast numbers to their forts i 
their disappointment may easily be imagined when they found, 
I suppose, at least thirty heavy cemnon (the instruments of their 
vengeance) rendered useless. At length, however, they began 
to fire, having, as I apprehend, either brought down ships' guns, 
or used one or two cannon which lay on the beach at the foot of 
the walk, dismounted, and which had not been spiked. They 
fired with no direction, and the shot fieilling short of the boats, 
instead of doing us any damage, afiforded some diversion ; which 
my pec^le could not help showing, by discharging their pistols, 
&c. in return of the salute. Had it been possible to have land- 
ed a few hours sooner, my success would have been complete. 
Not a single ship, out of more than two hundred, could possibly 
have escaped, and all the world would not have been able to 
save the town. \Vhat was done, however, is sufiicient to show, 
that not air their boasted navy cem protect their own coasts ; 
and that the scenes of distl*ess, which they have occasioned in 
America, may be soon brought home to their own door. One 
of my people was missing; and must, I fear, have fallen into 
the enemies' hands after our departure.* I was pleased that in 
this business we neither killed nor wounded any person. I 
brought ofiT three prisoners as a sample. 

'^ We now stood over for the Scotch shore; and I landed at 
noon at St. Mary's Isle, with one boat only, and a very small 
party. The motives which induced me to land there, are ex- 

* In the Ranger's log-book this man is named David Smith. He is 
probably the same person who, under the name of Freeman, gave in- 
formation at several houses in a street adjoining the piers, that fire had 
been set to a ship, and afterwards other information that appears sub- 
stantially correct. He must have remained on shore voluntarily. Note 
vCthe Edmhurgh lAfe. 


fdained in the within copy of a letter which I haye addresied to 
the Countess of Selkirk, dated the 8th instant. 

" On the morning of the 24th, I was again off Carrickfergos, 
and would have gone in, had I not seen the Drake preparii^ 
to come out. It was very moderate, and the Dndte's boat was 
sent out to reconnoitre the Ranger. As the boat advanced, I 
kept the ship's stern directly towards her ; and though they bad 
a spy-glass in the boat, they came on within hail; and along 
side. WTien the officer came on the quarter deck, he was 
greatly surprised to find himself a prisoner ; although an ex- 
press had arrived from Whitehaven the night before. I now 
understood, what I had before imagined, that the Drake came 
out in consequence of this information, with volunteers, against 
the Ranger. The officer told me also, that they had taken up 
the Ranger's anchor. The Drake was attended by five small 
vessels full of people, who were led by curiosity to- see an 
engagement. But when they saw the Drake's boat at the 
Ranger's stern, they wisely put back. 

'^ Alarm smokes now appeared in great abundance, extending 
along on both sides of the channel. The tide was unfavourable, 
so that the Drake worked out but slowly. This obliged me to 
run down several times, and to lay with courses up, and main- 
topsail to the mast. At length the Drake weathered the point, 
and having led her out to about mid-channel, I suffered her to 
come within hail. The Drake hoisted English colours, and at 
the same instant, the American stars were displayed on board 
the Ranger. I expected that pre&ce had been now at an end, 
but the enemy soon after hailed, demanding what ship it was \ 
I directed the master to answer, " the American Continental 
ship Ranger ; that we waited for them, and desired that they 
would come on ; the sun was now little more than an hour from 
setting, it was therefore time to begin." The Drake being 
astern of the Ranger, I ordered the helm up, and gave her the 
first broadside. The action was warm, close, and obstinate. It 
lasted an hour and four minutes, when the enemy called for 
quarters ; her fore and main-topsail yards being both cut awajr, 

PA9I. JOSM/L^ ^ 8ft 

and down on the cap; the top-^gallant yard and miaen-gafffaodi 
hanging up and down along the mast-; the: fleeond qttign wbkb 
they had hoisted shi^i^ayipUid hajiying on the quarter gallery 
in the water y the jib shot awayAkd hanging in the water ; her 
sails and rigging entirely cut to piSbes ; her masts ai[id yards aU 
wounded, and her hull also very much galled. I lost only Lieu? 
tenant Wallingsford and one seaman, John Dougall, killed, and 
six wounded ; among whom are the gunner, Mr. FaIIs, and Mr. 
Powers, a midshipman, who lost his arm. One of the wounded, 
Nathaniel Wills^ is since dead : the rest will recoyer. The loss 
of the enemy in killed and woundedy was far greater. All the 
prisoners aUow, that they came out with a number not less than 
a hundred and sixty men: and many of them affirm that they 
amounted to a hundred and ninety. The medium may, perhaps, 
be'the most exact account ; and by that it will appear that they 
lost in killed and wounded, forty-two men. The captain and 
lieutenant were among the wounded; the former, haying re- 
ceived a musket ball in the head the minute before they called 
for quarters, lived, and was sensible som$ time after my people 
boarded the prize. The lieutenant survived two days. They 
were buried with the honours due to their rank, and with the 
respect due to their memory. 

^' The night and almost the whole day after the action b^ng 
moderate, greatly facilitated the refitting of both ships. A large 
brigantine was so h^ar the Drake in the afternoon, that I was 
obliged to .bring her to. She belonged to Whitehaven, and 
was bound foi* Norway. 

" I had thought of returning by the south channel ; but the wind 
shifting, I determined lo pass by the north, and round the west 
coeust of Ireland. This brought me once more off Belfast 
Lough, on the eveiiing after the engagement. It was now time 
to release the honest fishermen, whom I took up here on the 
2l8t. And as the poor fellows had lost* their boat, she having 
sunk in the late stormy weather, I was happy in having it in my 
power to give them the necessary sum to purchase every thing 
new which they had lost. I gave them also a good boat to 


transport ihaiiiBelves •■hon&t; Jind tseiifc wiftti die» tw9 infirao, 
mett, oii:«rfa0iii Iibe8t«#ed>the.lait guiBOft inHiy fN>asesiiiQii| Uk 
defray theUkruveUing oirp^— Pii to t^eir propoi: borne in Dutdin. 
They todL vrith them one :of||hie Drake's sails, .which .would suf*: 
fioiently exphun what had Imppened to the vohintoers. The 
grateful fishermen wer&in raptures ; and expressed their joy in 
three huzzas as they passed the Banger's quarter. 

''I againmet with contrary winds in the.mouth of the North 
Channel, but nothing remarkable happened, till on the morning 
of the 5th, current, Ushant then bearing S. £• by 8. distance 
fifteen leagues, when seeing a sail to leeward steering for the 
Channel, the wind being favourable for Brest, and the distance 
trifling, I resolved to give chase, having, the Drake in tow. I 
informed them* td my intentions, and ordered them to cast off. 
They cut the hawser. The Ranger in the chase went lasking 
between N. N. E. and N. N. W. It lasted an hour, and ten 
minutes, when the chase was hailed and proved a Swede. I 
immediaitdy hauled by the wind to the southward. 

^^ After cutting the hawser, the Drake went from the wi^d for 
some time, then hauled close by the wind, steering from S. S. 
£. to S. S. W. as the wii^l permitted, so that when the Ranger 
spoke the chase, the Drake was scarcely perceptible. In the 
ccnurse of the day many large ships aj^ared,. steering into the 
Channel, but the extraordinary evolutions of the Drake made it 
impossible for me to avail myself of these favourable circum-^ 
stances. Towards noon it became very squally, the .wind back- 
ed from the S. W. to the W. The Ranger had ycoihe up with 
the Drake, and was nearly abreast of her, though considerably 
to the leeward, when the wind shifted. The Drake was, how- 
ever, kept by the wind, though, as I afterward understood, they 
knew the Ranger and saw the signal which she had hoisted. 
After various evolutions and signals in the night, I gave chase 
to a sail which appeared bearing S. S. W. the next morning at 
a great distance. The chase discovered no intention to speak 
with the Ranger; she was, however, at length brought to, and 
{NTOved to be the Drake. I immediatdy put Lieutenant Simp- 

FAVX JONS& ♦ 89 

• % 

son under suspension andarrest^fcor cysobedienceof n^orderst 
dttled the 26th uk. a copy whereof is here . endosed. On this 
8th, both ships anchored safe in this Soad, the Banger haTUQg 
been absent onl J twenty-eight days.^' ^1; 

The surprise produced in Great Britain by this daring and 
successful attempt upon her coasts, must have been as gyeet m 
the latter was unexpected.* His objects were distinctly to strike 
some bold stroke, which should . inspire fear <^ the American 
arms, to retaliate for the burning of towns and destruction of 
priyate property, to destroy as much public property as he eouldy 
and to secure a number of prisoners, as- hostiEiges for the better 
treatment of the captured Americans, who were suffering miser- . 
ably in the jails and hulks of the enemy. He had wisely caloue- 
lated cm the effect of sudden measures, and the total security 
and contemptuous confidence of the peojde, of the fast^nchorod 
isle. The anwarlike ehamoter of the inhabitants in the vicinity 
of the Frith, which had not been entered for centuries by the 
prow of an invader, rendered the chances of resistance to a 
brisk attack very small, t Still the extent of Jones- success, can- 


* It would seem, however, from the following extract from London 
papers of the 22d February, 1778, that Jones excited, some attenti/Qa 
in England, before his descent upon Whitehaven. Perhaps the date 
may be erroneous as to the year. 

" Paul Jones is about thirty-six years of age, of a middling stature, 
well proportioned, with an agreeable countenance ; his conversation 
shows him a man of talents, cmd that he has got a liberal education. 
His letters in foreign Gazettes show he can fight with the pen as w^ 
as the sword. The famous Captain Cunningham is with him, who 
escaped .out of an En^sh prison." 

t The worthy and cautious citizens of Aberdeen were the only per- 
sons greatly alarmed on this occasion. In the Scots Magazine for 
May, 1778, we find the following paragraph : — 

" On receiving at Aberdeen intelligence ai the plunder of Loird Sd- 
kirk's house and the landing at Whitehaven, a hand-bill was circulated 

88 * rAVL JONES. 

not faH^to excite astonishment. It was one of the most impu- 
dent attacks since the time of the sea^^^ings, and it is no wonder 
that those whose eyes were so rud^y c^>ened to a discovery of 
their weakness, stigmatized it as inglorious, and its conductor 
JM a pirate. It would be a piece of supererogation to offer any 
tindieation of Jones, for doing his adopted country such good 
service, by the retaliatory descent upon Whitehaven. It was 
one which be alone could properly execute, from his thorough 
acquaintance with the localities. The sentimentcd disgust of 
those whocensured him for availing himself of that very know- 
V lodg^y and of *^ stifling his early associations,^' is natural enough. 

. But war is not waged upon sentimental princifdes. A notion 
prevailed at the time that Jones' vessel was a privateer; He 
was in command of a United States vessel of war, fully com- 
Wssioned ; and if in performing his duty to the utmost, he con- 
quered the repugnance he might have felt at making a hostile 
entry among the scenes of his infancy, the merit of his victories 
is but th^ more enhanced tdien he is considered as an officer. 
Praise too has been so generally awarded to him for the mear 
sures he afterwards took, to redeem the plate of the Countess 
of Selkirk and restore it to its owners, that it is unnecessary to 
apologize for a transaction which he has so satisfactorily ex- 
plained. Other o&tets have enjoyied fair reputations, who 
mcute no such sacrifices to restore private property taken by 
those under their command. One of his first acts on returning 
to Brest, was to address the countess on the subject, in the well 

by order of the Ma^strates, to set on foot an association of the inhabi- 
tants for defence, and in a few days 120 were enrolled." 

The affair never went farther. Another American vessel, which 
landed a party, and plundered the house of Mr. Crordon, near Banff, 
must have quickened their apprehensions ; but no alarm was seriously 
felt till the squadron of Paul Jones appeared in the frith of Forth. 
Even then the panic was short-hyed. 

Note m the Edinburgh life. 

PAUL JONE8. ' 89 

known letter, which we shall here insert. To be assured of its 
reaching the lady, he forwarded triplicates, one of which was 
enclpi^ open to Dr. Franklin, for his perusal. In the letter 
enclcremg it, he says : ** I cannot but feel myself hurt, by the 
dirty insinuatiph of the enemy, that iny enterprise at White- 
haven was in consequence of a capital sum, paid me in hand by 
the court ofFrance. They have more visits of the same kind to 
expect, if I am not deprived of the means of making them, and 
):hat too, without my having either a certainty, or a hope of gain.^' 

" To THE Countess of Selkirk. 

^^ Ranger y Brest ^ May 8tk 1778. 
" Madam, 

^^ It cannot be too much lamented, that in the profession of 
arms, the officer of fine feeling and of real sensibility should be 
under the necessity of winking at any action'of persons under his 
command, which his heart cannot approve ; but the reflection 
is doubly severe, when he finds himself obliged, i|i appearance, 
to countenance such actions by bis authority. 

. ^This hard case was mine, when, on the 23d of April last, 1 
landed on St. Mary'd lale. Knowing Lord Selkirk's interest 
with his king, and esteeming, as I do, his private character, I 
wished to make him the happy instrument of alleviating the hor- 
rors of hopeless captivity, when the brave are overpowered and 
made prisoners of war. r 

'^ It was, perhaps, fortunate for you. Madam, that he was from 
home ; for it was my intention tq have taken him on board the 
Ranger, and to have detained him until, through his means, a 
general and fair eji;:change of prisoners, as well in Europe as in 
America, had been effected. 

** When I was informed, by some men whom I met at landing, 
that bis lordship was absent, I walked back to my boat, deter- 
mined to leave the isldnd. By the way, however, ^me offi- 
cers, who were with me,- could not forbear expressing their dis- 
content ; observing that, in America, no delicacy was shown by 
the English, who took away all sorts of moveable property— 



setting fire, not only to towns and to the houses of the rieliy 
without distinction, but not even sparing the wretched hamlets 
and milch-cows of the poor and helpless, at the approac^of an 
inclement winter. That party had been with -me, the^tome 
morning, at Whitehaven ; some complaisance, therefore, was 
their due. I had but a moment to think how I might gratify 
them, and at the same time do your ladyship the least injury. I 
charged the two officers to permit none of the seamen to enter 
the house, or to hurt any thing about it — ^to treat you, Madam, 
• ivith the utmost respect — to accept of the {date which was of- 
/ .. jfered — and to come away without making a search, or demand- 



ing any thing else. 

^^I am induced to believe that I was punctually obeyed; since 
I am informed, that the plate which they brought away is far 
short of the quantity expressed in the inventory which accom- 
p^ed it. I have gratified my men ; and when the plate is sold, 
I shall become the purchaser, and will gratify my own feelings 
by restoring it to you, by such conveyance as you shall please to 

" Had the earl been on board the Ranger the following even^ 
ing, he would have seen the awful pomp and dreadful carnage of 
a sea engagement ; both afifordkig ample subject for the pencil, 
as well as melancholy reflection to the contemplative mind^ 
Humanity starts back from such scenes of horror, and cannot 
sufficiently execrate the vile promoters of this detestable war* 

" For theiff 'twas they unsheathed the ruthless blade, 
And Heaven shall ask the havoc it has made." 

*' The British ship of war Drake, mounting twenty guns, with 
more than her full complement of officers and men, was our 
opponent. The ships met, and the advantage was disputed with 
great fortitude on each side^ for an hour and four minutes, when 
the gallant commander of the Drake fell, and victory declared 
ip favour of the Ranger. The amiable lieutenant lay mortally 
wounded, besides near forty of the inferior officers and crew 
killed and wounded; a melancholy demonstration of the uncar- 


JPAVh JONES. , 01 

luinty of human prospects, and of the sad I'everse of fortune 
which an hour can produce. I buiied them in a spacious gray<», 
with the honours due to the memory of the brave. ' 

, ^* Though I have drawn^my sword in the present generous 
struggle for the right9>9f men, yet I am not in arms as an Amer- 
ican, qor am I in pursuit of riches. My fortune is liberal enough, 
having no wife nor family, and having lived long enough to know 
that riches cannot ensure happiness. I profess myself a citizen 
of th^ world, totally unfettered by the little, mean distinctions 
of climate or of country, which diminish the benevolence of the 
heart and set bounds to philapthropy. Before this war was 
begun, I had, at an early time of life, withdrawn from sea ser- 
vice, in favour of '^ calm contemplation and ]K)ctic ease." I 
have sacrificed not only my favourite scheme of life, but the softer 
affections of the heart, and my pi*ospects of domestic happiness, 
and I am ready to sacrifice my life also, with cheerfulness, if 
that forfeiture could restore peace and goodwill among mankind. 

*' As the feelings of your gentle bosom cannot but be congenial 
with mine, let me entreat you. Madam, to use your persuasive 
art, with your husband's, to endeavour to stop this cruel and de- 
structive war, in which Britain never can succeed. Heaven can 
never countenance the bai'barous and unmanly practice of the 
Britons in America, which savages would blush at, and which, 
if not discontinued, will soon be retaliated on Britian by a justly 
enraged people. Should you fail in this, (for I am persuaded 
that you will attempt it, and who can resist the power of such an 
advocate ?) your endeavours to effect a general exchange of pri- 
soners will be an act of humanity which will afford you golden' 
feelings on a death-bed. 

*^ I hope this cruel contest will soon be closed; but should it 
continue, I wage ho war with the fair. I acknowledge their 
force, and bend before it with submission. Let not, therefore, 
the amiable Countess of Selkirk regard me as an enemy ; I am 
anibtCious of her esteem and friendship, and would do any thing, 
consistent with my duty^ to merit it. 

* The honour of a line from your hand in answer id this, wiB 


lay me under a singular obligation ; and if I caa render you any 
acceptable service in France or elsewhere, I bope you see into 
my character so far as to command me without the least grain 
of reserve. 

'' I wish to know exactly the behaviou|r of my people, as I am 
determined to punish them if they have exceeded their liberty* 
I have the honour to be, with much esteem and with profound 
respect. Madam, &c. &c. 

" John Paul Joni^s." 

As very general publicity was given to this epistle, it is rather 
sui*prising to find in Mr. Gouldsborough's Naval Chronicle, 
which was printed in 1824^ the following loose and unexplained 
notice of the affair. '^ It is said that Captain Jones, finding 
hiii|, (the earl of Selkirk,) absent, took the family plate, and 
retired, without offering any other violence to the castle or its 
inhabitants." It is a pity, that, when every English writer of 
later years has done justice to Jones, so far as relates to his 
conduct in this matter, an American work should be in the 
hands of any of our young officers, which might possibly mis- 
lead them, when arraying in the mind's eye the characters of 
those whose deeds are our country's inheritance, and whose 
examples they may desire to emulate. 

Dr. Franklin wrote to Jones, on receiving the copy of the 
letter forwarded to him, that <^ it was a gallant letter, which 
must give her ladyship a high opinion of his generosity, and 
nobleness pf mind." The sage knew that it was in character ; 
and that the romance of the style, as well as its partial inflation, 
being unaffected, would not injure the effect it was intended /Co 
produce. The subsequent history of this plate is briefly as fol- 
lows. Lord Selkirk wrote a letter in reply to that addressed by 
Jones to his Countess, intimating that he would accept of its 
return, if made by order of Congress, but not if redeemed by 
individual generosity. The letter was detained several months 
at liondon, in the general post-office, and returned to the Earl^ 
who requested a gentleman to commmunicate the cause of its 


miscarriage and its tenor, orally, to Doctor Franklin. The 
Doctor immediately infprmed Jones, of the substance of this 
communication. It was ^t until the beginning of 1780, that 
the latter was enabled to get the property he was determined 
to restore, into his possession. It had fallen into ithe hands of 
the prize agents, from whom it was obtained with considerable 
difficulty ;* and not tiU after several valuations, and until it cost 
him who redeemed it, more, as he intimates, than it was intrinsi- 
oally worth ; though he carefully avoids mentioning that circum- 
stance in his second letter to, the Countess. 

When he had succeeded in effecting this object, he wrote 
agaifi to the Countess of Selkirk ; but his voyage to America, 
and other circumstances, retarded its delivery until 1784. It 
was eventually, returned in the same condition in which it had 
been removed, and a letter from Lord Selkirk acknowledged in 
terms satisfactory, though formal, the unwearied pains which 
Captain Jones had taken to procure its restoration. The cor- 
respondence on this subject will be found in the note.f 

* A few weeks after his arrival at Brest, he wrote to M. Schweig- 
hauser, commercial agent for the commissioners at Nantes, and to ^e 
Intendant of Mahne at Brest, desiring that the plate, with some bag- 
gage and other articles specified should be reserved, and not deposited 
ia the public stores. The request was not compUed with. On the 
10th of February 1779, the commissioners directed that it should be 
given up. It would appear by a note from Jones sent a few days after 
to M. Schweighauser, that, he was to settle with him for seventeen 

. twentieths of the captors' moiety of its value. This correspondence would 
swell this volume unnecessarily. Jones says, in a note to Mr. Wil- 

' hams, that the plate was very old, and the fashion of it not worth a 
straw, especially in France, where none such was used. 

t " rOrienty March 1st, 1760. 

** Thx Right Honourable thx Couvtess of Selkirk, ? 
Ac. &e. St. MARt's Iils, Sootlani). > 

'* Mapam, 

'^ It is now ten or eleven months since his Excellency Benjamin 
Franklin, Esqi. Minister Flenipotmitiaiy for the United States of 


The copy of the order given to Lieutenant Simpson when the 
latter was put in charge of the Drake, for ^noheymg which be 
was put under arrest, as is mentioned in the letter to the Pleni- 
potentiaries, is said in the copy of that letter, certified from the 
ofibse of the^ secretary of Congress, to be missing. It is inti- 
mated, upon what authority, does not appear, that Simpson hAd 
been insubordinate from the beginning; that he excited the 
men to discontent ; and that frequent disagreements had taken 
place between him and his commander. It is also plausiUy 
suggested that when the Ranger left Portsmouth, he expected 
to be in command of her on her arriving at France, where a 
large ship had been promised to Jones. There is every reason to 
believe that Simpson was little inclined to submit to that disci- 

America at the Court of France, communicated to me a message from 
the earl, your husband, in a letter to his friend, Mr. Alexander, at 
Paris, in substance as follows : — That he, the earl of Selkirii, had writ- 
ten an answer to the Ifetter that I had the honour to write to your lady- 
ship in May, 1778, from Brest, respecting your plate ; which answer, 
after being detained for several months at London, in the general post- 
office, had been returned to Scotland. He, therefore, wished Mr. 
Alexander to inform the concerned, that if the plate was to be restored 
by Congress, or by any pubUc body, it would be accepted, (&c. ; but 
if, through the generosity of an individual, his delicacy would scruple 
to receive it, &c 

" The true reason why I have not written to you since I received 
the above information, has been, because the plate is but now come 
into my possession from the public agents'; and I have, besides, been, 
for the greatest part of the time, absent from this kingdom. 

" I- have now the satisfaction to inform you, thftt Congress hais relin- 
quished their real or supposed interest in the plate, and, for my own 
part, I scorn to add to my fortune by such an acquisition. As for the 
p^ claimed by the few men who landed with me on St. Mary's Isle, 
it is of little consequence, and they are already satisfied. Thus you 
see. Madam, that the earl's objection is removed. 

** The plate is lodged here^ in tlie hands of Messrs. Gonrlade and 
Moylan, whe hold it at your disposal, and will forward il agreealiie lb 


pline, for which Jones was so stem and rigid an adroeate. He 
is probably referred to as- the wise officer, who objected to 
>< burning poor people's houses." On the night when Joi^ 
made his second attempt to take the Drake while at anchor, he 
relates in his Journal for the king of France, that ^' the Lieu- 
tenant having held up to the crew, that being Americans, fight-* 
ing for hberty, the voice of the people should be taken, before 
.the Captain's onfers were obeyed, they rose in mutiny ; and 
Captain Jones was in the utmost danger of being killed or 
thrown overboard." He adds that this danger was averted, 
by an :;i}|g(&dental circumstance, — the capture of the Drake's 
boat ; upon which trifling success, the <' voice of the peojde" was 
no longer against fighting. The contemptuous neglect of 

your orders, by land or by water, to Holland, Ostendy or any other port 
you think prop^. 

'< I shall be happy, by my conduct dlroagh Kfe, to merit the goad 
opinion of the Earl cmd Coimtess of Selkirk; for I am, with great 
esteem and profound respect, Madam, your ladyship's most obedient 
and most humble servant. 

" Paul Jones*'* 

•« Portf , September 24^A, 1784. 
** Tq Caftadi Paul Jcnrxi, Paxis. 


'* Sia — ^B£ the Count de Yergennes has deUvered to me the letliv 
which you had written to him, to ask his permission to transport by land 
from L'Orient to Calais, the plate of Lady Selkirk, which you had per- 
mitted to be taken by your people during the last war^ and which you 
afterward purchased to netum to her Jadyship. 

" That action. Sir, is worthy of the reputation which you acquired 
by your conduct, and proves that true valour perfeedy agrees with 
humanity and generonty. 

^ It gives me (defuiure to concur in the execution of this honouraMe 

*' i have, therefore^ given orders to the Farmers General to permit 
the transportation of the phue firpnt L'Orient to Calais, f^ of duty, 
aadyoujdiay whte toyonroQEnipondentatJL'OriaiittodeUverittothe 


Jones' written instructions, and refusal to obey his signal, 
certainly- authorized the measure of Simpson's arrest, had no 
o^ier cause of offence been giren. Had he obeyed orders, and 
not separated from the Ranger, while she was in chase of 
several large ships; other prizes would probably have been 
taken. It was by accident that Jones fell in with the Drake, 
and the intentions of his wandering lieutenant cannot be known. 
The manner in which he was suffered to abt on his return to. 
Brest, and finally allowed to return to America without having 
ever made a formal apolo£nr, was a source, amonff a thousand 
other mortifications. oTjSt- complaint on the W«f the 
commander. ' 

Indeed, no more, disagreeable task can well be imagined. 

director of the posts, who will take upon himself the care of having it 
transported to Calais, and to fulfil all the necessary formalities. 

'' I have the honour to be, &c. 


" Paris, November Stk, 1784. 

^ Tai Right Honovrablb thb > 
CovvTxss OF Sblxhuc. 5 

*^ MAnAM — Since the moment when I found myself under the neces- 
sity to permit my men to demand and carry off your family, plate, it 
has been my constant intention to restore it to you, and I wrote to you 
to that effect from Brest, the moment I had arrived there from my 
expedition in the Irish Sea. 

** By the letter which I had the honoar to write to Lord Selkiik, the 
l^h of February last, which will accompany this, I have explained the 
difficulties that prevented' the plate from being restored until that time. 
I had expectation, all the last summer, that opportunities would have 
offered to send it by sea from L*Orient to London ; but being disap- 
pointed, I apfdied to government for ieave to transport it through the 
kingdom by land, and the Duke of Dorset has been so obliging as to 
write- to the oustom-house at Dover, requesting them to let it pass to 
London, without being opened. It is now arrived here, and will be 
forwarded immediately to your«ister in London, under the lead that has 



tban to collect from the correspondence of Jones the great and 
petty vexations and series of disappointments to which he was 
subjected for many months after returning from this brilliant 
voyage. We shall endeavour to avoid what is superfluous in 
detail ; presenting enough to show the tedious and exasperating 
character of the difficulties with which he met, and the charac- 
teristic manner in which he remonstrated, endured, and per- 
severed. We are much mistaken if it will not appear, that in 
most cases where he was petulant, it was scarcely in human 
nature to be otherwise. It was not in that of Washington him- 
.self ; who, though no money had been supplied to them, often 
threw censure upon the contractors, when his army was suffer- 
ing around him. It will also appear, that when Jones made 

been affixed to the case that contains it, by the Farmers General at 
L*Orient, and the seal of the Duke of Dorset, that has been affixed to 
it here. The charges to London are paid, and I have directed it to be 
deUvered at the house of your sister. 

'* I could have wished to have ended this dehcate business by detiv- 
ering the plate to you at St. Mary's Isle, in Scotland ; but I conform 
to the arrangement made between Lord Selkirk and Mr. Alexander, 
because I have no person in London whom I can diarge with the trans- 
portation of the plate from thence. Enclosed is the inventory that I 
have just received from Mr. Nesbitt, from L'Orient, which I presume 
you will find to correspond with the one he sent last year to Lord Dare, 
and with the articles which you put into the hands of my men. 

** I am, Madam, with sentiments of the highest respect, 
*^ Your Ladyship's mosf obedient 

*^ And most humble servant, 

" Paul Jones." 

'* Paris, February mh, 1784. 
•* My Lord, 

«' I have just received a letter from Mr. Nesbitt, dated at L'Orient 
the 4th instant, mentioning a letter to him from your son. Lord Dare, 
on the subject of the plats that was taken from your house by some of 



unadvised chargesy he was ready to retract them ; that he was 
vrilling to sacrifice his own interest altogether ; and to yield 
that of which he was most tenacibus, rank and authority, rather 
than not be employed in rendering service to the cause in wluch 
he was engaged. 

Not only his services; but the political crisis at which tlfey 
were rendered, entitled him to expect every encouragement and 
assistance, which either the American commissioners or' the 
the court of France could render him. The former had been 
in fact acknowledged as Plenipotentiaries more than a month 
previous. Though no declaration of war between France and 
England had been solemnly published, war was meptable, 
The French Ambassador had been ordered to leave' London, 

my people when I commanded the Ranger, and has been for a long 
time past in Mr. Nesbitt's care. A short time before I left France to 
return to America, Mr. W. Alexander wrote me from Paris to L*Qrient, 
that he had, at my request, seen and conversed with your Lordship in 
En^and respecting the plate. He said you had agreed that I should 
restore it, and that it might be forwarded to the care of your sister-in- 
law, the Countess of Morton, in London. In consequence, I now send 
orders to Mr. Nesbitt to forward the plate immediately to her care. 
When I received Mr. Alexander's letter, there was no cartel or other 
vessel at L*Qrient, that I could trust with a charge of so dehcate a na- 
ture as your plate, and I had great reason to expect I should return to 
France within six months after I embarked for America ; but circum- 
stances in America prevented my returning to Europe during the war, 
though I had constant expectation of it. The long delay that has hap- 
pened to the restoration of your plate has given me much concern, and 
J now ferf a proportionate pleasure in fulfilling what was my first in- 
tention. My motive for landing at your estate in Scotland was to take 
you as a hostage for the lives and liberty of a number of the citizens 
of America, who had been taken in war on the ocean, and committed 
to British prisons, under an act of parliament, as traitan^ pirates, and 
f elans. You observed to Mr. Alexander, that ^ my idea was a mista- 
ken one, because you were not (as Ihad sui^^ed) in fovour with the 


and several naval reneontres had in fact taken place ; forerun* 
ners of the celebrated one between the Aretbusa and La Belle 
Poule. The squadron of D'Estaing was ready for secu The 
news of the result of Jones' expedition was at such a moment 
gratifying and inspiring to the French court. He had praises 
and promises in profusion. But he found himself immediately 
under the pressure of painful embarrassments, which these could 
not remove. In the conclusion of his letter to the conlmis- 


sioners, on the 27th of May, he says : 

" Could I su{q)ose that my letters of the dth and 16th current, 
(the. first, advising you of iliy arrival, and giving reference to the 
events/K^ . my expedition ; the last advising you of my draft in 
favour of Monsieur Bersolle, for 24,000 hvres, and assigning 

British ministry, who knew that you faooured the cause of liberty.'^ 
On that accoimt, I am glad that you were absent from your estate when 
J landed there, as I bore no personal enmity, but the contrary, towards 
you. I afterwards had the happiness to redeem my fellow-citizens 
from Britain, by means far more glorious than through the medium of 
any single hostage. 

** As I have endeavoured to serve the cause of liberty, tl|rough every 
stage of the American revolution, and sacrificed to it my private ease, 
a part of my fortune, and some of my blood, I could have no selfish 
motive in permitting my people to demand and carry off your j^ate. 
My sole induceinent was to turn their attention and stop their rage 
from breaking out, and retaliating on your house and effects the too 
wanton burnings and desolation that had been conunitted against their 
relations and fellow-citizens in America hy the British ; of whidi, I 
assure you, you would have felt the severe consequences had I not fallen 
on an expedient to prevent it, and hurried my people away before they 
had time for further reflection. As you were so obliging as to say to 
Mr. Alexander, that ^ my people behaved with great decency at your 
house^^ I ask the favour of you to announce that circumstuice Ui the 
public I am, my lord, wishing you always perfect freedom and hap- 
piness, dbc. &^. 

•*Paul Jonbs.^ 


reasons for that demand,) had not made due appearancei I 
would hereafter, as I do now, enclose copies. Three posts 
have already arrived her^ from Paris, since Compte d'OrvilUers 
showed me the answer which he received from the minister, to 
the letter which enclosed mine to you. Yet you remain silent* 
M. Bersolle has this moment informed me of the fate of my 
ImIIs ; the more extraordinary, as I have not yet made use of 
your letter of credit of the 10th of January last, whereby I then 
seemed entitled to call for half the amount of my last draft, and 
I did not expect to be thought extravagant, when, on the 16th cur- 
rent I doubled that demand. Could this indignity be kept secret 
I should disregard it ; and, though it is already public in Brest, . 
and in the fleet, as it affects only my private credit I will not 

'^ London^ August 4^A, 1789. 
" MoMsixuR LE Chetalixr Paul Joves, a Paris. 

** Sir, — ^I received the letter you wrote to meat the time you sent off 
my plate, in order for restoring it. Had I known where to direct a 
letter to you, at the time it arrived in Scotland, I would then have 
wrote to you ; but not knowing it, nor finding that any of my ac- 
quaintance at Eklinburgh knew it, I was obliged to delay writing till I 
came here ; when, by means of a gentleman connected witb America^ 
I was told M. le Grand was your banker at Paris, and would take pro 
per care of a letter for you; therefore, I enclose this to him. 

*' Notwithstanding all the precautions you took for the easy and unin- 
terrupted conveyance of the plate, yet it met vrith considerable delays: 
first at Calais,, next at Dover, then at London ; however, it at last ar- 
rived at Dumfries, cmd I dare say quite safe, though as yet I have not 
seen it, being then at Edinburgh. 

*' I intended to have put an article in the newspapers about your 
having returned it ; but before I was informed of its being arrived, 
some of your friends, I suppose, had put it in the Dumfries newspaper, 
whence it was immediately copied into the Edinburgh papers, and thence 
into the London ones. Since that time, I have mentioned it to many 
people of fashion ; and, on all occasions, Sir, both now and formerly, 
I have done you the justice to tell, that you made an offer of returning 
the plate veiy soon after your return to Brest; and, although you your- 

PAin. JOlTBi. IjOl^ 

complain. I cannot, howerer, be silent, when I find the publie 
credit involyed in the same disgrace. I conceiye this mighi 
have been prevented. To make me completely wretched. 
Monsieur Bersolle has told me that he now stops his hand,< not 
only of the necess^ articles to refit the ship, but alsoiof the daUjf 
provigbms. I know not where to find to-morrow's dinner for the 
great number of mouths that depend on me for food. Are then 
the continental ships of war to depend on the sale of their prizes 
for a daily dinner for their men f * Publish it not in Grath !' 

^' My ofiicers, as well as men, want clothes, and the prisses 
are precluded from being sold before father orders arrive from 
the minister. I will ask you, gentlemen, if I have deserved all 
this ? Whoever calls himself an American ought to be protected 

self was not at my house, but remained at the shore with your boat^ 
that yet you had your officers and men in such extraordinary good dis- 
cipline, that your haying given them the strictest orders to behave well, 
to do no injury of any kind, to make no search, but only to bring off 
what plate was given them ; that in reality they did exactly as order- 
ed, and that not one man offered to stir firom his post on the outside 
of the house, nor entered the doors, nor said an uncivil word ; that the 
two officers staid not a quarter of an hour in the parlour and butler's 
pantry, while the butler got the plate together, behaved politely, and 
asked for nothing but the plate, and instantly marched their men off 
in regular order, and that both officers and men behaved in all respects 
so well, that it would have done credit to the best disciplined troops 

*' Some of the English newspapers, at that time, having put in con- 
fused accounts of your expedition to Whitehaven and Scotland, I or- 
dered a proper one of what happened in Scotland to be put in the Lon- 
don newspapers, by a gentleman who was then at my house, by which 
the good conduct and civil behaviour of your officers and men was done 
justice to, and attributed to your order, and the good discipline you 
maintained over your people. 

" I am. Sir, your most humble servant, . ^^i ^r^ 

"SBnoBit." /S>r *^/ 

here* < I am unwiUii^ to think tbat yjpu hitve, mtentioii^y 
uKfolFed. me in this sad dilemma^ at a time whw I oiigb; to 
expect some enjojrment. Therefore I havey ag formerly, the 
honour to be» with due esteem and respect, gentlemen, yours, &c* V 
It is to obsenred that before Jones left * America, as he 
mentions in a subsequent letter, he was more than £1500 in 
advance for the public sendee,* exclusive of his own investment 
in fitting out the Ranger, and had never reoeived any compen- 
sation. He was, however, left, such was the inability of the com- 
missioners to afford him relief, for more than a month,^ with 
*' two hundred prisoners of war, a number of sick and wounded, 
and a ship, after a severe engagement, in want of stores and 
provisions," to depend upon his own resourcess. '< Yet," he 
says in his journal for the king, '' during that time, by his per- 
sonal credit with Count D'Orvilliers, the Duke de Chartres, and 
the Intendant of Brest, he fed his people and prisoners, cured 
his wounded, and refitted both the Ranger and Drake for sea." 
During the same period he had also to contend with the formal 
delays or personal cupidity of the prize agents, and to supjM'ess 
the discontents among the crew, who were naturally impatient 
under privation and misery when they had looked for their 
wages and prize money. These discontents were further aggra- 
vated by Lieutenant Simpson, who,t '* while under arrest on 
board the Drake, had constant intercourse with the crew, who 
thereby became so insolent as to refuse duty, and go all hands 
below, repeatedly, before the Captain's face. It was impossible 
to trifle at that time, as Count D'Orvilliers had assured Cap- 
tain Jones, that unless he could get the Drake ready to trans- 
port the prisoners to America before orders arrived from court, 
they would in all probability be given up without an exchange, 
to avoid immediate war with England.} It therefore, became 

* See Appendix No. VI. t Journal for the King of France. 

X A letter on this robject was addressed to M. de Sartine, on the 14th May, by the 
oommissioners, immediately on the receiptof the news that Captain Jones had brought 
in 200 prisoner*. They inqoired the opinion of the minister as to what disposition 


impos8iU# tp miffer the licHtenant to remain aay longer Amoog 
them. Captun Jones had him removed to the ship caUed the 
Admiral, where the French confine even the first officers in the 
service. He had there a good chamber to himselfi and liberty 
to walk the deck. The lieutenant endeavoured to desi^ out 
of the Admiral, and behaved so extravagant, that Count D'Oiv* 
villiers, without the knowledge of Captain Jones, ordered him 
to the prison of die port, where he also had a good chamber ; 
and Captain Joneli paid his expenses out of his <ywn pocket." 
What rendered the dishonour of his draft peculiarly vexatious, 
independent of the distress to which it exposed him, and the twA 
that in January preceding he had been furnished with a bill of 
credit on Jonathan Wilhams for five hundred hmis d'ors, signed 
by the three commissioners, was the circumstance that he had, 
under the sanction of the Marine Committee, before leaving 
Portsmouth, made himself accountable to his crew for the regu- 
lar payment of their wages. Mr. Arthur Lee is charged with 
knowing this to be the case, and with not communicating it, 
when the bill was presented for payment. 

In the midst of all these trials of temper, as weU as of forti- 
tude and patriotism, Jones was longing to be again employed in 
actiT«8eryic6 and inaequiring renown; and was projeeting high 
schemes for annoying the enemy. The friendly assistance of 
the Compte D'OrvilUers, commander-in-chief at Brest, and his 
chaplain. Father John, who seems to have rendered Jooes many 
services, with the countenance of the Due de Chartres, and his 
reliance upon the good faith and practical wisdom of Frapklin, 
contributed to alleviate his anxieties. The situation of the 
American Commissioners, at this time, (Messrs. Franklin, A. 
Lee, and Adams, Mr. Deane having been recalled) is well known. 
Their authority was limited, and the fimds subject to their con- 
trol were still more so. On the 25th May, they wrote to Mr. 

would be made of the prisonera, France being yet nominally a nentral power. The 
letter will be found in Mr. QpukB* DtpkmMCic CovM^^iidence, Vol. I. p# 392. 


Jonadian Williams^ at Nantes, wlu»n they had appointed com- 
mercial agent, as follows : ** the necessities of our country de- 
mand the utmost frugality, which can never be obtained withf- 
ont the utmost simplicity in the management of her affairs ; and 
as Congress haye authorized Mr. W. Le^ to superintend the 
commercial affairs in general, and he has a{^inted Mr* 
Schweighauser, and as your authority is under the commis- 
sioners at Paris only, we think it prudent and necessary to re- 
voke, &c all the powers and authorities heretofore granted to 
.you, d&cto the end that hereafter the management of the affairs, 
commercial and maritime, of America, may be under one sole 
direction, that of Mr. Schweighauser, within his district." ''We 
shall this day acquaint Captain Jones how far it is in our power 
to comply with his desires, and in what manner.* 

Such was the position in which Jones found himself, after 
his return to Brest. In citing such extracts from his corres- 
pondence, as explain the multifarious difficulties and projects 
of this period, there seems to be but one mode of avoiding confu- 
sion, which is to preserve chronological order. His. first object 
was to make provision for the seamen. In mentioning to the 
commissioners in his letter of May 16th, that he had drawn for 
the 34,000 livres, he says : ''I mean to distribute it among the 
officers and crew, to whom I owe my late success. It is but 
reasonable that they should be fiimished with the means of pro- 
curing little necessaries and comforts of life for themselves ; and 
the interests of the service, as well as the claims of humanity 
and justice, plead in behalf of their wives and helpless families, 
who are now unprovided in America, and will naturally expect 
a supply of clothing, &c by the Drake." It is creditable to his 
humanity, that the next point which he pressed most earnestly 
upon the commissioners, was the propriety of treating the pri- 
soners with kindness and attention. He was altogether averse 
to releasing them, particularly the seamen, without an exchange. 

* Diplomalic ConrwipoBdeiicey I. 397. 


In fbrwardin^, afterwards, their memorial he says : *< The fellow 
who holds the rod oyer their wretched heads, has menaced them, 
* if they dare to complain,' and would hare intercepted their me- 
morial, had I not prevented it. This Riou is the scoundrel who, by 
his falsehood, promoted discord in the Ranger, and got the delu- 
dedpeople to appoint him their particular agent. Before that time 
he never could call twenty louis his own, and'he is now too rich 
for his former profession of King's interpreter. He does not 
deny that he is a scoundrel, for so I have called him more than 
once befidfe witnesses, and so every person of sense thinks him 
at Brest. If^the exchange of prisoners does not take place im- 
mediately, I conceive it would be the most eligible method to 
have the people on board the Patience landed. They are con- 
vinced, that if you should think fit to return them an answer, it 
will never come to their hands through the means of any per- 
son who calls himself an agent at Brest, and they having full 
confidence in 4lie honour and humanity of Father John, profes- 
sor of English, and chaplain to Compte D'Orvilliers at Brest, 
have desired me to inform you, that throughthat gentleman they 
beg you to favour them with an answer. In gt'anting their re- 
quest you will confer a very singular obligation On me." 

On the 27th May, Franklin wrote to Jones as follows : ''Dear 
Sir, I received your's of the 18th, inclosing one for the Coun- 
tess of Selkirk, which I forward this day, via Holland. It is a 
gallant letter, and must give her ladyship a high and just opinion 
of your gallantry and nobleness of mind. The dirty insinuation 
you mention, is of a piece with many others from the same 
quarter, the iiatural {n'oduce of base minds ; who, feeling no 
other motive in their own breasts, but sordid self interest, 
imagine no other motive can exist in others, and therefore, it is 
to that alone, thejr ascribe the most praiiseworthy actions.* 

" The Jersey privateers do us a great deal of mischief by 

* He refen to the mivepreseiitatkMie of the Engluh papen, mentioned in a letter 
of Jones already introduced. 



intercepting our supplies. It has been mentioned to me, that 
your small vessel, commanded by so brave an officer, might 
render great service, by following them where greater ships dare 
not venture their bottoms ; or, being accompanied and supported 
by some frigates from Brest, at a proper distance, might draw 
them out and then take them. I wish you to consider of this, as 
it comes from high authority^ and that you would immediately 
think pf it, and let me know when your ship will be ready. 
I have written to England about the exchange of your pri- 
soners. I congratulate you most cordially on your* late suc- 
cess, and wish for a continuance and increase of the honour you 
have acquired." 

While the matter and manner of the beginning of this letter 
were well calculated to give Jones pleasure, his own phraseology 
being nearly echoed, it afforded no prospect of immediate relief. 
No mention is made of the draft ; and the service proposed was 
not of such a character as was particularly calculated to gratify 
the appetite of any ambitious commander, just flushed with suc- 
cess ; much less that of Jones, who would thus have been made 
subservient to the objects of others, who would reap the glory, 
while he was playing the humbler part of hunting out game for 
them. In his reply, however, he declares his readiness to com- 
ply, while he intimates very plainly his longing for more digni- 
fied employment. This is not unskilfully introduced. The let- 
ter, dated June 1st, is as follows. 

" His Excellency Benjamin Franklin. 

^'Honoured and dear Sir — ^Accept my grateful thanks for 
your much esteemed favour of 27th ult. Such a mark of your 
good opinion and approbation, really affords me the most heart- 
felt satisfaction. It shall always be my ambition to do my duty, 
as far as my judgment and small abilities enable me ; — ^but you 
will see by the within papers, that my roses are not \^ithout 
thorns ; and, perhaps, it will seem romance that I have suc- 
ceeded, which I am sure I should not have done, had I not been 
my own counsellor. 


: *' Nothiiig would give me more pleasure than to render essen- 
tial servicers to America^ in any measure which you may find 
expedient. Should I be able to lead my present crew, it can 
be done only by the seldom failing bait for sordid minds, great 
views €f interest. 

'^ If in bringing about the plan you propose, I may take the 
liberty to assure them of the protection of the French flag, in the 
channel, against enemies of superior force, with the free liberty 
to. attack, and take under that sanction, such of the enemy's 
ships of war, or merchantmen, as may be met with, of equal or 
inferior force, perhaps I may succeed and gain them over by that 
means, nor will it be necessary to tell them our real object. 

^^ If I am not at liberty to give them such assurances, and their 
home-sickness should continue, I could wish that such officers as 
may appear dangerously iU^ might have liberty to lay down 
their commissions and warranto, and that others may be given 
to men of stronger nerves, who would be too proud to think 
themselves servants by the year. I believe many such may be 
found among American subjects in France. 

^^ If it should be consistent to order the Boston frigate here 
from Bourdeaux, perhaps such exchanges might be made, as 
would be for the interest and harmony of the service ; and we 
might perhaps be able to assemble a sufficient number of offi- 
cers to form a court. 

"The Due de Chartres has shown me sundry attentions, and 
expressed his inclination to facilitate my obtaining the ship built 
at Amsterdam. I believe I could easily obtain letters to the 
same effect, from the principal peo}de here, but shall take no 
step without your approbation. If the prisoners should be ex- 
changed in Europe, I believe it would be possible to man that 
ship with Americans. I could have manned two such with 
French volunteers since I arrived. 

" The Ranger is crank, sails slow, and is of a trifling force. 
Most of the enemy's cruisers are more than a match, yet I mean 
not to complain. I demand nothing ; and although I know that 


it was the intention of Congress to give me that ritip, I am now 
ready to go wherever the service calls me. 

^' If two or three fast sailing ships conld be collected, there is 
a great choice of private enterprises, some of which might sue<^ 
ceed, and add more to the interest and honour of America, than 
cruising with twice the force. It appears to me to be the pro- 
vince of x)ur infant navy to surprise, and spread alarms with fast 
sailing ships. When we grow stronger, we can meet their 
fleets, and dispute with them the sovereignty of the ocean. 
These are my private sentiments, and are therefore submitted 
with the utmost diffidence to your superior understanding. 

'^ Both the Ranger and the Drake were so much disabled, 
that they needed to be entirely new rigged. We, however, made 
shift from the wreck of both ships, to rig the Drake, which is 
now completed. The Ranger's late rigging was twice laid and 
much too thick and heavy. The refitting her dhall be continued 
with unremitting application.*' He thus complains of the deten* 
tion]of the captors' part of one of the Ranger's prizes by Mr. Delap, 
a nominal sub-prize agent, and of the sacrifice of another prize at 
Nantes. Half the proceeds of the latter was all the prize money 
yet received. In a postscript he says : "The written papers I 
send you in confidence ; leaving it to you to show them or not 
to such persons as you may think proper." 

These inclosures contained plans for various expeditions^ 
" Three very fast sailing frigates, with one or two tenders, might 
enter the Irish channel and burn at Whitehaven from two to 
three hundred ships, besides the town, which contains 50,000 
inhabitcmts ; this would render it difficult, if not impossible to 
supply Ireland with coal the ensuing winter. 

" The same force would be sufficient to take the bank of Ayr 
in Scotland, and to destroy the towh : or perhaps, the whole 
shipping in the Clyde, with, the towns and stores of Greenock 
aod Port Glasgow, provided no alarm was first given at other 
itaces. The fishery at Cambletown is an object worthy at- 
tei'ion, and in some of the ports of Ireland, ships may perhaps 
be i bund worth from 150,000 to 200,000 livres each." 


As the preparations for these enterprises would require time, 
he suggested that immediately, with an inferior force, the east 
and north coasts of England and Scotland might be alarmed, 
several towns burned or laid under contribution, and the coal 
diipping of Newcastle destroyed. If these plans should be 
thought inexpedient, the enemy's West India or Baltic fleets, or 
Hudson Bay ships might be intercepted, or the Greenland fish* 
ery destroyed; all of which, he says, '^were capital objects." 

If none of these projects were very magnificent, Jones would 
have had the sole conduct of them ; and he felt himself able to 
effect them with a comparatively small fprce ; on which account 
he must have preferred the least brilliant, to acting in the sub- 
ordinate capacity proposed to him. 

The letter addressed by the commissioners to Jones, on the 
25th of May, referred to in their letter to Mr. Jonathan Williams, 
of the same date, is not among any of the published documents 
or manuscripts before the compiler. In it, according to their 
letter, to Mr. Williiams, they *' acquainted Captain Jones how 
far it was in their power to comply with his desires, and in what 
manner." He thus wrote in reply, on the 3d June. 

" Gentlemen, 

*^ Your letter of the 25th uk. I received by yesterday's post. 
I frankly ask your pardon for the undue liberty I took the 
16th ult. when I ventured to sign a draft upon you for the 
pmpose of supplying the people under my command with 
necessary clothing, &,e. ; and I promise you never to be guilty 
of the like offence again. I hope you do not, however, mean to 
impute to me a desire to receive ' presents of the public money ;' 
or even to touch a dollar of it^for any private purpose of my 
own. On the contrary, I need not now assert, that I stepped 
forth at the beginning, from nobler motives. My accounts, 
before I left America, testify that I am more than fifteen 
hundred pounds in advance for the public service, exclusive of 
any concern with the Ranger ; and as for wages, I never received 
any. Had I not previously determined to keep the prisoners 


liere, tbey would have been sent away in the Drake, long before 
now. My embarrassed situation will, in the eyes of candour^ 
apologize for my not sending you a more early Uiformation of 
the particukirs of my cruise, and of the prizes which I have 
made. On my passage from America I took two brigantinest 
both from Malaga for England. The one arrived safe at 
Nantes ; and being sold by Messrs. Morris and Williams, the 
captors' part was . paid to them. The other arriyed at Bour- 
deaux, and was, I understand, sold by Mr. J. H. Delap, who, 
though he had my orders to remit the captors' part immediately, 
into the hands of Mr. Williams of Nantes, yet still retains it in 


his own hands. On my late expedition, three prizes were sunk* 
The ship Lord Chatham was sent here (to Brest) to remain, 
under the care of the Intendant. She now remains in the port, 
locked and nailed up under a guard. The ship of war Drake, 
with her stores on board, and the brigantine Patience in ballast, 
are with the Ranger at anchor in the Road. M. de Sartine 
can. inform you that the sales of the prizes are precluded, until 
he sends further orders here. Had it been otherwise, I cannot 
see how you could suppose that I had created agents to dispose 
of the pubUc property. And yet if I had done this, perhaps my 
public wants would justify me. 

" The rules whereby Congress have been pleased to command 
me to regulate my conduct in the navy, authorize me to issue 
my warrant to the agent, &c. and I humbly conceive that it is 
his province to furnish me with an estimate of the amount of 
expenses. If you wish for an estimate from me, unacquainted 
as I am with prizes, besides the delay, it may be very for from 

" When you deterniined to cjiange the continental agent, I 
could wish you had slant that information in a letter to meet 
me here on my arrival, as I had advised you of my intention 
to return to Brest. All disagreeable altercation might then 
have been avoided. My situation is not now mended by your 
last, the gentleman you mention being at Nantes, and no person 
appearing in his behalf at Brest. 

PAUL JONB8. ill 

^* A space of sixteen months is now elapsed, since Congress 
thought of me, and placed under my command 9even times my 
present force, leaving me at fiill liberty, how, and where to apply 
it. And if I am not now capable of supporting the internal 
government of a single sloop of war, I wish that some person 
more deserving had my place, and I in America to answer for 
my misconduct. I have ^ well considered,' and yet I shall' 
persist in justifying the steps I have taken, and to which you 
allude. • • 

*' If you are in possession of any resolution of Congress, which 
will authorize me to send Lieutenant Simpson to America, &c* 
I should be obliged to you for a copy of it." 

The change of commercial agents seems to have been 
peculiarly disagreeable to Jones, on several accounts. He paid 
no attention to two letters from Mr. Schweighauser, at Nantes, 
(who had been appointed agent within a certain district by Mr» 
W. Lee,) until be had been officially directed to recognise him 
by the commissioners. He then wrote to him as follows, 
obviously under an irritation of feeling. 

" Brestj 4th June, 1T78. 
'< Sir — ^Your letter of the 12th ult. duly appeared ; but as the 
purport of it seemed rather to intimate your desire to sett my 
frizes at a distance, than to manifest your inclination to furniilb' 
the daily supplies of provisions for my people and prisoners, and 
the stores and provision of every kind, necessary to refit the 
continental ship Ranger, after an obstinate engagement, I 
thought it required no answer ; especially as I had no letter 
from the commissioners on the subject ; and had the commis- 
sioners still remained silent, neither could I have given a 
satisfactory answer to your last of 31st ult. which has this 
moment come to my hand* That letter, Sir, seems in the; 
same strain with the former ; but some part of it, I freely 
confess, is above my language or comprehension, when, you 
express yourself thus: ^Thal I may take the necessary 


measures to assure us the propriety of these cafltures.'* As I 
am not charged with having infringed the laws of govemmenty 
I think your postscript might have been spared. 

'^ In a wordy if you consider yourself the agent or instrument 
for yictualling and repairing the ships of war of the American 
navy, as I came here in distress the 8th ult. in want of proyisions, 
with a number of wounded men and prisoners, you have not 
done your duty ; as you have not, to this hour, given or offered 
me any assistance; whereby you have occasioned a lass '^ of 
money and time to the United States. It was your duty to have 
appeared on the spot, and to have ministered to Our wants* If, 
on the contrary, as I rather think, you consider yourself only 
as the instrument for selling the continental part of prizes, yet 
in this case, too, you have not done your duty. It was your duty 
to have appeared at. Brest, to have taken care of the publie 
property, and to have brought on the sales ; whereas some of 
it may now be perishing, through your absence and neglect. I 
have been thus explicit, that you may not henceforth misunder- 
stand me ; and that, so far as we may be connected, we may 
henceforth co-operate for the public good of the American 
United States.'' 

On the 1st of June, the same day on which Jones had written 
to Franklin^ in reply to a letter suggesting enterprises of an 
humbler character, that real friend of his, who best understood 
his genius and his temperament, communicated to him intelb- 
gence calculated to awaken higher hopes, and to console him 
for all his mortifications. His pnAt was gratified, and he wa* 
at liberty to indulge in dreams of glory. This was all ; for he 

* As we cannot suppose that Jones woiilid have condescended to a 
viilgar sneer, it is dbvioiis that he was too much vexed to perceive that 
HL Schweighauser, who thought in one language, while writing in sth 
other, and whose lelieM ia Bnglish are cariously inaccurate, meanf t(y 
use ^ harrnksB ward pr&pmif^ instead of tbsit which gave so niaeh 


was destined to endure a new and long series of disappointments. 
The letter of Franklin was as follows ; 


" Dear Sir, 

'^ I have the pleasure of informing you, that it is proposed to 
give you the command of the great ship we have built at Am- 
sterdam. By what you wrote to us formerly, I have ventured' 
to say in your behalf, that this proposition would be agreeable to 
you. You will immediately let me know your resolution ; which, 
that you may be more clear in taking, I must inform you of 
some circumstances. She is at present the property of the 
king ; but as there is no war yet declared, you will have the 
commission and flag of the States, and act under their orders 
and laws. The Prince de Nassau will make the cruise with 
you. She is to be brought here under cover as a French 
merchantman, to be equipped and manned in France. We 
hope to exchange your prisoners for as many American sailors ;• 
but if that fails, you have youffpresent crew to be made up here 
with other nations and French. The other commissioners are 
not acquainted with this proposition as yet ; and you see by the 
nature of it, that is necessary to b^ kept a secret till we have 
got the vessel here, for fear of difficulties in Holland, and 
interception ; you will therefore direct your answer to me alone. 
It being desired that the affair should rest between you and me, 
perhaps it may be best for you to take a trip up here to concert 
matters, if in general you approve the idea. 

'^ I was much pleased with reading your journal, which we 
received yesterday." 

Jones i;i[|rote in reply, on the 6th, as follows : <' Your much 
esteemed favour lays me under a most singular obligation. I 
cannot but be deeply sensible of the honour conferred upon me 
by the proposition ; and I really think it affords a very fair 
prospect of success. In a few days, the return of a letter from 
Mr. Schweighauser will, I hope, enable me to leave affairs here, 
so as to attend you at Paris^ I shall be happy in all opportu- 


114 PAUL J0NE8. 

nitiea to prove, by my conduct, how much I wish to m^rit your 
confidence, and that of the Prince." 

On the 10th June, Franklin again wrote to Jones, confirming 
his expectations of receiving the promised command. 

Pasy, June 10/A, 1778. 
'" Dear Sir, 

'^ I received your's of 1st instant, with the papers enclosedy 
which I have shown to the other commissioners, but have not 
yet had their opinion of them ; only I know that they had before 
(in consideration of the disposition and uneasiness of your 
people) expressed an inclination to order your ship directly back 
to America. You will judge from what follows, whether it will 
not be advisable /(TT^ote to propose their sending her back with 
her people, and under some other command. In consequence of. 
the high opinion the Minister of the Marine has of your conduct 
and bravery, it is now settled (observe, that is to be a secret 
• between us, I being expressly enjoined not to communicate it 
to any other person,) that you Vtre to have the frigate from 
Holland, which actually belongs to government, and will be 
furnished with as many good French seamen as you shall 
require. But you are to act under Congress commission^ As 
you may like to have a number of Americans, and your own 
are home-sick, it is proposed to give you as many as you can 
engage out of two hundred prisoners, which the ministry of 
Britain have at length agreed to give us in exchange for those 
you have in your hands. They propose to make the exchange 
at Calais, where they are to bring the Americans. Nothing is 
wanting to this but a list of yours, containing their names and 
rank ; immediately on the receipt of which an eqyal number 
are to be prepared, and sent in a ship at that port, where 
your's are to meet them* 

*^ If by this means- you can get a good new crew, I think it 
would be best that you are quite free of the old ; for a itiixture 
might introduce the infection of that sickness you complain of. 
But this may be left to your own discretion. Perhaps we shall 

\ i 


rAVJj JONES. 116 

join you with the Providence, Captain Whipple, a new contt- 
nental ship of 30 guns, which, in coming out of the river of 
Providence, gave the two frigates that were posted to intercept 
her each of them so heavy a dose of her 18 and 12 pounders, 
that they had not the courage, or were not able, to pursue her. 
It seems to be desired that you will step up to Versailles, (where 
one will meet you,) in order to such a settlement of matters and 
{dans with those who have the direction as cannot well be done 
by letter. I wish it may be convenient to you to do it imme- 

^^ The project of giving you the command of this ship pleases 
me the more, as it is a probable opening to the higher prefer- 
ment you so justly merit." 

It will be observed that this negotiation of Franklin with the 
j^rench ministry, was unknown. to Messrs. Lee and Adams. It 
i^ms, too, not to have been communicated to them before the 
16th, that Jones was to have command of the frigate at Amster- 
dam ; as we find a letter from them addressed to him on that 
day,* signed by all the commissioners, directing him to make 
preparations for a voyage to America with all despatch^ in the 
tUp then under his command, containing various instructions, 
formal, and in the nature of suggestions, and advising him to keep 
his destination secret. It could not have been intended by Franklin 
and Sartine, that he should return in the Ranger, as the subse- 
quent correspondence will show. Jones stood likewise too high 
in importance, to be despatched home in that vessel. He had 
previously been in direct correspondence with M. De Sartine. 
On the 31st March previous, he had written to him from Brest, 
enclosing a copy of the letter from the .secret committee of 
Congress, with other documents ; acknowledging the attentions 
and favours he had received from Admiral Compte D'Orvilliers, 
M. De la Porte, M. la Motte Picquet, and every other officer of 
distinction in the port ; and adverting to a project of his, com- 

* DiploDMitio Correspondenee, I. 386. 



municated to the minister tfarougb the admiral, the natiire of 
which he does not specify. There can be no doubt that the 
minister wished to secure the services of Jones, and to retain 
him in readiness to execute whatever enterprise events might 
indicate as best suited to his daring spirit and practical skill. 
His late successes had made an impression which had a specific 
value ; and the offer of the Prince of Nassau to serve under 
him, is a sufficient proof of the estimation in which he was held 
at Court. Under the then existing circumstances, it would 
have been a loss to send him to America, with a small fonce^ 
merely as a bearer of despatches, with the precarious chance of 
making a few stray prizes, or striking unimportant blows. Yet, 
nptwithstanding that after the withdrawal of the ambassadors^ ^^ 
the nations felt that hostilities must ensue, political considera- v ^ 
tions withheld either from being the first to acknowledge it^ ^ 
belligerent attitude. Thfe affair on the 17th June, between tMt 
Belle Poule and the Arethusa, and the capture on the same and ^ 
the following day, by the English, of the Licorne and Pcdlas 
frigates, in which each party charged the other of being the 
aggressor, brought matters nearer to a crisis. The engagements 
between the fleets under Keppel and D'Orvilliers followed, and 
it soon became no longer necessary to moot questions of national 
law, as to the disposition of prisoners brought into French 
ports by American cruisers.* 


* On accidentally looking for a date into the newspaper historian BisMtt, whose com- 
pilation our wise booksellers, for lack of a better, bind up with Home and Smollet, 
I find an amusing notice of Jones and his adventures. ** The American privateers,** 
says this plunderer of old g^ettes, *' trusting to the alliance with France, came this 
year to the coast of Europe, and committed various depredations. The most daring 
commander of these ships, was the noted adventurer Paul Jones. This person had been 
gardener to the Earl qfSeOdrJt, at a seat near Kircudbright, on the southwest coast of Scot- 
land. Leaving his employment abruptly, on account of some umbrage which he had con- 
ceived against the family, he had betaken himself to sea ; and by professional skill, 
togiBther with intrepid boldness, arrived at the appointment which he then held. 
Directing his efforts against the coasts with which he was best acquainted, he landed 
at Whitehaven in Cumberland, and set fire to a ship in the harbour, with the intention 
of bBmmgthetovvn; hawis driven tuooff by the %nh4AUmiit$. From thencd he proceeded 


PAUL JOlflES. 117 

Previous to leaving Brest for Versailles, Jones says in his 
Journal for the king, that *' finding the lieutenant appeared 
more reasonable than formerly, he took his parole in writing, 
not to serve again in the navy before he was acquitted by a 
court-martial, and set him at liberty. A day or two afterwards, 
the commissioners thought fit to interfere respecting the lieu- 
tenant of the Ranger, which, it is presumed, they had no 
authority to do, as it laid the axe to the root of sujbordination." 

He proceeds to say, that ^' having the prisoners still under 
his care, the prizes being unsold, and the crew naked. Captain 
Jones, having completely refitted the Ranger, had no immediate 
business at Brest ; and therefore went privately up to Versailles, 
on the invitation of the Court." On the 16th June, he addressed 
the following letter to the commissioners, from Passy. 



*♦ Gentlemen, 

^' At the time when I took Lieutenant Simpson's parole, I 
did not expect to have been so long absent from America ; but 
as circumstances have now rendered the time of my return less 
certain, I am willing to let the dispute between us drop for ever, 
by giving up that parole, which will entitle him to command the 
Ranger. I have no malice, and if I have done him any injury, 
this will be mcdcing him all the present satisfaction in my power. 
If pn the contrary, he has injured n^e, I will trust to himself for 
Im acknowledgment." 

On the 29th Jones wrote to the commanding ofiicers of the 
Ranger, informing theni that he had obtained permission from 
the French ministry, to dispose of the prizes to the best advan- 
tage, without their being subject to any expense in the adipiralty 
courts, and had made other arrangements for the advantage of 

oyer Solway Frith, to the leat of Lord Selkiric, and pUUged the htmfe of all the plate, 
jewd», and othar vdlmakU ejfeeiB, Sfc," The veracious historian says nothing of the 
capture of the Drake, as a matter of coarse. Candonr, however, most confess that 
there are fewer mistatemeuts in the foregoing ^paragraph, than in many others of eqnal 
length, which might be seleoted ftem the same work. 


the captors. '^ It shall be my care to get the prisoners ex- 
changed as soon as possible, to realize our prizes, and to obtain 
leave to return on a cruise to America. All this I believe I 
shall veiy soon be able to effect, and therefore you may publish 
it in the «hip, for the general happiness and satisfaction. 
Thdre will, I am persuaded, be nothing to interfere with our 
proceeding to America, unless the Ranger should be previously 
employed as a cartel, in the approaching exchange of prisoners. 
This may or may not happen ; and as it will be a work of little 
time, and of no danger, it cannot but be agreeable to the feel- 
ings of humanity^ It might, I think, be acccHnplished, before 
the prizes can be realized. I only wait here for the list of the 
prisoners which I wrote for some time ago, and which I hope 
will be very exact." He then gives instructions as to details, 
and among others, requests that certain articles, including the 
plate, should be carefully stored and reserved, until his return 
to Brest. 

On the 4th of July, he wrote to the commissioners as follows : 

" Gentlemen, 

" When Congress thought proper to order me to France, it 
was proposed that the Ranger should remain under my direction; 
and be commanded by a lieutenant. And as the French 
ministry have now in contemplation plans which promise honcoir 
to the American flag, the Ranger might be very useful to assist 
in carrying them into execution. Lieutenant Simpson has 
certainly behaved amiss ; yet I can forgive, as well as resent ; 
and upon his making a proper concession, I will, with your 
approbation, not only forgive the past, but leave him the com- 
mand of the Ranger. By this means, and by some little pro- 
motions and attentions, that may be consistent, I hope to be 
able to satisfy the Ranger's crew, so that they will postpone 
their return as long as the service may require." 

Whatever may have been the private conferences between 
Franklin and the French minister, the object which the com- 
missioners had in view in common, was plainly to pacify the 


crew of the Ranger, to retain as many of her able seamen as 
were willing to serve, and to send he;r home after the exehange 
of prisoners. On the 16th June, Franklin had written to Mr. 
David Hartley, in consequence of advices from him that the 
British ministry had agreed to an exchange of prisoners, pro- 
posing the manner of effecting it, and offering the' solemn 
engagement of the commissioners, that if the British govern- 
ment would give up all their prisoners at once, a number of 
British sailors equal to the surplus should be delivered to Lord 
Howe in America, or to his order, as soon as the agreement 
should arrive there.* These arrangements would naturally 
occupy some little time ; and meanwhile the crew of the Ban- 
ger were, as Jones says, '< naked," and discontented. 

The very event which arrayed the fleets of France and Eng- 
land against each other, deprived Jones of the command of the 
^* great ship" at Amsterdam. He says in his Journal for the 
king : ^^ the action of the Belle Poule, which began the war be- 
tween France and England, deranged the plan in contemplation, 
and greatly interfered with the views of court respecting Cap- 
tain Jones. It was understood the States of Holland made great 
difficulty, respecting the Indien, that still remained at Amster- 
dam. Captain Jones offered to give up the project, and return 
to the Ranger. To prevent this, the minister wrote a letter to 
the commissioners, requesting their permission for Captain 
Jones to rBmain for a time in Europe, where he would be 
honourably employed to promote the common cause." 

The embryo schemes agitated between Jones, FrahkUn, and 
the Minister, whatever th^ may have been, were abandoned, 
at well as the command of the Indien. In reply to the request 
of the latter, above alluded to, the commissioners acquiesced, in 
the following terms. *' We readily consent that he should be at 
your excellency's disposition ; and. shall be haj^yifhis services 
may be in any respect useful to the designs your excellency may 
have in contemplation." 

* ])l|»foiiiatio Corroflpondence, 1. 400. 

■■ ■' .' 

120 ', PAUL JONES. 

On the 17th July, a few days after, Jones wrote himself, to 
make his acknowledgements to the minister. He speaks of his 
return in the Ranger as a thing in immediate contemplation. 
It is obvious that he desired to quicken the movements of the 
minister, and to induce him to prevent his departure by confer- 
ring a I'eal appointment, in lieu of holding out shadowy and 
changeful promises. 

« Passy, July 17th, 1778. 
" M. De SARTime, 

'^ My Lord — ^I should be ungrateful did I not return my thanks 
for*your kind and generous intentions in my favour. My great- 
est ambition would be to merit your future approbation, by my 
services against the common enemy of France and America. 
Had your first plan taken effect, the most pleasing prospect of 
success would have been before me. But that now seems a 
distant object. 

^'I have no doubt, that many projects might be formed from 
the hints which I had the honour of sending lately for your in- 
spection : had I been intrusted with the chief command, I would 
have held myself responsible for consequences. 

^' I am bound in honour to communicate faithfully to Con- 
gress the generous offer which the King now makes, of lending 
the Epervier in the meantime to be employed under my com- 
mand, under th^ flag of Americcu I would thankfully have 
accepted this offer, the moment it was communicated to me^ 
hiad no difficulties occurred on account of the situation of the 
American funds. I have now under my command a ship bound 
to America. On my arrival there, from the former confidence 
of Congress, I have reason to expect an immediate removal into 
one of their best ships. I have reason to expect the chief com- 
mand of the first squadron destined for an expedition, having 
in my possession several similar appointments ; and when Con- 
gress see fit to appoint admirals, I have assurance that my name 
will not be forgot. These are flattering prospects to a man 
who has drawn his swordi oply.upon principles of philanthropy, 


and in support of the dignity of human nature. But as I prefer 
a solid to a shining reputation, a useful to a splendid command, 
I hold mjrself ready, with the approbation of the commissioners, 
to be governed by you in any measures that may tend to dis- 
tress and humble the common enemy." 

The offer of the Epervier, for the reasons assigned by JoneQ, 
was little more than a compliment. The ratifications of the 
treaties between the United States and France, were exchanged 
on the same day on which the foregoing letter was written. 
War had not even yet been formally declared, but had in fact 
begun at sea, with large preparations on both sides. A violent 
impress had been made in England among the crews of mer- 
chantmen, and France required all her own seamen. The 
commissioners, or more properly, the plenipotentiaries, foimd 
great difficulty in procuring loans, even in small amounts, and 
were apprehensive that thegr would not be able to meet the drafts 
of Congress for the interest of certificates. In their letter to the 
President of Congress, communicating this intelligence^ they 
mentioned that the only two commercial agents in France, were 
Mr. John Bonfield of Bordeaux, and Mr. J. D. Schweighauser at 
Nantes, both appointed by Mr. William Lee ; and recommended 
the appointment of consuls.* 

Negotiations on various points, growing out of the treaties, 
the intimation that England would recognise the independence 
of America, provided the latter would make a separate peace, 
and the immediate necessity of procuring funds, at this time fully 
occupied the attention of the commissioners. M. de Sartine 
entertained one of the numerous projects which Jones had sub- 
mitted to him, either to appease his impatience, or with the 
real intention of carrying it into execution. This was the 
capture or destruction of the Baltic fleet. He says, in his 
Journal for the king of France, " for this object three frigates 
and two cutters were destined ; and Captain Jones appointed to 
command the whole. One of the frigates lay at Brest, which 

* Diplomatic Correspondence, I. 407. 



he was to command in person, and join the other two, and the 
cutter at St. Malo. Two days before Captain Jones returned 
to Brest, Count D'Orvilliers having returned from his first 
cruise and the battle of Ushant, bad given the command of the 
frigate in question to a French officer. The Minister of the 
Marine, finding many difficulties he had not foreseen, from 
the cabals of. French officers for commands, sent orders for 
the frigates and cutters to proceed from St. Malo, under the 
command of the senior captain, against the Baltic fleet. That 
force sailed round the east of England, north of Scotland, and 
west of Ireland, without having succeeded." 

So confident was he that he would be employed in this expe- 
dition, that he made inquiries for a chaplain. The qualifica- 
tions he desired to find in such an officer, he thus mentions in 
writing to a friend :^' I should wish him to be a man of read- 
ing and letters, who understands, speaks, and writes the French 
and English with elegance and propriety. For political reasons, 
it would be well if he were a clergyman of the Protestant 
profession, whose sanctity of manners, and happy natural prin- 
ciples would difliise unanimity and cheerfulness through the 
ship; and if to these essentials were added the talent of writing 
fast, and in fair characters, such a man would necessarily be 
worthy the highest confidence, and might, therefore, assure him- 
self of a place at my table, the regulations whereof should be 
entirely under hi& direction." On the 6th August, he also wrote 
to General Washington informing "him of his reasons for con- 
tinuing in service in Europe, and begging his acceptance of two 
epaulettes, which he had expected to deliver himself, and which 
Mr. Williams had undertaken to forward.* 

On the 10th August, Jones left Passy for Brest, in the anti- 
cipation of receiving this command, and was disappointed in the 

* I find these letten, in the life published by Murray in 1825. 


manner he has mentioned. It may readily be supposed, that 
he was not in the best possible humour to brook what he con- 
ceived to be a downright indignity offered to himself. Yet such 
he had to encounter. It will be recollected that on the 16th 
June, he had offered to give up the parole of Lieutenant Simp- 
son, and on the 4th July, had consented to let him take com- 
mand of the ship* The lieutenant was not backward in ac- 
cepting these concessions, and it appears he went much farther. 
Jones says, '* he took command of the Ranger, without accepting 
the captain's proposal, or having his parole given up. On the 
contrary, it seemed afterwards he rather gave out that Captain 
Jones had been called to account by the commissioners, and 
turned out to make way for him !" He wrote to the commission- 
ers on this subject, in these terms. 

" Bresty August 15th, 1778. 
" Gentlemen, 

'* I have been five days in this place since my return from 
Passy, during which time I have neither seen nor heard from 
Lieutenant Simpson ; but Mr. Hill, who was last winter at Passy, 
and who sailed with me from Nantes, informs me truly, that it 
is generally reported in the Ranger, and of course throughout 
the French fleet, and on shore, that I am turned out of the ser- 
vice ; that you, gentlemen, have given Mr. Simpson my place, 
with a captain's commission, and that my letter to you of the 
16th July was involuntary on my part, and in obedience only to 
your orders. 

'^ That these reports prevail, is not an idle conjecture, but a 
melancholy fact. Therefore I beseech you ; I demand of you 
to afford me redress — redress by a court martial ; to form which 
we have now, with the assistance of Captain Hinman, Captain 
Read,' as also them at Nantes, a sufficient number of officers in 
France, exclusive of myself. The Providence and Britain are 
expected here very soon from Nantes, and I am certain that 
they neither can nor will again depart, before my friend Cap- 
tain Hinman can come down here ; and it is his unquestioned 
right to succeed me in the Ranger. 


'^ I have faithfully and personally supported and fought the 
dignified cause of human nature, ever since the American ban- 
ners first waved on the Delaware and on the ocean. This I 
did when that man did not call himself a republican, but left 
the ccmtinent, and served its enemies ; and this I did when this 
man appeared backward, and did not support me as he ought. 

. ^^ I conclude by requesting you to call before you, and examine 
for your own satisfaction, Mr. Edward Meyers, who is now 
at the house of the Swedish Ambassador, and who, having been 
with me as a volunteer, can and will, I am persuaded, represent 
to you the conduct of the officers and men towards me, both 
before I left Brest, and afterwards in the Irish channel, as well 
as my conduct towards them. — ^I have the honour to be, &c. &c 

" Their Excellencies tlie American Plenipotentiaries." 

On the 18th August, he wrote to Captain Abraham Whipple, 
then at Brest, requesting that a court martial might be sum- 
moned for the trial of Simpson ; and the commissioners gave 
directions to the same effect, provided there was a sufficient 
number of officers to constitute one. At the same time they 
directed that no change should take place in the command of 
the Ranger, until the trial should be over, nor then, should the 
lieutenant be acquitted. Captain Whipple in a letter to Jones, 
explained the impossibility of calling a court, as Captain Hin- 
man, who expected a court of inquiry into his own conduct, on 
hb return to America, declined sitting. He also added that in 
his opinion Jones had given up the parole of Simpson, in the 
most ample manner, without asking for concessions, and that 
the commissioners understood it in the same light.* The un- 
impassioned reader will probably coincide in opinion with Cap- 
tain Whipple. But under the pressure of so many disappoint- 
ments, and finding himself without any ship at all, the reports 
which fell upon the ear of Jones as to the lieutenant's misstate- 
ments of what had been magnanimity on his part, would have 

* Diplomatic Correspondence, I. 400. 


Stung to anger cuie of a far less hasty temper. The seemingly 
insulting triumph of Simpson was neither quietly to be endured, 
nor soon forgotten. 

It did not enter into Jones' sense of what was due to his rank 
and self respect, to seek satisfaction to the injury of the service, 
from one whom he conceived he had 1^ under unmerited oblir 
gations. Lieutenant Simpson sailed in the Ranger for America. 


On the 30th August, the Captain's friend Mr. Williams, writing 
to him from Nantes in relation to the pending sale of the Drake, 
said: '' I am sorry your affair witl^Xieutenaut Simpson was 
not settled with mutual satisfaction. If he was not gone, I 
should answet his charge of falsehood with the following para- 
graph of iiis own letter to me, of the 1st August, to mine, which 
you say he calls false, viz : ' I recollect my telling you when at 
Brest, that if Captain Jones had condescended to have made 
any inquiry, or permitted me to speak to him on the matter of 
my confinement, I was ready to give him any satisfaction con* 
sonant to truth.' It is strange he should recollect this when he 
wrote me the letter, and forget it again when he told Mr. HiU 
it was false. Lieutenant Simpson's letter to me is in very re- 
spectful terms, and I wrote him a letter of thanks in return. 
He desired me in it to present his respects to you, and to tell 
you that ' your recommendation to the commissioners, which I 
mentioned, would, with any services you had done him, be ever 
remembered with gratitude. This gave me great pleasure, 
&c.' " The Providence, Boston, and Ranger, arrived safe in 
America, having taking two or three merchant vessels. Lieu- 
tenant Simpson was not afterwards employed in the continental 
service. In February following, the commissioners addressed 
a letter to Jones, stating, that as his separation from tBe Ranger, 
and the appointment of Lieutenant Simpson to the command 
of her would be liable to misinterpretations, they certified that 
his leaving her was by their consent, at the express request of 
M. de Sartine, who informed them that he had occasion to 
employ Jones in some public service; that Simpson was 
appointed to the command by the consent of Jones, who had 


released him from the arrest he had placed him under ; that 
Jones' rank in the navy was not prejudiced by his leaving the 
Ranger ; and that his commission remained in full force. It 
seemed proper, having given the letters of Jones on this subject, 
to lay the whole statement before the reader, who, we fear will 
faaT6 found it rather tedious. 

We should not have omitted to mention, that as it was one 
of the first, so it was one of the constant subjects of application 
to the commissioners by Jones, to procure from them a strong 
recommendation to Congress on behalf of the men who served 
under him in the Ranger, and of those in particular who landed 
with him at Whitehaven. On the day he left Passy, they 
addressed a letter to him, informing him that they had complied 
with his request. 

While waiting for the minister to fulfil his promises, Jones 
asked for and obtained, but too late, orders to Count D'Orvilliers 
to receive him on board of the Bretagne. The fleet had left 
the harbour of Brest, while he was at L'Orient on a fruitless 
errlBUid* In his letter to Franklin, dated August 24th, in which 
he urges this request, he says : " I wish not to be thought too 
unpatient, but you know, my dear sir, that this is the nice 
moment, when I ought either to be in search of marine 
knowledge with Count D'Orvilliers, or in search of honour, in 
attempting some -private enterprise. Before I was at liberty to 
go, the good old Count pressed me much to accompany him ; 
but since Doctor Bancroft has informed me, that it would be 
agreeable to the minister that I should go, I have been pre- 
cluded from following the fleet, as the present commandant has 
no orders for that purpose." With this letter he forwarded 
one, open, to the prince of Nassau, requesting Franklin to with- 
hold it, if he found any thing improper in its contents. We learn 
from Franklin's reply, that it was delivered ; but it was not 
answered, as the prince had changed his mind. It was as 

paul jones. 127 

** His Highness the Prince De Nassau. 

'< My Prince — The honottr which you propose to do me, by 
accompanying mc on the ocean, fills my heart with the warmest 
sentiments of gratitude. 

'^ When your intentions were communicated to me> I had 
under my command a ship bound ill company with two fine 
frigates for America, where there are now two new ships of 
eighty guns each, and eight frigates of forty guns each, nearly 
ready for sea. 

*^ On my arrival thoppa, from the former confidence of Congress, 
I had assurance of aif immediate removal into one of their best 
riiips, and to have been appointed to command the first squad- 
ron which they thought fit to destine for any private expedition. 
Before I came to Europe, Congress honoured me with several 
such appointments, and I had assurance, that when admirals 
were appointed, my name would be remembered. 

^' These, my Prince, were flattering prospects to a man who 
drew his sword only from principles of philanthropy, and in 
support of the dignity of human nature; and these are the 
prospects^ I have voluntarily laid aside,*that Lmay pursue glory 
in your company. 

<' Sufifer me not, therefore, I beseech you, to continue longer 
in this shameful inactivity ; such dishonour is worse to me than 
a thousand deaths. I have already lost the golden season, the 
summer, which, in war, is of more value than all the rest of the 
/ear. I appear here as a person cast ofi* and useless ; and 
when any one asks me what I purpose to do, I am unable to 

'' Had this been my first or second disappointment, I should 
have said nothing concerning it. Aft^ various other objects 
had misgiven before I left Passy, which M. de Sartine had 
thought of, to keep me employed, until the scheme wherein you 
were concerned coi||d take place, I was ordered down here at 
so short a notice, that I had not time, before my departure, to 
take leave of you ; yet, on my arrival here, I found that what 
had been proposed for me, was bestowed on others. I then 



offered to follow Count D'Orvilliers as a iroluiiteer, agreeably 
io his kind inyitation ; but M. de la Prevaiiye will not permit 
thil) it not being mentioned in his orders. 

" I have, my Prince, been unaccustomed to ask any favours, 
even from Congress, for I am not in pursuit of interest ; yet, 
let me beseech you to represent my situation to the best of 
Ui^) that 1 may, with you, be forthwith enabled to pursue 
glory, and humble the common' enemy of humanity. 

^^ If the ship that was at first proposed, cannot with certainty 
be got ready for sea next month, you, « my Prince, can obtain 
another, with the Epervier and the Alert, tenders. There is a 
fine firigate at L'Orient, built on the same construction with 
the ship at first proposed, and mounted with eighteen-pounders. 
This ship has been at India, is known to sail fast, and may, 
jlerhaps, be obtained, till it is seen whether the other can be 
got out. 

** If this ship is refused, there are many other fine frigates 
newly built at St. Males, and other places, to which I hear of 
no commanders being appointed. I have the greatest depen- 
danoe on the generous intentions of that great minister, M. de 
Sartine, but I cannot every day intrude on him with letters, and, 
in the multiplicity and importance ot his afiairs, my concerns 
may escape his memory. 

*^ I wish for the honour of a letter from your own hand ; 
though I cannot write in French, yet I understand letters which 
are written in that language ; and I have with me now a lieu- 
tenant that speaks it well. 

" My Prince, your's, &c." 

On the 28th, he wrote pressingly to Compte D'Orviiliers for 
directions to M. Prevaldye to permit his embarkation with the 
fleet, should a vessel be sent in with letters. '' I ardently wish," 
be says, <^ to attend you with my eyes, ev^ to the pinnacle of 
fame ; and to learn from so great and good a general, how I 
may hereafter ascend the slippery precipices, beyond which the 
edifice is erected." 


M.' Preval&jre, tfaqi^ commandant, who did not feel at liberty to 
allow the captain to go on board of the fleet, also refused to 
furnish any guard for the prisoners, after the armed vessels of 
France had left the port. After much trouble, an exchange had 
been agreed upon, and a cartel provided for ; and in these cir- 
cumstances, there weis nothing to prevent the prisoner)? from 
defeating the object of the protracted negotiation, by departing 
of their own accord. Jones wrote in terms of authority to Mr. 
T. Lee, the deputy agent, and of earnest request to the Inten- 
dant of the port and the commissioners, to prevent this catas- 
trophe. For his perseverance in procuring a guard, he received 
the hearty commendation of Franklin ; who, in his letter of the 
6th February, said, ** your letter was sent to the Prince de 
Nassau. I am confident something will be done for you, 
though I do not yet know what. I sympathize with you in 
what I know you must suffer, from your present inactivity ; but 
have patience." But nothing was done ; and patience was 
not perhaps the most prominent virtue in Jones' character. 

On the 31st he wrote to Franklin, desiring as the American 
frigates had sailed on the 22d, that his letter of the 15th de- 
manding a court maitial for Simpson, might be suppressed, if 
it had not been presented to the commissioners. He adds : 
*' It is here reported that the Jamaica fleet of 70 sail, under 
convoy of the Portland and four frigates, passed in sight of the 
Brest fleet, and got clear, because Compte D'Orvilliers would 
not break his line to give chase. I wish to disbelieve this 
account ; because I had written to him that such a fleet was 
expected." " I endeavour to console myself with the reflection, 
that my own situation cannot well be altered for the worse. I 
must acknowledge, however, that I have need of some of your 

Among the gi'eat vexations to which he was subjected at this 
time, were others of a petty nature, well calculated to provoke 
him in the isolated and expectant situation in which he seem^ 
to find himself. Fifty casks of the prize porter, which he had 
orders from the commissioners to receive, were refused him by 


f < 


' a 8ub-agent, unless he would pay ready money for them; and 
he was invited to accompany the same agJbt to see the plate 
weighed over again. On the 13th September he determined 
to write to the minister, what he calls in his epistle to Frank- 
lin, an explicit letter. It is a summary of his past disap- 

^^ Honoured Sir, 

^^ When his excellency Doctor Franklin informed me that you 
had condescended to think me worthy of your notice, I took 
Buch pleasure in reflecting on the happy alliance between France 
and America, that I was really flattered, and entertained the 
most grateful sense of the honour which you proposed for me, 
as well as the favour which the king proposed for America, by 
putting so fine a ship of war as the Indien under my command, 
and under its flag, with unlimited orders. 

^^ In obedience to your desire, I came to Versailles, and was 
taught to believe that my intended ship was in deep water, and 
ready for the sea ; but when the Prince (de Nassau) returned, I 
rec^ved from him a different account ; I was told that the In- 
dien could not be got afloat within a shorter period than three 
months, at the approaching equinox. 

" To employ this interval usefully, I first offered to go from 
Brest with Count D'Orvilliers, as a volunteer, which you thought 
fit to reject. I had then the satisfaction to find that you appro- 
ved in general of a variety of hints for private enterprises, which 
I had drawn up for your consideration, and I was flattered with 
assurances from Messieurs de Chaumont and Bandonin, that 
three of the finest frigates in France, with two tenders, and a 
number of troops, would be immediately put under my com- 
mand ; an4 that I should have unlimited orders, and be at 
free hberty to pursue such of my own projects as I thought 
proper. But this plan fell to nothing, in the moment when I 
was taught to think that nothing was wanting hut the King's 

^^ Another much inferior armament from L'Orient was pro- 


pOBeA to be put under my command, which was by no means 
equal to the services that were expected from it ; for speed and 
force, though both requisite, were both wanting. Happily for 
ae this also failed, and I was thereby saved from a dreadful 
prospect of ruin and dishonour. 

** I had so entire a reliance that you would desire nothing of 
me inconsistent with my honour and rank, that the moment you 
required me to come down here, in order to proceed round to 
St. Malo, though I had received no written orders, and neither 
knew your intention respecting my destination or command, I 
obeyed with such haste, that although my curiosity led me to 
kiok at the armament at L'Orient, yet I was but three days 
from Passy till I reached Brest. Here too I drew a Uank ; 
but when I saw the Lively, it was no disappointment, as that 
ship, both in sailing and equipment, is far inferior to the Ranger. 

