George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 9 April 1794

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia April 9. 1794.


I do myself the honor of inclosing for your consideration the request of Mr Philip Mark to be appointed consul of the United States in the Germanic Empire.1 His recommendations are also forwarded, and will be found to be satisfactory. As before an office is instituted, it ought to be seen to promise public utility, I have inquired into the effect of the establishment solicited. The benefits proposed are the aid, which a consul, fixed at Nuremberg in Franconia may give to Emigration; the facility, which he may afford to the remittances of property from thence; and a certain portion of intercourse carried on, as Mr King represents to me, between New-York and Nuremberg.2 The only question therefore of serious consideration in this business seems to be; whether any political objections exist against the sending of a consul for the first time now into Germany? or whether an offence even to the caprice of any other government, when so small a public good is to be produced, ought to be hazarded? These are subjects of expediency only; and do not operate very strongly upon my own mind; altho’ I thought it proper to lay them before you.3 I have the honor, sir, to be with the highest respect Yr mo. ob. serv.

Edm: Randolph.

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, GW’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State; LB, DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters.

1Philip Mark, a native of Germany, was a partner in the New York City mercantile firm of Jacob and Philip Mark, at 241 Queen Street, until early in 1793, when the partnership was dissolved because Philip Mark was returning to his native Germany to live (Daily Advertiser [New York City], 23 April 1793). Before leaving, he wrote then Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson on 2 May 1793 to solicit a consular appointment in either Nüremberg, in Franconia; Frankfurt am Main; or the Palatine Electorate, including the bishopric of Franconia (DLC:GW; extract, 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 , 25:640).

2Randolph apparently enclosed Mark’s letter of application to Jefferson and a letter of recommendation from New York merchant John Murray to Alexander Hamilton of 3 May 1793 (DLC:GW; Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 14:410–11). A letter of recommendation of circa 2 May 1793 from Murray and other prominent New York City businessmen, which was enclosed in the letter to Jefferson, has not been identified. Another letter from Mark, of 12 May, and a letter from Rufus King of 17 July 1793, which were received by Jefferson on 25 July 1793, also have not been identified (Chronological Index of Letters, DLC: Jefferson Papers).

3On GW’s appointment of Mark as U.S. consul “in Franconia, in Germany,” see GW to U.S. Senate, 28 May (DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793–95, Senate Records of Executive Proceedings, President’s Messages—Executive Nominations).

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