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Best John Paul Jones Quotes

John Paul Jones Quotes About Led Zeppelin, Navy, Musician, Leadership, Bachelor, Life & Motivational! John Paul Jones was an American naval commander who was born in Scotland. He is mainly considered to be the father of American maritime tradition. His father, a gardener, worked on the estate of Arbigland near Kirkcudbright, Scotland, where John Paul was born on July 6, 1747. John Paul began his seagoing career at 13 as an apprentice to a shipowner.

 John Paul Jones Quotes

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Within a short time, he was involved in the Atlantic trade connecting America, England, Africa, and the West Indies. He took command of a ship called John at 21 when the captain and first mate died of yellow fever on a voyage from Jamaica to Scotland. His career got a boost when he brought the ship and crew to port safely.

When John Paul ran into difficulty as a merchant sailor, he was well on his way to success. Mutinous sailors attacked him on Tobago in 1773, looking for advance pay. As a result of decades of protection by the British navy, America didn’t have any naval power at the start of the Revolutionary War. When Congress got together, they converted merchant ships to warships and started building new navy ships.

He became captain of the Alfred and captured yet more British ships. In April 1778, he cruised near Britain as captain of the Ranger. By September 1779, Jones had commanded a fleet of five ships, including his flagship, a 40-gun frigate, which was his most significant victory. At 45, Jones died from a severe brain tumor before he could fulfill his appointment. After more than a century had passed since his death, his body was finally brought back to the United States and laid in a beautiful coffin in Annapolis, Maryland, at the chapel of the Naval Academy.

Best John Paul Jones Quotes

1. “Since human wisdom cannot secure us from accidents, it is the greatest effort of reason to bear them well.” – John Paul Jones

2. “Whoever can surprise well must conquer.” – John Paul Jones

3. “It is true that I must run a great risk; no gallant action was ever accomplished without danger.” – John Paul Jones

4. “I have not yet begun to fight!” – John Paul Jones

5. “I may sink, but I’ll be damned if I strike!” – John Paul Jones

6. “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm’s way.” – John Paul Jones

7. “If fear is cultivated it will become stronger, if faith is cultivated it will achieve mastery.” – John Paul Jones

8. “It seems to be a law of nature, inflexible and inexorable, that those who will not risk cannot win.” – John Paul Jones

9. “A navy is essentially and necessarily aristocratic.” – John Paul Jones

10. “And without a respectable navy – alas, America!” – John Paul Jones

11. “My plan for forming a proper corps of sea officers is by teaching them the naval tactics in a fleet of evolution.” – John Paul Jones

12. “A captain of the line must at this day be a tactician.” – John Paul Jones

13. “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.” – John Paul Jones

14. “Much wisdom, and more knowledge than we possess, is in my humble opinion necessary to the formation of such a naval constitution as is absolutely wanting.” – John Paul Jones

15. “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 farther improvement as may one day make ours vie with – and exceed – theirs.” – John Paul Jones

16. “There is now, perhaps, as much difference between a battle between two ships and an engagement between two fleets, as there is between a duel and a ranged battle between two armies.” – John Paul Jones

17. “I would lay down my life for America but I cannot trifle with my honor.” – John Paul Jones

18. “The situation of America is new in the annals of mankind; her affairs cry haste, and speed must answer them.” – John Paul Jones

19. “For you must know, Yankees do not haul down their colors till they are fairly beaten.” – John Paul Jones

20. “Heaven can never countenance the barbarous and unmanly practice of the Britons in America, which savages would blush at, and which, if not discontinued, will soon be retaliated on Britain by a justly enraged people.” – John Paul Jones

21. “An honorable Peace is and always was my first wish! I can take no delight in the effusion of human Blood; but, if this War should continue, I wish to have the most active part in it.” – John Paul Jones

22. “Though I have drawn my sword in the present generous struggle for the rights of men, yet I am not in arms as an American, nor am I in pursuit of riches. My fortune is liberal enough, having no wife nor family, and having lived long enough to know that riches cannot ensure happiness.” – John Paul Jones

23. “It is with great pleasure that I see the political system of almost every power in Europe changing in our favor since the news of our late successes.” – John Paul Jones

24. “For me, if I have done my duty, the continued approbation of Congress and the Marine Committee will make me rich indeed, and far more than reward me for a life of service devoted from principles of philanthropy, to support the dignity of human nature.” – John Paul Jones

25. “I have sacrificed not only my favorite scheme of life, but the softer affections of the heart, and my prospects of domestic happiness, and I am ready to sacrifice my life also, with cheerfulness, if that forfeiture could restore peace and goodwill among mankind.” – John Paul Jones

26. “America has been the country of my fond election from the age of thirteen when I first saw it. I had the honor to hoist with my own hands the flag of freedom, the first time it was displayed, on the Delaware; and I have attended it with veneration ever since on the ocean.” – John Paul Jones

27. “When the enemies’ land force is once conquered and expelled from the continent, our Marine will rise as if by enchantment and become, within the memory of persons now living, the wonder and envy of the world.” – John Paul Jones

28. “The common class of mankind are actuated by no nobler principle than that of self-interest; this, and this only, determines all adventurers in privateers, the owners as well as those they employ.” – John Paul Jones

29. “Nothing exciting ever happens to me.” – John Paul Jones

30. “It is by no means enough that an officer should be capable.” – John Paul Jones

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