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John Paul Jones - FIGHT Carving



Full Inscription: I have not yet begun to fight! - Captain John Paul Jones

Origins: While certainly associated with the U.S. Navy, this carving and its sentiment has also resonated strongly with a broader group of people who find themselves needing to persevere through difficult times and personal battles and who truly appreciate the indomitable spirit of Captain John Paul Jones.

To fully comprehend the intensity and conditions of the famous battle in which Captain John Paul Jones was credited with uttering these now immortal words, we strongly encourage you read a fuller account than we can offer here. Briefly, Jones had been dispatched to carry the American War of Independence to England and was doing so on September 23, 1779, off the English coast near Flamborough Head when engaging a superior British force.

Fighting against the fully fitted British frigate HMS Serapis, Jones’ refitted merchant ship, USS Bonhomme Richard was ablaze and sinking when the British commander inquired whether Jones was ready to surrender. While there are various accounts of his response, the one that has survived the test of time (and which is inscribed at the Unites States Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.) came from the account of his first lieutenant, Richard Dale: “I have not yet begun to fight!” And fight they did, ultimately winning the day!

We carved this piece using a letterform preferred by printer and colonial diplomat Benjamin Franklin and one which ultimately became one of the first official letterforms recognized by the fledgling American government. While we considered various nautical ornaments for our carving, after reading further about Jones’ exploits on the high seas, one ornament stood out: the trident. An element of the present United States Naval Academy logo and associated with the ancient Greek and Roman sea gods, Poseidon and Neptune, the trident symbolizes mastery of the seas — a quality readily apparent in John Paul Jones, a great leader recognized today as the “Father of the United States Navy.”

We only offer this carving in white oak. The nautically inclined will appreciate that white oak was an important shipbuilding material of the original six frigates commissioned by the United States Navy through the Naval Act of 1794 and its resistance to cannon fire the reason the crew of the USS Constitution so fondly called her "Old Ironsides."

Source: Battle of Flamborough Head, September 23, 1779

Recommended Finish: Our lighter toned Classic Oak finish works with many interiors and finishes and helps to create greater contrast to show off the many carving details of this piece to best advantage as well as helping to improve readability at greater distance. However, the somewhat darker Heritage Oak finish is quite nice as well, offering the rich look of a vintage piece

Product Dimensions:  6" X 32" X 3/4"

Includes: Custom installation kit for wall display, installation instructions, Origins Story Card. (Plinth Base not included, but available separately.)

Charitable Category: A portion of the proceeds from this piece benefits Veteran's Programs.

Product SKUs:
Classic Oak, GTI-JJ018-6-OC
Heritage Oak, GTI-JJ018-6-OH
Product Copyright 2013 GTI, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Made in USA. Stock Photo Shown.

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