George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 20 October 1794

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia October 20. 1794. 1‘o’clock


My anxiety has been awakened by the absence of all the expresses, which have probably reached Williamsport, since Sunday the 12th instant. But the general opinion is easy, from a conviction, that you will not encounter hostility, but will rather be occupied with milder arrangements for the restoration of order.

Mr Rittenhouse has certified to me the distress of the mint for money; and Mr Wolcott has sent me a message thro’ Doctor Way, the treasurer, that he would contrive its payment, if the statement was such an one, as would probably be satisfactory to you. I have certified to that effect; and presume, that the treasurer will receive the amount.1

I have answered all Mr Jay’s letters, up to the 23d of August inclusive; and have assigned my reasons, why, upon further reflection, I had determined not to publish his letter No. 10, of the 2d of August, without your direction, which I would take on your return.2 His memorial and Lord Grenville’s reply will appear in Brown’s paper of this evening.3 I have the honor to be, sir, with the highest respect yr mo. ob. serv.

Edm: Randolph

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

1David Rittenhouse’s letter to Randolph of 16 Sept. reported a balance due from the United States of $1,571.34 on 30 Sept. and an additional $5,000 needed for the current quarter: $1,395.32 drawn for expenditures since that date, $1,200 needed for the purchase of a house and lot for the mint’s use, and estimated additional expenses to the end of the year of $2,404.68. Randolph’s certification on that document, dated 20 Oct., reads: “I have no doubt, that the President were he here, would approve of the advance of the above.” On 21 Oct. comptroller Oliver Wolcott, Jr., wrote Treasury Department clerk Edward Jones, “There being no appropriation to satisfy the object of Mister Rittenhouse’s estimate, I advise that an advance of five thousand dollars, be made to the Treasurer, Mister Way, by a Letter of credit on the Bank” (all LB, DLC:GW).

2In Randolph’s letter to John Jay of this date, he explained that he had decided not to publish Jay’s letter because “the substance of it has been already published with circumstances indicating its truth,” because “we shall be immediately charged with preparing the public mind for yieldings and sacrifices … Because nothing being said of the Posts, the cavillers will break out with Idle stories … that the Posts are passed over as of scarcely any concern, and thus unpleasant impressions may be uselessly left on the minds of many … Because I have read the letter to those here, who alone are interested, and who will communicate it to the others in different Quarters, who are alike interested, and thus all, who have any business with it, will know it,” and “Because it not being absolutely necessary to be posted in a newspaper, both you and ourselves will be more the masters of the whole matter, and its winding up” (NHi: Jay Papers).

3Andrew Brown printed The Philadelphia Gazette and Universal Daily Advertiser. Jay’s memorial to Lord Grenville of 30 July and Grenville’s reply of 1 Aug. appeared in that paper on this date.

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