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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Adams, John (1735-1826) To: King George III.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC07946 Author/Creator: Adams, John (1735-1826) Place Written: New York Type: Autograph document signed Date: 1785/02/24 Pagination: 3 items. 2 p. (each) 31.6 x 20.3 cm.

Establishing diplomatic ties with England. Letter of credentials. A true copy in Adams' hand, with clerical copies of Adams' appointment and William Smith's appointment.

The United States of America in Congress

To our trusty and well beloved William S. Smith …
Esquire send Greeting -

We reposing special trust and confidence in your Integrity Prudence and Ability have nominated constituted and appointed and by these Presents to nominate constitute and appoint you the said William S. Smith Secretary to our delegation to his britanic [sic] Majesty. This Commission to continue in force for the space of three years from this Day unless sooner Revoked.
In Testimony where of We have cause the Seal of The United States to be hereunto affixed. Witness His Excellency [illegible] Henry Lee our President at the City of New York this first Day of March in the year of our Lord one Thousand seven hundred and Eighty five, and of our Sovereignty and … Independence the Ninth. -
Richard Henry Lee. P.
John Jay secretary for the Department of foreign affairs

London May 27th. 1705

I certify the foregoing to be a true Copy of the original Commission -
W. S. Smith

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