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The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

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Deane, Silas
Autograph letter signed ("Silas Deane"), 3 pages on a bifolium (9 1/8 x 7 3/8 in.; 232 x 188 mm), no place or date but [Paris, 4 January 1778], to Robert Morris (at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), with integral address leaf and docketed "Paris Silas Deane Esq p[er] Capt[ain] Nicholson," red wax seal; formerly folded, two minor dampstains, tear at upper edge of second leaf which was adhered to seal, affecting the word "though" which is still so adhered.
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來源

Elsie O. and Philip D. Sang Foundation (sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet 26 April 1978, lot 81)

出版

"Deane Papers" volume 2, in Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1887 (New York: 1888), pp. 307-308

相關資料

Commissioner Deane is ready to quit even before he is recalled: "I hope, however, in a few weeks to see American Independance acknowledged, after which I shall ask Liberty to quit Politics forever, & put myself, if possible, into a situation to enjoy what of Life may be left me..."

Sent to Paris in March 1776 to establish an alliance with France, Deane created private business assignments with the Morris, Willing Company of Philadelphia and for his own family enterprises, purchasing supplies and materiel for Congress with money or credit from the sale of American commodities in Europe, for which he received a commission. The letter begins with reports on various private deals concerning the ship Adventure under Captain Roach, and the Brig Timoleon. "If the Adventure return safe, the gains will be very handsome, & more than compensate to the misfortune in the Timoleon. While engaged in public affairs, I find it impossible to attend private ventures, as our Correspondence as Commissioners is very extensive, & applications of one nature and another very numerous."

Through his contacts, he was able to ship guns and supplies to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in time to assure the victory at Saratoga. It was this victory which convinced France to sign a treaty of alliance, which was the "American Independence acknowledged" in the opening quote above. He goes on to brag of his business contacts "I have made myself acquainted with all the principal houses in Europe, as well as with its manufactures & commerce, & am of opinion I can be of more service to my country, my friends, & self in that than in any other department. I have no ambition of being at Courts; I have seen enough of them to ease me of any such Passion, though I have the honor of all the Esteem & Confidence I wish for with the Minister for Foreign affairs, with whom our business lies, & who, I think, is a very honest as well as able minister."

He was recalled from France by Congress on 4 March 1778 and asked to account for all his expenditures and business interests.

Two copies of this letter were sent, one through his brother (placed and dated, now at the Connecticut Historical Society) and this one through Captain Nicholson.

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

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