Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division's First 100 Years

Letter, John Adams to Thomas Jefferson describing the cordial greeting he received from King George III as the first American minister to Great Britain, 3 June 1785.
(Thomas Jefferson Papers)


In this 3 June 1785 letter, written in his secretary's hand, John Adams (1735-1826), Revolutionary patriot and later president of the United States, described to Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), then American minister to France, his presentation to King George III (1738-1820) as the first United States minister to Great Britain. Adams had been nervous about the historic meeting between the representative of the victorious rebels and their former "oppressor." He had purchased a new coat for the occasion and had labored on the speech he was expected to deliver, anxious to set a tone of reconciliation between the two nations. With great relief and satisfaction, he reported to Jefferson that he had been received with kindness and respect beyond what he had anticipated.

Janice E. Ruth, Manuscript Division

For Additional Information
For additional information on the Thomas Jefferson Papers, you can leave this site and read a summary catalog record for the collection.

Reproduction Number:
A51 (color slide; page 1); A52 (color slide; page 2)

Related Terms:
Adams, John (1735-1826) | Diplomacy | Diplomats | George III, King of Great Britain (1738-1820) | Great Britain | Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) | Presidents

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