Notes of a Conversation with Edmund Randolph
H’s letter to R. execrating commercial part of treaty
Jay’s 1st. authority merely to demand reparation
a fortnight afterwards H. proposed commercial
Jay considered 12th. article as equivalent for every thing
Presidt. said if he communicated all Jay’s papers to Senate, every man would pronounce him bribed
papers communicated to Senate only shewed Jay’s puerilities those not communicated would have shewn his concealments of details
on the 6th. Nov. Jay wrote his reasons against the treaty yet on the 19th. Nov. he signed it
P. notified the Senators privately that their rejection of J. Rutlege would not be disagreeable. Rejected by silent vote.
they did not go upon his insanity, not then certainly known tho’ some extravagances had been spoken of
the P. speaking with R. on the hypothesis of a separation of the Union into Northern and Southern said he had made up his mind to remove and be of the Northern1
MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 98: 16747); undated, but written after December 1795 (see below); written entirely in TJ’s hand on a small scrap at two sittings (see note 1 below); with notation on verso written in same ink as recto: “heads of information given me by E. Randolph.”
Internal evidence indicates that TJ wrote these notes on the basis of a conversation with Edmund Randolph that could have taken place in Virginia no earlier than 15 Dec. 1795, when the Senate rejected the President’s nomination of John Rutledge as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court (William Branch Giles to TJ, 15 Dec. 1795, and note). Since Randolph had returned to Virginia for good about the third week of November 1795, three months after his resignation as Secretary of State and approximately three weeks before Washington submitted Rutledge’s nomination to the Senate, his information about its defeat must have been secondhand. Rutledge’s attempted suicide, which did not become public in Philadelphia until late in December, further suggests that TJ’s retrospective comment about his derangement was written sometime after the new year (DHSC description begins Maeva Marcus and others, eds., The Documentary History of the Supreme Court of the United States 1789–1800, New York, 1985–2007, 8 vols. description ends , i, pt. 2, p. 820–2).
Randolph’s Letter Of Dec. 15. 94. to John Jay is in ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Foreign Relations, i 509–12. TJ’s report on commerce is dated 16 Dec. 1793. Alexander Hamilton’s letter to Randolph, the substance of which Randolph incorporated into his aforementioned letter to Jay, was an undated series of observations on British proposals for a commercial treaty with the United States that Jay had received from Lord Grenville in September 1794 and forwarded to the Secretary of State (Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , xvii, 409–10). Papers communicated to senate: the official documents relating to the negotiation of the Jay Treaty that Washington submitted to the Senate on 8 June 1795 (ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Foreign Relations, i, 470–501, 503–4). My paper: Memorandum of a Conversation with Edmund Charles Genet, 10 July 1793, of which in fact Washington provided Jay and Rufus King with only a brief extract (see note to TJ to Randolph, 18 Dec. 1793).
1. This paragraph written on verso in different ink.