[PW] ? Identity of "A Few Good Men" Coiner (Quotation Query #737)

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at yale.edu
Mon Feb 15 09:19:20 PST 2016


Here's one for the military historians.

Marine Captain William Jones is said to have originated the U.S. Marines motto "a few good men" as follows:

"The Continental ship Providence, now lying at Boston, is bound on a short cruise, immediately; a few good men are wanted to make up her complement."  Providence Gazette, Mar. 20, 1779

Can anyone point me to biographical information about Jones, including birth and death dates, place of birth, occupation if any beyond being a Marine captain.

Fred Shapiro


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