KONTRADMIRAL PAVEL IVANOVICH JONES
CATHERINE'S REAR ADMIRAL
"The euxine, the Meotian waters felt thee next, and long-skirted Turks, О Paul; and thy fiery soul has wasted itself in a thousand contradictions:— to no purpose." Thus Thomas Carlyle dismissed Paul Jones's Russian adventure, not unfairly.
Catherine II, Empress of Russia, was one of the ablest rulers of her day, although her personal morals shocked people even then. "With the character of a very great man, she will always be adored as the most amiable and captivating of the fair sex," wrote Jones himself.
Born a princess in a petty German state married at the age of fourteen to the feeble Grand Duke who became Em-peror Peter III, she had him quietly strangled and herself proclaimed Empress in 1762.
Catherine made Russian interests her own, adopted the foreign policy, now sadly familiar to the world, of setting up satellites around her borders and annexing them when she was ready. Especially she turned her attention to Russia's southern border, and began a series of intrigues and aggressions against Turkey, with the ultimate object of making the Black Sea a Russian lake and acquiring Constantinople.
As a result of her first Turkish war, which ended in 1774, the Porte recognized the independence of the Crimea under a Tartar Khan, from whom she "liberated" it within ten years.
By Catherine, and still more by her lover Grigori Potemkin, the Crimea was regarded as a mere steppingstone. She promoted Potemkin Field Marshal, created him Prince de Tauride, and made him practically vice-emperor for southern Russia.
All the world knows the story of her imperial progress down the Dnieper River in 1787 to meet her lover, who built mock-up villages where there were only deserts, dressed up his servants as Khans and Shahs to offer homage, and sent troops of "happy villagers" in fancy dress from one point on the river to another, to sing and dance and flatter the Empress. But it was somewhat humiliating to find the Dnieper estuary (the Liman) in Turkish hands, with a Turkish fleet blocking its exit to the Black Sea. It was as if some early President had staged a million-dollar pageant down the Mississippi, only to find the Mexicans barring the entrance to New Orleans.
So Russia built up Kherson at the head of the Liman as a naval arsenal, Sevastopol in the Crimea as a naval base, and Ekaterinoslav (now Dniepropetrovsk) as an army supply depot. But the Sultan still held the Bay of Odessa, and with the help of French engineers he constructed a powerful fort at Ochakov, at the mouth of the Liman, which enabled him to block the exit to the Black Sea and prevent the junction of the two Russian fleets that were being built at Kherson and Sevastopol. In the second Russo-Turkish war, which opened in August 1787, it was the object of the Turks to break up these Russian fleets and recapture lost provinces, and of the Russians to clear them out of the Liman and capture Ochakov.
This had to be in part a naval operation, and that is why the Empress wanted the services of John Paul Jones. The Russian Black Sea Fleet was a scratch collection of vessels manned by impressed serfs, Cossacks, Volga boatmen and Levantine pirates, officered in part by adventurers of six or seven nations. Catherine felt that only an outstanding naval officer from another country could weld this horde of scalawags into a real fighting navy.
Jones was first suggested for this job in 1785 by a Paris acquaintance known as M. Le Comte de Wemyss. This man was David, Lord Elcho, heir to the Fourth Earl of Wemyss, excluded from the title because of an attainder for his part in the 1745 rebellion. Another promoter of Jones was Lewis Littlepage, a roving Virginian who, after serving as an aide to John Jay, and quarreling with him, took part in two campaigns of the War of Independence under French command. After the war he became great friends with the King of Poland, who made him a chamberlain and Chevalier of the Order of Saint Stanislas. Baron Grimm, a faithful correspondent of the Russian Empress, mentioned Jones to her; Jefferson recommended him to M. Simolin, the Russian minister at Versailles; Simolin sounded Jones out on 1 February 1788, and passed the word to the Empress that he was available. Delighted, she cried out, "Jones will get to Constantinople!" Potemkin, though notably less enthusiastic, instructed Simolin to make the final arrangements, and, at the time Jones was conducting his Danish mission, that was done. The Empress first created him "Captain of the Fleet with the rank of Major General," which did not suit him; and at his request she ordered Potemkin on 4/15 April to give him the rank of Rear Admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy. In Russia he was known as Kontradmiral Pavel Ivanovich (Paul the son of John) Jones; or, in the polite language of the court, Contre-Amiral Paul-Jones.
Flag rank was what Jones had always coveted; it was the principal bait that attracted him to the Russian service. He even hoped thus to impress Congress. He wrote to Jefferson begging him to use his influence to have him promoted Rear Admiral USN, retroactive to the Battle of Flamborough Head, as a gesture to "gratify the Empress." But as America now had no navy, there was even less chance of Jones's getting flag rank than there had been during the war. He does not appear to have been attracted by the Russian pay—150 rubles (about $145) a month—although that was about twice what he had drawn in the American Navy. And there is no doubt that he craved more action, and hoped that command of a battle fleet, even on an inland sea, would give him more practical experience and qualify him for high command if and when the United States built a navy.
It was not out of the way for a naval officer of one country to enter the service of another when his own was at peace. The British Navy had reduced its personnel from 110,000 to 26,000 after the War of American Independence, which meant that hundreds of officers were without employment. At least twenty of them entered the Russian service, in which the senior admiral was Sir Samuel Greig, a Scot.
As soon as these British officers in the Russian Navy heard of Paul Jones's appointment, they signed a remonstrance, raking up all the old stories about bastardy, piracy, smuggling and Mungo Maxwell, and threatening to throw up their commissions rather than serve under him. Admiral Greig advised them not to present it, as highly offensive to the Empress, nor did they; and since they all were in the Baltic fleet and Jones was especially engaged for the Black Sea fleet, there was no occasion for conflict. As it turned out, British officers were the least of Jones's troubles in Russia.
In mid-April Jones left Copenhagen for Stockholm. After spending but one night there, he proceeded to Grisslehamn, whence he expected to cross the Gulf of Bothnia to Finland in a packet ship. But the Gulf was still full of ice and the road around it closed by snow.
So he chartered an undecked boat about 30 feet long, and a smaller one which could be dragged over ice floes if necessary, with the object of getting around the ice to the southward and into the Gulf of Finland. For a day the boat sailed south along the Swedish shore, the oarsmen still ignorant of Jones's intention. At nightfall, when in the latitude of Stockholm, he forced the men at pistol point to steer due east and then northeast.
