To the Continental Congress April 23, 1779

To the Continental Congress April 23, 1779

PHILADELPHIA,

HONORABLE SIRS:

On inquiring yesterday of Mr. Thomson, your Secretary, I find that no answer is given to any of my letters. I am unable to account for the seeming inattention of Congress in collecting information at this particular time, from whatever quarter it may come; and this wonder is the more increased when I recollect that a private offer was made to me, about three months ago, amounting in money to -L-700 a year; yet however polite the proposal might be, or however friendly it might be designed, I thought it my duty to decline it; as it was accompanied with a condition which I conceived had a tendency to prevent the information I have since given, and shall yet give to the country on public affairs.

I have repeatedly wrote to Congress respecting Mr. Deane's dark incendiary conduct, and offered every information in my power. The opportunities I have had of knowing the state of foreign affairs is greater than that of many gentlemen of this House, and I want no other knowledge to declare that I look on Mr. Deane to be, what Mr. Carmichael calls him, a rascal. Whether Mr. Deane was encouraged by members of this Honorable House to traduce the characters of the rest of the Commissioners to make room for themselves, and to establish a commercial company calculated to monopolize the trade of the country is what I have not authority to say, but the appearance of things together with some knowledge I am possessed of too much justify the suspicion.

THOS. PAINE.

P. S. The enclosed is part of an original letter which was sent to me about a month ago, and if it be of any use to Congress I offer it for their consideration. I never corresponded with the writer, neither have I yet answered it.

T. P.

I shall be obliged to any of the Pennsylvania delegates that will return the enclosed to me.