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Wrong Arthur Lee?

Mr. Arthur Lee T.

Creator

Figaro

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Figaro

Background Information

Employment History

Medical Director

Med Plus Wellness & Rehab Center

Creator

Forever Changes

Commissioner

United States

Affiliations

Member
Continental Congress

Proper Representative
the United States

Founder
Fort Quitman

Member
Treasury Board

Education

Eton

Meharry Medical College

M.D. degree

University of Edinburgh

Web References (200 Total References)


France in the Revolution - Chapter Five

www.americanrevolution.org [cached]

Arthur Lee was a member of the famous Lee family of Virginia, and was then studying law in England. He possessed a restless desire for prominence, and either from natural exuberance of imagination, or from a willingness to pervert the facts to suit his taste, he was reckless in his statements to an extraordinary degree. It is hard to say whether he lied intentionally or from mere inability to tell the truth, but his looseness of statement made him a dangerous associate. Beaumarchais was not the most cautious of men in his talk; when he and Lee discussed the affairs of their respective governments, probably each deceived the other, and from this intercourse sprang in the future many serious complications. Beaumarchais believed all of Lee's rosy statements as to the strength of the insurgents, and Lee was persuaded that France stood ready to assist their cause to the utmost of her power.

Lee sent home a report that, as a result of his labors, he had an assurance that France would furnish five million livres' worth of arms and ammunition as a free gift to the United States (lbid., ii, 115.) Beaumarchais was a fervent talker, but he could not have made such a statement as this. Lee reported this fable, partly from his eagerness to make himself prominent as one who had extracted great promises of aid, and partly, doubtless, deceived by his own heated imagination.
At all events, Beaumarchais suggested to the French government the advisability of lending aid to the colonies, and when Beaumarchais had undertaken a cause, he gave his whole soul to it. Even if he overestimated the strength of the insurgents and the weakness of England, he saw more clearly than many statesmen the opportunity which France had to injure her ancient rival, and he manifested an interest in the cause of America that was then felt by few Frenchmen. The creator of Figaro must be counted among the earliest friends of the American Republic, and the services he rendered were by no means inconsiderable.
...
From this glowing picture, which was partly due to Arthur Lee's heated imagination, Beaumarchais declared the Americans to be invincible, while so grievous was England's strait that the King was not sure of his crown and the ministers were not sure of their heads. "This poor English people," he writes, "with its frantic liberty, inspires compassion in every reflecting mind.
...
His letter discloses how far his mind was influenced by the exuberant promises of Arthur Lee, the man who was destined to be the cause of Beaumarchais's financial ruin in his dealings with the United States. "A secret representative of the colonies, in London," so he wrote, "discouraged by the failure of his efforts through me to obtain from the French minister supplies of powder and munitions of war, said to-day, 'Has France absolutely decided to refuse us all succor, and thus become the victim of England and the laughingstock of Europe? . . . We offer France in return for secret assistance a treaty of commerce which will secure to her for a certain number of years after the peace all the benefits with which for a century we have enriched England.'"
...
The fact that these supplies were to be paid for was specified with frequency and clearness in the contract with Deane, and Congress hardly seems justified in assuming later that they were not to be paid for, merely because Arthur Lee said so.
...
His troubles grew largely out of the indefatigable and pernicious activity of Arthur Lee. Lee was one of the most suspicious, the most atrabilious, and the most cantankerous persons whom the Revolution produced, and he excited in those with whom he had to deal a degree of irritation difficult to describe. He was eager to take a prominent part, and jealous of those who were preferred to him; believing all men to be liars except himself and possibly John Adams, with an extraordinary power of hating, an endless fund of acrimony, and an exhaustless capacity for lying, he did an amount of evil out of all proportion to his very moderate ability. When he found that Beaumarchais was dealing with Deane instead of with him, he took steps which proved very disastrous to the creator of Figaro.
Lee wrote Congress that these munitions of war were not to be paid for, but were the free gift of the French King. "M. de Vergennes," he said, "has repeatedly assured us that no return was expected for the cargoes sent by Beaumarchais.
...
Lee said nothing was to be paid, and intimated that the demand was in fraud of the French government, and intended to fill the pockets of Beaumarchais and Deane with illegal gains.
...
Lee as repeatedly assured Congress that these demands were either part of a commercial comedy and not intended to be answered, or rascally attempts to cheat Congress and defeat the liberal purposes of the French King (Wharton, i, 402,494.) It was in vain that Beaumarchais wrote that be had exhausted his money and his credit.
...
Notwithstanding this formal contract, the accounts of the firm remained unliquidated, and Arthur Lee still insisted that most, if not all, of the supplies furnished were the free gift of the French government, for which there could be no liability.
...
Arthur Lee had been recalled from Paris, and his activity with members of Congress was quite sufficient to prevent any settlement of the claim.
...
Accordingly it voted to adjust Beaumarchais's account and referred it to Arthur Lee to settle the amount due. This was equivalent to saying that it would pay nothing. Lee was Beaumarchais's bitter enemy. He insisted that all articles furnished by Hortalez and Company were gifts from the French government, and that the entire claim was a fraud. He now promptly reported, not only that the United States owed nothing to Beaumarchais, but that Beaumarchais owed the United States almost two million francs.


