Silas Deane, an American diplomatist, born at Groton, Conn., Dec. 24, 1737, died at Deal, England, Aug. 23,1789. He graduated at Yale college in 1758, and was a member of the first continental congress in 1774. He was sent by congress to France as a political and financial agent, and arrived at Paris in June, 1776, with instructions to ascertain the temper of the French government concerning the rupture with Great Britain, and to obtain military supplies. When in September it was determined to send ministers to negotiate treaties, Franklin and Arthur Lee were commissioned to join him at Paris, and he assisted in the negotiation of the treaty with France. In consequence of the extravagant contracts he had entered into, not authorized by his instructions, he was recalled, Nov. 21, 1777, and John Adams appointed in his place. He left Paris April 1, 1778, and on his return, being required to give an account of his proceedings on the floor of congress, evaded a complete disclosure, on the ground that his papers were in Europe. He then attacked congress and his fellow commissioners in a public manifesto, but did not succeed in removing suspicion from himself of having misapplied the public money.

He afterward published in 1784 an address to the citizens of the United States on the same subject, and returning to Europe died in great poverty.