^^ My only disappointment here was my being precluded from 
embarking in pursuit of marine knowledge with Count D'Or- 
villiers, who did not sail till seven days after my return. * He ia 
my friend, and expressed his wishes for my company ; I accom- 
panied him out of the road when the fleet sailed ; and he always 
lamented that neither himself nor any person in authority in 
Brest, had received from you any order that mentioned my name. 
I am astonished, therefore, to be informed that you attribute 
my not being in the fleet to my stay at L'Orient.* 

I am not a mere adventurer of fortune. Stimulated by 
principles of reason and philanthropy, I laid aside my enjoy- 
ments in private life, and embarked under the flag of America 
when it was first displayed. In that line my desire of fame is 
infinite, and I must not now so far forget my own honour, and 
what I owe to my friends and America, as to remain inactive* 

'^ My rank knows no superior in the American marine : I 
have long since been appointed to command an expedition with 
five of its ships, and I can receive orders from no junior or 
inferior oflicer whatever. 

* FraakUn had to iafonned Jones in a letter of tbe 0th. 

133 .r^JDh JONES. 

'^ I have been here in the most tormenting suspense for more 
tiban a month since my return ; and agreeable to your desire^ 
as mentioned to me by Monsieur Chaumont, a lieutenant has 
been appointed, and is with me, who speaks the French as well 
as the English. Circular letters have been written, and sent 
tbe Qth of last month from the English Admiralty, because they 
expected me to pay another visit with four ships. Therefore, 
I trust that, if the Indien is not to be got out, you will not, at 
the* approaching season, substitute a force that is not at least 
equal both in strength and sailing to any of the enemy's cruising 

/^ I do not wish to interfere with the harmony of the French 
marine ; but if I am still thought worthy of your attention, I 
shaH hope for a separate command, with liberal orders. If, on 
the eontrary, you should now have no further occasion for my 
services, the only favour I can ask is, that you will bestow on 
me the Alert, with a few seamen, and permit me to return^ and 
carry with me your good opinion in that small vessel, before the 
winter, to America. 

*' I am happy to hear that frigates from St. Malo have been 
suceessful near Shetland. Had Count D'Estaing arrived in the 
Delaware* a few days sooner, he might have made a most 
glorious and easy conquest. Many other successful proj^ts 
may be adopted from the hints I had the honour* to draw up ; 
and if I can still furnish more, or execute any of those already 
furnished, so as to distress and humble the common enemy, it 
will afford me the truest satisfaction. 

** I am ambitious to merit the honour of your friendship and 
fitvour ; and being fully persuaded that I now address a noble 
minded man, who will not be offended with the honest freedom 
which has always marked my correspondence, I am, &c" 

In enclosing this letter to Franklin, he requests him to sup- 
press it, if he should find it amiss, and observes that he should 
have made no mention of his rank, had it not been hinted to 

'*' Note in tlw Margin, hj JonM, *' I gBTO the plan for ttnt expedition." 

PAUL JOfiES* 183 

him that it was proposed to send him from St. Malo, under the 
command of French lieutenants. This bint he says in a mar- 
ginal note, was a mistake. He adds : ^* The frigates from St. 
Malo were sent in consequence of a hint, which I furnished. 
Though I am mysdf neglected, I hope they have been very 
successful. It is in vain for the minister to pretend that he has 
not ships to bestow. I know the contrary. He has bestowed 
the Renammee and others here since my return ; and there are 
yet several new ships unbestowed at St. Malo and elsewhere. 
I know too, that unless the States of Holland oppose it, the 
Indien can be got afloat with a tenth part of the difficulty that 
.has been represented. If I was worth his notice at the begin* 
ning, I am not less so now. After all, you have desired me to 
have patience, and I promise you that I will wait your kind 
advice, and take no step without your approbation. If it were 
consistent and convenient for you to see M. de Sartine, I shouki 
hope that such an ezfdanation would be the consc^quence, as 
might remove every cause of uneasiness." The letter to De 
Sartine was submitted, before its delivery, to the Due de Boche- 

On the 18th, he wrote to Franklin, that he had seen the Fox, 
a sloop of war mounting 24 guns, which had been taken by the 
Hancock and Adams, and that he would accept of her, attended 
by the Alert as a tender, if nothing better should ofier. On the 
21st he addressed the Due de Chartres, expressing his warm' 
sense of the kindness shown to him at court by that nobleman, 
and repeating his successive disappointments. He concluded by 
saying : ^^ If the minister has no farther occasion for my s«r* 
vices, I have then only to ask permission to have the Alert, and 
to carry with me to America his good o{nnion, before the win<- 
ter. As in my present mysterious situation here, I am con** 
sidered an of&cer in disgrace, I am persuaded I need make no 
further apology to a brave officer, and a noUe minded prince, 
for the liberty I take." 

He received at this period encouraging letters from his friend 
Dr. Bmicroft, at Paris. <' This very day" (September 23d,) he 


mid, ** M. Chaumont has gone to VersaiUes, to press M. de 
Sartine to give you the Fox frigate. If this should be denied, 
we are all determined to let the great man know in strong terms 
our opinions of his faithless and dishonourable proceedings." 
And on the 6th of the following month, Mr. W. T. Franklin, 
grandson of the plenipotentiary, wrote to him thus : " I have 
felt for you most sincerely. M. S's conduct towards you has 
been as remarkable, as it has been unjust, and has altered in a 
great degree the good opinion many have had of him. I have 
been asked in several companies, ^Ouestle brave Caipitaine 
J€ms 9 QuefaiPH T and have felt myself, as your compatriot, 
in a manner ill treated, when I can only answer, that you are 
still at Brest. On the receipt of your letter, I asked M. Chau- 
mont, whether he thought any thing woi]dd be done for you f 
He answered, that, to his certain knowledge, M. S. was 
ashamed of the conduct he had held towards you, and that he 
was now occupied to make up for it." He added in a postscript, 
what he had learned from M. Chaumont, that the minister had 
sworn by the Styx, on the day previous, * that he would give 
Captain Jones a frigate, were he even to buy it ;' and enclosed 
a copy of a letter from Mr. Bancroft to the same effect. The 
latter assured Mr. Franklin, that the minister had all along 
had good intentions ; but had been prevented from carrying 
them into execution, by the jealousies and intrigues of the 
* French naval officers. As these were naturally to be expected, 
and many of those gentleman were actually without commands 
or employment at the time, many allowances must be made for 
Mi de Sartine ; who must have felt perplexed, if not humiliated, 
by the breach of so many engagements. On the 9th October, 
Jones wrote thus in terms of strong expostulation, to the Due 
de Rouchefoucault. 

** My Lord Duke, 

^' The 21st ult. I wrote a particular account of my situation 
here, to his Royal Highness the Ducde Chartres ; but that brave 
prinee has, I understand, met with unmmted trouble, and 


1^ coarse has not leisure to remove my suspense. The minis- 
ter's behaviour towards me has been and is really astonishitig. 
At his request (for I sought not the condexion) I gave up abso- 
kite certainties, and far more flattering prospects than any of 
those which he proposed. Wj|at inducement could I have for 
this but gratitude to France for having first recognised our 
independence f And having given my word to stay for -some 
time in Europe, I have been and am unwilling to take it ^ck, 
especialfy after having communicated the circumstances to 
Congress. The minister, to my infinite mortification, after 
I»«ies8ii>g himself of my ««em«« and «&a«, has treated me U^^ 
a child five times successively, by leading me on from great to 
little, and from httle to less. Does such conduct do honour 
either to his head or to his heart ? He has not to this moment 
offered me the least apology for any of theset-five deceptions ; 
nor has he, I believe, assigned any good reason to that venerable 
and great character, his Excellency IK>ctor Franklin, whom he 
has made the instrument to entrap me in this cr|^l state oi 
inaction and suspense. 

*^ The minister has lately written a letter to Count D'Or- 
▼illiers, proposing to send me home in * une bonne voiture.' 
This is absolutely adding insult to injury, and it is- the propo- 
sitiou of a man whose veracity I have not experienced in former 

^^ I could in the summer, with the Ranger, jmned with the 
two other American frigates, have given the enemy sufficient 
foundation for their fears in Britain as well as Ireland, and 
could since have been assisting Count D'Estaing, or acting 
separately with an American squadron. Instead of this, I am 
chained down to shameful inactivity here, after havi^ written 
to Congress to reserve no command for me in America. 

^^ Convinced as I am, that your noble and generous breast 
will feel for my unmerited treatment, I must beseech you to 
interest yourself with the Duke de Chartres, that the king may 
be made acquainted with my situation. I have been taught to 
believe that I have been detained in France with his Majesty's 


luMMfledge and approbation, and I am sure lie is too good a 
prnee to detain me for my hurt or dishonour. 

** M. de Saitine may think as he pleases, but Congress will 
not thank him for having thus treated an officer who has always 
b^en honoured with their favour^ and friendship. I entertained 
some hopes of his honourable intentions till he gave the com- 
mand of the Fox to a lieutenant, after my friends had asked for 
me Mily that ship with the Alert cutter. He was the asker ol 
ike beginmngj and ought to be so now ; he has, to my certain 
knowledge, ships unbestowed, and he is bound in honour to 
give me the Indien, as he proposed at the first, or an equivalent 
oommandy immediately." 

On the 13th he wrote to M.. Le Ray de Chaumont* as follows : 
*^ I accept your generous encomiums with pleasure, as a proof 
of your good opinion and friendship, which I shall be always 
anjntious to merit, both in the line of my duty as an American 
offioer, and as an individual who esteems the affection of your 
fiamuly, a8;|^ very singular honour. I believe your proposition 
respecting your ship Union to be very disinterested ; as such it 
daime my warmest thanks. But I am not my own master ; 
and as a servant of the Imperial Republic of America, honoured 
with the friendship and. favour of Congress, I cannot, from my 
0WB authority or inclination, serve either myself or even my 
best friends, in any private line whatever ; unless where the 
honour and interest of Anierica is the premier object. 

'* Although the minister has treated me like a ^hild five suc- 
oofsive times, by leading me on from great to little, and from 
little to less, yet I had some dependance on his honourable 
kttentions until he refused the small command which you asked 
for me the 33d ultimo, and afterwards bestowed the Fox (m a 
Ueutenani who, to my certain knowledge, does not thank him 
for. the fiBivour, and thinks that ship far short of his right. I 
say I verily believed the minister at the beginning, and after- 

* TUs auiie keladwhare copied fRm mme letten " Mr. Chamnont." 

% * PAOX JONES. 137 

wards ; but now having deceived me so ofteil, I wish him to 
know that I doiibt him, though he swears even * by fke StyxJ* I 
have written to him several respectful letteA of some conse- 
quence, none of which he has condescended to 9,nswer. This 
is a piece of inciviUtj and disrespect to me as a stranger, which 
he has not shown even to subalterns in the French marine, in 
whose hands I have seen his answers to letters of 'Kttle impor- 
tance. The secrecy which I was required to observe respecting 
what seemed his first intention in my favour, has been inviolable ; 
and I have been so delicate with respect to my situation, that I 
have been, and am considered every where as an officer dis- 
graced and cast off for private reaisons. I have of course been 
in actual disgrace here ever since ■ my return, which is more 
than two months. I have already lost near five months of my 
time, the best season of the year, and such opportunities of 
serving my country, and acquiring honour, as I cannot again 
expect this tear, while I have been thus shamefully entrapped in 
inaction. My duty and sensibility cannot brook this unworthy 
situation. If the minister's intentions have been honourable 
from •the beginning, he will make a direct written apology to 
me, suitable to' the injury which I have sustained, otherwise, in 
vindication of my sacred honour, painful as it will be, I must 
publish in the Grfizettes of Europe the conduct he has held 
* towards me. 

^* 1 offered some time ago to accept of the Fox with the 
Alert ; because both the bottoms are sheathed with copper, and 
because I wished to put the minister to no inconvenience, and 
had a project in view, which I -thought I could execute with 
that small force. He has denied the application ; therefore, I 
will make no other request. 

" As he invited me to stay in Europe, by the laws of hospi- 
tality it is his duty to offer. And if he does not give me the 
command he at first proposed, (the Indien) he cannot in honour 
now offer me less than an equivalent force. I will accept of 
nothing that sails slow, or is of trifling force. I shall expect a 
yes Or no to this immediately ; and it will afford me the truest 


laiB FAVL JONES. . , 


^atiflfiustion if iny honour is made whole, aad the miBiaider- 
ttaoding is happily removed. The Prince de Nassau has been 
UQavil, in not answering my letters. The generous part j/au 
have taken in my affairs, claims my most grateful thanks." 

On the 13th, M. de Sartine replied to the request of the 
commissioners, that a ship might be furnished to transport 
Captain Jones to America, that the king was willing to grant 
such facility ; but that it would be previously necessary for him 
to know whether it would be possible to procure an American 
crew ; as the number and wants of the French ships would not 
allow any of their sailors to be detached. It would seem from 
this that the minister felt at the moment tired of even making 

At length Jones determined, as a last resort, to addvess the 
king in person. The foUowing were the terms in which he 

" Brest, October 19th, 177a 

^' Sire — ^Afler my return to Brest in the Americtm ship of 
war the Ranger, from the Irish Channel, his excellency Dr. 
Franklin informed me by letter, dated June the* 1st, that M. de 
Sartine, having a high opinion of my conduct and bravery, had 
determined, with your Majesty's consent and approbation} to 
give me the command of the ship of war the Indien, which was 
built at Amsterdam for America, but afterwards, for political 
reaiRms, made the property of France. 

f* I was to act with unlimited orders, under the commission 
and flag of America ; and thp Prince de Nassau proposed to 
accompany me on the ocean. 

'* I was deeply penetrated with the sense of the honour done 
me by this generous proposition, as well as of the favour your 
Majesty intended thereby to confer on America. And I accepted 
the offer with the greater pleasure, as the Congress had sent 
me to Europe in the Ranger, to command the Indien before 
the Q^fniership of that vessel was changed. 

** The minister desired to see me at Versailles tp settle future 

plans of operation, and 1 attended hitn for that purpose. I was 
told that the Indien was at the Texel, completely armed and 
fitted for sea ; but the Prince de Nassau was sent express to 
Holland, and returned with a very different account. Thie ship 
was at Amsterdam, and could not be got afloat or armed before 
the September equinox. The American plenipotentiaries pro<- 
posed that I should return to America ; and as I hare repeatedly 
been appointed to the chief command of an American squadron 
to execute secret enterprises, it was not doubted but that Con- 
gress would again show me a preference. M. de S^tine, how- 
ever, thought proper to prevent my departure, by writing to the 
plenipotentiaries, (without my knowledge,) requesting that I 
might be permitted to remain in Europe, and that the Ranger 
might be sent back' to America under another commander, he 
having special servicers which he wished me to execute. This 
request they readily granted, and I was flattered by the prospect 
of being enabled to testify, by my services, my gratitude to yoUt 
Majesty, as the first prince who has so generously acknowledged 
our independence. 

^* There was an interval of more than three months before the 
Indien could be gotten afloat. To employ that period usefully, 
when your Majesty's fleet was ordered to sail from Brest, I pro- 
posed to the minister to embark in it as a volunteer, in pursuit of 
marine knowledge. He objected to this, and at the same time 
approved of a variety of hints for private enterprises, which I 
had drawn up for his consideration. Two gentlemen were ap- 
pointed to settle with me the plans that were to be adopted, 
who gave me the assurance that three of the best frigates in 
France, with two tenders, and a number of troops, should be 
immediately put under my command, to pursue such of my own 
projects as I thought proper ; but this fell to nothing, when I 
believed that your majesty's signature only was wanting. 

" Another armament, composed of cutters and small vessels, 
at L'Orient, was proposed to be put under my command, to 
alarm the coasts of England and check the Jersey privateers ; 
but, happily for me, this also failed, and I was saved from ruin* 


and dishonour, as I now find*that all the vessels sailed slow, 
and their united force is very insignificant. The minister then 
thought fit that I should return to Brest to command the Lively, 
and join some frigates on an expedition from St. Malo to the 
North Sea. I returned in haste for that purpose, and found that 
the Lively had been bestowed at Brest before the minister had 
mentioned that ship to me at Versailles. This was, however, 
another fortunate disappointment, as the Lively proves, both in 
sailing and equipment, much inferior to the Ranger ; but, more 
especially, if it be true, as I have since understood, that the 
minister intended to give the chief command of the expedition 
to a.lieutenant, which would have occasioned a very disagreeable 
misunderstanding : for, as an officer of the first rank in the 
American marine, who has ever been honoured with the favour 
and friendship of Congress, I can receive orders from no inferior 
ofiicer whatever. JAy plan was the destruction of the English 
Baltic fleet, of great consequence to the enemy's marine, and 
then only protected by a single frigate ! I would have held my- 
self responsible for its success, had I commanded the expedition. 

^* M. de Sartine afterwards sent orders to Count D'Orvilliers 
to receive me on board the fleet, agreeably to my former pro- 
posal ; but the order did not arrive until after the departure of 
the fleet the last time from Brest, nor was I made acquainted 
with the circumstance before the fleet returned here. 

^* Thus have I been chained down to shameful inactivity for 
nearly five months. I have lost the best season of the year, 
and such opportunities of serving my country and acquiring 
honour, as I cannot again expect this war ; and, to my infi- 
nite mortification, having no command, I am considered every 
where an officer cast ofl* and in disgrace for secret reasons. 

^^ I have written respectful letters to the minister, none of 
which he has condescended to answer ;. I have written to the 
Prince de Nassau with as little efifect ; and I do not understand 
that any apology has been made to the great and venerable Dr. 
Franklin, whom the minister has made the instrument of bring- 
ing me into such unmerited trouble. 


• f 

" Having written to Congress to reserve no command for me 
in America^ my eiensibilit}( is the more affected by this unworthy 
situation in the sight of your majesty's fleet. I, however, make 
no remark on the treatment I have received. 

^' Although I wish not to become my own panegyrist, I must 
beg your majesty's permission to observe, that I am not an 
adventurer in search of fortune, of which, thank God, I have 
a sufficiency. 

"When the American bailner was first displayed, I drew my 
sworjd in support of the violated dignity and rights of human 
nature ; ind both honour and duty prompt me steadfastly to 
. continue' the righteous pursuit, and to sacrifice to it, not only 
my private enjoyments, but even life, if necessary. I must ac- 
knowledge that the generous praise which I have received from 
Congress and others exceeds the merit of my past services ; 
therefore I the more ardently wish for future opportunities of 
testifying my gratitude by my activity. 

" As your majesty, by espousing the cause of America, hath 
become the protector of the rights of human nature, I am per-* 
suaded that you vdll.not disregard my situation, nor suffer me 
to remain any longer in this insupportable disgrace. 

" I am, with perfect gratitude and profound respect. Sire, 
your majesty's very obliged, very obedient, and very humble 

• « J. Paul Jones*" 

In a letter of the same date, Jones solicited the Duchess of 
Chartres to present the foregoing representation to his majesty. 
He also wrote to Franklin, enclosing it for his inspection, a wise 
precaution which he adopted in all cases of a similar nature. 
One of the principal sources of his vexation was the supposition 
which he believed, to be current, that he had incurred the dis- 
pleasure of his venerated " guide, philosopher, and friend," now 
the minister plenipotentiary at the court of Versailles. This 
rumour he often mentions as the climax of his embarassments. 
There is no reason to suppose, that the lettier to th^king was 

lit FAffh JONS8. 

' m 

fiv«r delivered. Mr. William Franklin, in the postscript to a 
lifter of the 22d October, said : '* I« would li^ngly do every 
thing you desire of me ; but it is my grandfather's opinion, that 
there will be no occasion to send those letters ; and I imagine 
they were written before you heard of the minister's final 
determination. If, however, you still think they ought to be 
sent, you have only te order it." The letters referred to, were 
those to the king and the Dutchess of Chartres ; and this new 
*^ final determination" of the minister, thus communicated,, was 
of a nature to render their delivery urii^ecessary. In the letter 
of which the postscript has been cited, Mr. Franklin informed 
Jones, that his appeal to Mr. Chaumont had ha^ a good effect ; 
and that the latter was charged to put the minister's design in 
immediate execution. This was, as we gather from the sub- 
sequent correspondence, to purchase the best sh(p that could be 
inrociired for Jones, and get it in immediate readiness for sailing. 

The name of M. Le Ray de Chaumont ha9 been already 
several times mentioned, and as it will frequently occur again, 
coupled with commentaries, which misapprehension and haste 
prematurely elicited from Jones, it may not be amiss here to 
anticipate several remarks, which would otherwise be more 
frequently necessary. It is not expedient, and indeed it would 
be improper, in a mere compilation of this nature, to dra^y in- 
ferences affecting the character of persons who are deadi Pal- 
pably false impressions, however, as to prominent individuals, 
should not be suffered to obtain circulation, without being rec- 

M. Le Ray de Chaumont had held two of the most honoura- 
bh) emplojrments under the French monarchy,* previous to the 
dedaration of American independence. On relinqtushing them, 
he was authorized to retain the honorary titles, with a handsome 
pension during, life. A more important empk>yment was at the 
same time offered him by the government, which would' have 

'- Gmid BMlte dm Emu et ForAti de Fraoot/tuid^IiitfliidiiiC des Invalidei. 

, PAUL JONES. 143 


owioected Um witk tbe party in the king's couneily apposed to 
renderitig adsifltance to the Americans, in their struggle jGmt inde- 
pendence. He was warmly (and from the nature of his situation^ 
nmst have been disinterestedly) attached to the eaude of liberty 
and of America. This he wisely saw he could best serve in* a 
private capacity, as France was not yet prepared to. take an 
open and decided part in the controversy. His large fortune, 
extensive credit^ and his connexions and influence with those 
of the ministers who. were inclined to lend aid to the colo* 
nies, enabled him to render peculiar and effident assistance to 
the commissioners, and American agents in France. When iio 
visible means of repayment were presented, he furnished a large 
quantity of powder and military stores in 1776, for the use of 
America, asking for reimbursement when the United States 
should be recognized as a free empire, and not before. While 
the commissioners were in the equivocal situation, in which they 
were permitted to correspond with the government without being 
officially recognized, he abando^d to their use, or rather cour- 
teously prevailed upon them to occupy his splendidly furnished 
houses. In the autumn of 1778, Mr. John Adams felt that the 
acceptance of such civilities might give cause for censure on his 
government, if they were gratuitously accepted ; and from his 
government if th^ were paid for, even on the most vulj^r and 
economical principles of calculation. M. Le Hay, however, 
rejected the idea of. compensation ; and his wealth at the (iiJdje 
placed his motives, as well as his wisdom, beyond suspicion. He 
was able to afford it ; and did not feel it as a sacrifice.' The 
secret treaty did not place the commissioners in a better attitude 
for asking open favours ; and even after the treaties of alliance 
had been interchanged, Franklin been subsequently recognised 
as minister plenipotentiary, and wur openly declared between 
France and lUigland, the particular enterprises which. Jones 
most coveted, and which he was most compe^^ent to execute, 
were different in their character from those which France con- 
templated. He sought to retaliate for measures of oppression 
and cruelty, for villages burnt, and prisoners languishing in dim* 

144 PAUL JONE8. 


geons, which civilized tactics had not allowed England to nrao- 
ti£ie upon the new ally of the United States. While France, 
therefore, was to furnish the means, America was to furnish 
the flag. In such a juncture, a citizen holding no official star 
tion, of great wealth and influence, and enjoying the confidence 
of both the American igid French governments, was precisely 
wanted both as mediator and director, to make arrangements 
for such desultory expeditions as might be projected, until the 
ships had left the ports of France, under.the stars and stripes, 
with Retribution for their motto. In conciert with his illustrious 
friend M. de la Fayette, M. Chaumont undertook this nice bu- 
siness ; and the testimony of those to whose memory this repub- 
lic now pays universal and unqualified honour, is that he was 
faithful to the last in performing what be had voluntarily and 
gratuitously undertaken.* 

Such was the friend whose active intercesmon obtained this 
^* final" promise from the minister ; which, like the others, was 

* See Appendix, No. VII. where several dociuneiits are cited. In the correspon- 
dence of Silas DeanCi (Diplomatic Correspondence, I. 146,) the following pithy para- 
graph occurs, in relation to M. Chaumont and Mr. Arthur Lee. The latter gentleman 
gave great annojrance to Jones ; and, whatever his motives may have been, the cap- 
lain does Qot seem to need an apology for expressing his sense of it, as he does in 
several of the passages which will be subsequently introduced. * 

" It is not enough to say, that no man in France enjoys a better character for strict 
hownu' and probity, both at eoiirt, and in the- city, than Mens. Chaumont. Justice 
must addt there is no man enjoys it perhaps so universally through the kingdom, among 
the ^lerchants, the farmers or husbandmen, and mechanics, in all which branches of 
business, he is constantly speculating. This man is the friend of Dr. Franklin. I 
have the pleasure of knowing him to be mine, and what is more, the friend of my 
eooatry, on all and in the most trying occasions. I do not wonder that Mr. Lee dionld 
appear jealous of this gentleman, as well as of every body else, a select few excepted ; 
and very few, indeed, are those who escape his jealous suspicions, either in Europe or 
Amenca. It is a melancholy truth, but justice to the public requires my declaring it, 
that I hever knew Mr. Lee, from his firet coming to Paris, satisfied with any one per- 
son he did business with, whether of a public or a private nature ; and his dealings, 
whether for trifles or for things of importance, ^Imost constantly ended in a dispute, 
sometimes in litigious quarrels. Mr. Lee lived some time in M. Chaumont's house. 
M. Chaumont knew him perfectly wel!^ and was not reserved in speaking his opinion 


never performed, but which led eventually to Jones' obcaining 
command of a ship, such as it was, in which he fought one of 
the most desperate naval battles on record. In a letter of his 
which we have already quoted from, he expresses his gratitude 
for the hospitality and services of M. Le Ray ; and the same 
tone pervades his correspondence, until the unfortunate misun- 
derstanding which led him to use harsher language than his 
cooler judgment approved ; and for which, it may be added to 
his great credit, he afterwards frankly made the amende 

The necessity of condensation compels the omission of several 
letters written at this period ; as they are not indispensable. Long 
months were yet to elapse, before Jones found himself actually 
at sea, with an " independent command." He still urged the 
reservation of the Indien for himself; which ship, he had been 
assured by ^' an American gentleman of sense, might at any 
spring tide be got to the Texel, with the assistance of a camel, 
and there armed in a fortnight, without any opposition from the 
states." In pursuance of M. Chaumont's request, he was, how- 
ever, earnestly engaged in making inquiries for a suitable and 
fast sailing ship. He intimated to that gentleman, that he had 
not only the pride of the French marine to conciliate, but that 
he " had excited the jealousy of many officers in our own young 
navy, because he had pursued honour, while they had sought 
after profit." Some expressions of his in this communication, 
it may be pertinent to record. He says : " Your letter has 
given me great pleasure, the more so as it leads me to connect 
myself more immediately with yourself." " Not to love your- 
self, and those persons whose names you have mentioned in 
the- latter part of your letter, would be base ; and my heart 
tells me that I shall never be capable of such ingratitude." 
He wrote in the middle of November, to Mr. Robert Morris, 
informing him of his situation, and assigning probably the true 
reasons for the procrastination of the minister ; that the rules 
of the French service did not admit of giving him the command 
of ships detached from the royal marine ; and that the French 



officers) as he expresses it with somewhat of morbid bitterness 
of feelingf '^ could not look at him in Brest, but with rival eyes* 
The minister cannot and dares not do what he wishes." Being 
'' an eyesore to the marine," as he phrases it in a letter to W. 
Franklin, he was desirous of leaving Brest. He examined, 
and unqualifiedly rejected an armed prize ship called the Nep- 
tune, represented as a fine frigate of 32 guns. " I wish," be 
wrote to M. Chaumont, to have no connexion with any ship 
that does not sail fast ; for I intend to go in hatw^s way. You 
know, I believe, that this is not every one's intention. There- 
fore, buy a frigate that sails fast, and that is sufficiently large 
to carry 26 or 28 guns, (not less than twelve-pounders,) on one 
deck. I would rather be shot ashore, than sent to sea in such 
things as the armed prizes I have described." In the same 
letter, he suggested that Americans might be found among the 
English prisoners, who would serve. under him if assured as to 
the time and manner of receiving their wages, and share of 
prize money ; and expressed his wish that neither the admiralty 
nor the existing American agents might have any thing to do 
with the prizes. He adds : *' I have almost half killed myself 
with grief. Give me but an assurance that the command of the 
Indies will be reserved for me, and bestowed on nootl^er person, 
on any pretence whatsoever, and I will say I am satisfied. This, 
I pledge myself, will be no loss to France. America is not 
ungrateful. The noble minded Congress know not the little 
mean distinctions of climate or place of nativity ; nor have they 
adopted any rule, which can preclude them from encouraging 
or rewarding the merit of a stranger, by raising him even to the 
first posts of honour. In the army, there are many instances 
of this. In the navy, young as it is, it gives me particjilar 
pleasure to inform you, that Congress have given the command 
of the best ship in their service to a French officer, and called 
the ship the AUiance." At this time, M. Chaumont intimated 
to him, that the Duras, an old Indiaman, that had made three 
voyages, was for sale ; and he expressed his willingness to accept 
that ship, with a good tender, provided she sailed fast. 

FAU£ ^OKl». 147 

Mr. Arthur Lee at this period regaled him with an inquiry 
about one of the Ranger's old prizes, of Kttle value, which had 
been sold a year before at Ncuites, and the captors' moiety paid 
according to Mr. Lee's own directions. The answer of Jones 
was respectful and caustic. He took occa^on to remind the 
commissioner of his having concurred in the dishonour of his 
draft, without communicating the knowledge in his possession 
to his colleagues, which led to his own seeming disgrace, and to 
the misery of his crew. " These poor men," he says, " were at 
last dragged away" (into the Ranger, when she left France 
under Simpson,) '^ without clothing ; having only received at 
Brest 8 or 9 crowns each, as prize money, at the moment of 
their departure ; and not being allowed to lay out even that 
trifle. Those who saw them last reported that they kept below, 
refusing duty, and imprecating general curses on the public 
service, the public agents, and all concerned." This statement 
is collaterally confirmed. It is to be observed, that Mr. A. Lee 
is no where charged with cupidity ; but with painful uneasiness 
and useless officiousness, in the course of his dealings in relation 
to the matter of the prizes. 

At this time, also, several offers were made to Jones to take 
command of privateering expeditions. Among others, M. 
Montieu of Nantes, who had purchased a new ship on which 
Jones had had his eye, offered him the command of an 
armament for such purposes. In replying through his friend 
Mr. Williams, Jones says : " Were I inpursuit of profit, I should 
accept the offer without, hesitation. But I am under such obli- 
gations to Congress, that I cannot think myself my own master; 
and as servant of the imperial republic of America, honoured 
with the public approbation of my past services, I cannot, from 
my own authority or inclination, serve either myself or even my 
best friends in any private line whatsoever, unless where the 
honour and interest of America is the premier object."* On the 
' ' ' — ' ' 

* This senlence which Mr. WUUami was to commimicate to Mr. Montien, if eyi- 
dently elaborated, and is identical with one written to M. Chanmont five weeks before, 
pravionsly cited. 


30th November, he wrote to M.-Chaumont, that by wafting 
until that time for orders or powers, he had lost the opportunity 
of purchasing a suitable ship, and was in great danger of losing 
a number of American seamen; and that he was about to pro- 
ceed to L'Orient on his own responsibility, unless otherwise 
directed by the next post. " If we can do no better, I hope the 
Duras will answer." " I repeat to you, that if the Alert were 
now at my disposal, I could engage a number of American sea- 
men, from a privateer that still remains here." " My best- 
respects and most grateful thanks await the minister, for the 
very honourable things which he said of me to the Due de la 
Rochefoucault. It shall be my ambition, when he gives me 
opportunities, to merit his favour and affection." 

Trom L'Orient he wrote to the commissioners on December 
9th, enclosing the memorial of the prisoners confined there on 
board the Patience. They were originally two hundred in 
number, but one hundred and thirty-one alone remained, and it 
was to be inferred that the others had been suffered to escape. 
Their condition was a melancholy one. The remarks Jones 
made on Riou, who was entrusted with their custody, have been 
previously quoted. The prisoners had full confidence in Father 
John, the chaplain of the Due D'Orvilliers, and begged for an 
answer through him. The memorial, signed by the officers of 
the Drake, represented, no doubt too trulyj the miseries they 
had endured in their close confinement, &t a distance from the 
shore, for seven months. In January following, M. Sartine 
granted an order for the release of such Americans as would 
enrol under Jones. 

For nearly two months, a singular gap in his indefatigable 
correspondence, we find no letters to or from- Jones preserved 
among the originals or copies of his papers. His Journal 
for the king supplies the vacuum. '^ None of the ships at 
L'Orient appeared very suitable for the purpose, except one, 
the ' Marshal de Broglio,' a fine ship, bought soon afterwards 
by the king, and fitted for war with ^4 guns. As nothing was 
done, Captain Jones determined to go himself to courts to know 


why he was detained idle in Europe. The minister pressed him 


to accept the command of the Marshal de Broglio ; but Captain 
Jones was obliged to decline it, as he saw no means to procure 
a crew of Americans sufficient for that' ship. The king then 
bought the Dae de Duras, a much smaller ship, of fourteen 
years old. This ship was given to Captain Jones ; and at his 
request called Le Ban Homme Richard, in compliment to a 
sapng of Poor Richard ; " If you would have your business 
done^ come yourself; if not, send." The official intimation of 
this appointment wew not given by M. de Sartine until the 4th 
February, who informed Jones that he was about to give orders 
for completely fitting and victualling the Duras ; that Jones was 
to hoist the flag of the United States, under the commission he 
had received from Congress when he left America, and to use 
his powers to form a ship's company of American volunteers. 
But he also informed him^ that it was the king's pleasure 
that he should raise volunteers to make up the necessary number 
of his crew. As to his operations at sea, the minister in fact 
gave him carle blanche, asking only for an account of his pro- 
ceedings, whenever he should enter a port within the king's 
dominions. He assented to the ship's changing her name, in 
compliance with the request of Jones. The letter was delivered 
to the latter by M. Gfarnier, who had recently been named 
ambassador to the United States, and assisted Jones efficiently 
with his counsel and good offices. Jones made his acknowledg- 
ments warmly, and in his best style, for the first actucU favour 
he had received ; and a prospect of action opened before him, 
which at first expanded into, one of consequence and dignity. 
It dwindled, however, again upon this view ; the result was 
destined to be achieved by his own energy ; and the glory that 
accompanied it was left to him without a co-rival. 

" M. Garnier was appointed by the court to arrange a plan 
for the armament. Four or five sail was to be added to- the 
Bon Homme Richard, two of them to be fire-ships. Five hun- 
dred chosen troops were to embark, from one of the Irish 
regiments, under the command of the Chevalier de Fitz 


Maurice, who was to be entirely under the command of Captain 
Jones. A plan was laid between M» Grarnier and Captain Jones 
which promised perfect success; and had it succeeded, would 
have astonished the world."* 

Jones proceeded forthwith to Nantes to engager seamen, seve- 
ral of whom he enlisted at that place ; the Americans, as he 
says, being generally pleased with the character of the ^* poor 
Richard." The ship was calculated to mount only one batteiy 
of eighteen pounders, and he found some difficulty m procuring 
suitable ordnance to be cast. Writing to Mr. Crarhier from 
Nantes, he urged, that as the new American frigate, the Alliance, 
which had been put under the command of a French officer, 
was then at Brest, it would be a useful addition to the force 
which was to sail under him. Understanding that La Fayette 
had brought out the credentials of Franklin as ambassador, and 
that the Alliance would in consequence be under his control, he 
suggested that an application should be made to this effect. He 
little cmticipated how much trouble such a request was to entail 
upon him, which .was more readily granted than any he had 
previously made. 

From Nantes he went to L'Orient, whence he wrote that 
finding the necessary cannon could be made at Bordeaux, he 
should repair there immediately ; that he had procured seve- 
ral seamen at Brest and Nantes, and many valuable men for 
officers ; that volunteer soldiers enlisted with him daily, to 
serve during the war, and that he had accepted the offer of 
a captain in the American army to command them. After 
parsing several times between Bordeaux and Angouleme, before 
tljie contract for casting the cannon was completed, he received 
on his return to L' Orient, an express summoning him to court. 
The Marquis de la Fayette had expressed a wish to join with 
him in an expedition, and command a body of select troops 
aas^ed to him by the king for that purpose. Franklin, at the 

* lottknal ibr th« king. The plan waf to atitek Lirerpool. 


request of the Frendi government, made the Allianoe a part of 
the force, which now began to assume the i^pearance of an 
armament with which much might be effected. It was to con* 
sist of the Bon Homme Richard, the Alliance, Pallas, Vengeance 
brig, and Cerf, a remarkably fine cutter. 

On his return to L'Orient, he found that two-thirds of tht 
men sent as American volunteers from Nantes, were, as he 
describes them, ^' unfit to bear arms," a '' set of dtrtj beings," 
who were to be sent to their homes at an additional expense. 
The rest were English prisoners, whose names he had blotted 
out of the list previously, because, during his absjence at Bor- 
deaux, they had enlisted to serve in a privateer. He rated very 
soundly the officer, (Mn Thompson,) under whose auspices these 
apologies for soldiers were forwarded for his use. 

On the 27th April, Franklin addressed to him the following 
letter, under the impression that La Fayette would co-operate 
with him. It would be improper to omit it here, though it is 
found in other collections. Jones duly appreciated the sound 
sense of its precepts. With La Fayette, as with Franklin, he 
never would have openly differed. This may be safely affirmed, 
though he never was put to the test. 

^^ I have at the request of M. de Sartine, postponed the semi- 
ing of the Alliance to America, and have ordered her to proceed 
immediately from Nantes to L'Orient, where die is to be fur* 
nished with her complement of men, join your hltle squadron^ 
and act under your command. 

'^ The Marquis de la Fayette will be with you soon. It has 
been observed, that joint es^peditions of land and sea forces, 
often miscarry through jealousies and misunderstandings h^ 
tween the officers of the different corps. This must ha];q)en 
where there are little minds, actuated more by personal views 
of profit or honour to themselves, than by the warm and sincere 
desire of good to their country. Knowing you both, as I do, 
and your just manner of thinking on these occasions, I am co»* 
fident nothing of the kind can happen between yon, and that it 
is uonceessary for. me to recommend to either of yoni that go»^ 


descenfidon, mutual good will, and harmony, which contribute 
so much to success in such undertakings. I look upon this 
expedition as an introduction only to greater trusts and more 
extensive commands, and as a kind of trial of both your abilities, 
and of your fitness in temper and disposition for acting in con- 
cert with others. I flatter myself, therefore, that nothing will 
happen that may give impressions to the disadvantage of either 
of you, when greater affairs shall come under consideration. 

'^ As ^his is understood to be an American expedition, under 
the Congress commission and colours, the Marquis, who is a 
Major General in that service, has of course the step in point 
of rank, and he must have the command of the land forces, 
• which are committed by the king to his care ; but the command 
of the ships will be entirely in you, in which I am persuaded 
that whatever authority his rank might in strictness give him, 
he will not have the least desire to interfere with you. There 
is honour enough to be got for both of you, if the expedition is 
conducted with a prudent unanimity^ The circumstance is 
indeed a little unusual ; for there is not only a junction of land 
and sea forces, but there is also a junction of Frenchmen and 
Americans, which increases the difficulty of maintaining a good 
understanding; a cool, prudent conduct in the chiefs is there- 
fore the more necessary, and I trust neither of you will in that 
respect be deficient. > With my best wishes for your success, 
health, and honour, I remain, dear Sir, your affectionate and 
most obedient servant." 

Accompanying this letter were the following instructions, the 
benevolent cautions contained in which, Franklin was subse- 
quently almost tempted to consider as savouring of too much 
moderation, when he heard of the burnings of Fairfield, and 
other towns in America. 

*< 1. His majesty^ having been pleased to grant some troops 
for a particular expedition, proposed to annoy our common 
enemy, in which the sea force under your command might have 
an opportunity of distinguishing itself, you are to receive on 


board your ships of war, and the other vessels destined for that 
purpose, the troops that shall present themselves to you, afford 
them such accommodations as shall be most proper for pre- 
serving their health, and convey them to such port or place as 
their commander shall desire to land them at. 

'< 2. Whea the troops are landed, you are to aid by all means 
in your power, their operations, as they will be instructed in 
like manner, to aid and support those you may make with your 
ships, that so by this concurrence and union of your different 
forces, all that such a compounded strength is capable of, may 
be effected. 

" 3. You are, during the expedition, never to depart from 
the troops, so as not to be able to protect them, or to secure 
their retreat in case of a repulse ; and in all events you are to 
endeavour th^ir complete re-embarkation on board the ships 
and transports under your command when the expedition shall 
be ended* 

*^ 4. You are to bring to France all the English seamen you 
may happen to take prisoners, in order to complete the good 
work you already have made such progress in, of delivering by 
an exchange the rest of our countrymen now languishing in the 
jiuls of Great Britam. . ,. . 

^' 5. As many of your officders and people have lately escaped 
from English prisons, either in Europe, or. America, you are to 
be particularly attentive to their conduct towards, the prisoners 
which the fortune of war may throw into your hands, lest the 
resentment of the more than barbarous usage by the English in 
many places towards the Americans, should occasion a retalia- 
tion and imitation of what ought rather to be detested and 
avoided, for the sake of humanity, and for the honour of our 

" 6. In the same view, although the English have wantonly 
burnt many defenceless towns in Ameriica, you are not to fol- 
low this example, unless when a reasonable ransom is refused, 
^'in which case, your own generous feelings as well as this instruc- 
tion, will induce you to give timely notice of your intention, that 



sick and ancient persons, women, and children, may b^ ft%t 

On the same day with Franklin, La Fayette wrote to Jodes, 
approving of his measures, and regretting that h6 heard the 
cannon were promised to other people. He said that he wished 
the expedition to be soon over, as his return in the middle of 
summer would be useful to the common cause ; and he h6pdA 
every thing would be in readiness by the 7th of May. He iSA 
not wish, if it could be avoided, to put land troops on board of 
the Alliance, because disputes would occur between their officerfei 
and Captain Landais. As he was wilUng to distribute thtfin fn 
the other ships, it is plain that La Fayette, who was as discern- 
ing as he was chivalric, had some conception of the character of 
the captain of the Alliance ; a character, which in any attM^ 
that may be made to throw light upon it by facts, will for eter 
amuse and perplex the thinking reader ; unless he comes siMm 
to the conclusion, that Landais was not altogether sane in miiid. 
But this solution is too devoid of ingenuity, to satisfy those who 
Inake the motives of eccentric individuals a study. 

In reply to Franklin, Jones said : '^ The letter I had this 
honour to receive from you to-day, together with your liberal idid 
noble minded instructions, would make a coward brave, Y(ni 
have called up every sentiment of public virtue in my breast, 
and it shall be my pride and ambition, in the strict pursuit of 
your instructions, to deserve success. 

" Be assured, that very few prospects could aiFord me so true 
a satisfaction as that of rendering some acceptable service to 
thie common cause, and at the same time relieving from cap- 
tivity (by furnishing the means of exchange) our unfortunate 
fellow subjects from the hands of the enemy." 

And to La Fayette he wrote as follows : '* So flattering tfnd 
affectionate a proof of your esteem and friendship, has made an 
impression on my mind that will attend me while I live. This 
I hope to prove by more than words. Where men of fine fc^el- 
ings are concerned, there is seldom misunderstanding ; and l» 
am sure I should do violence to my sensibility if I were capable 

IfJ^Vh JONES. 159 

o( f iviDg you a moment's paia by any part of my conduct* 
Ther^for^y without any apology, I shall expect you to point out 
my errors, when we are tpg^ther alone, with perfect freedonst, 
and I think I dare promisia you your reproof shall npt be lost. 

<' I have received from the good Dr. Franklin instructions at 
lairge, which do honour to his liberal mind, and which it will 
give me the truest satisfaotiop to execute. I cannot ensure 
success, but will endeavour to deserve it." 

On the 30th April, he inforiiied M. Chaumont, that if a bat- 
tery of 28 good twelve pounders, with others of less calibre could * 
be procured, he was willing to put to sea; that he had on his 
muster roll 339 officers, seamen, and volunteer soldiers, and 
would not lie idle for want of men. He expressed his deep 
regret at the political disappdmtments his friend M. Garnier had 
met with. 

The proposed co-operation of La I^ayette with Jones, was 
soon abandoned for reasons which the general history of the 
times easily furnishes. ' Spain was preparing to act with France 
against Bngland, and her hos^e manifesto was deUver^ by 
her ambassador a few weeks subsequently. In the attitude in 
which Great Britain then stood, it was by no means chimerical 
to anticipate important results from the combined operations of 
the two fleets. A general invasion was projected ; forces were 
ordered to be raised in the northern provinces of France, and 
marched to the coast, and general officers were named to con- 
duct the grand enterpris.e. On the 22d May, La Fayette wrote 
to inform Jones of the change in the pi^poses of the ministry. 
He simply stated that political and military reasons had occa- 
sioned it, and added, '' I am only to tell you, my good friend, 
how sorry I feel not to be a witness of your success, abilities, 
and glory." "What will be further determined about your 
squadron is yet uncertain, and the ministers are^to consult with 
Dr. Franklin." Jn Franklin's letter to the committee of foreign 
affairs, written about the same time, he merely mentions that 
the marquis was not to go with Jones, " the plan having been 
a little changed." In a subsequent confidential letter, he speaks 

m ■ 


of the new project, as '^ the grand inrasion." It will be seen, 
that Jones wrote under a partial, if not total misunderstanding 
of the causes, which led to a modification of the plan first pro- 
posed, ih part of the following extract of his Journal lor the 
king, though it was composed manj years afterwards. 
' ** A person [M. Le Ray de Chanmont*] was appointed camr 
ndssary of the expense of the squadron, and unwisely entrusted 
with the secret of the expedition. The cannon had not arrived 
for the Bon Homme Richard, and she was in great haste mounted 
with a battery of indifferent twelve pounders. Six old fashioned 
long eighteen pounders were mounted in the gun-room ; and 
f)orts were cut to fight them six on one side. Thus, with the 
guns on the quarter-deck and forecastle, the Bon Homme 
Richard mounted forty guns ; and- with the Alliance of thirty-six, 
the Pallas of thirty-two, the Cerf of eighteen, and the Vengeance 
of twelve, composed the little squadron. A crew was hastily 
procured for the Bon Homme Richard, from among the English 
prisoners, and by enlisting raw French peasants as volunteers. 
Captain Jones had not more than thirty Americans among the 
crew. In the Alliance, there had been a mutiny on the passage 
from America,t and the captain and officers were ready to cut 

' * Interlined in his own hand writing. 

t By a resolution of Congress of Maj 29thy 1778^ the new continental •frigate, built 
at Salisbury, Mass, and then recently launched, was called the Alliance. It appears 
by a report of the Marine Committee, on the 29th April previous, that they considered 
Captain Landais, who was afterwards appointed her oommander, ** an experienced 
sea officer, and skilled in the construction of ships of war." The nature of the diffi- 
'cnlties which took place on board the Alliance, referred to in the text, is not particu- 
larly explained. It may have arisen from the national or personal character of the 
captain, or from quarrels as to rank. Mr. Adams was to have returned in this vessel 
to America; and was on board of he^ whep Jones wrote to him begging an explanation, 
if hp could give pne, of the misunderstanding which prevailed, and asking where the 
fault lay. The Minister of Marine otfered Mr. Adams a passage home, in the frigate 
with the new ambassador to the United States. Franklin wrote to Jones, " I am sony 
for, and ashamed o^ the divisions on board the Alliance. I hope these commiMions 
will enable you to compose them." The want of harmony on board of this ship, may 
have bad some effect upon its strange movements, while nominally attached to 
Jones* squadron. 

PAVL J0NE8. 157 

one anotber^s throats. The first and second lieutenants deserted* 
The Pallas, a merchant ship, had been built for the king, and 
hastily fitted at Nantes. The Vengeance was bought by the 
commissary, and fitted in the same manner. The Cerf, a fine 
cutter, was alone well fitted and manned. The commissary 
took upon himself the whole direction at L'Orient, and went 
£a,r beyond the powers of a commissary ; but the secret was too 
big for him to keep. All Paris rang with the expedition frotti 
L'OrienJ ; and government was obliged to drop the plan, when 
the squadron lay ready for sea, and the troops ready to embark." 

The term commissary, as here employed, was technically 
inapplicable, whether in French or* English, to the gentleman 
in question ; and is calculated to convey an erroneous im[H'e8<* 
sion. M. Chattmont was the confidential agent of both goyem* 
ments. His trust had in it nothing in common with that of a 
contractor, and his functions were in some measure diplomatic, 
as well as ministerial. He acted directly for M. de Sartine, to 
whom, as France furnished all the expense of the armament, 
he was alone responsible. Jones, therefore, used the word 
commissary inadrerteiitly ; and having used it, his associations 
with the duties of such an ofiScer, (he detested the whole genus,) 
led him into involuntary crimination of one of his best friends. 
When recruits and volunteers were brought from the adjacent 
seaports and the interior to L'Orient, Jones was inquiring 
every where for ships and cannon, and M. Chaumont was pur- 
chasing stores and vessels for the armament, preparations which 
occupied months. It would seem to have been unnecessary for 
the latter gentleman to have broken confidence, in order to put 
the by-standers in possession of a fact, of which they were 
already aware ; that the ships and warlike stores thus cpllected 
were to be used at sea. And there is little reason to doubt, 
that the destination of the armament was a subject of free con- 
versation and speculation.. As we shall quote Jones' language 
literally, this explanation is diib in this place. ^ 

On the 10th and 14th June, M . Chaumont sent to Jones his 
official hints and suggestions, as to the government of the fleet, 

158 PAVh MO^M< 


and the diapoaition of tb« pri2«»« He observed) that ba the 
fitiiation of the offioers, who ha4 fiocepted connQissions from 
Congresfi to join the furenameiit of the Bop Richard, might be 
in contradiction with the interest of their owa ships, he was 
induced (o request Jones to enter into an engagement with him, 
not to require from those vessels any services, not conformable 
to the orders such officers might have ; and not to make an; 
change in the formation of their crews. He also requested 
that all prizes might be addressed. to such consignees as he 
should point out, for the preservation of the interests of all 
concerned. ' 

. By the orders of the ministeri Jones was at this time emjdoyed 
in giving convoy to a fleet bound for Bordeaux, and other 
ports in the bay of Biscay* containing troops, stores^ and other 
merchandise. He was also directed on his return, to drive the 
enemy's cruisers out of the bay* . This service, he says in his 
Journal, he performed. On the night of June 20th, while the 
fleet lay to off Rochefort, ^'the Bon Ho^njue Richard and 
Alliance got foul of each other ; which carried away the Q. H. 
R's head and bowsprit, and the Alliance's mi^en-mest." This 
accident was allowed on all hands to have been owing to the 
ehunsy management of the AHiance, but it was further suj^sed 
that the collision was not altogether unintentional on the part of 
Landais* Among the articles subsequently Attested by the 
officers of the squadron, the first wa9, *' that the paptain of the 
Alliance did not take the steps in his power to prevent his ship 
from getting foul of the Bon Homme Richard, in the bay. of 
Biscay; for, instead of putting his helm a-weather, and bearing 
up to make way for his commanding officer, (which was his 
duty,) he left the deck to load his pistols." The offience, how- 
ever, was visited upon the lieutenant of the Bon Homme 
Richard, who had the watch, and was broken by a court martial 
hdd shortly afterwards. Jones observes, that there were faults 
on both sides. * 

On the 21st June, Jones sent the Cerf to seopmioitre two sail. 
She fell in with a sloop <tf 14 guns y »od lifter a Yf^xvs^. engage- 


meitt was obliged to abandon her prize, on the approach of a 
superior force, and went to L'Orietit to refit. The next day 
three ships of war were discerned to windward. They bore 
down in order ; bat finding the squadron {nrepared to reeeiv« 
them, escaped by superior sailing. A few days after, the Allianot 
and Pallas separated from the two other ships in a fog. On 
coming in sight of the road of Groix,- the wind being contrary, 
Jones gave the Vengeance leave to make the best of her way in> 
and found himself, at the ai^roach of night, near two large 
frigates. He steered for them for half an hour, to prepare tot 
action, and then tadked to engage. When they saw this, tbe 
pursuers Iran away ; and, as Jmies says, ** to his great mortifr- 
cation outsailed the Bon Homme Richard, and got clear."^ 

Unapprised of the necessary delay which the repairs of the 
squadron would create, Fipahklin addressed to Jones, the same 
day on which he arrived at the Isle de Groix, the ibBowing 

'^ Being arrived at Groix, you are to make the best of your 
way with the vessels under your command to the West of 
Ireland, and establish your cruise on the Oreades, the Cape of 
l^meus, and the Dogger Bank, in order to take the enemy's 
property in those seas. 

'^The prizes you may make, send to Dunkirk, Ostend, or 
Bergen, in Norway, according to your proximity to either of 
those ports. Address them to the persons M. de Chaumont 
shaU indicate to yon. 

** About the 15th of August, when you will have sufficiently 

*The log fao«kof tbeBon Homino lUehard has the foUfming entry on thajSOth 
Juno. ** At half post 7, p. m. saw two lail bearing down upon as, one with a flag at 
each mast-head. Hore about and stood from them to get in readiness for action ; then 
hove mizen-topsail to the mast, down all stay-sails' and ap mizisn-eail. Then they 
hove about and stood ftom as. Immediately we tacked ship and -elood after them. 

** After which they wore ship $nd stood for us. Captain Jones, genUem4in4ike, 
called all his officers, and consolted them whether they were wUling to see them. 
They all said, Yes. Made sail after them ; but they, being better sailers than we, got 
ftom us. At 1, ▲. M. tacked ship.** 

160 PAUL . JON»f. 

cruised in these seas, you are to make route for the Texci^ 
where you wiU meet my further orders* 

'^^ If by any p^sonal accident you should be rendered unable 
to execute these instructions^ the officer of your squadron next 
in rank is to endeavour to put them in execution.'' 

In the letter from Jones, giving an account of his proceedings, 
which crossed these instructions on the road, he said : '' I have 
traversed the Golf de Grascogne, over and over, both within and 
without soundings, from half a degree to the southward qf the 
Island of Bordeaux, to the Bas passage, in sight of Brest. J 
have fallen in with and chased various other ships and vesseki, 
which I believe were enemies, but all such as I have beto able to 
overtake, proved either Dutch, Spanish, or other neutral pro- 
perty." <' Ifthe court is yet disposed to give me the «Aij7, which 
they 9Xfir$t offered, I think it possible in the jN'esent situation of 
my. affairs to make a useful and honourable cruise that way, 
with the force now under my command, and afterwards to 
bring that ship out with the crew I now have." Jones was 
*^ still harping on my daughter." Though he expressed himself 
much satisfied with the martial spirit shown by his crew in this 
affiur with the frigates^ and was confident, '* that if he U|d 
been able to get between them, according to his intention, be 
would have beaten them both together," still he found the old 
Indiaman a dull sailor, and provided with unsuitable ordnance. 
FrankUn stated in reply : " I have no other orders to give ; for, 
as the court is at the chief expense, I think they have the best 
right to direct. I observe what you write about a change of 
the destination ; but when a thing has been once considered and 
determined on in council, they do not care to resume the con- 
sideration of it, having much business on hand, and there is not 
now time to obtain a reconsideration." He threw out, how- 
ever, the consoling intimation, that it had been hinted to him, ' 
that '' the intention of ordering the cruise to finish at the Texel, 
was with a view of getting out the Indien ; but this should be 
kept a secret." He confirmed absolutely the instructions of 
M. Chaumont ; and added the following significant postscript : 

PAUL J0NE9. 161 

"If it should fall in your way, remember that the Hudson's 
Bay ships are very valuable." 

On the 2d of July, the Alliance and Pallas arrived with an 
Irish brig laden with wine, &c. which they had captured, and 
the squadron went to L'Orient for repairs. The Pallas, Cerf, 
and Vengeance were ordered on a short cruise, from which they 
returned without effecting any thing of consequence. Mean- 
time Jones renewed his complaints against the communicative 
disposition' of M. De Chaumont. The course we have adopted 
requires the insertion of the letter. 

" He has written to an officer under my command a whole 
sheet on the subject of your letter, and has even introduced 
more than perhaps was necessary to a person commanding in 
chiefs I have also strong reasons to think that this officer ii^ 
not the only improper person here to whom he has written to 
the same effect. This is surely a strange infatuation, and it 
is much to be lamented that one of the best hearts in the world 
should be connected with a mistaken head, whose errors can 
afford him neither pleasure nor profit, but may effect the ruin 
and dishonour of a man whom he esteems and love^. Believe 
me, my worthy sir, I dread the thoughts of seeing this subject 
too soon in print, as I have done several others of greater 
importance, with which he was acquainted, and which I am 
certain he communicated too early to improper persons, whereby 
very, important services have been impeded and set aside." 

In a marginal note, in the hand writing of Jones, he says : 
'^ I foimd it in print before I reached Holland." At the present 
day, it would have been in type in a week. 

The Bon Homme Richard, on inspection, at L'Orient, was 
found too old for necessary alterations, and fit only for extemr 
porary service. The bowsprit was found to be sprung, which re- 
quired attention. The Alliance was also hove down and careened. 
** Notwithstanding," Jones wrote to Franklin, " the little squads 
ron will not be detained, so as to interfere with the execution of 
your orders. When we meet with the enemy's property of no 
great value, or . that cannot foe conveniently sent into ports, 


162 FAUI. J0NIB8. 

would it not be proper to ' sink, burn, or otherwise destroy' 
such property ? I have had such charge in my instructions from 
Congress; and it is, therefore, that I mention it now. I 
would also beg leave to ask, whether I may or may not attempt 
to arail myself of every opportunity that may seem to present 
itself to distress the enemy." In a marginal note, he says, '' I 
have ever made this my study." 

On the 14th of this month, he wrote to M. Chaumont on 
matters purely of a business nature, but in a most cordial and 
affectionate strain ; proceeding with policy as be deemed, no 
doubt, upon his hypothesis, that the heart of that gentleman 
was good, though his mind was not strong. He concluded by 
saying ; *' I thank you, not as a matter of form, but as a man 
who really esteems himself honoured by your friendship, for the 
constant attention which you show to my honour, and to the 
American interest. I faithfully assure you, that nothing could 
make me so happy as to testify my regard for you, by render^ 
ing some real honour to the American flag, and some real service 
to the best of kings. Thus much you may safely venture to 
say, when alone with the minister at Versailles." 

In pursuance of the desire of M. de Sartine, Tfi.. Chamillard 
de Varville was admitted to the command en second of the Bon 
Homme Richard. On the 19th, Franklin lengthened the cruise, 
at De Sartine's request, to the end of September, to give a longer 
time for finishing it at the Orcades. On the 26th, Jones wrote 
Franklin, that he had advices that the Jamaica fleet would sail 
homewards, escorted by a fifty gun ship and two frigates, and 
that he should certainly engage them if he fell in with them, 
though his ships would probably be too much cut up to prevent 
the escape of the convoy. He urged the convenience of attach 
ing the Monsieur frigate, a privateer, to his command, which 
had been spoken of when he was at Paris, and which would 
give him a superiority over the convoy. On the 28th, he wrote, 
in relation to the proceedings of a court martial which had been 
held for the trial of several alleged offenceSf'Ob board the Bon 
Homme Richard. Notwithstanding the <* martial spirk" shown 

Ity^liis seamen, in the affisiir with the tw6 fri^tes, he observed a 
OMitiiious disposition among the En^ish,. ** who remained on 
iKNird from necessity, and not from choice," after he had been 
Ibrbidden to enlist the French seamen. He had learned from 
Franklin, that accounts of these insurrectionary symptoms had 
readhed the ears of M. De Sartine, with whom he was not in 
immediate correspondence; and was much annoyed by it. 
While the proceedings before the court martial were pending, 
the suggestions made by Jones to Franklin are creditable to his 
good sense. Two quarter-masters were charged with cbnspiracy 
at sea, against whom the evidence was strong. ^* Should any 
person," he says, '*^ be condemned to death, I will suspend the 
execution of the sentence, until I have your orders on the subject. 
In the mean time, as I wish to give no offence in a foreign port, I 
submit to you, whether it would not be better to make this pro- 
ceeding known at Versailles. Should I depc^rt from hence, 
before I receive your orders, if there be any sentence of death, I 
will leave the condemned in prison on shore ; and you may be 
assured that the court will proceed with due circumspection and 
lenity, as far as may be consonant with the rules of the service." 
The sentences of this court, however, except in the case of the 
lieutenant of the Bon Homme Richard, who was cashiered, as 
before mentioned, amounted only to whipping. 

Any further delay than that which repairs occasioned would 
have been particularly vexatious at this time, as in compliance 
with the minister's desire, Franklin would have given orders to 
the Alliance to sail on a separate cruise. One hundred and 
nineteen American prisoners had arrived in a cartel at Nantes, 
and M. Chaumont paid a visit to the seaboard to obtain a better 
crew for the Bon Homme Richard. On the eve of his depar- 
ture, he informed Franklin in a note, that it would probably be 
necessary to retard the sailing of that vessel, until she was more 
properly manned ; in whiph case M. De Sartine desired that 
Captain Landais might have orders to put to sea forthwith 
from L'Orient, to cruise on the north of Scotjand until the end 
of September. 

164 . PAUL JONES. 

The strange commander of the Alliance, if he did not insti^ 
gate this order, would no doubt have been well pleased with its 
going into effect. What figure he would have cut upon the 
coasts, on his own account, cannot be conjectured. But the 
visit of M. Chaumont was in every respect unacceptable to 
Jones, who told the minister, '* this second journey of M. Chau- 
mont was altogether unnecessary ; as I had, before his arrival 
at L'OHent, sent officers to Nantes to enUst Americans, and 
had also enlisted as many of the strangers as were willing to 
embark at L'Orient." 

The contents and date of a letter addressed to Jones' eldest 
sister about this time, which has been accidentally preserved, 
make us acquainted with a pleasing trait in his character, 
which should not be overlooked, though it here interrupts the 
current of the narrative. The' letter is dated Cork, June Ist, 
and encloses a bill of exchange drawn for thirty pounds sterling 
on a person in Carlisle, in favour of Captain Pliance, a friend 
of Jones' relations, for whose use he had made the remittance. 
The drawee coul4 not be heard of, and with similar remittancest 
which Jones had made from time to time, this failed in coming 
to the hands of those for whom it was destined. But the cir- 
cumstances, with many others, some of which will appecu*, 
proves that he never forgot or ceased to cherish those who were 
nearest to him in blood, tn reply to a letter from his sister, 
Mrs. Taylor, at a subsequent period, informing him of the death 
of his mother and eldest sister, he says, '* The loss of those 
dear friends is the more affecting to me, as they never received 
the remittances I intended for them, and as they had not, per- 
haps a true idea of my affection." 

The Monsieur, described as a fine privateer of forty guns, 
and the Grandville of fourteen, joined the squadron. Their 
captains^ Jones says, " requested him to permit them to follow 
his motions, and share his fortune ; and offered to come under 
any obligation not to leave the squadron. But the comndssarj/ 
thought fit to leave the privateers to act on the great scale of 
honour, and would hear of no obligation being taken from them." 


There can be little qnestion, that M. Chaumont had no autfaa. 
rity to give these vessels any other character than that which 
they possessed, nor had Jopes any commissions to give thmr 
commanders. M . Chauipont was either instructed, or deemed 
it necessary, to require the commanders of the squadron to sigB 
a paper, called a capcordaty as intimated in a letter written by 
him two months before, which we have cited. Jones subse- 
quently complain^, that it i^^as imposed upon him at the 
moment of departure, and said he would have rejected it with 
indignation if offered at the beginning. It. was the fruitful 
source of many bitter commentaries ; and a reference to it never 
failed to operate as an oestrum^ exciting angry or sarcastic 
remark. It is to be observed, however, that having read it, he 
did sign it ; and that in his earliest letters to I^. Chaumont 
after sailing, he made no allusion to it. By this instrumental 
the five captains, Jones, Landais, Cottineau, Yarage, and Ricot, 
'^ composing a squadron to be commanded by the oldest officer 
of the highest grade, and so on in succession, in case of death 
or retreat," agreed, that, unless separated from the squadron 
by order of the minister, each should act only by virtue of 
the brevet which they should have obtained from the United 
States, whose flag was to be displayed. The division of prize» 
to the officers and crews was to be made according to the 
American laws ; but the proportion of each vessel* was to be 
regulated by the minister of the French marine and the 
American minister. A copy of the American laws was U^ 
be annexed to the agreement, after having been certified by 
Jones. Where their provisions were inadequate, the matter 
was to be determined as above mentioned. The orders of the 
French minister of marine and of the American plenipotentiai?y 
were to be executed. The prizes were to be remitted to M^ 

* The date of the eoneardat is not fixed. Bat on the 13th August, the day beTori 
he sailed, Jones wrote to Franklin that he was persuaded he wonld think it nnreaaoft* 
ahle that the captain of the Vengeance should share equally with the captain of tSf0 
Pallas, &c. He did not, therefore, object to this article. 


Le Ray de Chaumont, who had fumithed the expenses of the 
armamerU of the squadron, and who was to be requested not to 
give up the part of the prizes accruing, to all the crews, and to 
any individual of the squadron, but to their order, and to be 
answerable in his own name. Armed vessels, whether French 
or American, might be associated with the ^uadron by common 
consent, and have such proportion of the prizes, as the laws of their 
respective countries allowed. • In case of the death of a com 
mander, he was to be replaced according to the order of the 
idbleau ; with liberty to the person entitled, however, to remain 
in his own vessel and 3rield the vacancy to the next. In case 
of any accident happening to M. Varage, of the Cerf, he was to 
be replaced by his second in command, &c. 

On the face of thei^e articles there appears nothing that does 
not seem plain and equitable. 

On the 10th of August, Jones issued his circular to the cap- 
tains of the squadron, directing them never to chase so as to 
lose company, and, if separated from the Bon Homme Richard, 
to open their letters of rendezvous. On the 13th he addressed 
La Fayette, evidently under an erroneous impression as to the 
causes which had prevented the Major General from joining 
him. He mentioned that he had determined before receiving 
the leust letter from him, to propose ianother project, which he 
was sure would have been adopted by La Fayette. He thanked 
him for the company and assistance of Messrs. Weibert and 

At day break on the 14th August, the squadron sailed from 
Groix, consisting of seven sail, including ibe two privateers. 
"Unfortunately," says Jones, "there was neither secrecy nor 
subordination. Captain Jones saw his danger ; but his reputa- 
tion being at stake, he put all to the hazard." On the 18th, 
they " retook a large ship belonging to Holland^ laden chiefly 
with brandy and wine, that had been destined from Barcelcma 
for Dunkirk, and taken eight days before by on EngUsh priva- 
teer. The captain of the Monsieur, however, took out of this 



prize such articles as he pleased in the night, an^l the nett day 
being astern of the squadron and to windward, he actually wrole 
orders in hisfroper fuxme^ and sent away the prize under one ai 
hi» own officers." The commodore, however, not understand- 
ing the propHety of this disposition oidie VertDagting, (the name 
of the Dutch shipl^sent her to L'Orient, with a letter to Mm 
Chaumont ; and the Monsieur, after detaining the squadron for 
twenty-four hours, by liagging behind, separated from it 
altogether. On the 21st, a brigantine was taken, loaded witll 
provisions, from Limerick to London, and sent to L' Orient* On 
the 23d, in sight of Cape Clear and the S. W. part of Ireland, 
Jones had the first specimqp of what he was to expect from 
Captain Landais. We quote from his official account* 

*^ That afternoon, it being calm, I sent some armed boats to 
take a brigantine that appeared in the N. W. quarter. Soon 
after, in the evening, it became necessary to have a boat ahead 
of the ship to tow, as the helm could not prevent her from lapng 
across the tide of flood, which would have driven us into a deep 
and dangerous bay, situated between the rocks on the south 
called the Skallocks, and on the north caHed the Blaskets. 
The ship's boats being absent, I sent my own barge ahead to 
tow the ship. The boats took the brigantine ; she was called 
the Fortune, a^d bound with a cargo of oil, blubber, and staves, ' 
from Newfoundland for Bristol ; this vessel I ordered to proceed 
immediately for Nantes or St. Malo. Soon after sunset the 
villains who towed the ship, cut the tow rope and decamped 
with my barge. Sundry shots were fired to bring them td, 
without effect ; in the mean time the master of the Bon Homme 
Richard, withoi^ orders, manned one of the ship's boats, and 
with four soldiers pursued the barge in order to stop the d^ 
sorters. The evening was clear and serene, but the.zeal of that 
officer, Mr. Gutting Lunt, induced him to puriMie too far, and a 
fog whidi came on soon afterward prevented the biuM from 
rejoining the ship, although I eaused si^al guns to be frequen% 
fired. The fog and oghn continued the next day till towiuda 
evening. In the aft^nnoon, Captain Landais caibe on boaid 

168 FAUL J0NB8. 

tke Bon Homme Richard and behaved towards me with great 
disrespect/affirming in the oiost indelicate manner and language, 
that I had lost mj boats and people through mj imprudence in 
sending boats to take a prize ! He persisted in his reprocwhes, 
though he was assured by Messrs^ De Weibert and De Cha- 
Oiillard, that the barge was towing the shipitt the time of elope- 
ment, and that she had not been sent in pursuit of the prize. 
He was affronted, because I would not the day before suffer 
him to chase without my orders, and to approach the dangerous 
shore I have already mentioned, where he was ati entire 
stranger, and where there was* not sufficient wind to govern a 
ship. He told me he was the onl|r American in the squadron, 
and was determined to follow his own opinion in chasing when 
and where he thought proper, and in every other matter that 
concerned the service ; and that if we continued in that situation 
three days longer, the squadron would be taken.*' This account 
of the behaviour of Landais on this occasion is confirmed, with 
immaterial variations, by several respectable officers present. 
His gestures were as violent and indecorous as his language. 
The declaration of Lieutenant Colonel Weibert, afterwards of 
the corps of American engineers, then Jones' Lieutenant, leads 
OS to infer that this uninspired madman may have been exas- 
p^Bted, by misunderstanding the Reproof valiant for the Lie 
direct. Colonel Weibert, says : '* The commodore did not say 
to M. Landais, ' you lie,' but, ' it is an untruth,' [referring to 
the manner in which the boats had been lost,] ' which M. Lan- 
dais was pleased to interpret as a formal giving the Ke; who 
was never adlde {o overcome his peevish, obstinate, turbulent, 
and ungovernable temper, which he constantly erhowed during 
the whole of the campaign." He adds that Landais rendered 
his insukiiig expressions in English immedilttely into French ; 
in-order that MvChamillard, who was present, might apprehend 
their import. As Jones could not find ootthe character of this 
jreujR chemlier at once, he certainly proved the sincerity of his 
professions by subjugating his anger to the great* interest he had 
it heart. He milst soon have begun tosuqiect that there was 

PAUL JONES. , 169 

a erick in the captain's judgment. He was afterward induced 
to consider him a Major Longbow** 

The Cerf was sent to reconnoitre the coast, and endeavour 
to recover the boats and people, ^er standing off and on the 
coast till the evening of the 26th, neither the Cerf nor the boata 
appeared. The Cerf, Jones says in his Journal, was seen by. 
Mr. Lunt, the master, on the day she was sent to reconnoitre ; 
and he approached her gladly, '* but that cutter then hoisting 
English colours and firing at the boat, the unhappy Mr. Lunt 
imagined himself mistaken, landed, and was made prisoner. 
Thus Captain Jones lost from the crew of the Bon Homme 
Richard, the master and another officer ; with twenty of his 
best seamen. Mr. Lunt was reconducted to a wretched dun- 
geon in England, where he formerly had long experience of 
English cruelty, from whence, it is r^x)rted, he was at last 
relieved by death." The cutter was not subsequently found at 
the first or second rendezvous. She had returned to France ;. 
an4 the Grandville having secured a prize, on the 26th, followed 
her example. The evening of that day was very stormy ; and, 
against his own judgment, as he says, but in consequence of 
assertions made by Landais, he left a station where he would 
have preferred remaining a week longer. In his Journal foi; 
the King, he says, ^' it was his intention to cruise off the south 
west coast of Ireland for twelve or fifteen days, in order to inter- 
rupt the enemy's homeward bound East India ships, that he had 
been informed from England would return without convoy, and 
steer for that point of land. But Captain Landais of the 
Alliance began to speak and act as though he had not been 
under the command of Captain Jones ; and made great objec- 
tions to remaining on that coast, expressing apprehension, that 
the enemy would send a superior force." Jones made the 
signiU for the course, and steered to the northward ; but Cap- 
tain Tipndais chose to alter his course two points by the compas9, 

* See Appendix No. Vm. 


170 FAVh JOHBS. 

on the same nij^t, and was not seen again until the 31st, wkeit 
he rejoined the squadron with a Letter of Marque, which be 
had taken, of 20 guns, bound from Liverpool for Jamaiea, with 
a valuable cargo. He appeared in sight while Jones was givkig 
chase to another Letter of Marque, off cape Wndh, wliieh 
proved to be the Union, of 22 guns, from London for Qneb^ 
with a cargo of great value ; consisting of sails, rigging, aaehorff, 
cables, &c. for the enemy's vessels on the lakes. Neither i>f 
these vessels made any resistance. Owing to Landais hoistiag 
American colours, though English were flying on board the Bin 
Homme Richard, the public despatches on board the Unien 
were lost. Landais sent a quaint message, ta know whether 
Jones or he should man the prize ; as, in the latter ease, lie 
would suffer no boat nor person flrom the Bon Homme Bichard 
to go near her. Ridiculous as this was, Jcmes says he yielded 
to it fbr the sake of peace, and received the prisoners on board 
his ship, while the prize was manned firom the Alliance. Or 
the same afternoon, and on the next morning, Landais refused 
to obey Jones' signals, and on the 3d of September aetM ito 
direct opposition to his orders, in relation to the two prizes hb 
had been ordered to bring to the rendezvous. He sent-thenrte 
Bergen in Norway, where they were given up to the EngKl^ 
by the Danish government. In the evening of the 4th, the eo»- 
modore sent for the captains to come on board of his ship, to 
consult on future operations. Landais refused to comply, and 
sent back several uncivil messages, and an extraordinary letter. 
Mr. Mease, the purser, a very gallant man, at first alone, and 
subsequently with Captain Cottineau and M. Chamillard, in vain 
went on board of the Alliance, to intercede with the douglitf 
sea Achilles. He ** spoke of Captain Jones in terms highly 
disrespectful and insolent ; and said he would see him on shore, 
when they must kill one or the other, &c." On the night of 
the 9th, (in the words of the epitaph on a tablet erected to him 
in one of the New York churches,) ^ il disparut.' A gale com- 
menced blowing on the afternoon of the 5th, which continued 


S^ 9om» dbiys, and Landait separated from his consorts with 
tii#o small priees which he had picked up. The Pallas and 
Vengeance alone remained with the Bon Homme Richard; and 
the winds continued cooltrwpyj so that land was, not seen until 
the evening of the 18th, vihen the Cheviot hills in the south 
east of Scotland became visible* Jones proceeds to say in hb 
Journal: '^Though much weakened and embarrassed with 
prisoners, he was anxious to teach the enemy humanity, by 
some exemplary stroke of retaliation, and to relieve the remain^ 
der of the Americans from captivity in England, as well as to 
make a inversion in the northi to favour a formidable descent 
which be then expected would have been made on the south 
side of Great Britain, under cover of the great combined fleet. 
He sent for the captains of the Pallas and Vengeance, and com- 
mimicatedto them his intentions; but after spending the whole 
night, all his arguments on the side of honour and humanity 
failed. He then spoke to their ruling passion, and showed them 
a large heap of gold, at the end of the prospect. He was now 
heard with attention ; and they entered warmly into his project, 
which was, to lay Leith, and perhaps Edinburgh, under a con- 
tribution." He was apprized that an armed ship of 20 guns 
and two or three fine cutters lay in Leith road ; and, had he been 
alone, he says, ^' the wind being favourable, I would have pro- 
ceeded directly up the Firth, and must have succeeded ; as they 
lay there in a state of perfect indolence and security, which 
would have proved their ruin. Unfortunately for me, the Pallas 
and Vengeance were both at a considerable distance in the 
offing ; they having chased to the southward ; this obliged us 
to steer out of the Firth again to meet them." 

The prospect of levying <£200,000 upon the inhabitants 
of Leith having prevailed upon the French Commanders to 
assent to the enterprise, every order was given for taking the 
guard ship and cutters, and every disposition made for landing 
troops under Lieutenant Colonel ChamiUard. The summons 
to the magistrates of Leith, and the capitulation they were to 


sign were prepared ;* but ^'so much time had been unavoidablj 
spent in pointed remarks, and sage deliberations, that night, 
that the wind became contrary in the morning." 

The following note in his own hand writing, is subjoined to a 
copy of this summons. '* N. B. The sudden and violent storm 
which arose in the moment when the squadron was abreast of 

* '* The Honourable Captain Jones, Commander in Chief of the Ameri- 
can squadron now in Europe, on board the American ship of war 
the Bon Homme Richard, at anchor in the road of Leith, Septem- 
ber the — , 1779. 
" To the Worshipful the Provost of Leith, or, in his absence, to the 
Chief Magistrate who is now actually jHresent and in authority there. 
** Sir — ^The British marine force that has been stationed here for 
the proteption of your city and commerce, being now taken by the Amer- 
ican arms under my command, I have the honour to send you this by 
my officer. Lieutenant Colonel de Chamillard, who commands the 
vanguard of my troops. I do not wish to distress the poor inhabitants ; 
my intention is only to demand your contribution towards the reim- 
bursement which Britain owes to the much injured citizens of America. 
Savages would blush at the unmanly violation and rapacity that has 
marked the tracks of British tyranny in America, from which neith^ 
virgin innocence, nor helpless age has been a plea of protection or pity. 
*' Leith and its port now lays at our mercy ; and did not the plea of 
humanity stay the hand of just retaliation, I should, without advertise^ 
ment, lay it in ^hes. Before I proceed to that stem duty as an officer, 
my duty as a man induces me to propose to you, by the means of a 
reasonable ransom, to prevent such a scene of horror and distress. For 
this reason I have authorized Lieutenant Colonel de Camillard to con- 
clude and agree with you on the terms of ransom, allowing you exactly 
half an hour's reflection before you finally accept or reject the terms 
which he shall propose. 

** If you accept the terms offered, within the time limited, you may 
rest assured that no farther debaikation of troops will be made, but 
that the re-embarkation of the vanguard will immediately follow, and 
that the property of the citizens shall remain unmolested. 

'*I have the honour to be, &c.'' 


Keith Iskmd^ (Inchkeith Island,) iriiick fbtrm the entrance of 
the road of Leith, rendered impracticable the execution of the 
foregoing project.*' Jones did not, however, abandon iteadily 
what he had so reeolutefy undertaken, notwithstanding lie must 
have been aware, as was the fact, that the alarm bad become 
general on the shore, and in the interior.^ An express reached 

*HhB Ibllowiiig oKtrteli fiom finglkh newipapen may not be uuBCefatting.. 

From the London Chfomde of September 2d, 1779. 
** Yeiterday an oxpveM arrived with an accoa&t, that the famow Paul Joneai (who 
•ome time since phmdered the hotue of the Earl of Selkirk on the coapt of Sootlai^ 
and endeayonred to set fire to the town of Whitehaven, and after an obstinate engage- 
ment took the Drake sloop of war) has made his appearance on our coasts with three 
ships offeree nnder his command. Bemg in want of provisions and 4Vesh water, be 
landed a number of men, who carried off a parcel of dieep and oxen, for which he 
boantifblly paid the owners, and immediately weighed anchor, without committing 
any sort of hostility on the inhabitants. The drift and intention of this adventurer is 
to intercept our linen ships, and to watch for some of the East India fleet, that aore 
daily expected to touch at Cork. His orders, it seems, are to keep dose to the shore, 
and look into our ports, to give intelligence .of our sitnatio^ to the united fleets. The 
above came express ftom Dublin to London, dated 28th of August, 1779.'' 

FrmnthelAmd4mCkromkUqfS(i^tendierl2tki 1779, 
*' The American squadron which sailed from Brest about the 15th July, under the 
coomiand of Paul Jones, consists of one frigate of 40 guns, mounted on one deck, two 
32 gun frigates, two Salem privateers of 18 and 20 guns, and a tender of 10 guns. The 
purpose of this squadron is to intercept the victuallers fitmi Cork for North America. 
They have abready taken two provision shipa to New York^ several trading vessels, 
and have much alarmed the coasts of IreUittd." 

From the same pofer of September lHh, 1779. 
** Extract of a letter from Cork, August 25th, 1779v — ^We have this morning received 
an express from Tialee, acquainting us that the coast officer at Inveragh had advised 
them, that on the 2dd, in the morning, seven men landed there from an^open boat, 
who said they had escaped the preceding night, ftom a ship belongmg to M souadnin 
of Paul Jones, whidi niledfirom France on the 10th instant, where they had rapi^ied 
themselves with a large quantity of combustibles. . They had taken four priases, one 
of .which was called the May Flower, bound to Londoii. At one o'clock the same day, 
17 men more landed at that place, supposed to be in pursuit of the above seven. The 
squadron lay at the SkeUiaB^mrlull view, and the country was in an uproar, when the 
advices came away. ThA first men who landed, said, that Jones' intention was to 
scour the coast, and bum as many places as he could. There were anumber of French 

ITl FA¥L jomM. 

Edtntmrgh on the 15th, >atuioiiiiciiig thai three dbraage ehips 
Wereeeen c^ Eyemcmtfa od tlie sfternoon of the preceding day ; 
aad that a sfaip^ anppcMfted to mount 40 or 50 guns, bad bem 
eeen off Dunbar. At 5 p. at. on the 15th, they were dktinctly 
Boen^m Edmburgh, sailing up the Frith of Forth ; but whether 
th(7 were Fr^ich Fessels, or the squadron of Paul Jones, was 
not ascertained. Batteries were hastily erected at Leith, and 
the trades petitioned for arms, which were supplied from the 
castle of Edinburgh; So runs the oft told story which I tran- 
scribe. Jones says : ^' We continued working to windward up 
the Frith without bmig able to reach the road of Leith, till on 
the morning of the 17th, when, being almost within cannon shot 
of the town, having every thing in readiness for a descent, a 
very severe gale of wind came on, and being directly ccmtrary, 
obfiged us to bear away, after having in vain endeavoured for 
some time to withstand its violence. The gale was so severe, 
that one of the prizes that had been taken on the 14th sunk to 
the bottom, the crew being with difficulty saved. As the alarm 
by this time had reached Leith, by means of a cutter that had 
watched our motions that morning, and as the wind continued 
contrary, (though more moderate in the evening,) I thought it 

*' Diblia, AvgMt 97th.— I am diracted (brthwith to make this mtdUgenca ksom in 
the noit eit«iiil?« maimer, that all peraoni, particolaily ^bon reaident on the ooaat, 
may 1^ on their gnard to repel any hostility. 

" By order of the Commissioners, 

" Ids. L'Estranos, Dep. Coll.'' 

From 1k$ HShtmian Jimmtd tfSqpiemk e r Itt, 
** Cvitgm House, Ihiblin, Angnst 27th. — Sir Richard Heiron, by direction of his 
ExceUenfy the Lord Lieutenant, has commnnicated to the board intelligence whieh 
his Excellency has received, that on the 24th instant, al 1 o'clock, seven men landed 
at Ballinskelliz in the oonnty of Kerry, from a frigate called the Bon Homme, eom- 
manded by Panl Jones, mounting 40 gnns, having in company the Alliance of 36, the 
Pallas of 32, the Revenge of 12, the Le Grand of 14, and a lai|;e Cutter of 18. gout, 
having on board in all about 2,000 men. The people miagbe that Jones' intentions 
are to seour the coast, and bum some principal towns, having a quantity of combusti- 
bles riiipped on boaid the vessels in Franoe. 

** Jos. L'EsTRAKOB, Dep. CoU." 

hHiMpble to pursue theenterpmeiritfi Ik good praq[Met «f AUo- 
oes8 ; espmally •• Edinbuf ^i where tbere ia afamjre a niimlMr 
of troops, 10 only a mile distant firem huth; tfaerefiMrei I gaiM 
up the project." .. . ./ 

An mcident wUdi showed bow much die apectatonB on shofiK 
were yet in the dark, occurred on the 16th, which Jones tfaMj 
relates in his Journal : *' A member of the Bntidi Pi^riiaflieali 
sent off a boat frcmi the north shore, to gi?e informilliion. that 
he was greatly afraid of Paul Jones^ and begging lor sone^ 
powder and shot. Captain Jonea set his lisars to resly by asiid^ 
ing him a barrel ^of powder with a kind message, but had nd. 
smtaHe Aoi.'' The fuinc^l asesseBger he detaihed^ as: fibC 
fJM* the road of Leith. It aiqpears that he also employed thet 
captain ef a smalt oolher, taken on the 15th,. to assist him hf 
his knowledge ef the coast ; and when he aftenrtgda abandoned 
the enterprise^ he gave- tbis' man \sp lus vensl, ** on acooun* of 
his attachment to America, and the faithful information and 
important senrices he rendered, by his general knowledge of 
the east coast of Britain. I had gjnren evdora to sink the old 
vessel, when the tears of this honest man prevailed over mf 

*Tliefi»UowiBgiiotatarafWNB.4MiUliBliQisbLife. " Thb * homuH mantr bmt if^y. 
bad patriot, was Aaidiew RobartMm, maatair of the Friendihip, of Sjurkoaldj. AAai? 
bebf for two^yi kept on board the Bon Homme Richard, and having baa ■hip<svv«i» 
up t» him Ibr ' fiiithfid information,* and * important tesvicea/ ha pretended thni 
CamaMdova Jonaahadpntittoramam. This, indeed^waa tha face neoenary Id pit 
on the a&ir ;. bnt the Commodore had pcoTionsly daclaredtbatha had no aathoritfla 
ransom priaes. The ransom-pasaporti is amaaing, fromitadate, and the oircamstanoes 
under i^Fhieh it was granted. It is written by a French marine officer, who probably 
acted aa the aecietary of Commodore Joae% but is signed by himself. 
** * L'Honorable Capitaine John Paul Jones, Ecuyer, commandant en chef reaoadM 

Amerieaine aetaeUement «a Europe, 
" 'A torn oaux qui oea presentee verront, sp^ialement lea s^ets de la France : 

*' ' Jeeeitifie par la prtsantpasseport, que le wsseauFrienddlip, commantt psr 
Andr6 Robertson, du port de Kiiheal^y*. et venant da dit tiea pear aller AtRiga, atM- 
pria par Tescadre Amerieame qne jo>ao«Mnande, et qa'il eat ranssnnfe : Cent poaiw 
quoi ja prie et lequierB tone les s^elade k France et de TAmMque, de kisser libra* 


Tims were th^*good cftueiis of Leith preserved frafl^U^e 
neoiMBity ct opening their coffers, when two tacks, more woidd 
httTe brought Jones alohg rside the enemy in the road. He 
would not yet give up the design of effecting some entwprise of 
phh upon the coast. He treated the humours of the Wind^ as 
policy and necessity compelled him to treat those of his absent 
associate, Landais ; and, as soon as the gale abated, he en- 
deayoured to prevail on the Captains of the Pallas and Ven- 
geance to cooperate*. But these gentlemen did not like the 
^^^gkry" they had got, the gale, or the preparation on shore. 
It is surmised by the writer of Jones' Life, published in Edin- 
but^, that he had deisigns upon Hull. or Newcastle. It is, 
howerer^a, mere matter of conjecture. M. Cottineau told him, 
that a superior force would be sent against him ; and that, if he 
continued two days longer on'tbe coast, they. would all be taken* 
Being aware, by some means, which Jones ascribed to the com- 

paver U dit raiwuiw Neaddup, et oontumer ton roygBf sans la tnmbler en 
ftfon qaaWon<|aa., 

*' ' Doim6 k la mer k bord dn Bon Homme Richard, le dix-aept Septembre, ipil aept 
eent loizaiite dix-nenf. 

