PATRICK O'BRIEN




John Paul Jones: RANGER v. DRAKE, 1778
Oil          24" x 36"          Framed 33" x 44"          SOLD

The Ranger was one of John Paul Jones favorite ships, in which he fought one of his most famous battles. Built in Portsmouth, NH in 1777, she was a corvette, also known as a sloop of war, which meant she carried all her cannons on one deck. She had 18 cannons and a figurehead of a rifleman (a ranger).

In 1778, John Paul Jones brought the American Revolution to England’s shores by sailing the Ranger in British waters, harassing shipping and ports, and causing panic in the populace. While several British cruisers were searching for Ranger, Captain Jones sailed across the North Channel to Ireland to induce HMS Drake, 20 guns, to come out and fight. The Drake came out slowly engaged in a duel at sea. Jones described the battle in a letter: “The sun was now a little more than an hour from setting, it was therefore time to begin…The action was warm, close and obstinate; it lasted for an hour and five minutes when the enemy called for quarters.” The British surrendered with 40 men dead, while only two Americans were killed.

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