Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Silas Deane, 15 April 1781

From Silas Deane

ALS: University of Pennsylvania Library

Paris 15th Apl. 1781


I take the Liberty of inclosing a Letter from Mr Lee, with which I should not Trouble You, were my present Circumstances different, from what they are.5 At any rate, the poor Man must be releived,6 & I have already promised his Landlord that his Bill shall be paid. I pray You to return Me the inclosed, after perusing it. Mr Lee had without my direction applied to Mr Beaumarchais, after he informed Me of it, I mentioned his Case to Mr. Beaumarchais myself, that is the Gentleman he refers to. I am with great respect Dr. sir Your most Obedt. & Very humle. servt.

S Deane

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5His financial circumstances. Secretly, Deane had just arranged to sell his services to the British. Sometime in May or thereafter he began providing the British government with ostensible letters to America recommending reconciliation, which the British later claimed to have intercepted: Fortescue, Correspondence of George Third, V, 200; Deane Papers, IV, 321–7, 506–7; Julian P. Boyd, “Silas Deane: Death by a Kindly Teacher of Treason?” W&MQ, 3rd ser., XVI (1959), 167–8.

6William Lee had just written from Brussels to the committee for foreign affairs to complain that his public service had cost him £6,000 and to ask that Congress finally settle his accounts: Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, IV, 361–3.

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