"'J. Paul Jones.*" 

" The prodigious sensatioii caused by the appearance of the squadron of Paul Jones 
in tha Frith of Forth is hardly yet fbrgotten-on. the coast of Fife. There are Tarious 
aeeomits of the manner in Which this daring attempt was defeated. The 17th Sep- 
tember, when Jones advanced to Leith, happened to be a Sunday. His ship, the 
Bdn Homme Riduurd, stood at times so near the northern shores as to be distinctly 
seen by the crowds assembled on the beach, and on the commanding heights hi the 
aeighbowhood. Atone time the Bon Homme Richard was not mora than a mile from 
Kirkealdy, a thriving and wealthy seaport. The alarm was natarally very great in 
that town ; and the Rev. Mr. Shirra, a worthy and very eccentric dissenting clergy- 
man, remarkable Ibr his quaat humour, instead of holding forth in the church as at 
ordinaiy times, where on this day he would hare had but a thin audienee, repaired to 
the fine level sandy beach of Kirkcaldy, and soon attlacted a very numerous congre 
gation. Here he prayed most fervently and earnestly, with that homely and fkmiliar 
doquenee by whieh his sermons and prayers were distinguished, that the enterprise 
of * the piratical invader Paul Jones might be debated.* For once, it may be believed, 
die hearts of a c on g r e g ation went with their minister. That violent gale, so much 
lamented by Paul Jones, suddenly arose ; the alleged eonsequenee of Mr. Shim's 


mtmitatiyeness of M. Chaumont, of the limitation of the cruisie, 
and its termination at the Texel, one of the captains informed a 
lieutenant of the Bon Homme Richard, that '* they would leaye 
the commodore if he did not agree to steer for the port of destina- 
tion." Setting aside the question of subordination, the gallantry 
of these gentlemen is not to be impeached. They felt like men 
attacking in the dark with a comparatively ridiculous force, a 
fortress, the strength of which they had reason to suppose was 
great. Jones knew the weakness of some of the outworks ; 
but he had not yet had opportunities to convince them of his 
extraordinary shrewdness, local information, and capacity to 
execute designs, which, to them appeared visionary. Their 
education, (independent of their national feeling, involving per- 
sonal and professional pride, not unallied to captious jealousy,) 
had been probably seUm les regies, Jones had educated himself, 
as to detail ; and had learned from Compte D'Orvilliers the 

'powerfnl intercession. Such was long the popular belief. When, in after periods, 
this good old man was questioned on the subject, and complimented on the prevailing 
spirit of his prayer, which had so opportunely raised the wind that blew off Paul Jones, 
his usual reply, disclaiming the fall extent of the compliment, was, 'I prayed — but 
the Lord sent the wind.' ** 

[I have not the work of Mr. Henderson, a tourist, who explored 
Scotland, England, and Wales, and related the above anecdote. In 
an extract from it, in Mr. Sherburne's Collections, he says, the incident 
took place in the preceding year, when Jones visited Whitehaven, from 
which he went round into the Frith oi Forth ; but as Jones did not go 
there, at that time, the tourist is in error.] 

'* A gentleman writing shortly afterwards from Amsterdam, to his friend in Leitfa, 
says : * Yon may count it a very fortunate circumstance that this gentleman (Commo- 
dore Jones) was prevented from hurting you, when he was in your Frith, by a strong 
westerly wind, and the springing of a mast, as, in a conversation I had with him in this 
city, he assured me that his intention was to seize the shipping in the harbour, and to 
■et fire to such as he could not carry off. He seemed to be well acquainted with the 
coast, and knew' (thanks to * honest' Andrew Robertson !) 'that there was no force Co 
oppose him.* Jones is described at this time, by those who saw him, as being ' dressed 
in the American uniform, with a Scotch bonnet, edged with gold, as of a middling sta* 
tne, stem countenance, and swarthy oomplezton.* ^ 


178 PAUL JOIjTEt. 

duties of a commander of great fleets. With his force at that 
time, provided he did not contravene the laws of Congress, his 
own inoral sense, or what would seem justifiable in the eyes 
of Dr. Franklin, he was not particular as to the manner in 
which he '* retaliated" upon the enemy. He found it, however, 
necessary to yield to the opposition of the French commanders. 
In his official account, he says : '' I am persuaded even now, 
that I would have succeeded ; and to the honour of my young 
officers, I found them as ardently disposed to the business as I 
could desire ; nothing prevented me from pursuing my design 
but the reproach that would have been cast upon my character, 
as a man of prudence, had the enterprise miscarried. It would 
have been said, " was he not forewarned by Captain Cottineau 
and others ?" 

Many coasters and colliers were taken, several of which were 
sunk, by the squadron, in the Frith of Forth. Much damage 
was done to the coal trade ; but it is unnecessary 'to weary the 
reader with particulars. Captain Cottineau undertook to 
ransom a sloop, though Jones had told him previously he had 
no authority to ransom prizes. It was probably an excusable 
act ; and the commodore does not subsequently dwell upon it. 

And now, after having agonized through a period of fifteen 
months, during which hope was not only deferred, but crucified 
in each lunar cycle ; after having set sail with a force that 
mocked all the promises made to him, in an old ship, fit only for 
a great sacrifice by which her rotten timbers might be eternized ; 
after having been abandoned by half of his squadron, and having 
taken a few prizes, of which, the most valuable had been lost 
by disobedience and caprice ; Captain Jones was making for 
the Texel, in that frame of mind which epic poetry may attempt 
to shadow forth, but which heroic projectors of original enter- 
prises, who have been foiled by the weakness of their agents 
and the ever varying elements, can alone understand. He feft, 
like Buonaparte, (I know not whether the apologetical parva 
componere magms be indispensable,) that he ought to have sue- 


eeeded. He had ftot^ however ) and as no renown awaits the 
unsuccessful, his spirits must have been agitated and depressed 
—when glory " fell in his way, and he found it." 

The battle between the Bon Homme Richard and the 
Serapis, mw^t always be told to disadvantage, if not in the words 
of the conqueror. It was fought on the evening and in the 
night of September 23d, under a bright and beatitiful harvest 
moon, audits issue awaited by multitudes, (thousands it is said,) 
who watched the engagement from the shore. The remark 
often made, that it has no parallel in the history of naval en- 
gagements, has no exception ^f which we are aware, if restricted 
to those between ships of civilized nations. The official account 
'of Jones follows. 

" On the 21st, we saw and \chased two sail off Flamborough 
Head ; the Pallas chased in the N. E. quarter, while the Bon 
Homme Richard, followed by the Vengeance, chased in the S. 
W. ; the one I chased, a brigantine collier in ballast, belonging 
to Scarborough, was soon taken, and sunk immediately after- 
wards, as a fleet then appeared to the' southward. This was 
so late in the day, that I could not come up with the fleet before 
night ; at length, however, I got so near one of them as to force 
her to run ashore between Flamborough Head and the Spurn. 
Soon after I took another, a brigantine from Holland, belonging 
to Sunderland, and at daylight the next morning, seeing a fleet 
steering towards me from the Spurn, I imagined them to be a 
convoy bound from London for Leith, which had been for some 
time expected. One of therfi had a pendant hoisted, and 
appeared to be a ship of force. They had not, however, 
courage to come on, but kept back, all except the one which 
seemed to be armed, and that one also kept to the windward, 
very near the land, and on the edge of dangerous shoals, where 
[ could not with safety approach. This induced me to make a 
signal for a pilot, and soon afterwards two pilots' boats came 
off. They informed me that a ship that wore a pendant was 


an armed merchantman^ and that a king's frigate lay there in 
sight, at anchdr, within the Humber, waiting to take under 
convoy a number of merchant ships bound to the northwanL 
The pilots^imagined the Bon Homme Richard to be an English 
ship of war, and consequently communicated to me the priyate 
signal which they had been required to make. I endeavoured 
by this means to decoy the ships out of the port ; but the wind 
then changing, and with the tide, becoming unfavourable for 
them, the deception had not the desired effect, and they wisely 
put back. The entrance of the Humber is exceedingly difficult 
and dangerous, €uid as the Pallas was not in sight, I thought it 
imprudent to remain off the entrance ; therefore steered out 
again to join the Pallas off Flamborough Head. In the night 
we saw and chased two ships until three o'clock in the morning, 
when, being at a very small distance from them, I made the 
private signal of reconnoissance, which I had given to each 
captain before I sailed from Groix : one half of the answer only 
was returned. . In this position both sides lay to till daylight, 
when the ships proved to be the Alliance and the Pallas. 

'* On the morning of that day, the 23d, the brig from Holland 
not being in sight, we chased a brigantine that appeared laying 
to, to windward. About noon, we saw and chased a large ship 
that appeared coming round Flamborough Head, from the 
northward, and at the same time I manned and armed one of 
the pilot boats to send in pursuit of the brigantine, which now 
appeared to be the vessel that I had forced ashore. Soon after 
this, a fleet of forty-one sail appeared off Flamborough Head« 
bearing N. N. £. This induced me to abandon the single ship 
which had then anchored in Burlington Bay ; I also called back 
the pilot boat, and hoisted a signal for a general chase.* When 

* This pilot boat contained sixteen of the best hands on board the Bon Homme 
Richard, well armed, under the command of Mr. Heuy Lnnt, the second Lieutenant. 
She did not pay ready attention to signals, which obliged Jones to remain to windward 
some time after he had made the signab to chase the fleet. When the Serapis and 
Countess of Sbarborough stood Irom- the shore, Jones crowded all sail to overtake 


the fleet discovered us bearing down, all the merchant ships 
crowded sail towards the shore. The two ships of war that 
protected the fleet at the same time steered from the land, and 
made the disposition for battle. In approaching the enemj, 1 
crowded every possible sail, and made the signal for the line of 
battle, to which the Alliance showed no attention. Earnest as 
I was for the action, I could not reach the commodore's ship 
until seven in the erening,* being then within pistol shot, when 
he hailed the Bon Homme Richard. We answered him by 
firing a whole broadside. 

" The battle being thus begun, was continued with unremit- 
ting fury. Every method was practised on both sides to gain 
an advantage, and rake each other ; and I must confess that 
the enemy's ship, being much more manageable than the Bon 
Homme Richard, gained thereby several times an advantageous 
situation, in spite of my best endeavours to prevent' it. As I 
had to deal with an enemy of greatly superior force, I was under 

them, leaving the Vengeance to windward, with orders to bring down the pilot boat as 
fast as )K>s8ible, and tell Ljentenant Lnnt to board the Bon Homme Richard, and 
enter the men on the left side, after the action was begun, if he could not previously 
overtake her. The Vengeance was ordered to do what she could, either by assisting 
in the battle, or taking and destroying the merchant ships. She, however, attempted 
nothing against the convoy and did not come into the action. The pilot boat did not 
approach the Bon Homme Richard, until after the battle was ended. So that, with 
the men lost on the coast of Ireland, and sent away in the prizes, Jones was weakly 
manned, and thinly officered. — Journal for the King, Lieutenant Lnnt, says in his 
certificate, that he could not approach the B. H. R. until the action was raging ; when, 
it bebg night, he did not think it prudent to go alongside. 

* " As soon as it was night, the enemy tacked, and steered with full sail towards 
the shore. Captain Jones, seeing this motion by the help of his night glass, (for the 
moon was not yet risen,) made the necessary disposition, and altered his course to get 
between the enemy and the land. The captain of the Pallas, seeing the Bon Homme 
Richard alter her course, concluded that the crew had revolted, and killed Captain 
Jones. This idea had k>ng prevailed in the squadron, and the Pallas in eonseqaeace 
hauled close by the wind. Captain Jones found the Alliance lying to, out of caiiiion 
shot, on the enemy's weather quarter. Tb^enemy, having every sail set, would have 
escaped and got under Scarborough castle, had not Captain Jones crossed the bow of 
Uie Serapis, and begun the aetion within pistol diot"— Jovrmrf^fAs Kmg. 

188 PAUL joNoea 

the necessity of closing with him, to prevent the advantage 
which he had over me in point of manoeuvre. It was my 
intention to lay the Bon Homme Richard athwart the enemy^s 
bow ; but as that operation required great dexterity in the 
management of both sails and helm, and some of our braces 
being shot away, it did not exactly succeed to my wish. The 
enemy's bowsprit, however, came over the Bon Homme Rich- 
ard's poop by the mizen-mast, and I made both ships fast 
together in that situation,* which, by the action of the wind on 
the enemy's sails,t forced her stern close to the Bon Homme 
Richard's bow, so that the ships lay square alongside of each 
other, the yards being all entangled, and the cannon of each 
ship touching the opponent's.!: When this position took place, it 
was eight o'clock, previous to which the Bon Homme Richard 
had received sundry eighteen-pound shots below the water, atid 
leaked very much. My battery of twelve-pounders, on which 
I had placed my chief dependence, being commanded by Lieur 
tenant Dale and Colonel Weibert, and manned principally with 
American seamen and French volunteers, was entirely silenced 
and abandoned. As to the six old eighteen-pounders that 
formed the battery of the lower gun-deck, they did no service 

* " Ml-. Staej" (the acdng master,) " not having returned with the hawser, Captun 
Jones with his own hands made fast to the mizen-mast of the B. H. R. the ropes that 
hong from the enemy's bowsprit,'' — Journal for the King." 

t *' The Captain of the Serapis, imputing the position of the two ships to accident, 
let fall an anchor from the larboard bow ; fearing that Captain Jones would rake him, 
and expecting to get disentangled, and thereby recover his superiority." — Ih. See also 
Lieutenant Dale's account, post, 

i " Here the enemy attempted to board the Bon Homme Richard, but were deterred 
from it, on finding Captain Jones with a pike in his hand at the gangway, ready to 
receive them. They imagined he had, as they said, * a large carps de reserve ; ' which 
was a fortunate mistake ; as no man took up a pike but himself." — Journal for the King. 
Captain Pearson speaks in his official account, of SB attempt to board, at a later period 
of the action ; after the carpenter had called for quarter. ' The boarders returned, say- 
ing they had discovered a superior nnmlSBr, laying under cover, with pikes in their 
bands, ready to receive them. Probably both commanders refer to the same incidtet 
and the concealed men; wece the imaginary corps de reserve. ' 

FAirii JON£s. 483 

whatever, except firing eight shot in all. Two out of three of 
them burst at the first fire, and killed almost all the men who 
were stationed to manage them. Before this time, too, Colcmel 
de Chamillard, who commanded a party of twenty soldiers on 
the poop, had abandoned that station after h&ving lost some of 
his men. I had now only two pieces of cannon, (nine-pounders,) 
on the quarter-deck, that were not silenced, and not one of the 
heavier cannon was fired during the rest of the action. The 
purser, M . Mease, who commanded the guns on the quarter^ 
deck, being dangerously wounded in the head, I was obliged to 
fill his place, and with great difiiculty rallied a few men, and 
shifted over one of the lee quarter-deck guns, so that we after- 
wards played three pieces of nine-pounders upon the enemy. 
•The tops alone seconded the fire of this little battery, and held 
out bravely during the whole of the action, especially the main- 
top, where Lieutenant Stack commanded. I directed the fire 
pf one of the three cannon against the main-mast, with double- 
headed shot, while the other two were exceedingly well served 
with grape and canister shot, to silence the enemy's musketry 
and clear her decks, which was at last efifected. The enemy 
were, as I have since understood, on the instant of calling for 
quarter, when the cowardice or treachery of three of my under- 
oflicers induced them to call to the enemy. The English com- 
modore asked me if I demanded quarter, and I having an- 
swered him in the most determined negative, they renewed the 
battle with double fury. They were unable to stand the deck ; 
but the fire of their cannon, especially the lower battery, which 
was entirely formed of ten-pounders, was incessant ; both ships 
were set on fire in various places, and the scene was dreadful 
beyond the reach of language. To account for the timidity of 
my three under-ofiicers, I mean, the gunner, the carpenter, and 
the master-at-arms, I must observe, that the two first were 
slightly wounded, and, as the ship had received various shot 
under water, and one of the pumps being shot away, the car- 
penter expressed his fears that she would sink, and the other 
two concluded that she was sinking, which occasioned the gun- 


ner to run aft on the poop, without my knowledge, to strike the 
colours. Fortunately for me, a cannon ball had done that 
before, by carrying away the ensign-staff; he was therefore 
reduced to the necessity of sinking, as he supposed, or of calling 
for quarter, and he preferred the latter. 

*' All this time the Bon Homme Richard had sustained the 
action alone, and the enemy, though much superior in force, 
would have been very glad to have got clear, as appears by 
their own acknowledgments, and by their having let go an 
anchor the instant that I laid them on board, by which means 
they would have escaped, had I not made them well fast to the 
Bon Homme Richard. 

*^ At last, at half past nine o'clock, the Alliance appeared, and 
I now thought the battle at an end ; but, to my utter astonish- 
ment, he discharged a broadside full into the stern of the Bon 
Homme Richard.* We called to him for God's sake to forbear 

* In the Journal for the King, it is eaid, that when the Alliance appeared for tlw 
first time, after the beginning of the action, she £red a broadside with grape shot ''into 
the 6010 of the Bon Homme Richard, and the stem of the Serapis, which then made 
but one small object." Jones allades in the text to her second appearance, when, after 
Lwndaif had paid a visit to Captain Cottinean, who had captured the Pallas, at the 
urgent request of the latter, that he would either go to assist the B. H. R. or remain to 
take care of the prize, he ** got into a position to rake with a second broadside the Bon 
Homme Richard and Serapis ; the first in the stern, the other in the bow." It was then 
they cried out to him for God's sake to stop, &c. ''Jones begged Liandais to cease 
firing, or to lay the Bon Homme Richard along side, and asnst with some men from 
the Alliance. He disobeyed. Having passed along the off side of the B. H. R. he 
was again absent for some time, and then returned, in a position to rake her the thind 
time. He discharged this last broadside into the stem of the Serapis, and head of the 
Bon Homme Richard."— Joiimii^/or the King. Captain Pearson speaks in genettl 
terms of ther Alliaaoe sailing round, during the whole action, and raking Mm 
•fore and aft, and eventually determining him to strike, by coming across his stem 
and pouring in a broadside. The weight of evidence ia, that the Alliance fired 
only three broadsides altogether, within gun shot The charges against Landais, 
from 13 to 21 inclusive, well attested by all the officers on board the Bon Homme 
Richard, and corroborated by the Captains of the Pallas and Vengeance, and by iJMt- 
tenant Lunt, who was in the pilot boat, confirm the above statement. The 18th states, 
that '' he never passed on the offside of the Serapis, nor could that ship bring a gun to 
bear on the Alliance, at any time daring the engagement." Captain Pearson only speaks 
of beinf raked," and havmg a hroadside poured intft his stem. The shot «eoei«ied 


iring into the Bon Homme Richard ; yet they passed along the 
off side of the ship, and continued firing. There was no possi- 
bility of his mistaking the enemy's ship for the Bon Homme 
Richard, there being the most essential difference in their 
appearance and construction. Besides, it was then full moon 
light, and the sides of the Bon Homme Richard were all black, 
while the sides of the prize were all yellow. Yet, for the greater 
security, I showed the signal of our reconnoissance, by putting 
out three lanterns, one at the head, another H the stem, and 
the third in the middle, in a horizontal line. Every tongue 
cried that he was firing into the wrong ship, but nothing avail- 
ed ; he passed round, firing into the Bon Homme Richard's 
head, stem, and broadside, and by one of his volleys killed 
several of my best men,* and mortally wounded a good officer 
on the forecastle only.t My situation was really deplorable ; 
the Bon Homme Richard received various shot under water 
from the Alliance ; the leak gained on the pumps, and the fire 
increased much on board both ships. Some officers persuaded 
me to strike, of whose courage and good sense I entertain a 
high opinion. My treacherous master-at-arms let loose all my 
prisoners without my knowledge, and my prospects became, 
gloomy indeed.| I would not, however, give up the point. 

by the Bon Homme Richard, on the off aide, muit have come from the Alliance. The 
fact of the Alliance firing into the Bon Homme Richard, is also attested by the old lof- 
book of the Bon Homme Richard, in the possesaion of Mr. George Napier, Advocate, 
in Edinburgh. 

* Agreeably to report NoU bff Joium : ** The furious cannonade from the upper 
and lower batteries of the Serapis, occasioned many who had been skulking below in 
the Bon Homme Richard, to come on deck. They were exposed to the grape shot of 
the Alliance while the enemy's men were under cover. It was, therefore, difficult to 
tell how many men on board the B. H. R. were killed and wounded by the shot from 
the Alliance.*' — JmtnuAfif the King, It' was attested by half a dozen officers, that 
Landais said, next morning, he had raked withgrape shot, which he knew would seaUer, 

t 80 in two di&rent MS. oopief, and three in print. He means, the only efficient 
officer on the forecastle. 

t *' This must have ruined Captain Jones, had not the prisoners been terrified out of 
tbeur senses. Captain Jones availed himself of their fears, and placed them to work 
the fiamyB."-^ammalforthe Kvng. 


18t PAVi. jonwm* 

The enemy's maixMnasC began to shake,* their firing decresiedl 
fiuBt, ours rather increased, and the British oolours were stmek 
at half an hour past ten o'clock.t 

^^ This prize proyed to be the British ship of war the Sen^, 
a new ship of forty-four guns, built on the most approred ec^i- 
struction, with two complete batteries, one of them of eighteto* 
pounders, and commanded by the braye Commodore Richard 
Pearson. I had yet two enemies to eneouater, fiur more fiwmi- 
dable than the ftritmis, I mean, fire and water. The Serapis 
was attacked only by the first, but the Bon Homme Richard 
was assailed by both ; there was fiye feet water in the hold, bbA 
though it was moderate from the explosion of so much gun- 

* It went by the board, Captain Peanom laya, just as he was striking. Jones sejsthe 
same. Jones notices it as very remarkable, how well the three light qnarter-deck 
gons were served daring the whole action^ and the confnsion that ensned when the 
water was gaining below, the ships alternately cdtohing fire iroBi each other, tk»^ 
Alliance firing at the Bon Homme Richard, and the prisoners set loose. ** He gotooi* 
of the off gans over soon after the Alliance raked the first time, bnt could never mmiter 
ftnmgth 9i{gieieHt to hrimg over the other" In the clear moon light, the enemy's 
mast being painted yellow, the flames of the main shrouds, &c. made the main-mast a 
distinct mark. Ct^tain Jones took aim at it with donble-headed shot. 

I" " There was no occasion for a boat or bridge between the two ships. Captain 
Pearson stepped on board the Bon Homme Richard, and delivered up his sword to 
Captain Jones, who returned it to him, because he had bravely used it He Aen 
heard, and the next morning saw, with astonishment, the inferior force and mangled 
condition of the Bon Homme Richanl."-Votcnia//or the Kimg. Mr. Goldsborongfa, 
in his Naval Chronicle, p. 21, retails the following ridiculous anecdote : 

'* When Captain Pearson was about delivering up his sword to Captain Jones, he 
observed, ' I cannot, sir, but feel much mortification at the idea of surrendering oqr 
sword, to a man who has fought me with a rope round his neck.' Captain Jones w^ 
ceived his sword, but immediately returned it, with the remaiic, ' you have fbngkt 
gallantly, sir, and I hope your king will give you abetter ship.* " 

Captain Pearson was a gentleman, as well as a brave ofllcer. Though it appeani 
by his antograpliic notes, that in ' reading and writtng' he was not as well taught as 
Jones, he would have been guilty of no such aoBMnse as is above chaiged to him; 
Had he been so, Jones would probably have given the sword to the man at his elbesr, 
and interchanged no superfluous oomplhDeals ¥rith his vanquished customer. Bach 
absurdities should not be a part of what isoalied, *' The Naval Chronicle of the 
United States." 


powder, yet the three pumps that remained could with difficulty 
only keep the water from gaining. The fire broke out in 
various parts of the ship, in spite of all the water that could be 
thrown in to quench it, ahd at length broke out as low as the 
powder magazine, and within a few inches of the powder. In 
that dilemmH, I took out the powder upon deck, ready to be 
thrown overboard at the last extremity, and it was ten o'clock 
the next dayv the 24th, before the fire was entirely extinguish- 
ed. With respect to the situation of the Bon Homme Richard, 
the rudder was cut entirely off, the stern frame and tran- 
soms were almost entirely cut away, and the timbers by the 
k>wer deck, especially from the main-mast towards the stern, 
being greatly decayed with age, were mangled beyond my power 
of description, and a person must have been an eye witness to 
form a just idea of the tremendous scene of carnage, wreck, and 
ruin, which every where appeared.* Humanity cannot but recoil 
.from the (A'ospect of such finished horror, and lament that war 
'' should be capable of producing such fatal consequences. 

*' After the carpenters, as well as Captain Cottineau and 
other men of sense, had well examined and surveyed the ship, 
(which was not finished before five in the evening,) I found 
every person to be convinced that it was impossible to keep the 
Bon Homme Ric^hard afloat so as to reach a port, if the wind 
should increase, it being then only a very moderate breeze. 1 
had but little time to remove iny wounded, which now became 
unavoidable, and which was effected in the course of the night 

* ** The Bon Homme Richard received little damage in her masts ; bat was cut 
mttirdy to pieces between decks^ especially from the main-mast to the stem. In that space, 
there was an entin hreak on hoth sides ^ from the gnn-deck, almost to the water's edge ; to 
that towards the end of the action, almost aU the shot of the Serapis had passed throngfa 
the Bon Homme Richard, without touching. The rodder and transoms were cat off; and 
here and there an old rotten timber, betidea the stern-post, was the onlj support that 
prevented the stem from falling down on die gan-room deck." " Eight or ten of the 
Bon Homme Richard's men took away a fine cutter boat, that had been at the stem of 
the Serapis daring the action, and landed at Scarborough. Some others were so 
much ifiraid as to swim on board the Alliance after the ilietton."— iJ^NiflMf ybr the kmg 

188 PAUL JONBg* 

and next morning. I was determined to keep the Bon Homme 
Richard afloat, and, if possible, to bring her into port. For 
that purpose, the first lieutenant of the Pallas continued <m 
board with a party of men to attend the pumps, with boats in 
waiting ready to take them on board, in case the water should 
gain on them too fast. The wind augmented in the night, and 
the next day, the 25th, so that it was impossible to prevent the 
good old ship from sinking. Thqr did not abandon her till 
after nine o'clock ;. the water was then up to the lower deck, 
and a little after ten I saw, with inexpressible grief, the last 
glimpse of the Ben Hcfnme Richard. No liyes were lost with 
the ship,* but it was impossible to save the stores of any sort 
whatever. I lost even the best part of my clothes, books, and 
papers ; and several of my officers lost all their clothes and 

'^ Having thus endeavoured to give a clear and simple relation 
of the circumstances and events that have attended the littl^.^ 
armament under my command, I shall freely submit my condudk-' 
therein to the censure of my superiors and the impartial public 
I beg leave, however, to observe, that the force put under my 
command was far from being well composed, and as die great 
majority of the actors in it have appeared bent on the pursuit of 
interest only, I am exceedingly sorry, that they and I have been 
at all concerned.'' 

^'Captain Cottineau engaged the Countess of Scarborough, 
and took her, after an hour's acti(»i, while the Bon Homme 
Richard engaged the Serapis. The Countess of Scarborough 

* CaptBin Peanon stated in his official despatch, that the Bon Homme Richard 
«nk ** with a great number of her wounded people on board.*' He was in error. 
Jones repeats in his Joomal, that " with the pilot boat, and the boats of the squadron, 
all the woonded wero removed, and every person was saved. The lieutenant of the 
Pallas remained on board the Bon Homme Richard, with a party to attend Uie 
pomps, and beats waiting to take them on board, if they could no longer keep her 
afloat. In the morning, the wind increased and they were obliged to abandon her, 
the water being over the lower deck. Soon after the Bon Homme Richard disap- 
peared, the stem and miasmMnast being seen last. 

PAUL J0NE8. 189 

is an armed ship of 20 six-poynders, and was conifnandad bjr a 
king's officer. In the action, the Countess of Scarboroogh and 
the Serapis were at a considerable distance asunder ; and the 
Alliance, as I am informed, fired into the Pallas and killed some 
men. If it should be asked, Why the conyojr was suffered to 
escape, I must answer, that I was myself in no condition to 
pursue, and that none of the rest showed any inclination; not 
even Mr. Ricot, who had held off at a distance to windward 
during the whole action, and withheld by force the pilot boat 
with my lieutenant and fifteen men.* The Alliance, too, was in 
a state to pursue the fleet, not haying had a single man wounded, 
or a single shot fired at her from the Seri^is, and only three 
that did execution from the Countess of Scarborough, at such 
a distance that one stuck in the side, and the other two just 
touched, and then dropped into the water. The Alliance killed 
one man only on board the Serapis. As Captain de Cottineau 
charged himself with manning and securing the prisoners of the 
Countess df Scarborough, I think the escape of the Baltic fleet 
cannot so well be charged to his account.t 

^' I should have mentioned, that the main-mast and mizen- 
top*mast of the Serapis fell overboard, soon after the captain 
had come on board the Bon Homme Richard." 

That the accounts of eye witnesses immediately concerned in 
this action may not be conftised by commentary, we shall im- 
mediately add the narrative of Jones' first, and then, only liett^ 
tenant, Richard Dale, subsequently a distiagyished post captain 
in the navy of the United States, said to have been ftirnished for 
Mr. Sherburne's Collections. 

* This is founded on a report t&at has prored to be false ; for it now appeara, that 
Captain Biooi e x p nmH y drdered Uie pilot boat to board the Bon Homme Riduurd, 
which order was diaobeyed.-^lfo(e ifff Jonei* 

t " It was a thick fog all the morning. When it began to clear vp, the enemy's 
merchant ships had got safb mto their harbonrs, and not a sail appeared along the 


'< On the 28d of September, 1770, being bebvr, was roufled 
by an utmoal noise upon deck. This induced me to go upon 
deek^ when I fisond the men were swaying up the royal yards, 
pivparatory to making sail.fbr a large fleet under our lee. I 
asked the coasting pilot what fleet it was i He answered, ' The 
Baltic Fleet, under convoy of the. Serapis of 44 guns, and 
the Countess of Scarborough of 20 guns.' A general chase 
then oonunenced of the Bon Homme Richard, the Yengeance, 
the Pallas, and the Alliance; the latter ship being then in sight, 
after a separation from the squadron of nearly three weeks; 
but which ah^), as usual, disregarded the signals ct the com- 
modore. At this time our fleet headed to the northward with a 
light breeze, Flaanborough Head being about two leagues dis<- 
tant. At seven p. M. it was evident the Baltic fleet perceived 
we were- in chase, from the signal of the Serapis to the mer^ 
ohantmen to stand in shore. At the same time, the Serapis 
and Countess of Scarborough tacked ship and stood off shore, 
vMk the intention of drawing off our attention from the convoy 
When these ships had separated from the convoy about two 
miles, they again tacked and stood in shore after the merchant^ 
men. At about eight, being within hail, the Serapis demanded, 
* What ship is that ?' He was answered, ^ I can't hear what you 
say.' Immediately after the Serapis hailed again, ' What ship 
is that f Answer immediately, or I shall be under the necessity 
of firing into you.' At this moment I received orders from 
Commodore Jones to commence the action with a broadside, 
which, indeed, appeared to be siinultaneous on board both ships. 
Our position being to windward of the Serapis, we passed ahead 
of her, and the Serapis coming up on our larboard quarter, the 
action commenced abreast of each other. The Serapis soon 
passed ahead of the Bon Homme Richard, and when he thought 
he had gained a distance sufficient to go down athwart the fore- 
foot to rake us, found he had not enough distance, and that the 
Bon Homme Richard would be aboard him, put his helm alee, 
which brought the two ships on a line ; and the Bon Homme 
Richard having headway, ran her bows into the stern of the 

• »•■ 

FAinE, jroN»ai 191 

Serapifl. We Imd remained in this mCuatioii but a few minutes, 
when we were again hailed by the Serapis ; * Has yovr ship 
struck V To which Captain Jkmes answered, ' I have not yet 
begun to fight.' As we were unable to bring a single gun to 
bear upon the Serapis, our top-sails were badied, while those 
of the Serapis being filled, the ships separated. The Serapui 
wore short round upon her heels, and her jib-boom ran into the 
mizen-rigging of the Bon Hcmime Richard ; in tJiis situeCioa 
the ships were made fast together with a hawser, the bowsprit 
of the Serapis to the misen-mast of the Bon Homme Richard, 
and the action recommenced from the starboard sides of the 
two ships. With a view of separating the ships, the Serapis 
let go her anchor, which manoeuvre brought her head and the 
stem of the Bon Homme Richard to the wind, while the ships 
lay closely pressed against each other. A novelty in naval com- 
bats was now presented to many witnesses, but to few admirers. 
The rammers were run into the respective ships to enable the 
men to load, after the lower part of the Serapis had been blown 
away, to make room for running out their guns, and in this 
situation the ships remained until between 10 and 11 o'clock 
P. M. when the engagement terminated by the surrender of the 

<* From the commencement to the termination of the action, 
there was not a man on board of the Bon Homme Richard 
ignorant of the superiority of the Serapis, both in weight of 
metal and in the qualities of the crews. The crew of that ship 
were picked seamen, and the ship itself had been only a fisw 
months off the stocks; whereas the crew of the Bon Homme 
Richard consisted of part American, English, and French, and 
in part of Maltese, Portuguese, and Malays ; these latter con- 
tributing, by their want of naval skill and knowledge of the 
English language, to depress rather than elevate a just hope of 
success in a combat under such circumstances. Neither the 
consideration of the relative force of the ships, the fitct of the 
blowing up of the gun-deck above them, by the bursting of two 
of the eighteen-pounders, nor the alarm that the riiip was sink- 

199 FAUL jrONEA 

ing, could depress the ardour or change the. determination of 
the brare Captain Jones, his officers and men. Neither the 
repeated broadsides of the AUiance, given with the view of sink- 
ing or disabling the Bon Homme Richard, the frequent neces- 
sity of suspending the combat to extinguish the flames, which 
several times were within a few inches of the magazine, nor 
the liberation, by the master-at-arms, of nearly 500 prisoners, 
could change or weaken the purpose of the American com- 
mander. At the moment of the hberation of the prisoners, one 
of them, a commander of a twenty gun ship, taken a few days 
before, passed through the ports on board the Seri^is, and 
informed Captain Pearson, that if he w:ould hold out only a little 
while longer, the ship alongside would either strike or sink, 
and that all the prisoners had been released to save their lives ; 
the combat was accordingly continued with renewed ardour by 
the Serapis. The fire from the tops of the Bon Homme Richard 
was conducted with so much skill and effect as to destroy ulti- 
mately every man who appeared upon the quarter-deck of the 
Serapis, and induced her commander to order the survivors to 


go below. Nor even under shelter of the decks were they more 
secure. The powder-monkeys of the Serapis finding no officer 
to receive the eighteen-pound cartridges brought from the ma- 
gazines, threw them on the main-deck, and went for more. 
These cartridges being scattered along the deck, and numbers 
of them broken, it so happened, that some of the hand-grenades 
thrown from the main-yard of the Bon Homme Richard, which 
was directly over the main-hatch of the Serapis, fell upon this 
powder, and produced a most awful explosion. The effect was 
tremendous ; more than twenty of the enemy were blown to 
pieces, and many stood with only the collars of their shirts upon 
their bodies. In less than an hour afterwards, the flag of Eng- 
land, which had been nailed to the mast of the Serapis, was 
struck by Captain Pearson's own hand, as none of his people 
would venture aloft on this duty ; and this, too, when more than 
1,500 persons were witnessing the conffict, and the humiliating 
termination of it from Scarborough and Flamborough Head. 

« PAiTL jroinss. 193 

^* Upon fioding that the flag of the Serapis had been struck, 
I went to Captain Jones, and asked whether I might board the 
Serapidf to which -he consented ; and, jumping upon the gun- 
wale, I seized the main-brace pennant, and swung myself upon 
her quarter-deck. Midshipman Mayant followed with a party 
of men, and was immediately run through the thigh with a board- 
ing-pike by some of the enemy stationed in the waist, who were 
not informed of the surrender of the ship« I found Captain 
Pearson standing on the leeward side of the quarter-deck, and 
addressing myself to him, said, * Sir, I have orders to send you 
on board the ship alongside.' The first lieutenant of the Sera 
pis coming up at this moment, inquired of Captain Pearson, 
whether the ship alongside had struck to him f To which I 
replied, * No sir, the contrary ; he has struck to us.' The 
lieutenant renewing his inquiry, < Hav^ you struck, sir ?' was an- 
swered, * Yes, I have.' The lieutenant replied, * I have nothing 
more to say,' and was about to return below, when I informed 
him, he must accompany Captain Pearson on board tlik ship 
alongside. He said, *• If you will permit me^ to go below, I will 
silence the firing of the lower-deck guns.' This request was re- 
fused, and, with Captain Pearson, he was passed over to the deck 
of the Bon Homme Richard. Orders being sent below to cease 
firing, the engagement terminated, after a most obstinate con- 
test of three hours and a half. 

^'Upon receiving Captain Pearson on board the Bon Homme 
Richard, Captain Jones gave orders to cut loose the lashings, 
and directed me to follow him with the Serapis. Perceiving the 
Bon Homme Richard leaving the Serapis, I sent one of the 
quarter-masters to ascertain whether the wheel-ropes were cut 
away, supposing something extraordinary must be the matter, 
as the ship would not pay off, although the head sails were 
aback, and no after sail ; the quarter-master returning, reported 
that the wheel-ropes were all well, and the helm hard a-port. 
Excited by this extraordinary circumstance, I jumped off the 
binnacle, where I had been sitting, and falling upon the deck, 
found to my astonishment I had the use of only one of my legs ; 



a splinter of one of the guns had struck and badly wounded 
my leg without my j^ierceiving the. injury until this moment. I 
was replaced upon the binnacle, when the sailing-master of the 
Serapis coming up to me, observed, that from my orders he 
judged I must be ignorant of the ship being at anchor. Noticing 
the second lieutenant of the Bon Homme Richard, I directed 
him to go below and cut away the cable, and follow the Bon 
Homme Richard with the Serapis. I was then carried on board 
the Bon Homme Richard, to have my wound dressed." 

When the ordinary allowances are made for the causes which 
induce different representations, as to the incidents and results 
of a desperate engagement, from the two parties, it is perhaps 
a little surprising, that the particulars given in the letter 
addressed by the gallant Pearson to the Admiralty office, vary 
so immaterially from the other accounts. He states, that he 
was tacking to keep his ground between the enemy's ships and 
the cdnvoy, when, about the time mentioned by the Amerieluk 
commander, the ship of the latter brought to, on his. larboard 
bow. When asked, what ship she was, he understood the men 
to Answer, ''the Princess Royal." He does not essentially con- 
tradict the subsequent details. He says his ship was on fire 
ten or twelve times in different places. The Alliance being 
near, he found it impracticable to stand out any longer, with the 
least hope of success. He had done all that the *' bravest of the 
brave" could do ; and well earned the honour of knighthood** 
We have already referred, in the previous notes, to his remarks 
on the conduct of the Alliance. If we put the two accounts 
together, of Pearson and Jones, without adding the testimony of 
the numerous officers in the squadron, which sinks the scale' in 

* Mr. Goldsboraiigh chronioleg another current apochryphal anecdote, which amy 
or maj not be tme ; bat it is at any rate in far better taste than the one referred to in a 
note some pages back. "When Captain Jones was in Paris, some short time after 
the action, he was informed that Captain Pearson hadbeen knighted. " Well," said he^ 
'' he deserved it ; «nd if I fall in with him again, I will make a kMtl of him.'' 


which LandaiB might be weighed, to the very nadir, it will 
unequivocally appear that the latter did more harm to the Bon 
Homme Richard, than to the Serapis. But how, as the editor 
of the Life of Jones, published in Edinburgh, has naturally re- 
marked, ^* could any British officer have learned to imagine the 
atrocity of a commander pointing his guns in the heat of a close 
action, not against the enemy, but against his own consort ?" 
We have said the remark was naturally made ; but perceive by 
looking further, that the anomalous conduct of Landais is made 
by this editor a shoeing horn, to pull up sweeping charges 
against the French marine. This is natural too. Captain 
Pearson's account of the distressed and hopeless condition of 
the Bon Homme Richard, is in consonance with all the others. 
In the copy of his letter published in Sherburne's Collections, 
the only one I have, the number of killed and wounded on board 
of that ship, i9 stfited at 306. It must be a typographical error ; 
as Captain Pearson must have known, within a score or two, 
the equipage of the vessel, and by this reckoning there would 
have been not a soul left to take charge of the fragments of the 

Theofficiallist of the wounded on board the Serapis, of whom 
eight had died when it is dated, September 30th, amounts to 
68, besides a few whose names could not be ascertained.* Of 
the dead there is no official return before me. In the roll 
of the Bon Homme Richard's equipage, published in Sher- 
burne's Collections, 42 are returned killed, and 40 wounded.'^ 
There are, however, but 228 names on this imperfect docu- 
ment, which is without date or voucher; and in which the 
master, Mr. Cutting Lunt, is called the third lieutenant, Mr. 
Stacey, acting master, the master, &^c. Captain Pearson says, 
" our loss in the Serapis was very great." Jones says, in 
bis Journal for the King : " By a return of the surgeon of the 
Serapis, they had a hundred men dangerously wounded on board 

* Sherbame's Collectioni, p. 103. t lb. p. 140. 


that ship in the action. Their loss appears to be that number 
killed. They having taken on board some East India seamen 
at Copenhagen, over and above their complement^ their crew 
appears to have been four hundred effective men, when the 
action began. Captain Jones had but three hundred and eighty, 
good and had^ when he left France. He had manned several 
prizes, which, with desertions on the coasts of Ireland and Scot^ 
land, and the absence of the pilot boat, with two officers and six- 
teen of his best men, reduced him to three hundred and forty, 
including the duaffected^ which were a great majority of the 
whole, as they were chiefly British, who had enlisted from the 
prisons of France.* It may also be observed, the officers and 
men placed in the gun-room, sixty in number, did not discharge 
a second shot, nor otherwise assist, and cannot properly be said 
to have been in the action. To say nothing of the damage done 
by the Countess of Scarborough and the Alliance, the enemy 
was superior in cannon, as 576 is to 390,t besides a greater 
superiority in men ; and had thirteen feet three inches between 
her guns ; whereas, the guns of the Bon Homme Richard 
were only nine feet six inches asunder." 

It is out of the province, as it is utterly beyond the skill of the 
compiler, to comment with any science on the conduct of the 
commanders of the Pallas and Vengeance, during this naval 
combat. It will appear to the common reader, that Captain 
Cottineau, whom Jones always speaks of respectfully, did all 
his duty. Jones certifies, that Captain Ricot of the Vengeance 
was **' a sensible man, and a good officer ;" and has himself 

* FortjTHsix seamen are marked as Americans, in th§ roll published in Sherbnme'v 
Collections, and thirty-two among the officers of all descriptions, from the commaadtr 
to the cook. 

t In Sbertrame's Collections, the weight of metal which the Bon Homme Richard 
conid throw, is stated at 414 pounds; bat this statement n wrong altogether, accord- 
ing to the official inventory in French, copied from that filed by order of Congress. 
Jones had 6 eigfateen-poanders, 26 twelve-pounders, and 6 nine-ponnders. Three of 
the last gained him the battle. His weight of metal was, therefore, 474. That of 
the Serapia» according to Sherburne, was 600. 

PAUL jroiTES. 197 

corrected the charge of neglect of orders, which he at first 
threw oot against him^ If it be thought that *^ he did his duty^ 
and he did no more," it must be remembered that by random 
firing he might have done more harm than good ; and that the 
Serapis had a broadside in store on the ofiT side, which might 
have proved fatal to his corvette of 12 guns and sixty-six 
men. . Like the lieutenant in the pilot boat, be may bare 
thought it not prudent, to go too close in the night to two ships, 
both on fire, and locked in mortal struggle. The Alliance, the 
comet of the scene, might have flung some of its scattering trail 
at him, as the commander does not seem to have confined his 
attentions to the Bon Homme Richard and 8erapis. Capidity 
could not have been the dominant passion of any of the French 
captains ; or they would have given a better account of the 

But what can be said for Contre Admiral Pierre LandiM^ as 
he afterwards styled himself? The mind not stolid or brutalized, 
ever seeks an apology or an explanation for mental eccentricity, 
when it is unallied to moral turpitude. But if we are to treat 
Landais as a rational agent, we must charge him, as all who 
have canvassed the subject have done, either with cowardice, 
gross ignorance, and stupidity, or malignant and base jealousy. 
Make every allowance for the ^iactics and regime of the old 
ecale de la mari$ie ; for the pride of birth, if he was noble ; and 
for professional pride, if he considered himself under the oon- 
cordatf as an ally of Jones, and not bound to obey his orders : 
still, on one or more of the prongs of this ugly trident, Landais 
must either be impaled, or sadly bruised. We are compelled 
to reject the idea, that personal timidity was his misfortune, not 
only from the nature of his profession, but from various passages 
in his life.* If we ask for the motives of his conduct on this 

* Captain de Cottineaa de Klognene, of the PaUas, does, however, certify distinctlj 
to the ninth article of itfae oharges againat Landaia ; which waa, that, when on the 
morning of the daj when the action waa fought, the Bon Homme Richard came in 
light of the Pallas and Alliance, off Flambofoagh Head, Landais told him, that if it was 

198f PAUI. JONf». 


occasioDy the twenty-third charge agaiiiBt him, attested by the 
formal declarations of three officers is, that he ** acknowledged 
after the action, that he wonld have thought it no harm if the 
Bon Homme Richard had struck ; for it would have given him 
an opportunity to retake her, and take the Serapis." Other 
witnesses of competent character bear testimony that he subse- 
quently made the same remark. We shall encumber, these 
pages with no more of the multitudinous accusations and proofs 
against Landais, growing out of this transaction. . Grave nar- 
rative must leave his memory under these embarrassments. 
The amateurs of the moral picturesque, may disport with it 
after their several conceptions.* 

In an account made out by Jones while at the Texel, I find 
an item in which the marine committee of the United States is 
charged with a hundred ducats, paid to John Jackson, of Hull, 
as smart money; *' besides," the item staties, *< giving him a 
certificate, by which he is to receive half pay as Pilot during his 
life, from the minister plenipotentiary of the United States at 
Paris, for his gallant behaviour, and the loss of his arm, in the 
action with the Serapis ; and for his having proved a faithful 
pilot on the east coast of England." This man did receive his 
half pay during life. 

Among these memoranda relative to the action with the Se- 
rajHS, it may be well to give a reply in anticipation, to a question 
which will naturally occur to those who take any interest in an 
unparalleled sea fight, in which the honour and hopes of their 
own country and its flag, were in no small degree at hazard. 
That question is, whether Jones, who wrought as a common 
sailor, while he acted as a commander ii| the engagement, who 
lajBhed the ships fast together with his own haiids^ repulsed the- 
boarders, and personally worked the only serviceable guns, 

a 50 gui ibip, tkey mint nm mea§: Ibdif^ he knew that tlw PaUu^ ftom her dull 
flvilmg, miMbe ttkeiL. 

*" SMApoeaitt No. VHL hefora tutored to. 


fPts wounded in the conflict. It would seem that he must have 
V borne a charmed life," if in all his daring and seemingly rash 
ezjdoits, no bullet was marked for him, and if, among crashing 
timbers, exploding cartridges, and flying ruins, he moved un* 
scathed amidst carnage and destruction. He has been charged, 
from the tenor of his style, with not making the least of his 
wrvices. and in fact with boastful egotism, by those who had 
not examined, or did not pause to consider the meaning phraseo- 
logy of that day, which to quiet citizens who now feel and 
know that they are free, sounds as somewhat fantastic. Neither 
]^ve these censors ever weighed the circumstances of the 
captain's education, the causes which led him to adopt a par- 
lance then familiar, about the dignity of human natjure, &x. and 
the situation in which he spoke in the first person, as one having 
authority so to do, when it was in behalf of sufiering and oom- 
l^aining seamen, on whose account he was himself out of pocket* 
All who have been misled by an unenlightened consideration of 
the style of Jones, should remember, that he never in any of his 
a(q>eals, whether made with deliberation, or on the spur of the 
moment, speaks of his personal privations* or suflerance. * A 
memorandum made, by him in his Journal, that he never had 
three hours' rest out of the twenty-four, during this cruise, 
was not inserted in any official document, and never intended 
for effect. It is known, as I am assured, that he wa^ once 
severely wounded in the head, and that he underwent great 
suffering at several times, from violent injuries received in dis- 
charging his duty. But, • though he carefully preserved the 
hasty notes of distinguished men, and thef billets doux of fair 
correspondents, and loved to dwell upon every mark of distinc 
tion which he received from courts or courtiers, he never 
chronicled his wounds in any letter or journal. The only 
reference I find to them, is in a fragment of what seems to be 
the draft of a letter in his own hand writing, to some person, 
either a member of, or connected with, the French ministry ; 
and io have been written but a short time before his death. It 
will be quoted in its place. Speaking of his cold reception by 


M. De Sartine, after his return from the Texel, he says-: << He 
did not. even ask me if my health ha4 not suffered from, my 
wounds, and the imoommon fieitigue I had undergone." This 
he merely mentions as a forgetfulness of the ordinary forms of 
ministerial politeness. 

** Captain Jones," we follow his journal, ** took command of 
the Serapis, i^nd erected jury-masts. After tossing about to and 
fro in the North Sea, for ten days, in contrary winds and bad 
weather, in order to gain the port of Dunkirk, on account of the 
prisoners, the captains under his command, after some cabal, 
bore away for the Texel, and left him to windward, with the 
choice to follow or proceed. [Captain Jones never had three 
hours sleep in the twenty-four, in the whole campaign, from 
L'Orient to the -Texel.] The squadron anchored off the Texel 
the 3d of October, 1779 ; and they persisted in working into the 
port, though the wind was fair for Dunkirk the next morning." 

This naval ^^ campaign": as its hero styles it, of course mad^ 
echoes that were heard to a mighty distance. The fire he had 
kindled in the British ocean flung its terrific radiance far over 
the world of waters, «nd was beheld from distant shores. 
Britain was incensed at finding this celebrated American, with 
his audacious prow, a second time carrying dismay into her har- 
bours ; and at the loss, in a fairly fought battle, of one of her finest 
frigates. France and her allies could hot but be delighted. The 
journals of the day teemed with varying accounts of his exploits.* 

* Several of theie cotemporaiy accounts have been freqaendy republished. It seems 
unneoeasaiy to quote many of them. 

ExtraU cf a Uttarfram Stoekhdm, Stfimier^l. 
** Expresses arrived on Saturday, from Sunderland, stating that Paul Jones had taken 
■iiteen sail more of colliers. In consequence of the capture of so many colliers, and 
the interruption of the trade, the p^ce of coals will be enormous. Instead of having 
the dominion of the sea, it is now evident that we are not able to defend our own coast 
firoln depredations. 

PAVL jrOHES. 901 

Though the peevishness of Landais had prevented him frofti 
fiurly trying any of the schemes he had meditated, and which 
were compatible with each other, had time been allowed, and 
discijrfine and secrecy preserved*-K>f intercepting the homeward 
bound East India ships, the West India or Hudson's Bay ships, 
mr the Baltic fleet— -he had struck another blow, valuable for its 
eflfeet in giving confidence to those who were arihing or forming 
tjiMems of armed neutrality against the dictatress of the ocean. 
The information he was enabled from resources and facilities 
peculiar to himself, to give to the ministers and the commanders 
of the allied squadron, was of the highest value, and anticipated 
c^en all their other . advices. Had their action been in a 
moderate degr^' commensurate with his conceptio«i, the com- 
mi9rce of England would long have had clause to rue the ac- 


' *' The master ofa sloop from Harwich, who arrived yesterday, saw on Saturday last, 
noless than eloTen sail of men of war going in search of Paul Jones, and among them 
the Edgar of 74 guns. 

By the examination of the four men belonging to one of Paul Jones* squadron, it 
appears that Jones* orders were not to bam any houses or towns. What an example 
ofhonour and greotkiess does Amenca thus show to us ! ViThile our troops are running 
•iMNit ftom town to town on their coast, burning every thing with a wanton, wicked 
barbarity, Dr. Franklin gives no orders to retaliate ; he is above it : and there was a 
time when an English minister was above it ; when an English minister would have 
dBsdained to make war in so villanous a mode. It is a disgrace to the nation. Pan! 
Jones could have burnt Jjeith the other day with the greatest ease, and another little 
lowii near it." 

From Ae Lonian, Chronkle, October 17th, 1779. 
** Amsterdam, October, 7th. — ^Last Tuesday, Paul Jones, with the prizes, the Serapis 
and Scarborough, entered the Texel, and this day he appeared on the Exchange, 
where business gave way to curiosity. The crowd pressing upon him, by whom he was 
flijied the terror of the English, he withdrew to a room fronting a public square, where 
lloilaiear Donneville the French agent, and the Americans, paid him such a volley of 
compliments, and such homage as he could only answer with a bow ; he was dressed in 
the American uniform, with a Scotch bonnet edged with gold, is of a middling'stature, 
■tenr countenance, and swarthy complexion. It was supposed he was going to Pans 
10 racaive die oongratulations of the Grand Monarque, and Dr. Franklin ; but I am now 
informed, he is gone to the Hague, to solicit by the French ambassador, the repair of 
hit shipping, which if he should succeed in, he will pi^bably elude the vigilance of a 
74 gun ship waiting before the Texel." 


209 PAUL JoisnM. 


cessioii of so shrewd and practical a ooUeague to the eomutflk 
of her enemies. 

In the Maze of his renown, and with the spoil of his victoryy 
he was a seoond time to contend with a series of dfflcuUie9» 
more intricate than the court intrigues which bad before ex:- 
hausted his patience ; but not, fortunately, so proiraeted« Before 
he was to leave the port, he entered in triumph. This be effect- 
ed, with all his honour saved, gained additional ffBtme bgr bia 
perfect seamanship, and wasdir^sctly and materially instnunei^ 
in producing an open rupture between England and Holland* 
It is not doubted that this contingency was contempl^ed, when 
he had orders to make the Texel his port of destination* 

By the ^portions of Franklin's correspondence with Jones, 
which have been extracted, the reader will have understood the 
difBcuIties which prevented any vessels or naval stores intended 
for the service of the United States from being openly taken 
out of the ports of Holland, a nominally neutral power, which 
had not yet recognised the independence of the abjuring Cdo- 
nies, and was bound to England by ancient treaties. Both 
the letter and the spirit of these had indeed been violated; and 
so far as that of 1678, which bound their high mightipesses to 
break with any aggressor against their ally, it had been treated as 
obsolete. And they were preparing to accede to the system of 
an armed neutrality, proposed by Russia, though the treaty was 
not signed until the middle of the following year. The mer- 
chants of Amsterdam, and the Grand Pensionary were earnestly 
desirous of the success of the American arms. Secret negotia- 
tions had been pending, and the form of a treaty of amity and 
commerce was found among tlie papers of Mr. Laurens, thrown 
overboard by him previous to his capture, but ree4>vered, which 
led the government of Britain to give immediate attention to all 
that was passing in the ports of Holland, and to give particular 
instructions to their minister. Sir Joseph Yorke, who foithfuUy 
executed them. It is necessary to refer to these well ^own 
matters of history, in connecting this biography. 

^ ' M« de la Sartbie addressed Franklin on the Stik September} 
in relation to the scheme of bringing out the Indien and other 
dUps, designated as Dutch and neutral, whicti were at the king's 
dmrge, and sundry munitions of war, which the minister styles, 
^'tres interessantes,'* from the ports of Holland into those of 
France. He had given orders, he said, that they should be in 
readiness by die expiration of the month, when the limitation 
of Jones' cruise would eJtjnre ; in order that he might attend to 
tknn, under the instructions of the American ambassador. A 
copy of this letter awaited Jones on his arrival in the Texel 
road, with a request from Franklin, that ^* he would do his ut- 
most to render the service therein mentioned effectual ; which 
would, in the then pending instance, be very advantageous to 
the common cause, and very acceptable to his majesty." ^* It 
would be well for him," it was added, " to keep bis intentionof 
conveying those vessels as secret as possible, lest notice of it 
should be sent to England, and ships placed to intercept him." 
Jones has made a memorandum on this passage, which has been 
already referred to ; "I found our object in the puUic papers, 
wlieti I arrived in Holland ; and Sir Joseph Torke had sent off 
an express to England, informing also that part of my business 
here would be to take out the Indien. I was then under the 
necessity, to represent the want of secrecy of M. Chaumont to 
court, flgid to complain of his conduct towards me in the affiur 
of the Concordat." 

As the eyes of the English ministry were fixed upon Holland, 
and there was no lack of agents to give them information, that 
of M. Chaumont would seem, at the present day, to have been 
gratuitous. Nor was there any want of ships to intercept Jones 
The battle with the Serapis had not been fought in a comer. 
The mind, through the whole scale of intellect, from the high- 
est to the meaneist, and from the hero to the hireling, is subject 
to the same ^* like passions." A steam pipe for the escape of 
surplus vexation is not alwiiys philosophically selected; and if 
Jimes occasionally ascribed a cimnge in the wind, a timid and 
deceitful course of poHcy, or the presence of some seventy-fours, 

204 PAUI^ JONS8. 

to the unhappy '^ cimeardaij* it was but the oommon error of 
humanity^ when tried as his nature was. 

Immediately on arriying in the Texel road, on the 3d of 
October, he addressed an account of his cruise. to the American 
ambassador, copies of which were sent to the President of Con- 
gress, and to the French minister. The body of this despatch 
has ahready been inserted. The conclusion was. as foUows : 

<* I am in the highest degree sensible of the singular atten - 
tions which I have experienced from the court of France, which 
I shall remember with perfect gratitude until the end of my life, 
and will always endeavour to merit, while I can, consistent with 
my honour, continue in the public service. I must speak plainly : 
as I have been always honoured with the full confidence of Oon^ 
gross, and as I also flattered myself with enjoying in some mea- 
sure the confidence of the court of France, I could not but be 
astonished at the bonduct of Monsieur de Chaumont, when, in 
the moment of my departure from Groix, he produced a paper, 
a ameordatf for me to sign, in common with the ^yfficers whom 
I had commissioned but a few days before. Had that paper,, 
or even a les9 dishonourable one, been proposed to me at the 
beginning, I would have rejected it with just contempt, and the 
word depktcementy among others, should have been necessary. 
I cannot, however, even now suppose that he was authorised by 
the court to make such a bargain with me. Nor can I #iuppose 
that the minister of the marine meant that M. de Chaumont 
should consider me merely as a colleague with the commanders 
of the other ships, and communicate to them not only all he 
linew, but all he thought respecting our destination and opera- 
tions. M. de Chaumcmt has made me various reproaches on 
account of the expense of the Bon Homme Richard, wherewith 
I cannot think I have been justly chargeable. M. de Cha- 
miUard can attest, that the Bon Homme Bichard was at last 
far from being well fitted or armed for war. If any person or 
persons, who have been charged with the expense of that arma- 
ment have acted wrong, the fault must not be laid to my charge. 
I had no authority to superintend that armament, and •the per- 


ibiKB who had anthority, were so &r firom giving' me what I 
thought necessarj, diat M. de Chaiunont even itofused, among 
other things, to allow me irons to secure the prisoners of war. 
^ '^In short, while mj life remaii!ls, if I hai% any capacity to 
render good and acceptable services to the- common cause, no 
man will step forth with greater cheerfulness and alacrity than 
myself; but I am not made to be dishonoured, nor can I acc^ 
of the half confidence of any man living. Of course I cannot, 
consistent with my honour, and a prospect of success, undertake 
fiiture expeditions, unless when the obje<^ and destination is 
oommunieated to me alone, and to no other person in the ma- 
rine line. In cases where troops "are embarked, a like confi- 
dmce is due alone to their commander in chief. On no other 
conditioii will I ever undertake the chief command of a private 
expedition ; and when I do not command in chief, I have no 
desire to be in the secret. 

" Upon the whole, the captain of the AlIiiEince has behaved so 
veiy ill in every respect, that I must complain loudly of his con- 
dilot. He pretends that he is authorised to act independent of 
my command ; I have been taught the contrary ; but supposing 
it to be so, his conduct has been base and unpardonable. M. 
de Chamillard will explain the particulars. Either Captain 
Landais or myself is highly criminal, and one or the other 
mpst be 'piinished. I forbear to take any steps with him until 
I have th6 advice and approbation of your excellency. I have 
been advised by all the officers of the squadron to put M. Lan- 
dais under arrest ; but as I have postponed it so long, I wiU 
bear with him a little longer, until the return of my express. 

*' We this day anchored here, having since the acticm been 
tossed to and fro by contrary winds. I wished to have gained 
the road of Dunkirk on account of our prisoners, but was over- 
ruled by the majority of my colleagues. I shall hasten up to 
Amsterdam, and there, if I meet with no orders for my govern- 
ment, I will take the advice of the French ambassador. It is 
my present intention to have the Countess of Scarborough ready 
to transport the prisoners from hence to Dunkirk, unless it 

906 PAinL Joiiw« 

■hoaU be found more ezpedient to delirer them to the EngBeh 
ombsMador, taking his ohhgation to send to Dunkirk, Ac im- 
mediately an equal number of American prisoners. I am under 
sQroog apprdMOismis that our object here will fail, and that 
through the imprudence of M. de Chaumont, who has commu- 
nicated every thing he knew or thought on the matter, to per- 
sons who cannot help talking of it at a foil table. This is the 
way he keeps state secrets, though he never mentioned the 
afiair to me." 

Hitherto^ deeming it unwise to break with M. Chaumcmt, 
and feeling that personal regard, which supposed grounds for 
eomfriaint against its object had not overcome, Jones had not 
directly intimated to him the diarges of moral weakness, which 
he had made in his letters of a confidential character. The com- 
munication of those charges was now inevitable ; and in the fol- 
lowing letter, written on the same day on which the account of 
the cruise is dated, it will be seen that, acting on his impression 
that his correspondent's mind was not weH balanced, he express* 
ed himsdf with a happy mixture of frankness and dexterity. 

" On board the Skip qf War the Sert^f at a$uskor 
vMtmt the Texd, Odober 3, 1779. 

** M. Le Ray de Craumont, i Passy. 

*^ The original of the enclosed copy of my last letter, written 
on bocurd the Bon Homme Richard, off the S. W. coast of Ire- 
land, the 24th of August, as well as the papers whic6 preceded 
it, and to which it alludes, I hope duly reached the hands of my 
friend M. de Chaumont^ and explained to his satisfaction niy 
conduct from the time I left Groix until that date. For the fid! 
history of my expedition, I must beg leave to refer you to a 
letter of this date, which accompanies this, to his excellency I>r. 
Franklin, who will, if you demand it, furnish you with a copy. 

'' I wish to act a candid part towards all men, and therefore 
wish you to have a copy of that letter, that yon may see my 
sentiments respecting the * concordat,' which you imposed upon 
me in the moment of my departure from Groix. What could 
have inspired you with such sentiments of distrust towards me» 

WAvis JoaoA 809 

ftfter the o(xilar prooft of. hospkidhj wUcb.I Ito tloUg texpi^- 
tieneed in your fapuie^ and aftef thewarm exptemioM^gm^ 
vom and unbounded firienddiip, whidi I bad eonstaot^ been 
bcmonred with in your letters, exeeede my mental faeulUee to 
comprehend. I am, howerer, yet willing to give you an oppoi> 
tnnity of renderiilg joitiee to my character^ I cannot tbdiik you 
are personally my enemy. I rather imagine that yoiir ooodnd 
towards ma at L'Orient, has arisen from the base misr^presesiftT 
ation of some secret villainy $ tliefefinre, I am, with uiialtered 
sentiments of good will and iaffection fiir yourself and family, . 

'* My diear friend, * 
** Your obUged, humble servant.'' 

The most offisnsive provision of the concordat was, it may be 
(iresumed, that which gave the commanders the right to saeoeed 
in order, in case of death or retreat. liVithout this privilege, it 
Vjpjiot probable that they would have agreed to sail cm- tbe pn>- 
. :Jfieted cruise. Bot the independence which it made them fed, 
rfki doubt gave rise to the waa( of subordination, wUeh Jones 
luid so much reason to complain of. Without taking this into 
eonsideration, the reader nmy be at a loss to account for the 
strong language employed in the foregoing extract, and when- 
ever the ccmcordat is adverted* to by the commander of the 

On the 5th, Jones addressed the Duke de la Vai^yon, 
ambassador of France at the Hague. The return of Us pri- 
soners was not completed, but he rated it at three hundred and 
fifty, of whom one hundred and thirty were wounded. The total 
number, however, exceeded five hundred. He asked the advice 
of the ambassador, as to what mecMves he should adopt in 
relation to them ; and whether it would be advisable to set them 
free at the Texel, on such security as mig^t be obtained for the 
liberation of an equal number of Americans in England, 
or to send them to Dunkirk in the Countess of Scarborough, 
which was not fit for service, and the Vengeance, which might 
return with as many recruits as could be obtained. He also 

906 FAITL JONnk 

atoled Us inabiKty to comply with the* im^tnietioiis 
fitMaJVankfiny ' through M. Du|naiB, trithoat great and instant 
aamtailee. Thoogh the bull ofthe Serapb was not too much 
damagisd to h^ easily repaired, she wanted entirely new masts 
uid raging, sails, boats, and provisions. 
')> M; Dtaias, the then tmreoognised agent for the U* S. was 
enthusiastie in his diplomacy, and this was a misfortune. It is 
impossible to read his letteis, widiout coinciding in ojnnicm with 
those who <haye 'Commented on the eirentff of this period, that 
there wiul' moire afiectaCion thaii ingenmQr in the mystery he 
aitoumed; and 'more ardbur than utility in his impulses and 
movements. ^ Uewas, howevw, a true friend of freedom and 
of America. A letter which he wrote to Jones on the 9th, is an 
aibosing^peoimen of unnecessary mysticism. BytaUngtherisk 
of Bfing GBdipus^ one inight learn from it diat Jones had been at 
the Hague, where he had an interview with .^^ the great man," 
tneaniag the Froicli ambassador. We learn from his Jourim^ '^ 
tlmt Jones was sent for by this gentleman, who agreed with h%^ ^ 
in thinking it would be most expedient to send the prisoneil^^ ^ 
Dunkirk as soon as it could possibly be done. But, before ' 
making the attempt, it was agreed to remast the Serapisyas 
they 'virere already i^iprised that small squadrons had been 


detached by the English government, to intercept Jones, on the 
east coast of England and Scotland, the coast of Norway, in the 


Irish channel, on the west of Ireland, and in the straits of 
*I>ovi»r. M. Dumas, says in his official despatches to the com- 
mittee of foreign affairs, that Jones arrived at the Hague on 
the 8th, Ivith a single domestic, and remained only until the next 
day^ when he took post for Amsterdam. It appears from the 
beginning ci the mysterious letter referred to above, that the 
commodore .missed the post, or mail wagon, which '^ half dis- 
tracted" M. Dumas when he heard of it ; but he was '< restored * 
to bis senses" by a coachman, who told him that Jones had 
ef?ertaken it at the distance of eight or nine miles from the 
Hague^ M. Dumas talks also of << a man in high station in the 
oountry," meaning, it is to be supposed, Mr. Van Berckel, the 

PAUL JOIf ES. 909 

Otand Pensionary of Amsterdam, before whom he had laid 
iMrtaln matters at which he hints in idle riddles. The ^^ man 
ift'Ugh station" recommended expedition in preparing for what- 
ev0r was to be done, and informed M. Dumas, that there was 
a law, limiting the period during which foreign ships of war 
were allowed to wait for repairs in that port, when the wind 
permitted them to go out. M. Dumas enclosed his own in- 
structions, signed by M. Chaumont, and approved by Franklin. 
These were, to recommend the greatest cirisumspection to all 
the commanders of the squadron under the American flag, in 
their behaviour while in Holland, and to give the earliest advice 
oi. its arrival, in order that such supplies might be immediately 
forwarded as should be necessary, '^ without giving caiise for 
any question being agitated, which might embarrass the Dutch 
in the conduct they thought it for their interest to observe 
towards England*" 

.'pn the 9th, Sir Joseph Yorke sent his ofiicial communication 
itiitf, their high mightinesses, in relation to the presence of the 
fM|BtJitdron. As it is brief, we insert it. 

" High and Mighty Lords, 

** The undersigned, ambassador extraordinary and plenipo- 
tentiary of the king of Great Britain, has the honour to com- 
municate to your high mightinesses, that two of his majesty's 
daips^ the Serapis and the Countess of Scarborough, arrived 
some days ago in the Texel, having been attacked and taken 
by force, by a certain Paul Jones, a subject of the king, who 
according to treaties and the laws of war, can only be considered 
as a rebel and a pirate. The undersigned is therefore in duty 
bound to recur to your high mightinesses and demand their 
immediate orders that those ships with their officers and crews 
may be stopped, and he especially recommends to your 
humanity, to permit the wounded to be brought on shore, that 
proper attention may be paid to them, at the expense of the 
king his master. 

" Yorke." 

210 PAUL jomsm. 

When writing to Dr. Franklin, on the llth, JonM was 
not apprised of lAiis memorial shaving been presented. He 
stated, that he was doing all in his power to act upon the 
advice given by the French ambassador. He also ex{N*essed 
bis deteriKnation to keep the captain of the Serapis in bis bands, 
as a hostage, until Captain Cunningham, who was a pris<Mier 
in England, should be released. He said, *' I wish heartily that 
poor Cunningham, (whom I am taught to regard as a conti- 
nental oj£cer,) was exchanged; as with bis. assistance I could 
form a court martial, which I believe you will see unavoida- 
ble.'"* Of Captain Landais, be says : " he has come up here, and 
purposes, after gadding about in this city, to figure away at the 
Hague. He continues to affect an entire independence of my 
control, and has given in here an extraordinary demand for 
supplies of every kind. This famous demand, however, I have 
ventured to disapprove, and reduced to, I believe, a fourth part 
of its first extent. I hope to accounts o your satisfaction for my 
reasons ; among which is his having been so plentifully and* so 
lately furnished.'* 

This valiant and '* scattering" hero, was, according to several 
accounts besides this, making a famous report of his own ex- 
ploits. The terms of this extract show the manner in which 
Jones felt disposed to treat him ; which was, with contempt, not 
so openly expressed as to injure the service. He thought him 
of too little consequence to put him under arrest, at the risk of 
giving rise to dissatisfaction among the French. This com- 
mand <tf his temper, however, was such as less irritable discipli 

* I find no mention made in what are called the Naval Chronicles of the United 
States, of a commission having been given to Captain Cunningham in the navy. Ac- 
cording to Goldsborongh, page 31, he received a commission for a privateer from 
IVanklin and Deane. His craise in the British channel mode his name terrible in 
the months of the vnJgar. When he was captnxed in 1778» and detained in the harbotr 
of New York, he was treated with such severity, that Congress twice passed resoln- 
tions, threatening retaliation. A bnrlesque representation of him was exhibited m 
U>ndon. So says the authority dted. He was at this time detuned in Eofhnd. 


Harians might net have shown, evert though good policy required 
it $ and his coolness and constant attention to the necessary 
buiiness of refitting his squadron and disposing of the prisoners, 
ddring all the pending consultations in which he was so deeply 
interested, have been deservedly commented on as proving his 
capacity for the conduct of political movements of importance. 
A rery excellent man, the Baron Vander Capellen, who was, as 
he styles himself, " an old and tried friend of America," and 
a member of the house of nobles of the province of Overyssej, 
wrote to Jones at this time, apparently instigated by the con- 
vwsation to which the valorous stories of M . Landais gave birth, 
asking as a favour, an account of the particulars " relating to a 
sea fight, rather to be found in the books of the former century, 
than in our present age, on the ocean." 

Jones wrote to the baron a respectful and discrete reply, 
enclosing a copy of his account of the cruise, with other docu- 
ments relative to his adventures. M. Dumas begged him not 
saod the former, in its whole extent, as it Would be improper 
for M. de Capelle, as he chose to designate that gentleman, to 
be acquainted with the complaints against M. de Chaumont 
He also informed Jones, that the baron, though a " very good 
i^epublican," and a " well thinking private," knew nothing of the 
secret of his negociations with the " two great men," and was 
** excluded from any share of government in his country." 
The letter of Jones, to M. Vander Capellen contained the fol- 
lowmg passage ! 

** I was, indeed, bom in Britain J but I do not inherit the 
degenerate spirit of that fallen nation, which I at once lament 
and despise. It is far beneath me to reply to their hireling in- 
vectives. They are strangers to the inward approbation that 
greatly animates and rewards the man who draws his sword 
only in support of the dignity of freedom. America has been 
the country of my fond election, from the age of thirteen, 
when I first saw it. I had the honour to hoist with my own 
hands the flag of freedom, the first time it was displayed on the 
river Delaware ; and I have attended it with veneration ever 


fdnce on the ocean. I see it respected eren here, in spite of 
the pitiful Sir Joseph; and I ardently wish and hope very soon 
to exchange a salute with the flag of this repuMic. Let but 
the two republics join hands, and they will give peace to the 

It would, indeed, have been singular, if the burghers of Old 
Amsterdam had not felt sympathy for the fortunes of a people, 
some of whose most prosperous settlements had been made by 
their own ancestors; in which, though wrested from their sway, 
so much of their good habits was still preserved, and above all 
their pure and uncorrupted religion. Old and sacred associa- 
tions, commercial interests, and a like political feeling, made a 
strong party there, naturally attached to the cause of American 

The letter from Franklin, dated on the 15th October, in 
reply to the despatches of Jones, dated the 3d, was as follows : 
and must have been so gratifying to him who received it, that 
it needs no commentary; but every line, including thejiostscripty 
is worthy of attention. 

*'I received the account of your cruise and engagement with 
the Serapis, which jrou did me the honour to send me from the 
Texel. I have since received your favour of the 8th, from 
Amsterdam. For some days after the arrival of your express, 
scarce any thing was talked of at Paris and Versailles, but your 
co^ conduct, and persevering bravery during that terrible con- 
flict. You may believe, that the impression on my mind was 
not less strong than that of others ; but I do not choose to say 
in a letter to yourself all I think on such an occasion. 

" The ministry are much dissatisfied with Captain Landais, 
and Monsieur de Sartine has signified to me in writing that it 
is expected that I should send for him to Paris, and call him to 
account for his conduct, particularly for deferring so long his 
coming to your assistance ; by which means, it is supposed, the 
States lost some of their valuable citizens, and the king lost 
many of his subjects, volunteers in your ship, together with the 
ship itselfl 


" I have, accordingly, written to him this day, acquainting 
him, that he is charged with disobedience of orders in the cruise^ 
and neglect of his duty in the engagement ; that a court martial 
being at this time inconvenient, if not impracticable, I would 
give him an earlier opportunity of offering what he has to say 
in his justification, and for that purpose direct him to render 
himself immediately here, bringing with him such papers or 
testimonies as he may think useful in his defence. I know not 
whether he will obey my orders, nor what the ministry would 
do with him if he comes ; but I suspect that they may, by some 
of their concise operations, save the trouble of a court martial- 
It wijl, however» be well for you^ to furnish me with what you 
may judge proper to support the charges against him, that I may 
be able to give a just and clear account to Congress. In the 
mean time it will be necessary, if he should refuse to come, 
that you should put him under an arrest ; and in that case, as 
well as if he comes, that you should either appoint some person 
to the command, or take it upon yourself; for I know of no 
person to recommend to you as fit for that station. 

'* I am uneasy about your prisoners, (504 in number,) I wish 
they were safe in France. You will then have completed the 
glorious work of giving liberty to all the Americans that have 
so long languished for it in the British prisons ; for there are 
not so many there, as you have now taken. 

<<I have the pleasure to inform you that the two prizes sent 
to Norway, are safely arrived at Bergen. 

'* With the highest esteem, I am, 4&c» 

" B. Franklin. 

" P. S. I am sorry for your misunderstanding with M. de C. 
who has a great regard for you." 

From the contents of a note from Captain Pearson to Jones, 
written on the 19th of this month, it is to be inferred, that the 
former was not apprised of the application made by Sir Joseph 
Yorke to their high mightinesses ; or, at least, of its terms and 
tenor. He charged Jones very plainly with a breach of the 

211 FiUDL JOfffiSi 

civility due to his rank, as well as his behaviour on aJl occasions, 
and expressed his opinion, that the detention of himself and his 
people on board ship for so long a time, was an unprecedented 
thing* Jones informed him, that the memorial of Sir Joseph, 
of which he enclosed him a copy, had induced him to think it 
friiitless to pursue negotiations for the exchange of prisoners ; 
l|^t that humanity had made him seek for permission to land 
the dangerously wounded. The consent of the government 
bad been obtained, but the local magistrates still raised objec* 
tions. His reply was couched in terms of moderation, highly 
commendable, if we consider the epithets which the English 
ambassador had applied to him, and the bold, blunt style of 
Pearson's note. 

.^' I wished," he said, ^' to avoid any painful altefcation with 
you on that subject ; I was persuaded that you had been in the 
highest degree sensible, that my behaviour ' towards you had 
been far from a breach of civility.' This charge is not, sir, a 
civil return for the polite hospitality and disinterested attentions^ 
which you have hitherto experienced. I know not what differ* 
ence of respect is due to * rank,' between your service and ours ; 
Isuf^se, however, the difference must be thought very great in 
England, since I am informed that Captain Cunningham, of equal 
denomination, and who bears a senior rank in the service of 
America, than yours in the service of England, is now confined 
at Plymouth, in a dungeauj and infetters.^^* 

He concluded by beseeching Pearson to interfere in behalf of 
this officer^ as be expected orders from Dri Franklin, in conse- 
quence of the treatment he was receiving. . 

The resolution of their high mightinesses upcm Ae application 
of the English ambassador, was delivered to him on the 25th.' 

* AsliBs been befbre remarked, the name of Captain Cunningham is not to be foand 
in any of the lists of officers commissioned by Congr^, before this period, which are 
contained in Sherburne or the Naval Chronicles. Jones in a letter to Franklin, whiish 
has been quoted, speaks of ^* being taught to regard him as a continental officer,** 
seeming to imply that he was not such absolutely. I am unable to account for this, 
in oonnexioB i^th the above assertion of bis rank. 

PAUi. JONB8.. 915 

It was prudently worded, setting forth that for u century^ the 
States General had strictly observed it as a maxim, nerer to 
pretend to judge of the legality or illegality of captures of vesseb 
brought into the ports of the republic, not belonging to it ; that 
they only opened their ports to give shelter, to those making sueh 
captures, from storms or disasters, and dl^liged them to put to 
again without unloading ; that they were not authorised to: 
judgment upon either the prizes or the person of Paul Jones ; aad 
that they had already evinced their willingness to discharge tkm 
offices of humanity, by the orders they had given in relation to the 
wounded prisoners. This resolution was an echo and confirnMi- 
tion of one passed by the nobles and burgesses of the provinoe 
of Holland, four days previous, as appears by the endorsement 
of M. Dumas, who said, in his official letter to the committee of 
foreign affairs, that the latter might truly be called voxpopM*^ 

* The ordinance of the States General referred to in their reply, had 
been passed and published as a placard, by the cautious republic in 
November, 1756. On the 8th of October, five days after Jones' arrival 
at the Texel, the Admiralty college of Amsterdam informed their high 
mightinesses, that Captain Rimersina the commandant, daring the 
absence of Vice Admiral Reynst in the Texel road, had announced to 
them the entrance of five vessels under the command of Paul Jones, 
who had asked permission of him to land the English captains, and to 
hire a house for the reception of the wounded ; that they had re{^ied, 
that neither request could be granted by themy and had referred to tlie 
terms of the placard. 

On the s£une 8th, the hi^ mightinesses requested the opinion of the edk 
lege of Admiralty, on the memorial of Sir Joseph Yorke, to which, (reck* 
pitulating their former communication, that ^ey considered the ordi* 
nance of 1756 as plain cuad imperative^ but not inconsistent with the die* 
tates of humanity, which would be to permit the ships to make actually 
necessary repairs, and allow the sick and wounded attendance,) they f6* 
plied that they would already have given orders to this effect, if they Kad 
consider^ themselves authorised so to do, but submitted to their hff^ 
mightinesses that it was eaq)edient. This communication was made* on 
the 12thf and referred for consideration to the deputies for marine aflUn^. 


Sir Joseph Yorke from his long residence at the Hague, had 
obtained great influence over the Prince of Orange and what 
might be called the court party, as those opposed to English 
dictation were termed the French party. He was rewarded 
afterwards with a peerage for his services as a minister. He 
was far from being satisfied with the negative protection yielded 
by the States General to '^ the pirate Paul Jones,*' as he again 
called him in a memorial presented on the 29th. In this com- 
munication, after thanking their high mightinesses for their 
orders in relation to the wounded, he added: ''I cannot but 
comply with the strict orders of his majesty, by renewing in the 
strongest and most pressing manner his request, that these ships 
and their crews may be stopped and delivered up, which the 
pirate Paul Jones, of Scotland, who is a rebel subject and a 
criminal of the state, has taken. 

\^ The king would think he derogated from his own dignity, 
as well as that of your high mightinesses, were he to enter into 
the particulars of a case so notorious as that in question, or to 

' A resolution was passed by the States Generel on the 15th, expressed 
to be in consequence of the representation of the president of the 
assembly, on the information of Sir Joseph Yorke, by which, without 
prejudice to the ulterior deliberations of their high mightinesses on his 
memorial, the college of Admiralty of Amsterdam was authorised to 
permit the sick and wounded to-be removed on shore, or to a hospital 
ship, and to furnish needful medical attendance. A very cautious 
proviso was added, that no change should be considered to have taken 
place in the relations of the parties, in consequence of this arrange- 
ment ; .that the States General would be responsible for no escapes ; 
and that not more than three or four men, not sick or wounded, should 
be permitted to land from the ships, armed only with swords ; and 
that nothing should be done in the premises, without the knowledge 
and approbation of the officer commanding the vessels of the republic 
fying in the road, and the local authorities of the place where the 
wounded might be disembarked. On the 21st, the assembly of Hol- 
land and Westfrize passed 1^% resolution referred to in the text 


Mt bef(Mre the eyes of the ancient friends and allies of his crown, 
analogous examples of other princes and states; but will only 
remark, that all the placards even of your high mightinesses 
require that all the captains of foreign armed vessels shall, upon 
their arrival, present their letters of marque or commission ; 
and authorise, according to the custom of admiralties, to treat 
all those as pirates whose letters are found to be illegal, for 
wam^ of being granted by a sovereign power. * 

'* The quality of Paul Jones, and all the circumstances of the 
afEur, are too notorious for your high mightinesses to be igno- 
rant of them. The eyes of all Europe are fixed upon your 
resolution ; your high mightinesses know too well the value of 
good faith not to give an example of it in this essential ren- 
contre. The smallest deviation from so sacred a rule, by 
weakening the principle of neighbours, may produce serious 

The logic of Sir Joseph was good. Jones had no other com- 
ihalBsion than that of America to produce. The States, however, 
replied as before, that they would not pass judgment on the 
legality of the captures, and would act under the terms of their 
placard. In pursuance of their resolution, and of an order from 
the Prince of Orange, Jones prepared to remove the wounded 
to the fort on the Texel ; having permission to place sentinels to 
guard them, to raise the drawbridge at his pleasure, and re- 
move his prisoners if he saw fit. On the 31st,* an agreement 
was entered into between Jones and Pearson, agreeably to these 

On behalf of his government. Captain Pearson, agreed that 
all British prisoners so landed should he considered prisoners 
of war until exchanged ; and in case any of them should 
desert, he engaged that an equal number of American prisoners 
should be released in England, and sent to France by the next 

* There is a mistake in the date of this agreement in the copies made by order of 
Gongreaiy in which it ajupears as executed on the 3d. ' 



cartel. In caises of death, Jones stipulated not to claim an ex- 

In this agreement Jones took care that there should be no for- 
mal reseryations. It is expressed to be between himself, *^ captain 
in the American navy, commander of the continental squadron 
now in the road of the Texel, and Richard Pearson, Esq* captain 
in the British navy, late commodore of the British Baltic fleet, 
and now a prisoner of war to the United States of North Ame- 
rica/* On the Ist November, he gave his formal orders to 
Lieutenant Colonel Weibert, appointing him governor general 
over the wounded, and the soldiers who were to conduct them 
on shore, and directing him to take care that no cause of com- 
plaint should be given to the Dutch government or its subjects. 

The matter and manner of Jones' remarks in relation to M • 
de Chaumont, were such, that the latter could neither forget 
them nor treat them with no attention, while they remained 
unretracted* They estranged him from the commodore, 
except so far as official transactions rendered intercourse nece»^ 
sary. In writing, however, on the 11th, he does not appear to 
have seen a copy of the whole communication to Franklin, or 
to have been aware of its import ; as it is spoken of by Jones as 
a '' very affectionate letter." In his reply, dated on the 24th, 
he returned his thanks fbr the <^many compliments and gene- 
rous praises bestowed on his past conduct ;" and said they af 
forded him the truest pleasure, as a proof that he still enjoyed a 
share of M. Chaumont's affection. There is no other allusion 
to the grounds of complaint than what is contained in the con- 
clusion of the letter, which was in these terms : 

** It shall be my pride to acknowledge every where how much 
I owe to the attentions of France, and to the personal friendship 
of M. de Chaumont, for furnishing me with the means of giving 
liberty to all the American prisoners now in Europe : for that is 
the greatest triumph which a good man can boast, and is there- 
fore a thousand times more flattering to me than victory. 

''I ardently wish for.future opportunities to render real services 
to our common cause ; which is the only way I can hope to 


prove my gratitude to France^ to America, and to my much 
lored friend M. de Chaumont, and his amiable family, with 
whom I sincerely desire to live henceforth in the fullest confi- 
dence and affection. In the fullness of my heart, I am with 
the highest respect, my dear Chaumont, your truly obliged 
friend, &c" 

This letter, it is to be presumed, is the same referred to in 
the following extract from one to Dr. Bancroft, dated on the 
90th, in which discretion was given to him as to its delivery* 

** M. de Chaumont has written me a very affectionate letter ; 
but then he had written me many equally affectionate letters 
even from the first of our acquaintance, offering me always the 
most disinterested services, until that of the 14th of June, 
whereof I enclose a copy. He has not yet offered me an 
apology respecting the dishonourable ' amcofda£ which he af- 
terward imposed upon me at Groix. I love him, however, not- 
withstanding ; and as his excellency tells me that M. de Chau- 
mont has still ^ a great regard for me,' that assurance revives 
all my former friendship, and will confirm it, if you think the 
answer which I have here enclosed is proper, atad that the 
delivery of it will put a final end on his part to our misunder^ 
standing. At any rate I pray you to present my warmest 
respects to the whole family, for whom I 9hall ever retain a 
grateful affection. 

*^ I am happy my dear sir, in being able to assure you that 
in. spite of Sir Joseph, the flag of freedom is highly respected 
indeed at the Texel. I had yesterday the honour to receive 
authority, by a unanimous resolution of the States, and by an 
order of ike Prince of Orange^ to land as many prisoners as I 
please, to place sentinels to guard them in the fort on the Texel, 
to haul up the drawbridge of that fort, and to take them away 
again from thence whenever I think proper, and dispose of them 
afterward as though they had never been landed. — Huzz^, 
America !" 

It would be doing injustice to the subject, to omit the two 
Mlowing letters to the son and wife of M. de Cluiumont* 

220 FAUL JOlfEfiL 

written at the same time, with which the correspondence 

" On board the Serapis, at the Texd, Oa. 26, 1779. 

" M. Le Ray De Chaumont, Jun. 

" You will pardon, my dear friend^ my not having written to 
you earlier since my arrival here; my silence has not, I assure 
you, been the effect of the little misunderstanding which unhap- 
pily took place between your father and myself when he imposed 
upon me a ^ concordaf at Groix, which I thought and think still, 
I dishonoured my hand by signing. The ticklish and uncertain 
situation of the politics of this country, as affecting the 'flag of 
America, has hitherto so much occupied my attention, that I 
have found little leisure to write. My fears in that respect being 
now entirely removed by a unanimous resolution of the States 
General that is far more favouraUe to our cause than I had 
reason to expect, I employ this breathing space with great 
pleasure to assure you that my regard and afiection for all the 
family of De Chaumont is far from diminished : I earnestly 
wish your father to give te oblivion the past misintelligence. I 
am persuaded that he will now see the impr(^riety of commu- 
nicating too early the intended enterprises and operations of a 
partisan, and no longer blame me for avoiding free conversa- 
tions on such subjects. It is not indeed my characteristic to be 
free of words. My heart, however, is no stranger to the senti- 
ments and duties of friendship, though my situation as a seryajol 
of the public leaves me without the power of obliging my private 
friends, except in the pleasure which I am persuaded they take 
in hearing of my success, when they have furnished me with 
the means. 

*^ It affords me pleasure to assure you, that I cannot too much 
praise the gallant behaviour of the young volunteer Baptiste 
Travalliei^, whom you sent to L'Orient ; in the engagement a 
sailor called for a wad in loading one of the great guns ; he fur- 
nished him immediately by substituting the coat which he then 
wore, and soon afterward, when the Bon Homme Richard was 



on fire, he instantly took off his shirt, and dipped it in water and 
appUed it with great dexterity to smother the flames. 

** Present my best respects to Madame de Chaumont and to 
your sisters* I beseech them and you to love me, and that 
your father will forgiye my past fault, which was the effect 
only of my believing that he had less confidence in me than he 
liad taught me to expect, and had always said I had merited." 

" Oc/a6er, 28, 1779. 
•*-To Madam Le Ray De Chaumont, 

" I can no longer, my dear madam, refrain from writing to 
jrou, although I have not been honoured with a line from you 
since my letter from L'Orient, dated 13th June. 

