Reading about how Deane and Lee secured the French loans that led to the confidence needed to issue the Declaration of Independence (and in part, the French Revolution)… Every Canadian knows of Benjamin Franklin, but few know of Silas Deane or Arthur Lee. Do most Americans? Is this a matter of the brightest lights taking all the spotlight?
Never heard of them. Been an American for 64½ years.
I’ve heard of Arthur Lee but could recall much about him.
Nothing on Silas Deane.
For the record, I like history. They just don’t really register I think.
Deane made a bad move for his historical reputation; he had a loss of faith.
Deane was generally a strong supporter of American independence. But as the war dragged on without any apparent end in sight, he developed doubts and expressed his opinion that the American cause was hopeless and Americans should negotiate a return to British control.
Unfortunately for Deane, these opinions became public knowledge at the worst possible time - after the course of the war turned around and when it became likely the Americans would win. There were probably a lot of people who had had the same doubts as Deane but everyone joined in on condemning Dean for his lack of faith.
When the war ended and America achieved its independence, people congratulated themselves and began writing their accounts of what they had done. Deane got disappeared from these accounts.
CT has the Silas Deane Highway. Growing up I thought it was the Silasteen highway, like Springsteen. Took me a long time to connect my memory to the actual road when I moved back as an adult.
Arthur Lee is mentioned as a famous member of a famous family in the musical 1776
Look out, there’s Arthur Lee!
And General Lighthorse Harry Lee!
And Rochambeau, whose fleet and flourish helped Washington secure victory, is honoured in South Park. Kinda.
Other than the 1776 reference, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of them.
The lead singer of Love certainly deserves more recognition than he received.
I’ve never heard of either gentleman. I was in grade school during the U.S. Bicentennial, and we got a lot of history lessons all about the American Revolution, but if either of them were covered in all of that, I don’t remember it now, which makes me think that their mention was slight-to-nonexistent.
Beat me by two minutes.
I’ve heard of Silas Deane. Most often from crossword puzzles. Not idea who Arthur Lee was.
Never heard of either of them. And I took a year course in American history in HS and another course in college.
Having grown up in Philly and gone to Penn, I might have heard the name Ben Franklin mentioned once or twice (not to mention going to the Franklin Institute once a month for a few years).
I know of this Arthur Lee, but if I ever knew the name of the historical figure (possible, but who knows), I’ve long since forgotten it.