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and secrecy in transmitting carefully anything he would wish conveyed to the Congress on that subject. In subsequent conversations, you may, as you find it convenient, enlarge on these topics, that have been the subjects of our conferences with you, to which you may occasionally add the well-known substantial answers we usually give to the several calumnies thrown out against us. If these supplies on the credit of the Congress should be refused, you are then to endeavor the obtaining a permission of purchasing those articles, or as much of them as you can find credit for. You will keep a daily journal of all your material transactions, and particularly of what passes in your conversations with great personages; and you will by every safe opportunity, furnish us with such information as may be important. When your business in France admits of it, it may be well to go into Holland, and visit our agent there, Mr. Dumas, conferring with him on subjects that may promote our interest, and on the means of communication.

You will endeavor to procure a meeting with Mr. Bancroft by writing a letter to him, under cover to Mr. Griffith's, at Turnham Green, near London, and desiring him to come over to you, in France or Holland, on the score of old acquaintance. From him you may obtain a good deal of information of what is now going forward in England, and settle a mode of continuing a correspondence. It may be well to remit him a small bill to defray his expenses in coming to you, and avoid all political matters in your letter to him. You will also endeavor to correspond with Mr. Arthur Lee, agent of the Colonies in London. You will endeavor to obtain acquaintance with M. Garnier, late Chargé des Affaires de France d'Angleterre, if now in France, or if returned to England, a correspondence with him, as a person extremely intelligent and friendly to our cause. From him you may learn many particulars occasionally, that will be useful to us.

John Jay.


Folio 39


Silas Deane to Col. Sam'l B. Webb.

PHILADELPHIA, 14th Nov'r, 1778.
My Dear Sir:—Miss Ogden has the goodness to be the bearer
of this Letter. I have wrote you several, & am surprised to learn
that you have not received them as I sent them open, & the Con-
tents were inoffensive. I fondly hoped you would, before this, have
been exchanged, for I am extremely impatient to see you though it
were but for a few Days, thus as the last resource, I proposed to
Capt. Duncan that at least you might be permitted to come out on
your .parole for a few weeks. I wrote you a Letter by him open,
which you must have received before this will come to hand. I pray
you to take care of your health, and to write me by every opportunity
just to let me know how you are, as to health, & if I shall not have
the pleasure of seeing you, yet I shall be no less anxious for your
release, to obtain which nothing in my power shall be wanting.
I am, my Dear Sir, yours most affectionately,

Silas DEANE.


In the writing of


Silas Deane to Samvel Adamse. Ebeneze ti lluiran

finendae) and Bishop

WETHERSFIELD, 13th June, 1776.
SIR: You have seen the Resolutions of our Brethren West-
ward respecting a Congress. Pursuant to the Committee's direction,
I have wrote to Boston, Newport, Portsmouth, New York, New
Jersey, &c., and per next Post shall receive their answer, which will
doubtless be in approbation of the speedy executing the Proposal.
Meanwhile I think it best for us to appoint our members for the
Congress in season.

Towns are holding]warning Meetings, Resolutions are forming,
Subscriptions are circulating in this Colony of such various kinds
and complexions that a preparation for a Congress is necessary, if for
no other purpose than to prevent that diversity of sentiment ant t
çonfusion into which the People, in consequence of their present
uncertain mind apprehensive state of mind, must throw themselves.
I therefore propose a Meeting of the Committee, on Wednesday, the


22nd instant, at Wethersfield or Middletown, as shall be most agree-
able to you, and the Gentlemen Eastward of the Center.

I am with great Esteem, Gentlemen,
Your Most obed't & Very Hum. Serv't,


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PHILADELPHIA, April 17, 1778. DEAR Col.:—I hope to see you in a few days; I shall therefore say only that I propose to set out for Camp next Tuesday at the farthest, but if you arrive there, pay no regard to this, but come on as fast as possible to Philadelphia, for if you meet me on the road, it will be as well, perhaps better. I shall go by Trenton, Princeton and so on the common Road direct to Basken Ridge, where if you arrive before me, come on to meet me. Whatever you may obtain of intelligence I wish to learn of you personally, for the practice of intercepting letters prevails, and there are those who are base enough to intercept, and wicked enough to put the worst construction on everything Wishing you success,

I am, my Dear Col.,




From Mrs. Lamb's History of the City of New York, p. 70.

“A secret Congressional Committee, of whom John Jay and Franklin were conspicuous members, despatched Silas Deane, of Connecticut, to France, on a mission of the utmost delicacy,—that of learning how far assistance might be expected from that Nation, in case the Colonies should form themselves into an independent State.

“ Deane was an accomplished, college-bred man, of elegant manners and striking appearance, accustomed to a showy style of living, equipage and appointment, and a natural diplomat. He was [Chairmanjof the Committee of Safety in Connecticut, and his residence was the rendezvous of nearly all the public characters of the period. William Livingston speaks of it as · Hospitality Hall,' and Lossing describes it as the ‘Webb House.'


“Silas Deane married the widowed mother of Samuel B. Webb, in 1764. The Webb House,' in Wethersfield, was where Washington and Rochambeau met in 1881, and arranged the campaign against Cornwallis in Virginia. The suites of the two commanders, consisting of forty-five persons each, were distributed among the people of Wethersfield. Only Washington and Rochambeau slept in the great double house, with its hall in the centre, and rooms on each side, with wall decorations of rich, crimson velvet paper.

“ Samuel B. Webb, afterwards General, was descended in the · direct line from Richard Webb, who came to Boston from Gloucestershire, England, in 1632, and in connection with Hooker, Hopkins and Willys, settled Hartford in 1635. He was wounded in the battle of Bunker Hill, immediately after which, at the age of twenty-one, he was appointed Aid-de-Camp to Putnam; and in June, 1776, was made private Secretary and Aid-de-Camp to Washington, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was the father of General J., Watson Webb, and the grandfather of General Alexander S. Webb, President of the New York City College."

The Historical Magazine for June, 1880, published by Barnes & Co., 111 William Street, and edited by John Austin Stevens, Esq., contained the following biographical sketch by Mr. Stevens, well known as one of the most accomplished historians of our country, in everything relating to Revolutionary affairs.

I should have mentioned sooner that while Washington would not consent to my father's exchange out of turn, he appointed him Commissary General for the exchange of prisoners, the duties of which station he performed until he himself was exchanged.

[From the Historical Magazine of June, 1880.]



The family of Webb, of Connecticut, of whom Colonel Samuel Blatchley Webb, of the Connecticut line of the Continental Army was one, was a branch of that of the Webbs of Molcomb, County Dorset, England, to which arms were granted on the 17th June, 1577.

Richard, the first emigrant, appears in the old New England records as one of the settlers of Cambridge in 1632. This body of men composed the Braintree Company, known as Mr. Hooker's company, which in 1634 sent out messengers “to discover Connecticut river, intending to remove their town thither; and in the summer of 1630 one hundred strong men, women and children traveled over a hundred miles through a hideous and trackless wilderness and sat down at Hartford. Richard Webb was no doubt one of this adventurous party. His name appears as one of the original proprietors of Hartford in 1639, and in many positions of trust. A few years later he removed to Stamford, of which he was also one of the first settlers. Here he died in 1676, 'a gentleman of standing in the colony.'” With regard to his descendants, genealogists differ ; but superior credence must be given to the record of Hinman in his catalogue of names of the first Puritan settlers of Connecticut, which agrees in the main with the traditions and records of the family.

Samuel Blatchley Webb, the subject of the present memoir, the sixth in descent (all of his immediate ancestors being of the

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