Silas Deane
The Story
The People
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The People

Cast of Secondary Characters
and Silas Deane’s Relationship to Each

Abigail Adams (1744-1818) – Deane and Abigail (wife of John) both wrote letters about the places they lived, the people they met and their impressions of the times.

Horatio Alden (1792-1858) (see Philura Deane Alden)

Philura Deane Alden (1798 - 18??) - Deane’s granddaughter who with her husband Horatio presented “Memorial” to Congress in 1835 that was successful in finally reimbursing the money owed Silas.

Ethan Allen (1738-1789) – (see signature) Deane convinced the Connecticut legislature to provide the financial assistance needed for Allen and his Green Mountain Boys to capture Fort Ticonderoga from the British in 1775.

Benedict Arnold (1741-1801) – (see portrait) Deane’s financial work led to the attack on Fort Ticonderoga. Arnold was a leader of that undertaking and an early hero of the Revolution. But Arnold then married a Tory and became a traitor to the Revolutionary cause. Deane refused to be connected with Arnold in London.

Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799) – Deane used Beaumarchais as his French connection in procuring supplies for the Continental Army. Like Deane, Beaumarchais struggled for reimbursement of personal contributions from Congress.

Edward Bancroft (1745-1821) – Deane tutored Bancroft in Hartford and speculated with him in France while Bancroft, on the recommendation of Franklin, was serving as a secretary to the American delegation. Bancroft was also Deane’s personal physician and cause of many of the slurs against Deane after his death. It was not until late in the 1800s that it was discovered that Bancroft had been a British spy.

Daniel Buck (1744-1828) – Wethersfield merchant and Deane’s brother-in-law by marriage. Hagar Dorus and Cloe Pratt bought supplies from Buck.

Barnabas Deane (1743-1794) – Deane’s brother and business partner who received many letters from Silas sent from Philadelphia, France and England.

Elizabeth Saltonstall Evards Deane (1742-1777) – (see portrait) Deane’s second wife, to whom he wrote many descriptive letters about Congress and France.

Jesse Deane (1764-1828) – (see portrait) Deane’s only child. He studied in France with Adams’ son. Jesse’s daughter (Silas’s granddaughter) Philura Alden and her husband Horatio prepared the “Memorial” presented to Congress in 1835 which was successful in obtaining the funds that Deane tried so hard and unsuccessfully to procure as reimbursement for the supplies he obtained from France.

Mehitable Nott Webb Deane (1732-1767) – (see portrait) Deane’s first wife and mother of his only child, Jesse; also mother of Deane’s six stepchildren. Some believe Deane’s financial gain from his marriages enabled him to enter politics.

Hagar Dorus (vital statistics not available) – Deane’s female slave who was valued, with male Pompey, at 5 shillings, in Wethersfield after Deane’s death. Died (probably) free after a long life in slavery, primarily to Elizabeth Saltonstall, Deane’s second wife.

Pompey Dorus (1719-1811) – Deane’s male slave who was valued, with female Hagar, at 5 shillings, in Wethersfield after Deane’s death. Saltonstall family letters speak of his skill with horses.

Eliphalet Dyer (1721-1807) – Deane traveled with Dyer to 1st and 2nd Continental Congresses. Deane and Dyer were removed from Congress by Connecticut in 1775 in favor of other delegates (Oliver Ellsworth and Oliver Woolcott).

Admiral Charles Hector D’Estaing (1729-1794) – French admiral. Deane sailed in D’Estaing’s ship from France to America on his recall from Paris by Congress after signing of Treaty of Amity and Friendship in 1778. D’Estaing was headed to America to provide much needed naval assistance from France, made possible because of the treaty.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) – (see portrait) Deane’s fellow representative at 2nd Continental Congress. Deane preceded him to Paris in early 1776 and then served with Franklin and Arthur Lee. Together they succeeded in signing treaties with France. Franklin was a supporter of Deane over Lee’s accusations until Deane’s protestations became too much to bear.

General Horatio Gates (1728-1806) – American general. Deane deserved Gates’ words of thanks for the much needed supplies from France that allowed Gates’ victory over the British at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777.

