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the art of spelling was by no means prevalent. The handwriting is firm and clear and the letters present the appearance of having been written by a man in the prime of life. In the originals of the general letters, which follow in the body of the book, errors in orthography are the rule, while punctuation is almost totally disregarded. Such spelling as is merely old fashioned is allowed to stand as in the original, but errors indicating a defective education have of course been duly corrected.
At the first inauguration of Washington as President of the United States, my father was the Grand Marshal of the day; and Gen'l Morgan Lewis and Col. Richard Platt were his assistant Marshals.
The semi-centennial anniversary of that event, was celebrated in New York in 1839; and Mr. John Quincy Adams, ex-President of the United States, was the orator of the day. On that occasion, I republished in the Courier and Enquirer, the full proceedings of the inauguration of President Washington; and Colonel Platt informed me in 1819, that my father, in his official capacity as Grand Marshal, held the Bible while Washington took the oath of office. I am aware, that this honor has been attributed to another; but in view of the fact that my father was the Grand Marshal of the day, and of the high character of Colonel Platt, his assistant marshal, there can be no doubt of the accuracy of the statement.
Every reader familiar with the events which led to our Declaration of Independence, recognizes the fact, that to-Silas Deane, more than any other individual, is attributed the assembling of the Congress of 1774, which put forth that manifesto on the 4th July, 1776. It was as chairman of the Committee of Safety for the Province of Connecticut, that he published those stirring appeals to all the Colonies, which ultimately caused the assembling of the Congress of 1774; and in that patriotic body, he was the leading personage. He was unanimously elected as our sole representative to France, to negotiate with that government for the recognition of our independence of the mother country, and for material aid in carrying on our struggle, and although, subsequently, Franklin and Lee were sent to him as colleagues, he it was, who did the work, and finally accomplished the great object of his mission. His quarrel with Lee and the slanders against him, fabricated by that individual, are matters of history, and I do not deem it necessary, at this late day, to vindicate his purity and patriotism. His great work resulted in the capture of Cornwallis, and in an early establishment of our independence; and European historians have vindicated his fame,-if for such vindication were needed any necessity.
In 1852, the historian, W. Cooke Taylor, published in London, “Memoirs of the House of Orleans," from official documents in the archives of the French government; and in these memoirs is contained a history of Deane's negotiations with the French government. Without any allusion to the controversy between Deane and Lee, on this side of the Atlantic, Dr. Taylor makes the following interesting publication: Extract from page 252 of Memoirs of the House of Orleans, by W.
Cooke Taylor, LL. D., published in London in 1852, Vol. II.
Franklin, a little intoxicated by the unusual honors heaped upon him, did not press forward the negotiations as rapidly as Silas Deane, his neglected colleague in the Embassy, thought necessary.
Worn out by the excuses and delays of M. de Sartieres, Deane wrote word to that Minister, that unless the treaty between France and North America was signed within twenty-four hours, he would commence negotiations for reconciling England with her Colonies. * All is lost!' exclaimed Franklin, when Deane told
him of the decisive step he had taken; you have mortally offended France and ruined America.' * Tranquilize yourself until you hear the answer,' was the diplomatist's cold reply. "The answer,' cried the philosopher, 'will be an order for sending us to the Bastile!' We shall see that,' said his unmoved colleague.
“After the lapse of a few hours, one of M. de Sartieres' Secretaries waited on the Ambassadors and said, 'Gentlemen, you are requested to hold yourselves in readiness for an interview; at midnight you will be sent for. At midnight!' exclaimed Franklin, when the Secretary left the room, then my prediction is verified. Mr. Deane, you have undone us.'
"At the hour appointed, a carriage came for the Envoys and conveyed them with great and mysterious secrecy, to the country residence of M. de Sartieres, about four or five leagues from Paris. They were introduced to the Minister; and the declaration, so imperiously demanded by Mr. Deane, was signed on the instant, to the great surprise and satisfaction of Franklin."
Memoirs of the House of Orleans, by W. Cooke Taylor, LL.D.
Samuel Adams to Silas Deane.
Boston, May 19, 1774. Sir:—The Committee of Correspondence for the Town of Boston, have had before them a Letter signed by yourself, in Behalf of the Committee of the Hon'le House of Representatives for the Colony of Connecticut; and I am desired, by our Committee, to return them their hearty thanks for the Readiness they discover to support this Town, now called forth to stand in the Gap, and suffer the vengeful stroke of the Arm of Tyranny! God forbid they should succumb. I trust in Him. We shall never be so servile, as to submit to the ignominious Terms of the cruel Edict. Aided by our Sister Colonies, we shall be able to acquit ourselves under so severe a trial with dignity. But that aid must be speedy; otherwise we shall not be able to keep up the spirits of the more irresolute among us, before whom the crafty adversaries are already holding up the grim Picture of Want and Misery.
