[Revolutionary War] The Deane Papers (5 vol set) 1774-1790

[Revolutionary War] The Deane Papers (5 vol set) 1774-1790

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Deane, Silas. The Deane Papers (5 volume set) Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the years 1886-1890. New York: Printed for the Society, 1887-1891. [8958]

Five volumes in green textured cloth with bright gilt titles, 9 3/4 x 6 1/4 inches, most of the leaves in these volumes are unopened (not cut at the top edge). A few tiny white spots on the bindings. With a portrait in vol. i. Pp: xiv + 496 (1886); 499 pp. (1887); 490 pp. (1888); 561 pp. (1889); 692 pp. (1890).  The Papers cover the years 1774 to 1790. Very good. Hardcover.

Silas Deane (1737-1789), b. Groton, CT; died on board ship, near Deal, England. A prosperous lawyer and merchant, Deane had established himself in Wethersfield, CT. He was elected to the General Assembly and became one of the recognized revolutionary leaders in the colony. He was elected to both the first and the second Continental Congress, and at the beginning of the second was one of three men who made the preparations for the force which captured Fort Ticonderoga. He served on committees which oversaw the construction of the U.S. Navy and for procuring arms and ammunition for the army. He was chosen by Congress to as its representative in France - he was the first American ambassador. Among his duties was that of brokering the sale of American goods in exchange for military supplies; his transactions are credited with supplying the United States forces in time for their victory at Saratoga. He also persuaded several key European military officers, including Lafayette, De Kalb, Steuben, and Pulaski, to sail for American to fight on the side of the Patriots. Deane, along with Benjamin Franklin and Arthur Lee, negotiated with France and signed the treaties which brought them into the war on the side of the United States.

The mission ended in embarrassment for Deane, because he was accused of charging Congress for goods which he had received at no charge from France. He returned to France in 1780 as a private citizen, and sent private letters to friends recommending a reconciliation with England, which were unfortunately published. Deane was denounced as a traitor. He published a defence in 1784, and in 1789 set sail for America, ostensibly to clear his name. He died on board ship, some say under mysterious circumstances.

In 1842 Congress made a partial restitution to his heirs.