George Washington Papers

II, November 1793


Edmund Randolph’s List of Topics to be Communicated to Congress

[November 1793]

Heads of subjects to be communicated to congress; some at the opening, others by messages.

1. The proclamation, and the reasons for issuing it, together with an observation on the French treaty.
2. The selling of prizes in our ports.
3. The engagement concerning compensation for vessels, captured under certain circumstances.1
4. The propriety of vesting the fœderal courts with power to aid the executive in cases of capture.
5. The enaction of a particular penalty against consuls of foreign nations, opening courts in the United States.
6. The necessity of providing means for commanding respect from foreign vessels, which are refractory.
7. To submit to congress, whether it be better to rest the jurisdictional claim into the sea, as it stands, or to assert A particular distance by law.
8. The abortive attempt to treat with the Western Indians.
9. The situation of the U.S. with respect to
Great Britain and
10. Military intelligence.
11. To provide some other place for the sessions of congress, in case that of their last sitting should be improper &c.
12. Has any loan been affected, which ought to be communicated?
Quæ: whether Mr Genet’s propositions as to commerce are to be sent to the senate executively, or to congress? 2
13. The memorial on the guarantee.3


1For GW’s commitment to make compensation for vessels seized by French ships equipped in U.S. ports, see Cabinet Opinion on French Privateers and Prizes, 5 Aug., and Thomas Jefferson’s letters of 7 Aug. to French minister Edmond Genet and to British minister George Hammond (Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends , 26:633–35).

2For discussion of Genet’s proposition about payment of the French debt, see the enclosure with Alexander Hamilton to GW, 23 November.

3For discussion of the guarantee, see Hamilton’s outline, November 1793, n.1.

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