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ard. This would be taken rather ill; but to make amends, we dine and go to meeting with John Broome to-morrow.
This will come under cover to your father at New London, to be forwarded by Knight. Pray omit nothing conducive to your health and peace of mind. I have been really ill this afternoon, when the villainous carelessness of my tailor, &c., has so awakened me that I feel well. He brings me home a suit of clothes quite unfit for me, so I had to set him to work anew, and wear my old ones,—and now expect to be detained on his account in the morning. Doc'r Gale has wrote me, or rather sent me word, that he will attend you punctually; which I hope may be to your benefit. I have wrote in the rambling manner I have, as much to relieve my own mind as to divert yours.
I am Yours, most affectionately, New York, Monday Morning,
SILAS DEANE. 29th of August 1774.
MONDAY.—This day, as usual, was spent on Committees. Tuesday, we dined with Mr. Smith, a merchant of this City; and on Wednesday and Thursday, attended our business. Friday we had a grand entertainment at the State House.
Sammy Webb must describe it. About five hundred gentlemen sat down at once, and I will only say there was a plenty of everything eatable and drinkable, and no scarcity of good humor and diversion. We had, besides the delegates, gentlemen from every province on the continent present.
Extract from Silas Deane to Mrs. Deane.
PHILADELPHIA, SEPTEMBER 8, 1774.
I need say nothing more. He has much the appearance of Mr. Jas. Mumford, deceased; dresses as plain, or plainer; is of immense fortune, and has his family with him. He wears the manufacture of this country, is plain, sensible, above ceremony, and carries with him more force in his very appearance than most powdered folks in their conversation. He wears his hair straight, his clothes in the plainest order, and is highly esteemed.
With him are two brothers, Mr. Rutledge, Sen'r and Jun'r; of independent fortune, ingenuous but impetuous in the Cause they are engaged in; the eldest, I judge, of my age; his lady, and a son of Jesse's age are with him. They lodge at the next door. The younger brother is a tolerable speaker, equally zealous. He married Mr. Gadsden's daughter, who, as I told you, lodges with
Mr. Gadsden leaves all New England Sons of Liberty far behind, for he is for taking up his firelock and marching direct to Boston; nay, he affirmed this morning, that were his wife and all his children in Boston, and they were there to perish by the sword, it would not alter his sentiment or proceeding for American Liberty; by which you may judge of the man, when I add that he is one of the most regularly religious men I ever met with. Col. Middleton is the only remaining member for that Province whom I have not characterized. He appears very modest; has said but little hitherto; is, I judge, fifty years of age, and of a very slender, thin habit; but is in high esteem by his acquaintance.
Virginia comes next, but that must be the business of a future hour.
I gave you the character of the South Carolina delegates, or rather a sketch. I will now pursue the plan I designed.
Mr. Randolph, our worthy President, may be rising of sixty; of noble appearance, and presides with dignity.
Col. Harrison may be fifty; an uncommonly large man, and appears rather rough in his address and speech.
Col. Washington is nearly as tall a man as Col. Fitch, and almost as hard a countenance; yet with a very young look, and an easy, soldierlike air and gesture. He does not appear above fortyfive, yet was in the first actions in 1753 and 1754, on the Ohio, and in 1755 was with Braddock, and was the means of saving the remains of that unfortunate army. It is said that in the house of Burgesses in Virginia, on hearing of the Boston Port Bill, he offered to raise, and arm and lead, one thousand men himself at his own expense, for the defence of the country, were there need of it. His fortune is said to be equal to such an undertaking.
Col. Bland is a plain, sensible man, deeply studied into and acquainted with the antiquities of Virginia, and of this Continent in general; has wrote several very sensible pieces on the subject; and is a tolerable speaker in public, as is Col. Washington, who
speaks very modestly and in cool, but determined style and accent.
Mr. Pendleton is a lawyer of eminence, of easy and cheerful countenance, polite in address, and elegant if not eloquent in style and elocution.
Mr. Henry is also a lawyer, and the completest speaker I ever heard. If his future speeches are equal to the small samples he has hitherto given us, they will be worth preserving; but in a letter I can give you no idea of the music of his voice, or the highwrought, yet natural elegance of his style and manner.
Col. Lee is said to be his rival in eloquence; and in Virginia and to the Southward, they are styled the Demosthenes and Cicero of America. God grant they may not, like them, plead in vain for the Liberties of their Country!
