Silas Deane was the victim of one of the most vicious character assassination conspiracies ever carried out in the Revolutionary War era. As a result, even after almost two and a half centuries, he remains in the eyes of many modern historians, ""worse than Arnold,"" his boyhood friend. Because Deane was such a capable and successful individual in his endeavors very early in the war, he became the political target of those with quite different abilities and philosophies. However, his political strength kept growing and in 1776 Congress appointed him America's first secret agent to secure military supplies from France for Washington's army. This biography is written on the man himself and his actions and reactions in given situations and events. The work does not belittle the contributions of his contemporaries, especially those of Franklin, but shows exactly where specific credit should actually be placed. A lot of credit for success belongs to him.
Historian Milton C. Van Vlack is a retired high school history teacher and adjunct faculty member in the Connecticut State University system, specializing in American Revolutionary icons. He lives in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.