France in the Revolution - Chapter Five

www.americanrevolution.org [cached]

Arthur Lee was a member of the famous Lee family of Virginia, and was then studying law in England. He possessed a restless desire for prominence, and either from natural exuberance of imagination, or from a willingness to pervert the facts to suit his taste, he was reckless in his statements to an extraordinary degree. It is hard to say whether he lied intentionally or from mere inability to tell the truth, but his looseness of statement made him a dangerous associate. Beaumarchais was not the most cautious of men in his talk; when he and Lee discussed the affairs of their respective governments, probably each deceived the other, and from this intercourse sprang in the future many serious complications. Beaumarchais believed all of Lee's rosy statements as to the strength of the insurgents, and Lee was persuaded that France stood ready to assist their cause to the utmost of her power.

Lee sent home a report that, as a result of his labors, he had an assurance that France would furnish five million livres' worth of arms and ammunition as a free gift to the United States (lbid., ii, 115.) Beaumarchais was a fervent talker, but he could not have made such a statement as this. Lee reported this fable, partly from his eagerness to make himself prominent as one who had extracted great promises of aid, and partly, doubtless, deceived by his own heated imagination.
At all events, Beaumarchais suggested to the French government the advisability of lending aid to the colonies, and when Beaumarchais had undertaken a cause, he gave his whole soul to it. Even if he overestimated the strength of the insurgents and the weakness of England, he saw more clearly than many statesmen the opportunity which France had to injure her ancient rival, and he manifested an interest in the cause of America that was then felt by few Frenchmen. The creator of Figaro must be counted among the earliest friends of the American Republic, and the services he rendered were by no means inconsiderable.
...
From this glowing picture, which was partly due to Arthur Lee's heated imagination, Beaumarchais declared the Americans to be invincible, while so grievous was England's strait that the King was not sure of his crown and the ministers were not sure of their heads. "This poor English people," he writes, "with its frantic liberty, inspires compassion in every reflecting mind.
...
His letter discloses how far his mind was influenced by the exuberant promises of Arthur Lee, the man who was destined to be the cause of Beaumarchais's financial ruin in his dealings with the United States. "A secret representative of the colonies, in London," so he wrote, "discouraged by the failure of his efforts through me to obtain from the French minister supplies of powder and munitions of war, said to-day, 'Has France absolutely decided to refuse us all succor, and thus become the victim of England and the laughingstock of Europe? . . . We offer France in return for secret assistance a treaty of commerce which will secure to her for a certain number of years after the peace all the benefits with which for a century we have enriched England.'"
...
The fact that these supplies were to be paid for was specified with frequency and clearness in the contract with Deane, and Congress hardly seems justified in assuming later that they were not to be paid for, merely because Arthur Lee said so.
...
His troubles grew largely out of the indefatigable and pernicious activity of Arthur Lee. Lee was one of the most suspicious, the most atrabilious, and the most cantankerous persons whom the Revolution produced, and he excited in those with whom he had to deal a degree of irritation difficult to describe. He was eager to take a prominent part, and jealous of those who were preferred to him; believing all men to be liars except himself and possibly John Adams, with an extraordinary power of hating, an endless fund of acrimony, and an exhaustless capacity for lying, he did an amount of evil out of all proportion to his very moderate ability. When he found that Beaumarchais was dealing with Deane instead of with him, he took steps which proved very disastrous to the creator of Figaro.
Lee wrote Congress that these munitions of war were not to be paid for, but were the free gift of the French King. "M. de Vergennes," he said, "has repeatedly assured us that no return was expected for the cargoes sent by Beaumarchais.
...
Lee said nothing was to be paid, and intimated that the demand was in fraud of the French government, and intended to fill the pockets of Beaumarchais and Deane with illegal gains.
...
Lee as repeatedly assured Congress that these demands were either part of a commercial comedy and not intended to be answered, or rascally attempts to cheat Congress and defeat the liberal purposes of the French King (Wharton, i, 402,494.) It was in vain that Beaumarchais wrote that be had exhausted his money and his credit.
...
Notwithstanding this formal contract, the accounts of the firm remained unliquidated, and Arthur Lee still insisted that most, if not all, of the supplies furnished were the free gift of the French government, for which there could be no liability.
...
Arthur Lee had been recalled from Paris, and his activity with members of Congress was quite sufficient to prevent any settlement of the claim.
...
Accordingly it voted to adjust Beaumarchais's account and referred it to Arthur Lee to settle the amount due. This was equivalent to saying that it would pay nothing. Lee was Beaumarchais's bitter enemy. He insisted that all articles furnished by Hortalez and Company were gifts from the French government, and that the entire claim was a fraud. He now promptly reported, not only that the United States owed nothing to Beaumarchais, but that Beaumarchais owed the United States almost two million francs.


