On today in 1776, Benjamin Franklin and Robert Morris receive information that the French are likely to obtain arms and ammunition in Holland and send them to the West Indies for use by the American Patriots. Meanwhile, Silas Deane, the trick congressional agent in France, wrote to Congress pleading for information, “…For Heaven’s sake, if you mean to have any connection with this kingdom (France), be more assiduous in getting your letters here.”
Covert French help began filtering in to the colonies quickly immediately after the outbreak of hostilities in 1775. Silas Deane, a Connecticut delegate to the Continental Congress, left for France on a secret mission on March 3, 1776. The Committee of Congress for Secret Correspondence, comprising Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Harrison, John Dickinson, John Hay and Robert Morris, had instructed Deane to meet up with French Foreign Minister Charles Gravier, Count de Vergennes, to anxiety America’s want for military shops and assure the French that the colonies were moving toward “total separation” from Great Britain.
Deane were able to negotiate for unofficial the help of France, in the sort or sort of ships containing military supplies, and recruited the Marquis de Lafayette to talk about his military knowledge with the Continental Army’s officer corps. However, it had been not till following the arrival of the charming Benjamin Franklin in France in December 1776 and the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga in October 1777 that the French became convinced that it had been worth backing the Americans in a formal treaty.
On February 6, 1778, the Treaties of Amity and Commerce and Alliance have been signed, and in May 1778 the Continental Congress ratified them. One month later, war between Britain and France formally started whenever a British squadron fired on two French ships. During the American Revolution, French naval fleets proved vital in the defeat of the British, that was assured following Battle of Yorktown in October 1781.