To the Comte de Vergennes
Paris March 21st. 1780 Hotel de Valois Rue de Richelieu
In the letter which you did me the honour to write me the 24th. of February your Excellency proposed that the principal object of my Mission1 shou’d be inserted in the Gazette of France, when it shou’d make mention of my presentation to the King and Royal Family. In the answer to this letter which I had the honour write on the 25th. of February, I informed your Excellency that I shou’d not think myself at liberty to make any publication of my powers to treat of Peace, untill they shou’d have been announced in the Gazette.2
It was on the 7th. of March, that I had the honour to be presented to the King and Royal Family, but no notice has been taken of it in the Gazette of France. Whether this omission is accidental, or whether it is owing to any alteration in your Excellency’s sentiments, I am not able to determine.3 Your Excellency will excuse the trouble I give you upon this occasion, as it arises wholly from a desire to be able at all times, to render an account to my Sovereign, of the motives and reasons of my own conduct. I have the honour to be with the most perfect consideration your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant,
RC in John Thaxter’s hand (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol. E.-U., vol. 11:337); endorsed: “21 mars M. Adams rep. le 30 mars.” LbC (Adams Papers.)
1. To this point, JA copied this letter (from the Letterbook) into his Autobiography where it forms the abrupt end to that work (JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 4:254).
2. In the Letterbook, this sentence was written below the closing and marked for insertion at this point. For the letters of 24 and 25 Feb., as well as JA’s comments regarding them, see JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 4:251–254 and calendar entries, vol. 8:362–363, 367.
3. In the Letterbook, this sentence was written and then revised as follows: “Whether this omission is accidental, or whether it is owing to any Alteration in your Excellencys <
Opinion> sentiments, < arising from any Change of Circumstances, which may have since happend> I am not able to determine.”