George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 26 January 1794

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia January 26. 1794.


I have examined all Mr Morris’s ministerial correspondence; and after the impression, which I had received from others, whom I supposed to be conversant with it, I am really astonished to find so little of what is exceptionable, and so much of what the most violent would call patriotic.1 The parts to be witheld,2 will probably be of these denominations: 1. What relates to Mr G—-t;3 2. some harsh expressions on the conduct of the rulers in France, which, if returned to that country, might expose him to danger; 3. the authors of some interesting information, who, if known, would be infallibly denounced. He speaks indeed of his court; a phrase, which he might as well have let alone. I shall do myself the honor of waiting on you in the morning; and I write now, only to give you an outline of the true state of the business.4 I have the honor, sir, to be with the highest respect yr mo. ob. serv.

Edm: Randolph


1A recent Senate resolution asking for the official correspondence of Gouverneur Morris, the U.S. minister to France, prompted Randolph’s examination (U.S. Senate to GW, 24 Jan.; see also Randolph to GW, 25 Jan.).

2Randolph substituted this word for “suppressed.”

3The administration had decided in August to ask the French government to recall Edmond Genet, its minister to the United States (Cabinet Opinion, 23 Aug. 1793).

4After receiving a reply from GW, which has not been found, Randolph wrote a second letter to GW later this day concerning Morris’s correspondence.

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