The boat had a small compass and Jones fixed the lamp of his light traveling carriage, which he had brought on board, to serve as binnacle light. Next morning they sighted the south coast of Finland across miles of ice. So up the Gulf they sailed. On the second night the smaller boat sank but the men were saved. Only at the end of the fourth day did the frostbitten crew make land at Reval (now Tal-inn, Estonia), "which was regarded as a kind of miracle," wrote the organizer of this dangerous passage.
After satisfying the boatmen and procuring them a pilot and provisions for their homeward passage, Jones bought horses and proceeded overland to St. Petersburg (now Leningrad), arriving 23 April by the Russian calendar, which would be 4 May by ours. On that very day the Empress wrote to Baron Grimm in Paris, "Paul Jones has just arrived here; he has entered my service." And, two days later, "I saw him today. I think he will suit our purpose admirably." He presented Her Imperial Majesty with a copy of the new Federal Constitution, which she probably did not read; but she told him "that the American Revolution cannot fail to bring about others and to influence every other government." Smart lady! No other European monarch, not even Frederick the Great, made so accurate an estimate of the American Revolution.
The new Rear Admiral was flattered by and delighted with his reception. "I was entirely captivated," he admitted, "and put myself into her hands without making any stipulation for my personal advantage. I demanded but one favour, 'that she would never condemn without hearing me." A Russian diarist in St. Petersburg noted that Jones had "made a good impression on the Empress, has entree to the Hermitage, is welcomed everywhere, except among the English, who cannot bear him."
At this point the reader doubtless expects Kontradmiral Pavel Ivanovich to fall into the Empress's embrace and a great love affair to begin. For Paul Jones, the American Navy's greatest lover, to encounter Catherine of Russia, the most be-lovered woman on any throne, has been too much for the novelists—even for some of Jones's biographers. He becomes her umpteenth lover, Potemkin is furious and fouls things up so that the Rear Admiral loses his job and is disgraced. Very simple!
Unfortunately for romance, the facts are otherwise. Jones looked to the Empress for confidence and favors, not for love. She was a fat woman in her sixtieth year, with false teeth and swollen legs; she still had the charm that some women exude to their dying day, but her love affairs, if they can be so called, were reduced to a system. When Potemkin found his powers no longer adequate for her demands, he connived at her having a series of youthful lovers, chosen from among the household guards. If her eye fell upon a handsome young guardsman, he was first given a thorough physical examination by the court physician to see if he was "healthy"; then one of the Empress's ladies of honor, known in court circles as I'epreuveuse (the prover), tested his capacity in a practical way. If he passed, he became the Empress's lover. This happened no fewer than thirteen times, since none of these young men could stand it very long. The incumbent during Jones's sojourn in Russia was Zubov, a guardsman in his twenties, and he was doing very well. Thus the Empress had no personal need for Jones; and his one thought after seeing her was to get off to the Black Sea and take over his command.
SITUATION IN THE BLACK SEA
On 7/18 May 1788, after staying at St. Petersburg only long enough to have some Russian uniforms made (for which the Empress gave him a generous allowance of two thousand ducats, about a thousand dollars),3 and after kissing her hand again at the palace of Tsarskoe-Selo, Kontradmiral Pavel Ivanovich set out southward in his now well-broken-in traveling carriage. Pavel Dimitrevski, a secretary and interpreter furnished by the Grant Chamberlain, accompanied him. The American bore a "gracious command" from the Empress to Field Marshal the Prince Potemkin, commander in chief of all Russian armed forces and head of the army about to march on Ochakov, that Jones be given the rank of Rear Admiral and employed "in accordance with your best judgment in the Black Sea fleet." The two met at Ekaterinoslav on 19/30 May. Jones appears to have been favorably impressed by the Prince, as he always was by important people who received him with something more than common civility. Potemkin may have thought well of his new flag officer, but he no longer had any great need for him since he already had three rear admirals in the Black Sea. To the Empress he wrote, "Rear Admiral Jones has arrived and I sent him to the fleet. He now has his chance to show his experience and courage. I have given him every chance and facility."
Some chance! Some facility! What Potemkin did was to toss Jones into a pack of sea-wolves, to sink or swim.
It will be observed from the language of the Empress's command to Potemkin that it was left to the Prince where and how to employ his new rear admiral. But Jones somehow got it into his head that he had been promised the overall naval command in the Black Sea. That misunderstanding spelled trouble.
Potemkin detailed the Chevalier Don Jose de Ribas, a Spaniard of his staff, as liaison officer between himself and Jones; and with him Jones sailed down the Dnieper to Kherson. There he met Kontradmiral Mordvinov, an English-trained Russian with an English wife, who commanded the naval arsenal. Mordvinov showed his teeth and refused to deliver a command flag to Jones. The new Rear Admiral continued along the north shore of the Liman to the roadstead of Shirokaya, where he found his squadron, and went on board flagship Vladimir (which he always spells Wolodi-mer). There he found Brigadier Panaiotti Alexiano, a Greek in the Russian service, who had expected to have Jones's job; and Alexiano also showed his teeth. Jones now discovered that the Flotilla, small craft accompanying his Squadron, was under Kontradmiral the Prince of Nassau-Siegen, who greeted Jones cordially and entertained him for several nights on board his yacht. But it was not long before Nassau-Siegen, too, bared his teeth.
Jones either did not grasp what was going on, or from good policy chose to ignore it. He wrote to Potemkin what a fine fleet of ships and group of officers he had found. In company with Don Jose de Ribas (the one officer close to him in this campaign who remained loyal), Jones set forth in a small boat to reconnoiter the Liman.
This estuary is about thirty nautical miles in a west-east line from the Black Sea to Shirokaya roadstead, the farthest east that the larger ships could sail. It is nowhere more than eight miles wide, and in some places only two miles wide between mudbanks. The average depth in Jones's day was about 18 feet, and today it is even less, except in a dredged ship channel. The entrance, less than two miles wide, is between Ochakov Point, which the Turks had heavily fortified, and a narrow sandspit called Kinburn Peninsula, held by the Russians. Halfway out on this sandspit was Fort Kin-burn where General Suvorov had established his headquarters. Russian strategy aimed to keep this entrance clear, to prevent the Turks from reinforcing Ochakov by sea; Turkish strategy was to close it up. Paul Jones called on Suvorov at Fort Kinburn and was much impressed by him. This shows his good judgment, because that Russian later proved himself to be second only to Wellington as an opponent to Napoleon. And Suvorov promptly adopted Jones's suggestion to build a battery on the tip of the Kinburn sandspit.
