Page:Dramatic Moments in American Diplomacy (1918).djvu/39

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of the day which managed to evade the British patrol, and come down into the records of the Department.

Silas Deane to Committee on Secret Correspondence.

"Paris, August, 2, 1776.

* * * I hope that it will be considered that one hundred field pieces, and arms, clothing, and accoutrements, with military stores for twenty-five thousand men, is a large affair, and that, although I am promised any credit, yet as they must be paid for, the sooner the better, if to be done without too great a risk."

Considering that the Continental Army at no one time mustered half this many men—and considering that they had no supplies at all—the importance of this transaction becomes apparent. The source of this windfall was revealed in a letter the following 18th of August. Probably no more welcome news was ever conveyed in a letter from foreign parts.