George Washington Papers

Edmund Randolph to Jaquelin Ambler, 21 August 1794

Edmund Randolph to Jaquelin Ambler

Philadelphia August 21. 1794.


I am instructed by the President of the United States to ask information from the Treasurer of Virginia, whether the arrearage of the Virginia donation to the fœderal city can be now paid. The public service suffers much from the want of it, and I must therefore request an answer, as soon as it may be convenient.1

If the money cannot be immediately advanced, the President would be glad to know, when, in your judgment, it is probable, that it may be received.2 I have the honor, sir, to be yr mo. ob. serv.

Edm: Randolph

ALS, PHi: Dreer Collection; LB, DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters.

1In December 1790 the Virginia legislature approved a grant of $120,000 in three equal yearly payments to assist the construction of buildings in the federal district (Va. Statutes [Hening], 13:125). For the state’s payments, see D.C. Commissioners to GW, 8 Feb. 1793, n.4.

2Ambler transmitted Randolph’s letter to Virginia’s governor on 28 Aug., commenting, "Having no information as to the amount of the arrearages of Taxes now due, nor when they may be expected to be brought into the Treasury, I cannot even conjecture when we shall be in a situation to comply with the claim on this State on account of the federal Buildings. At present we have two thousand dollars in the public Chest, and there are claims daily brought in to a great amount" (Calendar of Virginia State Papers, 7:279). On 3 Sept., Ambler replied to Randolph, reporting that he had received no answer from the governor and continuing: "Our Treasury has been for a long time, and still continues so much exhausted, as scarcely to enable me to pay the hire of Expresses. . . . If we may judge of the ensuing, from the experience of the past year, there is too much reason to believe our embarrassments in pecuniary matters will not be lessened" (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).

On 1 Dec. the commissioners recorded the receipt of $2,668.34 remitted from the Virginia Treasury in November (DNA: RG 42, Records of the Commissioners for the District of Columbia, Proceedings).

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