John Jeffries

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For other people named John Jeffries, see John Jeffries (disambiguation).
John Jeffries
Wonderful Balloon Ascents, 1870 - Dr. Jeffries.jpg
John Jeffries
Born 5 February 1745
Boston
Died 16 September 1819
Boston
Cause of death
Strangulated hernia
Resting place
Granary Burying Ground
Residence Boston
Nationality American - He was also a known Loyalist to the British.
Education Harvard College, University of Aberdeen
Occupation physician, surgeon
Employer British Army
Known for ballooning
Home town Boston
Title Surgeon General of British Forces in North America 1776-1780
Spouse(s) Sarah Jeffries (nee Rhoads) - m.1770 and d. 1780; Hannah Jeffries (nee Hunt) m 1787
Children John Jeffries II, Ann Jeffries
Parents David Jeffries (1714–1784) and Sarah Jaffrey Jeffries (of 13, 3 with Sarah and 10 with Hannah)[1]

John Jeffries (5 February 1744 – 16 September 1819)[2][3] was a Boston physician, scientist, and a military surgeon with the British Army in Nova Scotia and New York during the American Revolution.

Biography[edit]

Born in Boston, Jeffries graduated from Harvard College and obtained his medical degree at the University of Aberdeen. He is best known for accompanying Jean-Pierre Blanchard on his 1785 balloon flight across the English Channel. Dr. Jeffries also played a large role in the trial for the Boston Massacre as a witness for the defense.[4] He was the surgeon for Patrick Carr,[5] who was one of the Americans shot during that incident.

Jeffries is also credited with being among America's first weather observers. He began taking daily weather measurements in 1774 in Boston, as well as taking weather observations in a balloon over London in 1784. National Weatherperson's Day is celebrated in his honor on 5 February, his birthday.[6] The Archives and Special Collections at Amherst College holds a collection of his papers, including a letter he dropped from the balloon during his historic flight, considered the oldest piece of airmail in existence.[7]

He lived in England from 1776 to 1790. Despite being named in the Massachusetts Banishment Act, he returned to private practice in Boston, staying there until his death in 1819. His son John Jeffries II (1796-1876) was an ophthalmic surgeon and co-founded the Massachusetts Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "MHS Jeffries Family Papers, 1622–1880". Massachusetts Historical Society. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Channing 1820, p. 63
  3. ^ Channing 1820, p. 70
  4. ^ "The Summary of the Boston Massacre Trial". Boston Massacre Historical Society. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Doctor John Jeffries". CelebrateBoston.com. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  6. ^ February 5 is National Weatherperson's Day
  7. ^ Jeffries Air-Mail Letter Collection.

References[edit]

External links[edit]