Geeze. They needed to paw through bones to learn that? A casual search through a good research library would have revealed that.
Seafaring in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries was a dangerous trade. So dangerous that serving in the navy was probably safer than serving on a merchant vessel. With larger crews they were more likely to survive the hazards of the sea.
John Paul Jones got his first command (of a merchantman) when every officer aboard the ship he was sailing back to Britain on died of disease. No one else in the crew could navigate. Jones was a passenger, and he knew how to navigate, so the crew had him sail the ship back to Britain, and the owners made him captain when he arrived.
Thanks for sharing that. I love trivia like that. J P Jones was an interesting character.
then you really might not want to see this, about John Paul Jones: