For today's weblog ( blog ) article, we are in for a real treat. I have invited a friend, Michael Tuttle, cultural resource director on the Serapis project to provide an overview into his fantastic work on John Paul Jones' ship named HMS Serapis. The following is his synopsis:
The remains of the American Revolutionary War era ship HMS Serapis have been located off the coast of Madagascar. The vessel was taken by John Paul Jones who uttered those immortal words, "I have not yet begun to fight!" when asked to surrender by the British captain. Jones in the Bonhomme Richard was finally successful in the epic Revolutionary War Battle off Flamborough Head. The battle was so intense that the Bonhomme Richard later sank in the North Sea while leaving the British coast. John Paul Jones and his crew had to remove to the Serapis and sailed on to the Netherlands. The Serapis ended up in the French navy, as the Bonhomme Richard was a French vessel that Benjamin Franklin helped to secure for the American cause. The Serapis was sent into the Indian Ocean in 1781, where it caught on fire and sank. In 1999 a crew of American, French and Malagasy archaeologists and historians located the remains of the vessel. Today, under the direction of Michael Tuttle, the Serapis Project continues to research the vessel remains in order to recover the history and expose the story Jones and the Serapis. In association with the University of Antananarivo it is hoped that enough materials will be recovered to establish a permanent museum display on Isle St. Marie to illuminate the maritime heritage of Madagascar and John Paul Jones. Please examine our web site at serapisproject.org.
I have included a link to the Serapis Project web site that can be found on the far right hand column of our blog. This is truly a valuable and historical cultural treasure!