Edmund Randolph to Alexander Hamilton
and Henry Knox
[Philadelphia, July 1, 1794]
The Secretary of State has the honor of submitting to the Secretaries of the Treasury and of War, whether the enclosed letter from Mr. Hollingsworth,1 the attorney of the United States for the district of Maryland, does not place the case of the British vessel Pilgrim,2 which has been determined to be captured within the protection of our Coast, upon such a footing, that Mr. Fauchet3 may be desired to cause immediate restitution of her to the former Owners; and if the end should not be accomplished through this channel; that a peremptory order issue to that effect from the Government of the United States.4
LC, RG 59, Domestic Letters of the Department of State, Vol. 7, June 27–November 30, 1794, National Archives.
1. Zebulon Hollingsworth.
2. For the Pilgrim, see “Cabinet Meetings. Opinions Concerning the Relations of the United States with Several European Countries,” November 1–22, 1793; “Cabinet Meeting. Opinion on Restoring the Brigs Conyngham and Pilgrim to the British,” March 27, 1794; “Opinion on Compensation for Captured Vessels,” June 22, 1794.
3. Jean Antoine Joseph Fauchet, French Minister to the United States.
4. On July 3, 1794, Randolph wrote to Fauchet: “The President of the United States having after mature consideration decided that the Pilgrim a British vessel, now lying at Baltimore, was captured within the protection of our coast, I have the honor of notifying the same to you. She is held by an American Citizen for the use of the Captors, so that she has not changed her owners in substance. The Government, being well assured of your disposition to conduct all questions with harmony, has thought proper to express to you its wish, that you would forward to the Consul at Baltimore an order for delivering her up to the person, to whom she belonged before the capture. I will thank you for an answer in the morning …” (LC, RG 59, Domestic Letters of the Department of State, Vol. 7, June 27–November 30, 1794, National Archives).
On July 11, 1794, Randolph wrote to George Hammond, the British Minister to the United States: “I do myself the honor of informing you that the Minister of the French Republic to the United States has assured me … that in consequence of my application to him, the French Consul must have received on Monday last his order to restore the Pilgrim to her former owners” (LC, RG 59, Domestic Letters of the Department of State, Vol. 7, June 27–November 30, 1794, National Archives; copy, PRO: F.O. description begins Transcripts or photostats from the Public Record Office of Great Britain deposited in the Library of Congress. description ends [Great Britain], 5/5).
On August 3, 1794, Hammond wrote to Lord Grenville: “… the brig Pilgrim … had been in fact so restored, but in a condition almost irreparable” (ALS, PRO: F.O. description begins Transcripts or photostats from the Public Record Office of Great Britain deposited in the Library of Congress. description ends [Great Britain], 5/5).