Adams Papers

From John Adams to the Comte de Vergennes, with a Letterbook Memorandum, 7 July 1781

To the Comte de Vergennes, with a Letterbook Memorandum

Versailles July 7. 1781. Hotel de Jouy


I have the honour to inform, you, that, upon an Intimation, from your Excellency, Signified to me by Mr. Berenger, and afterwards, by the Duke de la Vauguion, that the Interests of the United States required me here, I arrived last night in Paris,1 and am come to day to Versailles, to pay my Respects to your Excellency, and receive your farther Communications. As your Excellency, was in Council, when I had the Honour to call at your office, and as it is very possible, that Some other day, may be more agreable, I have the Honour to request you to appoint the Time, which will be most convenient to your Excellency for me to wait on you.

I have the Honour to be, with great Respect Sir your most obedient and most humble Servant

John Adams

RC (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 17:304); endorsed: “M. adams [il] fait part Son arrivée [à] Paris.” LbC’s (Adams Papers). JA made two Letterbook copies of his letter to Vergennes and inserted at the bottom of each the memorandum printed here. The first Letterbook copy is written on a sheet of paper and tipped into Lb/JA/16 between pages 166 and 167 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 104). The second Letterbook copy is the first entry in Lb/JA/17 (same, Reel No. 105). It is likely that JA did not bring a Letterbook to Paris and therefore copied the letters on a sheet of paper until he could procure a new one. On the assumption that it was done first, the text of the memorandum printed here is from the first Letterbook copy. Significant differences between it and the second copy are indicated in the notes. In 1809, when JA printed his letter to Vergennes and his memorandum in the Boston Patriot, he took his text from the second Letterbook copy (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot description begins Correspondence of the Late President Adams. Originally Published in the Boston Patriot. In a Series of Letters, Boston, 1809[–1810]; 10 pts. description ends , p. 107–108).

1See the letters from Laurent Bérenger of 5 June and from C. W. F. Dumas of 25 June, and note 1, both above.

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