*^ I congratulate you on my late success, because I know it 
afibrds you pleasure ; and knowing this, is, I assure you, a 
Tery singular addition to my satislhction. What has given 
me more pain, however, than words can express, has been a 
want of confidence on the part of M. de Chaumont after he had 
honoured mb with strong proof of his friendship and good 
opinion. The * concordat,' which to my great surprise, he imr 
posed upon me in the moment of my departure from L' Orient, 
was the most humiliating paper that ever a friend forced upon 
the commander of a squadron ; and even my success has not 
mped off the dishonour of my having signed it. 

" I am willing to believe that my friend did not see tl^e con- 
cordat in the same light, and that the idea was not originally 
his own, but only by him adopted from the misrepresentations 
of persons who were constantly buzzing in his ear, and showing 
an infinity of theory which they have not since been quite so 
hajqpy in reducing to practice. I say, as I verily believe, that 
the idea was not originally his own ; and as 1 love him still with * 
undiminished and grateful affection, I earnestly wish him to 
forgive the complaints which I have made, and to continue 
towards me his first vmrmth of friendship and confidence. 

*^ My departure from hence, is extremely uncertain, my des- 
tination, too, is better known to Dr. Franklin than myself at 


present. Our ships are now in b severe storm* I mention 
this only to show that I can, in no situation, forget how much I 
owe to the polite attentions and friendship of the amiable fiunily 
at Passy, which I beseech you to believe I shall ever remember 
with sentiments of the most lively esteem and affection, being 
very truly, your obliged fnend, &c." 

M. Chaumont was not conciliated by these letters, as indeed, 
if he felt himself unjustly charged with indiscreet and injurious 
revelation of state secrets, it could not have been expected he 
ever would be. He was, moreover, of a temperament not free 
from irascibility ; and was labouring under the pressure of ad- 
vances made by him to support the armies of France in Ame- 
rica. The difficulty of obtaining reimbursements for these 
advances, led subsequently to a widening of the breach between 
him and Jones, by occasioning a detention of prize money. They 
had no personal interviews of a friendly character, in which 
mutual explanations might have been made. 

On the 28th of October, Jones wrote to La Fayette, appar 
rently in good spirits. The following is an extract : 

** I am very much concerned and ashamed to understand that 
my ' numbers* that you received from L'Orient, were so ill 
composed. It is a proof that their ladyships, the Muses, however 
condescending they may be on the banks of the HeUcon, will 
not despense their favours to the sons of Neptune, especially 
while they are 

By bounding billowf and nide winds that blow, 
Alternate toas'd in air, or tank to sands below. 

<< In truth, my dear General, I am almoii as sorry that you 
have not been able to understand my meaning as if I had been 
addressing myself to — a fair lady ! The enclosed key will, how- 
ever, I hope unlock the past difficulty, and enable you fuUy to 
see what I so much wish you to understand. 

** I will send you very soon, a little work that shall be better 
finished than that from L'Orient; an4 in the mean time a 
madune, to which the present key is adapted, is forwarded 

PAirt JONB8. 233 

through the hands of Dr. Bancr(rft) in case yoo shonUI have 
spoiled or thrown away the one formerly sent. 

^^ The late brutalities of the Britons in America, fill me with 
horror and indignation. They forget that they are men ; and 
I belieye that nothing will bring them to their senses but the 
most exemplary retaliation. Lahdais is ordered to Paris to 
answer for his past conduct. 

** I wish to answer very particularly the three points which 
you hare propounded. 1st, I neter meant to ask a reward for 
my services, either from France or America ; consequently the 
approbation of the court and of Congress is all the gratificap- 
tion I can wish for. 2dly, I yet intend to undertake whatever 
the utmost exertion of my abilities will reach in support oi[ the 
common cause, as fiir as any force that may in future be in- 
trusted to my direction may enable me to succeed ; I hope, 
however, my future force will be better composed than when I 
sailed from L'Orient. I must sail from the Texel in course of 
next month, because ships cannot afterward remain here ill this 
road. My destination or route from hence I yet know not ; but 
I need not tell you that I wish to see your fisice ! 3dly, It is now 
in vain to say what might have been done two years ago with 
the force you mention ; but I believe, if properly supported by 
sea, such a force might yet perform very essential service. 
There is no guarding, you know, against storms ; and one would 
wish either to avoid or to outsail a superior sea force. As I be- 
lieve you know my way of thinking on such subjects, I shall otBbr 
yon no argument. I know you want no prompter.'* 

Baron Yander CapeUen had addressed Jones a second time, 
asking permission to publish his letter to the Countess of Sel- 
kirk, and inquiring whether he had ever been under any oUi- 
gation to the husband of that lady. He also asked him whether 
he had a French commission. The first request Jones declined 
granting. " I am much obliged to you, my lord, (he said,) fw the 
honour you do me, by proposing to publish the papers I sent 
]rou ; but it is an honour which I must decline, because I can- 

324 PA1TL jomsfiu 

not pvdblish my letter to' the lady, without asking and obtaining 
her consent ; and because I hare a very modest opinion of my 
own ^writings ; being conscious that they are not of sufBcient 
Talue to claim the attention of the public. I assure you, my 
lord, it has given me much ccmcem to see an extract of my 
rough journal in print; and that, too, under the disadvantage 
of a translation. That mistaken kindness of a friend, will mak^ 
me cautious how I communicate my j^pers." He also informed 
the baron, that Lord Selkirk knew him cmly by reputation. 
In reply to the question of the worthy nobleman, whether he 
had a French commission^ he briefly said, «' I never bore or 
'acted under any other commission, than what Ihave received 
from the Congress of the United States of America." 

And none other would he accept, while his so doing would 
be an implied admission, that the flag of the new republic 
was not an all sufficient protection for its vessels and citizens. 
His zeal for its honour is not more commendable, than the pr^- 
dence he exhibited in his then very equivocal situation; block- 
aded as he was from without, (for the combined fleet of France 
and Spain had returned to Brest, and the enemy's light cruisers 
were actively on the look out for him,) and menaced within the 
harbour, by the persevering demands and powerful interest of 
the English ambasseulor. So that though the ^tars and stripes 
were flying, and his own, sentinels guarding a fortress intrusted 
to his command, he was aware to the fullest extent, of the pre- 
earious nature of the security be had for the tenure of his ship 
and prisoners, and indeed for his personal safety. If his sense 
of this had been obtuse,' it was about to be quickened, in a man- 
ner which admitted of no misconception. 

The charges against Landais were drawn up by the officers 
of the squadron, on the 30th October, and attested by them.. 
They were twenty-five in number, and have already been suf- 
ficiently adverted to. The last was, that in coming into the 
Texel, Landais declared, that if Captain Jones should hoist a 
broad pendant, he would, to vex kim^ hoist another* 

The nature of the embarassments with which Jones was 

PACfL JONE^. 226 

beset JBit this time, will best appear f^oni his bwtr -accounts. He 
says bricffly, in his journal, that *' with the most indefatigable 
attention and industry, gales of wind, land other circumstancee 
pt^yented him from having the Serapis remasted, and the 
squadron ready to sail, before the middle of November."- On 

the 4th of that month, he thus wrote to the*French ainbassadoi** 


" My Lord, 

' " This morning, the commandant of the road sent me word 
to come and speak to him on board liis ship. He iiad befof <s 
him on the table a letter, which, he said, was from the Prinee 
of Oriange. He questioned me very closely whether I had a 
French commission, and, if I had, he almost insisted upon se^ 
ing it. In conformity to your advice * Cet avis donne au com- 
mencement n'etoit plus de saison depuis I'admission de I'escadre 
sous Pavilion Americain,' I told him that my French commis- 
sion not having been found among my papers since the loss 
of the Bon Homme Richard, I feared it had gone to the bottom 
in that ship ; but that, if it was really lost, it would be an easy 
matter to procure a duplicate of it from France. The com- 
mandant, appeared to be very uneasy and anxious for my' de- 
parture. I have told him, that as there are eight of the enemy^s 
ships laying wait for me at the south entrance, and four more 
at the north entrance of the port, I was unable to fight more 
than three times my force ; but that he might rest assured of 
iny intention to depart with the ulmost expedition, whenever I 
found a possibility to go clear. • 

" I should be very happy, my lord, if I could tell you of my 
being ready. I should have departed long ago, if I had met 
with common assistance ; but for a fortnight past I have every 
day expected the necessary supply of water from Amsterdam 
in cisterns, and I am last night informed that it cannot be had 
without I send up water casks. The provision, too, that was 
ordered the day I returned to Amsterdam from the Hague, is 
not yet sent down ; and the spars that have been sent from ^ 
Amsterdam are spoiled in the making. None of the iron-work 



that was ordercK) for the Serapis is yet completedi so that I aim 
ftvea to this haur, in want of hinges to hang the lower gun 
p^urts. My officers and men lost their clothes and beds- ],a,the 
Bon Homoie Richard, and they have yet got no supply^ The 
bread that has been twiice a week sent down frpn^ ^^ipsteifdam 
to. feed my. peojde, has been, literally speaking, xMen^ and the 
consequence is, that they are falling sick. 

'* It is natural also that they should be discontented, wbijb I 
aw not aU^ to tell them, that they will be paid the value of their 
property in the Serapis and the Countess of Scarborough, if either* 
or both of them should be lost or. taken after sailing from l^nce. 

'^ Thus you see, my lord, that my prospects are fSar from 
pleasing. I have but few men, a/id they are discontented. If 
you can authorise me to promise them, at all hazards, that their 
property in the prizes shall be made good, and that they shall 
receive the necessary clothing and bedding, &c. or money. to 
buy them, I believe I shall soon be able to bring them again 
into a good humour. In the mean time, I will send a vessel or 
two out to reiconnoit re the offing, and to bring me word. Whai:- 
etver may be the consequence of my having put into, this har- 
bour, I must observe,, that it was done contrary to my opinion ; 
and I consented to it only, because the majority of my colleagues 
were earnest for it." Contemplating a speedy departure at 
aAl bastards, he wrote to M. Dumas on the same day, that if the 
weather permitted, what was necessary yet to be done, might 
be effidcted in four or five days. He added : 

'* With resect to the powers of Captain Pearson, I am coiir 
irinoed that he has received no authority from Sir Joseph Yorke. 
His powers, however, must be as ample as mine ; and I should 
not, I assure you, have made such a convention with him, if 
Captain Rimersina, on the part of the States CreneraU had not 
given me, verbally, free liberty to land the wounded prisoners, 
and to guard them in the fort on the Texel, by my soldiers with 
drawn swords, and with the bridges, hauled up at our plear 
sure ; and with free liberty to embark them again, and dispose 
of them as though they had not been landed in HoUandf. . You 

BAirir ^iojnuL) iWi 

f^ tl^^TifSfftBf diat :«iy-coii¥mtitMi wilh Cafkafai'IVlirsM 
lipi hiftd me to contiiiufl the. prisoners «0hcire<; I t»iB enoAwtrft 
l^fm again whenever I plf^tse, and it was only intended on my 
pai^t as a security against ek>pement« They hare hitherto been 
guarded with .the drawbridges hauled up or kt down at the 
sovereign will and pleasure of the ^ €rovernor General*' If my 
wishes succeed, it will afford America matter of exultation ; atid 
at the Worst we can only lose eighteen or nineteen dangerotisly 
wounded prUoners, which I think will be made up by our having 
had possession of a fort on the TexeL I shall only add, that 
i^y meaning has been good ; and that I thought I might rely 
on the guarantee, that I had on the part of the States General, 
while we could keep the prisoners from making their escape 
from the fort." 

But M. de Sartine had determined upon a measure which 
prevented Jones from immediately attempting an escape, and 
from carrying out, under the flag to which she fascd stuck, the 
dearly bought Serapis. On the 6th of November, that minis- 
ter thus briefly wrote to Dr.. Fnuiklin : ^^ Circumstances require 
that the expedition of the squadron, under the orders of Mr. Jones 
should terminate at the Texel. It seems indispensable to give 
a new destination to the different ships which compose it. You 
are at liberty, sir, to dispose of the American frigate, the Al- 
liance, according to the views you may entertain in relation to 
the service of the United States. I pray you only, to observe 
to Mr. Jones, or any other oflicer to whom you may intrust the 
command, that he must not have any subject of the kiog on 
board of that frigate." The minister had resolved to adopt the 
shortest course, in relation to the vessels which were the pro- 
perty of France, and probably had no doubt tha( Jones would 
be willing to accept a copimissioh from that government, to 
extricate himself from his now solitary and dangerous position. 
He was mistaken. 

In communicating a copy of this note to Jones, Franklin 
observed, that the injunction as to the king's subjects might ex- 
tend to Landais, who had not yet arrived. He remarked : ^^ I 


suppose jou wUl ^am the intentions^ of tb^ nlinister, relatite 
to the disposition of the prizes, from the ambassador ; and that 
you will go on board the Alliance yoatself* I aM anxious that 
the prisoners should be safely lodged in France, and should 
earnestly recommend that matter to your attention if I did not 
know that you desire, as much as I do, the exchange of our 
poor countrymen." 

While these unpleasant documents were on their way» M. Du- 
mas had repaired to the Holder, where he was busily engaged in 
endeavouring to expedite the departure of the squadron. Oh 
the 12th^ the ambassador having received the instructions of 
M. de Sartine, recalled Dumas to the Hague, and directed him 
to inform Jcmes that he must suspend his sailing until he re- 
ceived new orders ; but lose no time in the business of repairs. 
The Dutch vice admiral had on the same day given him notice, 
that he was expected to sail with the first fair wind. This offi- 
cer, named Reynst, had been appointed to the command of the 
Dutch fleet, consisting of thirteen men of war, by the Prince 
of Orange. Mr. Rimersina, a friend of America, and who had 
treated the squadron with every civility, was removed from that 

If Sir Joseph had not effected all his object, he had suc- 
ceeded in placing Jones in such jeopardy that his escape with 
safety and honour seemed hopeless.* Their high mightinesses 

* In the Life of Jones, published in Edinbnrgh, the following note is inserted : 

"About this time, a seaman's wife of Burlington addressed a letter to Sir Joseph 
Yorke at the Hagae, imploring tidings of her husband, of whom, since the engage- 
ment of Jones with the Serapis, she had never heard, and who, she feared, had fallen 
in that fight. Sir Joseph gallantly and humanely complied with the poor Engfishwo- 
man's request, and as he was aware that his epistle to Mrs. Bumot would appear in all 
the English and French newspapers, he, with considerable covert humour, contrived 
to have a hit at the shuffling policy of the Dutch, and the chameleon character, of 
the squadron they sheltered, while he replied to the seaman's wiib— 

" * Mrs. Burnot — As soon as I received your letter of the 7th instant, I lost no 
time in making inquiries after your gallant husband, Mr. Riphard Bumot; and have 
now great pleasure in congratulating you upon his being alive add well, on board the 

PAUL JOKES^ . 339 

kml eonluiued their ddiberatioiis on the [Kiiiits refiterved, whieb 
had been pressed upon them in the English ambassador's re« 
monstrance of October 28th. On the 17th November, the 
Duke De Vauguyon informed M; Dupias, that the States of Hol- 
land had come to the conclusion, by a plurality of votes, to 
constrain J<mes to depart, and directed him to repair forthwith 
to the Texel, and make the necessary arrangements. On the 
19th, the States General resolved that they would persist in 
maintaining their ancient maxim, not to decide upon the legal- 
ity of captures under foreign flags/ which maxim, they added, 
'was even founded upon treaties; but that jthey had already 
given evident proof of their not wifshing to render any aid to 
the inhabitants of the British colonies in America, by giving 
orders that Jones should be furnished with no munitions of war 
or other articles, other than were necessary to enable him to 
make the nearest port ; and that, in .case of necessity, they 
would even Constrain him to scfil, as soon as his vessels could 
keep the sea, and the wind permitted. They repeated an ex- 
press disavowal of their intending, by any implication, to recog- 
nise the independence of the Colonies. And they directed the 
Admiralty coUege at Amsterdam to advise Jones, that the ap- 
proaching season of winter would make his departure inconve- 
nient; to avoid which, it was necessary that he should let no 
opportunity escape of putting to sea ; '* that such was the serious 

Countess of Scarboron^, at the Texel. I find he had been burnt with an explosion 
of gunpowder, bnt is now quite recovered. He sends me word, that he, as jon know, 
could not write, and therefore hoped I would let you know he was well, which I dio 
with infinite satisfaction. It will still be greater, if I can get him exchanged, which I 
am doing my best endeavours for ; bnt, as the people who took him are sometimes 
French and sometknes rebels, as it suits then* convenience, that renders this affair more 
difficult than it wonM be if they allowed themselves to be French ; becatise I oonid 
then settle the exchange at once. I am happy to be able to give such agreeable newt 
to the wife of my brave coontrymaBi and I am very sincerely your most faithful 
humble servant, 

** <J08IPH TORXX. 

' ' Hagme, Nov, 96, 1779.' " 


uiteotion of their Ugh mightinesBefs mkA they i^iiM' not expect 
that by opposing it, he would dbUge them (to take meosureB'tiirlfieh 
would be disagreeable to him.*' And they required his serene 
highness (the Prince of Or^ge) to order the. officer comtaiand-^ 
ing in the Texel road to see to it- {temr la mam) with all dis- 
cretion, and permit no dplay which the nature of the case did 
not render unavoidable, not excepting the me of forciblie means, 
if they were found necessary. 

It is proper to record, that the previous resolutions, pass^ on 
the 17th, by the States of Che province of Holland, composed of 
eighteen towns and the body of nobles, (the latter having one 
voice,) were protested against by six of the principal towns. 
The deputies of Dordrecht, Rotterdam, and Schiedam, assented 
to the resolution only so far as it conformed to that fulopted on 
the 21st October, and dissented from that part authorising 
force to be employed, as being premature, and contrary to the 
ancient maxims and customs of the republic. They protested 
that they would not be responsible for the consequences ; and 
reserved the right to such ulterior comments and measures of 
opposition* as might be deemed proper by their constituents* 
The deputies of Haerlem in very strong language, and, as they 
said, by the express orders of their constituents, declared their 
dissent. The deputies of Amsterdam declared that they ojy* 
posed and " held for null* the conclusion of a report of the 13tb, 
on the last memorial of M. the ambassador Yorke, concerning 
the reclamation of the vessels, &c. inasmuch, as the said re- 
port tends to the employment of means of constraint and even 
violence, to conipel the commander Paul Jones to depart cofii 
quo from the Texel road." And, together vrith the before men- 
toned protesting towns, they considered a meagre plurality of 
voices insufficient to sanction a measure which they deemed un- 
constitutiopal, as being inconsistent with the ordinance and 
placard of 1756. The deputies of the town of Brille refused 
to alBsent to the report, and reserved all rights till further 
instructed by their principals. The towns of Horn and Erek- 

knysci* #ere> not represented fay their depataes, when these te* 
ielttliens passed. 

ML Dumas relates, that he repaired to the Texel on the 18th, 
and. that the arrangements made necessary by the ordem of 
Savtine and Franklin, were prosecuted during the tea fiofiowing 
days ; the vice admiral giving a great deal of trouble, partteu- 
larly after receiving his instiuctions founded on ther esolutieMi>af 
tlbe States Gieneval* Though the wind was ooiiitrary, he was 
unremkting in his urgency, and even threats of yiolenee* On 
the 24th, his eaptaiii en second viGated the squadsbn and read 
aloud a paper, whidi he then returned to his pocket. M. Du- 
nmsy foreseeing, as he says, the contents, had prepared a reply ; 
demanding, in future, copies of all orders and menaces^ in order 
that they might be transmitted to Congress and to Dr#. Fnaodir 
Kn. To another pressing message on the S8th, M# Duomhi 
eaused an answer to be givlen^ ^* in a, high voice, before all the 
crews and the rowers of the boat which brought the messenger, 
that 4he vior admiral exacted impossibilities^" This declaration 
be made the pilot sign, and they were then left undisturbed for 
tend^rSk In aa extract from a letter, from; the Haguey which 
was forwarded among the papers sent by M. Ihmuus to^ the com- 
Buttee of foreign affairs, it is stated, that ^^ after Paul Jones 
had declared himself ready to comply with the orders of their 
high mightinesses, whenever he was able to sail at large, Tice 
Admiral Rejmst, having sent Captaia Van Ofermeer on board 
the Serapis, tagive new notice in the most serious manner to 
the comman(hng> officer, thi^ he must get a coast piIot,andi sail 
with the first fovourable wind^ the captain was informed that 
this vessel Was no longer commanded by Pmil Jones, buit by 
Captain Cottineau deCosgelin, who had taken possession of her, 
in the name of the king of France." The Stadtholder, it is 
added, thereupon wrote to the vice admiral to use no forcible 
measuses, until further orders, against vessels whose com^ 
manders held French commissions ; but advised him that pre« 
▼iouB orders remained in force^ as regarded the Alhcuiee, aetua% 
eooimanded by Jonea ; and at the same time diarged him ** to 


tftke eare that none of the prisoners who had not been con- 
ducted into the road, and put oh board said yess^l, should 
be carried there*'*- These directions, the letter addsj were com- 
municated to their high mightinesses, who approved of them, 
reserving the right of ulterior deliberation on subsequent mea^- 
sures $ and in the mean time co{Nes of the agreement between 
Jones and Pearson were put into circulation* 

Jones had indeed made up his mind to comply with the triple 
requisitions of Fraijoe, Dr. Franklin, and the States Greneral ; 
but he was determined to fulfil the expectations of the Ameri- 
can ambassador as to the exchange of prisoners, white there 
was the least hope of his doing so. On the 27th, he wrote to the 
Dttke de la Vauguyon, expressing his admiration of ^ the warm 
and persuasive zeal which he bad so noUy displayed at Amster- 
dam« for the service of the bctstof kings*'^ He expressed his regret 
that, in endeavouring to comply with his promise to his crew, he 
had been compelled to ask for them conditions, which the duke 
did not feel at liberty to grant. To comply with those promises 
and effect the exchange of American prisoners in England, 
were, he said, the two interesting objects, which, '* and not aiqr 
natural obstinacy of tem]$er, produced that inflexibiUty which 
gave your excellency so much trouble to overcome. But, the 
conflict being now past, I am, (in full confidence,) made happy 

by havii^ yielded to the Duke de la Vauguyon." ** I consider 


myself as being entirely dismissed from any connexion with the 
court. I complain not of the measure; but as I am unconscious 
of having in any instance lost sight of the points of duty that 
were given me in charge, I confess I have been and am hurt, 
at the manner in which I have been dismissed. The more so, 
as the connexion was not at the beginning of my seeking ; and 
as I never asked, nor meant to ask a lieivour for myself from 
the minister." 

The order Franklin had found it necessary to grant, invcrfved 
the delivery of the prisoners to the French ambassador. The 
Serapis and Countess of Scarborough were also taken from 
under bis orders. It was not without a pang that he resigned 

PAUL JO^£S« 1^^ 

the oommaad of the Sormer veas^l ; wUcb had recently cost the 
British goyemment a large sum of mon^, was a new ship, w^ 
sufficiently refitted {or Sjea* . He fouod it imperatively necessar; 
to remove to the Alliance, on bo^rd of which alone the Ameri- 


can flag was now flying, and from which the preceding lettcn? 
was dated. When, and in what terms the offer to accept a 
French commission was first made to him, does not very dieh 
tinctly appear. He states generally in his Journal, that Holland 
agreed to give convoy to the fleet bound for Brest, and that th^ 
French court wished him either to accept a comniission and 
h(9gt the flag of France on board all the ships of the squadron 
and the prizes, or go on board the frigate Alliance. He chose 
the latter, he says, £»: many reasons ; but '' his superior motive 
was to preserve the honour of the American flag, in the worst of 
times. In any other light it was a most disagreeable and mor- 
tifying chai^." The Alliance had not a good cable or sail ; 
the oflicers and men were intemperate and idle ; filth, insqbcM^. 
dination, and epidemical diseases, prevailed £unong the crew; 
she was badly supplied with small arms, and her powder was of 
bad quality. The latter wants Jones was, however, enabled to 
supply, from the superfluous number of small arms found on 
board the Serapis, and the powder which had been transfei'red 
to the Fallas from the Bon Homme Richard, when the latter 
ship was on fire, the morning after the action. He also had 
two cables, procured for the Serapis at Amsterdam; without 
which the Alliance would have been lost in the gales that jpdre- 
vailed at the Texel, before she sailed from thence, when all her 
other cables broke. 

The letters from the French ambassador to Sartine .and 
Franklin, show that the gratitude expressed to the ambassar 
dor by Jones, was not unmerited; and that the former had 
pressed upon his government the claims urged by the latter, 
on behalf of the rights of his crew, under the laws and usages of 
the United Slates of America. 

On the 29th, Jones wrote to Dr. Franklin, expressing a hope 
that his conduct on the seeond interview with the French am- 


$)4 PAUL JONB8. 

bassador^ (referred to by M. Dumas,) would meet with Im 
approbation. " I do not," he said, " well understand the rea- 
sons of this alteration ; but M. Dumas, who was present, can 
inform you, that I hare done every thing in my power, to secure 
the prisoners, without a quarrel with the ambassador. I hare 
a hundred prisoners on board b^e, among whom are all that 
were landed and guarded for three weeks by our people^ in the 
fort on the Texel. I shall, with this ship, embrace the first.fajr 
wind for L'Orient. I 1k^ to take some good prizes by tl|e 
way, and on my arrival there to meet with your further orders. 
I should have come on board here, on the departure of Captain 
Landais, agreeable to your letter of the 15th ult. had it imH 
been from delicacy ; as that mistaken man had said I had 


made interest with you to supersede him in the command of 
this frigate ! If he has any sensibility, it will be a sufficient 
punishment for him to know that, till the engagement with the 
Serapis, I was his friend, and had never written his name to 
y6u, without saying something in his favour. * * '^ * It is natit- 
ral for me to wish, that the Sera[Ms should become the property 
of America. It is the best ship tlmt I ever saw of the kind; 
and would cost the continent less than any frigate that has yet 
been under our flag. I wish to embrace you once more, before 
I leave Europe; but my private feelings, I hope, shall never 
divert my attention from my duty." 

In a postscript, he added, '* I have the pleasure to inforni 
y6u.that Captain Cunningham is now here with me." There 
was at any rate one consolatory circumstance, in which he had 
reason to congratulate himself on the consequence of his own 
firm conduct towards the English captain and the haughty 

Not confining himself to remonstrances with the magistrates 
and legislatures, and to intrigues with public characters, who 
could aid him in thwarting the escape of Jones, there is no 
reason to doubt, that Sir Joseph Yorke offered rewards for the 
private apprehension of the American commodore. Jones does 
not scruple to charge him, in his subsequent references to this 

PAVL JONSfl. 335 

period, with praotisiiig clandestiiiely to get possession of 
person. In a statement drawn up by Mr. Van Berckel, grand 
pensionary of Amsterdam, attested in every particular by M. 
Dumas, it is said, ** the ambassador did all in his power with the 
magistrates and priyate citizens of Amsterdam, to cause them 
to lay hands upon the person of the commodore, and to deliver 
him up to him ; but in vain. No person had the baseness or 
the courage to undertake his desire in this respect." 

On the 1st December, meditating his departure at all hazards* 
whenever the wind should serve, (which, however, it did noC 
until the 27th,) we find Jones returning his thanks to Captain 
Rimersina for his personal civilities, and the attention shown to 
the American flag, while he had commanded in the road. On the 
5th, while forwarding despatches for Congress, enclosed to the 
Hon. Robert Morris, he thus wrote to that gentleman : ** I am 
persuaded you will observe with pleasure, that my connexion 
with a court is at end, and that my prospect of returning to 
America approaches. The great seem to wish only to be con- 
cerned vrith tools, who dare not speak or write truth. I am not 
sorry that my connexion with them is at an end. In the course 
of that connexion, I ran ton chances of ruin and dishonour for 
one of reputation ; and all the honours or profit that France 
could bestow, should not tempt me again to undertake the same 
service with an armament equally ill composed, and with pow- 
ers equally limited. It affords me the most exalted pleasure to 
reflect, that, when I return to America, I can say, that I have 
served in Europe at my own expense, and without the fee or 
reward of a court. When the prisoners we have taken are 
safely lodged in France, I shall have no farther business in 
Europe, as the liberty of all our fellow citizens, who now suthr 
in English prisons will then be secured ; and I shall hope here- 
after to be usefully employed under the immediato direction of 
the Congress." 

At the same time that these despatches were transmitted, he 
drew up his memorial from the Texel, frequently referred to in 
the former part of this work. It bears dato December 7th. In 

236 FAin. JONES. 

it he minutely recapitulated the events, with which he had^been 
bonnected while in the public service in America, more briefly 
adverted to the transacti(His detailed in Ihs despatches from 
Europe; an4 thus concluded: '^ I now hope to appear in Ame- 
rica, in a short time h^dce, and to have the honour to present 
my respects in person to Congress ; for I give up the ejtpecta* 
tion <^ ever commanding the Indien ; and as I believe the pri* 
soners I have taken will effect the exchange of all our fellow 
subjects^ who are now in the English prisons, I sInJI hope to be 
afterwards more usefully employed under the immediate direc* 
tion of Congress. I have not drawn my sword in our glorious 
cause for hire, but in support of the dignity of human nature^ 
and in obedience to the genuine and divine feelings of philan- 
tlnropy. I hoisted with my own hand the flag of freedom, the 
first time that it was displayed on board the Alfred on the 
Delaware, and I have attended it ever since with veneration on 
the ocean. I claimed and obtained its first salute from that of 
France, before our independence was otherwise announced in 
that kingdom, and no man can wish^more ardently to support its 
rising glory than myself. I never have asked, and I have now 
to ask no other favour from Congress, than the continuance of 
that good opinion, which has in time past made me so happy, and 
so greatly overpaid my endeavour to do my duty." 

The final arrangement adopted in relation to the prisoners, 
by the express wish of his majesty the king of France, was, that 
they should be exchanged for French prisoners at the Texel; 
France giving the same number in France, to exchange Against 
the Americans in England. This was effected with a great 
-deal of difficulty. The hundred of whom Jones speaks, in the 
ieilter to Franklin last quoted from, were the sick and wounded 
who'' had been landed at the Fort, and whom he persevered in 
retaining, under his express agreement with Captain Pearson. 

Whatever might have been the previous propositions as to his 
accepting a French commissioti,'an offer was now made hf di- 
rection of M. de la Sattine, and communicated by the ambas- 
sador^ wht<di excited the indignation of Jon^s ki no small degree ; 


and k will not M thougiity under all thip ciroiunstanbe«> that hs 
expressed it in language dther too strong or not sufficiently 
respkictfiil. He thus addressed tlie Preneh ambasaadoyr, on the 

13th December. 

/..■•. , . 

"My Lord, 

^^ Perhaps there are many mon in the world, who wpdk) 
esteem as an liohour the commission that I haye this day refu- 
sed. ' My rank from the beginning knew no superior in the 
marine of America ; how then must I be humbled were I to 
accept a letter of marque ! I diould, my lord, esteem mjrself 
inezeiisaMe, were I to accept eren a commission of equal or su- 
perior deoominaitipn to that I bear, unless I were previously 
autlfcrised by Congress, or some other competent authority in 
Vimope* And I must tell you, that on my arrival at Brest from 
the Irish channel, Count D'Orvilliers offered to procure ibr 
me from court, a commission of ' Captaine de Vaisseau,' which 
I did not then accept for the same reason, although the war 
between France and England was not then begun, and of course 
the commission of France would; have protected me from an 
enemy of superior force. 

"It IS a matter of the highest astonishment to me, that, after 
so many compliment and ftiir professions, the court, should 
offer the present insult to my understanding, and suppose ihe 
capable of disgracing my present commission* I confess that I 
never merited all the pritise bestowed on my past conduct, but 
I^aliO feel that I have far less merited such a reward, i Where 
profession and {M*actice are so opposite, I am no longer weak 
enough to form a wrong conclusion. They may think all they 
please of me; for where I cannot continue my esteem, praise 
or censure from any man is to me a matter of indifference. 
' '**! am much obliged to them^ however, for having at last 
fairly opened iny eyeb, and enabled me to discover truth from 

" The prisoners shall be delivered' agreeable to the orders 

.. . 1 


vrikkik you hav^ done me the honour to aend to me, from his 
exoeHency the American ambassador in France. 

<^ I will also with great pleasure, not only permit a part of my 
seamen to go on board the ships under your exceUeaey's orders, 
but I will also do my utmost to prevail with them to embark 
freely ; and if I can now or hereafl;er, by any other honourable 
means, facilitate the succe^ or the honour of his majesty's 
arms, I pledge myself to you as his ambassador, that none of 
bis own subjects would Meed in his cause with greater freedom 
than myself, an American. 

^* It gives me the more pain^ my lord, to wrke this letter, be- 
cause the court has enjoined you to prepare what would dest^regr 
my peace of mind, and my future veracity in the opinion of th^ 

world. •!■:' 

*^ When, with the content ofciAsrt and by order of the Ameri- 
can ambassador, I gave American commissions to French 
officers, I did not fill up those c<mimissions to command priva* 
teers, nor even for a rank equal to that of their oommissicms im 
the marine of France. They were promoted to rank /or Mp^ 
riar) and why? not from personal friendship, nor from my 
knowledge of their services and abilities, (the men and their 
characters being entire strangers to me,) but from the 'respect 
which I believed America would wish to show fbr the service dT 

'^ While I remaiBed eight months seemingly forgot by the 
court tkt Brest, many commissions, such as that in question, were 
ofiered to me ; and I believe, (when I am in pursuit difltmderi^ 
I can still obtain such an one without apphcation to court. 

^* I hope, my lord, that my behaviour through life will ever 
entitle me to the continuance of your good wishes and opinicm, 


and that j^ou will take occasion to make mention of the warm 
€md personal afiection with which my heart is impressed towards 
his majesty. '^ I am, d&c. &c." 

To Franklin, to whom he enclosed the copy <^ this letter, he 
broke out in terms less constrained. 

PAVt somm. 239 

' ** I hope,*' he said, '*th<ittbe wMnn copy of my letter to dM 
Dae de la Yangnyon will ineet yoar approbation ; for I am 
persuaded that it never could be your intention or wish that I 
should be made the tool of any great r whatever ; or that 
the commission of America should be overlaid by the dirty 
piece of pe(f chment which I have this day rejected ! They have 
played upon my good humour too long already, but the spell is 
at last dissolved. They would play me off with assurance of 
the personal and particular esteem of the king, to induce me to 
do what would render me contemptible even in the eyes of my 
own servanta! Accustomed to speak untruths themselves, they 
would also have me to give under my hand that I am a liar and 
a sooundreL They are mistaken, and I would tell them what 
you did to your naughty servant. * We have too contemptible 
an opinion of one another's understanding to live together.' I 

could tell them, too, that if M de C had not taken such 

safe precautions to keep me honest by means of his famous con- 
dordaty and to support me by so many able colleagues, these 
great men would not have been reduced to such mean shifts ; 
for the prisoners could have been landed at Dunkirk the day 
that I entered the Texel, and I could have brought in douUe 
the numbers." 

** We hear that the enemy still keeps a squadron cruising off 
here, but this shall not prevent my attempts to depart, when- 
ever the wind will permits I hope we have recovered the trim 
of this ship, which was entirely lost during the last cruise ; and 
I do not much fear the enemy in the long and dark nights of 
this season. The ship is well manned, and shall not be given 
away; I need not tell you I will do my utmost to take prisoners 
and priaSes in my way from hence." 

The squadron of Htdland, (thirteen two-deckers,) according 
to .his Journal, had been drawn up and barricaded every day 
for battle, for more than a month, to drive him out if he should 
attempt to remain after the wind became fair, while the English 
fleet was almost constantly in sight off the harbour." On the 
10th, the Vice Admiral Reynst sent to request him to come on 

240 PAiguiiPiw^r 

board of bifl ship, from wbidk be exooied hi^i^dt j Op. %he^ next 
dajr the vioe admiral wrote to bua : ^^ I, desire j<m bj this pr^ 
sent letter, to please to inform me bow I must Qopsider th,e 
Alliance which jrou are on board of; whether as a French qr 
American vesseL If the first, I expect you to cause his majesty. 'if 
oommisaioii to be shown to me, and that f pu ^iiBfisfffii^ French 
flag and pendant, announcing it by discharging a gM^^ If th§ 
second, I expert you to omit no occasion of departi^g^ according 
to the orders of their high mightinesses.";. This letter, Jpne^ 
communicated to the French commissary cf.iparine s^ Awf^ei^ 
dam, the Chevalier de Lironcpurt, then at, the Helder, wh^ in 
bis immediate reply, courteously suggested tha( Jones would 
give the hi^iest satisfaction to all parties by di&fplaying Fi:encb 
colours, but said that he would urge him no more ; ajssnring 
him that the brevet which had been tendered to Um was only 
intended for the existing exigency, and the good of the commqii 
cause; and not offered from any. of the discreditable ^oiotWes 
imagined by him. Jones briefly answered the admiral that ,he 
had BO (Mrders to hoist any other flag; cuid that whenever. the 
pilot would take it upon him toieonductthe ship to 8e^,.he woulft^ 
give him his best assistance. .., . _^ 

On the 21st, the Duke de la Vauguyon, addressed an .epis.t|^ 
to Jones, well calculated to soothe his exasperated feelingf,nnd 
which had the desired effect to a certain extent. 

^' I perceive with pain, my dear commodore," he said, '^ that 


you do not view your, situation in the aright lights; and,l ca]|.a^r 
sure you that the ministers of the king have, no inten^on ty 
cause you the least disagreeable feelings as the honourah}^ 
testimonials of the esteem of his ma^t(y» .which I send you, 
ought to convince you. I hope you will fuA doubt, the sipcere 
desire with which you have inspired . line Jto procure you erery 
satisfaction you may merit. It cannot &il to inqte yQU:to give " 
liew proofs of your zeal for the cenunon cause, of Fr^^y^ 9X^ 
America. I flatter myself to renew, before long, the oc^i^on^ 
and to procure you the means to increase ^d\l more t(ip gipqr 
you hare already acquired. > I am ahrendy Qcmp^ witbajl the 

I firoiiiifldd ycMt ; arid if my views are realissed, m I have 
-MNirjr reason to believe, you will be at all events perfectly con- 
tent f but I must pray you not to hinder my project by deliver- 
ing yourself to the expression of those strong sensations to which 
jou appear to give way, -and for which there is really no fouled 
aiion. You appear to possess full confidence in the justice 
and kindness of the king ; rely also upon the same sentiments 
on the part of his ministers." 

In reply, Jones wrote as follows, -on the 25th : '' I have not 
4t. heart of stone, but am duly sensible of the obligations con- 
ferred on me by the very kind and affectionate letter, that jrou 
have done me the honour to write me the 21st current. • • • • 
Were I to form my opinion of the ministry from the treatment 
that I experienced while at Brest, or from their want of oon« 
fidence in me afterwards, exclusive of what has taken place 
flince I had the misfortune to enter this port, I will appeal to 
your excellency, as a man of candour and ingenuity, whether I 
ought to deaire to prolong a connexion that has made me po 
unhappy, and wherein I have given so very little satisfaction. 
M. le Chevsilier de Lironcourt has lately made me reproaches 
on account of the expense that, he says, France has been at to 
five me reputation, in preference to twenty captains of the royal 
navy, better qualified than myself, and who, each of them, 
solicited for the command that was lately given to me ! 

** This, I confess, is quite new, and indeed surprising to me ; 
and, had I known it before I left France, I certainly should 
have resigned in favour of the twenty men of superior merit. I 
do not, however, think that his first assertion is true ; for the 
ministers must be unworthy of their places were they capable of 
squandering the public money only to give an individual reputa- 
tion ; and as to the second, I fancy the court will not thank kim 
for having given me that information, whether true or false. I 
may add here, that with a force so ill composed, and with 
powers so limited, I ran ten chances of ruin and dishonour for 
me of gaining reputation ; and had not the plea of humanity 
in favour of the unfortunate Americans in Enghsh dungeons 


S4C2 PAiTL jomss. 

superseded all consideration of self^ I faithfiilly assure yoUjtaiy 
lord, that I would not have proceeded under such circumstances 
from Groix. I do not imbibe hasty prejudices against any in- 
dividuals ; but when many and repeated circumstances, con- 
spiring in one point, have inspired me with disesteem towards 
any person, I must see convincing proof of reformation in such 
person before my heart can beat again vnth affection in bis 
favour ; for the mind is free, and can be bound only by kind 
treatment. » ♦ ♦ ♦ I hope I shall not through any imprudence 
of mine, render ineffectual any noble design that may be in con- 
templation for the general good. Whenever that object is 
mentioned, my private concerns are out of the question ; and 
where I cannot speak exactly what I could wish with respect to 
my private satisfaction, I promise you in the mean time to ob- 
serve a prudent silence." 

It is truly wonderful, that Jones should have found time, in 
the midst of the difficulties in which he was involved, and the 
quantity of business which it was necessary for htm to attend to 
in person, during his three months' blockade in the Texel r6ad, 
to have committed to paper such a mass of correspondence as 
has even been preserved. This long memorial must have been 
composed about the time of its date. He was in daily corres- 
pondence with the diplomatic M. Dumas, to whom he submitted 
all his letters for his inspection and advice. He had, however, 
in the beginning of November, refused very warm and polite 
vinvitations, to visit either Amsterdam or even the Hague. 
** Duty," he said, " must take the precedence of pleasure. I 
must wait a more favourable opportunity to kiss the hands of 
the fair." He was indeed most intensely and indefatigably 
employed all this time, in persevering efforts to effect the fixed 
purpose of his soul, let fluctuating neutral policy take what 
course it tnight, or vacillating ministers yield what points they 
might think unimportant, or Sir Joseph Yorke fulmine or in- 
trigue as he pleased. We find Jones subsequently apologizing 
for not having answered in rhyme the metrical efiiisions of a 
young lady, the diEiughter of M. Dumas, who did poetical homage 


to the chivalric and gallant commodore, and whom he styled 
the '' Virgin Muse." Verily, he had other business to transact 
than that of tagging couplets together ; and though he aspired 
most devoutly to please the fair, and was dearly sensible of thm 
ajttentions, I can find no foundation for the remark of one of hicr 
biographers, that his neglect to answer the last copy of the 
lady's verses, '^ appears to have weighed more on his mind than 
aU the squadrons and remonstrances of the enemy." It only 
drew somewhat heavy draughts on his stock of complimentary 
language, and vocabulary of badinage. 

On the 27th of December, tixe wind serving, he set* sail froni 
the Texel, leaving, to use the musty proverb, the frying pan, 
in which he had been so long kept hot, at the risk of encounter- 
ing the fire, with which the English cruisers would have been 
well pleased to have favoured him^ From the Alliance, at sea^ 
he wrote on this day to M. Dumas : . 

" I am here, my dear sir, with a good wind at east^ and 
under my best American colours — so far you your wish. 
What may be the event of this critical moment I know not ; I 
am not, however, without good hopes. Through the ignorances 
or drunkenness of the old pilot, the Alliance last night got foul: 
of a Dutch merchant ship, and X beUeve the Dutchmen cut our 
cable. We lost the best bower anchor, and the ship was brought 
up with the sheet anchor so near the shore, that this morning I' 
have been obliged to cut the cable in order to get clear of the 
shore, and that I might not lose this opportunity of escaping * 
from purgatory." 

His Journal for the King, Contains the following account of 
this nice and successful operation of seamanship. " He passed,'' 
he states, '^ along the Flemish banks, and. getting to windward 
of the enemy's fleets of observation in the North Sea, he the 
next day passed through the Straits of Dover, in full view of 
the enemy's fleet jn the Downs. The day following Captain . 

244 rAVL JOKES. 

Jones ran the Atluince past the Isle of Wight, hi riew of the 
enemy's fleet at Spithead, and in two days more got safe through 
the Channel, having passed by windward in sight of several of 
the enemy's large twonlecked cruising ships. Ciiptain Jones 
Mshed to carry with him sbme prizes and ^prisoners to Frieuice ; 
but the Alliance, by the arrangement Captain Landais had 
made of the ballast at L^Orient, was out of trim, and could not 
sail fast, her sails being too thin and old for cold latitudes. He 
steered to the southward, and cruised for some days without 
success (^ Cape Finisterre. On the 16th of January, 1780, 
Captain Jones, to shun a gale of wind, arid procure a sound 
anchor^ (for he had left the Texel with only one,) ran into Co- 
rogne. He was very kindly received in Spain, but sailed again, 
and arrived at Oroix on the 10th February, having taken no 
prizes ; but met with and conducted in the American merchant 
ship Livingston, with a large cargo of tobacco, from Virginia 
for Bordeaux.'* 

It is barely necessary here to beg the reader to remember, 
that the conduct of Jones during his stay in the Texel, placed 
Holland in such a situation, that England Could not but treat 
her as an alienated friend ; that the formal manifesto or decla- 
ration of war, published at the end of the year 1780, set forth 
the entertainment of Jones' squadron, and the license given to 
him to depart, (a license not very enviable under such circuhi- 
stances,) as the main acts which justified open hostility ; that 
few of the few celebrated " Retreats,'' either on land or water, 
in which neither honour nor any material point of vantage was 
lost, can overmatch that of Jones from the Texel ; and we may 
be spared from attempting formal panegyric on actions, which 
have few parallels in history, when the performance involved 
such important political results. 

Three days after being at sea^ on this skittish voyage, we 
find Jones actually fulfilling his obligations to his fair correspon- 
dent at Amsterdam, by writing a copy of verses, as good as those 
of any naval commander whom we happen to think of, except 
Sir Walter Raleigh ; and of a kind which though rejected by 

IMLVh JONW^ 349 

** Gods and columns," served in the days of our forrfatheni to 
please very respectable ^* men" and women too.* The pro- 
duction was dated on the New Year's day of 1780« According 
to our modern notions, were it n<^ that in the second and third 
stanzas, he got irregularly rid of three lumbering Alelandrinea 
introduced in the first, his metre had as much pretension to be 
called poetry, as .nine tenths of the vers de 9oci6U of the French 
ClasMkal School, or the magazine - poetry of England and its 
colonies, at that period* 

Previous to his entering the port of L'Orient in February, 
we Jmd but two letters from his pen, which are preserved. He 
wrote from Corunna on the 16th January 'to La Fayette, men- 
tioning very briefly his detention in the '' detestable road" of the 
Texel, and his mortification at being pfifered a letter of marque* 
''I steered this way," he said, '^in hopes of meeting some of 
their cruisers off Cape Finisterre, but am hitherto disappointed- 
It .being very stormy weather, I this evening anchored here, 
where I mean only to scrub the bottom, and take a little fresh 
water, &c." On the 30th, he addressed the president of Con- 
gress, from on board the Alliance off Corunna, enclosing quad* 
ruplicate despatches. He expressed a hope that his reflisal of 
a French commission would not be disagreeable to Congress, 
and gave a particular detail of the manner in which forty Eng- 
lish ships of the line and frigates, (two of which were lost,) wero 
for six weeks stationed to intercept him. 

Before proceeding with the transactions subsequent to his 
arrival at L'Orient, the situation of the two prizes sent by Lan- 
dais to Norway, " under the nose of Jones," as he expresses it, 
and in defiance of his prders, claims a passing notice. 

The ship Betsy, of 22 guns and 84 men^ and the Union of the 
Uke force, with a quantity of naval stores on board, arrived at 
Bergen on the 12th September, under the conduct of two of the 
officers of the Alliance. Immediate attention was paid to them 

« See Appendix No. IX. 

846 PAtrti jo»Mi 


hf the consular agent of Prance, M« Deehesattk, who wrote to 
apprize Dr. Franklin of their arrival, and also to M. Caillard 
the charge d'affaires of Prance at the court of Denmark. These 
prized were of value,* but had suffered considerably at sea, and 
stood in need of repairs. They were also badly manned. M. 
Dechezaulx had instructions from Sartine, to render the same 
services to vessels of the United States as to those of France. 
He was in hopes that the sale of these prizes would be allowed 
or overlooked by the Danish authorities, though the indepen- 
dence of the United States had not been recognised by that 
court ; but of course expected the most vehement opposition 
from the English consul. This apprehension was ^oon dis- 
agreeably realized. On the 26th of October, he wrote to inform 
Franklin that a resolution had been adopted by the court of Den- 
mark, " unjust and contrary to the law of nations," to restore 
the ships to the English government, and that they had been 
delivered up accordingly. The decision had been sudden and 
totally unexpected. The order given by Lahdais to the officers 
who had them in charge was, simply to conduct them to Ber- 
gen, and M. Dechezaulx had no authority, without receiving 
orders from Franklin, to send them away, had they been in a 
condition to put to sea. The resolution was not communicated 
to the French charge d'affaires, until some time after it had 
been made, during which time he had conferences with the 
Danish minister in relation to the prizes. Nothing could be 
done under these circumstances by the American officers, who 
were obliged to go on shore with upwards of twenty men, and 
with no provision made for them, except to enter their formaF 
protest against the proceedings. The governor, however, 
assured them that he would exert himself in their behalf; and 
the principal merchants offered them every assistance. A few 
weeks after, the governor informed them, that he w§is author-' 
ized to pay their expenses, and that there Was a probability that 

* M. Dechezaulx estimated them to be worth at least 40,000^. sterliag. 


PAU& jonES. 94!t 

the fihipfl would be paid for, to the satiafaction of the Ammcan 
^overnodent ; a cheap promise, never fulfilled. Franklin ad- 
dressed Count BernstofiT, the Dani^ minister, on th^ subject. 
But his letter was not received until the 31st of Janit^. On 
the 4th of that month, we find the ofilicers, five in number, with- 
out any advices from Franklin, representing that, '' they greatly 
regretted remaining in such an incustive state, being unable to 
render any service whatever, either to their country or them- 
selves." Of those prizes, which became subsequently the sub- 
ject of much negotiation, it is only necessary to add here, that 
4hey were totally lost to the United States, by the perverse folly 
and wilful disobedience of Landais. Another prize called the 
Charming Polly, was also sent to Bergen, where she arrived 
after the Union and Betsy, and shared the same fate. 

The events of the year 1780, during whi^h Jones was in 
France, and the correspondence of that period must be suc- 
cinctly referred to. . The latter is voluminous, and with the help 
of imagination some romance might be constructed out of the 
letters of fair ladies, known and anonymous. But our business 
is with truth, and we must confine ourselves within certain 

From the fatigues Jones had undergone, his health was im- 
paired, and when he anchored at Groix, he was almost blind 
from the soreness of his eyes. He went up to L' Orient for a 
change of air, whence he addressed Franklin on the 13th of 
February. . His first object was to repair the Alliance ; and he 
set about his preparations for that business with a zeal, and on 
a scale, which the economical Franklin in vain endeavoured to 
control and reduce. The cutwater of that vessel had been 
wrenched out of its place, and her trim could not be regained 
without altering the arrangement of the ballast, which Jones 
says, he understood V' Captain Landais had extended along the 
ceiling from the stem post to the stern ; an idea that I believe 
he may without vanity call his own." Jones had ordered can- 
vass and cordage from Amsterdam. He also proposed to sheathe 
the bottom with copper, if it could be afforded. The other 

S48 FAVL joim. 

ships left in the Texel road had arrived in France, the Duteh 
fleet giving them convoy. The Serapis was at L'Orient, and 
her eonqua*or wished die xx>uld be made the property of Ame- 
liea. The- Countess of Scarborough was at Dunkirk. The 
American minister found himself compelled to use the language 
of siqipliciition. 

*^ As to refitting your ship at the expense of this court,*' he 
said, *' I must acquaint you that there is not the least proba- 
bility of obtaining it, and therefore I cannot ask it. 1 hear too 
fldoch already of the extraordinary expense you made in Hol- 
land, to think of proposing an addition to it, especially, as you 
seem to impute the damage she has sustained, more to Ca))tain 
Landais' n^ligence, than to accidents of the cruise. The 
whole expense will, therefore, ftili upon me, and I am. ill provi- 
ded to bear it, {laving so many unexpected calls upon me from 
all quarters. I, therefore, beg you would have mercy on me, 
piit me to as little charge as possible, and take nothing you can 
possibly do without. As to sheathing with copper, it is totaHy 
out of the question. I am not authorized to do it, if I had money; 
wid I have not money for it, if I had orders; The purchase 
of the Serapis is in the same predicament. I believe the send- 
ing canvass and cordage from Amsterdam has already been 
forbidden ; if not, I shall forbid it. I approve of your applying 
to Messrs. Gourlade and Moylan for what repairs yon want, 
having an exceeding good 'opinion of those gentlemen ; but let 
merepeatitf for Ood's sake be sparing, unless you meaq to make 
me a bankrupt, or have your drafts dishonoured, for want of 
money in my hands to pay them." 

To this earnest exhortation, Jones said in reply, '' I feel yoor 
reasons for urging frugality ; and as I have not hitherto been 
among the most extravagant servants of America, so you may 
depend upon it, my regard for you will make me particularly 
nice in my present situation." In his answer to questions sub- 
sequently proposed by the American board of Admiralty, which 
had now been established, Jones gives a truly deplorable account 
of the condition of the Alliance, which, on being tfaorougMy ex- 

PAiTL joiness. 249 

Mftined, prored defieient and inconyenient in its original con- 
ttruction, and altogether ill contrired* The essential repairs 
were finished by the middle of April, by the crew of the ship 
and four or five American carpenters. The materials of the 
cdd arrangement nearly sufficed to finish the new. Jones says, 
^^ judges allowed that whaithe business was finished, every thing 
about diat fi*igat6 was perfect* I know not what was the 
amount of the disbursements." In his Journal for the king, he 
says, '< She was thought one of the completest frigates in France." 
It may easily be conjectured that the entreaties of the illustrious 
author of Poor Richard were not always remembered, while this 
metamorphose was in process. 

At this time, he seems to have thought that an opinion was 
entertained, probably on account of his having rejected the 
French commission so indignantly, that his feelings towards the 
nation were unfriendly. This impression he thought it neces- 
sary to counteract. Writing to La Fayette, he stud : " Withr 
drawn as I am at present from the public attention, and having 
endeavoured only by my past conduct to prove my zeal for the 
common cause, it is strange that I cannot escape the malicious 
attacks of little minds. If any person, who has himself deserved 
well of his country, can accuse me of ingratitude, let him 
step forth like a man, and I will answer en homme rTkomieur. 
• • • • ^Fq come to the point, here follows my political profes- 
sion. I am a citizen of the world, totally unfettered by the 
little mean distinctions of country or of climate ; which diminish 
or set bounds to the benevolence of the heart. * * * * As an 
American officer, and as a man, I affecticmately love and re- 
spect the character and nation of France, and hope the alliance 
with America may last for ever. I owe the greatest obligation 
to the generous praises of the French nation on my past con- 
duct, and shall be happy to merit future favour. I greatly love 
and eirteem his most christian majesty as the great ally of Ame- 
rica, the best of kings, and the amiable friend and ' protector 
of the rights of human nature ;' therefore, he has very few o£ 
his own subjects who would Ueed in his present cause with 


..:M'V«r "^ 

250 PAin. joKEi. 

greater freedom than myself, and none who are more diiinto* 
rested. At the same time, I lament the calamities of war, aad 
wish above all things, for an honourable, happy, and lasting 
peace. My fortune is not augmented by the part I have hitherto 
acted in the revolution, (although I have had frequent opptn^- 
tunities of acquiring riches,) and I pledge myself to the worthy 
part of mankind, that my future conduct in the war shall aol 
forfeit their good opinion. I am ever, with great and sincere 
affection, ha^^ in your friendship, &jt.^ 

He gave assurances to the Duke de Vauguyon to the same 

'^ There are, my lord, some of my secret enemies base 
enough to insinuate that I do not love the nation of France ; 
but be assured that, though I felt myself hurt by some measures 
that were adopted towards me, and fitur which I cannot yet see 
any good reason, yet I have never written, spoken, or even 
thought, disrespectfully of the nation." 

It was unquestionably for the interest of any man of common 
prudence, under Jones' circumstances, to endeavour to conci- 
liate the good will of the French nation. His forbearance as 
to Landais proved that he acted upon this conviction. He had 
certainly no great cause to love M. de la Sartine, juor to feel 
particulaily warm towards the captains ?i4io had been asso- 
ciated with him, from whatever cause their disagreement might 
have arisen. But he was certainly honest in his professions c^ 
regard for the nation ; and the subsequent honours he received 
at court increased that regard fervently. 

It was Franklin's intention to send the Alliance back, as soon 
as she should be in a condition to make the voyage. Jones would ' 
not have opposed this purpose ; though it may fairly be supposed 
that the interest he took in the disposition which might be 
made of his prizes did not make him anzi6us to expedite his 
departure while this was uncertain, and his crew were without 
either wages or prize money. We have no reason to believe 
that he made any unnecessary delay, when the thorough repairs 
the AlUance underwent are considered. Four gentlemen, one 


of whom was Mr. Arthur Lee, were deflirous of eoming out to 
America by that opportunity, and Jones had promised to " pay 
the most cheerful regard to their accommodation." Franklin 
also wished to send to the United States large supplies of arms 
and clothing, (15,000 stand of good arms, and 120 bales of 
public cloth,) of which Jones said, ''he hoped to be able to cram 
a ^eat part, if not the whole, into the Alliance." This could not 
have been done with any convenience, without a material change 
in the arrangement of that ship. On the 1st of March, Franklin 
wrote that M. Sartine desired a place for another passenger, 
add expressed a wish that room should be made for Mr., Brown 
of South Carofina. He added : '' Captain Landais has de- 
manded of me an order to you, to deliver him his trunks and 
things that were left on board the Alliance* I find him so ex*- 
oeedingly captious and critical, and so apt to misconstrue as an 
intended injustice, every expression in a language which he 
does not immediately understand, that I am tired of vrriting any 
thing for him or about him, and am determined to have nothing 
further to do with him. I make no doubt, however, that you 
will deliver his things to any person he may empower to receive 
them, and therefore think such an order unnecessary. * • • • 
Dr. Bancroft being by this time with you, will take all steps 
possible to promote yoiir refitting, and forward the payment of 
the prize money. I do not comprehend what the weight of 
metal has to do with the division, unless when ships are fitted out 
by different armers. I hope your indisposition will soon he over, 
and your health re^^stabUshed*" On the 4th of the same month, 
F^anklin wrote to the president of Congress, that Jones would 
carry the Alliance home, unless prevailed on to enter another 
servioe, which he did not think likely ; that Landais had not 
applied to be replaced in her, and had expressed to him and to 
other persons hiii dissatisfaction with his officers, and his incli- 
nation on that account to leave her. This lunatic who was 
suliject to be tried as an American ofiioer, by a court martial, 
was also liable as a subject of France, and as holding its com- 
mission, to the summary jurisdiction exercised in that country. 

353 * PAUL JONES. 

When Franklin, in a letter addressed to Jones while the latter 
was at the Texel, alluded to the ** concise operations" of the 
ministry, he probably had the Bastile in his mind. It is not 
prohable that pains would have been taken to bring Landais, by 
an American court martial, or that he would have been further 
noticed, had not injudicious and officious individuals led him 
to adopt a course of conduct, which still further injured the 

He was now, however, instigated by meddling individuals, 
and prompted by his own solemn vanity to ask, to be placed in 
the command of the Alliance. He wrote to this effect, on the 
17tlf March. The answer of Franklin was plain and severe 
enough : " No one ever learned the opinion I formed of you 
from inquiry made into your conduct. I kept it entirely to my- 
self. I have not even hinted it in my letters to America, because 
I would not hazard giving to any one la bias to your prejudice. 
By communicating a part of that opinion privately to you I can 
do no harm, for you may burn it. I should not give you the 
pain of reading it, if your demand did not make it necessary. I 
think you then, so imprudent, so litigious, and quarrelsome a 
man, even with your best friends, that peace and good order, 
and consequently the quiet and regular subordination so neces- 
sary to success, are, where you preside, impossible* These are 
within my observation and apprehension. Your military opera* 
lions I leave to more capable judges. If, therefore, I had 
twenty ships of war in my disposition, I should not give one of 
them to Captain Landais. The same temper which excluded 
him from the French marine, would weigh equally with me. Ckf 
course I should not replace him in the Alliance.*^ 

Previous to the letter of Franklin, of March 4th, the board of 
admiralty had resolved to order the^Alliance home, with such 
supplies as she could bring out. It had been judged necessary 
to detach four ships to guard the harbour of Charleston, which 
left the coasts exposed to the depredations of the enemy's 
armed vessels -from New York. On the surrender of Charles- 

PA17L JOIfBS. %S9 

ton in May followiiig, these four frigates fell into the hands of 
the enemy. 

On the 18th of March, Franklin wrotOi that after his d^ 
spatches should have been received^ with some. <^ the supplies, 
he knew of nothing to prevent Jones from proceeding imme^ 
diately to sudi port in North America as he could reach with 
safety. He said : " I wish the prize money due to your people 
could be paid before you go. I have spoken often about it.'? 
He mentioned that it was thought doubtful whether any thing 
could be recovered by peaceable means, for the prizes surren- 
dered in Norway. " The ships of war that you topk are, I hear, 
to be valued, the king intending to purchase them ; and the 
master roll of the Bon Homme Richard is wanting in order to 
regulate the proportions to each ship. These things may take 
time. I have considered that the people of the Bon Homme 
may want some little supplies for the voyage; and therefore,^ if 
these proportions should not be regulated and paid before you 
sail, and you find it necessary, you may draw on me, as far as 
24,000 livres to advance to them, for which they are to be ac* 
countable ; but do not exceed that sum. I do this to {N'event, 
as far as in me lies, the bad effect of any uneasiness among 
them ; for I suppose that regularly all payments to seamen should 
be made at home." He added his wishes that Jones should 
join, if possible, the convoy which was to sail at the beginning 
of the next month, and sail with it until off the coast, but left it 
to his discretion and judgment* On the 1st of April, he for- 
warded to him an order for the delivery of the arms above re- 
ferred to, and 100,000 pounds of gunpowder ; and informed him 
that M. Le Ray de Chauraont had directed his correspondent 
at^L'Orient, to advance 100,000 livres, for the Americans of the 
AHiance and Bon Homme Richard, on account. In relation to 
the distribution of the prize money, Franklin, the best authority, 
said in answer to the questions ot the admiralty board, that 
no agreement had been made by him or on, his behalf, with the 
iirmers of the ships acting in concert with the Alliance* That 
he supposed die divinon would be according to the laws of 

$iS4 PAUi. jomi^ 

Flrafi^'Or Atnmicli, tis might be ftimd Inost equitable ; but that 
the captains had entered into an agreement, caUed the amem/^ 
diH, to'dindii aeoordilig to thto mite of America, tinder whose 
cQimmiMi^MMsi ittid oolours thej acted. To thin jH^yiiion of the 
cohooi^daf » J<med) it wUl be remembered could haye had no ob^ 
jeetioti, w he had urged befcH*e its being signed the propri^j eif 
adopting an equal plan of distribution* Franklin) in the answer 
betbi^ referred to, gives a true and l^ef accoiitit of a long stoiji 
as fbllows. He sayd, that the officers and men of the Alliance 
'^wei^e encouraged by some meddling passengers to persist* 
The king would haye taken the prized, and paid for them, at 
the rate per gun, &c. as he pajs for warlike ressels taken by 
his i^hips, but they raised a clamor at this, it being put into their 
heads that it was a project for cheating them, and they demand- 
ed a sale by auctioUi The minister, who usually gives more, 
wh^n ships are taken for the king, tlmn they will produce by 
atlctibn, readily consented to this, when I asked it of him ; but 
theh this method required time to have them invehtoried, adver- 
tised ih different ports, to create a fuller concurrence of buyers, 
&c. ; Captain Jones came up to Puis, to hasten the proceed- 
ings. In his absence Captain Landais, by the advice of Mr. 
Lee and Commodore Gillon, took possession of the ship, and 
kept her long in writing up to Paris, waiting answers, &c«" 

The matters above recapitulated must be referred to more 
m detail; but the reader will best understuid from it the 
difficulties about the adjustment of claims for prite money. 

The 100,000 livres, were not forth coming, with the instan- 
taneity expected by Jones. On the 4th of April, Jones wrote 
to Franklin, *' I fear that you mtiII now find that M. Chaumont 
has imposed upon you, by promising what hebas had no inten- 
tion to perform. He has given me no means of advancing 
money here ; and if the people remain much longer dissatisfied, 
I trenible, arid let him tremMe too, for the consequence. Besides 
the affiiirs mentioned in the written letter, he has made another 
proposition that an honest man would be ashamed of. I wait 
for something further by the next post, for I am very loth to 

INJJh JONE9. 255 

Wpod^ his conduct) aod ifiUiiig to give bim time to repent." 
9ueb wa9 the strong language which he used under immediate 
disappointment and misapprehension. While it requiree inser- 
tii^ni it equally requires such ejqplanation aa can readily be grren* 
Jwes supposed Mf Chaumont, the commissary, aa he called 
him* to have ini»ley oC the govenunent in his bands or at eom-^ 
mandf The fact > was, that he was largely in adranoe on bis 
own account to the new republic i and that the offer to advance 
the 100,000 fivres, was a voluntary one. It has already been 
VMNStioned that the correspondence between bim and Jones, ex-^ 
eept as it was official, bad ceased. What was meant by the 
<^ abamefiil" proposition spoken of is left for conjecture. It is 
certain that neither FrankHn nor La Fayette ever found out 
any thing that was disgraceful in the conduct of M. de Chau* 
IMMit. It also appears that the latter, having all the risk upon 
his own shoulders, wanted the business vouchers, which would 
at least be evidence of bis advances, whether he could ever re* 
CQVer them or not. According to a memorandum given by 
Jones to M. de la Sartine on the 90th May, it appears that M. 
da Chaumont, wished the muster roll of the crew of the Bon 
Gtomme Richard to state the men'» wages as commencing in 
June, when many of them had enlisted in February and March. 
At that time, those rated according to his request, had been 
paid. Objections were made also to the payment of 80,000 
iftvres, to the crew of the Alliance, for the time during which 
tbey served under Jones on the expedition, which Franklia bad 
not the appropriate funds to meet. Happily for the compiler, 
it is unnecessary to explore the reasons, or their merits, for 
Ihesa distinctions, or enter into calculations ol dollars and cents. 
The only other letter of Jones from L'Orient at this time, was 
addressed to Dr. Bancroft, on the 7th of April. It is amusing 
as.a specimen of those '* machines" and << locks" which wanted 
V keys," whicb- be alluded to in a letter to La Fayette, and 
which he was fond of manufoeturing. ^* Judge of my surprise,** 
ha said, " when Mr. Bancroft assured me^ that our man at the 
entrance of the garden, never changed ai^ of his plans that he 


had farmed far me^ until he found that they could not succeed. 
Is it possible that he, (Mr. B.) can inure forgot, that he himself 
asked and obtained from me my ideas in writing, at the desire, 
as he told me, of the court, in June or July, 1778 ? He ought 
now to be sensible, that neither our man lior himself at that time 
af^eared to know any thing about marine afiairs. You may 
remember what I showed you on that, subject ; but that our 
man should have given my ideas to the minister as his own, is 
contemptible, and shows his real character. I have often re- 
pented that I consented to give some of my ideas in writing ; 
but there is little danger that they will run away mth the glory 
from me, by carrying them well into execution.'' Who ^^ our 
man" was« the reader has a right to guess for himself. I am 
unable to do so. 

Jones had now determined to go to Puris. In the fragment 
of a letter without date, ascertained from the contents to have 
been written in 1792, he says : " Though my crews were almost 
naked, and I had no money to administer to their wants, yet 
my constant applications to court for two months, produced no 
relief, no payment whatever, either for salary or prize money. 
I was on the point of sailing back to America without any ap- 
pearance of obtaining justice ; without the least acknowledg- 
ment direct or indirect, that the court was satisfied with my 
services ! Under these circumstances, in a moment of despair, I 
came to court to demand satisfaction." The want of such bS 
'* acknowledgment" weighed undoubtedly much more with 
him than the consideration of any proportion of the prize money 
to which he v^bb personal^ entitled. No intelligent person, on a 
review of his life and correspondence, (notwithstanding that his 
own inartificial protestations of disinterestedness, would, in or- 
dinary cases, be read backwards,) wiU hesitate to believe, that 
he loved the voice of praise and breath of renown, immeasura- 
bly beyond " all Bokhara's vaunted gold." But^ as it is unphi- 
losophical to search - for more than a sufficient cause for a 
cbmmon event, we see little sense in the- speculations of Jones* 
bic^raph^s, as to the motives wlueh led him to repair to Y er- 

sailles $ and are content to take the word of Franklin and his 
own, that he went there to " hasten the prpceedings" in relation 
to the prize money. In his Journal for the king, he says that, 
in consequence of the clamours among the officers and seamen, 
" after he had tried every thing that writing to Paris could do, 
without effect, he by the advice of many American gentlemen, 
then at L'Orient, went himself to court to demand that the 
prizes might be sold, and the seamen paid, agreeably to tlie 
laws and usages of the American flag." This permission was 
granted, and orders given to expedite the business of making out 
inventories, advertising, &c. mentioned by Franklin. 

There is a discrepancy in Jones' accounts of this period, from 
a want of dates; and from some being general and others in detail. 
He could not havebeien mistaken, after the lapse of any number 
of years, as to his first reception by the minister. In the frag- 
ment quoted from, written in 1792, which is unquestionably in 
his own hand, he proceeds to say : " The minister of the United 
States accompanied me to M. de Sartine, who gave us a recep- 
tion as cold as ice, did not say to me a civil word, nor even ask 
me if my health had not suffered from my wounds, and the un- 
common fatigue I had undergone. The public did me more 
justice than the minister, and I owe to the king alone the flat- 
tering marks of distinction with which I was honoured." This 
first impression as to the minister's coldness was revived and 
expressed as above, in a moment of sickness and exaspera- 
tion, and while writing angrily to another dilatory minister of 
marine. It is quoted from the draft, and there is no evidence 
that a copy was ever sent. Be this as it may, he said nothing 
about it in his answers, rendered a year after the transaction, 
to the questions by the board of admiralty. We quote part of 
the 30th answer, which may be reconciled with the other state- 
ment, by considering that it was unnecessary and impolitic to 
dwell minutely on the polar reception first given to him by M. 
de la Sartine, when a reference to it could only injure the public 
interest. And the cause of that frigidity is readily found, in the 



manner in which Jones had expressed himself in relation to M. 
de Chaumont. To proceed to the answer : 

" M. le Ray de Chaumont had promised from day to day, to 
remit the government monies to L'Orient, for the payment of 
wages, and also 100,000 livres, in part of prize money, to be 
divided among the Americans of the squadron, then on board 
the Alliance ; but at last, instead of complying with either, he 
prevailed on the minister of the marine to order the Serapis to 
be valued in the French way, for account of the king, and with- 
out giving the captors any satisfaction whatever, or obtaining 
their leave or consent, the workmen in the port began to rip up 
the orlop deck, and all the interior work of that ship. Messrs^ 
Grourlade and Moylan did not interfere to present this. Mr. 
Lee took much pains to persuade the people they had been 
sailing with me in a privateer ^ would be detained in Europe 
during the war, and get nothing at last. I found it impossible 
to reason them into good humour, so as to go to sea ; they posi- 
tively declared they would not weigh anchor till they were fully 
paid, and wrote to this effect to Mr. Franklin. I was then 
greatly disgusted with the treatment that, in appearance^ I had 
met with from M. de Sartine, but which in reality did not prove 
to be his fault, but that of M. le Ray de Chaumont. But as I 
saw no way of overcoming my difficulties by remaining at 
L*Orient, I with the advice of Mr. Samuel Wharton, and the 
majority of the Americans then assembled at L'Orient, waiting 
to proc.eed with me to America, went up to court to demand the 
free sale of our prizes, according to the laws of the American 
navy. Mr. Franklin went with me to the minister, who, con- 
trary to my expectation, gave me the most friendly welcome^ 
and sent immediate orders to publish the inventories, and ad- 
vertise the sale of all the prizes. This, however, took up more 
time than bad been imagined." 

To leave this dull business while we may : Jones became the 
temporary lion of Paris ; and enjoyed what heroes most dearly 
love from the principle of their nature, which makes them such — 


the rmAlly of fame — if the phrase may be used without absurd- 
ity. For every age produces as many heroes as Byron enu- 
merates in his misanthropic introduction to an unclean, and 
lockily-for morals, an unended extravaganza; and mankind 
could not remember them all, if they had nothing else to do but to 
repeat the starry and emblazoned roll. And as to the gifted 
vision which foresees its own immortality, few are so poor in 
judgment as not to know that 

" Both bound together live and die. 
The writing and the prophecy." 

But Jones was immediately connected with events, which, 
while we write our annals truly, must identify bim honourably 
with the history of the world ; and a man far less susceptible of 
being intoxicated by the cry of the million, and much better 
taught by experience, that the homrmm volitare per ora is, in 
truth, only a volitatton, would have seen, without being liable to 
the charge of vulgar vanity, in the honours conferred by the 
court, and the attentions of noblemen and noble ladies, the first 
fruits of an undying reputation. It is quaintly said, in the 
biography published in Edinburgh that, **the reception he per- 
sonally met from many individuals among the higher classes of 
society and the leaders of fashion, when Americans and repub- 
licanism were the infatuating novelties of the day, must have 
been highly gratifying to his feelings, and to his insatiable love 
of distinction." 

This strangely *' infatuating novelty" upset the throne of 
Charlemagne and all his successors. While I write, it 
threatens to hiss off the stage a Bourbon who is experimen- 
tally placed on it ; it has disfranchised a hemisphere, that is, 


left its deliverance to be effected, whenever enlightened opinion 
shall be strong enough ; has partially freed even Ireland ; and 
in the good providence of God, whatever ages of agony and 
bloodshed may first intervene, all mankind will one day learn, that 
the '^ infatuating novelty" is as true as holy writ, that by proper 
education a people can govern themselves to more advantage. 

ft!30 7AU^ JOHES. 

than bj superstitiously believing in the virtues of a herecBtarj 
monarchy* However, when hereditary monarchies are esta- 
blished, such impertinencies as that above quoted, are conve- 
nient and pardonable ; though they cannot be truly said to be 

In Jones' Journal for the king, and other formal narratives 
by himself, which we have followed to preserve chronology, 
there is of course no methodical account of the successive tokens 
of distinction which he received, though the references to them 
in his subsequent letters are frequent. It will be remembered 
that he was in correspondence with some of the principal actors 
of the day, those most in the public eye ; and that, however, 
hard it may be to pay money for services justly rendered, it is 
both easy and agreeable to pay compliments. It was also natu- 
ral that the people of France, who had heard of his exploits, 
should greet him as they did at theatres and in public places. 
The court and the community jointly and severally did him 
homage, and ladies smiled upon him. Except, however, in the 
correspondence of an anonymous fair one, named Delia, to be 
mentioned anon, of which fragments are preserved, there is 
nothing left, in print or manuscripti which is authentic, that is 
injurious to the fair fame of any lady, whose name is indicated 
by its initials or otherwise. If it be painful to destroy romance, 
it is no less necessary to tell the truth ; and though nobody can 
doubt that Commodore Jones was anxiously and courteously 
entertained and caressed by noble and fashionable matrons, all 
that we have any foundation for saying, in relation to the mat- 
ter, is best stated in the brief biographical notice of him in the 
Edinburgh Encyclppcedia : '* He spoke several of the European 
languages ; was a lover of music and poetry ; played on different 
musical instruments ; and used to write verses for the amuse- 
ment of the Parisian ladies." These remarks would be out of 
place, were, it not that so much has been idly written and ima- 
gined in relation to Jones' gallantries. The fact is, though it 
involves a speculation for which we have no time, that his chi- 
valry was of the higher and holier order. He worshipped virtu- 


0U8 women in the chamber of bis imagination, as did the heroes 
and knights of classic and romantic poetry. Of his common 
frailties we know nothing, nor need we draw them from their 
dread abode. However this may be, his correspondence with 
the lady, known as Delia, began about this ti/ne, as appears 
from one of her letters. . He had far more respectable female 

Of his public reception, he says himself, that '^ he received 
at Paris, and other parts of the kingdom, the most flattering 
applause and puliUc approbation wherever he appeared. Both 
the great and the learned sought his acquaintance in private 
life, and honoured him with particular marks of friendship. At 
court, he was always received with a kindness which could on]y 
have arisen from a fixed esteem." 

Whatever were his honours or his distractions, during this 
month of May, Jones did not neglect improving the favourable 
terms on which he stood, for the benefit of his adopted country. 
He applied to, and obtained from government, to follow his 
Journal, '' a loan of the Ariel of 20 guns, to assist the Alliance 
to transport a large quantity of clothing, &c. to America, then 
ready to be sent for the army under the command of General 
Washington. He had already embarked on board the Alliance 
the cannon he had provided for the Bon Homme Richard, but 
which had arrived at L'Orient too late for that ship, besides a 
quantity of muskets and powder. And a cartel having arrived 
with American prisoners from England, had enabled him to 
leave behind near four hundred seamen on board the Alliance. 
So that he could have spared a crew for the Ariel without any 
expense or loss of time. It was his intention to arm the Ariel 
enfiute^ and to carry a considerable part of the clothing in the 
AlUance. Finding the sales of the prize protracted much be- 
yond his expectations, he endeavoured, but without success, to 
obtain some advance for his officers and crew, to entible them 
to proceed for America ; and the latter end of May, took leave 
of their majesties, the court, and his friends at Paris." The 
king had ordered that the commodore should be presented with 

363 PAUL joNes. 

a gold sword, and that he should, with the t)ermission of Con- 
gress, receive the cross of military merit, a decoration conferred 
previously on those only who had distinguished themselves in 
the proper service of France. A letter from Sartine of the 30th, 
announced these offers ; declared the king's perfect satisfaction 
with the commodore's actions, and disposition to receive him 
again with pleasure, should he be sent on any new expedition 
to Europe. From Franklin also he had an honourable testimo- 
nial of his '' bravery and conduct," solicited by himself, though, 
as the ambassador remarked, '* his actions were more effectual 
recommendations, and rendered any from him unnecessary." 
According to Mr. Sherburne's dates, the consent of the king to 
allow one of his vessels to accompany the Alliance, was not 
formally given until the 30th of June. This must be an error. 
On the first of that month, Jones received directions from Frank- 
lin to carry into effect the resolution of the admiralty board, 
requiring the return of that vessel, with all due expedition ; and 
on the 4th, W. Franklin enclosed him a copy of a letter from 
M. de Sartine, which stated that the commissary and comman- 
dant at L'Orient had orders from the minister, to render every 
assistance in their power to facilitate his departure. 

But there was a fatality attending the departures of Jones 
from port ; and it seems as if procrastination, irritation, and 
the tension of patience were ordained to give velocity and ener- 
gy to his career, when he was at last afloat on the free ocean 
en large. .That " singularly wild" and disagreeable chevalier 
Landais, had been at L'Orient during Jones' absence, and with 
the help of mischievous prompters and counsellors, aided by the 
discontent which prevailed among the officers on account of not 
receiving prize money or pay, had resolved to retain the com- 
mand of the Alliance. Had not this happened, Jones says, 
" every thing was prepared, and, the Ariel being copper bot- 
tomed, he would have sailed for America a week after his 
return from Paris." 

On the 12th of April previous, the officers of the Alliance had 
addressed Franklin, informing him of Iheir necessitous circum- 

PAUL JOIfM. 203 

stances, and that they were alarmed at receiving neither wages 
nor prize money, when the ship was so nearly prepared for sea. 
In his reply of the 7th of June, he told them that, having nothing 
to do with the prizes, he had advanced the 24,000 livres before 
•poken of, for their immediate wants ; and that as to wages, he 
thought they should be expected at home. He told them, that 
in consequence of being frequently informed from L'Orient, 
that the proposed method of valuing the prizes excited discon- 
tent, be had procured a consent that they should be sold at pub- 
lic auction ; which necessarily required time, unless they were 
to be sacrificed. He thought the method first proposed would 
liave been most beneficial to them. In answer to their inquiry, 
whether nothing had been received from the prizes sent to Nor- 
way, he told them, that he had sent a memorial to the Danish 
court, with the reply to which he was not satisfied ; that the 
matter was before Congress ; and should any thing be recovered, 
strict justice should be done them. He expressed his surprise 
that, after the complaints he had received from them a year pre- 
vious against Landais, and the statement of the latter at that 
time, that they were all joined together against him, he, who 
had been at Paris merely, as he professed, to vindicate himself 
and obtain an order for his own property on board of the Al- 
liance, should desire to resume the command, and that they 
should again wish to sail under him. He said, ''I have related 
exactly to Congress the manner of his leaving the ship, and 
though I declined any judgment of his manceuvres in the fight, 
I have given it as my opinion, (to Congress,) after examining 
this affair, that it was not at all likely, either that he should have 
given orders to fire into the Bon Homme Richard, or that his 
ofiicers would have obeyed such an order had it been given them. 
Thus I have taken what care I could of your honour in that 
particular. You will, therefore, excuse me if I am a Uttle con- 
cerned for it in another. If it should come to be publicly known 
that you had the strongest aversion to Captain Xjandais, who 
had used you basely, and that it is only since the last year's 
eruise, and the appointment of Commodore Jones to the com- 


mand, that you request to be again under your old captain, I 
fear suspicions and reflections may be thrown upon you by the 
world, as if this change of sentiment may have arisen from your 
observation during the cruise, that Captain Jones loved close 
fighting, that Captain Landais was skilful in keeping out of 
harm's way, and that you therefore thought yourselves safer with 
the latter. For myself, I believe you to be brave men, and 
lovers of your country and its glorious cause ; and I am per- 
suaded you have only been ill advised, and misled by the artful 
and malicious misrepresentations of some persons I guess at. 
Take in good part this friendly counsel from an old man who is 
your friend. Go home peaceably with your ship. Do your 
duty faithfully and cheerfully. Behave respectfully to your 
commander, and I am persuaded he will do the same to you. 
Thus you will not only be happier in your voyage, but recom- 
mend yourselves to the future favours of Congress and of your 

On the same day, he wrote peremptorily to Landais, express- 
ing his astonishment that the latter should be at L'Orient, 
when he had . thought him long before on his voyage to Ame- 
rica for trial ; to enable him to do which, he had been furnished 
with a considerable sum of money.* Landais had coolly writ- 
ten on the 29th May, that '' he had been waiting for Franklin's 
orders ever since, to retake the command of the Alliance !" 
The minister said : '' I waive any further dispute with you ; 
but I charge you not to meddle with the command, or ci^eate 
any disturbance on board her, as you will aiiswer the contrary 
at your peril." But Landais had got an opinion from Mr. Ar- 
thur Lee, who had a taste for '^ constitutional construction," 
that he might treat the minister's orders with silent contempt, 
or, in the slang of the present day, nullify them. The majo- 
rity of the officers and crew had also been too well deluded 

* Landtk had tfdoaUy umde a ^ntten application to CapUki Boil fbr u paieago Ia 
tiie mofehant ibip Laxorne^ that he mi^ ratam qoicklf to Amorioa A»r triaL-^onr- 


during the absence of their commander, by repreeentations 
that be waB neglecting or compounding their rights at court, 
while he was enjojring all the honours of their yictorj. Jones 
said, himself, at the time : " I have been to blame for having 
returned to Paris, without having absolutely insisted on the 
preyious payment of my men." He would have insisted to no 
purpose. The change in the mode of assessing the value of 
the prizes, left the court not responsible immediately ; and M. 
Cfaaumont was unable to pay in anticipation of their sale* 

The sailors became peremptory in their demands. On the 
12th June, we find T'ranklin writing to Jones : " Saturday 
morning I received a letter signed by about 115 of the sailors 
of the Alliance, declaring that they would not raise the anchor, 
nor depart from L'Orient, till they had six months' wages paid 
them, and the utmost farthing of the prize money, including 
the ships sent into Norway, and until their legal captain^ P. Lan- 
daiSj was restored to them. This mutiny has undoubtedly been 
excited by that captain ; probably by making them believe that 
satisfaction has been received for those Norway prizes delivered 
up to the English. • • • • That he is concerned in this 
mutiny he has been foolish enough to furnish us with proofs ; 
the sailors' letter being not only enclosed under a cover directed 


to me in his handwriting, but he also, in the same writing, 
interlined the words, their legal captain, P* Landais, which 
happens to contain his signature. I immediately went to Ver- 
sailles to demand the assistance of government, and on show- 
ing the letter, by which his guilt plainly appeared, an order was 
immediately granted, and sent away the same evening, for appre- 
hending and imprisoning him, and orders were promised to be 
given at the same time to the commissary of the port to afford 
you all kind of assistance to facilitate your departure. M. Chau- 
mont being with me, and assisting warmly in obtaining these 
orders. We thought it best at the same time, to give directions 
that those sailors who have signed this letter should not be 
favoured with receiving any part of the ftioney ordered to be 
advanced, in part of what it is supposed the Serapis and Coun- 


266 PAUL JONE8. 

tesB may be sold for, unless such as express their sorrow for 
having been so misledy and willingness to do their duty. And 
that they may be known, their title was sent down to M. de 
Marplanir* But care should be taken that it be returned, as it 
contains the proofs above mentioned against Landais, who vrill 
probably be tried for his life ; being considered by the minister 
as an emigrant without the king's permission, and theref<Nr6 
still a Frenchman, and when in France, still subject to its laws.*' 

All of this letter ought to be inserted^ did space permit. We 
can only add that Franklin recommended, in case difficulties 
should arise to prevent the produce of the sales being known, 
and part advanced, before. Jones was ready to sail with the Ariel 
in company, those who would not trust to their country for jus- 
tice should be put on shore, and left to virait at their own expense* 
He concluded : '^ You are likely to have great trouble. I wish 
you well through it. You have shown your abilities in fight- 
ing ; you have now an opportunity of showing the other neces- 
sary part in the character of a great chief — ^your abilities in 

Up to this period, whatever might have been done in secret 
cabal, no open disrespect had been shown to Jones. He 
states* that he had been on board of the Alliance for a consi- 
derable part of the time after his return from Versailles, and 
^' had always been well received and duly obeyed." But finding 
that '* his commission and authority had been called in ques 
tion," he ordered the former as weU as Franklin's orders to be 
read on board, on the morning of the 12th June, for the satis- 
faction of all present. What amounted to a mutiny occurred 
in consequence. The fieict is, there can be no doubt, that while 
bent on doing his duty, Jones had not had his imagination free 
from the efiects of the public honours he had received at Paris ; 
and that it was not in his nature to pry into the views and 
schemes of those whom circumstances made his inferiors. His 

* In a letter to FnuAlm of Ame 18th, thft day after thft midi^ 


thoughts or dreams, if tfaalbe the better phrase, about his own 
renown, did not interfere with his strenuous efforts to sustain 
and increase it, but on the contrary concentrated those efforts. 
A tnan of more common mind might have sought after and 
eagerly listened to reports of what was going on in the kitchen^ 
and counteracted vulgar intrigue by conciliation. However 
this may be, he was mistaken as to the influence which was 
predominant on board* On the morning of the 13th of June, 
he went on shore to make arrangements with the commandant 
for despatching thef Ariel, and Landais went on board, declaring 
that he came to take command of the ship, and would support 
himself by force against any person who should dispute his au- 
thority. He had written to Lieutenant Degge, as lieutenant in 
command on board the frigate Alliance, ordering him to keep 
the command of the frigate from any one who should seek to 
take it, contrary to the resolve of Congress, and to his prejudice, 
until he should receive an answer from his excellency Dr. 
Franklin, on the reception of which he would take the com- 
mand. He added : '^ I exjiect Dr. Franklin can't deny it to me, 
unless he has an order to the contrary from Congress." This 
lettei; had been dictated by some of the *^ meddling passengers," 
and was read to the crew by Lieutenant Degge. 

Finding that Landais had taken possession, by the advice of 
the commandant of the marine and commandant of the road, 
Jones wrote to Franklin by express, on the afternoon of the day 
on which what may be called the mutiny occurred. He said : 
*'' Several of the brave officers who served with me in the Bon 
Homme Richard, have already been treated with indignity on 
board ; and my first lieutenant, Mr. Dale, this moment tells me, 
that he and some others have been turned ashore. Before I 
came ashore this forenoon, the crew being assembled, I de- 
manded whether any of them could say a word to my disad- 
vantage? They answered, they could not. There was then 
every appearance of general contentment and subordination. 
I am certain that the people love and would readily obey me." 
He was obeying Franklin's last verbal instructions, to act in con- 

368 PAUL JONS8. 

c€(tt with the oomraandants above meationed. He was nearly 
ready to sail with both Teasels, with the arms and clothing pro- 
perly bestowed ; and there is not much doubt that the crews 
would readily have sailed with him^ had the malign influence 
been removed, which so balefully governed them. Let us hear 
a Screed of doctrine about constitutional construction and nulli- 
fication, delivered in anticipation, and which will hold water 
rather better than others we have had, since we have had a con- 
stitution. The special pleading is good; and must have 
refreshed the souls of the ragged mutineers particularly. Mr. 
Arthur Lee thus wrote to Jones, on the 13th. 