Paul Jones and Don Jose returned to Shirokaya roadstead, where to all appearances the caballing had died down, and the Kontradmiral broke his flag in Vladimir on 29 May/9 June. Alexiano reported to Potemkin, "the Squadron has this day been transferred to the command of Rear Admiral and Chevalier Paul Jones."
The chain of command on the Liman was crazy. The only certain point was Potemkin, chief of all armed forces under the Empress. Paul Jones commanded only the "Squadron." This consisted of his flagship, which rated as a ship of the line, eight so-called frigates and four other armed vessels. These were sailing ships of all sizes and rigs, built with shoal draft for navigating the estuary. Flagship Vladimir was pierced for 66 guns, but could carry only 24 twenty-four-pounders and two mortars for shooting fire-balls. Independent of Jones, taking orders direct from Potemkin, was the "Flotilla," composed of craft propelled largely by oars. It consisted of 25 galleys, floating batteries, barges and vessels called double-chaloupes, together with a large number of one-gun craft called the "Zaporozhye boats" because they were manned by Cossacks from Zaporozhye at the bend of the Dnieper. The boats carried heavy guns for their size, and a complement of troops who were protected from enemy musket fire by woolsacks piled on the bulwarks. These units corresponded to the LST and other small-craft flotillas in a modern amphibious operation, whilst Jones's Squadron may be compared with the bombardment and covering ships. The Flotilla, a formidable amphibious force, was under Nassau-Siegen.
That so-called prince was the international adventurer whom Jones had met ten years earlier when he failed in his mission to persuade the Dutch government to let L'lndien go out. Nassau-Siegen failed in everything he undertook. He went around the world with Bougainville; but, as Jones once remarked, he did not learn enough seamanship to box the compass. The French gave him a small fleet to attack Jersey, whence he was thrown back with heavy loss. At the siege of Gibraltar in 1782, he commanded a gunboat flotilla similar to his Russian one, and was badly beaten by the British. But he was a plausible chap, handsome, self-confident, and noted for gallantry, dueling and personal courage. Arriving in Russia in 1786 on a mission from Poland, Nassau-Siegen struck up a great friendship with Potemkin, who promised him an Army command in the Turkish war. When the Russian officers heard of this they protested so vehemently that Potemkin made him a rear admiral in charge of the Flotilla; and the fellow was pleased, remarking with some sense that his oar-propelled gunboats would be the cavalry to the Squadron's heavy artillery, able to go against the wind and over shoals where the big ships would run aground. For flagship, Nassau-Siegen had what he called a yacht—one of the luxurious barges that had floated the Empress down the Dnieper. But that didn't suit him; he envied Jones his flag barge, which had more gilt-work.
Thus Paul Jones had another Landais attached to him, equal in rank, who looked to Potemkin, not to him, for orders; in addition he had a Greek commodore on his flagship, and a shore admiral who disliked him. And Russia had another fleet at Sevastopol under Rear Admiral Voino-vitch.
On the other side, watching the Russians from outside the estuary, the Turks had a Black Sea fleet of roughly the same composition and strength as the Russians', under an able admiral named Hassan el Ghazi, who is always referred to as "the Capudan Pasha" (Lord Captain). Jones considered him "a very brave man," and got near enough to him in action to see that he wore a pair of enormous mustaches. The Capudan Pasha had more seagoing ships under him than did Jones, but the Russian Flotilla was more numerous and more heavily armed than the corresponding Turkish fleet of small craft.
THE LIMAN CAMPAIGN
Potemkin appears to have had no plan for the naval part of the campaign except that the Russian Navy was expected to hold off the Turks, and if possible destroy their fleet, until he was ready to invest Ochakov from the land side. Since Russian intelligence reported the Turkish Squadron to be of deeper draft and more heavily armed than the Russian, while its Flotilla was weaker than Nassau-Siegen's, Jones conceived the sound plan of deploying both Russian Squadron and Flotilla in one line across the Liman, about halfway between its entrance and the mouth of the Bug, and awaiting attack. At the same time the Russian fleet would be covering Kherson and the estuary of the Bug, which the Army, under Potemkin, would have to cross. Jones held a council of war and obtained Nassau's and Alexiano's consent to this disposition, which was assumed by the night of 5/16 June. The Russian fleet accordingly was drawn up in a NNE-SSW line across the Liman about four miles east of Ochakov.
The Capudan Pasha, in the meantime, had thrust a detachment of his Flotilla inside the entrance. The first Battle of the Liman opened at 2:00 A.M. on the 6/17th with Nassau-Siegen trying to cut off the Turkish retreat; but instead of doing that, he was chased back to the Squadron. Jones, anticipating that this repulse would encourage the Turks, obtained Nassau's and Alexiano's consent to form two reserves; one of 11 craft at the right of the line, one of 6 craft in the center, with 15 Zaporozhye boats in a position to support either reserve in case of need.
The Turks reacted as Jones expected. The Capudan Pasha committed almost his entire small-craft Flotilla and part of his Squadron. During the night he drew up his Flotilla in two divisions close to the north shore, and, favored by a northwesterly breeze, attacked Jones's right flank on the morning of 7/18 June.
Jones had himself rowed all along his front line to issue oral orders to his Squadron (for he had no system of signaling except by voice), and to get the whole Flotilla into action; and he detailed his ships' boats to tow units of the Flotilla which were having difficulty making headway against the wind. The arrival of the Capudan Pasha himself in a Kirlangitch—a swift, lateen-rigged galley mounting 14 guns—leading his Flotilla reserve, increased the danger to the Russians, and Nassau-Siegen's reserve at the right of their line began to take punishment.
But a lucky change of wind easterly enabled Jones to move the five ships of his left wing out so they made an obtuse angle, with his right center, like a wide-open nutcracker, in order to bring the enemy Flotilla under crossfire. This was the decisive maneuver. The Capudan Pasha, smoking out Jones's intention, retired under sail before falling into the trap, but not before losing two or three vessels as a result of incendiary missiles.
These missiles, which Jones called "brandcougles," were perforated bombs filled with combustibles which spread upon impact. They were fired from a kind of mortar called a "licorne." Lavishly employed by both sides during the Liman campaign, they created far more destruction than ordinary naval gunfire.
In his later "Narrative" of this campaign, Jones claims all the credit for this First Battle of the Liman, and mentions five or six instances of Nassau-Siegen's stupidity and poltroonery during the day. But in his action report, sent that very day to Potemkin, he goes overboard to praise the Prince's sang-froid and intelligence, and admits that during the fighting he was little more than Nassau's aide-de-camp.
