John Paul Jones was a Manly Privateer
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Written by SeacoastNH Archives

John Paul Presents
Historic Portsmouth #308

Having welcomed the tall ships HMS Bounty and Privateer Lynx into port this week, we need to set the record straight. As the city with the only John Paul Jones Museum, we must admit that Jones too was a privateer. He carried, at one point, a letter of marque issued by the United States to raid enemy commerce ship. (Continued below)

Captain Jones was therefore, in the definition of the day, a "legalized pirate". As Captain of the Ranger out of Portsmouth in 1777, he became a member of the Continental Navy as well. His advertisement in the NH Gazette entitled "Great Encouragement for Seaman" is considered among the first recruitment posters of the US Navy. Piscataqua sailors, however, were reluctant to sign on, preferring the chance to make a profit as privateersmen raiding British vessels rather than risking life and limb in the government service. If last week’s photo raised issues about Jones macho side, this 1956 cover of Saga (True Adventures for Men) should set the record straight. ( Collection)

SEE ALSO: Softer side of JPJ

John Paul Jones on SAGA cover /

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