Skip to product information
1 of 5

The History List

John Paul Jones “I have not yet begun to fight!” Shirt

Regular price $ 26.95 USD
Regular price Sale price $ 26.95 USD
Sale Sold out


Our original design, with John Paul Jones holding his saber aloft, with the Serapis flag tied to it, striding proudly printed on the front, and on the back of the shirt, his famous quote and other things from his life.

The shirt: Your choice of fabrics and colors:

  • 100% cotton Made in the USA shirt in Heather grey. Grown, knitted, dyed, and sewn in the USA. 4.4 oz Your best choice if you're looking for a 100% Made in the USA shirt.  S- 3X. See size chart.
  • Our standard 4.3 oz. poly-cotton shirt in Light blue heather that gets rave reviews for being so soft. It is very high-quality and long-wearing. It's also our thinnest and lightest. Lots of people love them, which you can see in the reviews, but if you judge t-shirt quality based on weight or thickness, do not get this one. Instead, get the 100% cotton shirt above. If you're looking for our softest shirt, the one people rave about, this is the one. S - 3X. See size chart.

Comes with a special hang tag written by author J.L. Bell that includes a historical background about John Paul Jones's immortal quote, "I have not yet begun to fight!" The full text is below.

This design is also available on a women's v-neck shirt and magnet.


Historical background on the design 

John Paul, born in Scotland in 1747, went to sea at thirteen. By his early twenties, he was a captain - with a reputation for harshness after he killed a sailor in a fight over wages. To avoid legal troubles, John Paul adopted the surname "Jones" and sailed to America.

When thirteen British colonies allied to seek independence, John Paul Jons offered his maritime experience to their Continental Congress. As hard as Jones fought British armed ships, however, he feuded with other American captains more. Eventually Captain Jones was sent off to hunt British shipping in the eastern Atlantic alongside the French navy.

Jones's most famous fight was a ferocious battle off the English coast in September 1779. Invited to surrender his ship Bonhomme Richard, he declared, "I have not yet begun to fight," and captured the Royal Navy's Serapis. Jones sailed his new flagship into a neutral Dutch port.

At the time, American diplomats in Europe understood their flag to have a blue canton with thirteen white stars and "thirteen stripes, alternatively red, white, and blue." So that was how the Serapis's new flag was entered into Dutch records - not in accord with the Congress's 1777 guidelines.

At the end of the Revolutionary War, Jones received a French knighthood and became an admiral for Russia, but he still got into controversies. The mariner died on an American diplomatic mission in France in 1792. Historians drew on his reports and memoirs to make John Paul Jones a signal hero of the U.S. Navy

— John Bell, author, The Road to Concord and Boston1775.


And thanks also to John for recommending the Serapis flag.



Timing: We try to ship orders within three business days of receiving them.

If you need to receive your order by a certain date, such as to give as a gift or have for a trip, we recommend ordering at least weeks in advance, especially if you are use USPS shipping. 

If you're looking for a reliable and on-time deliveries, we strongly suggest upgrading to the "UPS 3 Business Day Select Shipping."

  • When it's longer, such as around the Christmas holidays, we'll put up an announcement in the site and will list recommended shipping deadlines below.
  • If an item is out of stock, we will contact you.
  • If one of your items is an advance order, that will be noted on the product page along with an estimate of when it will ship. If that estimated date changes, the product page will be updated.


    Domestic shipping charges:

    • Free shipping
      • On stickers, magnets, decals, patches, static clings, and individual button pins.

    • US Postal Service shipping - The least expensive, though also less reliable than UPS. We strong recommend selected UPS (below), especially during November and December.

      • $4.95 for Shirts, long sleeved shirts, v-necks, tank tops, prints, posters, bracelets, lapel pins, pendant, and button packs.

        Regardless of the number of items you order, the shipping price is still fixed at $4.95. Our flat rate shipping means you can add another t-shirt, cap, or book for no additional shipping charge.

      • $7.95 for Woven blanket, hooded and crewneck sweatshirts, and mugs.

    • UPS 3 Business Day Select - We strongly recommend using UPS, especially in November and December.
    UPS's normal (non-holiday) delivery guarantee is by the end of the third business day.  See the UPS site for details.
      • $11.95 for Shirts, long sleeved shirts, v-necks, tank tops, prints, posters, bracelets, lapel pins, pendant, and button packs.

      • $14.95 for Woven blanket, hooded and crewneck sweatshirts, and mugs.

    • UPS Overnight (Next Business Day Delivery)

      • $44.95 for Shirts, long sleeved shirts, v-necks, tank tops, prints, posters, bracelets, lapel pins, pendant, and button packs.

      • $49.95 for Woven blanket, hooded and crewneck sweatshirts, and mugs.

    International shipping: Limited to US Postal Service International Service only.

    • Canada and Mexico

      • $18.00 for Shirts, long sleeved shirts, v-necks, tank tops, prints, posters, bracelets, lapel pins, pendant, and button packs.

      • $24.00 for Woven blanket, hooded sweatshirts, and mugs. 

    • Rest of the World

      • Rates starts at $65.00

    Note: Some large, heavy items may have an additional shipping charge.  If that's the case, it will be noted on the product page.

      All designs are copyrighted by The History List

      All designs are copyrighted by The History List and the History Nerd text and design on t-shirts is a registered trademark. If you see a knock off, please let me know.


      Your purchases support our mission to engage people with local history and to support historic sites and history organizations across the country.

      Customer Reviews

      Based on 1 review
      Eowyn D.
      Absolutely loved it!!

      Got it as a gift for my father who is Revolutionary War reenactor, and history buff. He loved it.

        ["1779","Advance order","Captain John Paul Jones","Captain Jones","hardcore","History buff","History lover","History student","History teacher","New","Revolutionary War"]