Digging for John Paul Jones

The American Corsair

"The Memorable Engagement of Captain Pearson of the SERAPIS with Paul Jones of the BON HOMME RICHARD and his squadron, September 23, 1779." (First View). Oil on canvas, 20" x 45", by Thomas Buttersworth (1768-1842). Painting in the U.S. Naval Academy Museum Collection, 1949.

It was there in the half-dark of the crypt that I became consumed by John Paul Jones’s adventurous life, maybe as close as America got to producing a Byronic hero. At the time I was taking a seminar in “Pyscho-History” (it was the 70s) and being an early adopter of Cockburn’s maxim to “waste no experience that can be turned into copy” I used my new-found obsession with Jones to write a 50-page psychological profile of the American corsair as my class project, viewing his life through the lens of Erik Erikson’s theory of personality.

To read this article, log in here or subscribe here.
If you are logged in but can't read CP+ articles, check the status of your access here
In order to read CP+ articles, your web browser must be set to accept cookies.

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent books are Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution and The Big Heat: Earth on the Brink (with Joshua Frank) He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3

CounterPunch Magazine Archive

Read over 400 magazine and newsletter back issues here

Support CounterPunch

Make a tax-deductible monthly or one-time donation and enjoy access to CP+.  Donate Now

Support our evolving Subscribe Area and enjoy access to all Subscribers content.  Subscribe