Next day, wrote Jones to Potemkin from on board Vladimir, "We sang а Те Deum in honor of the victory that the Prince de Nassau won yesterday over the Capudan Pasha's Flotilla." General Suvorov also celebrated at Kinburn. And Potemkin wrote to Jones on 8/19 June praising his "zeal and intrepidity ... in aiding the Prince de Nassau." But on 11 22 June, Jones wrote to Don Jose de Ribas at Kherson: "I wish I could tell you that the Prince de Nassau is now as he was before you left; but he has the air of wishing me аи Diable, for no other reason so far as I know than that I extracted him out of his foul-up and peril in the affair of the 7/18th."
Should one believe the Jones of the action report or the Jones of the letter and "Narrative"? Probably he overdid his praise of Nassau in the report to Potemkin, thinking to please the С in С, but did less than justice to him in the "Narrative," since by that time the Prince had done him out of his command. Nassau, in turn, begins to complain of Jones in letters to his wife on 14/25 June. He declares that Jones "has changed. Good luck has robbed him of that intrepidity which people said he had."
Jones quickly became conscious that all was not well with his political fences, and even the balmy air of the "Russian Riviera" had not restored his health after the exposure on the boat voyage from Sweden to Reval. To his liaison officer Don Jose de Ribas, who had now rejoined Potemkin, he wrote on 13/24 June a letter that reveals his state of mind. It is also one of the few partly French documents written in Jones's own hand.
"Wolodimer June 13th 1788
My Dear Friend
I am unwell in my turn. Since I wrote you last I have been much indisposed; and, from the within Papers, you will see that I have room enough for vexation. You will doubtless find it necessary to send these Papers to his Altess the Prince de Potemkin, to obtain positive Orders to preventing any too hasty Step. Je vous prie de faire mes excuses a son Altesse, de n'avoir pas ecrit depuis l'Onze. Je n'avais rien de nouveau a lui mander, excepte q'on vient de me dire q'on a vu sortir d'Ochacoff un fort detachement de Troupes, qui parraissait monter au Nord. Je vous envoye се сі par expres et suis avec un vrai attachement, votre tres humble et tres Obeissant Serviteur et Ami
N.B. be so good as to forward my Letter to Little-Page".
The "too hasty Step" to which Jones refers was the keen desire of Nassau-Siegen, whose Flotilla had been reinforced to 71 units, to thrust outside the Liman and engage the Turkish fleet then hovering off Ochakov and the mouth of the Beresan River. Jones wrote to Nassau a conciliatory letter on the 14/25th, asking what he was annoyed about, and suggesting joint tactics in the next fight. He would dearly have loved to fight a classic line-to-line action with the Capudan Pasha in deep water; but he rightly estimated that to do so would be to sacrifice the superiority of the Russian Flotilla over the Turkish small craft, and risk annihilation of the Russian Squadron by the superior numbers and metal of the enemy's heavy ships. Nassau-Siegen had nothing to lose; if beaten, he could blame it on someone else; but Jones had a professional reputation to sustain, and his mission was to support the Army. If by imprudent action he lost his fleet, the Turks could reinforce Ochakov at will and block the Bug and Dnieper Rivers. So he insisted that the Russian fleet should remain inside the Liman, and invite rather than offer attack. This strategy was correct. The Capudan Pasha had retired to the Black Sea after the battle, but he was impatient for another go at the Russians, and his impatience led to the Second Battle of the Liman.
The entire Turkish fleet got under way with a fair southwest wind on 16/27 June and sailed into the estuary, planning to sink the Russian Flotilla by shock tactics and then burn the Squadron with fire-ships and combustibles. Paul Jones awaited them in approximately the same position as before, his vessels stretched across the Liman, in a NNE-SSW line.
We have the Squadron's line of battle for 17/28 June with the actual armament of each vessel, in one of Jones's pieces justificatives to his "Narrative."
Class Name Armament
Battleship Vladimir 24 twenty-four pounders, 2 licornes (24 lb.)
frigate Aleksandr Nevskii Same
Frigate Skoryi 24 twenty-four pounders, 4 licornes (18 Ib),
Frigate Kherson 22 twelve-pounders, 4six-pounders
Frigate Boristen 18 twelve-pounders, 6 six-pounders
Frigate Taganrog Same
Frigate Ptchela 16 twelve-pounders, 10 three-lb. falconets
Frigate Sv. Nikolai 4 six-pounders, 4 four-pounders, 12 three-pounders
Frigate Malyi Aleksandr 6 six-pounders
Vessel Grigorii Potemkin 14 three-pounders, 2 one-pounders
Vessel Sv. Anna 6 six-pounders, 10 four-pounders, 6 three-lb.
Vessels Mailet and Bogo- each 8 four-pounders, 6 three-pounders
At about noon on the 16/27 th the Turks were seen approaching under full sail, an impressive sight with tall lateeners mixed in among large square-riggers. Kontradmiral Pavel Ivanovich summoned a council of war and made his captains a speech in French, concluding "I see in your eyes the souls of heroes; and we shall all learn together to conquer or die for the country!"
There is something irresistibly comic about this American commander exhorting his Russian officers to conquer or die; but there was nothing amusing about the situation they were in. The Turks, outnumbering them two to one, were bearing down before the wind, with trumpets braying, cymbals clashing and loud cries to Allah to help them slaughter the unbelievers, drinkers of wine and eaters of swine. But the situation suddenly changed. The Capudan Pasha's flagship, rated as 64 guns, ran aground about 2:00 P.M., two versts (a mile and a third) from Jones's flagship Vladimir. The rest of the Turkish fleet then anchored in disorder. Nassau-Siegen wished to attack at once, but Jones restrained him—fortunately, because the wind veered to strong northwest, placing the enemy directly to windward so that neither rowing nor sailing vessels of the Russian fleet could make headway.
During the evening Jones made a personal reconnaissance of the Turkish fleet, rowed by a Cossack sailor named Ivak, who many years later told the story to a Russian officer.
With an interpreter who told the sailors to call the Admiral "Pavel," Jones boarded the small craft in which Ivak served. He was "dressed like all of us, but his weapons were excellent. He was of brave appearance; his hair was a little gray but he was still strong, fit for work and full of keen understanding of our task." As soon as he came on board the Admiral inspecting everything from stem to stern, now rebuking, now praising and now rearranging the equipment himself—Jones all over! He then had a small boat hoisted in, caused a rudder to be fitted, chose a pair of good oars and had them muffled by wrapping the blades with cloth, "and after some further preparations sat down for a rest."
