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Letter from King Pinklao to President Franklin Pierce

1856-07-17

Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles

Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles
Bangkok, Thailand

Letters written by a monarch or head of state were treated with great ceremony in nineteenth-century Siam, as the letters were regarded as embodiments of the sovereigns themselves. Thus, all necessary protocol for the proper conveyance of a monarch was afforded to these letters. King Mongkut wrote to President James Buchanan (1791-1868) explaining the reception for the president’s letter:

“It was received by us in full assembly of the royal princes and nobles of the highest rank, all in full court dress with their insignia of office in like manner as though they were receiving a visit in person from the president of [the] United States [of] America.”

Today, these cherished cultural artifacts have been carefully preserved at the National Archives and Records Administration, from which a selection is presented in this publication to illuminate aspects of Siamese culture and the early relationship between Thailand and the United States.

Details

  • Title: Letter from King Pinklao to President Franklin Pierce
  • Date Created: 1856-07-17
  • Location Created: Maryland, USA
  • Physical Dimensions: 32.4 x 18.5 cm - Framed: 48.26 x 35.56 cm
  • Provenance: Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
  • Type: Document

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