It is feared by the Committee, that a conference of the Committee of Correspondence, from all the Colonies, cannot be had speedily enough to answer for the present emergency. If your Hon'le Committee shall think it proper, to use their influence with the Merchants in the several seaport Towns in Connecticut, and
prevail with those of each Town for themselves, to withhold their Trade with Great Britain and Ireland, and every Part of the West Indies, to commence at a certain time (say the 14th of June next), it will be a great sacrifice indeed, but not greater than Americans have given the World to expect from them, when called to offer it for the Preservation of the publick Liberty. One year's virtuous forbearance, would succeed to our wishes.
Your sentiment that “ Boston is suffering in the common cause,” is just and humane. Your obliging Letter has precluded any Necessity in me, to urge your utmost Exertions, that Connecticutt may, at this important juncture, act her Part in support of that common Cause, though the Attack is made more immediately on the Town of Boston.
Being at present pressed for time, I cannot write so largely as I feel disposed to do. I must, therefore, conclude with assuring you, that I am with very great Regard for the Hon'le Committee, Sir,
Your Sincere Friend
& Fellow Countryman, Mr. SILAS DEANE.
Silas Deane to his wife.
(From New York.) MY DEAR:—We left the Bridge,* where I closed my last, after dinner, and baiting by the way, arrived in Town at six. Wm. Hubbard and Doc't Turner, overtook us at the Bridge, bound for Philadelphia; so that we now make a considerable string on the road. Instantly on our alighting at Hull's, Mr. Bayard came up, and without allowing us to shift our linen (apprehensive of something like this I shifted mine at the Bridge, before dinner), he forced us directly to the Exchange, where were the Boston Delegates, two from S. Carolina, 'and all the gentlemen of considerable note in the City, in the mercantile way, where they had dined, f and were then passing round the glass. They appeared in the highest possible spirits, on our introduction. But though we read that the presence of a friend enlighteneth the countenance, yet the brilliancy of this circle might by us, without any violence to our vanity, be as well attributed to something else. We went the round of introduction and congratulation, and then took our seats. The glass had circulated just long enough to raise the spirits of every one just to that nice point which is above disguise or suspicion, especially in persons any way generously disposed. Of consequence, I saw instantly that it was an excellent opportunity to know their real sentiments. Cool myself, I was not afraid of sharing in the jovial entertainment; therefore, after introduction, I wav'd the formality of sitting at the upper part, among my brother Delegates, and mixed among the gentlemen of the City. Here was McEvers, Alsop, Bache, Sherbrooke, Sharp, &c, &c. I soon found that parties ran excessively high in the City. Here were none of the Broomes, Sears, McDougalls or any of them; yet I found many favorable to the cause we were upon, and willing to go almost any length, while others were in reality against doing anything at all. I found they were fond of paying great court to Connecticut; and consequently could easily find out the reason without the use of divination. We broke up at nine, and retired to our Lodgings. Mr. Sherman is clever in private, but I will only say he is as badly calculated to appear in such a Company as a chesnutburr is for an eye-stone. He occasioned some shrewd countenances among
* King's Bridge.
+ Thomas Cushing, Samuel and John Adams, and Robert Trent Paine, who arrived in New York, Ang. 20. They went first to “ Hull'e, a tavern the sign the Bunch of Grapes,” and afterwards " to private lodgings at Mr. Tobius Stountenburg's, in King Street."J. Adams' Diary; Works ii, 345.
^ "We dined (Thursday, Aug. 25th), in the Exchange Chamber, at the invitation of the Committee of Correspondence, with more than fifty gentlemen, at the most eplendid dinner I ever saw; a profusion of rich diehes, &c., &c."
and not a few oaths, by the odd questions he asked, and the very odd and countrified cadence with which he speaks; but he was, and did, as well as I expected. These are good Lodgings, but I have relished nothing in the City since I entered it, being taken with a dysentery, which, however, I think is wearing off. The next morning we breakfasted with Mr. Sherbrooke,--that is, Col. Dyer and myself only. He went with us to fit us with clothes. I am not well suited, but took the best I could find.
The more I converse in the City, the more I see and lament the virulence of party. As charity thinketh no evil of its neighbor, a party spirit is quite even with it, for it's sure to think no good. We have waived invitations, and dined and supped at our Lodgings yesterday; but to-day we go to Hobuck with Mr. Bay