The Engagement of Captain Pearson in His Majesty's Ship Serapis, with Paul Jones of the American Ship of War called the Bon Homme Richard
Origin: Great Britain, England, London
PLATE: H: 12" x W: 8 1/2"
Black and white line engraving and etching
Acc. No. 1930-484
Upper margin reads: "Engraved for BARNARD's New Complete & Authentic HISTORY of ENGLAND."
Lower margin reads: "Drawn by Hamilton./ Engraved by R. Collier/ The ENGAGEMENT of Capt.n Pearson in HIS MAJESTY's Ship Serapis, with/ Paul Jones of the American Ship of War called the Bon Homme Richard: in which Action the/ former was taken, while the Countess of Scarborough was also captured by the Pallas frigate."
Label:This illustration was published in Edward Barnard's, "'New Complete & Authentic History of England' (1781-83). This scene depicts the battle between the HMS Serapis and the Continental Navy ship The Bonhomme Richard captained by John Paul Jones on September 23, 1779. It was during this engagement that it is alleged Jones replied to a British naval officer's request he surrender with the famous words, "Sir, I have not yet begun to fight!" Though the Bonhomme Richard sank after the battle, the Americans were successful in the engagement and captured the HMS Serapis. It is thought that this victory was one of the factors that influenced France's decision to support the American cause.