Silas Deane, the son of a hapless blacksmith, was an ambitious man. After his first wife died, Deane married the granddaughter of the former governor of Connecticut. He became a successful businessman and entered politics, serving on Connecticut’s Committee of Correspondence and as a delegate to the first and second Continental Congress. On September 22, 1789, Silas Deane booked passage on the Boston Packet. While on board, he suddenly complained of dizziness and stomach pain. The captain immediately put him to bed, but Deane’s condition worsened, and four hours later, he died. Some rumors suggest that his friend Edward Bancroft murdered him, but that was not the case. Deane had committed suicide. He was a very depressed man and had the means to kill himself. Although there are many rumors about how Deane died, what some people don’t know is that his death was self-inflicted.
Deane was a successful adult male, but during his service as Minister Plenipotentiary, he encountered many problems. He was accused of taking advantage of his power to make more money. He denied it, but Congress still decided to take away his title as Minister Plenipotentiary. In 1781, some of his letters to friends were found, stating that he thought America should pursue a more peaceful approach and try to improve relations with England. However, since America had already won by the time these letters were found, he was considered a traitor and could no longer live in America. Deane’s depression from losing his title and being accused of treason is understandable, and it is likely why he took his own life.
Furthermore, Deane had everything he needed to carry out the perfect self-destruction so that no one would suspect it. For example, he was addicted to opium, a very powerful drug that one could easily overdose on, especially Deane. He was feeling very low at the time and would have done anything to feel better. Additionally, Deane had the perfect opportunity to kill himself. The ship he died on was headed toward America, offering many chances for him to turn his luck around. However, instead of taking advantage of these opportunities, Deane used this chance to end his life because no one would suspect it. A man traveling to America with many opportunities would most likely not commit suicide, and that is precisely why Deane did so on the boat. It is clear that Deane’s opium addiction and his opportunities contributed to his decision to take his own life.
All in all, many rumors have been made about Deane’s death, but what some people don’t know is that his death was self-inflicted. Deane killed himself for two reasons: one, he was really down, and two, he had all the opportunities and resources to do so. In summary, there are many possibilities as to who killed Silas Deane, but the truth is Deane took his own life.