DM 370 John Paul Jones Scrimshaw
John Paul was born at Arbigland, Kirkbean, Kirkcudbright, Scotland, 6 July, 1747. After several successful years as a merchant skipper in the West Indies trade, John Paul emigrated to the British colonies in North America and there added “Jones” to his name.
At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Jones was in Virginia. On 7 December 1775, he was commissioned first lieutenant in the Continental Navy, serving aboard Esek Hopkins’ flagship Alfred. As First Lieutenant in the Alfred, he was the first to hoist the Grand Union flag on a Continental warship. On 1 November 1777, he commanded the Ranger, sailing for France.
Sailing into Quiberon Bay, France, 14 February 1778, Jones and Admiral La Motte Piquet exchanged gun salutes, the first time that the Stars and Stripes, the flag of the new nation, was officially recognized by a foreign government.
Early in 1779, the French King gave Jones an ancient East Indiaman, which Jones refitted, repaired, and renamed Bon Homme Richard as a compliment to his patron Benjamin Franklin. Commanding four other ships and two French privateers, he sailed 14 August 1779 to raid English shipping.
On September 23 1779, Jones’ ship engaged the HMS Serapis in the North Sea off Famborough Head, England. Richard was blasted in the initial broadside the two ships exchanged, losing much of her firepower and many of her gunners. British Captain Richard Pearson, commanding Serapis, called out to Jones, asking if he would surrender. Jones’ reply: “I have not yet begun to fight!”
It was a bloody battle with the two ships literally locked in combat. Jones and his crew tenaciously fought on, even though their ship was sinking beneath them. Finally, Capt. Pearson struck his colors and Serapis surrendered. Bon Homme Richard sank the next day and Jones was forced to transfer to Serapis.
On 26 January 1913, the remains of John Paul Jones were interred in the crypt of the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland.
This is a resin museum scrimshaw replica of a 19th century 22 inch walrus tusk honoring John Paul Jones and the battle between the Bon Homme Richard vs HMS Sarapis. This replica is made of non-toxic resin. One side of this replica shows the BonHomme Richard firing on Serapis. The reverse shows portraits of British captain Richard Pearson and American captain John Paul Jones. This replica includes a stand to display the piece.
This reproduction is made of non-toxic resin. One side of this reproduction proves to the Bon Homme Richard firing on Serapis.