The Life and Letters of John Paul Jones - Vol. 2

By Anna De Koven | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII
LANDAIS AND THE "ALLIANCE"

TO understand properly the underlying motives which governed Paul Jones at the moment of his departure from Paris, it is necessary again to emphasize the fact that he had received definite promises from the French court of obtaining the forces which would enable him to prove his capacity to conduct extensive naval operations and his right to the title of a great sea officer.

The wave of enthusiasm which followed his first brilliant exploits in English waters had carried him within sight of the goal of his hopes, when he had received his orders to join in the expedition with Lafayette against England. Now again, at the moment when he had shown such signal proof of his ability, and while the echoes of the applause for his astonishing victory over the Serapis were still ringing in his ears, he confidently believed the time was ripe for the realization of his ultimate ambitions.

As his friend Lafayette had procured from the French court a large supply of military stores for the American armies, Jones, with the concurrence of Franklin, had secured the loan of the Ariel, a twenty-gun ship, in which to transport that portion which could not be bestowed on the Alliance. Peremptory orders for the immediate transportation of the stores had been issued by Congress, and it was Jones's desire to obey

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