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As I have received no answer to my memorial of the 16th of August last, I conclude none will be given, and, consequently, that I am laid under the necessity of returning to Europe in the best manner I can, and at my own expense.
I must confess, that when I reflect on the part I have acted, and the returns made me for my services, I have nothing but the consciousness of having done my duty to my country with zeal and integrity, and of having been successful in the important affairs I engaged in, to support me. Previous to my embarking, permit me to assure Congress, that my respect for them as the representative body of these States, is not lessened, nor my zeal for the service, prosperity, and happiness of my country abated, by the treatment I have met with. The expense of time and money, which I have suffered by my detention in this city, with the further expense I am now unavoidably forced to make, fall heavy on the small remains of a very moderate fortune ; but as I go to vindicate what is dearer to me than either life or fortune, my honor and character, as the faithful servant of these States, and confident that in doing this, I shall render essential services to my country, I cheerfully submit.
On the 26th of August last, I received an order on the continental treasurer, signed by Joseph Nourse, for ten thousand five hundred dollars, said to be in full consideration of my time and expenses during my attendance on Congress, from the 4th of June, 1778, until the 6th day of Augst last.
I mean not the least disrespect to that honorable body, nor do I feel the slightest emotions of resentment towards those of them, who opposed the grant even of that sum to me, but the same feelings, which prompt me to further sacrifices, forbid my acceptance of a sum so inadequate to my actual expenses, and confident that the day is not far distant in which I shall demonstrate, not only that the public monies and supplies from abroad have been at first obtained, principally by my agency, but that the disposition of them, so far as depended on me, was made with the utmost possible economy and perfect integrity. I refer to that time the discussion of what rec is due me for fourteen months' attendance in Philadelphia, in obedience to the orders of Congress, and for the other services I have been so fortunate as to render the United States. I have so often troubled Congress with my letters, and been so particular in them respecting my situation and affairs, that I need only refer to them at this time, particularly to my letter of the 22d of May last, and to submit the whole to their wise and mature consideration.
I have the honor to be, with the utmost respect to your private as well as public character, &c.
- Silas Deane
- The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution. Vol. I., Jared Sparks, 1829