France in the Revolution - Chapter Five

www.americanrevolution.org [cached]

Arthur Lee was a member of the famous Lee family of Virginia, and was then studying law in England.He possessed a restless desire for prominence, and either from natural exuberance of imagination, or from a willingness to pervert the facts to suit his taste, he was reckless in his statements to an extraordinary degree.It is hard to say whether he lied intentionally or from mere inability to tell the truth, but his looseness of statement made him a dangerous associate.Beaumarchais was not the most cautious of men in his talk; when he and Lee discussed the affairs of their respective governments, probably each deceived the other, and from this intercourse sprang in the future many serious complications.Beaumarchais believed all of Lee's rosy statements as to the strength of the insurgents, and Lee was persuaded that France stood ready to assist their cause to the utmost of her power.

Lee sent home a report that, as a result of his labors, he had an assurance that France would furnish five million livres' worth of arms and ammunition as a free gift to the United States (lbid., ii, 115.) Beaumarchais was a fervent talker, but he could not have made such a statement as this.Lee reported this fable, partly from his eagerness to make himself prominent as one who had extracted great promises of aid, and partly, doubtless, deceived by his own heated imagination.
At all events, Beaumarchais suggested to the French government the advisability of lending aid to the colonies, and when Beaumarchais had undertaken a cause, he gave his whole soul to it.Even if he overestimated the strength of the insurgents and the weakness of England, he saw more clearly than many statesmen the opportunity which France had to injure her ancient rival, and he manifested an interest in the cause of America that was then felt by few Frenchmen.The creator of Figaro must be counted among the earliest friends of the American Republic, and the services he rendered were by no means inconsiderable.
The American cause excited in Beaumarchais a genuine enthusiasm, though doubtless his zeal for liberty was increased by his desire to take an active part in the relations between the French court and the patriots.His dealings with the Americans exhibited that mixture of motives which is found in the actions of most men.He was eager to take a part in politics, and he found pleasure in the intrigues and secrecy in which plans for assistance to the colonists were involved; he did not disdain the possibility of pecuniary gain from his labors, but in addition to this he was sincerely eager for the success of the colonists, and one of the first to feel a strong sympathy with the young nation struggling for independence.
...
From this glowing picture, which was partly due to Arthur Lee's heated imagination, Beaumarchais declared the Americans to be invincible, while so grievous was England's strait that the King was not sure of his crown and the ministers were not sure of their heads."This poor English people," he writes, "with its frantic liberty, inspires compassion in every reflecting mind.
...
His letter discloses how far his mind was influenced by the exuberant promises of Arthur Lee, the man who was destined to be the cause of Beaumarchais's financial ruin in his dealings with the United States."A secret representative of the colonies, in London," so he wrote, "discouraged by the failure of his efforts through me to obtain from the French minister supplies of powder and munitions of war, said to-day, 'Has France absolutely decided to refuse us all succor, and thus become the victim of England and the laughingstock of Europe? . . . We offer France in return for secret assistance a treaty of commerce which will secure to her for a certain number of years after the peace all the benefits with which for a century we have enriched England.'"
If the ministers desired to avoid a war with England, this could only be done, so Beaumarchais declared, by furnishing secret aid to the Americans which would enable them to maintain the contest; otherwise England, after subduing her colonists, would send her victorious fleets to despoil France of her remaining possessions in the West Indies.
To secure the advantages which the situation offered, Beaumarchais proposed a scheme which was a agreeable to himself.It was possible, he wrote, to aid the colonists without involving France in war; they might receive succor which could not be shown to come from the French government; and he added: "If your Majesty has not a fitter man to employ, I will undertake the enterprise and no one shall be compromised.
