JONES, JOHN PAUL.  1747-1792.

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Lot 424
JONES, JOHN PAUL. 1747-1792.

Sold for US$ 22,705 inc. premium
JONES, JOHN PAUL. 1747-1792.
JONES RECRUITS SAILORS FOR THE RANGER’S FIRST VOYAGE.
Autograph Letter Signed (“J.P. Jones”), 2 pp recto and verso, 4to, Boston, July 3, 1777, to WILLIAM WHIPPLE, regarding enlistments, with integral autograph address leaf, burns and loss to fold affecting left margin of page one and address leaf, some loss of text, loss at seal (repaired), entire document silked.

John Paul Jones rose to early prominence as a British sea captain, immigrating to America in 1773 after the death of his brother in Fredericksburg, VA. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War he offered his services to the newly formed Continental Navy, and commanded two warships before transferring to the newly commissioned sloop U.S.S. Ranger in 1777. The Ranger set sail in November of that year for France, transmitting news of General Burgoyne’s surrender to the Commissioners in Paris. On the voyage over, two British prizes were captured, and she distinguished herself in several battles in the United Kingdom, including a famous encounter with the H.M.S. Drake.
Jones writes this letter to William Whipple [1730-1785], Brigadier General of the New Hampshire militia, during the period leading up to Ranger’s first voyage. In part: “I have ordered some Marine Officers who are at Providence Unemployed to begin Enlisting with all possible Diligence. I shall give Orders to the same effect here, and perhaps at Marble Head and Salem. / As I am certain that it would very much retard the Enlistment were it promulgated that the Ranger is [n]ot Absolutely Bound to the Coast of France—I must [beg] of you not to mention that circumstance to any person, […] every one believes that I am to proceed agreeable to my [ ..] Orders. I shall find no difficulty, After taking a […] to reconcile every one to his situation.”
See illustration.
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