Many historians assert that there was little or no relationship between regional identity and the conduct of Continental Navy sailors. See Thomas, Ezra Green as quoted in Thomas, Thus, it may be argued, then, that geographic background was not a contributing factor to the conduct of sailors and, by extension, to the relative capability of the crews. Generally speaking, sailors may have preferred oficers from their hometowns, but the anecdotal evidence provided by records of the American Revolution demonstrates that no particular region provided crews who were more or less capable or loyal than any other.
While crew cohesiveness may have been important, it seems unlikely that sailors from New England would have been any more mutinous than their counterparts from Pennsylvania or South Carolina. New Englanders initiated the American Revolution and were often zealous supporters of it, but one cannot be too sure that this played any signiicant role in the conduct of individuals.
After all, nearly all the sailors in the Continental Navy, including the vast majority who never even considered mutiny, were willing to risk their lives for the sake of the republic and therefore must have believed in its political underpinnings to some degree, regardless of local identity. Although the slightly greater number of disgruntled New Hampshire sailors could be used in conjunction with an analysis of the oficers and their conduct to explain the events on board Ranger, explanations stressing regional afiliations cannot be upheld as either deinitive or exclusive. The prize money—based argument also cannot fully explain the events on board the Ranger.
Its points may largely be valid, but this theory fails to establish a causal link between the type of perceived grievances experienced by the crew and their actions toward their captain. After all, pay and prize money issues were nearly universal in the Continental Navy, so while these might have contributed to the events on Ranger, this argument cannot provide a complete explanation. Still, the strongest argument that suggests the crew was not primarily responsible for the events on board Ranger can be constructed from the relative lack of support this explanation inds in the primary material.
Interestingly, there is evidence that some of the crew may have praised Jones during the cruise. Furthermore, by the process of deduction, one can conclude that Jones himself actually agreed that the crew of the Ranger was not particularly dastardly. While Jones had a penchant for criticizing poor sailors, he did not once denigrate the capabilities of the sailors of Ranger. Such a phenomenon may be indicative of the fact that they were not as mutinous or problematic as many have argued.
Finally, an examination of the exchange of correspondence between American oficers and oficials in France clariies any role the crew may have had in the actions aboard Ranger. The letters between Jones and senior oficials do not mention that the crew may have been mutinous. Such arguments tend to have multiple variations and assign differing motivations to Simpson, but they all allege that Simpson singlehandedly or nearly singlehandedly led the crew and turned them against Jones, who became perceived as an outsider and a foreigner.
Although the crew may have followed Simpson because of shared regional origins, there might also have been a monetary component to their support. Though there is no precise way of verifying that the letter is authentic, and was not written by Jones himself, anything to the contrary seems improbable.
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It is worth remembering that Simpson and nearly every other oficer aboard Ranger were appointed by a committee composed of Jones, John Langdon, and William Whipple, in which much of the authority for naming the oficers was taken from Jones. In this sense, the conlict between the two leaders was inevitable. The orders issued by Congress ensured an ambiguity of the command structure, which in turn escalated the tension between Simpson and Jones.
As one looks more closely at the events for which Simpson was conined, it becomes clear that his actions purposefully undermined Jones. The most notable incident, the one for which Simpson was placed in coninement, was his failure to follow direct orders after being placed in command of Drake and her prize crew. As there are many accounts of the narrative, the chronological progression of the events is fairly straightforward. Samuel Eliot Morison wrote that Jones took the greatest care to provide for his crew. In his letter to the American commissioners, Simpson decried the conditions of his coninement following the Drake incident as inhuman and unbeitting of the conduct due to an oficer from his captain.
Simpson alleged that he was being held indeinitely in solitary coninement aboard a French ship of the line.
If any signiicant numbers of the other oficers had opposed Simpson, he could not have possibly succeeded in the way that he did. This does not mean that Simpson was not the central igure of resistance. On the other hand, the crew also could not have successfully turned against Jones unless the oficers as a whole allowed it. Other mutinies in this era were successfully quelled when a united wardroom Morison, They shared the regional origins and the antipathy of Simpson and the crew against their captain. In truth, the oficers of Ranger were poor leaders. Signiicant is that they were chosen by Langdon and Whipple.
Nathaniel Fanning, as pub- lished by John S. Ezra Green. Though Green never explicitly noted the reasons for his own insubordination and unfavorable opinion of Jones, his diary portrays the common grievances against Jones from the perspective of his oficers. As Samuel Eliot Morison wrote, Dr. Simpson had been unjustly treated. However, Green often went even further De Koven, — Ezra Green as found in Sawtelle, Viewed through the lens of Dr.
More dramatically, though, one can see the grievances of the oficers begin to evolve when one delves deeper into their writings and takes into account the actions of individuals such as Lieutenant Hall and Sailing Master Cullam. However, there was also a petition written and signed exclusively by oficers of Ranger, namely Hall, Cullam, and Green, who directly contradicted the testimony of their captain.
At the same time, one might note that—ironically—although Hall complained that the ship was not at sea, he would eventually avoid taking part in the raid on Whitehaven by feigning sickness, exhibiting a degree of cowardice. More importantly though, this incident illustrates the basis of the discord that would later emerge. The very existence of this letter indicates the formation of a conspiratorial cabal of oficers who opposed Jones every step of the way, explaining the ultimately mutinous actions of the Ranger crew.
Moving beyond their the conspiratorial mutterings, the oficers of Ranger eventually did more than write letters of complaint to American oficials in France. In two separate incidents, the oficers acted to garner the support of the crew and turn them against Jones. In one case, Cullam attempted to storm the quarterdeck and depose Jones. This effort was led by Cullam, meaning that neither Simpson nor others initiated this incident and suggesting that other expressions of dissatisfaction were similarly led, or at least approved by, the oficers of the Ranger.
