Bissy, Stefano, baron de

Commission seeker.

By his own account, an inventor and artilleryman who had served on land and on sea.

In a memorandum addressed to the United States “Senate” on December 15, 1776, he claimed to have a secret weapon of enormous power which hadn’t yet been tested in action. Asked to be a lieutenant general with a staff of fifty, and to have all of his and his staff’s expenses paid by Congress.

Invited Franklin to witness a demonstration of his weapon, which was probably a new kind of oar for warships. His invention was investigated, but rejected by the Academy.