If we look to our past, we will find answers for our present.
Franklin, moreover, played a role in the only American military attack on the British Isles during the Revolutionary War period. In April 1778, Captain John Paul Jones, who later became one of America’s most famous naval heroes, raided the British port of Whitehaven. Franklin and Jones had planned to burn the hundreds of ships crowded in the port’s anchorage. But once the attackers were ashore, the element of surprise was lost and they had to make a hasty retreat after partially burning only one ship and spiking a few cannon. The British later estimated the cost of the damage at no more than 250-300 pounds. The raid nonetheless was an important achievement for America in terms of propaganda and morale. A British town had been invaded for the first time since the late 1600s. The attack aggravated concerns about insecurity in ports all along he British coast. It also triggered a new hike in shipping insurance rates and sparked considerable anxiety in the British shipping industry.