John Paul Jones took command in 1779 of a rebuilt French merchant ship renamed the
Bon Homme Richard in honor of Benjamin Franklin. On September 23, 1779, the
Bon Homme Richard engaged the English Frigate Serapis near Cape Flamborough
in the North Sea. This battle can be found in the history of the most important naval battles.
During the fight the English captain asked Jones if he were ready to surrender. Jones replied,
"Sir, I have not yet begun to fight". After a fierce battle the Americans captured the Serapis.
The Bon Homme Richard, damaged, sank after the Americans boarded the Serapis.