Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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 Quincy (1767-1848) [Instructions to James Brown, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to France]

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03922 Author/Creator: Adams, John Quincy (1767-1848) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Letter signed Date: 24 December 1824 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Written by Quincy Adams as Secretary of State to Brown as American Ambassador to France. Lists 14 items he included with instructions, including: a commission for his post, a letter of credence to King Louis XVIII, full powers for negotiating commerce and navigation issues, a cypher to send coded messages, a letter of credit to the banks in Amsterdam to carry out his duties and draw his salary, various legal books, a passport, full powers to negotiate an end to slave trade, and a letter for Albert Gallatin, who he was replacing in France. Spells out salary and expense issues in detail and says exact vouchers are needed to settle his accounts. Says the main duty of his position "is that of transmitting to his Government accurate information of the Policy and views of the Government to which he is accredited." Says information beyond politics is also important to transmit. Provides instructions on details of signing a treaty. Lists consuls in France and says they can only address the French government through him. Gives detailed instructions on how to issue passports. Says cannot accept gifts at the signing of treaty or when takes leave of the country. Details types of supplies to have on hand. Docket in the hand of Samuel Jonathan Carr, who received the document from one of Brown's executors. Green ribbon included separately.

People: Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848.
Adams, John, 1735-1826.
Brown, James M., fl. 1863.
Gallatin, Albert, 1761-1849.

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Keywords/Subjects: President, Government and Civics, Diplomacy, France, Treaty, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Commerce, Codes and Signals, Banking, Finance, Law, Slavery, Slave Trade, African American History, Politics, Gift

Sub Era: The First Age of Reform