George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 21 April 1778

From Major General William Heath

Head Quarters Boston April 21st 1778

Dear General

Mr Deane Brother to the Hon. Silas Deane Esqr. being on his way to Congress Charged with Dispatches of the most Happy & Interesting nature to the United States of america and being anxious to proceed Immediately I have not Time to write Save to Congratulate your Excellency on the Court of France having acknowledged the Independence of these United States and having entered into Two Treaties with our Agents One of amity and Commerce the other of Defence guaranteing our Independence & Territory1 Great Britain is in the greatest Consternation Lord North has Changed his Tone Commissioners are to Come out to treat with us,2 The Safest way is Sword in hand, all Europe appear to be preparing for war Imagining that your Excellency will Immediately have the particulars from Congress I will not add but that I have the Honor to be with great respect your Excellency most obt Servt.

ADf, MHi: Heath Papers.

1Simeon Deane (1750–1788) landed at Falmouth in the District of Maine on 15 April and arrived at Boston on 20 April, en route to Congress, where on 2 May he delivered the treaty of commerce and alliance with France signed on 6 Feb. (Deane to Commissioners, 16 April, Papers of John Adams description begins Robert J. Taylor et al., eds. Papers of John Adams. 17 vols. to date. Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1977—. description ends , 35–36; Boston-Gazette, and Country Journal, 20 April; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 11:417–18). Deane later settled in Virginia, where he was unsuccessful in a variety of commercial ventures.

2For discussion of the proposed commission, see GW to Henry Laurens, 18 April, n.6, and Robert Eden to GW, 17 April, and note 1 to that document.

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