George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 27 June 1794

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia June 27. 1794.


The appointment of Mr Pickering, which is mentioned in your favor of the 21st instant from George Town, was noted in my report on the laws. I mentioned the subject to the attorney-general, who promised to consider, whether a fresh commission was necessary. I have the honor of inclosing a new commission; and if it should appear to be improper or unnecessary, in the opinion of the law-officer, I will withold it until your return; otherwise I will deliver it to Mr Pickering.1

The four years of the Marshal of North Carolina having expired, I take the liberty of inclosing a commission for him, prepared so as to prevent the necessity of its return hither for the seal; and of requesting you, after you have signed it, to put it into the inclosure, and have it sent to the post-office.2

Nothing of consequence has occurred since my last of the 25th,3 except what is contained in the inclosed letter to Mr Fauchet; to which I have not yet received an answer. I have the honor, sir, to be with the highest respect and attachment 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.

1GW’s letter to Randolph of 21 June has not been found. He apparently discussed the appointment of Timothy Pickering as postmaster general. Randolph reported about the laws passed by Congress in his letter to GW of 5 June. There he noted that the position of postmaster general, as created by the law of 8 May (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 . 1:354-66) to take effect on 1 June, required an appointment. As Pickering had filled the office of postmaster general since 1791 under the previous law, whether he needed a new commission under the new law was evidently in question.

2The enclosure presumably was Randolph’s letter to John Skinner of this date, in which Randolph stated GW’s desire that Skinner continue in office and enclosed a new commission (DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters). On 9 July, Skinner wrote, probably to GW, that he had "concluded that it will be inconvenient for me to accept of a re-appointment" (DLC:GW). He recommended his deputy Michael Payne for the post, and Payne was sent a commission, which he accepted in his letter to GW of 19 August.

3Randolph had last written GW on 26 June; whether he here intended to refer to his letter of 25 June or to that letter is unclear.

Index Entries