...
The fact that these supplies were to be paid for was specified with frequency and clearness in the contract with Deane, and Congress hardly seems justified in assuming later that they were not to be paid for, merely because Arthur Lee said so.
...
His troubles grew largely out of the indefatigable and pernicious activity of Arthur Lee.Lee was one of the most suspicious, the most atrabilious, and the most cantankerous persons whom the Revolution produced, and he excited in those with whom he had to deal a degree of irritation difficult to describe.He was eager to take a prominent part, and jealous of those who were preferred to him; believing all men to be liars except himself and possibly John Adams, with an extraordinary power of hating, an endless fund of acrimony, and an exhaustless capacity for lying, he did an amount of evil out of all proportion to his very moderate ability.When he found that Beaumarchais was dealing with Deane instead of with him, he took steps which proved very disastrous to the creator of Figaro.
Lee wrote Congress that these munitions of war were not to be paid for, but were the free gift of the French King."M. de Vergennes," he said, "has repeatedly assured us that no return was expected for the cargoes sent by Beaumarchais.
...
Lee said nothing was to be paid, and intimated that the demand was in fraud of the French government, and intended to fill the pockets of Beaumarchais and Deane with illegal gains.
...
Lee as repeatedly assured Congress that these demands were either part of a commercial comedy and not intended to be answered, or rascally attempts to cheat Congress and defeat the liberal purposes of the French King (Wharton, i, 402,494.) It was in vain that Beaumarchais wrote that be had exhausted his money and his credit.
...
Notwithstanding this formal contract, the accounts of the firm remained unliquidated, and Arthur Lee still insisted that most, if not all, of the supplies furnished were the free gift of the French government, for which there could be no liability.
...
Arthur Lee had been recalled from Paris, and his activity with members of Congress was quite sufficient to prevent any settlement of the claim.
...
Accordingly it voted to adjust Beaumarchais's account and referred it to Arthur Lee to settle the amount due.This was equivalent to saying that it would pay nothing.Lee was Beaumarchais's bitter enemy.He insisted that all articles furnished by Hortalez and Company were gifts from the French government, and that the entire claim was a fraud.He now promptly reported, not only that the United States owed nothing to Beaumarchais, but that Beaumarchais owed the United States almost two million francs.


Silas Deane Online

www.silasdeaneonline.org [cached]

Deane preceded him to Paris in early 1776 and then served with Franklin and Arthur Lee.

...
Arthur Lee (1746-1792) - Deane served with Lee and Franklin as commissioners in Paris.
...
Arthur Lee (1746-1792) - Deane served with Lee and Franklin as commissioners in Paris.
...
Lee, a member of a powerful family from Virginia, caused much grief in both Franklin's and Deane's lives, especially Deane's, by saying, among other things, that the army supplies were a gift from France and therefore Deane was ineligible for reimbursement.
...
Deane, along with Franklin and Lee, had signed the treaties with France in 1778 that resulted in Rochambeau and the French Army providing assistance to the Washington and the Continental army.


Silas Deane Online

www.silasdeaneonline.org [cached]

But to return to Silas Deane's story, late in 1776 Congress sent Benjamin Franklin and Arthur Lee ( Doc.

...
Deane's signature is to be found on both along with Franklin's and Lee's.
...
Among his enemies was his fellow diplomat in Paris, Arthur Lee, who through the powerful Lee family member had convinced many members of Congress that the supplies from France had been a gift of the French while Silas said they were given as a loan that had to be repaid.
...
Arthur Lee was eventually recalled himself but Silas Deane was completely ruined through non-action by the Congress on his behalf.
...
It is generally accepted as fact by historians that the root of all of his troubles stemmed from the fact that Arthur Lee, of the powerful Lee family of Virginia, who had signed the French treaties with Deane, disliked Deane enough to cause him all his problems.

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