Papers of John Adams, volume 17

To John Jay

To John Jay

To John Jay, 1 June 1785 Adams, John Jay, John
To John Jay
Dear Sir. Bath Hotel Westminster June 1st. 1785.

In my Letter of the 29th. Ulto. I inclosed Copies of the Letters which had passed between the secretary of State and myself—wherin this Day was fixed upon for my introduction to His Majesty—agreable to that arrangement the Master of Ceremonies waited on me at one and accompanied me to the secretary’s Office, from whence Lord Carmarthen accompanied me to the Palace— I was in a very short time introduced to the Kings Closet where with the usual Ceremony I presented my Letter of Credence to His Majesty, and after a few minutes Conversation retired— I have only time to Observe, Sir, that I was introduced with every necessary formallity, and received with some marks of attention.1

The Door being now opened I may perhaps soon have it in my power to form some opinion respecting the general Disposition of the King and his Ministers relative to the Objects of my mission, of which you may expect the earliest communication

I am Sir / Your friend and / Humble servt.

John Adams.—2

RC in WSS’s hand (PCC, No. 84, V, f. 465–466); internal address: “His Excellency / John Jay Esqr.LbC (Adams Papers); APM Reel 111.


This is the first report of JA’s audience with George III to reach the United States and was hurriedly prepared owing to Samuel Curson’s imminent departure on the June packet (to Jay, 29 May, note 1, above). It arrived on or about 21 July, and Jay replied to 134it on 3 Aug., below, but see also Elbridge Gerry’s 22 July letter to Francis Dana, in which he announced JA’s arrival in London and subsequent audience and then noted that JA had “received from the King every Mark of Attention. This must have been a high scene of Hypocrisy, the practice of which is so habitual with Kings, that they cannot act themselves without it” (Smith, Letters of Delegates , 22:525).


In JA’s hand.