"I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight"


John Paul Jones was a Scottish fugitive who fled to America to escape charges of murdering a crewman on his own ship. In America, he changed his name and became a friend of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin sent him to John Adams in Philadelphia, who recommended him to the Continental Congress. The Congress commissioned him a first lieutenant in the new American Navy.
Jones fought a war of terror against the British Navy, damaging and plundering ships in the seas around Great Britain. He was eventually given a French ship, which he named the Bonhomme Richard, which means "Poor Richard" in French, after Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac. His battle, on September 23, 1779, with the British ship H.M.S. Seraphis became the most famous naval battle of the Revolutionary War.
Although Jones is remembered for his bravery and loyalty to the cause of American liberty, it is often forgotten that, after the Revolutionary War, he worked for a Russian tyrant, Catherine the Great, as a well-paid merchant.