** Sir, 

*^ When you showed me yesterday, the authorities under which 
yon conceive you had a right to command the Alliance frigate, 
I told you it was not in my power to give you an opinion upon 
them without seeing those of Captain Landais ; and that I 
would not give an (pinion in this matter, but in writing. Since 
that I have seen the authorities of CiEiptain Landais, and I now 
shall state them both, with my opinion upon them ; which I 
hope may be of use in preventing any further contest, which 
cannot but be disgraceful and injurious to the service, as well 
as to those who are in the wrong. 

** The authorities you showed mo, con^sted of a commission 
from Congress, appointing you a captain in the marine of the 
tTnited States, and a late order from Dr. Franklin to you to 
take command of the Alliance, and carry her where she is 
ordered by the admiralty. This order from Dr. Franklin does 
not recite or allege any power from Congress to take the com- 
mand from Captain Landais, and put another in his place. 

''The authorities Captain Landais laid before me, were a 
commission from Congress, like yours^ appbinting him captain 
in the service ; a resolve of Congress giving him the command 
of the Alliance frigate ; and a letter of instructions for that 
purpose from the marine committee. 

" From these documents it is clear, beyond a possibility of 

PAtn. JONE8; 269 

doubt, that Captain Landais commands that ship under the fvXtf 
direct, and express order of Congress ; and that no such aatho« 
rity appears to dismiss him from the command. In this situa^ 
tion, Captain Landais must answer at his peril for the frigate 
entrusted to him till he receiyes an order of Congress to deliver 
her to another. If any such order exists, those who have it do 
infinite wrong to the service in not producing' it, to prevent any 
disturbance. If there is no such order, the subjects of the 
United States who attempt to divest Captain Landais of the 
command he holds from the sovereign power, or to disturb him 
by violence in the exercise of it, commit a high crime against 
the laws and sovereignty of the United States and subject them- 
selves to a proportionable punishment. 

** This, sir, is my opinion, founded upon a cool and candid 
consideration of the authorities on both sides ; which alone 
ought tb determine our judgment and our actions. You are at 
liberty to show this letter to whom you please, or to send it to 
Dr. Franklin. Should it prevail upon you to urge this matter 
no farther till you know whether there is authority of Congress 
for what you are doing, I shall think I have rendered no less 
service to you personally, in preventing you from committing a 
rash and illegal action, than to the public, the honour of which 
must be committed by such a contest in a foreign port. When 
I see such things threatened, my duty to my country, and the 
love of law and order, call upon me to do whatever is in my 
power to prevent th'em. 

^^ I have the honour to be^ &c. 

This valuable opinion of Mr. Lee did not come into Jones' 
hands until a week after his date. The latter, in his letter to 
the commandant of the port, called on him for support, as he 
had not sufficient force to assert his own rights, and did not 
wish to have a scene with Landais. The letter was probably 
more for form's sake than otherwise ; for an open affray would 
have been discreditable to the American flag, and injurious to 
the character of the nation. Jones went incagnitOy as he says 

S90 PAVls J01CS9« 

IB hu joamaly to Veraaillesy ** to explain what had happened^ 
and returned with all possible expedition. On the 16th, we find 
Franklin very briefly and peremptorily writing to Landais and 
to the officers of the Aiyance^ commanding obedience to his 
former and present orderd. On the 17th, he wrote to Jones, who 
was then on his way to court, that ^* having been informed by 
several gentleman, of and from L'Oirient, that it was there 
generally understood, that the mutiny on board his ship had 
been advised or promoted by the Honourable Arthur Lee, 
whom he had ordered Jones to receive as a passenger, he 
tdiereby withdrew that order so far as to leave it to Jones' 
discretion/' He added, that this need not obstruct Mr* Lee*s 
return to America, as there were several ships going under 
Jones' convoy, and many of the passengers might prefer chang- 
ing places* Cotemporaneously, for I do not find the dates, 
fourteen of the officers of the Alliance addressed Franklin, re- 
presenting that they believed the ship's ypew were unanimously 
in favour of Captain Landais, and that they believed him a 
oapable officer, whose conduct in the engagement ofiT Scar- 
borough had been misrepresented ; and that they thought them- 
selves bound to obey him, according to the rules and regulations 
of the navy. The wise opinion of Mr. Lee and those deluded 
inten, is best exposed by the questions put at the tim6 by Dr. 
Franklin to Mr. Adams, which involve their own inevitable 
answers. They were, in brief, whether Landais, accused of 
capital crimes by his commanding officer,' after having relin- 
quished command of the frigate, asked leave to withdraw his 
effects, solicited and received money from the minister to bear 
his expenses to America, where he was to be tried, and applied 
for a passage in a private ship, was entitled at his pleasure to 


retake eommand of the frigate^ ooiitrary to tlie etprese ordeiv 
of the (EAme minister, which he was mttracted to o^ *^ and to 
dispossess his successor, the oldest naval officer of the United 
States in Europe, who had commanded that frigate near eight 
mcmths, and brought to the port where shethen was f*' The 
other questions, equally irresistible, related to the propriety of 
the conduct of Landais, and the pdicy of suffering him to retain 
the command. 

Landais, however, and his eonstituticmal advisers, got off, hy 
a forbearance on the part of Jones, dictated by wise and pruden- 
tial ccmsiderations, at a moment when ind^nation might have 
thrown the reins lodse without reproach. Orders from goyen- 
ment were sent to L'Orient, to arrest Landais as a French 
subject, (and he might have been most unconstitutionally pro- 
vided for,) and to stop the Alliance. Jones' letter written after 
his return from Versailles, best explains the intermediate trans- 
actions, and the motives of his conduct. 


" U Orient, June 21, 1780. 
" Sir, 

** I was detained at Versailles forty hours from the time of 
my arrival, and was then informed by M. de Genet, that an ex* 
press had been sent from court with the niecessary orders to the 
king's officers at L'Orient, respecting Captain Landais and the 
AlUance. I found myself here early yesterday morning, fifly- 
four hours after leaving Versailles. The Alliance had, the 
evening and night before, been warped and towed from the 
road of L'Orient to Port Louis ; and' no express from court had 
arrived here. M. de Thevenard, the commundant, however, 
made every necessary preparation to stop the Alliance, as ap- 
pears by the enclosed document on the subject. He had even 
sent orders in the evening, before I was aware, to fire on the 
Alliance, and sink her to the bottom, if they attempted to ap- 
proach and pass the barrier that had been made across the 
entrance of the port. Had I even remained silent on hour 
longer, the dreadful work would .have been done. Your 


humanity ynHf I know, justify the part I acted in preventing a 
flcene that would have rendered me miserable for the rest of 
mjr life. The Alliance has this morning been towed and 
warped through the rocks, and is now at anchor without, be- 
tween Port Louis And GrcMZ. In this situation I at noon sent 
out Lieutenant Dale with a letter to Captain Landais, whereof 
the within is a copy. 

<< Yesterday morning the within letter was brought me from 
Mr. Leej though I had never oven hinted that his opinion or 
advice would be acceptable. He has, however, pulled off the 
mask, and I am convinced, is not a little disappointed that his 
operations hfive produced no bloodshed between the subjects of 
France and America. Poor man! 

*' Yesterday every thing that persuasion or threatening could 
effect was attempted. . [He mentions a conciliatory letter sent 
to Captain Parke, of the marines, to which no answer was ever 

^' M. de Thevenard, on his part, sent the deputy of M. Sweig- 
hauser on board with your letters, under his ovm caver^ to Cap- 
tain Landais, and to the oiScers and men of the Alliance. The 
one was delivered to Captain Landais, the other to Lieutenant 
Pigges. M. de Thevenard also sent on board an officer with 
the king's order to arrest Captain Landais, who refused to sur- 
render himself. Mr. Lee and his party pretend to justify their 
measures, because they say you did not put Captain Landais 
under arrest. According to them, you cannot displace him, 
however great his crimes ! If the government does not interfere 
to crush this despicable party, France and America have much 
to fear from it. I verily believe them to be English at the bot- 
tom of their hearts.* 

*' N. B. Mr. Dale has this moment brought me, the within 
impertinent note from Captain Landais." 

* In a marginal note, affixed to thii letter, many jeari afterwards, Jonei says, " In 
this opinion I was not wifalary tlM»igb periiapa I waa miataken.*' 

i •» 

PAmt. joMfs. 273 

>'* The letter to Laiidais, referred to in the foregoing, was ft de- 
mand of the seamen who had served on board the Bon Homme 
Richard, requesting that they might be delivered on board the 
boats sent by the commandant and commissary of the marine, 
with the baggage, stores, and barge of Jones. The imperti- 
nent reply I do not find. 

Except under the immediate influence of the instinl^t, which 
teaches us to avoid sudden danger or death, and not always 
then, there is no such thing as singleness of motive in our na- 
ture. It is not untrue, that the best men may find something in 
the misfortunes of their best friends, to console them partially for 
the event. Jones would have taken command of the Alliance, 
and set sail with her at all hazards, if a disgraceful scene could 
have been avoided ; or if he could have enforced obedience on 
board. As it was, we find him very coolly and persuasively 
urging upon Franklin by the next post, (June 23d,) the advan- 
tage which would result from asking government for a loan of 
the Serapis. He had learned that this ship had been sold for 
240,000 livres. Five or six hundred tons weight of public stores 
were to be transported to America ; and after filling up the 
Ariel, four hundred would remain. M. Chaumont, (owing to 
the concordat,) had altogether miscalculated, and was unac- 
quainted with marine affairs. The Serapis would be masted 
and fitted in a very short time ; and no suitable merchant ship 
could be had at any of the ports. He proposed, therefore, to 
arm her, en flute, and the Ariel for war. Three hundred men 
would be sufficient for both ships, whom he thought there would 
be no difficulty in obtaining from those on shore, on board of the 
Alliance, and volunteer soldiers, waiting at their own expense, 
to serve again under his commahd. On arriving in America, 
the Serapis might be fully armed, and, with the Ariel and other 
continental ships, execute one of the projects he had submitted 
to government. 

Will it be wondered at, that the conqueror of the Serapis, 
who had, as it may be said, allowed that fine ship to be taken 
ftom under him, to preserve the credit of the flag to which she 



•truck, and who now saw her near him, liable to pass into un- 
lineal hands, while many of the braTe crew who had captured 
her, were also on the spot, anxious to serve under him again, 
should cast a longing, lingering, look upon her ? Or is it sur- 
prising, that his heart was not broken, because the crazy Lan- 
dais had usurped command of a discontented crew, misled 
and prejudiced as they were, and encouraged to open revolt 
by a semi-official, pragmatical foe of Franklin, and expounder 
of unasked for '* opinions?" The reader will think not; and 
when he considers that Jones was panting aTways for action, 
will not marvel that he did not over-much regret the expediency 
of resigning such a charge as that of conducting the Alliance 

Landais, among his other 'Might amusements," had had the 
solemn impudence to write several letters, demanding payment 
of the prize money due to the people of the AUiance, and com- 
plained, on the 16th, " that time was lost by the delay." In 
the letter Franklin condescended to write to him on the 34th, 
he informed him that his two first prizes were Swedish ships, 
for the illegal capture of which heavy damages were demanded; 
that another was a brigantine from Ireland, under the king's 
passport, which he apprehended had been, or would be, adjudged 
not a good prize ; that nothing had been received for the prizes 
sent into Norway ; and that, as the Serapis and Countess of 
Scarborough had not been sold at the date of his last letter, 
none of the produce of such sale could be in his hands, or in the 
hands of any body. He told him, he was aware that his letters 
were written with the view of their being read in America ; and 
we may guess who dictated them. 

The former officers of the Bon Homme Richard, at the same 
time, (June 26th,) solemnly besought Franklin liot to entertain 
the idea, that the Americans at L'Orient approved of the be* 
haviour of Landais and his advisers ; and stated, that beside 
the risk of ruining the measures adopted for the transportation 
of clothing, &c. merchandise to the amount of two millions, of 
livres, which wf|s to have been despatched under cauyoy, was 

put in ^r3 by the tMtoptttion of Landais. They paid a most 
exalted tribute to Jones, in expressing the confidence they would 
have felt, had he commanded according to the regular instruc- 
tmis of the minister. 

On the 27th, FrankUn wrote to Joi^es, in reply to his letter 
of the 23d, suggesting that a loan of the Serapis might be asked 
for. He had not received that of the 21st, giving an account 
f^ the particular circumstances under which the Alliance left 
port. << I only knew," he said, ** by other means, that the Al- 
lit^nce is gone out of the port ; and that you are not likely to reco- 
rer, and have relinquished the command of her. So that affair 
is over ; and the business is now, to get the goods out as well as 
we can. I am perfectly bewildered with the different schemes 
that have been proposed to me for this purpose, by Mr. Williams, 
Mr. Ross, yourself, and M. de Chaumont. Mr. Williams was for 
purchasing ships ; I told him I had not the money, but he still urges 
it. You and Mr. Ross proposed borrowing the Ariel ; I joined in 
the application for that ship. We obtained her. She was to con* 
v^y all that the Alliance could not take. Now you find her insuf** 
fident. An additional ship has already been asked, and coutd not 
be obtained. I think, therefore, it will be best that yoii take as 
much into the Ariel as you can, and depart with it. For the 
rest I must apply to the government to contrive some means of 
transporting it in their own ships. This is my present opihion ; 
and when I have once got rid of this business, no consideration 
shall tempt me to meddle again with such matters, as I never 
understood them.^' 

Thus, treating the ^^ affair as over," the minister wrote to the 
commanding officer, for the time being, of the Alliance, to take 
on board such munitions of war, as were ready to be delivered, 
and to deliver them at Philadelphia to the board of admiralty. 
The course we have taken requires here the insertion entire of 
Jones' letter to the Hon. Robert Morris, of the same date, in- 
volving a little repetition, but throwing much light on the sub- 
jects in question, and withal characteristic of the writer, and 
M^wthy of him. 


" L'OriefUj Jme 27, 1780. 
'^ Honoured and Deaji Sir, 

'< I have deferred writing to you since my return to this 
kingdom, because I had orders myself to return in the Alliance 
immediately to Philadelphia. I was under a necessity of going 
to court in April, to procure the free sale of the Serapis and our 
other prizes, and was received by the royal family, government, 
and people, with that open-armed affection that so nobly marks 
the character of this generous-minded nation. His majesty 
ordered a superb sword to be made for me, with an inscription 
in Latin on the blade, that would do honour to the greatest 
admiral in history. The king directed his minister to write a 
special letter to the president of Congress, expressing, in the 
strongest terms, his personal esteem towards me, with his entire 
approbation of my conduct, particular desire to promote my 
future success, and to see me again at his court, &c. To this 
his majesty was pleased to add a letter to his minister M. le 
Chevalier de Luzerne, directing him to ask permission of Con- 
gress, to invest me with the order of military merit ; an honour 
that was never before offered to a stranger who had not actually 
served either in the army or navy of France. I returned here, 
being charged with the despatches of government, and having 
obtained the king's ship Ariel to assist, with the Alliance, in 
transporting to America the supply of arms and clothing that is 
qow here, ,and so much wanted in our armies. The Luzerne 
and several other merchant vessels with cargoes, amounting to 
2,000,000 livres, were waiting for my convoy. But to the 
astonishment of every person, on the 13th of this month,. Cap- 
tain Landais went on board the Alliance, while I was on shore 
with the commandant of the marine, to take measures for the 
despatch of the Ariel, and declared he came to take the com 
mand. I made an immediate application to the commandant, 
not choosing to have any particular dispute with Captain Lan- 
dais, after the charges I had given in against him, and for 
which, with the approbation of this government. Dr. Franklin 
had displaced him seven months before, and given him money 


to bear his expenses to America for trial* I was advised to 
send an express with the account immediately to court. I 
went up myself, and returioed in six days. I found the Alliance 
at the entrance of Port Louis, and every necessary disposition 
was made to stop her from going out, agreeable to the within 
document ; but my humanity would not suffer me to remain a 
silent witness of bloodshed between the allied subjects of France 
and Aiperica. My having prevented that scene of horror, has 
been, I am persuaded, no small disappointment to the wicked 
hearts and empty heads of Captain Landais' two principal ad- 
visers ; such a scene , would have been an excellent ground of 
argument for the tools of England against France. One of 
these two would-be great men will now have his carriage, bag- 
gage, and family, transported from hence in the space on board 
the Alliance, that should have been occupied by the soldiers' 
clothing ; while the red ribboned commodore has taken ad- 
vantage of the confusion, and inveigled away from the conti- 
nental service a number of seamen, that I had redeemed from 
English dungeons, and fed for three months on board the Al- 
liance, in order to man the Ariel. The brave men who so 
gloriously served with me in the JBon Homme Richard, are now 
confined as prisoners in the hold of the Alliance, and treated 
with every mark of indignity. I had destined them to complete 
a crew for the Ariel, and have demanded them in vain for that 

'* I cannot see where all this will end ; but surely it must fall 
dreadfully on the heads of those who have stirred up this cause- 
less mutiny. For my own part, I shall make no other remark 
than that I never directly nor indirectly sought after the com- 
mand of the Alliance ; but after having in obedience to orders 
commanded her for seven months, and after Mr. Lee had made 
a written application to me as commander of that ship, for a 
puMge to America, I am at a loss what name to give Mr* 
Lee^s late conduct and duplicity, in stirring up a mutiny in 
favour of a man who was at first sent to Anpierica contrary to 
Mr. Lee's opinion, by Mr. Dean, and who is actually under 

278 PAUL jomss. 

arrest, by order of his sovereign. Whdt gives me the greatest 
pain is, that after I had obtained from government the means 
of transporting to America, tinder a good protection, the arms 
and clothing I have already mentioned, Mr. Lee should have 
found means to defeat my intentions. I thank God I am of no 
party, and have no brothers or relations to serve ; but I am 
convinced that Mr. Lee has acted iii this matter merely because 
I would not become the enemy of the venerable, the wise, and 
good Franklin, whose heart, as well as head, does, and will 
alwavs, do honour to human nature. 

** I know the great and good in this kingdom better, perhaps, 
than any other American who has appeared in Europe since 
the treaty of alliance ; and if my testimony could add any thing 
to Franklin's reputation, I could witness the universal veneration 
and esteem with which his name inspires all ranks, not only at 
Versailles and all over this kingdom, but also in Spain and 
Holland. And I can add from the testimony of the first 
characters of other nations, that with them envy itself is dumb 
when the name of Franklin is but mentioned. 

** You will bear me witness, my worthy friend, that I never 
asked a favour for myself from Congress ; for you have seen 
all my letters, and know that I never sought any indirect in- 
fluence, though my ambition to act an eminent and useful part 
in this glorious revolution is unbounded. I pledge myself to 
you, and to America, that my zeal receives new ardour from 
the opposition it meets with, and I live but to overcome them, 
and to prove myself no mock patriot, but a true friend to the 
rights of human nature upon principles of disinterested philan- 
thropy. Of this I have already given some proofs, and I will 
give more ; let not, therefore, the virtuous senate of Ame- 
rica be misled by the insinuations of fallen ambition. Should 
any thing be said to my disadvantage, all I ask is a suspension 
of judgment until I can appear before Congress to answer for 

'' I repeat, thiat I am determined to steer clear of party, and 
to keep withm my liiie of duty as an officer. Deeply sensible 


%i the obligations I owe to your friendship, and ardently wish- 
ing to merit the affection of erery good American. 

^' I am, dear sir, with the highest esteem and respect, 

'* Yoiir most obliged, 
" And very humble servant, 

"Jno. p. Jones." 
N. B. I will do my utmost to return immediately to Ame- 
rica- I return you my best thanks for your letter of the 4th 
Nerember. • 

. The following official letter, which M. de Sartine addressed 
to Jones on the 28th, needs insertion, because it woi official, 
and was despatched at the right moment, being well calculated 
to remove whatever feelings of mortification Jones might have 
been supposed to labour with. 

" VerMiUei, June 28, 1780. 

'* The king, sir, has already made known his satisfaction 
with the zeal and valour, which you have displayed in Europe, 
in support of the common cause of the United States of Ame- 
rica, and his majesty, and he has also informed you of the dis- 
tinguished proofs he is disposed to give you thereof. Persuaded 
that the United States will give their consent that you should 
receive the cross of the order of military, merit, I send you in 
the accompanying packet addressed to M. de la Luzerne, the 
one designed for you. You will be pleased to deliver him this 
packet, and he will see that the- honour is conferred by a knight 
ot the order, agreeably to his majesty's orders. But at any rate, 
that yon should have a proof of the king's approbation and mu- 
nificence, his majesty has ordered a gold sword to be made for 
you, which will be sent to you forthwith, and he has the great- 
est confidence in the use you will make of it for his glory and 
that of the United States. <^ I have the honour to be, &0t 

** To M. PaalJmuM, i^* r' 

C om modon of the U. S. Navy, at VOrimU." ,^ .. .^ 

.^ ■ 

380 PAUL jomss. 

The gold sword has been spoken of before in this text, but 
probably this was the first time Jones had heard of it ; and it 
would not hare quickened his desire to depart. He loFed not 
baubles, but he dearly lored what they meant and passed for 
in France. 

On the 28th, Jones tried the effect of another imperative let- 
ter to Captain Landais, with directing him not to sail or put to 
sea, before receiving instructions from himself, the '' senior and 
superior officer of the'navy of the United States in Europe," 
and to send eighty of the best riggers, with all the joiners forth- 
with, from the Alliance, to rig and prepare the Ariel. Lieut. 
M. Livingston undertook to deliver this letter. To this request 
Landais replied, addressing the commodore simply as, " John 
Paul Jones, Esq. at L'Orient — ^I send the under named people 
on shore, being such as I do not find necessary for the service 
of the United States of America on board this ship ; if you have 
any authority for taking them, you will do it." The names of 
twenty-two persons are added, of five of whom Landais, re- 
marks, '^ these are prisoners of yours." On the 29th, Jones 
wrote to him, **the boat returns for the remainder of the men, 
mentioned in my order of yesterday." The following N. B. is 
added ; ^' Captain Landais ordered the bearer of this letter to 
remain in the boat alongside the Alliance, and hold this open, 
with the writing towards him." Having seen it, he ordered the 
boat to be gone. 

The Alliance then sailed. Jones says in his Journal, that 
when he begged the barrier of the port might be removed, 
the commandant called the principal offices together, who sign- 
ed a paper, *' stating the preparations which had been made, 
and expressing their admiration of the conduct of Captain 
Jones." All his papers and trunks sent ashore were found bro- 
ken open, and the best part of his effects were detained, or de- 
stroyed on board the Alliance. The people who adhered to him 
in that ship, and refused to weigh anchor, were confined and 
^ carried away in iMBp. He was left without a crew for the Ariel, 
and was unaiilB tajmbark the' clothing. 

PArL JONES.' 281 

In die middle of the following months we find the commodore 
thus writing to a lady, whose name is not mentioned. 

^ Madam, 

" When one is conscious of having been in fault, I believe it 
is the best way to confi^ss it, and to promise amendment. This 
being my case with respect to you, madam, I am too honest to 
attempt to excuse myself; and, therefore, cast myself at your 
feet and beg your forgiveneos, on condition that I behave 
better hereafter. For shame, Paul Jones ! how could you let 
the fairest lady in the world, after writing you two letters, wait 
so long for an answer ! Are you so much devoted to war, as to 
neglect wit and beauty? I make myself a thousand such re- 
proaches, and believe I punish myself aa severely as you would 
do, madam, were you present here. 

<< The truth is, I have been willing that the extraordinary events 
that have, taken place here with respect to the frigate Alliance, 
should be communicated to you rather by others, than by myr 
self ; for though, God knows, I have not been to blame for these 
events, yet I have felt rather ashamed that they should have 
happened ; the more so as the cause has been rather of a delicate 
nature. I will mention it, however, to you." He then states, 
that M. de Chaumont had, up to that moment, unjustly retain^ 
from the crew every sol of their wages and shares of prizes, 
and that certain persons had persuaded them that he himself 
concurred in such measures. 

On the 24th, he wrote to Madame Tellison. What would be 
repetition is omitted. • 

^* Madam, 

'^ When you did me the honour to ask my promise to write 
to you a particular account of my services in this revolution and 
of my late expedition, I thought myself very happy, indeed, in 
enjoying that pleasing proof of your attention ; and it was my 
firm intention to have' fulfilled my promise with you on that 



heady immefiately after mj return here. Had I ondertaiken to 
write my own history to a lady of a less elevated mind than 

Madam T , I should hare run too great a risk, especially 

in what relates to my last battle ; many circumstances of which 
are not yet known to the world, and arie of such a nature as not 
to be belieyed by an ordinary mind, upon the evidence of an in* 
dividualr With you, madam, I hare not the remotest doubt, 
and the extraordinary event that took place here, vrith respect 
to the Alliance, is the only reason that has withheld my pen. I 
confess to you, I feel rather ashamed that such an event should 
have happened ; although, God knows, it was not owing to any 
fkult of mine* *^ * * I had disapproved the conduct ol M. le 
Ray de Chaumont so much as neither to speak nor write to him 
after my return to France* My sole business at court was to 
obtain the free sale of the prizes, whidi I effected. • • • • I 
know that soon after my arrival in America, Congress will ren- 
der me impartial justice. I will then have the happiness to 
furnish you with the account I promised, and the circumstances 
will be supported by the fullest evidence. I dare promise that 
it will then appear that I have only been to blame for having 
returned here from Paris, without having insisted absolutely on 
the previous payment of my men. Money is essential in war : in 
love, you will tell me, perhaps, the case may be othiervrise. I 
have still in contemplation to return to France soon after I 
arrive in America, for I have the most ardent desire to give the 
court, the nation, and my friends, farther proo& of my gratitude, 
by my services in the glorious diause of freedom that France has 
so nobly espoused in concert with America." 

On the 28th, he wrote to the Marquise *de la Fayette : " I am 
once more nearly ready for sea. If I can in any respect render 
you acceptable services, you know I have so much esteem and 
respect for yourself, and so much affectionate friendship for 
your husband, that you will, 1 hope, command me freely* I 
expect to embrace the marquis about the first of October ; and 
it is not impossible, that we may return together to France. 
Believe me, I am, with great sincerity and regard, &c.' 



PAUX. JONjES. 283 

TheMiMter«|ollicw IMie«f are the ^ only lettercf found writ- 
ten by Jones in the month of July, which are before the com- 
jNleTk He was soon, however, busily engaged in writing to the 
French ministers, and those who had access to, or influence with 
tbem. Jones hud his projects before them again ; and again 
strenuously and not indecorously applied for employment in 
what his soul most sighed after, an expedition after his own 
heart ; in which he should have no concordat to control him, 
no sage peers to ne^tralise his purposes. He could not expect 
any such command from Congress, even on the most modest 
scale. He endeavoured to avail himself of his reputation, and 
the influence it might create for him, in every direction, to ob- 
tain such a force as might enable him hopefully to attempt some 
one of those schemes, with which his ardent ambition was teem- 
ing; which, if it did not *^ strike a blow that should resound 
through the universe," would sensibly affect the nerves of the 
imaginary ocean queen ; and teach her, thiat if she had refteb, 
pirateh and privateers to deal with, they were of no common 

If circumstances did not permit him to sail with the Ariel at 
this precise time, (and they were beyond his control,) we cannot 
suppose that he found them altogether painful. That '* he 
often took leave, yet wus loath to depart," may be true ; but it 
was not his fault that the departure did not take place. 

We cannot omit his letter to the Count of Yergennes) dated 
the 2d Augilst. 

" My Lord, 

*< I should be unworthy of the illustrious marks that I have 
lately received of the royal favour, if I were not constantly im- 
pressed with the most ardent zeal to merit the continuance of 
bis majesty's approbation, by an invariable attention to the 
mutual interests of France and America. Although my de- 
parture for America has been, protracted by unforseen events, 
it is not yet too late for government to pray the Congress that I 
may, during the remainder of this war, be constantly employed 


on active and useful services, tending to distract and distress 
the common enemy. After having been so highly honoured by 
the kind attentions of the king's ministers, and their approba- 
tion of my poor services, I am convinced that I shall still find 
such support and protection from this government, as may 
enable me to prove my gratitude by my future actions. 

" Since I had the honour of laying before your excellency, in 
the month of May last, my project for future expeditions, the 
events of the war have not so altered circumstances as to render 
my ideas inexpedient ; on the contrary, the farther the v^ar ad- 
vances, I am the more confirmed in the utility that would result 
to the common cause from such services as I have therein 
hinted at. I was then happy in finding that your exeellency 
approved of my ideas ; it is therefore that I now enclose a copy, 
which I beseech your excellency to reconsider and lay before 
his majesty's privy council. If such expeditions as I wish to 
command were to be fitted out in America^ I might be able with 
the greater certainty to strike the first blow by a complete sur- 
prise. Before the fleet of his majesty sailed from Brest the 
first time, under Count D'Orvilliers, M. de Chaumont told me 
it was the desire of government to have my ideas on private 
expeditions in writing. I gave him with great pleasure many 
ideas, from my long knowledge of the enemy's trade and situa- 
tion, that might have proved of great advantage to our cause, 
and I wish M. de Chaumont had given all my then ideas to the 
court, although I am told he has taken credit for some of them 
as his own. I am now nearly ready for sea with his majesty's 
sloop of war the Ariel, and I should be happy to carry with me 
to Congress the interest of this government for my promotion ; 
6ut especially that I may be henceforth constantly employed in 
the most active and enterprising services, with such a forc^ 
under my command as may enable me effectually to promote 
the interest of our glorious cause. This, my lord, would be my 
supreme ambition, actuated by no mean views of self interest, 
but inspired by the purest principles of gratitude and philan- 
thropy. It is upon this ground alone' that I depend on the 


" It is absolutely necessary, my lord, to destroy the foreign 
commerce of the English, especially their trade to the Baltic, 
from when^ they draw all the supplies for thm marine. * It is 
equally necessalry to alarm their coasts, not only in the oolotues 
abroad, but even in their islands at home. - These things would 
distress and distract the enemy much more than many battles 
between fleets of equal force* England has carried on the war. 
against America in a far more barbarous form than she durst 
have adopted against any power of 'Europe. AmericH has a 
right to retaliate ; and by our having the same language and 
customs with the enemy, we are in a situation to surprise their 
coast and take such advantage of their unguarded situation, 
under the flag of America, as can never be done under .the flag 
of Prance. This is not theory, for I have proved it by my expe- 
rience ; and if I have opportunity I virill yet prove it more 

^' I shall be happy, my lord, to be honoured with your excel- 
lency's, determination as soon as possiUe, as I purpose to pro- 
oeed virith the utmost expedition to Philadelphia, and as there 
iff no time to lose in preparing for the operations of the next 


We should infer from this letter, that M. he Ray de Chau- 
mont was the '' man at the entrance of the garden.'' And it 
needs no Sphinx to explain, why a man of Jones' temper quar- 
relled virith him; because the gate was not always open. 

Whether the project submitted by Jones was quixotic or ra- 
tional, the French government could not have complied with 
his demands, such as they are intimated to have been by the 
reply of the Compte de Maurepas, from which the following 
extract is taken : ^' I have examined and communicated to M. 
de Sartine the project aibnexed to your letter, and we have no 
manner of doubt of the good effect that would result, were it 
entrusted to you. But at present it could not be said what num- 


h$e of firigatet mig^ be employed^ they hmg all actually 
armed on accoant of the king, and the plan of the approaching 
campaign is not yet sufficiently determined^ positively to say 
bow many firigates may be given to you. But this need not 
preventi if you hare the consent of Congress, the execution of 
the first part of your scheme, to come here, as you propose, with 
the Alliance and the other vessels which you may have, and 
with a sufficient American crew to arm the firigates which may 
jam you. I will endeavour here to secure some for you, or to 
substitute privateers in their place. This is all I can inform you 
of for the present." 

Three days before the date of the letter last referred to, 
Franklin had vnritten to Jones, sending him his despatches by 
the Count de Yauban, and requesting him to sink them, if ne- 
cessary. The folloiraig passage in his letter deserves notice, 
because it would af^ar that Jones had shown a morbid degree 
of sensttiility, after the high ground he had taken and well main- 
tained, to the misconceptions of individuals. '* Depend upon it,'* 
said the minister, <<I never wrote to Mr. Gillon that the Bon 
Homme Richard was a privateer. I could not write so ; be- 
cause I never had such* a thought. I will, next post. Send you 
a copy of my letter to him ; by which you will perceive that he 
has only forced that construction from a vague expression," &e» 
The vague expression was the mercantile phrase " the concerned.** 
We have no time to spend on Mr. Gillon's misconstructions. 

The Ariel lay at the road of Groix when, on the 13th Septem- 
ber, a month after the date of the last letter that has been quoted, 
when we find an epistle from Jones, dated from on board, to 
Madame la Presidente L'Ormoy : *^ My particular thanks are 
due to youy madam, for the personal proofs I have received a( 
your esteem and friendship, and for the happiness you procured 
me in the society of the charming countess and other ladies and 
gentlemen of your circle. But I have a- ftivour to ask of you, 
madam, which I hope you will grant me. You tell me in your 
letter, that the inkstand, I had the honour to present you as a 
small token of my esteem, shall be reserved for the purpose of 

Mart sovta. 887 

wnting what 66ne^¥ii0 me. Ndw I wish yon to ^ee*mf JHAealh 
ft more expanded ligkt, and would have you make use of that 
inkstand to instruct mankind and support the dignity and rights 
of human nature.'* 

We have now got among the correspondence of Jones with 
the Parisian ladies. The letters from Delia are most nume- 
rous. Who the ' lady was that assumed this signature, must 
remain a mystery $ nor would the diseoyery be of any interiett. 
She would be as little identified to eyery reader of this day by 
her real name, as by that which Ae assumed. Spedmens of hte 
mannerof writing hare appeared in print, in sufficient numbers 
and quantity. Her original letters, in French, indicate h want of 
acquaintance with the art of spelling. It is said in the Edin- 
burgh Life of Jones, that Delia has been diseoyered in America . 
to haye been a young lady of the court. This is not the fact, as 
the surmise was first made, upon no authority that has ever been 
heard of, in London. 

Madame T , another correspondent of Jones, a "wor- 
thy lady" as he styles her, and as she was no doubt, was a 
daughter of Louis XY. and of a lady of quality, as we learn by 
a letter from Jones to Mr. Jefferson, written seyeral years after 
this period. " His majesty," Jones says, " bestowed a very 
large fortune on the mother, on her daughter's account. Unfor- 
tunately the father died while the daughter (his great favourite) 
was very young ; and the mother has never since shown her 
either justice or natuial affection. She was long the silent vic- 
tim of that injustice ; but I had the pleasure to be instrumental 
in putting her in a fair way to obtain redress.^' 

His influence at court, real or supposed, was a motive which, 
in addition to his renown, prompted the fair to smile on him, 
and solicit its exertion in obtaining those favours which are won 
by such interest. The Countess de Lavendahl, (or LaWendal, 
as Jones always spells the name,) a young and dashing woman, 
seems to have looked for the promotion of her husband through 
his application, and at the same time to have had no objection 
to indulge in a little harmless gallantry. She painted a minia- 


tore of him, and gave hiip her own. Certain letters were pab- 
luhed in the English, press at this period, which were ascribed 
to a young English lady, Miss Edes, residing at Versailles. We 
find the following extracts from them in the Edinburgh Life. 

*^ The famous Paul Jones dines and sups here often ; he is 
a soo^art man of thirty-six, speaks but httle French, appears to 
be an extraordinary genius, a poet as well as a hero ; a few days 
ago he wrote some . verses extempore, of which I send you a 
copy.. He is greatly admired here, especially by the ladies, who 
are all wild for love of him, as he for them ; but he adores Lady 
— -— , (the Countess Lavendahl,) who has honour^ him with 
«very mark of politeness and distinction." 

^ Pflmt addnuad to tfci iMditM yJto Amw dom ni tie Jbowoiir ofAtit wMU attMitiofi /" 
Presenied kg Paul Jfnus to MademoisdU 

** Inanhed Freedom bled,— -I felt her canse, 
And drew my sword to vindicate her hiwi, 
From princij[)le, and not finom vain applause. 
I've done my best ; self interest far apart, 
And self reproach a stranger to my heart ; 
My seal still prompts, ambitions to porsne 
The Ibe, yis fiiir ! of liberty and yon: 
Grateful for praise, ipontaneons and unbonght, 
A generous people's love not meanly sought ; 
To merit this, and bend the knee to beauty. 
Shall be my earliest and latest duty." 

In a subsequent letter, the supposed Miss Edes says : '^ Since 
my last, Paul Jones drank tea and supped here. If I am in 
love with him; for love I may die ; I have as many rivals as 
there are ladies ; but the most formidable is still Lady — : — , 
(the Countess Lavendahl,) who possesses all his heart. This 
lady is of ^high rank and virtue, very sensible, good natured, 
and affable. Besides this, she is possessed of youth, beauty, and 
wit, and every other female accomplishment. He is gone, I 
suppose, for America. They correspond, and his letters are 
replete with elegance, sentiment, and deUcacy. She drew his 
picture, (a striking likeness,) and wrote some lines under it, 

PA0L JONES. 389 

wn much admir^, and presented it to him, mko^ sinoe 
he received it, is, he says, like a second Narcissus, in lore with 
his own resemblance ; to be sure he is the most agreeable sea 
wolf one would wish to meet with. .As to his verses, you may 
do with them what you please. The king has given him a 
■Mgnificentgdd sword, which, lest it should fall into the hands 
of the enemy, he has begged leave to commit to the care ot 
bM* lodyship-Hi piece of gallantry which is here highly i^ 
plauded. If any further account of this singular genius should 
reach my hands, you shall have it." 

The countess could not have been much pleased to find her 
gallantries thus chronicled in public newspapers, and the fi4« 
lowing letter, which Jones wrote to her from Yer&iailles, appears 
to have induced her to think that the correspondence had been 
carried far enough. 

*' I am deeply concerned in all that respects your happiness : 
I therefore have been, and am much affected at some words 
that fell in private ccmversation from Miss Edes, the evening I 
left Versailles. I am afraid that you are less happy than I 
wish, and am sure you deserve to be. 1 am composing a cipher 
for a key to our future corres^ndence, so that you will l^ able 
to write me very freely, and without risk. It is a sraall dic- 
tionary of particular words, with a number annexed to each of 
them. In our letters we will write, sometimes, the co'^Tesponding 
number instead of the word, so that the meaning can never be 
understood until the corresponding words are interlined over 
the numbers. 

** I beseech you to accept the within lock. I am sorry that 
it is now eighteen inches shorter than it was three months ago. 
If I could send you my heart itself, or any thing else that could 
Afford you pleasure, it would be my happiness to do it. Before 
I had the honour of seeing you, I wished to comply with the 
invitaticm of my lodge,* and I need not add that I have since 

* Brobfllbly the lodge of Uie NeufScBun, of which he was axaember.— JSdf. Life, 



found g§ronger reasons that have compelled me to seek the means 
of returning to France again as soon as possible." 

The lady appears to have retained the cipher, the letter, and 
the lock ; but wrote to express her astonishment at Jones' bold- 
ness ; and expressed a supposition that the letter must have 
been ndtdireded* She begged to introduce to him the Count 
Lavendahl, her husband, who was passing through L' Orient, 
and said she should be obliged to Jones, if he would* '^ pay him 
overy civihty." 

Jones got out of his false position with admirable coolness 
and dexterity, as the following letter will show. It is dated 
July 14th. 

<* Madam, 

^' Since I had the honour to receive your packet from Ver- 
sailles, I have carefully examined the copy of my letter from 
Nantes, but am still at a loss, and cannot conceive, what part of 
the letter itself could have occasioned your imagining I had 
mistaken the address. As for the little packet it contained, 
perhaps it might better have been omitted : if so, it is easily de- 
stroyed. If my letter has given you even a moment's uneasiness, 
I can assure you, that to think so would be as severe a punish- 
ment iis could be inflicted upon me. However I may have been 
mistaken, my intention could never have been to give you the 
most distant offence. • I was greatly honoured by the visit of the 
count, your husband, and am so well convinced of his superior 
understanding, that I am glad to believe Miss Edes was mis- 
taken. I admire him so much, that I should esteem myself 
very happy indeed to have a joint expedition with him by sea 
and land, though I am certain that his laurels would far exceed 
mine. I mention this, because M. de Genet has both spoken 
and written to me on the subject, as from the count himself. 

'* I bad the honour to lay a project before the king's minis- 
ters in the month of May, for future combined expeditions 
under the flag of America, and had the satisfaction to find that 
my ideas were approved by them. If the count, your husband, 

PAUL J01fB& 291 

wiO do me tlie honour to ooiiGerC with M. de Genet, that the court 
may send with me to America the applicaticm that was intended 
to be made to Congress, conformable to the proposal I made, it 
would afford me a pleasing opportunity of showing my gratitude 
to the king, to his ministers, and to his generous-minded nation. 
I should be greatly proud to owe my success to your own good 
offices ; and would gladly share with your husband the honour 
that might result from our operations. I have within these few 
days had the honour to receive frpm his majemy the cross of 
military merit, with a.sword that is worthy the royal giver, and 
a letter which I ardently wish to-^eserve. I hold the sword in 
too high estimation to risk its being taken by the enemy ; and 
therefore.propose to deposite it in the care of a friend. None 
can be more worthy of that sacred deposite than you, madam j 
and if you will do me the honour to be its guardian, I shall 
esteem myself under an additional obligation to deserve your 
ribbon, and to prove myself worthy of the title of your knight. 
I promised to send you a particular account of my late expedi- 
tion ; but the late extraordinary events that have taken place, 
with respect to the frigate Alliance, made me wish to postpone 
that relation until after a>court martial in America shall have 
furnished evidence for many circumstances that would, from a 
simfde assertion, appear romance and founded on vanity. The 
only reason for the revolt on board the Alliance was, because 
the men were not paid either wages or prize money ; and be* 
cause one or two envious persons persuaded them that I had 
concurred with M* de Chaumont to defraud them, and to keep 
them in Europe during the war, which, Grod knows, \ma not 
true* For I was bound directly for America ; and far from 
concurring with M. de Chaumont, I had not even written or 
spoken to him, but had highly resented his mean endeavours 
to keep the poor men out of their just rights, which was the 
only business that brought me to court in April. 

" If I am to have the honour of writing you from beyond sea, 
you will find that the cipher I had the honour to send you may 
be necessary ; because I would not wish all my informations to 


be understood, in case my letters should fall into the hands of 
the enemy. I shall communicate no idea in cipher that will 
offend even such great delicacy as yours ; but as you are a 
philosopher, and as friendship has nothing to do with sex, pray 
what harm is there in wishing to have the picture of a friend ? 
Present, I pray, my best respects to the count. If we are 
hereafter to be concerned together in war, I hope my conduct 
will give him satisfaction ; at any rate, I hope for the honour of 
his friendship. Be assured that I shall ever preserve for you 
the most profound esteem and the most grateful respect. 

" Paul Jones." 

The brilliant sword of which Jones offered to make the fair 
countess the depositary, bore this inscription : Yindicati ma- 
ris LuDOVicus XVI. Remunerator stt^enuo vindici. The 
lady declined becoming its guardian, as we learn from the next 
epistle, supposing it to have been addressed to hen 

" Arid, road of Groix, September 91, 1780. 

*< Madam, — ^I was honoured with the very polite letter that 
your ladyship condescended to write me on the 5th of last month. 
I am sorry that you have found it necessary to refuse me the 
honour of accepting the deposite mentioned in my last, but am 
determined to follow your advice, and be myself its guardian. 
[A day or two before I wrote to you last, I had received a chal- 
lenge from Sir James Wallace, who, in the Nonesuch, a ship of 
the line, copper bottomed and of superior swiftness, declared he 
waited in sight for my departure. Had I commanded an equal 
force, I hope you will believe, I would have employed my time 
otherwise than in writing you any proposition for the safety of 
a weapon, that I should have hoped to use immediately with 
success.]* I have been detained in this open road by contrary 

'*' The passage in brackets, is inserted from the copy of this letter published in Sher- 
burne, where, as in the copy beibre me, it is addressed to the Countess of Bourbon. 
I find no great difficulty in supposing, that Jones paid, to that lady, the same compli- 


and itomqr winds^ mnee the 4kh tif this moath* Thete in tUs 
Moment an appearance of a fiiir opporttmity, and I will eagerly 
embraee it* I hare receiyed a letter from the first miniirteri 
very favourable to the project I m^itioned to you, and you may 
depend on my utmost interest with Congress to bring the mat- 
ter to issue. I am sure that assembly will, with pleasure) say all 
yourself or the count could wish, respecting the count, if . my 
scheme is adopted* 

*^ I have the satisfaction to inform you, that, by the testimony 
of all the persons just arrived in foUr ships at L'Orient from 
Philadelphia, the Congress and all America appeared to be 
warmly my friendi ; and my heart, conscious of its own upright- 
ness, tells me I shall be well received* Deeply and gratefully 
impressed with a sense of what I owe to you and yoor husband's 
attentions and good wishes, and ardently desiring to merit your 
friendship and the love of this nation, by my conductthrough life* 

" I remain, madam, &c« &c. 

*' P« S.^— I will not fiul to write whenever I have any thing 
worth your reading; at the same time, may I hope to be 
honoured now and then with a letter fitim you, directed to Phila- 
deliduB. I was selfish in begging you to Ivrite me in French, 
because your letters would serve me as an exercise. Your EDg- 
lish is- correct, and even elegant." 

The correspondence with this lady was resumed somewhat 
more ceremoniously, a few years after this period. 

On the 22d of this month he wrote to M. de la Sartine, sta- 
ting that he could no longer be silent, while the money due to 
them was withheld from his officers and crew, as their loud com- 
plaints ^' would, through the artifices of Englishmen and Tories, 
give rise to very disagreeable clamours, and be ascribed to minis- 
l^g^ • • •• rji^^ years, my lord, has that hair-brained man 

ment which the Counteu de Lavendahl rejected. Bat a comparifon of dates renden 
it most probable that the epistle was written to the latter. 


(M. de Chaumont) been employed in marring erery idea of 
mine that was calculated to promote the common cause. • • • • K 
he hiMi not interfered with the police of the squadron, nor be- 
trayed the secret of its intended operations, very essential ser- 
vices might have been rendered to the common cause. I verily 
believe the Baltic fleet could -never have entered the ports of 
England; and I am certain that Leith and Edinburgh would 
have been laid under a heavy contribution, and the merchant 
shipping of some of the principal harbours of England burnt to 
ashes. If the Baltic fleet had not entered the ports of England, 
Admiral Rodney would not have sailed, and the flag of Spain 
would now have waved. over the ramparts of Gibraltar." M. de 
Chaumont was the cause, certainly, of some strong negatives 
and long inferences. 

We shall now follow Jones' Journal. ^' He obtained a crew 
for the Ariel, that was ordered by government to be fully armed 
and equipped. He embarked such a quantity of arms and pow- 
der as, with provision for only nine weeks, filled the ship even 
between decks. He hoped to make the passage in a favourable 
season of the year, but was detained by contrary and stormy 
winds in the road of Groix, from the 4th of September till the 
8th of October. He then sailed with a fair wind and pleasaat 
weather ; but the next night the Ariel was driven by a violent 
tempest close to the rocks of the Penmarque, a terrible ledge 
between L'Orient and Brest. ' The ship could show no sail, but 
was almost buried under the water, not having room to run be* 
fore the wind, and having several feet water in the hold. Find- 
ing the depth of water diminish fast. Captain Jones, in the last 
extremity, cast anchor ; but could not bring the ship's. head to 
the wind. Sometimes the lower yard-arms touched the water. 
Captain Jones now had no remedy left, but to cut away the fore- 
mast. This had the desired effect; and the dbip immediately came 
head to the wind. The main-mast had got out of the step, and 
now reeled about like a drunken man. Foreseeing the danger 
of its either breaking off below the gun-deck, or going through 
the ship's bottom, Captain Jones ordered it to be cut away. But 


before this could be done, the chain-plates gave way, and the 
main-mast breaking off by the gim-deck, carried with it the 
mizen-mast ; and the mizen-mast carried away the quarter-gal- 
lery* In that situation, the Ariel rode in the open ocean, to 
windward of perhaps the most dangerous ledge of rocks in the 
world, for two days and near three nights, in a tempest that 
covered the shore with wrecks and dead bodies, and that drove 
ships ashore from their anchors, even in the port of L'Orient. 
It was perhaps fortunate that the Ariel lost her masts, since no 
anchors could have held her so long had the masts stood. By 
the help of jury-masts, erected after the gale, the Ariel return-' 
ed to L'Orient." 

This terrible gale was felt over nearly all Europe. Jones spoke 
thus of it in a letter to the Presidente D'Ormoy, dated OcUh 
ber 16th. ^' By the enclosed declarieition of my officers, you 
will see, my dear madam, that I was in a ticklish situation in 
the moment while you were employed in writing to me on the 
9th ultimo. It is impossible to be more sensible than I am of 
the obligation conferred on me by your attentions and kind re* 
membrance, joined to that of the belle comtesse, your fiur daugh- 
ters, and the amiable ladies and gentlemen c^your society. I 
have returned without laurels, and, what b worse, without 
having been able to render service to the glorious cause of lib- 
erty. I know not why Neptune was in such anger, unless he 
thought it an afiVont in me to appear on his ocean with so in- 
significant a force. It is certain, that till the night c^ the 8th, 
I did not fully conceive the awful majesty of tempest and of 
shipwreck. I can give you no just idea of the tremendous scene 
that nature then presented, which surpassed the reach even of 
poetic fancy and the pencil. I believe no ship was ever before 
saved from an equal danger off the point of the Penmark rocks. 
I am extremely sorry that the young English lady you mention 
should have imbibed the national hatred against me. I have 
had proofs, that many of the first and finest ladies of that 
nation are my friends. Indeed, I cannot imagine why any fieur 
lady should be my enemy, since, upon the large scale of univer- 

296 FAVI. JOH E0. 

mlfUhntkioffrl ^^ acsknowledge, and bend ibefore the aof»* 
miga pairer of be&u^* The Englisli natibii may hate ne, 

Wiiting to Franklin, he said: ** I owe the warmeat thanki to 
the •piriied and unremitting assiitance of my officers, who be- 
bared vith a steady, composed oourage, that does them the 
highest honour; and I have no fauk to find with the conduct of 
any person under my command* They all behaved remarkably 
wilL The geiidemen passengens ahowed a manly spiritt and 
tflle greatness of mind, even when death, imdl its pomp, stared 
Ussm tn the face ; and I am anre not one among them ever 
expected to see a returning sun.'' 

.To Dr. Bancroft he wrote as fidlows : ^ I am, my dear 
siFf returned to France without laurek, and, which is worse, 
wUhotU kaioiMg been able to render iervice to our cause. I must 
refer you to Count de Vauban, the bearer of this letter, for 
a description of the late storm. I shall only say, it fieur ex- 
ceeded all my former ideas of tempest. We must console 
ourselves that no lives were lost-— an event remarkably fortn* 
nate under such circumstances. Tou have, no doubt, received 
mews from America. I have seen some of the papers, but find 
nothing very agreeable, exc^t the address of the assembly of 
Bhode Island to the Count de Bochambeau and the answer. 
Lee had reached Philadelphia the night bef(»:e one of Captain 
Hall's passengers left it ; but we know nothing farther, except 
that no guns were fired, no bells were rung, nor bonfires made 
in consequence of so great an event ! Your effects are dry and 
safe, though many of our things are damaged, I mean our doth- 
mg, and books, &;c. Fart of the powder, arms, and bread, d&e. 
are wet. Count de Vauban behaved remarkably well, and 
iqipears to me to be a very worthy cfaaracter* He is determined 
to use his interest with the Duke de Orieans, that the Terprieare^ 
may be substituted for the Arid." 

The arrival of the Alliance in America, referred to in this 
letter, had been announced to Franklin by Dr. Cooper of Bea- 
ton, who wrote to him on the dth September, as follows. 

PAVi. jroNEft. 297 

' *' The Allunee arrived here some weeks ago, With Dr^Leej 
ffho: MTitlill in toim. Thii vessel appears to me to h*ve : l^ 
Franee in aa unjustifiable, manner, though I oannot yet obtain 
the particukir csrcumstances. Landais did not hoU his com- 
mand .through the voyage, which was either relinquished by him 
or wrestedirom him* All the passengers, as well as officers and 
sailers, are highly incensed against him, and Dr. Lee as much 
as any one. A court of inquiry is now sitting upon tins taiatteri 
in wUdi the Doctor has giv^s a fuU evidence against the cap^ 
tain/ which reiires^nts him as tnmne.*^ 

The resdlt of thb court of inquiry was, that Iiandais wasdis- 
nftssed tnm the senribe of the United States. Jones not being 
ib America. to substantiate thest, the more serioui dbilrgcil 
were not^^urged agaiast him, and he was consigned to inspgi 
nificance. ,: ' . 

it wtis found on examinalion, that thd anhis on board ci the 
Ariel, which were the most valuable part of her stores* were s6 
mdch damaged that it was aecessaftyto unship and leate them ; 
and she was so much- disabled that^ though Jones wrote to 
Franklin, on the 13th October^ tluit the repairs had been com-* 
menced with great activky, by the assistance of the commandant 
of the marine, she 'Was not ready for sea until Deceikiber. The 
mew excuses thus incurred tried severely the patience of ihe 
|iradBa9t FraakKn, and; he directed the necessary advances to be 
floade with jbl- heavy heart. He was again obliged to expostulate 
widi dw commodore* Jones lised every effort, throngh; his 
friends at- court, to obtain the Terpsicore, and endeavoured to 
induce Mr. Silas Deane, and Dr; : Bancroft to aJraist him- in Us 
apidication to the Marquis de Castries, who was riew minister 
of the marine; But,'be says in his Journal, *<the noblemen^ on 
whose interest he had dnefly depended being absent^ the appli* 
cation failed.'^ < The Terpsicore was destined to carry de- 
spatches to the East Indies. 

In writing to the new minister, he took the ofqwrtunity of 
paying his compheaieBts to- him, on his induction into office. 
^'FtBrmit me, mytlord, to congratulate your excellency on the 



happy ehoiee bis majesty hai made, in appointing a diainttmst-' 
•d patriot of your liberal mind and ooniprebenrive undenitaaA* 
mgf to gOTern tbe royal navy of tbis kingdom. BeKeye me, my 
lord, I anticipate wttb a beart-felt pleasm^e, tbe bappy erenta of 
your administration ; and I shall rejoice, indeed, to be.fband 
worthy of your excellency's protection, and to be made initniH 
mental, under your direction, in concert with the Congress^ to 
put an honourable end to this war." He transmitted a copy cf 
a project he had laid before M. de la Sartine, in May previousy 
and about which he had recently written to the Count de Man- 
repas, prime minister ; which was to be executed with the aid 
of such frigates as he could procure in America. Writing to 
the Due de la Rochefoucauld, by tbe neM postf he says : "I 
hope so great and noble minded a man, as universal fame eaUs 
the Marquis de Castries, will either adopt my plan, or soine 
better one, whereby I can effectually prove my gratitude to 
France, and promote the interest of the common cause." 

By a letter addressed to the board of admiralty, on tbe 98th 
October, it appears that at this time a difficulty took place,' oa 
the score of rank, between Commodore Jones and the cMtm^ 
ted Captain Truxtun. He says : ^ I send a letter I received 
from Mr. Truxtun; the master of the Independence, of Phihdel* 
phia, dated the 24th, with my answer. Yesterday and to^ay 
he has had the insolence to hoist a broad pendant, notwithstaadr 
ing* Is not this bidding defiance to Congress and the etati» 
nental flagP Congress will judge what punishment is equals to 
such a crime, when committed in sight of the flag and fort»:df 
an illustrious ally." The letters referred to are missing, ae^ 
cording to the marginal note in the certified copy of the fo^ 
going. Captain Truxtun, according to the Naval Chronieleiy 
was sailing in a private armed ship, and had only the conunis- 
sion of a letter of marque. Whether any further notice was 
taken of this incident, we are unable to say. - • • •:- 

Very wisely deeming it expedient to carry with him to Ame- 
rica the strongest testimonials of the approbation of his servioss 
by the French court, Jones intimated to the new minister, that 

PAUL JONE8. 399 

a oonfirmation bjr hinif of the letter written in his favour hj M. de 
la Sortine, in May previous, would give him cause for gratitude. 
At the minister's desire, Mr. Genet informed him, that the let- 
tar in question was the act of the king in council ; and would 
rather be weakmed than confirmed by any additional cer- 

No prise money had as yet been forthcoming. On the 24th 
of November, Jones wrote to M. le Ray de Ghaumont as fol- 
lows: ''If you have received the produce of the sale of the 
prizes, taken last year by the American squadron then under 
my command, I request you to pay the part thereof belonging 
to the officers and crews of the Bon Homme Richard and the 
Alliance, into the hands of Messrs. Grourlade and Moylan, their 
(egal agents, &c." The demand, it will be observed, was 
made upon a contingency. Jones desired that his own share of the 
priBe money, both as chief of the squadron and captain of the 
Bon Homme Richard, might be paid to Dr. Franklin and Dr. 
•Bancroft, his lawful attornies ; and reclaimed payment of the 
wages due to the seamen of the Bon Homme Richard, who 
had been forcibly carried away in the Alliance. These wages, 
it will be remembered, Franklin thought ought to be paid in 
America* Jones wrote to the same purport, to the Marquis de 
Castries, on the same day. In relation to this matter of the 
prize money, it has not been heretofore explicitly stated, that 
the few prizes sent into the ports of France by the .expedition, 
before it entered the Texel, had been sold, and the proceeds 
remitted, a year previously, to M* Ghaumont, upon his order, 
by Messrs* Gkmrlade and Moylan. Jones wrote to the minister, 
** By virtue of the authority I had received from governmentt 
my honour was pledged to see these men justly paid. 1 have 
already suffered many reflections on their account, and I beseech 
your excellency to order them immediate payment." 

Dr. Franklin had been confined to his bed, at this time, for 
some weeks* He wrote to Jones on the 4th December, telling 
him, ** I shall strongly solicit the payment of the prize money, 
which I understand is not yet received from the king* I hope 

900 PAUL JOKB0. 

floon to fiee an end of that afiair, which has tnek with so nany 
imaceomitable obstructions. I enclose despatches fbr Congress, 
which are to be sunk in case of danger; * I wtsh-you to shake 
the best of your wbj to America, and tiiat yon may haive m, pros 
perouB Toyage." By waiting for ftirther despatches which 
M. Gourlade informed him were to be sent, Jones lost a favour- 
able wind, and did not sail until tiie 3:8th of (Ms- month- ''As 
before, he made his valedictory compliments to Madame la 
Presidente d'Ormoy* In his letter be says : **• 1 am much flat- 
tered by your having mentioned me to so great a man as the 
king of Prussia-^he world will ever treat Iiis opihion with the 
highest respect.^ 

' On the 18th December, he says in his Joomai, he ** bade 
adieu to the beloved nation of France ; where, though he had 
met with some difficulties, he had many reasons to be satisfied, 
and was diarmed with the courteous bdiaviour that so nobly 
miurked the character of that generous-minded peoj^. • • • « 
Having important despatches on board, and bmng besides much 
himbered, he had determined to steer directly for America, and 
wished rather to avoid than seek after the enemy/* He did, 
however, meet the enemy, and gained another victory, thomgh 
the fruits of it were lost by baseness. With his account cf tbi^ 
lietibn, from the same journal, we will close the first part of this 
compilation. ' • 

. ^' After a .variety of rencounters, be, in the latitude 90^ north, 
and longitude of Barbadoes, met with a remarkably fhst sailing 
fisgate belonging to the enemy's ^avy-^ Captain Jones eiidea* 
venred'to avoid speakiqg With that ship, and -wi- the night ap-' 
proaehed, he hoped to succeed, notwithstanding her superior 
sailing. He was, however^ mistaken ; fornext morning the ribiptf 
were at a less distance asunder than they had been the evening 
before, although during the night the officers of the watch had 
always informed Captain Jones the soil continued out of sight. 
An action now became naavoidablet and the Ariel was prepaid 
for iti - Every iking was thrown overboard that interfered with 
tta» dtfenee and safety of the ship. Captaiti Jones took par- 

ijoidMB Mre^«% tbie i i» »g » Mic al^ofi fsaibtod rfaelmti to pirtteiit 
4ie;AQ9ll>]rJr(MidiiooviHrili9^lhe}ft^ ioridl, tad w r kirf 

lior ^Q^lweU a» jBQt lo divfOTOf aifty Wftrlili0 appeaciuKe-orfinepil^ 

fltem-^afler ^nt A%6il«mj Iran the iiipartfeMlodby umI dmtiiiucrit 
tp > crowd fliail fuf* if rery ^ BHKk afaurmed*: Thk. hmi $be dmvdA 
€||SrecW and the «ii0iiiy pliitrtted with the grwter ei^fe rt Mi Bi K 
Qfiptiain ^e»did^ii^)liiff6rt]ie>ew0y'tacom dow liptitt 
tko fippr^ach «f 'nif btywhen^r huriiif wcU ezanmKd Jiufbvdei^ 
hm ehoHmi^ 4Niil» to>«lMt Us afqwoach J ' When tiie tiro shi{Mi 
came withiit JmuI of ieach olher ihrfiboftli bxfirted Eiiglbh- coMvf. 
TbO'PidtsoiitwhOs^'dutgFik^WtS' to:houil the 'pebdant on^boaKl 
tlto'AHellMiidMt takes ieaire to BildiM^t^ othefendof thehal^ 
liavda fait,; te^ baid itdewn again to dumge^the eobiin* • 'Thii 
yproreatad Jooctai' fiabm :an advantageoos ^ vAncodvr*- ha had^wH 
lended^andoUig^tiiin'ib let this enemy range iqi-altaf the 
|B^*flide of the Ariel, where he saw a battevy lighted ferafctioni 
A eoB^oraation nfow took phoe between tho two aUfM,: «whieh 
iMMl/aear aa hour ; by wAueh Captain Jones learned tha ^atn* 
atioii>J9f ihei eiiemy's afihirs in Aineriea« >^ The captain of the 
OMmy's ship said'his name was John Pindan : His ship' had 
hscta ^eoaftxueted ky the» fhsaons Mir. JPeek of Boston^ boik At 
NewfauFjrporti'Owned by BIr. Tricey -of Hbet plaoe^ eominaaded 
biT'QftpleiaLtHophfns^^tbB son of tha late Ceihnbdoie Hepidnsj 
and'hadbaeiiftakA aad^filteA oak at New^Tfrk^ tEUfd; named 
tha Triumphs hf Admird Bodnby^ Captain Jones toldWihfha 
mtMQ p«trallC1hi»•lMt^tod*ceBBO'oaibolifdIStad show his <oom^ 
pMoai tO) iptoovQ -whediakt ar'not liO'tvecillyidid belong to the 
British navy. To this he made some excusieis) fyeeansc^ Oaptaia 
Jones had not told him who he was ; and his boat, he said, was 
▼ery leaky. Captain Jones told him to consider the danger of 
refusing. Captain Pindar wd^ he "would answer for twenty 
guns, and that himself and every one of his people had shown 
themselves Englishmen. Captain Jones said he would allow 
him five minutes only to makd his reflectionw That time being 
eh^psed, Captain Jones backed a little i i\ the weather-quarter 


q£ the teiieiny, lall dote under hertleni, kbuHed Ameriean- 
tahiiirst and baa% wftbin 0hort {MstoIislM^ ofi the 'Iee4eluii of 
tWeqemy, be^Mi U> enf^age. It was patt «erreta o'clock,' and 
mi {i6 equal fbroe ev^er exceeded th^ vigorous i^nd regtilar fire '<i€ 
the Ariel's' faattekrjr and topp, the action while jt lasted tnade k 
l^omiis appearhnee. The enemy- made a fediile renstance for 
about: ten minutes. He then struck his colours. 'The enemy 
i|ien;begged for ^quartery and >ifaud half Ms men were killed, 
^he Ariel's £re ceased ; ai|d the creW, as 'usual Rafter a rictory, 
faire cries of jaj*- . T6 '* riiqifr themsdres SngUshmen,^ the 
enenqr filled theilr sail%- dad got on the AriePe weeither-^bow be- 
fcia the cries of joy had ended on bdaid the Ariel. CaptaCi 
Jboesy suspecting the base -design of the enemy, iaftmediately 
set every si^ he ioould to prevent her escape; but the enemy 
had somubh advantage in sailing, that the Ariel could not keep. 
upi and: they soon got out of gun shot. The Eta^isb cbpiaiii 
may property be called a knave, because,' after he sulrendered 
\6b ship, begged for^ and obtained quarter, he basely ran away, 
contrary to the lawsdf naval wur and the practice of oivUiiledl 
nations* A^ conspiracy was discorered among the Efl^fishpuH 
of the ArieFs crew immediately after sailing fibtn Frauee. 
During the vo)ibge evevy ofllcer^ aad evto the passengers, bad 
been constantly .i^rmed, ' and kept al^re||iuhur watdi, beside* a 
conslant guard with fixed 'bayonets. After tfabiattionwith'tha 
Triumph, th^tplbt wais so hr discDvctred, thiit' Captain Johies 
oonfined twenty 6f the rinig;leaders hk iroiwtin his airrival* 'C!a{i^ 
tain Jones arrived at PhiladeljAoa oh the 18th Fehmaty^ 1781, 
iMUiiig been absent' from America tfatee ^aaiui tfaree^ niontlMi^ 

and eighteen dajrs.'^ '^ 

.;.■■». . ' r 

■j ; . ■■t'"'.'l' ■■ 

I ■ ..■■■■■.!■ » ' . ■ 


• ■ ■ . » . . ■ ■ . * ■ 

■ I . ■ ..•■.■■•■? ;: : • • ' f . 

•I . '« . 



No. I.— paft68. 

Turn ibUowiiif eztraoti of letten, are published to ibow that there waa 90 malke 
or bad blood on the part of ComJBodore Hopkini towards Captain Jones, at the datea 
thejr bear. The first raktes to another transaction, of the same eluuraeter as that fbr 
which the suit was bronglit. Tliej were of course not popular, under the eiieum* 
staneesat tlie time. What became of tlie prosecution referred to does not appear; bat 
it was no doubt compromised with little comparative expense to any person: 

«<2Vsiqioif, OBtoftsrld, 1776. 

" The owners of Captain Demiss' sloop, have delivered two of the men which 
signed their articles, and have given sufficient security that they will not cany away 
any of the men belonging to the fleet. If you find any inen on board; that do belong 
to the fleet, take them out, and then discbarge the sloop ; as there are some of the 
owners that are men of honour, and will not do any such thing ; it will be hard that 
they should suffsr for one man, that has behaved out of character. 80 that, upon the 
whole, I think it best to let the sloop and her people go. 

" I am your friend and humble servant, 

*' EzKK Hopkins, Commander in Chief." 
'< To JUbii P. Jonsf, JSffKtrs, Cammarndtr oftht Protridenee, 
** 0Dfifsd HMkiTf JSijutre, Cawmumder qf the Hamden,** 

" Prondenee, Deemiber 18, 1776. 

" If my son Ezek wants to come home, io see his friends, yon will be kind enough 
to give him leave. The owners of the privateer made a great noise about yotir taking 
the men out of her, and have brought an action ; but I think they win make nOtbhig . 
of it. We have likewise brought an action against Captain field for tiddng'eur 


I . 

No. IL p ag e 60. 

The following letter, addressed to the Honounble Robert Morris, is published 
entire, because it comprohendt the substance, and in many instances the literal ex- 
pressions of Jones, in several other letters, private and official, relating to his own 

304 APPEin>ix. 

opinion of what ■bonld be the organization of the navj ; and giving a historjr of the 
difBenitiei which aroee in die infimtfleet of dieoonntiy, oonoerningrank. Tlie matter 
of thoae eiqplanatioBf ia aereiil tiiiiea refeind to in the text, both of the firrt and second 

4a, (ktdber 10, 1783. 
Bm, ■ ' ' 

b ia the eaUom of nationa, on the return of peace, to honour, promote, and reward, 
aoch oflkera aa have served through the war with the greatest " zeal, frudmee, tmd 
imrq^iditif.** And since my country KisVifter an 'elglft years' war, attained the ines- 
timable blessing of peaee and the aorereignty of an eztensiTe empire; I presume that, 
(as I have oonatantly and faithfally served thioagh the Revolotion, and at the same 
lime sapported it, in a degree, with my poise,) I may be allowed to lay my grievances 
b^Su^. you, as the head of the marine. I will hope, sir, thron|^ yon, to meet with 
re^raas firom Congress. Rank, which opens the door to glory, is too Hear this hearl of 
eveiy offioer.of true mU^mrfffidmg, to be given up in fkvonr of any other man wHb 
haa not, by the achievement of aoma brilliant actilfni, or by known and superior 
abilities, merited such preierence. Iftku be so, how must I have felt, since, by the 
second table of captains in the navy, adopted by Congress, on the 10th of October, 1776, 
I was superseded in favour of thirteen persons, two of whom were my junior lieu 
tenanta at the beginning ; the rest were only commissioned into the continental navy 
on that day; and, if they had any superior abilities, these were not then known, nor 
have since been, proved J I am the oldest sea officer (except Captain Whipple) on the 
Journal^ and und«r the cornmiflsion of Congress, remaining in the service. In the 
year, 1775, when the navy- was estabfished, some of the gentlemen by whom Iwte 
a^ pe r sededy were lyi^ed to, to embark in the first ezpeditioii ; but they declined. 
CitptyiA Whipple has often aiid lately told me, they said to him, " they did not choose to 
be hanged." It is certain the hazard at the first was very great ; and some respectable 
gentleman, by whom I am superseded, acceptecl the appointments of captun and of 
lieutenant of a provindal vessel (or the protection of the river, after our fleet had aailed 
fimotit; ^Dd.on.boafd.of which th§if had reused to embarkf though I pretend not to 
know their reason. Bat the face of .affaixs having changed, as we ripened into the 
declaration of independence in 1776, their apprehensions subsided;- and in a letter I 
received fiiom the late Mr. Joseph Hewes, of Congress, an^ or ^'marine coininiittee, 
dat«4 at Philadelphia, May the 26th, 1776, and directed to me as capUtin tf the Pro- 
vidmue at Neio York, he says, " You would be surprised to hear what a vast number of 
applicatioiM, are continually making for officers of the new frigates, especially ibr the 
oommnnd. The strong recommeiidatunu from diose provinces where any frigatoi are 
building, have great weight'* 

He jsdds, *^Mj almost endeavours shall be exerted to eerveyou; from a convletioflf 
that your merit entitles you to promotion, and that you ought to command some who 
were placed higher than yourself" I ask, sir, did these " recommendations" pleiiff 
more successful than the merit of all the fallaBt m(^i who first braved the ocean in the 
eanae of America 7> Your candour must answer, Yes. What hapless prospect then 
have thoie,.who (^ only claim from past, though applauded services 7 Credit, it is 
•Ikfe^y has been, however, taken in this Revolution for '^unparalleled' iMiroten." I 

II •' 

APPEinnx. 305 

mflonylbifit; foir graat as c(«ir prateD^nte to hMWMn msf be, yet modeety beeemet 
yevsf aatioiif as well as young men. B«t the fint begmning of our navy was, aa naviei 
BOW lank, ao singularly a mall, that! am of opinion, it baa no preoedent in history.. Waait 
a. proof of madness in the first corps of sea officers to have, at ao critical a penofd, 
krandied ont on the ocean, with only two armed merchant shins, two armed brigaa- 
lines, and <me anned 'sloop, to make war agailiit such a power as Great Britain f 
They had, perhaps, in proportion to their number, as much sense aa the present tableof 
officers can boast of; and it has not yet been proved, that they did not understand, at 
least Of tMtt'their duty. • 

Their first expedition was far more glorious than any other that has been since at- 
tempted from omr eotut. Eveiy officer on that service merited promotion, who was 
capable of receiving it. And, if there was an improper man placed over them as 
commander in chief, was that a reason to slight or disgrace the whole corps t Has. the 
subsequent militaiy conduct of those officers, by whom the first corps of sea officers 
were superseded, justified the preierenoe they had to command the new frigates f If it 
1ms not, what shall we say in (avour of the precedence, which, ** Repugnant to an Act 
4^ Congress, of the 22d of December, 1775," and contrary to all rule or example, was 
given them in the second table of naval rank, adopted the lOth of October, 1776 1 
Could any thing have been more humiliating than this to sea officers appointed and 
commissioned in 1775 '/ Would it not have been more kind to lurve dismissed them 
from the service, even without assigning a reason for so doing 7 Before any second 
arrangement of naval rank had been made, perhaps it would have been good policy, 
to have commissioned, five or seven old mariners, who had seen war, to have ex- 
amined the qualifications of the candidates, especially, those who made their eondUknu 
■ad sought so earnestly after the commaTid of the new frigates. Those commissioaera 
might also have examined the qualifications of the first corps of sea olfficers, promoted 
such as were capable of it, and struck from the list such as were unequal to the com- 
mission they bore, &c. Thus, by ^^ing precedence in rank to all the captains who 
had aenred and were thought worthy of being continued ; and also to aU lieutenants 
promoted to the rank of captains, for their meritorious services and fit qualificationa, 
justice might have been done both to individuals and to the public. It has been said, 
with a degree of contempt, by some of the gentlemen who came into the continent^ 
■avy, the second year of the war, that ** I was only a lieutenmU at the beginning;'* 
aad pray, what were they when I was out on the ocean in 4hat~character f They pay 
me a compliment. To be diffident, is not always^a proof of ignorance, but sometimes 
the contrary. I was ofi^ered a captain's commission at the first, to command the Pro- 
vidence, but declined it. Let it, however, be remembered, that there were three grades 
of sea lieutenants esteblisbed by the Act of Congress of the 23d of December, 1775; 
atid as I had the honour to be placed at the head of the first of those grades, it is not 
quite fair in those gentlemen to confound me with the last ; yet when I came to try 
my skill, I am not ashamed to own,-! did not find myself perfect in the duties of a first 
lieutenant However, I by no means admit, that any one of the gentlemen who so 
earnestly sought afVer ramk and the command of the new fVigates the next year, was at 
tho beginning able to teach me any part of the duty. of a sea officer. Since that- time 
it 18 well known, there has been no comparison between their rmmis of acquiring mili- 
taiy marine knowledge and mine. 



If midnif ht stady, and tha inttnustion of tbe grMtefk wmI moti letrnad lea offiofn, 
•an have giTem mo mhamUtgu, I am not without them. I eonfe*, kowever, I am^jrat 
talaarn. It is the woik of many jean' atody and ezperienoo, to aoqaire the high da- 
grae ef aeience neceaaaiy for a great sea officer. Cmising after merohant ships, the 
aarvife on which our frigates have generally been employed, affords, I may say, no part 
'of the knowledge neeeesaiy for condnoting fleets and their operations. There is nets, 
peirhaps, as mach difference between a single battle between two ships, and an engage- 
ment between two fleets, as there is between a single duel and a ranged battle between 
two armies. I became captain, by right of service and succession, and by order and 
commission of his excellency Ezek Hopkins, Esq. commander in chief, the 10th day 
of May, 1776, at which time the captain of the Providence was broke and dismissed 
from the navy, by a oonrt martial. Having arrived at Pluladelphia, with a little convoy 
fiom Boston, soon after the declaration of independence, President Hancock gave me 
a captain's commission uiukr ike United Stoles, dated the 6th day of August, 1776. I. 
did not, at the time, think that this was doing me justice ; as it did not correspond with 
the date of my appointment by the commander in chief. It was, however, I presumed, 
lis Jini tuwal commueUm granted under the United States. And as a resolatk>n of 
Congress had been passed the 17th day of April, 1776, " that the nominaHon of captains 
ahould not determine rank, which was to he settled hrfore commissions were granted.*' 
My commission of the 8th of August, 1776 must, by that resolution, take rank of every 
commission dated the 10th of October, 1776. My duty brought me again to Phila- 
delphia in April, 1777 ; and President Hancock then told me that new naval commis- 
sions were ordered to be distributed to the officers. 

He requested me to show him the captain's commission he had given me the jrear 
before. I did* so. He then desired me to leave it with him a day or two, till he could 
find a leisure moment to^<fill up a new commission. I made no difficulty. When I 
waited on him the day before my departure, to my great surprise, he put into my hailds 
a commission, dated the 10th day of October, 1776, and numbered eighteen on the 
margin ! I told him that was not what I expected, and requested my former oommis 
akm. He turned over various papers on the table, and at last told me he was sorry 
to have lost or mislaid it. He paid me many compliments on the services I had per- 
formed in vessels of little force, and assured me no officer stood higher in the opinion 
of Congress than myself; a proof of which, he said, was my late Appointment to the 
eommand of secrd expeditions, with five sail and men proportioned, against St. Kitts, 
Pensacola, Augustine, ibc. That the table of naval rank that had been adopted the 
lOtfa of October, 1776, had been drawn up in a hurry, and without well knowing the 
diffisrent merits and qualifications of the officers ; but it was the intention of Congrms 
to render impartial justice, and always to honour, promote, and reward merit. And, 
as to myself, that I might depend on receiving a very agreeable appointment soon after 
my return to Boston ; and, until I was perfectly satisfied respecting my rank, I should 
have a separate command. See Paper No. 1. I returned to Boston, and it was not 
k>ng before I received orders to proceed to Europe tocommaad the great frigate build- 
mg at Amsterdam, for the United States; then called the Indien, and since the South 
CaroHna. It was proposed that I should proceed to France in a ship belonging to that 
kingdom ; but, soim diffionkies arising, the sloop of war Ranger of eightee* fans, was 
put under my command for that service, and to serv«. afterwaids as a tsadar to the 

ArpEMiHx* 989 

tndiott; >rP«lilic«l reawn defeatel the- phui> sAer I bad ««t t>«r ctui Mii ttofcwt liji 
P«ru^ agreeable to their order, to oonaidt on the wayi and floeana of canying it into 
exeGQtion. I retomed in conaeqaence to Nantes, and roaaatimed the command of the 
Ranger. When I retomed from Europe and mj sovereign told the world, that some 
#f my military oendsct on the coast of England had been *' atfsniM wUk ciretamUmeeB 
99 hiiUmt ms to mcUe generai applmtse and admirmtum ; " when the honours conferred 
on me by hie most christian majesty; to wit, a gold sword, on whicii'^14 impr e w ej 
the highly. flattering words, ** Vindicati Maris Ludcvicus XV 1. ReMttnerator Stretm^ 
Vmdiei,** and emblems of the alliance between the United States and France, accom* 
panied with the order and paieni of military merit, and a very strong atid parti- 
cular letter of recommendsition to Congress in my behalf. No. 2, were dechuwd 
bff tkem to be '^ highly acceptable ;" when I was thought worthy of a vote of thanks 
and general approbation so strong and comprehensive, as that hereto subjoined, 
in Paper No» 3,. I was far from .thinking that toch pleasing expressions were all the 
gratification ■ I had to expjMt. The committee of Congress to whom was referred 
my general examination by the bpard of admiralty, with the report of that board 
thereon, were of opinion that I had merited a gold medal, with devices deelarative 
of the vote of thanks, which I had received from the United States in Congress 
assembled. And I was persuaded that I should also be promoted, or at least restored 
to the place I held in the naval line of rank in the year 1775. I waited patiently for 
some time ; but nothing was done on either of these subjects. Being informed' by 
aome members of 'Congress, that it was necessary I should present my cldrri te'spect* 
ing rank in writing, [ did so, in a letter of which No. 4 is a copy, ajA^^isMei! to his 
ozoellency the president of Congress, the 28th of May, 1781. My applk$atidil;Hrta8 
referred to a •special commjittee who, as I have been informed by onebf itsnaranfl^nr, 
made a report in my favour, and gave oft their opinion, that I ha4 'Aotertted' to be pro- 
mitted to the rank of rear admiral. Before Congress had takeii npftHH^port an ajspli- 
oatton in opposition to me^ was made by two of the captains wbbiimf superseded me. 
Upon this the report was recommitted. The committee bnce''Enoreve|K>rted in my 
favour; but without giving a direct opinion respecting ihy promotion; and recom- 
mended the appointment of a commander in chief of the navy, as may be seen by th^ 
annexed copy, No. 5, of that report ; which, on account of the, thinness of CongtessL 
was on the 24th of August, 1781, endorsed /'JVoC to be acted n^fton.** It is, however, 

plain, it was intended to be . token up agam, when a proper opportunity presented 

* ,« ' 

itself; otherwise it would not have been retained on the files of Congress. This ap- 
pears also by the extract of a letter. No. 6, which 1 wrote from Portsmouth in New 
Hampshire, and the answer, No. 7, that I received flnom the honourable John Mathews, 
Esq. who was chairman o^.the committee respecting the honorary medal, and a mem- 
her of the committee on my rank. While my claim for rank stood recommitted before 
the committee, I was unanimously elected by ballot in Congress, the 2Gth of June, 
1781, to command the America of 74 guns ; (and, as I was erroneously informed, 
ready to lammck at Portsmouth ;) on which occasion several -of the members of Congrein 
told me as their opinion, that my rank was thereby settled beyond a dispute ; because 
the America was the only ship in the service ** of 40 guns andupwards ;" and Congress 
had resolved that captains of ships of ¥i guns and upwards should rank as colonels, 
aad captains of ships between 20 and 40 guns as lieutenant colonels. There ajppeared 


■p mnch reaaoB and justice in that opinion, that I wan then and am still inclined t« 
beKsTe it was not wkhovt good foondation ; for certainly there is no comparison h^ 
tween the trast reposed in a captain of the line and aeaptain of a frigate ; and, except 
in England, where airarioe is the ruling principle of the corps, there is no eqaalitjr 
hetween their distinct ranks. A captain of the line mutst at this day be a tactician. A 
captain of a cruising frigate may mnke shift without having ever heard of the naval 
tactic. Until I arrived in France, and became acquainted with that great tactician 
Count D'Orvilliers and his judicions assistant the Chevalier Du Pavillkm, who each 
of them honoured me with instructions respecting the science of governing the opera- 
tions and police of a fleet, I confess I was not sensible how ignorant I had been of 
naval tactics. 

. I have many things to offer respecting the formation of our navy, but shaH reserve 
my observations upon that head until you shall hav« leisure to attend to them, and 
require them of me. 1 have had the honour to De presented with copies of the signals, 
tactics, and police, that have been adopted under the difierent admirals of France and 
Spain during the war ; and I have in my last campaign seen them put in practice. 
While I was at Brest, as well as while I was inspecting the building of the America, 
as I had furnished myself with good authors, I applied mnch of la^ leisure time to the 
study of naval architecture and other matters, that relate to the establishment and 
police of dock-yards, &c. (I, however, feel myself bound to say again, I have yet much 
need to be instructed. ) But if, such as I am, it is thought I can be useful in the formatioB 
of the. future marine of America, moikeioibois my ktmowr, and I am so truly a citizmi of 
the United States, that I will cheerfully do my best to efl»ct that great object. It was 
my. fortune, as the senior of the first lieutenants, to hoist the flag of America the fiist 
time it was displayed. Though this was but a light circumstance, yet I feel for its 
honour more than I think I should have done if it had not happened. See Paper 
No. 8. I drew my sword at the beginning, not after having made nmgUr emMumt 
but purely from principle in the glorious cause of freedom ; which I hope has been 
amply evinced by my conduct during the Revolution. I hope I shall be pardoned in 
saying, it will not be expected, after having fought and bled for the purpose of con- 
tributing to make millions happy and free, that I should remain miserable and disho- 
lyured by being superseded, wUhmU any just cause assigned. Permit me now, sir, to 
draw your particular attention to the following points : 1st, By virtue of my commission 
as the senior of the first lieutenants of the American navy^ I stand the next in rank tb 
Captain Abraham Whipple, who is the only one of my sen'ior officers now remaining 
in the service. 2ndly, By the commission as captain under the United States, which I 
received from the hands of President Hancock at the door of the chamber of Congress, 
dated the 8th day of August, 1776, 1 am entitled to precede all the captains whose 
commissions under the United States are dated the 10th day of October, following. 
3dly, My right of precedence is confirmed by the Act of Congress of the 26th of June, 
1781, appointing me to the command of the America of 74 guns, Congress having 
previously resolved, that captains of ships of 40 guns and upwards should rank as 
colonels, and that captains of ships from 40 down to 20 guns should only rank as lien- 
tenimt colonels. I will at present say nothing of those pretensions which the fiivour- 
able notice and recommendation of his most christian majesty might enoonrage me to 
fonn, and which have hitherto proved so fruitless to me, though similar reeommendar 

APF£lf]>U(^ 300 

tknii horn dmfpmB to that monuch have piOTed m MeamoOM in finrow of thoM who 
were honoured with them. Though I have only mentioned two things diat afflict me^ 
i. <. the delay of a decision respecting my ranki and the honoraiy medal, yet I haT« 
met with many other hnmilis^tions in the servicoi that I h:«ve borne in silence. I will 
just mention one, of them. Whe|i the America was preaeatod to his most christian 
majesty, I presume it woold not have been inconsistent with that act of my sovereign/ 
if it had mentioned my name. Sach little attentions to the military pride of officers are 
always of use to a state, and cost nothing. In the present instance, it could have been 
no displeasing circumstance, but the contrary, to a monarch who condescends to 
honour me with his attention. I appeal to yourself^ sir^ whether, after being unani- 
mously elected to command the first and pnly American ship of the line, my conduct, 
for more than sixteen months while inspecting her building and launching, had merited 
only juch cold neglect ? When the America was taken from me, I was deprived of my 
tenth command. 

Will posterity believe, that out of this number the shop of war Banger was the hul 
I was ever enabled by my country to bring into actual service ? If I have been instni* 
mental in giving the American flag some reputation and making it respectable among 
, European nations, will you permit me to say, that, it is not because I have been honoured, 
by my country, either with proper ineans or proper encouragemeiU. I*canDot oonclnda 
this letter without reminding you of the insult offisred to the flag of America, by the 
court of Denmark; in giving up to England, towards the end of the year, 1779, tvra 
large letter of marque ships (the one the Union, from London, the other the Betsy, from 
Liverpool,) that had entered the port of Bergen, in Norway, as my prizea. Those two 
ships mounted 22 guns each, and were valued, as I have been told, at sixteen hundred 
thousand livres Tournois. I acquit myself of my duty by giving yor oiis information^ 
now when the 'sovereignty and independence of America is acknowledged by Great 
Britain; and I trust that Congress will now demand and obtain proper acknowledg- 
ments and full restitution from the court of Denmark. 

I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect, sir, your naost obedient and 

most humble servant, 

J. Paul Joirxs. 

Copy of a report of a committee on Captain Paul Jones' letter and others. Endorsed 

" August 24, 1781, not to be acted upon." 

** The committee to whom were referred the application of Captain John Paal 
Jones ; and also the applications of Captain James Nicholson and Captain Thoniaa 
Reed, beg leave to report, 

'' That by an arrangement of the captains of the navy which was adopted 1^ Con*: 
gross on the tenth day of October, A. D. 1776, Captain James Nicholson was pUced 
first in rank, Captain Thomas Reed eighth, and Captain John Paul Jones the 

** The committee cannot fully ascertain the rule by which that arrangement waa^ 
made, as the relative rank was not conformable to the times of appointment or dates oC 
commission, and seems r^^ugnant to a reioluHon of Congress, of the 22d of December, 
1775- It appears that Captains Whipple, Bany, Hpllock, and Alexander, wero a^ 
pointed captains previous to either of the applicants ; Captain Nicholson was kter 

310 AjPi^ElrAK^; 

than either, evcepCing Ris^d ; but Cd)>taiii Niiihdlttott had a comVhaAtl^^rmect veMeh 
imder die aatlioritj'- of Ihl) itMe ofMakTlandj prkr to his being adopted ih the conti- 
Bental navy. It k, tfafl ra fcre /tb b6 preAwnad that pi«ftraiice was glVeh to him on that 
ibcoont. Upon the WholBt the oomnaittee submit to Congreaa whether it will be ad- 
Tiiable to alter that arral»gement'7 If they shonld, Captain Jones will HoW stand the 
fifth oaptain^if respect be had only to times of appointment in that grade ; bat if re- 
gard be had to Captain Jones^ IveingaUentenant in the naVy prior to the appointment 
of many of the other gentlemon; he would, then stand second in the rank of captains, 
and Whipple first. 

** The committee alao recommend to Congress the expediency of appointing a 
commander in chief of the navy, in the place of the late Ezek Hopkins, Esq. dis- 

No. Ill.—page 63. 

The observatibn in the note at the fbotof the page, is perhaps a superfluous criticism 
on Jones' nae of the term imherk. He had recovered, as I know from the best sources, 
■ereral thousand pounds, froAi the wreck of his brother's fortune in Virginia ;■ and 
when he speaks of having lived upon fifty pounds for more than a year, he must refer 
ta a period anterior to that immediately preceding. It is not known what amount he 
had received, if any, at this time, of the money doe to him in England and Tobago, 
mentioned in his letter to Stuart MaWey, Esq. He was more than 1500 pounds in 
advanoe for the public service, before h<e left America, as he afterwards states. Ex- 
cepting an inconsiderable amount of prize money, wrung from the hands of mercenary 
agents, he received nothing for his services to the United States^previous to his retnm 
in the Ariel, in 1780. There can, theivfore, be no doubt that he hazarded bis private 
reaources as well as his personal safety, in the cause of his adopted country; and it does 
nol appear that he of his representatives were, or to this day are, more fortunate than 
others, wlio perilled all they had, in the question of odr country's independence in 
having the pecuniary account liquidated, though his charges fbr disbursements on 
account of the government, at several times during tlie period referred to, were allowed 
He had also his portion of continental money. 

