Benjamin Franklin Papers

John Adams to [Franklin and Arthur Lee], 5 May 1778

John Adams to [Franklin and Arthur Lee1]

AL: Harvard University Library

Tuesday. May. 5. 1778

Mr. Adams has recd. from the Count De Vergennes a Letter containing Information that his Majesty will see Mr. A. on Fryday, and an Invitation from the Count to Messrs. Franklin Lee and Adams to dine with him on that Day.2 The Letter is addressed to Messrs Franklin Lee and Adams.

Notation: 5 May 78

1Elicited by Vergennes’ note to the commissioners the day before.

2On Friday morning Vergennes conducted the commissioners to the King, who was dressing in his bedroom. He greeted Adams in rapid-fire French, from which the American got nothing because, as Vergennes explained, he did not yet speak or understand the language. Not a word, Louis asked? There the interview ended. A large company was at the dinner that followed, including Charles-Jean Gamier, former French chargé d’affaires in London, who asked whether there had been a rift between Congress and Washington. Not before he left, Adams replied; he had heard nothing of one since and thought it impossible. Butterfield, John Adams Diary, IV, 92–4. On this occasion, as at the earlier presentation on March 20, the commissioners entertained other Americans who were at Versailles. There could not have been many, however, for the meal cost only 24 l.t.: WTF’s accounts (above, XXIII, 19), entry of May 8.

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