George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 13 August 1793

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia August 13. 1793.


I am perfectly satisfied, that the conduct of the treasury as to Mr Fraunces has been right in all its parts. The kind of paper, which he holds, is suspicious; the particular paper is suspicious; it may have been already paid by the public; at any rate the extent of the allowance of such a claim, as circumstances now appear, cannot be foreseen. Fraunces himself ought to be convinced, that he has been properly dealt with.1 Perhaps it may not be amiss, that Mr Lear should inform Fraunces, that an examination has been made into the affair; and that it does not appear to be a fit occasion for the interference of the executive.2

I do not find, that the report of the commissioners of public accounts is any where directed expressly to be lodged in the Treasury-department. But the 7th Section of the act of August 5. 1790 has so stronly implied it, that it is impossible for that department to perform its functions concerning the debts of individual states without being possessed of it.3 I have the honor, sir, to be with the highest respect yr mo. ob. serv.

Edm: Randolph

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

1On the complaint of Andrew G. Fraunces concerning the Treasury Department’s refusal to redeem two warrants that were issued in 1787 and 1789 by the Board of Treasury and that he purchased at some later date, see Fraunces to GW, 30 July 1793, and notes.

2GW followed Randolph’s advice, and Tobias Lear wrote Fraunces on 14 Aug. 1793.

3On the report produced by the Commissioners for Settling Accounts between the United States and the Individual States, see their letter to GW of 29 June 1793. For the implication that this report should be filed with the Treasury Department, see “An Act to provide more effectually for the settlement of the Accounts between the United States and the individual States” of 5 Aug. 1790 (1 Stat description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends ., 178–79). For GW’s intention to do so, see Thomas Jefferson to GW, 13 Aug. 1793, n.1.

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