Darkness now descended. Supper was served and the Kontradmiral shared the Cossacks' meal, eating from the same pot. He cracked jokes through his interpreter and after supper served double rations of spirits. This caused the crew to break into song, of such mournful cadence that even Jones, who did not understand the words, shed tears. Ivak sympathized; homesick himself for the steppes, he guessed that the Admiral, too, was thinking of home. Suddenly Jones jumped to his feet saying, "It is time!" After distributing the contents of his purse to the crew he patted Ivak on the shoulder and said "Let's go!" The Cossack crossed himself, stepped into the small boat and took the oars. Jones handled the tiller ropes and steered straight for the Turkish fleet. In due course they were challenged by two enemy craft. Fortunately these were manned by Turkish Cossacks, with whom Ivak could converse. Jones had been counting on this to obtain the enemy countersign for the night; and, as had been arranged through the interpreter before they started, Ivak got it by pretending that he was bringing salt to the Turkish flagship, and needed it to get by; and Jones memorized the countersign in Turkish.
"Soon we reached the enemy's fleet," said Ivak. "Like a town it lay at anchor; a whole forest of masts. They gave their countersign and Pavel replied. . . . We darted among the ships like sea-gulls. Some threatened us, some let us through silently, here we crawled, there we swooped." When Ivak thought it was high time to go home, Jones ordered him to approach the stern of one of the biggest ships, and hold onto her. He stood up in the boat while Ivak asked if the captain didn't want some salt; and while the Cossack was palavering with one of his fellows on board, Jones had the audacity to write in French with white chalk over the gilded Turkish insignia on the ship's stern: To Be Burned. Paul Jones. The Turks did not bother to erase this inscription, which the whole Flotilla saw next morning; and this very ship was attacked and burned by the Vladimir.
Sheering off from the big Turkish vessel, Ivak rowed Jones to Prince Nassau-Siegen's yacht to deliver the intelligence. "In all my life," said the Cossack, "I have never seen such a person; sweet like a vine when he wished, but when necessary, like a rock. I wonder . . . how I entrusted myself to a man, not a Christian4 at that, to be led directly into the hands of the enemy. . . . And how one trusted him! One movement of his hand you obey like a commanding voice. It seems that some people are created to command."
This Cossack came nearer to the heart and soul of Paul Jones than did most of the Admiral's sophisticated friends. And Jones appreciated stout, simple fellows like Ivak. He gave him a dagger, inscribed "From Pavel Jones to his friend the Zaporozhye Ivak, 1788."
Now that Jones knew accurately the enemy's dispositions, he made his plans to prepare for the attack, which he anticipated would come next morning.
He kedged all the vessels on the right (north) flank of his line toward the center so that they made an obtuse angle with the left (south) flank, toward which the Turks were steering—hoping to put a nutcracker on them as he had done in the first battle.
This movement(s) was completed by midnight. The Capudan Pasha, whose flagship was not afloat, weighed anchor at 2:00 a.m. 17/28 June, and tried to form line of battle. At about 4:00 a.m. his entire fleet advanced to the attack. In the meantime the wind afforded the Russians a lucky break. It veered to northeast, giving them the weather gauge.
An indiscriminate melee followed, with no plan or reason; Jones found his fleet less easy to control than the Bonhomme Richard task force. Even his flag captain dropped anchor without orders, when Jones was aiming at the Turkish flagship, on the excuse that there was a fifteen-foot shoal ahead, which Jones insists was not true.
First the Turkish deputy commander's ship and then Capudan Pash's flagship ran aground off the north shore. This was Nassau-Siegen's opportunity. Hitherto he had hung back behind the Squadron, but now he deployed his entire Flotilla to attack the stranded vessels, which were listing so that their guns could not fire. But Nassau did not have the nerve to board, and instead of capturing these ships he destroyed them by brandcougles, to Jones's dismay and disgust.
This concentration of the Flotilla against the two stranded ships left Jones's battle line unprotected from the Turkish small craft facing them. Frigate Malyi Aleksandr was sunk by enemy incendiaries, and others were having a tough battle. Jones had himself rowed to Nassau-Siegen's yacht to beg him to lay off and help the Squadron, which the Prince refused to do; but one of his subordinates, a Russian officer named Korakov, collected as many of the Flotilla as he could persuade to leave off badgering the Turks, and moved over in support. With this reinforcement, Jones drove the entire Turkish fleet back to the mouth of the Li-man by 9:30 A.m.
The next move was made by the Russian battery on Kinburn Point, which had been set up as a result of Jones's suggestion to General Suvorov. When, on the night of 17/ 28 June, the Capudan Pasha tried to withdraw the rest of his ships from the mouth of the Liman, the Kinburn battery opened up and so confused him that no fewer than nine vessels grounded.
Early next morning, 18/29 June, Suvorov asked Jones to destroy these ships before they could be salvaged. This gave Nassau-Siegen another chance. He proposed to take the entire Flotilla to do it. Jones said a part only would be sufficient; Nassau-Siegen flew into a passion and said, "I know how to capture ships as well as you!" to which Jones replied, "I have proved my ability to capture ships which are not Turkish." Finally Jones persuaded him to leave five units behind to support the Squadron.
Nassau burned seven of the grounded Turkish vessels with brandcougles and captured the other two ships.
"Providence has done much for us," Jones wrote to Potemkin the same day. "We shall chant а Те Deum tomorrow morning. ... I am delighted with the courage of the Russians, which is the more glorious because it is without showoff (faste)." But he made it clear that in his opinion Russia won the battle in spite of Nassau-Siegen.
Such was the Second Battle of the Liman. In two days' fighting, the Turks lost 10 large and 5 small vessels, 1673 prisoners, and an estimated 3000 killed. Russian losses were 1 frigate, 18 killed and 67 wounded. Nassau-Siegen claimed and obtained all the glory. "I am master of the Liman," he wrote to his wife. "Pour Paul Jones! No place for him on this great day!" Potemkin, in his report to the Empress, said, "Prince Nassau was tireless in his efforts. It was all his work," and failed to mention the Squadron commander.
But the strategy of awaiting the enemy attack within the Liman was Jones's, and the execution would have been more complete if Nassau-Siegen had obeyed his orders and followed his tactics.
Potemkin, accompanied by several members of his staff, the Chevalier Littlepage (now an observer for the King of Poland) and the Prince de Ligne, a distinguished diplomatist in the Austrian service, dined with Jones on board Vladimir a few days later. The visitors interceded with Nassau-Siegen to apologize to Jones for his tantrum on the second day of battle; otherwise there would have been a duel. "I accepted it with sincere pleasure," recorded Jones. "We embraced in the presence of this honorable company, and I believed him as sincere as myself."
