- Deane, Silas, 1737-1789
- Call number
- MssCol 4310
- Physical description
- .1 linear feet (1 folder)
- Preferred Citation
Silas Deane letters, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library
- Manuscripts and Archives Division
- Access to materials
- Advance notice required. Request access to this collection.
- Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online.
Silas Deane (1737-1789) was an American lawyer and merchant, member of the Continental Congress from Connecticut, 1774-1776, and Congressional agent and diplomat in France, 1776-1778. Recalled in 1778 under controversial circumstances, Deane returned to Europe in 1780 as a private citizen and died in 1789 en route to America. Silas Deane letters, dated 1767-1785, are addressed to his stepchildren Sarah (Sally) Webb and Samuel Blachley Webb, and friends Thomas Mumford and Thomas Cushing, New England merchants and politicians. Letters to Sally in Boston, 1767-1769, mention her mother's illness and offer advice for Sally's education and self-improvement. His 1778 letter to Thomas Cushing in Boston asks him to assist Sally, now the widow of John Simpson, a Loyalist. Letters written at Philadelphia to Thomas Mumford in Connecticut, 1774-1775, tell of Congressional business and colonial disputes, his participation in the Secret Committee to obtain support from Europe, and the need to develop an American naval force. Deane's letter of July 16, 1785 at London to Samuel Blachley Webb gives a careful study of American commercial prospects and Great Britain's rising manufacturing economy. A letter dated March 7, 1779 addressing "my Dear Col[onel]," and referring to an exchange, may be addressed to Samuel Blachley Webb, at that time an American army colonel and prisoner of war.
Digitization was made possible by a lead gift from The Polonsky Foundation.
Most material in the collection was originally received as part of the Emmet and Ford collections.
Source of acquisition
Donated by John S. Kennedy as part of the Emmet collection, 1896, and J. Pierpont Morgan as part of the Ford collection, 1899, and purchase, 1934
Compiled by Casey Babcock, 2015
- Cushing, Thomas, 1725-1788 -- recipient
- Deane, Silas, 1737-1789
- Mumford, Thomas, 1728-1799 -- recipient
- Webb, Samuel Blachley, 1753-1807 -- recipient
- Webb, Sarah, 1752-1832 -- recipient
- Great Britain -- Commerce -- United States
- New England -- Social life and customs -- To 1775
- United States -- Commerce -- Great Britain
- United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783
- United States -- Politics and government -- 1775-1783
Using the collection
LocationManuscripts and Archives Division
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, NY 10018-2788
Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room, Third Floor, Room 328