A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
Portrait of John Adams and actor Paul Giamatti Portrait of Abigail Adams and actor Laura Linney

Episode 3: Don't Tread on Me

On his first diplomatic mission to Europe as the newly appointed minister plenipotentiary to France, John Adams joined Benjamin Franklin who was already stationed near Paris. Adams and Franklin had similar goals--financial and military support from the French government for the newly-formed United States-- but very different styles. Franklin delighted in the social sphere of diplomatic life and on 25 April 1778, Adams writes to Abigail, describing the affable and affectionate interactions between Franklin and the attractive ladies of Paris.

Letter excerpt from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 25 April 1778

Letter excerpt from John Adams, 25 April 1778
My venerable Colleague enjoys a Priviledge here, that is much to be envyd. Being seventy Years of Age, the Ladies not only allow him to embrace them as often as he pleases, but they are perpetually embracing him. -- I told him Yesterday, I would write this to America.
John Adams (signature)