Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Silas Deane, 31 [i.e., 1?] August 1783

To Silas Deane

Reprinted from The Deane Papers, 1774–90 (5 vols.; New-York Historical Society Collections, XIX-XXIII, New York, 1887–91), V, 192.

Passy, August 31st [i.e., I?],2 1783.


I received last night the letter you did me the honor of writing to me the 20th. past, and in answer inform you that I never heard anything of the discourses or resentments you mention, either at Versailles or at Paris; that I do not think your personal safety or liberty would be hazarded from any such resentments by your coming to Paris to settle your accompts; and that, so far as may depend on me, you may rely on the protection you wish for. With best wishes that you may hereafter so prudently conduct yourself as to recover the esteem and respect you once possessed among your countrymen,3 I am, Sir, Your most obedient and most humble servant,

B Franklin.

Silas Deane, Esq.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2The date as given cannot be correct; Deane discussed this letter when writing to Barclay on Aug. 28 (Deane Papers, V, 187–8). Given that BF mentions having just received Deane’s letter of July 20, the month “past,” we place this answer at the earliest possible date, knowing that mail often took ten days to travel between the two cities.

3On Aug. 10 Deane completed his self-vindicating Address to the United States of North-America (XXXVIII, 468), which he had been debating whether to publish for months. He added a postscript and appendix on Oct. 12. The manuscript was carried to America by Deane’s son Jesse: Deane Papers, V, 142–3, 221, 236.

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