Enlisting Foreign Officers

In this 1857 painting by American artist Alonzo Chappel (1828-1887), entitled “Baron DeKalb introducing Lafayette to Silas Deane,” the German-born officer Johann de Kalb introduces American diplomat Silas Deane to the youthful Marquis de Lafayette in Paris in 1776. The Continental Congress had sent Deane as a secret agent to France in order to seek financial and military assistance against the British. Deane enlisted the services of a number of foreign officers, including De Kalb and Lafayette, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1777 to take up positions in the Continental Army.