Silas Deane's Letter.
DEAR SAM:—You owe me a Letter, & a particular one,-but this is not to continue the advice I had begun to give you in a syetematical manner, or to complain of you not paying me. I have no time for the former, and impute to the same Cause, your deficiency in replying, but just to recommend to your notice a worthy Gentleman of this City, Mr. Clymer, the Bearer, whom I doubt not you will shew such Civilities, as the nature of your situation will admit of. I expect a long & minute Letter, but take care that it come by a safe hand. I am, Dear Sam'l, Yours most Tenderly,
S. DEANE. PHILADELPHIA, 16th Sept., 1775.
My compliments to Gen’l Putnam & Friends. I mean writing to Gen. Washington soon.
Silas Deane's Letter.
MURDERER'S CREEK, Oct. 15, 1779. MY DEAR COL. WEBB :- I promised myself.the Pleasure of seeing you at Head Quarters, but have been disappointed, not only of this, but of receiving any Letter from you by my Brother.
I return to Philadelphia to-morrow and after a short stay there, I shall proceed to Virginia to embark. I shall write you from Phila., and therefore refer you at present to my Brother for particulars.
I pray to hear from you by every opportunity & that you will be assured I am ever most affectionately,
Your Sincere Friend & Very Hum'l Sery't, Col. WEBB.
Extract-Silas Deane to Mrs. Deane.
PHILADELPHIA, June 15, 1775. Gen'l Washington will be with you soon ; elected to that high office by the unanimous voice of all America. I have been with him for a great part of the last forty-eight hours, in Congress and Committee, and the more I am acquainted with, the more I esteem him. IIe promises me to call, and if it happen favorably, to spend one night with you. I wish to cultivate this gentleman's acquaintance and regard, not from any sinister views, but from the great esteem I have of his virtues, which do not shine in the view of the world, by reason of his great modesty, but when discovered by the discerning eye, shine proportionably brighter. I know you will receive him as my friend, and what is more-infinitely more-his Country's friend ; who, sacrificing private fortune, independent ease, and every domestic pleasure, sets off at his Country's call, to exert himself in her defence, without so much as returning to bid adieu to a fond partner and family. Let our Youth look up to this man as a pattern to form themselves by; who unites the bravery of the soldier with the most consummate modesty and virtue. I will say no more. Affectionately,
This letter, it must be borne in mind, was written in Philadelphia on the day previous to the Battle of Bunker Hill; and demonstrates Silas Deane's appreciation of men and his ability to estimate them properly.
Silas Deane to Mrs. Deane.
PHILADELPHIA, July 20th, 1775. MY DEAR :-Yours of the 13th I received last evening, and am glad to find the good and virtuous of Connecticut are willing to stand by the Resolutions of the Congress, who, in the appointment of Gen. Putnam, acted on principles as much superior to those which actuate the dissatisfied, as Heaven is superior to earth. . Putnam's merit rang through this Continent; his fame still in. creases, and every day justifies the unanimous applause of the continent. Let it be remembered, he had every vote of the Congress; and his health has been the second or third, at almost all our tables in this city. But it seems he does not wear a large wig, nor screw his countenance into a form that belies the sentiments of his generous soul. He is no adept either at political or religious canting and cozening; he is no shake-hand body; he, therefore, is totally untit for everything but fighting; that department, I never heard that these intriguing gentry wanted to interfere with him in. I have scarce any patience. 0 Heaven ! blast, I implore thee, every such low, narrow, selfish, envious maneuvre in the land, nor let one such succeed far enough to stain the fair page of American patriotic politics!
General Washington writes, that Spencer left his post without so much as waiting on him, or sending him a single word of his intentions. You can be at no loss to infer what opinion is formed of him from this conduct, in doors and out. Suffice it to say, the voice here is, that he acted a part inconsistent with the character either of a soldier, a patriot, or even of a common gentleman. To desert his post in an hour of danger,-to sacrifice his Country, which he certainly did as far as was in his power,—and to turn his back sullenly on his General, a General, too, of such exalted worth and character,-will, I can assure you, unless he take the most speedy and effectual measures to atone, draw upon him the resentment of the whole Continent.
I am daily and hourly making as fair weather as possible of this transaction, and a painful task it is. It is one I am unused to, and therefore, labor hard, to gloss over what I condemn from the bottom of my soul. But my principles are--(the Eye of my God knows them, and the most envious eye of man or the bitterest tongue of