George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 2 August 1793

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia August 2. 1793.


The inclosed letter from A. G. Fraunces contains insinuations, which are undoubtedly without grounds, as I verily believe.1 Still they are of such a nature, as to render it too delicate, to pass them by without notice. On the other hand, the gentleman, who is spoken of, has a title to know a charge, like that expressed in the letter. Permit me therefore to suggest, that the papers be put informally into his hands, with an instruction to inform you, how the truth is, and what kind of an answer would be proper, if any, to be returned, and from whom.2 I shall wait your commands, if any difficulty remains with you, after his explanation. I have the honor, sir, to be with the highest respect yr mo. ob. serv.

Edm: Randolph.


1The enclosed letter, which was from Andrew G. Fraunces to GW of 30 July 1793, suggested that there were improprieties within the Treasury Department.

2GW followed Randolph’s advice and wrote Alexander Hamilton on 3 August: “Motives of Justice, friendship & candour induce me to send the enclosed for your perusal. Let me know the truth of this matter. what answer is proper to be given to it, and by whom.

“The writer is urgent to receive one, having called once or twice since the delivery of it, for this purpose” (LB, DLC:GW). A footnote to the letter-book copy reads: “The enclosed, alluded to above, was a complaint from A. G. Fraunces, respecting the withholding of payment of Certificates which he conceived he was entitled to; & which his statement explains.” On Fraunces’s impatience for a reply from GW, see his letter to Tobias Lear or Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., of 2 Aug., in note 10 of Fraunces to GW, 30 July. For Hamilton’s reply, see his letter to GW of 9 Aug. 1793.

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