. 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).