From July 1777, when he arrived in Portsmouth, until May 1778, when he relinquished command of the Ranger, John Paul Jones confronted local and national government officials, then battled the British during one of the most exciting voyages in United States naval history.
Portsmouth, as the home port of the Ranger and now as the home of the historic John Paul Jones house, owned by the Portsmouth Historical Society, is forever linked to the memory of the dashing and controversial Jones.
This book tells John Paul Jones' story largely through his own letters, written while he was in Portsmouth and while he was in command of the Ranger. Included are nearly 100 documents written by, to, or about Jones and his exploits with the Ranger, and printed for the first time, are the Log of the Ranger, and the roster of the Ranger, whose crew was mostly seamen from the New Hampshire and Maine seacoasts. In the Log is the report of the first salute to the American flag by a foreign country. The documents, including Jones' first-hand account, trace the Ranger's raids on the English mainland and the capture of the British war ship Drake. Also printed here for the first time are a number of documents relating to Lt. Thomas Simpson, who was charged by Jones with disobeying orders. The charges were later dropped and Simpson sailed the Ranger back to Portsmouth.