DEANE, Silas, a Delegate from Connecticut; born in Groton, Conn., December 24,
1737; received a classical training, and was graduated from Yale College, New
Haven, Conn., in 1758; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1761 and
commenced practice in Wethersfield, Conn., afterward engaged in mercantile
pursuits in the same town; deputy of the general assembly 1768-1775; Member of
the Continental Congress 1774-1776; ordered to France in March 1776 as a secret
political and financial agent, and in September was commissioned as Ambassador
with Franklin and Lee; negotiated and signed the treaty between France and the
United States in Paris on February 6, 1778; personally secured the services of
Lafayette, De Kalb, and other foreign officers; recalled in 1778 and
investigated by Congress for financial misconduct; returned to Europe to secure
documents for his defense; died on board ship sailing from Gravesend to Boston,
September 23, 1789; interment in St. Leonards Churchyard in Deal, on the
Kentish coast, England; in 1842 Congress voted to pay his heirs a restitution.
BibliographyJames, Coy H.
Silas Deane: Patriot or Traitor? East Lansing, MI: Michigan
State University Press, 1975; Halsted, Janet G. Silas Deane: Intelligence
Agent and Ambassador from the Continental Congress, M. A. Thesis, Southern
Connecticut State University, 1999.