Jones has been censured as a jealous stickler for rank, a quibbler about petty distinctions in trying times. Such criticisms proceed from ignorance. If there were nothing else, rank means opportunity. The range of prospective enterprises is greater the higher the rank. The little Scotsman was properly tenacious of his prerogatives–we could not admire him if he were not so–and naturally exasperated by the arbitrary course of Congress, against which he protested with all the vehemence of his passionate, fiery, and–it must be confessed–somewhat irritable nature. On this subject he thus wrote to the Marine Board at Philadelphia:
“I am now to inform you that by a letter from Commodore Hopkins, dated on board the Warren, January 14, 1777, which came to my hands a day or two ago, I am superseded in the command of the Alfred, in favour of Captain Hinman, and ordered back to the sloop in Providence River.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 doth 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 neglect of duty or misconduct, since my appointment at the first as eldest lieutenant of the navy, I can not suppose that you have intended to set me aside in favour of any man who did not at that time bear a captain’s commission, unless, indeed, that man, by exerting his superior abilities, hath rendered or can render more important services to America. Those who stepped forth at the first, in ships altogether unfit for war, were generally considered as frantic rather than wise men, for it must be remembered that almost everything then made against them. 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 misrepresentation, 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 account. 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 admitted, the foregoing operations will be sufficiently clear; but if further proof is required it can easily be produced.
“When I entered into the service I was not actuated by motives of self-interest. I stepped forth as a free citizen of the world, in defense of the violated rights of mankind, and not in search of riches, whereof, I thank God, I inherit a sufficiency; but I should prove my degeneracy were I not in the highest degree tenacious of my rank and seniority. As a gentleman I can yield this point up only to persons of superior abilities and superior merit, and under such persons it would be my highest ambition to learn. As this is the first time of my having expressed 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 commission is No. 1, and that, in consequence, he who was at first my junior officer by eight, hath expressed himself as my senior officer in a manner which doth himself no honour, and which doth me signal injury. There are also in the navy persons who have not shown me fair play after the service I have rendered them. I have even been blamed for the civilities which I have shown to my prisoners, at the request of one of whom I herein inclose an appeal, which I must beg leave to lay before Congress. Could you see the appellant’s 佛山桑拿有什么服务 accomplished lady, and the innocents their children, arguments in their behalf would be unnecessary. As the base-minded only are capable of inconsistencies, you will not blame my free soul, which can never stoop where I can not 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, accountable to your honourable board only for my conduct, and connected as much as possible with gentlemen and men of good sense.”
The letter does credit to his head and heart alike. Matter and manner are both admirable. In it he is at his best, and one paragraph shows that the generous sympathy he ever felt for a prisoner could even be extended to the enemies of his country, so that as far 佛山南海桑拿论坛交流 as he personally was concerned they should suffer no needless hardship in captivity. Considered as the production of a man whose life from boyhood had been mainly spent upon the sea in trading ships and slavers, with their limited opportunities for polite learning, and an entire absence of that refined society without which education rarely rises to the point of culture, the form and substance of Jones’ letters are surprising. Of this and of most of the letters hereafter to be quoted only words of approbation may be used. A just yet modest appreciation of his own dignity, a proper and resolute determination to maintain it, a total failure to truckle to great men, an absence of sycophancy and hypocrisy, a clear insight into the requirements of a gentleman and an effortless rising to his own high standard without unpleasant 佛山夜生活兼职mm self-assertion, are found in his correspondence. Considering the humble source from which he sprang, his words, written and spoken, equally with his deeds, indicate his rare qualities.
It is probable that no disposition existed in Congress to do him an injustice–quite the reverse, in fact; but the claims of the representatives of the several States, which were insistently put forth in behalf of local individuals aspiring to naval station from the various colonies in which the different ships were building, were too strong to be disregarded. The central administration was at no time sufficiently firm for a really strong government, and conciliation and temporization were necessary. It was only by the very highest quality of tact that greater difficulties were overcome, and that more glaring acts of injustice were not perpetrated. 佛山桑拿妈咪电话 So sensible were the authorities of Jones’ conduct, so valuable had been his services on his last two cruises, that while they were unable at that time, in spite of his protests, to restore him to his proper place in the list, as a concession to his ability and merit orders were given him assigning him to the command of the squadron consisting of the Alfred, Columbus, Cabot, Hampden, and Providence, to operate against Pensacola.
This was virtually creating him commander-in-chief of the naval forces, for outside the ships mentioned there were but few others worthy of consideration. Natural jealousy had, however, arisen in the mind of Hopkins, the commander-in-chief, at being thus superseded and ignored through one of his own subordinates by Congress, with which his relations had become so strained that he affected to disbelieve 佛山夜生活桑拿论坛 the validity of the order assigning Jones to this duty, and, refusing to comply therewith, retained the ships under his command. The matter thereupon fell through.
Finding all efforts to secure the squadron and carry out these orders fruitless, Jones journeyed to Philadelphia for the purpose of emphatically placing before the Marine Committee his grievances. There a further shock awaited him.
