Papers of John Adams, volume 5

To the President of the Congress

To James Lovell

368 To the Foreign Affairs Committee, 24 December 1777 JA Continental Congress, Foreign Affairs Committee


To the Foreign Affairs Committee, 24 December 1777 Adams, John Continental Congress, Foreign Affairs Committee
To the Foreign Affairs Committee
Gentlemen Braintree Decr. 24. 1777

Having been absent from this State, I had not the Honour of your Favour of December 3d. untill the 22d. when it was delivered to me with its Inclosures vizt. a Letter from the President to the Navy Board at Boston, and a private Letter of Decr. 8. from Mr. Lovell.

At the Same Time I received a Packett, directed to Benjamin Franklin Arthur Lee and John Adams Esqrs. Commissioners of the United States of America in France under Seal.

At the Same Time, I received another Packett, unsealed containing

1. Copy of a Letter 2d. Decr. from the Committee foreign Affairs to the Commissioners.

2. A Duplicate of a Commission of 27. Novr. to the Commissioners.

3. A Duplicate of Resolve of Decr. 3. Duplicates of Resolves of Novr. 21 and 28. Duplicate of Resolve of Novr. 10. and 22.

4. Two Letters unsealed to the Honourable Silas Deane Esqr. Paris.

5. Two printed Hand Bills one containing Messages &c. between, the Generals Burgoigne and Gates,1 the other Copy of a Letter &c. from Mr. Kirkland.2

The Packett under Seal, I shall do myself the Honour to forward by the first Conveyance, and the other, shall be conveyed God willing with my own Hand. I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Esteem and Respect, Gentlemen, your most obedient and most humble servant,

John Adams

RC (PCC, No. 84, I); addressed: “To The Committee of foreign Affairs”; docketed: “Letter from the Honble John Adams dated Decr. 24th. 1777, recd. Jany. 19. 1778.”


This handbill was not identified nor mentioned in previous letters to JA from the Committee for Foreign Affairs or James Lovell.


Copy of a Letter from the Rev. Mr. Samuel Kirkland . . . Together with a Message from the Six Nation Chiefs, to Major General Gates . . . October 31, 1777, Evans, No. 15642. Kirkland, an interpreter, informed the Indians of the American victory, and they expressed their satisfaction that Burgoyne's advance had been crushed. Besides this exchange, the handbill contains an extract from Gates' letter to the congress of 16 Nov., in which he reported that the British had burned and abandoned Ticonderoga and Mt. Independence and had retreated back down the Hudson River, giving up the forts they had captured. Finally, an excerpt from Washington's letter to the congress of 26 Nov., which described Lafayette's success against British pickets, is given.