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Canons of Official Etiquette

From: Jefferson Papers | Main Series | Volume 42 | Canons of Official Etiquette

After Jefferson hosted the newly arrived British Minister Anthony Merry and his wife, Elizabeth, for dinner at the President’s House on 2 Dec., a debate over diplomatic protocol ensued. The British consul took umbrage when the widowed president did not accompany his wife to the dining room, but instead escorted Dolley Madison, whom he seated at his side. Secretary of State James Madison...
Mr. King to mr Madison. N.Y. Dec. 22. 1803. 1. all foreign ministers pay the 1st. visit to the ministers of Engld. by going in their carriage & leaving a card without asking for them. this visit is rarely if ever returned. 2. foreign ministers nor their wives never invited to Queen’s balls, concerts, parties. the king gives none. at king’s levee forn. & domest. ministers, dignifd clergy, Ld....
Canons of Etiquette to be observed by the Executive. 1. Foreign ministers arriving at the seat of government pay the first visit to the ministers of the nation, which is returned: and so likewise on subsequent occasions of reassembling after a recess. 2. The families of foreign ministers recieve the 1st. visit from those of the National ministers, as from all other residents and as all...
In order to bring the members of society together in the first instance the custom of the country has established that the residents shall pay the 1st. visit to strangers, & among strangers first comers to later comers, foreign & domestic; When brought together in society all are perfectly equal, whether foreign or domestic, titled or untitled, in or out of office. To the 1st. rule there is a...
The Washington Federalist of the 1st. inst. has published what he calls the ‘Etiquette of the court of the US.’ in his facts, as usual, truth is set at nought, & in his principles little correct to be found. the Editor having seen a great deal of unfounded stuff on this subject, in that & other papers of a party whose first wish it is to excite misunderstandings with other nations, (even with...