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Silas Deane to the Secret Committee



Paris, 12th December, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: Just as I had closed my despatches by the Generals Du Coudray and Baron De Kalb, I was most agreeably surprised with a letter from Doctor Franklin, at Nantes, where he arrived after thirty days passage, with two prizes. I hourly expect him here; but knowing of his arrival, I despatch this, with a duplicate, to Havre de Grace, to go by the ships sailing thence; and have only time to inform you that I sent an express instantly to Mr˙ Lee to join us here without delay; for the news of Mr˙ Franklin' s arrival may occasion his friends being forbid coming from London to France.

Nothing has for a long time occasioned greater speculation than this event, and our friends here are elated beyond measure, as this confirms them you will not negotiate with England; and for me, I will not attempt to express the pleasure I feel on this occasion, as it removes at once difficulties under which I have been constantly in danger of sinking. I may not add, as I shall miss the post; but am, with the most grateful and respectful compliments to the honourable Congress, &c˙,

Per order: SILAS DEANE.

The King of Portugal is dead. The Comte Grimaldi, Prime Minister of Spain, has resigned, which will tend to accelerate a rupture in Europe, which I think unavoidable.