No. IV.— pagO 70. 

In the early part of the Revolutionaiy war, the maritime flag seems to have been, 
Man the ooat of arms of the respective colonies under whose authority vessels were 
equipped, or to have depended upon the whim or fancy of the commanding ofllcer. 
Thus, the brig Yankee Hero, of Marblehead, captured afler an obstinate engagement 
by the Milford frigate, bore a pine tree in a white field ; and several fitted out from 
New York bore a black beaver. 

On the 9th of February, 1776, thirteen months after Manly had been scouring the 
ocean under authority of the colony of Massachusetts, *' Col. Gadsden presented to Con- 
gress au elegant standard, such as is to be used by the commander in chief of the 
America^ navy; being a yellow field with a lively representation of a rattlesnake in 
''tM attitude of going to strike, and these words underneath, ' Don't tread on me.' " 
This wan doubtless the ihrange flag of whksh an English wriiter of that period speaks in 
the fbllowing Wdrds : ** A strange flag has lately appeatod hi our seas, hearing a pine 

t^yn^ik (^ iportoaStwe of a n^lAniake pmM vp «t Hi^^sMt, iriHi ^bepie ikxi9§.moi^t 
* itqvCt tC^f^ 09 me.' W^ leariL tbat tl^ie ve^uek bearing thifl flflg, (i^v^jIl ^, .^f coo^ 
m^sAoa from a society of people at Philadelphia, calling the^s^vQs the coj^ef^^ 


- • 

No. V. — page 75. 

The following letter is witboat cjate^ and the Address is t^m o^. itia an ii|teref^- 
ing fragment. 

(H, n * n QoQQt d'J^stalng, the IjLing never had a snbje^ who bveij hifp blotter ; 
who has a nobler min<l> .pr ^ho is a meve worthy citizen. Thongb vice admiral of 
France, (the only officer of that high rank who has served in the late war,) he 
was sent out to America, with no more than the command of a Chef d'Escadre ; and 
from three to four months after I had given the minister of marine the plan of that ex- 
pedition. I gave the plan the IQth of February, X778. That lopg an4 unifefievtary <^ay 
rendered it scarcely possible for the expedition .to suooeed. Ye^ thii^ w-^ |\p J(anlt (f 
the vice admiral ; who, on the contrary deserves the highest praise for his zeal and 
perseverance. He would have surmounted every diffici4ty and taken Lord Howe in 
the road of New Yorkt if a generous sacrifice of his otm/ofe«iie,150,00(Mtv. could have 
induced the pilot to conduct him over the bar. 

" The captains who were about him were constantly in cabal tip fjn^ral^ k^ pip^ects, 
and never approached him with their advice, but with a revolting imperti^enqe which 
is highly culpable in the mouth of subalterns when they speak to their chief. The 
admiral had proof that those men had done all m their power, by letter^ to court and 
otherwise, to ruin him. Carte bUmche was sent him to punish them at bin pleasure. 
But he contented himaelf with showing them that he was too nohle miiidod, to avail 
himself of his power. He gave them every opportunity of disdngnishing their zeal 
for their country, and always rendered ample justice to their good conduct. The taking 
of Grenada is a military achievement greater than any otbor admiral cap boa/|t of in 

the course of the last war ; and if Count de. G had sqpiiortiQd his admiral jn the 

engagement with B}rron, it would have been the most glorious afiair for the flag of 
France that ever happened. If the admiral did not succeed at Savannah, it must he- 
attributed to invincible diffi^lties* No other man i^ his place would have succeeded. 
He had been misinfiniiied respecting the badness of the coast, where his fleet were 
obliged to remain at anchor far from the land in the open sea, far from every resource 
of provisions, wood, or water. He had been misinformed respecting the l^iiigth aAd 
shallowness of the river, the strength of the place, and the force of Uie enemy* Wb^n 
he summoned Savannah to surrender he had not above a foi^tb par( of his troops 
landed, and he had with him neither mortars nor battering ^ip^non. I{^ ibund the 
enemy much stronger than he had expected ; and }t was a stratagem of war that might 
have succeeded ; for he was certain that the enemy did not know that he was pot of 
sufficient force to put his threat in execution. No fault can be found with his conduct 
on that expedition, ejipcept it be said, that it was wrong to give the enemy 90 long time 
as two days to make his c^itulation. Put to this it may be anawered, that the a4' 
miral could npt possibly be ready m a shorter time to assault the place; which w^.Uff 
■trongly re-infoiced in the interim, that ap assault m^A have failed. A /|ioga« t^cgnifoct, 
bfjcame ipdisppusable. This required much more time ; but there is reason tp Relieve 


it Would have succeeded, if Ae admiral had not been bo dabgerooBly wounded when 
he itormed the place after haring made a practicable breach ; for aome of the Ameri- 
cana iud got poaMMHm of a commanding bafltion^heXbre the retreat was ordered. 
In war, the force nmit be Yerj superior that can insure success. And even a superior 
force may fail through circumstances, without any reflection on the commander. But 
Count d'Estaing deserved success ; and he can say what no other man can do who 
•erred through all the last w&r : ' He has had no advancement, his wounds are 'his 
honouTB ; and the public esteem his reward.* 

' Histoiy sajn that France has no officer, wh6m England fears so much. 

" I have the honour to 'be, dbc. &,c. 

"Paul Joiras." 

No. VI.— page 144. . 

The foUowing letters will be found in the Diplomatic Conmpondence of the Ame- 
rican RtTolvtion, Vol. I. pp. 215, 268, 269. 

£To the President of Congress.] 

" Pasijf, AprU 12, 1785. 
" Sin, 

" Mr. de Chaumont, who will have the honour of presenting this line to your excel- 
lency, is a jroung gentleman of excellent character, whose father was one of our most 
eariy friends in this country, which he manifested by crediting us with a thousand 
barrels of gunpowder and other military stores in 1776, before we had provided any 
apparent means of payment. He has, as I understand, some demands to make dn 
Congress, the nature of which I am unacquainted with ; but my regard for the fkmily 
makes me wish that tiiey may obtain a speedy consideration and such fkvonrable issue 
as they may appear to merit. 

" To this end I beg leave to recommend him to your countenance and protection, 
and am, with great respect, Ac, 

" B. FRAinxnr.** 

[To M. le Ray de Chaumont.] 

" Pmy, Sept. 15, 1778. 

** As our finances are, at present, in a situation seriously critical, and as I hold my- 
■elf accountable to Congress for eyeiy part of my conduct, even to the smallest article 
of my expenses, I must beg the favour of you to consider what rent we ought t6 pay 
you' for this house and fVimiture both for the time past and to come. Every part of 
your conduct towards me, and towards our Americans in general, and in all our affatrs, 
has been polite and obliging, as far as I have had an opportunity of observing, and 
I have no doubt it will continue so ; yet it is not reasonable that the United States 
flhould be under so great an obligation to a private gentleman, as that two of their 
representatives should occupy, for so long a time, so elegant a seat, with so much fhmi- 
tne, and so fine accommodations, without any compensation ; and, in order to avoid 
tiie disapprobetion of our constituents on the one hand, fn living here at too gteat or 
at too uncertain an expense ; and on the other the censure of the world Ibr not making 


•dBennt CMBpeBMtioii to a g«iid«Baii who hat done to mndi ibr ow ooBTWiieiiM, it 
■Miini to mo nocefia^ that we ihonld oome to an echuzeiMemeiit apon this hoad. 

" Ai you have an acoonnt agaimt the commiMionen^ or afainkt the United Statei, 
for several other matters, I should also be obliged to yon if joa would send it in ai 
soon as possible, as every day renders it more and more napeiiaiy for as to look into 
ear affiuia with the ntmost precision. 

** I am, air, with much esteem and respeet, 

** Your most obedient hnmblesenrant, 

** JoHn Adams.*' 

[M. le Ray de Chanmmit to John Adams.] 

" Ptfwy, S^, 18, 1778. 



'* I have received the letter which yon did me tiie honour to write to me on the 15(h 
instant, making inqwry as to the rent of my honse, in which yonllve, far the past and 
the jfiitnre. When I consecrated my house to Dr. Fnmklin, and his associates who 
might live with him, I made it fully understood that I should expect no compensation ( 
because I perceived that you had need of all your means to send to the succour of your 
country, or to relieve the di stres s es of your countrymen escaping fh>m the chains of 
their enemies^ I pray you, sir, to permit this arrangement to remain, which I made 
when the fate of your country was doobtfuL When she shall enjoy all'her splendour, 
such sacrifices on my part will be superfluous or unworthy of her; but, at present thef 
may be useful, and I am most hi^py in oflforing them to you. 

" There is no occasion for strangers to be inlbrmed of my proceeding in this respect. 
It is so much the worse for those who would not do the same if they had the oppor- 
tunity, and so much the better for me, to have immortalized my house by receiving 
into it Dr. Franklin and his associates. 

" I have the honottr to be, 
** Sir, with the most perfect respect, &c. 

** Ls Rat dx Chaumont." 

The following is part of a letter fiom the " Nation's Guest,*' whose remembrances 
of half a centnry were found to be as vivid, as his enthusiasm had been when 
he ondMrked in the cause of liberty in 1776. It was addressed to ILe Ray de Cha»* 
mont, Esq. of Jefferson Conn^, son of the gentleman in question. 

— " La Orange, Nnember.lO, 1895. 

** Mr Dbar Sea, 

" Although your own remembrance of the services rendered to our cause by the late 
Le Ray de Chaumont, and under his direction by his son, precludes the utility of any 
farther evidence, I think it a duty, as one of the fow surviving witnesses of those 
transactions to add my testimony to those of William Franklin, Marbois, Lafor^ 
Monroe, as well as your respedod father's recollections^ Yet I would think it eaper- 
ioous to enter with you into a^ninute detail of the efforts which M. Le Ray de Chan-* 
nent made with his fiivonrabie dtaation, kige fortune, remarkable talents, and m- 



eodunbn ai^vity, and dont/tancy to promote the interett of the United States, belbre 
the recognition of independence by the French court, and afterwards, bj his continued 
exerdons ; namely in the expedition of the American sqnadron nnder the command 
of the gallant Paul Jones.*' 
An allusion follows to the unsettled account of M. Le Ray de Chaumont 
I state on the authority of the gentleman to whom the foregoing letter was addressed, 
that a reconciliation took place between Jones and himself after the conclusion of the 
peace, Dr. Franklin having brought them together, in the presence of Robert Morris, 
Esq. at Philadelphia. It was then and there made apparent to Jones, that he had not 
understood How much M. Le Ray Chaumont, senior, had been, and remained so 
largely in advance to the United States; and with his characteristic frankness, the 
commodore admitted his error. A friendship continued between these parties 

No. VU— pages 169, 108. 

In a memorandum, dated at Versailles, on the 17th of June, 1780, Jones stated 
that, ** when the treaty of alliance with France arrived in America, Congress feeling 
the most lively sentiments of gratitude towards France, thought how they might mani- 
fhA the satisfaction of the continent by some public act. The finest frigate in the 
service was on the stocks, ready to be launched, and it was resolved to call her the 
Alliance. M . Landais, a French subject, who had then arrived in America from 

Ftvnee, as master of a meircharit ship laden with public stores, had reported that he 


had been a captain in the royal navy of France, had commanded a ship of the line, 
been a chief officer of the port of Brest, and was of such worth and estimation for his 
great abilities, that he could have had any honours or advancement in his own country 
that he pleased to accept; but that his desire to serve America had induced him to 
leaYe his own country, and even to refuse to receive the crora of St. Louis, that he 
might be at liberty to abjure the religion of his forefathers, which he did accordingfly. 
Congress believing M. Landais to be in high esteem at the court of Versailles, and 
thinking, with reason, that it would give pleasure to his majesty to find that one of his 
worthy subjects had been treated with distinction in America, appointed him captun 
of the Alliance." 

Captain Landais was well known to the citizens of the United States, especially 
during the latter years of his life. He died on Long Island, in the State of New York. 
For a considerable time prior to his death, he was an annual petitioner to Congress, 
on whose sessions he often attended, to urge his claim for indemnity, on account of his 
portion of the prize money, which ought to have accrued from three prizes sent into 
Norway, whilst he was in command of the Alliance iA Europe. His temper, even in 
old age, appeared to be severe ; for whilst at Washington, he could not avoid betray- 
ing his irritability. A remarkable instance of this unhappy constitutional excitability 
is related of him with respect to a member of Congress, who had spoken rather slight- 
ingly of him. Landais dressed himself in his uniform, with a small sword by his sid6, 
and repaired to the gallery of the House of Representatives, when in session ; indica- 
ting thereby, as well as in conversation with his acquaintances, that he was prepared 
to give any gentleman satisfaction who might be o^nded #ith him. He afterwards 
observed, quoting a remark ascribed to Henry IV. of Ftance,'that " if thete^as bad 


blood in Congrois, he would draw it." He affirmed to the lait, that he, and not Jonet, 
otfiCvrad the Serapis, attributini^ her surrender entirely to his having raked her from 
the Alliance ; about which the reader has seen that his assertion was entirely void of 

The following account of this eccentric individual is from a more imaginative «iid 
perhaps less authentic account. But, it is believed that the statement is, in the raaiii, 
correct. Lknow that there was such a tombstone erected for Landais, at the plaet 
mentioned; but the ground has since been raised in that cemetery, several feet, and like 
him whom it commemorated, il a di$paru. At least, I cannot see it there any longer. 

'^ There was another Frenchman of distinction, who ased daily to take his solitaiy 
walk through Broadway. I allude to Admiral Pierre do Landais, a cadet of the 
family o{ a younger son of the youngest branch of one of the oldest, proudest, aad 
poorest families in Normandy. He had regularly studied in the Ecole de la marimi 
and was thoroughly instructed in the mathematical theories of sailing and building a 
ship, although like the rest of his countrymen, he always found some unexpected difr 
ficulty in applying bis- theory to practice. For a Frenchman, however, he was a. 
good sailor; but in consequence of his grandfather having exhausted his patriiqoay 
in a splendid exhibition of fire works for the entertainment of Madame de Pompadour, 
he had neither interest at court nor money to purchase court favour. He was, tkei**^ 
fore, kept in the situation of an aspirant or midshipman, until he was thirty-two yeMi< 
old, and was kept, I know not how many years more, in the humble rank of sous Umi^ 
tenanL He served his country faithfully, and with great good will until, in the beg^ 
ning of the reign of Liouis XVI. a page of the nodstress of the Count de Vergennw. 
came down to Cherbourg to be his captain. While he was boiling with indignatiott- 
at this affront, the war between £ngland and America broke out, and he seized that 
opportunity to enter the service of the United States. There he at once rose to the 
command of a fine frigate, and the title of admiral. Soon afterwards came the brilliant 
affair of the Serapis and the Bon Homme Richard, in which Paul Jones, by his im- 
•petnous and undisciplined gallantry, earned the reputation of a hero, and poor Lan- 
dais by a too scrupulous attention to the tlieory of naval science, incurred that of a 
coward. I believe that naval authority is against me ; but I venture to assert, mm 
pericuiOj and on the adthority of one of my uncles, who was in that action as a lieu- 
tenant to Paul Jones, that Landais erred not through any defect of bravery, but meraly 
from his desire to approach his enemy scientifically, by bearing down upon the 
hypothenuse of the precise right-angled triangle prescribed in the thirty-seventh 
^' maruBuvre" of bis old text book. 

''The naval committee of Congress unfortunately understood neither mathematics 
nor French ; they could not comprehend Landais* explanations, and he was thrown 
out of service. Afler his disgrace he constantly resided in the city of New York, ex 
cept that he always made a biennial visit to the seat of government, whether at Phila- 
delphia or at Washington, to present a memorial respecting the injustice done him, 
and to claim restitution to his rank and the arrears of his pay. An unexpected divi- 
dend of prize money, earned at the begijaning of the Revolutionary war, and paid in 
1790, gave him an annuity of one hundred and four dollars ; or rather, as I think, a 
hundred and five ; for I remember his telling me that he had two dollars a week en 
which to subsist, and an odd dollar for charity at the end of the year. » 


'^ Althoagh Coagress under the new oonstitatioD continaed a* obdurate and am inF 
poaetrable to explanatkni as they were in the time of the oonftderation, the admiral k^ 
up to the lasty-the habitaand ezteriw of a gentleman. Hia'linen, though not veiy fine, 
nor probably very whole, waa always clean ; hia coat threadbare, but acrapiiloualy 
brashed; and for occasions of ceremonions visiting^ he had a pair of paste knee 
bnckles and faded yellow silk stockings with red clocks. He wore the American 
cockade to the last, and on the foorth of Joly, the day of St. Lonis, and the anniver- 
sary of the day on which the British troope eTacnaled the city of New York, he peri* 
odically mounted his old continental naval uniformj although its big brass buttons had 
lost their splendour, and the skirts of the coat, which wrapped his shrunken person 
like a cloak, touched his heels in walking, wlnle the sleeves^ by some contradictory 
piocess-had receded several inches from this wrists. He subsisted with the utmost ii^ 
dependence on his scanty income, refusing all presents,, even the mpst trifling ; and 
when my naval uncle, on one oocasion sent him a dozen of Newark cider,, as a small 
mark of his recollection of certain hospitalities at the admiral's table, when in comr 
mand, while he himaelf was but a poor lieutenant, Landais peremptorily refused them, 
asaprosent^iuGhheooukinot receive, becanseit was not in his power to reciprocate. 

** H^ was a man of the most punctilious and chivalric honour, and at the same time 
full of that instinctive kindness of heart and that nice sense of propriety, which shrinks 
from doing a rude thing to any body on any occasion. Even when he met his bitterest 
enemy, as he did shortly after he came to New York, the man whose accusatioa 
had destroyed his reputation and blighted his prospects, whose injuries he had for 
years brooded over, and whom he had determined to insult and punish whenever he 
fell in with him, he could not bring himself to offer him any insult unbecoming a gen- 
tleman, but deliberately qiitting on the pavement, desired his adversary to consider 
that pavement as his own. face, and to proceed accordingly. 

, ** Thus, in proud, solitary, and honourable poverty, lived Pierre de Landais,[for some 
for^ years, until, to use the language of his own epitaph, in the eighty-seventh year 
of his age, he ** disappeared" from this life.. As he left no property behind him, and . 
had no relations and scarcely any acquaintances in the country, it has always been & 
matter of mystery to me, who erected his monument, a plain white marble dab, which 
stands in the church yard of St. Patrick's Cathedral, in New York, and on which in 
reed the following characteristiG inscriptk>n i 


A LJk UKOima 



sn isrviee 

Jute 1818, 

IWiiMMi, U. 389-^33. 

No. ynL-^iiage 245. 

It would be unpardonable to omit in a Life of Jones, apeeinMBS ofdie venifieatioB 
which he amused himself with making, eidier eat 6f hir own bmins, or wilh tke 
assistance of the metrical common-plaoes, with which Iob memoij veems to hare been 
stored. The observation made in the text will be ftllsr jnstiAed bj them. One 
piece has been (bund among the mannscripto before the compiler, which has not been 
previously published. The Uses which first IbUow, fefinred to in the text, wero 
nnqnestionably nnde at the time of their date, aad, as has heen remarked by thip 
ingenious biographer who contrived to make aoonnected story out of Mr. Sherbnme>*4 
Collections, are as great a " psycological curiosity/' as the singularly wild and beauti* 
fnl fragment, entitled Christobel. They difibr, certainly, in some strange rei^ecti. 
One is the elaborate amusement, (for Jones felt his personal pride quiokly awakein 
every thing he did,) of a man who had laughed at the whole English navy, ^umed 
the illegitimate proUctkm of France, and evaded the fluctuating and unintelligiUt 
policy of the country into whose ports he had entered, and taken upon iumaelf that 
awiVil responsibility, which death itself, without success, wili not discharge. Jones 
had left Scylla barking, and knew that Charybdis was near, when he solemnly mana* 
factured these strains. There is queer poetry in Coleridge's abortion; but no sen- 
sible person will ever believe, that he wrote down while awake, many hundred linesr 
which he remembered to have composed while asleep. 80 we will give the laurel to 
Jones, so ftr as psycological curiosities are concerned. 


[Written on board the Alliance offUshant, the 1st day of January, 1780, imme- 
diately after escapmg out of the Tezel, fWmi the bkickade t>f the British fleete; b«ng in 
answer to a piece written and sentto the Tezel by a young Lady at the Hague.] 


Were I, Paul Jones, dear maid, ** the king of sea,*' 

I find oneh nMit in thy virgin song,. 
A coral oiown with bays I'd give to thee, 

A car wlueh on the waves should smoothly, glide along : 
The Nereides all about thy side shoidd wait. 
And gladly sing in triumph of thy state 
** Vivat, vivat, the happy virgin muse ! . 
Of liberty the friend, who tyrant power pursues!" 


Or, happier lot ! were fiur Columbia free 

From British tyranny — and. youth still mine, 
Fd tell a tender tale to one like thee 

With artless looks and breast as pure as thine. 
If she approved my flame, distrust apart. 
Like faithful turtles, we'd have bqt one heart : 
Together then we'd tune tiie silver lyre. 
As love or sacred fineedem should onr lays inspire. 

ti& APFSmiiX. 


Jkmt nwe, alas ! the rage of war pceraila, 

And emd BntoBa desolate oar bad, 
■ Per Aoodaoi aliU I apread m y wiUiBg aaiky 
: Mj miphfiath*d aword my injved oonatiy ahall ^numrum^^ 
. Gto om, bright maid ! the mnaei all attend 
Ctonhia like thine, and wiih to be ita friend. 
*nrMt me, ahhengh cooTeyed thioagh-thia poor afaift, 
Ify New^Year'a thomfata are grateAa ftr thy gift. 


» ■ 

. I. . . 

When Joye from high Oiympna goea 

To Ida, and the fiiir below, 
All heav'n kmenta— but Jnno ahovw, 

A jealous and superior wo : 
In vain to her all power b given, 

To female weakness ever dear ; 
She aooma the aov'ieignty of heav'n, 

Her God, her Jove, seems all to her! 


Bvt when the ThnHderer returns. 

And seeka hb skies, (so Homer sings,) 
Soft flames the impatieiU goddess bum* I 

She haates to meet the King of kiBfss 
Swift as the light her chariot flies, 

Her swifter wishes fly before ; 
Still joyous ift the middle skies,.- - 

She naeets the olond oompelling pow'r^ 


Prolific nature feeb th' embrace, 

Superior blossoms, fruits and flow'rs. 
Spring up — heav'n wears a brighter fkot, 

And fragrance in profusion show'rs. 
C^estial raptures who can tell f 

Ours all divine ! are only /sb, 
What bold presumptuous strains shall swatt. 

With transports whipb the goda can melti 

TfcwwMiilliy wurriw, tlioilghiiofod,' ' 

Brings Freedom's standard o'er Hm iMin, 
Long absent from thy blest abode^ 

Ca^ anchor 'mdear France agaiar; •• ' 
O ! thou more heavenly ! — far more kind 

Than Jono, as thy swain than Jove, 
With what heart's transports, raptor'd diind f 

Shall toe appioatih on wings of loT<9 ! 

The following verses, on a Maek profflei an witfaoiit date, and writCan on I know 
not what occasion. 

Pity so excellent a face, 

Should in a shade preserve thy name. 
Such beauty, harmony, and grace. 

The painter's softest tints may daim ( 


The eye, complexion, spirit, air, 
- In that vile profile all are lost. 
Only some features left! — ^I swear, . 
'Tis not Maria ! but her ghost. 


O ! did Appelle's genius warm. 
Or had I Raphael's skill divine : 

Their brightest works should cease to chaim, 
And Veaiis' portnut yield to thine. 


They drew a Nymph they never saw, 
Then call'd her Love's bright deity, 

My goddess from the life I'd draw. 
And to paint her but copy thee, 


Carnation and the blushing rose, 
S)iould, blended with the lily, vie, 

And grace, beyond all art disclose, 
The mild blue lustre of thy eye. 


The kyrasaxid gracM iwmd rfKMldirtaady 
Or H^iHy hor'riiigo'er thy htad, 

With gralte hnpvke prompt mj hud, 
And iifMtly mingle light and iiiad*. 


And, leit thif matehleif pieee of mine, 
^^ Should tempt me to idolatry; 

Soon ae I felt the heath'nish ain, 
Fd tnn from that and gaze on thee ! 


Yet as mere picture ne'er eonld ahow, 
The beantiea latent in thy mind. 

The heay'nrhom moae dioidd thiaponrae, 
The pen be with the pencil join'd. 


The knrelieet form, die fidreat'fitee, 

1%A hndhi0^ A va tiiA tfrnida^ mind. 

And eyeiy yirtoe, charm, and grace, 
Sheald be to endleii fiune conaign'd. 

Poetaiity thaa Meat by me, 

Shonld read and gaxe, and read again; 
For that blue ahade an angel aee, 

And, for my ifaymea, read H<mier'a atrain. 

. ;t ' 

> I .1' 

■HP or AwrwMmK to pait i. 

. • ■ 




PART n. 

The year 1781 was to Jones a period of reward for past ser- 
vices and disappointments ; of grateful and honourable repose 
after long and harassing perplexities, and of well founded ex- 
pectation of a distinguished command in future. Its annals, so 
far as he was connected with them, may be summarily recited. 
His reputation as a commander was exalted in America, and 
report had even exaggerated his actions. Dr. Lee, who had 
found out that Landais was insane, and upon whose testimony 
before a court martial the latter had been broke, was now pre- 
pared to go with the current, and even appear as the friend of 
Jones. The board of admiralty, in reporting on " the reasons, 
that the public clothing and military stores had not been im- 
ported," had stated to Congress on the 2d November of the 
previous year, that " it appeared Captain Landais regained 
command of the Alliance by the advice of Mr. Lee, notwith- 
standing his suspension by Dr. Franklin, who, by the direction 
of the marine committee, had the sole management of our ma- 
rine affairs in Europe." 

Jones landed at Philadelphia on the 18th of February. On 
the following day, a motion was offered, that he should be 
directed to appear before that body, to give all the information 
in his power relative to the detention of the clothing and arms 
in France, intended for Washington's army ; and that the doors 
should be open, during the examination. After debate, on 



motion of Mr. Adams, the consideration of this proposition was 
postponed. A regular inquiry into many particulars of Jones' 
cruises, from November, 1777, when he left Portsmouth in the 
Ranger, was necessary, and in course ; and on the 20th, forty- 
seven questions were drawn up by the board of admiralty, which 
he was required to answer as soon as possible. Two of the ques- 
tions were afterwards extended, to enable his formal answers to 
meet every point of interrogatory, which he did with singular 
promptness ; but before such formal reply was, or could have 
been rendered, the letter of M. de la Sartine had been referred 
to a committee, upon whose report the following resolutions were 
adopted on the 27th : 

*' Resolved, That the Congress entertain a high sense of the 
distinguished bravery and military conduct of John Paul Jones, 
Esq. captain in the navy of the United States, and particularly 
in his victory over the British frigate Serapis on the coast of 
England, which was attended with circumstances so brilliant as 
to excite general applause and admiration : • , 

•* That the minister plenipotentiary of 'these United States at 
the court of Versailles, communicate to his most christian ma* 
jesty, the high satisfaction Congress has received from the con- 
duct and gallant behaviour of Captain John Paul Jones, which 
have merited the attention and approbation of his most christian 
majesty, and that his majesty's offer of adorning Captain Jones 
with a cross of military merit is highly acceptable to Congress." 

In consequence, M. de la Luzerne gave a fete to all the 
members of Congress, and to the principal inhabitants of 
Philadelphia, and in their presence, he, in the name of his 
majesty, invested the commodore with the order of military 

The answers of the chevalier to all the forty-seven interroga- 
tories were given early in March. They are terse, frank, and 
perspicuous. . The board of admiralty were in the same dilem- 
ma, as to the authority under which some of the deputy prize 
agents acted, that every person will fall into on reading the cor- 
respondence of Jones at the time ; and he was still in some 

uiieertlunty as to this point, in rendering an explanation. He 
mentioned in his second answer, that he sent to the commis- 
sioners the scheme afterwards adopted for Count D'Estaing^s 
expedition. On his right to claim the merit of originating this 
project, we have already remarked. He would scarcely have 
now openly claimed it in the face of the world, if contradiction 
and consequent humiliation had been like to result from his so 
doing. He could proudly say, in answer to the 8th interroga- 
tory, "I never have borne nor acted under any other commis- 
sion than that of the Congress of America." He stated in reply 
to searching queries about his objects and projects, that he had 
a variety of the latter, but as to many of them, no person was 
in his secret. His main and prominent purpose was to effect 
the liberty and exchange of American citizens, " confined as 
pirates, felons, and traitors, in the dungeons of England." His 
" second was, the honour of the American flag." At whose 
expense the Alliance had been provided for, he was not aware. 
He believed that the American officers and men, had received 
from their agents, some part of the shares arising from the 
sales of prizes taken by the squadron under his command ; but 
it was their own private transaction. He repeated his assertion, 
(which he believed, without evidence, to be correct,) that M. de 
Chaumont, the commissary, had been intrusted with funds by the 
government, for the expense of the armament, which he with- 
held. He gave a satisfactory account of the reasons why the 
clothing and arms had not been forwarded, and of the reasons 
for the delay of the sailing of the Ariel in relation to which there 
were five or six very precise questions. His biographer in the 
Edinbargh Life did not examine dates or facts, when he thought 
it necessary not merely to apologize for the latter delay of that 
ship, but to admit that Jones was acciessary to it, after the 
disaster in September. To the last question he replied, that 
the officers and crew of the Ariel had enlisted for three years,* 

* Or daring the war, as elsewhere appears. 

324 PAUL JONE9. 

except a few who entered at L'Orient for one year, after tlic 
ship put back, and that they were at the expense of the United 
States. There is nothing else requiring present notice in these 
clear headed replies to diversified interrogations, and compli- 
cated and disconnected matters, which has not been previously 
explained* Jones was mistaken on one point only ; and his 
error arose from an excitement of feeling, the [Prompting casue 
of which, the sufferings of poor seamen, was a proper one. 
" The light that led astray was light from heaven," which hu- 
man weakness saw through a discoloured medium. 

On the 28th March, the board of admiralty made a report, 
purporting to be in pursuance of two resolutions of- Congress, 
passed in the previous year, inquiring into the causes of the 
delay in the arrival of the stores and clothing. They stated, 
that the procrastinated investigation had been resumed on the 
arrival of Jones, and that, on propounding their questions to 
him, with a view to a full explanation, they had desired him ^' to 
subjoin to his answers all such matters as he might think would 
throw light on their inquiry." The questions and answers ac- 
companied the report, with the voluminous correspondence of 
Jones, referred to in the margin of the answers, where imrafe- 
diately connected with them, the rest being arranged in four bun 
dies. The board were " fully satisfied," that the delay " had 
not been owing in any measure to a want of the closest atten- 
tion to that business, either in the. minister plenipotentiary of 
the United States, or to Captain Jones ; who had, on the con- 
trary, made every application and used every effort to accom- 
plish that purpose ; but that it was owing to Captain Landais' 
taking the command of the Alliance, contrary- to the express 
orders of Dr. Franklin, and proceeding with her to AmericH."' 
It then set forth the sentence of the court martial held on Lan- 
dais, and that, after he had been dismissed from the service, a 
further prosecution was deemed improper; that Jones had 
vainly endeavoured to procure an additional vessel for the trans- 
portation of the clothing ; that the court of France had furnish- 
ed no money to the American minister, to enable him to procure 


clothing ; that they had commissioned M. Le Ray de Chain 
mont to do so, and that Mr., J. Williams of Nantes, and Messrs* 
Goiirlade and Moylan acted solely under his orders. They 
acquitted Jones of negligence in suffering th^ brig Luke to sail 
from L'Orient, with a part of this clothing on board, in the lat- 
ter part (tf October, without waiting for the convoy of the Ariel^ 
as he had not been spoken to by Gourlade and Moylan, and had 
no cont^-ol over her himself. They then, after enumeratii^^ 
the actions of Jones, reported that, '^ ever since he first became 
an officer in the navy of those States, he hath shown an unre- 
mitted attention in planning and executing enterprises calcu- 
lated to promote the essential interests of 6ur glorious cause« 
That in Europe, although in his expedition through the Irish 
Channel, in the Ranger, he did not fully accomplish his purpose, 
yet he made the enemy feel that it is in the power of a small 
squadron, under a brave and enterprising commander , to reta- 
liate the conflagrations of our defenceless towns. That return- 
ing from Europe, he brought with him the esteem of the gre_atest 
and best friends of America; aiid hath received from the illus- 
trious monarch of France that reward of warlike virtue, which 
his subjects receive by a long series of faithful services or un- 
common merit. 

'^ The board are of opinion that the conduct of Paul Jones 
merits particular attention, and some distinguished mark of 
approbation from the United States in Congress assemMed." 

It may here be as well stated, chronologically , that the '* brave 
Captain John Barry," as Jones called him, and as he was at this 
moment proving himself, sailed in command of the Alliance from 
Boston in February, having on board Colonel Laurens, specially 
commissioned by Congress to the court at Versailles. Having 
landed the envoy at L'Orient, he sailed thence on the 30th 
March, and three days afterwards redeemed the credit o{ the 
Alliance, by taking with no great trouble, a couple of ships,, 
which Landais, if he had acted consistently, would, according to 
the testimony, have run away from. 

The report of the board of admiralty, having been referred 

336 PA1TL jomro. 

to a committee, on the coming in of their report, Congress 
passed the following resolution on the 14th April. 

" Resolved^ That the thanks of the United States in Congress 
assembled, be given to Captain John Paul Jones, fof the zeal, 
prudence, and intrepidity with which he has supported the ho- 
nour of the American flag ; for his bold and successful enter- 
prises to redeem from captivity the citizens of the States who 
had fallen under the power of the enemy ; and in general, for 
the good conduct and eminent services by which he has added 
histre to his character, and to the American arms : 

" That the thanks of the United States in Congress assem- 
bled, be also given \o the officers and men who have faithfully 
served under him from time to time, for their steady affection 
to the cause of their country, and the bravery and perseverance 
they have manifested therein." 

The next in order of these truly glorious testimonials, is a 
letter from the father of his country ; the man whom " modern 
degeneracy had not reached," and whom it is foolish to say that 
modern degeneracy has equalled. 

" Head (tuarUrs, New Windsor y IM May, 1781. 


" My partial acquaintance with either our naval or commer- 
cial affairs makes it altogether impossible for me to account for 
the unfortunate delay of those articles of military 'stores and 
clothing which have been so long provided in France. 

" Had I had any particular reasons to have suspected you of 
being accessary to that delay, which I assure you has not been 
the case, my suspicions would have been removed by the very 
full and satisfactory answers which you have, to the best of my 
knowledge, made to the questions proposed to you by the board 
of admiralty, and upon which that board have, in their report 
to Congress, testified the high sense which they entertain of 
your merits and services. 

** Whether our naval affairs have in general been well or ill 
condneted would be presumptuous in me to determine. Instances 

FAVI. JONM. 327 

of biravery aii4 good conduct m several of oor officers have not, 
however, been wanting., Delicacy forbids me to mention thai 
pdrliculqr (me which has attracted the admiration of all the 
world, and which has influenced the most illustrious monarch 
to, confer a mark of his favour which can only be obtained by 
a long and honourable service, or by the performance of sonui 
brilliant action* 

'' That you may long enjoy the reputation you have so justly 
acquired is the sincere wish of, 

'' Sir, your most obedient servant, 

" Geo. Washington." 

With such expressions of official and public approbation in 
his favour, Jones says in his journal, that he addressed Congress 
on the 28th May, but '' modestly rested his pretensiops to rank 
only on the commission he held as the eldest of the first grades 
of lieutenants in the navy, under the United Colonies; because 
by all rule and example of military promotion, that commission 
entitled him to rank before all persons who did not enter into 
the sea service of the continent as early as himself, unless pre- 
ference had been given to other gentlemen, on account of their 
known superior abilities, which had not been the case. Con- 
gress referred the application to the Honourable Messrs. Yar- 
num, Mathews, and Clymer. Mr. Yarnum, the chairipan, in- 
formed Captain Jones that the committee agreed in opinion, and 
w^uld report to Congress, that he had been very unfairly treated 
in the arrangement of naval rank, adopted October 10th, 1776 ; 
and that the conduct and services of Captain Jones had merited 
that he should be promoted to the rank of rear admiral. But 
before Congress had time to act upon the report of their com^ 
mittee, opposition was made to the application of Captain 
Jones,. by one or two captains whose names had been placed 
before him, on their first introduction to the sea service of the 
continent. Upon this Congress recommitted the report. But 
this did not) however, lessen the pretensions of Captain Jones, 
either in the opinion of the committee or of Congress." This 

328 PAUL J0NE8. 

remark is verified by the acts of that body. On the 16th Jane, 
the following report was made from the admiralty office. 

<* The board, to whom was referred the letters and other 
papers relative to the conduct of John Paul Jones, Esq. beg 
leave to report, that they have carefully perused sfiid letters 
and papers, wherein they find favourable mention is made of 
his abilities as an officer by the Duke de Yauguyon, M. de Sar- 
tine, and Dr. Franklin ; and this is also corroborated by that 
valour and intrepidity with which he engaged his Britannic 
Majesty's ship, the Serapis, of forty-four cannon, 12 and 18 
pounders, which, after a severe contest for several hours, sur- 
rendered to his superior valour, thereby acquiring honour to 
himself and dignity to the American fiag. 

^^ The board therefore humbly conceive that an honourable 
testimony .should be given to Captain Paul Jones, commander 
of the Bon Homme Richard, his officers and crew, for their 
many singular services in annoying the enemy on the British 
coasts, and particularly for their spirited behaviour in an en- 
gagement with his Britannia Majesty's ship of war, the Serapis, 
on the 23d of September, 1779, and obliging her to surrender 
to the American flag." 

Other reports from the same quarter, recapitulating the par- 
ticulars of Jones' services, bore unequivocal testimony to his 
ingenuous patriotism, during the whole course of his engagement 
in the public service. On the 23d June, it was resolved, that 
Robert Morris, Esq. should be authorised to take measures f8r 
speedily launching and equipping for sea the ship America, then 
on the stocks at Portsmouth in New Hampshire, and that Con- 
gress should proceed, three days thereafter, to the appointment 
of a commander of that vessel. Acccu'dingly, on the 26th, the 
following entry is found in the Journals : " Congress proceeded 
to the appointment of a captain, to command the ship America ; 
and, the ballots being taken, John P. Jones, Esq. was unani- 
mously elected." Jones says, that other captains had been put 
in nomination against him ; and as die new ship was the only 
one of the line then belonging to this government, the competi- 

!tion finrtfae command was ifi'ftict a'test'df tb^'VU^pb^tibnCbn- 
gFesB would make of the delicate question of rank. He totilH 
not bot hare been highly satisfied with theresttlt ; and driiws thb 
concluflion that, by virtue of the Act of Congress, passed Nd- 
▼ember 15th, 1776, he hekl after this election, lei rank eqdiWi- 
lent to that of colonel, '* with the exclusive rank of captaiii Hf 
the line ; while none of the other captains, as they had only 
commanded frigates under forty guns, could claim any higher 
rank than that of lieutenant colonel. " Thus,'? he continues, 
'^Congress took a delicate method to avoid cabal, and to 
do justice. It was more agreeable to Captain Jones to be so 
honourably elected captain of the line, than to have been, as 
was proposed by the committee, raised at once to the rank of 
rear admiral ; because Congress had not then the means of 
giving him a command suitable to that rank." In a document 
published in the Appendix to the first part of this work, his 
opinions on the subject of naval rank, and what should be the 
qualifications of oflScers, are stated in full. To that we refer t)io 
reader generally, as comprising in substance a variety of obser- 
vations made on these subjects by him at dififerent periods, which 
occur in several of the letters and official communications from 
him, which are preserved. How much he had reflected on tlie 
topic, and how highly he rated the dignity and duties of a naVvil 
commander will there be seen, and best understood. 

The board of admiralty was dissolved at this time, and Mr. 
Morris, minister of finance, became also minister of the 
marine. He directed Jones, before proceeding to take com- 
mand of the America, to exhibit his accounts to Congi'ess. He 
had received a small share of prize money from some of his 
captures, but not a farthing for pay or subsistence up to this 
period. His accounts were approved as exhibited ; *' but,M he 
says " there was no interest allowed for considerable advances 
that had been made for nearly five years ; nor was there any 
thing allowed for his subsistence, or the various losses he had 
sustained in the service, as he had, froin delicacy, left those 


330 PAVI. JOKM. 

Items blank in his accounts."* He was personally embarrassed 
at this time, as were many of the gallant men who were putting 
at stake all present interest and future hopes, in the cause of 
independence, by the poverty of the government. This will 
appear from a letter in the subjoined note. He observes in his 
journal, (I quote from the original rough draft of this part of it,) 

. * In Jones' aceount oiirent, rendered to the marine committee,^ as per date, on the 
24th October, 1777, the balance doe to him, " exclosiTe of any concern with the ship 
]BLanger, balance of wages, &c." is stated at £1,588, Pennsylvania onrrency. A com- 
ftiiasion of 5 percent, is charged on the sum total of the amount charged against the 
oummittee. In another a<9coant rendered on the Ist November, in the same year 1777, 
the torn of ^,900 is charged against the committee, as bounty money advanced to the 
crew of the Ranger. There is another account of the same date, made out against the 
committee, amontingto ^,891, for sundry expenses incurred in supplying the Ranger, 
talisting seamen,' overtaking deserters, personal eilpenses, &c. In an account, dated 
at the Texel, November 39th, 1779, he charges 352 ducats for contingent disburse- 
inents, 100 of which were paid to the Hull pilot, John Jackson, " for smart money.'* 
The stores he bad purchased and lost in the Alliance, amounted to a considerable item. 
These are all the particulars contained in the vouchers in the compiler's bands, dated 
j^vious to the year 1781. On the 26th of June, in that year, he rendered his account 
as mentioned in the text. ■ He charges for pay, as the senior first lieutenant of the 
navy, twenty dollars per mon^, from December 7th, 1775, to May 10th, 1776 ; and, 
as captain m the navy from that period to the date of the account, sixty dollars per 
ttohth, making £1,400 5s, Pennsylvania currency. In a certified copy of^ his account 
lovnent, by which it appears that there was due to him in Pennsylvania cur^ncy 
£2,034, he makes the following charge, in blank, after stating a balance : " To rations 
from the 7th of December, 1775, to this date^ for myself and servant, having com- 
manded a squadron in Europe ;" and thereunder is written, " Due the Chevalier Paul 
^ones ," also in blank, leaving it to Congress to make such allowance as they 

might deem proper. None was made, as is stated in the text. The following letter, 
written two day^ after the date of tins account current, w^l show that Jones 
immediate want of resources for personal comfort and convenience. 

^^'^PhOaddpkia, Jtdy 28, 1781. 

" In consequence of the Act of the United Statee, in Congress assembled, of the 25th 
of this month, approving of my accountSi No. 1, 2^ 3, 4, 6, 6, and 7, and referring then 
to the board of treasury, to take ord^r, I have Waited on that board in hopes of receiving 
eash to fhe amount of £406, to pay small debts I owe in this city, and defray the 
expenses of my joomey to Portamonth in New Hampshire ; but the hnnM Ini not 

pAtt joirfis. 

<^ h% kad, like mttfiy' otiier supporters of th6 rerblution, hurt his 
private fortune, by the early advieinces he had made to the con- 
tinental loan office." 

He was assured that ways and means would-be provided for 
him to put to sea, within six months from the day of his election 
as commander of the America. He conferred with Mr. Morris 
on the plan he had suggested to the French ministry, of form- 
ing a light combined squadron to annoy the enemy ; and that 
gentleman assented to its utility. The chevalier left Philadel- 
phia, as he expresses himself, ''with a pleasing hope of being 
soon in a situation that would enable him to manifest his grati- 
tude for the honours he had re<;eiyed, by rendering essential 
services to the common cause of America and France." On 
his wfty to Portsmouth, he paid a visit to General Washington 
and Count Rochambeau, at White Plains, where the combined 
armies were encamped. He wore his cross as Chevalier of the 
order of Merit, on this occasion ; but, he says, as it was hinted to 
him that he might offend the people of the eastern States, by 

complied with my demand. In my letter to your excellency, dated the 17th of this 
month, I observed that, I had been obliged to barrow a considerable part of the cash 
I had advanced fbr the pablic service.' And the accounts from No. 1, to 6 inclusive, 
being cash I have advanced, (a considerable part whereof from four to five y«an ago/) 
I hope Congress will be pleased to order that the said accounts, from No, 1 to 6 inclu- 
sive, be paid either in cash or bills of exchange on Europe, to enable me to pay the 
debts I have contracted in France. I have made no charge for interests on the advances 
I have made ; but submit that matter to Congress, to allow it or not As they think fit. 
I pray the honourable House to direct, that I may be furnished immediately with cash, 
to the amount of £400, to enable me to proceed to New Hampshire, to testify by my 
condici the very grateful sense I have of the high honour Congress has conferred on 
me by my late appointment. It is necessity alone that compels me to make this appli- 
cation, having no friends of my own at this time in a situation to answer my wants, 
and having failed in attempts to borrow. I am with profound respect, 

" Sir, your excellency's most obedient, and most humble servant, 

" His Ex. Tho. M. Keait, Esq. (Signed.) " The Chevalier Paul Jones. 

" Pre$ideiUqf tke U. States in Congress ossemHed. 

** N. B. The balance due on the within mentioned accounts, exclusive of intereat, 
Ac, is £5,413, 18s, 7 3-4^. And the rations ought to be also altowed in proportion to 
equal rank and command in the army, deducting only the time occupied in the journey 
as expressed in the detail of charges." 

^33 . PAUL JON^S. 

oontinuiqg to exhibit that article, he laid it aside as soon as he 
had left head quarters. 

He thus proceeds with his commentaries : " On his arrival at 
Portsmouth, which was at the^ end of August, he found his pro- 
spects greatly circumscribed, and involved in many difficulties, 
that neither his friends nor himself bad foreseen at Philadelphia. 
The America, instead of being ready to be launched, was not 
half built ; and there was neither timber, iron, nor any other 
material prepared for finishing her. Money would not have 
procured the necessary articles of~equipment and men before 
winter. But money was wanting ; for the navy board at Boston 
had otherwise applied the funds, which the minister of finance 


had destined for the America ; and he had so many demands 
to meet, on account of the troops then detached from White 
Plains, on the secret expedition against liord Cornwallis in Vir- 
ginia, that he found it impossible to make the necessary ad- 
vances. The business was, however, begun 'immediately, and 
some progress made in the construction before the winter. 

In a letter written by him to the secretary of the admiralty 
at Boston, on the 24th of November in this year, he says : "I* 
wish you to see as well as hear the situation of affairs here, 
that 'we may either adopt effectual measures, or give up a fruit-: 
less pursuit." In the same letter he mentions it as a matter 
of reproach to the service, that the officers of the Alliance Imd 
sold some of the articles on board, which were his private pro- 
perty ; and bad not been called to an account, '' for :their re- 
peated misconduct, mutiny, and rebellion in t;hat.^ip;" and 
that " a board had received with approbation ottier" officers, 
who had deserted from the service in Europe.": He speaks* of 
these things as matters of report, and some x)f- them probably 
were no more. Congress had far more iuiportaht business on 
hand. ■'•:/■ 

The capitulation of Cornwallis in the liiiddle of October, and 
the events preceding and consequent upon it, formed the subjects 
of a letter from Jones to La Fayette, as we learn from the fol- 
lowing reply, dated December 22d 

PAUL JOHEfl^ 333 

'' I have been honoured with your polite favour, my dear Paii^ 
Jones, but before it reached me I was already on board the Al- 
liance, and every minute expecting to put to sea. It would 
have afforded me great satisfaction to pay my respects to tha 
inhabitants of Portsmouth, and the State in which you are for 
the present. As to the pleasure to take you by the hand, my 
dear Paul Jones, you know my affectionate sentiments, and my 
very great regard for you, so that I need not add any thing on 
that subject. 

'' Accept of my best thanks for the kind expressions in your 
letter. His Lordship's (Lord Cornwallis) downfall is a great 
event, and the greater, as it was equally and amicably shared 
by the two allied nations. Your coming to the army I had the 
honour to command, would have been considered as a very flat- 
tering compliment to one who loves you and knows your worth. 
I am impatient to hear that you are ready to sail ; and I am 
of opinion that we ought to unite under you every continental 
ship we can muster, with such a body of well appointed marines 
{troupes de nier) as might cut a good figure ashore, and then 
give you plenty of provisions and cai'te blanche. 

'' I am sorry I cannot see you ; I also had many things to tell 
you. Write me by good opportunities, but not often in ciphers, 
unless the matter is very important.'' 

Three days afcer the date of this letter, we find Jones indi- 
ting the following matter to the anonymous lady in France. • 

"I wrote my most lovely Delia various letters from Philadel- 
phia, the last of which was dated the 20th of June. On the 
26th of that month I was unanimously elected by Congress to 
command the America of 74 guns, on the stocks, at Portsmouth, 
New Hampshire. I superintended the building, which I found 
so much more backward than I expected, that a plan of opera- 
tion I had in view is entirely defeated. I expected to have been 
at sea this winter, but the building does not go on with tbe^ 
vigour I could wish. Since I came here I have not found a single 
good opportunity to write to Europe. I have not since heard 
from your relation I left behind, but suppose he is with the 

334 9AVh JOKES. 

krmy. This situation is doubly irksome to me, my lovely fnend, 
as it stops my pursuit of honour as well as lave! It is now more 
than twelve months since I left France; yet I have not received 
a single letter from thee in ail that time, except the one written 
in answer to my letter at taking leave. That one is a tender 
letter indeed, and does honour to thy matchless heart !" 

The '' plan of operation" was not only defeated, but Jones 
was again to be altogether disappointed, in obtaining command 
of the America, as he had been in the case of the Indien. We 
are, however, anticipating forthcoming events ; the unavoida- 
ble fault of all who have undertaken a biography of this com- 
mander. What John Adams thought of his plans of operation 
at this time, appears from the following extracts of a letter^ 
dated at the Hague, August 12th, 1782. 

^' The command of the America could not have been more 
judiciously bestowed, and it is with impatience that I wish her 
.at sea, where she will do honour to her name. Nothing gives 
me so much surprise, or so much regret, as the inattention of 
ray countrymen to their navy ; it is a bulwark as essential as it 
is to Great Britain. It is less costly than armies ; and more 
easily removed from one end of the United States to the other. 
• • • • Every day shows that the Batavians have not wholly lost 
their ancient character. They were always timid and slow in 
adopting their political systems, but always firm and able in 
support of them, and always brave and active in war. They 
have hitherto been restrained by their chiefs ; but, if the war 
continues, they will show that they are possessed of the spirit of 
liberty, and that they have lost none of their great qualities. 
^' Rodney's victory has intoxicated Britain again to such a de- 
gree that I think there will be no peace for some time. Indeed, 
if I could see a prospect of half a dozen line of battle ships under 
the American iflag, commanded by Commodore Paul Jones, en- 
gaged with an equal British force, I apprehend the event would 
be so glorious for the United States, and lay so sure a founda- 
tion for their prosperity, that it would be a rich compensation for 
a continuance of the war. 


, ^'Howerer, it floes not depend uptMi tMt. to &u$b it. ^ There m 
but one way to finish it, and that is, Burg/ojmzijfkg Cafhon in 
New York." 

It will be proper to remember that the independence of the 
United States had been recognised by those of Holland in Aprili 
previous to the date of this letter ; that a commercial treaty was 
made in October following ; that the " intoxication" of the people 
of Great Britain soon passed away, so far as that can be called 
ao expression of popular opinioui which is not a direct one ; and 
that the English government now began to give up the idea of 
waging war against these United States, because they could not 
carry it on any longer. 

Jones says, that the task of inspecting the construction of the 
America, was " the most lingering and disagreeable service he 
was charged with during the period of the revolution. • • • • 
But from the beginning, and almost to the end of the business, 
he had a prospect of carrying into effect by perseverance, the. 
plan he had suggested for forming a light combined squadron* 
When the news of the surrender of Earl Cornwallis reached 
Portsmouth, a public rejoicing took place ; and as Captain Jones 
found it would not offend the people, he, on that glad occasion, 
resumed the decoration of military merit, and continued to weeur 
it afterwards. As soon as the enemy had advice that there 
was a prospect of finishing the America, various schemes were 
suggested for destroying that ship. Intelligence of this was 
sent to Portsmouth, in cipher, by the minister of. marine. 
Captain Jones made application to the government of New 
Hampshire for a guard, to protect the vessel ; and the assembly 
passed a resolution to comply with his demand. None was, 
however, furnished ; and, as a second alarm was sent to New 
Hampshire by Qeneral Washington, Mr. Hackett, the master 
builder and his associate were prevailed on to mount guard, 
with a party of the carpenters, by night." For some time he 
paid this guard himself; and took command of it, in his turn, 
with the master builders. Large whale boats, with mufiled 
oars, came into the river, meanwhile, full of men, ^' and passed 


aind rejiassed the America in the night ; but dared not land on 
the Utile island where she was built." * 

The birth of the Dauphin of France was oiGcially communi- 
cated to Congress in the summer of 1782. Public rejoicings 
took place in several of the States in consequence. Jones did 
not " let slip the opportunity," as he phrases it, "of testifying 
the pleasure and gratitude which he really felt." At his private 
expense he had artillery mounted on board of the America. 
She was decorated with the dags of different nations, displaying 
in front that of France ; " fired salutes as often as the forts, 
and thirteen royal salutes at the toast drunk at a public enter- 
tainment, and afterwards continued Q.feu dejoie until midnight. 
When it became dark, she was brilliantly illuminated and dis- 
played fire-works."* The Chevcdier de la Luzerne, addressed 
to him a complimentary letter in conisequence. Jones dwells 
with pleasure on matters of this kind ; and they belong to the 
reminiscences of the period. On the anniversary of our inde- 
pendence in that year he " made a similar rejoicing." 

He gives the following description of the America : " Captain 
Jones did not approve nor follow the plan that had been pro- 
posed for finishing the upper works of the America. It had 
been intended to make the waist shallow with narrow giang^- 
ways ; the quarter-deck and forecastle to be short, with a large 
Btern-gallery. Instead of this, the quarter-deck was made to 
project four feet before the main-mast. The forecastle was 
also long, the waist deep, and the gangways broad and of equal 
height with the quarter-deck and forecastles « ' There was just 
room for the boats between the gangways. A breast-work J 
pierced with gun-ports, but of suitable height for musketry, and 

* In one of the maoascripts preserved among the papers of Jones there is a Ibrmal 
litiletin in French of this " celebration made bj Commodore Jones, at his own ex- 
pense, on board the America, .&c./' We learn from it that three large lanterns wei# 
devised for the occasion, and that the fire-works continued \mtU. mddoight. Tbe^ulMi^ 
a rexT brilliant effect from the pircamstance that it was a very dark night. All the in- 
Habitants of the town, and its vicinity, were assembled on the banks of the river Jand 
testified their admiration by eveiy possible show efaplpkiiae.' ■ ■ * -i i » ■'■ ; - . 



of the same strength and nature as the sides of the ship, ran all 
round the quarter-Seek, gangway, and forecastle ; so that all 
the cannon on the quarter-deck and forecastle could have been 
fought on one side ; an advantage possessed by no other ship of 
the line we had. Above this breast-work, the poop-deck stood 
on pillars of eighteen inches long, and projected eight feet be- 
fore the mizen-mast. Round the poop-deck a folding breast- 
work was made of light materials, and of a strength to resist 
grape-shot ; and, as it was made to fold down on the deck, and 
CQuld be raised again in a minute, it was impossible to perceive 
that the America had a poop, at the distance of a quarter of a 
mile. There were only single quarter-galleries, and no stern- 
gallery ; and bpth the stern and bow were made very strong, so 
that the men at quarters might be every where under a good 
cover. The plan which Captain Jones projected for the sculp- 
ture expressed dignity and simplicity. The head was a female 
figure, crowned with laurels. The right arm was raised, with 
the forefinger pointing to heaven; as appealing to that high 
tribunal for the justice of the American cause. On the left 
arm was a buckler, with a blue ground and thirteen silver stars. 
The legs and feet of the figure were covered here and there with 
wreaths of smoke, to represent the dangers and difiiculties of 
war. .On the stern, under the windows of the great cabin, ap- 
peared two large figures in bas-relief; representing Tyranny 
and Oppression, bound and biting the ground, with the cap of 
Liberty on a pole, above their heads. On the back part of the 
starboard- quarter-gallery was a large Neptune; and, on the 
back part of the larboard quarter-gallery, a large Mars. Over 
the windows of the great cabin, on the highest part of the stern, 
was a large medallion, on which was a figure, representing 
Wisdom, surrounded by Danger, with the bird of Athens over 
her head. The America was fifty feet six inches, in the ex- 
treme breadth, and measured a hundred and eighty-two feet 
six inches, on the upper gun-deck. Yet this ship, though the 
largest of seventy-four guns in the world, had, when the lower 
battery was sunk, the air of a delicate frigate ; and no person 


Sidfii PAUL jomtSi 

at the distance ofa mile, could have imagii^ she had a seecmd 

It would not hare been proper to omit this description of a 
fine ship, which must be interesting to those who have skill 
ehough to criticise her constmction. As for the derices, we 
are somewhat at a loss to know how Danger was ret)resented. 
It could not hare been personified,' as snrraandmg Wisdom ; and 
was probably emblematically expressed by flashes of lightning, 
&c. Those who have no technical knowledge whatever, but 
who have read the works of our countryman Cooper, will readily 
recognise in the picture Jones gives of the ship built under his 
direction, the same beau-ideal of combined grace and strength 
after which the vessel commanded by the Red Rover, and that 
navigated by the Pilot, were modelled ; beautiful in their pro* 
portions as Semele, and, like her, delivered in thunder. 

But this fair frigate was not to be commanded by him who 
had watched her construction for more than a year, with the 
hope of " moving the monarch of her peopled deck." At the 
close of the summer of this year, the Magnifique, a seventy-f6ur 
gun ship, belonging to the French squadron under the Marquis 
de Yaudreuil, was lost by accident in the harbour of Boston. 
Policy, and perhaps equity, rendered it expedient for Congress 
to present to France their solitary ship of the line ; and« reso- 
lution to that effect was passed on the 3d of September. Other 
motives may have had their weight, in making this dis^sition 
of the America ; and they seem to be alluded to in the following 
letter from Mr. Morris, written the day after the resolution was 

" Marine OfficCy September 4, 1782. 
" Dear Sir, 

" The enclosed resolution will show you the destination of 
the ship America. Nothing could be more pleasing to me than 
this disposition, excepting so far as yoii are affected by it. I 
know you so well as to be convinced that it must give you great 
pain, and I sincerely sympathize with you. But although you 

IfAVh JONES. 339 

fna undergo much eoneem at tieing depri?ed of this opportunity 
to reap laurels on your favourite field, yet your regard for 
France will in some measure alleviate it ; and to £his your good 
sense will naturally add^he delays which must have happened 
in fitting the ship for sea^ I must entreat you to continue your 
inspection until she is launched, and to urge forward the busi- 
ness. When that is done, if you will come hither I will explain 
tp you the reasons which led to this measure, and my views of 
employing you in the service of your country. You will on your 
roMte have an opportunity of conferring with the general on the 
blow you mentioned to me in one of your letters/' • • • # 
Jones submitted to his disappointment, for such it must have 
be^, without any ebullitions of vexation, or murmurs of discon- 


tept. In his journal, he says^ that '^be was not made ac- 
quainted with the minister's project for emfdoying him, after 
the America should be launched.* And the Act of Congress of 
September 3d, after all the pains he had taken for sixteen 
paopths to finish that ship, did not Wen mention his name; 
which notice, it is presumed, might not have been inconsis- 
tent with the dignity of that Act, nor disagreeable to the mo- 
narch who honoured him with particular marks of his attention. 
Cajtoin Jones had had before him no good prospect ; and the 
America was the tenth command of which he had been deprived 
in the course of the Revolution, Had it been possible for him 
to foresee the lingering, disagreeable situation that awaited 'him 

■ _ 

ait Portsmouth, he would have thanked Congress for the honour 
they did him, by unanimously electing him to that command, 
and asked their permission to join the army in Virginia, under 
his friend the Marquis de La Fayette, who, by a letter he wrote 
Captain Jones, December 22d, 1781, [which has been inserted,] 
showed how glad he would have been of that event , and that 
his ideas corresponded with the plan Captain Jones had sug- 

* It mait be remembered that a rough original draft is quoted from. It is more 
ie be relied upon because it is such. 

340 PAUL JONEi. 

gested to the court of France, for forming a ^mbined squadron ; 
but which had not been communicated to the Marquis. Cap- 
tain Jones bore his disappointment with firmness, and answered 
the minister's letter, on the 22d of September, in a manner so 
gaUanty as produced a flattering answer in a letter of the 9th of 

The answer was as follows: '^ I have received your letter of 
the 22d of last month. The sentiments contained in it will 
always reflect the highest honour upon your character. They 
have made so strong an impression upon my mind, that I im- 
mediately transmitted an extract of your letter to Congress. I 
doubt not, but they will view it in the same manner which I 
have done." ' 

Jones proceeds in his rough notes, to say, that " he urged 
forward the business of launching the America, with his utmost 
energy. The difficulties were great. The ship was built on a 
very small island, situated in the river opposite the town of 
Portsmouth, belonging tffthe agent for supplying the materials. 
Between the stern and the opposite shore, which was a continual 
rock, the distance was no more than a hundred fathoms. From 
a few feet above the stern, a ledge of rocks projected two thirds 
of the distance across the river, making only an angle of twenty 
degrees withithe keel. And, from a small bay on the opposite 
shore, the tide of flood continued to run with rapidity, directly 
over this ledge, for more than an hour after it was high water 
by the shore. It was necessary to launch exactly at high water, 
and to give the ship such a motion, as would make her pass 
round the point of the ledge of rocks, without touching the op- 
posite shore ; which, it is easy to percdve, was a difficult mat- 
ter. It was impossible to fix the river, on account 
of the current and the rocks. This defect could only be supplied 
by anchors and cables. A large anchor was fixed in the ground; 
under the bow, from which depended cables of a proper length 
and ranged in a manner so as to be drawn gently after the ship, 
when put in motion, and with various slight stoppers at proper 
distances, to break one after another, so as to diminish her 

PACn. JOltTES. « 341 


Telocity by degrees. * When erery thii^ Was prepared, Ca^ptaib 
J6nes stood on the highest perrtof the'brow, or gangway that 
ascended from the ground to the bow of the ship. From that 
position he could perfectly see the motioAM|rthe ship ; and d^ 
termine by a signal the instant when it was proper to let go on^ 
or both of the anchors that were hung at the bows, and slip the 
end of the cable that depended on the anchor, fitted in the ground 
6n the island. The operation succeeded perfectly to his wish, 
and to the admiration of a large assembly of spectators." Thus 
was the America launched ; and well might Jones have recited 
the **sic vos rum vMs,^^ as she went into the water. It is for 
those who are scientific, and know the localities, to judge criti- 
cally^ the fitness of the means adopted to introduce her into the 
element over which she was to bear -the flag of France. Jones 
commends highly the perseverance and ingenuity of the master 
builder, Major Hackett, who had never seen a ship of the fine 
when he drew her plan ; and who had no more than twenty 
carpenters at work, at any time, while her construction was in 
progress. He says, ** the workmanship was fisir superior to any 
before seen in naval^ architecture ; and it would only have been 
necessary that the Abbe Reynal should have seen the America, 
to have induced him to give the world a very diiSerent idea of 
the continent, of which that elegant ship bore the name." 

The flags of the two allies were displayed on the poop at the 
launch ; and Jones, having caused the ship to be safely moored, 
delivered her on the same day, November 5th, to the Chevalier 
de Martigne, who had commanded the Magnifique. He set 
out for Philadelphia on the ne:ct morning, and there learned 
** that unforeseen circumstances had defeated the project for 
emplojring him on a secret expedition." When La Fayette 
requested him ** not to write often in ciphers," he expressed a 
wish in which every one, whose business or pleasure it is to 
make out his history, will cordially sympathize. The Chevalier 
himself, however, ex{dains in the same document we have been 
quoting from, what this secret expedition was. He says, that 
when he *' determined to return to America, to submit his con-* 

34S ^ VAVi, ^Pifiss, 

duet to the judgmi^n^ Qf CpPgrp^K," w^ the hope c^ coimnand- 

iug n eombmed sqwdren hy wl^ch be Qiigbt fM^ipy th(B enemy, 

^ '^03 the Indieq was poti thought neees^cMry to ^Bsist iip effecting 

* the seheme, the ki iip^Jka t her fpr three years to the Chevalier 
de Lmcembourg ; i^ thi^t nobleman contacted with Commo- 
dore Gillan» in the service of the State of South Ceurolina to 
eommand that ship/' the prince haying his share of the profits 
arising from the sale of prizes. When the Indien sailed, which 
was not until long after Jones left the Texel, it was under the 
name of the South Carolina* She took sonjie merchantmen 

^ and carried them to Havana ; and thence, on her way to 
Philadelphia, joined the convoy destined against New Provi- 
dence, which surrendered immediately to the Spanish j^ms. 
She arrived in PhUadelpbia in a condition which rendered great 
repairs necessary* It was Mr* Bfprris' intentioui according to 
Jones, to give, him the command 4>f this vessel, the time for 
which she had been chartered having nearly expired; the ternui 
of the charter being, that she should, at its expiration be deliver- 
ed in good order, in a port of Fraaee, apd Chevalier de 1|bi Lu- 
zerne on behalf of the king of France *' yieldi^ig his most ready 
concurrence. It was their intention to join the Gaudaloupe 
frigate and some other force, and put the whole under the orders 
of Captain Jones." Colonel Laurens '* had made large ad- 
vances to Commodore Gillan in Holland, on account of the 
United States, on condition that he would transport a quantity 
of clothing to America, for the army nnder General Washing- 
ton. No account had been rendered^to the Chevalier de Lux- 
embourg of prize money, &c. and he had sent powers to the 
Chevalier de la Luzerne'' to insist upon his rights. Mr. Morris 
on behalf of the United States, and the French ambassador on 
behalf of the prince, thus severally urged demands against 
Commodore Gillan, who, far from being able to meet them, if 
they were well founded, *< found infinite difficulty in procuring 
the necessary funds for repairs." The tvro ministers had there- 
fore, ^< concluded that the State of South Carolina, and even 
Commodore Gillan himself, woy^ easily coffBeni to raipgn all 

PAVL joimm tiS 

further prdteiteidn to the filiate in qaestion. ^ ^'^^^ Th^ trifllty 
however) Inist^kebj mtd CU>inniodbre<}iUaii Mt^^iMmlled tiMtt 
both. When they fomid he hfid gM the ship below the elMH 
railx de firise with her cannon on bontd, and that he Was alteitwl 
by the sheriff for atege sum, ^e^" Jones proceeds t6 state mM* 
ters of rumour. The commodorOy hoWellnry after rettldnii|( 
several days on boards proceeded homeward by land^ and tiie 
South Carolina made sail and was eaptored^ iShe was Hik 
unlucky vessel, and the merchant who buik her in Holland, WImI 
nearly, if not quite, mined by the cotttraeti 

Jones wrote to the minister of maHtte on the 39th ff otiittlber, 
*< requesting that unless Congress had some serride'of greater 
consequence for him, he might be ordered back to Boston, to 
embark as a vblunteer in pursuit of military marine knowledge 
with his excellency the Marquis de Yaudreuil, in order to enable 
him the better to serve his country, when Ameri<6a riionld in- 
crease her navy.'' O^ the same day, Mj. Morris eent to the 
president of Congress a copy of that letter vnth the following 
remarks : ** The present state of our affairs does net permit 
me to employ that valuable officer, and I confess that it id ^kh 
no small degree oC concern that I consider the little probability 
of rendering hid talents useful to that country^ which h^ htti 
already so faithfully served, and with so great disinterestedness^ 

** His present desire to be sent with the Marquii9 de Van- 
drueil to join Count d'Estaing oh his projected expeditimi fibm 
Cadiz against Jamaica, &c. consists with all his former con* 
duct ; and it will, I dare say, be a very plei^ing reflectidn i6 
Congress, that he is about to pursue a knowledge of hid pi^ 
fessfon, so as to become still more useful if ever hd should be 
again called to the command of a squadron oi^ deet. I sheoUl 
do injustice to my own feelings, as well as to my' country, if I 
did not most warmly recommend this gentleman .to the ndtioe 
oi Congress, whose favour he has certainly merited by the lAost 
signal services and samfices." 

Congress granted the request dbus made ; and resolved, ^^ tfiat 
the agent oi marine be informed that CongreiBs having a high 


9«ise of the merit and services of i Captain J. P. Jones, and 
being disposed to favour the zeal jnanif<§sted by him to acquire 
improvement in the line of his profesaiony do grant the permis- 
sion wticb he requiests, and that the said agent be instructed to 
r^conunend him accordingly to the countenance of his excel- 
kii^y the Marquis dn Yaudrueil." 

Jones immediately repaired to Boston, with letters for the 
||9xqiiiB de Yaudreml, from Mr. Morris and the Chevalier de 
Luzerne. He was received on board of the Triomphante, the 
Marquis' own ship, with every mark of attention. That ves- 
sel was very much crowdea by the lurmy of the Count de 
Rochambeau, then embarked under the orders of the Baron de 
Yiomenil. Sixty officers were at table every day. Jones is 
particular in recording, that the Baron and the Marquis de 
Laval were lodged in the larboard side of the round-house ; and 
that the starboard side was assigned to him. The squadron, 
consisting often sail of the. line, sailed on^e 34th of December, 
and gave convoy to several French transports and twenty sail 
of merchantmen. ^' It was the intention of the admiral to go 
off Portsmouth, to join his brother the Count de Yaudreuil, who 
had in that port under his orders, the Auguste of 80 guns, and 
the Pluton of 74. Wind and weather prevented the junction, 
and the ships of war were forced into a disagreeable situation in 
the Bay of Fundy, besides separating from the convoy. Event- 
ually the squadron steered to the southward, and continued for 
ten days off the harbour of St. Johns, in Porto Rico, performing 
various naval evolutions. At making the land, the admiral had 
advice that Admiral Hood, with sixteen ships of the line, was 
cruising off Cape Francois ; and that Admiral Pigot, with a 
greater force, lay at St. Lucca. So that the enemy imagined 
thh force under the Marquis de Yaudreuil must necessarily fall 
a prey either to Hood or Pigot. The marquis took sixteen sail 
of transports with provisions and stores, out of a large convoy 
then arrived from France at St. John's, and bore away 
round the west end of Porto Rico. Some of Admiral Hood's 
look-out vessels got sight of the squadron in the Mona p^issage, 

PAUL J0]^E8. 345 

and set out immediately to give information that the marqui? 
was proceeding down the south side of Hispaniola. They were 
mistaken. The squadron steered to the southward, by the wind, 
and made the island of Curagoa to windward. The rendezvous 
that hkd been iixed on between Don Solano, the Spanish ad- 
miral, and the Marquis de Vaudreuil, at Cape Francois, after 
the defeat of the Compte de Grasse, was kept a profound secret, 
and no person had an idea of the intended port. The squadron 
beat to vnndward for many days, along the coast of South, 
America, without either pilots or good charts. All the trans- 
ports were driven to leeward by the current, and lost sight of 
the ships cf war. In the night, the Burgoyne of 74 guns ran 
on a rock two leagues from the shore, and was totally lost, with 
two hundred of her officers and men, among whom was the first 
lieutenant. On the 18th February, 1783, the Triomphante got 
safe into the road of Porto Cabello, where the Auguste and 
Pluton had arrived a few days before. The remainder of the 
squadron soon after arrived safe. The transports, not being 
able to gain Porto Cabello, bore away for St. Domingo. Don 
Solano had promised to meet the marquis at Porto Cabello in 
December, but did not keep his word. He was superseded and 
ordered home from the Havana to Spain. It was also at Porto 
Cabello, that the combined force of France and Spain from 
Cadiz, under Count d'Estaing, was to join them under Vau- 
dreuil and Solano. As neither of these junctions took place, 
and no news arrived of the reasons of the detention, it was most 
disagreeable to be kept in inaction, in a place in itself highly 
unpleasant.'' Jones found it especially so. He had hoped 
*^ to see war both by sea and land, on a great scale, and to learn 
at the first military school in the world. Count d'Estaing 
would have found under his jcommand, in the West Indies, 
upwards of seventy ships of the line, which, with the' great 
combined land army that was prepared, would infallibly have 
taken Jamaica, and beaten the British sea force in that part of 
the world. Captain Jones, as he had known Jamaica, flattered 
himself with the expectation of having a place near that gallant 



officer, and that he would have been honoured with a share of 
bis confidence. After much vain expectation and disappoint- 
ment, sereral of the officers, and Captain Jones among others, 
fell sick and were dangerously ill. At last the news of general 
Peac£ arrived, by a frigate from France and Martinico.' The 
most splendid success, and the most improving experience in 
war, could not have affi)rded Captain Jones a pleasure any way 
to be compared to what he felt on lecu'ning that Great Britain 
had, after so long a struggle, been forced formally to acknow- 
ledge the sovereignty, freedom, and independence of the United 
States of America.*' He did not write thus for effect. He felt 
as he wrote, though at a subsequent period, as he had felt at the 
time. He wrote from Porto Cabello, to the Countess de Laven- 
dahl, among his enclosures to the care of M. de Grenet. French 
ladies meddle with politics ; which Buonaparte thought a 
nuisance, though he made use of the custom for his own ad- 
vancement. Jones did so too ; and though, in his simplicity 
and imaginativeness, he seems to have put himself at one time, as 
has been remarked, under thenecessity of making a tack in his 
correspondence with the one referred to, he certainly seemed to 
think that he had manoeuvred himself completely out of the dif- 
ficulty into which this small mistake had thrown him. In his 
letter to the countess, on the 28th February, he assures her that 
** his principles are invariably the same." He had learned by 
a letter from M. de Genet, that, the lady supposed he had not 
pursued with constant zeal the projects he contemplated exe- 
cuting in France, and with which, all secret as they were, and 
though M. de Chaumont had given him such an awful warning, 
by his communicativeness not to divulge them, he had made 
the fair lady acquainted. He said, '* I hope to return to France, 
and am persuaded you will rather feel compassion for my dis- 
appointment, than withdraw from me any part of your esteem." 
The letter was polite and politic. In his epistle to M. de Genet, 
he returns his respectful compliments to Miss Edes. That 
lady could not, therefore, have been accessary to the newspa- 
pmr reports in London, of the chevalier's movements at court in 

PAUL JOHE6. 347 


177D ; and thejr were all, pn>liablj, /^ such stuff as drearas are 
made of»'' At the same time, under cover to M. de Genet, he 
transmitted a letter to the Marquis de Castries, to be submitted 
to the inspection of the fair countess, giving an account of his 
poirition, and in good set terms, requesting to be held in re- 
membrance by his most christian majesty. 

He also wrote to the Due de la Rochefoucault, from Porto 
Cabello, on the 27th February, giving an account of the circum- 
stances which had placed him in the squadron. This letter 
contains Uie following remarks : ** The English affairs seem in 
so bad a situaticm in the East Indies, that I think even the 
most sanguine among them can expect no manner of advantage 
for continuing the war ; for, as Spain has at last wisely aban- 
doned the siege of Gibraltar, and, as we are told, doubled her 
ships with copper, I cannot think the English so blind as not to 
see the great risk they run of being as effectually humbled by 
sea, as they are by land, should they neglect the present mo- 
ment to make their peace. • • • • I most ardently wish for 
peace ; fi>r, humanity tells me there has been too much blood 
spilt already. I am in hopes to have the happiness, soon after 
the war, to revisit France.^' 

On the same day of the month, h^ wrote to Mr. Morris, giv- 
ing an account of the operations of the squadron, and making 
remarks on the prospect of peace to the same effect as those 
above quoted. He says : ^' I have already received much 
ttseful information since I embarked, and am on such hapi^ 
terms with the admiral and officers, both of the fleet and army, 
that I have nothing to wish from them. Deeply sensible how 
highly favoured I am, in being thus [daced, I beg you to express 
my gratitude to Congress on the occasion, and to the Chevalier 
de Luzerne. The Marquis de Vaudreuil is promoted to the 
rank of lieutenant general^ and now carries a vice admiral's 
flag. The^e are many other promotions in the squadron.'' 
On the ISch March, writing to La Fayette, he expresset him- 
self in like terms to those in his letter to the Due de la Roche- 
foucault, in rekuion to his losmg the command of the America, 



and the attention paid to him on board of the Triomphante, and 
by the officers of the whole fleet. He adds : " I am reallj 
happy to hear that justice has been rendered by his majesty to 
such distinguished worth and exertion as' yours. No less indeed 
could be expected from such a prince to such a subject. We 
hear you are at Cadiz, in order to embark Mrith his excellency 
Count D'Estaing. This would afford me the greatest pleasure, 
did not my love of glory give place to my more ardent wish for 
peace, and that you might have the happiness to carry over the 
olive branch, to a country that already owes you so much grati- 
tude. Humanity has need of peace ; but, though I was led to 
expect' it from the late speech (from the throne,) I begin to fear 
it is yet at some distance. There seems to be a malignity in 
the English blood, which cannot be cured till, in mercy to the 
rest of mankind, it is let out, that the disease may not become 
epidemical. I pray you to present ipy most respectful compli- 
ments to the Count D'Estaing. If the war continues, I hope 
for the honour of making the campaign under his orders." 

The country where he had been stigmatized as a pirate and 
traitor, could not expect complimentary language from the 
chevalier. Yet in the excitement of the moment, he said 
more than he meant to imply. The blood of old England is 
good enough — there is none better. But humbled national 
pride is not soon silent under its mortification; and half a 
century after this period we find it expressing itself through 
the tongues and pens of hirelings and vagabonds, in unmeaning 
sneers at institutions not understood, and manners and customs 

Did Jones long for peace or war ? Did his inclination point 
to that fair France, where the plaudits of a brilliant court, .the 
notice of royalty, the friendship of nobles, and the presentation 
of the sword and star, bad made him so happy ? Or to the land 
for which he had fought, and which was too poor to give Iwai 
the ootamand of a ship of the line f He did not know himself. 
On the 16th of March, he thus wrote to John Ross, Esq. in the 
United States. '* I had, my dear friend, the honour to write to 


jrou from on board thk ship, while -sailing out of the harbour of 
Boston, the 24th December. I mentioned to ^ou in that letter 
my wish respecting the purchase of a confiscated estate, situ- 
ated between two nairigable rivers, a little above Newark, within 
eight or ten miles of New York, and formerly owned by one 
Edwards,* who has been killed. I was told it contains a large 
tract of excellent land, which wasvalued before the revolution, 
at £8,000, but would be sold for a fourth part of that sum. As 
New York will probably be one of our fiist naval ports, the prox- 
imity of that estate made me the more desirous to ovm it. If, 
therefore, you should find on inquiry that I have been rightly 
informed, and if you can turn the merchandise in your hand into 
money, to answer for the purchase, I pray you to act for me as 
you would for yourself on the occasion. We have as yet no 
certain news from Europe, &c. If the peace should, as I wish 
it may, be concluded, I wish to establish myself on a place I can 
call my own, and to offer my hand to some fair daughter of 
liberty. If, on the contrary, Count D'Estaing should come out 
with fifty sail of the line, copper sheathed, and 18,000 troops, I 
shall have instructions at the greatest military school in the 
world, and I can have no doubt of finding opportunity of effect- 
ing the business we talked over at parting. Mr. Morris, I am 
assured, will not in that case let slip the occasion; aind I am 
well persuaded, you will also take the necessary steps." We 
wUl take the chevalier's word, that he had no existing attachment 
or Uaiion in France, which prevented his olBFering himself to 
" some fair daughter of liberty." 

The news of peace arrived, as has been mentionedj and the 
squfltdron sailed from Porto Cabello on the 8th of April, the day 
after the cessation of hostilities. Aft;er a passage of eight days, 
it arrived at Cape Frangois, where the Spanish fleet had arrived 
a few days before. Jones received '' particular marks of atten- 
tion from the governor, M. de Bellecombe, as well as from Don 

" A mistake."— IVMs in ti^ma^giii^inhuowt^handwriikig. 


CMves and the Spanish admiral* He embraced the first oppor* 
tanity of a vessel bound for America, and arrived at Philad^ 
phia on the 18th of May. The letters of which he was the 
bearer to the different functionaries at home, were such Bfi must 
have been most gratifying to him. The Marquis de Yaudreuil 
in writing to the Chevalier de Luzerne, thus expressed himself: 
*^ M. Paul Jones, who embarked with me, returns to his beloved 
country. I was very glad to have him. His well deserved 
reputation caused me to accept his company with much plea- 
sure ; and I had no doubt that we should meet with some occa- 
sions in which his talents might be displayed. But peace, for 
which I cannot but rejoice, interposes an obstacle which renders 
our separation necessary. Permit me, sir, to pray you to recom- 
mend him to his chiefs. The particular acquaintance I have 
formed with him, since he has been on board of the Triomfdiante 
makes me take a lively interest in his fortunes ; and I shall feel 
much obliged, if you can find means of doing him services." 
The Baron de Yiomenil, commander of the land army on board 
of the squadron, wrote as follows to the ambassador. 


^' M. Paul Jones, who will have the honour of delivering to 
you, sir, this letter, has for five months deported himself among 
us with such wisdom and modesty as add infinitely to the repu- 
tation gained by his courage and exploits. I have reason to 
believe th^t he has preserved as much the feeling of gratitude 
and attachment towards France, as of patriotism and devotaon 
to the cause of America. Such being his titles to attention, I 
take the liberty of recommending to you his interests, near the 
president and Congress.'' The admiral wrote directly to Mr. 
Morris, to the same effect, expressing his desire for the pros- 
perity o{**ce brave et honnete hommeJ^ 

The ill health which Jones speaks of, continued when he 
arrived at Philadelphia. He suffered from a violent intermit- 
ting fever, and spent the summer at Bethlehem, where be had 
the benefit of the cold bath. The idea of living on a fine farm 
in New Jersey, near a city whose future growth and commer- 
cial prosperity he shrewdly foresaw, with some (ear " daughter 

PAUL J01fB& 351 

of liberty" as the matron head of the establishment, <* in eahn 
eontemplation and poetic ease," must, no doubt, hare been a 
vision which floated gratefully before his mind during moments 
of languor and uncertainty at Porto Cabello. It faded into tlun 
air. He could not realize the amounts due to him from various 
quarters. Mr. Barclay, the consul general of France, had ob- 
tained no settlement of the prize money remaining due to the 
officers and crews of the squadron he last commanded, in which 
he was so considerably interested. On his application, Con- 
gress passed an Act on the 1st November, appointing him agent 
for all prizes, taken in Europe under his own command. • • • • 
He lodged bonds with the minister of finance, to the amount ci 
$200,000, to transmit to the continental treasury all the money 
he should recover, belonging to the citizens of America, who 
had served under his command in Europe ; to be from thence 
paid to them individually by the minister. He chose to pnt the 
business on that footing, to prevent the possibility of any re- 
proach.* He sailed the 10th of November from Philadelphia, 
in the Washington packet, for France ; and after a passage of 
twenty days, landed at Plymouth in England ; the packet having 
put in there, as the wind was unfavourable for Havre de Grace, 
the port of her destination. Having the public despatches in 
his charge, he set out immediately in a post chaise ; and find- 
ing'Mr. Adams, minister plenipotentiary for Holland, at Lond^m, 
who was persuaded that the packets for Dr. Franklin contained 
a commission to conclude a treaty of commerce with England, 
he proceeded with such haste, that he was only five days on the 
road from Plymouth to Paris. He travelled at his own expense. 
The Marechal de Castries and the Count de Yergennes 
received him cordially. By the former he was introduced to 

* He meanly that he piefemd that the money ahonld paae to indxridiiaLi throng 
* the minister's hands. The resohition of Congress required that bonds should be given ; 
and it appears, that Jones had no diffloolty in obtaining sufficient security for so large 
an amount. 


this king on the 20th December. The letters of the Chevalier 
de Luzerne to those ministers were in the same strain of com- 
mendation and personal expression of regard, (plainly, not merely 
diplomatic language,) as those he had borne from the com- 
manders in the squadron at Porto Cabello. '^ They both as-^ 
sored him," he says, '^ that he had no need of letters, to dispose 
them to esteem his character and do him justice. After dinner, 
the Marechal took Captain Jones aside, and told him, from the 
king, that it would always give his majesty pleasure to be use- 
ful to his future fortune." On the 17th of December, Dr. 
Franklin formally recognised his authority as agent to solicit 
for payment and satisfaction to the officers and crews, &c. in 
whose hands soever the prize money might be detained." 

He set about this negociation with his whole soul, and succeed- 
ed, after two years, in obtaining a liquidation and payment of 
the demand. It would be tedious, were it necessary and were 
there room for it, to insert the correspondence, which relates to 
this matter, and it is imperfect. Jones claimed the proportion of 
prize money due to the Bon Homme Richard and Alliance, to 
be divided afterwards by the superintendent of finances in 
America, agreeably to the rules of her navy. That proportion, 
he assumed, was to be ascertained by multiplying the number 
of the crew by the sum of the calibre of the cannon, mounted 
on board of each ship. In writing to the Mar6chal de Castries, 
M. de Sartine's successor, he repeated minutely the story of 
his projects and his doings; and renewed all his complaints 
against the conduct of M. de Chaumont. This was impolitic, 
and certainly did not expedite the settlement of the affair he 
bad in charge. The follbwing was, however, his creed on the 
subject, which is inserted without other comment, than that 
the captors should have taken legal advice : " Whether M. le 
Ray de Chaumont is indebted to the government, or the govern- 
ment is, as he says, indebted to him, is a matter that ought not 
to regard the captors, but they have a right to claim the pro-^ 
tection of government to force M. le Ray de Chaumont to ren- 
der the money with interest, which he has unjustly detained 

^Aui. jONttk 353 

from them fbr (bur jears tmd a half, while nkanjr of them are 
peiishini^ with cold and hutager." 

An account was made out, pursuant to the minister's directioii, 
by M* Chandon, on- the papers submitted by M. de Chanmoiit. 
The Concordat had settled that '^the division of prizes should 
be made agreeably to the American laws ; but that the proper^ 
tion of the whole, coming to each vessel in the squadron, should 
be regulated by the minister of the marine department of France 
and the minister plenipotentiary of the United States of Ame- 
rica." It would seem that in this account the French laws 
were referred to, in adjusting such proportion. The law of 
Congress gave the captors the whole value of all ships and Ves- 
sels of war belonging to the crown of Great Britain, and half 
the value of merchantmen, &c. Charges were made in the 
account, for repairs done at the Texel, and the expenses of the 
detention of the prizes there ; and also of four deniers on the 
livre, on account of the Hospital of Invalids at Paris, from which 
institution American seamen had received no benefit. Dr« 
Franklin had not interfered in relation to the distribution of this 
prize money. He acted with his uniform wisdom, as there was 
no obligation upon him to express his opinions. Jones who was 
now, as to this matter, minister plenipotentiary himself, warmly 
and with no mean skill, as well as fervour, objected to this man- 
ner of adjusting the account, and to these deductions. The 
claim of the four deniers was readily relinquished by the minis- 
ter. That for expenses in the Texel was made the subject 
of more argument, which was managed by Jones with much 
ingenuity, and as much passion. Franklin wrote to him that 
if he had been willing to act himself in the matter, he " certunly 
would not have agreed to charge the American captors with 
V any part of the expense of maintaining the 500 prisoners in 
Holland, till they could be exchanged, when none of them were 
exchanged for the Americans in England, as was Jones' inten- 
.tion, and as they both had been made to expect." Enclosing a 
oopy of this letter to the minister, Jone^ said : ^'^I will not now 
complain that the prisoners which I took, and carried to Hoi- 


.354 PAUL J0NB8. 

lud were not exchanged for the Americans who had been taken 
ui war upon the ocean, and were long confined in English dun- 
geons by civil magistrates, as traitors^ pirates^ and felons ; I 
will only say, I had such a promise from the minister of marine. 
It was all the reward I asked for the anxious days and sleep- 
less nights I passed, and the many dangers I encountered, in 
ghd hope of giving them all their liberty, and if I had not 
been assured that Mr. Franklin had made an infallible ar- 
rangement with the courts of France and England for their 
immediate redemption, nothing but a superior force should have 
wrested them out of my hands, till they had been actually ex- 
changed for the unhappy Americans in England." 

