Adams Papers

To John Adams from Johann Kalb, 27 December 1777

From Johann Kalb

at Valey forge Camp 27. Xber 1777


As you are going to France in a publick Character from the United States, will you give me leave to present you a Letter of introduction for M Le Comte de Broglie, one for M Moreau the first Secretary to Count de Vergennes Minister of State for foreign affairs and two for my Lady, who Shall be glad to see you, and to get news from me by your means.

I wish you a good passage a Safe arrival, Health and Success in all your enterprises, no one being with more regard and Esteem, then Sir Your most obedient & very humble servant,

Baron de Kalb1

The inclosed for Moulin2 is only to be put to the post office either in Paris or in any Sea port Town.

RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Letter Barron De Kalb to me”; in another hand: “Baron de Kalb Decr 27th 1777.” Original two enclosures not found, but copies in both French and English in JA’s hand.

1Johann Kalb (his title was assumed) came to America on the same ship with a number of other French officers, including Valfort, mentioned in the enclosure, and Lafayette, who had been Kalb’s protégé—all engaged by Silas Deane. When the congress rejected the contracts Deane had made with them and then named Lafayette a major general, Kalb threatened legal action. Ultimately the congress created a new place for him as a major general. Kalb was mortally wounded at the Battle of Camden, where he showed himself to be an intrepid and skillful commander (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–1936; 20 vols. plus index and supplements. description ends ; JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 8:743). Kalb wrote again to JA on 2 Jan. 1778, enclosing two additional letters for Comte de Broglie (DSI:Hull Coll.).

2Not found.

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