The USS Bonhomme Richard is named for a French translation of Benjamin Franklin's nom de plume, "Poor Richard." When John Paul Jones received the ship “Duc de Duras” from the King of France, Louis XVI, he renamed the former French East Indiaman “Bonhomme Richard” to honor Franklin, the American Commissioner at Paris whose famous almanacs had been published in France under the title: Les Maximes du Bonhomme Richard. Having a US ship named to honor Benjamin Franklin using a French translation is very fitting. Benjamin Franklin was known as "The First American" for his early and constant campaigning for colonial unity. He was a notable American author, publisher, inventor and statesman (spokesman in London for several colonies, the first United States Ambassador to France).