Silas Deane was the victim of one of the most vicious character assassination conspiracies ever carried out in the Revolutionary War era. Even after almost two and a half centuries, he remains in the eyes of many modern historians, “worse than Arnold,” his boyhood friend.
This is very wrong. Because Deane was such a capable individual in his endeavors very early in the war, he became the political target of envious others with quite different abilities and philosophies. Even so, his political strength kept growing and in 1776 Congress appointed him America's first secret agent to secure military supplies from France for Washington’s army. This biography is written on the man himself and on the malicious and largely successful lies and intrigues by his rivals. The work does not downplay the contributions of his contemporaries, especially those of his close friend throughout, Benjamin Franklin, but shows exactly where specific credit should be placed. A lot of credit for the new nation’s success belongs to him.