“My conduct hitherto,” he writes on this subject in the memorial addressed to Congress from the Texel years after, “was so much approved of by Congress that on the 5th of February, 1777, I was appointed, with unlimited orders, to command a little squadron of the Alfred, Columbus, Cabot, Hampden, and sloop Providence. Various important services were pointed out, but I was left at free liberty to make my election. That service, 佛山桑拿网论坛 however, did not take place; for the commodore, who had three of the squadron blocked in at Providence, affected to disbelieve my appointment, and would not at last give me the necessary assistance. Finding that he trifled with my applications as well as the orders of Congress, I undertook a journey from Boston to Philadelphia, in order to explain matters to Congress in person. I took this step also because Captain 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 beginning of April. 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, 1776, all the officers that had stepped forth at the beginning were superseded! I was myself superseded by thirteen men, not one of 佛山桑拿qq群2013 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 refused to venture, and none of them has since been 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 must affect a man of honour and sensibility.
“I was told by President Hancock that what gave me so much pain had been the effect 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 meantime I might assure myself that no navy officer stood higher in the opinion of 佛山桑拿按摩包吹 Congress than myself.”
The complete news of his displacement and supersession in rank does not appear to have reached him before this. His efforts to secure the restoration of his rank proving useless, he applied for immediate sea duty. The next attempt on the part of the Marine Committee to gratify Jones’s wish for active service, and avail themselves of his ability at the same time, took the shape of a resolution of Congress authorizing him to choose the best of three ships which it was proposed to purchase in Boston, which he was to command until some better provision could be made for him. He was ordered to that point to fit out the ship. During this period of harassing anxiety he gave great attention to formulating plans and making suggestions looking to a more effective organization of the new naval establishment.
To Robert Morris, chairman of the committee, on different occasions, he communicated his views on this important subject in a series of valuable letters, of which the following are pertinent extracts:
“As the regulations of the navy are of the utmost consequence, you will not think me presumptuous, if, with the utmost diffidence, I venture to communicate to you such hints as, in my judgment, will promote its honor and good government. I could heartily wish that every commissioned officer were to be previously examined; for, to my certain knowledge, there are persons who have already crept into commission without abilities or fit qualifications; I am myself far from desiring to be excused. 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 marine officers is of more consequence to the harmony of the sea service than has generally been imagined… I propose not our enemies 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 further improvement as may one day make ours vie with and exceed theirs.”
With regard to the difficulty of recruiting seamen, some of whom, finding the merchant service or coasting trade was broken up, had entered the army at the beginning of the war, while many more had engaged in privateering–a much more profitable vocation than the regular service–he says:
“It is to the least 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 self-interest; this, and this alone, determines all adventurers in privateers–the owners, as well as those whom they employ. And while this is the case, unless the private emolument of individuals in our navy is made superior to that in privateers, it can never become respectable, it will never become formidable. And without a respectable navy–alas! America. In the present critical situation of affairs human wisdom can suggest no more than one infallible expedient: enlist the seamen during pleasure, and give them all the prizes. What is the paltry emolument of two thirds of prizes to the finances of this vast continent? If so poor a resource is essential to its independence, in sober sadness we are involved in a woeful predicament, and our ruin is fast approaching. The situation of America is new in the annals 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 foolish. If our enemies, with the best establishment and most formidable navy in the universe, have found it expedient to assign all prizes to the captors, how much more is such policy essential to our infant fleet! But I need use no arguments to convince you of the necessity of making the emoluments of our navy equal, if not superior, to theirs. We have had proof that a navy may be officered on almost 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 proper to appoint a board of admiralty competent to determine impartially the respective merits and abilities of their officers, and to superintend, regulate, and point out all the motions and operations of the navy.”
In another letter to Robert Morris he writes:
“There are no officers more immediately wanted in the marine department than commissioners of dockyards, to superintend the building and outfits of all ships of war; with power to appoint deputies, to provide, and have in constant readiness, sufficient quantities of provisions, stores, and slops, so that the small number of ships we have may be constantly employed, and not continue idle, as they do at present. Besides all the advantages that would arise from such appointments, the saving which would accrue to the continent is worth attending to. Had such men been appointed at the first, the new ships might have been at sea long ago. The difficulty now lies in finding men who are deserving, and who are fitly qualified for an office of such importance.”
We are surprised at the clear insight of this untrained, inexperienced Scotsman, whom, by the way, I shall hereafter call an American. Most of his recommendations have long since been adopted in our own navy and other navies of the world. His conclusions are the results of his long and thorough professional study, his habits of application, his power of comprehension and faculty of clear and explicit statement. His observations would do credit to the most trained observer with large experience back of his observation.
Another curious letter to a former friend on the island of Tobago, written at this time, which deals with certain investments in property with balances due him from his various trading ventures, contains the following statement:
“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 Plainer, of Cork, will be faithfully put into her hands; she hath several orphan grandchildren to provide for.”
