3. Dana refers to Silas Deane’s letter, dated 13 June 1781 at Paris, to Jeremiah Wadsworth. It first appeared in the New York Royal Gazette
, 31 Oct. 1781, and then in various London newspapers, including the London Chronicle
, 27–29 Dec. 1781. Dana’s appointment, Deane wrote, led him to seriously reflect “on the idea which Congress entertain of their own importance in the commercial and political world.” Deane then expounded at length on the absence of any support for American independence by any European power other than France. “A little time will shew what success Mr. Dana meets with at Russia; but if he meets with any at all, I am greatly mistaken,” for Deane knew of “no power in Europe, Portugal only excepted, that is naturally and necessarily more in the English interest than Russia.” Dana had no doubt that the letter was genuine “because the very extraordinary sentiments it holds up, are perfectly agreable to those he has industriously laboured to inculcate upon every ones mind over whom he thought he cou’d have any influence” (Dana to John Thaxter, 16 March, MHi
:Dana Family Papers, Francis Dana Letterbook, St. Petersburg, 1782–1784).