But when rewards and distinctions were distributed for the two battles Jones came off badly. Nassau-Siegen got the Cross of Saint Serge, the highest in Russia; Alexiano was promoted rear admiral; Jones and Mordvinov, the shore-based admiral who had done nothing, were given the Order of Saint Anne. That was really a Holstein grand-ducal, not a Russian imperial order, about equivalent to an American Bronze Star or to the Royal Victorian Order which Edward VII used to confer on courteous stationmasters. Later there was a distribution of medals and gold-hilted and jeweled swords, and Jones was completely left out.
The alarums and excursions, the altercations between Nassau-Siegen and Jones and Alexiano that followed, are too tedious to repeat. Potemkin now brought his Army across the Bug and ordered an attack on Ochakov by land and by sea on 1/12 July. In this attack, which opened at daylight, the Flotilla again distinguished itself by inflicting severe punishment on the Turkish fleet anchored under the walls of the fortress, and Nassau's stock accordingly rose. Tones properly refused to commit his big ships against shore batteries, but personally he was in the thick of this fight in a chaloupe, whence he directed the operations of his ships' boats towing units of the Flotilla that had been carried to leeward by the current. Then, at 6:00 a.m., Jones took his chaloupe out ahead of the Flotilla to seize five enemy galleys which lay within case-shot range of the fortress. He boarded the nearest galley himself and had it towed out of danger by a Russian lieutenant. Next he boarded the Capudan Pasha's own galley; but the business of taking her under tow was bungled by a young officer, and, while cables and anchors were being brought from the flagship, Alexiano, who was in the same boat with Nassau-Siegen and wished to rob Jones of the credit of saving this galley, sent one of his small craft under a fellow Greek to set fire to her. Consumed she was, together with the wretched galley slaves chained to the thwarts, whom the Greek did not trouble to release. The other three galleys were ignited by brandcougles and consumed.
Potemkin's army now sat down to besiege Ochakov.
Much to Jones's relief, Nassau-Siegen was sent by Potemkin on an inspection tour to Sevastopol on 10/21 July and was temporarily relieved in command of the Flotilla by Don Jose de Ribas.
Chevalier Littlepage, the roving Virginian, now had a squadron of it under Don Jose. But for Jones the situation did not improve, and on 1/12 August Nassau-Siegen returned to command the Flotilla, flying a vice admiral's flag, which Rear Admiral Jones refused to salute because he could not believe that the man was entitled to it.
But he actually had been so promoted by Potemkin. This was like giving the commander of an LST flotilla in a modern amphibious operation higher rank than that of the admiral of the attack force.
A possible way out for Jones, which he declined to follow, opened for him on 8/19 August. Potemkin, displeased with Kontradmiral Voinovitch of the Sevastopol fleet, who had done nothing but make faces at the Capudan Pasha, dropped the word to his staff that he was considering the relief of this reluctant dragon by Kontradmiral Pavel Ivanovich.
Potemkin's secretary on 8/19 August wrote to Jones, asking if he would care for it, "in case His Highness should revert to the idea."
Jones replied that he would always obey the orders of the Prince Marshal, but he did not like the idea for several reasons. The Sevastopol fleet was weak and demoralized, without any system of signals, and Jones's signals, which (following Pavilion's system) he had worked out, had not yet been translated into Russian.
Obviously you could not maneuver a deep-water fleet, as Jones had maneuvered his Squadron, by being rowed to each individual ship and bellowing your orders through an interpreter. Also, Jones had just received orders from Potemkin to prepare to attack Fort Hassan Pasha on the tip of Ochakov Peninsula, and wished to carry this out first to prove his competence.
An attack on a fort by warships in those days could succeed only if complete surprise were obtained and the fort overwhelmed with gunfire before the defenders woke up. That is what Jones planned to do, but the operation was bungled because a Greek lieutenant in Littlepage's division opened fire prematurely. Jones then called the attack off, the only sensible thing to do under the circumstances; but Nassau-Siegen claimed that he had been prevented from winning another victory.
Littlepage, mortified over this affair and disgusted with service under Nassau, sent in his resignation and returned to Warsaw to enjoy his emoluments as royal chamberlain. His farewell letter to Jones ended, "Adieu, my dear admiral, take care of yourself, and be cautious in whom you trust. Remember you have to sustain here a political as well as military character, and that your part is now rather that of a courtier than a soldier." He could not have been more right; nor could Jones have been more wrong not to jump at the chance to command the Sevastopol fleet, signals or no signals.
September passed with only a few small-craft actions at sea. Jones, in the meantime, had established a fairly effective blockade on Ochakov. On 8/19 October, when the Capudan Pasha showed up again with a reinforced fleet, Potemkin insisted on withdrawing the Flotilla to save it from possible capture. Jones protested, but obeyed. It turned out as Jones feared; two or three Turkish ships broke through to Ochakov. Next day the Flotilla under Nassau attacked unsuccessfully and lost a galley, for which Jones was blamed. A number of incidents became the subject of an exchange of notes between the Kontradmiral and the Prince Marshal, who was terrified lest the Turks break into the Liman and threaten his headquarters. These headquarters were in a house on the water's edge, and Potemkin had an irritating habit of spotting a Turkish ship or small craft with his telescope and sending Jones an order to "Go get it!" Or, when he saw a small Turkish gun boat aground, "Get out there and throw that gun overboard!" By the time the order reached the Rear Admiral, the ship would be gone or the boat floated, and Jones would be blamed.
The payoff in this ridiculous situation came in the shape of an offensive order from Potemkin to Jones, telling him to receive the enemy "courageously" or he would be accused of "negligence." This brought an emotional protest from Jones, concluding, "If you find me any use to the Imperial Navy, it is for you to keep me in Russia. But, as I did not come here as an adventurer or charlatan or to repair a ruined fortune" (a crack at Nassau-Siegen), "I hope to be subjected to no more humiliation and to find myself soon in the situation that was promised me when I was invited to enter Her Imperial Majesty's Navy." In other words, to command all Russian forces afloat in the Black Sea, which (so far as I can ascertain) he never had been offered.
Blustering got you nowhere with Imperial authorities, and Potemkin was not one to receive backtalk amiably. From the time he wrote this letter, on 18/29 October, Jones was as good as out of the Russian Navy.
* * *
It is difficult to make any hard-and-fast estimate of Paul Jones's Russian career. He always functioned best when in undisputed command, which he never had in the Black Sea.
