George Washington Papers

Enclosure: William Davies to Beverley Randolph, 21 May 1790


William Davies to Beverley Randolph

New York May 21st 1790.


In consequence of an Order of the House of Representatives, that the Commissioners of the General Board should report the amount of the Claims of the several States, mr Gilman and mr Kean, Genl Irvine being absent, thought proper to report no. 1,1 which mr Madison calls a libel on the State. North Carolina and Georgia are also Stigmatized, but their Vengeance seems more particularly directed at Virginia. How far their own Speculations may have influenced their conduct, cannot be ascertained, but their zeal for the Assumption is well known. The House were so little pleased with the report, that they would not suffer it to be read and on the request of Mr FitzSimmons with the general assent of the members, the printers and short hand writers were desired not to publish it. I was at that time confined to my bed with sickness, but as soon as I was able I delivered to the Senators and Representatives the Remarks no. 2,2 a copy of which I also furnished the General Board. I have at the request of the Representatives made a Statement of the Claims of Virginia with explanatory remarks no. 3.3

I have inclosed Copies of the Vouchers4 to which the two Commissioners refer in their report; the Indorsements in red Ink I have had made for their better explanation to you. The papers marked B to which the two Commissioners refer, I have not been able to get, but suppose they mean the General Accounts presented to mr Winder, one of which together with the protest they allude to, were presented to your Excellency at the time of the Transaction. I have the Honour to be &c.

William Davies

True Extracts from Colonel Davies’s letter to the governor,

Sam. Coleman A.C.C.

Copy, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

2The enclosed copy of the remarks on the commissioners’ report that Davies wrote out on 8 May 1790 for Virginia’s congressional delegation is in DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, and appears in CD-ROM:GW. It contains a spirited defense of the state’s policies in settling the state’s accounts with the federal government and a refutation of the criticism of the federal commissioners, observing that “more enquiry would have afforded the two Commissioners better information, and would probably have induced them to have avoided ‘a discussion,’ which they profess to have been ‘highly disagreeable to them,’ and which the concurrent sense of the House has pronounced to be unfit for the public eye” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters). See also Rutland, Madison Papers, description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds. The Papers of James Madison, Congressional Series. 17 vols. Chicago and Charlottesville, Va., 1962–91. description ends 13:192–95.

3The copy of Davies’s enclosed “Statement of the Claims of the Commonwealth of Virginia against the United States for Advances and supplies on Account of the late War” with his explanatory remarks is in DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters and appears in CD-ROM:GW.

4The enclosed copies of the eight Revolutionary War vouchers that Randolph sent to GW are in DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, and appear in CD-ROM:GW.

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