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John Paul Jones -- Chronologies
    Mainly through 1777, when The Tory Lover begins.
    More detailed chronology of the voyage of the Ranger

Chronology of life of J. P. Jones, mainly through 1777, when The Tory Lover begins.
Drawn from Evan Thomas, John Paul Jones. 2003.

July 6, 1747 -- Birth in Scotland

1760-1764 -- Sailor on the Friendship (merchant)

1764-? -- 3rd mate on King George (slaver)

1766 -- 1st mate on Two Friends (slaver) Leaves the ship in Jamaica.

1767 -- Passenger on the John (merchant), he takes over when captain and first mate die, and returns the ship safely home. He was the only person on the ship who could navigate. Owners make him captain of this ship.

27 November 1770 -- Joins the Ancient Society of Free and Accepted Masons in Kirkcudbright, Scotland.

1771 -- Having flogged Mungo Maxwell, a sailor who died of other causes some time later, he is charged by the sailor's family with murder. An admiralty court vindicates him.

1772 -- Captain of the Betsey (merchant) out of London.

Summer 1773 -- Kills a mutinous sailor, according to his own report, in self-defense.

December 1773 -- Accused of murder in Tobago. Decides to leave rather than be tried in local criminal court (the admiralty court not currently available).

Winter 1774 -- Takes up residence in Fredricksburg, VA. Befriended by the Masons and Dr. John K. Read.

    Courts Dorothea Spottswood Dandridge, who marries Patrick Henry in 1777.

Summer 1775 -- Offers his service to the American navy, though it does not yet exist.

7 December 1775 -- 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, on the Alfred.

1776 - Captain of the sloop Providence, and by the end of the year, of the Alfred.

July 1777 - Receives command of the Ranger. See below for fuller chronology of this period.

1792 -- Death in Paris.

July 1905 -- body is removed from Paris cemetery, with military honors.

April 24, 1906 -- Reburial ceremony at Annapolis, Naval Academy.

Chronology of the First Voyage of the Ranger under Captain John Paul Jones, and then Captain Thomas Simpson.
     Based on The Diary of Ezra Green.



1 - Sails from Portsmouth, N.H.

13 - Captures first ship "a Brig from Carolina bound for Bordeaux with several Tory Passengers on Board, among whom were Hartley the Organist & his wife."

23 - Capture of the Mary.

25 - Capture of the George.

29 - Arrive in Bay of Biscay.


2 - Land at Paimbœuf on the River Loire.



13 - Arrive at Quiberon Bay.

14 - American flag of the Ranger receives first salute by a foreign ship.

26 - Return to Quiberon "after a short but very tedious & unprofitable Cruize."


8 - Arrive at Brest, where eight men jump ship, seven of whom are captured and returned.


3 - The Ranger is beached for cleaning at Brest.

10 - The Ranger resumes hunting.

15 - Captures & sinks a ship.

16 - Arrives at Irish coast.

17 - Captures a London to Dublin ship.

20 - Sinks a schooner near the Isle of Man.

21 - Captures a fishing boat near Belfast.

23 - The attack on Whitehaven.

24 - Attempt to capture Lord Selkirk at St. Mary's Isle.

25 - Capture of the Drake, with loss of Lieutenant Samuel Wallingford and others.


7 - Returns to Brest.


27 - Thomas Simpson is given command of the Ranger, Dr. Green says "to the joy and Satisfaction of the whole Ships company."


21 - Leaves Brest.

24 - Captures the Sally.


9 - Captures the Friends.

16 - Captures a fishing vessel.

25 - Arrives on the Banks of Newfoundland.

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