John Jeffries (5 February 1745 – 16 September 1819) was a Boston physician, scientist, and a military surgeon with the British Army in Nova Scotia and New York during the American Revolution. He is best known for accompanying Jean-Pierre Blanchard on his 1785 balloon flight across the English Channel.
|Born||5 February 1745
|Died||16 September 1819 (aged 74)
|Resting place||Granary Burying Ground|
|Education||Harvard College, University of Aberdeen|
|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|
Born in Boston, Jeffries graduated from Harvard College and obtained his medical degree at the University of Aberdeen. Dr. Jeffries played a large role in the trial for the Boston Massacre as a witness for the defense. He was the surgeon for Patrick Carr, who was one of the Americans shot during that incident.
Jeffries is 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. 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.
Jeffries lived in England from 1779 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.
- Channing 1820, p. 63
- Channing 1820, p. 70
- Morison, Samuel Eliot (1965). The Oxford History of the American People. New York: Oxford. p. 286.
- "1785: Across the English Channel in a balloon". The History Channel. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
- "The Summary of the Boston Massacre Trial". Boston Massacre Historical Society. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "Doctor John Jeffries". CelebrateBoston.com. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- Unknown, Unknown (1841). The American Quarterly Register. 13. American Education Society. p. 53.
- February 5 is National Weatherperson's Day
- Jeffries Air-Mail Letter Collection.
- Channing, Walter (1820). The New-England Journal of Medicine and Surgery: And Collateral Branches of Science. Volume 9. Wells and Lilly.