For example, when the lieutenants refused to lead the raid on Whitehaven, they also spread their discontent among their subordinates. Without the support of his fellows, Simpson never could have been successful in his attempts to supersede Jones. It was only through their support both during the Irish Sea cruise and afterward that Simpson was eventually freed from his coninement, released from the threat of a court-martial, and given command of Ranger.
Although the oficers are often not held accountable for their role in this subversion, the documentary evidence demonstrates their critical part in this drama. Throughout Thomas, Jones sculpted his entire life so that he could project heroism, gentility, and honor. As the events aboard Ranger suggest, Jones did not always retain command of his men. This fact should not diminish his accomplishments during this cruise. Through the sheer power of his own will, Jones forced a crew of truculent sailors and oficers into successfully executing raids and ighting battles that they actively opposed.
One can only imagine what Jones could have achieved if he had attacked the English coast with a loyal crew and trustworthy oficers. One is that the additional names never appeared on the initial roster of men who signed aboard in Portsmouth, NH. It is possible that some men used pseudonyms because of fear of repercussion for the mutinous act.
Jones, after all, had the reputation of having a mutinous sailor logged to death and actually killing another in the Bahamas. A more mundane explanation for this luctuation might be the turnover of sailors in 18th-century navies, as some must have jumped ship in France while others, like Lieutenant Jean Meijer, must have signed on later.
Attached below is a similar analysis of the regional composition of the correspondents. The overall paucity of sources makes any substantial analysis of these indings impossible. Nonetheless, they are shown below. New York: New York Times, Franklin, Benjamin. The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. William Bradford Willcox, ed. Jones, John Paul, Gerard W. Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography.
Library of Congress, 6 February London Chronicle London , 23 June , no. Public Advertiser London , 28 April 2. James, May 2. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. C: Naval Historical Center, Sawtelle, Joseph G. Portsmouth, NH: Peter E. Randall, Other Authors Sawtelle, Joseph G.
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Physical Description xvi, p. Subjects Jones, John Paul, Ranger Sloop of war -- History -- Sources. Notes Includes bibliographical references p. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"? None of your libraries hold this item. Found at these bookshops Searching - please wait Molly Elliot Seawell's biographical essay -- which probably isn't to be relied upon wholly -- says "Simpson was cousin to the Quinceys, the Wentworths, the Wendells, and, above all, to President Hancock, who had it in his power to remedy that burning injustice of rank which Paul Jones declared to be 'no trifle.
Morison confirms that Simpson was Colonel John Langdon's brother-in-law, and points out that most of the officers appointed to serve under Jones were friends and relatives of John Langdon and William Whipple, both of whom were Portsmouth politicians and businessmen. None of these officers had naval experience.
Simpson was experienced in the merchant marine and was nine years older than Jones Such factors led to conflict between Jones and his men and to Simpson's eventual arrest for mutiny.
John Paul Jones and the Ranger, Portsmouth Marine Society
This arrest is mentioned in Green's diary notes; Green took Simpson's part and later served under Captain. See Sawtelle and also Morison Chapter 10 for a detailed accounts of this affair. Simon Staples 12 : Jewett implies that he is a Berwick area sailor. He appears on Buell's "Roster of the Ranger" as from Philadelphia. He appears on Sawtelle's list. Wallingford was killed during the capture of The Drake on 24 April , the day after the attack on Whitehaven. The historical Wallingford was not left behind at Whitehaven, though another sailor was. See David Smith, below.
According to Walter Green, son of the ship's doctor, Samuel Wallingford was a Lieutenant of Marines, and he left an infant son at his death, George Washington Wallingford, who was born at Somersworth, N. William H. The following summary is based on this web page. He died in battle on the Ranger on April 24, Their only child, George, was born 19 February , seven months after the wedding. According to this web site, Samuel's "military service during the Revolutionary War began in On 5 November Samuel was 1st Lt.
The Ranger and the Drake: John Paul Jones Brings the American Revolution to Britain
Moses Yeaton's 12th Co. Samuel Wallingford, part of Capt. David Copps' 25th Co. By December of , Wallingford was a captain in the fourth company of a regiment under Colonel David Gilman. I will shortly send you with hand Bills for your Government -- and in the Meantime the men will be intitled to wages from the date of Entry -- their reasonable Travelling expences will be Allowed -- and a bounty of Forty Dollars for every Able Seaman will be Paid on their Appearance at the Ship.
One account of the attack on Whitehaven that probably was familiar to Jewett suggests some opposition between Wallingford and Jones, mentioning Lieutenant [Samuel] Wallingford as a crew-member who opposed the attack and resisted setting the fires as ordered: "Lieutenant Wallingford thought it wrong to destroy the private property of the poor people William Young 12 : a Dover man according to The Tory Lover ; he appears on the list of petty officers and able seamen from Portsmouth in Buell.
Sawtelle lists a Jonathan Young, Armorer. I wish to tell you one thing, dear, that I knew Lieutenant Wallingford was killed, none better, but how could I write about him unless I kept him alive? I thought about him and his house and the members of the family whom I have known, and made him a Tory and had Mary W. Buell in which it is proved that Wallingford was a Tory and his lady love declined to marry him for that reason; at last he took her challenge and went to sea.
He confessed to Paul Jones that he had come for a lady's sake and not from his principles. Part of this is told almost in my words of the story, as you shall see. Now how could I have guessed, at his character, and what was likely to happen, and better? Imagination is the only true thing in the world! Jewett's correspondent was Augustus C. And it is probable that Buell fabricated the documents he sent Jewett -- as is indicated by the information in Green's Diary above and the Wallingford web site -- and that he based his inventions upon her own words.
See selections from Buell in Related Materials for more information on how Buell influenced Jewett's telling of this story.