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The Founding Era Collection > Founders Early Access > Adams Papers: Early Access > Documents 1785–1798 and 1813 [1654 documents] > Documents > Presentation Speech to the King of Great Britain and the King’s Response, 1 Jun. 1785
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Presentation Speech to the King of Great Britain and the King’s Response

1 Jun. 1785

Sir [1 June 1785]

The United States of America, have appointed me their Minister Plenipotentiary, to your Majesty,: and have directed me to deliver to your Majesty this Letter which contains the Evidence of it.— — — —

It is in Obedience to their express Commands, that I have the Honour to assure your Majesty, of their Unanimous Disposition and Desire, to cultivate the most friendly, and liberal Intercourse, between your Majestys Subjects, and their Citizens; and of their best Wishes for your Majesty’s Health and Happiness, and for that of your Royal Family.— — —

The Appointment of a public Minister, from the United States to your Majesty’s Court, will form an Epocha in the History of England, and of America.— — —I think myself more fortunate, than all my Fellow Citizens, in having the distinguish’d Honour, to be the first to Stand, in your Majestys Royal Presence, in a diplomatic Character; and I shall esteem myself the happyest of Men, if I can be instrumental in recommending my Country, more and more, to your Majesty’s Royal Benevolence: and of restoring an entire Esteem Confidence and Affection, or, in better Words, the old good nature and the old good Humour, between People, who, though seperated, by the Ocean, and under different Governments, have the Same Language, a Similar Religion, and kindred Blood.

Let me beg your Majestys Permission to add that although, I have Sometimes before, been entrusted by my Country, it was never, in my whole Life, in a manner So agreable to myself.— — — — — —

Sir [1 June 1785]

The Circumstances of this Audience, are so extraordinary: the language you have now held, has been So extreamly proper: you have discovered Sentiments and Feelings So justly adapted to the Occasion: that I must Say, that I not only receive with Pleasure, the Assurances of the friendly Disposition of the United States, but that I am very glad, the Choice has fallen upon you, to be their Minister.— — —

I wish you, Sir, to believe, and that it may be understood in America, that I have done nothing in the late Contest, but what I thought myself indispensably bound to do, by the Duty which I owed to my People. I will be very frank with you, Sir.— — —I was the last, to consent to the Seperation.—but the Seperation having been made, and having become inevitable, I have always Said as I Say now, that I will be the last to disturb, the Independence of the United States, or in any Way to infring upon their Rights. and the Moment I See Such Language and Sentiments as yours prevail, and a Disposition to give this Country the Preference, I will be the first to meet their Friendship, and to Say, let the Circumstances of Language, Religion and Blood have their natural and full Effect.

(MHi: Adams Papers).
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