George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 28 March 1794

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia March 28. 1794. ½ past nine.


I do myself the honor of inclosing to you two letters from the Minister of the French Republic.1

Upon the first, the opinion of the gentlemen was against mine, that a passport ought not to be granted. I thought it so urgent, a case, that ⟨I⟩ sent the letter immediately to them.

This moment I have received another letter from Mr Fauchet. He represents his embarressment so strongly, that I cannot forbear to lay both letters before you without delay.2

I understand, that the vessel had actually cleared out and got as far as Newcastle, when she was stopped.3 I have the honor, sir, to be with the highest respect yr mo. ob. serv.

Edm: Randolph

The translations of the letters are sent.4

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, GW’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State. The text in angle brackets is from the letter-book copy.

1Neither Fauchet’s original letters nor the enclosed translations have been identified. However, copies of Fauchet’s two letters to Randolph of this date are to be found in FrPMAE, Correspondance Politique, Etats-Unis, 40. The first letter reported that the snow Camilla, while waiting at New Castle, Del., for dispatches from Fauchet, had been detained by officers enforcing the recent embargo. Fauchet requested an immediate presidential order to allow the captain to continue his voyage so that the dispatches could be delivered. The second letter reinforced the first by declaring “positivement” that delay of the ship would harm the French Republic because of the importance of Fauchet’s dispatches, which, he added, the consul had sent to the captain before learning of the embargo resolution (for that resolution of 26 March, see 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 . 1:400).

2For GW’s opinion on this situation, see his letter to Randolph of 29 March. For Randolph’s reply to Fauchet, written after consulting with other members of the Cabinet and GW, see n.1 of his second letter to GW of that date.

3On the departure of the Camilla from Philadelphia, see the 25 March issue of the Philadelphia Gazette and Universal Daily Advertiser. On the detention at New Castle of the Camilla, “bound to France with a cargo of flower,” see the 1 April issue of the Philadelphia Gazette and Universal Daily Advertiser.

4This sentence does not appear in the letter-book copy.

Index Entries