Letters of John Paul Jones

There are very few reliable, online repositories of his letters. Two collections – Letters of John Paul Jones, printed from the unpublished originals in Mr. W.K. Bixby’s collection (1905) and The life and letters of John Paul Jones (1913) – come to mind but lack the editorial apparati that are now required components of any document collection. Another work – A calendar of John Paul Jones manuscripts in the Library of Congress (1903) acts as a guide to dozens of letters to and from Jones and presents informative abstracts of them. However, embedded within the monumental Founders Online site are 153 transcribed letters from JPJ to various American luminaries, all with links and editorial work; another 88 letters are listed with Jones as the recipient. The dates range from a June 3, 1777 letter to Benjamin Franklin to a June 1, 1792 missive from Thomas Jefferson. (Jones died July 18, 1792 before this letter reached him.) As the Founders Online is an ongoing project, I would not be surprised to see additional JPJ letters emerge. N.B. For those wishing to read his correspondence while he held command during the Revolutionary War, please consult the indexes to the multi-volume Naval Documents of the American Revolution.

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