Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Mann Randolph, 14 May 1800

To Thomas Mann Randolph

Philadelphia May 14. 1800.

Dear Sir

Congress having continued their session to this day, I shall leave this place tomorrow, & expect to pass through Richmond the 20th. or 21st. to mrs Bolling’s & the next day to join mr Eppes & Maria. probably I shall make 4. 5. or 6 days stay in that neighborhood. we have no foreign news. the Feds have determined to run Genl. Pinckney in conjunction with mr Adams, not without hope, by the aid of S. Carolina, to give him the preference. with some at least this is the view. but I think New England cannot be duped. you will see by the papers of this post that Pickering is dismissed & Marshal in his place; Mc.Henry resigned & Dexter in his place. I expect a bill will pass this day to disband the army. they are, on the approach of an election, trying to court a little popularity, that they may be afterwards allowed to go on 4. years longer in defiance of it. the N. York elections give us on the whole a certain majority of 8. to 12. on a joint vote. Jersey is also in a promising temper. kisses to my ever dear Martha & the little ones, & to yourself an affectionate Adieu.

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “T M Randolph”; endorsed by Randolph as received 23 May but with date of letter given as 7 not 14 May. PrC (CSmH); endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

On 12 May Adams nominated John Marshall to serve as secretary of state in place of Timothy Pickering, whom the president had dismissed that same day after he refused to resign, and Samuel Dexter, senator from Massachusetts, to serve as secretary of war in place of James McHenry, who resigned at the president’s request on 6 May. The Senate confirmed the appointments of Marshall and Dexter on 13 May and they entered office on 6 and 12 June, respectively. William Duane noted in the Aurora: “the Cabinet is not only disjointed but broken to pieces—Timothy Pickering has been dismissed, James M’Henry has resigned—Alexander Hamilton has received a hint, that his services will be no longer required” (Philadelphia Aurora, 15 May; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:352–4; Biog. Dir. Cong.; Adams, Works description begins Charles Francis Adams, ed., The Works of John Adams, Boston, 1850–56, 10 vols. description ends , 9:51–5; Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , 24:476–8).

On 14 May the House agreed to Senate amendments to the bill to disband the army and Adams signed the legislation, which he used to discharge the twelve regiments raised under the act to augment the army of July 1798. The officers and soldiers were granted three months’ pay from the time of their discharge, which the legislation specified should be on or before 15 June 1800 (JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1820–21, 5 vols. description ends , 3:96; U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 1:604–5; 2:85–6; Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , 24:500–1).

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