Fredericksburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
John Paul Jones House
Erected 1911 by Daughters of the American Revolution, Betty Washington Lewis Chapter.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War, US Revolutionary • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Daughters of the American Revolution series list.
Location. 38° 17.935′ N, 77° 27.386′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Lafayette Boulevard (U.S. 1) and Caroline Street (Business U.S. 17), on the right when traveling north on Lafayette Boulevard. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 501 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg VA 22401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. c. 1821 (a few steps from this marker); 1826 (within shouting distance of this marker); 1845 (within shouting distance of this marker); 1787 (within shouting distance of this marker); 1854 / 19251821 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Welcome to Fredericksburg, Va (about 300 feet away); Fredericksburg's Rail Station (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
Also see . . . Newspaper article announcing the marker's dedication. Note, while it states 1910 on the tablet, it was not installed until November 25, 1911. The article reads:
Honor Naval Hero
Tablet Now Marks House Where John Paul Jones Lived.
FREDERICKSBURG, Va., November 25 - "The only home in America of John Paul Jones" was marked appropriately today when a bronze tablet was unveiled on the house here where the famous American naval hero lived when in 1775 he was appointed a lieutenant in the continental navy. The tablet was erected by the Betty Washington Lewis Chaptet of the Daughters of the American Revolution and unveiled by little Miss Josephine Carter Barney, a descendant of a long line of distinguished naval heroes.
Judge John T. Goolrick delivered the introductory address. He stated that John Paul Jones had been a citizen of Virginia and a resident of Fredericksburg during the entire period of his abode in this country. William Paul, the only brother
Gift of Fredericksburg.
Ben P. Willis of the Fredericksburg oar made the dedicatory address. He said, in part:
"It was Fredericksburg that gave to America the head of her armies. In the war of independence, in the person of Washington, and it was Fredericksburg that furnished her navy the greatest commander of that war, in the person of John Paul Jones.
“While American patriots were busy fighting the British on land, others, equally brave, were fighting them at sea. As soon as the war began Congress gave seamen letters of marque, which were permissions to attack and seize any British vessel they met. The bravest and best known of all the American seamen of this time was John Paul Jones.
“Perhaps Paul Jones' most brilliant achievement was his signal victory in the famous battle with the Serapis. It was after
"Capt. Pearson of the latter frigate spoke the Richard twice. For answer Jones opened fire, and here was waged one of the fiercest naval battles ever fought. Although Jones' ship was afire from the very beginning, his guns all disabled, the vessel shot away between decks and slowly sinking, he boldly lashed it fast to the Serapis. By this time the smoke was so thick that the British captain could not see whether the American flag had been hauled down, and shouted, 'Have you struck your colors,' but Jones coolly answered, 'I have not yet begun to fight.'
British Forced to Yield.
"Such was Jones' pluck that the British commander was forced to yield, but as he gave up his sword he haughtily said: 'It is with great reluctance that I surrender mv sword to a man who fights with a halter around his neck.' Jones returned the weapon, politely saying: 'Capt Pearson, you have fought like a hero, and 1 have no doubt that your sovereign will reward you for it in the most ample manner.’
"The news of Paul Jones' victory caused great rejoicings both in America and in France, and upon his return to the latter country he was invited to court with r Franklin. Louis XVI heard Jones' account of the fight, presented him a sword and informed him that his enemy, Capt. Pearson, had just been knighted by George III for his intrepid action and had received a new ship. Paul Jones gayly answered: 'Well, he deserved the honor, and if I meet him in his new ship I'll make a lord of him.'
"Upon his return to America, at the close of the war. Congress gave him a vote of thanks, and he would have been further honored, but, being offered an important command by the Empress of Russia against the Turks. In the Black sea, he accepted with the stipulation 'that he was never to renounce the title of an American citizen.' "
The inscription on the tablet is as follows: "This tablet marks the only home in America of John Paul Jones. He was appointed a lieutenant in the continental navy while still a resident of Virginia." (Submitted on May 18, 2017, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 6, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,352 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.