He had to deal with characters who were out for themselves and determined to drag him down. He was under a temperamental commander in chief, who seemed to enjoy the dissension created by the fuddled command situation, rather than make any attempt to straighten it out. His position was one from which he could not possibly have derived benefit or glory, however high his merit. Jones's strategy throughout was sound; but Nassau-Siegen's strategy, if it can be called that, of going baldheaded for the enemy whenever he appeared, regardless of circumstances, appealed to Potemkin; and that is what really counted. It is regrettable that Jones had not sufficient serenity to rise above these petty intrigues. But it must be admitted that he showed a patience unusual for him over a period of months and exploded only when Potemkin challenged his honor, and that for months he endured a command situation enough to drive any naval officer mad.
"In my whole life," he wrote after it was all over, "I have never suffered so much vexation as in this one Campaign of the Liman, which was nearly the death of me."
The significant fact that stands out from Jones's Russian service is that he won the respect and loyalty of most of the Russian naval officers under him, although they had nothing to gain by it.
Many risked getting into Potemkin's black books by writing testimonials or affidavits for Jones to include in his "Narrative of the Liman Campaign." Not one Russian can be counted among those who intrigued against him.
ON THE BEACH
Paul Jones now found himself on the beach. On 18/29 Oc-tober, the very day that he received Jones's emotional letter, Potemkin ordered Rear Admiral Mordvinov to relieve him as commander of both Squadron and Flotilla, and he did so two days later. Jones's face was saved by the assurance that the Empress had need of his services in her Baltic fleet, which was about to fight the Swedes. Before leaving the Squadron he had an interview with Potemkin, who assured him "of his esteem," and gave him a letter to the Empress declaring his satisfaction with the "eagerness and zeal" he had shown in the Liman campaign. But at the same time Potemkin wrote a private letter to the Empress in which he called Jones "sleepy," admitted that he was brave enough as a "corsair," but declared that nobody wished to serve under him.
Rear Admiral Jones left flagship Vladimir on 29 October/ 9 November for Kherson in an open galley. It was very cold and the journey took three nights and days. He came down with pneumonia and was unable to leave Kherson until the end of November; he was at Ekaterinoslav when Ochakov was taken by storm on 6/17 December and the Turkish garrison put to the sword.
Arriving at St. Petersburg on 17/28 December, the Rear Admiral was promptly received by the Empress at the Hermitage.
Jones felt that her attitude was cordial and gracious; but he did not know that Nassau-Siegen, who reached St. Petersburg shortly after, was received by the Empress in such a manner that Princess Nassau-Siegen came on from Warsaw to break up what she judged to be a serious love affair. She need not have worried; in Catherine's system there was no place for casual amours.
The Kontradmiral first stayed at the London Tavern, where he made an unfortunate contact with a young girl who was looking for trouble, and then hired an upstairs apartment in a house called Pokhodyashina in the First Admiralty District, near the great Admiralty building whose slender gold spire still dominates that section of Leningrad. There he set up a small household: his interpreter Pavel Dimitrevski, a German body-servant named Johann Bahl, his Russian seaman orderly from the Black Sea fleet, and a peasant coachman named Ivan Vasiliev, to handle his hired stable of horses, sleighs and carriages. The French ambassador, the Comte de Segur d'Aguesseau, who had served in America under Rochambeau, and his first secretary Edmond-Charles Genet (the future Citizen Genet), saw to it that the Rear Admiral met prominent courtiers—among others, the Princess Naryshkina. But social calls and supper parties were not enough to occupy a man of Jones's energy.
While awaiting the hoped-for new naval command, he prepared for the Imperial Vice Chancellor a plan for a political and commercial alliance between the United States and Russia. He urged the Empress to put herself at the head of a coalition to suppress the Barbary corsairs. He outlined a reorganization of the Black Sea fleet, which he rightly said was "built on false principles, unable to sustain its enormous artillery, or to maneuver properly." (That was done, under the able Rear Admiral Ushakov, in 1790; and the Turks were then decisively defeated.) Now Jones finished his "Narrative of the Campaign of the Liman." This "Narrative," which, with the aid of his secretary, was written in French, he intended for the eyes of the Empress; but it is doubtful whether she ever looked at it. The tone is that of injured virtue and misunderstood integrity; much like the writings of Columbus toward the end of his life, and with similar self-pity. It is full of statements such as, "So far from being harsh and cruel, nature has given me the mildest disposition"; "I was formed for love and friendship, and not to be a seaman or a soldier"; "since I am found too frank and too sincere to make my way at the court of Russia without creating powerful enemies, I have philosophy enough to withdraw into the peaceful bosom of Friendship."
Paul Jones soon needed all the friendship he could muster. He knew no Russian except da and nyet (as he admitted), and although by this time his conversational French was good, there was nobody to whom he could unburden himself in his own language.
America was not yet recognized by Russia, and so not represented in the diplomatic service, and the English representatives would have nothing to do with Jones. The police intercepted his mail, so he was unable to communicate with his friends in Paris or America, and he felt forgotten by the world. He found no mistress to take the place of Madame Townsend. And he was so lonely as to become imprudent in his personal contacts. The cold winter dragged on, with the snow lying like iron on the earth; before the spring thaws came, Kontradmiral Pavel Ivano-vich suffered a worse shock than those inflicted by the brandcougles of his Squadron.
SCANDAL AND DEPARTURE
During the first week of April 1789, all St. Petersburg was startled, amused, or outraged by a report of the chief of police that Rear Admiral Paul Jones had attempted to rape a ten-year-old girl named Katerina, daughter of a German immigrant named Goltzwart or Koltzwarthen, who had a dairy business in a nearby suburb.
According to this account, the girl was peddling butter on 30 March when a "lackey" (Jones's German manservant Bahl) told her that his master wanted some, and led her to the Rear Admiral's apartment on the second floor of a house in a well-known street. The master, whom she had never seen before, was dressing in a white uniform, wearing a gold star on a red ribbon.
He bought some butter, then locked the door, knocked the girl out with a blow on the chin, dragged her into his bedroom and assaulted her. She ran home and told her mother, who went to the house, identified the rapist as Rear Admiral Jones, and appealed to the police.
She was supported by a statement of Bahl, who claimed to have observed some of the goings-on through a keyhole, and affidavits from an Army surgeon and a midwife that she had been raped.
There are three different versions by Jones of what really happened. The one generally known is what the Comte de Segur announced to the world and printed in his memoirs. The French Ambassador called on Paul Jones a few days after the report came out, and heard from him that this young girl had called to ask if he would give her some linen or lace to mend, but he had none to offer.
