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John Paul Jones   -  Wallace Bruce
 

 

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John Paul Jones
Father of the United States Navy
by Wallace Bruce   

US price: $18.95    UK price £15.99
Format: Paperback
Size: 6 x 9
Pages: 300
ISBN: 0-595-24232-4
Publication Date: Aug-2002


John Paul Jones: the Father of the US Navy is not just a novel, but an essential slice of living US naval history that traces the link between a barefooted son of a Scottish gardener to the raising of the Stars and Stripes on the moon.

Portraits of John Paul Jones:

Oil painting by Tom Jenkins

Photo supplied by Tom Jenkins

On the instructions of President Teddy Roosevelt, the preserved mortal remains of John Paul Jones were escorted back to the United States on the USS Brooklyn, surrounded by warships of the U.S. Navy, in 1905. This was a fitting tribute to the barefooted son of a Scottish gardener who, born in 1747, was destined to become the Father of the US Navy through his dogged determination and dauntless courage on the high seas. At an early age he went to sea as a cabin boy, becoming a captain in his own right at the age of twenty-one in the British merchant service. He ended up in Philadelphia and offered his services to the infant American navy, becoming its ablest and most dashing commander, raising "Old Glory" for the first time ever to the jackstaff of the USS Alfred, then attacking British ports in the US war of independence. His hour of glory was on the USS Bon Homme Richard when he engaged the Royal Navy off Flamborough Head. When all the odds were against him, and the skipper of the HMS Serapis, Captain Pearson, demanded his surrender, his immortal reply was, "I have not yet begun to fight!" On return to the United States, he ended up supervising and launching his flagship, the USS America. This book will have you spellbound by the colourful narrative of his life.

 


The author, Wallace Bruce

REVIEW

This review appeared in Lochaber Life, November 2002:

Wallace Bruce is the pen name of Roy Bridge’s Joe Smith. When Mr Smith was a college lecturer, he took a group of students to the USA as guests of Neil Armstrong, and then began his interest in the eighteenth-century American hero.

John Paul was a gardener’s son in Scotland, went to sea as a cabin boy and quickly became a Merchant Navy captain.  When he was twenty-eight he changed his name to Jones, following the killing of a mutineer off Tobago.  He then made his way to Philadelphia and joined the infant American Navy, rising to the rank of Captain by the start of the War of Independence. As well as harassing British shipping, he became famous for leading his men in the raid on the UK mainland at Whitehaven.

The author described all this, Jones’s promotion to Commodore, his responsibility for organising the new navy, and his later work for Russia, with admirable respect for the facts along with the ability to pull the reader into sharing Jones’s life under sail and in battle.

A great deal of research has obviously been carried out, but Mr Smith still manages to carry the story along in a lively fashion.

From: Lochaber Life, November 2002, No. 121

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