Thomas Jefferson Papers

Notes on Edmund Randolph’s Vindication, [after 29 December 1795]

Notes on Edmund Randolph’s Vindication

[after 29 Dec. 1795]

[…] [of dates.]
1793. Dec. 5. pa.  99. President’s message to Congress.
1794.  73. instructions to Monroe.
Apr. 16. 100. Pres’s message to Senate nominating Jay.
19.  58. E.R. to the Pres. letter.
Aug. 5. 100. do.
Oct. 31.   6. Fauchet’s intercepted lre No.10.
1795. Mar. 7  28 treaty arrives.1
1795. June 29.  29. R’s first conversn with Hammond.
July 2.  30. R. to Monroe.
12.  30. R’s opinion to the Pres.
13.  31. 40. R’s 2d. conversn with Hammond.
14.  32. R’s 3d. conversn with Hammond.
 39. R. to Monroe & the other ministers.
15.  32.39. Pres. goes to Mt. Vernon.
18.  33. Pres. writes to E.R. from Balt. on Boston add.
 33. R’s memorial to Hammond.
22.  34. Pres. to R.
29.  35. do.
31.  36. do.
Aug. 11.  39. Pres. returns to Philada.
10–14  40. Hamilton writes to Pres.2
19.   1. R. called before cabinet.
  8. R. to Pres.
20.   9. Pres. to R.
21.   9. R. goes to Rho. isld.
31.  10. arrives there.
Sep. 1.  11. R. to Fauchet. & answer.
2.  12. Gardner’s certif.
21.  19. R. to Pres.
27.  20. Pres. to R.
 13. Fauchet’s certif.
 17. No. 3.
 18. No. 6.
Oct. 2.  21. R. to Wolcot & answer.
6.  25. Taylor to R.
8.  22.3. R. to Wolcott & answer.
 23. R. to Pres.
21.  25. Pres. to R.
24.  26. R. to Pres.
 49. R’s general Ire to Pres.

N (DLC: Rare Book and Special Collections Division); written by TJ on verso of page 103 of his copy of [Edmund Randolph], A Vindication of Mr. Randolph’s Resignation (Philadelphia, 1795), the signatures in this copy being bound out of order so that TJ’s notes face page 41; date assigned on the basis of TJ’s receipt of the pamphlet (see below); consisting of a chronological key to the Vindication, TJ’s caption at head of text being partially clipped; significant emendations, and marginalia by TJ on another page of the pamphlet, are noted below. See Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 3180. Except for its scrambled signatures, TJ’s copy matches Evans No. 29384, not 29385, which is another impression of the pamphlet.

Although by late November 1795 TJ had acquired an incomplete version of Randolph’s Vindication (see TJ to James Madison, 26 Nov. 1795), he could not have inscribed this list—which contains late page references and appears on the verso of the final page of the pamphlet’s text—before the last portions of the work were printed. William Branch Giles had expected to obtain the finished pamphlet on its advertised publication date of Friday, 18 Dec., and send it to TJ on Monday, 21 Dec. 1795 (see Giles to TJ, 15 Dec. 1795). In subsequent letters Giles did not state when he actually sent the Vindication, but it is unlikely to have reached TJ earlier than 29 Dec, when he received Giles’s letters of 15 and 20 Dec. 1795. TJ acknowledged receipt of the pamphlet in his reply to Giles of 31 Dec. 1795.

In the margin of page 97 of his copy of Randolph’s Vindication, keyed between the fifth and sixth words of the sentence “You [i.e., Washington] will remember a remarkable phrase of your own upon this occasion,” TJ wrote perpendicularly: “‘that if he should not ratify the treaty he should lose the support of one party, and not gain the other, who would still continue to abuse him as much as ever, and so between two stools the breech will come to the ground.’” TJ may have learned of the President’s remark during the meeting described in Notes of a Conversation with Edmund Randolph, [after 1795].

R. to Monroe & the other ministers: page 39 of the pamphlet includes extracts from letters written by Randolph to James Monroe on 14 July and to “all our foreign ministers” on 21 July 1795. Boston add.: see TJ to James Madison, 21 Sep. 1795, and note, for Washington’s reply to the address from Boston.

Hamilton writes to Pres.: this “very influential letter in the President’s hands” is described but not printed in the Vindication, 40, where Randolph gave its date as “the 10th or 14th of July” and did not name its author. Alexander Hamilton’s letter of 10 Aug. 1795 to Oliver Wolcott (printed in Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , xix, 111–12) matches the description in Randolph’s pamphlet.

R. called before cabinet: TJ here mistakenly noted page 5, on which the pamphlet’s text begins, as page 1. R’s general ire to pres., on pages 49–98 of the pamphlet, takes the form of an undated letter to Washington but is actually Randolph’s public explanation of his own conduct.

1Line inserted.

2TJ wrote “Hamilton’s Ire” before altering it to read as above.

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