All of which plainly indicates that, though a citizen of another country and the bearer of another name, he still retained those natural feelings of affection which his enemies would fain persuade us were not in his being.
While waiting at Boston for the purchase of the ships referred to, he was selected by Congress to command a heavy ship of war, a frigate to be called the Indien, then building at Amsterdam, which undoubtedly would be the most formidable vessel in the American service. This would be not only a just tribute to his merit, but would also solve the difficulty about relative rank, for he would be the highest ranking officer in Continental waters, and there could be no conflict of authority. He was directed to proceed at once to Europe to take command of this ship. The Marine Committee sent the following letter, addressed to the commissioners of the United States in Europe, to Paul Jones, for him to present to them on his arrival in France:
“Philadelphia, May 9, 1777.
“Honourable Gentlemen: This letter is intended to be delivered to you by John Paul Jones, Esquire, an active and brave commander in our navy, who has already performed signal services in vessels of little force; and, in reward for his zeal, 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 Messrs. Hortalez & Co., and with her to repair to France. He takes with him his commission, and 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 approbation of Congress, that you may purchase one of those fine frigates that Mr. Deane writes us you can get, and invest him with the command thereof 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 dispatch, a fine, fast-sailing frigate, or larger ship. Direct Captain Jones where he must repair to, and he will take with him his officers and men toward manning her. You will assign him some good house or agent, to supply him with everything necessary to get the ship speedily and well equipped and manned; somebody that will bestir himself 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 of the States than sending her out directly, Captain Jones is instructed to obey your orders; and, to save repetition, let him lay before you the instructions we have given him, and furnish you with a copy thereof. You can 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 public service of this country.
“You see by this step how much dependence Congress places in your advices; and you must make it a point not to disappoint Captain Jones’ wishes and expectations on this occasion.”
At the same time the committee sent the following letter to Jones himself:
“Philadelphia, May 9, 1777.
“Sir: Congress have thought proper to authorize the Secret Committee to employ you on a voyage in the Amphitrite, from Portsmouth to Carolina and France, where it is expected you will be provided with a fine frigate; and as your present commission 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 course may command any ship in the service to which you are particularly ordered. You are to obey the orders of the Secret Committee, and we are, sir, etc.”
The Amphitrite, which was to carry out Jones and the other officers and seamen to man the proposed frigate, was an armed merchantman. The French commander of the Amphitrite, however, made great difficulty with regard to surrendering his command to Jones, and even to receiving him and his men on board the ship, and through his persistent and vehement objections this promising arrangement likewise fell through. Jones continued his importunities for a command, however, his desire being then, as always, for active service. Finally, by the following resolutions passed by Congress on the 14th of June, he was appointed to the sloop of war Ranger, then nearing completion at Portsmouth, New Hampshire:
“Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.
“Resolved, That Captain Paul Jones be appointed to command the ship Ranger.
“Resolved, That William Whipple, Esquire, member of Congress and of the Marine Committee, John Langdon, Esquire, Continental agent, and the said John Paul Jones be authorized to appoint lieutenants and other commissioned and warrant officers necessary for the said ship; and that blank commissions and warrants be sent them, to be filled up with the names of the persons they appoint, returns whereof to be made to the navy board in the Eastern Department.”
At last, having received something tangible, he hastened to Portsmouth as soon as his orders were delivered to him, and assumed the command. It is claimed, perhaps with justice, that his hand was the first to hoist the new flag of the Republic, the Stars and Stripes, to the masthead of a war ship, as it had been the first to hoist the first flag of any sort at the masthead of the Alfred, not quite two years before. The date of this striking event is not known.
It is interesting to note the conjunction of Jones with the flag in this resolution; an association justified by his past, and to be further justified by his future, conduct, and by the curious relationship in which he was brought to the colors of the United States by his opportune action upon various occasions. The name of no other man is so associated with our flag as is his.
THE FIRST CRUISE OF THE RANGER–SALUTE TO THE AMERICAN FLAG.
In spite of the most assiduous effort on the part of Jones, he was unable to get the Ranger ready for sea before October, and the following extract from another letter to the Marine Committee shows the difficulties under which he labored, and the inadequate equipment and outfit with which he finally sailed.
“With all my industry I could not get the single suit of sails completed until the 20th current. Since that time the winds and weather have laid me under the necessity of continuing in port. At this time it blows a very heavy gale from the northeast. The ship with difficulty rides it out, with yards and topmasts struck, and whole cables ahead. When it clears up I expect the wind from the northwest, and shall not fail to embrace it, although I have not a spare sail nor
materials to make one. Some of those I have are made of hissings. I never before had so disagreeable 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.”
The instructions under which Jones sailed for Europe are outlined in the following orders from the Marine Committee:
“As soon as these instructions get to hand you are to make immediate application to the proper persons to get your vessel victualed 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 the agent, if any, in 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, requesting their instructions as to your further destination, which instructions you are to obey as far as it shall be in your power.