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For those who want to look further
These lessons and documents have focused on the information to be found in the library of the Connecticut Historical Society Museum in Hartford. This is quite natural since Mr. Deane was from Connecticut and many of his papers have ended up at that organization. Much of the Museum’s material on Silas Deane was published in the late 1800s by the New-York Historical Society and those are primarily what we have made available to you.

But there are many other sources where Silas Deane information can be found, many of which are listed in the bibliography that also accompanies this site. We would like to conclude by mentioning three specific areas where you might continue your search beyond that bibliography. If you find anything of particular interest, please let us know on the “Comments” section of this site and we may possibly include it in updates of Silas Deane Online.

1. Bookstores: Every time we from the Museum go into a bookstore we are pulled to the History section and then, more specifically in the larger book chains, to the Revolutionary War section. There are often new texts published and we find ourselves impelled to check the index in search of Mr. Deane. If he is mentioned, which averages about fifty percent of the time, then we make note if Deane were considered a hero or a rogue by that author. The most recent book on our bibliography was found in this fashion: Freedom Just Around the Corner; American History, 1585-1828 by Walter A. McDougay. This book gives an interesting twist on the morals of many of the founding fathers, Mr. Deane included.

2. General Web Searches for Silas Deane: These of course must be taken with a grain of salt but can turn up interesting ideas. You will notice right away that many sites are fixated with “the mysterious death” of Silas Deane. We at the Museum do not consider his death all that mysterious but this theory has generated a great deal of interest. Our website has focused more on Mr. Deane’s contributions rather than his death or checkered past.

But a general search on “Silas Deane” could send you to the Library of Congress website or to university libraries that have helpful listings of their holdings for Silas Deane. The Harvard University Library lists an allegory that Silas Deane wrote in 1779. This could be worth a look if you were in Cambridge, Massachusetts with time on your hands.

The Library of Congress has several listings relating to Silas Deane, including several portraits that could be seen if you were in Washington, D. C. Interlibrary loans throughout the country can make available many texts at other libraries.

3. Online Searches for Used Books: These too can often turn up new and interesting information. For instance, in June 2004, we discovered for sale a very expensive volume (price range from $5,500 to $6,500) from 1783 entitled: Thirteen Portraits of American Legislators, Patriots and Soldiers Who Distinguished Themselves in Rendering Their Country Independent;…Drawn from the Life by DuSimitiere… and Engraved by Mr. B. Reading - quite a mouthful for a book title! Who were those thirteen chosen patriots? You must take into account that the thirteen were chosen by one individual in 1781, not by a general consensus of one grateful nation, but yes, Silas Deane was among them, along with our first generally acknowledged American hero, George Washington (but not John Adams to keep with our theme). Others included Baron von Steuben, General Gates, John Jay, Henry Laurens and Benedict Arnold (though his portrait was removed in later editions after knowledge of his defection had become known). It is interesting to note that the portrait of Mr. Deane from this collection can be found on the Library of Congress’s Silas Deane listing.

In any event, we hope you have enjoyed learning about Silas Deane’s achievements and that some of you may want to the search for viable information about this man from Wethersfield, Connecticut, who did a great deal for the Revolutionary cause. Good luck and keep us posted!


Hairstyles of the time

Silas Deane miniature, 1776



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