Adams Papers

From John Adams to the President of Congress, No. 14, 8 March 1780

To the President of Congress, No. 14

Paris Hotel de Valois Rue de Richelieu March. 8th 1780


Yesterday I went to Court in Company with the American Minister Plenipotentiary, and had the Honor to be presented to the King, by the Secretary of State for foreign Affairs: after which, I had the Honor to go round with all the foreign Ambassadors, and make a Visit to the Queen, the King’s Brothers, Sister, Aunts, and Daughter, which are all the Branches of the Royal Family, and to be presented to each of them in Turn, and after them to the Comte de Maurepas.

After these Ceremonies were over, we were all invited to dine with the Comte de Vergennes.

As Ceremonies of this Kind, are so much attended to in this, and all other Countries of Europe, and have often such important Effects, it is proper that Congress should have Information of them.1

I have the Honor to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant,

John Adams2

RC in John Thaxter’s hand (PCC, No. 84, I, f. 307–308;) endorsed: “No. 14 Letter from Honble. J. Adams March 8th. 1780 Read July 22 Mr. A presented at Court to the King and Family.” LbC (Adams Papers.)

1In the Letterbook this sentence continued “especially as my public Character, is to be announced to the World, at the same time in the Gazette.” Although all indications are that JA expected his presentation to be announced in the Gazette de France, he probably decided not to mention the announcement until after it appeared and he could include an extract.

2Except for a brief mention in his letter to AA of [ante 15 March], this is JA’s only known reference to his presentation to Louis XVI in 1780 in a letter to America (Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963–. description ends , 3:301).

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