First Balloon Flight Across the English ChannelJean Blanchard soon moved to England, where he gathered a small group of enthusiasts, including Boston physician, John Jeffries. John Jeffries offered to pay for what became the first flight across the English Channel in 1785.
John Jeffries later wrote that they sank so low crossing the English Channel that they threw everything overboard including most of their clothing, arriving safely on land "almost naked as the trees."
Balloon Flight in the United StatesThe first real balloon flight in the United States did not occur until the Jean Blanchard ascended from the yard of the Washington Prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 9, 1793. That day, President George Washington, the French ambassador, and a crowd of onlookers watched Jean Blanchard ascend to about 5,800 feet.