On the 13th of May the minister informed Jones that on the 
statement he had laid before his majesty, this item of deduction 
was also ordered to be relinquished ; and that the indisposition of 
M. Chandon alone had prevented the amount to be allowed from 
being stated, which he would take the earliest measures for pay- 
ing. Here was an immediate prospect of a summary attainment 
of the object of his mission. With characteristic rapidity, Jones 
replied : '* I hope M. Chandon will immediately finish that liqui- 
dation ; and, considering that nearly five years have already 
elapsed since the prizes were made, and that my long delay 
here is very inconvenient to my afiairs, I flatter myself that you 
will take measures for the payment as soon as possible. On 
my arrival at Paris, I had the honour to present a letter from 
the Chevalier de la Luzerne, mentioning that part of my busi- 
ness in Europe is to collect materials for forming a system for 
the future marine of America. You had, my lord, the good 
ness to promise me copies of every thing respecting the govern- 
ment and manner of supplying the marine of France; and 
I should esteem it a great favour, if you would now give'-jwiii^ 
orders in consequence."* . ; ' : 


* On the 20th of January preceding. Colonel Wadsworth hjMl^BddflMiaed Jones 
muder a copy of tlie following memorandam, " Colonel Hamil^ ittqtte«ti Colonel 

PAUL J019E8. 353 

• It was in September of the year 1784, that the plate taken 
firomLord Selkirk's house on* St. Mary's Island was sent home* 
The letter of M. de CalonnCi granting permission for its trans- 
portation frottf L'Orient to Calais free from all duties, *&c. was 
highly complimentary. ^' This action, sir," said the minister, 
>* is well worthy of the reputation your conduct has acquired for 
you ; and proves that true valour is always in close union with 
humanity and generosity." The bill rendered to Jones for 
transporting this plate,* by the *^ director of the diligences of 
Flanders, Picardy, and England," is among the papers before 
ai^. The amount was 127 livres, 17 sols. 

On the 23d of October, it appears that a ^' statement of the 
liquidation and repartition of the prizes," was signed by the 
Marechal de Castries, in which Jones urged that there was an 
error in the proportion assigned to the Vengeance. This was 
probably not rectified. And the money was not forthcoming 
immediately. In Juog; in the following year, we find Jones 
jogging the memory or the minister, as to his promise of taking 
prompt measures for payment. * It was then intimated that 
socutity should be given for the due application of the fund. 
Jones referred to his credentials, and to the documents which 
showed that he had given ample security to the government of 


- -;j^ — 

Wadswurtii as oflen as convnleDt to duIlc inqoiries, and take minntes of the circnm- 
utances relating to the nav^ttion of difbrant natieni; the conatnietion and quality of 
their ships, with respect n^olk, daniiion, and expe(jiitton ; the expenee of constnio 
tlon, materials, and eqaipi^Pnt; tfaa,jiTimher of men with which they are navigated; 
the wages to the seamen, solufitonce, A^, no as to form a general idea of the com 
parative advantages for navigition between this and other conntries." Colonel Wads 
worth said in his letter: ** I have sent thifl to yon, as the best able to make inquiries, 
and pnupu to write him on the several articles of this request, as I know nobody in 

' AmerieaJ^Skely to make a good use of them. I do not desipair of seeing an American 
navy ; and my hopes will increase, when I see such men as Hamilton at the head of 
uur naval aflbin in America ; which may possibly not be far distant. I will not 
apologize ibr giving you this tronbld. Yon have so eminently distinguished yourself 

Cit a naval offioer,nid so warmly and unremittingly pursued the true interest of America, 
that I am ooitain I can oommit these inquiries to no one, so able and so willing to 
make them. 


th# United States, and thas concluded hU letter : ** An paitiea- 
lar reasons render it extremely inconvenient, if not impossible, 
for m^to attend this business any longer, I shall take the liberty 
to waitt>n your excellency to-morrow, to be faij^ured with your 
final determination." 

It is to be presumed that this difficulty was reniored at 
once; but now another arose« Jones was desired by the 
minister to address himself to the ordinateur at L'Orient for 
payment of the money. He did not like this reference and an- 
ticipated difficulties in his settlement with 4his functionary. He 
asked for orders, that the money due the two ships, the Bon 
Homme and the Alliance, might be paid immediately into his 
hands en masse. 

The expected difficulties with the ordinateur occured. Mr. 
Jeffisrson had now succeeded the venerable Franklin as minister 
plenipotentiary at Versailles. On the 29th of July, in this year, 
(1785,) Jones says, in addressing him : IfcJ.flnd that a French 
merchant, M. Fuchilberg, of this place, wn5 opposed Dr. Frank- 
lin, and did all in his power to promote the revolt that took 
place in the Alliance, has produced a letter of attorney which 

he obtained from the officers ana men of that frigate when 


their minds were unsettled, authorizing him to Receive their 
share in the prizes. And ^notwithstanding the orders of the 
Mar6chal of the 15th, I find tnere ic('Misposition here to pay 
the money to M. Puchilbefg,^in j^fereiA^ to me." 

Theinteference of M. Pudhilberg was asteculiarly offensive to 
Jones, as it was in his ppinion un&foi beciSse he had given no 
security to the American government^r^ine due disbursement 
of the money ; had not any '* authentic- roll of the crew of the 
Alliance ; and could not do justice to the subjects of America- 
Jones was willing that the proportion due the French ;llftkrines, 
who embarked as volunteers, should be deducted from the 
amount to be paid to him. In another passage of his letter he 
says, that one of the objections macTe at L'Orient, to the pay^ 
ment to him of the whole amount was, that Landus was born 
in France. *' But he had abjured the Church of Rome, and been 


, PAUL jojnm. SS7 

naturaKMl in America (as bis officers reported to me) befbre 
he took command of tlie Alliance ; and his crew were all the 
sulgects of the United States." The naturalization was implied 
in his bearing his commission. ' His abjuration is doubtful ; as 
he sleeps in ground consecrated according to the ritual of the 
Church of Rome. ^ This by the way. Vexed and restless at this 
new obstacle, we find Jones two days afterwards repeating to 
Mr. Jefferson, the same argument against the propriety of M. 
Pucftberg's intervention. But he had other matters to speak 
of ; and this part of his letter must be introduced. 

" The enclosed copy of a letter, which has just now been 
communicated to me, from Monsieur de Soulanges, k M. M. les 
Juges Consals, dated at Toulon, the 14th day of this month, 
announcing that the Algerines hare declared war against the 
United States, is of too serious a nature not to be sent imme^ 
diately to you. 

*' This event may, Lbelieve, surprise some of our fellow-citi- 
zens ; but> for my part, I am rather surprised that it did not 
take place sooner. It will produce a good effect, if it unites the 
people of America in measures consistent with their national 
honour and interest, and rouses them from that ill-judged 
security which the intoxication of success has produced sii^W^ 
the rcTblution. '^^ 

*' Mf best wishes will always attend that land of freedomt ^ 
and my pride will be always gratified when such measures are ^ 
, adopted as will make us respected as a great people who deierve 

The prudent advice of Mr. Jefferson was in the same spirit 
with that which Franklin would have given. M. Puchilberg, (it 
. is believed that he had no de to his name, though he may have 
been entitled to it,) was got rid of. Jones considered himself 
as a qiuui ambassador in this matter. He certainly did ngt 
address the minister in the regulated phraseology of diplomacy ; 
and sometimes took the liberty of throwing his own words back 
into his teeth, which was not getUeeL But, like the woman in 
the parable, he gained his point by importunity. It wouM re* ' 

358 PAUL JONES. , 

joice the souls of many claimants at the present day, of an 
infinitely greater amount from the same court, if the same re- 
sult could be effected ; and they would not feel their satisfaction 
diminished to a vast extent, if it were even obtained by a like 
departure from conventional language. Something more 
than 181,000 livres was paid to Jones eventually.* He 
charged no commission on the amount he received. He 
charged, however, 48,000 livres for his expenses. He was au- 
thorized by Congress to act as agent in the business, on tjfe 1st 
November, 1783 ; be charges only from the time of his arrival 
in Europe, which was the 5th December, 1783, up to the 7th 
July, 1786. 

The king remitted the proportion (one half) of the sale of 
the merchant prizes, to which, by the American laws, the govern- 
ment was entitled, in favour of the captors. The balance of 
112,000 livres was paid over by Jones to Mr. Jefferson. 

The statement of his expenses for these two years shows, 
that he must have lived handsomely. He renewed his former 

*i find among the papers before me a draft from the board of treasury, dated May 
ii' 1786, for 181,039 livres 1 sol and 10 deniers, infavoorof Mr. Jefierson, expressed to 
M ^* moneys received by you from the treasury of the marine of the port of L'Orieqt, 
on account of prize money due to the frigate Alliance, and the American officers and 
sailors employed under your command, conformably to your two receipts of the 18th 
August, and 5th September, 1785, transmitted to the department of foreign affaire, for 
which payment this shall be your sufficient voucher." On the back, i^ Mr. Jefferson's 
i-eceipt, as follows : '* Received from Commodore Paul Jones, one hundred and 
twelve thousand one hundred and seventy two livres, two sols, and four deniers, paid 
by him to Mr. Grand, as the balance of the sum mentioned in the annexed bill of the 
treasury, aocMnrdingto Commodore Jones' account, to be submitted to Congress. Paris, 
I2th July, 1786. Th. Jefferson." Jones* account was as follows : endorsed thus in 
Mr. Jefferson's handwriting : " Paris, in the kingdom of France, to wit : The within 
named John Paul Jones made oath before me on the holy evangelists, that his ordbary 
ezpenies, since his arrival in Europe, for the purpose of recovering the prize money, 
as within stated, have amounted to forty seven thonuand nine hundred and seventy- 
two livres, eleven sous tournois. Given under my hand the fiflh day of August, 1786. 

Th. Jefferson." 

" Amount of prize money belonging to the American part of the crew of the Bon 
Homme Ricliaitl, (and to some few foreigners, whose names and quaUtifM, i&c. are 


ccmtf0xions arid acqaaintancesy^. and kept himself in the' public 
eje; He prepared a joamal of his past services in the cause* of 
America and her ally^ whicdi was read by sev^al persons of dis- 
tinmion ; and of which there apfiears to have been more tlian 
one copy circulated. Fragments of oiie version are fouad writ* 
ten in the first person. The entire narrative, up to the P^iW 
of his visiting France on this occasion, which ](^as been so fre^. 
quently quoted from» is more classically drawn up in the third. 
Q|!;tKat intended for his majesi!^, Malesherbs thus wrote to him* 

inserted in the roll,) with the amoimt, also, of the prize money belonging to the crew 
of thd- Alliance ; received at L'Orient, by order of the Mar§chal de Caatrieff, in bilh 
on Paris. • 

181,039 01 IQ 

From which dednct, viz. « 

Nett amoont of my ordinary expenses sindt I arrived 
in Europe to settle the prize money belonging to the 
citizens and subjects of America, who served on board 
the squadron I commanded, under the flag of the Unf- 
ted States, at the expense of his most christian ma- 
jesty, stated to his excellency Thomas Jefferson, Esq. 
the 4th of this month, 47,973 11 

Paid the draft of M. le Jeone, for the amount of ^ 

prize money due to Jacqne Tual, pilot of the Alliance, 670 13 6 ■ I:- 

Amount of prize money paid M. de Blondel, lieu- 
tenant of marinS of the Pallas, as stated on the roll of |Kt 
the Bon Homme Richard. S83 00 

Advances made to sundry persons, which stand at 
my credit on the roll of the Bon Honmie Richard, 964 09 6 

Advances made by me to sundry persons belonging 
to the Bon Homme Richard : these advances do not 
stand at my credit on the roll settled at L'Orient, by 
M. le Jeune, because the commissary had neglected 
to send him the original roll from the bureau at Ver- 
sailles, but the eommissaiy has rectified that omission, 
by bis certtficates; dated September 6th, 1785, and 
February 22d, 1786. 6,385 00 

My share', by the roU, as eaptain of the Bon Homme 
Riohaid, 13,291 5 6 


P«ru, J<a%7,1186. 

68,866 19 6 

112,m 8 4 
Paul Jokks.'* 



'* I have received with much gratitude the mark of confidesioe 
which yon have given me, and I have read with great eagerness 
and'pleasure that interesting relation. . 

*^ My first impression was^ to desire you to have it published, 
but after having read it, I perceive that you had not written it 
n^ a view to publication, because there ar^ things in it which 
are written to the king, for whom alone that work was intended. 
However, actions memorable as yours are, ought to be made 
known to the world by an authentic journal published in yopr 
own name. 

^^ I earnestly entreat you to work at it as soon as your affairs 
will allow you ; and in the mean time, I hope that the king will 
recuf this work with that attention which he owes to the relation 
of t\e services, which have been rendered to him by a person 

SO celebrated." 


At this time he also rendered a material service to the myste- 

On trammitting his statemeiit of the aceomit to Mr. Jefienon, Jonei wrote m 
folbws : 

" I have the henoor to enclose and sabmit to yonr consideration, the aeeonnt I have 
^jjitated of the prize money in my bands, with sundry papers that regard the ehaigea. I 
4:jUnnot bring myself to lessen the dividend of the American captors by making any 
charge either for my time or trouble. I lament that it has not yet been in my power 
to procnre for them advantti^|fc as solid and as extensive ai the merifflf their services. 
I would not have undeitaken this business from any views of private emolsmeat that 
could have possibly resulted from it to myself, even supposing I had recovered or 
should recover a sum mere considerable than the penalty of my bond. But I was 
anxious to force some ill natnred persons to acknowledge that, if they did ndt tell a 
wilful falsehood, they were mistaken when they asserted that I had commanded a 
squadron of privateers. And, the war being over, I made it my first oare to show the 
brave instruments of my success that their rights are as dear to me as my own. It 
will, I believe, be proper for me to make oath before yon to the amount charged for 
my ordinary expenses. I flatter myself that you will find no objection to the aoconnt 
as I have stated it, and that you are of opinion that, after this settlement has been made 
between us, my bond ought to stand cancelled as far as regards my transactions with 
the court of France. Should any part of the prize money remain in the treasury, 
without being claimed, after sufficient time shall ,be elapsed, I beg leave to submit to 
you, to the treasury, and to Congress, whether I have not merited by my conduct since 
-I ratumai to Europe that such rsmainder should be disposed of in my fkvcfnr 1" 


rious Madame T ' , by obtaining for her, through a lady «f 
rank^ an introduction to the lung, who received her with 
kindness and said he cHllrged himself with her fortune. He ba4 
his bust taken by Houdon, ^^ to whose talents it was remarked bjr 
professed judges it did no discredit." One of these he sent td 
Mr. Jefferson, and two to Philadelphia, which be intended td 
present in person on his return. Writing to Mr. Morris in 1787^ 
he says : ^* as the moment of my return to America continues 
uncertain, I beg you will now accept the bust as a mark of my 
affection. Mr. Nesbitt writes me that a duty was demanded on 
my busts. This, I own, surprises me. They are not merchant 
dise ; and T flatter myself that my zeal and exertions for the 
cause of America will not be requited with such a mark of di^* 
honour. I would rather hear that the busts were broke Uf 
pieces, than consent that they should be subject to a duty." At,. 
this time he also projected a commercial speculation in connec- 
tion with the celebrated John Ledyard. The acquaintance be7 
tween Jones and Ledyard commenced in 1785, as must be 
inferred from the letters of Jones. The project was spoken of 
in the London papers in that year. The following is an extract: 
from the London Chronicle of August 20ch, 1785; ^^ A lettet; 
from L'Orient says : Paul Jones has arrived here from Pariff, 
to fit out three ships on his own account, of which it is said he 
will take the command on an expedition to Kamschatka, to 
purchase furs and establish a factory. This he is enabled to dp 
by having lately received 400,000 livres for the prizes he took in 
the war." Such is newspaper exaggeriation. The "propositions 
for a commercial enterprise" are before me in French. The 
year in which they were drawn up does not appear in the instru-^ 
ment. " A vessel of 250 tons was to be armed and equipped, 
with forty-five officers and men, who were to be French. She 
was to sail on the Ist October, for Cape Horn, thence to the 
Sandwich Islands to take in provisions, and thence continue her 
route towards the north-west coast, where she would arrive in 
April. She was to remain there, if business required* it, until 
September or October, and then make sail for Japan, where 




the peltry was to be exchanged for gold or other coiniuodhie«i 
if the market proved better than that of China, which was thought 
probable. If not, she was to proceed' to Macao ; where ex* 
perience had proved that, at the most moderate calculation, the 
fiirs would bring ten livres a-piece, the amount .of which was to 
be taken in gold or the merchandise of China ; after which she 
was to return to France, by the ordinary route round the Cape 
of Grood Hope, and would arrive after a voyage of about 
eighteen months.. As supercargo, a citizen of the U. States 
(Ledyard) was proposed, who had been an officer of Captain 
Cook in his last voyage round the world, and had come to 
France expressly to propose this enterprise, and demanded no 
appointments or other compensation than a reasonable commis- 
^^;n on the profits of the voyage." The propositions proceed 
^ ^Ql forth, that the novelty of the projected voyage was the 
only disav^^^^^^^ou^ circumstance anticipated in relation to it, 
while its ad^^i^^^^ were easily foreseen ; that the risks, com- 
pared to the pr'ofits, were, at the most moderate estimate, but as 
one to ten, which was far less than attended all voyages either 
to the East or We^^t Indies ; that the expenses of the arma- 
ment and cargo wera very inconsiderable ; that the quality, 
variety, and quantity of the skins on the north-west coast ex- 
ceeded all known of the kind in any other part of the world ; 
that such precious furs might be bought for a bagatelle, and 
sold at a market where the venders might fix their own price; 
that the distance between the places of purchase and sale was 
so inconsequential, that the peltry could not be injured by the 
transportation ; that there was no necessity of delaying in any 
port before arriving in China, which would save great expenses 
and other inconveniences; that they would touch at a port 
where the supercargo could procure provisions at the lowest 
price, viz. pork, salt, fish, poultry, vegetables, &c. for twelve 
months or more. Of the commercial knowledge which would 
be acquired by those who should undertake the expedition, of 
the opportunity it would afford to make a most precious collec- 
tion of natural and artificial curiosities, of the honour and plea- 

I ■ 



s6re which would result from it, the projector spoke only as ac- 
cidental circumstances. He added that it would be better if the 
enterprise were undertaken by a single house, or two at most, 
the expense atteiUding the equipment being so unimportant; 
and that those who should advance the funds need not be inter- 
rupted in their business, as the supercargo would take upon him- 
self the charge of making all the necessary arrangements, with 
the greatest despatch. He observed, that there was scarce any 
branch of commerce as important for France as that in furs, 
esjfeecially by a channel which might be so considerably aug- 
mented, possessing the great advantage of a certain market ill 
China and always obtaining advantageous returns from thence* 
The speculators might also at all hazard give a credit by bills 
of exchange or otherwise, to be used in China if necessary, 
which would ^ive the same advantages to the expedition as an 
ordinary voyage to the East Indies, which any ship under the 
American flag might undertake. The supercargo could pro- 
vide all the charts necessary for the voyage, except those from 
the Straits of Magellan to the south by Cape Horn ; but they 
could easily be procured. The following estimate was added 
of the expenses and profits of the expedition. 


Cost ofaveMel of 250 tons, • • £1,250 

Complete equipmeat, .... 1,250 

Provisioiis lor a year, .... 500 

Cargo, 500 

Wages advanced to the crew, • 250 

Profit of the voyage, 36^250 

Sterling £40,000 

A cargo of 3,000 skins bought 

on the N. W. Coast, worth 

10 lionis a-pioce in China, £30,000 
As a moderate profit on the 

merchandise bonght in 

China, 10,000 

Sterling £40,000 

A most interesting account is given in the Life of Ledyard, of 
his efforts both in America and France, to obtain a ship for car- 
rying this project into execution.* Ledyard says, that Mr. 

Sparks' Life of Ledyard. pp. 130—156. 

364 PAVh JON£8. 

Morris ^^ took a noble hold, inBtandy, of the enterprise." It ieU 
through, bowevery in America as it did in France» where A(r« 
Jefferson's sagacious mind readily comprehended the impor- 
tance of discovery and settlement in regions which might event^ 
ually fall within the boundaries of the Union. It appears from 
Ledyard's papers, that the plan arranged between Jones and 
himself was, to fit out two ships and obtain, if possible, commis- 
sions for them from the king. Jones was to use his court influ- 
ence to persuade the government to assist, and furnish vessehi 
and armament. If this should fail, he was to furnish funds him- 
self, according to his means ; and they were to act on their own 
responsibiUty. They meant to commence a factory on the 
north-west coast, and build a stoccade, in which Ledyard was 
to remain with a small force. Jones was to proceed to China 
with one of the vessels, the other was to be left to collect a 
second cargo. He was afterwards to go with both to China, 
exchange the furs for silks and teas ; and, having disposed of hi» 
cargoes, return round Cape Horn again with articles suitable 
for traffic with the Indians, whose good acquaintance Ledyard 
was to be left to cultivate* The latter expected to be absent 
for perhaps six or seven years. The delay Jones experienced 
in obtaining the prize money, no doubt contributed to the falling 
through of the scheme ; about which the latter in his general 
oorrespondence vn*ites with his usual mystery. 

Those who have realized princely fortunes by this commerce 
will be able to criticise the merits of Ledyard's plan, and the 
accuracy of his estimates. The " disadvantage of novelty,'* or 
want of the enlightened spirit of enterprise, caused the merchants 
to whom he suggested it, to let this golden opportunity escape. 
Jones had the shrewdness to perceive the tempting hopes which 
it held forth. In several respects he and Ledyard were conge- 
nial spirits. He had written to Dr. Bancroft on the business, 
as appears from a letter to him from that gentleman, dated 
September 9th, 1785. The writer says : " I endeavoured as 
early as posfiiible to gain information respecting the object of 
your inquiry, but it was a difficult matter, none of my acquaint- 

PAUI* JQlfE0* 9l8ft 

an<ies knowing any thing move 4^ it than what hftdappfarod in 
the public papers. Yesterday^ however ,^ I%a8 informed }^.i9k 
gentleman who, I believey^ias some more knowledge of the fact*, 
that the two yessek. King Greorge and Queen Charlotte, have 
sailed oir the expeditiba which wa» thought of by Mri 
^rd, for furs^ which^ I shqpld suj)p08e mdbt interfere with 
and very inuch lessen the profits of any similar undertaking .b|( 
others. Mr. Williams went from hence to America with Dli 
Franklin^ before m/returf^^ And I do not know what be did r^? 
spectingyour sword, &c." At tilis time, as appears by a letteir 
of the same date from the house <^ S. A^ i. S. Delapi Jones wa4 
in treaty for the purchase of a vessel for this expedition. TImi 
price of one vessel mentioned to Jones by them was 80,000 
livres, trebling in amount the calculation of Ledyard. He had 
also written to America, afting the advice of Mr. Morris on the 
subject, and postponed making a purchase until he should receive 
an answenfrom him, which was not until the first of Decembers 
^^an unfortunate circumstance," as he wrote to Mr. Nesbitjb, 
*'^ for at the |iame time with the letter from Mr. Morris,. I re* 
ceived one from Bordeaux, informing me that the ship in queih 
tion, (the finest that had been seen in that port,) was rath«r 
given away than sold. I wrotie to Madrid, and by the informar 
tion I have from thence, it appears that Spain is too jecdous to 
permit anjr commercial speculation in the neighbourhood df 
California.* I shall write again to Bordeaux, to inform mysctf 
whether the ship in question may not yet be obtained for a r0af 
sonable advance. If I make that or any other suitable pur- 
chase, it will be with a view to accept of the ofibr of Mr. Morrisi 
and a reliance on his kind disposition towards me. * « • • I 
should be sorry, very sorry, if my frankness to Mr. Ross has lost 
me his friendship ; but the step is taken, and I do not feel that 
it is my place to ask pardon." 

* On this hint, te author of die Life published in Edinburgh ascribes the abandbn- 
niMt of Ledyard's projected seheme, to a dread of Spaniah intfldfart not. 

366 PAUL jroKBS. 

About this time I find a billel from Compte d'Estaing which 
naj be thought cuff oufl» It k aii follows : 

** he Cte d'Estaiug est engage depuis plusieurs jours chez M^ 
D'Orey ; et il a renouvelle hyer'sa promesse tie mani^r^ «jie 
pouYoir J manquer. H ^emer^iie Mopsieur Paul Jones, et".8e8 
regrets augmentent d'autant plus, qu'il a un presentiment que 
IP. de St. James, qu'il fait gloire d'aimer de tout son ccBur y 
viendra peut-etre, ep fort aimable i^mpagni^. Y® count is very 
well acquainted with jr* amiability and the holy name of the 
lady, but not yet with his charming person ; and he is very 
curious of it. 

Jones was as much mystified as we are bj the allusion made 
in the count's attempted EngUsh. In his reply, he says that 
he at first made a wrong application of it ; but M'. de St. James 
uadeceived him, without, however, explaining its meaning* He 
was full of the same mercantile schemes refen;ed to, in the 
quotation from bis letter to Mr. Nesbitt. To the Count d'Es- 
taing, he says : '^ I did myself the honour to call at your hotel 
yesterday, to inform you that fy the inquiry I have made re- 
specting the contract of Mr. Morris for furnishing France with 
60,000 hogsheads of tobacco, I find it is to be deliyered in France 
at 36 liyres per hundred weight ; and that so great a monopoly 
will enable him to purchase it at the warehouses in Virginia, at 
the low price of 22 livres. 10 sous. So that he will have IST 
livres 10 sous on every hundred weight for shipping charges, 
freight, and profit. 

'^ I have spoken to Mr. Jefferson respecting the obliging pro- 
positions you made on my subject to the Marquis de la Fayette. 
I am happy to find that Mr. Jefferson thinks well of the place, 
and says, that if this govertiment will apply to Congress, there is 
no doubt of obtaining their consent. By the alliance between 
France and America, it is stipulated that when France shall 
find herself engaged in a war with Great Britain, in which 



America takes no active part, the ports of the United St^tttev 
shall be open for, the ships of war of Franfe ;' where thej nm^ 
refit and sell their prizes* Buttne British are exdudedMhttll 
those great advantages. The growing commerce of Ajk^®*^ 
and her extended fiafaeries are perpetual atid increasbg ni»w 
series for seamen. And avarice will always furnish, in the free 
ports of America, as many foreign seaiAen as may be wantedL 
The great benefit that France may derive from these favour^ 
able circumstances, cannot escape a mind so extende!| and weH 
cultivated as yours. And you are too good ^ citizen to be iBf? 
dififerent on any point -whell you can render service to your 
country, or oblige a man who glories in being honoured with 
your attachniient. The extract of my Journals will, I expect, 
be presented op Monday*" 

Mr. Jefferson had written to Jon^s, while the latter was at 
L'Orient, for information relative to the voyage of discovery 
about to be made by La FerAise. The following was his com- 
munication in reply : 

** The^ following is the best information I am able to give you, 
in compliance with the letter, dated at Paris the 3d of August, 
1785, which you did me the honour to address me at L'Orientt 

" The Boussole and the Astrolabe, two gabarts of 600 tons 
each, sheathed with copper and equipped in the best manner^ 
sailed from Brest the Ist of August, 1785, under the command 
of M. de la Perouse and the Viscount de Langle, captains in the 
royal navy. They had on board a great variety of trees, plants, 
and seeds, that suit the climate of France ; manufactures in 
linenj woollen, and cotton, and in iron and copper, &c. &c. me- 
chanical tools of all sorts ; a great quantity of trinkets and toys ; 
ploughs, and all sorts of utensils and implements for agriculture, 
and a quantity of unwrought iron. Each ship had on board a 
large shallop in frames, and a million of French livres in the 
coins of dififerent nations. Each ship had also on board t#entyr 
one soldiers, draughted from the two regiments at Brest, all 
of whom were either mechanics or farmers. They had on board 
no women ; nor any animals, except such as appeared to be 

988 FMT& ^onm^ 

dMliaed ibr tfie refi«ahamit tf tl»:crews* . Tbe crew of eadi 

ii 4116 himdted meiH induding officers and men of genhis. 
Tibe^lbg iiiinself planned the expedition, and made out all the 
defalk witk his wini hand, before he spoke a word of it to any 
peraon*^ His majefety ^defrays the expense of it out of his private 
ooffeEy and is his own minister in every thing that regards the 
ojperation of his plan. *' There is no doubt but that the perfect- 
ing of the geography of the southern hemisphere is one of his 
inajesty^i^llMijects in view ; and it is not difficult to perceive, that 
bs has others equally worthy the attention of a great prince ; 
one of which may be, to extend the commerce of bis subjects by 
establishing factories, at a ^ture day, for the far trade^ on the 
Biorth*west coast of America ;.and another, to eMablish colonies 
in New Holland, after having well explored the c#asL end made 
experiments on the schI of that vast island, which is situated m so 
happy a climate, and so contiguous to the establishments of 
France in the East Indies." ^ . 

The fate of the three prizes sent to Bergen, in Norway, has 
been mentioned.* They were valued by M. Decbe^ulx the 
French consul there, at fifty thousand pounds sterling ;t five-fold 
the amount recovered for the prizes sent iifto France. The power 
df soliciting payment for this money was given to Jones by the 
general resoluticm of Congress, on tbe 1st November, 1783, and 
fli(s authorization of Franklin in virtue thereof, on the 17th De- 
eeihber following. Neither did he ever lose sight of this object, 
to which he now began to turn his attention particularly. In the 
letter addressed by Dr. Franklin to Count Bernstorf, prime 
minister <if Denmark, in December, 1779, reclaiming these 
prizes or their value, the American statesman urged every con- 
sideration of policy and equity to induce a repeal of the order 
giving them up to the English. Bernstorf 's reply, written in 
March following, was a good sample of diplomatic flourish, eva- 
sion, and shnffling, vulgarly called in America, "whipping the 


* Page Sift. t Inokding the Channing Polly. 

•deTir iromid the Atump.*'^ He rtferred " fef furthfer particulaiii" 
to, the Baron de Blome, Danish minister at Paris, who of course 
had nothing but compliments find condolences to offer ; and 
there the matter rested, lintil the independence of the United 
States was recognised by Denmark, and the advantage of 
making a treaty of amity and commerce between the two nk- 
tions, became apparent to the Danish ministry. Count Rosien- 
. crone, the minister for foreign affairs, wrote in 1783, to M; de 
Waltersdorf, Danish minister at London, recominending to 
him, as he learned that he was about making a tour in Franee, 
to endeavour as much as possible to gain the confidence uod 
esteem of Franklin, with a view to obtaining a treaty between 
the two nations, founded on a basis similar to tiiat which had 
been made between the United States and the States General. 
The latter was intended for exhibition to Franklin, an# of 
course proffered great readiness to meet with ft'ankness any 
overtures that might be made. On this communication b^ing 
made to him, Franklin proceeded to address Count Rosencrone, 
intimating that a commission would probably soon be sent from 
the United States, appointing ^ome person in Europe to eifter 
into a treaty With his Danish majesty, on the basis suggested. 
" To smooth the way for obtaining this desirable end,"'he 
added, that it became necessary for him to call the minister's 
attention to the affairs of the three prizes whose violent seizure 
he was *' inclined to think a hasty act, procured by the impor- 
tunities and misrepresentations of the British minister." Some 
time after, having written to the court, Waltersdorf inform^ 
Franklin that he was authorized to offer a compensation 6f 
lOjOOO pounds, which was declined, "because it was thoilglit 
the value of the prizes was the true measure of compensation, 
and that that ought to be inquired into." 

In 1785, when Mr. Jeffbrson had succeeded the sage of Pasi^jry 
Jones wrote to Mr. Adams as minister at London, o& the sub- 
ject. It seems that before the receipt of the letter, the Coultot 
dfe Waltersdorf had gone to the West Indies. Jones theit pro- 
posed assigning his powers as ag^nt, with Mr. Jefferson's assent, 


Xk, his friend Dr. Bancroft, as he wished to make the a|>pIic^tiQn 
to the court of Denmark without farther loss «f time. The 
following letter from Mr. Adams, is dated July 17th, 1786. 

'^ I have received the letter you did me the honour to write 
me on the 10th of this month, and embrace the opportunity by 
Colonel Trumbull to answer it. The Count de Reventlan, 
complaisantly enough, enclosed my letter to the Baron de Wal- 
tersdorf, in his despatch td the Danish ministry, and informed 
him that it related to a public affair. So that there is no room 
to doubt that the letter went safe, and that that court are ac- 
quainted with its contents. But no answer has been received. 
I am told that the Baron de Waltersdorf has been at Parb and 
: at the Hague, long since the date of my letter to him ; and I 
was told he was coming to London where I should see him. 
Bat he has not yet been here. As there is a Danish minister 
. pow in Paris, I should advise you to apply to him ; for the 
fpreign ministers in genercJ, at the court of Versailles, have less 
weight upon their spirits in all things relating to America, than 
:tho8e at London. Cash, I fancy, is not an abundant article in 
. J^enmark, and your claim has probably delayed and suspended 
all negociatipns with Mr. Jefferson. and me, respecting a eom- 
.jiercial treaty, for which, three years ago, there was no little 
.^eal. This, however, is only conjecture, in confidence." 
;. Jones thought, however, that as the plan of applying through 
(Jbe -funbassadors had proved slow and uncertain, and as Con- 
.gpess had in June previous ordered the prize money paid over 
i}^f him to be distributed by the bocurdof treasury, which made 
Vhis iipmediate return tp An^erica unnecessary, it would be 
;Jbetter for him to proceed in person to Copenhagen, of which 
;B|r« Jefferson fipproved. Jones asked and obtained a letter 
from the Count de Yergennes to the Baron de la Houze, French 
ininister in J)eAniark, a^ armed himself with other credentials. 
..Qja the 13th of August, Mr» Jefferson wrote to Baron de Blome, 
jirho wap|vat the Waters, informing him of the object of the che- 
vfklier's mission, reqMesting him to advise his eourt tiime^f. 
.wdMfik'mg bmgood offices with the ipipi^ters^ • . 

He did not go to Copenhaged, but paid a flying Visit to Am^ 
riea, the cause of which will appear from the annexed letter fo 
Mr. Jaji minister of foreign affairs, written shortly after hiis 
arrival at New York. Mr. Jefferson had not full powers to 
allow the charge made by him for his expenses, while soliciting 
payment ot the prize money ; which may have had some par- 
tial influence in inducing this deviation from his immediate 
purpose. '' I left Paris in the spring, and went as far as Brus- 
sels on fny way to Copenhagen, when an unforeseen circum- 
stance in my private affairs rendered it indispensable for me 
to turn about and cross the ocean. My private business here 
being already finished, I shall in a few days re-embark for 
Europe, in order to proceed to the court of Denmark. It is 
my intention to go by the way of Paris, in order to obtain a leis- 
ter to the Fi-ench minister at Copenhagen, from the Count de 
Montmorin, as the one I obtained is from the Count de Ver- 
gennes. It would be highly flattering to me if I could carry a 
letter with me from Congress to his most christian majesty, 
thanking him for the squadron he did us the honour to support 
under our flag. And on this occasion, sir, permit me, with be- 
coming diflSidence, to recall the attention of my sovereign to the 
letter of recommendation I brought with me from the court of 
France, dated 30th May, 1780. It would be pleasing to me if 
that letter should be found to merit a place on the journals of 
Congress. Permit me also to entreat that Congress will be 
pleased to read the letter I received from the minister of ma- 
rine, when his majesty deigned to bestow on me a golden-hiltea 
sword, emblematical of the happy alliance ; an honour which 
his majesty never conferred on any other foreign officer. I 
owed the high favour I enjoyed at the court of France in a great 
degree to the favourable testimony of my conduct which had 
been communicated by his majesty's ambassador, under whose 
eye I adted in the most critical situation in the Texel, as well 
as to the public opinion of Europe. And the letter with which 
I was honoured by the prime minister of France, when I was 
about to return to America, is a clear proof that we might have 

972 PAUIi JONEflL 

I ' t 

drawn still greater advantages from the generous disposition of 
our ally, if our marine had not been lost whilst I was, under 
perplexing circumstances, detained in Europe, after I had given 
the Count de Maurepas my plan for forming a combined squad • 
ron of ten or twelve sail of frigates, supported by the America 
with a detachment of French troops on board ; the whole at the 
expense of his majesty. 

*' It is certain that I am much flattered by receiving a gold 
sword from the most illustrious monarch now living ; but I had 
refused to accept his commission on two occasions before that 
time, when some firmness was necessary to re*sist the tempta- 
tion. He was not my sovereign ; I served the cause of freedom ; 
and honours from my sovereign would be more pleasing. Since 
the year 1775, when I displayed the American flag for the first 
time with my own hands, I have been constantly deVoted to the 
interests of America. Foreigners have, perhaps, given me too 
much credit, and this may have raised my ideas of my services 
above their real value ; but my zeal can never be over-rated. 

" I should act inconsistently if I omitted to mention the 
dreadful situation of our unhappy fellow-citizens in slavery at 
Algiers. Their almost hopeless fate is a deep reflection on our 
national character in Europe. I beg leave to influence the 
humanity of Congress in their behalf, and to propose that some 
expedient may be adopted for their redemption. A fund might 
be raised for that purpose, by a duty of a shilling per month 
from seamen's wages, throughout the continent, and I am per*- 
suaded that no difficulty would be made to that requisition." 

The reasons of Jones for returning thus suddenly to America, 
are further explained in his letters to Mr. Jefierson and Dr. 
Bancroft in* September of this year. He had expected to re- 
ceive at Brussels the necessary funds for his journey to, and 
r^;. business at Copenhagen ; but was altogether disappointed. He 

also met with difficulty and loss in disposing of part of his bank 
stock while in America. 

A letter of June 23d, from Madame T , informed him 

of the sudden death of her ftiend and protectress the Marquise 


de Marsan, who had introduced her to the king. He says/ 
writing to Dr. Bancroft: "this is also a great grief and loss to 
me, as I had in that lady a valuable friend." To Mr. Jefier* 
son he said: " the letter you sent me, left the feeling .author all 
in tears ! Her friend — her protectress — ^her introductressto the 
king, was suddenly 'dead! She was in despair ! She lost more 
than a mother ! A loss, indeed, that nothing can repair; for 
fortune and favour are never to be compared to tried friend- 
ship. I hope, however, she has gone to visit the king in July, 
agreeably to his appointment given her in the month of March. 
I am persuaded that he would receive her with additional kind- 
ness, and that her loss would, in his mind, be a new claim' to 
his protection ; especially as he well knows and has acknow- 
ledged her superior merit and just pretensions. As I feel the 
greatest concern for the situation of this worthy lady, you will 
render me a great favour by writing a note, requesting her to 
call on you, as you have something to communicate from me* 
When she comes, be so good as to deliver her the within let- 
ter, and show her this ; that she may see both my confidence 
in you and my advice to her*" 

His letter to the lady 'was as follows : 

" New York, September 4, 1787^ 
^' No language can convey to my fair mourner the tender 
sorrow I feel on her account ! The loss of our worthy friend is 
indeed a fatal stroke ! It is an irreparable misfortune which can 
only be alleviated by this one reflection, that it is the will «f 
God, whose providence has, I hope, other blessings in store for 
us. She was a tried friend, and more than a mother to you ! 
She would have been a mother to me alsp had she lived. We 
have lost her ! Let us cherish her memory, and send up grate- 
ful thanks to the Almighty that we once had such a friend. I' 
cannot Wt flatter myself that you have yourself gone to the 
king in July as he had appointed. I am sure your loss will 
be a new inducement for him to protect you, and render you 
justice. He will hear you, I am sure; and. you may safely un- 

3Xft PAOIi 90lf MU 

bosom yourself to him, and eisk kb «Ldviber whteb emnuH htti 
be flatteirifig to hiit to give you* Tell him« you must look dd 
bim afl your fether and protector* If it were necessary, I think, 
too, that the Count d'A ,• his brother^ ttouM, on your per- 
sonal application, render yoti gcH>d offices by speaking in your 
favour. I should like it better, however, if you can do with- 
out him. Mr. Jefferson will show you my letter of this date to 
him. You will se6 by it how disgracefully I have been detained 
here by the board of treasury. It is impossible for me to stir 
from this place till I obtain their settlement on the business I 
have alreculy performed ; and as th^ season is already far 
advanced, I expect to be ordered to embark dir^tly for the 
place of my destination in the north. Mr. Jefferson will for- 
ward me yout letters. I am almost without money, and much 
puzzled to pbtaift a supply. I have written to Dr. Bancroft to 
endeavbur to assist me. I mention this with infinite regret, 
and for no other reason than because it is impossible for me to 
transmit you a supply under my present circumstances. Thii 
is my fifUoi letter to you since I left Paris. The two last were 
from France, and I sent them by dufdicates. But you say 
nothing of having received any letters from me ! Summon, my 
dear friend, all your resolution ! Exert yourself, and plead 
your own cause. You cannot fail of success ; your cause would 
move a heart of flint i Present my best respects toyom* sister. 
You did not mention fier in your letter ; bat I persuade mjrseif 
she virill continue her tender care of her eweet godson, and that* 
you wiU ixiver him aeil over with kisses from me ; they eotM' 
WBJtm to yak b(dk from ike henrtV^ 

He says^ in his letter to Mr. Jefferson: ^'I should have re* 
turned by the July packet, but was unexpectedly detained by 
the treasury ; and nMwithstandii^ my continual pressing appli^ 
cation since that time, the board has not yet reported to Coih« 

*. CMfllt a Aftcriiy nKHtr vfauMt X. 

, ti' iM •• ti . Mj 

.fref» on my busiaess done wilb the oouri of Fmnoe... '(I'h9r0'is 
no Congress at this moment ;. \^ as the graxi ofHiyention is 
expected to rise about the 30tb». there is littie doabt but that 
Coi^ress will be full soon afterwards* The boards { u^ei:- 
stand, is now ready to report, I expect to obtain from Copgrees 
a letter of thanks to the king, foi: the. force he putnnder my 
command^ and supported under the flcig of- the United ^ates ; 
a|id my promption has been talked qf, to date, from .t|^ day I 
took the Serapia.'.'- 

The report of the board of treasury was not.satisfi^tory to 
him* He made, tmong others, the folkuwing comments iipon it. 
M The settlement that I nia4e with, the court of France, had 
first Dr. Franklin's, and afterwards Mr. Jefferson's apprpbation, 
in every stage and article of the busine^ ; and I presume it 
will be found,: at least so far as depended. on me^ to meritthat 
of the United States. The board of treasury have been pleeised 
IP their report to treat me as a mere agents though employed 
in that delicate national concern. In France I was recetYed^pd 
treated by the king awl bis ministers as a general, ofl^cfo'ii^nd^ 
ap^cM, minister from Congress. . The. credit with wbipls^ I i^ni 
honoured .as ftp officer* in .l)ie (^nion of Europe, Md th^ per- 
aqnal intimacy I have with many great characters at Pari.Sy wMh 
flay exclusive koiowledg^ of all ,circmnstances relative to the 
bpsines^, insured me a success which qq other man cp^ld Iw^e 
obtf^ped^ H y. situation m^^G%Gd . oie to considerable expepff. 
I .wipnt to court much o^W^er, aqid mi^P^d with the gJC^tiQ^ncfa 
morn^ frequently:, than our minii^er plempotenti^ryt y^pfbe 
gentlemen in that situation consider their salary of .twq tbw- 
SMd sterling a y^pr as scarcely adequate ^ofheir expen^^-^' 
,. Speaking of M^andais, be (9ays: '^Tbe bpard, s^pi^: jrmy 
«i»aloiis for the interests of that .Jbnoken aM4 disgraced ^ceii;« J 
•hall say nothing in oppositicm to bis interests ; b^t J asai^^os- 
sessed of ample? ^i^ti||ioQy« tha^ if he. had been tried QAipf 41Q- 
cusation, (instead of being broke and disgraced for bringing 
jf^way th^ J^liancj^Mf^Piffi ^raifce, aft^r bis being suspended ^ by 
fiir. Franklin,) the. judgment of the court martiql wa|i)d,;lMliK(e 

'916 TAVh J0H1». 

been of a more- grave and serious nature; a glaring proof, 
among many (Mihers, that we had no system for the goyernment of 
our navy, and that we Ineed not at this date be so tenacious of 
its vaunted ordinances ; especially in a delicate case between 
twa na;tions, where they cannot in all respects be applied to the 
letter.*' The letter from which the foregoing extracts are made, 
was addressed to the chairman of a committee on the report of 
the board of treasury. It is a bpld and able vindication of his 
conduct and claims ; but is too long for insertion. He says in 
the course of it, ^* The proposition of the board of treasury, that 
I should give new securities for the business I am to transact in 
Penmark, cannot be complied with. The securities I gave 
with my own, are men of property, and their known honour and 
honesty set their characters above any attack. They have both 
of them been able and faithful servants of the American cause." 

Congress Was disposed to act with more liberality than the 
board, and all Jones Mashed for was more than accomplished. 
His letter to Mr. Jay Wais in part referred back to that gentle- 
man for his repof^. On this occasion he took the opportunity 
of again urging the hints he had suggested in the conclusion. 
** I beg leave," he said, ** to observe on the latter part of that 
letter, respecting the fund I wish to see established for the re- 
demption of our fellow-K^izens at Algiers, that I had also in 
vieW^, at'the time, &;natiohal establishment, oh the plan of the 
€hi9enwicii Hospital in England, or Hotel des Invalids at'Paris, 
Whifih would be effected from the residue of the increasing fund 
I have proposed. I beg you, therefore, sir, to take notice of 
this -in yoiii* report." • 

On the ireport made by a committee, GoVigress passed reno- 
lotions'on the 11th October, confirming the quotas assigned to 
the siiveral ships which had been under hier eommand, and di- 
reeting a distribution to be made lagreeabty thereto,* and on 
the 16th^ that body passed the Mfewing resolution. 

• • . ■ ... "... : ; I. 

t » ■ .. ' .■ 1 . . . ■ . • ■ I 

* Mr. Carrington mdved ofa tW&y a resolution to the eifeet'ihigit, though' the teiins 
*hplte' wkieh Jen^ origiiiaUy^iiidertodc the ndgoolilSb*, l^erW fbr tlMr liiwtd\ <hnM%m- 

FAUX josv^i 377 

^ l^okieduHmUmousljfy That a iii«dal of gold be struck, and 
presented to the Chevalier JohnrPiaul Jones, in oommemoration 
of the valour and brilliant services of that officer, in the com^ 
mand of a sqnadron of American and French ships under the 
jfkig and commission of the United States, off the coast of Great 
Britain, in the liate war ; and that the Honourable Mr. Jeffer* 
son:, minister plenipotentiary of the United States at the court 
of Yersaittes, haive the same ex.ecuted, with the prefer devices*'* 
It was also resolved, that a letter should be written to the 
king of France, which was drawn up by Mr. Jay, and was a^ 

follow ' ^ 

I .1 

" To His Most Christian Majesty, Louis, King of France and 


•* Great and beloved Friend ! 

" We, the United States in Congress assembled, in consider- 
ation of the distinguished marfcs of approbation with which your 
majesty has been pleased to honour the Chevalier John Paul 
Jones' as well as from a sense of his merit, have unanimously 
directed a medal of gold to be struck and'presented to him, in 
commemoration of his valoUr and brilliant services while com*- 
mah(ling a squadron of French and American ships, under 
our flag and commission, off the coast of Great Britain, in the 


*^ As it is his earnest desire to acquire knowledge in his pro- 
fession, we cannot forbear requesting of your majesty to permil^ 

flions, yet as the business was found to stand npon materially different ground from 
that eontemplated at the time of the appointment, it was jnst and reasonable that the 
full Talue of the services and expenses necessarily incurred should be deducted from the 
property recovered ; and that he should be authorized to retain the 47,972 livres in his 
hands. Mr. H. Lee moved to postpone the consideration of this motion, and olfered 
another, viz : that the ezcsess of money expended over the amount of commissioii 
should be paid out of the federal treasury. On the question of postponement, the ayes 
were only four. On the question to agree to Mr. Carrington's motion, the delegates of 
eight States voted for it, two against it, and those of Virginia were divi^d. New Hamp- 
shire and Maryland had each only a single delegate present. So the question was lost 





him to embark in your fleets of evolution, where ooly it will be 
probably in his power to acquire that degree of knowledge which 
may hereafter render him most .extensively useful. 

^' Permit us to repeat to your majesty, our sincere assurances, 
that the various and important benefits for which we are inde- 
ed to your friendship will pever cease to interest us in whatever 
may concern the happiness of your majesty, your family, and 
people. We pray God to keep you, our .great and beloved 
friend, under his holy protection. 

'< Done at the city of New York, the 16th day of October, in the 
year of our Lord 1787, and of our sovereignty and indepen- 
dence the 12th." 

On the 24th of October, we find the following letter to 

Madame T , the last that appears among his papers ; 

nor is there any further record of his intercourse with that lady. 

'* The lai^ French packet brought no letter to me from the 
person whose happiness is dearer to me than any thing else. I 
have been on (he rack of fear and ftpprehension^ and am totally 
unable to account for that silence ! My business is done here, 
and the moment of my return to Europe approaches. My sen- 
timents are unchanged, and my impatience can better be ima- 
gined than expressed. I have been honoured here beyond my 
own expectations. But your silence makes even honours in- 
sipid. I am, however, far from blaming you ; want of health, 
or some other misfortune must have interposed. If this reaches 
you, remember me affectionately to your sister and her godson. 
May Heaven avert all trouble from you." 

On the 25th, Congress passed resolutions, authorizing and 
instructing the minister at Versailles to make proper represent- 
ations to his Danish majesty on the subject of the claim against 
him, to settle the demand, Ssind to despatch the Chevalier Paul 
Jones, or such other agent as he might appoint, with powers to 
carry on the negociation, subject to his eventual approbation. 
Five per cent, commissions was to be allowed, for all expenses 
and demands whatever. 

FAtrz. JONES. 37d 

The fMomng is an extract from a letter df Johes tb Mr. Je& 
ferson, dated the 24tli* 

** 1 should bare embarked in the packet that will sail for 
Havre to-morrow morning ; but an account having^ arrived here 
that the English fleet is out, and was seen steering to the west- 
ward, and that a British squadron is cruii»ng in the North Sea,' 
has induced me, with the advice of my fnends, to postpone my 
embarkation till the next opportunity, an American ship, about 
the beginning of next month." 

More than once he intimates apprehensions, that he was nbt 
safe from English resentment. They are treated in the Edin- 
burgh Biography with levity. There is some mystery in his 
being desirous not to attract public attention at the commence- 
ment of this mission, which cannot be cleared up; though it 
may be conjectured that he was uncertain as to what course he 
should pursue, or what service he might engage in.* It is barely 
posrfble that he may have had some views to th*e brilliant pro- 
spect which in fact opened upon him, on his arrival in Europe, 
and ^ndiich held out a far more glorious promise than being 
permitted to embark for improvement in the French fleets of 
evolution. However this may be, he sailed from New York on 
the 11th December, landed at Dover on account of unfavour- 
able weather^ and after spending a few days in London,* where 
he conferred with Adams on the objects of hi^ mission, he re- 
paired forthwith to Paris. The following was his first com- 
munication, to Mr. Jefferson. 


" Hotdde Beduvais,rue iU vieuz AugustineSj 
PariSy December 12, 1787. 

** His Excellency Thomas Jefferson, 

" Sir — I am just arrived here from England. I left New 
York the 11th of November, and have brought public despatches 

* He went, he says, to Covent Garden Theatre ; which does not indicate that he 
was afraid of popular resentment. 

21^ FAUX joffmh 

and a number of private letters for you. I wo^Id have waked 
on you immediately, instead of writing, but I hare sevfiteal 
strtyng reasons for desiring that no person should know of my 
t^ipg. here till I have seen you, and b^en favoured with your 
advice on the steps I ou^ht to pursue. I have a letter' from 
Congress for the king, and perhaps you will think it advisable 
Dot to present it at this moment. I shall not go out till I hear 
from, or see you. And, as the people in this hotel do not know 
my name, you will please to ask for the gentleman just arrived, 
who is lodged in No. 1." 


At the interview thus solicited, Mr. Jefferson made a com- 
munication to him, which, though he says in his Journal he at first 
Ideated it as chimerical, must, unanticipated as it probably was, 
have awakened ambitious hopes and dreams of glory too pow- 
erful and vivid not to be entertained and deeply meditated upon* 
He informed Kim, that in several conversations he had held 
with M. Simolin, the Russian ambassador at Versailles, the 
latter had intimated his opinion that it would be of great impor- 
tance to the empress, if she could engage the services of the 
chevalier in the war she was carrying on against the Turks* 
He was not authorized to make any specific proposition ; but 
the bint w€is certainly not unattended to by the commodore. 

On the 24th December, he submitted to Mr. Jefferson^s peru- 
sal his documents in relation to the claim on Denmark. He 
says, in conclusion : " I have explained to the board of treasury 
the mistake that was made, in calling the ships in question 
* prizes of the Alliance f and left them perfectly c(Mivinced that 
the prizes belong to the squadron in general.* Now, as his 
most christian majesty was at the whole expense of supporting 
the squadron I commanded, including the expense of the Alli- 
ance, I submit to you what kind of support would be most pro- 

* As these prizes had been commissioned to war apon American vessels, &c. they 
belonged wholly to the. captors. 

per for Ais eoiirt to aJBwd to mgr reclam«tia» Mth^voKutt qf 
Denmark? It ia the •duty of tbis governoient to iatereat itsi^ 
IB behalf of the French subjects wbo were lembar^ed under mf 
orders. In doing this, would it be.nKiat proper to authoriae oiq 
to act for them in common with the Americans ; or to direct 
the Bcuron de la Houze to suj^rt my applicc^tion f" 

On the 24th of January foUowing, he xeceived his eredentiaJiq 
from Mr. Jefferson, according to the tenor of the Act of Cont 
gross, and «oon after set? out for Copenhagen. The following 
letter to Mr. Ji^erson e^cplains the circumstances of his arrival 
and reception. It is dated March llth. 

'^ I have been so much indisposed since my :arri?al bqve the 
4th, from the fatigue and excessive cold I suffered on the 'voblA^ 
that I have been obliged to confine myself almost constantly to 
my chamber. I have kept my bed for several days ; but Inow 
feel myself better, and hope the danger is over. On my arri- 
val, I vpaid my respects to the minister of France. He received 
me with great kindness ; we went, five days ago, to theminisr 
ter of foreign affairs. I was much flattered with my recepticm^ 
and our eonv^rsation was long and very particular respecting 
America and the new constitution, of which I presented a copy* 
He observed, that it had struck him as a very dangerous povver 
to make the president commander-in-chief; in other respects it 
appeared to please him much, as leading to a near and sure 
treaty of commerce between America and Denmark. It was a 
day of public business, and I could not do more than present 
your letter. I shall follow the business closely .< Jn a few days, 
when I am re-established in health, I am to be presented to the 
whole court, and to sup with the king. I shall after that be 
presented to all the cor ps» diplomatique and other persons. of 
distinction here. I am infinitely indebted to. the attentions I 
receive from the minister of France. I made the inquiry you 
desired in Holland, and should then have written to you in con- 
sequence, had I not been assured, by authority, (M. Van Stop- 
horst,) that I could not doubt that letters had been sent you on 

383 PAUL jroNBS. 

the subject, that could not fail of giving you satisfaction. M« 
Van Stophorst was very obliging. At Hamburgh, I ordered 
the smoked beef you desired to be sent to you, to the care of 
the American agent at Havre de Grace ; you have nothing to 
do but receive it, paying what little charges may be on it. My 
ill health and fatigue on the road hindered me from preparing 
the extract of the engagement. When you see M. Littlepage,* 
I pray you to present my kind compliments. It is said here 
that the empress confides the commerce of her fleet, that will 
pass the Sound, to Admiral Greig ; and that he means to call 
at an English port to take provisions, &c« The Hamburgh 
papers, I am told, have announced the death of Dr. Franklin. 
I shall be extremely concerned if the account prove true — God 
forbid !" 

In a subsequent letter of the 18th, he states: 
" Yesterday his excellency the Baron de la Houze, minister 
plenipotentiary of France, at this court, did me the honour to 
present me publicly tb his raaje^y, the royal family, and chief 
personages' at the royal palace here. 

"I had a very polite and distinguished reception. The queen 
dowager conversed with me for some time, and said the most 
civil things. Her majesty has a dignity of person and deport- 
ment which becomes her well, and which she has the secret to 
reconcile with great affability and ease. The princess royal is 
a charming person, and the graces are so much her own, that it 
is impossible to see and converse with her i/Hthout paying her 
that homage which artless beauty and good nature will ever 
command. AH the royal family spoke to me except the kin^, 
who speaks to no person when presented. His majesty saluted 
tne with great complaisance at first/ and as often afterwards as 
we met in the course of the evening. The prince royal is greatly 
beloved and extremely affable ; he asked me a number of per- 

* Cbaml>erlam tothe king of Poland. 

PAUL J0NE9« 383 

tinent questions respecting America. I had thebdnour to be 
invited to sup with bis majesty and the royal family. The o6m^ 
pany at table (consisting of seventy ladies and gentlemen, inclu* 
ding the royal family, the ministers of state, and foreign ambas- 
sadors) was very brilliant." ' 

It win be seen that he lost no time, as soon as his health per* 
mitted, in pressing the objects of his mission ; axid thodgh he 
was at the same time engaged in a separate negoeiation with 
Baron Krudner, the Russian envoy at the Court of Dentnark, 
he appec^rs to have urged his demands of mdemnifici^tion for 
the lost prizes with at least as much rapidity and energy as 
the proprieties of diplomacy admitted. And thoagh he haVi 
very soon made up his mind about the Russian offers, as will 
be seen from his letters, this did kiot occasion the abandon* 
ment of his application, which was got rid of by the Danish 
minister on formalpretexts, and by promises not made to be kept. 

On the 19th of March, he addresses M. De Chezaulx, who 
was still consul at Bergen in Norway, asking him to comniuni- 
cate what he knew and believed '' in relation to the true and en-* 
tire value of the prizes. » » » ♦ Prom the favourable reception," 
he says, '* with M^iich I have been honoured at this<M)urt, I have 
reason to hope that my mission here will be amicably concluded. 
Please to address your letter under cover to the Baron de la 
Houze, to whose kind attention and good offices,! am under infi- 
nite obligations. I haye the honour to subjoin a letter from the 
com<nittee of foreign affairs to Dr. Franklin, in the name and 
by order of Congress, thanking you for yourconduct 'respecting 
my prizes, and the interests of the citizens of the United States." 
It would appear from a letter to Mr. Jefferson, written on the 
20th, that the court of France had made no formal communica- 
tion to thi^ir minister at Copenhagen, (the Baron de la Houze,) 
directing him to support the claim. ^^ I pray you," he wrote, 
'^ and .so does he, to push that point immediately." 

On the 24th, he thus addressed the Danish minister of fo^ 
reign affairs, Compte de Bernstorf. ^' From the Act of Congress, 
(the Act by which I am honoured with a gold medal,) I had the 

384 PACT. jroNfis. 

honour tftili^w your- excelleney tke 2l8t oCthis month,, as well 
afl firoMi the conTorsation that followed, you must be convinced 
that.cireoflistances do not permit me to remain here ; but that 
I am Hndertbe necessky, either to return to France or to pro- 
ceed to ftussia. As the minister of the United States of Ame- 
rica at Paris gaye me the perusal of the packet he wrote by me, 
and which I bad the honour to present to you on my arrival 
here, it is needless to go into any detail on the object of my mis- 
sion to this oourt; which Mr. Jefferson has particularly explained. 
The psomise you> have given me, of a prompt and explicit de- 
cision, firom this court, on the Act of Congress of the 25th of 
October laat, inspires me with full confidence. I have been very 
particular in communicating to the Unit^ States all the polite 
attentions with which I have been honoured at this court ; and 
they will learn with great pleasure the kind reception I had 
from you. I felicitated myself on being the instrument to settle 
the dehcate national busii:ess in question, with a minister who 
conciliates the views of the wise statesman with the noble senti- 
ments and cuhivated mind of the true philosopher and man of 

On 'the 27th, I find a letter from Mr. Jefiferson to Jones, 
dated at Amsterdam, where' he had been staying some time 
longer than he had anticipated. He merely informs him of 
the delay in receiving news from America ; that there had been 
a rise otten per cent, in the English batik stock ; and that the 
government of that country refused to' receive or furnish refresh- 
ments to the Russian squadron destined to the Mediterranean 
On the 30th, Jones again assailed Count Bemstorf. 

** Your silence on the subject of my mission from the United 
States tQ this court leaves me in the most painful suspense ; the 
more s6, as I have made your excellency acquainted with the 
promise I am under to proceed as soon as possible to Stw Peters- 
burgh. This being the ninth year since the three prizes reclaim- 
ed by the United States were seized upon in the port of Bergen, 
in Norway, it is to be presumed that this court has long since 
taken an ultimate resolution respecting the compensation de- 


mand made by Congress. Though I am extremely sensible^ 
the fayourable reception with which I have been distinguished 
at this court, and am particularly flattered by the polite atten- 
tions with which you have honoured me at every conference^ ; 
yet I have remarked, with great concern, that you have nev^ 
led the conversation to the object of my mission here. A man of 
your liberal sentiments will not, therefore, be surprised, or of- 
fended at my plain dealing, when I repeat that I impatiently 
expect a prompt and categorical answer, in writing, from this 
court, to the Act of Congress of the 25th of October last. B^th 
my duty and the circumstances of my situation constrain me to 
make this demand in the name of my sovereign the United 
States of America ; but I beseech you to believe, that though I 
am extremely tenacious of the howmr of the Americanjlag^ yet 
my personal interest in the decision I now ask* would never 
have induced me to present myself at this court. You are too 
just, sir, to delay my business here ; which would put me under 
the necessity to break the promise I have made to her imperial 
majesty, conformable to your advice." 

To this the count was obliged to reply, which he did, as fol- 
lows, on the 4th of April. ^ 

" You have requested of me an answer to the letter you did 
me the honour to remit me from Mr. Jefferson, minister pleni- 
potentiary of the United States of America, near his most chris- 
tian majesty. I do it with so much more pleasure, as you have 
inspired me with as much interest as confidence, and this occa- 
sion appears to me favourable to make known the sentiments of 
the king my mcister, on the objects to which we attach so much 
importance. Nothing can be farther from the plans and the 
wishes of his majesty than to let fall a negociiation which has <m}y 
been suspended in consequence of circumstances arising from 
the necessity of maturing a new situation, so as to enlighten 
himself on their reciprocal interests, and to avoid the inconvA^ 
nience of a precipitate and imperfect arrangement. I am 



authorized 9 siF, to give you, and through you to Mr. Jefifermn, 
the word of the king, that his majesty willjFenew the negocia- 
tion for a treaty of amity and commerce in the forms already 
agreed upon, at the instant that the new constitution (that ad- 
mirable plan, so worthy of the wisdom of the most enlightened 
men) will have been adopted by the States, to which nothing 
more was wanted to assure to itself a perfect consideration. If 
it has not been possible, sir, to discuss, definitively with you, 
neither the principal object nor its accessories, the idea of elu- 
ding the question, or of retarding the decision, had not the 
least part in it. I have already had the honour to express to 
you, in our conversations, that your want of plenipotentiary 
powers from Congress was a natural and invincible obstacle. 
It would be; likewise, contrary to the established custom to 
change the seat of negociation, which has not been broken off, 
but only suspended, thereby to transfer it from Paris to Co- 

" I have only oiie more favour to ask of you, sir, that you 
would be the interpreter of our sentiments in regard to the 
United Statef. It would be a source of gratification to me to 
think that what I have said to you on this subject carries with 
it that convictioi^ of the truth which it merits. We desire to 
form with them connexions, solid, useful, and essential ; we 
wish to establish them cm bases natural and immoveable. The 
momentary clouds, the incertitudes, which the misfortunes of 
the times brought with them, exist no longer. We should no 
longer recollect it, but to feel in a more lively manner the hap- 
piness of a more fortunate period ; and to show ourselves more 
eager to prove the dispositions most proper to effect an union, 
and to procure reciprocally the advantages which a sincere al- 
liance can afford, and of which the two cpun tries are susceptible. 
These are the sentiments which I can promise you, ^ir, on our 
part, and we flatter ourselves to find them likewise in Alnerica ; 
nothing, then, can retard the conclusion of an arrangement, 
which I am happy to see so far advanced. 


Pond Jones to Count Bemstorf. 

" Copenhagen, April 5, 1788. 

*' I pray your excellency to inform me when I can have the ho- 
nour to wait on you, to receive the letter you have been kind 
enough to promise to write me, in answer to the At^t of Con- 
gress of the 25th October last. As yoxk have told* me that my 
want of plenipotentiary powers to terminate ultimately the busi- 
ness now on the carpet between this court and the United States 
has determined you to authorize the Baron de Blome to n^ 
gociate and settle the same with Mr. Jefferson at Paris, and to 
conclude at the same time an advantageous treaty of commerce 
between Denmark and the United States ; my business here 
will of course be at an end when I shall have received your let- 
ter, and paid you my thanks in person for the very polite atten- 
tions with lyhich you have honoured me." 

Thus was this negociation brought to what was in fact its 

Jones had received the following letter from Baron Krudner, 
shortly after his arrival at Copenhagen. 

'^ I am much disappointed at not meeting you at coArt, as I 
had promised myself, but a slight indisposition prevented me 
from going abroad ; besides, I have been agreeably occupied in 
writing letters. My sovereign will learn with pleasure the ac- 
quisition which she has made in your great talents. I have her 
commands for your acceptance of the grade of captain com- 
mandant,*^ with the rank of major general, in her service, and 

* Mr JefTerson's reply to the commonication of Bemstorfat this time, will be touoA 
in his " Writings/* Vel. II. p. 326. 

tTooke says in his Life of Catharine II. (Vol III. p. 184, Am. Ed.) that the Prince 
de Nassan-Siegen was the only admiral, and Mr. Spiridofi*the only contre admiral in 
the Russian service, towards the end of this year, 1788. He shows his ignoriuice as to 
the commission Jones held, and the services of the latter in the Liraan campaign. He 
says : " in Russia there are three classes of captains. Those of the first have the rank 
of brigadier ; those of the second, of colonel ; those of the last, of lieutenant colonel. 
They all wear the military order of St. George; bnt are only knights of the fourth 

.368 PA1TL jomsB. 

that you should proceed as soon as your aflkirs permit ; the in- 
tention of her imperial majesty being to give you a command 
in the Black Sea, and under the orders of Prince Potemkin, 
from the opening of the campaign. The immortal glory by 
which you have illustrated your name cannot make you indif- 
ferent to the fresh laur.els you must gather in the new career 
which opens to you. I have the honour of being on this occa- 
sion the interpreter of those sentiments of esteem with which 
for a long period your brilliant exploits have inspired her impe- 
rial majesty* Under a sovereign so magnanimous, in pursuing 
glory you neled not doubt of the most distinguished rewards, and 
that every advantage of fortune will await you,'' &c. &c. 

In announcing the receipt of this letter to Mr. Jefferson, Jones 
s^d: ** Before you can receive this, M. de Simolin will have in- 
formed you that your proposal to him, and his application on 
that idea, have been well received. The matter is communi- 
cated to me here, in the most flattering terms, by a letter I have 
received from his excellency the Baron de Krudner. There 
seems, however, to remain some dif&culty respecting the letter 
of Monsieur de Simolin's proposal, though it is accepted, m 
wbitance^ with an appearance of great satisfaction. I find my- 
self under the necessity of setting out for St. Petersburgh 
through Sweden in a few days, instead of returning first, as was 
my wish and intention, to Paris. I hope in the mean time to 
receive a satisfactory answer, which I shall duly communicate 
to you." 

I cannot see the particular discrepancy between these state- 
ments and those contained in the Journal, (which* will present- 
ly be introduced,) which seems to have struck the writer of the 
Edinburgh Life. In the Journal Jones says, that on the first sug- 
gestion of the matter, he did not feel disposed to enter into a 
foreign servjlee* But he very soon changed his mind. 

The following was his letter to Mr. Jefferson, announcing 
the termination of his business at the Danish court. It may 
be considered as apologetical for the step he was about taking, 
and must not be omitted. 


« Copenhagen, April 8, 1788. 
" His Excellency Thomas Jefferson, Esq. 

'^ Sir — By my letters to the Count de Bernstorf, and his ex^ 
cellency's answer, you see that my business here is at an end. 
If I have not finally concluded the object of my mission, it is 
neither your fault nor mine.; the powers I received are found 
insi|fficient, and you could not act otherwise than was prescribed 
in your instructions. Thus it frequently happens, that good 
opportunities are lost when the supreme power does^ not place 
a sufficient confidence in the distant operations of public offi- 
cers, whether civil or military. I have, however, the melancholy 
satisfaction to reflect, that I have been received and treated 
here with a distinction far above the pretensions of my public 
mission ; and I felicitate myself sincerely, on being, at my own 
expense, (and even at the peril of my life, for my suiferingiS) 
from the inclemency of the weather, and my want of proper 
means to guard against it on the JQurney , were inexpressible ; 
and I believe, from what I yet feel, will continue to afiTect my 
constitution,) the iustrument to renew the negociation between 
this country and the United States ; the more so, as the honour 
is now reserved for you to display your great abilities and in- 
tegrity- by the completion and improvement of what Dr. Frank- 
lin had wisely begun. I have done then, what perhaps no other 
person would have undertaken under the same circumstances ; 
and while I have the consolation to hope that the United States 
will derive solid advantages from my journey and efforts here, 
I rest perfectly satisfied, that the interests of the brave men I 
commanded will experience in you parental attention, and that 
the American flag can lose none of its lustre, but the contrary, 
while its honour is confided to you. America being a young 
nation with an increasing commerce, which will naturally pro- 
duce a navy, I please myself with the hope, that in the treaty 
you are about to conclude with Denmark, you will find it easy 
and highly advantageous to include certain articles for admit- 
ting America into the armed neutrality. I persuade myself 
before-hand, that this would afford pleasure to the empress of 

390 PAUL JON£S»v 

Russia, who is at the head of that noble and humane combina- 
tion ; and as I shall now set out immediately for St. Petersburgh, 
I will mention the idea to her imperial majesty, and let you 
know her answer. 

^' If Congress should think I deserve the promotion that was 
proposed when I was last in America, and should condescend to 
confer on me the grade of rear admiral, from the day I took the 
Serapis, (23d of September, 1779,) I am persuaded it would be 
very agreeable to the empress, who now deigns to off(^* me an 
equal rank in her service, although I never yet had the honour 
to draw my sword in her cause, nor to do any other act that 
could directly merit her imperial benevolence. While I express, 
in the warm effusion of a grateful heart, the deep sense I feel 
of my eternal obligation to you, as the author of the honourable 
prospect that is now before me, I must rely on your friendship 
to justify to the United States the important step I now take, 
conformable to your advide. You know I had no idea of this 
new fortune when I found that you had put it in train, before 
my last return to Paris from America. I hav« not forsaken a 
country, that has had many disinterested and difficult proofs of 
my steady affection ; and I can never renounce the glorious title 
of a citizen of the United States / 

'*It is true I have not the express permission of the sove- 
reignty, to accept the offer of her imperial majesty ; yet Ame- 
rica is independent, is in perfect peace, has no public employ^ 
ment for my military talents ; but why should I excuse a con- 
duct which I should rather hope, would meet with general ap^ 
probation ? In the latter part of the year J 782, Congress passed 
an Act for my embarkation in the fleet of his most christian ma- 
jesty ; and whep, a few months ago, I left America to return to 
Europe, I was made the bearer of a letter to his most christian 
majesty, requesting me to be permitted to embark in the fleets 
of evolution. Why did Congress pass those Acts ? To facilitate 
my improvement in the art of conducting fleets and* military 
operations. I am then, conforming myself to the views of Con- 
gress; but the roll allotte4 me, is infinitely liiore high and 

PAUL JONE$. 391 

difficult than Confess intended. Instiead of receiving- lessons 
A*ora able masters, in the theory of war, I am called to imme-- 
diate practice ; where I must command in chief, conduct the 
most difficult operations, be my own preceptor, and instruct 
others. Congress will allow me some merit in daring to en- 
counter such multiplied difficulties. The mark I mentioned of 
the approbation of that honourable body, would be extremely 
flattering to me in the career I am now to pursue, and would 
stimulate aH my ambition to acquire the necessary talents to 
merit that, and even greater favours, at a future day. I pray 
you, i^i^, to explain the circumstances of my situation, and be., 
the interpreter of iny sentiments to the United States in Con- 
gress. I ask for nothing ; and beg leave to be understood only 
as having hinted, what is natural to conceive, that the mark 
of approbation I mentioned, could not fail, to be infinitely ser- 
viceable to my views and success in the country where I am 

" The prince royal sent me a messenger, requesting me to 
come to his apartment. His royal highness said a great many 
civil things to me, told me the king thanked me for my atten- 
tion and civil* behaviour to the Danfish flag, while I commanded 
in the European seas ; and that his majesty wished for occa- 
sions to testify to me his 'personal esteenf, Slc. I was alone 
with the prince half an hour. I am with perfect esteem, &c.^* 

The hint that the empress would be pleased with his receiv- 
ing the honorary rank of rear admiral from his own govern- 
ment, was drawn forth in consequence of his not obtaining it in 
the first instance from Russia, upon which he had calculated, 
and meant, indirectly, to insist. In reply to Baron Krudner, he 
said : " I am extremely flattered by the obliging things ex- 
pressed in the letter your excellency has done me the honour 
to write me yesterday. The very favourable sentiments with 
which my zeal for the cause of America, rather than my pro^ 
fessional skill, has inspired her imperial majesty, fills me with 
an irresistible desire to merit the precious opinion with which 

308 PAUL. JONE8. 

her majesty dei^a to honour me. Though I cannot conceive 
the reason why any difficulty shpuld be made to n^ being ad- 
mitted into the marine of her imperial majesty as rear admiral, 
a rank to which I have spme claim, and that it should at the 
same time be proposed to give me the grade of major general, 
to which I have no title, it is not my intention to withdraw from 
the engagement which you have formed in my name, in the 
letter you addressed your court on the 23d current. You will 
be convinced by the papers J have the honour to submit to your 
inspection, that I am not an adventurer in search of fortune. 
You will discover, I presume, that my talents have been con- 
siderable; but that,, loving glory, I am perhaps too much 
attached to honours, though personal interest is an idol to 
which I have never bowed the knee. The unbounded admira- 
tion and profound respect which I have long felt for the glorious 
character of her imperial majesty, forbids the idea that a sove- 
reign so magnanimous should sanction any arrangement that 
may give pain at the outset to the jn^n she deigns to honour 
with her notice, and who wishes to devote himself entirely to 
her service. A conjoined command is hurtful, and often fatal 
in military operations. There is no military man who is so en- 
tirely master of his passions as to keep free of jealousy and its 
consequences on such occasions. Being an entire stranger, I 
have more to fear from a joint authority than any officer in her 
majesty's service. But I cannot conceive that her majesty 
could deem it expedient to divide the command in the Black Sea ; 
and if the direction of the military department there is confided to 
an officer of sufficient capacity and experience, I can neither desire 
to interfere with his command, nor promise, with a detachment^ 
which cpuld hot fail to excite his jealousy, to contribute much to 
the glory of her majesty's arms." 

Jones had particular reasons for disliking the subordinate 
command which was tendered to him. The Prince of Nassau- 
Siegen, who was now appointed to command the fleet of the 
empress in the Black Sea, had, as will be recollected, volun- 
teered to accompany him in the secret expedition agaipst Eng- 


land in 1779, and abandoned hU purpose, if it ever really 
existed, without even the civility of an apology. He to^k no 
notice of Jones' letters on the occasion. His subsequent naval 
services had been attended with no glory. He had been en* 
gaged in the attempt made by the Frc^ich on the Island of Jer- 
sey, which failed altogether, and in the equally unsuccessful 
attack of Gibraltar by the French and Spapish forces. Jones 
had a poor opinion of his knowledge as a naval commander, or 
indeed of his courage. Such was the rival, however, with 
whom he was now to be associated. 

At the court of Denmark, which he was now leaving, he had 
unquestionably been received with great distinction. He men- 
tions in a letter to the Marquis da La Fayette, written a few 
months afterwards, that ^* Mr. Elliott, the same who filched Dr. 
Lee's papers at Berlin, was furious when iie found out his 
business at Copenhagen. ♦ ♦ * ♦ Eveiy time," he says, " that I 
was invited to sup with the king, Elliott made an apology. He 
shut himself up for more than a month, and then left town. This 
occasipned much laughter ; and, as he had shunned society from 
the time of my arrival, people said he had gone off in a fright."* 
What seems a little extraordinary, this court shortly after Jones' 
departure, sent him a patent, granting him 1500 Danish crowns 
annually, " for the respect he had shown to the Danish flag, while 
he had commanded in the north seas. It was undoubtedly 
offered with the double purpose of pleasing the empress and 
propitiating the American government. Jones did not under- 
stand the propriety of this gift at the time, and makes no men- 

* Mr. Gilbert Elliott, the English minister at Copenhagen. In Tooke's Lifb of the 
Empress Catharine II. (p. 331^ Vol. III. Araer. ed.) he says that this functionary 
quitted Copenhagen, and crossed Sweden in great haste, to summon the Danish prince, 
Charles of Hesse, to raise the siege of Gotenburg, which he was carrying on, in 
pursuance of the engagements of the court of Copenhagen with Russia, with which 
power Sweden was now at war; and threatened the vengeance of England if he did 
not evacuate the territory without delay. This cannot be identical with the sudden 
departure referred to by Jones, and must have been subsequent to his leaving St. 


394 PAITL JONEi9» 

tion of it in his correspondence with his American friends at 
that i^eriod. Three years after, he found it convtoient to a^ail 
himself of it ; but he then found, that like the promises in rela'- 
tion to the prize money, it was but an uf^meaning compliment. 

His journey to the capital of Russia was an extraordinary 
one. We shall give his own account of it in his journal. He 
says to La Fayette : " The empress received me with a dis- 
tinction the most flattering that perhaps any stranger can boast 
of. On entering into the Russian service, her majesty con- 
ferred on me immediately the grade of rear admiraL I was 
detained against my wiH a fortnight, and continually feasted at 
court, and in the first society. This was ^ cruel grjef to the 
English, and I own that their vexation, which I believe was 
general iti and about St. Petersburgh, gave me lio pain. You 
would be charmed with Prince Potemkin. He is a most amiable 
man, and none can be more noble-minded. Por the empress, 
fame has never yet don6 her justice. I am sure that no strait- 
ger who has not known that illustrious charapter, ever conceived 
how much her majesty is made to reign over a great empire^ 
to make people happy, and to attach grateful and susceptible 
minds. Is not the present a happy moment for France to de- 
clare for Russia ?" 

Such were the first expressions of pleasure and exultation 
which his reception at this brilliant court, and immediate ap- 
pointment drew from him. It is a very long inference and an 
erroneous one, which one of his biographei^ has drawn from 
them, that his regard for, or devotion to America was diminished. 
His uniform professions are entitled to full credit, that he gloried 
most in being a citizen of the United States; while he would 
never be engaged in hostile operations against France. And 
the letter to which we are referring, to La Fayette, is devoted 
principally to the prospects and policy of his* adopted country ; 
the advantage she would derive from joining in the armed neii- 
trality, the commerce she might carry on with Russia, her new 
constitution, and the danger he apprehended, in common with 


Count Bernatorf, from the president being made commander 
in chief of the army, (&c. 

He was, indeed, in full vogue at St. Petersburgh.* Every 
attention was shown to him by the French minister at that 
court, and he was waited upon by all the members of the dif- 
ferent legations, and th^ principal Russian nobles, as appeara 
from the notes preserved among his papers. The jealousy of 
the English officers was indeed great, and openly expressed, 
as is mentioned in the subjoined note ; but it did not affect 
his immediate and triumphant elevation to the rank of contre^ 
amiral. Tooke, in his life of Catharine Il.t speaking of him 
with all his national prejudice, as an ^' English pirate and 
renegado," says that, '< not meeting with the consideration he 
expected in America, he made a tender of his services to the 
court of St. Petersburgh, &c. that the British officers, appli^ 
cants for employment, went in a body, to the amount of near 
thirty, to lay down their Commissions ; declaring it was impose 
sible to serve under him, or to act with him in any measure 
or capacity." All this, however, did not move the empress ; 
and Tooke, if he knew any thing about them, does not make 
any mention of the services of Jones in the campaign of 
Liman ; an omission which tends to throw discredit on many of 
his other statements. 

* The following is an extract of a letter from St. Petersburgh, which appeared at 
this ttfae in an Edinburgh paper. 

*'■ Paul Jones arrived here a few days ago. He was presejited to the sovereign by the 
French ambassador, and immediately promoted to the rank of admiral. He is to set 
out soon to take the command of a squadron in the Black Sea. I had the satisfaction 
to see this honest man while he was examining one of our dock yards. He is a well 
made man of a middle size ; he- wears a French uniform with the cross of St. JiOois 
and a Danish order, which he received at Copenhagen, where he had the honour to 
dine \yith the king ; he has also received since he came here, one of the first orders of 
merit in this country, so that it is to be feared they will spoil him by making too much 
of him. The English officers in this service have presented a memorial to Admiral 
Greig refusing to serve with Jones, and threatening to throw up their commissions. 
Whether they will stand to their text, it is difficult to say, but they have acted very 
spiritedly so far. 

t Vol. UI. p. 321. Am. £4. 

396 PAUL JONsa 

In a letter written to Jones at this time by Mr* Frameryi 
secretary of legation at Copenhagen^ we find the following 
passages. ; 

'^ It is to be believed you are yet at St. Petersburgh. I will 
learn with increased gratification, your arrival in this capital, as 
reports are in circulation here that you have perished in a storm, 
in the Gulf of Finland, but as the relation of this pretended mis- 
fortune changes every day, I am still persuaded that it exists 
only in the mouths of evil disposed persons, who first forged and 
spread the account. My good wishes accompany you in every 
part of the world, animated by the remembrance of the friend- 
ship you expressed for me when at Copenhagen. The Baron 
de la Houze to whom I mentioned that I was about to write to 
you, has charged me to renew to you the assurance of the sen-^ 
timents of esteem and real attachment with which you have 
inspired him. He is so far from giving credence to the report 
which I have mentioned, that he awaits by the arrival of every 
courier, the letter which you promised to write him, as soon as 
you had reached your port of destination.*' 

Jones received before bis departure from St. Petersburgh« 
the following letter and enclosure from the empress. 

From the Empress Catharine to Rear Admiral Paul Joms. 

" Sir, 

" A courier from Paris has just brought from my envoy in 
France, M. de Simolin, the enclosed letter to Count Besborod- 
ko.* As I believe that this letter may help to confirm to you 
what I have already told you verbally, I have sent it, and beg 
you to return it, as I have not even made a copy be taken, so 
anxious am I that you should see it. I hope that it will efiTace 
all doubts from your mind, and prove to you that you are to be 
connected only with those who are most favourably disposed 
towards you. I have no doubt but that on your side you will 

* Rnssiaii Minister for the Home Department. 

FAUL JOHE9. 397 

fully justify the opinion which we have formed of you, and 
apply yourself with zeal to support the reputation, and the 
name you have acquired for valour and skill on the element in 
which you are to serve. Y^' 

*^ Adieu, I wish you happiness and health, 

" Catharine." 


Eoctract of the Letter from M* de SimoUn to Count de Besborodkoj 

enclosed in the above. 

"The letter with which your excellency favoured me on this 
16th February, was delivered by Mr. Poliranoff. By it I was 
informed of the resolution of her imperial majesty, on the subject 
of the engagement with the Chevalier Paul Jones ; and the 
same day Lieutenant Colonel de Baner, who was despatched 
from St. Elizabeth by Prince Potemkin on the 9th of March, 
brought me two letters, the subject of one of which was the said 
Chevalier Jones, whom he requested me to induce to repair to 
his head-quarters as quickly as possible, that he might employ 
his talents at the opening of the campaign ;: and to assure him 
that in entering the service, he, (Potemkin,) would do all that 
depended on him to make his situation pleasemt and advanta^ 
geous, and certainly procure for him occasions in which he 

might display his skill and valour."* 

■ » 

The following is a translation of part -of a letter, written to 
Count Segur, on Jones' arrival at St. Elizabeth : " I was re^ 
ceived with much cordiality by Prince Potemkin, and have re- 
ceived very great attentions from every body during the day and 
two nights which I have spent here. I find the prince a very 
amiable man. I am much pleased with him, and greatly desire 
to merit his regard. The Prince de Ligne wa» absent ; bat 
M. le Chevalier and Brigadier Ribas has undertaken to attend 
to the delivery of all the letters of which I was the bearer. A 
thousand compliments, [ pray you, to the Graiid Ecuyer, to ma- 

* '^ Has he kept his word 7'^ is the commentary made m the margin of tJl^s lettes 
at a sabseqoent period. 


damoi to thq fiur Counte^aof SaUouln the charming Marie, and 
all the amiable l^es whom I had the honour of seeing at St. 
iPetersburglu The prince has told me that Im charming niece 
would yi3it tll|lK coasts before going to Italy* I should be de- 
lighted to see her. She is a very interesting person. 

'* I shall write to the empress, who has addressed to me a let- 
ter full of goodness, but I shall never be able to express how 
much greater I find her than fame reports. With the charac- 
ter of a very great man, she will be always adored as the most 
amiable jand captivating of the fair sex. 

^' As to yourself, my dear count, you have treated me with a 
kindness and friendship so precious to my heart, that J am sure 
you will render justice to the sentiments which your conduct to* 
lYords me must produce in a soul of sensibility, which has loved 
you for a long time past. I tbere&re address to you no com- 
pliitnents, npr to M. de Genet, whos6 father was one of the men 
for whom I had the greatest attachment. 

^^ I shall write to. General de Momonoff, who is a very agr^e^ 
able man, and whose regard I desire to merit. After having 
had a Te Deum sung to-day, we have drunk her majesty's 
health in the good wine of which you made me a present.'' 

War had been impending between Russia and the Porte, since 
the disturbances in the Crimea, in 1777, occasioned by the elec- 
tion of a Khan, in which the former interfered to support one of 
the candidates, with the ultimate view of dispossessing bim en^ 
tirely. The empress, encouraged by her eccentric and over«- 
bearing favourite and general, Potemkin, in the ambitious desire 
of being crowned at Constantinople, never lost sight of this in- 
tention. The foundations of the city of Cherson were only laid 
in 1783, and in a very short time it counted 40,000 inhabitants, 
and ships of war were launched from its y^rds. This advantage 
increased the cupidity of the Autocrat, And the invasion of the 
Crimea was determined upon, as a necessary preliminary to 
operations against Turkey. A pretext was soon found, in the 
dissentions between the Tartar princes, and the usurpation took 


place effectually, thoagh tbe Khan imd left fot « shcut Aitoe 
with nominal authority. At the same time P^temJIdn and Su-^ 
Yorrof sdbdued and received the homage' of the tribes of the 
Kuban, and the extensive wilds more remote. A manifesto 
was published* to justify these unprovoked acts,' and the annex- 
ation of those districts to the empire. The Porte replied in an 
able answer, but did not yet appeal to arms ; which was what 
the empress wished fbr. England urged the divah to the mea-* 
sure, but the influence of France and Austria, and oriental in- 
dolence, prevailed against the advice* By a new treaty the 
sovereignty of Russia orer the Crimea, and great part of Ku- 
ban, with the right of the dominion of the Euxine, and to the 
passage of the Dardanelles, was conceded to Russia. Nciw 
usurpations followed immediately oh the part of the latter. In 
1786, Catharine projected a magnificent progress to the Euxine, 
where, after having solemnly taken the sceptre of the Khan, tt 
was her intention to conduct her young grandson, Constantine. 
to the gates of that city, with reference to whose contemplated 
destiny he had been named. His sickness prevented this part 
of the project from being executed ; and the progress, though 
splendid, was not conducted on so grand k scale as had been at 
first proposed. She was attended by the existing favourite 
Momonoff, the Grand Ecuyer Narichkin, others of the Russian 
nobility and courtiers, the ambassadors of France and Austria, 
and the English envoy. She was joined at Kieff by Prince 
Potemkin, and the Prince Nassau-Siegen, who seems to have 
won favour for himself on tbe occasion. In the beginning of 
the spring she embarked with a numerous and brilliant retinue, 
the king of Poland being in company, and the emperor of 
Austria joining her on the route. The divan were uneasy at 
this visitation ; and while the empress was at Cherson, four of 
their ships of the line anchored at the mouth of the Dnieper, 
though not with actual hostile intentions. The empress re- 
turned, and Potemkin, who longed for the grand ribbon of the 
order of St. George, had not yet effected his object of forcing 
the Turks to act first on the offensive. No means were leflt un 


tried. .The consul in Moldavia stirred up insurrections ; the Rus^ 
^dan ships abused their privileges conceded by the Porte ; a cor- 
respondence was formed with Egypt, and intrigues were carried 
on with the Greeks of Smyrna. The troubles in Georgia were 
fomented by the protection given to Prince Hera^lius. These 
and various other grievances led to the presentation on the 26th 
July, 1787, of a memorial from the grand vizier, and reis ef- 
fendi, to the French minister ; to which an immediate answer 
was requested. The ambassador asked for time to consult 
his court, which was granted. But the influence of Great 
Britain now predominated^ and war was declared before any 
answer was received from Russia. Eighty thousand men were 
ordered to march to cover Oczakow. A large army advanced 
to the Danube ; and a squadron of 16 ships of the line, 8 
frigates, and several gallies entered the Euxine under the com- 
mand of the capitan-pacha. The Greeks were disarmed, and 
the Tartars invited to return to their allegiance to the grand 
seignior. They complied with the call, and their Shah had soon 
under his orders an army of 40,000 men. 