Thomas Hurlburt (1715-1791) – Deane bought shoes for his slaves from this Wethersfield shoemaker.

Admiral John Paul Jones (1747-1792) – American admiral. Deane received a letter from Jones reporting the first salute by a French war ship to an American war ship after the Treaty signings of 1778.

General Henry Knox (1750-1806) – American general. Deane’s financial planning led to the capture of Fort Ticonderoga in May 1775. In December of that year Knox led the expedition that took the cannons from Ticonderoga on ox-drawn sleighs to Boston to provide Washington and his army with much needed cannon power.

Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roche Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) – (see portrait) French nobleman and general in the American army. Deane signed the papers that allowed Lafayette to go to America as an officer in the Revolution.

Arthur Lee (1746-1792) – Deane served with Lee and Franklin as commissioners in Paris. Lee, a member of a powerful family from Virginia, caused much grief in both Franklin’s and Deane’s lives, especially Deane’s, by saying, among other things, that the army supplies were a gift from France and therefore Deane was ineligible for reimbursement.

King Louis XVI (1754-1793) – King of France. Deane did not meet him until after the treaty signings in 1778, at which time the King could officially recognize the United States.

Robert Morris (1734-1806) – Deane was a partner of Morris in private business affairs. Morris is known as the financier of the Revolution and his life, like Deane’s, ended in disgrace and bankruptcy.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) – Deane was much maligned by Paine’s writings, which called him a traitor and a crook. Paine, an English writer who immigrated to North America prior to the Revolution and is well known as the author of Common Sense, lost his position as Secretary of the Continental Congress as a result but much damage had already been done to Deane’s reputation.

Cloe Pratt (vital statistics not known) – Friend of Hagar and Pompey Dorus. The three shared a house in Wethersfield at the end of their lives.

Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) – Friend of Bancroft who received a letter from Bancroft full of rumors as to the cause of Deane’s death and Deane’s state of mind. Priestley was also a friend of Franklin’s and is recognized as the isolator of oxygen.

James Rivington (1724-1802) – Deane’s personal letters from England were stolen and subsequently published in Rivington’s Tory New York newspaper causing Deane nothing but trouble. The letters implied that Deane was a traitor to the Revolutionary cause which prompted Deane to write ad infinitum for the rest of his life about his innocence and patriotism.

General Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1726-1807) – (see portrait) French nobleman, professional soldier, and general of the French army. Deane, along with Franklin and Lee, had signed the treaties with France in 1778 that resulted in Rochambeau and the French Army providing assistance to the Washington and the Continental army. French aid lead directly to the victory at Yorktown that turned the tide for the American cause in the Revolution.

Dudley Saltonstall (1738-1798) – Deane awarded his brother-in-law Dudley the captaincy of the first ship of the Continental Navy; he proved to be a poor naval leader.

Gurdon Saltonstall (1708-1785) – Deane’s good relationship with his father-in-law, a wealthy ship-owner and builder from southern Connecticut, helped him with his work for the Continental Navy.

Roger Sherman (1721-1793) – Deane served with Sherman as a delegate from Connecticut to the 1st and 2nd Continental Congresses. Sherman kept his position in the 1775 reshuffling of Connecticut delegates. Sherman was not a good friend of Deane’s.

Jonathan Trumbull (1710-1785) – Deane received a letter from Trumbull, the Governor of Connecticut, in 1775 informing him that he would no longer be a delegate to the Continental Congress.

Charles Graver, comte de Vergennes (1717-1787) – Deane dealt with Vergennes, the French foreign minister, as he secretly procured supplies for the Continental army in 1777 before the official recognition of the United States by the French. They both signed the treaties in 1778, which officially allied the two countries.

Joseph Webb (1749-1815) – Deane’s stepson with whom relations were not very good because of financial problems.

Samuel Blatchley Webb (1755-1807) – (see portrait) Deane’s stepson who could thank Deane for his successful Revolutionary war appointments and career.

Sarah Webb [Barrell Simpson] (1752-1832) – Deane’s stepdaughter; he worried about her hairstyle.




Main Characters

Secondary Characters

Minor Characters

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