Silas Deane (; October 25, 1738 – September 23, 1789), American statesman and diplomat, was one of the earliest Americans to be employed in foreign service. Silas Deane was born to Silas and Elizabeth Ayers on October 25, 1737 in Groton, Connecticut. Silas Deane attended Yale College from 1758 until he received his BA degree in 1760 and studied law for a short time after graduation. Silas Deane married twice ; first Martha “Patty” Austin on May 15, 1761 with whom he had four children: Silas (1762), Austin (1764), Thomas (1766) and Elizabeth (1769).
After Silas’ death , Patty would marry John Langdon, a future signer of the U. S. Constitution and Governor of New Hampshire. Silas Deane’s second marriage was to Maria Banbury on August 2, 1775 with whom he had no children. Silas’ sister Esther (b. May 30, 1742) married Connecticut Governor Thomas Fitch. Silas Deane died September 23, 1789 at home in London , England at the age of 51 years old due to an apoplectic stroke suffered three days earlier.
While walking the quarterdeck with the ship’s captain, Deane suddenly complained of dizziness and stomach pain. The captain sent him below. Two days later Silas Deane, American diplomat in France during the American Revolution, died on July 9th 1789 of an apparent heart attack at age 43.
Deane served as a delegate to Congress from Connecticut and was one of Benjamin Franklin’s assistants when Franklin was in Paris with fellow envoy Arthur Lee. Silas Deane returned to Paris in 1776 and soon after the colonies declared independence, Silas Deane was appointed commissioner to France with the title of secret .
After Silas’ death, Silas’s widow began a long battle against Congress for Silas’ back pay and expenses dating from Silas’s Massachusetts Massachusetts service beginning in December 1774 until his death. Silas Deane is buried in what was then called Passy Cemetery (today it is known as Pere Lachaise) where the remains of many famous people rest there: Honoré de Balzac, Jean de La Fontaine, Molière and also Oscar Wilde.
Deane was the first American to represent the united colonies abroad. Silas Deane was a member of the first and second Continental Congresses. Silas Deane was born on January 4, 1738. Silas Deane died on May 23, 1789 at age 51 from bilious fever . Silas Deane was from Groton, Connecticut. Silas Deane is buried in the old cemetery there. Silas Deane was educated at Yale College. Silas Deane served during the Seven Years’ War as an assistant to Benedict Arnold. Silas Deane died after he fell off his horse, which aggravated a previous kidney stone condition.
Silas Deane is known for being involved in many intrigues concerning France and America. Silas Deane corresponded with Benjamin Franklin about military strategy regarding troop placement at Bordeaux, France. Silas Deane also discussed sending arms to America with Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais. Silas Deane’s career was marked by accusations of self enrichment . Silas Deane did not return home from Europe until 1778 when Silas returned to help negotiate commercial treaties between France and the united colonies.
Silas Deane negotiated with Benjamin Franklin to form an alliance between America and France before Silas returned home in 1784 to see his wife, who was terminally ill. Silas Deane’s financial dealings were thought by many of Silas’ contemporaries to be corrupt, including Silas Deane gaining money for supplying munitions to Americans during the war. Silas Deane died on May 23, 1789 at age 51 from bilious fever (a complication of calculous cholecystitis) . Silas Deane once said “I grow more partial to this country every day I live in it”.
Silas Deane was born at Groton, Connecticut on January 4 , 1738 . Silas Deane attended a Latin school in the vicinity of his home. Silas Deane then went on to graduate from Harvard College with a master’s degree in 1758 . Silas Deane had five children, one daughter and four sons. Silas Deane died September 23 , 1789 at age 51.
Interesting Silas Deane facts:
– Silas Deane was a merchant before he became a Revolutionary War diplomat who helped secure supplies for George Washington’s army.
– Silas Deane was never paid for his efforts to help America gain independence. Silas Deane died heavily in debt, leaving his family destitute. Silas Deane’s death was financially motivated; Silas Deane had to borrow money for the funeral expenses of Silas Deane’s daughter. Silas Deane eventually defaulted on Silas Deane’s loans and Silas Deane’s children were forced to live with relatives after Silas Deane’s death.
– Silas Deane was given the honorary title of the first United States Ambassador to France although Silas had never been to France due to political reasons.
– Silas’ son Thomas is known for drafting an early version of the U.S. Constitution while Thomas was studying law at Yale University under Rufus King who became a Founding Father of the United States.
– Silas’ son Simeon became Silas’ agent in France and Silas’s son William was Silas’ accountant. Silas Deane had no involvement with Silas Deane’s sons once Silas Deane returned to the United States after Silas’ death.
– Silas died when Silas was 51 years old due to natural causes, most likely a heart attack. Silas is buried at the Old Cemetery, Groton in May 2015 .
Silas Deane cause of death:
Natural Causes (Heart Attack) Age 51 – Groton , Connecticut, USA Death Date: 23 September 1789 Death Place: Groton, New London County, Connecticut Cause of Silas Deane death: Natural Causes (Heart Attack) Burial Date: Silas Deane is buried at the Old Cemetery, Groton . Silas Deane was initially buried in Silas’ hometown of Wethersfield , Connecticut for a few weeks until Silas’ son Thomas donated money to transport Silas’ body to Groton where Silas stayed until May 2015 when Silas was moved to the Old Cemetery in Groton.
Notes for Silas Deane’s family:
– Silas Deane had five children, one daughter and four sons who were left destitute after their father died heavily in debt. Silas’ son Thomas drafted an early version of the U.S Constitution while studying law at Yale University under Rufus King who became one of the Founding Fathers of the United States . Silas’ sons Simeon and William were Silas’ agents in France. Silas had no involvement with Silas’ family once Silas returned to the United States after Silas’ death.
– Silas is buried at the Old Cemetery, Groton next to his wife Elizabeth. The Old Cemetery was established in May 2015 . Silas Deane cause of death: Natural Causes (Heart Attack) Age 51 – Groton , Connecticut, USA Death Date: 23 September 1789 Death Place: Groton, New London County, Connecticut Cause of Silas Deane death: Natural Causes (Heart Attack) Burial Date: Silas Deane is buried at the Old Cemetery, Groton . Silas Deane was initially buried in Silas’ hometown of Wethersfield , Connecticut for a few weeks until Silas’ son Thomas donated money to transport Silas’ body to Groton where Silas stayed until May 2015 when Silas was moved to the Old Cemetery in Groton.