"She then indulged in some rather lively and indecent gestures," Segur quotes Jones as saying. "I advised her not to enter upon so vile a career; gave her some money, and dismissed her." As soon as she left his front door the girl tore her sleeves and fichu, started screaming "Rape!" and threw herself into the arms of Mamma Goltzwart, who was conveniently standing by.
This version, the only one on Jones's side known until recently, sounds like another instance of the well-known girl decoy trick for blackmailing middle-aged gentlemen.
Segur may have known of other like cases and confused them with this, or he may have known more about Jones's case than he admitted.
About two weeks after the event, Jones wrote to Potemkin—on whom he had called in his St. Petersburg palace immediately after the alleged rape—a very different version from Segur's. He says nothing about what happened between himself and Katerina, but complains that his servants were examined by the police and that Bahl was terrorized into signing what they wanted. Jones had placed himself in the hands of a lawyer named Crimpin, who had already been asked by Mamma Goltzwart to take her case and had declined to do so, but who found out some important facts which he used on Jones's behalf. Mamma admitted that un homme decore, a gentleman who wore the star of some order, was behind her; and that her only object was money. She confessed her "innocent" daughter had been seduced by Bahl three months before her alleged encounter with the Admiral. From others, the lawyer learned that immediately after the alleged rape the girl continued to peddle butter instead of rushing home to tell Mamma. A deposition was obtained from Papa Goltzwart stating that Kateri-na's age was twelve, not ten; that Mamma had left Papa to live with a young lover and had taken the girl with her; and Katerina, after a little pressure, admitted to the police that she had first "sold butter" to Jones at the London Tavern, and had made several such sales since. But, what seemed extraordinary, the Governor of St. Petersburg, an appointee of the Crown, had warned Crimpin to drop the case. Jones concluded to Potemkin, "The charge against me is an unworthy imposture. I love woman, I confess, and the pleasures that one only obtains from that sex; but to get such things by force is horrible to me. I cannot even contemplate gratifying my passions without their consent, and I give you my word as a soldier and an honest man that, if the girl in question has not passed through hands other than mine, she is still a virgin."
Jones wrote this on 13 April. But on 2 April, only three days after the alleged rape Jones had unburdened himself in French to the chief of police as follows:
" The accusation against me is an imposture invented by the mother of une fille perdue (a depraved girl) who came chez moi plusieurs fois (several times to my house) and with whom I have often badine, always giving her money, but whose virginity je n'at point pris [I have positively not taken]. . . . I thought her to be several years older than Your Excellency says she is, and each time that she came chez moi she lent herself de la meilleure grace [very amiably] to do all that a man would want of her. The last time passed off like the rest, and she went out appearing contente et tranquille, and having in no way been abused. If one has checked on her having been deflowered, I declare that I am not the author of it, and I shall as easily prove the falseness of this assertion as of several other points included in the deposition which you have sent to me.
I have the honor to be, etc. Paul Jones"
This letter, written very shortly after the event, is as close to the truth as we are likely to come, and is supported by affidavits from the orderly, the coachman and Dimitrevski that they saw the girl leave Jones's premises quietly, without blood or tears. Jones admits that Katerina was a frequent visitor to his apartment, and the nature of their badinage (the word can mean almost anything) may be inferred from his subsequent statement that it comprised "all that a man would want," short of deflowering her.
It may also be counted as certain that Mamma Goltzwart was abetted by somebody of consequence; for affairs of this nature involving someone high in government service are commonly hushed up by the police, as has happened in several notorious cases in our own day.
The publicity given to the alleged rape, the efforts to prevent a lawyer from taking the case, clearly point to an important person's using Jones's not-quite-innocent badinage with the twelve-year-old to ruin his reputation.
Who could it have been? Both Jones and Segur were satisfied that the English naval officers in Russian service were incapable of anything so nasty. The Chevalier Littlepage, dashing about as usual, heard from a "gentleman of high rank in the diplomatic service" that the culprit was a courtier who hoped to ingratiate himself with the English government by ruining Jones. That seems rather far-fetched.
It seems much more likely that Nassau-Siegen, fearing Jones's competition, was behind it; and that is what Jones came to believe.
Whoever the "decorated gentleman" was, he must have employed someone to spy on Jones's habits, and found Mamma Goltzwart a willing instrument of his malice.
When the scandal came out, everyone in St. Petersburg dropped Jones like a hot potato; that is, everyone except the Comte de Segur. His loyalty to Jones was admirable. He wrote to Potemkin, wrote to the Empress, hinted that his master Louis XVI would take offense at the treatment of the Chevalier, as would he himself as a fellow member of the Cincinnati; he pulled wires and spoke to important people. As the result of his efforts the threatened court-martial of Jones at the Admiralty was dropped. Segur even wrote a brief statement giving his version of the affair, which he had published in the official Gazette de France, whence it was reprinted in the leading journals of Europe. Jones was persuaded to initiate no countersuit against the Goltzwarts, and Katerina went on peddling sex and butter.
The brief Russian spring passed, and the unemployed Rear Admiral continued to wait in St. Petersburg for orders, occasionally bombarding the ministers of state with plans for action against Sweden.
By mid-June, he heard the bitter news that the Empress had conferred the command of her Baltic Flotilla on Nassau-Siegen. Before the end of that month he received virtually his dismissal, although he refused to admit it. The Empress granted him two years' leave of absence from her Navy, preserving his rank and emoluments.
On 26 June/7 July 1789 he was permitted to kiss her hand at a public audience, and received a curt bon voyage. She had not forgiven him for his indiscretion. Catherine may have been the most dissolute empress since Messalina, but she exacted almost Victorian standards of conduct from those about her. She had undoubtedly been given the police report to read, and was not amused.
It took Jones another two months to get permission to leave the country, with a properly signed commission to prove that he had been a rear admiral, and to draw reimbursement for his traveling expenses.
About the end of August he departed in his carriage on the long journey to Warsaw. After his departure, his friend Genet in the French Embassy collected eighteen hundred rubles for him as a year's pay, and sent him a draft for it.
Paul Jones never saw Russia again, but during the few remaining years of his life he could never get Russia out of his thoughts.
He was always hoping that the next post would bring an imperial order to return and take over an important naval command. His devastating experiences had been with German and Greek adventurers, but he liked Russian sailors, both officers and enlisted men, and they respected him. He would have appreciated such stout fellows under his command in the American war; and they retained a pleasant memory of their Kontradmiral Pavel Ivanovich Jones.
This information is only for education purpose, and was taken from 'John Paul Jones: a sailor's biography' by Samuel Eliot Morison.- 1989 by the U.S.Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland.