Papers of John Adams, volume 8

From Johann Kalb, 15 October 1779 Kalb, Johann JA From Johann Kalb, 15 October 1779 Kalb, Johann Adams, John
From Johann Kalb
Sir Camp near Westpoint Octr. 15th. 1779

I heard with a great deal of pleasure your happy return to Boston and your appointment by Congress as plenipotentiary for the next Peace, they could not commit Such an important Trust to abler hands than yours. I wish with all my heart you may have the earliest opportunity of going to work, and to Settle all matters to the greatest honor Glory and happiness for the United States and yourself.

The Chevr. de la Colombe1 having been in Marquess de la Fayette's family while he Staid in our army, and a Supernumerary aid de Camp 203to me this Campaign, But his father desiring him to come home, I request the Favour of you to admit as a Passenger into the Same Frigate you are to Sail in. The Count de la Luzerne hath favoured him with a letter for Monsr. de Chavannes2 to the Same purpose.

I wish you most Sincerely, a Speedy and happy Passage, a lasting health and Success in all your undertakings.

With great Esteem and Respect I have the honor to be Dear Sir Your most obedient and very humble Servant

The Baron de Kalb

P.S. Would you do me the favour of forwarding the inclosed by Some other Vessel then your own in case Chev. de la Colombe is to Sail in your Company (he having one for Made. de Kalb of the Same contents,) or to convey it yourself if Chv. de la Colombe was not to Sail with you.

RC (Adams Papers).


La Colombe had been commissioned a lieutenant on 1 Dec. 1776 and was promoted to captain on 15 Nov. 1777 (Heitman, Register Continental Army , p. 166).


Bidé de Chavagnes, captain of La Sensible on which JA was to sail.

John Adams’ Instructions Respecting a Peace Treaty with Great Britain, 16 October 1779 President of Congress Huntington, Samuel JA John Adams’ Instructions Respecting a Peace Treaty with Great Britain, 16 October 1779 President of Congress Huntington, Samuel Adams, John
John Adams' Instructions Respecting a Peace Treaty with Great Britain

Philadelphia, 16 October 1779. printed JA, Diary and Autobiography , 4:181–183.

Although dated 16 October, the instructions had been adopted on 14 August ( JCC , 14:956–960). Controversy over who was to be named to negotiate the peace treaty and who was to undertake the mission to Spain had delayed their being copied for transmission to John Adams. The sine qua non of the instructions was that no negotiations could take place unless the British government agreed to negotiate with Adams as the representative of an independent, sovereign state. Adams was also required to ensure that the peace treaty did not conflict with the existing French alliance and that the western boundary was the Mississippi River. Although the cession of Canada and Nova Scotia to the United States and a guarantee of American fishing rights were listed as desirable objects in a peace treaty, John Adams was not to consider them as ultimata in the negotiations. Finally, Adams could agree to a truce during the negotiations so long as all British forces were withdrawn from the United States. See also John Adams' commission, dated 29 September, to negotiate an Anglo-American peace treaty (calendared above), and the index for additional information regarding the formulation of the instructions and the controversy surrounding them. John Adams received the instructions as an enclosure in the letter of 20 October from the president of the congress (below).

printed : (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 4:181–183.)