This news was received with joy at St. Petersburgh. A fleet 
of 8 ships of the line, 12 frigates, and near 200 chebeks or gun- 
boats was equipped in the Euxine, and two squadrons command- 
ed by admirals Kruse and Greig were in readiness at Gronstadt 
to sail for the Mediterranean. Joseph II. the ally of the em- 
press, sent 80,000 Austriansi on their march to Moldavia, and 
the empress published manifestos to assert the justice of her 
cause. Hostile operations on the part of Sweden, which it is 
unnecesscu'y here to dwell upon, gave a check to the exultation 
at St. Petersburgh, which was left defenceless; and the appear- 
ance of the Swedish fleet ofl* Gronstadt occasioned a recall of 
the sailing orders given to the Russian admirals there. At this 
period, Tooke says that the remonstrance of the English officers ^ 
occasioned a recall of the appointment of Jones to a command 
in the Gronstadt fleet ; for which assertion there is no authority 

It has been thought proper to introduce the Journal of Ad- 


mural Jones bj tbe foregoing brief aeeounti (frcMn the iii 
of Catharine II.) of previous events, and of the circumstaneea 
attending his entering into the Russian service. This Journal 
was prepared by himsdf, and arranged with the accompanying 
documents for his own vindication ; but was, unwisely perhapi, 
not published by him during his lifetime. If he sometimes 
speaks in terms of bitterness of those with whom he acted, it 
will be found that he had but too much cause to complain of 
them. He was treated with caprice ; his due honours were 
sought to be wrested from him ; he was sent back from the fleet 
cavalierly, and he was foully slandered. Over all this he 
triumphed in the issue completely ; but his health and spirits 
were irretrievably affected by the ignoble and ungenerous per- 

A copy of this Journal handsomely engrossed in the French 
language, followed by ninety-three Pieces Justificatives is before 
the compiler. Reference wiH be made to the latter, where it 
seems necessary. 

Avant-Propos of the Rear Admiral. 

^* The United States of America having charged me vrifh a 
mission of a political nature to the court of Denmark, and 
having at the same time furnished me with a letter to deliver 
personally to his most christian majesty, Louis XVI. I embark^ 
ed at New York on the 11th November, 1787, in an American 
vessel bound for Holland, the captain of which agreed to land 
me in France. 

** After a voyage of a month^ I landed at Dover, in England, 
not being able to get ashore in France. From Dover I went to 
London, where I saw the minister of the United States. I 
passed some days with my friends there, and went to Covent 
Garden Theatre. I afterwards set out for Paris, where I ar^ 
rived on the 20th December. 

'' Mr. Jefferson, the ambassador of the United States, visited 
me on the night of my arrival, and informed me that M. de 


4102 PAUL JfOVBB. 

Simolin, minister plenipotentiary of her imperial majesty of «^ 
the Russias, had often spoken of me while I was in America, 
and appeared anxious to succeed in prevailing on me to go to 
Russia, to command the fleet against the Turks in the Black 
Sea« I regarded this proposal as a castle in the air ; and as I 
did not wish for any employment in foreign service, I avoided 
meeting M • de Simolin, for whose character I had, at the same 
time, the highest respect. 

''As the letter, of which I was the bearer to the king of 
France, concerned myself alone, my friends advised me not to 
seek an interview with his majesty before my return from Den- 
mark. In that letter the United States requested his majesty 
to permit me to embark in his fleet of evolutions, to complete 
my knowledge of naval tactics, and of military and maritime 
operations upon the great scale. 

'' Speaking to a man of very high rank at Paris, I repeated 
to him what had been communicated to me by Mr. Jefferson* 
He replied, that ' he would advise me to go to Constantinople 
at once rather than enter the service of Russia.' 

" On the 1st of February, 1788, at the moment of my de- 
parture from Paris, I received a note from Mr. Littlepage, 
chamberlain to the king of Poland, earnestly requesting me to 
breakfast with him next morning, as he hfid matters of the 
utmost importance to communicate to me. I went to him that 
same night, and he told me that M. de Simolin had the great- 
est desire to converse with me before my departure, and that 
he calculated on breakfasting with us next day. 

'' M. de Simolin said the most polite and obliging things to 
me ; that, having known me well by reputation whilst he was 
ambassador in England, and since he had come to France, he 
had already proposed me to his sovereign as commander of the 
fleet in the Black Sea, &c. and that he expected her imperial 
majesty would make me proposals in consequence. I did not 
yet look upon the affair as serioUs; but I was much flattered 
with the politeness of M. de Simolin, and endeavoured to ex- 
press to him my sense of it. When be had left the house> Mr* 

PAtTL joiflsd. -4(l3 

I . 

Littlepage assured me that he had written to his court, that 
'if her imperial majesty confided to me the chief commdnd 
of her fleet oft the Black Sea, with carte blanche, he wouM an- 
swer for it that in less than a year I should make Constanti- 
nople tremble.' 

''In Denmark I put in train a treaty between that powei* 
and the United States ; but it was interrupted by the arrival 6f 
a courier from St. Petersburgh, despatched express by the eni- 
press, to invite me to repair to her court. 

" Though I foresaw many diiflkilties* in the way of my en- 
tering the service of Russia, I believed that I could not avoid 
going to St. Petersburgh, to thank the empress for the favoura- 
ble opinion she had conceived of me. I transferred the treaty 
going forward at Copenhagen to Paris, to be concl^ed there, 
and set out for St. Petersburgh by Sweden. At Stockholm I 
staid but one night, to see Count Rasoumorsky. Want of timd 
prevented me from appearing at court. 

" At Gresholm I was stopped by the ice, which prevented me 
from crossing the Gulf of Bothnia, and even from approaching 
the first of the isles in the passage. After having made several 
unsuccessful eflTorts to get to Finland by the isles, I imagined 
that it might be practicable to eflect my object by doubling the 
ice to the southward, and entering the Baltic Sea. 

" This enterprise was very daring, and had never before been 
attempted; but by the north the roads were impracticable, and, 
knowing that the empress expected me from day to day, I could 
not think of going back by Elsineur. 

" I left Gresholm early one morning, in an undecked passage 
boat, about thirty feet in length. I made another boat follow, 

* Two letters are here referred to, one of which is from Baron Krudoer to Jones, 
informing him that he had communicated to the empress, Jones^ acceptance of the 
grade of captain commandant with the rank of major general in her service. It Ir 
dated March 22d. The other is Jones' reply on the following day, which has hee«- 
inserted. The ** difficolties*' referred to are, partly that he thought himself entitled 

t • 

to the rank of rear admiral, b«t chiefly that he apprehended ittonnvenience and dit- 
agreements from a joint command. 

of Judf that size* This last was for dragpng over the cakes of 
ice, and for passing from one to another, to gain the coast of 
Finland. I durst not make my project known to^the boatmen, 
which would have been the sure means of deterring thenn from 
it. After endeavouring, as before, to gain the first isle, I made 
them steer for the south, and we kept along the coast of Swe- 
den all the day, finding with dtfiliculty room enough to pass be- 
tween the ice and the shore. Towards night, being almost 
opposite Stockholm, pistol in hand, I forced the boatmen to enter 
the Baltic Sea, and steer to tlH east. We ran towards the coast 
of Finland. All night the wind was fair, and we hoped to land 
next day. This we found impossible. The ice did not permit 
us to approach the shore, which we only saw from a distance. It 
was impossible to regain the Swedish side, the wind being strong 
and directly contrary. I had no other course to adopt but to 
make for the Gulf of Finland. There was a small compaSb in 
the boat, and' I fixed the lamp of my travelling carriage so as to 
throw a light on it. 

'* On the second night we lost the small boat, which was sunk ; 
but the men saved themselves in the. large one, which with diffi- 
culty escaped the same fate. At the end of four days we landed 
at'Reval, in Livonia, which was regarded as a kind of miracle. 
Having satisfied the boatmen for their services and their loss, I 
gave them a good pilot, with the provisions necessary for making 
th^ir homeward voyage, when the weather should become more 

'^ I arrived at St. Petersburgh in the evening pn the 23d of 
April, old style, and on the 25th had my .first audience of the 
empress.. Her majesty gave me so flattering a reception, and 
up to the period of my departure treated me with so much dis- 
tinction, that I was entirely captivated, and put myself into her 
hands without making any stipulation for my personal advan- 
tage. I demanded but one favour, * that she would never con- 
demn without hearing me.' 

" On the 7th May, I set out from the imperial palace of Sars- 
cosello carrying with me a letter from her majesty to his Ugh- 


ness the Prince Marshal JPotemkin at St. Elizabeth^ whertsp 1 
arrived on 19th^ The prince marshal received me with much 
kindness, and destined me the command of the fleet of Seva»- 
tapol against the capitan pacha, who,^ he supposed, intended to 
make descents in the Crimea. His highness was mistaken m 
this, and the next day he received information that the capitaa 
pacha was at anchor within Kinbourn, having come to snccour 
Oczakow with a hundred and twenty armed vessels and other 
armed craft. 

'^ The prince marshal then requested me to assume com* 
mand of the naval force stationed in the Liman, (which is at 
the embouchure of the Dnieper,) to act against the capitaB 
pacha till Oczakow should fall. I considered this change as a 
mark of confidence flattering to myself; and having received my 
orders, I set out on the same day for Cherson, in company with 
the Chevalier de Ribas, Brigadier du Jour of the prince mai« 
shal. He was ordered to make all the arrangements necessary 
to place me in command. At parting, the prince marshal pro- 
mised me ' to bring forward his troops without loss of time, to 
co-operate with the maritime force he had intrusted to my condh 
mand ;' and on the journey M. de Ribas told me, 'that all tbe 
force of the Liman, comprehending that of the prince of Nas- 
sau, would be under my orders.* 

'* I spent but one evening and night at Cherson. But even 
this short period was enough to show that I had entered tm-m 
critical and disagreeable service. Rear Admiral Mordwinoffi 
chief of the admiralty, did not aflect to disguise his displeasure 
at my arrival ; and though he had orders from the prince man* 
shall to communicate to me all the details concerning the force 
in the Liman, and to put me in possession of the silk flag be* 
longing to my rank as rear admiral, he gave himself not tlM 
least trouble to comply therewith. 

" We set out early next morning for Giouboca, the armament 
of the Liman being at anchor very near that place, in the road§ 
of Schiroque, between the bar of the Dnieper and the emboil«> 
chine of the river Bog. We went ^n board the Wolodim'er 

406 ^AlTL J6M4. 

brfore ii]id*da7, where we found that Brigadier Alexiaho hid 
assembled all the commanders, to draw them into a cabal against 
my authority. 1 may mention her6, that this man was |^ Greek 
by birth, as ignorant of seamanship as of military affairs ; who, 
under an exterior and manners the most gross, concealed infi- 
nite cunning; and, by an impertinent roughness of discourse, had 
the address to pass for a blunt honest man. Though a subject 
of Turkey, it was alleged that he made war with the Mussul- 
mans by attacking their commerce in the Archipelago on his 
own authority, and that he had followed this means of enriching 
himself up to the period that Count D'Orloff arrived with the 
Russian iQeet. Though I do not affirm the fact, several per- 
sons of credit have assured me that there are often pirates who 
infest the coast, and the isles between Constantinople and Egypt, 
who attack the commerce of all nations, and run down the ves- 
sels after having seized the cargoes and cut the throats of the 
crews. Alexiano had been employed by Count D'Orloff. He 
had reached the grade of captain de haut bard, with the rank 
of brigadier. He felt his spirits ruffled in the first instance, and 
afterwards made great merit with the prince marshal, of the 
sacrifice which he affected to make in serving under me. He 
said that, if he withdrew, all the other officers would do the 
same. The prince marshal sent presents to his wife, and wrote 
him kindly, persuading him to remain in the service. All the 
objections he made were bravadoes, to enable himself to make 
something out of the difficulty ; for, from what followed, I know 
that, had he left the service, it would have been alone, and that 
no one would have regretted his absence. 

^ To give time to those angry spirits to become calm, and to 
be able to decide on the part I should take, I proposed to Briga- 
dier de Ribas, that we should together make a journey to Kin- 
bourn, to see the entrance of Dnieper and reconnoitre the posi- 
tion aad strength of the Turkish Aeet and flotilla. At my 
return all the officers appeared contented, and 1 hoisted my 
flag on board the Wolodimer on the SSSth of May, 1788. 

''The piincd of Nassau-Siegenj'whoAi I had knoWn Alightlj 


at Paoriil, t6ld me, * that if we gained any atfrantage oVer tb(» 
Tnrkis, it was necessary to exaggerate it to the utmost ; and 
that this was the counsel the Chevelier de Ribas had given^him.* 
I replied, ^ that I never had adopted that method of making 
myself of consequence.' " 

Extretd of a Jamiud of the Campaign in the Liman^ in 1788. 

" At the opening of this campaign the squadron of Chersoft 
was obliged to remain for two days in the road of Schiroque, till 
the troops should embark which were to forni part of the crew. 
The prince of Nassau,* who had been appointed commander of 
the flotilla, and who had by this time received on board the 
troops intended for him, durst not venture to advance four cnr 
five verstes to take station opposite to the Bog, without being 
escorted by three frigates. The prince of Nassau made so many 
objections to the danger of his situation,^ that on the 28th of 

* In a letter from Potemkin, dated at St. Elizabeth, oa the dOth May, (all the dates 
quoted are old style,) he ezprecMes the greatest pleasure at learning froqi Chevalier 
Ribas, that harmony was established between the rear admiral and the prince. " I 
regard," he said, '' this con(^ert, as the basis of all the good services which yoor talents 
and acknowledged courage enable yOu both to render to my conntiy." A fbw days 
proved how unstable this basb was. 

f Three notes from Nassau are inserted in the Pieces Justificatives ; dated succes- 
sively, on the S8th, 29th, and 3(Hh of this month, (May.) In the first, he says, he shall 
see the rear admiral (" my dear general," he calls him) arrive, with great plaason. 
He says, that the strong gale that harrassed the fleet was lueky for them, as it prevent- 
ed the Turks from attacking him ; in which case he would have been compelled to 
retreat. " I reckon upon you, at farthest, during the course of the day. Yon know, 
my dear general, my esteem and friendship. It will end only with my life." In the 
second, he begs, that if Jones could not join him, he would send two hundred grena- 
diers, which were under his (Nassau's) command ; as it would be better that the troops 
should notbe mtxMf. The bad grammar and worse spelling of the prince is scrupu- 
lously adhered to in those transcripts. The originals are before me ; the last is least in- 
correct, and as it is brief, it may be amosing. '' Je vous ennoit mon cher general, les 
deux reponces de M'. de Souvorrow, qu*il m*a envoyis otiverts. Je vous prie de me 
mander oe que vous firi$f 6tant decide, puisque j'eu ai la liberty, a ne marcher que 
lorsqus vous me ]^roiegwig.** In his hand writing, also, the priiioe was a rival ef 

409 VAVh JQK8tk 

Hay, the ^Uy ^ foHowi^g, Bear Admiral Chevalier Paul Joaea, 
oommaiider of the squadroui reinforced him with a fourth 

*^ On the 29th, the troops being all on boiard, the squadron 
advanced, and got beyond the flotilla, which lay scattered about 
at anchor without any observance of order. The squadron 
drew up opposite the first village, to the west of the Bo^, in an 
obtuse angle, and thus commanded, by a cross fire, the only 
passage, of the Liman* This li^s ' betweetk two sand banks, 
through which the Turks must advance with their heavy ves- 
sels. By this position the rear admiral covered Cherson, and 
the country on both banks of the Liman, made good the free 
passage of the Bog to the army of the prince marshal, and held 
the Turks in check in any attempt they might make against 

'* The prince of Nassau at this time talked a great deal of 
projects of descents, surprises, and attacks, but without any 
rational plan. 

*^ A battery having been raised upon the point of Stanislaus, 
the prince of Nassau eottld not help exclaiming, ^ that he was 
delighted with it, as in case of necessity he might tbere find 
shelter.' He was not ignorant that the rear admiral could not 
have retreated, as several of his veesels were akeady within a 
few inches of getting aground. The rear admiral was aware 
that the Turks, having a very superior force, would not give any 
opportunity of attacking them ; and that it was therefore neces- 
sary to maintain the strong position he had taken, till the 
the arrival of Prince Potemkin. in ordei* to advance in concert, 
and combine their operations with those of the land forces. 

*' In the meanwhile General Suvorrof, commandant of Kin- 
bourn, made the rear admiral responsible for the safety of that 
place ;* while Brigadier Alexiano and the prince of Nassau or 

* Qa Ui9 Sink, thaitt k a letter flron Joom tci Bibtm, infonaiag bim Unit the Mbm 
4e Naiiaa aii0Elec|#|at Ite bad e«i4f Mondbi., 'M vtm smisiiai/' h^.myr ^* at hear- 
iiig him talk this mornins ofadyancing. He held a different langaa^ one ar IM« day« 


their part, did all that was possible to make him disttustful of 
the means which he possessed for attack or defence. They 
alleged, that the vessels forming the flotilla, having been con- 
structed merely to convey the carriages of the empress in her 
late progress, might be expected, at the first attack, to sink 
under the enormous weight of the guns. 

'* The squadron had a formidable appearance, but little real 
strength. The Wolodimer and the Alexander were but half 
armed ; and both vessels were already within a few inches of ^ 
touching the bottom, so shallow is the Liman for vessels of war* 
In this most critical |[ituation, having no orders from his high- . 
ness the priiice marshal for his guidance, and knowing nothing 
of his intentions, nor of the actual position of his army, the rear 
admiral resolved on assembling a council of war, in conformity 
to the ordinance of Peter the Great. The council he opened 
by a speech suited to tHe occasion, the main object of which was 
to show the necessity of a perfect understanding between the 

since, when be wanted to retreat, under a false alarm. Should we receive the least 
check, it maj derange or render impracticable the attack on Qczakow. Kinboam has 
not been attacked, and cannot, in mj opinion, be inanj danger, if the army of Prince 
Potemkin has passed the Bog, which, afler his highness' promise, I have a right to 
snppose. The Turks will find work enough on the other side/' On the same day, 
there is a note from Suvorrof to Jones, throwing upon him the responsibility spoken 
of in the text. It is rather characteristic. " Your excellency — ^I have not received 
the copy of his highness Prince Potemkin's orders for you. Yott will see my whole 
opinion in a letter to the prince of Nassau, as yon are acting with him. Yon are well 
enongh, with the two squadrons, bntyon know well that, under the circumstances, the 
Badkdl of the operations regards Kinbonm, a principal, efficacioos, and unequivocal 
point, and one on which all our cares and pains should be directed. It is plausible 
enough to wait for the approach of the land army. In the meanwhile, / cantufi 
ansvfer for results. Enough said, for a soldier who has never been a seaman. Ever 
your excellency's humble and obedient servant, Alexandre Suvorrof." Jones says in 
a note : " I beg the general's pardon ; but the Radical regarded Cherson ; and the 
capitan pacha had too much sense not to prefer it to such a place as Kinboum, which 
he could easily have taken afterwards." In communicating copies of Suvorrors 
letters to the Chevalier Ribas, for the inspection of Potemkin, Jones begged for ez<> 
plicit orders, ** in order that there might be no mistake among so many commanders; 
each of whom believed himself independent of the others ; which might lead to 
mischievous consequences." 



squadron and the flotilla ; and that, uniting heart and hand, 
forgetting all personal considerations, they should deternnne to 
conquer, as the true glory of a« patriot was to be useful to his 

*' He proposed to them nine questions. It was decided, to act 
together, mingle together, in one and the same order of battle ; 
that if the wind should be from a point from N. to S. E. the 
prince should detach a part of the flotilla, at 1 A. M. and 
phould be supported at day break by the squadron of the rear 
admiral, to cut ofi* the retreat of the enemy's small craft which 
were near the first village east of Oczako^jr ; and that the best 
positionf for the squadron and flotiHa, in the Liman, to cover 

* There is a proces verbal of this conncil. No. 83, of the Pieces Jiistificatiyes. The 
following 18 preserved as the address of the rear admiral : " Gentlemen — Having been 
svddenly called to serve her imperial majesty, I have need of double indulgence, being 
as yet ignorant of the language and customs of the country. I confess I mistrust my 
capacity properly to discharge all the duties of the high trust with which her majesty 
has honoured me ; but I rely on my zeal, and on your favour, co-operation, and candid 
advice, for the good of the service. Yon are met, gentleman, on serious business. We 
are to discuss points which touch nearly the honour of the Russian flag, and the interests 
of her majesty. We have to deal with a formidable enemy ; but if we are united 
and of one mind in all our efforts, if our operations are well concerted and vigorously 
executed, the known courage of Russians, the cause of the empress and of the country, 
and the remembrance of so many past victories afford us the most flattering hope of 
success, and cannot fail to inspire invincible resolution. We must resolve to conquer. 
Let us join our hands and our hearts. Let us show that our feelings are noble, and 
cast far from us all personal considerations. Honour enough may be gained by every 
individual ; but the true glory of a citizen is to be useful to his country.'' The ques- 
tions follow, on three of which only resolutions were passed, as stated in the Journal. 

t Jones says in a note : ** This was not the rear admiral's opinion ;" and refers to a 
letter written by him to the Prince de Nassau on the Ist June. In this he says : ** If 
you will show me a more advantageous position than that which I have taken, I will 
change my plan with pleasure, and adopt yours. If you think my duty requires me to 
attack the Turkish fleet under existing circumstances, [It was then ranged under the 
cftnnon of Oczakow. — Note by Jones.'] I ask you if I must not wait, to conquer it? 
Who will justify me, if, on my own motion, and without anjr necessity, or waiting for 
sure news of the position of the army of Prince Potemkin, I should expose the squadron 
to be burned or captured 7 Do you believe the enemy will dare attempt a descent on 
this side of Kinboum, to find himself between two fires ? Last year's experience 
proves that he will run no risks on the other side; and that the garrison is too strong, 


Kinbotfrn and act on the defensive, until the approach of the 
army under Prince Potemkin, was four verstes farther in advance, 
opposite the first village east of Oczakow, in a straight line, N. 
N.E. S.S.W. The batteries in the spaces between the ships, 
and a corps of reserve, composed of a division of the flotilla, to 
cover the right wing. The council was to have met again next 
day, to decide on the other points which the rear admiral had 
to propose ; among which was the best manner of attack and 
defence, and the general arrangement of signals, which ought 
all, in his opinion, to be made on board of the same vessel ; but 
M. de Nassau and the Brigadier Alexiano opposed this, and the 
council did not re^assemble as proposed. 

'^ On the 6th of June, at 2 in the morning, the prince of 
Nassau advanced, as had been previously agreed on, with the 
greater part of the flotilla ; but, in place of cutting ofi* the re-* 
treat of the vessels forming the enemy's advanced guard, he 
retired at day break before a very inferior force, and without 
offering the smallest resistance ; and the Turks chased him, 
keeping up a cannonade, into the midst of the squadron, which 
had advanced to take the position assigned to them. 

^' The precipitate retreat of the prince of Nassau inspirited 
the Turks so much, that during the night between the 6th and 
7th, they drew up their flotilla in two divisions, in a shallow, 
close by their own shore. The first of these divisions had by 

and its generals skillfol enough to repel an attack of 10,000 men. But, should the 
squadron which I have the honour to command, be destroyed, I need not suggest to 
you, that the Bog, Cherson, &c. would b^ open to the assaults of the enemy. I wish 
with all my heart, that your highness would place one or two batteries under the walls 
of Kinbourn to reinforce the place. [General Suvorrof had earnestly asked for this 
and I should have been glad to gratify him. — Note by Jones.'] But you must perceive, 
that it is impossible for me to give ypn an escort up to the batteries of Kinbourn, wilb- 
out first conquering the Turkish fleet. My instructions are, to project Kinbourn, which 
I think I am doing at this moment. If I advance, I shall find myself in a positum 
much weaker, with no advantage ^hich I can apprehend. Our force in row boats is 
greatly superior to the Turks, and we can at any time go to the assistamce of Kinbourn* 
though the wind should be contrary.*' 


day dawn advanced within cannon shot of our reserve, which 
had been posted the previous night on the right wing. 

'^ At sunrise the Turks made sail ; and Brigadier Alexiano 
ran upon the deck of the Wolodimer half naked, exclaiming like a 
frantic man, in French and Russian, that the Turks were going 
to attack and board us, and that we would be blown to pieces for 
having been so foolish as to leave our former position. He had, 
notwithstanding, in the council of war, given his voice in favour 
of the position We now actually held. Brigadier Ribas, the 
captain, and all tlie crew, were witnesses of his extravagant 
and unjustifiable behaviour. 

*' This proved a false alarm ; the Turkish fleet did not stir* 
" The prince of, Nassau came on board the Wolodimer, and 
the rear admiral proposed to him to reconnoitre the enemy's 
fleet and flotilla. As they advanced together, the first division 
of the Turkish flotilla began to fire from their canoes, and 
raised their anchors and rowed forward towards our reserve, 
which they attacked briskly. At the same time several corps 
of Turkish troops advanced along the opposite bank, as if they 
intended to establish a post or battery to act on our flank. As 
our reserve had been posted to cover our right wing, the prince 
of Nassau, who knew not what to do, proposed to make it draw 
up in the form of a crochet de konlette, the better to sustain the 
assault. The rear admiral told him, that on the contrary, it 
was necessary to lift the anchors with the utmost despatch, and 
to form in line of battle to meet the attack of the Turks. . The 
combat having commenced according to this plan, the rear ad- 
miral hastened along our line, to issue orders to the squadron, 
and, above -all, to make the remainder of the flotilla, posted be- 
tween the ships and upon the lefl; wing, advance. The wind 
being adverse, he made these vessels be towed by the ships* 
boats and other boats attached to the squadron ; and by an 
oblique movement formed in front line, with the intention of 
cutting ofi^the retreat of the enemy, .and galling him by a cross 
fire. As soon as the capitan pacha perceived the mancBUvre 
of the rear admiral, he came forward himself in his kirlangit^, 


having a very favourable wind, and made the second ^vision of 
his flotilla advance. At this time our reserve was very critically 
situated. A double chaloupe quitted the actioiii and four of our 
galleys were in danger of being captured. The prince of Na»* 
sau, who did not relish going himself, sent Brigadier Corsacoff, 
who made them retreat. Instead of remaining with the reserve, 
which, being without a commander, was in very great disorder, 
the prince of Nassau quitted his own post, and stationed himself 
before the rear admiral, where he could be of no use whatever. 
The rear admiral went into the same boat with the prince of 
Nassau, and again issued his orders along the line. Being now 
within cannon shot of the enemy, he opened fire, advancing 
always in an oblique line to cut off his retreat. At the same 
time he despatched Brigadier Alexiano to endeavour to rally 
the vessels of the reserve, which the prince of Nassau had de- 
serted ; but Alexiano contented himself with waving his hat in 
the air, and shouting from behind the lines— r* Fire, my boys, dn 
the kirlangitch of the oapitah pacha !* 

'' When the line led on by the rear admiral came to close fire 
with the enemy, their flotilla was thrown into the utmost con* 
fusion. Our reservie gave no farther way, and the enemy was 
placed under a cross fire. The capitan pacha availed himself 
of the only resource he had left ; the wind being in his favour, 
he set every sail to withdraw his force. Had he remained a 
half hour longer, he would have been surrounded. Two of his 
vessels were burnt in this affair. The flotilla of the enemy was 
composed of fifty-seven vessels, and we chased them up to their 
fleet. The rear admiral, who had directed the whole affair, 
left all the credit of it to the prince of Nassau. 

" An idea may be formed of the capacity of this prince, from 
the circumstance that, at the beginning of the action he re- 
quested the rear admiral to bring forward to the support of the 
reserve only the vessels posted on the left wing, which copsisted 
of one galley and two double chaloupes. Besides the insuffi- 
ciency of force, these vessels had a very long way to make, and 
that against the wind. 

414 PAiTL lomss. 

" The Turks remained quiet for some time after this. The 
prince of Nassau, who had scarce spoken one word during the 
affair, save to make extravagant professions of regard for the 
rear admiral,* now began to give himself airs. On the 13th 
June he addressed a writing of an extraordinary character to the 
rear admiral, the object *of which appeared to be, that an ad- 

* I find a letter which must have been written, according to the old Btyle, on the 8tfa 
June, fiom Mr. Littlepage, who had jnst arrived at the camp on the Bog, congratula- 
ting Jones on this affair, and informing him of the satisfactioti which Mr. Jefferson, 
the Marqnis de la Fayette, and all his friends in Paris felt, on hearing of his appoint- 
ment He says : " Your star is bright; and not, f hope, to be eclipsed by the Cres- 
cent. Prince Potemkin is much your friend." In his reply, on the 11th, Jones says: 
'' The prince wrote me a letter of thanks for the affair of the 7th. If the honour had 
been ten times greater, I should have renounced it altogether in favour of the Prince de 
Nassau; but I am sorry to say, he is too jealous to be content with my selfdenial. 
Perhaps he is ill adyisod, without knowing it. There is nothing, consistent with my 
honour, that I would not do to make him easy. I am the more in pain, as I under- 
stand he spoke favourably of me to the prince before I arrived. If he now becomes 
my enemy, I shall not imitate his example. It was my intention to pay him a compli- 
ment, when I said, in my letter to the prince, that 'he had taken my counsel in good 
part, in the affair of the 7th.' I showed the Prince de Nassau that letter, and he seemed 
pleased with it. In the affair, he embraced me, and said, ' toe should always maJte 
hU one;* but now, I find, a false construction has been put on my letter, and his 
jealousy supersedes every nobler sentiment.*' There is a letter from Jones* to Nassau 
on the 14th, among.his Vindicise annexed to the Journal, which is certainly written in 
a most conciliatory spirit. Referring to several minor arrangements for the squadron, 
he leaves them altogether to the prince's discretion. He anxiously inquires what cause 
he had given for offence? It is undoubtedly to be found in the difference of opinion as 
to the position of the squadron, and in the very phrase which Jones says he intended 
fbr a compliment. He says to him : " You appeared contented with my letter. The 
le^ word from you would have made me suppress it. I should prefer to have kept 
silence ; and on t>ther occasions I shall know how to do so." In a note, he says : " I 
have been well duped by it." In Mr. Littlepage's reply to Jones' letter of the 11th, he 
says, that he was not unadvised of the misunderstanding between the two commanders, 
previous to the affair of the 7th ; that Prince Potemkin had supposed it was settled, 
and was deeply pained to hear it was renewed. " I easily conceive," he says, " the 
delicacy of your position; and I know that honour can make no sacrifices. But for 
God's sake, my dear friend be prudent, on your own account and that of your friends. 
Prince Potemkin has conceived a high esteem for you ; but he loves Nassau. If ever 
reciprocal interests dictated unity between two persons, it is between you and the 
Trince de Nassau ; for the present moment, at least. * « ^ *> Nassau has been unfor- 
tunate, and he has more than one reason for endeavouring to make the best ot existing 


vance should be made of three verstes nearer the enemy, who 
had taken post under the batteries of Oczakow. The rear 
admiral, who could perceive no advantage to the service in such 
a movement, refused his concurrence, the prince marshal having 
approved his plan of acting on the defbusive,** until the arrival 
of the land forces, or at least, until the moment when the Turks 
might afford us an opportunity of attacking them to advantage. 
Had he agreed, the movement would have been fatal to Russia, 
as will be seen by what follows. 

^^ By the 16th June, th^ patience of the capitan pacha was 
exhausted. He brought from his grand fleet, without Kinbourn, 
two thousand picked men, to reinforce the body under the walls 
of Oczakow ; and being strengthened still farther by the troops 

circamstancefl. If yon find weaknesses in his character, excuse tiienit and remember 
that he vms, and I hope yet is, yonr friend. Pardon this liberty, &c." Surely no 
better advice was ever given, and it was not unattended to at the time. Jones, in a 
letter written on^e SOth, said he considered the advice as a new proof of true friend- 
ship ; that it was that of a man of sense ; and to show he meant to follow it, transmit- 
ted a copy of the letter t»ihe prince ; the contents of which have been stated. He says : 
** I have put np with more from Nassau, than, under other circumstances I could have 
done from any man who was not crazy. I can no more reckon upon his humour than 
on the wind. One hour he embraces me as his best friend, and the next he is ready to 
cut my throat." He then goes into a technical explanation of his reasons for not 
thinking it expedient to advance three verstes, before the affair of the 7th, and relates 
subsequent operations, as they will be found in the text of the Journal. New canses 
of ofience had been given at the date of this letter, and it is plain from the beginning, 
tiiat Jones must have changed his character entirely before he could submit to harmo- 
nize with the prince at the expense of his understanding, pride, tkad fame. 

* In a letter4>f the 8th, to the rear admural, Potemkin expressly said : ** I would denre 
you could defer your operations, until I may have approached nearer to you, excepting 
in case the enemy should give you a good opportunity to ofibr battle, or that the safety 
of IGnboum should require it." If Jones be coitect, the prince must have calculated 
that the first exception would soon occur ; for, he says in a note : ** the prince never had 
any intention of passing the Bog, while the Turkish squadron was in the Laman. I 
do not presume to suggest his reasons." And in a passage of Mr. Littlepage's letter 
which has been quoted from, informing him that unforeseen difficulties in the passage 
of the river had made a countermarch necessaiy, he makes this remark : " It was a 
riiam, (JtkiUt) for the prince never intended to cross the Bog while the Turldsh 
squadron was in the Liman. I have this from Brigadier Ribas, and many others in his 
full confidence." 

416 PAUL JONm. 

of the garrison, he advanced with his whole fleet and flotilla, 
and with a fair wind, into the Liman, to attack and board ns.^ 
The ship, which bore one of the admiral's flags, steered right 
towards the Wolodimer from the commencement of the move- 
ment. When within two vergtes of us, or little more, this ihip 
got aground, and all the vessels which accompanied it imme- 
diately dropt anchor. It was then about two in the afternoon. 

^^ The rear admiral summoned a council of war to consult on 
what should be done. He addressed the council, at which were 
present all the commanders of the squadron and the flotiUa, and 
concluded by telling them, ' that they must make up their minds 
to conquer or die for their country.' t 

*^ The wind, which wcus rather fresh, being against us, the 
only thing proposed by the rear admiral that was found practi- 
cable was, to draw up our force in an obtuse angle, by bringing 
forward, by anchors, the right of the line up to the centre. This 
movement was completed before midnight. The wind had 
shijfted to N. N. £. and at break of day on the 17th, the rear ' 
admiral made signal, and the whole squadron immediately set 
sail to commence the attack on the Turks. 

<< T^e Turks got into confusion the instant this manoeuvre 
was perceived. They raised their anchors or cut their cables 

^ * " The plan of the eaiutan pacha was to bear down fall sail on the veasela of our 
flotilla, and ran them to the bottom by the ahock of the encoantor of his large shipe. 
He also proposed to bum onr squadron by throwing in fire4Mill8, (grofpuUt) uid set- 
ting fire to certain tradmg Teasels which he had prepared as fire-ships. |Ie had reason 
to calculate on success, had he not been thwarted by a circumstance which no maa 
could have fi>re8een." — Note by Pond Jones, 

t It seems unnecessary to insert the address made at this council, which is found 
among the piSeesjtutificaHMes. Three questions as to the manner of attack were pro- 
posed ; the resolutions upon them are not mentioned. By a statement of the force of 
the squadron under Jones cm that day, it appears it consisted of one frigate carrying 40 
guns of different calibres, four carrying 26, two 24,- one 20, and one 16, and four vessels 
carrying in all 66 guns. His own vessel, the Wolodimer, a 70 gun ship, carried 
only 24 twenty-four pounders and two lieomes, pieces from which perforated baJJs 
were discharged, filled with combustibles. The shallowuess of the liman would not 
allow of a greater weight of metal. 

with the greatest pf eeipitationy and not the shadow of order re^ 
puuned in their fleet* Our sqaadron advanced in line of battk 
with an imposing and formidable appearance, so that the Turks 
knew not how weak it really was* Am our flotilla had been Vei^ 
■I9W in weighing anchor, the rear admiral was obliged to make 
the squadron^ halt twice to wait for it. At length, the flotiMa 
being always last, the squadron opened Are on the enemy, of 
whom the person second in command, who had flown about 
like a fool, quickly ran his ship on a sand bank on the south of 
the Liman. There was no longer hope for him ; from the mo- 
ment he grounded he was ours. The enemy still kept fljrii^ 
about, and always in the greatest disorder. The rear admiral 
ordered his ship (the Wolodimer) to be steered to within pistol 
shot of the vessel of the capitan pacha, but the latter again ran 
aground upon a sand bank ; and a few minutes afterwards the 
Brigadier Alexiano gave orders in the Russian language, and 
unknown to the rear admiral, to drop the Wolodimer's anchor.* 
It was pretended that there were but fifteen feet of water a 
little way in advance of the ship, which was hot true. A con- 
siderable time before this the squadron had been taken on the 
right flank by the Turkish flotilla, dravm up on the shilllows, 
near the bank to the east of Oczakow, and commanded by the 
capitan pacha himself. The flotilla annoyed the squadron con- 
siderably, by incessantly throwing in along our line both bombis 
and balls of great size. Wanting depth of water, our frigates 
could not advance far enough to dislodge them, and, besides, 
they found that their guns were too small. The capitan pacha 
aunk one of our frigates, named] the Little Alexander, by a 
bomb, at the side of the Wolodimer, and at the very instant 
Brigadier Alexiano made the anchor be cast. Our flotilla 
still lagged behind, but it did at last advance. Having passed 

* M. Zefidiano, captain of the Wolodimer certifies to the facta mentioned in thia 
■tatomeiit. Hii declaration, duly attetted, ia among the docnmenta annexed to the 


througk the mpiadtoa in the greatest diforder, ntd without the 
Imst aj^araace of being under command, instead of pursong 
the flying Turks, the flotiUa swarmed round the Turkish ships 
which 'were aground like a hive of bees. 

*' Tlue rear admiral commanded Brigadier Alexiano to get 
fisgether some vessels of our flotilla to dislodge the Turkish 
flotilla. At the same moment the rear admiral advanced in his 
boat towards the ld% wing, where the prince of Nassau was widi 
his body o£ reserve, em]:doyed to very little purpose, in surround- 
ing the first Turkish vessel which was aground, leaning on one 
side, and firing upon it. The rear admiral entreated him to 
bring or send the reserve to act against the Turkish flotilla 
upon our right flank, and informed him of the misfortune whieh 
had befallen the Little Alexander ; but M. de Nassau remained 
quietly behind his batteries, and made no movement to dislodge 
the flotilla of the enemy. 

.'< The rear admiral then met Brigadier Corsacofl^ to whom 
he gave orders similar to those he had given to M; Alexiano;. 
and these two ofiicers having got together as many vessels' of 
the flotilla as they could collect, assisted our frigates in dislodge 
ing and chasing the Turkish flotilla even till under the walls of 
Ckizakow. M. de Corsacofi* was a brave and an intelligent 
man; he did not afEect to have done any thing wonderftiK 
Alexiano was a man of limited talent and of questionable 
courage, but his vanity was excessive. He pretended to ba^e 
towed a battery to within pistol shot of the enemy's flotiUa ; but 
ilif Akmatofi^, who commanded that battery, declared that 


neither he nor any one of our people ever were nearer tfatf 
Turkish flotilla than half cannon shot. 

« The Turkish fleet was now distant. The prince of Nassau 
viras told that the Admiral's flag, whioh had been displayed cmi the 
vessel of the capitan pacha, was struck, and he hftstily advanced 
to claim it. The ship of the capitan pacha, like the other, was 
d la bande, that is to say, it leaned much to one side, andcoase- 
quently could not make use of its guns. Aaihe ing of tin 
capitan pacha fell into the water from the top of the main-iftVast, 

VMTL xom». 'i)9 

iKVaUg beta struck ilbwn by a buH, it is not iKficult %o <4i«eoVer 
that t;be vessel which had fired this ball was in no danger ef 
faenng touched by case shot. The Zaporavians fitked up the 
Bmg from the water, and the prince of Nassau, a long while 
afterwards, had the glory (which he turned to good account) 
tf having snatched it from their hands. The rear admiral 
Mght have claimed at least half of this flag, ^ he had his 
hands on it at the same moment with the prince of Nassau ; 
■but he Regarded it as a thing of very little consequence. 

^' Brandcougles* had been thrown into the two Turkish ves- 
4iel8 which were aground, and they were burnt. Was this a 
good or a bad piece of service f These two vessels were ours, 
from the drcumstance of having run aground, and because their 
terews hi|d been left by their countrymen under the guns of our 
squadron. Wherefore did the flotilla interfere with them ? 
tNight it not rather to have pursued the flying Turks, who were 
not yet under the protection of the guns of Oczakowf Our 
flotilla bad received no injury, and had nothing to fear from the 
shallowness of the water. 

'* Having first sounded, the rear admiral made the squadron 
fldvanoe another verste, and took post in a right line, barely 
out of shot of Oczakow, land in line with the last Turkish ship 
thait had been run aground and taken. Fire soon after broke 
out in this prize, which had been impinidently fired upon wkh 
brandcougles. The fleet and flotilla of the Turks now drew up 
IB a line parrallel to ours, aiid under the walls of Oczakow. 

** How imbecile does the human mind become under the in- 
fluence of sudden panic ! The rear admiral, an hour after liie 
affair, advanced in his boat, and took soundings aH along the 
Turkish line, opposite the walls of Oczakow, and within teach 
•f case shot, and not a single gun was fired npon him. 

'^ Previously to taking command of the squadron, the rear 

* A note bf Pa^ JMm daMribw these inceadiaiy mMles m aldnd of benAi-flliens, 
piNfttated with heim, end filled awide-wilk eoBsbeelible meusriiai'. ^tiMfwtn fired 
fimn a sort of pieces called Lioomes, 

f490 PAUL jojm. 

•dmiral bad gone to Kinbourn with the Chevalier Ribat 
brigadier du jowy to the prince marshal, to reconnoitre the 
position and force of the fleet and flotilla under the capitan 
pacha, and to ejuimine the entrance of the Liman. They 
arriyed at Kinbourn at the very time that the capitan pacha 
bad detached twenty-one yessels of war from his fleet, and with 
that force entered the road of Oczakow, the wind not permit- 
ting him to enter the Liman, where his flotilla and some trans- 
port ships were already stationed* The rear admiral was so 
struck at finding the tongue of land at Kinbourn without any 
battery or block fort, tliat he instantly spoke of it to the com- 
mandant, Greneral Suvorrof. This tongue of land, from its 
position, commands the only passage by which large vessels 
can either enter or come out of the Liman, and the fortress of 
Kinbourn is far too distant to be able to command this passage. 
The rear admiral proposed to establish one or more strong 
batteries upon this stripe of land, and M. de Ribas seconded 
the proposition. After considerable delay, General Suvorrof 
resolved to establish a block fort with heavy cannon upon' this 
point, and a battery farther within.* But the capitan pacha 
bad already got the twenty-one ships in question into the 

*^ At 10 o'clock on the night between the 17th and 18th of 
June, the capitan pacha attempted to carry the remains of his 
squadron, which had been defeated at eve, out of the Liman ; 
but the block fort and battery fired on his ships, of which nine 
of the largest were forced aground upon the sand bank which 
runs out from Oczakow, at the distance of cannon shot from 
the block fort. 

, /' The block fort and battery fired on the enemy the whole 
night, and at daybreak General Suvorrof sent to us, reqiiestinf^ 
that, we would send vessels to take possession of the ships of 

* General SuTorrof had the Bfltbleneaa to aay at oonrt, in Fdnvaiy, 1789, hi a eon- 
iWMtion with the Ranmand Qenend Elmt, that the fdaaofeatahlMhhigthw Moek 
Ibrt belonged to the rear admiral. — NaU ^ J(im$, 

. k 

PAUL J0N£8« 421 

the enemy which had got aground. The r^r. admiral wished 
to send frigates ; but Brigadier Alexiano assured him that he 
would run great risk of losing them. The cui'rent there, he 
said, ^ was like that of a mill-dam, and the bottom was so bad 
that anchors would not hold.' 

^'It was, accordingly, resolved to proceed with the flotilla; 
and Alexiano, who had his priyate reasons, set out with the 
prince of Nassau.* The flotilla went pell-mell, and without 
any sort of order or plan, upon the nine ships aground, and fired 
brandcougles into them without mercy. It was in vain the 
wretched Turks made the sign of the cross, and begged for 
quarter on their luiees! Above three thousand of them were 
burnt with their ships. By some chance two of these vessels, 
the least and the largest, Jid not take fire; the one was a cor- 

'*' In a letter to Mr. Littlepage, written on the 30th, ^ones says : " Without explain- 
ing to me any of his reasons, the prince of Nassau wished to go there, (to the sand 
bank under Oczakow,) with all the flotilla. I opposed it ; because all the Turkish 
flotilla was under the cannon of the place, within cannon shot of our right wing, and 
* we ought to have waited till the squadron should be attacked by it He permitted 
himself to say many uncivil things ; among others, that he was always wanted to pro- 
tect my squadron, with Ais flotilla. As he had often said such things sinee the afiair 
of the Tlh, I told him it was improper for him to say this and for me to hear it. That 
the squadron was respectable, as, belonging to the empress and having conquered her 
majesty's enemies. He bragged that he had taken the two ships. I told him that I 
saw nothing extraordinary in that; because they were aground, and, of course, cap^ 
tared before he came up. He said he would write what 1 had uttered to Prince Po- 
temkin ; and that he knew better than / did, how to take ships ! I told him, that with- 
out impugning his skill, he was not ignorant that I had proved my ability to take ships, 
which leere not Turke. He got out of all control of himself; and threatened to write 
against me, to the empress and Prince Potemkin. As for that, I told him, if he was 
base enough to do it, I defied his malice. He left me thvee half-galleys^ (aemirg^Uensy) 
one small battery, and one chabnpe, which I placed under our right wing, and has 
not spoken to me since. Before this ridiculous dispute, our combination was unne- 
cessary ; otherwise I Would have put up with still more, for the good of the service. 
I feel no rancour against him ; and though he said, in a bitter tone, that I would be 
rijoiced to see him beaten, he little understood my heart i" In a note, be saysi. " Ha 
pays a poor compliment to himself, who ascribes such sentiments to a man whose 
honour is known. If I had kept quiet on the 7th June, his business would have been 
•Don truMeted." 

I • r 


retbBt "vesy inJ&fhrentif armedy carrying bne tmttery and fenr 
IMeoes between decks* Tfae other was a small Inigantine, of 
French construction, armed with fourteen small guns. 

'' Neither the prince of Nassau nor Alexiano was to be seen 
at this time. They were together, and at somedistancey duriag 
thw frightful carnage ; and it was afterwards asked of them if 
tkey had not, during this time, been at Kinbourn? As the 
greatest confusion reigned among the vessels of the flotilla, 
though our loss was not great, there is no doubt that part of it 
was owing to Russian bullets. 

^' The army of Prince Potemkin having come up on the 27th 
June, the prince of Nassau had orders to ^tack and destroy, 
or capture, the Turkish flotilla which lay under the walls of Oc- 
zakiow; and the rear admiral was commanded to give him every 
assistance that might be useful. I|^ pursuance of these orders, 
on the 1st of July, at one in the morning, the flotilla advanced. 
The rear admiral had sent all the chaloupes and barcasses be- 
longing to the squadron to haul out the vessels of the flotilla. 
The prince marshal had taken the, trouble to arrange the plan 
of attack himself, but his plan was not followed. . 

** At daybreak, our flotilla having advanced only within can- 
non shot, opened fire upon the Turkish flotilla, and on the place. 
The current having carried several of our batteries and doable 
chaloupes rather too far to leeward, the rear admiral had them 
hauled up by the boats and barcasses of the squadron, and set 
the example himself with the chaloupe in which he was*. The 
Turks set fire themselves to a little frigate which they had pre- 
pared as a fire-ship, and placed at anchor to the N. E. of Fort 
Hassan Pacha. 

^* At six in the morning, the rear admiral advanced con«i- 
derably in front of the flotilla to seize five of t)ie enemy's gal- 
leys which lay within case shot to the east of Fort Hassan. The 
position of these galleys, between the cross fire of our flotilla on 
olfe side, and that of Fort Hassan, the Turkish flotilla, and the 
citadel of Oczakow on the other, rendered this a very danger- 
ous enterprise. The rear admiral boarded the galley, ijarhiicb lay 

flurthM Mit, mtA had it tt>we4 out of davger in m sh«rt tinde bjr 
lienteiMfciit Leff Fabrkiaii. He afterwas^ boarded the. gaUejfr 
of the capitan pacha, which Inj considerably nearer the foiit* 
Fvoin unskilfulnesMS, and excess of zeal, a young office? ciH.^hd 
cable of this galley without waiting the orders of thie reair aAt 
miral, and before the boats could he got in order to haul it out, 
the wind drifted the galley towards the ^ore, and stUl sicarei! 
to the fort. The rear admiral had the galley lightened by 
throwing many things overboard. After much search for vopies 
that might stretch to the wreck of the burnt frigate, and g^t the 
galley afloat by that means, the plan failed from the ropes 
not being long enough. The rear admiral was very twwiinhig 
4o jrield to the obstinate opposition of the Tucks, wha fired y^n 
him from all their bastions and from th^ir flotilla. ' and he • de- 
spatched Lieutenant Fox to the Wolodimer, to fetich an anebiMi 
and cable. This was a certain means of securing hk object in 
spite of the enemy ; and in waiting the return of the lieute* 
nant, he left the galley with his peoplie, and assigOed.agaiil in 
towing the batteries. Before the return o£Lieu|ienattt Foxi he 
had, however, the mortification to see fire break out 'iiik the gal* 
ley of the capitan pacha; He at first, belieyed that, tikoi^kiTes 
chained on board had found means to escape, and had- 1^ five 
to the vessel ; but he had afterwards positive proof that Briga- 
dier Alexiano being in a boat at the time with the prince of 
Nassau* on the outside of the flotilla, and. being aware of the 
intention of the rear admiral, swore fdaipuld not succeed, 
and sent a Greek canoe toset fire to the gaJU^y !* The three 
other Turkish galleys were at once run down and burnt by 
brandcougles. Tl^ere were also a two-ipasted ship apd, a.lyge 

■ ■ ■ » • 

* The attMtotibn of a Russian officer to this fhct it among ihepi^h^Jmt^ftimtkes ap- 
pended to Um Joofnal; ancE the orifinal of that attestation, written in Fsmieh, uki 
aobacribed Bibicroff, officer of the goard, and . dated at Kinbonm, the 96th Oqtobei^ 
1788, remams among Jones* papers. This officer's certificate makes no mention, of 
Nassau. He simply states, that the Brigadier Alexiano sent a chaloupe tcf set &^ to 

• * 

liie gafier, wluch1fae< rear admiral was aaxionsita saY» 

434 PAUL JONSfl. 

bomb vessel burnt near Fort Hassan Pacha. This includes all 
dial was taken or destroyed by water, save fifty-two prisoners 
taken by the rear admiral in the two galleys. The wretched 
beings who were chained in the galley of the capitan pacha 
f>erished there in the flames ! 

^* The prince marshal having made an important diversion 
on the land side, it is to be regretted that advantage was not 
taken of this movement to seize the remainder of the enemy's 
flotilla. But our flotilla never came up within reach of grape 

The above extract from the rear admiral's Journal is verified 
in the following manner : ^' This extract has been translated by 
me into the Russian language, and read before the commanders 
of the ship Wolodimer, Captain of the second rank Zefaiiano; 
of the frigate Scoroi, Captain of the second rank Aboljanin ; of 
the frigate Nicolai, Captain Lieutenant DaniloflT; of the frigate 
Taheuroc, Lieutenant Makinin ; of the frigate the Little Alex- 
ander, Lieutenant Savitzsky ; and they have found nothing in 
them contrary to truth. 

" On board the Wolodimer, before Oczakow, the 28th Octo- 
ber, 1788. 

"Paul Denitreffsky, 
" Honorary Counsellor of the College for foreign 
affairs, and by special orders of her Imperial 
Majesty of all the Russias, Secretary to Rear 
Admiral and Chevalier Paul Jones.*' 

: I '■ 

Addition of the ftsAii Admiral to the Precedinq 


" The moment the ships began to withdraw from Oczakow,* 
the prince of Nassau and Brigadier Alexiano hurried straight 
to the head quarters of the prince marshal, to. relate the things 
which both pretended they had performed. In a few minutes 
after the flotilla began to retire, the rain fell in torrentSy of 


which Nassau and Alexiano received their own share before 
reaching head quarters. 

" Two days afterwards, Brigadier Alexiano returned on 
board the Wolodimer, having caught a malignant fever, of 
which he died on the 8th July. The prince of Nassau, who had 
made use of him in cabalUng against me — God knows where- 
fore — ^neither visited him in his sickness, nor assisted at his 
funeral. At first it was given out, that the service must sustain 
the loss, of every Greek in it, on accqjunt of his death ; but I 
soon experienced the reverse. Not one asked to be dismissed ; 
they remained under my command with the Russians, and 
were more contented than before. On the day preceding the 
death of Alexiano, he had received intelligence of having been 
promoted two grades ; and that her majesty had bestowed on 
him a fine estate, and peasants, in White Russia. At the same 
time the prince of Nassau had received a very valuable estate, 
with three or four thousand peasants,* also in Whit^ Russia, 
Bx^d tjie miUtary order of St. George, of the sbcond class. Her 
' majesty likewise gave him liberty to hoist the flag of vice admiral 
at the taking of Oczakow, to which event it was apparently be- 
lieved he would greatly contribute. I received the order of St. 
Anne,* an honour with which I am highly flatter^, and with 
which I could have been perfectly satisfied, had others been 
recompensed only in the same proportion, and according to the 
•merit of their services. All the officers of the flotilla received a 
step of promotion and the gratuity of a year's pay. The greater 
part of them also obtained the order of St. George, of the last 
class. Oifly two of these officers had been bred to the sea ; none of 

* I find two letters ftom Count Segnr at St. Petereburgh, written to Jones in this 
myith, (July,) of the 14th and 29th, both in a highly complimentary view, of course. 
He says in the former : ** The empress being absent, I forwarded a copy of the greatest 
part of year letter,^ General Memonoff, who had it read to that princess. She is 
highly satisfied with it, and in twojines from her hand has been pleased to charge 
HM with assurances to you, of the great respect in which she holds your services 
Greneral Momonoff begs me to say, that he will ^deavour'to merit the obliging things 
yon say of him." f 




the others bad been engaged in navigation. The officers of the 
squadron under my command were almost wholly marine of- 
ficers. They had done their duty well when opposed to the 
enemy ; but they obtained no promotion, no mark of distinction, 
no pecuniary gratification. My mortification was excessive ; 
but my officers at this time gave me a^very gratifying proof of 
their attachment. On promising that I would demand justice 
for them from the prince marshal at the close of the campaign, 
they stifled their vexatiq^, and made no complaint. 

*' It ought to have been mentioned in the proper place, that 
three days after our success in the Liman, Prince Potemkin 
arrived at Kinbourn, from whence he came on board the Wolo- 
dimer to make me a visit. He was accompanied by General 
Count de Brandisky of Poland, the prince de Repuin, the Prince 
de Ligne, General de Samoilow, and several other officers. His 
highness did me the honour to remain to dinner ; and as he 
knew that an altercation had taken place between the prince of 
Nassau and myself on the morning of the 18th of June,* he had 
the goodness to employ the Prince de Ligne, and M. Littlepage, 
chamberlain to the king of%Poland, to pursuade the prince^ of 
Nassau to make me an ap^ogy. I accepted it.vnth sincere 
pleasure. We embraced in pr^sc^ce of this honourable com- 
pany, and I believed him as sincere as myself. 

"The prince marshal charged me at this time to make 
arrangements for raising the cannon, anchors, and Other effects' 

* In Jones' despatch to Potemkin, on^ the 18th Jane, he alludes to die dispute be- 
tween Nassau and himself abont despatching all the flotilla to the sand bank, and-to 
the passion into which the former was thrown. This was certainly impolitic. In 
the same despatch he praised Alexiano's services, at the pq^ee's expense, and recom- 
mended him to favour. But he says in a note, he was mistaken, in interesting himsf^ 
in that ingrate. Potemkin could not have been pleased with the continuance of u 
altercation, of the merits of which, he was probably not able to judce ; and as Mr. lit- 
tlepage had already warned Jones, *' he loved .Nassau.'' ' He also gives credit to 
Alexiano, and impliedly censures Nassau, in his report to the admiralty, at Chenom, 
on the same occasion. Potemkin directed him not to write again, directly, to the 
adnuralty. ^. 



belonging to the enemy's ships which had been burnt. With- 
out loss of time, I detailed a transport ship with officers and 
. people for this service. 

His highness the prince marshal advanced his army, which 
crossed the Bog and appeared in sight of us on the borders of 
the Liman, on the 27th June, and on the next day the capitan 
pacha weighed anchor with his grand fleet, which had constantly 
remained twenty or thirty verstes beyond Kinbourn, and direct- 
ed his course towards the entrance of the Danube, carrying three 
admiral's flags, and followed by all the vessels that had escaped 
UB in the Liman. During the whole time that we were exposed 
Ur having a serious afiair with the Turks, Brigadier Alexiano 
had carefully kept a Greek felucca of eighteen oars alongside 
the Wolodimer. This felucca was better built for sailing than 
any of the other chaloupes or rowing vessels belonging to the 
whole squadron, so that he had at all times the means of saving 
himself in case of any disastrous event. ' Even the prince of 
Nassau, since his retreat on the 6th of June, was never seen in 
any vessel of the flotilla, but always in a chaloupe, \f hich had 
been built for the especial* use of her imperial majesty on her 
late voyage. For myself, I took no such precautions. I saw 
that I must conquer or die. For me there was no retreat. Tiie 
insfjant that Alexiano saw the troops appear, he despatched his 
felucca to inform the prince marshal that it was he, in his zeal 
for the service, who had employed people to save the eflects of 
the burnt prizes. Nothing could be less true. He had not taken 
the smallest conoern in the mattet*. But this shows the charac- 
ter of the man. Next day I was informed that the transport 
ship I had employed on this service was already too heavily 
laden, and made a great deal of water. As the wind was fair 
for Glauboca, I gave orders that she should immediately go 
thither to unload. Some hours after the departure of the 
transport, Bnigadier Alexiano returned from Kinbourn, where 
he had dined, and said several impertinent things to me on the 
subject of the transport. He went afterwards to head quarters 
to pomplain of me to the princejmarshal. In consequence of 


this complaint I received a letter from his hrigaiier du Jour ^ the 
Chevalier Ribas^ which, among other things, mentioned that the 
prince marshal was ' singularly severe and strict in all that . 
related to the orders he gave.' I replied, that I was not afraid 
of the severity of the prince marshal, as I had done nothing 
save my duty, in pursuance of his own orders.* 

'^ Next day I paid a visit to Prince de Nassau. I supposed I 
should be received vnth open arms, [a reconciliation' it will be 
remembered had lately taken place, as stated in the beginning 
of this part of the Journal,] but he blew out, {me fit une icemen) 
about the transport, belonging, as he said, to his flotilla. I had 
told him I had be^i charged with that necessary business by 


* PUees Juat^fiealines. No. 34y ii.a letter from Jones of this date, (Jmne 27th|) 
to Prince Potemkin, informing him, asoong other things, that he had given it in 
charge to a lieutenant to execute the order referred to in the Journal. No. 27, on the 
30th, he informed him of the order to unload at Glanboca. No. 28, is the letter ftom 
Ribas, of the same date referred to hi the Journal, and containing the oifensiTe intima- 
tbn. He s^s : *' After the orders he had giTen «n tlus snbject to M. le Brigadier at 
Chevalier Alexiano, his highness is very sorry that your excellency has directed a 
change in what he had resolved upon. In such cases, the prince marshal, notv^ith- 
standing the goodness of his heart, is severely rigid,' (tTfltM^ran^ rigeur,} and I ma^ 
It a point to inform you of it, sir, tliat you may be on your guard lor the future.'* N<^. 
29, is Jones' reply on the evening of the same day ; in which he says, that as he knew 
the brigadier's intentions were good, he took his letter in good part ; that he had no 
knowledge of any instructions having been given to Alexiano by the prince, and cer- 
tainly no desire to meddle with the prizes, the reason of which, he need not inform 
Ribas was Vkumeur du Prince de Nassau. He then stales in detail what is substan- 
tially set forth in the Journal ; and mentions that, on the preceding day, there had 
been a considerable appearance of discontent among the Russian officers, at the con 
stant preference given to the Greeks, and particularly at the charge given to Alexiano's 
nephew to save the effects of the burnt prizes, when he had, at the same time, com- 
mand of three frigates which Admiral Jones had stationed beyond Kinbonrn. " Too 
much,'' he adds, " has been said on a matter so unimportant. If the prince marshal 
has forgotten the order he gave me, I can recall to him the place and time, and the 
words he made use of" He subjoins in a note th^ Potemkin afterwards told Mr. 
Littlepage, that he bad caused Jones to be censured very mal-a'propos. He coa- 
dnded by sayii^g, " I renounce all idea of person^ advantage in regard to the prizes. 
Therefore what I have done was purely and only in the line of duty. I hope to find 
more nchU mean^ of advancement. I know but one manner of conducting myself; 
and as I can never depart from it, fear ^j^ung" * 


the prince marshal ; and that as all the vessels of war and 
transports belonged to her imperial majesty, and the transport 
in question was empty when I ordered it to be taken, I could 
not see that he had the least ground of complaint. He was mad 
with rage ; but as the good of the service did not further 
require our combined operations, I thought his quarrelling too 
puerile to concern myself about it.* I took leave of him, beg- 

**■ The writer of the life published in Edinbnigh has well remarked, that after this 
time Jones seems to have abandoned all hope of conciliating "Nassau; and by whoit 
follows in the Journal, it will be seen that the latter gave him no oppoirtnni^. A 
month after this, he gave full vent to his feelings in the foUowing letter addressed to 
Ribas, and probably intended for the iisrusal of Potemldn. It is a loose copy of a let- 
ter not in the engrossed Journal. ' y- 

" Monsieur le Brigadier, — Having been at &ihbonm this afternoon, to concert opera- 
tions with the commandant general, I received at my return hertf a kind of note witb* 
out date, which purports to be from yon, but which I do not recognise as your hand- 
writing. This note adverts to the question of saluting the flag of the vice admiral ; 
but I am not aware if there be an offieer of this rank nearer us than St. Petersbuigh. 
I respect infinitely the authority and the character of his highness the prince marshal. 
I love good order, and I am devoted with enthusiasm to the welfare of the empire, but 
the first duty of a man is to respect his own honour. 

" I have no wish to qwak of myself, but circumstances demand it. I was living in 
Ameriea, in the bosom of peace and i^ndship when..his excellency, M. de Simolin, 
did me Che honour, unknown to myself, to propose me to her imperial majesty and the 
prince marshal as commander in chief on the Black Sea. I was too much flattered 
by the reoeption of her majesty to stipulate the slightest condition on entering her ser- 
vice. She deigned to receive me. I was to serve only under the command of the 
prince marshal. 

« I imagined myself intended for another command than that which was given me ; 
but I looked on the change an a flattering proof of the confidenoe of the prince mar- 
shal. Never, probably, did any commanding o^cer commence service under circum- 
stances more painful than mine ; but, in spite of the restraints imposed on me by 
treacherous colleagues, in spite of their unceasing effi)rt8 to draw me into error, and 
their opposition to all my plans for the good of the service, I have extricated myself 
from the affiur by the sacrifice of my own feelings and interests. I was a true phliloso- 
pher, and the service has not suflTered. My firmness and integrity have supported me 
against their detestable plot for my ruin ; yet I have served as the cat's paw to draw 
the chesnuts from the fire for them. 

*' I am much flattered by the order of St. Anne granted me for my zealous services ; 
but I should have been ashamed to receive brilliant rewards for empty boasts. 

" As I can never bring mjrself to resolve^on having any connexwn with a man so 
detestable as M. de Nassau, I can never iBiH^wledge him for my superior. If he has 


gkag him to reflect, that I had given him no cause of displea 
sure. I did not wish to come to a rupture with him ; but, Jon 


receiTed the rank of vice admiral, I will say in the fkce of the tttuTene that he b on- 
wovthjr of it It is now ten jeers si^icehe wished to serve under my command. I have 
known him without knowing him. {connu san$ connokre.) I knew that he was foolish, 
(Mfe,) but I did not believe, before proving it, that his character was base to the bot- 
tom ; the only military merit he possesses is effrontery. The only thing he has done, 
was (after the afiaurof tin i7th Jnne,) to snatch the flag of the cdpitan pacha from the 
hands pf the Zaporavians, who had stolen it a long time before he came up. He has 

" never shown either order or intelligence in the flotilla. Every commander of a boat, 
or other vessel, was his own master, and conducted matters according to his own 
notiodi. Henoe it jbappened, that with much good will for the service, they bore 
down on the 17th and ]l3th June, on the enemy's vessels aground and heeled, hovered 
roimd. them like a swarm of bees ; and small as was our loss, it cannot be doubted 
that a part of it was occasioned by Russian buUtts. 

"A single galley, in the hands of a good officer, would, in like chcumstances, 
suffice to conquer a ship of the largest size. But we should be just to the ooomnuider 
of the flotilla. He always had the prudence to keep behind hirmen; and in critical 

J nMUMnts he always had in his mind, and sometimes on his lips, ways and meant of 
retiring beyond the batteries of Stansilaw. He well knew that for nie there was no 
reireat. In the affiiur between the flotillas, on the 7th of June, thero was something 
like military combination; but it is not to him this should be attributed. If he had 
been left to himself, he would have been beaten, at Jeast, as disgracefiiUy as he -liad 
been chased by the Turks on the preceding evening. As to tiie affiur of the 17th 
June, of the merits of which he so greatly boasts, the Taiks got into coJnfnsion the 
moment they saw our squadron under sail and advancing to attack them* They had 
set sail, and the rout was general even before the whole of our flotilla had raised teir 

.. anchors. The Turkish squadron had made no arrangement for fight, but fled in the 

* greatest disorder and trepidation at the very commencement. I had given orders to 
advance near the vessel of the capitan pacha, but Bf . Alexiano thwarted me, and eaat 
. anchor without my orders, at the moment when the second Tarldah ship (the admi- 
ral) was striking. 

'* The TniUsh flotilla was manoeuvred with more skill upon the shallows on the 
right flank of our squadron, from whence they threw bombs, and sunk the small fri- 
gate, the Petit Alexander. The commander of our flotilla had paid no attention to 
my requests to send a detachment of the flotilla to dislodge them. The Brigadiers 
Alexiano and Corsacoff had assembled and brought forward batteries for this purpose, 
according to my orders, in concert with our frigates on the right wing. /The affair of 
the 18th was the result of the panic of the evenmg before, and of the batteries which, 
in concert with you, (Ribas,) I had the credit of establishing at the point of Kinboum. 
A very small detachment would have been sufficient to have secured the nine vessels 
under the cannon of our batteries, and out of the reach of those of the enemy. A good 
officer, who had commanded such an expedition, would have known how to bring in 
these nine vessels, without having expoaM his people pellHnell, as was the case, and 



the 1st of July, seeing the day dawn, and that the flotiQa wai 
still fhr too distant to make the necessary attack,* meeting him 


. withont having the folly to destroy ships of which we stood so much in nelad, by bnm4t 


cooglei. "^ 

'* I ooBld not leave my own command to be present atjpbis affair ; but I am told 
that some who were there inquired if M. de Nassa]} had nott^en at Sanbonm during 
the attack. ' 

" After all, we owe onr success to favovrable cireomstances, to the good disposition, 
and the imposing appearance of our squadron in advancing to the attack on the 17th 
June ; for the enemy had taken flight before the approach of our flotilla, which was 
tardy in weighing anchor, and got into confusion tfrom the beginning ofthe movement ,. 
It has been seen meanwhile that M. de Nassau, who did nothing, and who bad not a 
single man wounded near him, has been rewarded^as if he had peribrmed the most 
heroic actions. Marshal Saze said to his troops, — ^I am not one of thoee ■ ■ 

generals who cry to their soldiers, fall ozr .' I say to you,— -My soldiers, behold the 
enemy ,-*LXT us pall ov.* M. de Nassau has not shown that he is ofthe opinion of 
the marshal. Never was bravado more impudent than that of M. de Nassau. To 
depart from truth costs him nothing. He had the effironteiy to deceive the prince 
marshal (to whom he owes the bread that he eats,) in sajring he had bnznt six ships 
ofthe line and had taken tivo, ^hese pretended ships ofthe line ware nothing other 
than the merchant vessels called caravellas. In tiopie of peace they trade between 
CoMtantinople and Egypt; in jjimaof war sneh ships are armed* but always badly. 
In place of eight, but four entered the liman. I have made Lieutenant Fox measure 
the wreck lof two carcasses of two ofthe largest; the one was 135 feet, the ^ther 130 
feet English measure, entire length ofthe decks on which were the principal batteries. 
Instead of two, there was but one three4EDasted vessel not burnt. It is true they also 
spared a small brigantine in the barbarous conflagration of June 18th. So we must 
regard this brigantine as a ship ofthe line taken by H. de Nassau. Thitf prize remain- .r J^ 
ed aground and has become a'total wreck. Humanif^ recoils, indignant and affrighted 
«f beholding so many wretched cre^lftree perish in the flames, without any necessity. 
But there are some small marks ofthe goodness of heart and gratitude which M. de 
Nassau is pleased to show, to prove himself worthy of the kindnesses he lately re- 
cehred at Constantinople.' Now he is with the Russians, where he has found his 
market, (Crotcv^ mm compu.) The same motives which induced him to come here, 
may lead him back to Constantinople." ^ 

There is much repetition in this letter, of what is found in the Journal ; but it has 
been inserted entire, because it proves that the same charges, with like circumstan. 
tiality and more acrimony were urged at the time, which were aflerwards deliberately 
written down as historical. It does not appear whether Ribas showed the letter to 
Potemkin or not; but by Ihe middle of October, Potemkin communicated to Jones her 
majesty's orders for his recall. It is brought in here out of date, because it refers to 
tritnsactions already known to the reader. 

* To take some galleys at anchor under Oczakow,' supposed to be weakly manned 



in his chalbupe, I asked, ' If he did not think it time to begin 
the attack f ' ^ Is it of me you thus inquire V he replied ; * I 
have nothing to say to you on the subject.' After a reply so 
uncivil, and so publicly made, ^t was impossible I could have any 
ferther intercourse with him. 

'' On the 18th June, in giving an account to the prince mar- 
shal of the fate of the nine vessels run aground in coming out 


of the Liman, upon the shlillows opposite the battery and block 
fort on the tongue of land of Kinboum, I took the liberty to pro- 
pose to him to get the Wolodimer, which had port-holes for 
70 pieces of cannoi^, and the large frigate Alexander, which 
^ might have carried 50 pieces, completely armed, that at the 
first opportunity the squadron of Cherson might join that of 
Sevastopole ; but his highness gave no orders for this purpose 
till the month of September ; and the admiralty was so slow in 
acting, that the vessels were not equipped by the 18th October, 
when I was recalled to St. Petersburgh by ap order from her 
imperial majesty. 

'* The fleet of the capita^ pacha having sailed on the 28th 
of June, had a rencounter with that of Sevastopole, which had 
come out some days before '; but the Turkish fleet being much 
stronger than that of Russia, the^^itter fled, and had the good 
fortune to get back to Sevastopole without Icns», having no more 
■ than six or seven men killed and wounded, which shows that the 
affair was neither close nor warm. >\ 

''After the affair of the 18th of Jttkie, the greater part of our 
flotilla remained several days at anchor between Kinbourn and 
the block fort on the end of the tongue of land. On the 20tti, 
the wind being strong and from the west, a Turkish brigantine, 
equipped as a fire-ship put off towards Kinbourn. The enemy 
set fire to her as they abandoned her, and she was consumed. 
It is surprising that the^Russian seamen and pilots could be so 

Jones had orders from Potemkin to assist Nafsaa, in whatever lay in his power. 
PUee9 Ju$tifcativei. No. 30. 

^profdiitidly iftioriuit renpeetitlj^ the Mehorl^^ i6«m>mtB, a^ 
d^hof the Limaii, and, above all, at the entrance ihtd thfe 
canal, {FcAz-water,) and in the road between Ocssakow add 
Beresane. At first' not a single commander in the flotilla durat 
venture to cast an anchor. 

^ **Beinf at Kinbourn on the 28th June, General SuVorlrof 
ipoke to me of the unpleasant circumstance of not being aUe 
to cut off the communication between Oczakow and Beresane. 
Raving sounded myself, I informed him that this was quite as 
practicable as it was necessary, and I would place the ftigates 
there instantly, if he would only require me to do So. He 'did 

not hesitate, and the same day I placed three frigates there. 

ft . 

M. Alexiano did all he could to prevent this; and when he 6aw 
the frigates set off, prophened that I need not expect to see 
them return. He carricMflnintln so far^ that the prince 
marshal wrote me a waitm^ leUer on the 29th, and on the Jst 
July a peremptory order to withdraw them.* During the sHort 
time they were there they took two Turkish armed chalou^)e8 
and a batteau laden with powder and shot; and cutoff the 
enemy's communication between Oczakow and Beresane. 

** The prince marshal had not been satisfied with the C6n- 
dtfct of the flotilla in the liflhir of attacking Oczakow on the 1st 
Jidy, which was conducted id a very irregular manner, and at 
too great a distioice. The most advanced charge was that of 
the battery commanded by M. Akmatoff, who was never less 
thAi 500 toises distant from the enemy. On the 10th of July, 
the pJInce marshal sent the prince of Nassau to Sevastopole, to 
learn if the £tquadron had been much damaged in the rencotin- 
ter with the l\irkish fleet. Immediately after the departure 
of the prince of Nassau, the prince marshal gave the Chevalier 
Ribas the command of the flotilla, with orders to go to Kin- 
bourn, tOHreceivie on board the troops he destined to make a 
descent on the island of Beresane. At the same time he order*- 

* ThB official letteis between Potemkin and Jones, among the Pieces Jostificatiyeit 
Aow that no blame oonld have been, or was, attached to him in this matter. 


494 PAUL JONES. ^ 

ed me to establiih a line of blockade between tbat iiland and 
Oexakow. I stationed five frigatesy carrying twelve pounders, 
in the road for that purpose. 

** On the 14th, I was ordered to inspect the entrance of the 
Liman. I immediately went to Kinbourn to have an under- 
standing with General Suvorrof and the Brigadier de Ribasr* 
Though the brigadier had been incessantly occupied since the 
departure of the prince of Nassau in bringing the crews of the 
flotilla to some sort of order, he had not yet completed this task. 
So great was the confusion that reigned, that he could not find 
in any vessel five soldiers belonging to the same company ; and 
the officers knew not where to look for their men. This re- 
tarded the embarkation of the troops destined for tlie descent 
till the 16th. The prince marshal was so much displeased with 
this delay, that on the ITthy^hejMforders to land the troops, 
that they might join his army 'IQPPr^ Oczakow, and that the 
flotilla should return into the Liman, as well as the five frigates 
I had posted for the blockade. 

''From the commencement of the projected expedition against 
Beresane, M. Ribas had requested me to conduct the flotilla 
and the descent of the troops. Though a man of much talent, 
he had not the misplaced conceit of some persons who readily 
take upon them things far beyond their caipaeity. I told him, 
* He well knew I ought to have commanded tl)|^otilla as well 
as the squadron, from the beginning of the campaign, but that 
my gratitude for the gracious reception accorded me by 4ier 
imperial majesty, together with the very delicate state ijofwhich 
I had found affairs, had induced me to sacrifice my feelings, 
and even greatly to hazard my reputation, for the good of the 
empire ; that I could never so far humble myself as to request 
the direction of the flotilla, but if the prince marshal thought 
proper to propose it to me, I would do my best to make the 
most of it possible.' 

'' On the afternoon of the 17th, the prince marshal fairly pro- 
posed to give me the command of the flotilla. His highness 
informed me his intention was to have Oczakow attacked a 




PAiJI. J6WBM. && 

■ I 

leapnd- time. I repKed, that I was disposed to execute with 
zeal whatever he might think proper for the ^ood of the service ; 
but that to attack with advantage it was necessary to come to 
doee quarters, and to advance in better order than on the 1st 
July. He was of the same opinion, and requested me to come 
Vriiore next day, that we might concert together the plan of 

*^ I did not fail to comply with the orders of the prince mar- 
shal, but his highness spoke no more of the flotilla^ I remained 
to dinner and supper, and afterwards returned on board of my 
ship. The prince of Nassau having returned some days before 
from Sevastopole, had intrigued with the Prince de Ligne ; and 
the prince marshal had restored him to the command of the 
flotilla. ^• 

'* On the 18th June, I had been ordered to despatch thd five 
frigates which had returned into the Liman, to be refitted at 
Glauboca, en haUerie for sea service. I sent them ofiT at day- 
break on the 19th, having taken the greater part of their crews 
fbr service in the gun-boats and bomb-.vessels which the prince 
marshal proposed to place under my command. On the 20th, I 
received twenty-one gun-boats, each carrying a single piece, 
from eighteen to thirty-two pounders ; and five bomb-vessels, 
each carrying a mortar, of which four were of three poodSf and 
one of &vepoodi.* The same day the prince marshal having 
established his head quarters to the right of his army upon the 
shores .of the Black Sea, (he had hitherto been on the shores of 
the Liman, on the left wing,) pointed out to me two of the 
enemy's gun-boats, stationed close by the fort of Hassan Pacha, 
and the Turkish lines on the side of Beresane. He was per- 
suaded that they would attempt to come out during the night 
with despatches, and inquired of me if it were not possible to 
capture them. As his highness appeared to attach great impor- 
tance to this service, I undertook it. 

A pood, or fOMdf is a Rauita weight, equal to 96 lbs. English weight. 

4^ FAmu Jwif. 

^* I returoed oil bg^ the Wolodimer, ham wheiMMi» at eight 
in the e veaiiigt I ciet off with fiv« anned chaloupas^ I suide five 
gun-bp^ts foUoWy as a measure of precaution in case the Turkb 
had attempted to jviake a sortie, as their chaloupea sailed much 
faster than ours. I found one of the Turkish gun-boats agrowid, 
hauled up, and almost dry on the sands adjoiniqg the \mXUufi 
and on an intrenchment the enemy had cast up on the water's 
edge* It was impossible to get it aflfwt under the tenible fire 
which we sustained from all the lines and batteries on the shore. 
The other gun-boat lay just afloat, right against the fort of Has- 
san Pacha, to the south. Lieutenant Edwards boarded thia 
vessel, and cut her cables ; but having had several of his tmen 
wounded, and being desertisd by one of the chaloupes, be waa 
obliged to give up the attempt, lest he should be left by the 
other chakmpe also. During this time I had made some efforts 
to get the othejr Turkish boat afloat. I now rowed qaiekly to 
the assistance of Mr. Edwards, but the night was dark and 
he was already out of sight, when I boarded the vessel in whidi 
he had been* I had several men wounded around me ;^ but, im 
defiance of the enemy, I iiauled the vessd out, and stationed it 
right opposite the head quarters of the prince marshal. 

^* Qn the 2l8t, at daybreak, I sailed with the Wolodiiner, 
followed by all the vessels of the squadron thai yet remained 
with me, and twenty-five gun-boats and bomb-vessels that had 
been placed under my commaud. The object of this movement 


was again to blockade Oczakow Iiy sea, and to cut off the eom- 
munication bet;ween that {dace and Beresane. To accomplish 
this object, I stationed the Wolodimer and the Alexander to 
blockade the channel at the entrance of the Liman, and I con^ 
tinned the same line of blockade into the road, by plaeing the 
smaller vessels there. As the bomb-vessels and gun-boats had 
not water casks, the prince marshal, who wished to see these craft 
opposite his head quarters, made wells be dug on shore for the 
accommodation of the crews ; and on the 24th, ordered my offi- 
cer dujewr to have the vessels stationed near the shore. I knew 
nothing of this change, for I had placed them the previous night 

rAVh Joim. 480 

in fine, uidiiEur enougb oS to W in oafety. On the 2Sdi, the 
wind was from the south, but blew moderately. After dinner I 
went to head Quarters to make a visit to the prince marahali 
and found, to my gjreat astonishment, that half the boats were 
%: caat ashore, and the other half in the greatest danger. I set 
^^§to work instantly, with my chaloupe, to haul off, and bring to 
anchor all the vessels possible ; and by means of anchors and 
cables, for which I sent to the squadron, we saved them aU, ex- 
cept six gun-boats, which went to pieces, and fiUed with sand. 
On the 26th, the prince marshal wrote me by his brigadier du 
jour J to inform me that I was at hberty to place the boats I had 
saved where I pleased* I placed them near the tongue of land 
of Kinbourn, where they had a sheltered haven, and also wells 
for the accommodation of the men. They sustained no farther 
^ injury during the time they remained under my command. At 
this time, two chaloupes or small cutters were placed under my 
j|urders, af which each carried two licornes, of forty-eight pounds 
^ calibre in the fore part, and six falconets on the sides. Shortly 
aftervraurds, J got two larger cutters, carrying each two mortars 
of five poods. 

^^ On the 31st July, the capitan pacha again made his 
appearance with his iSeet, followed by several vessels which he 
had not when he went off. His advanced guard, composed of 
-'' his frigates, bomb-vessels, and small craft, cast anchor near 
Beresane, whilst his large squadron of ships of the line resumed 
their old position. The prince marshal ordered me to bring 
back my small vessels to assist in blocking up the passage at 
the entrance of the Liman ; and the prince of Nassaa was 
ordered to block up the road with his flotilla, and thus cut off 
the commQnication of the Turkish small vessels by the shallows 
to the south of Fort Hassan Pacha. 

[Two versions are here given, apparently by accident, of 
the same circumstance. The latter is presumed to be the 
most correct, and the former is, therefore, omitted in this trans- 

■V'.-jfim^ ■ 


43B FA«L jontM. 

*' Tlie prinoe'of Nassau hoisted a white flag with a' Uae 
erossoBone of the galleys, oh leaving the Liman ; and that 
galley having passed under the stern of the Wdlodimer on the 
1st of August, he pretended that I ought t(^ salute him as vice 
admirak 1st, When I hoisted my flag, to avoid the idle vanity ^ , 
of exacting a salute, I did it at night ; and the Prince de Wnrt jJHt'T 
sau, being only a simple volunteer, did not offer to salute it. 
2d, An officer without my orders, coming from Cherson, bad 
saluted the prince without my authority, but they did not give 
him a single gun in return. 3d, The prince had not received 
the grade of vice admiral in the service of her imperial ma- 
jesty. 4th, I had no orders from the prince marshal to salute 
t,he Prince de Nassau, ^h. The latter had applied, in tfae'last 
war between France and England, to serve with me, and, assu- 
redly, not as my commander ; for, though he has made a voy- 
age round the world, he does not yet understand the compass. 
6th, On saluting an officer of a superior grade, it is nf^cessarji^. 
to go on board his flag-ship to malce a report and receive orders ; ^ 
and I had in no-wise deserved so grave a punishment a^ to be 
put under theorders of the Prince de Nassau. Had the prince 
marshal been dissatisfied with my conduct on this occasion, he 
vi^uld hav^ mentioned it to me, or issued an order. The prince 
of Nassau, however, has endeavoured to make it appear, at 
c&mi etpecially^ that his difference with me had no other foun- ''^ 
dation, than in my not choosing to salute his flag. He lowered 
it two or three days afterwards. How should he have done so, 
if he had been vice admiral'?* 

^ The capitan pachat came out from day to day, to sound 

- L 

* Deemmg it improper to gurble the Jonmal, the whole of this logic is inserted. 
Il may be inferrBd, that Joaes waa mistaken as to Nassan's representations at court ; 
and that his dwelling oa this point indicates a morbid feeling. Bnt he may hare been 
correct. At all events, he was right in not saluting him ; sind N&Bsan was weak and 
arrogant in claiming that compliment. 

t This old gentleman, for whom Jones always expresses great respect, as will have 
been observed, was wortbpof it irom any generoas foe. He had returned hota 



and reconnoitre, in his kirlangitz, wkich' iuMi like the wind^ 
and always displayed an admiral's flag* As tke block fort and 
battery on the tongue of land at Kinboum were only construct- 
ed of bags of sand, and were neither protected by ditch nor 
palbade, I was afraid that the capitan pacha might try to carry 
them by a sudden descent, which he could have done by land- 
Wig five hundred men. 

" (General Suvorrof had been dangejrously wounded in a 
vJStie made by the garrison of Oczakow,\tnd had come to ELin- 
bourn. I convinced him that the block fort and battery seemed 
to be menaced, and as he had a greater quantity of chevaux de 
frize ar Kinbourn, than he required, I suggested that he should 
employ what was superfluous in surrounding the block fort and 
battery. The general gare orders accordingly, and I ranged 
all my gun-boats and bomb-vessels hard by the strip of sand 
between the block fort and the battery. The sand served them' 
ng a parapet, so that there was a line of fire continued from the 
point quite to the battery. The smalL craft were, besides, 
always ready to change their position at the first movement of 
the enemy, and i placed the squadron so advantageoudy to 
communicate with the block fort and the battery, without coix^ 

■ I 

^ijgypt, whflre be had been engased in pacifyiiig the oonntiy, dktraetod by tiiis 
^uitrigiiet of tbe Beya Ibrabim and Amwatb. One of Jonea' fciofrapben, wbe hM 
traniliited tbe Journal of tbia campaign, (and bis tsanilation baa been naed, correctly 
aome smgolar and very ignorant Uonden,) baa inferred that Jones was tbree-fonrtba 
a Russian before be left St Petersburgb, because be was civil to tbe empress; and 
afterwards, tbat be was balf a Turk, becanae be did bonoor to tbe old Turidsh admi 
ral*8 skill and conitage. Sncb staff is of a piece witb Tooke's statement in tbe Life 
of Catbarine.n. tbat in tbe affiur of tbe Idtb Jane, *' Prince Naasan displayed great 
bravery in tbia action ; but tbe victory was obiefly owing to tbe talents of Captain 
Fansbaw, an English officer, (of course,) with two French officers, Varage and Ver- 
bois, and above all, to tbe Dutch Captain Winter."* Either thk person, who pM- 
tended to write a history including this campaign, was so colpably ignorant as not to 
know that Jones commanded the aquadron in the Lunan, or he still more colpaUy 
omitted to mention bis name. 

•uaarotthaiiBen. voim.^aai. am-h. 



liiiing their fire« and to keep back tl^e enemy by a cross fire, oti 
tbeir entering the channel of the Liman, that, though we were 
yery weak compared with the Turkish fleet, the capitan pacha 
never either attempted to make a descent, or to force the pas- 
sage oi the entrance of the Liman. 

^' The prince marshal having ordered rear admiral Woyno^ 
witch to sail from Sevastopole with the fleet under his comr 
mand, and that officer ^ving raised obstacles, because his foi^ 
was not, he conceived; powerful enough to attack that under 
the foommand of the capitan pacha, his highness sent me a let- 
ter, written by bis chief secretary. Brigadier Popoff, on the 19th 
August, (old style,) proposing that I should go to Sevastopole to 
take command of the fleet.* It may be remembered that I was 
brought to Russia to command aU the naval force in the Black 
Sea, consequently this proportion did not surprise me. Had 
the prince marshal ordered me to go, I would have proceeded 
immediately, but I would not have it appear that I sought to be 
sent. 1st, My naval signals had not yet been translated into 
the Russian language, as no attention had been given to my 
request for a person capable of translating them. 2dly, The 
naval signals used in that fleet were imperfect and very limited. 
3dly, I was acquainted with no one in the fleet, and I was aware 
that the prince marshal wished that it should tome out the very 
day after my arrival at Sevastopole. 4thly, That fleet haittf 
been compelled to fly before that of the eapitan pacha, at a time 
when he had two thousand fewer good seamen. 5thly, The 

* Bj tii0 Piiu8 Jmt^fiaamB, it appean that on this day Popoif wrote him, that the 
prince manhal seemed diapoted to send Joiiee to Serattopole and give him the coro- 
maqdofthefleet "Iihoaldlikemiiebto know/' he said, ''what yonrezcellencj thinks 
of it, in order that, in ease hu highness should reesrt to that idea, I may speak to him 
more pertinently, of yonr sentiments on the matter.*' On the same day Jones replied, 
ezpreising his entiie devotkm to the- service of the empress, and readmess to obey the 
orders of the prince marshal. There is nothing m his letter to indicate any disinclina- 
tion for the dnty. It is strictly formal and proper, though h seems from what foUows 
in the Journal, that he had objections to undertaking it immediately. It poffpstf out 
of Potemkin's head, as it had popped off fiom H^ if we may be allowed i|vjUMMns 


iSieet at Sevastopole was as weak as before, but that of the 
capitan pacha was stronger in craft, and had all the men . r^ 
placed that had been lost in the ai&i